Cheat sheet to Crissi Langwell’s books

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Every now and then, I like to send out a reminder about the different books I’ve written over the years. I’m currently writing my next book (more on that later!), but for now, here are some of the books you may have missed. Click on the links to purchase.

 

BOOKS BY CRISSI LANGWELL

 

Contemporary Fiction:

hope trio_edited-1

The Road to Hope (Hope Series, Book 1)
A chance encounter between two mothers changes the course of their lives in a story that addresses issues of child loss, homelessness, teen pregnancy, and more. This series has mature content.

Hope at the Crossroads (Hope Series, Book 2)
Teen mother Maddie is ready to turn her life around. But when her past intersects with her present life, she has some hard decisions to make…and her choice will change everything.

Hope for the Broken Girl (Hope Series, Book 3)
He promised to take care of her. He promised to be a good father to Hope. He promised she’d have everything she ever wanted. He lied. Maddie’s story concludes with the third book of the Hope series.

(Buy the entire Hope series by clicking here)

Symphony Forever

A Symphony of Cicadas (Forever After, Book 1)
Rachel and her son died in a tragic car accident, weeks before she was to be married. Now she’s in a tug-of-war between life and death, trying to hold on to the man she loves and the life she left behind. (Note: Mature content)

Forever Thirteen (Forever After, Book 2)
13-year-old Joey is stuck in the afterlife, wedged forever at the awkward place between childhood and teenager. But when his best friend’s grief turns dangerous, Joey realizes he has a purpose worth dying for.

Cupcake Release Tease

Come Here, Cupcake (Dessert for Dinner, Book 1)
Morgan Truly discovers she has a knack for baking. What she doesn’t know is that her talent with sweets comes with a sprinkle of magic.

Young Adult:

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Loving the Wind
Take a trip to Neverland with the island’s princess, Tiger Lily, as she fights to be seen as the warrior she was born to be.

Non-Fiction:

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Reclaim Your Creative Soul
The secrets to making room for your craft, even if you live a full-time life.

More coming soon. Stay tuned!

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Sneak peek at Hope for the Broken Girl, releasing Feb. 5

DEMO underwater girl.jpg5 more days! Hope for the Broken Girl releases Feb. 5, and completes the Hope series trilogy with the rest of Maddie and Hope’s story. Are you as excited as I am???

Just a warning, this series deals with some heavy topics, including domestic violence. This is not a G-rated book. Read more about the book here.

Also, here’s a super secret hint: The Road to Hope will be FREE for Kindle on Feb. 5. This is a gift from me to you to celebrate the series’ completion! If you haven’t read The Road to Hope yet, wait until Monday, and then download it at this link.

Here’s another exciting tidbit: the paperback version of Hope for the Broken Girl is already available on Amazon! If you like paperback books, purchase it today here. Not only that, if you buy a paperback book, the Kindle version is FREE!

That’s a lot of freebies. Want one more? Below is a free sneak peek at the opening pages of Hope for the Broken Girl. Enjoy!

Chapters1Chapter 1: Broken

The engine whines as I turn the key, but refuses to turn over. I pull the keys out and throw them across the dash in frustration. The noise is louder than I expect and I glance in the back seat to see if Hope is still sleeping. She is.

With my phone in hand, I get out of the car, walking over to the passenger side so that I’m not next to the busy highway. The ocean spreads out in front of me in both directions, seeming to take up my whole world. I look down at the phone screen. My sleeves have hiked up my arms, and I pull them down out of habit to hide the bruises.

I don’t know if he’ll answer. He has no reason to answer. I’m afraid he’ll ignore my call. Worse, I’m afraid he’ll answer and give me hell for the way I disappeared. But I had no choice, just like I have no choice now.

His name isn’t on my phone. I’m not that dumb. But I know his number by heart. I touch each digit, pausing with a deep breath before I hit the final one. Then I hold the phone to my ear and wait. He might not answer. He might not pick up the phone because he doesn’t recognize this number. He might…

“Hello?”

