Friday FabOoolousness – Football Foods

Football is here!!  That means it’s not only time to watch our favorite teams kick off, but also time for those special foods that we make specifically for football games.  Today, I’ve decided to share three of our household’s must-haves!

But first, I thought I’d share what football season means to me—and that’s friends and family.  Enjoy!

Me and my girls…
Red Raiders who keep Austin in check…
Me and my guy… we’re not afraid to wear matching shirts.
Representing the Red Raiders in Dallas…

*****

Now, let’s talk food!  The first two recipes were passed on to me from my mother, and I have enjoyed them both since I was a little girl.  The last one comes courtesy of a former co-worker (thanks, Amy!).

Deviled Eggs

Peel hard-boiled eggs and cut in half
Carefully remove yolk and place in mixing bowl
Add 2 tablespoons of mayo
Add 1 tablespoon of yellow mustard
Mix together with a fork
Add 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
Mix
Add salt and pepper to taste
Scoop back into egg halves
Sprinkle with paprika

**For quantities of six hard-boiled eggs…

Mom’s Holiday Queso

¾ cup of chopped onion
2 tablespoons of butter
1 can of diced tomatoes and green chilis
1 package of 8 oz. cream cheese, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup of milk

In sauce pan, sauté onion in butter until soft.  Add tomatoes and chilies and cook over medium heat.  Gradually blend in cream cheese, stirring until it is completely melted.  Slowly add milk.  Mix well, heat through, and serve.

**Brown hamburger meat with the onions if you want to add a little flare to the queso…

Sausage Balls

1 package of hot, ground sausage (Jimmy Dean is great!)
1 cup of Heart Healthy Bisquick (or regular Bisquick, it really doesn’t matter; I just try to add little bits of “health” where I can)
1 cup of grated, sharp cheese

Mix all ingredients together.  Pinch off one to two inch sections of the meat mixture and roll into balls.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake for thirty minutes at 350.

**Once I have all of the mixture rolled into balls, I like to pat each of them in the extra Bisquick in the bowl before I throw it out.  This gives the outside a nice crispy texture after baking.

*****

Do you make anything special during football season?  If so, please share!  I’d love to hear from you.

And since it’s football season, remember to check out my YA Mystery novel, Football Sweetheart… now available on Kindle and Nook!

Here are a few of my latest reviews!

Football Sweetheart is a great read that brought back so many high school memories. The characters are relatable, and the story keeps you guessing until the very end. I can’t wait to read more about Aimee and her friends! I highly recommend this book. ~T. Hunt

I love the vivid descriptions of how important high school football is in West Texas and how it shapes every persons life in the small town. The fact that the book is a “murder mystery” is just a bonus….who doesn’t love a good “who done it” novel? ~ M. McWilliams

Football Sweetheart is a promising first from Tiffany A. White. The story contains all the required elements of a mystery, capturing your attention from Chapter One. High school innocence evaporates in a heartbeat when a popular girl disappears. Her best friend singles herself out to find the victim and stumbles onto more than she bargained for. There are no secrets in this small West Texas town, or are there? A brisk read full of twists and turns as each character carries you toward the conclusion. Looking forward to the next book in this series. ~ E. Meyer

Tele-Tuesday: A Shout-Out to the All the Inbetweeners

I don’t know how often kids today watch MTV, but I’m a real-life, breathing child of the music channel…

In the’80s, the new Music Television channel changed pop culture forever with music videos—thank you, MTV!  In the ‘90s, the network began to slowly drift away from the music videos, and started airing original broadcasts such as Road Rules and The Real World, animations including Beavis and Butthead and Celebrity Deathmatch, and even a few popular game shows like Remote Control and Singled Out—the show that put Jenny McCarthy and Carmen Electra on the map.  By 2000, rarely could we flip channels to MTV and actually watch a music video.  Instead, we’d find The Osbournes, where we’d watch Ozzy and Sharon wrangle their children and many small dogs around their house; or we’d watch Ashton Kutcher play pranks on celebrities on Punk’d; and, sometimes we’d even watch Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica so that we could laugh at just how silly that girl could be.  Since then, MTV has continued to launch more and more reality shows: Laguna Beach, NEXT, My Super Sweet 16, and the craziest of them all, Jersey Shore.  And, who could forget one of the biggest hits of all MTV programming—Jackass?

MTV’s Teen Wolf – pretty people and the supernatural… normal teen television today

But I’ve never given up on my MTV.  Today, when I’m looking for something to watch on television, I always flip over to check out what’s on the channel.  While I can’t say it’s been a music video one time in the last few years, MTV still offers a few programs that I don’t miss—the Road Rules/Real World Challenges, Teen Wolf, and Death Valley.  Everything else… I have stayed away from (Teen Mom—no, thank you); but that’s not to say I haven’t laughed at the commercials for a few of the other MTV originals.

But after a very impressive first two seasons, MTV doubles the upcoming season three episode count and orders 24 episodes!!

