My Books

Amazon Prime Day: FREE KINDLE SALE!

PrimeDaySale

That’s right, my friend! Today and tomorrow only, as part of Amazon’s Prime Day celebration from July 15th to the 16th, both of my books will be FREE for Kindle readers! Take advantage of this offer while Prime Day is active!

Claim Your Free Books Here!

Of course, if you miss these deals, you can always purchase Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl for the low price of $0.99, and Speak Your Mind for only $2.99!

Reviews are Appreciated!

And of course, if you pick up copies of my books, reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are highly appreciated! As an indie author, reviews help spread the word about my books and help me establish credibility as an author. Please be sure to drop a short review! 🙂


Be sure to check back here in a few for this week’s Character Names by Letter post! I hope you enjoy the books! 🙂

Later, Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

 

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My Books

Speak Your Mind Easter Eggs

Welcome back! Since I’ve already posted a book review this week, I decided to go in a different direction today. 🙂

Movies and books that include Easter eggs, or references/inclusions from other books and movies are fascinating to me. Film companies, such as Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar, and authors like Sarah Dessen have had multiple releases containing Easter eggs that relate to their own productions or books. Following in their footsteps, I’ve included seven Easter eggs in my newest release, Speak Your Mind, which I’ll explain today!

symeastereggs

Egg 1: Joey Troup, aka Zeebot

Zeebot’s last name was inspired by the eccentric professional bowler, Kyle Troup. Kyle is known for wearing vibrant and uniquely designed bowling jerseys at tournaments, which reminds me a lot of Zeeb, who stands out in a crowd. I had the privilege of watching Kyle bowl at a PBA tournament in Wilmington in 2017, and since my boyfriend, Josh, is a bowler, I knew this would be a great Easter egg for his bowling friends who pick up the book.

Egg 2: Victoria’s Cat, Marshall

A slight mention of Victoria’s deceased cat, Marshall, is a nod to another professional bowler, Marshall Kent. I also saw him bowl at the last two PBA tournaments in Wilmington that I attended with Josh. The cat didn’t remind me of Marshall the bowler though; I just like the name! 🙂

Egg 3: Victoria’s Uncle Locke

Victoria’s uncle/pastor’s name is a nod to Pastor Greg Locke, a bold pastor who often posts videos and Christian messages on Facebook. Pastor Locke has released several videos about mental health aspects like anxiety, topics which are featured in Speak Your Mind.

Egg 4: The Sub in Markovich’s Class

Perhaps the most obvious Easter egg of all, Trent Houston from my first novel, Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl, makes an appearance, all grown up as the kids’ substitute teacher.

Egg 5: Aiden’s Locker Combination

It may seem like a bunch of random numbers to anyone else, but Aiden’s locker combination depicts the date and time I met my boyfriend for our first date. Many other times and numbers featured in the novel also correspond to special dates in our relationship. I chose to include this, as Josh is a sassmaster, quite like Aiden.

Egg 6: Chill Out

Chill Out, the name for In School Suspension (ISS) in Speak Your Mind is the same name my high school used, except we didn’t have a penguin poster guarding the door into that dark lair. 😉

Egg 7: The Picketts

Anyone notice that Jessa, Victoria’s cousin, shares the same last name as Carter from Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl? That’s because they are cousins on Jessa’s father’s side! Carter is the oldest, followed by Jessa’s brother, Ethan, and then Jessa. Ethan and Jessa will be featured again once my WIP, On the Flip Side is released.


 

Interested in Speak Your Mind?

SpeakYourMind-FrontCover

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Kindle Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million


That’s it for today, Arrowheads! Did you catch any of these Easter eggs while reading Speak Your Mind? What is your favorite Easter egg that you’ve discovered in a book or movie? Let me know in the comments! 😀

Later, Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

My Books

Free Kindle Black Friday Sale: Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl (Nov. 23-24)

What’s up, Arrowheads? As a part of Black Friday and Speak Your Mind‘s release weekend, you have another chance to claim your free Kindle copy of my first release, Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl!

BlackFridayFree

Click the Book Cover Below to Claim Your Copy!

Book Cover Front
Click the image to be directed to my Amazon page!

But Wait, There’s More!

I was asked to participate in a Christian fiction Black Friday sale with Kate Willis a while back, but I didn’t want to overcommit with Speak Your Mind coming up, as I didn’t know how much I’d have to do this weekend. That being said, I still want to help promote these amazing authors! Here are a few I know of who may be participating in sales or free days of their own! Links to their Amazon author pages are below:

This is probably a very incomplete list, but that’s what I could find from a quick search! 🙂 If you guys know of any more, let me know in the comments!


I hope everyone has had a spectacular Thanksgiving!

