Thursday, February 25, 2016

Should you read Broken Grace by E. C. Diskin? Find out in this review!


Last month I featured Broken Grace by E. C. Diskin in my post, "Snow Reads: Almost like Beach Reads, but with way more clothing!"  It came highly recommended from my mom who usually has an eye for the type of story I'll enjoy ... and as it so happens quite often, she was right!

What's it about?

Broken Grace begins with Grace driving away from a house in a mad rush like someone's chasing her. A deer jumps in front of her speeding car. She has a horrific accident. Yet, she survives with head trauma so severe she has no memory. Convenient plotline, yes. Intriguing way to begin a story, double yes. 

I couldn't wait to figure out this book's secret. I figured Grace better remember something quick for her own safety. Was I ever spot on with that one!?!

Sound the alarm: a few spoiler alerts ahead! 

If you want to read this book and don't want any secrets revealed, simply scroll down with your hand partially covering your eyes to my final thoughts on this read. 

So there's Grace in the hospital after the accident. She can't remember a single thing about herself. Her sister comes to pick her up and take her to their childhood home where they both apparently live. Grace doesn't seem to like her sister despite the fact she's acting all caring and thoughtful. At the farmhouse, Grace wonders where her parents are, but yikes they died. And worse yet, the police show up and they inform Grace her boyfriend is dead, too. Get this, he was shot the same day as her accident. 

Throughout most of the story, Grace is out of it. We assume it's from the medications her sister is really adamant about her taking - like really, really adamant. Fortunately, we follow the police officers covering the case. One is a veteran and one is a hunky rookie with seemingly a thing for Grace. He keeps getting all hot and bothered about her like he has some secret he isn't telling the veteran cop. Cough, he does. 

As I neared the end, I became consumed with figuring out what happened and who did it. There's the weird sister, her recently shot boyfriend's secret life of gambling, Grace's nasty boss from the restaurant where she had worked and a clueless best friend. As it turns out, everyone has a complicated past. Not to mention, Grace's childhood was super messed up. Eventually, the sister goes psycho - who didn't see that coming? Grace starts remembering little by little and doesn't recall all of it until the end when you say, "No way!" 

Final Thoughts: I liked it. I liked it alot.

If you like to get totally immersed in a page-turner with a psychological edge, this one's for you. The writing seems to lift off the page and creates a movie in your mind. The characters and the setting are vividly described. Now, that said, the ending does leave your head spinning as if you've hit it on something hard. There's so many plot twists and secrets, I almost needed a flow chart. It did, however, make for a gripping read. I'll tell you, that last reveal at the very end, you'll kick yourself for not seeing it coming.

If you like this read, might I recommend ...

Secrets, Lies and Apple Pies has all the same feels as Broken Grace (think sisters, car accident, plot twists) but with extra added humor.

And if you don't like this read, might I recommend ...

Going Barefoot in Greener Grass is nothing like Broken Grace. This is for all you readers who hate to be scared, but love to LOL.

Check them out and more at       

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Becoming a Famous Author, Guest Post by Cara Sue Achterberg

Welcome to an author who's not too famous ... well, not yet, anyway. If had to guess, today's guest poster, Cara Sue Achterberg, author of two intriguing reads, I'm Not Her and Girls Weekend may soon get her wish to become famous.


I'm so excited to host Cara Sue Achterberg here on All Things Audry! Not only is she a fellow writer-mom of PA, I am also truly inspired by Cara's writing career this far. Her first book, I'm Not Her, reached a ranking of #2 on Barnes and Noble's Nook Bestseller List, was chosen as a best new fiction pick by ibooks in addition to making the top 100 ibooks bestseller list for fiction and literature and was named to Kobo's Page Turners list! See, like I said, maybe not so famous now, but ...

Enjoy her guest post and then, swing by Cara's website to learn more!

