Happy Holidays! Check out these books, on sale for the holidays

Fiction2017

Hey everyone! I’m still around, but have been laying low as I wrap up the first draft of the sequel to Come Here, Cupcake. Spoiler alert, this may end up a trilogy. 🙂 I’m still thinking of a name for the story, but leaning toward the title Sweet Nothings. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, I’ve reduced the price of several of my novels for easy gift giving. Right now, The Road to Hope is available on Kindle for $1.99. This is the first book in a 3-book series. As you remember, I published book 2, Hope at the Crossroads, in October, and the 3rd book, Hope for the Broken Girl publishes on February 5. Gift yourself a new Kindle read as you shop for everyone else these holidays.

Of course, paperback books are easier to wrap for the book lovers in your life, so here’s a list of the reduced sale books I have right now. Please note, sale prices on paperback may take a day or two to reflect. To ensure best price, add book to your cart, but don’t purchase until the price has lowered:

Road2HopeFontFinalThe Road to Hope, Hope series 1
Was 15.95, now 10.95
A contemporary fiction novel about two mothers, one a 35-year-old woman of a toddler, another a 16-year-old pregnant teen, who each experience an earth-shattering tragedy. When hope seems lost, a chance encounter between the two changes their lives forever.


Crossroads FINALHope at the Crossroads, Hope series 2
Was 15.95, now 9.95
Maddie has a second chance at life as a teen mother with a promising future and an exciting new romance. But when a face from her past comes back into her life, she has some hard decisions to make.


Cupcake Final FRONTCome Here, Cupcake
Was 15.95, now 12.95
A magical realism novel that combines magic, baking, and romance in delicious ways. This is the first in an upcoming series.

 


Loving the Wind
Was 15.95, now 12.95
A young adult fantasy novel based on the story of Peter Pan, but told from Tiger Lily’s point of view. Revisit Neverland and learn what happened before Wendy came to the island.

This is only a small sample of the books I have available. To see all of my books, visit crissilangwell.com/books. Happy reading!

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Just published! Hope at the Crossroads, Book 2 of the Hope series

Hope at the Crossroads is available now! 

Take a journey with Maddie, a teen mom figuring out life while raising her daughter Hope in the heart of Wine Country. Hope at the Crossroads is now available in print and Kindle on Amazon.

bit.ly/hopecrossroadskindle

This is Book 2 of the Hope series, a trilogy that began with The Road to Hope, and will finish with the release of Book 3, Hope for the Broken Girl, on Feb. 5.

Happy reading!

Books I’ve published so far

In case you’re new here, or you may have missed some of my previous books I’ve released, here’s a full list of all the books I’ve published over the years. Of note is The Road to Hope, which is the first book in the Hope series. Book 2, Hope at the Crossroads, publishes on Sept. 5.

(All of my books can always be found at crissilangwell.com/books, or in the dropdown menu above)

If you’ve read my books, which one is your favorite? Which one are are you reading next?

BOOKS I’VE WRITTEN

ltw-FRONT-cover-finalAll Tiger Lily wants is to be a warrior and serve as one of the protectors of her people. But there are rules in the Miakoda tribe of Neverland. Girls aren’t allowed to fight or hunt, and princesses are to remain free of danger. However, when pirates threaten her tribe, Tiger Lily is cast in the very center of peril and uncertainty. But it isn’t until she finds herself face to face with the legendary Peter Pan that her true adventure begins.

***Rated G

CLICK here to read more about Loving the Wind: The Story of Tiger Lily & Peter Pan


If you’re a writer, artist, or musician with a full-time job or young family, you know how hard it is to find time for the creative side of your life. Through tips on organizing your creative space, budgeting your money, getting in touch with your spiritual side, and more, this book promises to help you find time for your craft—even if you can’t quit your day job.

CLICK to read more about Reclaim Your Creative Soul.


cupcake-real-2

There are four things to know about Morgan Truly.

  1. She is not thrilled to have moved back to her seaside town of Bodega Bay.
  2. She’s falling for a handsome rugged seafarer.
  3. She’s discovering that she loves baking.
  4. But with that discovery of baking comes a dark secret.

