Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My Observations (Really!)

My pirate-writing days. I was 12.
I've been doing a lot of writing, lately. No, I haven't been writing about vampires (even though I heart me some Salvatore Brothers). Neither have I been penning tales of adventures on the high seas (that's what I did when I was 12 and I was dying to see Pirates of the Caribbean). I have been working on writing about the world as I see it. Literary fiction, or nonfiction as the case may be, is an intensely private business, I've been told. It's all about your feelings and your emotions. And since I'm usually one to repress those pesky things, this has been an interesting experience for me. However, writing is the best place for me to display my character, so I've been collecting tidbits of observations about the world around me these past few weeks. The most mundane things are sometimes the most interesting things in the world, if you really stop and think about it. Which I did. And the result was this:


I am searching through the sales rack in the back of the women’s clothing department. A tall boy with blonde surfer hair looks at me from across the aisle. I freeze like someone caught in the act of a crime and step behind a tall shelf of clothing. When I peek around the other side, he’s still watching. I glance in a mirror and wonder if something’s wrong with my face. Maybe I have something caught in my hair. A few minutes later I walk out of the women’s department to look at the book section. The boy is still standing there, but when I leave, he leaves. Why would anybody stare at me? I wonder. It bothers me that I will never know. 

I usually find amusement in watching other people's actions, facial expressions or manner in which they speak. I also think it's very telling about a person to watch how they drive. Case in point: 

My mom and I are waiting to cross Jefferson and Lake Washington. Across the boulevard a woman sits at the wheel of a green pickup truck. She pulls her hair from a ponytail and starts attacking it with a brush. Her movements are wild and violent. Her hair flies in different directions before she checks her reflection in the mirror. When the light turns green the truck lurches forward. She barely makes the tight turn. She drives like she brushes her hair. I wonder if she lives like it, too. 

I think writing is all about injecting your true feelings into your work, which is why I am working on strengthening my nonfiction before I finish a work of fiction. Once I have that down, the sky's the limit, and I'm excited to see where all of this will take me. Until then, I have a huge weekend ahead of me and I'll probably be writing about that next week. Farewell!  

Monday, May 28, 2012

Indie Monday: Featuring Candid


My review
Oh, the powers of photography. Hang on; let me rephrase that: Oh, the powers of BLOGGING and photography. When Sienna Miller decides to use her camera and her blog to start shaking up the social status quo of her local high school, things get tricky - and dangerous - quick. But wait. Where would a Young Adult novel be without a hot athlete/mysterious dude/gentleman/love interest? Nowhere, I tell you! She manages her little photography scheme with the help of oh-so-wonderful Lee. There's only one problem. Her mother is a man-hater and Sienna isn't allowed to date. Drama, people. Drama. 

I received this book from the author and don't worry, I didn't let that influence my review. I was so glad to read something that didn't include vampires or werewolves or supernatural zombies with gorgeous hair. This was a story about the everyday life of a high school student. I love the whole blogging aspect because, ahem, well...I AM a blogger. *cough* I also identified with Sienna on a number of levels. Her mother drove me insane. Seriously, Sienna's mom equates holding hands with a boy as the ultimate betrayal. Dear lord, somebody pull this woman out of the 19th century. In all seriousness, I really enjoyed the book. It was cute, it was fun and it was simple - just 
the way I like it.
The author, Michelle Pennington, stopped by for an interview to talk about her book! Here she is, in her own words...(well words that replied to my questions).

Salutations, Michelle! I’m so glad you’re visiting today. Why don’t you introduce yourself to everybody reading?

Well, as I write this, my two year old is dumping a bottle of bubble solution out on my floor, so I guess I’ll start by saying I’m a stay at home mother of three. When I dreamed of being a writer, I never pictured it quite like this – you know, crazy. I’ve always wanted to be a writer and a mother, but I never really thought about how I would put the two together. Let me tell you, it takes a lot of discipline, but it’s so fulfilling. My children inspire me and keep me hopping at the same time. Without them I wouldn’t have such a well-developed sense of humor or so much patience. Writing takes both.