Becoming a Famous Author
by Cara Sue Achterberg

When I first set out to write a book, I naively thought that all I had to do was write a really long story. I figured the sheer fact that I’d been able to string together 100,000+ words was such a feat that it would only be a matter of time and I would become famous. I tidied it up and send it out to an agent, waiting for her to call me up and say, “Oh my gosh, what a phenomenal talent – this will be the next best seller!” But that didn’t happen. In fact, that didn’t happen nearly 100 times.

That first story was cliché and verbose and trying much too hard. After I slunk back to my computer with my tail between my legs, I began looking for help. Help came in the form of books, websites, bloggers, writing classes, workshops, and conferences. I kept plugging away. Writing every day. I stopped thinking about becoming a famous author and began to focus on telling a good story. And then it finally happened! (the author part, maybe not the famous part.) My novel, I’m Not Her, was published this past August by The Story Plant.

I’m Not Her is told in first person by the two main characters- Carin and Leann. They are vastly different. Carin is a gorgeous, entitled young adult who has cruised through life on her looks and her parents’ money. Leann is a morbidly obese check-out clerk who had a baby at 16 and wound up living on the edge of desperation. They end up living each other’s lives, learning what it is truly like to walk in another person’s shoes- someone they had up until that moment judged rather cruelly.

The original manuscript told only Carin’s point of view. When I was writing it, I could clearly hear Carin’s horrified voice as she discovered she was marooned in a 350 pound body. I worked on the story faithfully for months. I couldn’t wait to sit down each afternoon and see what would happen. When it was finished, I reworked it for even longer until I thought it was pretty decent. What it needed at that point was a structural edit, but I didn’t have that kind of money, so I entered it in a few contests that offered feedback. One judge liked the character, loved the story idea, even liked my writing, but she said that without Leann’s side of the story it didn’t work.

So I sat back down and wrote the story again from Leann’s viewpoint. What was it like to go from a 350 pound outcast to a body as beautiful as the soap opera stars she binged watched?

And then I weaved the two stories together, giving them each a chance to chime in. I knew the book would only work if I could nail those voices. They were polar opposite women so they would have drastically different voices and experiences. I’m not sure Leann and Carin’s voices would have been so drastically different if I hadn’t had the time and space between their telling. That’s not to say that every writer utilizing the idea of alternate voices has to wait a year between the writing, but she might want to leave a little room.

A few other tools I used were to always write Leann in one font and Carin in another. For some reason that helped me find their individual voices. Carin’s came in a neat Garamond font and Leann was in a childlike scrawl. I also read each passage out loud, listening for voice. The biggest problem I encountered was cutting the manuscript down to a manageable size. I had to figure out which scenes were most important for each of the women.

But that’s something every writer has to do. Cut the fat. Kill your darlings, as Stephen King says in his book On Writing was a great resource for figuring out how to trim the size of my story.

After the book was published, it touched my soul when I heard from an inner city public school teacher who said she knew Leann and her little boy. She said she’d never considered what her students went through on a daily basis. A vlogger who has always struggled with her weight reviewed my book and talked about how painful it was for her to read, but how important it was that we talk about it. I heard from plenty of readers who told me that the characters made them think about how they judged others unfairly on a daily basis. I was humbled time and again by readers who found wisdom I certainly don’t possess in the story.

I guess what this meandering post is trying to say is – be faithful to your story and give it the time it deserves so that its truth can speak. Don’t worry about becoming a famous author. Tell your story – because it’s not about you, it’s about the story.

Thank you, Cara, for your honest and inspiring guest post! I absolutely love its message!

