It’s almost time to unveil SPRINGING!

Springing is just about ready to be released.  Hopefully you’ve had a chance to read the preview (read the prologue and first chapter here)  of book 4 of the Bits and Pieces series.

The book’s description is always the toughest for me.  But here it is!  Are you excited?

Junior year is the most stressful one of high school.  That’s what they say.  And so far Liz agrees but she hopes that this spring everything will pay off. After the winter she’s had, she looks forward to the science fair, fun with the crew and Joey, and unraveling the mystery of Patrick’s secret admirer. But she’s still haunted by her past.  It’s the anniversary of the worst day in Liz’s life and she handles it the only she knows how—badly.  Relationships are tested.  Liz begins to fall harder for Joey until his college acceptances and trips out of town threaten to tear them apart.  Will Patrick help Liz and Joey get back together or break them up for good? Who can she trust with her secrets and her heart? With everything the next few months brings for Liz, can she bounce back and come out on top or will everything come crashing down?

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“Springing” Preview Now Available!

To celebrate Valentine’s Day (and love in all it’s different forms) I wanted give you some chocolate (maybe even some dark chocolate truffles), but Liz ate them all.  You’ll have to settle for a preview of Springing.  The prologue and first chapter of the fourth book of the series is now available at http://www.createsoftgroup.com/shirleymiranda.com/springing-preview-book-4/.  Enjoy!

If you haven’t gone and “liked” the Bits and Pieces (The Series) Facebook page, please do.

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Happy Early Valentine’s Day

Whether you’ll be celebrating with a special someone like Emily and Bobby, and Cassie and Jason will be, or just hanging out with other single friends like Liz, Patrick, Tony and Kraig (maybe watching the NBA All-Star Weekend festivities), I hope you have a great day. For some, it’s the start of a long weekend which makes the day doubly great.

To celebrate tomorrow (Wednesday, 2/13/13) will be a free download day for Falling.  Get your friends hooked and share the lives of Liz, Patrick and the crew with them.  It’ll be a long weekend, they’ll have time to relax and read.

As a little Valentine’s present for those of you caught up on the lives and are dying to know what happens next, I’m thinking about releasing a preview of the first chapter of Springing.  What do you think?  Would you want to see the first chapter? Post your response here or on Facebook!

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Cover Art for Book 4

I am thrilled to share the cover art for book 4, Springing.  Makes the next book seem real to me – not just a file on my computer and ideas in my head.  Are you as excited as I am?

Springing

Cover artwork for book 4 – Springing

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A little winter fun!

A little fun for those of you who have the day off… and those that WISH they had the day off. Don’t worry I won’t tell your boss you’re taking a little break. =) Can you find all 12 terms/names related to the series?

Bits and Pieces Puzzle

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Twas the Week Before Christmas…

‘Twas the week before Christmas and what was I to do?
But spend some quality time with Liz, Patrick and the crew!
Unwrapped presents sat next to the tree in disarray
As I typed and imagined the next scene all night and all day.

Books one, two and three were already out and available to buy,
While book four sat in my computer almost ready to fly.
More editing would be done over this coming winter break
In an effort to be released by the last snowflake.

Springing will find Patrick’s secret admirer revealed
And shared moments with Joey and Patrick – my lips are sealed.
Just know I’m as anxious as you to read it too
So please be patient as I make it perfect for you.

Meanwhile, the fifth book is starting to take form
It’s all bombarding my mind like a summer storm.
My computer would tell you I work on the series every day
I want to find out what happens too, what can I say?

I’ll end this now to get back to my story at hand
Since it’s summer, the scene may involve sand.
On behalf of myself, Liz, Patrick and the crew
I’ll say “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you!”

Posted in Book 1 - Falling, Book 2 - Winter Solstice, Book 3 - Wintering, Book 4 - Springing, Book 5 - Summering, Liz, Patrick | 6 Comments

Character Secret – Lindsey

The Secret: Lindsey almost caused Patrick’s death.

How?

Lindsey had always been curious.  At the age of nine, she was “daddy’s little helper” with his projects around the house.  Mr. Connor didn’t just have her hand him tools.  He taught her how things worked as he installed or fixed them – the heater, garage door, the outdoor motion activated lights.  She loved it all.

One day, Lindsey helped her dad fix the ice maker in the refrigerator.  While he took a break for a phone call, she played with the magnets that her mom used to hang photos and artwork.  When her dad returned, he explained how magnets worked, how the metals in the sand could be attracted to them and more powerful ones could be made with electricity to pick up things like cars.

Lindsey was convinced that she could make her own, but she needed help.  Who better to help her than her little brother, Patrick?  He was an inquisitive kid as well and loved it when his big sister taught him stuff.  Lindsey excitedly explained to Patrick what she remembered about magnets and what they were going to do.  They pulled out two metal tracks from Patrick’s toy train set.  They sat underneath the kitchen table near an outlet.  Lindsey wanted to see the sand move based on their magnets, so she ran outside to grab some from their mom’s planters.

She returned to a blood curdling scream from her little brother.  The clatter of chairs hitting the floor immediately followed.  The sight Lindsey saw caused her world to stop.  Patrick flopped back and forth underneath the table with the chairs strewn about.  The lights that were on when she left were now off.  She ran to Patrick and he cried in pain when she cradled him.

Lindsey was grounded for a month and forbidden to go near outlets for electrocuting her brother.  All science experiments had to be supervised from then on.   As they say, curiosity killed the cat.  In Lindsey’s case, it almost killed her brother.

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Character Secret – Patrick

The Secret: Patrick planned to quit basketball because of mustard, red peppers, cinnamon and orange soda.

Why?