Let’s be honest—MTV is supposed to grab the attention of the teen audience, which I believe it does.    However, teen programs today aren’t necessarily the same as the ‘80s and ‘90s.  Television in the 1980s offered a bit more substance than today’s reality fixation.  Back in the day, honest- to-goodness family programming dominated network TV’s primetime hours—Who’s the Boss?, Growing Pains, The Cosby Show, The Wonder Years, Family Ties—instead of the incessant need to watch individuals hurt themselves while rushing through an obstacle course or watch a young talent’s hopes shatter in recorded auditions.

Teen television today tends to focus on more adult situations.  Take The Secret Life of the American Teenager—how many characters have either already had a baby or at least a pregnancy scare?   And as much as I like The Vampire Diaries, where are the parents?  Who gets these kids alcohol for their parties?  Today, popular young adult TV seems to focus on pretty people, popular kids, high fashion, and adult themes.

But what about the rest of us?  Not everyone fits in with the “in-crowd.”  At one time or another, most teenagers have felt like they don’t belong; like they are all alone in this cruel world.  Luckily, MTV caters to this crowd with two programs—Awkward and The Inbetweeners.

I didn’t plan on watching either of these shows, not until I saw Comedy Central airing reruns of The Inbetweeners this weekend.  While I still haven’t seen Awkward, I did set the DVR for MTV’s latest series… I mean, if Comedy Central is going to play the new show, it must be funny—right?

It’s funny… to me, The Inbetweeners might be more realistic than most other teen programs on television.  The thirty-minute show focuses around Will Mackenzie (Joey Pollari), a recent transfer student from a private prep-school to a public high school.  On his first day, he meets Simon (Bubba Lewis), Jay (Zack Pearlman), and Neil (Mark L. Young).  Despite Will’s not really fitting in with these guys, he has found his circle of friends—they’re not jocks, they’re not nerds; they’re not in any way popular—they’re inbetweeners.  And like most teen boys, all they can think about is girls, sex, and alcohol.  These characters are constantly thinking about girls (Simon loves Carly, but Carly is dating a real “hunk”), sex (Jay claims to have had sex many times, but we all know the truth—he’s a virgin), and alcohol (they even drink the expensive stuff with gold in it…).  Seriously; it’s all about girls, sex, and alcohol.  The comedy is a bit lewd and there are quite a few bleeps over the bad language, but it all seems realistic to me—how teens act and talk, and especially how they think.

In just the first two episodes, the boys have already fallen victim to many embarrassing moments: the principal’s warning students to not bully Will over the PA system; Will’s thinking he’s getting a cool car when he passes his driving test, only to learn his father has purchased him the “sports edition” of an old, yellow Ford Festiva; Simon’s drinking too much and throwing up all over Carly’s kitchen after she invites him over on a pity-date (he spray-painted her driveway and his friends were making fun of him); and the enduring pain of watching parents’ public displays of affection.  Most of us can relate to at least a version of these embarrassing moments, can’t we?  Even if we considered ourselves part of the “cool” kids in school?

Based on the British series of the same name, and created by the man responsible for hit shows such as Arrested Development and My Name is Earl, The Inbetweeners has already survived the first crucial moment in a television show’s life—MTV has picked up twelve episodes.  Will it last?  I don’t know… but if anyone fell or falls into the “inbetween” group while in high school, this show might just be for them.

Have you watched The Inbetweeners?  Will you?  Have you ever felt like an inbetweener?  What do you look for in YA television?  I’d love to hear from you!

And, remember to check out my YA Mystery novel, Football Sweetheart… now available on Kindle and Nook!

Friday FabOoolousness – Must Read New Releases

It’s an exciting time of year—school is starting, football is right around the corner, and fall is near.

Fall is my favorite time of year, especially when the weather actually cools when the sun goes down.  For me, there’s nothing much better than curling up in my comfy chair, throwing a blanket over my legs, lighting a candle, and reading a great book on those cool, fall nights.  So today, I’ve decided to share five new and upcoming releases that are must reads on my bookshelf.  If you’re looking for the next bestseller in the young adult, YA mystery, dark fantasy, and thriller genres, check these out and help support five fabOoolous authors!

*****

Gossip Girl meets Hollywood in this steamy new series by That Boy author, Jillian Dodd.

Keatyn has everything she ever dreamed of. Her life is following the script she wrote for the perfect high school experience. She’s popular, goes to the best parties, dates the hottest guy, and sits at the most coveted lunch table.

She’s just not sure she wants it anymore.

Because really, things aren’t all that perfect.

Her best friend is threatening to tell everyone her perfect relationship is a scam.

Her perfect boyfriend gets drunk at every party they go to.

It’s exhausting always trying to look and act perfect.

And deep down, she isn’t sure if she has any true friends.

To add to the drama, her movie star mom has a creepy stalker.

A hot, mysterious man keeps flirting with her and telling her they should make a movie together.

And she’s crushing on an adorable surfer. Dating him would mean committing social suicide.

So she writes a new script. One where all the pieces of her life will come together in perfect harmony.

But little does she know, there’s someone who will do anything to make sure that doesn’t happen.

*****

Return to the world of The Black in Book 4 of the Blood Skies saga!

Eric Cross and his team have been to hell and back, but their journey isn’t over yet.

Marooned in the remote criminal city of Blacksand, the only way for the mercenaries to get home is to help a local crime boss protect his territories from the Ebon Cities.