About Cara Sue Achterberg:

Cara Sue Achterberg is a writer and blogger who lives in New Freedom, PA with her family and an embarrassing number of animals. I’m Not Her is her first novel. Her second, Girls Weekend, will be released May 2016 by The Story Plant. Cara’s nonfiction book Live Intentionally is a guide to the organic life filled with ideas, recipes, and inspiration for living a more intentional life. Cara is a prolific blogger, occasional cowgirl, and busy mom whose essays and articles have been published in numerous anthologies, magazines, and websites. You can find links to her blogs, news about upcoming publications, and plenty of pictures of her foster dogs at

About her books:

I’m Not Her is a work of womens fiction with crossover into YA and New Adult and even a little mystical realism. When a Valentine's Display topples on Carin's pretty head and lands her in Leann's difficult life, both women must face lives they never imagined. Carin, a gorgeous, self-absorbed, entitled young adult, unintentionally swaps lives with Leann, an uneducated, perennially poor, morbidly obese check-out clerk. When Carin’s boyfriend and mother don’t recognize her in her Shop n Save apron and no-name sneakers, she has no choice but to assume Leann’s sad life. Meanwhile, Leann wakes up in a body and life much like the soap opera stars she loves. More than a case of trading places, I'm Not Her explores the question of whether appearances or circumstances make us who we are. It's a surprising tale about the way the world sees us and the courses we are on.

Girls Weekend (May 2016)

Dani, Meg, and Charlotte have bonded over babies, barbeques, and backyards, but when they escape for a girls weekend away, they can’t bring themselves to return to lives that don’t seem to fit anymore. We all think we will be different. We won’t be facing down forty and still wonder when life starts. Girls Weekend is a fun, yet poignant romp through the universal search of who we are, why we love, and what makes us happy. Look for Girls Weekend this May! (or preorder it now!)

Friday, February 12, 2016

5 Reads to Share with a Friend!

Got a gal pal? Or just love reading about feisty friendships? Check out these five reads!

 The Friends We Keep by Susan Mallery

Three friends spend a little "me" time at a seaside town. One friend is a frazzled stay-at-home mom, the second friend is on fertility treatments and the third friend is recently divorced.

Author Susan Mallery has a reputation for writing with compassion and humor. She seems like she knows how to spin an entertaining read, especially since she's topped a few bestseller lists with her other books. Ahem, NY Times.

This read promises juicy conversations, wine and all the feels of a beachy escape. A winter getaway for your mind! Check it out here on Amazon.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Two complete opposite women become friends. One friend is socially awkward while the other seemingly has it all. What could wrong? Right?

This is a story that spans three decades as both women have a long history of knowing each other. There's secret pains in which they lean on each other and a little something which throws their newfound friendship into turmoil.

Sounds like an entertaining read! Check it out here on Amazon.

Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons
by Lorna Landvik

From the title and the decsription, it's apparent this is the type of story where you'll laugh, you'll cry and you won't soon forget!

Five friends create their own club. You guessed it - Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons. I'm guessing they do more than eat bon bons as the story spans over four decades and includes five fascinating characters. Check it out here on Amazon.

Friendship by Emily Gould

Nothing says "friendship" than a book named, well, Friendship!

Two life long friends face the possibility of growing apart as their lives have them literally and figuratively moving away from each other. A portrait of friendship, this story examines the highs and the lows of such a bond.

I'm guessing you might need a box of tissues for this one - maybe, I don't know for a fact, but just maybe. Check it out here on Amazon.

Going Barefoot in Greener Grass by Audry Fryer

Oh, uh, how did this get here? (wink, wink) Well, since it's here, I might as well describe it.

Two best friends since high school grow to lead opposite lives. Think, one has the family while the other has the career. It isn't long before each friend resents what each other has and takes for granted.

Filled with feel-good scenes - trust me - you won't want it to end. Check it out here and here! Oh, and here.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Dear Lucky Agent Contest


Talk about last minute and maybe a little luck. This contest actually ended yesterday. I found out about today and was bummed. Then I learned they extended the deadline to midnight tonight. So, here I am entering my next novel, How Lucy Got Lucky!

Wish me luck!!!

Check out these PRIZES! Top 3 winners all get a critique of the first 10 double-spaced pages by the agent judge, a free one-year subscription to ($50 value) and 3 writing/promoting tips books ... and maybe if you're really, super lucky the agent judging the contest will sign you! Boom! That's the sound of my head exploding.

