Emerald Barnes's Blog
November 20, 2014
It’s been a while since I did a free run with any of my books, and right now, I have my first novella, Piercing Through the Darkness, for free on Amazon. So be sure to grab it before it’s back up to normal price ($1.99) on the 22nd! If you love psychological suspense novellas, this is your book!
This is my Thanksgiving present to you all. You’ve been so kind and generous to me, that I want to give back! I my readers!
November 19, 2014
Synopsis: After graduating from the Secret Seminary, Hannah and Simon are ready to return to their homeland. Their training has equipped them to carry the gospel to a country ravaged by darkness and despair. If necessary, they’re even prepared to face the North Korean labor camps, but the hardest part of their mission isn’t the hunger, cold, and incessant danger. The hardest part is cutting off contact with one another.
In this world of spies, secret police, and informants, staying together might not just compromise their ministry. It could cost them both their lives.
A Christian romantic suspense from the author of The Beloved Daughter, which won awards from Women of Faith, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, The Book Club Network, and more.
Pre-order Torn Asunder for only 99 cents or enter the giveaway below! You can also sign up to get a free mp3 song download from Cherie Norquay, whose work is put out by Grammy-award-winning producer, Phil Naish, and whose lyrics helped inspire certain scenes in Torn Asunder. Click below or get her free song downloads here. (Several of her song lyrics also appear in the novel itself.)
You can also sign up below to help spread the word about Alana’s fundraiser to help rescue North Korean refugees on a modern-day underground railroad.
November 8, 2014
A debt is a debt that must be repaid.
She thought she was safe in the shadows. The dark was always home to her when the light was banished. After the Transformation, she thought the secrets were over. She thought running away would solve all of her troubles, but her problems were only getting started.
In a world where magic rules all, eighteen-year-old Mrsorri Hall finds a place where she can put her unique abilities to the test. When she is brought to a strange new world, she feels human again, recognizing fear like she never has before. As time goes on, she struggles to admit to the secrets of her dark past, but they unravel before her faster than she can blink.
Coming from a land immersed in fire, Mrsorri Hall learns to live in a world of deception. Secrets and lies are only the beginning. The fall of the Safe Havens is close, and there is only one person who can bring them all together. The one who is brave enough to seek the Keepers who started it all. On this quest, failure is not an option, for once she starts, she can’t go back. There is nowhere to go. They are coming for her.
Mrsorri Hall Advocates Against Bullying
By Ashlee McNicol
(Told from the perspective of main character Mrsorri Hall)
I was never afraid of the dark. There was never a question about it. The shadows made me feel safer than any source of light. Maybe it’s because I was raised in the dark and grew up sulking through the night that the mere thought that someone could see me in sunshine scares me more than any other.
Years ago, I was birthed in a land called the Rayax. It was never my choice. It was my duty to be bestowed upon the Caretaker and the Homekeeper there. They wanted to keep my safe, and they took it upon themselves to be my family. I think that everyone needs family in their lives. Family offers something enriches that pushes us all to go forward. I know that they did that for me.
In my time throughout the Four Worlds, I was afraid a lot. I went from being immune to fear to living it daily. It wasn’t my choice. If I could decide, I would never be afraid. I’d still keep going, but I couldn’t control my mind like that. My point in telling you this is that you should know, I didn’t fit in. I have never really had friends. I have never really been that girl that everyone calls to hang out with or see at the spur of a moment. I’m a loner, and I’m okay with that.
No one deserves to be bullied, though. People often think that they can take advantage of because they don’t understand me. I’m here to tell you that their words are not true. You can do whatever you set your mind to, if you are willing to put in the hard work. People may say mean things to you because you are smaller or younger than they are, but just know that you are worth it. No one deserves to be taken advantage of. I have had my fair share of moments like that, and I’m slowly learning what it takes to be whole again.
If you or any of your friends feel like they are being bullied, don’t be afraid to talk to someone. I was always afraid that I would speak to the wrong person. I had troubles trusting people after my kidnapping and the secrets that poured into my life. Know that you are not alone, and if you need someone to talk to, flip open the pages of my life and take it from me.
