Thursday, November 5, 2015

Review: All the Words Are Yours: Haiku on Love by Tyler Knott Gregson

Title: All the Words Are Yours: Haiku on Love
Author: Tyler Knott Gregson
Publisher: Perigee Books
Publish Date: October 20th, 2015
Rating:

Here starts the journey

Every day for the past six years, Tyler Knott Gregson has written a simple haiku about love, and posted it online. These heartfelt poems have attracted a large and loyal following around the world. This highly anticipated follow-up to Chasers of the Light, presents Tyler’s favorites, some previously unpublished, accompanied by his signature photographs, which capture the rich texture of daily life.

This vibrant collection reveals the intimate reflections of one of poetry's most popular new voices -- honest, vulnerable, generous, and truly present in the gift that is each moment.

Tyler Knott Gregson's first book, Chasers of the Light, was a beautiful, thoughtful collection of poems and photographs that inspired and awed while communicating the intrinsic quality of love. Gregson's poems make you realize how throughly love and hope are weaved throughout our daily lives. You can find it in every touch, every glance, every word, if you're looking for it.

Gregson's second book, a collection of haikus on love titled All the Words Are Yours, has a very similar feel to his first. Some of the haikus feel intimate, like a shared moment between two people. Some of them are a little more motivational. I believe each reader will find a few that feel more poignant than the rest, a little more relevant in their own lives. But all of them are beautiful when you take a moment to read them. Whether that's a casual perusal, or if you sit down with the soul intent of studying Gregson's words.

Romantic and thought provoking, the poems, alongside the photographs, create a book worth reading. Personally, I liked his first book better, but if you like poetry or are a fan of Gregson's work, I recommend getting yourself a copy of All the Words Are Yours. If you haven't picked up a copy of Chasers of the Light yet, I encourage you to do so, as well as stopping by Tyler Knott Gregson's website for more of his beautiful words.

For more about All the Words Are Yours check out these sites!

AmazonB&NIndiebound

iBooksGoodreads


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cover Reveal: Spark by Holly Schindler

Today we're sharing the cover reveal of Holly Schindler's new YA novel, Spark! The book's not out until May 17th, 2016, so make sure to add it to your TBR!

In my hometown, the restoration of a former movie theater on the town square provided the genesis for my new YA novel, SPARK. Who among us hasn’t dreamed of seeing their name in blazing neon across a gigantic marquee? Let me invite you to dim the lights and draw back the velvet curtains—let your imagination run wild as you enter my fictional Avery Theater, where literally anything goes…

— Holly Schindler

When the right hearts come to the Avery Theater—at the right time—the magic will return. The Avery will come back from the dead.

Or so Quin’s great-grandmother predicted many years ago on Verona, Missouri’s most tragic night, when Nick and Emma, two star-crossed teenage lovers, died on the stage. It was the night that the Avery’s marquee lights went out forever.

It sounds like urban legend, but one that high school senior Quin is now starting to believe, especially when her best friend, Cass, and their classmate Dylan step onto the stage and sparks fly. It seems that magic can still unfold at the old Avery Theater and a happier ending can still be had—one that will align the stars and revive not only the decrepit theater, but also the decaying town. However, it hinges on one thing—that Quin gets the story right this time around.

Holly Schindler brings the magic of the theater to life in this tale of family ties, fate, love, and one girl’s quest to rewrite history.


I love this cover. I love the photo, the colors, the tagline... It all comes together so prettily. It makes promises of magic and romance without hitting you over the head with it.

What do you think of the cover?

About the Author:

Holly Schindler is the author of three previous YA novels: PLAYING HURT as well as the critically acclaimed FERAL (starred PW review) and A BLUE SO DARK (starred Booklist review, ForeWord Book of the Year silver medal, IPPY gold medal). A writer of books for all ages, Schindler’s MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, has made the master list for children’s book awards in Illinois, South Carolina, and Alabama. She is also a hybrid author, having independently released comedic women’s fiction (FIFTH AVENUE FIDOS) and the forthcoming PLAY IT AGAIN, her adult follow-up to her YA PLAYING HURT. She can be reached through her author site: hollyschindler.com, and hosts special sneak peeks and giveaways for subscribers of her newsletter: tinyletter.com/hollyschindler.com.


Spark “premieres” May 17, 2016, but you can buy your “tickets” now. Links to pre-order:

AmazonB&NIndieBoundGoodreads


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Excerpts & Giveaway: The Libby Garrett Intervention by Kelly Oram

Happy Thursday everyone! Today marks day 4 of Science Geek Appreciation Week. I hope you're having as much fun with it as I am. So far we've been introduced to The Avery Shaw Experiment, we've been teased about the upcoming The Libby Garrett Intervention, and we've gotten to know a little about the author behind all the geeky goodness, Kelly Oram. Today, it's time to get to know the stars of the Spanish Fork High science club a little better with a peek in their personal journals.


