Category Archives: Contests

Author Interviews
December 21, 2013 posted by Nichole

Must Love Otters by Eliza Gordon Book Blitz Author Interview + Giveaway

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unnamed1-188x300Title: Must Love Otters

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Humor/Contemporary/Romantic Comedy 

Publisher: West 26th Street Press, NYC (a division of Writers House)

SUMMARY:
Hollie Porter is the chairwoman of Generation Disillusioned: at twenty-five years old, she’s saddled with a job she hates, a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her, and a vexing inability to say no. She’s already near her breaking point, so when one caller too many kicks the bucket during Hollie’s 911 shift, she cashes in the Sweethearts’ Spa & Stay gift certificate from her dad and heads to Revelation Cove, British Columbia. One caveat: she’s going solo. Any sweethearts will have to be found on site.
Hollie hopes to find her beloved otters in the wilds of the Great White North, but instead she’s providing comic relief for staff and guests alike. Even Concierge Ryan, a former NHL star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another. Just when Hollie starts to think that a change of venue doesn’t mean a change in circumstances, the island works its charm and she starts to think she might have found the rejuvenation she so desperately desires. But then an uninvited guest crashes the party, forcing her to step out of the discomfort zone where she dwells and save the day … and maybe even herself in the process.
******
Links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Must-Love-Otters-Eliza-Gordon-ebook/dp/B00G2V5G32/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_d_2
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/must-love-otters-eliza-gordon/1117247811?ean=9781630640101
iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/must-love-otters/id730760486?mt=11
unnamed-11-300x224About the Author:
Eliza Gordon is a husband-and-wife team of controlled chaos who writes romantic comedies and silly stories for hearts that haven’t given up on the possibility of a Happily Ever After. 
Twitter: @eliza_gordon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eliza.gordon.52
Additional Website: www.jennifersommersby.com

Can you tell us about your book, Must Love Otters, in 15 words or less?

A silly, feel-good story about a girl who goes looking for otters and finds her heart instead.

(Crap, that’s 18 words. I lose.)

Is this a standalone or a series?

We wrote it as a standalone. But we have talked about what happens next with Hollie and Ryan …

What made you want to write adult contemporary romance?

We wanted to write something funny with grown-ups in it so we could let loose a little. Writing Otters was really freeing — we had no limits about how wacky things could get. And who doesn’t love a good romance?

Did anything specific inspire you to write Must Love Otters?

I’ve spent the last few years working on a very serious YA book with heavy themes and sadness and dark stuff. I needed something light and fluffy that would make people laugh. Mr. Gordon and I spend a lot of time trying to crack each other up, so it was a natural progression to try to make other people giggle too.

That cover is adorable! Who designed it?

Sarah Hansen of Okay Creations. She’s quite talented, as you can see.

What was your favorite scene to write?

That’s tough — probably the last one. I’m a sucker for a happy ending.

What was the hardest scene to edit out?

We took out a storyline that had to do with Hollie’s absent mother. That was sort of sad because I wanted to show that side of Hollie’s life, the one that didn’t ooze happiness, but my agent felt it changed the tone of the story too much. He was right. As usual.

Did any music inspire you while writing Must Love Otters?

I’m a movie score junkie. I have specific sets that I listen to depending on what I’m writing. For rom-coms, I listen to film scores from romantic comedies as the music is light and whimsical. Movie score composers are very skilled at marrying music to emotion, and this is of great benefit to me.

If you could cast anyone to play some of the main characters, who would you choose?

For Ryan? Henry Cavill, known around these parts as vitamin Henry. (Poor Mr. Gordon.) Another actor who inspired me greatly during the writing process was Peter Mooney, an adorable Canadian actor who most folks probably know from Camelot (Kay) or Rookie Blue (Nick Collins). I don’t have an actress in mind for Hollie, to be honest, although her behavior and attitude and general messiness were modeled around Kristen Wiig’s character Annie in Bridesmaids.

What are you currently working on?