So, if you are being bullied, do me a favor and remember these things that I have learned along the rough road of life:
Put on your crown or tiara. You don’t deserve to be bullied. You are worth something, and you are going to go far in life. Just work hard, remember where you came from, and keep moving forward despite the odds you may face in your life. That only makes you stronger.
Embrace being different. If everyone was the same, that would be no fun. I got to experience that recently, and that was a major shock to me. We were all born with a purpose. Own that purpose.
Believe in yourself. You can do anything if you set your mind to. Your family believes in you, your friends believe in you, I believe in you. Now, it’s time to look in the mirror and see what you are worth. It’s time to believe in yourself.
About the Author
Ashlee McNicol spent her childhood bringing imagination to life by writing short stories and chapter books that soon decorated the shelves of local libraries in the state of Washington. Those stories shaped her writing career, which has now launched to include over fifty full length young adult novels that are waiting to be read. Ashlee holds a BBA in marketing from Eastern New Mexico University and works as her own publicist. Currently, she is crafting the Secrets of Ghastillanda Series and hopes to have all five books released by the end of 2015. Her goal is to inspire children and young adults all over to pursue their dreams and ignite their imaginations. You can follow her at her website www.ashleemcnicolbooks.com to learn more.
October 23, 2014
Title: Dead of Night
Author: Carlyle Labuschagne
Genre: Young Adult Dystopian Romance
Publisher: Hallowed Ink Press
In a dark and desolated After Earth, love still does exist, but the cost of bearing such a flaw is death.
World War III has left Earth in utter turmoil. People’s beliefs are said to be the cause of the worldwide destruction. After The Clearing new laws are set about – to show certitude in anything besides the law is weak and chargeable as mutiny. To be illogical and have faith in religion is illegal, to be limitless is dangerous. And Illness is seen as a defect – all flaws that are inexcusable.
But to love is the greatest betrayal of all mankind. It is a fault the world has long forgotten and punishable by death, a fatal risk Aecker and Opel are fully prepared to take – because in love there is freedom. But how far can they push back before it claims their lives and of those they care about?
FB Release Party: https://www.facebook.com/events/1495518857373150/
Carlyle Labuschagne is a South African award winning author working her way into the hearts of international readers with her first two books in the Broken Trilogy. Her first young adult dystopian novel “The Broken Destiny” reached top 3 in its YA debut Category. The Sequel Evanescent won YATR literary award for best Sci-Fi book 2013.
Her ‘become a published author programme for students’ launched Feb 2014.
She is not only an author, but works as a marketing manager by day. She holds a diploma in creative writing through the writing school at College SA.
Carlyle loves to swim, fights for the trees, and is a food lover who is driven by her passion for life. Carlyle also writes for IU e-magazine India, an inspirational non-profit magazine that aims at inspiring the world through words. The drive behind her author career is healing through words. Carlyle is also the founder of the first annual book drive – Help Build A Library in Africa Project. And hopes to launch her very own Indie book festival in Johannesburg March 2015.
“My goal as an author is to touch people’s lives, and help others love their differences and one another.”
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October 22, 2014
Title: Claiming Carlos
Series: Sanchez Sisters #2
Author: Rachelle Ayala
Release Date: October 22, 2014
Choco Sanchez is stuck in a rut. She’s never hit a softball and has been friends forever with Carlos Lopez, the head cook at her family’s Filipino restaurant. When flashy restaurant consultant Johnny Dee hits her with a pitch, she falls head over heels and gets a makeover.
Carlos Lopez is not about to lose one for the home team. When Johnny launches a full scale change on the menu, Carlos sends him straight into the dumpster. Claiming Choco’s heart proves more difficult, especially when her secrets threaten to doom their love. But never underestimate a man who can cook hot, spicy, and steamy, and we ain’t talking just food.
Steamy love scenes and language. Suitable for readers 18+.
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I stick to par on that hole. Ha, ha. These miniature golf courses have many trick holes. There’s one where the ball has to go over a bridge, and of course there are all the curbs to bounce off. But the worst are the mounds. Carlos sucks at those.
Livy, meantime, maxes out at six shots each hole. “My club’s crooked. Can we trade?”
“I don’t see anything wrong,” I say.
Carlos takes her club and balances it. “Ah, you see here? It’s curved and off balanced. Here Livy, have my club.”