I say nothing for a moment, closing my eyes at the sound of his voice. I hadn’t realized how much it would affect me.

“Hello? Anyone there?”

“Jace.” I keep my eyes closed, listening to him breathe in my ear as the coastal wind whips my hair around my face.

“Maddie?”

“Yes, it’s me. I’m sorry it’s so early.”

“Oh my God, how are you? Where are you? Is everything okay?”

“No,” I whisper.

“I can’t hear you. There’s a lot of noise on your end. Are you all right?”

I open my eyes and look out at the ocean. It’s funny how something so large and dangerous can look beautiful and inviting from far away. Right now, it appears like glass under the first rays of the morning sun, despite the wind. It’s deceptive—how could something so monstrous appear this peaceful?

“I need you to find me. I need you to bring me home,” I tell him. He says nothing for a moment, and my doubts flare up, once again. Please don’t let me down.

“Where are you?” he asks.

“I’m not sure. Hold on.” I pull up a map on the phone. “I’ve just passed Crescent City.” I glance down the highway. Cars whip by on the narrow road, and there doesn’t seem to be anything close. “I’m out of gas and can’t go any further.”

He’s quiet, and I know he’s looking up my location.

“Crescent City is more than five hours north from here,” he says.

“I know.” I clench my hand against my jeans, praying he’ll come get me. If he refuses, I don’t know what I’ll do.

“Are you on Highway 101?” he asks.

“Yes,” I say, sighing. It’s way out of the way. I should have driven down I-5, but a detour at Grants Pass got me confused. I know I’d be closer to home if I hadn’t gotten turned around. Now, I’m still too close to the Oregon border…too close to danger.

“Okay. There’s a motel called Seaport Inn along the highway. Can you find it and tell me how far you are from it?”

I pull the phone from my ear and punch the name in.

“About three miles,” I tell him.

“Can you walk that far?” he asks. I look in the back seat. Hope’s still asleep in her car seat. I’ll have to leave it behind, along with anything else that’s too heavy to carry with Hope on my hip.

“I’m going to have to,” I tell him. “But bring Kayci’s car seat.”

He tells me he’ll call the motel and reserve a room with two beds, and to just show up and give them my name.

“I’ll be there as soon as I can,” he assures me. He’s quiet for a moment, but I hear him breathing. “Will you be okay?” he finally asks. “Are you in any kind of trouble? Is there anything I should know to prepare myself?”

I don’t know how to answer. I look up to the sky. The cloudless blue is deceiving. The wind stills for a moment, and my breath comes out in small clouds. I pull my jacket closer to my body.

“No,” I lie. “Just hurry.”

___

Hope for the Broken Girl releases Feb. 5, available in both print and eBook. This is the 3rd book of the Hope series. To see all books, visit bit.ly/HopeSeriesKindle.

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

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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!

Hear about ‘The Road to Hope’ and upcoming series at Copperfield’s Books April 25

This week, the Argus Courier, my town’s local newspaper, featured me as their Petaluma Profile. This was a complete honor because A) it’s really hard for smalltime authors to get any kind of significant coverage in their local newspaper, B) it’s near impossible to get any kind of coverage if you actually work for the newspaper (I work at their sister paper, The Press Democrat), and C) I got to talk about my upcoming book series and my appearance at the Montgomery Village Copperfield’s Books next Tuesday.

If you’d like to read it, click here.

I should let you know that while book talks are absolutely vital to an author’s career, I’m always a bundle of nerves before these events. It doesn’t help that I’m struggling with an unrelated essay I’m writing for my college English class, even though I know I need to prepare for this upcoming author event. Or maybe it’s better this way — it means I don’t have time to stress (fat chance on that).

What I am excited about is knowing that there will be so many familiar faces in the audience next Tuesday, along with people I know have read the book. These are the people who likely have the inside scoop on why this book I wrote means so much to me.

