Tag Archives: Coming of age

Family Ties Playlist


Family Ties

Family Ties is now out in paperback and what better way to celebrate than share the music I listened to while writing it?

When I started writing Sara’s story, oh so many years ago, mp3s were starting to creep into the market. If you know me, you know it’s rare for me to have any type of technology as soon as it is released. I’m one of those consumers who will sit and wait for the hubbub to die down. Lacking the latest technology, I stuck with our trusty CD player, set on repeat. I can’t tell you how many times I listened to Dizzy Up The Girl by Goo Goo Dolls before Chaz bought me an iPod.

Enter: The Playlist.

Anyone remember making mixtapes? They were the best. With iTunes, I was able to make as many playlists as I wanted. It wasn’t long before I formed the basis for the Family Ties playlist, adding in songs as they were released.

I know there are writers who make their playlists based on the songs they like, old and new. With Family Ties, I formed a playlist not only of songs that I liked, but that also fit the tone of the story. Using that formula to make my writing playlists helps me to draw from the music while I write and keeps me going.



Family Ties is now available in the following markets:

Create Space (paperback only)
Amazon US (ebook & paperback)
Amazon CA (ebook)
Amazon UK (ebook & paperback)
Amazon JP (ebook)
Amazon DE (ebook & paperback)
Amazon FR (ebook & paperback)

1 Comment

Posted by on July 22, 2015 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Family Ties Excerpt


Amazon Kindle Pre-order | Paperback forthcoming

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of Family Ties.

The roar of a moving van pulling into the house across the street averts my attention from the cherry popsicle in my hand. A sky blue Cadillac convertible, top down, with a family of three seated on white leather interior pulls over to the curb in front of the house.

The tall man’s biceps peek through the end of his t-shirt sleeves as he climbs out of the car. His brown hair reflects the midday sun.

The woman in the passenger seat gets out, taking off her wide-brimmed straw hat. Her long, red hair tumbles over an old t-shirt and khaki shorts that fit close to her body. Her smile is full of comfort.

A girl in a bright blue shirt, black shorts, and dark red hair plaited in a French braid scrambles out of the back seat.

As hot as it is today, I know it’s cooler here than inland. A perk of living in the coastal city of Encinitas, California.

Maybe I should take the girl a cherry popsicle to welcome her to the neighborhood.

But the rules are clear:

1. Do not leave without permission

2. No one is allowed inside without permission.

3. Chores first. Homework second.

4. Do not talk about the family.

5. Do not make friends.

6. Do not argue.

The punishment is stiff for rule breaking and I want to stay out of trouble.

I toss my popsicle stick and return to the lawn mower out front, yanking on the starter until it fires up with a loud rumble. By the time I make my way across the yard and back once, the girl is standing in my driveway. I kill the motor.

Her sapphire eyes gleam. “Hi. I’m Arissa.”

“Sara,” I return hesitantly.

“How old are you?” she asks.


“I’ll be fourteen in October!”

“Arissa!” the woman shouts from their doorway.

Arissa flashes a beaming smile at me. “Come on!” She takes off for her house but I remain rooted in place.

Do not leave without permission. Chores first. Do not make friends.

She stops and turns, gesturing for me to follow.

©Debi V. Smith, LLC 2015

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 25, 2015 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , ,

Family Ties Available for Pre-order


If you haven’t seen the Facebook posts or the tweets, Family Ties is now available for Kindle pre-order here. It will release 6/26/15. A paperback version is forthcoming.


Sara Allison Parker spent the first fourteen years of her life living by strict rules and keeping her family’s secrets. Simon and Tibby, her parents, and her younger sister, Victoria, treat Sara as an outcast, leaving her lonely within the family. The elder Parkers maintain control over Sara’s life with rules, one of which is she is not allowed to make friends.

When Arissa Jericho moves in across the street and introduces herself to Sara, then Jason Waters befriends Sara at school, the carefully constructed world of the Parker household is threatened. As Simon and Tibby are forced to loosen their control to keep up appearances, Simon finds a way to assert a different type of power. Sara is convinced she will lose her friends if her secrets ever come to light because of her father. In a rare moment of daring, Sara stands up for herself. The next day, Simon’s recklessness reveals one of the secrets in an ugly, public display.

Sara learns the true meaning of family, bravery, and love when Arissa and Jason stand by her after witnessing Simon’s actions. Once Sara becomes comfortable, she lets her last secret slip out on accident, setting off a series of events that spins out of everyone’s control.

Leave a comment

Posted by on June 18, 2015 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , , ,

%d bloggers like this: