Beta readers wanted! Signup on my blog to be a beta reader for my WIP Donuts in an Empty Field (For the Love of Donuts Book 1). Donuts will be available for beta reading by the end of this summer.

Donuts in an Empty Field (For the Love of Donuts Book 1) Description:

Letting go of anger is life’s greatest challenge.

Vanessa Smith hasn’t been the same since her father’s death. A hero until the end, he died saving a restaurant owner’s wife and son from a burning building. Nessa has always blamed the boy, Ben, for her loss, and her thoughts are consumed with ways to make him as miserable as she is.

Nichole Adams knows Nessa can never heal until she learns to let go of her hatred, but bringing back her best friend is proving more difficult than she could’ve imagined. In a last ditch effort to break Nessa’s obsession, Nichole hopes signing up for the local food challenge is just the thing to bust her out of her shell.

A single choice defines the road ahead for Nessa. Doing the right thing isn’t easy, but living with the consequences of doing nothing might be worse.


Donuts in an Empty Field (For the Love of Donuts Book 1) Excerpt from Chapter 6, The Food Challenge:

I hesitate. I think I know where we’re going. I can’t. I stomp on the brake and turn the wheel hard to the right and pull into a side street. A car honks behind me, the sound disappearing into the night ahead of us. They are probably going to the same restaurant. The same place.

I’m not going there.

“Say it,” Nichole juts her chin out as she leans toward me, her arms crossed.

“I just. You know what happened. We can’t.”

“It’s time. Stop being a crybaby. Do you need me to drive?” she makes a move as if to slide over the gear shift.

I didn’t realize I had started crying. I wipe my sleeve across my eyes and stare down.

“No,” I whisper.

I put the car into reverse and back out, the tears coming faster and faster. The place I swore I would never go back to and I never would have because it burned down years ago. And now. I pull back out onto the road carefully, breathing deep, and watch the sign edge closer and closer to me. The words blur together and I can’t read them. It screams death and misplaced tragedy. I look away as I pull into the lot. There are few spots available and I pull into one of the last ones. The hollow memory of an empty lot screams inside my head. Nichole hops out of the car but I remain rigid in my seat, my hands shaking in my lap.

“I don’t think I can,” I say to myself.

But we’re here and Nichole is opening my door, reaching across my chest to unbuckle my seat belt and pulling me out of the car. She grabs the keys and locks the door, pocketing them herself. I can’t move.

“This will be good for you. I promise,” her voice is compassionate and understanding, but her actions are speaking loud and clear and it hurts.

I don’t fall for it.

“No,” I say staunchly, planting my heels like an insolent child.


“No!” I say louder.

Nichole grabs my arm and forcefully drags me away from the car. I have the urge to grab hold of it for dear life, but instead let my feet drift after Nichole, her arm firmly gripped on mine. I avoid looking at the large sign, but can feel the glow of the letters mocking me and my pain.

Nichole shoves me inside the main hallway.

“Is she okay?” the guy who opened the outer door asks.

“I’m fine,” I say without prompting. It’s an echo in my mind from my past self.

When my dad died six years ago and everyone kept asking, “how are you, Vanessa?” I would say that same weak phrase. Over and over and over until I was sick of it. Sick of the overused under-meant phrase and sick of them using my full name to distance themselves from what happened.

“You tricked me,” I turn to stare Nichole straight in the eyes.

“Look. I know this was hard on you, but you were going to learn about it one way or another,”

“What is this, immersion therapy? I hate you,”

I turn to go, but Nichole has yet to let go of my arm and yanks me back. I fall to the ground, tears falling down my cheeks again.

She leans over to look me in the eyes. I notice several other people inside the restaurant staring at us through the second and inner door. As small voice inside my head tells me that they’ve rebuilt the damn double doors. The interested strangers don’t come out to help. Typical. Everyone is always so concerned for their own selves. But not my Dad. He was always concerned with everybody else.

I look up at the ceiling to avoid Nichole’s gaze, but my eyes fall on something else. I gasp and jump to my feet, running to the wall for a better look. It’s my Dad. His face beams out at me. The picture was taken the day he died and there are burns up and down his cheeks. His hair is wild and dark with ash. His last lucid moment before falling into a coma. He must have been in so much pain. Burns covered more than half his body. But he still smiled. Happy with what he’d done, what he had accomplished. Was saving a life on his bucket list? Was dying young?

“See,” Nichole says to me.

I take in the rest of what’s on the wall. His picture rests within an article. It’s dated several days ago, the day after the Incident. Local Hero Saved Owner’s Wife and Son. They Decided to Rebuild their Restaurant in his Name. I stop reading.

“What’s this place called?” I demand.

I turn to face the outer door and squint through the thick glass to see the large sign. Hero’s Bar and Grill.

To be a Beta:

Here’s what I’ll need from you:

  • You need to be honest and bold and willing to give any criticisms
  • Be familiar with fiction and YA
  • Be a reader and/or a writer
  • Be able to give real critique and forthright assessment of the manuscript
  • Be able to evaluate with depth and/or breadth
  • Be able to find weak spots
  • I’m not looking for line editing, but critique on plot, character development, storyline, etc.

**You won’t hurt my feelings. You can tell me anything and everything. Better now than after it’s published, right?**

Here’s what you’ll get from me:

  • A formatted version of the novel (pdf/doc/ePub)
  • I’m also a reader so if you have a book out I will see if it’s something I’d like and may put it in my review pile
  • I will give serious consideration to every comment, suggestion, and question you pose
  • I will thank you profusely!
  • I would love to give you a small token of my appreciation if you would like ($5 gift card to Amazon)
  • I have 2 other novels I’d love to give you a copy of if you’d like
  • When I create swag packs/marketing materials/cool things associated with my books I’ll give you one/some

To signup: fill out the contact form below and I will add you as a beta reader and send you a copy in the format requested when it’s available, depending on the book(s) you chose.