***Rated PG-13+

Read more about Come Here, Cupcake.


The Road to HopeTwo mothers. Two different roads in life. Two unimaginable events.

The Road to Hope paints a portrait of grief and affliction, opening the wounds of life’s calamities before shedding the light of hope on new roads to travel. This is the story of Jill and Maddie, the trauma they experience, and how life’s twists and turns can have an impact on who they think they are, who they’re bound to become, and the lives they touch in between.

***Rated R

The Road to Hope is now the first book in a new series! Find out more about the HOPE series here.

Read more about The Road to Hope and where you can find it.


Forever Thirteen

What would you do if you died before you could ever really experience life?

After a terrible car accident with his mother, 13-year-old Joey is stuck in the afterlife, just like he is wedged forever at the awkward place between childhood and teenager. That fact alone seems overwhelming as he mourns the life he lost. But it’s the utter despair of his best friend left on earth that pulls him in and gives his in-between life a purpose to have died for.

***Rated PG

Forever Thirteen is the follow-up novel to A Symphony of Cicadas.

Read more about Forever Thirteen and where you can find it.


Rachel Ashby is on the other side of life, looking in. Her fiance is trying to live without her, and failing. Both are left clinging to a path that no longer exists, blind to the bridges they’re burning along the way.

A Symphony of Cicadas shares the surreal story of two worlds held together by the fragile strings of love, the grief in letting go, and the spiritual journey on the road towards healing.

***Rated R

Read more about A Symphony of Cicadas and where you can find it.


“It was two lifetimes ago when I left my husband, the

father of my children. The next lifetime was spent recovering from the aftermath. But it wasn’t until after that first year – when I woke up into my third lifetime – when I realized I could actually survive being a single mother.”

And so begins the book of stories from our single-parent family.

***Rated G

Read more about Golf Balls, Eight Year Olds & Dual Paned Windows, and where you can find it.


Before Crissi Langwell wrote fiction, she needed to find a way to create prose in her storytelling. Through poetry, she found it. These verses travel through emotions of love, heartache, joy, and despair. Some of the poems are true, many were poems wished to be true. And all of them are words that led to love, brand new worlds, and stories that needed to be told.

These are the poems that helped the ink start flowing.

Read more about Everything I Am Not Saying, and where you can find it.


COMING SOON

The Road to Hope is becoming a series! Books #2 and #3 focuses on Maddie and Hope, and will release in 2017.

Sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss any new release.

HOW TO REACH ME
Facebook: facebook.com/pg/CrissiLangwellBooks
Instagram: instagram.com/crissilangwell
Twitter: twitter.com/CrissiLangwell
Snapchat: @crissitherese

Happy reading!

Book Crush: ‘The Beauty in Darkness: A Vampire Story,’ by Leah Reise

beauty

he story of The Beauty in Darkness, the debut novel of Sonoma County author Leah Reise, starts with an awakening of sorts, and a wish for true death. Edrea stands at the gates of the Décret, a clan of vampires who are sure to tear her apart for arriving without invitation. This is exactly what she is hoping for. She is two days into her life as a vampire, having been turned on her 29th birthday following the mortal attack from a rapist who left her for dead. And dead is what she wishes to be. It’s the only way to curb the insatiable thirst that is consuming her from the inside out. Unfortunately for her, the Décret have other plans.

So begins the tale of this Sonoma County native, a girl-turned-vampire who is cast into the underground world of San Francisco where the creatures of the night walk below the feet of the living.

Through the story, we learn of Edrea’s roots—a mom who plays favorites, an emotionally distant father, a doting yet elusive brother, and a jealous sister. Edrea, herself, is a free spirit, comfortable in her solitude. And even with their faults, this family is bonded. But now that Edrea is one of the undead, she must forget her family and move on.

Edrea’s new family is now Pierre, her creator. With him, she is to work for the Décret. She has the rare ability of being able to read people’s thoughts, and it makes her a useful tool among this clan. However, Edrea senses early on that something seems to be amiss with their eagerness over her gift.

What I love about this story, first, is the author’s ability with description. Reise has a gift for painting the scene without overtelling, and still offering enough detail to allow for vivid imagery. I was able to see everything within the story, and was easily transported from scene to scene.