Libby Garrett is addicted to Owen Jackson's hot lovin'. But the sexy, popular college basketball player doesn't appreciate all of Libby's awesomeness. He refuses to be exclusive or even admit to people that they're dating. The relationship is ruining Libby and she's the only one who can't see it. 

When Libby's behavior spirals completely out of control, her best friend Avery Shaw and the rest of the Science Squad stage an intervention hoping to cure Libby of her harmful Owen addiction. They put her through her very own Twelve Step program—Owen's Anonymous—and recruit the help of a sexy, broody, hard-as-nails coffee man to be her official sponsor.

...

Adam Koepp has watched Libby Garrett for years. How could he not notice the sassy girl with the purple skateboard and helmet plastered with cat stickers? But in all the years he's crushed on her, Libby has failed to take notice of him. Why would she when he was just a nobody high school drop out who served her apple cider several times a week? Especially when she was hooking up with a guy like Owen Jackson—a guy with a college scholarship and more abs than Kyle Hamilton.

Adam finally gets the chance to meet Libby when his co-worker Avery Shaw recruits him to take Libby on the journey of a lifetime. With his ability to play Bad Cop and his experience with the Twelve Step program he's the perfect candidate to be Libby's sponsor. But will he be able to keep his personal feelings out of the matter and really help her the way she needs? And will Libby hate him when he forces her to take an honest look at herself?

If you missed any of the previous posts about The Avery Shaw Experiment or The Libby Garrett Intervention, be sure to stop by the Facebook event. Along with the posts, there are all kinds of extra bonus material, games and giveaways going on. Lots of chances to win signed books and swag, talk to the author and just have fun with other science geek loving friends. There's a new giveaway every day. CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE PARTY!

As part of the Avery Shaw Experiment, Spanish Fork High science club president, Avery Shaw, and her new recruit, Spanish Fork High basketball star Grayson Kennedy were required to keep journals throughout their study. I happen to have a few of those journal entries, and am very excited to share them with you. Before I do, just in case you haven't read the book yet, (For which there is no excuse because it's on sale for $0.99 this week. ;) ) I believe I should give you a tiny bit of insight as to what, exactly, The Avery Shaw Experiment is. But since this is the day to get to know Avery and Grayson, I'll let them explain it in their own words.


Avery & Grayson's Journal Excerpts:

So, now that we know what kind of experiment Avery and Grayson have embarked on, lets get a peek inside those journals...

The following is a short story written as bonus material for The Avery Shaw Experiment. It is not an excerpt from the book and is spoiler free. Enjoy!


I See London, I See France

(Avery)

Dear Diary, 
Though I am clearly past the shock, denial, and bargaining stages of grief, I have not attained guilt yet. If I had to describe myself as anything right now, I would say I’m simply empty. Sad, hurt, and empty. 
What happened between Aiden and myself was tragic, but, really, it was nobody’s fault.

Aiden has as much right to his feelings as I do mine. He did what he did because it’s what he needed, not because of something I’d done. Even Grayson agrees that I did nothing wrong. He’s told me a hundred times already that I have nothing to feel guilty about. 
Grayson’s right. I have nothing to feel guilty about. And I don’t. Feel guilty, that is. It’s been days and still the guilt won’t come. I’m not even sure what I’m supposed to feel guilty about. I just know it’s the next stage in the grieving process. 
As part of the Avery Shaw Experiment, I have decided to try and let the stages of grief occur naturally. However, that doesn’t mean that I will sit around waiting for acceptance and a cured heart to find me. No one has ever achieved results by being stagnant.  
I’ve decided that the best thing for me to do is that which true mourners do—try to move on with my life. I need to stop dwelling on the past. I need to accept that my relationship with Aiden will never go back to the way it was, and that my life has changed in a very permanent way. I will never be the same.  
I figured step one of “moving on” was to purge my life of all things Aiden Kennedy.

