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Thank you Veterans!

Thank you to all the brave men and women who have fought past and present to keep us safe and free. To defend a country where people have the right and privilege to criticize you and voice those opinions. Thank you for doing that which so many who find themselves judging others are not brave enough to do. Thank you for your blood, sweat and tears. Thank you to your families for sharing you with us. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for being you!
 

To all who serve, have served and will serve. Thank you!
In honor of Veterans Day a poem:
 

We were soldiers then,
Hoards of brave strong men,
Standing side by side in the face of fear,
Not knowing what to expect there,
Watching bullets kill our friends,
Our heroes, our brothers,
Wondering who would break the news
To our wives and mothers,
Trapped in a crimson sea,
My brothers and me,
In a hostile land,
The ground protested our presence,
With landmines,
Breaking our spirits as well as our spines,
Forced to murder, to kill, in order to survive,
Lest we should not leave that land alive,
Some lucky troops returned to the homeland,
With life and breath,
Never forsaking the spirits
Of those who sought refuge in death.

 

 

Happy Halloween!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Halloween

Working on the sequel to For Always, I find myself going back and rereading scenes from it from time to time. The Halloween scene was such fun to write I thought I’d share what inspired the scene. This was originally posted last year on Evie Seo’s blog. I hope you enjoy it!
 

Confession time!
 
Growing up in Brooklyn at the time I did, Halloween was a big deal. Not because it was a time to get dressed as ghouls or goblins. Not because we looked forward to mischief night to toilet paper someone’s house. (I never even heard of that until I moved to NJ.) But because it was a time to either bomb or get bombed. No actual explosives were used in this process. Instead, the “bombing” was an assault of raw eggs and shaving cream.
 
The Halloween scene, like many of the scenes in For Always was inspired by a true life event. It was a day when my friends and I decided to go bombing. I was in 8th grade and had a massive crush on an older boy. I didn’t talk much and sort of faded into the background whenever my best friend was around. At that age she was much like Maria, a true extrovert, where I was much like Stephanie, a true introvert. Add a healthy dose of insecurity in the mix, and there I was.
 
For the sake of simplicity, I’ll call my best friend Maria, the girl I viewed as my rival Beth, and the guy I liked Jordan. Maria invited two girls I didn’t know to go with us. It was her first year in High school, and she was branching out. I was a year behind. I didn’t know the new girls, and they weren’t particularly friendly. I decided early on I didn’t like them. I tried my hardest to ignore them, but that was hard since there were only four of us. We straggled down the street, laughing and acting silly, like thirteen and fourteen year old girls covered in eggs and shaving cream would. Until I realized where we were headed. Straight to Jordan’s house. I heard Maria mention his name and my ears perked up. Beth whispered something, all I heard was “so cute.”

 

My heart raced. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to stop the group dead in our tracks. I didn’t want Jordan to see me looking the way I did with goop oozing off my head and clothes. I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t want to see Beth flirt with him. I guessed they knew each other from high school and didn’t want to witness the budding of a new relationship between them. But I couldn’t say anything. No one knew I liked him, especially not Maria. If she knew I liked him, the rest of the world would know too.
 
Maria rang his doorbell. As we waited, my eyes were glued to the ground. I didn’t want him to see in my eyes how excited I was to see him. But Maria returned alone. He wasn’t home from school yet. (That meant they went to different high schools.) I wanted to do cartwheels, too bad I didn’t know how. And neither was his brother.
 
Now I listened to the conversation with an open mind. It wasn’t Jordan Beth was interested in, it was his older brother. Just as I let the relief of what I misunderstood sink in, I saw him. He was dressed nice, and I couldn’t take my eyes off him. As he approached his house, he acknowledged us with a smile and promised to be right out. I didn’t know what to do, we couldn’t leave. He already saw us. And if we stayed, I was afraid Beth would set her sights on him and he’d reciprocate her interest. And then it happened.

 

Just like in the book. I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around to see Jordan standing in front of me, a huge smile on his face. I couldn’t believe he came over to me. To me! I was so happy. Butterflies fluttered like mad in my stomach. And then I saw it. The plate filled with shaving cream in his hand. I had no time to duck or move. All I could do was look from the plate to the smile on his face. And then it hit me. He took his time mushing it in my face before pulling away and laughing.
 
While I couldn’t see, and acted shocked and outraged at what he’d done, I felt good. Because out of the four grungy girls waiting outside his house, he came to me. He went inside for a towel and spent the next half an hour helping clean me up. And when his brother did get home, the other girls surrounded him, leaving Jordan and I to each other. Unlike Beth or Maria, or the other girl I can’t quite remember, I left there knowing the guy I liked, liked me.

