Not exactly the path you’d expect a writer to take.
I’d never dreamed of writing a novel. But I loved to read. Then one day I had an idea and I started to write. I found my passion for creating characters lived on the page as well as the stage. It is my hope that the characters I’ve created resonate with you and make you smile.
I still teach voice lessons and sing for the occasional professional event. But the rest of my time is spent with my husband and son while dreaming up new and interesting stories. I hope that someday I hear yours.
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She wants to put an end to the Testing
In a scarred and brutal future, The United Commonwealth teeters on the brink of all-out civil war. The rebel resistance plots against a government that rules with cruelty and cunning. Gifted student and Testing survivor, Cia Vale, vows to fight.
But she can't do it alone.
This is the chance to lead that Cia has trained for - but who will follow? Plunging through layers of danger and deception, Cia must risk the lives of those she loves--and gamble on the loyalty of her lethal classmates.
Who can Cia trust?
The stakes are higher than ever-lives of promise cut short or fulfilled; a future ruled by fear or hope--in the electrifying conclusion to Joelle Charbonneau's epic Testing trilogy. Ready or not…it's Graduation Day.
The Final Test is the Deadliest!
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I love the idea of this post. So much so, I am willing to go back into my high school days and come up with the moments where I wanted to crawl into a hole and hide for forever.
Graduation Day – this would appear on both the worst and the best list for me. Graduation was the happiest and scariest day in my high school career because I had finished something huge and now had no idea what the heck life had in store for me. I also realized how many students were in my class that I didn’t know and I really regretted never having the chance to get to know them.
My first driving lesson - UGH! Okay – I know that everyone thinks a teenager should be really excited about driving, but I was kind of nervous about driving. Not unusual, right? At least, I hope not. Most of my friends never talked about being worried. They just jumped into the car and revved the engine with enthusiasm. Of course, they also had driving instructors that were probably more sympathetic to their worries or any trepidation they might demonstrate. My instructor was my bowling coach. He was also the coach of the varsity football team and believed that none of his athletes should ever show weakness. Now, I will say that I really was fond of my bowling coach. Getting screamed at during my first lesson behind the wheel with several other students in the car – yeah – not so much.
Running the mile - this one should count more than once because I had to run the mile every semester for the physical fitness tests. Um…yeah – not my favorite thing. I am a way better sprinter than distance runner. At the half mile mark I always lost steam. And really – what high school girl doesn’t love coming in near the end of the pack with everyone who already finished watching. (*My final mile run I did push myself really hard and came in with the first half of the runners…yeah – I kind of hated being at the end.)
The flex arm hang – Okay - have you had to do this? Pull ups aren’t fun, but at least they make sense to me. The flex arm hang never has. It’s the thing where you stand on a chair next to the pull-up bar, hold the bar with your fingers facing away from you and then step off the chair. You have to then hang on the bar for as long as possible while the teacher times you. I always had a problem with the fact that we all used the same chair to stand on – a chair that was really tall! This meant the short girls got a boost from the teacher onto the bar, the average height girls stepped off and were at about the same height as the bar and I – the tall girl – had to step off the chair and drop several inches before doing my attempt at the hanging part. Hello! Now, I’m not a science genius or anything, but does anyone see the physics problem with this. I mean, even my six year old can tell you that each one of these things is different and that dropping, stopping your fall and hanging there for a really long time is harder than being boosted up or just being the right height. But every time I lasted only 2 or 3 seconds I felt like the world’s biggest (and heaviest) failure even though I was pretty sure science was on my side. Yeah – that was fun.
Having someone who was once a friend ignore me freshman year because she had new friends. – This one really sucked. I’ll never forget the moment where I realized that we hadn’t just grown apart. She had changed. Or I had. And worse, that while I still thought of our past friendship as something to be fond of, she thought of it as something to be embarrassed by because I wasn’t one of the cheerleaders or super popular kids. Somewhere along the line, popular became more important that memories to her. The worst part was that while I wanted to be mad, I wasn’t. I was hurt and sad and to this day hope she looks back on the times we shared and doesn’t regret them. How depressing am I?
The ACT - The test! I hated that test. I hated the stress of that test and all the freaking out and panic that came before it. My friends were all worried and taking extra practice tests and all sorts of prep classes to make sure they scored high enough to get into the college of their choice. I was in the musical and too busy learning my lines and blocking to take the extra classes, which stressed me out more. I made it through the first 2 sections without totally freaking out, but was fried by the final section. And, of course, it had to be science, which was my least favorite of them all. The good news is that I survived and got into all the colleges I applied to. The bad news – I still wish I could go back and take the science section over again. Just because while I got a good score, I know I could do better!
Getting kicked out of the auditorium during play rehearsal. – Picture this – full cast on stage during The King and I rehearsal. The guy playing the king asks me a question while the director is busy working with a bunch of cast members on the other side of the stage. I whisper an answer. The director looks up, sees me whispering, stalks to the middle of the stage and starts yelling in front of the entire cast. Moments later – I am in the hallway wondering how with everyone else who talked and whispered during rehearsal I was the one that got pitched. Actually, there were two of us. The King got booted right along with me. I guess I was in good company, but really???
Dances - Yes! All of them. The whole panic about whether someone would ask me or if I should act like I don’t care or if I would rather go with a group and was too cool to want a date was zero fun. And then there was the whole fashion parade that went along with the dances because if you wore the wrong length dress people noticed. And talked. And…yeah – you get the point. I wish I could say I never cared about any of it. But that would be a lie.
Calculus - and the only time I ever got a D on a test. – Yes, I was bad at Calculus. But, to be fair, most of the people in my class struggled with it, too. However, I will never forget the third test of the semester when I got back the exam and found that I had gotten a D. I can still feel the way my heart stuttered and how I found it hard to breathe. It didn’t’ matter that other people had tanked the test, too or that the teacher let me take it again. (I got a C+ the next time.) While I didn’t like the class, I tried to learn. I tried my best and seeing that grade and realizing my best was so far away from being good enough made me want to cry.
Having my senior year prom date invite two strange girls into our limo while we were stopped at a red light on the streets of Chicago – and the girls got into the car! - Yes. It happened. Yes, it was crazy especially thinking about it now. Yes, my date ended up making out with one of the girls who drove back to the suburbs with us. (The other girl made out with one of the other guys in the limo who also ditched his date.) Yes, when people say they have the world’s worst prom story, I laugh. Because I think mine wins.
How about you? What is your worst high school memory? I shared mine. Please share yours ☺
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