Tonight I had Grayson come over to my house and help me remove everything that reminded me of Aiden. My theory was that if I see nothing that sparks a memory, then I would be able to think of Aiden less and it would be easier for me to forget him. 
This experience was much harder and more painful than I thought it would be. I never could have done it without Grayson’s support and encouragement. Crying in front of him was embarrassing, but he didn’t seem to think any less of me for it. I’m grateful to have such an understanding partner. 
After it was all over—Grayson had to pry the garbage bag full of memories from my hands and drive away with it, or all of that stuff would have ended up right back in its place—I expected to feel better. I expected some sort of closure or sense of relief. Instead I looked around at all the bare walls and dust outlines on the dresser and cried even harder.  
The empty spots where the pictures and souvenirs once were now stand as reminders themselves—big empty voids just like the one in my heart that used to be filled with my best friend. Part of me is missing. It’s as if I am an amputee missing an arm or a leg.  
The spot on my wall where I used to hang a poster of Albert Einstein that Aiden had given me after I’d dressed as the brilliant physicist for Halloween in middle school was the most obvious gaping hole. I took one look at that spot and broke down. 
When I lost it, Grayson wrapped his arms around me, told me he knew how to fix the problem, and then disappeared slamming my bedroom door shut behind him. After a minute, he came back and I watched, bewildered, as he pinned a pair of smiley face boxer shorts to my wall where Einstein used to watch over me. 
I couldn’t help the way my horrified gaze dropped to Grayson’s pants. He burst into laughter, knowing what I’d been thinking, and insisted that the shorts now on my wall were his emergency pair—clean and washed—that he kept in his gym bag, and that this was most definitely an emergency. 
I asked why he tacked his underwear up on my bedroom wall and he told me because now every time I looked at that spot I would think of him and laugh instead of thinking of Aiden and crying. He was right. I can’t help smiling at the ridiculous smiley faces.  
He also told me that they would help me have good dreams. When I asked why he said because I would dream about him being mostly naked instead of having nightmares of Aiden leaving me. I’d freaked out so badly that he’d had to prompt me to breathe again. I don’t know that I’ll have any dreams at night, but the daydreams are already ridiculous. I can’t stop picturing him in those shorts! I’m going to have to get something to replace them. Soon!

Purging

(Grayson)

Avery is crazy. Girls are slightly insane in general, but Avery is especially nuts.  She called me up tonight and asked me to help her purge Aiden from her life. I have been asked by a lot of girls to do a lot of things, but never to help them purge. Whatever she meant, I was sure it wasn’t going to be all fun dates and playing like she’d promised me when I agreed to this whacked-out experiment. 
Apparently purging was smart-girl talk for throwing out your ex’s junk. I know this is like some kind of sacred ritual among chicks—they have scenes about it in movies and everything—but I don’t get what the big deal is. It’s just stupid crap. Pictures, CD’s, lame stuffed animals, and in Avery’s case, old science projects, reports, and even a Civil War diorama that she and Aidan had done in the 3rd grade. The thing was practically biodegrading and yet Aves nearly had a panic attack when I shoved the old shoebox into a garbage bag.  
Avery was a freaking train wreck through the whole thing. I had to do all of the actual throwing out because she wasn’t really capable of anything more than pointing at stuff and bursting into tears. She couldn’t even explain why half of that crap reminded her of Aiden. (I’m still at a loss with the Diana Ross CD.) 
I thought her attachment to all of it was stupid, but I have to admit the concept had merit.  
She needed to get over my idiot brother already. The dude was not worth the emotional pain Avery was putting herself through. If I could, I’d wipe Aiden clean from the Earth, but since murder is a felony and I’m too hot to go to prison, purging him from Avery’s life was the next best thing. Aves may have found the evening emotionally scarring, but I thought it was mildly satisfying. Punching Aiden in the face would have been more satisfying, but there was some consolation in burning his pictures. 
The more stuff we got rid of, the better I felt. When I carried the garbage bag out of the house—I had to pry it from Avery’s fingers—I thought Aves would feel better too. I thought for sure there would be some kind of relief for her. 
Not so much. 
I came back inside and found Avery staring at her bedroom wall like some kind of mental patient.  When I walked in the room she turned to me and my heart almost broke for her.

Her tears were pouring down her face again and the look in her eyes was so devastated that I felt her pain with her. 
In a single stride I pulled her against me and wrapped her tightly in my arms hoping that feeling her there would stop the throbbing in my chest.  
Crying girls have always been my biggest weakness. I pretty much hate this about myself, because it makes me vulnerable to them. But I seriously cannot stand it when girls cry. It’s like there is something in me, some kind of physical part of me that reacts when I see a girl cry. It makes me crazy and the feeling doesn’t go away until I’ve made them stop. I have to make them stop. I have to do whatever it takes to put a smile on a sad girl’s face no matter what it does to my dignity.  
I’m such a sucker. Tonight was no exception. Actually, it was one of my least dignified moments ever.

Curse my stupid hero gene.  
Aves was falling apart and I had to make it better. While she buried her face in my chest, my brain spun frantically searching for some sort of solution. I wasn’t even sure what had set her off this time, but then I looked up at the wall and everything fell into place.  
Avery had had this lame poster on her wall of an old dude with crazy hair. I think it was Albert Einstein or someone. I’d taken it down, but it had been in that same spot for so long that you could see the outline of it where the sun had bleached the paint around it over the years.  
The big empty rectangle spot was worse than the poster. It was practically jumping off the wall, mocking me in the worst way. I may as well have painted the words AIDEN LEFT YOU in the poster’s place when I took it down, because now it was obvious that it was gone. Just like Aiden was. 
I had to fix it. I had to get rid of that spot. But I couldn’t put the poster back. I had to put something else there. Something that wouldn’t remind her of Aiden. More than that—it had to be something that would cheer her up and put a smile on her face when she saw it.  
It was the “smile” thought that gave me the idea. 
Now, this is the part where my dignity comes into play. I was so desperate to cheer Aves up that I’d have given her the shirt off my back if I thought it could help. Unfortunately, in this case, my shirt wouldn’t do any good. But my underwear… 
That’s right, I gave Avery Shaw my underpants. The stupid, dorky ones Aiden got me for Christmas a couple of years ago because he’s a tool like that, that I kept in my gym bag.