 

I’d really love to hear what you think. what is your fondest Halloween memory?
 

 

Celebrity Crushes

Do you remember your first celebrity crush? My daughter has hers, and while she goes on and on about Jensen Ackles and Supernatural, I can’t help but be sucked back in time. I don’t know if these were my first celebrity crushes, but they were my most obsessive. I am about to seriously date myself here, but I’m sure you’ll recognize the names.

 

I loved, absolutely LOVED all things Michael J. Fox. Family Ties, Back to the Future, and Teen Wolf just to name a few. For as long as I can remember Thursday nights were spent in front of the television watching Family Ties. One of my all-time favorite sitcom characters is Alex P Keaton. Who wouldn’t love the adorable young republican son of hippies? He was cute, smart, and always knew what to say to make me laugh.

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I was heartbroken when I heard the series was concluding because Tina Yothers, who played his younger sister Jennifer wanted to do other things. To make matters worse, my goal at the time was to be the youngest person to ever write a novel. She, being just a hair younger than me beat me to it. For a long time after, I hated Tina Yothers!

 

My other celebrity crush was on Rob Lowe. I loved him as Billy in St. Elmo’s Fire. One of my favorite movies. I identified with so many of the characters, Wendy, the girl in love with his bad-boy character, Kevin, the writer with the secret crush, falling in love from afar. In this movie especially, I allowed myself to fall for Lowe’s bad boy character, someone I’d never allow myself to get close to, let alone fall for in real life. Only a few years ago while watching the series Brothers and Sisters, Rob Lowe recaptured my attention.

 

Now that I confessed my early celebrity crushes, tell me a little about yours. Who made or makes your heart beat just a little faster and knees just a bit wobbly?

 

 

Stars Cover Reveal

I’m pleased to be taking part in the cover reveal for Stars by a sweet young lady, Madison Louise.

 

Let’s start with the summary-

 

After the death of the King, Myra knows what she has to do. His son, Torren, Myra’s past best friend, will take the throne. But first, he has to marry Princess Arora, and Myra. His Mistress. Things have been like this as long as Myra can remember, there was a Mistress before her, and so on. The Queen doesn’t have the children, the Mistresses do, and then they get stars. One for marrying, one for completing the marriage, and one for bearing an heir. Myra’s known her fate from the moment she was taken into the royal family after the rebellion years ago.

 

After they marry, things start to change. The way the royals live is different now, less old fashioned, more modern. Myra is excited for this change, maybe things will be different, maybe she will be able to keep her future child instead of having to give it over to Arora like she should. But after a trip to Arora’s family, Myra finds out something that will ruin her forever.

 

She tries to hide her fate from Torren, and from Arora. And with a new rebellion rising up at the same time, it’s easy to. But when a rebel by the name of Carter says she’s the key to helping restore the former royal family back to the throne, Myra is faced with an impossible choice.

 

Stay with Torren and die with him and the Senile when the rebels attack, or join the rebels, and fight for a future that she never thought she’d be apart of.

 

Will Myra choose love, or duty?

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Always Remeber Never Forget

The optics were perfect. Summer held on tight, claiming the September day as its own. The sun shone bright in the clear blue sky. It was a spectacular day.
 
Until a plane crashed into 1 World Trade Center.
 
The images will forever be etched in our hearts and minds. Raging flames. Billowing smoke.
 
As the news came across the wires reporting what happened, a second plane slammed into 2 World Trade, right in the middle of the building. It looked as if it meant to slice the building in half. But these were strong towers, built to withstand a plane crash. And safety was the priority since the bombing in 93. Everything inside had to be proven to be fire resistant. That’s what my father told me when I asked if he believed moving his office into the World Trade Center was safe. The irony of that conversation we had outside of the ICU as my mother was struggling, clinging to life was not lost on my that day. Three years later she sat with me waiting for word on my father.
 
I continued to watch the breaking news coverage at edge of my seat.
 
Stunned faces. Mass confusion. New York City police and firefighters. People weren’t streaming out of the buildings. Why not? Why weren’t they getting out? What just flew down from the sky? Was that? NO. It couldn’t be. Why would they jump? There was no chance for survival, it meant certain death, and they knew it.
No one knew what was happening or what was coming next. Other planes crashed. One into the Pentagon, the other in a field in Pennsylvania. The passengers learned about the other high jacked planes, they knew they were going to die, but they weren’t going down without a fight.
 
All of us on the east coast watched with baited breath unable to fathom what was going to happen next. All planes were grounded. Fighter jets scrambled. Something flew overhead. What did that mean? Should we take cover?
A mushroom cloud of smoke and debris rose up as 2 World Trade, the second building hit came crashing down. It looked like a Hollywood special effect depicting the beginning of WWIII. That couldn’t be. When the smoke cleared we’d see it was still there, it had to be, there were still so many people inside. How were they going to get out now? And if that building collapsed, what would happen to the other one?
 