I’m married to my sweetheart and the hero of my own love story. He thinks I’m a total nerd and doesn’t get how my brain works, but he’s proud and supportive just the same. While I was writing Candid, he made sure I didn’t mess up any of the sports scenes since that is the passion of his life. He’s also my “cheese filter” because I only have to read him a line to know if it’s too mushy, sickly sweet, or unrealistic. He often says, “A guy would NOT say that.”

Besides writing, I have a lot of interests. I studied art and literature in college and I love photography. I sew, cook, craft, decorate, sing, READ, and watch old movies. (Sometimes I get on a Bollywood movie kick. Love them!) I look pretty normal but I’m pretty sure my brain works differently than most of the people I know. Of course, most people don’t have fictional characters living and talking in their heads all day. It works for me though. 

Your novel, Candid, is a YA novel. Tell us a little about the story.

Candid is the first book in the True Images Series. So much of our identity is determined by how people see us and how we see ourselves. I’ve always wanted to explore the ways that those perceptions can change. My main character, Sienna, wants to shake up the social scene in her high school because she hates how so many peoples’ images are not true to who they are. In photography, a candid picture is one that is not posed, but is taken without the subject being aware of the camera. The word candid also means being honest and sincere, or without deception. When we pose for photographs, we are presenting ourselves as we want the world to see us. As Sienna says, candid photography catches the “fleeting but revealing emotions” of people. The ironic part of the story is that Sienna thinks she has herself figured out, but then Lee comes along and turns her life upside down. She begins to realize that she hasn’t been candid with herself.  

What inspired you to write a story like this?

My idea for Candid began back in my own high school days. I was the yearbook editor and back then (not SO long ago) we only had film photography. We had hundreds of photos that we had to sort through. Some of them were just magical. I don’t exactly remember when Sienna started living in my head but it was sometime during my junior year. She didn’t have a name yet, but she did have a passion – photography. She had a room with hundreds of photographs that spoke to her. It wasn’t long before she took on personality and depth. Once her love interest showed up, a new guy who played basketball, I knew I would have to write her story someday.  

Did you base this book on any real-life High School experiences you might have had?

As I already mentioned, all of the yearbook and photography aspects of this story were easy to write about since I was so involved with it myself. Funny enough, the football scenes were also from my own experiences – or my mothers. I was the water girl for football for a few years so I got the unique experience of being down on the field in the middle of everything. My mother was the yearbook sponsor and so she was the one out on the field taking pictures at every game. She was an endless source of inspiration and advice for Sienna’s work on the field – and even some of her disasters.


Will you write a sequel to Candid, or is it too early to say yet?

I am already working on the second book in the series, Focused. The next book will be told from both Sienna’s point of view and Lee’s. Because of that, we’ll be learning a lot more about Lee as well as getting a different perspective on Sienna. All of my readers who were hungry for more after Candid will get what they asked for!


What’s your favorite reading snack? Does music inspire you to write?

Lately I’ve been eating a lot of salted, roasted, in-shell peanuts. Wow, are they a mess. I have peanut shell dust all in my keyboard. I need to give it a serious deep clean. The only downside to them besides the mess is that you need two hands to eat them. Luckily I can prop my Kindle up so I can still enjoy them when I read. Besides that, I have a tendency to crave whatever the characters in the book are eating.

Music is probably the best way to create the mood I want for writing. My last book was a Christmas romance so I listened to Christmas from June to October as I wrote it. This time I bought a lot of fun, upbeat music by young, current artists. I also put together a playlist of sad, depressed, and brooding music to help me through some parts of the story. For Focused, I need to figure out what a young athlete might have on his ipod to help me write Lee. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to get them.

You can contact me at michellepennington-author (at) gmail (dot) com, or come over to my Facebook page and leave a like and a comment there: Michelle's Facebook. If you want to keep tabs on where I’m at with Focused, or just with my life in general, follow my blog at Novels and Novelties - I’d love to see you there! For now, I have a bubble mess to clean up so I’d better wrap this up. Thanks for having me, Summer! It’s been a blast. 