The second thing I love is that much of it takes place in Sonoma County locations. This is one of my favorite reasons to read books by local authors, as they often use familiar places within their stories. Reise doesn’t disappoint, taking her characters to Bodega Bay and Santa Rosa, though much of the story is set in San Francisco.

The third thing I love is how large a role family plays in The Beauty in Darkness. There are definite themes that take place from both Edrea’s old and new life, which I’ll let you find out on your own to avoid any spoilers.  As of yet, there doesn’t seem to be any sequels planned (and the end was blissfully free of a cliffhanger). But I can see how the story could easily be continued.

All in all, I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys supernatural and vampire fantasy.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Rated PG-13 for some non-graphic sexual and violence situations.

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In between projects

Today is kind of a quiet day. I find myself in between projects, which means I am unsure of what to do with myself. My coming book, The Road to Hope, is now in the hands of my editor for the next two weeks. This is both exciting (since it’s one of the final steps before getting the book into your hands) and also nerve-wracking (it’s one of the FINAL STEPS before getting the book into your hands!).

As an indie publisher, let me tell you that writing the book is the easy part. To me, the final process of putting the book together are the hardest – probably because they are the very parts that will capture your attention and get you to open the book. Specifically, it’s designing the cover, writing the blurb on the back, and creating a worthy description of the book for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. There’s a lot of pressure involved, because these few items can make or break the success of the book.

There are several reasons why this matters so much for this book in particular. First, of course, is because I wrote it. That’s a given, and goes with every other book I’ve written as well. But for this book, it’s so much deeper than all that.

toddler solace

The Road to Hope is the first book I have ever written – or at least, the first book I ever wrote that I knew would be read by the public. I wrote it way back before I knew what I was doing, which allowed it to hold on to a unique rawness in the storyline. It was written before A Symphony of Cicadas and Forever Thirteen. But as much as I loved the story, I knew I wasn’t ready to mold it into a published novel. So I let it sit for a few years, untouched but not forgotten.

Now that I’m getting ready to publish it, I can’t convey enough how glad I am that I waited. I feel like I needed to get a few “practice” books on my plate before I could release The Road to Hope. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the books I have published so far. A Symphony of Cicadas and Forever Thirteen are two stories that came from my soul. But they also allowed me to get out all the kinks and learn a few lessons in storytelling and publishing before I could craft The Road to Hope into what it’s supposed to be.

In about a month, I’ll be releasing The Road to Hope, the story of two women on different journeys of grief, whose momentary connection changes both of their lives forever. I can’t wait to share this book with you, and it is my greatest hope that you will receive it with open arms.

If you’d like a preview, please check out my post here.

The Road to Hope – Beta readers wanted

Note: the title of this novel has changed from Finding Hope to The Road to Hope.

Hi all! I recently finished writing and self-editing a literary fiction book called “The Road to Hope,” a story about two mothers who suffer two very different tragedies, and whose lives change completely from the moment their paths cross. The book tells the story of Jill, a 35-year-old woman whose toddler son is involved in a freak accident, and Maddie, a 16-year-old girl whose parents kick her out after she tells them she’s pregnant.

I am looking for a few beta readers to read this book and give me an honest critique on what works, and what needs more work. People who would be interested in this would likely be female, enjoy reading human interest stories, and may even be mothers themselves. But men and non-mothers may like this, too. If you accept this beta reader challenge, I am trusting you are a fast reader (I’m hoping to have your story comments in a week so I can make changes then send it off to my editor), and can be trusted with not sharing this soon-to-be published novel.

Note: beta readers have already been chosen. But if you’d like to be put on a list for future readings, please contact me and let me know why you’d be a good fit. 🙂

Here’s a small excerpt from chapter 1. If you are interested, email me at crissi@crissilangwell.com with your email address and what kind of eReader file you would prefer (PDF, ePub/Nook or Mobi/Kindle).

Thank you in advance!