To complicate matters, Danica Black is also being hunted by The Revengers, a powerful band of corrupt prison wardens, while Cross himself is trapped in the Whisperlands, a realm of darkness controlled by a cadre of evil mages known as the Shadow Lords.

The team will battle their way through corroding wastelands and deadly vampire outposts, but even their considerable skills might not be enough to save them from the cruel machinations of the Shadow Lord’s mysterious master, a malevolent creature who has manipulated their destinies right from the beginning…

*****

A recent high-school graduate wrongly accused of trying to murder her step-sister flees her vengeful stepfather with an otherworldly stranger through a mystical Door.

Nothing can explain to Aydan Fulbert how she survived the savage attack in the woods.  Why her left eye, instead of being blinded by the injuries she’d sustained, had simply turned a shocking shade of silver.  And nothing can explain the fact that she can hear the Stranger speaking in her mind – or that she can answer him back without using her mouth.

Nothing can explain it – unless he’s telling the truth.

Nothing can explain the things the Stranger knows about her – things that she, until just a few hours ago, hadn’t known herself: that she’d healed faster from her injuries than was humanly possible.  That the cruel family she’d been raised by isn’t biologically hers.  That her stepfather is now hell-bent on bringing her to his own form of justice for a crime she didn’t commit.

Nothing can explain it – unless he’s telling the truth.

Nothing can explain why she so easily agreed to go with the Stranger.  Why she didn’t find the notion of another world ludicrous and impossible.  Why she didn’t cut and run the minute he explained where he wanted to take her.

Nothing can explain it – unless she believes he’s telling the truth.

Aydan knows she’s being intentionally naive.  She knows her decision to follow the Stranger is at best, reckless.  At worst, deadly.

…unless he’s telling the truth.

*****

And coming September 10th…

Witches inhabit our world, organized in covens and hiding behind a shroud of secrecy—the Veil.

Skye’s London coven sends her to Seattle’s Greenwood High to find the Singularity, an unusually gifted witch who may break the Veil and trigger a dangerous new era of witch-hunting. Things get complicated when Skye meets a charming new classmate, Drake. Skye’s job becomes even trickier when she clashes with Jane, an intimidating rival witch.

Drake falls for the mysterious Skye, but odd accidents, potion mix-ups, and the occasional brush with death kind of get in the way of romance. Once he discovers Skye is a witch, he goes to war for her, even though his only weapons are a nice set of abs and a sharp sense of humor.

Fighting off wicked Jane and the other dark forces hell-bent on seizing the Singularity’s immense power, Skye and Drake will risk everything to save the covens.

Going on a date has never been harder.

*****

And September 20th…

An autism cure will kill millions unless a service dog and his trainer find a missing child… in 24 hours.

AN AUNT searches for her lost nephew—and dooms her sister.

A MOM gambles a miracle will cure—and not kill—her child.

A DOG finds his true purpose—when he disobeys.

Animal behaviorist September Day has lost everything—husband murdered, career in ruins, confidence shot—and flees to Texas to recover. She’s forced out of hibernation when her nephew Steven and his autism service dog Shadow disappear in a freak blizzard. When her sister trusts a maverick researcher’s promise to help Steven, September has 24 hours to rescue them from a devastating medical experiment impacting millions of children, a deadly secret others will kill to protect. As September races the clock, the body count swells. Shadow does his good-dog duty but can’t protect his boy. Finally September and Shadow forge a stormy partnership to rescue the missing and stop the nightmare cure. But can they also find the lost parts of themselves?

*****

Don’t these books sound fantastic!!  I’ve met all of these authors, either in person or online in writing communities, and I can’t wait to read their latest releases.  I hope you do too!

Have you read any of these books?  If so, please share your thoughts…  Do you have any other new releases that you think the rest of us should read or that you can’t wait to crack open?  I’d love to hear from you!

And, football season is here!! Remember to check out my YA Mystery novel, Football Sweetheart… now available on Kindle and Nook!

Friday FabOoolousness –The Hunger Games… Leaving Us Hungry for More

Last week, I mentioned that I wasn’t feeling all that well and listed a few of the movies that I would like to see while curled up in my chair.  Well, would anyone be surprised if I said I didn’t get around to watching any of them?  I did watch something though…

I wanted to see The Hunger Games in the theater, but for whatever reason we never made it.  And last Friday when I was listing all of the movies that I wanted to see while recuperating in the comfort of my home, I completely overlooked the upcoming release of The Hunger Games.

How is that possible?  I don’t know… but I corrected that mistake as soon as I realized it was available via OnDemand Saturday night.

For those that still haven’t read Suzanne Collins’ trilogy or seen the film adaptation, I’ll try not to give anything away.  But, honestly, I feel like my house was in this minority grouping up until this past weekend and I wouldn’t be ruining anything for a lot of people.  But regardless, I’ll stay away from any spoilers.

However, what I do want to mention is the fact that I couldn’t help but compare The Hunger Games to another Young Adult franchise that has practically taken over the world these past few years—The Twilight Saga.

And let me begin with… The Hunger Games wins.

