Today I’m handing out party hats and slicing the cake (oh, it’s totally okay to eat cake at before noon!) to celebrate my latest book which released this week! My newsletter subscribers are already having a lot of fun. I announced the release on my newsletter on Tuesday morning and gave them an opportunity to enter to win signed copies of both the new book Searching for Home and The Widower’s Second ChanceIf you don’t want to miss out on upcoming fun, make sure to stop by my website and sign up to receive future updates first. You’ll find the “Join Jessica’s Mailing List” box on the front page.

I also wanted to let you guys know that you may start to see some construction dust on my blog very soon. In the coming months my author website and my blog will both be revamped (design wise) and joined on one complete site. Won’t that be nice? I sure hope so.

But let’s get to the good stuff…a new book!

Searching for Home – Spies of Chicago, Book One

for websiteShe thought a dead relative ruined her life, but discovering his story will save it instead.

When the story of Whitney’s long-dead anarchist ancestor, Lewis Ingram, makes front-page news, she must find a way to exonerate her relative, or risk losing everything–her mayoral-candidate boyfriend and her job at a local magazine. Aided by Nate, a volunteer at the Chicago Historical Foundation, she digs in, determined to find a positive spin on the situation. But what awaits her isn’t spin at all. It’s truth–and it will change her life.

In the world of 1886, Ellen Ingram and James Kent didn’t intend to get caught in the middle of an anarchist spy ring. Ellen was content to leave all such intrigue to her brother, Lewis Ingram. But as the political climate in Chicago changes, Ellen and James have no choice. In the midst of the famous Haymarket Riot, both realize that they must live the life God created them for, not the one dictated by society.

Two generations encounter the same truth–and neither will ever be the same.

Destined for Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

 If you’ve been around my blog for any length of time, you know I love three things with equal tenacity: Young Adult fiction, Romance, and the Fantasy genre. Wouldn’t you know Destined for Doon has all three? Moreover, it doesn’t disappoint. At all.

DoonDestined for Doon is the second book in a four book series inspired by the musical Brigadoon. In the first book, Doon, we see best friends Veronica and Mackenna (Kenna) travel to Scotland and discover the magical, locked away land of Doon—complete with two handsome princes waiting for them, of course. :)

Did I mention I loved the first book in this series? I did, immensely. Well, I’m always a little afraid to read sequels—not because I don’t want more of the stories, I always do—but because usually they don’t live up to the magic felt while reading the first book. Well, that was not true with Destined for Doon, actually **leans closer and whispers** I liked it BETTER than the first book. I know—crazy, right?

Honest moment: Kenna wasn’t my favorite character in book one. I just didn’t get her reluctance when it came to love (the authors wrote her beautifully, it’s just my personal thing) so I was worried that I wouldn’t be as into the second book because the bulk of it follows Kenna’s story. Boy, was I wrong. Kenna won me over and then some. She’s strong and doesn’t always have a filter and feels deeply. She’s a good role model and lends strength to Veronica who desperately needs to believe in herself more (trusting that’ll come in the next two books).

And Duncan. Can we please talk about Prince Duncan (Kenna’s romantic interest) a little? Duncan has been my favorite character since he walked onto the page in book one. Many of my friends like Prince Jamie (Veronica’s romantic interest) better, but I’ve never been one for the moody, mysterious man. I’d rather have a heart on his sleeve, loyal to a fault, Duncan any day.Destined for Doon

The romantic tension and angst needed in a YA book is so well done in this one. I have no clue how the authors’ craft these things so seamlessly and believably—I wish I could sit down with Carey and Lorie for lessons in this to strengthen my own YA writing.

Both Carey and Lorie are skilled authors, their writing complements each other well. The setting of Doon comes alive. As someone who has never traveled to Scotland, the book transports me there and fills in all the gaps with beautiful description.

Beyond the romance, the conflict and mystery in this book are very good and kept me as a reader guessing how exactly Veronica and Kenna could possibly overcoming the thing that is threatening to destroy the entire kingdom of Doon and everyone who lives there. High stakes—yeah, I pulled a heart-pounding all nighter because I couldn’t put turn the pages fast enough for the last 120 pages. Man alive. These women know how to craft a story. I have said that already, haven’t I?