Friday, May 25, 2012

Summertime Giveaway


COLLEGE IS OVER!!! Woohoo! That's right, gents and ladies. My college semester has closed and, beside the fact that I am packing my bags and heading down south to go to a different town and a different college, I'm so ready to enjoy the hot months of summer! To celebrate my newfound enthusiasm for life (summer always does that for me), I'm throwing a Summertime Giveaway. Ebooks only. All kinds of yummy titles of good old fashioned romance. You can enter EVERY day for a chance to win, and remember...it's summertime, so have fun with this!









I've only read half of these so far - I'll be reading more over the summer (in between dipping in the pool and watching Vampire Diaries reruns...oh, and that pesky little thing called "work."). Anyway, 7 books means 7 winners so...good luck. Oh, and did I mention that this is an International Giveaway? No? Well.... *grins* I just did! Good luck, and have a stellar summer vacay!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Crashing Eden

Joss is a troublemaker. Seriously, this kid has been locked up in jail and he deserved every minute of it. When he comes back home from the big house he stews in his bitter despair. See, Joss has a lot of inner turmoil going on. His brother committed suicide last year and he blames himself for it, his mom hates his guts (but she has good reason to mistrust Joss) and he's on a fast track to a bleak future. But hey. Something's bound to happen to shake this story up a little, right? One day Joss gets hit by a car and wakes up listening to some relaxing, blissful sound that makes his world brighter. It's like getting high, but without negative side effects. It turns out that this is the PV, or Primordial Vibration, a sound that everybody used to hear before God banished humans out of Eden. As the world begins buying synthetic devices to tune into the PV without getting hit by a car (I would not recommend sustaining a concussion to get in touch with the universe under any circumstance), plagues and destruction start to creep up on the earth. Things are looking dismal, and Joss had better figure out a way to save the world before there's no world left to save. 

I received this book from the author and I was happy to the have opportunity to read it. The good things about this book? A fast pace. I love books that have a fast pace. I was never bored when I was reading this book, which to me was the biggest plus on planet earth. Another good thing was that it was interesting how the author wove mythology and science into his story. The one element that I wasn't crazy about was the main character, Joss. He wasn't the kind of MC that you root for...he was the type that I wished was still locked up in prison. On the other hand, the author was a psychologist and I'm betting he drew on some of his experiences with troubled individuals to create a realistically whacked protagonist (haha, not quite whacked, but you know what I mean). All in all, Crashing Eden is definitely an entertaining read.



Check out Michael Sussman at his website HERE! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Indie Monday



It's Indie Monday, folks! The day of the week when I take a moment to stop and elaborate on some of the up and coming indie authors in the world of fiction and, sometimes, nonfiction. Today I'm going to be covering this book:


Most of his life, Charlie Reese has been surrounded by a loving family and all the comforts of home. But when a house fire claims them, he and his cousin, Jimmy are sent to an orphanage in the heart of ‘Depression Era’ Chicago. A year later, Charlie’s life is shaken by yet another tragedy and with it comes the mysterious introduction of a secretive runaway, named Bartholomew. As Charlie begins to discover more about his new companion, he unknowingly becomes a participant in a two-hundred year old secret. Come the morning of the Black Blizzard, Charlie finds he must make a choice - flee the destiny laden at his feet or take on his responsibility and follow a path full of supernatural wonders. (synopsis taken from Amazon)

The author, Kimberlee Ann Bastian, was awesome enough to hop by today and share her thoughts on writing, reading and music! Read on, friends...