I’m not a Twilight hater; really, I’m not.  I own all four books and I have seen all four movies to date.  I do enjoy the love triangle, the werewolf pack, and the Cullen clan; but, I prefer my vampires to have more bite.  I want to see vamps do what they’re supposed to do—feed on humans.  It may be bloody, but there is something about it that is as hot as all get out.  Vampires are probably the most seductive and sexy of all the supernatural, and that’s what I like to see.  Even Vampire Jerry from Fright Night (2012) was one bad vamp, but what girl sitting in the theater still didn’t wish he was her neighbor?

Now, with The Hunger Games, I expected violence, and violence is exactly what I got—PG style, anyway.   I never expected the tributes to survive the Games without bloodshed.  But thankfully, the scenes were not gory or over-the-top; they portrayed just enough to leave the worst parts to the viewer’s imaginations and leave us clinging to the edge of our seats.

Now let’s switch to another comparison—the female protagonists.

First, there’s Bella… perhaps if anyone besides Kristen Stewart had played the beloved Bella in the movies, I’d have a different opinion.  But she did, and I don’t.  It’s hard to sit through a series and love it when you can’t stand the protagonist—and I’m speaking of the character here, not the actress; but because the actress lacks a certain emotional range and rarely smiles when in character, it’s hard to empathize with her.  Maybe Miss Stewart played the role just as Stephenie Meyer intended, and she’s certainly earned millions because of the franchise, but for me personally, let me just say she’s not the reason I see the films.

But Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) on the other hand, now that’s a strong, female lead.  Wow!  I fell in love with Katniss from the very beginning.  She has purpose; she’s caring; she provides; and most importantly, she volunteers herself to save another—she is amazing.   Never once did I think the character of Katniss felt sorry for herself (and if anyone was allowed to feel sorry for themselves, it would be Katniss).  I was ready to watch Miss Lawrence kick some serious booty when the tributes from each district joined at the Cornucopia.  Heck, I was even ready to watch her take down Peeta.  I was one-hundred percent enamored with Katniss Everdeen, and Jennifer Lawrence nailed the role.

I could keep going; heck, I haven’t even listed the guys/eye candy in the films or the other supporting actors yet.  But I’m done.  These two aspects alone launch The Hunger Games way ahead of Twilight where I’m concerned.  A part of me is a bit shocked to say this… I do love the supernatural; however, this time, fantasy wins as far as I’m concerned.

What do you think?  Have you watched The Hunger Games?  Do you prefer it over the Twilight Saga or Katniss over Bella?  I’d love to hear from you!

And while it may not be supernatural or fantasy, remember to check out my YA Mystery novel, Football Sweetheart… now available on Kindle and Nook!

Friday FabOoolousness – Football Sweetheart Now Available for the Nook!

My YA mystery, Football Sweetheart, is now also available for the Nook!

*****

Aimee Freeman is looking forward to the start of her senior year.  She knows her best friend Ella has been keeping secrets from her all summer long, but with football season right around the corner, the student trainer decides not to worry about it—they’ll have plenty of time to catch up on the field.

Then Ella goes missing, and Aimee realizes those secrets might be the key to finding her.  As the case unfolds, Aimee discovers more than one person may have wanted to harm Ella.  Was it Ella’s current boyfriend, a social outcast the entire city seems intent on blaming for her disappearance?  Or her ex-boyfriend, the beloved star quarterback who has harassed Ella since their breakup?  The list of potential suspects continues to grow after Aimee reads Ella’s journal, but she must first break her best friend’s secret code to reveal their identities.

Unbeknownst to Aimee, her investigation has not gone unnoticed.  Ella’s abductor is watching and waiting.  Will he decide Aimee needs to be silenced—making her the next target?

*****

Check out the most recent review!

High School football season in a small west Texas town serves as the backdrop for this gripping mystery. Senior Aimee Freeman, like the rest of her classmates at Lee High, is eagerly awaiting the start of another winning Rebel football season. But when Aimee’s best friend and fellow team trainer, Ella, is abducted from her home, Aimee and her friends are left with more to worry about than a Homecoming game against the cross-town rival team. Who would want to harm Ella, and why? And does Aimee really know her friend as well as she thinks? Ella’s diary may have the answers…if Aimee can break her friend’s secret code.

Football Sweetheart is a fun, engaging story, giving readers a realistic glimpse into both the highlights and the struggles of being a teenager in a small town–from the excitement of preparing for school dances to dangerous conflicts that arise between social groups. With likable characters and a solid storyline that keeps you guessing “whodunit,” this book would be an enjoyable read for anyone who likes a good mystery. ~ Jennifer A.

*****

Thanks to everyone for making my first two weeks as a published author absolutely fabOoolous!

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – A Pretty Little Teenage Mystery

Let me begin by saying that I have the best friend and writing partner in Amber West.  With the Kindle release of Football Sweetheart last week, Amber suggested that we use this week’s Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday to promote my book.  While I don’t want to force my story down everyone’s throats by talking about it every day, as a self-published writer it is my duty to market the book as much as I can.

First, a little something about Football Sweetheart

Aimee Freeman is looking forward to the start of her senior year.  She knows her best friend Ella has been keeping secrets from her all summer long, but with football season right around the corner, the student trainer decides not to worry about it—they’ll have plenty of time to catch up on the field.