Lastly, I really appreciate that the authors take the chance to show two teen girls in an uplifting friendship. Kenna and Veronica always have each other’s’ backs. Their first instinct is to encourage and challenge each other. And they are constantly risking all for the other. When so many YA books only show girls gossiping and hurting each other, it’s refreshing to see the bond for friendship in the Doon series.

I am avidly awaiting the next installment and am considering bribing Carey and Lorie with cookies and musical tickets in order to read book three w-a-y ahead of time. Thankfully, we have two more books to look forward to. More adventures. More Doon. And more Duncan.

read the book


The Butterfly and the Violin - by Kristy Cambron

I’m going to be honest—I usually pass right by any book that I think will be depressing or things that cover heavy subject matters. I get enough real life shock value in my day job; I don’t need it during my relaxing time when I’m reading. Going off of that, you’re probably confused as to why I’m recommending a book that centers around Auschwitz—but The Butterfly and the Violin is brimming with hope and holds a story as breathtakingly beautiful as it’s cover.

The book follows both a contemporary and a historical storyline. Sometimes a book that has both can feel jarring when we transition to a different time period, but Cambron expertly weaves the two together. Both characters are written uniquely and I cared about both heroines.The Butterfly and the Violin

Sera James is an art gallery owner in Manhattan. As a young girl she saw a painting of a woman with a shaved head playing a violin and the image has stayed with her, haunting her into adulthood. When she has the opportunity to locate a copy of the painting, Sera jumps at the chance and heads to California where her life becomes entangled with a man who wants the painting as well.

I found Sera to be a realistic character who I enjoyed. Scars from Sera’s past threaten her hope for a relationship with William. Is he worth trusting? Sera’s past tells her most men aren’t.

Adele Von Bron has become Austria’s darling as a violin prodigy, but when she is caught attempting to help Jews escape during the Nazi reign, her prestige, nor her father’s high position, can save her from being sent to the concentration camp. Adele is broken and alone and finds the only way to save herself is to join the orchestra which plays for the laborers and at the whim of the Nazis. Adele proves to be remarkably brave—her story touched me deeply.

The historical sections are powerful, heartbreaking, and full of every emotion available. Cambron does a good job of showing us the horrors of the concentration camp without becoming gory or gruesome. Historical details in this book were so well researched. I had no idea there were orchestras or art in the midst of all of this.

One of the things I appreciated the most is that a story that could have been a downer, was instead stamped with hope on every single page. There is friendship that saves, romantic love offering new chances, and the eternal love of God that gives a future.

This story is deeply spiritual at its core containing messages about pushing beyond our mistakes, clinging to God even when evil is all around you, and urges you to see the beauty in every day of life.

The Butterfly and the Violin is a must read (and I just checked, its only $3.99 for Kindle right now!). It’s one of those stories that brands itself on your heart, coming back into your thoughts for years afterwards.


Widowers Second ChanceI’ve been hopelessly absent from blogging and I’m very sorry about that fact. Truth be known, I really enjoy posting things for you and would like to get into a more regular schedule. I’m currently trying to figure out what that looks like, and what sort of content would serve you all best.

What have I been doing? Besides working at my day job and playing with a very giggly 20 month old, I’ve been writing. My latest Love Inspired book, The Widower’s Second Chance, released in August—it launches a new series called Goose Harbor which follows the lives of people who live on the sandy shores of a tourist community on Lake Michigan.

My next book with Phantom Ship Press will release in October. Searching for Home launches a three book series called Spies of Chicago that follows both a historical and contemporary storyline. Isn’t the cover gorgeous? And then at the end of November a historical Christmas novella titled Hear on Christmas Morning will release.


Other than that I’ve been catching up on one of my favorite activities—reading. Let me tell you, I’ve found some AMAZING books in the last few months and discovered some authors that went directly onto my pre-order every book they ever write list. With that in mind I’m going to post a book review/recommendation every day this week.

The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall

 If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would. It’s easily the best historical fiction I’ve read in many years (and I’m a 100+ book a year reader). The second I finished The Hesitant Heiress, I wanted to start rereading it and I’ve been thinking about the characters long after finishing it because they are so well written they felt like real people.

