Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Newcomer by Robyn Carr Giveaway!


Brought to you by the fabulous Little Bird Publicity...

With humor and insight, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr looks at letting go of the past-and knowing when you've found something worth building your future on.

Single dad and Thunder Point's deputy sheriff "Mac" McCain has worked hard to keep everyone safe and happy. Now he's found his own happiness with Gina James. The longtime friends have always shared the challenges and rewards of raising their adolescent daughters. With an unexpected romance growing between them, they're feeling like teenagers themselves-suddenly they can't get enough of one another.

And just when things are really taking off, their lives are suddenly thrown into chaos. When Mac's long-lost-and not missed-ex-wife shows up in town, drama takes on a whole new meaning. They're wondering if their new feelings for each other can withstand the pressure... but they are not going down without a fight.

Step into the world of Thunder Point, a little town on the Oregon coast where newcomers are welcomed, hearts are broken and mended, and the dramas of everyday life keep the locals laughing, crying and falling in love.

Giveaway!


We've a terrific giveaway for you readers! Thanks to the publicist, there's one print copy of The Newcomer up for grabs—I know y'all are just dying to try this series! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

For extra entries, leave me a comment about the book, the Thunder Point series, small-town romances, or your favorite authority-figure romance hero—sheriff, policeman, secret agent? Tell me!
I'm a sucker for firefighters... *swoon*

Please make your comment MEANINGFUL—comments only consisting of "I like that small towns, great interview" or "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry!!!! I really want to hear you guys' preferences! :)
Rules and Disclosure:
Giveaway ends 15 July 2013 at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US readers only. Sorry, international! Check my sidebar for international giveaways.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prizes will be forfeited.
Although I do select winners via Rafflecopter (Random.org), I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤ Plus you get extra entries ;)
Good luck!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Awakened by Kriston Johnson Excerpt and Giveaway!

The Indie/Self-Published Author Event, hosted by the lovely ladies over at Say It with Books, is a month-long blog event that features all independently and self-published authors and their brilliant, but under-recognized works. Follow us throughout June to discover your next favorite book!

I'm so excited to share this fabulous YA novel with y'all today:

Awakened by Kriston Johnson

Series: The Legends of Elyndia #1
Release Date: 19 April 2013
Page Count: 272
Publisher: CreateSpace (self-published)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Can fighting for the right side be the wrong thing to do?

Draven, the tyrant ruler of Elyndia for the last one thousand years, searches for the one who can fulfill his prophecy.

The Paladins, an elite band of warriors sworn to protect their way of life at all cost, search for the one with the ability to bring their world crumbling down.

An innocent girl, tormented by demons only she can see, lives on the brink of insanity and longs for a life of peace.

When seventeen-year-old Jade Rosenberg reads from an antique book, she has no idea she just read an incantation awaking her inherited power. But when opposing—and equally terrifying—groups invade her home, she learns she is descended from an enchanted realm and a member of a powerful race thought to have been hunted to extinction.

Ripped from her world, Jade is forced to seek refuge from those who want her dead. She is given one of two options and the time has come for her to make a choice: assassinate their sworn enemy... or sacrifice her soul.

Click "Read more" to check out the entire first chapter of Awakened and enter a fabulous giveaway for finished copies and bookmarks!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Temporal Stone by Suzy Turner Excerpt and Giveaway!

The Indie/Self-Published Author Event, hosted by the lovely ladies over at Say It with Books, is a month-long blog event that features all independently and self-published authors and their brilliant, but under-recognized works. Follow us throughout June to discover your next favorite book!

I'm so excited to share the newest installment of Suzy Turner's Morgan Sisters series with y'all today:

The Temporal Stone by Suzy Turner

Series: Morgan Sisters #2
Release Date: 3 June 2013
Page Count: 286
Publisher: self-published
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Paranormal

It's been a couple of months since Emma and Lana entered the Praxos Academy and life has been hectic ever since. What with regular A-level classes combined with learning all about the supernatural world, control classes, self defence and fight night, the girls are constantly busy.

But when their world seems to stop right in front of them, they and their fellow Watchers, have a huge mystery to solve. A mystery which will lead them on a long road trip across south west England where they will meet all kinds of strange creatures, some intent on causing harm and others desperate to put a stop to the problem.
 
Buy the book at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Sony eStore | Kobo | Smashwords

Click "Read more" for an exclusive sneak peek at The Temporal Stone and enter a fabulous giveaway for all of Suzy Turner's books!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Top 10: Things I Didn't Know Before I Wrote My Book by Priya Kanaparti and Giveaway!

The Indie/Self-Published Author Event, hosted by the lovely ladies over at Say It with Books, is a month-long blog event that features all independently and self-published authors and their brilliant, but under-recognized works. Follow us throughout June to discover your next favorite book!

I'm so excited to welcome the delightful Priya Kanaparti to the blog today. Here's a little about her debut novel...

Dracian Legacy by Priya Kanaparti

Series: Dracian #1
Release Date: 23 February 2013
Page Count: 392
Publisher: CreateSpace (self-published)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Ren and Axel are caught between two powerful magical races: one destined to end the bloodshed, the other out for vengeance.