Our next book, of course! I’m superstitious, though. I won’t talk about a project until the first draft is close to completion. Not great for marketing, but my neuroses overrule me.

What is currently in your TBR pile?

Ohhhhh man, that is a huge pile. I read all over the place, pretty much all genres — um, I’m reading a Sophie Kinsella (Remember Me?), and I have another three of her books waiting. I tend to read several books at a time — my mood will dictate that evening’s reading — so I’m midway through Rage Within, a fantastically dark, post-apocalyptic creepfest and The Book Thief (I have to finish it before seeing the movie). Oh, and the first Game of Thrones book. Slowly, slowly. I’ve got so many books sitting here, we could probably build ourselves a home out of their bindings.

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Blog Tour
December 20, 2013 posted by Nichole

Lichgates by S.M. Boyce Excerpt + Giveaway

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unnamed (3)Lichgates by S.M. Boyce  (The Grimoire Saga #1)
Publication date: October 15th 2011
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Fans of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Eragon will enjoy this contemporary remix of the classic epic fantasy genre. —————-
Kara Magari is about to discover a beautiful world full of terrifying things—Ourea.
Kara, a college student still reeling from her mother’s recent death, has no idea the hidden world of Ourea even exists until a freak storm traps her in a sunken library. With no way out, she opens an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire and unwittingly becomes its master, which means Kara now wields the cursed book’s untamed power. Discovered by Ourea’s royalty, she becomes an unwilling pawn in a generations-old conflict—a war intensified by her arrival. In this world of chilling creatures and betrayal, Kara shouldn’t trust anyone… but she’s being hunted and can’t survive on her own. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.
For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this human girl, there is something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.
Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.
Purchase:
unnamed (4)AUTHOR BIO
International Amazon Bestseller. Fantasy Author. Twitter addict. Book Blogger. Geek. Sarcastic. Gooey. Odd. Author of the action-packed Grimoire Saga.
S.M. Boyce is a novelist who loves ghosts, magic, and spooky things. She prefers loose-leaf tea, reads far too many books, and is always cold. She’s married to her soul mate and couldn’t be happier. Her B.A. in Creative Writing qualifies her to serve you french fries.
Boyce likes to update her blog a few times each week so that you have something to wake you up in the morning.
Author links:
Excerpt:

Kara Magari squinted back up the path she’d just climbed. The gazebo’s roof peeked through the trees, evidence of where she’d been only ten minutes before. Not bad. With her finger in the air, she traced the way she’d taken, starting at the lichgate and going down over each step in her head. Her finger hovered and came to a stop, though, when she examined the base of the hill.

Built into the rock was a marble door, shrouded with overhanging roots and dangling moss that clung to its frame like bangs. She rubbed her eyes, but the closed entryway was still there when she opened them again.

She brushed her hand along the door’s smooth stone. It was simple, with only a round stone knob and a small emblem carved into the rock at eye level. The symbol looked something like a four-leaf clover made out of crescent moons.

Kara’s fingers itched on the handle, but she hesitated.

The ground trembled with a sudden force that knocked her against the cliff. The breeze stopped, dissolving with a hiss into the hot summer sky. She scanned the valley. Several somethings cracked in the ground under her feet.

Thunder rumbled overhead. A dark cloud churned in the sky, and her heart fell into her stomach; there hadn’t even been a single fluffy cloud up there ten minutes ago.

A blinding bolt of moss-colored lightning flashed, striking the ground nearby. The hairs on her arms stood on end. Heat coursed through her calves, and she caught her breath. Her ears rang.

Wait. Was that lightning green?

The cliff trembled as a boom shattered the air. It began to rain. The heavy drops pelted her skin and clung to her hair as another rumble coursed along the far edge of the valley. She needed shelter, and the last place she would go in a lightning storm was up a hill.

She turned back and twisted the door’s handle, sighing with relief as it opened—unlocked. Still, as wet as it was outside and as much as she wanted a safe place to wait out the rain, she lingered on the threshold to examine the room.