Later Arrowheads,

-Allyson

 

My Books

Free Kindle Weekend: Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl

Hey there, Arrowheads! I know I once said that I probably wouldn’t do any more free Kindle promotions in the past, but today I thought I might as well try another one.

FreeKindleWeekend-CBTHOACG

So today and tomorrow, ladies and gentlemen, you can score the lovely Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl for the low, low price of $0.00 on Kindle at the link below:

Click Here to Get Can’t Beat the Heart of the Carolina Girl FREE!


That’s it for today, lovely Arrowheads! Please enjoy your free Kindle copy. And if you miss the free days, it will still be available for the slightly higher price of $0.99 afterward. 😉

Later Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

Adventures with Allyson!, My Books, Wonderful World of Writing

A Writer’s Flashback: Writing Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl

Good afternoon lovely Arrowheads! Get your seatbelts on as we blast back to the year 2009, the year I began writing my debut novel, Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl!

2009… great Scott! (Sorry, I had to! 😂)

FlashbackCBTHOACG

June 2009

June 2009 was a summer that changed my life, all due to one special gift: my first laptop. Though the first few weeks/months were either spent playing Diner Dash or The Sims 2, or spending hours upon hours on Quizilla posting random poems/stories of my teenagehood (#TheHoboAndThePrep 😂), sometime during that summer, I started writing a novel. This is the story of how it came to be.

To be honest, the way the main character, Riley, was described during her middle school years sprang from my own experience. I had a bad haircut, glasses, and braces (to which the latter two wouldn’t have looked so bad if it wasn’t for #1). I went through a phase where I didn’t want to wear anything but old t-shirts and jeans, and to top it off, for the greater part of my K-8th grade career, I hardly spoke to anyone at school other than through one-word replies or head nods. Though Riley isn’t that shy in the novel, she experienced a lot of the same things I went through as far as the teasing went, and her “transformation” over summer vacation. My freshman year of high school brought forth a new slate, like Riley’s did when the kids from Grahamwood Jr. High met kids from Corley Creek at Linwood Whaley High. Meeting new friends freshman year helped me break out of my shell, as it helps Riley in the novel. The differences between Riley and myself are: 1) I’m not as interested in writing poetry; 2) I didn’t have a major bully like Hailey Carson; 3) I had nowhere near the boy attention, let alone the boy drama, that Riley faces.

The Romance

I first wrote Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl when I was 15 to 16. At the time, I had never dated anyone. Being a public school student, the idea of dating became a strong desire of mine through observing my classmates, though I didn’t want to “date around” like some of the other girls my age. Instead, I basically wanted a high school sweetheart: a steady boyfriend that I would hopefully end up marrying. (Lol at young Allyson). Thus, the story of how Riley receives her high school sweetheart was born.

Carter embodies everything about my idea of a “dream guy” at that age. And Brett… well, he possibly stemmed from observing guys I didn’t like. 😉

I actually wrote about a certain couple kissing before I received my own first kiss. This made editing the “first kiss” scene a hoot! 😂 However, like a few reviewers have pointed out, I now think that freshman are too young to date, let alone kiss. Back then, I assumed I was “grown” and didn’t know of the temptations that arise from dating/kissing so young. This issue is addressed in a different light in my future releases. 🙂

The whole purpose behind writing the novel, though, was that it was basically me writing how I wish my freshman year had gone in terms of meeting my “dream guy”, though I did not meet him in real life until after high school. (#JoshTheBowler 🎳)

Writing Sched

To be honest, I was a much more productive writer way back when. I got invited to go with people to the local football games and I was all, “Nah, I’m gonna stay home and write.” I remember writing a chapter or two in one sitting many a time. Good times, good times.

The Movie Plans (Insert Eye Roll Here)

That’s basically all I can remember about writing the novel, minus the film adaptation I had been dreaming up. 🙄 Here was my preferred cast list:

  • Jason Dolley OR Scotty McCreery as Carter
  • Ryan from True Jackson, VP as Trent
  • Jennette McCurdy (Sam from iCarly) as Riley

😂😂😂 Disney Channel and Nickelodeon peeps for the win!


Well, that’s the tale of how Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl came to be! To preview or purchase this debut novel, visit its Amazon page here! 😊

Later Arrowheads,

-Allyson 😀

Adventures with Allyson!, Book Marketing, My Books

First Book Signing Recap

Happy Sunday, lovely Arrowheads! Yesterday, I was blessed to have my very first book signing at a semi-local regional library. My cousin first introduced me to the idea last month, and ever since I had been stressing, preparing, and praying for this huge milestone in my author career to go well.