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The Road to Hope, Chapter 1
The Point of Impact

There was no stopping it. In one moment, Toby had been standing in the front of the shopping cart, grinning up at his mom. In the next, the cart tipped forward against his weight, sending him toward the checkered linoleum in the middle of Hal’s Market. The look of terror on her toddler’s face was etched in Jill’s mind as she saw him tumble from the cart, falling just far enough away that she knew she’d never reach him in time. But in the eternity that lay in those few seconds, she made a valiant effort, throwing her arms forward to catch nothing but air.

Toby’s head hit the slick floor first, the rest of his body crumpling down into his neck, then careening over his body like a rag doll. Jill would never forget the look in his eyes. Tearless, they reached into her, grabbing at her guilt with a firm hold while raking over her worst fears. Then they lost all recognition. Jill took in a quick breath, her heart racing as she rushed to where he lay on the ground.

“Toby,” she breathed. She wanted to reach forward and grab him, but she was afraid that any movement might break him. His olive eyes were fixed on the ceiling, the blank expression frozen on his face. But then his body relaxed into a deep and shuddering breath, followed by a scream of pain and terror. His cries were a sweet sound to Jill’s ear. She scooped her son up and held him tight against her chest.

Jill avoided the stares from the small crowd forming around her and Toby. She could feel the weight of their judgment being placed on her head, their unspoken thoughts screaming at her. How could she? What kind of mother lets that happen? She doesn’t deserve a child. Jill held her sobbing son to her chest, rocking him next to the green beans and zucchini while trying to pretend the crowd around her didn’t exist. The two of them sat until his reckless screams subsided into hiccuped breathing. Then Toby lay his curly blonde head against her blue sweater, playing with a lock of her chestnut hair as he breathed into her chest. Jill couldn’t help but see the irony in this—her injured toddler finding safety in the very person who had let him fall.

Forever Thirteen cover reveal!

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been working closely with my friend, Liz Carrasco, to create a cover that would perfectly embody what Forever Thirteen is all about. She read the story, and I gave her a vision of what I hoped the cover would look like. Well, she took that vision, and she created something much better than I ever could have imagined. You all have Liz to thank for this book being born (she’s also the one that suggested a sequel to A Symphony of Cicadas was in order), and for the beautiful cover it will have.

Are you ready?

Forever Thirteen

Isn’t it gorgeous??? You can see what the back cover looks like over at my Facebook fan page. You can also enter for a chance to win a copy (and more) in my Rafflecopter giveaway.

Forever Thirteen is a Young Adult Fantasy novel about a boy in the afterlife seeking to save his best friend in life from self-destruction, will be available at Amazon and a few other online outlets on March 15, 2014. It is the follow-up story to my first novel, A Symphony of Cicadas. Read more about it HERE.

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What’s my frequency, Kenneth? (Musings on genre)

Every second Sunday of the month is the Redwood Writers meeting, our region’s group for writers of all types. I look forward to them every single month, and always come away completely inspired – from rubbing elbows with a bunch of wonderful writers and authors, to hearing the wisdom and advice from our monthly speaker.

Today, as usual, I gathered a bunch of useful information to keep with me and improve on my skill. But it was something in the very beginning of the meeting that really stuck with me and got me thinking. The speaker asked the newcomers to stand up and say their name, and what they write. One person stood up and introduced themselves as a romance author. Another was a writer of mystery. Another wrote historical fiction. Another wrote poetry.

It got me thinking. What would I say if I had to stand in front of a crowd and sum up my writing with one label?

I’ll tell you one thing, it wouldn’t be easy. Let’s look at my published works.

My first book is “A Symphony of Cicadas,” a book that could be classified as both literary fiction and paranormal fantasy. I grapple with the genre all the time. If you follow the main character, Rachel, the story is paranormal fantasy, perhaps magical surrealism, as it follows her journey through the afterlife after she and her son died in a car accident. But truly, she is more of the narrator as she witnesses the lives of all those she left behind in the real world. Then it becomes more of a literary fiction novel. But as a whole, the story is about a family who is knocked off course by a devastating blow, and must somehow pick up all the pieces of a new kind of puzzle to be able to move forward.