Hi, Kimberlee! I’m so glad you stopped by for Indie Monday. Why don’t you introduce yourself to everybody? Well, as I tell the folks at my day job, I was born in Wisconsin and raised in Minnesota; that's why I love cheese and dislike the Packers. I have been creating stories since I was in grade school, but it wasn't until I was in the sixth grade that I wanted to become an author. I wrote four stories before I graduated high school with the thought I would go to college and get a degree in English. Well, it didn't quite work out that way. I had a horrible advisory who deterred me from my passion and I ended up in Recreation. It may seem like a crazy switch, but Recreation gave me the chance to be creative and enhance my research and writing skills. So, I graduated, got my first "big girl" job at a Rec Center and hated all four months of it. Feeling a little lost, I moved back home. A few months past until low & behold one night in May an idea light bulb, like the ones in classic Looney Tunes cartoons, turned on and I started writing again...    

The title of your book is The Orphan, the Soulcatcher and the Black Blizzard. Can you tell us a little bit about the story? Certainly. "The Orphan, the Soulcatcher and the Black Blizzard" takes place during the Depression Era in 1934 Chicago.  It follows the adventures of Charlie, the orphan, and Bartholomew, the soulcatcher. Think of Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, but less British and if Oliver were a mythological creature. As the story unfolds, Charlie and Bartholomew tangle with two rivaling street gangs, a talking cat, a greedy grocer, a mysterious showman, and a rowdy bunch of poker players. Come the stories end, Charlie must decide if he wants to ditch Bartholomew and flee Chicago or fall further down the rabbit hole and follow a destiny full of supernatural wonder. 

What inspired you to write a book like this? Well, it’s quite the story itself. During my sophomore year of college, I wrote an informative speech on the History of Halloween. From it I learned how we began the practice of carving Jack O'Lanterns. According, to the Irish myth, a man by the name of Stingy Jack tricked the Devil. Each time Stingy Jack forced the Devil to make a deal with him that if he should die, the Devil not take his soul. When Stingy Jack died, God would not let such an unsavory character into heaven and true to his word, the Devil did not claim Stingy Jack's soul. Instead, the Devil carved out a turnip and put a lump of coal in it to help Stingy Jack light his way through the black. In order to ward off Stingy Jack and other evils, people would carve faces into turnips or potatoes and set them in their windows. When the practice was brought to the States, pumpkins were used. I always thought it interesting why Stingy Jack's story had never really been elaborated upon. So, I thought, why not give him a story. Granted, Stingy Jack does not appear in this book, but he is definitely element one for the series. 

Also, I have a passion for American History so I tackled most of the setting by researching every book and internet source I could. I wanted Chicago to be as authentic as possible, but even more so, I wanted to do something different than the norm.  

Do you think you’ll ever write a sequel? Yes! The second one is waiting on my editor to become free and the third is drafted. I'm actually planning on a 9-part series, called The Element Odysseys. Apparently, I have to out do Harry Potter, haha. 

Okay. Here’s a question concerning your reading habits. What kind of books do you read that get you excited about the genre you write? Who are some of your favorite authors? Well, I consider myself a late bloomer to the world of books. In my K-12 years, books and I were not friends. Sure, I read the LOTR Trilogy + The Hobbit  & the Harry Potter Series, but for the most part I hardly ever read. I was too much of a TV nut. College didn't leave much room for leisure reading, so I didn't jump on the bandwagon then either. It's only when I started writing again, that I started making time to read more, which is right when the Twilight Series changed the game. I am all about YA right now, since it is the genre I find myself in. However, I did branch out to Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches which is brilliant. I even got to meet her! As for my favorite authors, I jump around so much I don't religiously follow anyone's work. Some of my recent reads: Amanda Hocking's Switched (working on getting the sequels), Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games Trilogy, Alexandra Monir's Timeless, and Sherrilyn Kenyon's Chronicles of Nick (just bought the third installment). My greatest inspirations have been Charles Dickens, Homer, and Stephan King (he was my first). 

When I write, I like to do so in a certain spot, like my desk or near the window (and in convenient reach of the candy jar). Do you have a favorite “writing spot?”  I actually move a lot around the house. Some times I set up my station in my room on top of an old sewing machine, some times in the sun room, on rare occasions I'll even open the front door and sit in the doorway. I can't go outside cause I can't see my computer screen. I always have a water bottle handy. I love water, haha. Also, I wear a set of pink camouflage cat ears--they help prevent my thoughts from escaping my brain. I wore them a lot when I studied during college and always seemed to do my best work with them on, so I figured I should continue the practice.  

