Friday, April 18, 2014

Update Post with Pictures!

Happy Friday everyone! Just a few small things today: Surrender the Sky releases in exactly 3 weeks from today! (Woot! And a little bit of eeek! thrown in there for good measure.) I still have a couple of review copies up for grabs if you're interested. I'm putting together a giveaway for the reviewers who post within three days of my release, too, so if you want a head start let me know! Also, if you host a blog and wouldn't mind hosting me at some point, leave a comment or email please :) I'm always game for returning the favor! (And a million thanks to those who have already volunteered!)

Also, I've had a little fun putting together teaser posts for Surrender. I thought I would share a couple here. I'll be posting more the closer we get to release day!

Have an awesome weekend everyone!!
Bea--she's quite possibly my favorite character ever :)

Gotta love forbidden love!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Balancing Game

I find myself sitting here at 11pm on a Saturday night, staring at my million mile long list of things to do tomorrow. Let's not even get into my list for the coming week. It is actually frightening. I know you all know what I mean when I say this: we all have those lists that feel absolutely impossible to finish. (And if you don't...care to share how that works?? :)

I know I've posted about this before: how to balance real life with writing and everything in between. As it stands, I feel like I have two jobs that I am barely keeping up in, and lately that has meant very little writing, as I spend a lot of time trying to maintain my blog and other media outlets in the name of "marketing." (Or, as I regularly think of it, "my attempts thereof"...)

So what am I saying? I seriously suck at balance. I love writing. I know I need to do more of it to maintain some semblance of sanity in my life. But with a release coming up shortly (a few weeks now, eep!!) everything feels like a mad rush toward getting ready for that. And, let's just say my day job is a solid 55+ hours a week of utter insanity (which I love, too, but man am I tired when I get home at night).

What I will say helps me, though, is a few small things: exercise (nothing clears my head like a long run), good music, some time alone (with no distractions, so preferably at a coffee shop), and very little TV (not because I don't enjoy it, but because I get a lot more done if I'm not parked in front of it). If I can keep myself off the internet, these things help. But it does mean that I may miss some blog posts (especially with A-Z going on right now), and I may not be the most social person ever. Don't hate me for it! Summer will be here soon, and with it more time to chat with you all!

My question for you? What helps you get through the never-ending to-do list?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Release day for I LOVED THAT ABOUT HER by C.R. Everett

Let's show some love for C.R.! Check out her release today:

I LOVED THAT ABOUT HER by C.R. Everett – SYNOPSIS

In Love, Carry My Bags, we felt Camryn Johnson’s joy and pain during her heartwrenching and heartwarming journey through life’s circumstances, poor choices, and difficult lessons. Through her relationships with both Glenn and Reese, she became the person she wanted and needed to be.
Now it’s Glenn’s turn.
Glenn, who feels chronically misunderstood, shares his side of the story in the stand-alone novelI Loved That About Her, revealing his own inner struggles and showing what it’s like to live at the mercy of forces beyond conscious control. These forces take him and his family to the edge when college arch nemesis, Raine Babcock, wreaks havoc on their lives. Glenn shows us that all is not necessarily what it seems, even to himself.
Walking a mile in his shoes, may change hearts and minds about the bad boy from Love, Carry My Bags that readers loved to hate.
Recommended for mature audiences 17+ for language and sexual situations.
EXCERPT 
My job ticked along way better than expected. Once I was on the inside, had my clearance, and put my naturally excessive curiosity to work, doors opened. And I opened them.
I popped my head into the lab walking back to my desk after an aircraft inspection. “Any little green men in here?” I asked.
“Glenn,” my boss, who happened to be in the room, said. “I was just talking about you.”
“Yep, my ears were burning. That’s why I stopped by. Whatcha need?” I asked.
My boss looked like he didn’t know quite what to make of me, but overlooked any reservations he may have had, just like anyone else who saw my potential and took a chance on me had. For those folks, I was grateful. A flashback to my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Emerson, came to mind. She was the only one who took the time after class to sit down with me and re-explain each day’s lesson, because sitting there in a room full of quiet kids, listening, drove me ape shit. Instead of listening, I fidgeted in my chair wondering what was for lunch, sometimes getting out of my chair for a better view out the window, especially when a plane flew overhead. Mrs. Emerson was nice. “I have one just like you at home,” she said. I’m not sure what she meant, but at the time, I was thinking “nice little boy.” During our one-on-one’s, she’d speak to me like I mattered and never criticized me for not being like all the other kids who could sit in their chairs, listen, and understand, going off to do their homework by themselves after class. We did my homework together, and she gave me M&Ms after each problem I did right. Once I figured that out, I aced almost everything because there was a good reason to do the work. M&Ms right away, not some dumb letter grade handed back on a page three days later. When she explained to my folks that I knew the material, they laid into me about why I couldn’t do it at home in my room, but they clearly didn’t understand the power of M&Ms . . . or one-on-one.
“Conroy,” my boss said, “we need you in Seattle. You’re the first guy I thought of when this assignment came up—right up your alley.”
I was intrigued. My ears perked up when the words “need you” hit the air. Plus the fact that he thought of me, and “right up your alley” sounded phenom. Having gotten my attention, I listened intently as boss man outlined the particulars of the job, throwing in words like “top secret” and “special clearances” and “national security.” I was all over it and would have accepted right then and there if I didn’t need to consider Camryn.
“We need you ASAP,” he said.
“Let me talk it over with my wife,” I said, somehow managing to stifle my excitement. I hoped she’d like the idea too.