They were white with rainbow smiley faces all over them. Ridiculous. But they would make Avery laugh. 
Before I could think better of it, I strolled into Avery’s room and tacked those dumb shorts right over that stupid poster spot. After they were securely fastened to her wall I turned around and grinned at her as big as I could. The trick was confidence. I had to act like I thought this was totally normal, and the most brilliant idea ever or Avery would know how stupid I suddenly felt and then she’d get embarrassed. 
Avery looked slightly horrified and her eyes dropped to my waist. I burst into laughter and pulled up my shirt, exposing the band of the boxers I was wearing as proof that I was still dressed beneath my pants. Once she was assured that the shorts on her wall were at least clean she, of course, asked me why I’d just decorated her room with underwear.  
I explained my theory of them making her laugh and think of me instead of the Einstein poster making her cry over Aiden. It worked. She looked up at my shorts and actually smiled. It was the first smile I’d seen on her face since I’d arrived. I felt five hundred pounds lighter all the sudden and my smile reached goofy status.  
Then, because I’m a jerk and couldn’t help myself, I made a comment about her dreaming of me in nothing but those smiley faces. She totally freaked of course. I knew I shouldn’t have done it, but I love watching her blush too much. She turned so red that I was sure she had a very clear mental image stuck in her head. 
I waited until she started breathing again, then I kissed her bright red cheek and told her to have pleasant dreams tonight. It was classic. There is no one on the planet more adorable than Avery. 

To read the rest of The Avery Diaries, and find other fun bonus material visit the "extras" page on Kelly's website.

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Kelly wrote her first novel at age fifteen--a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy.


This follow-up companion novel to The Avery Shaw Experiment can be read as a stand alone. (But where's the fun in that?) The Avery Shaw Experiment is only $0.99 right now. So why wait until October to meet Libby when you can fall in love with her right now for only a dollar?

The Libby Garrett Intervention coming October 24th!

Available for preorder now at: 

Amazon • iBooks • KoboB&NGoodreads

Special preorder price of $2.99. (Two dollars off the normal listing price of $4.99)

Check out The Avery Shaw Experiment at

AmazoniBooksKobo • B&NGoodreads

For more bonus material, teasers, games, and chances to win things like signed books and swag stop by the Facebook event, happening now through Friday.






Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: The Libby Garrett Intervention by Kelly Oram

Welcome to Day 2 of Science Geek Appreciation Week with Author Kelly Oram! If you missed yesterday's post about The Avery Shaw Experiment, you can check it out HERE. And don't forget to stop by the Facebook party for all kinds of extra bonus material, games and giveaways. There's a new giveaway every day. CLICK HERE TO PARTY!

Now... On to the cover reveal for The Libby Garrett Intervention!

The Spanish Fork High Science Squad is back in this hilarious and heartwarming companion novel to The Avery Shaw Experiment.


Libby Garrett is addicted to Owen Jackson's hot lovin'. But the sexy, popular college basketball player doesn't appreciate all of Libby's awesomeness. He refuses to be exclusive or even admit to people that they're dating. The relationship is ruining Libby and she's the only one who can't see it. 

When Libby's behavior spirals completely out of control, her best friend Avery Shaw and the rest of the Science Squad stage an intervention hoping to cure Libby of her harmful Owen addiction. They put her through her very own Twelve Step program—Owen's Anonymous—and recruit the help of a sexy, broody, hard-as-nails coffee man to be her official sponsor.

...

Adam Koepp has watched Libby Garrett for years. How could he not notice the sassy girl with the purple skateboard and helmet plastered with cat stickers? But in all the years he's crushed on her, Libby has failed to take notice of him. Why would she when he was just a nobody high school drop out who served her apple cider several times a week? Especially when she was hooking up with a guy like Owen Jackson—a guy with a college scholarship and more abs than Kyle Hamilton.

Adam finally gets the chance to meet Libby when his co-worker Avery Shaw recruits him to take Libby on the journey of a lifetime. With his ability to play Bad Cop and his experience with the Twelve Step program he's the perfect candidate to be Libby's sponsor. But will he be able to keep his personal feelings out of the matter and really help her the way she needs? And will Libby hate him when he forces her to take an honest look at herself?