Last but not least: do you listen to music while you write, or do you prefer silence? Both. Some days I can't use a distraction, other times music helps me focus better. If I listen to music it is more often than not movie themes. Songs with words are like daggers to my brain, though there are a few exceptions. For instance, I listened to David Cook's Permanent for days when I was working on Book 3. A few of the themes on my playlist are "Dune Messiah" from Children of Dune, "Ice Dance" from Edward Scissorhands, "Rita Sue and Jonsey" from HBO's Carnivale, "The Meadow" from New Moon. You can find more on the blog: The Element Odysseys!

Thank you so much for hopping over here, today, Kimberlee! Keep up the wonderful work! Thanks for having me, Summer. :) 

To pick up The Orphan, the Soulcatcher and the Black Blizzard, visit here. 
To connect with Kimberlee on the blogosphere, visit here. 


Friday, May 18, 2012

I Am Everyone I Meet: Blog Hop!


Greetings, peeps! I'm taking part in a mini-hop, as I like to call it, for one of my favorite books, I Am Everyone I Meet: Random Encounters on the Streets of Los Angeles. Now, you might be wondering, what is this book? Is it YA? Is it NA? Is it horror? Nope, nope and...um...definitely nope. I'll be reviewing this book for the Blog Hop, and then I'll give you the list of all the other bloggers who are participating in this event.


Apparently there are stories all around us. When James walks out his door he sees those stories better than most people, and he has an interesting way of retelling them. That guy who sits on the corner panhandling? There might be more to him than you think. And it's amazing the conversations you can have with people on a public bus. At the gym, down at the coffee shop, on the sidewalk, in the car, on the street, on the phone, at home; the list goes on. It is fascinating to me how everybody he meets is willing to talk to him about practically anything at all. I'm a pretty shy person, so I like to live vicariously through books like this. You should, too. 


The cover art was designed by Jules White, assistant professor at Virginia Tech and prominent artist. You can explore his work by click his name above! 


I am personally hosting a giveaway for one Kindle Edition of this book - the giveaway is only running over this weekend so be sure you hurry and enter! You can also pick up the book for 99 cents HERE!




a Rafflecopter giveaway


Take a few moments to check out James White's Blog and maybe give him a follow or two! Also check out the participating blogs in this event - they're posting some stellar stuff on this book, as well! 


Julia Thiel at Branding Authors  
Lisa's Blog 
Diary of a Divaliciouz Book Addict  
Jules White  
Abria at Shall Write  

Monday, May 14, 2012

First Loves Blogfest



First Loves. Okay, so when I was thinking of First Loves for this blog hop, I immediately began wishing that I had a somewhat interesting, slightly scandalous and very fascinating past to reveal. Unfortunately, my first loves are about as shocking as a black and white psychology term paper. So…here we go!

First Movie Love:  When I think of a first love from a movie I’m going to have to come clean and admit that I didn’t have one for a long time. I was a Disney kid and I grew up watching Disney cartoons, so the closest I ever got to crushing on a hero was Prince Philip (not a bad choice, really). I always did have an epic adoration for Spiderman, however. Like a huge adoration. While other little girls were watching My Little Pony I was watching Spiderman dodging pumpkin bombs and saving M.J.’s life. Not, of course, that I was abnormal at all…I did like Jack Sparrow for a long time and then (you knew this was coming) it was Captain Von Trapp from The Sound of Music. So what does this means? It means my first “movie love” was probably a cartoon. Oh, well. 
Captain Von Trapp....le sigh. 


