What My Sister Did

I’m pumped to share with you the release of my latest book. Here’s a little blurb for What My Sister Did:

What my sister did amazonSeventeen-year-old Mimi finds an abandoned baby hidden in the family guest house. There’s only one answer to this startling discovery—her rebellious sister, Attie.

Their parents are recently divorced, their mother suffering from depression, and Attie definitely can’t be relied on to take care of an infant. Mimi decides to save the child. But how long can she keep a baby hidden? And can she keep this secret even from her sister?

People often ask how I get my ideas for books. In this case, the seed for the idea came straight from the headlines of a newspaper. Struck in the heart, I was haunted by the tragedy of the article. Of course, the initial idea—that gut reaction, that spark—morphed into its own story and moved forward on its own accord! In this story, two sisters are as different as night and day. Add to the mix a family in the throes of difficult emotional change. Then throw in a baby abandoned and left to die.

A personal note: In my story, the baby survives. Writing this book was my heart’s way of changing reality and saving the baby from the news story. The storyline evolved and soon I focused on the lives of two very different sisters. I believe you will find the ending unexpected but satisfying.

I hope you enjoy the book! Lucinda

What My Sister Did is available in print & e-book on amazon


Bronte’s Thunder

Just Announced: Finalist in the High Plains Book Awards!

Strange connections to thunderstorms have always surrounded seventeen-year-old Bronte Monroe. When the brother of the boy her mother kPhotoFunia-1535831772illed moves back to town, lightning’s sure to strike. Even worse, she may be falling for him!

Readers often ask how an author came up with his/her ideas for a book. I’ve always been fascinated with thunderstorms. Growing up, I slept in an uninsulated room above our garage in the summer. A bank of windows without curtains filled one wall. Thunderstorms were a frequent occurrence. In that room, thunder bellowed and lightning lit up the room—an awesome light show!

I took that fascination with storms and added magical realism into the mix. Voila! Bronte’s Thunder became a story about a girl that witnesses strange incidents connected to thunderstorms—and herself!

Click to view Bronte’s Thunder on Amazon 

Vector Rain Cloud Background.




Butterfly Blood

BUTTERFLY BLOOD: A Haunting Series with Shocking Twists (Metamorphosis Book 2) by [Carpenter, Rebecca]Butterfly Blood takes the reader beyond the same old recycled plots and stereotypical characters found in so many young adult books. The unique storyline ratchets up with each subsequent book in the series.

Author, Rebecca Carpenter, continues to weave a fascinating tale that began with Butterfly Bones. Bethany Keatley survives her dangerous metamorphosis, an experimental and illegal procedure that gives her the healthy body and hot looks she’s dreamed of for years. But after the untimely death of her scientist father, she’s forced to move out of state to live with an aunt she’s never met—and leave behind Jeremiah, the boy she loves.

The cover images are awesome, tweaked for each title. Butterfly Blood, second in the Metamorphosis Series, delivers with danger, suspense, and romance, leaving the reader eagerly anticipating the upcoming book, Butterfly Broken. A must read! 5 Stars

Bronte's Thunder by [Stein, Lucinda]

Review by the author of the new release, Bronte’s Thunder. Fate can change as quickly as a blink of an eye—-or a flash of lightning! Bronte Monroe has always had strange connections to thunderstorms. But this time, she might lose Nick’s love.

Bad Apple

Bad Apple by Laura Ruby


5 Stars


The struggles of being a teen and the dark side of online Bad Appleslander make this a socially current topic. Tola Riley likes to draw. But sketching her teachers and leaving the drawings on their desk tends to land her in the principal’s office. Her unflattering portraits of the staff might have something to do with that.

Tola’s funny-looking art teacher wears t-shirts with crazy sayings. Skinny, floppy-haired Mr. Mymer is not your average instructor, making him her favorite teacher. He encourages her artwork and best of all, lets her escape the lunch room to come to the art room. But when rumors circulate that something inappropriate has transpired between the two, Tola is under a glaring spotlight and Mr. Mymer is suspended.

She tries to tell her mother and the principal that nothing happened, but no one believes her. Worse, an anonymous website spews horrible things about Tola. Students ridicule her at school, and even worse, Tola’s mother brings harsh accusations against Mymer at a school board meeting.

Tola Riley makes for a most interesting protagonist. The reader can’t help but like her. The presumption of guilt (rather than a presumption of innocence) amps up the conflict. The vicious assault from both adults and teens toward Tola and her teacher reflect the problem of rushing to judgment too quickly. Without giving away any spoilers, the truth ultimately comes out, and it’s nothing the reader will expect.

I highly recommend this novel.

