Goodreads 34 Seconds Signed Copy Giveaway

Goodreads hosting a giveaway for a signed copy of 34 Seconds. The link to enter is below.

You can sign up from August 19th – September 19th.

I’m excited to be a part of Goodreads. They are my favorite place to go when I need ideas for great books to read. If you are not on Goodreads, be sure to check them out as well. You can track your reading progress, mark books you’d like to read so they are easy to find when you need a good book to read, and discover new books.

This giveaway is only open to US residents.

Nikki and Will fell in love a lifetime ago in Deltaville, Virginia. Now living in Colorado with her family, Nikki is invited to attend Will’s wedding back in Virginia where she finds her past staring her in the face. Will never wanted a wife, and he broke Nikki’s heart long ago. Nikki knew what she wanted: a strong, happy marriage and children, a future. She found those things when she married Chris, and she and Will managed to grow their friendship after heartbreak. A year after the wedding, Nikki is faced with her painful past again. She soon discovers she must find the strength to help Will on his own personal journey. In thirty-four seconds, she sees him slip from her life forever. Watching Will cross over to his fate, her past collides with her present, and Nikki learns she’s never been in control of her own destiny. Her own journey back to her family in Colorado becomes one of self-discovery. With the help of Will’s voice to carry her across the country, Nikki must decide how she will move forward.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

34 Seconds by Stella Samuel

34 Seconds

by Stella Samuel

Giveaway ends September 19, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


Clearly, I am writing.

I have a scene to write. About fishing. I know about….nothing when it comes to fishing. I used to go fishing with my dad when I was little. I have memories of my grandfather fishing. My grandfather’s brother owned a seafood business my whole life. Yet, still I know close to nothing about fishing.

What kind of fish swim in the cold fresh waters of Colorado’s high mountains? I have no idea. This is why Google is my friend.

But writing this scene took me back to writing 34 Seconds. Nikki goes back home after years of being away and only visiting occasionally. I’m trying desperately to reopen my boxes of memories of fishing so I can write this scene. But I might not have the key to this particular box.

Excerpt from 34 Seconds:

Every time I visited, I thought I was still that young woman who left so many years ago. I’d locked up certain pains into little compartments inside my heart and inside my mind, and some of them tended to pop open like a Jack in the Box when I set foot onto my father’s property. I forgot just how many years have passed. I forgot how much can change and yet still stay the same in so many years.

If you know about fishing, you are welcome to teach me.

Extended Scene from 34 Seconds

From Will’s perspective, not in the book, 34 Seconds

“I can’t keep her, Brian, she can’t live this life.” Will stepped off the boat and walked up the beach to the boathouse.

“Will!” Brian’s frustration was heard in his voice. He shook his head as he tied the boat to the dock then pulled it further up the beach to keep it from washing out. When he got to the boathouse, Will was sitting on a beach chair with a beer in his hand. His other hand held a beer for his best friend.

“I don’t want to talk about it, Brian. It’s over. This time. It’s over. It has to be.”

Brian took the beer Will handed him, and sat down quietly. Will and Nikki had broken up before, but Brian knew Will was right this time. This was the time it was truly over. For Will at least. Though Brian knew his love for Nikki for never end.

“Okay, we won’t talk about it,” Brian said.

“I’m going to die,” Will’s voice was almost a whisper.

“Not today you’re not.”

“Maybe not. But I can’t die with Nikki…” Will’s voice cracked. “I can’t leave her. Not like that. Not as my wife. As the father of her children. I can’t do that to her. I need to let her live. She’ll find someone else and live out her dreams.”

“With someone else?” Brian asked. “Do you think she wants to live with someone else? Do you think she’s just going to start dating, fall in love, and move on without you in her life?” Brian stood up and slammed his hand on the bar. “Dammit, Will. Wake up! We all love you.” He wiped his eyes and looked at the floor. “Are you going to break up with me too, man? Are we done because you’re going to die some day?”

“Not some day, Brian. Soon. I’ll probably die soon. It’s back.” Will looked at his best friend. When Will was sick at the age of seven, Brian came to his house each day after school with homework from the school. No one expected Will to keep up with his schoolwork. Will didn’t keep up. Brian sat with his friend every day and did his school work for him. There wasn’t much in first grade, but Brian did enough to help Will move on to second grade after spending much of the winter sick and in a hospital.

“Shit.” Brian sat back down, put his head back and closed his eyes.

“I love her too much. She has to be without me.”

Will didn’t die that year. Heavily medicated for eight months, he was yet again, a survivor. Those eight months he avoided Nikki when she called or came by the house. He knew, just as he’d always known, it would come back. And one day he wouldn’t be a survivor.

Stella Samuel

34 Seconds 2015

Scene not included in the book

Buy 34 Seconds Here

34 Seconds Book Blog Tour

I have been so honored the past few days to be featured on a few blogs. I’m very excited to have 34 Seconds out in the world.