Teasers:

Libby

Avery sighed. “This isn’t an attack, Libby, it’s an intervention.” 
My head snapped Avery’s direction.  “Homegirl says what?” 
Avery smiled again, but this time it was full of determination. “You have a problem, Libby. We’ve all come here tonight because we love you and we’re worried about you.”
“Okay, someone definitely cooked up something special in the chem lab or something. You’ve all officially gone mental. I’m not on drugs.” 
Avery shook her head. “But your relationship with Owen is just as destructive.” 
I’d heard enough. “An intervention?” They were comparing me to a drug addict and saying Owen was my crack? “I came here to apologize to all of you and this is what I get?” I jumped to my feet. “This is such equus ferus feces!” 
I bolted for the door and got about three steps before Adam intercepted me, blocking the way like a lean, tattoo-covered wall of attitude. He stood in a typical bouncer’s stance with his feet shoulder width apart and his arms folded across his chest. Though he wasn’t particularly tall or bulky, he was still intimidating. I glared up at him.

“And you’re a gluteus maximus!” 
Adam’s face pulled into a frown and he looked to the group to translate. Aiden grinned. “That’s Libby speak for ‘This is horse shit’ and ‘You’re an ass’.” 
Adam brought his gaze back to me, and I kept up my glare, refusing to take it back. I waited for him to flip out on me, but was shocked when his lips twitched as if he was fighting a smile. I had to be wrong, though, because there was no way this jerk had a sense of humor. “Get out of my way.” 
He face hardened again. “You sit that luscious little gluteus maximus of yours back down on that couch right now,” he said, “or I’ll put it there myself.” 
It really does not happen often, but I was rendered completely speechless. I was also unable to move, save the way my eyes tripled in size as I gawked at him. He gave me a dry look and added, “Capisce, Cider Chick?”

Adam

When I looked at Libby, she shrugged as though she was as helpless in this situation as I was. “Help me, Coffee-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” 
It was so Libby. 
“Okay.” I prayed I wasn’t making a huge mistake. 
Kate and Avery both squealed and pounced on me, giving me hugs. I was still wary, but their energy was contagious and I cracked a smile. 
“Thank you, Adam,” Avery said. “You really, really are the best. Is there any chance you could get started tomorrow? Libby managed to say no to Owen tonight, but if we don’t help keep her distracted tomorrow, she’s going to end up in his very expensive hotel suite tomorrow night.” 
And just like that, all my reservations about this disappeared. I was all in, and failure was not an option. Libby was never going to end up in that jerk’s bed ever again if I could help it. “Tomorrow’s as good a day as any. I’m off work at two.” 
Libby was already at the door trying to escape, but she stopped before turning the knob. “Actually, I need you ready to go at seven thirty in the morning. Avery already cleared it with your boss. He was more than happy to take your shift. He said he’s been trying to get you to take a vacation day for months.” 
My head reared back. “You cleared my schedule tomorrow?” 
Libby looked me right in the eyes and grinned wickedly. The smile did something to my insides. “You’re mine tomorrow, Coffee Man,” she purred jokingly. 
I stopped breathing. Hers. Yes. Yes I was. Heaven help me, but I was hers. This was so bad. If I wasn’t careful Libby Garrett was going to break me. I had to take control of this situation fast. I don’t know what kind of look I had on my face when I stalked across the room toward her, but her eyes widened and she backed up until she bumped into the door.

“You’ve got that all wrong,” I said, placing my hand on the door beside her head, trapping her in front of me. I’d meant to intimidate her a little, but when she sucked in a breath and shivered, I lost control again. I leaned in a little too close and my next words accidentally came out in a possessive growl. “Starting tomorrow, Cider Chick, you are mine.”

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:

Kelly wrote her first novel at age fifteen--a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat, Mr. Darcy.


This follow-up companion novel to The Avery Shaw Experiment can be read as a stand alone. (But where's the fun in that?) The Avery Shaw Experiment is only $0.99 right now. So why wait until October to meet Libby when you can fall in love with her right now for only a dollar?

The Libby Garrett Intervention coming October 24th!

Available for preorder now at: 

Amazon • iBooks • KoboB&NGoodreads

Special preorder price of $2.99. (Two dollars off the normal listing price of $4.99)

Check out The Avery Shaw Experiment at

AmazoniBooksKobo • B&NGoodreads

For more bonus material, teasers, games, and chances to win things like signed books and swag stop by the Facebook event, happening now through Friday.



Monday, August 3, 2015

Character Interview & Giveaway: This Is One Moment by Mila Gray

I am so excited to be a part of the This Is One Moment blog tour. Mila Gray's first novel, Come Back To Me, was one of my favorite New Adult novels of last year, so I am understandably excited to have Didi Monroe, star of her very own companion novel, stop by to tell us about herself and the book centering on her life! We also have a giveaway so make sure to check that out!