Oh no he doesn’t. Then he’ll have an excuse why he lost. Besides, the clubs were handed out by height.
“Livy, take mine. His is too long for you.”
“Whatever.” She grabs it.
After she’s out of earshot, Carlos whispers, “My club’s definitely too long for you.”
“You wish.” I tally the scores, my cheeks burning. “You’re still five strokes behind.”
He bends toward me and waggles his eyebrows. “I’ll make up those strokes tonight. Where would you like them?”
“You nasty boy.” I wait until he lines up for his putt before pretending to trip and bump into him. “You’re not even up to par. Tsk, tsk, tsk. You sure you can keep up with me?”
“I know how you like me driving into your hole.” He winks and swats the ball. It rolls into the hole, and he does a golfer’s fist pump. “As for keeping up with you? I can go all night.”
“I don’t know about that. You’re going into the water trap.” I line up the ball near the windmill.
“If it gushes like you, I’ll gladly take the plunge.” He bumps my hip and my ball hops and skips into the running water.
“Why you!” I gingerly climb over the fence and duck under the bridge.
“Ha, you’re all wet.” He helps me climb back. “Just the way I like it.”
“Shhh … Livy,” I hiss, but fortunately she’s staring at her smartphone.
The next one is a right angle shot. If I can hit that diagonal perfect, it’s a straight shot into the hole. I line up my shoulders, square my hips, and wait for Carlos to jeer. I fake up, about to swing.
“Wait, wait.” He claps his hands right beside my ear. “Your ball still wet? You better compensate for the drag.”
“I think your club’s all wet.” I quickly take a swing and whack the ball hard. It flies straight at the diagonal, then rolls down the green toward the hole. The carpet is uneven, dang. I didn’t account for it, but it goes closer and plop. It lands in the hole.
“Whoo!” I raise my club in the air and jump up and down. “A hole in one. Ha, ha, you’ll never catch me now. Loser cooks.”
He puts his finger down his throat, gagging. “The way you cook, I better lose.”
“You guys are silly.” Livy yawns, bored with our antics.
“Let’s see how silly you are when you fall in love,” Carlos says. He gives her a noogie and she screams, “Ewww. Love is yucky.”
I screw up the next two holes. Did Carlos say he was silly because he’s in love? The thought it could be me is so delicious, I quiver, the same way I do when a dessert is super sweet and cold.
Links to Buy
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Rachelle Ayala is an author of dramatic romantic suspense and humorous,
sexy contemporary romances. Her heroines are feisty and her heroes hot. She
writes emotionally challenging stories but believes in the power of love and
Subscribe to her mailing list for upcoming books and giveaways. http://eepurl.com/lR5kv and find her
books at online retailers Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple iBookstore, and more.
Fiction: Michal’s Window, Broken
Build, Hidden Under Her Heart, Chance for Love Boxed Set, Knowing Vera, Taming
Romeo, Whole Latte Love, Played by Love, Playing the Rookie, A Father for
Christmas, Claiming Carlos
Want to Contact Rachelle?
AIM TO LOVE ROMANCES / BLOG / WEBSITE
FACEBOOK / TWITTER / GOODREADS
GOOGLE+ / PINTEREST
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October 15, 2014
When I sat down to write the trilogy that turned out to be the Less Than Nothing novels, I had no idea what genre they were going to be. I sort of thought maybe NA, because they’d have some heat to them, there’s a central romantic theme to the story, and they deal with subjects that are more serious than the YA books I’ve read. What ensued has me scratching my head, though, and now I’m not so sure.
The books cover the trials and tribulations of Sage and Derek, two homeless teen street musicians in San Francisco who make a life-altering decision to hitch cross-country and enter a talent contest in New York.
Seems straightforward enough. That’s a road book. Like Huckleberry Finn, or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, or any number of other road tomes, only with a teen romance as the central driver. Only that’s not how it turned out. The characters took over, and apparently their story wasn’t a road story at all, but rather a love story combined with a coming-of-age saga.
There aren’t a lot of books that feature homeless main characters, much less homeless teens grappling with the demons of their pasts. These are characters with flaws, with depth, with problems and hopes and needs. Who aren’t adults yet, but also aren’t kids – caught in that neverland between responsibility and adolescence, but dealing with the harsh reality of survival on the streets.
