Category Archives: Contests

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: : ★★★☆☆

 

Purchase: 
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.
Author Links:
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

Grand prize giveaway
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Blog Tour
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!

Author Interviews
December 10, 2013 posted by Nichole

Interview with Jessica Park + Giveaway

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Jessica is the author of New York Times bestselling FLAT-OUT LOVE, RELATIVELY FAMOUS, and the NA novel, LEFT DROWNING. She lives in New Hampshire where she spends an obscene amount time thinking about rocker boys and their guitars, complex caffeinated beverages, and tropical vacations. On the rare occasions that she is able to focus on other things, she writes.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Favorite TV show?

24. 24. 24. 24.

Yes, 24.

Favorite movie?

Grosse Point Blank

Current favorite show?

Homeland

Favorite celebrity couple?

Ugh. I hate celebrity couples. They’re always talking about how awesome they are. On the rare occasion that I do love a couple, they break up (see Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid tragedy.)

Favorite series?

Colleen Hoover’s Slammed series is just brilliant. Very understated writing, and she lets scenes speak for themselves, something we so rarely see.

Favorite YA couple?

Rhett and Scarlett

Most emotional book you’ve read recently?

I read my friend Andrew E. Kaufman’s book The Lion, The Lamb, The Hunted  (see more about him below) and texted him furiously while unnamed (1)reading. I thought I was reading a mystery/thriller, so I was totally unprepared to be emotionally pulverized. I loved how he incorporated such intense scenes about the hero’s childhood into the front mystery story.

Paranormal or Contemporary?

Contemporary

Can you tell us about your book, LEFT DROWNING, in 10 words or less?

Love, pain, trauma, healing, survival, heartbreak, perseverance, family, strength, hope.

Why contemporary?

I like the real-world possibilities. The idea that what you’re reading could actually be happening in the here and now.

What was your favorite scene to write?

My favorites are usually the ones that absolutely gut me to write. The really emotional stuff. There is a scene in Left Drowning where Blythe is in a scalding shower and telling the story of a past trauma, and she is having a pretty serious psychological episode as she relives the event and begins to tell it in the present, as though it is happening to her right then. That was tough. But I loved it.

Will this be a standalone or will there be a sequel/companion novel?

I… can’t… confirm or deny anything. I may be toying with an idea. I’m not confident enough yet to yell out about it.

Why did you choose to write a NA contemporary instead of a YA contemporary novel?

I sort of ignore classifications and genre rules and just write what I want to write. The issues that I wanted to tackle and the language and content that I wanted pushed the book into NA, I suppose, but I don’t start writing with rules in mind. For this story to have the depth that it needed, I had to have more mature content. And the sexual content is very explicit, but it’s there for a purpose because those details connect the main characters more deeply and show the reader how in tune they are with each other.

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

I’m always so crummy at this because I see my characters almost in peripheral vision. I don’t know exactly what any of them look like. But I have to say that when I saw Warm Bodies, I absolutely freaked over Teresa Palmer. I mean, she is Blythe. It was weird. She’s got the look, the voice, the sort of tomboy style… I love her for the role! The rest of the cast? I’m at a total loss. Very often fans are better at casting than I am.

Did any music inspire you while writing Left Drowning?

I listen to music constantly while I write, and had a playlist (Left Drowning playlist) that was on constant rotation for months. I still can’t hear “Little Talks” by Of Monster And Men without getting pulled right back into the emotional place I was in while writing Left Drowning.

What else are you working on?

After I write my unnamed project mentioned above, lol, I have another idea for a book. It’s actually the original plot for Left Drowning (that I warped beyond recognition), and the hook of that story won’t leave me alone!

What is the best book you’ve read recently?

My reading time is horribly limited. I hate that. But I just read Darkness and Shadows by my good friend Andrew E. Kaufman when I was helping him do a final proofread. This book really got to me because he actually writes about many of the same themes that I do, just in a different genre and style. His hero, Patrick, is not the overly macho, beefy hero, which is refreshing, and I completely fell for his vulnerability and honesty. It’s a nice change to find a book boyfriend without a motorcycle and tattoos! Such a great read, and I teared up more than once.

What is currently in your TBR pile?