A forbidden romance. A wounded Marine who thinks he’s beyond saving. A girl who’s determined to prove him wrong.

Didi Monroe’s waited her whole life for the type of romance you see in the movies, so when Hollywood heartthrob Zac Ridgemont sweeps her off her feet, Didi believes she might finally have met the one.

While Zac’s away filming for the summer, Didi begins her internship at a military hospital in California. There, she meets wounded Marine Noel Walker. Frustrated on the outside and broken on the inside, Walker’s a pain-in-the-ass patient who refuses all help. Yet Didi can’t help but be drawn to him, and though he’s strictly out of bounds it soon becomes impossible to ignore the sparks flying between them.

As the attraction simmers into dangerous territory, Didi finds herself falling hard for a man she knows is going to break her heart. Because Walker doesn’t believe in love or happy ever afters. So what possible future can there be? Then tragedy hits, shattering both their worlds, and Didi is forced to choose between fighting for love or merely falling for the illusion of it.

Tell us a little about yourself, Didi.

I live near San Diego in California and I am at college in LA doing my PhD in Psychology. As part of my doctorate I’m currently interning at the rehab hospital on the military base just outside of town. It’s a centre for both physical and mental rehabilitation for Marines who have been wounded and it’s a very challenging place to work. The people are amazing but it’s also been a very eye-opening and humbling experience.

My dad is the head psychologist there. My mom is a famous sex therapist – you might have heard of her as she’s on Oprah a lot and her books are in the bestseller lists (this was insanely embarrassing when I was a teenager but is quite cool now).

I’ve had a few boyfriends but am currently single. Sort of. I had a few dates with an actor I met through my best friend Jessa, but he’s now away filming. Jessa thinks I’m a hopeless romantic and it’s possible she is right. But I think that’s better than being a cynic about love.

What are your thoughts after your first few days at the rehab centre?

I’m really enjoying it – though it’s been a baptism of fire. There’s a lot of banter and teasing but it’s pretty harmless and fun – in fact it amazes me that people with terrible injuries are able to make jokes and act so positive. I’m not sure I could do the same in their position.

Seeing what some of these people are going through has really made me think twice before complaining about the little things in life.

I’m also finding it hard because I want to be able to help and make a difference but some people are just not ready to accept help. Learning when to back away and when to keep trying is key to success.

There’s one guy – a Lieutenant – just twenty three who lost his whole Unit in an ambush in Afghanistan. He’s refusing all help. He won’t talk to anyone, won’t let anyone in and seems to have given up. And then there’s another guy in the next room who has lost an arm and a leg but who’s training for a rehab triathlon and is forever smiling and making jokes.

What were your first impressions of Walker?

Walker is the Lieutenant I mentioned before. I met him on my first day. The first thing I thought was that he had all this pent up energy – not just anger, but sadness, rage, grief. And he’s burying them all. Not letting anyone in. But it’s clear as day that he needs to talk to someone and let it out or else it’s going to destroy him. He reminds me of a bear caught in a trap. He lashes out at anyone who comes near but someone needs to help him out of that trap so he can heal. I just worry that whoever it is might lose their head if they try.

Giveaway:

Giveaway is International and three prizes are up for grabs!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


About the Author:

Mila Gray is the pen name for young adult author Sarah Alderson.

Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah quit her job in the non profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and tutu-wearing daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home.

After almost a year spent wandering around India, Singapore, Australia and the US, they settled in Bali where Sarah now spends her days writing and trying to machete open coconuts without severing a limb. She finished her first novel Hunting Lila just before they left the UK, wrote the sequel, Losing Lila, on the beach in India, and had signed a two book deal with Simon & Schuster by the time they reached Bali. Since then she has published a further four novels and several short stories.

The contemporary thriller The Sound, was published in the US in May 2014, while Out of Control, a thriller with a focus on human trafficking, was released in May ’14 in the UK and May ’15 in the US. Her first adult novel Come Back To Me was released in the summer 2014 by Pan Macmillan in the UK and became an instant bestseller. It will be released in the US in December 2015 by Simon & Schuster. Foreign rights have been sold to Brazil, Australia, US, Canada, Italy and Portugal.

Sarah is also a screenwriter. She adapted her first novel Hunting Lila for the screen (currently in pre-production) and is working on several other screenplays (multi-tasking is one of her favorite things).

Her first adult novel, Come Back To Me, was published in June 2014. The second, This One Moment, will be out in August 2015.

Sarah has co-written the Hunting Lila screenplay, which is currently in the early stages of production, and continues to blog about her life and travels.


For more about This Is One Moment check out these sites!

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Guest Post: The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts by K.C. Tansley

Today we have a guest post with K.C. Tansley, author of The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts. K.C. is talking about world-building and how she originally came up with the idea for the book when she was just 11 years old! Check it out below!