Less Than Nothing is a tip of the hat to the Janis Joplin rendition of Me & Bobby McGee. It came on the radio while I was driving, and as I listened to Janis belt it out, I thought, “wow, wouldn’t that be an awesome story – road trip, two young spirits in love, making mistakes, fighting to succeed…” And that’s how the book idea was born.
But how to classify it? It deals with more complex and nuanced subject matter than the usual YA outing, so it’s not really Young Adult. And it’s got some steamy scenes, so it’s spicier than that genre. Which means it’s probably New Adult, but then we have the problem that the protagonists are both teenagers…in what becomes an adventure/romance. And there are no shirtless biker alpha billionaires, so not typical NA fare. So is it contemporary romance? Not really. Is it NA? Not really. Is it YA? Not really.
Whatever it is, it’s getting rave reviews, so maybe the genre isn’t as important as the story. A young girl developing into a self-directed being, on the threshold of adulthood but still possessing adolescent impulses and doubts, which aren’t always logical and can be in conflict with each other while co-existing simultaneously.
Whatever the genre, I’m thrilled at how it turned out. I think it’s a truly original take on the familiar story of boy meets girl. Because it’s about that. And not that. It’s about love, and dreams, and desperation, and possibility, and the hope for redemption, the fear of loss, of betrayal, of being let down and hurt by those who are supposed to protect you, and about overcoming your past to build a brighter future.
Anyhow, if you like stories that are off the beaten path, are quirky, and deal with teens growing into their own skin and discovering what they’re made of, this might be a good choice. If you enjoy love stories in a big, sweeping, complicated sense, with imperfect characters who sometimes behave in frustrating ways – just like real people do – then give this a try.
And if you figure out what the books are, let me know. Because when asked, I’m still uncertain what to say, other than, “You’ve kinda just got to read them to understand.”
Sage’s life as a teenage runaway in San Francisco is simple: Snatch a few hours of sleep on park benches and bus stops; dodge perverts, predators, and cops; and make enough as a street musician to eat. But her world flips upside down when she meets Derek – hot, tattooed, and charming, a singer from Seattle whose looks and talent take her breath away.
What begins as a reluctant partnership quickly develops into a cross-country race against time – and awakens a hunger in Sage that’s unfamiliar and exciting.
As they travel from coast to coast, Sage and Derek pursue their dream, only to discover that they can never run far enough to escape the demons from their pasts.
Less Than Nothing is the breakout debut NA novel from USA Today bestseller R.E. Blake that critics are buzzing about and readers can’t put down.
Buy now at these retailers!
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/1rnax8b
About R.E. Blake:
R.E. Blake is the pseudonym of the USA Today bestselling author of over 30 novels, featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Times, and the Chicago Tribune.
October 14, 2014
Ella Page planned to spend her summer before college like most girls her age – shopping, tanning, swimming, repeat. Instead she finds herself helping out on her grandma’s farm, where she is forced to work side by side with her ex-best friend, Gage Hunter. Despite her attempt to stay cool around the boy she no longer feels like she knows, the heat in the summer air just won’t stop rising. And with it, old feelings she’s not so sure were forgotten after all.
Author Contact Information:
Facebook: Janelle Stalder
October 10, 2014
When I became an author, I was stupid. I really was. I thought it would be easy. Again, I was an idiot, completely misguided and confused.
Being an author is ten – okay, a hundred – times harder than I thought when I first started. Here are some common misconceptions about being an author (that I had).
1. You’ll hit it big with your first book. Although it does, and can, happen, it’s very, very rare. Chances are, you’ll have to publish a good many before your name is even recognized. And although there are some people who know my name, it’s not really because they’ve bought my book. They’ve just seen me around the internet.
2.You sell a book – to someone other than family – and you finally have a verified purchase review! Of course it’s a 5 star glowing review. I mean, why wouldn’t it be? You write a best-selling book. People are bound to give you nothing but 5 stars, right? Right?!
So, you’re nervous, sick, anxious with anticipation, and you finally read it. It’s the dreaded one star. You end up going through denial – ranting at the reviewer. How could you not see what I meant? Are you sure that you read it correctly? Why would you say something like that? So, you try not to think about it, but you can’t help it. You dwell. You get sick. You contemplate talking to them about it, to change their mind. In the end, you spend the night crying and eating ice cream and raw cookie dough and consider quitting all together.