For those of you not in the know, The Road to Hope was the first book I ever wrote (though the 5th I published). Because this is what a lot of new authors do, I ended up writing many true things within the fictional stories of Jill and Maddie. However, I embrace this fact, and have used this series as a way to cope with some of the things I’ve grappled with in real life, unapologetically telling the truth with fiction. It’s probably the closest I’ll ever come to writing a memoir (no promises), and has been a true therapeutic release.

That said, the events in these stories are completely made up. It’s the feelings behind them that are real. For instance, when Jill loses her son in the second chapter (this is not a spoiler, it’s one of the main themes of The Road to Hope), it’s based on how I felt when I lost my infant son to stillbirth. When Maddie is kicked out of her parents’ home after she reveals she’s pregnant, it’s based on how I felt to become pregnant at a young age, experience poverty and figure out my place in the world (for the record, my parents are awesome and never kicked me out!).

I wrote the upcoming books, Hope at the Crossroads and Hope for the Broken Girl, with the same theme, as I follow Maddie’s story. The second book in the series has Maddie grappling with self-worth and a new romance. The third book has themes of domestic violence and poverty.

If you’re in the Santa Rosa area this coming Tuesday, I’d love to see you at the Montgomery Village Copperfield’s (even though I’ll likely be nervous!). Come and say hi. The event is 6-7 p.m. See all of the event details here.

5 favorite ways to unplug

My life is pretty much spent in front of a computer. My full-time job is being the online content producer for my local newspaper. This means hours and hours of sitting on my duff, perusing the Internet, chatting on social media, and collecting news stories. When I’m not at work, I’m writing, or I’m reading my Kindle, or I’m staring at my phone, or I’m…going crazy.

Too much screen time makes for a cranky Crissi. Therefore, here are 5 ways that I temporarily unplug from the world so that I can maintain my sanity.

  1. Go to the ocean. I’m lucky enough to live near Bodega Bay, the coldest and most beautiful ocean in the world. just a 45-minute drive away, and I’m suddenly breathing in salt air and organic peace. I don’t know if I could ever live in a place far away from the coast. The ocean is just home to me. As Isak Dinesen is quoted as saying, “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.” It’s also a great place for the soul.img_5860
  2. Pitching a tent. There are a few ways I love to camp. The first is the spa retreat my husband and I escape to every few months. Something about hot springs in the middle of a forest brings healing to the soul. The second is actual camping, complete with campfires, smores, and stories. The third is the summer camp my kids and I attend every year, where we sleep on planks under the stars and are separate from the world for a whole week. There’s always a slight adjustment period when we re-enter civilization.
  3. Take a hike. I’m not naturally prone to exercise. Sure, I go to the gym (and actually like it). But if given the choice of staying in bed all day or hiking up hills, I’d choose bed every time. However, once I’m on the trail, I realize that this is the true right choice. There’s something magic about putting the phone away, working muscles that haven’t been worked in a while, and taking in the scenery. One of the favorite hikes I’ve taken is on the Cascades Trail in Marin County. The trail goes along all these waterfalls, and is among tall trees, sprouting mushrooms, and fresh air. It’s definitely good for the soul.
  4. Doing yoga. It always amazes me how much a few stretches can help me exhale when I didn’t even know I was holding my breath. My favorite pose is One Legged King Pigeon with Forward Fold, where you fold one leg in front of you and have one leg behind, and then fold your body over your front leg. It’s a great hip opener, and an incredible release as you breath into the stretch.
  5. Reading a good book. When the world is crazy and I just need to hide out, there’s nothing like curling up in bed with a good book. I’m a re-reader, so if I’m feeling particularly crappy, I’ll pull out an old favorite. The authors who fall into my re-read list are Colleen Hoover (because no one can write about falling in love like Colleen can), Liz Gilbert (I’ve read Eat. Pray. Love at least 3 times), and Paolo Coelho (I swear my soul expands every time I read any word that man writes).