Fingers Crossed, People. Fingers Crossed.

Winners will be notified in three weeks. Like I said, fingers crossed.

Friday, February 5, 2016

"You are enough." If I say it enough times I might believe it.

First, the big news: The re-release of the professionally edited version of Going Barefoot in Greener Grass will go on sale March 21st! In honor of it's re-release, here's the first in series of "Going Barefoot" blog posts. *Plus go to & sign up for my next newsletter which will include a free first chapter and when you'll be able to download Going Barefoot in Greener Grass for free!* 

As I prep for the grand re-release of Going Barefoot in Greener Grass I'm reminded of one of its themes. Yes one of them definitely is envy, but there's another equally important theme: not being enough. Oh how I myself have felt like I'm not enough, not doing enough, not creating enough! On and on it goes. Just in the case of Going Barefoot in Greener Grass, I decided to hire an editor so I would stop rereading it and making changes. (More on my fabulous editor in an upcoming post.) Not to mention, I still need to build my email list, create a platform and get out there and hustle. But hold everything, because while I'm at it, I need to figure out what's for dinner, fold the laundry and help my son who just told me his project is due - sigh - tomorrow. 

Being enough is tough

As most women would agree, it's not enough to just to be in a relatively happy marriage or to raise well-adjusted, healthy children. We also need to be providers, have a career, be awesome on the inside and beautiful on the outside. It's insanely impossible like a ridiculous hamster wheel of falling short. In Going Barefoot in Greener Grass, Olivia has the big wedding, the family and the home. She doesn't have a career, enough money to pay the bills or an ideal weight. On the opposite side, Bethany has the career, money to live comfortably and is physically attractive. Yet, she feels the sting of being single each night.  Put these two characters together and they make the perfect woman. That's the insane part. It takes two of them to do and to be it all.

I can relate. Can you?

For those of you who don't know my story, I left my teaching career to focus on raising my newborn twins and toddler son. Nine years later, my first priority is being a stay-at-home mom followed by growing my writing career. Full disclosure, while writing this blog and my novels have been infinitely rewarding, they are not nearly enough in the financial arena. I'm always wishing I had more time and more resources toward getting my novels to the top of a bestseller list all the while making sure I don't sacrifice being here and present for my family.

That's what she said ...

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody." This original quote comes from the wise sage of a woman, Maya Angelou. Without giving away the ending of Going Barefoot in Greener Grass, Olivia and Bethany discover this sentiment. Throughout the novel, they fight to become bigger and better only to nearly lose everything precious to them. The only peace these two characters (and any of us for that matter) find are in believing they are enough. And, I'll admit, it's a daily practice. 

embrace all ur flaws nd imperfections bcoz ultimately that is what makes u unique nd who u r nd believe me that's awesome:
This Elizabeth Gilbert quote seems to make the most sense when I'm in need of a boost. "Embrace the glorious mess that you are." Perfectionism is overrated. All that matters is we strive for excellence within ourselves. And the only way to grow is by allowing ourselves to make mistakes, fall short, learn from it, get up, brush ourselves off and try again and again. (Now that I wrote that, I better darn well follow my own advice! That's the hard part!)

What about you? 

Do you ever feel "not enough"? How do you deal with it? What practices do you do to feel enough?

I'd love to hear from you. Comment here or on my Facebook Page or Tweet it @AudryFryer

Embrace the "Free": Free First Chapter! Free Giveaway!

Sign up at! My next newsletter includes the newly revised entire first chapter of Going Barefoot in Greener Grass and insider info of when I'll be giving away Going Barefoot in Greener Grass for free! Go, go, go to

>>> Going Barefoot in Greener Grass is your next feel-good read! But don't take my word for it. Click the "More About Going Barefoot in Greener Grass" tab above this post to hear what other readers had to say! <<<