Kat Preston doesn’t believe in ghosts. Not because she’s never seen one, but because she saw one too many. Refusing to believe is the only way to protect herself from the ghost that tried to steal her life. Kat’s disbelief keeps her safe until her junior year at McTernan Academy, when a research project for an eccentric teacher takes her to a tiny, private island off the coast of Connecticut.

The site of a grisly mystery, the Isle of Acacia is no place for a girl who ignores ghosts, but the ghosts leave Kat little choice. Accompanied by her research partner, Evan Kingsley, she investigates the disappearance of Cassie Mallory and Sebastian Radcliffe on their wedding night in 1886. Evan’s scientific approach to everything leaves Kat on her own to confront a host of unbelievables: ancestral curses, powerful spells, and her strange connection to the ghosts that haunt Castle Creighton.

But that’s all before Kat’s yanked through a magic portal and Evan follows her. When the two of them awaken 129 years in the past with their souls trapped inside the bodies of two wedding guests, everything changes. Together, Kat and Evan race to stop the wedding-night murders and find a way back to their own time—and their own bodies—before their souls slip away forever.

Worldbuilding with the Unbelievables by K.C. Tansley:

A long, long time ago, in a seventh grade home room, two awkward brainy kids, Anthony and Kourtney, started talking about the kind of story they loved to read. They were eleven years old and adored Agatha Christie mystery novels. So of course, a great story would have to have a mystery in it.

At some point, Anthony pulled out a notebook and started taking notes.

Kourtney suggested there be a castle. Because all cool things happened in castle. Anthony suggested they locate the entire story in England because that’s where castles were. (Revisions would later put the castle in Connecticut)

And the main characters? Well, they should be smart. Definitely older students. (They decided on grad school, but revisions would put their characters in high school.)

But what was the mystery?

Kourtney and Anthony took their time on this. A great mystery needed to be well thought out. Between them, they settled on murders that happened ages ago. Kourtney loved the Victorian era, so they agreed to have it happen in the late 1800s.

They both loved the paranormal, so their students would go to the castle to research the murders. A terrible storm would strike, and they would travel back in time to a week before the murders. They would have to find a way back to their own time. At the same time, they would be putting together clues and living out the days before the murders.

Then Kourtney and Anthony got sidetracked creating all the characters that lived in the present and in the past. They had eight families in their original story world. Anthony filled his notebook with a paragraph on each character. By the time they were nearly done, the story had lost its steam. And as happens with children, they were off to other things.

Eighteen years passed before Kourtney thought of that story concept. By that time, she was working on Wall Street and Anthony was a Fulbright Scholar in Croatia.

Kourtney wanted to tell that story so she emailed Anthony. He was happy to help out with the general outline, but timing and scheduling didn’t work out when it came time to write the novel.

So Kourtney did it.

As she worked her way through each draft, the story tightened and shifted. She streamlined the eight families down to four.

She tried to take the familiar and add a twist. Castles in England had been done to death. What if it was in Connecticut instead? Along the lines of her favorite CT castle, Gillette Castle. And instead of Victorian era, that would make it New England Victorian era. That was a little more unique. She loved it.

When her characters went back in time, she had to find a way to ramp up the tension. Sure there was the impending wedding night murders in the past, but that didn’t impact her main characters, Evan and Kat, directly.

So she thought about it. What if the more time Evan and Kat were in the past, the more they faded away? What if being there was risking their future? She had to figure out all the rules of the world building that would make that possible.

As she revised the story and settled deeper into Kat’s point of view, she realized she needed something cool and compelling about Kat. She needed to give Kat a secret. A secret that made her special and isolated. What if Kat could see ghosts, but she chose not to? That was intriguing. But why? Because of what a ghost had tried to do to her when she was younger. Kat’s backstory was born. And this ghost thread wove through the entire book, taking on a life of its own.

The book shifted and reshaped itself with every revision. There were so many things that the 11-year-old Kourtney wanted in the book. Adult Kourtney spent years working to bring the story to life.


About the Author:

K.C. Tansley lives with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, on a hill somewhere in Connecticut. She tends to believe in the unbelievables—spells, ghosts, time travel—and writes about them.

Never one to say no to a road trip, she’s climbed the Great Wall twice, hopped on the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, and danced the night away in the dunes of Cape Hatteras. She loves the ocean and hates the sun, which makes for interesting beach days. The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts is the first book in her YA time-travel murder mystery series.

As Kourtney Heintz, she also writes award winning cross-genre fiction for adults.


For more about The Girl Who Ignored Ghosts check out these sites!

AmazonGoodreads



Friday, June 12, 2015

12 Days of Great Summer Reads: Serial Hottie by Kelly Oram

Let's add a little suspense, comedy and romance to the summer!