How do you unplug when you’re feeling stressed?

The Road to Hope ~ 99 cents!

I’m trying out the Kindle Countdown deal, and so far, so good. It’s reached #27 in its category, and I’ve had more downloads in one day than I’ve had all month! Of course, a little bit of advertising doesn’t hurt… 😉

If you’d like to download The Road to Hope for yourself, here’s the link: bit.ly/road2hopebook

Today a reader left a review stating that she never cries at books but this one had her in tears, so don’t forget to grab a tissue!

Sale ends on Dec. 2.

The Road to Hope

So I’ll reach up to the sky and pretend that I’m a Spaceman

I became aware of the possibilities that lay before me as I floated free from my earthbound body. The space that Joey once described to me was out here, and I had the ability to see it all. Earth, in the far away distance, shone at me like a star in the sky. The giant orb of Jupiter moved in a slow rotation next to me, the gasses swirling in an ever-moving sphere of colors. Beyond that were much smaller planets in their own slow-moving journey around the sun, a star that looked much smaller from this far away than it did from the comfort of Earth. And all around me were particles of rock and dust floating beside me, sparkling from the faraway sun.
But what caught my eye the most was the trail of faded stars that led further than I could see, winding toward the edges of the galaxy and beyond. My curiosity was working overtime, and I turned to move toward the Milky Way. I picked up speed as I went along, traveling faster and faster until I was plummeting through space at full throttle. If I were more than just a spirit, I was sure I’d have a tail of fire as I moved forward with increasing velocity.
I came close enough to view the stars that made up the Milky Way, still millions of miles away, and moved parallel with it. I passed planet after planet, the space around me feeling colder as I moved further away from the sun. I saw the glow ahead of me, still thousands of miles away. It was like a sheet that wrapped around space, invisible above and behind me as I traveled onward. But as I got closer, the glow got brighter. I picked up speed and flew forward with all my strength. It could only be the edge of the galaxy. Even closer, I could see space rock moving toward the glow. But with shock, I saw each rock sucked through, an invisible wind grabbing hold and propelling it into a storm that swirled around the galaxy.
I was going too fast to stop, or so I thought. Had I controlled my fears long enough to think with clarity, I would have remembered that I had no limits, that I could think myself away from this place in just a moment. But as I streamed towards the edge, all I could think of was being swept into a vortex I wouldn’t be able to get out of. “This is my hell,” I thought. “I’m going to be stuck here forever in a blender because I chose to leave Earth behind.”
– Excerpt from A Symphony of Cicadas, Chapter 12, pages 156-157

And here’s where things get weird…

Fantasy is not my usual genre of writing. In fact, this book is the first real stab at creating a story within a totally unreal type of world. All of my other fiction exists in worlds that one could logically live in. But this…this was a whole new experience for me.

When I wrote this scene, I never planned for it to happen. It just kind of did. Writers will often tell you that after a bit of story writing, the story tends to take on a life of its own. The author no longer controls it. This scene is no exception. But I’m glad it did. It ended up setting the stage for a pivotal scene later in the book.

Fun fact – did you know that space tastes like a copper penny? This is only one of the facts I uncovered when researching what it would actually be like to be in space.

When I wrote A Symphony of Cicadas, I had reservations about the space scene. Was I going too far out on a limb by sending Rachel into space? How would I describe the setting when I had never been there? Would it just be too weird? I had to let go of all these doubts and just write on. And I’m glad I did. Personally, I find this chapter of the book fascinating. For those of you who have read the book, I hope you did, too.

This is just one of several posts to come that dives into the chapters of A Symphony of Cicadas, and the inspiration behind the story. For all sneak peeks at the novel, CLICK HERE. To purchase the book, go to http://amzn.to/17ayBAP.

Stay tuned for more!

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