Mud covered everything from the floor to the ceiling. Since there weren’t any supports to hold the roof, she couldn’t figure out how the ten-by-ten dirt shelter hadn’t caved in yet. The air within was heavy, moist with the rot of dead leaves, and her only guiding light streamed in from behind her. Roots dangled from the ceiling like stalactites reaching for the floor. The wind picked up, howling as it pelted rain against her back.

Kara tested the ground with her sneaker. The dirt floor supported her weight, so she tip-toed into the room and left the door open. Rain fell in lingering drops on the threshold before it disappeared into the growing pools of mud. She stuck her hands in her pockets and watched the raging storm outside.

A flash of dark brown blurred past her.

She jumped. A tan flicker snaked along the roof, and clumps of soil fell in sheets. She glared at the ceiling, holding her breath as the settling dust rained onto her shoes.

It had almost looked like a root moving, but that—that was crazy.

Another streak of motion raced down the opposite wall. It passed through a shaft of light, and Kara saw its pointed, wooden tip. Tiny veins sprouted from it like hairs, digging into the dirt so that it could travel.

It was a root moving.

A second spiny vine shot up from the floor and wrapped itself around her leg. It pulled. She tripped, falling into the first root as it snaked along the far wall. Dirt poured over her head, blinding her. The scent of decaying bark made her cough. The root tugged again, and she was yanked onto her hands and knees. It dragged her towards the center of the room. She reached for the knife strapped to her free ankle, the one Mom had—no! She couldn’t think of Mom. Not now.

A third root wrapped around her waist, and another grabbed her hand as she reached for the blade. The roots flipped her onto her back. With a bang, the door snapped shut. Her stomach churned. The floor disappeared. She fell, and the roots let go.

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Blog Tour
December 19, 2013 posted by Nichole

Positively Mine by Christine Duval Book Blitz

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unnamedPositively Mine by Christine Duval  (Freshman Forty #1)
Published by: Bloomsbury Spark
Publication date: December 19th, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Synopsis:

It is four weeks into her freshman year of college, and Laurel’s first test was unexpected. Discovering she’s pregnant isn’t exactly what she had planned for her first semester, and while she intends to tell her emotionally-distant father, being away at school makes it all too easy to hide.
An imperfect heroine plagued by bad choices and isolated during what should be the best time of her life, readers are sure to identify with Laurel as she confronts teen pregnancy, in secret.

Purchase:
unnamed (1)AUTHOR BIO:
Christine Duval is an author and freelance writer who lives in New Jersey with her guitar-playing husband and two children. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, New Jersey’s Women Who Write, and the Authors Guild. When not creating fictional characters, she writes for an upscale real estate company and has overseen online content and social media for several well-known magazines.
Author Links:
Read below for an excerpt from Positively Mine

Once inside, we start where we left off, shirts and jeans shed fast. Then we’re on my bed, and he’s kissing me everywhere, reaching his hand down to just the right spot. Jeez.

I shift and lean forward, trying to grab for his boxers. Mike moves too, so now his face meets mine, and breathless, he asks, “Do you want to?”

My heart is pounding. But when I look into his eyes, warm with anticipation, reality hits like a cold hard smack in the face. I’m pregnant with another person’s baby! I am horrible. Horrible. I push him away. I can’t hold the tears in.

Mike’s face switches from eager to alarmed. “What’s wrong? Are you okay?”

He keeps talking while the tears stream down my face, my lips squeezed together, trying to figure out how I’m going to explain. “What is it? Are we moving too fast? Talk to me.”

I can’t look at him, so I just stare out the window and blurt it out, “I’m pregnant.”

Mike sits up. “You’re what?”

I swallow hard. “I’m pregnant.”

“Pregnant?”

“Nine weeks.”

“With whose baby?”

“He doesn’t go here.”

“Wow!” Now it’s Mike’s turn to stare out the window. “So you’ve gotten together with me twice all the while knowing you were pregnant with someone else’s kid? That’s bad, Laurel!”