The main character, Amaryllis Brigham, has lived a lonely life and would rather spend time with books and music than with people. The day her mother died is wrapped up in mystery and she hasn’t had much contact with her father since she was whisked away to a boarding school straight from the funeral. Adding to that is an over-riding sense that every terrible event in her life has been influenced by Bram Everstone—the man who once loved her mother.

Upon her grandmother’s death Amaryllis learns that she’s set to inherit a fortune as long as she marries within the year—something she’s not willing to consider. The story opens with Amaryllis being expelled from the Boston Conservatory of Music, which leads her to living with her well-to-do aunt in Boston, forcing her to attend parties and hob-nob with those in high society.

Amaryllis meets Nathan Everstone and sparks fly before they even exchange their first words. Nathan is a hero worth cheering on. A man who is both dreamy, yet believable—yes, I said dreamy. Nathan doesn’t give up easily and yet completely respects the space Amaryllis needs. Their love story is beautiful, full of tension, and kept me reading late into the early morning hours.

The Hesitant HeiressPoor Amaryllis can’t trust that Nathan loves her though because a misunderstanding leads her to believe that her aunt asked Nathan to pay attention to her. That—and he’s the son of her greatest enemy.

The Hesitant Heiress is told in first person, which I love. I wish more inspirational fiction—especially historicals—were written like this. It often felt like I was reading a contemporary of the book Rebecca or Jane Eyre (two of my all-time favorites). It’s that good. Seriously.

Crandall is masterful at crafting characters who have believable motivations. I completely understood why Amaryllis thought and acted and reacted the way she did to everything because I felt her past hurts and the lies about herself she believed so deeply.

As an author, I can usually guess most twists and turns that are going to happen in a story because that’s how my mind works when I dive into a plot—but with this book I was able to turn that off and just be along for the ride. That’s high praise because I can so rarely engage with a book on that level. I have to adore the book and characters to do that, but Crandall made that easy for me. She’s now on my preorder-every-single-thing-she-every-writes list. There were elements of mystery and plot twists in the book that I didn’t initially see coming.

Crandall expertly drew me into the Gilded Age setting with well researched details and authentic dialogue. I felt like I was there. She also didn’t fall into a mistake that many historical writers make of too much detail—sometimes that’s just as distracting.

More than anything, I can’t get Crandall’s characters out of my head. Amaryllis and Nathan are real. They live and breathe on the page and will do so in your heart and mind long after you’re done. Happily, the next two books of the series are releasing quickly so we all don’t have to wait long for the rest of the stories!

I can’t recommend The Hesitant Heiress highly enough. It deserves far more than 5 stars.

**I bought this book with my own hard earned money and am reviewing it because I think everyone should read it**


So far this year my writing life has been a whirlwind–in the best way possible!

Saving Yesterday

Saving Yesterday, my Sci-Fi/Fantasy young adult novel has recieved a lot of great feedback, but I could still really use your help to get the word out about this book and to help others decide if they’d like to read it. The best way to do this is by writing a review for the book (and any books by any authors you like) on Amazon. Without reviews, books don’t sell. Period. Remember, writing reviews shouldn’t be time consuming. Just a sentence or two about what you liked about the book and done.

Also, right now Saving Yesterday is on sale for only 99 cents. The sale ends tonight so feel free to get the word out on social media so your friends can snatch it up for an insanely low price.

Goose Harbor Series

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Widower's Second Chance by Jessica  Keller

The Widower’s Second Chance

by Jessica Keller

Giveaway ends July 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

The first book in my new Love Inspired series (The Widower’s Second Chance) will be in stores in August, but you have two chances to get a copy before it even releases. Right now you can sign up to win one of eight signed copies on my Goodreads giveaway. And later this month I’ll be running an exclusive giveway that’s only open to my newsletter subscribers. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do so by clicking here.

Everyone have a safe and fun Father’s Day! Keep reading :) -jess

Happy Tax Day everyone! Hopefully your paperwork is in the mail and you can now enjoy all the free tax day promos. While we’re at it, I wanted to share a few freebies and updates with you too.

  • First of all I have some good news. I’ve been asked to be a regular contributor to the blog The Write Conversation and couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity. Author friend Charity Tinnin and I will be sharing the Indie Tuesday slot and if your interested in writing at all, we’d love if you stopped by and talked with us on Tuesdays.