Purchase Links

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

C.R. Everett was born in Northern Illinois and has lived in various places over the years, currently residing in Utah. For twenty years she worked in finance, but today devotes her time to writing. She lives with her husband, two kids, Shiba Inu, and cat. When not writing, she updates her website, connects with her readers, does the mom thing, or cleans up after unruly pets. In her free time she enjoys reading, usually at the gym while on a treadmill, baking, taking walks, enjoying nature, and going to Starbucks. Mocha is her favorite.

Love, Carry My Bags Amazon Link UShttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B009SZYJ3W

LOVE, CARRY MY BAGS – SYNOPSIS
Camryn Johnson’s world is turned upside down when long lost love, Reese Dahlgren, re-enters her life at a pivotal point in her already challenging marriage. She faces an excruciating predicament: choose between a broken home for her daughter or a broken life for herself.
After her parents' divorce, Camryn first meets high school basketball star, Reese, at the Harvard Milk Day Festival bed races. Reese hides baggage of his own…until Camryn melts his heart and learns secrets entrusted only to her. Still, the weight is too much to bear. Unable to cope, Reese unwittingly backs Camryn into a corner during his air force enlistment—love him from afar, or leave him.
Enter aerospace engineering student, Glenn Conroy. Persistent and savvy, he woos Camryn during her junior year of college and wins her heart. Or does he? When Reese re-enters her life, further disrupting her tenuous marriage, Camryn turns to best friend, Megan, for advice, but refuses to believe Megan’s suggestion that she’s caught in a “simple” love triangle.
Camryn unveils hidden mysteries and secrets as she embarks on a life-changing journey of revelation and forgiveness, transcending doormat qualities inherited from her mother, and in the process finds what life's struggles are really all about.

C.R. Everett's heart-wrenching debut novel takes the reader on an emotion-packed journey that lingers long after the last page is turned.

LOVE, CARRY MY BAGS – EXCERPT
Reese’s dad was putzing around the kitchen when we walked in. “Oh, you’re staying too,” he said, my duffel prodding his memory. “You can put your stuff in Helen’s room. Since she’s not using it anymore, you may as well.”
“Hey.” Reese greeted his father.
“If you want something to eat, you’ll have to fix it the old fashioned way.” Mr. Dahlgren stirred leftover spaghetti heating on the stove. “Your mother made sure I’d be living in the dark ages when she absconded with the microwave . . . . At least she left the television.” Reese and I exchanged uneasy glances.
“Well, that’s a good thing because you and Reese would be bored watching the microwave together while I do my homework,” I said, grasping for the bright side. “Reese, would you show me upstairs?” I asked, conveniently escaping the awkward moment.
He carried our bags up the stairs and placed mine on a low-set king-sized bed in the first room on the left. The room reminded me of my grandmother’s house with dimly lit gabled walls and a faint odor of must, the vintage green bedspread, a ‘50s remnant. “Your parents didn’t sleep together?” I asked, surprised. It hadn’t occurred to me that married people might not sleep together. Well, there were the Samuelson’s I’d heard of, but they were in their nineties and had health issues which made a shared bed logistically impractical.
“They haven’t shared a room for years,” Reese said, like this was normal—at least in his parents’ household. I stood, focusing through the bed, my head, lost.
“Look,” I said with reluctance, “I’ve got some homework that’s due tomorrow. Why don’t you go downstairs and spend some time with your dad?” Reese’s eyes told me he knew it was the right thing to do even though he’d rather not.
“I’m so glad you’re here,” he reiterated, giving me a parting kiss then closed the door behind him. I flopped on the bed, opened Accounting II.
Twenty T-squares later, Reese knocked on the door.
“I brought you some water.”  He set the glass on the bedside table then sat down next to me. “How’s it going?”
“I’m almost done.” I took a sip of water. “Thanks.”
“Good, I could use some company down there. Dad keeps bringing up sore subjects, between channel surfing. ‘Have you spoke to your mother?’ ‘Why did she leave?’ ‘The grass isn’t greener . . . it’s damn brown for me.’ ‘Why don’t you do something worthwhile with your life?’ Stuff like that.” I put my accounting text down and climbed onto Reese’s lap. I wanted to make all his bad disappear.