Ellie’s Sweet 16 is a summer of firsts.

First car.

First kiss.

First boyfriend.

First serial-killing stalker…?

Hockey-obsessed tomboy Eleanor Westley has never been the object of a guy's affection before. So when the hottest boy she's ever seen moves in across the street and starts treating her like she's the center of his universe, naturally she's going to be a little skeptical. But everything starts to make sense when girls who look just like Ellie start dying all around the city. Obviously the new guy is the killer, and of course he only likes her because he wants to slice her into tiny pieces. Right?

The more Ellie gets to know Seth the more she's convinced he's a psychopathic killer. Problem is, he's the sweetest psychopathic killer she's ever met. Not to mention he's brutally hot. No matter how hard she tries, she can't help but fall for him.

From the best selling young adult author of The Avery Shaw Experiment and V is for Virgin, comes a lovable, quirky, and wildly funny coming of age contemporary romance about a girl, her strange but hot neighbor, and the crazy summer that changed both of their lives forever.

Will Ellie find true love?

Or will her summer of firsts turn out to be a summer of lasts?

Review:

Serial Hottie by Kelly Oram is such a strange mix of sweet, strange, and scary. It's a fun story about a scary topic, but I still enjoyed myself while reading it. Probably more than I should have. That might have had a lot to do with Ellie and her personality though. She was pretty awesome. I mean, how many girls in YA haul off and clock a guy for messing with her? Not many.

Seth is a hard character to fall for because he's just so creepy. But he's also so sweet it's hard not to like him. This made reading Serial Hottie quite the struggle because Seth's behavior is enough to make you want to crawl out of your skin one moment, and then totally dismiss that behavior the next. His whole relationship with Ellie was so strange that I basically had to dismiss everything creepy he did and just enjoy the silly story for what it was.

I loved how Ellie's parents and sister were involved in her life and in more than just a get-in-the-way sort of role. I especially loved Angela. At first I thought she'd be the standard annoying sister who, for some reason, hates her sister, but I was pleasantly surprised when she took up Ellie's we-live-next-to-a-serial-killer cause. It took her a little while to come around, but she was surprisingly caring towards Ellie and I loved that! Honestly, I felt Seth and Ellie's developing relationship paled in comparison to Ellie and Angela's. I've read so few books with such a strong sibling relationship that I totally fell in love with the Westley sisters.

If you're looking for a different sort of rom-com, and aren't totally freaked by semi-possessive boys with a temper and a dark past, give this one a try. Just remember it is a book called Serial Hottie, it's not meant to be taken too seriously.

Grab your copy HERE!

Excerpt:

“Bruno, no! Stay! Bad dog!” I called when I realized he wasn’t going to stop. But it was too late.

Bruno jumped up and knocked me right off my skates.

Everything happened so fast. I crashed back against my driveway hard, and for a second, things went totally black. When I came to my ears were ringing, my head was pounding, and I felt like I was going to vomit at any moment. Then, just as I’d suspected would happen, a giant tongue attacked my face.

Bruno only got the chance to give me one good lick before he yelped and fell limp beside me.

That’s when I looked up to see the new guy staring down at me with the most intense eyes I’d ever seen.

And, get this. He was holding a Taser. “Hi, Ellie,” he said in a strong, deep voice. “It’s nice to meet you.”

Well of course I screamed. The psycho just killed the Haskins’ dog. I screamed loud enough that the J’s probably heard me all the way at camp. Then I tried my best to push the new kid away from me, but he was too strong. I would have freaked out that such a hot boy was touching me, except I was too busy freaking out that such a hot boy was touching me! Pinning me to the ground, actually.

“Easy there, Ellie,” New Guy ordered me and then did the weirdest thing ever. He took off his shirt.

Not that I didn’t appreciate what was under his shirt, but I screamed again. Well what was I supposed to do? The guy comes out of nowhere, kills a dog, pins me to the ground, and takes his clothes off? Oh yeah, and he knows my name. How does he know my name?

It wasn’t until he wadded up his shirt and plastered it against the back of my head that I realized maybe he wasn’t attacking me. Once I understood this it finally dawned on me how much pain I was in.

Author Top 10:

1. I went to college as a voice performance major

2. I once competed in the Miss Michigan Teen USA pageant. (I did not win LOL.)

3. I’m a baseball fanatic. (Go D-backs!)

4. I broke my head as a kid and had to wear a hockey helmet to school.

5. I own my own 10-sided dice for role-playing that no one but me is allowed to role.

6. I wrote my first novel when I was fifteen.

7. I’m a big fan-fiction geek.

8. The Backstreet Boys were my 1D, and I was a total fangirl.

9. I love Broadway musicals.

10. I love to play golf. (Though I totally suck at it.)

Giveaway:


a Rafflecopter giveaway


For more about Serial Hottie check out these sites!

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