The Write Conversation : Indie Tuesday—Are You Ready to Self-Publish?: by Jessica Keller @AuthorKeller Frantic heart palpitations. Occasional bouts of hyperventilation. Random sweating coupled with a coffee…


  • I’ve started a newsletter list and would love if you would join. It’s the best way to keep up on my latest releases and upcoming books. My newsletter subscribers will see cover reveals first, hear about sales and giveaways before anyone else, receive free book content not available to others, and prizes for subscribers only. What won’t you get by signing up? Easy. You’ll never be spammed and will never receive more than two newsletters a month (and more often just one). Scouts honor. You can subscribe to the newsletter right one my website.


  • Right now I’m running a giveaway on Goodreads. There are three signed copies of Saving Yesterday up for grabs, so if you’re a Goodreads member make sure to sign up. If you don’t want to wait until the end of the month to see if you win the Goodreads giveaway then the great news is the kindle ebook of Saving Yesterday is on sale right now for only $2.99. That’s less than a cup of coffee folks and it last a lot longer. :)


Goodreads Book Giveaway

Saving Yesterday by Jessica  Keller

Saving Yesterday

by Jessica Keller

Giveaway ends April 30, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

  • Last but not least I wanted to share a song with you that’s offered a lot of encouragement to me as I’ve faced some hard things lately. I hope you enjoy it. Have a wonderful week dear friends!


Indie Extravaganza: New Book Releases You Should Check Out – PLUS Gift Card Giveaway!

Looking for some great NEW indie reads?
All of these books are New Releases in the last few months. Skip to the genre you love, sample a new indie author… and enter the giveaway at the bottom! (Also check out the FREE books associated with these New Releases at the bottom.)
And THANK YOU for supporting indie authors!
(click on covers to learn more)p.s. is it me, or are these indie covers amazing?

Young Adult Science Fiction


Science Fiction/Dystopian

Young Adult Fantasy



Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Contemporary/Historical Romance

Young Adult Suspense

Middle Grade

Steampunk/Alternate History


FREE Books
Connected with New Releases Above

Giveaway includes Gift Cards, Original Art, paperbacks, ebooks, and a mug!

Is everyone wearing their party hats and dancing shoes? We have some celebrating to do!

One – Does everyone know I launched a website at the beginning of the year? If not, please go check it out and let me know what you think.

Two – My Young Adult book Saving Yesterday, Book One in the TimeShifters series released TODAY.


*tosses confetti in the air*

Back Cover Copy:

Her blood holds secrets she never knew existed.

Despite the fact that she acts as a parent to her alcoholic father, Gabby Creed feels pretty normal. But her life is turned upside-down on her seventeenth birthday when a bracelet appears on her wrist and sucks her back through time.

Turns out she’s not even a little bit normal. She’s a Shifter—a protector of humans and of history itself. And she’s not alone. The other Shifters believe Gabby is special, even more special than the mysterious Michael Pace. Oh, and the Shades—seriously creepy creatures who feed off of human despair—are determined to capture her.

It’s all a lot to absorb. So Gabby’s grateful to have Michael as her Trainer—or she would be if she could get her rebellious heart under control. Then again, if the rumors about her blood are true, saving yesterday will be the least of her worries.

Click to Purchase the Kindle edition

Click to Purchase the Print edition

Some people have asked me, “What’s this I hear about you hybrid/indie publishing?” So I’m going to take a second right now to focus on what is this thing called indie publishing, and why I’m choosing to go down that path for some of my books.

When an author signs a contract with a traditional publisher (any of the big publishes that give advances and royalties and produce your book without cost to you), the first book you publish with them often dictates a “brand” that you must now write in.

My first trade published book was Home for Good which is a contemporary western romance. Did I want to forever write only contemporary western romances? NO. I have all kinds of ideas, but not many more western romances. Nail biting ensued. Would I be forced to write more westerns when that wasn’t really a passion of mine?

My publisher was awesome and said I didn’t need to stick with western, but I would be continuing to write sweet contemporary romances. This is cool because I have plenty of stories in that vein.

But I also have young adult fiction I want to write, adult fiction that doesn’t fit neatly into the “sweet contemporary” category, and historicals. What could I do with those? Just shove them away forever? That didn’t seem wise.