Then Ella goes missing, and Aimee realizes those secrets might be the key to finding her.  As the case unfolds, Aimee discovers more than one person may have wanted to harm Ella.  Was it Ella’s current boyfriend, a social outcast the entire city seems intent on blaming for her disappearance?  Or her ex-boyfriend, the beloved star quarterback who has harassed Ella since their breakup?  The list of potential suspects continues to grow after Aimee reads Ella’s journal, but she must first break her best friend’s secret code to reveal their identities.

Unbeknownst to Aimee, her investigation has not gone unnoticed.  Ella’s abductor is watching and waiting.  Will he decide Aimee needs to be silenced—making her the next target?

So, which television series could Amber and I review this week where the specific TV audiences might actually enjoy reading Football Sweetheart as well?  Well, it’s Young Adult and a mystery, so Pretty Little Liars came to mind.  I’ve already reviewed PLL once on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday, but I enjoy the teenage drama so much that I selected it… again.

And for Amber?  Well, what says West Texas High School Football more than Friday Night Lights?  Yea, that’s what I thought…

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy our special Football Sweetheart edition of Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday…

*****

The insurgence of YA mystery on TV receives a DVR priority in this Young Adult mystery writer’s house.   Thankfully, ABC Family provides young mystery lovers (and some of us “old”) with a few great soap-opera style whodunits with Pretty Little Liars topping the list.

Alison DiLaurentis

The series begins when Alison DiLaurentis’ (Sasha Pieterse) remains are found a year after her mysterious disappearance in the fictional town of Rosewood.  This event brings together her four former best friends who had drifted apart following that fateful night.  Alison was the glue that held the girls together, the leader of the high school clique.  As the episodes progress, viewers see Alison’s viciousness and many of the secrets that she holds over everyone’s heads—is she not a nice girl, or is she simply misunderstood?

After attending Alison’s funeral, the four friends reunite outside the chapel when each of their cell phones sound—they’ve received their first threatening text message from “A”—a the mystery begins: Who killed Alison? And, who is “A”?

Aria Montgomery

PLL #1 – Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale) returns home from a year abroad with her family, and forgetting she’s a teenager and back in America, goes to a local bar where she meets Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding).  The two immediately hit it off and share a kiss after connecting over their love for literature.  The next day at school, Aria walks into English class where she discovers Ezra is also her teacher.

Meanwhile, emotions erupt at home when her mother (Ella Montgomery, played by Holly Marie Combs) leaves her father after discovering the true reason behind the family’s extended absence from Rosewood—Aria’s father, a professor, had an affair with a teaching assistant at the local college.  Aria and Alison knew this secret prior to the Montgomeries’ extended vacation, having spotted Mr. Montgomery (Chad Lowe) making out with his TA in his car.  Whoopsie!

Isn’t it ironic that Aria now begins a torrid love affair and dates her teacher after torturing her father for a similar inappropriate relationship?  “A” won’t let Aria forget it…

Hanna Marin

PLL #2 – Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson) replaced Alison as the most popular girl in school following her friend’s disappearance.  “Hefty Hanna”—as Alison liked to call her—dropped her baby fat, partnered with her new BFF Mona (Janel Parrish) and took to a life of brattiness and shoplifting.

Hanna lacks the self-confidence a young woman needs, having watched her father walk out on her and her mother.  She spirals out of control, throwing herself at her boyfriend, only to be rejected.  Not helping matters, Hanna watches as her single mother (Ashley Marin, played by Laura Leighton) bails her out of trouble by bedding the detective on Hanna’s shoplifting case.

Hanna really has the worst luck—she wrecks her boyfriend’s car, and she is involved in a hit and run when she gets dangerously close to discovering “A’s” real identity.  When Mona throws her a surprise “glad you’re alive party,” someone steals all of the money (assumedly “A”) that Hanna’s mother stole from a client at the bank.  And, while following “A’s” sordid trail back to the money, Hanna falls for the wrong boy—who happens to be feeding information to the girls’ nemesis, Jenna Marshall (Tammin Sursok)—and who of course later turns out to be the right boy for her anyway (Caleb, played by Tyler Blackburn).

Spencer Hastings

PLL #3 – Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario) is the poor-little-rich-girl of the bunch.  Spencer’s successful parents push her to be the absolute best, much like they did with her older sister Melissa (Torrey DeVitto).  Spencer is brilliant, but plays second fiddle to her sister, always aware that her parents favor Melissa.  To retaliate, Spencer kisses her sister’s boyfriend and then later kisses her new fiancé.  Matters only get worse for Spencer when Melissa surprises the Hastings family by abruptly marrying her boyfriend right after calling off her previous engagement.

Spencer begins to investigate her new brother-in-law, and slowly uncovers an affair between him and Alison that happened just before Alison’s disappearance.  As she continues to investigate, Spencer believes that her new brother-in-law not only stalked her best friend but also killed her, causing the rift between Spencer and her sister to intensify.

Now a suspect herself in Alison’s murder, Spencer befriends Toby Cavanaugh (Keegan Allen) who also happened to serve time in jail briefly as the main suspect in Alison’s death.  Did I mention that Toby is also the half-brother of Jenna?  Toby knows just how deceiving and manipulative his sister can be….is Jenna “A”?