First Song/Band Love: I didn’t grow up listening to pop music or mainstream artists. I grew up listening to CDs of Bach, gospel music and those annoying yet relaxed cassette tapes of Across the Bridge. But I finally caved in and ventured out into the world of pop and mainstream stuff when I was a little older, and the result was the Jonas Brothers. At the time they were pretty hot stuff, and I remember singing that addictive, clever song, Lovebug, over and over again. I wasn’t the only one, though! My mom had the song on repeat, too. In fact, for my 16th birthday I went to a Jonas Brothers concert with my mom and we had a blast! So yeah, the Jonas Brothers were my first song/band loves. I haven’t had another since they dropped off the pop radar a few years ago. The closest thing I have to a song/artist love right now is Adele, but she’s a girl, so…yeah.

First Book Love: Oh, so you want to know about that. Like my musical maturation, I didn’t start reading so-called “mainstream” fiction until I was in High School. The very first book I ever bought was Twilight, believe it or not (I know some of you are groaning, but hey! It was brand new back then!). I’d read about it in some magazine and thus my first book love was Jacob Black. I know, I know. You’re all tired of hearing about Twilight. Truth be told, so am I. I’m just here to confess that it was, in fact, Jacob Black. Okay. Glad I got that off my chest. * sigh *
First Love: I’m assuming this means I can’t say that my first love was my imaginary pet mouse or my teddy bear who fell on a candle and garnered an ash-colored spot on his forehead. That sucks, because my “first love,” was more like a “first disaster,” and let me tell you, the whole experience was like a tragic sitcom where the main character gets shortchanged. It went something like this:
Girl meets boy.
Boy says, “What’s up?”
Girl replies, “Nothing. Want to hang out?” 
Boy becomes friends with girl for no apparent reason.
Girl and boy begin to date.
Boy falls in love with a football (among other things).
Girl finds out.
Boy pretends his cellphone was lost in the Mariana Trench.
Girl drops boy like a dead fish and lives happily ever after with Tom Cruise.

FINE! So I added the last part.
The part about the fish.
Yeah, that’s the story of my first love right there. I know. It's so shocking and scandalous. 
I’ll be right here all week, ladies and gentlemen. Blogging and writing and designing and working and reading and scoping out potential new authors (how’s that for a run-on sentence?). So I’ll see you all later!
Yeah. It was because he didn't sparkle. That's the only excuse I have for this. 
The 90s were the best, people!
Remember these dudes?



Seven Point Eight Tour


Seven Point Eight:
The most powerful number in the universe.
The number that connects everything.

A long time ago, our ancestors lived in a very different world
from the one we inhabit today. We understood the language of the Earth, the stars, the sky people and we knew of the Number. This was a moment known as The First Time. 

But over time, we forgot all of this and the wisdom of the Number was lost too. We walked through life asleep, ignorant of the truth.

Yet we retain a deep and hidden memory of everything that we ever were. There lies within us the hope that one day, we can re-connect with the language of the Earth, the stars, the sky people and the wisdom of the Number. The moment has arrived for The Second Time.

It is time to wake up. (Synopsis via GoodReads) 




Marie Harbon is the author of this science fiction/fantasy paranormal thriller that is sure to please readers and delight lovers of the fantastical and mind-bending. I originally was planning to do an interview   with Marie for this post, but that didn't quite pan out (alas!), so I'm featuring it instead! I don't generally read science fiction, or science fantasy for that manner, but this title sounds pretty cool. And I have to admit: I really like the cover art. Take a minute to check out Marie's book and visit her website! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Giveaway!!


Happy Friday!! My big giveaway is ending on Monday (I'm giving everybody a chance to win one of 5 new YA releases), so I'm going to start another giveaway for an awesome book called, I Am Everyone I Meet. This is the same giveaway that will be coinciding with the blog hop on May 18th for the same book! But what is I Am Everyone I Meet all about? Well, the L.A. Times had some pretty nice things to say about it right here! But for all you wondering, it's a book written by a man named James P. White, and he chronicles all of his experiences and random encounters on the streets of Los Angeles. Now I've been to Los Angeles many times, and let me tell you: there are million of stories waiting to be told about that place. James does a wonderful job of doing that. Curious? Here's a little excerpt from his book, which is written as a series of short vignettes:


I'm on a street off of Broadway downtown, sitting at an outdoor cafe, having a piece of coffee cake and a bottled water. I notice a shoe shine stand and decide to get my shoes shined. I finish eating and as I walk to the stand, a car honks loudly. I jump, look around, and see no car. Then I hear another honk, closer. Again there is no car. The noise must be carrying from a long way away. Suddenly a siren blares and quickly after, a series of beeps (like unfastened seatbelt warnings) occur. Then I see a Mexican walking past. A second later, he makes the sound of squeaking brakes. He is making all these sounds! Perfect imitations. 
Amazing, I think. People used to imitate birds. 