Oh, gawd. Eight million books, so little time. I was on a plane recently and got halfway through Jamie McGuire’s Red Hill, which I’d been dying to read! Hopeless by Colleen Hoover is also at the top of my list. So many people have compared the emotional destruction in Left Drowning to Colleen’s book, so I really have to read it. But I’m scared! And I downloaded Gone With the Wind a little while ago. This is one of my all-time favorites, and it’s been long enough that I’m aching for a reread.

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LEFT DROWNING by Jessica Park

Publisher: Skyscape, July 16, 2013

 

What does it take to rise from life’s depths, swim against the current, and breathe?

Weighted down by the loss of her parents, Blythe McGuire struggles to keep her head above water as she trudges through her last year at Matthews College. Then a chance meeting sends Blythe crashing into something she doesn’t expect—an undeniable attraction to a dark-haired senior named Chris Shepherd, whose past may be even more complicated than her own. As their relationship deepens, Chris pulls Blythe out of the stupor she’s been in since the night a fire took half her family. She begins to heal, and even, haltingly, to love this guy who helps her find new paths to pleasure and self-discovery. But as Blythe moves into calmer waters, she realizes Chris is the one still strangled by his family’s traumatic history. As dark currents threaten to pull him under, Blythe may be the only person who can keep him from drowning.

*This book is intended for mature audiences due to strong language and sexual content, and is recommended for Ages 17+

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December 6, 2013 posted by Nichole

The Kiss Off (The Kiss Off #1) – Sarah Billington

 

 

Over It BannerjpegWARNING: Sexual references, occassional coarse language.

When sixteen year old Poppy Douglas writes a song about her ex-boyfriend Cam and ex-friend Nikki, she has no idea that her heartbreak is about to go global. 

A local band picks up her song from Youtube and soon she’s along for the ride with her own fanbase as they blow up on the local club scene and hit the international charts. Though it turns out leaving Cam behind isn’t as easy as she had hoped. 

Tangled in a web of unfinished homework, ill-considered sexting and a new lead-singer boyfriend, Poppy has a choice to make between the ex that inspired it all and the rock God whose poster lines the inside of half the lockers at school. But as she struggles to keep her emotional dirty laundry private, she learns that the truth can be hard to find when your life is in the headlines.

 

The Kiss Off was surprisingly adorable. I was really nervous when I read the synopsis. I thought that the whole song/band/contemporary feel to the book would give it too much of a cheese factor. I have to say, though, I was pleasantly surprised. It was really cute! There were moments that the book did have a cheese factor, but I feel that contemporary fans are really going to love this one!

What really stands out to me is that The Kiss Off made me laugh out loud and giggle like a little kid. Hell, I think I even snorted once. It was flipping funny! I don’t usually have those kinds of emotions when reading books, so it was awesome! And that lasted throughout the whole book. I was constantly laughing. Sarah Billington definitely knows how to create an entertaining read.

My major complaint with The Kiss Off is that it’s a little bit too dramatic for my personal taste. I found myself getting tired with all the relationship drama and who was dating who and who was on the outs and fighting and breaking up. That drama lasts throughout the whole book, which is something that I didn’t really care for. BUT….the synopsis can pretty much tell you that it’s a drama filled teen contemporary novel. So, I knew what I was getting myself into ahead of time. I’m not the biggest contemporary fan…so that stuff doesn’t always appeal to me. However, I think that contemporary lovers are going to go crazy over the drama! And, if I’m being honest, it was kind of interesting drama. I mean…it wasn’t really realistic…but it was kinda cool reading about this song writer/youtube pop star who was dating a real pop star. I mean…it was really interesting.

As far as the characters go, I did really love Poppy. I thought she was hilarious. I also really liked Poppy’s friends. There were some characters in the book that made me wonder why they even existed. Not everyone in the book was a hit for me. But I think that those characters are each going to be loved in their own way. Personally, I wasn’t too hooked on either of the love interests. I thought that they were both jackasses…but I think that was intentional. And let’s be honest….every teenage boy is a jackass at some point in time. (Sorry, guys!)

Overall, I really liked The Kiss Off. I thought that it was a super cute read that younger readers and contemporary lovers are going to enjoy! I have to say that I’m shocked that this one is an Indie book. I’ve never been able to say that before….but I’m not quite sure why this one hasn’t been published. It was really cute!

 

Pages: 260

Format: Ebook

Publication Date: April 1st 2013

Publisher: Billington Media

Rating: : ★★★☆☆