Emily Fields

PLL #4 – Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell) is the daughter of a military father always away on assignment who is confused with her own sexuality.  She starts the series with a boyfriend but then falls for the new girl in town, sending her mother (Nia Peeples) into a tailspin.  Making even more of a splash, Emily takes Toby Cavanaugh to the homecoming dance as her date trying to hide the fact that she’s gay.  The fact that Emily doesn’t totally believe in Toby’s innocence, like the rest of the town, leads to a dangerous encounter—only one of many.

After accepting that she is a homosexual, Emily is further devastated when her girlfriend is sent away to military school after marijuana is found inside her back pack.  Emily’s world continues to turn upside down when her mother announces that they’re leaving Rosewood to live with her father who is stationed in Texas.  Meanwhile, Emily holds the key to the photo evidence the girls have uncovered on her home computer (evidence they believe links back to Alison’s killer) which conveniently gets erased when the realtor shows the Fields’ house.

And the texts begin…

Each of the girls has oodles of conflict surrounding them individually, even without “A’s” threatening their every move (there’s so much more that I didn’t mention).  Throw in the suspicions the police and their parents have regarding their involvement in Alison’s murder, and the lies they continuously try to hide despite “A’s” best efforts, and Pretty Little Liars doesn’t bore its viewers—it has twists and turns week in and week out.

And the suspicions…

Season two ended with the huge unveiling of “A” — but is it really her?

I have my suspicions that the incorrect identification of “A” is just another twist masterfully planned by the real “A”—confused yet?

And the fear…

In my last Why It’s Worth a Watch review of Pretty Little Liars, I give the girls and the mystery a MacTV rating.  But after watching as many episodes as I have to date, I have to upgrade the review to a GTV rating.   Despite the fact that I’m in my thirties, I tune in every single week to watch these little teenagers scurry around playing detective, trying their best to solve their BFF’s murder, and discover the true identity of the creepy texter known only as “A”.   The on going, soap-opera style series is one of my favorites on TV today.  Open up a glass of wine, plate your perfectly cooked filet with a side of grilled veggies, and enjoy the mystery!

What do you think? Do you watch Pretty Little Liars?  How would you rate it?  Who’s your favorite character?  Have you read any of Sara Shephard’s books?  I’d love to hear from you!

Now click over to Amber’s blog and see what she thinks about the hugely successful Friday Night Lights.  She’s not big on football; she’s not from Texas; and, yet, somehow she’s already on season three…  See, that Texas High School Football is big—regardless of where you’re from!

Come back next week when Amber and I begin the 2012 Tamberny Awards…

Remember to stop by the #watchwed hashtag in Twitter to discuss any of today’s reviews, or to mention any television programs that you’d like to see on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday in the future.

And if you watch Pretty Little Liars, or if the idea of a West Texas high school mystery appeals to you, be sure to check out my book, Football Sweetheartnow available on Kindle!

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV): It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (Nyquil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech

Friday FabOoolousness: Football Sweetheart – Available on Kindle

My YA mystery, Football Sweetheart, is now available on Kindle!

*****

Aimee Freeman is looking forward to the start of her senior year.  She knows her best friend Ella has been keeping secrets from her all summer long, but with football season right around the corner, the student trainer decides not to worry about it—they’ll have plenty of time to catch up on the field.

Then Ella goes missing, and Aimee realizes those secrets might be the key to finding her.  As the case unfolds, Aimee discovers more than one person may have wanted to harm Ella.  Was it Ella’s current boyfriend, a social outcast the entire city seems intent on blaming for her disappearance?  Or her ex-boyfriend, the beloved star quarterback who has harassed Ella since their breakup?  The list of potential suspects continues to grow after Aimee reads Ella’s journal, but she must first break her best friend’s secret code to reveal their identities.

Unbeknownst to Aimee, her investigation has not gone unnoticed.  Ella’s abductor is watching and waiting.  Will he decide Aimee needs to be silenced—making her the next target?

*****

Check out some of the early reviews!

In Football Sweetheart, Tiffany A. White takes the reader into the world of high school football in West Texas. Aimee Freeman is looking forward to her senior year of high school. She knows her best friend, Ella, has changed over the summer; but it’s only after Ella disappears, that Aimee begins to understand how much.

Once I started reading Football Sweetheart, I immediately became engrossed in the story. I enjoyed getting to know Aimee and her friends, along with the football team, students, coaches, teachers from Lee High. As the book progressed, I could not wait to find out who was responsible for Ella’s disappearance; but at the same time, I did not want to leave the world of Lee High.

If you enjoy a good mystery, you will enjoy Football Sweetheart. ~ Latisha S.

This is an excellent read.  You feel like you know the characters.  I was spellbound from the start.  You really get to know the people and football as it is in some Texas towns. ~ Ann A.

The glory days of west Texas high school football lives on in this book. High school friendships, crushes, breakups, and mysterious disasters evolve in this story.

It was an easy read that kept me engaged throughout. I enjoyed the details of the city Midland and the instilled love of football for the young teens.

The characters seemed real, and the mysterious plot was believable.

I am excited to hear the author will be coming out with more for this series. I look forward to getting to venture with Aimee, one of the lead characters, and her dear high school friends.