3. You’ll be rich in no time! You’ll have so much money that you won’t know what to do with it all! Well, you hope to make enough money to cover costs of expenses, at least. But, you find yourself with credit card debt, saying you needed to spend that extra money for ads. So, now you’re scrounging to buy a sweet tea from McDonald’s for a dollar, but the piggy bank is empty.
4. You’ll end up on the bestseller lists! All of them! Then, you realize there’s no way you’ll grace a list without sales. And you’re back to looking for ways to sell your book, get your name out there, but you’re stuck. You have no idea what you’re doing, and even though you’ve published more than one book, you still have a hard time selling books. BUY MY BOOK!!
5. Fine. You’ll put out another book and make sure it’s a hundred times better than the other(s). You should have it done in a few months, and then you’ll get recognized and start making more money. And now, it’s two years later, and you’re repeating the process.
Despite the misconceptions, the hard times, and the ever frustrating moments, being an author is one of the best things you’ll ever be. Well, if you want to be an author, that is.
October 8, 2014
Garrison James had it all. He had a terrific home life and a loving family. Together, he and his wife built a successful ranch and construction company. His world changed the day he lost his wife to cancer. He turned to the bottle and became a monster. Sara, his daughter, tried everything to please him. After years of abuse, Sara’s aunt visits. She recognizes the abuse and removes Sara. The frail girl begins the delicate journey of find herself, while struggling to leave her father and the monster behind. Despite the emotional and mental scars she carried, Sara manages to start a new life. She is finally happy. A phone call changes everything. Will Sara continue her new life? Can she face the monster, or will she find closure?
Buy Closure Now for only 99cents this week!
About the Author:
Author Sylvia Stein began her path to writing when she joined the Writer’s Group on Linked in 750 in 2012. She continued her journey by creating short stories, which were published, in the Giant tales Anthology series. While obtaining her Masters degree at Southern New Hampshire University online author Stein built a solid foundation with her colleagues who encouraged her to continue on her writing. That’s when Closure was born. With the help of her editor Closure grew from a short story to a full novella that Author Stein is excited to share. Closure is her debut book as a solo writer. To quote author Stein, “ This is the first of many to come.”
October 7, 2014
Fate: New Avalon, book 2
by Andrea Buginsky
Available September 30, 2014
Elena Baxter’s second year at New Avalon may be more challenging than her first. The demons she was warned about show up, a visitor who greatly affects her arrives, and her best friend, Izzy, has to deal with her painful past. Can Elena survive everything that’s coming at her at once? Or will the future Lady of the Lake take on more than she can possibly handle?
I have always loved the name of Emerald’s blog. I understand the concept of dreaming awake so well! I daydream all the time: when I’m eating, writing, watching TV, going to sleep… All the time. I have always lived in a dream world. I think that’s what initially made me decide to write a book. I wanted to see if I could turn all of those daydreams into a cognitive story. And I’m so glad I did! Five books later, Fate is finally here!
New Avalon was not a series I planned at the beginning of my writing career. The Chosen was my initial idea, based on characters from a role-playing game I played with my family once upon a time. I gave them each a personality based on the person who played the character, but slowly molded them into who I believe them to be. Then, I created a world for them, and sent them off on adventurous quests. Two of their quests are published, the third one is being edited, and I’ve started writing their fourth one.
As I began my writing career, I decided to try my hand at NaNoWriMo, an annual online writing event that takes place during the entire month of November. The goal is to write a 30,000-word novel in thirty days. I tried my hardest, but by the second week, I was burned out and had to stop. However, I did end up with a story I could really build on if I wanted to take the time to do so. So, I put it in a drawer, knowing I could take it out and complete it anytime.
I don’t remember how long it took, but one day, I finally took the manuscript out of the drawer, read what I had, and began to work on it again. When it was completed, I knew I had the first book of my second series, New Avalon. When Destiny was finished, I started thinking of ideas for the second book, and Fate was born. I’m so excited to see it finished and published!
