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After Rekindling Friendship After Twenty Years, Authors Release Debut Book Together

Written by Amy Ledbetter Blake and Coby McGuire, ‘Smitten’ is uniquely written and presented, following two characters – shy sophomore Emily O'Riley, and enterprising senior Tyler Kane. Romantic, sensual and complex, ‘Smitten’ is the first volume in the authors’ ‘Our Journey’ series.


Greencastle, IN -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/24/2014 -- After two decades, the last thing former best friends Amy Ledbetter Blake and Coby McGuire expected was to see each other again. However, that’s just what they did. Through the power of social media, Blake and McGuire rekindled their friendship and bonded anew over their shared passion for romance novels, and writing.

Deciding it was time to team up and pen their own tale, the two wrote ‘Smitten’, the first volume in their planned ‘Our Journey’ series.

“We didn’t even see each other until the novel was finished,” says Blake, with a laugh. “After we did, it was as if no time had passed. We picked up right where we’d left off and I think our friendship is even stronger.”

Written from differing perspectives, ‘Smitten’ is the story of two High School students who couldn’t be more different, and yet can’t seem to stay away from each other. Shy Emily is struggling with her feelings for Tyler, a vastly more experienced senior with demons of his own. When the two embark on a relationship, ‘Smitten’ truly begins its journey of lust, heartache and all the confusion that comes with first love.

Sparkling with realistic characters, a swoon-worthy love story and a journey that will leave readers breathless, ‘Smitten’ is a smashing start to the series.


Emily O’Riley, an incredibly shy sophomore, is enjoying life. She adores her friends, family, job and sports.

Her world begins to be altered as she finds herself daydreaming about a well known football star, Tyler Kane, whom she believes does not know her name. She is conflicted about talking about the changes she is facing with her caring father, an outgoing sister who is overly protective or her friends who are obsessed with boys. She tries to ignore the irritating feelings on her own but gets caught spacing out due to a childhood habit; a habit that gets her caught in awkward situations.

Tyler Kane, an intense High school senior, is forced to make unwanted decisions regarding his future. His lack of experience with emotion and a complicated relationship with his father create a challenge to pursue the only thing he is sure he wants which is Emily O’Riley. Tyler has only known pleasure from pleasing others and longs for the unexplained emotional bond he has felt in Emily’s presence.

Fueled by passion, and lust Emily and Tyler embark on a journey of discovery; not only with each other, but within themselves.

In the short time since its release, ‘Smitten’ has already earned a five star rating on Amazon and rave reviews from readers who were touched by the story.

“The book accomplishes one of those rare feats and actually gets better the more you read, I read the last fourteen chapters in two day's. As I started reading and identifying with the characters the "adult" me was taken back to my teenage years and my empathy for the characters grew with each chapter. I'll freely admit that I don't typically read this genre but I will absolutely return for the second book to see what happens with Tyler, Emily, and all their friends,” wrote an anonymous Amazon customer.

JudyB was equally as impressed, writing: “This is a clever teenage romance that leaves you wanting more. The uniqueness of this book is that the main characters give their points of view of the same event in alternating chapters. You get a very intimate understanding of each character and a desire to help them. The characters are well developed. You really like each one. It is funny and full of drama, emotion, love, and confusion...it's all there with all the hormones and energy of the young. I can't wait until the next book comes out.”

To McGuire, the series is rife with possibilities.

“Amy and I just write so well together, and the way the novels are told from the viewpoints of both main characters leaves the door wide open for so much growth and emotion,” says the author. “It’s rare for readers to get to see how both people in a relationship are feeling – that interplay is a fascinating thing.”

Continuing: “There’s no greater compliment you can hear as an author than people telling you they couldn’t put the book down. The buzz since the release has just been fantastic and I can already tell that continuing with this series will be such an adventure – both for us, and for the readers.”

‘Smitten (Our Journey)’ is available now: http://amzn.to/1hCgpq5

About the Authors:
The authors of the Our Journey series have rekindled through social media. It had been over two decades of absence. Their friendship, mixed with their passion for romance novels and writing, led them to team up and write. Without seeing one another they communicated solely through email and social media to write this compelling series. It wasn’t until after the book was completed that the two of them finally agreed to finally see each other. Once they did, time did not seem to have passed. They picked up right where they left off. Their kids instantly connected and became great friends.

Amy is a loving mother of two children. She is a graduate from Indiana University. She has been an avid reader. Often found reading one of her 2000 plus books on her kindle with her dog by her side. She also, enjoys playing tennis, traveling, and her kid’s number one fan with their rock bands. After writing for a living for corporations, decided she wanted to write what she enjoys with the help of Coby.

Coby is a devoted father and caregiver. He is often found watching the Chicago Bear's with his Lhasa Apso by his side. He enjoys playing the drums, and admits to being a sap for romance films. Coby is a self proclaimed dreamer and hopeless romantic. Inspired by the likes of Shakespeare, Coleridge, and Silverstein, his first literary love is poetry. He has two successful published chapbooks: "Passion...Pain...and Poetry" and "Choices: Praise Through Poetry."