Many of us on the east coast were personally invested in what happened that day. Many of us had loved ones there, or at the very least knew of someone, a former colleague, a former classmate. The whole country mourned, but for the people that walked out of their homes smelling the smoke, seeing the debris carried by the wind for the months following, life didn’t go back to normal nearly as quickly as it did for the rest of the country.
 
We can never forget. We can’t allow the shock and pain of that day to be for naught or it will happen again. It has happened again, but we’ve ignored it because the death scale wasn’t as great, because the landscape wasn’t as grand and significant.
 
Thirteen years later the raw, open wound is still bleeding. The pain is still fresh. Hearing the names of the victims read, seeing the images, or the simple still pictures of the once glorious buildings standing tall in the sky, hurts. Plain and simple my heart still fills with tears that overflow into my eyes.
 
Thank you to all the first responders who put their lives on the line, especially the ones that came from near and for to help, to do something, to save one life on that horrific day. Thank you to all the brave men and women who before and since have gone off to fight for our country. Thank you for protecting the freedoms we take for granted each and every day.
 
More important, always remember. Never forget.
 
God bless.
 

 

Tough Topics

Woo hoo, the kids are back in school. Hopefully that means more time to write. And if I have more time to write, I can blog more, yippee!!! Okay, enough celebrating. Now back to business.

 
 

It’s no secret that my TBR list has gotten extremely long. There are so many books out, and so many authors I have a hard time choosing what I’m going to read next. This summer I made a point of catching up on my never ending list. This being said, I’ve discovered some new favorite authors and developed new friendships.

 
 
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After To My Hero was released, one of my friends suggested I read Almost by Anne Eliot. Trusting this friend I put Almost on my TBR list, where it stayed for a little more than a year.
When I finally picked it up, I was immediately pulled in and intrigued. It didn’t take more than a few pages to see why my friend (and so many others), are fans of Anne’s. I loved it.

 
 
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Another book I had on my TBR list for quite some time is Easy by Tammara Webber. There were a few reviews that compared To My Hero to Easy. Once again, it took very little time for me to become invested in this powerful story. So what’s my point? Is it just to point out some great books you might enjoy? Not exactly.

 
 

The three books I’ve mentioned do have a lot of similarities. They are also each very different from the other. While all three deal with sexual assault in some fashion, each story is unique, as is the way it is told and handled. The biggest difference between To My Hero and Almost or Easy, is that in To My Hero Carly actually gets raped. I know it can be difficult to read, especially for someone that has gone through it, but it is not the act that is the focus of the story; dealing with life and moving on afterward are, as well as learning how to place the blame where it belongs and becoming empowered. When I wrote To My Hero: a Blog of Our Journey Together, I believed (as I still do) that there is a need for books like this, and that there are conversations it can be used to start. I wanted girls and women who suffered rape or sexual abuse of any type to understand they are not alone.

 
 

So why now? Why rehash something that’s old news? As I mentioned earlier, I only recently read Almost and Easy. I had thought about writing this ever since, but haven’t had a chance to. When I received a touching email from a reader last weekend I was compelled speak my mind on the subject once again. I have copied part of it below.

 
To My Hero3

I just finished To My Hero. This story,.. This book,.. Ah I’m still crying. You have no idea. I can’t even form words right now. It’s beautiful and so “true” those emotions the guilt the thinking it’s your fault, the lowered self-esteem. The unable to be touch by another.
This story needs to get out there more. Like in high schools and colleges. And in support groups. I’m sharing this one in mine. Thank you for this read more so than the first ones.
Many people can’t write this. You have become my hero tonight.
Ah still crying.

 
 

This isn’t the first email I received thanking me for To My Hero, so my point is this, there is a reason these books are out there. Rape and attempted rape happen often. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, “ There is an average of 237,868 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year.” While we might at times be uncomfortable discussing these issues, they are important. A girl’s or woman’s entire life changes after she is raped. Very often victims are left feeling hopeless, powerless and unlovable. This affects them at home, in the workplace, and most definitely in all if their relationships. In essence, it affects every part of her life.

 
 

If you haven’t read these amazing books, get on it. If you’ve been touched by any of them, share your thoughts and start a discussion. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Most of all, learn from them. Each one ends with resources for victims. If you or anyone you know has been assaulted, please reach out and assist in getting the help that is needed.

 
 

Thank you as always for your love and support!

 

What is Romance

Many people look for romance in their lives. Books are written about it. Movies are made showing how romance changes people and their lives, but what is romance?

 

It can be defined in simplistic terms as a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love, or a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from everyday life. But that doesn’t really give one a sense of what romance really is.

 

What I have found is that romance is different things to different people. For instance, romance can be a warm drawn bubble bath by your significant other; a candle light dinner; dancing close to romantic music. Romance can be anything that gives someone that feeling of love or mystery. To me it is anything that makes the butterflies soar in your belly. It is anything that makes you feel giddy and brings a smile to your face when you think of a special someone.

 
 

August is national romance month. To celebrate the love in the air, all of my books are on sale for $0.99 through the end of the month on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo, with the exception of Heart Waves which is free on Kobo.

 
 

Amazon- http://www.amazon.com/Danielle-Sibarium/e/B009WV7LMS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1409019407&sr=8-1

 
 

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/danielle-sibarium?store=allproducts&keyword=danielle+sibarium

 

But what I’d really like to know, is what does romance mean to you?

 

 
 

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Author’s Purpose

What is the author’s purpose? As a student I hated this question. The first thing that would come to mind was, “How should I know?” The next thing that would come to mind is “How do you know?” I hated trying to get inside someone else’s mind and using facts to back up an argument I didn’t want to make. Aside from the grade school choices of to entertain or to enlighten, we have no business pretending we understand and know the inner workings of an author’s mind.
 
Since the release of Regret Me Not I’ve thought a lot about this. After reading some of the reviews I’ve realized most people don’t know what my purpose is. Of course the simple, obvious answer is to entertain, but I’m talking about the deeper more subjective answer. It doesn’t really matter to me if you know what my purpose is, just that you get lost in the journey and enjoy the book. But I do wonder how we can justify grading students in high school and college on something as subjective as the author’s purpose. Unless the author has given an explanation of why they wrote what they did, how can anyone be so sure they are right that they can grade someone else fairly. Of course it should based on the argument made, but often that is not how people judge others.
 
So I’d like to hear from you, what do you think the author’s purpose was in writing Regret Me Not? And do you think this is a fair question used in classrooms? Why or why not?

 

 

Regret Me Not Blog Tour Information

So sorry I’ve been MIA since Regret Me Not has been released. I’ve been somewhere between losing my mind and falling off the deep end. I’ve had some personal drama. Not anything too crazy, but my family has needed my attention, and when I have had some free time, I’ve been working on posts for the Regret Me Not blog tour, as well as trying to fix formatting issues to get Regret Me Not up on iTunes and Kobo.

I’d like to take a minute to thank everyone who has had a part in helping out with the release, spreading the work, or reading Regret Me Not. You all rock!!!To celebrate the kickoff of the tour as well as my birthday later this week, I have reduced the price of Regret Me Not to $0.99 for a limited time. Here’s the tour information. Stop by and follow along!

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July 21:

• What’s Beyond Forks? Tour Kick-Off!

• The Sub Club Books – Guest Post!

July 22:

• Between Reality and Fantasy – Review

July 23:

• The Book Lover’s Report – Guest Post

• Paperback Cowgirl Reviews – Review

July 24:

• Books Ahoy – Review

July 25:

• Book Club Sisters – Guest Post/Spotlight

• My Secret Romance – Review

July 26:

• I Read Indie – Guest Post/Spotlight

• This Girl Loves Books – Review

July 27:

• Bookaholicsxoxo – Review/Interview

July 28:

•The Ultimate Fan Blog – Review

July 29:

•Donnie Darko Girl – Review

•Scandalous Book Blog – Review

July 30:

•Three Chicks and Their Books – Review

 
 
 

 

My Top 5 Book Couples

    ONE MORE DAWN, ONE MORE DAY, ONEDAY MORE!!!!! Regret Me Not will be live tomorrow! Woo Hoo!!!

     
    Today I bring you my top 5 Book Couples!
     
    5 Tic-Tac Tess and Toby Morrison from Boys of Summer by C.J Duggan
      
    The Boys of Summer (Summer,...

    4 Jess Jordan and Gray Porter from Almost by Anne Eliot
     
     Almost
     
    3 Bianca and Lucas from Evernight by Claudia Gray 

    Evernight (Evernight, #1)
     
    2 Skye and Dean Holder from Hopeless

     Hopeless (Hopeless, #1)
     
    1 Bella Swan and Edward Cullen from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
     
    Twilight (Twilight, #1) 
    Who are your favorite book couples?

     
     

    Add Regret Me Not to your TBR list on Goodreads .

     

    Dont’ forget to take a look at Maria Monteiro’s Top 5 Book Boyfriends

     

    Maria and I would love for you to come join us for our pajama Facebook release party on June 17th. We’ll have prizes, guest authors, and a lot of fun! I hope to see you there!

    Facebook Release Party.