Here’s the thing—I may be a writer, but I’ve always been a reader first. And as a reader, I don’t just like one certain type of books. I’ll read YA, historical, classics, and contemporaries. I’ll read in the fantasy genre and I love a good science fiction book. When I talked to others, I found most of them read the same way too (all types of genres).

See, I believe that the average reader is very smart. When they pick up a book from an author that they’ve read before that isn’t in the same genre I 1) trust that they’ll know what genre they’re picking up and know what to expect from the story, and 2) won’t have a melt-down because it’s not the same exact type of book as before.

So while I’ll continue to publish sweet contemporary romances with my publisher, I’ll also be jumping into the pool known as ‘indie publishing’ to publish some of my YA and historical books and ones that don’t quite fit well in the other parts of the publishing market yet.

Like anything, Indie publishing has its good aspects and the parts that aren’t as good. I weighed my choice to join the indie world with a lot of thought, sound counsel, and prayer.

The Good

  1. I have so many story ideas—and now I can get them into your hands faster than I could if I published those stories the traditional route (in traditional publishing it takes a year or more to put out a book).
  2. I can write more than one genre!
  3. I get to be part of the cover art process, something many traditionally published authors don’t have much of a say about.
  4. I *may* be able to make a living publishing this way, whereas, making a living just publishing the traditional route is very, very difficult and very few authors reach the level of pay/fame to make that possible.

The Bad

  1. My indie published books will not be available at your local bookstore
  2. More than likely, they will not be in our neighborhood library (unless you put in a request for them to stock it – which I’d be all for!)
  3. Some of the things I plan to publish independently will not (initially) be available in paperback/hardcover. For example, my upcoming Christmas novella will (initially) only be available as an E-Book. But after I have written more King’s Cove novellas (which I have in the works) then I will bundle them and they will be available in book form together.

The Good and Bad

To publish a book independently, it costs the author money up front. NOT in the old “vanity press” style, but an author pays out of pocket for the rights to the cover art (and to hire a graphic designer), for someone to edit their work, for formatting, and for any advertising they do.

Okay, parting with money before you know if you’ll get a return is never fun, but every entrepreneur and inventor has to do just that no matter what type of business you’re running. I think this is a good model for authors.

Since it costs them money, most writers make sure they are putting out the best quality book they can because you want to make back your investment (and then some). Yes, there will always be some many who shortcut that system, but readers are smart, very smart.

Readers know poor quality when they see it (amateur-looking cover, poor editing/formatting, and/or terrible writing) and stop reading, return, or never buy those books. Those books and writers get passed up. See, a reader votes for an author’s career to succeed every time they click that purchase button. No click. No career. It’s that simple.

YOU, the reader, holds all the power when it comes to the future of indie publishing—not me, the writer.

What does this mean?

It means the same thing as always: I’m a writer.

Some like to label themselves by saying “I’m a published author” or “I’m a trade author” or “I’m a hybrid author” or “I’m an indie author.” But let’s be serious. We’re all just authors—people who love words and storytelling.

I make money the same way Stephen King and J.K. Rowling both do. Different amounts don’t change the job title just like the President of the United States and the President of the student council are both called the same thing, even though their spears of influence are vastly different.

How the book comes out, doesn’t change the fact of what we are: Writers. Story-weavers. Authors.

Thank you, every single person reading this, for being a part of my journey so far as a writer.

“Since it is so likely that (children/teens) will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.” –C.S. Lewis

Beware: Spoilers for Allegiant, The Fault in Our Stars, and possibly Lord of the Flies and the Harry Potter series (but if you haven’t read or at least know the ending to those last two…please come out from under that rock pronto).

Like many others, I was excited to get my hands on Allegiant, the final book in the wildly popular Divergent series. I loved book one, tentatively liked book two, and looked forward to the last installment.


All to my utter and complete disappointment.

Allegiant and subsequently its author, Veronica Roth (who, for the rest of this will be known as VRoth) failed readers on so many levels, but more than anything it/she failed a generation of teen readers who are looking for a new brand of hope.

See, when an author writes a book they can’t just willy-nilly send it out into the world. They must keep in mind that their words have the power to shape and affect people. An author, especially someone with a huge readership, has a responsibility to their readers. They must offer hope within the pages of their book or it’s a pointless waste of time for the author and more so, the reader.

Author William Faulkner said in his acceptance speech for his Nobel Prize, “The writer’s duty is to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.”

Does there have to be an “and they lived happily ever after” ending? Absolutely not. Suzanne Collins’s (author of The Hunger Games series) editor put it best when she said that young adult books don’t need a happy ending, but in the end, there must be “a window left open”—a way where we can see that the characters we’ve grown to love can move on from tragedy.

There must be hope.

Teens today are growing up in a far different world than the one I grew up in (and I’m not that old). I’m of the Harry Potter generation. The books of my youth were stories of teens that could rise up and save the world. My generation was the one told that if we go to college and work hard then we’ll get good jobs and we can accomplish anything. I’m the generation just in front of today’s teens—and the teens of today have watched as the bottom dropped out of my generation’s lives. Where going to college hasn’t landed many of my friends a job, instead it has left them drowning in debt. Where many parents are divorced and a significant amount of people I know have watched their family home seized by forecloser.

Teens today have grown up watching this all unravel. For all of the aware part of their lives, our country has been at war. Think about that. They don’t know of an America not at war. Polls show that their vision of success is very different than my teen generation (which is only ten years ago). Today’s teen sees success not as owning a home, graduating college, having a family, or starting a business, instead the number one measure of success in recent polls showed them wanting to be debt free “at some point in life.” That’s it.

Contemporary teens aren’t looking for books about teens saving the world. They only ask for the small hope of saving their small corner of it. So popular books for this generation are ones that in the end show that in the midst of a messed up world, you can find your own peace/hope, even if it’s just between you and one other person.

Fiction has always been meant to combat the reality of life. VRoth failed us here. She didn’t show us what could be possible. Instead she smacked us in the face with what is. And we don’t need that. Because we’ve all dealt with more than enough loss and hardship and heartbreak. We don’t need books that repeat what we live every single day, we need books that show us that in the midst of a heartbreak world, we can find our own little pod of happiness/joy. That just because the world we live in is going to pot, doesn’t mean we have to lose hope.

Whatever her purpose, VRoth showed teens with Allegiant one horrible thing: their life, their struggles, their fight for right…none of it matters in the end. Which leaves teens asking: what’s the point? If nothing I’m working for matters…why try? I know that’s not the message she meant to send, but when an author is careless with their responsibility to readers, this is the kind of thing that can happen.

I’ll admit I spent a good amount of time reading Amazon reviews for Allegiant in order to see if I was the only one left disillusioned. I wasn’t. Sadly, I’m in the majority with the one star reviews.

Most of the five star reviews I read were people who applauded VRoth on her bravery in “giving a realistic ending.” To this I say: there is a whole genre dedicated to realism. If you want stories that make you feel like someone has stabbed your heart on the last page with no chance for recovery, then feel free to read that genre. But for the ninety-five percent of people that read for enjoyment and escapism, sorry, we want some glimmer of a happy ending. If the Divergent series was meant to belong in the realism genre then it was marketed terribly because right now, all we have are broken promises to readers.

Also, even within realism, hope is usually the end game.fault

Take the book The Fault in Our Stars which falls in the realism genre, the teens in the story who fall in love both have terminal cancer. In the end of the book (I said there were spoilers…) Augustus dies. Why weren’t readers rioting over that? Because a promise wasn’t broken—when they picked up the book they knew they were going to read a story about dying teens so a teen dying at the end of the book was something they were braced for, if not expecting.

Even still, The Fault in Our Stars ends with hope. Hazel realizes that although Augustus has died, her love for him doesn’t have to. Death doesn’t have to change the definition of relationships. My grandfather, who is deceased, is still my grandfather because I’m living and can claim him as such. The last line of the book is in present tense whereas the rest of the book was in past tense. Meaning life goes on. This is a hopeful message.

VRoth killed her main character which is just hard to do well, especially in young adult fiction. Unless the author brings the character back after death (like Harry Potter), a theme/point is better demonstrated through killing a beloved secondary character like Augustus in The Fault in Our Stars or Piggy in Lord of the Flies (how’s that for old school). Otherwise, just save it for realism or adult fiction. Period.

All of this spurs me on to write the young adult stories that keep running around in my head—the ones full of turmoil and struggles and hurt, but all of which are covered in and end with “an open window” one that blatantly leads my readers to hope.


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