I want to disappear. “I know.” I get up from the bed and pull on my clothes, waiting for him to say something. He just lies there. Too long.

When he finally speaks, the coolness in his tone is alarming. “What were you thinking?”

“I wasn’t. I don’t know. I like being with you.”

“Sounds like you liked being with the baby’s father, too,” he snaps.

I deserve that. “I’m sorry, Mike. I’ve been…”

“What?” he barks, anger clearly on his face now.

I’m feeling the tears coming again and try my hardest to swallow them. “I’ve been confused.”

He is up now and getting dressed. “Confused? What does that even mean?”

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Blog Tour
December 16, 2013 posted by Nichole

Ten Things You Didn’t Know about Stacey Marie Brown

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8533287Stacey Marie Brown by day is an Interior/Set Designer, by night a writer of Paranormal Fantasy, Adventure, and Literary Fiction. She grew up in Northern California, where she ran around on her family’s farm, raising animals, riding horses, playing flashlight tag, and turning hay bales into cool forts. Even before she could write, she was creating stories and making up intricate fantasies. Writing came as easy as breathing. She later turned that passion into acting, living and traveling abroad, and designing. Though she had never stopped writing, moving back to San Francisco seemed to have brought it back to the forefront and this time it would not be ignored.

When she’s not writing she’s out hiking, spending time with friends, traveling, listening to music, or designing.

 

 

 

Ten Things You Didn’t Know about Stacey Marie Brown

1. First crush was Patrick Swayze from Dirty Dancing.

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2. I was in the movie Scream. (Really?! Who were you?! Don’t leave us hanging!)

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3. I lived abroad in UK, Australia, Caribbean, and New Zealand.

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4. Was part of a traveling Shakespeare company.

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5. Grew up on a farm.

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6. Was an actress in L.A for seven years before moving abroad.

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7.  Obsessed with watching Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, and Dead Files.

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8.  Addicted to Kettle Corn.

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9. My first car was a 65’ red mustang, I rebuilt with my dad.

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10. Met Prince Harry several times (worked in a bar that Harry’s Godfather owned in London. Cool to hear a REAL Prince call your name!)

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unnamed (5)BOOK ONE
Darkness of Light  by Stacey Marie Brown  (Darkness #1)
Publication date: February 13th 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Synopsis:

Freak. Witch. Crazy. Schizo.
Ember Brycin has been called them all. She’s always known she’s different. No one has ever called her normal, even under the best circumstances. Bizarre and inexplicable things continually happen to her, and having two different colored eyes, strange hair, and an unusual tattoo only contributes to the gossip about her.
When the latest school explosion lands her in a facility for trouble teens, she meets Eli Dragen, who’s hot as hell and darkly mysterious. Their connection is full of passion, danger, and secrets. Secrets that will not only change her life, but what and who she is—leading her down a path she never imagined possible.
Between Light and Dark, Ember finds a world where truth and knowledge are power and no one can be trusted. But her survival depends on finding out the truth about herself. In her pursuit, she is forced between love and destiny and good and evil, even when the differences between them aren’t always clear. At worst, she will incite a war that could destroy both worlds. At best, she will not only lose her heart but her life and everyone she loves. Once the truth is out, however, there will be no going back. And she’ll definitely wish she could.
unnamed (6)BOOK TWO:
Fire in the Darkness by Stacey Marie Brown  (Darkness #2)
Publication date: August 31st 2013
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Synopsis:

It’s been four weeks since Ember Brycin witnessed what her powers are capable of. The Electrical Current Storm has turned Seattle, Washington into a natural disaster zone. The death toll is in the thousands with countless others homeless and hungry.
And Ember is the one who caused it. Something she will have to live with every day.
Those people who were unable to escape either turned quickly into gangs or live in shelters. Ember, on the other hand, can’t do either. With a price on her head and a Dark Dweller on her ass, she is constantly on the move. Both Light and Dark are hunting her for their own purpose to use her as a weapon or a pawn in the war between the Unseelie King of the Dark and the Seelie Queen of the Light.
Em needs help but doesn’t know who to trust: Lars, the mystery man Torin told her to find? Torin, the Seelie Queen’s personal knight, who has sworn to keep Em safe? Or Eli, who wants to turn her over to the Unseelie King, but whom she has an undeniable, intense connection with?
No matter what she chooses she will probably lose—her life or everything and everyone she loves.
GIVEAWAY
Tour-wide giveaway
Prizes:
1) Both books signed with a $10 Amazon gift card (US only)
2) Signed copy of either book 1 or 2 (US only)
3) 5 x ebook of either book 1 or 2 (INTL)

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Author Interviews
December 16, 2013 posted by Nichole

In All Places by Misty Moncur Book Blitz

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a1079271_10151741955532430_78762317_nIn All Places by Misty Moncur

To be released on December 10th, 2013

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/In-All-Places-Stripling-Warrior-ebook/dp/B00H5RC4BO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386490823&sr=8-1&keywords=In+all+places+misty+moncur

After defeating their enemy at Manti, the Ammonite warriors are free to return home. But for Keturah, returning home means putting her weapons down and leaving the warriors she has come love. She misses Reb’s stupid jokes and even the hard, awful work of being a soldier.

But fighting Lamanites on the battlefield was easy compared to returning to the life of a village girl. She wants to honor her family’s wishes and marry Zeke, but honor will come at a steep price.

Zeke might have won Ket’s loyalty with his blood on the battlefield, but he knows he hasn’t won her heart. He’s tired of trying to make her love him, and for Zeke, loyalty just isn’t enough.

Gideon knows Keturah is practically betrothed to someone else. He thought he was prepared to take her home to Melek and leave her there, but that was before he let himself kiss her in front of the entire village.

Whether Keturah is at home or on the battlefield, there are still battles left to fight—the battles in her heart.

Fall in love with Misty Moncur’s stripling warriors, who come alive against her vivid Ancient American backdrop. An intriguing blend of adventure and romance, In All Places is the unforgettable conclusion to her Daughter of Helaman trilogy.

4763987About the Author:

Between working and raising a family, Misty fits in writing like other people fit in breathing. Misty writes in the Romance, Young Adult, and Religious genres. She lives in Utah with her husband, her Wii-addicted son, and her curly-haired daughter. They spend a great deal of time laughing and the rest of it eating pizza.

Book reviews on

http://www.sixmixedreviews.blogspot.com

Website:

http://www.mistymoncur.blogspot.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/daughterofhelaman

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/MistyMoncur

Wattpad:

http://www.wattpad.com/user/MistyMoncur

 

Read below for an excerpt from In All Places:

 

I couldn’t help but inspect the fortifications as we drew near. The trench was deep, and the wall was tall and sturdy. Guards peered at us from the towers. The heavy gates were closed, but when Micah spoke to the guards, one gate slid back enough to let us enter two at a time.

“I miss this place,” I said as we walked through the streets toward the army camps.

Zeke looked around. “Why?” he asked. But before I could form an answer, he let out a breath. “Oh, no.”

I looked around, too, in time to see the beautiful Eve coming toward us. Her eyes were bright and intent on Zeke. When she saw he had noticed her, she skipped a step, started to run, and flung herself into his arms.

The entire traveling party stopped to see what was happening. Mother looked confused. Micah barely gave them a glance before he urged Mother on, bending to say something into her ear. There were some catcalls from the other boys, and Kenai was among the ones making them. Gideon watched the display with surprised interest, and his eyebrow rose when his gaze flicked to mine.

I turned back to Zeke. He was surprised, hopefully reluctant, but his arms came around her for a moment before he set her down.

“Enjoy your reunion,” I said under my breath and moved away from them. I stepped between Ethanim and Lib. “Please keep moving,” I begged quietly, and they did, escorting me quickly away from the embarrassing scene behind me.

