Friday FabOoolousness: Football Sweetheart Cover REVEAL!

With Football Sweetheart close to publication, I thought it was time to reveal what it’s all about…

High school football can be murder.

 ***

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?

***

Well, there it is!  Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the upcoming release of my debut YA mystery novel,  Football Sweetheart.

I want to send out a special thanks to a few of my friends who have helped me in one way or another with the creation of my cover and blurb: Angela Wallace, Amber West, Catie Rhodes, Jen Kirchner, Jillian Dodd, Liz Schulte, and Tanya Clark.  As a first time writer, I couldn’t have done this without you!

Have a great weekend!  We’ll be back with a normal Friday FabOoolousness post next week.  Until then…

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!  

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Summer Sizzles in The Glades

I know Amber West and I promised to review two of USA’s summer programs this week on Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday, but we told a little white lie.  Amber’s taking a much needed week off, so I’ve decided to review a summer program over on A&E that hasn’t been mentioned on The Ooo Factor since April, 2011 that everyone should check out – The Glades.

The Glades follows Detective Jim Longworth (played by the ever-adorable Aussie, Matt Passmore) as he solves crime in South Florida.  Excommunicated from Chicago after allegedly sleeping with his boss’s wife, Jim takes his settlement money and moves to the Miami area to play golf.  He takes a job with a small law enforcement agency (FDLE – Florida Department of Law Enforcement) not thinking it will take him away from the golf course all that often.  He was wrong.

Carlos & Jim

Partnered most of the time with the agency’s medical examiner (Carlos Sanchez, played by Carlos Gomez from ER), Jim ruffles feathers as he solves homicide cases using his unique approach and disregard for the rules.  Carlos tries desperately to ground Jim and keep him from drawing attention to the FDLE, but no one can wrangle Jim — except maybe Callie.

Callie & Jim

While working a case, Jim meets Callie (played by Kiele Sanchez), a single-mom and registered nurse who is also putting herself through medical school at the same time.  The two have an instant connection, but there’s only one problem – Callie is married.

Her husband, Ray (Clayne Crawford, perhaps most recently recognized for his role on Leverage as Eliot’s nemesis), is serving time for armed robbery during season one.  In season two, Ray cuts a deal and is placed into Witness Protection, but not before putting a kink in Jim and Callie’s love affair as he gets to spend some time with their son Jeff.

Jeff

Jeff (Uriah Shelton) adores Jim, but obviously he loves his dad and yearns for the day his parents can be together once again – like any child would.  This poses a problem for Callie, who doesn’t want to upset her son, but knows her relationship with Ray is over.  Eventually, Callie decides Jim is worth the risk and announces she wants a divorce to pursue her future with him.

The Glades also stars: Michelle Hurd (also from ER) as Colleen Manus, Jim’s FDLE boss; and Jordan Wall as Daniel, Carlos’ intern (a fun sidekick for Jim, even if his overzealousness drives Carlos crazy all of the time).  Oh, and before I forget, Callie also assists the FDLE on cases from time to time as a forensic nurse.

Jim & Callie in the field, literally. Okay, it’s more like the glades…

One might wonder why yet another police procedural set in or around Miami is worthy of a watch.  I can answer in one word – Jim.  Not only is he adorable (as mentioned earlier in this post), but his character is seriously flawed and he walks to the beat of his own drum, ignoring everyone and everything he’s told.  But don’t worry; although the character is a bit of a rebel, he’s not annoying.

In case anyone wants another reason, how about the tumultuous relationship between Jim and Callie.  Everyone knows that once television characters “hook up” on screen, ratings seem to fizzle.  Regardless, I can’t help but root for these two to get together.

I’m not much of a romantic (in other words, it doesn’t bother me if a television program or motion picture doesn’t end with the ever-popular “happily ever after”), but it’s because of Jim’s character and his on again/off again relationship with Callie that I keep tuning in.  For this reason, I must award The Glades with a MacTV rating – the flames definitely have our water boiling and it’s ready for us to dump in our favorite cheesy shells to enjoy while we watch the summer sizzle down in South Florida.

Oh, the romantic tension…

And don’t worry – if anyone missed the previous seasons of The Glades, A&E has clips from season one and two available online.  But even better yet, A&E.com also has all of the season two episodes currently available as well.  Check it out!

The Glades season three premieres Sunday, June 3rd on A&E.

What do you think? Do you watch The Glades?  Will Jim and Callie finally get together or will some new obstacle stand in their way?  I’d love to hear from you!

Come back next week when Amber and I review two of the USA Network’s dramas – the new series, Common Law, and the sophomore surprise, Fairly Legal.   Really, we will this time.  Promise.

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.

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

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