What’s in a name? The title of the TEMPUS sequel is revealed!

WARNING: TEMPUS spoilers shall ensue…

Well, friends. The TEMPUS sequel will be released in just a few weeks. We chose the cover image yesterday–it’s TO DIE FOR! (Think vintage, warm, Instagram-y.) I can’t wait for y’all to see it! Until then…I want to give you a few little yummy details to tide you (and me!) over.

Are you tired of hearing me say, “The sequel to TEMPUS?” (Say yes.) Well. I certainly am. And I’m tired of typing it! I’d rather start using its actual name. Which is…



Like TEMPUS, EXPERTUS is Latin. TEMPUS means time, while EXPERTUS means test. And in our sequel, just about every relationship endures some sort of challenge: Zay and Chapel, Chapel and her (gasp! he’s allliiiive!) father, Erica and Timmy, Timmy and Chapel, Jackson and Zay, Zay and Marielle…now that I sit and actually think about it, NO previous dynamic is “safe” in EXPERTUS. People you thought were good? Yeah. They’re not so good. People you thought were bad? They may end up being the hero.

EXPERTUS will test (see what I did there?) everything you thought to be true about our Bennett Park residents.

Ahh! I am so bad at secrets. Please READ THIS BOOK as soon as it’s out so we can discuss.


PS-Tune in to the blog later this week for the release of the FIRST CHAPTER!!! Yay!!! Yay! Yay. Okay. I’ll shut up now.






Alternate Perspective: Zay in Chapter 1.

Alternate Perspective: Zay in Chapter 1.

SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED TEMPUS (Official Disclaimer: This text was not sent through a professional editor, so I can promise you there are some typos … somewhere … somehow.) Tempus Zay’s Perspective Chapter One … Continue reading

I accidentally became an author.

I started writing when I was 10 years old. My first short story was about a girl named Kelsey (because that was the coolest name ever) whose babysitter was killed by a man named the Peanut Butter and Jelly Murderer.  Every time he claimed another victim, he would eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at their house, then leave.

So, yeah. I was a weird kid.

But I wasn’t one who knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. I went through phases: the astronaut phase, the actress phase, the longer-than-you’d-think grocery store checkout girl phase (the scanning always looked so glamorous).

In high school, I was mostly in the keep-my-head-above-the-social-waters phase and the boy phase. There wasn’t a lot of strategizing career-wise.

Then, in college, I switched my major three times. I went from Theatre (too dark) to Real Estate (too serious) to English (ah, just right). Borders on psychosis, though, no?

My point is that I never had this moment where I sat down and said, I want to be an author when I grow up. My writing was always with me, something I loved doing, something that came so naturally to me that I didn’t even realize it was my passion.

My junior year in college I wrote a book called Our Story that will never see the light of day. That first book was a cathartic experience, and I learned more about myself through it than the craft of authorship. But when I finished it, something clicked into place inside of me. I knew I would never stop writing books.

My second, third, and forth manuscripts followed. Most of it was complete garbage. I mean terrible, terrible stuff. And at first it was all in good fun. And I know people read this and think—I’d rather carve my eyeballs from my head with a rusty coat hanger than write for fun—but that’s just how it was, and how it still is for me.

Three years ago I started writing Tempus. I loved my job and had a full life, so writing served no other purpose for me than a hobby I was passionate about. Then, when I finished Tempus, I shared it with a few people. I was literally (genuinely, seriously) blown away when they expressed how much they enjoyed reading it.

That’s the moment my writing went from being about me, to being about a reader. It was an addictive feeling—writing something that made people think and feel.

So I decided to edit Tempus and query it—just to see what happened. Simultaneously, I started writing more for my actual job, so it took me a while to get around to sending Tempus out.

I was in bed the night my publisher reached out to me about representing Tempus. It didn’t really seem real, so I didn’t tell many people. I was crazy busy with my job, my family, my friends—plus, I’m a I’ll-believe-it-when-I-see-it kind of girl—the most optimistic skeptic you’ll ever meet. I shared the news with a few, but mostly focused on the season I was currently in.

Through a series of life events, it become evident to my family that I needed to step away from my day job to allow more margin in our schedules. It just so happened that the month after I quit, Tempus was published.

So I never set out to be an author, and yet, here I am. It’s very humbling, surreal, unexpected, and wonderful. I believe so fully in God’s sovereignty, and these circumstances only serve to confirm that.

What’s next for me? Well, I can promise you more writing. For one, I have a contract to finish the Tempus series. I also have another idea for a series that I’m just squirming to get started on. (Yup. I’m that big of a nerd.)