Seventeen-year-old Ren Pernell is prophesied to end the war between the Dracians and the Telalians. So when a Dracian, Axel Knight, is sent to find and bring back the prophesied one before she turns eighteen and Telalians discover of her existence, unexpected sparks start to fly between the two. Once Ren finds the truth behind Axel's arrival, she wants everything to do with him and nothing to do with his mission.

Things prove to become difficult as Ren's life is constantly threatened by the Goarders, humans who sold their souls, a Proxy Succubi, and the leader of the Telalians, who has been searching for her as well.

With the clock ticking and Ren's life in jeopardy, it is no longer just a mission for Axel. It becomes a personal endeavor to save the only one he's ever loved. In a heart-racing ending, they must find a way to evade the preordained war that won't also end Ren's life.

Secrets are revealed... Strengths tested... Destiny intervenes.
 
Buy the book at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Click "Read more" to discover the Top Ten things Priya didn't know before writing her book, and to enter a fabulous giveaway for a finished copy!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

2 Heart Review: The Amish Midwife by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

The Amish Midwife (The Women of Lancaster County #1)
Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

Page Count: 321

Release Date: 1 February 2011
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

A deathbed confession... a dusty carved box containing two locks of hair... a century-old letter about property in Switzerland...

Nurse-midwife Lexie Jaeger's encounter with all three rekindles a burning desire to meet her biological family. Propelled on a personal journey of discovery, Lexie's search for the truth takes her from her home in Oregon to the heart of Pennsylvania's Amish country.

There she finds Marta Bayer, a mysterious lay-midwife who may hold the key to Lexie's past. But Marta isn't talking, especially now that she has troubles of her own following the death of an Amish patient during childbirth. As Lexie steps in to assume Marta's patient load and continues the search for her birth family, a handsome local doctor proves to be a welcome distraction. But will he also distract her from James, the man back hom who lovingly awaits her return?

From her Amish parents, Lexie learns the meaning of the Pennsylvanian Dutch word demut: "to let be." Will this woman who wants to control everything ever learn to depend totally on God? Or will her stubborn determination to unearth the secrets of the past at all costs only serve to tear her newfound family apart?

A compelling story about a search for identity and the ability to trust that God securely holds our whole life—past, present, and future.
I got up to Chapter 9 of The Amish Midwife—about 100 pages of teeth gritting and eyelid drooping—before I had to put it down. While there are some interesting aspects to midwifery I enjoyed discovering and some issues regarding Lexie's coming-to-terms with her discarded Mennonite faith, everything else about the actual story, the writing style, and the characters, was unsatisfactory.

I knew I couldn't like the main character the moment she first referred herself (emphasis on first, meaning she does it more than once) as the "handsome counterpart" to her "handsome boyfriend." Do people really talk about themselves like that? Not to mention the way she treats her so-called boyfriend, leaving him without closure just so she can aimlessly tread murky waters on the other side of the country on a matter on which she is entirely clueless. She can't seem to think of anyone but herself, and doesn't have a compassionate bone in her body. This all annoyed me; it's one thing for me not to be able to relate to Lexie, but to actually not like her is an entirely different story.

This book is classified as "romance," but let me tell you: if the romantic interest does not show his face by page 100, something is terribly wrong. I admit I haven't tried my hand at Amish romances before, but even for a religious storyline, I'd expect faster action or at least proper character introduction 1/4th of the way through. I didn't even get to the romance part of this story and I was still sick of it... big red flag.

There isn't much else I can say about this one. Nothing worth mentioning that I enjoyed; nothing interesting enough to keep me reading. I actually had to fight from falling asleep in more than one sitting while reading, which means there's a large problem beyond my sleep deprivation that made it really difficult for me to read The Amish Midwife, and that problem would be The Amish Midwife itself.

Pros


Realistic tone // Struggles with faith are well-captured

Cons


Painfully slow pace // Lexie is incredibly unlikable // Character interactions are detached and flat

Verdict


With an entirely self-absorbed and socially oblivious main character, a troubling so-called "romance" story structure, and a HUGE (read: not huge) family secret that lacks all of suspense, action, and intrigue, Clark and Gould's first installment in The Women of Lancaster County was a major letdown for me. Regulars to the genre may enjoy this one better because it does have its individual aspects, such as matters of Lexie's misplaced faith and her vocation, so if you've tried Amish romances before and have liked them, please don't let my review discourage you. As for me, The Amish Midwife has turned me away from all Amish fiction; I now know to stay away from this genre Americanflag

2 hearts: Not completely a lost cause, but could not finish; I did not enjoy this book (x)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Something Beautiful I Wanted to Share

I recently came across this short story, entitled "On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl" by Haruki Murakami, the acclaimed Japanese author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. There isn't much I can say about it without reliving it completely, so here is pretty much every emotion experienceable wrapped up in a basketful of paragraphs:

One beautiful April morning, on a narrow side street in Tokyo’s fashionable Harujuku neighborhood, I walked past the 100% perfect girl.