At the evening meal, Zeke joined me while I was passing around food.

“Did you kiss her?” I asked.

He laughed. He had always been able to see through me. “If I did?”

“You could use the practice.”

Reb spit water from his nose, and Noah choked on his first bite of food. Joshua had to pound on his back. I smiled smugly up at Zeke.

“You know that was nothing,” he said as we moved on.

“No I don’t.” I wasn’t ready to let him off the hook yet.

“Yes, you do. Ket, I told you before—”

“You embarrassed me in front of everyone!”

He leaned close to my ear. “How does it feel?”

Read below for an interview with Misty Moncur

Can you tell us about your book, IN ALL PLACES, in fifteen words or less?

Is this a trick question? Haha  Here’s a couple tries.

Keturah returns from the war and tries to fit back into village life.

 Keturah’s supposed to marry Zeke but fell in love with another soldier during the war.

What genre is In All Places?

In All Places is a YA historical fiction. It takes places in America in 64 BC among a group of people who were converted to Christianity. It’s got some coming of age themes, some romance, and some adventure.

What was your favorite scene to write?

I have lots of favorites.

I love when Lamech finds Keturah washing tunics and tells her Zeke doesn’t want to see her. He’s such a little brat in that scene. I love how Ket pulls his hair and treats him like a little brother.

I also loved writing the part where Jarom, Zeke’s little brother, blows the coals into flames on the morning before they march on Manti. That was one of those plot twists that completely surprised me, and I loved it so much I just went with it.

One of the new parts I added into the final version takes place when Ket’s unit escorts her home after the war. They stop in Judea for the night and Eve runs into Zeke’s arms and makes Keturah jealous. Ket’s been such a jerk to Zeke, I just loved seeing her get a little taste of her own medicine.

But my most favorite part to write was when Gideon kisses Keturah goodbye in the middle of the village in front of God and everyone—her brother and mother, Zeke’s parents, the other warriors, and all the people of the village. It’s so unlike him, and yet exactly like him to do that.

What was the hardest scene to write?

I loved writing the part where Gideon’s men hide in the ravine while the rest of the army lures the enemy away so Gideon can sneak back and take the city. I love how they instinctively squeeze in tight against the ravine wall while dirt and leaves rain down on them. I really loved imagining how their hearts must have pounded to be that close to the huge enemy army, how they must have worried about their friends that were essentially being used as bait, and how they must have wondered if they would be strong enough to overtake the guards when they snuck back to the city.

The reason this part was hard to write was because it would normally be the climax of a story. Will they or won’t they take the city? But for this book, it fell in the middle of the story, so it couldn’t be the climax. I had to find ways to tone it down, I guess, and I hated doing that to such a heroic part.

Did you ever experience any writers block? How did you overcome that?

I did not experience any writer’s block while writing this book. The ideas came so fast and I couldn’t get them down fast enough. I remember scribbling as fast as I could through so many of my ten minute breaks at work. I wrote a good portion of this novel that way.

I have had writer’s block on other books, though. When that happens, I mostly just wait it out. I think if you force it, it will sound terrible.

But sometimes, you just have to press on and hope you can fix things in editing. Simply writing through it anyway, even if you’re not feeling it, can get the creative juices going. Maybe you have to trash what you wrote during that time, but so what? Words are free.

Brainstorming with a friend can also help, or moving on to a part that is more exciting to write, or fixing another part of your life that might be interfering with your ability or desire to write.

Do you outline before you write or do you just dive in?

I try to outline, and I always recommend it to new writers, but with this series, it all came so quickly. I wrote it faster than I could update my outline, and it ended up that the outline just got in my way. So I would have to say that with this story, I just dove in.

Did any music inspire you while writing In All Places?

I know it’s like the cool thing to have a playlist/soundtrack that inspired a book, but I prefer to write in silence. Just me and the click of the keys or the scratch of the pen.