Monday, April 14, 2014

After Reading: THE REGISTRY by Shannon Stoker

The Registry saved the country from collapse. But stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained by the state to fight to their death.

Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous thoughts. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom.
All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back. (Goodreads)

I really didn't know what to expect going into this book. I knew it sounded interesting, and I would probably enjoy it, but I wasn't expecting it to really bother me on such a deep level. I don't mean bother me in a bad way, either, just that it was incredibly difficult to read and stomach due to the way that women were treated by society. I know this is the reality for women in many parts of the world today, but dang did it rankle me. The story itself was decent, though I didn't really feel entirely connected with Mia, and sometimes I found myself wishing her emotions were shown more, rather that being stated. Alex seemed to have more of a base for his emotions and that made things much easier to understand when it came to figuring out his motivations, well, at least most of the time :) Anyhow, I won the next book in the series and am looking forward to picking it up so that I can learn more about the crazy approximation of America that comes across in Stoker's world.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Release Day for UNQUENCHABLE by Tawdra Kandle

Another awesome release to share today!!

Nell. Is. Here.

UNQUENCHABLE

The Serendipity Duet Book Two

Available Now

Nell Massler is a powerful witch from an ancient magical family. Before she was eighteen years old, she attempted murder—not once, but twice. Committed to a psych ward, she tried to right her wrongs and almost lost her life. While she’s deep in a coma, Caruthers Initiative Institute develops a vested interest in waking Nell—and offering her a chance at redemption. Nell is given a fresh start in exchange for saving her fellow agent, Rafe Brooks. Keeping him alive and in hiding will require every ounce of her extraordinary abilities. Not falling head over heels for the sexy mind manipulator will take a miracle. It's when they uncover a plot to destroy the world that Nell will be put to the test... will she choose Rafe and to do the right thing? Or will she succumb to the temptation of evil yet again?  
FINALUnquenchable

Buy it on Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Smashwords

 

Follow Tawdra on Twitter/Facebook/Website/Pinterest

 
-2Tawdra Kandle has been a writer since the invention of the pen. Her first published work appeared in Child's Life magazine when she was 13. After a brief, thirty-year hiatus, she published a young adult quartet, The King Series. More recently, she's released both adult and New Adult contemporary and paranormal romance novels. Tawdra lives in central Florida with her husband and children, of both skin and fur types. And yes, she has purple hair.
        a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cover Reveal for ANOTHER NEW LIFE by Aaliyah Michelle

Check out this pretty cover! And doesn't it sound like a fun read??

Title: Another New Life
Author: Sydney Aaliyah Michelle
Publication Date: June 2, 2014
New Adult Contemporary Romance
**This book contains adult subject matter. Not intended for young readers.**

Cover Design by: (C) Arijana Karčić, Cover It! Designs
Miranda Preston is a walking contradiction. Beautiful on the outside, but, insecure, haunted and damaged on the inside. Despite these contradictions, she’s ready to start Another New Life.

When her talent wins her a piano scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin, Miranda arrives on campus determined to experience everything college has to offer and to keep her secrets in the past where they belong. An easy task, until the first guy who catches her eye happens to be someone, she’s known all her life. Eight years have passed since the last time Miranda and Troy saw each other. He reminds her of the best and worst times of her life, but she can’t think about one without dwelling on the other. As they grow closer, every day their attraction reminds them they are no longer kids.

The epic romantic love story that is Miranda and Troy seems to be destined for a happy ending, but Miranda knows it's only a matter of time before her secret is discovered. A secret that will not only destroy their relationship, it will destroy Troy, too.

Can Miranda focus on her future with Troy while preventing her past from tearing them apart all over again?


Giveaway
About The Author


Sydney Aaliyah Michelle is a New Adult Contemporary Romance writer, a voracious reader and movie fanatic.