So without further ado, grab a snack, find a comfortable chair, and sit back and relax as I recap this gloriously awkward adventure! 😉

BookSigningRecap

The Days Before

On Thursday, I had asked my sister, Amanda, if she could design some bookmarks for the signing. She ended up making this beauty:

Since Walgreens has same-day photo pickup, and they have a full image bookmark option, I figured I could order them Thursday night and pick them up on Friday. Unfortunately, when I went to confirm my order, it said the order wouldn’t be ready until August 2nd… the Thursday after the signing. So, first lesson learned: order bookmarks a week or two ahead of time. I was busy throughout last week, so the bookmarks were a last minute addition.

Yesterday Morning

Yesterday morning I woke up around 7:30-ish and couldn’t fall back asleep because I was a bundle of nerves. The bookmark thing was still on my mind, so I got the idea to make a makeshift black and white promo card for Speak Your Mind instead using PowerPoint. The cards were printed on some photo paper we had around the house, and I printed them off six slides per page to ensure they were a fair size for a promo card.

These were great to have when people stopped by the signing table and didn’t have enough cash on them to purchase the book. This way, even if a sale wasn’t made, I was still able to promote my author brand. After the cards were printed off, coffee was in order. This mug was quite fitting for the day’s event.

The coffee helped me get through a few proofreading edits on Speak Your Mind before getting ready!

Getting Ready

What does one wear to their first book signing? I didn’t want to dress in business casual like I do for work, so I settled on a red tank top that looks sort of dressy, my favorite pair of darkwash jeans, and painted my toenails light blue to match the cover. I picked the red shirt because it would match the red heart within the NC shape, but in turn, I unintentionally ended up dressing like Riley on the cover, minus the cowgirl boots! 😂

Selfies and Setup

Of course, selfies were in order to capture the event!

This is my sister, Amanda. Otherwise referred to as Mander by me. 😆 She had her wisdom teeth pulled out a few days ago, so that’s why her face is a little puffy. She’s also my cover designer! 😉

Here we all are in the library with the table set up. The guy in the gray polo is my sweet boyfriend, Josh. I put him in charge of making change for the customers, and Amanda in charge of giving out the promo cards.

While I was obsessing over not having promotional bookmarks for the event, there was one major thing I completely forgot about: making a sign or banner for the table. I ended up making a makeshift sign by writing on a piece of plain printer paper. Second lesson learned: make an eye-catching banner to bring, because the makeshift sign was unprofessional.

The Signing

The signing itself ran from 2 to 4 pm. About fifteen minutes in, the first book was sold. The customer was very sweet and she said my spirit as an author really sold the book. The library had a bit of traffic throughout this time, and a few people stopped and talked to us at the table and viewed the book, but didn’t make a purchase. After only selling the one book by 3 o’clock, I was beginning to feel discouraged. Amanda and Josh were fun to goof around with though. Amanda kept trying to show off the book like Vanna White, which was hilarious. 😂

The day got more exciting when a couple of my aunts and a few cousins showed up. One aunt bought a copy with the new cover, and I signed a few copies they brought. Then, a little while later, I got a huge surprise!

A month or two ago, I became online writing buddies with Penny Wood. We’ve formed a fast friendship because we’re both currently working on contemporary middle grade fiction novels. I had invited Penny to come since she lives fairly close by, and was super excited to meet her in person! It was such a joy hanging out with her for the remaining of the signing and talking about aspects of self-publishing. Penny is also a blogger! Check out her amazing blog, A Southern Belle With Stories to Tell!

P.S. I don’t know what was up with my shirt in this picture. I apologize for its wrinkled appearance! 🤦🏼‍♀️

My aunt happened to lure a lady she knew over to the table, and she ended up purchasing a copy for her granddaughter. The library also bought a copy, which was pretty cool.

Final Thoughts

All in all, when 4 o’clock came, I had only sold four books out of the 25+ I had brought. To be honest, it was a bit discouraging, especially after all the hype the event had received on Facebook. I’m thankful for everyone who came to support me though, and this experience has served as a learning experience for future reference.

Will I ever do a book signing again? Maybe. As an introvert, I am not a salesperson by nature. It was hard for me to even say, “Hey, how are you doing!” to the people walking by the table. It’ll definitely be something I’ll think about though.


Want your own copy of the featured book, Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl? Visit its Amazon page here to check it out! 🙂

Are you an author with book signing tips or experiences you’d like to share? If so, please share in the comments! 📖🖊

Later, Arrowheads!

-Allyson 😀

My Arrowheads

Arrowheads: Who is Lexie Thomas?

Good afternoon, Arrowheads! Well, since The Carolina Girl Relaunch Blog Tour is currently going on, and I’ve already introduced you to all the other main cast members of Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl, today I’ll finally introduce you to Miss Lexie Thomas!