The sequel, “Forever Thirteen,” continues this tale, but from the point of view of Rachel’s son, Joey. If you follow Joey, it is once again a paranormal fantasy/magical surrealism, but with a Young Adult edge. But once Joey gets past his own shock over losing his life, he becomes focused on his friend he left behind, a boy who goes downhill with the loss of his friend. Then it once again becomes more literary fiction, exploring the dynamics of his friend’s single parent household, the cruelty of kids at school, and the sucky, confusing age of thirteen.

P.S. Catch a sneak peek at the preview of Forever Thirteen here.

I wrote “Golf Balls, Eight Year Olds & Dual Paned Windows,” a collection of essays on single parenting, gathered from a column I used to write for the newspaper. It’s only the first of three I’ll have in this collection, as I’ll have a new collection of these essays coming out eventually, and end it with a full length memoir on our blended family (that may be out as early as next year).

I wrote a poetry book titled “Everything I Am Not Saying,” a collection of poetry that dapples in love, love’s loss, divorce, faith, single parenting, sadness, life…. It marks a time in my life when love escaped me, and the hurts were screaming to be written down on paper.

I have a rough draft, yet-to-be-named novel that I hope to have edited by the end of the year that tells the tale of two mothers that both suffer different kinds of tragedies that bring them together in one brief moment in time that changes them both forever.

Family, particularly the “underdog” family.  You know, single parent families, blended families, broken families, families trying to get their sh*t together… I think that’s my genre, or at least my frequency.

It’s hard for me to pinpoint myself as a certain kind of writer. I love writing. I love prose. I love writing that is so vivid, it paints a picture better than, well, a picture. I lean more toward literary fiction. But I’ve really enjoyed dappling in fantasy. I have another manuscript that could be classified as chick lit. I’d love to try my hand at a thriller or mystery. And I am so haunted by stuff that scares me, I think it might be kind of interesting to tackle horror.

But my passion is family – especially the kind that are overcoming struggle – because, as a former single mother and now a stepmom, that’s the biggest part of my life. It’s what I know. I know what it’s like to be in a marriage that ends. I know what it’s like to be the sole parent of two young kids. I know what it’s like to date as a single mother, and the messy side of blending a family. And I weave all of these themes into my books, taking bits and pieces of my life and intertwining them with fictional threads to create a brand new story about life, love, growth….

I write fiction. I also write real life. I am a poet, and an essay writer. I even dabble in Facebook statuses. 🙂

I am a writer.

The end.

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To stick to one genre….or not.

There is countless advice about sticking to one genre when you are an author – especially when you’re a new author. I can see the point in this. When you’re presenting stories to the world, you’re trying to rope in readers who like your writing. When you stick to one genre, your reader can be comfortable knowing what to expect every time you publish something new. They’re drawn to you because of something you gave them initially. If you fray from that, you run the risk of confusing your readers, and even turning them away.

I am a fiction writer. The genre I plan on sticking to is contemporary literature, occasionally dappling in magical realism.  I like writing about real life. And I love books that are based on real life but include a hint of surrealism in them. So that is the genre I plan to stay in.

Except, I didn’t start out writing fiction.

My first passion has always been personal stories. I began writing for the public over 10 years ago when I began chronicling my life as a mom. Back then it was blogging. But eventually, it turned into true articles for the newspaper. I have hundreds of these stories, and it seemed a shame to just let them be forgotten. So I began gathering them up to create books out of them.

The first one can be found as an eBook HERE, and it’s free today for Kindle.

Today I am also finishing up the final touches on a poetry book.

Wait, what? Poetry?

I always wanted to write fiction books. But when I hadn’t written much fiction, at least shareable fiction, my prose skills were a bit lacking. So to help me paint a picture with my words, I dabbled in poetry. I thought what I wrote would end up being totally ridiculous. But it actually turned out quite good. And now, I am making it into a book – even if this book ends up only appreciated by me.

(I’m not sure when I’m releasing this, by the way. I kind of want to get “Forever Thirteen” published next before I share anything else. Then again, this poetry book would make a great Christmas present…. So we’ll see.)

I get that the smartest thing I could do is write under one genre. But the thing is, I’m a writer. I love all things written. I see beauty in words. And I’m tired of keeping my own words under a rock. I hid them for too long. So while I am focusing on one genre, I am not being exclusive to it. This fiction writer has much more up her sleeve than a good, made-up story.