I’m eager to finish my next book, and I’m even more eager to get my next NaNoWriMo project started next month. But for now, I’m enjoying sitting back for a bit and sharing my writing, extra scenes, recipes that inspired my book, and life through my characters.

Yesterday 34 Seconds was featured on Shaun Allan’s blog. If you love horror and haven’t heard of Shaun, be sure to stick around on his blog and check out his work. I was lucky enough to win his latest book, Darker Places, and I’m not sure I’m ready to turn off my lights just yet.

First, be sure to check out his post sharing my latest story which takes place in Deltaville, Virginia. In this post, I share a little about this beautiful town on the coast on Virginia.

Shaun Allan’s 34 Seconds tour

Book Release Day!

34 Seconds is out and available on Amazon!

This has been an amazing time in my life. 34 Seconds took me a long time to write. I was humbled, I learned, I cried, I laughed, and here I am, humbled again.

It’s been a whirlwind of a week, and whirlwind of a year, and today has been busy, filled with love and Legos. Trying to spend a Sunday playing the new Lego Dimensions game with my son, letting my daughters explore life through their adventures, supporting my Denver Broncos, and keeping up with the wonderful folks out there sharing their support for my debut novel.

Thank you all for your kindness, for you support, and for your love. Keep passing it on, it feels nice to be humbled. To blush. To smile. Thank you for doing that today.

34 Seconds by Stella Samuel can be found here.


September 22

I’m not even sure I should be feeling anything today, but I know I am. I’m overwhelmed with emotion actually.

I wrote a book.

Three years ago in June, I told my father I was writing it. The last book he’d read was Jaws in the mid 70s. Well over thirty years ago, he read his last book. He loved music. Thank you for that, Dad. He loved old movies. Also, thank you. Somehow my sister and I grew up readers. I made a promise to my father that June. I promised I would finish writing my book and somehow get it out to the world. And then I would write another. And I would find a way to do what I loved doing while I had the opportunities to do them. The word opportunity changed for me during that visit with my father. He’d called me home to visit with him on Father’s Day because he knew he wouldn’t be around for Thanksgiving or Christmas. He was dying. He wanted to spend some time with me in a time when he could spend time with me. It was still a few months, maybe even several months, before the word opportunity truly changed in my life. Opportunity often meant luck, right place right time, positive consequence for a job well done. Opportunity to me, in its new definition, meant alive. I am still here. I am alive. I can make opportunities because I am still given the chance to wake every day, and until that chance is taken away, I need to take every opportunity, every moment, and every chance that is offered to me. Each day I wake to a shining sun, I have an opportunity my father was losing each day.

Three years ago today, September 22, 2012, he passed away. I was with him, thank goodness for the opportunity to visit him again. I miss him so much. There are moments of tears, moments of crying, moments of anger, moments of overwhelming sadness and underwhelming missed chances to love him longer. I go through times when I can sing a favorite song of his and cry until I’m certain my eyes will dry out or float away. There are times I can sing along with songs he loved, like he’s right beside me laughing and being silly with me.

Last night, I submitted all of my final work for my book. It will be released on October 4th. It’s surreal to me. But I kept my promise, Daddy. I’m doing it. It took me over three years to get it finished and ready, but I’m doing it.

After my father passed, I changed parts of my story. Deltaville is where he lived. It’s a place I haven’t been back to in three years. I spent my childhood there. And I have no real reason to go back. I have family and friends in the area. But none right there in town I would travel across the country to visit. With him gone, my opportunity to be in that place is just about gone. So, some of the changes I made to 34 Seconds revolved around Deltaville. Somehow, some way. I thought I’d pay homage to my father by placing my story in his town.

Each day I lie in bed with a migraine, I think of the opportunities I am missing because the sun rose for me and I didn’t take the bull by the horns and play every token I had. Each day I go for a run and have to push myself, I think of the opportunity I have to be there, on a trail, running. Each day my friends of family need a hug, I’m trying very hard to take the opportunity to be there. Because one day the opportunity will be gone.

Today, on the 3rd anniversary. This day. The day I lost my father. I ask you to look and see if you are taking every opportunity you can. If you aren’t, try to make every day an opportunity. And live long, love hard, and speak true.

Virginia is for Lovers

Nikki Ford thought she’d fall in love, but never in the town where she spent her childhood. But she did. Virginia is for lovers, after all. In 34 Seconds, she watched that love disappear. Even though she said good-bye years before, those seconds begin the toughest journey in her life: the journey of finding herself.


Virginia is also for crabs. And shrimp. And hushpuppies! I’m afraid if I write that one more time, my mouth will begin to water. Someone must deliver hushpuppies to me soon. Please.

Many people in Deltaville make their living on the water. Fishing, crabbing, and boat tours are just a few things they do to keep their Deltaville lifestyle going.


I’ve wanted to share some photos of the area before my book is released, but I haven’t taken the time to collect many. Instead, please check out this gorgeous town from a community website. Enjoy your virtual tour!