I LOVE that, don't you? It's so interesting and so authentic, the way he tells his stories. You feel like you're right there with him. I'm giving away one free Kindle edition of his book below, so if you're interested, be my guest and enter!!! Oh. And spread the word, pretty please? *wink*





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What's Up With Me


Everyone once in a long while I do a post called What's Up With Me to let you guys know what's going on in my life. Not that my life is as interesting as Sarah Jessica Parker's or anything. But I'm trying. So what is up with me? Well, I'm moving. That's right. The big m-o-v-e is upon me at last. So I'll try to sort through my piles of books and boxes of newspaper clippings (I'm a collector) to get organized for moving day. Unfortunately, that's easier said than done. You would be surprised at how much stuff can accumulate under your bed after a decade. Like socks from my toddler days, old Jonas Brothers posters, plastic trophies, that feather that I lost years ago that the cat used to play with and dark green eyeshadow. Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking with that one. You can only wear so much eyeshadow before you start to look like Marilyn Manson.

In other news, I'll be taking part in the First Loves Blogfest on Monday, and I'll also be interviewing Marie Harbon, author of Seven Point Eight on the same day (yeah, I double-booked myself). On the 18th I'll be posting over at our joint blog, NA Alley, and on the 31st, I'll be cooking up an interview with NA author Rebecca Hamilton over at the same fabulous venue.
Okay, it's time for me to get back to work! Don't roam far, lovely people.
I will be posting again on Friday (because let's face it, I can't afford to miss the epic season finale of The Vampire Diaries!!!).

Ahh! 



Sunday, May 6, 2012

Indie Monday



Happy Monday, folks! I know, I know. Monday is not generally a “happy” day. I mean, who really wants to stop watching reruns of soap operas just so they can get back to the rat race and fight coworkers over water cooler rights? Not me, that’s for sure. That’s why I’m a writer (and also a bit crazy, but hey, it’s give and take). This Monday I’ll be reviewing 2 Indie books. If you’re new to the Kindle scene, an Indie book is a novel that’s self-published as an e-book. I have found some really amazing self-pubbed e-books. I’ve also found some not-so-awesome ones. It’s kind of like browsing a candy shop. Most of the truffles are great, but every once in a while you get a stinker. Or a clunker. Or whatever you want to call a bummer truffle.
But that’s beside the point! Today I’m reviewing His Kiss, by Melanie Marks, and Chasing McCree, by J.C. Isabella.

His Kiss, by Melanie Marks


 His kiss? It's awesome. Griff, aka as 'The Grief Master,' is the school's hottest hottie and baddest bad boy. Ally Grange, on the other hand, likes melting into the shadows, writing in her journal and hanging out with her very shy boyfriend, Aiden. But then she and Aiden break and up she ends up falling for Griff. It could be good. It could be bad. But it's certainly not going to be easy.

I have several big-time qualms with this book. First, the word UGH was used on every other page, along with the word 'BAH,' 'GAH,' 'STILL,' and many other phrases. It's a super short book, and I believe the words GRR and UGH were used over 30 times. Yes, I calculate these things. There really wasn't a story. It was a little novelette designed to entertain and make you swoon. I honestly didn't swoon very much because the main character drove me crazy. She was always running away from Griff and her logic was ridiculous. Not ridiculous in a witty way. Just annoying. It was an OK read. Definitely worth 99 cents. Short, to the point. I'm always glad to see Indie authors out in the world, so kudos to Melanie Marks for that.