But during other times, like when I’m driving or doing dishes, I will listen to one or two songs over and over that keep me in the mood of where I am at in the manuscript. Depending on if I am writing a fight scene or a romantic scene, my music choices will reflect that. For example, I listened to (If You’re Wondering If) I Want You To by Weezer a lot, because even by the end, Gideon is still not sure of Keturah’s feelings. And of course, who could write teen romance without some Taylor Swift going on, am I right?

What is your favorite quote from In All Places?

“Sometimes, the fiercest battles in life are not fought on the battlefield. They are fought inside the heart.”  The reason I love this so much is because it’s Zeke’s mother who says it to Keturah when Keturah tells her she is trying to choose between Zeke and another boy.

There is also this part where Keturah is sure Zeke is going to tell her she’s a big-time screw-up and a distraction to all the warriors, but he says, “Keturah, you are what every man wants to fight for.”

Are you currently working on anything else?

I have written eight books in this series. The first three are about Keturah, and the other five are about some of the other warriors in the army with her. They are told through point of view of the girls they fall in love with when they come home. I am currently working on getting these all published and available, and in my spare time, I am working on book nine in the series, which is about Gideon’s youngest brother.

There are a few other books I would like to work on, but this series will be keeping me busy for a long time. I’ve got a contemporary YA, a western romance, and a YA Dystopian on the back burner.

Who are some of you favorite authors?

I really like LuAnne Rice because of the way she writes families. She can portray how people in families both love and hate each other, resent and care for one another. I think relationships can be so complicated, especially close relationships that last over years. I try to emulate her in my own writing.

What is the best book you’ve read recently?

The Divergent series, hands down.

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Book Reviews
December 12, 2013 posted by Nichole

Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4) – Miranda Kenneally Review + Playlist + Giveaway

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16045296 (1)They’re from two different worlds.

He lives in the estate house, and she spends most of her time in the stables helping her father train horses. In fact, Savannah has always been much more comfortable around horses than boys. Especially boys like Jack Goodwin—cocky, popular and completely out of her league. She knows the rules: no mixing between the staff and the Goodwin family. But Jack has no such boundaries.

With her dream of becoming a horse jockey, Savannah isn’t exactly one to follow the rules either. She’s not going to let someone tell her a girl isn’t tough enough to race. Sure, it’s dangerous. Then again, so is dating Jack…

 

Racing Savannah is the first Hundred Oaks book that I have read. I have continuously heard how great the series is from multiple people, and I always see the covers all over the place. I thought that the first half of Racing Savannah was really good. I found myself not wanting to put it down. There was even one night that I stayed up until almost one in the morning reading it. I found it to be very addictive and cute. There was just something about the country girl meets country boy + the whole horse racing plot that I really enjoyed. By the time that I reached the second half of Racing Savannah, I wasn’t as in love with it as I previously was. The book started to go in directions that I didn’t want it to go in and even the tone itself was a little different than the first half of it. So, I liked the book…but I didn’t love it.

When it came down to the characters I was torn, because I loved Jack and hated Savannah. Jack was a hunky, sexy, all masculine type of guy. I had a crush on him from the very first scene he was in. I really liked reading about a male character with a work ethic. There was just something really attractive about that. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stand Savannah from the first beginning of the book. She’s a written as a senior in high school, but she honestly came across as a middle school student. She was very much a daddy’s girl, very whiny and needy, had a Strawberry Shortcake bed set from when she was 8, was nicknamed Shortcake, had a severe obsession with lollipops, and was constantly begging for her dads permission to do everything. When I was 17, I was very independent. I pretty much made my own decisions by that point. I wish that Savannah would have had more of a spark and a fire to her. I wanted to see her develop into a young woman. That just didn’t happen. She just seemed like a very young character. As far as the supporting characters go, I would say that it was split in half. There were some characters that I loved just as much as Jack and there were other characters that I thought had more of a young, immature feel to them like Savannah.