All the Crooked Saints

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater


311 pages/hardcover

All the Crooked SaintsWhat I love about magic realism is how the realistic aspect of the story pulls you in and allows the arising magical qualities to become so much more believable. All the Crooked Saints takes place in 1962 in southeastern Colorado in the fictional town of Bicho Raro. Here the Soria family has the ability to perform miracles.

But there are phases of the miracle, and the first miracle is not the end of the journey. The person often gets stuck midway, (like we do in life). In limbo, the person retains strange characteristics, like the giant man who towers over buildings and a girl whose tears continually rain over her. The Soria saints are forbidden to help the “pilgrims” who must work through the rest of their miracles.

One of the best parts of the story: I love how the three Soria cousins, Beatriz, Daniel, and Joaquin, create a renegade radio station in the middle of the high desert, broadcasting their illegal signal in the dark of night. At first, the radio station serves Joaquin’s creative desire to be a DJ known as Diablo Diablo. But as time passes, the trio uses the radio to work their own miracles for the pilgrims living at Bicho Raro.

But it’s not only the pilgrims who confront darkness in their lives. Even the Sorias are faced with confronting their own darkness. This is a unique, magical story of three young people who break the taboo of helping others. In doing so, they experience the miracle of discovering themselves and where they fit in among the saints and pilgrims of Bicho Raro.

The author describes southeastern Colorado to the point the reader can feel the arid heat on his arms amid the floating scent of tangy sagebrush. Even more important—-in the skilled hands of Maggie Stiefvater, the characters spring to life, like flowers blooming in the high desert!

Highly recommend


York by Laura Ruby

Walden Pond Press

476 pages (hardcover)

© 2017

York is Book One in Ruby’s The Shadow Cipher series. I ordered this title because I loved the author’s book, Bone Gap, a magical realism story. York will appeal to readers who like steampunk, mystery, magic, and history. The story starts out a little slow, but the mystery of the Old York Cipher lures the reader on.

The Morningstarr twins, architects of dazzling machines and buildings in New York, disappear and leave behind a puzzle which promises a treasure beyond all imagining. Despite tries by many people over the decades, the cipher remains unsolved. A note here: the imaginative machines and inventions would make a wonderful movie on the big screen!

Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend Jaime Cruz live in a Morningstarr apartment. When a real estate developer buys the building with destruction in mind, the young people decide to save their home by proving the cipher is real. This means they have to solve the mystery.

Written to appeal to younger and older readers alike, this story lacks the depth and literary beauty of Bone Gap. But then this is an entirely different book. Delighted with the fantastic world of York and curious about the cipher, I will definitely read Book Two when it comes out!

Bronte's Thunder by [Stein, Lucinda]


Side note: If you enjoy magical realism stories, try Bronte’s Thunder!


A Sneak Peak at Bronte’s Thunder


I’m super excited to share this prequel to my new YA book, Bronte’s Thunder. Strange connections to thunderstorms have always surrounded sixteen-year-old Bronte Monroe. Her grandmother claimed she was born under the sign of Blue Lightning and has the gift of barter—mysterious exchanges that change fate.

Bronte’s Omen

   A whoosh and a tock.


   Whoosh. Tock. My eyes flutter open to everything white and foreign with strange, pungent odors spinning around me. A clear tube runs to my face and into my nose. If I wasn’t so weak, I’d scream.

   The ventilator pumps like a medieval monster. I’ve never been in a hospital before. The only good thing about my captivity—at last, I can breathe.

   A figure appears in the doorway to my room. Backlit from a window across the hall, the dark silhouette pauses for a moment. He approaches the bed with stealthy footsteps.

   Nick. Nick Ford.

   He’s come for revenge.

   My heart races, the organ threatening to burst from my chest. All he has to do is rip the tube from my nose or yank the ventilator’s electrical cord from the outlet. I’ll stop breathing.

   I’ll die like his brother.

   I bolt up in bed, hot sweat beading my forehead like condensation on my mother’s glass of whiskey. The walls of my bedroom reassure me I am no longer in the hospital. I’m no longer eight years old.

    Dishes clang from downstairs, the familiar sound of Aunt Flo preparing breakfast. The slate sky outside the window does nothing to brighten my spirits. I rub sleep from my eyes and stretch my legs. Throwing back the covers, I wiggle my toes. Hot-pink polish brightens each nail. Today is my first day of school as a junior.

    Sitting on the edge of my mattress, I picture Nick Ford sneaking into my hospital room all those years ago, the image as vivid as yesterday’s junior orientation.

   At eight, I believed he intended to kill me. An eye for an eye. At my bedside, Nick extended his arm, and I cowered, convinced he’d strike me. He brushed an errant strand of hair from my eye, his touch as light as butterfly wings, surprising for an eight-year-old boy.