Lexie Thomas

LexieThomas

Lexie and Riley were best friends in elementary school, though she had to move suddenly after her father passed away due. Afterward, she and Riley lost touch. Lexie’s sudden move rendered Riley friendless throughout middle school. So, how does Lexie end up in Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl? Well, I don’t want to spoil the novel for you; you’ll have to check that out on your own! 😉

Since Lexie makes an entrance in the novel, I’ll continue by only revealing Lexie’s personality traits and likes.

Lexie has long dark hair and freckles on her face. She adores dachshunds and has one of her own, who she affectionately decorates her school binder with photos of. Though she’s known to be bashful around school, Lexie is super talkative around her close friends. A hopeless romantic, Lexie struggles with waiting patiently for her prince charming, especially after her best friends seem to meet their matches. Will she ever find true love? Well, maybe if I ever get a sequel in the works. 😛

That’s all for today, Arrowheads! If you’d like to preview or purchase Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl, you can do so here! 🙂

For the complete Carolina Girl Relaunch Blog Tour Schedule, click here!

-Allyson 😀

Author Interviews, Blog Tours, Book Spotlights, Cover Reveal, My Books

The Carolina Girl Relaunch Blog Tour Schedule

Good afternoon, Arrowheads! Like last week, I’ve got another surprise post for you today: The Carolina Girl Relaunch Blog Tour Schedule! These ladies have volunteered to help promote Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl‘s new cover, and I’m super excited to have them on board! Go ahead and give these amazing bloggers a follow so you won’t miss any tour stops! 😉

Carolina Girl Relaunch Blog Tour

Carolina Girl Relaunch Blog Tour: Schedule

Thursday, July 19th: Rayleigh Gray // Book Spotlight via Literature Approved

Friday, July 20th: T.R. Noble // Author Interview via Inside Cup

Saturday, July 21st: Jes Drew // Book Spotlight via Pause for Tales

Monday, July 23rd: Sarah Addison-Fox // Author Interview & Book Spotlight via Disjointed Babblings

Tuesday, July 24th: Laura A. Grace // Author Interview & Book Spotlight via Unicorn Quester

Wednesday, July 25th: Kate Willis // Author Interview via Once Upon an Ordinary

Friday, July 27th: Abigail Harder // Book Spotlight via Books, Life, and Christ

That’s it for today, lovelies! I can’t wait to kick off this tour! 🙂

To purchase or Kindle preview Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl, click here! 

-Allyson 😀

My Arrowheads

Arrowheads: Who is Taylor Newcomb?

Good afternoon, Arrowheads! A Goodreads user who recently reviewed Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl stated that Trent and Taylor were her favorite characters, so today I’d like to introduce you to Miss Taylor Newcomb!

TaylorNewcomb

**Note: I hate to admit that I almost had to look back in the book to remember Taylor’s last name. I’m a bad character momma. 😛

Taylor Newcomb has long strawberry blonde hair, freckles on her nose, and adores lilac fingernail polish. Before starting high school at Linwood Whaley, Taylor attended Corley Creek middle school along with Trent and Carter. Throughout her years of knowing Trent, Taylor has developed a love/hate relationship with him, which plays out in the novel.

Taylor is an aspiring author, and is working on a story about a girl in the Appalachian mountains when she first meets the main character, Riley. She and Riley quickly become writing buddies, as they share two classes together. Unlike Riley however, Taylor struggles with writing poetry.

Throughout Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl, Taylor exhibits a bubbly, yet sarcastic personality. She often makes jokes at Trent’s expense, much to the amusement of Riley and Carter. As far as her love life goes, she has a hopeless crush on Will Shepard–a popular boy that is best friends with Riley’s crush, Brett Harvey.

To learn more about Taylor and her friends, check out Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl, available in paperback and Kindle format on Amazon!

-Allyson 😀

My Arrowheads

Arrowheads: Who is Trent Houston?

Welcome back, Arrowheads! I haven’t mentioned any characters from Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl in a while, so let me introduce you to Trent!

TrentHouston

Trent Liam Houston

Trent Houston is the main character–Riley’s–first cousin. He went to a different middle school than Riley, but they become classmates once their freshman year begins. Trent is semi-popular, though shy Carter Pickett has been his best friend since elementary school. Both my friend/editor, Hannah, and I consider Trent to have a Ron Stoppable type personality, though he often loves to crack jokes at the expense of others. To paraphrase a writer friend of mine who has recently reviewed Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl, Trent is “hilarious”, and adds to the “quirky sweet vibes and humour” of the novel.  Throughout the course of the novel, like Riley, Trent embarks on a tale of love as well, though I’ll let you find out more details on that on your own! 😉

Thanks for reading! If you’re searching for a clean, YA novel for someone in your life this Christmas, please consider Can’t Beat the Heart of a Carolina Girl, available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-A-Million!

-Allyson 😀