High school kids will enjoy this series along with adults who want to be taken down memory lane with some mysterious suspense. ~ Brandy C.

*****

Somebody pinch me!  As excited as I am, I look forward to kicking back and relaxing for a few days… after I upload to Nook.  🙂

Have a fabOoolous Friday and a great weekend!

Tele-Tuesday: Topnotch Teen TV, the Mysteries

With the upcoming release of my debut YA mystery novel, Football Sweetheart, I thought it would be fun to use last week’s and this week’s Tele-Tuesday posts to showcase a few of my favorite YA and teen television series on TV today.  I may be past my teen years, but these programs have what it takes to keep this thirty-something tuning in week after week.

Last week, we discussed the supernatural—The Vampire Diaries and Teen Wolf.  Personally, I don’t think we’ll ever tire of vampires and werewolves and we’ll always have a place for them on the television screen.  But what do these shows have besides the supernatural that keeps us coming back for more?  The pretty people…

This week, we have ABC Family’s mysteries.   I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again—these stories are both compelling and are filled with twists and turns week in and week out.   Pretty Little Liars is perhaps one of the best whodunits on television today, and The Lying Game keeps us guessing as to what Sutton is really trying to accomplish with her games.

And like the supernatural, these shows have plenty of pretty people, but we also have the fashion…

Pretty Little Liars

First, we have the earrings…

Aria always wears the cutest earrings…
See? Another pair…

Next, we have the hats…

Spencer can wear any kind of hat…
Hanna with her cute new haircut and red hat…
Emily… another cute hat!

And what about the clothes?

 

Then there’s the guys…

Who wouldn’t want a teacher that looks like Ezra?
Even Caleb sports an awesome hat…
And Toby doesn’t need fashion… he just needs to stick with his construction job.  Plus, he usually only wears a t-shirt anyway.

The Lying Game

We all know Sutton/Emma has the closet most girls dream about…

Ah, to dream…

And she puts together the cutest outfits…

But her friends are no slouches either…

Now, the boys are a different story.  They may be lacking in fashion sense, but I’ll take a guy who looks like this any day!

Ethan in his usual plaid button down…
Justin all sweaty after his morning run in a classic USMC tee…
And then there’s Thayer in his V-neck t-shirt…

So, what do you think?

Which show has the better fashion?

Do you watch Pretty Little Liars or The Lying Game?  What keeps you coming back for more?  The story?  The people?  The fashion?  Which show on television do you think has the best fashion?  I’d love to hear from you!

And overall, which is your favorite Topnotch Teen TV program?

While Football Sweetheart doesn’t have any of the supernatural, it does have the mystery.  Watch for it coming soon…

Tele-Tuesday: Topnotch Teen TV, the Supernatural

With the upcoming release of my debut YA mystery novel, Football Sweetheart, I thought it would be fun to use this week’s and next week’s Tele-Tuesday posts to showcase a few of my favorite YA and teen television series on TV today.  I may be past my teen years, but these programs have what it takes to keep this thirty-something tuning in week after week.

First up, the supernatural.  While Football Sweetheart doesn’t have any vampires, werewolves, witches, or anything of the sort, I still love the supernatural element. Personally, I don’t think we’ll ever tire of vampires and werewolves and we’ll always have a place for them on the television screen.  But what do these shows have besides the supernatural that keeps us coming back for more?  The pretty people…

Teen Wolf, MTV

Scott, the wolf
Derek, the alpha
Jackson, the jock
Allison, the girlfriend
Lydia, the mean girl

The Vampire Diaries, CW

Damon, the bad brother
Elena, the heroine
Stefan, the good brother
Tyler, the hybrid
Caroline, vampire “barbie”
Matt, the human
Alaric, the hunter
Jeremy, the little brother
Bonnie, the witch

Do you watch Teen Wolf or The Vampire Diaries?  What do you watch on television, if anything, that is geared toward the teen audience?  What keeps you coming back for more?  The story?  The pretty people?  I’d love to hear from you! 

And speaking of the pretty people, who keeps you coming back for more?

Come back next week when we visit two of our favorite YA mysteries on TV today…

Tele-Tuesday – Pretty Little Liars is Pretty Fantastic for Teen TV

The insurgence of YA mystery on TV receives a DVR priority in this Young Adult mystery writer’s house.   Thankfully, ABC Family provides young mystery lovers (and some of us “old”) with a few great soap-opera style whodunits with Pretty Little Liars topping the list.

The run-down:

Alison DiLaurentis

The series begins when Alison DiLaurentis(Sasha Pieterse) remains are found a year after her mysterious disappearance in the fictional town of Rosewood.  This event brings together her four former best friends who had drifted apart following that fateful night.  Alison was the glue that held the girls together, the leader of the high school clique.  As the episodes progress, viewers see Alison’s viciousness and many of the secrets that she holds over everyone’s heads — is she not a nice girl, or is she simply misunderstood?

After attending Alison’s funeral, the four friends reunite outside the chapel when each of their cell phones sound — they’ve received their first threatening text message from “A” — and the mystery begins: Who killed Alison? And, who is “A”?

