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WINNER UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who stopped by and left a comment. And special thanks to Lauren for hanging out on the blog with us! The giveaway winners are listed on the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted directly via email by the folks at Flirt. Congrats!!

It’s back-to-school time, and the folks at Flirt have put together a fun back-to-school-themed blog tour with some of their New Adult authors, which they’ve cleverly called Flirt University. I’m super excited to host today’s stop featuring Lauren Layne, who is quickly becoming a must-read author for me. More on that later. Right now, it’s time to get schooled.


Dear Students:

Today we have a guest lecturer, author Lauren Layne from Flirt University, here to discuss New Adult Journalism 101. Here you’ll learn what exactly makes New Adult so compelling. If you’ve missed previous New Adult author lectures, you can find them by visiting the Romance at Random archives. Don’t forget to do your homework and enter the lecture giveaway! 

Happy learning!

Kindles & Wine and Flirt


Welcome to Journalism 101: New Adult Style

by Lauren Layne


Ever read or heard a news story that completely captures your interest, even though you’re not sure why?

That’s because journalism is more than running around with a microphone or one of those cute little notebooks. It’s a craft, and like all crafts, there are right ways and wrong ways to draw people in.

And here’s a little secret: the same elements that make good news? They’re the same ones that make a good novel.

Don’t believe me? Consider what makes a gripping news story. Does it not have the very same components of an un-putdownable New Adult book?

Let’s take a look:


The most captivating news stories always have some element of conflict. Rival politicians. Cops chasing bad guys. The old lady that disarmed the burglar with her cane.

The heart of New Adult? Also conflict. Do you think Jacqueline and Lucas’ story in Tammara Webber’s Easy would have ripped our heart out if not for Jacqueline’s enemy’s and Luca’s past? Or in Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster—would there have even been a story if Abby’s good girl status hadn’t clashed so perfectly with Travis’ bad boy agenda? The hope for resolution is what keeps us turning pages, but it’s the conflict that makes us pick up the book in the first place.


Wondering what makes a news story newsworthy? Impact. The more people impacted—and the more strongly they’re impacted—the bigger the story.

This is why New Adult has taken off in a big way. It’s because we’ve all been, or will be, or currently are in that wonderful-awful late-teen/early-twenties period. The confusion, the angst, the longing for a love that’s deep and lasting? It’s universal. Can’t we all identify just a little bit with Sky’s feelings in Colleen Hoover’s Hopeless? Or Kelli’s confusion over what she wants in Friday Night Alibi by Cassie Mae? New Adult is about all of us. No wonder we can’t stop reading. 

Human Interest

Ah, human interest stories. They’re often considered the fluffy bit of the news, but let’s get real: we all need the occasional story to break up the depressing stuff. It’s about that cat that wandered 800 miles only to be later reunited with its owner. It’s the off-duty cop that bought shoes for a homeless man, or the security camera that catches the toddler break dancing in the shoes department.

New Adult is no different. Sure, we think we’re all about the angst. But without the lighter moments—the sweet and the funny—the angst would just be plain depressing, wouldn’t it? It’s the subtle kindness of Andrew sitting beside Camryn on the bus in The Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski, or the non-stop banter between Ethan and Stephanie in my own Isn’t She Lovely (yup, I just did that). It’s the unfailing kindness of Jesse from Lost and Found by Nicole Williams, or the cat fiasco in Cora Carmack’s Losing It. And even the baddest boys have soft spots, and the most jaded heroines can be made to smile. It’s why we love them.


Believe me now?

Without conflict, impact or human interest, a New Adult book won’t make it to the keeper shelf. And a news show or newspaper without those same elements? You won’t be able to find the remote or recycling bin fast enough. Remember: just because it’s factual, doesn’t make a news story any less of a story.

Homework Assignment

All the above mentioned books? Required reading. You’ll thank me later.



Kindle Gal here. I want to thank Lauren for being the very first author on Kindles & Wine to assign us reading homework! 🙂

After the Kiss coverI also want to publicly tell the world how much I enjoyed Lauren’s first two novels, both of which I inhaled. Her debut contemporary romance, After the Kiss, was released just two weeks ago, and I’ve already read it…twice. (I, um, have a bit of a thing for the hero.) You can see my Goodreads review of it HERE.

Isn't She Lovely coverThen this past weekend, I read an advance copy of Lauren’s New Adult title, Isn’t She Lovely, which releases at the end of October. I jotted down a few quick thoughts on Goodreads HERE for that one too. (I’ll post a full review closer to the release date.) Seriously, people, if you’re a fan of snappy dialogue and books that read like screenplays, you’ve got to try her out!


Flirt University – Lauren Layne New Adult Giveaway 

The folks at Flirt are hosting this giveaway, hence the Rafflecopter. But I’d still love to have y’all leave a comment for me after you’ve completed your entries.

Hit the comments and tell me what you think about the New Adult genre. Is this the first you’ve heard of it? Are you a big fan and already read some of the titles Lauren suggested? Speak to me, people!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lauren Layne HeadshotABOUT THE PROFESSOR
Lauren Layne graduated from Santa Clara University with B.S. in Political Science that she has yet to put to good use. After dabbling in an e-commerce career, she decided to quit talking about writing and actually do it. 
A Seattle native, Lauren’s also tried on the Bay Area, Orange County and Manhattan for size. She’s currently writing from the Pacific Northwest, but is always looking for the next place to call home. Texas? The South? New England? Suggestions welcome.
You can learn more at Lauren’s website, and connect with her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.