Lindsey, being older, always beat Patrick on the court.  It annoyed him, but occasionally he’d get close.  What really wore him down was whenever they played with their cousins.  He was youngest of the kids who’d play and therefore the smallest.  They never took it easy on him.  Patrick was constantly blocked and mocked every time he missed a shot.  But that wasn’t the worst of it.

The losing team, which Patrick was always on, immediately played a round of H-O-R-S-E.  The kid who made the fewest baskets was crowned the “ultimate loser”.  If the title wasn’t bad enough, they had to guzzle down a glass of “loser aid”.  Loser aid was a disgusting glass of mustard, red peppers, cinnamon and orange soda.  Some mixes were worse than others depending if the winning team put in a pinch or a handful of red peppers and cinnamon.

Each time Patrick had to drink the dreaded concoction, it burned and he swore that he wouldn’t be on the losing team again.  But it happened.  Again.  And again.  And again.

Patrick had had enough.  He hated losing.  He hated drinking loser aid.  It took a week of Lindsey pestering him to find out that he planned to quit basketball.  He was a decent player in the rec league he was in, but since he was always the “ultimate loser” it wouldn’t take long for the guys in the league to see that he sucked.

“That’s just stupid.”  She told him.  “You’re not even trying.”

“Yeah, I am!  Do you think I want to drink that nasty stuff? It’s gross.”

“I know you don’t.  But what do you expect?  You don’t even practice.”

“I do too!  I got practice twice a week.”  He never missed practice.  It was fun to hang out with the guys.

“If that’s what you consider practice, then no wonder you keep getting your butt beat.”

“What do you mean?”

“If it were me… I’d practice more than just practice for league.”

The next morning – and every morning since that day – Patrick practiced free throws and long jump shots.  He never drank loser aid again.  And after a few months, he beat Lindsey for the first time in a game of one-on-one.

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Message from Liz:

The school year keeps trudging along and I swear the time between the first day of school to Veteran’s Day takes forever since we get no time off.  October 24th came and went in a blur of review for tests and homework. It wasn’t until I woke up this morning that I realized it’s significance.  It was the anniversary of me waking up the next morning.  That made last night the anniversary of the first time I ever went to a carnival – and all the good and bad things that happened because of it.

Okay, I know the carnival didn’t really cause it, but it’s the key thing that got everything going in my mind.  Anyway, at the end of it all I gained a friend.  For someone like me, it’s hard to let someone in.  But I did and I am forever glad I did.  Without Patrick, I would never have…. wait you don’t know about that part yet.  I don’t want to spoil it for you.

Anyway, tonight I’m reminded that you are never really alone and a friend is waiting, if you just let them in.

Posted in Book 1 - Falling | 1 Comment

Back to school…

September has been a busy month.  It was back to school, with a whole new sea of faces and names to learn.  This, of course, means that my time to even think about Liz, Patrick and the crew shrunk tremendously.  But it also means that I return to my more “normal” schedule.  When I drive to school, I listen to movie scores.  This frees up my mind to think about where I left off writing the night before.  It gives me a chance to work out a scene.  Then once I pull onto campus, I hit the pause button in my brain and switch to teacher mode.  But once I get into my car at the end of the day, I un-pause and can continue mentally writing.

This is the first time that I “disclosed” that I also write during the introduction of myself on the first day of school.  Some students had read it.  Some had heard that I had written a few books.  The ones that had read it had questions and comments of their own.  Such as “When’s the second one coming out in paperback?!”  or “Oh my God, it’s my life!” or “I’ve told my friends and family that they have to read it!”

To answer the first question – I’m working on it.  It takes a few proofs to get the setting right on the print version.  So, if you are waiting for a hard copy of “Winter Solstice”, I haven’t forgotten about it.  It’s on my radar and in the works.

As for the second comment, every time I hear it, I smile.  To me, it means that people can relate to it.  I know it’s not literally their life.  But much of it, of Liz, it accessible and others connect to her.  That is a huge compliment and warms my heart.

The third comment makes me happy.  It means that people like it enough to tell others.  That’s awesome!  Since I’m an independent author, I need all the help I can get in spreading the word.  There’s a point in the first weeks of school during my Stats class where I teach them how to link their calculators together to get the data from someone else.  I jokingly refer it to infecting each other’s calculator.  I say this because it starts off with my calculator having the data.  One student links to my calculator, now two calculators have the data.  Now two more people can get it the data for a total of four in the room.  Those four link up to four more and in a matter of minutes the whole class of 34 have the data, instead of all 34 waiting to download from my lone calculator.  There’s many lessons that can be tied to this — spread of disease, exponential growth, etc.  But it makes a real-world point.  So, we laugh at infecting each other’s calculators and spreading our data like a disease.  But the rapid spread of things can be good or bad, depending on what it is.  Data – good.  News – good.  Disease – bad.  A good book – GREAT!

“Back to School” night was last week.  During Open House, one student came in with her mom and told me she’d finished Winter Solstice and now had to get Wintering since “it was mirroring her life!”  She made me laugh with the comments (or rather exclamations) she made about the book and certain characters.  One parent came in who had read Falling.  She shared it with her sister and cousin and told me they all loved it.  I love that it crosses age barriers.  It’s YA fiction.  But it’s YA fiction that isn’t just for young adults.   Adults can enjoy it just as much.

So, now that you’re back to school… or out of summer mode… Please tell your friends and family to read Falling, Winter Solstice and Wintering. Help me spread the word!

Meanwhile, I’ll keep writing.  I’ll finish Springing (Book #4) and get to work on Book #5.  Springing is getting closer to being completed.  I’m excited.  I hope you will be too!

PS – If you haven’t posted a review of the books, please do so!  You can post them here and/or on Amazon!

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