Aria Montgomery

PLL #1 – Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale) returns home from a year abroad with her family, and forgetting she’s a teenager and back in America, goes to a local bar where she meets Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding).  The two immediately hit it off and share a kiss after connecting over their love for literature.  The next day at school, Aria walks into English class where she discovers Ezra is also her teacher.

Meanwhile, emotions erupt at home when her mother (Ella Montgomery, played by Holly Marie Combs) leaves her father after discovering the true reason behind the family’s extended absence from Rosewood — Aria’s father, a professor, had an affair with a teaching assistant at the local college.  Aria and Alison knew this secret prior to the Montgomeries’ extended vacation, having spotted Mr. Montgomery (Chad Lowe) making out with his TA in his car.  Whoopsie!

Isn’t it ironic that Aria now begins a torrid love affair and dates her teacher after torturing her father for a similar inappropriate relationship?  “A” won’t let Aria forget it…

Hanna Marin

PLL #2 – Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson) replaced Alison as the most popular girl in school following her friend’s disappearance.  “Hefty Hanna” — as Alison liked to call her — dropped her baby fat, partnered with her new BFF Mona (Janel Parrish) and took to a life of brattiness and shoplifting.

Hanna’s friend – Mona

Hanna lacks the self-confidence a young woman needs, having watched her father walk out on her and her mother.  She spirals out of control, throwing herself at her boyfriend, only to be rejected.  Not helping matters, Hanna watches as her single mother (Ashley Marin, played by Laura Leighton) bails her out of trouble by bedding the detective on Hanna’s shoplifting case.

Hanna really has the worst luck — she wrecks her boyfriend’s car, and she is involved in a hit and run when she gets dangerously close to discovering “A’s” real identity.  When Mona throws her a surprise “glad you’re alive party,” someone steals all of the money (assumedly “A”) that Hanna’s mother stole from a client at the bank.  And, while following “A’s” sordid trail back to the money, Hanna falls for the wrong boy who happens to be feeding information to the girls’ nemesis, Jenna Marshall (Tammin Sursok) — who of course later turns out to be the right boy for her anyway (Caleb, played by Tyler Blackburn).

Spencer Hastings

PLL #3 – Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario) is the poor-little-rich-girl of the bunch.  Her successful parents push Spencer to be the absolute best, much like they did with her older sister Melissa (Torrey DeVitto).  Spencer is brilliant, but plays second fiddle to her sister, always aware that her parents favor Melissa.  To retaliate, Spencer kisses her sister’s boyfriend and then later kisses her new fiancé.  Matters only get worse for Spencer when Melissa surprises the Hastings family by abruptly marrying her boyfriend right after calling off her previous engagement.

Spencer’s big sis – Melissa

Spencer begins to investigate her new brother-in-law, and slowly uncovers an affair between him and Alison that happened just before Alison’s disappearance.  As she continues to investigate, Spencer believes that her new brother-in-law not only stalked her best friend but also killed her, causing the rift between Spencer and her sister to intensify.

Now a suspect herself in Alison’s murder, Spencer befriends Toby Cavanaugh (Keegan Allen) who also happened to serve time in jail briefly as the main suspect in Alison’s death.  Did I mention that Toby is also the half-brother of Jenna?

The vindictive Jenna

Toby knows just how deceiving and manipulative his sister can be….is Jenna “A”?

Emily Fields

PLL #4 – Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell) is the daughter of a military father always away on assignment who is confused with her own sexuality.  She starts the series with a boyfriend but then falls for the new girl in town, sending her mother (Nia Peeples) into a tailspin.  Making even more of a splash, Emily takes Toby Cavanaugh to the homecoming dance as her date trying to hide the fact that she’s gay.  The fact that Emily doesn’t totally believe in Toby’s innocence, like the rest of the town, leads to a dangerous encounter — only one of many.

After accepting that she is a homosexual, Emily is further devastated when her girlfriend is sent away to military school after marijuana is found inside her back pack.  Emily’s world continues to turn upside down when her mother announces that they’re leaving Rosewood to live with her father who is stationed in Texas.  Meanwhile, Emily holds the key to the photo evidence the girls have uncovered on her home computer (evidence they believe links back to Alison’s killer) which conveniently gets erased when the realtor shows the Fields’ house.

And the texts begin…

The conclusion:

Each of the girls have oodles of conflict surrounding them individually, even without “A’s” threatening their every move (there’s so much more that I didn’t mention).  Throw in the suspicions the police and their parents have regarding their involvement in Alison’s murder, and the lies they continuously try to hide despite “A’s” best efforts, and Pretty Little Liars doesn’t bore its viewers — it has twists and turns week in and week out.

And the suspicions…

Season two ended with the huge unveiling of “A” — but is it really her?

I have my suspicions that the incorrect identification of “A” is just another twist masterfully planned by the real “A” — confused yet?

Don’t worry — everyone can clear it up when Pretty Little Liars season three premieres Tuesday, June 5th.

And the fear…

Do you watch Pretty Little Liars or is the show “too young” for you?  What do you think about the mystery — do you believe the identity of “A” or are you like me and believe there’s much more to the story?  Has anyone read the books?  Which of the girls do you relate to the most — Aria, Spencer, Hanna, Emily, Alison, Mona, or the outcast Jenna?  I’d love to hear from you!  

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