(This paragraph might contain some minor spoilers. Nothing major!) I think the concept and plot for Racing Savannah was very strong and solid. I loved the whole idea of Savannah racing horses and the whole country scene. As someone who doesn’t normally read contemporary books, I was instantly intrigued by the whole concept. I do wish that there would have been a little bit more to the story. First, I wanted to see a big blow out between Savannah and her dad and his girlfriend. One of my biggest complaints with this book was the dad and girlfriend. I thought that they were horrible people, and I was not on board with many of their decisions or complaints toward Savannah. I was a little annoyed that Savannah didn’t really stick up for herself in the way that I wanted her to. Secondly, I wanted to see a bigger romance between Jack and Savannah. I didn’t really care for the fact that Jack wanted to use her. And then all of a sudden it’s insta love at the very ending of the book without much of a relationship to start with. So, I wish that there would have been just a bit more chemistry between them. Finally, and I hate to say this, I wish that there would have been a dramatic moment with the horses, such as a death or an injury. I hate reading books with animal injuries or abuse in them, but I felt that that scene would have made this book. There should have been a scene that made me bawl my eyes out, and I just didn’t get that. There was potential for it, but it just fell a little flat. There were a few things regarding the horses that kind of added to the story. However, I already knew what Star’s problem was, and while I liked reading about the flashbacks of Savannah’s old horse, I didn’t really feel the emotional connection that I should have.

One thing that I really did enjoy about Racing Savannah was the secondary relationship between Rory and Vanessa. I think I have those names right! I loved the additional benefit of two romances in one book. And while I thought the relationship between Savannah and Jack was lacking a little bit, I thought that Rory and Vanessa were adorable. They were hesitant and flirty..and just kids! That’s more what I wanted to see between Savannah and Jack, but I am glad that I did get a little bit of it in this book.

Overall, I did enjoy Racing Savannah. If the second half had  continued to stay as good as the first half, then it would have been a 4 or 5 star book for me. Unfortunately, it did fall a little flat during the last half of the book. However, the first half of the book was so good that I do believe I will read the rest of the books in the Hundred Oaks series. I think that this a series that contemporary lovers will really enjoy!

 

Pages: 304

Publication Date: December 3rd, 2013

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Rating: : ★★★☆☆

 

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unnamedAUTHOR BIO

Growing up in Tennessee, Miranda Kenneally dreamed of becoming an Atlanta Brave, a country singer (cliché!), or a UN interpreter. Instead she writes, and works for the State Department in Washington, D.C., where George W. Bush once used her shoulder as an armrest. Miranda loves Twitter, Star Trek and her husband.
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Racing Savannah Playlist:

Cowboy Take me Away” by the Dixie Chicks

“I Knew You Were Trouble” by Taylor Swift

“The Space Between” by Dave Matthews Band

“If I Die Young” by The Band Perry

“Two is Better than One” by Boys Like Girls

“She’s Got it All” by Kenny Chesney

“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day

“The Fear” by Lily Allen

“Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Crowded House

“Carrying Your Love with Me” by George Strait

The entire Pitch Perfect Soundtrack (I must’ve listened to it 100 times while writing RACING SAVANNAH!)

“You’re Still the One” by Shania Twain

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December 11, 2013 posted by Nichole

Day 11 Unofficial UtopYA Christmas giveaway

Hello, and welcome to the Unofficial UtopYA Authors Holiday Giveaway!

What is this giveaway all about? Getting you — the readers — into the holiday spirit! Each day there will be a new prize pack being given away, loaded with awesome authors all united by the fantastic YA/NA Convention, UtopYA! We hope you’ll love our prize packs, but that’s not all that’s being given away. To top off the holiday spirit, we’re giving away TWO, that’s right, TWO fully loaded Kindle HDs! Two lucky winners will receive Kindle HDs, loaded with EVERY book being given away in the giveaway prize packs! So what are you waiting for? Check out today’s prize pack, and enter to win one of twenty-seven fantastic prizes! HAPPY HOLIDAYS! :)

Without further ado, here are the amazing books in the Day 11 Prize Pack after the jump!