I don’t want to limit my life to just one narrow career path. That’s not for me. I want to give myself permission to pursue my dreams, however random or unexpected or challenging they might be.

And who knows? I could wake up tomorrow and hate writing. If that happens, I may be the lady scanning your groceries on your next outing.

Hey. Anything can happen, right?

Holly Lauren is the author of TEMPUS, a Young Adult Science Fiction Romance out now at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

5 best heroines of all time.

5 best heroines of all time.

…if by all time, you mean in recent years AND in a book I’ve read. The common denominator with all my favorite heroines is their self-confidence. Even if they question or doubt themselves from time to time, I like a … Continue reading

Why I can’t sleep after finishing ALLEGIANT.




I can’t sleep. It’s been 3 days since I finished Veronica Roth’s ALLEGIANT (the final installment in her DIVERGENT series), and I am still wrestling with it.

First I have to say that Four and Tris (Four-Tris, or fortress, when said together–did anyone else catch that?) are some of the best YA characters of our time. They are gritty and real and I can see them.

But I don’t think Roth does them justice in ALLEGIANT.

First let’s talk about Four. He is brave, smart, decisive, and loving. He doesn’t always say or do exactly what Tris wants him to, but that’s REAL. That’s also why I hate the turn he took in ALLEGIANT.

I think the Four who puts himself through his own fear landscape to sharpen himself would never be naive enough to team up with people like Nita behind Tris’s back. He isn’t that weak. The real Four would have rebelled against the label of ‘damaged’ by rising above it–not defining it with his own actions.

And all the lying to Tris again? Ah! It got so old.

Finally, I don’t think the decision to help Nita is consistent with Four’s biology. He tested Abnegation. His first instinct should have been selflessness. Even in his dauntlessness, he was always selfless. (Helping Al, pushing back against Eric’s tyranny, caring for Tris before he fell in love with her.)  I don’t understand the self-serving/selfish metamorphisis he took in ALLEGIANT. It plagues me. It’s inconsistent.

And, yes, I hate the way Tris died. No, I don’t hate that Tris died–but HOW she died? It seemed so anticlimactic. So pointless. Actually, it was selfish. Why not let Caleb redeem himself? Why not let Caleb do this one selfless thing? She had to be the hero? Tris craved an escape from the pain of life. Dying was not a selfless act for her. Living was.

Yes, we cared about the city of Chicago. But not nearly as much as we cared about Tris and Four. It would have been nice to have spent more time seeing what Tris died for. Instead we are left with a melancholy ending, bleak in its brevity, painful to read.

I hate to sound so negative, because I really did love this series. Roth did so many things right. I learned a lot as a writer by reading it. But this ending? It wasn’t an exclamation point at the end of an adventure. It was an ellipses. It left so much to be desired.

What do you guys think?

A snippet of TEMPUS.

From Chapter One of TEMPUS (and shortened for your quick perusal):

Using her desk for support, Chapel struggled to her feet. Her insides swirled, and her neck felt useless beneath the weight of her head. She shuffled over to Timmy. Her forearms trembled with the effort as she pushed his desk level to the ground.

She pulled her white tank top away from her chest and blew down the front, shaking her head at Timmy. “And you think I’m high maintenance,” she said.

Chapel jerked to her left before she understood why. She had heard a noise. It was a whoosh, soft and quick, like an exhale or a laugh. Her eyes fell on Isaiah Halstead. He was sprawled in his desk like he owned the place, a lazy gaze on Timmy, his lips closed over the lid of his pen. And he was just as handsome as everyone said—black-haired and shadow-jawed.

…”Isaiah?” The name sounded dread-soaked. Had he sighed? Had he moved? Something about him definitely looked different.

… Then three things happened at once. One, her insides gave a heaving quiver, signaling the episode was coming to an end. Two, she moved her knee to get closer to Isaiah and it popped against the tray of his desk. And three, Isaiah Halstead flinched.

… Then, like a faucet going from a tiny trickle to a roaring flow, time resumed, and Chapel found herself breathing heavily, knee smarting. Timmy’s desk kerplunked safely onto all four legs as if he’d never leaned back too far to begin with. And her head felt like she’d taken an extended ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl.

… “I—. Did you?” The space between her brain and mouth was malfunctioning.

Isaiah stood and slung his book bag over his shoulder. A thousand questions filtered through her mind. He’d been breathing. And moving. No one had ever moved before. 

But all she could manage was a hoarse, “Isaiah?”

He leaned over to her, his rough cheek catching at her hair as he whispered, “It’s Zay. You can call me Zay.” Then he was gone.