Sydney has been blogging at sydneyaaliyah.com for three years, where she interviews people about their tattoos, discusses her favorite movie quotes, reviews books (New Adult & only the ones she loves) and journals about her writing and editing process.hailsfrom  Texas. After surviving 5 1/2 years living in China, she had the courage to finally pursue her passion and become a writer.

Sydney’s self­ published debut New Adult Novel Another New Life will be available June 2014. An active tweeter, she is also a JuNoWriMo (2x) and NaNoWriMo (2x) winners who notes the sci­fi action flick “The Matrix” as the best representation of her life in the past. She is blessed to be awake now and doing what she loves.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Blog Favorite: Talking about Eugenics!


I posted about this before, which you can check out here, but I've been discussing this with my students a lot lately and I thought it might be an interesting one to bring back up! Also, just as a head's up, I'm still looking for REVIEWERS for Surrender the Sky! Email me if you're interested!

Today I thought I'd talk a little about eugenics and the insanity that that phase of American history really was. It's only of my favorite topics to pontificate upon to my students, so hopefully you find it interesting :)

Anyhow, eugenics: basically the controlled breeding of humans to rid our species of undesirable traits. We did this with domesticated species like cattle, horses, and chickens, so why not with humans? That way we could get rid of genetic diseases like hereditary blindness, or mental characteristics like alcoholism and feeblemindedness (which is one of those ambiguous traits that basically just means mentally substandard). We can thank Francis Galton for the term, and a multitude of early scientists like Charles Davenport for making it extremely popular in the United States around the turn of the last century.

A licence to state a person was fit to pass along their genes!
Some of the ways eugenics principles were brought to the public at large included both "positive" and "negative" eugenics. Positive eugenics (if it really can be called that) was a means of promoting healthy breeding of individuals who would pass along good, high quality genes to the next generation. There were contests held at state fairs across the country to pick individuals & families who were representing the best eugenics applications--such as the Fittest Family, or even the best eugenics sermon to be given from the pulpit.

States with sterilization laws on the books. 
Negative eugenics was more on the force people to comply side of things. This included marriage laws between individuals who were deemed unfit (so alcoholics, epilectics, feebleminded, or individuals of a different 'races'), and many of the immigration laws from countries said to be less healthy. Also, enforced sterilization of individuals of the same. One of the most horrifying case is that of Carrie Buck, which went all the way to the Supreme Court, where it was deemed okay to enforce sterilization on those deemed unfit to pass along their genes (based on the principle that it was okay to enforce vaccinations, no less!).
Carrie Buck & her mother. 

You may recognize the negative eugenics principles as those that Nazi Germany used--and it was the USA's early research and enforcement of these techniques that really spurred the Nazi's on. They took it to the next level with genocide, however the US's role shouldn't be overlooked.

Anyhow, eugenics is one of those insane periods in our history that often gets overlooked, though it had a massive influence around the world. I would honestly argue that the principles of eugenics are still lingering here and there under different names, despite the "falling out" of eugenics after WWII.

Can you think of any books or movies that deal with eugenics principles?

Monday, April 7, 2014

After Reading: THE LAST RELICUIN by Hargus Montgomery

In the 22nd century, twelve percent of the world's population chooses history. Safe inside the guarded borders of living museums, museum dwellers resist attempts by Metro leaders to seize their lands and force them back to the cities. When Alexander Kane, (son of a powerful Metro Senator) leaves the protection of the City to enter the Federal Museum Academy, he becomes the target of a growing political struggle. Crossing borders into the 12, 18th, and 20th centuries, The Last Relicuin follows three generations of a family torn between the past and the future. (Goodreads)

Thanks to Mr. Montgomery for a copy of this in exchange for my honest review!

This book has one of the most unique worlds that I have stumbled across in quite a while. I found it totally engaging and honestly have found myself thinking about it quite a bit even while not reading. The thought of being able to live in a "museum" like someone out of a different time completely appeals to me. Now, I kind of doubt I'd do it, but as an anthropologist the whole "going native" thing is brought to a whole new level with this concept. It would be incredibly interesting to attempt to live like they did in the past. Granted, I kind of like showers and central heat/air so I don't know how long I'd fare (I did a dig for 3 months in a tent with no running water...not so eager to repeat that), but it's interesting to think about. Anyhow, the book itself did have some issues with copy-editing, which in general doesn't bother me too much but did get confusing here and there, and also had some pacing issues where I felt things got really bogged down from time to time. However, it was still an interesting read.