   He tilted his head and studied me. “Are you okay?”

   I nodded, though a lingering fear shot into the pit of my stomach. We were in the same class in third grade, but we had never actually spoken. With my senses on high alert, I stared at him, his blue eyes captivating. Then he did something I couldn’t believe. He reached for my hand and gently held it. His voice came almost in a whisper, “My grandma had pneumonia once.”

   Marching footsteps approached. A woman stood in the doorway, her hair disheveled, her eyes red and swollen. In a low, almost menacing, tone, she said, “Get out of there this instant.”

   Nick obeyed his mother and followed her from the room. In the doorway, he glanced over his shoulder. I couldn’t tell if I saw pity or disdain in his eyes.

   At that moment I morphed into a leper like in the Bible story told in Sunday school, flesh decaying, someone everyone stayed clear of. Worse than that, Nick’s little brother had been killed that day by my mother.

   Aunt Flo’s shrill voice snatches me from my dark memories. “Bronte! Breakfast will be ready in five minutes.”

   “Be there in a moment.”

   For years Nick’s kindness in that hospital room baffled me. I finally gave up trying to understand it. Thunder Moon is a small town, and news travels fast. He must have heard I was admitted to the hospital. Yet how could he have been so caring when his little brother lay lifeless and cold?

A year after Johnny’s death, the Fords moved away. Grief probably drove them from Thunder Moon.

   In my attic bedroom, a low roll of thunder rumbles through the rafters and sends shivers down my back. Thunderstorms never did me any favors, at least none that didn’t leave me feeling guilty.

   Two hours later, I stride through the halls of Thunder Moon High, a disturbing sense of unbalance hanging over me. Am I unhinged from the dream that morning and the memories the nightmare brought back? Maybe the threatening clouds on my way to school triggered my mood.

   Girls’ chatter in the high school restroom pricks my attention.

   “New guy alert.” A girl giggles. “Nick Ford’s so hot.”

   I turn to stone behind the stall door.

   “Heard he’s trying out for the football team,” another said. “Hand me my lip gloss.”

   “I could drink that tall glass of water.”

   Riding a cloud of choking perfume, laughter fills the room.

   My stomach clenches. After all these years, I still can’t face Nick. Just the news that he moved back brings the horrible event to life. That was the day my mother disappeared.

   I remained behind to carry the shame of Johnny Ford’s death.

   My stomach turns sour. Maybe I can talk Aunt Flo into homeschooling me. Highly unlikely, my instincts warn.

   I hurry past the cliquish girls and escape into the hall. A hundred yards down the corridor, I turn a corner and run face to face into Nick Ford. His eyes widen. I almost don’t recognize the boy from the hospital room all those years ago, except for those smoky-blue eyes. How has that skinny little boy grown into such a good-looking guy? The girls were right. He is hot. On the other hand, he probably thinks I look as plain as an unbuttered pancake.

   I stand frozen. As I stare, the image of little Johnny Ford rises from all the nightmares I’ve had over the years. Johnny Ford, pale and dead, lips blue. The misty specter of Johnny haunting my dreams like in Dicken’s novel, his boney finger pointing at me, always pointing at me.

   Nick nods.

   I rush past him, lungs tight, membranes burning, once again unable to draw a breath. Farther down the hall, I gasp, air rushing in as I remember to breathe. Through the school’s cinderblock walls, a thunderclap sounds, the explosion a warning of things to come.

* * *

Follow BrontVector Rain Cloud Background.e’s story in the new YA novel, Bronte’s Thunder.

BUY NOW on Amazon

Bronte’s Thunder is the author’s second YA novel. Inkspell Publishing published her first YA book, Jadeite’s Journey. Lucinda is the award-winning author of several adult books.

An avid reader, Lucinda loves good coffee, great books, and anything vintage. She likes to camp with her husband, Rob, and her shelter-rescue dog, Opie. See her bookish bookstagrams on


The Hazel Wood

I’ll admit it—I do judge a book by its cover! (At least, initially.) Physically, The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert is a definite beauty-contest contestant. From the gold and silver on the black cover to the beautiful end papers to the black and white illustrations at the beginning of each chapter, booklovers will appreciate this book.

Now let’s talk about the story! Alice Proserpine, 17, and her mother are always on the road. They move like some people hit coffee shops, often living with acquaintances for short periods of time. Alice’s grandmother is a famous, reclusive writer, but someone Alice has never met. Her mother avoids her at all costs.

The story really gets going when Alice’s mother is abducted by someone who claims to have come from the supernatural world of her grandmother’s stories. Alice and her friend, Ellery Finch, set out to find her mother and head to where her grandmother lives on an estate. They go to the very place her mother warned her against: Stay away from the Hazel Wood.