Dreaming awake may sound like a strange way to live. If you’re always dreaming, then when are you living? Well, for me, the two go hand-in-hand. I can drift off into a dream any time of day from anywhere I happen to be. No big deal. It’s the way my mind works. Five books later, I’m so glad it does.
In Alchemy the next day, Elena could tell Izzy was still distracted. She never did that well mixing the potions, but she was getting better studying with Elena. Today, however, everything she mixed kept exploding. Elena knew she was still preoccupied with their conversation from the other night.
“Damn!” Izzy coughed as her third attempt to mix the potion exploded in her face.
Elena ran to her side. “Are you all right?”
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
The rest of the class rushed over to make sure everything was OK.
“You alright, Izzy?”
“Yeah, Mia. Just ticked. I can’t get this to work right! Lady Bittle, what am I doing wrong?”
Lady Bittle sifted through the ashes in Izzy’s cauldron. “I don’t think you used the right amount of herbs. Remember, you need to be very careful when tossing each one in. You don’t want to add too much or too little of any herb.”
“I know that! I’m a third-year. I’ve been mixing potions for over two years now. I know I’m not the best at it, but this is ridiculous!”
“Izzy, is everything OK? You know you’re powers are linked to your emotions, and you seem to be in overdrive right now. Perhaps you should stop for the day. I’ll still give you full credit for your attempts.”
Izzy looked like she was about to explode. But a scream from Elena broke her out of her anger.
“I don’t know…” Elena stood there, holding her head in her hands, nearly collapsing. “It hurts!”
“What hurts, Sweetie?” Mia tried to calm her down, but they were all freaking out over Elena’s outburst.
“My head! It feels like it’s going to explode.”
Lady Bittle rushed to her and took her by the elbow. “I’m going to take her to Isabel. The rest of you can use the remaining class time to work on your own potions, if you’d like. I’ll see you all tomorrow.”
“Wait! I want to go with her.”
“No, Izzy, that’s not a good idea. You’ll see her later, back in your room.”
She led Elena out of the classroom and down the hall to Isabel’s office.
Isabel was waiting for them. She sensed something was wrong, as she always did, and helped Lady Bittle carry Elena to the couch in her office. She gently caressed Elena’s head, her eyes closed, her lips moving.
Finally, Elena calmed down enough and took a deep breath. “What was that?”
“Tell me everything that happened.”
Elena told Isabel about Izzy’s trouble in class and her outburst. “I know she’s been upset lately, but I’ve never seen her like this. She just became infuriated, like she was about to explode!”
“And then you felt like your head was exploding?”
Elena looked at her, shocked. “Yeah, how did you know that?”
Isabel sighed. “Lady Bittle, I’ve got this now. Thank you for bringing her to me. Will you return to the classroom and let the other girls know Elena is just fine?”
Lady Bittle nodded, touching Elena gently on her shoulder. She left her in Isabel’s capable hands and returned to her class.
Isabel gently stroked Elena’s hair. “I think congratulations are in order.”
September 30: Missuswolf’s Storyland
October 1: Bonnie Trachtenberg
October 2: Sheenah Freitas
October 3: Confessions of a Reader
October 4: Sheila Deeth
October 5: UnorthodoxBlog
October 6: Regan Black
October 7: Emerald Barnes’ Dreaming Awake Blog
October 8: Annamaria’s Writing Corner
October 9: Belinda Witzenhausen
October 9: Ignite Your Creativity
October 9: WriterzBlox
October 10: Martha Emms Cognitive Dreamer
October 11: Teen Books and Other Stuff
October 11: Brandi Breathes Books
Enter the Giveaway!!
Andrea Buginsky is a freelance writer with a BA in Mass Communication-Journalism from the University of South Florida. She has always wanted to be a published writer, and decided to try to write children’s fantasy books. The Chosen is her first book, and was released on December 14, 2010, to her delight.
Andrea has written four more books since:
* My Open Heart, an autobiography of growing up with heart disease.
* Nature’s Unbalance: The Chosen, Book 2
* Destiny: New Avalon, book 1, a YA fantasy
* Fate: New Avalon, book 2, a YA fantasy
She is currently editing the third book of The Chosen series, and writing the fourth. Andrea lives in Kansas with her family, which includes her two precious puppies.