How about you? Would you like to try and live in the past? What era would you pick?

Friday, April 4, 2014

ONE LUCKY NIGHT Cover Reveal

Happy Friday everyone!! Hope you've had an awesome week :) I have a delightfully steamy cover for you today. What do you think? 



One night can change everything…

The crew at Boston’s Brazen Head Pub hasn’t been very lucky in love. Can a mysterious visitor inspire them to look past old hurts and misconceptions and give romance a chance? One Lucky Night is a collection of five sexy interwoven novelettes by Aria Kane, Grace Teague, Ana Blaze, Constance Phillips, and Melinda Dozier.

Lucky Break by Aria Kane
Four years ago, chef Derek Chase walked out of Andrea Rivera’s life after a tragedy neither of them were prepared to deal with. When she’s called to the Brazen Head to repair a dishwasher, old sparks ignite buried feelings.

Lucky Star by Grace Teague
When her life is threatened by a mugger, Charlotte Price realizes she's in love with her best friend, Tommy Leung. The Brazen Head seems like the perfect neutral place to confess her feelings, but nothing goes according to plan.

A New Tune by Ana Blaze
When it comes to dating, Holly Hall has one unbreakable rule: no musicians. Not even gorgeous ones. Especially not gorgeous ones. Dating them only leads to heartbreak. So why did she let singer-songwriter Cian O’Neill kiss her? And why is she thinking about doing it again?

Lexi’s Chance by Constance Phillips
As a bartender, Sean Whalen meets all kinds of women every night, but none turn his head the way that Lexi has. She’s been playing cat and mouse with him for weeks. Tonight, Sean’s determined to get Lexi to quit teasing and take a real chance on him.

Drink or Dare by Melinda Dozier
A bachelorette party Drink or Dare game pairs paramedic students, Rachel Robertson and Killian Whelan, in a flirting match. Soon, the dares threaten to turn their academic rivalry into something much more.


One Lucky Night will be available in print and at all major ebook retailers on May 7th. For now, you can add it to Goodreads</ a>!


About the Authors

Aria Kane is a recovering mechanical engineer and romance writer. As a military brat, she grew up all over the country, but now lives in sunny Florida with a 60 lb mutt who thinks he's a chihuahua.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

Grace Teague lives in Pittsburgh with her spouse, children and a cat named Mr. Sushi.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Ana Blaze lives near Washington DC with her charming husband and three cats who firmly believe they are royalty. Ana is a member of Romance Writers of America.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Tumblr </ a>

Constance Phillips lives in Ohio with her husband, two ready-to-leave-the-nest children, and four canine kids. Her perfect fantasy vacation would involve hunting Dracula across Europe with her daughter, who also digs that kind of stuff.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Tumblr

Melinda Dozier teaches English to middle schoolers by day and writes at night. She lives in Guatemala, Central America with her college sweetheart and three sons.

Website | Twitter | Facebook</ a> | Pinterest | Goodreads


Giveaway

The authors are giving away four print copies of One Lucky Night before you can buy it!

Enter here.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cover Reveal: CHASING SHADOWS by

I said this week was going to be all about the cover reveals, right? Because here we have cover #2! So pretty!!

About Chasing Shadows (Tala Prophecy, Book 2)

Reagan thought one night changed her life forever, but her fate was written long ago.

Merging creature and white blood,
One of flame, one of night,
At eighteen years it will commence,
Spiritual warrior and power,
Will bring an end to the lawless ones.

A war looms: One that pits brother against brother for werewolf supremacy. Angels and demons will each have a say before a victor is chosen.

With her eighteenth birthday only six months away, time is running out. Reagan must find a way to harness the two powerful, ancient bloodlines coursing through her: Werewolf and Wiccan. Then, she has to figure out her role in the century-old prophecy foretold by her great-grandmother.

However, if Reagan can’t save her family from her most vicious rival, Rafe, the forces of Hell will be unleashed and the war will be over before it starts.

Add Chasing Shadows to GoodReads

Cover design by Jo Michaels



About the Author

Tia Silverthorne Bach is an avid reader, sometimes runner, involved wife and mother, and rabid grammar hound in addition to being a multi-genre writer. Her three daughters were born in Chicago, San Diego, and Baltimore; and she feels fortunate to have called many places home. She's the award-winning co-author of Depression Cookies, a coming of age story written with her mother. Tia's office is wherever her laptop takes her and any place that's conducive to allowing a wild imagination like hers to flourish.

Connect with Tia: website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and GoodReads.