Alice discovers everything in her grandmother’s stories actually exists, and she encounters all kinds of strange people and creatures in the Hinterland. I thoroughly enjoyed this unique story but found the ending a let down. I’d love to hear what you think of the ending—drop me a note! (leave a comment)

Jadeite’s JourneyJadeite's Journey final cover

She never knew a handsome face could hold so much darkness. . .

Then she meets Orion, who’s strong and genuine. But is it too late?

In a future world of secrets, romance can turn deadly!

Daughter of Smoke & Bone

daughter of smoke BoneI just finished Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone, and I loved it. The subject of angels and demons in itself is fascinating, but Taylor brings her own vision of these creatures into a full-bodied story.

The book opens with a seemingly ordinary teen girl—despite her long peacock-blue hair—named Karou. Her wrists hold tattoos with the words true and story. An art student, her sketchbook is filled with strange, otherworldly creatures. Magic enters the picture when Karou handles a cheating boyfriend with some hilarious effects. No spoilers, you have to read it! Soon we learn Karou has another life when she enters a portal where the strange creatures of her sketchbook come to life. These creatures called chimaera contain parts of various animals. Some creatures have horns, some with human faces but animal legs and hooves. Some with wolf faces and claws, you get the idea. Humans would call them devils.

Brimstone, the creature that took her in as a child, has human arms and torso but the haunches of a lion and the clawed feet of a lizard or dragon. He has horns and the eyes of a crocodile. Strange indeed! Even stranger is the mystery of why Brimstone collects teeth.

Black handprints begin appearing on doorways across the world, and angel sighting are reported over the globe.

Karou has an encounter with a magnificent angel who asks her who is she? What is she? This is a question that has plagued Karou for years. She has never felt completely whole. Karou finds herself attracted to the angel, but little does she know that an otherworldly war is about to being and she will be caught in the middle!

Taylor artfully introduces the character of Karou, just an ordinary girl (or so we think), and slowly draws the reader into her spectacular world building. At 418 pages, the book keeps the reader intrigued to the end. 5 stars to the Daughter of Smoke & Bone!

Jadeite's Journey final coverFor another “otherworldly” story, you might enjoy, Jadeite’s Journey! Available at Amazon

A Shine That Defies the Dark

A Shine That Defies the Dark by Jodi L. Gallegos

Book Review

“I didn’t go lookin’ for Remy Granger that night,” begins a tale that promises danger and romance. Set in the Louisiana bayou during the Depression, A Shine That Defies the Dark reveals the struggles of Ophelia Breaux and her widowed mother during this hard economic time.

Ophelia meets up with Remy Granger at a party one night. She finds herself attracted to him despite his family’s reputation for trouble. Ophelia warns herself to stay clear of Remy. But when she sees her mother compromising herself with Judge Trudeau just to pay the rent, Ophelia decides to join the notorious Granger gang. It’s the only way she can make enough money to free her mother from the judge’s control.

A Shine that Defies the Dark by [Gallegos, Jodi]Ophelia becomes entangled in the Granger’s bootlegging. The illegal business of moonshine brings big money. It also draws revenuers and prohibition agents, along with prison sentences—if the bootlegger survives a rain of bullets. Rival bootleggers also pose a deadly threat.

Along the journey, she discovers Remy is more intoxicating than the “shine” they’re running and falls madly in love. But will either of them live to fully experience that romance? Gallegos infuses the story with rich description of the Louisiana bayou, uncovers the secret world of the bootlegger, and pulls the reader into an exciting journey through history. This page-turning novel will keep you in suspense!

Interview with the Author


How long have you been writing? I’ve been writing, in some form or another, for as long as I can remember. I’ve always expressed myself best through the written word (anyone who has had an actual conversation with me can attest to that, lol!). I decided in 2001 that I’d like to pursue publication. From that point I focused on learning about the business of writing as well as the craft so that I’d have a better understanding of every aspect of what it means to become a writer.

What are your favorite genres to read? I read almost anything. My choices are based on how effectively the book description grabs my attention. That said, I do have a fondness for Young Adult (YA) and for psychological thrillers.

What advice do you have for beginning writers? 1) Take every opportunity to learn more about the business as well as your craft. 2) Start to establish your platform/online presence now. 3) Engage other writers/aspiring writers and build your “tribe”. It’s so important to have a group that can support and assist each other. 4) No matter how defeated you may feel, don’t give up. You’re a writer because you write, not because you’re published.

Links for Jodi’s Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook

Website: http://jodigallegos.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JodiLGallegos/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JodiGallegos_

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jodi_gallegos/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/thatjodig/