Chasing McCree, by J.C. Isabella


Chase McCree is a cowboy. Briar Thompson is a cheerleader. They're both wise beyond their years and looking for love. They find it in each other, and it isn't long before Briar is running away from her selfish, rich parents in Florida to stay with Chase on his cattle ranch in Montana. It's just a short trip. Just for fun...right? What could possibly go wrong? Famous last words, my friends. Famous last words.

This was a cute, short and easy book to read. I love cowboys (and who doesn't, really?), and it was interesting to me to have two drastically different characters fall in love. In fact, I was wondering if the author was going to be able to pull it off. And guess what? She did! I was totally sold on Briar and Chase's romance. The best thing about the story was that their love was sweet rather than just plain fluffy, if you know what I mean. There was some substance behind it, and that was warming. There were several unbelievable aspects to the book - the characters acted as if they were in their late 20s rather than 17 year-olds in High School, and I got plain tuckered out (cowboy speak for "sick of") of Chase using the same swear words over and over for no apparent reason. But once you get past the few quirks, it's an enjoyable story that's cutely written.

Well, wasn’t that exhilarating? Fine. So it’s not quite like skydiving or joining the Army or swimming with sharks, but in my world, books are how I entertain myself. I’m sure you know what I mean, fellow book lovers.
In conclusion, I will be conducting an interview with another fabulous Indie author, Rebecca Hamilton, author of The Forever Girl on May 31st over at Na Alley (If you haven’t checked out our joint blog yet, you have so got to say hi!)!

Catch you later, peeps! 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

I Am Everyone I Meet: Blog Hop!




Happy Friday, my friends!! I’m stoked to announce that I’ll be hosting a Blog Hop for a favorite book of mine: I Am Everyone I Meet: Random Encounters on the Streets of Los Angeles, by James P. White. Haven’t heard of it? Have no fear! This Blog Hop is the perfect way to discover a new author and get some extra traffic on your blog (I know all about that!). The Blog Hop will take place on May 18th – 2 weeks from today.  Here’s what you’ll need to do to sign up for a spot on the blog hop:

·      Have a blog! (Any blog will do!)
·      Be willing to put a guest post on that fabulous blog.
·      Or review I Am Everyone I Meet (If you’ve read it).
·      Fill out the super-quick Google form below! 

If you want to learn more about James and his book(s) visit here! 

I hope you’ll take part in the fun! (There will also be a giveaway running during the Blog Hop.) 

Fill out the Google Form HERE! 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Secret Life of Copernicus H. Stringfellow

Copernicus H. Stringfellow has a secret life. Scratch that. He has a secret POWER. I won't give it away, but suffice it to say that Copernicus, also called Nick, is smarter than the average bear, er, person. He has a good heart, a positive attitude, and somehow he seems to have an endless amount of money which he uses constantly to help those in need. If you ever wanted a male incarnation of Mother Theresa, you've got Nick, except with the IQ of 2 or 3 Albert Einsteins. No lie. He takes it upon himself to help the people in need around him, all while keeping his secret life, well, SECRET, and navigating a sweet little romance with the lovely and intimidating doctor whom he works with at the local hospital. 

Hmm. This book was very interesting (and I believe Copernicus would agree with me there). The good things: a very kind, sweet main character who had nothing but goodness in his heart. I liked that. For a change it's nice to have a male protagonist that isn't battling a slew of inner demons. Nick just wants to do good and be nice and all that kind of jazz. Another good thing? The book was relatively snappy. It was a pretty quick read and I liked how the chapters weren't really too long but instead separated into a bunch of smaller ones, almost like a series of vignettes. The bad things? This is just me: I found the whole Twinkie thing very weird and yes, mildly disturbing (read the book and you will see what I mean!). Second, there was a lot of fluffy banter that didn't serve much of a purpose other than to stretch the page count of the book. In conclusion? The Secret Life of Copernicus Stringfellow will make you wonder...who else around you is living a secret life?


*This book was given to me by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review, which I gave.