Tell you the truth, she’s not that good-looking. She doesn’t stand out in any way. Her clothes are nothing special. The back of her hair is still bent out of shape from sleep. She isn’t young, either—must be near thirty, not even close to a “girl,” properly speaking. But still, I know from fifty yards away: She’s the 100% perfect girl for me. The moment I see her, there’s a rumbling in my chest, and my mouth is as dry as a desert.

Maybe you have your own particular favorite type of girl—one with slim ankles, say, or big eyes, or graceful fingers, or you’re drawn for no good reason to girls who take their time with every meal. I have my own preferences, of course. Sometimes in a restaurant I’ll catch myself staring at the girl at the next table to mine because I like the shape of her nose.

But no one can insist that his 100% perfect girl correspond to some preconceived type. Much as I like noses, I can’t recall the shape of hers—or even if she had one. All I can remember for sure is that she was no great beauty. It’s weird.

“Yesterday on the street I passed the 100% girl,” I tell someone.

“Yeah?” he says. “Good-looking?”

“Not really.”

“Your favorite type, then?”

“I don’t know. I can’t seem to remember anything about her—the shape of her eyes or the size of her breasts.”

“Strange.”

“Yeah. Strange.”

“So anyhow,” he says, already bored, “what did you do? Talk to her? Follow her?”

“Nah. Just passed her on the street.”

She’s walking east to west, and I west to east. It’s a really nice April morning.

Wish I could talk to her. Half an hour would be plenty: just ask her about herself, tell her about myself, and—what I’d really like to do—explain to her the complexities of fate that have led to our passing each other on a side street in Harajuku on a beautiful April morning in 1981. This was something sure to be crammed full of warm secrets, like an antique clock build when peace filled the world.

After talking, we’d have lunch somewhere, maybe see a Woody Allen movie, stop by a hotel bar for cocktails. With any kind of luck, we might end up in bed.

Potentiality knocks on the door of my heart.

Now the distance between us has narrowed to fifteen yards.

How can I approach her? What should I say?

“Good morning, miss. Do you think you could spare half an hour for a little conversation?”

Ridiculous. I’d sound like an insurance salesman.

“Pardon me, but would you happen to know if there is an all-night cleaners in the neighborhood?”

No, this is just as ridiculous. I’m not carrying any laundry, for one thing. Who’s going to buy a line like that?

Maybe the simple truth would do. “Good morning. You are the 100% perfect girl for me.”

No, she wouldn’t believe it. Or even if she did, she might not want to talk to me. Sorry, she could say, I might be the 100% perfect girl for you, but you’re not the 100% boy for me. It could happen. And if I found myself in that situation, I’d probably go to pieces. I’d never recover from the shock. I’m thirty-two, and that’s what growing older is all about.

We pass in front of a flower shop. A small, warm air mass touches my skin. The asphalt is damp, and I catch the scent of roses. I can’t bring myself to speak to her. She wears a white sweater, and in her right hand she holds a crisp white envelope lacking only a stamp. So: She’s written somebody a letter, maybe spent the whole night writing, to judge from the sleepy look in her eyes. The envelope could contain every secret she’s ever had.

I take a few more strides and turn: She’s lost in the crowd.

Now, of course, I know exactly what I should have said to her. It would have been a long speech, though, far too long for me to have delivered it properly. The ideas I come up with are never very practical.

Oh, well. It would have started “Once upon a time” and ended “A sad story, don’t you think?”

Once upon a time, there lived a boy and a girl. The boy was eighteen and the girl sixteen. He was not unusually handsome, and she was not especially beautiful. They were just an ordinary lonely boy and an ordinary lonely girl, like all the others. But they believed with their whole hearts that somewhere in the world there lived the 100% perfect boy and the 100% perfect girl for them. Yes, they believed in a miracle. And that miracle actually happened.

One day the two came upon each other on the corner of a street.

“This is amazing,” he said. “I’ve been looking for you all my life. You may not believe this, but you’re the 100% perfect girl for me.”

“And you,” she said to him, “are the 100% perfect boy for me, exactly as I’d pictured you in every detail. It’s like a dream.”

They sat on a park bench, held hands, and told each other their stories hour after hour. They were not lonely anymore. They had found and been found by their 100% perfect other. What a wonderful thing it is to find and be found by your 100% perfect other. It’s a miracle, a cosmic miracle.

As they sat and talked, however, a tiny, tiny sliver of doubt took root in their hearts: Was it really all right for one’s dreams to come true so easily?

And so, when there came a momentary lull in their conversation, the boy said to the girl, “Let’s test ourselves—just once. If we really are each other’s 100% perfect lovers, then sometime, somewhere, we will meet again without fail. And when that happens, and we know that we are the 100% perfect ones, we’ll marry then and there. What do you think?”

“Yes,” she said, “that is exactly what we should do.”

And so they parted, she to the east, and he to the west.

The test they had agreed upon, however, was utterly unnecessary. They should never have undertaken it, because they really and truly were each other’s 100% perfect lovers, and it was a miracle that they had ever met. But it was impossible for them to know this, young as they were. The cold, indifferent waves of fate proceeded to toss them unmercifully.

One winter, both the boy and the girl came down with the season’s terrible inluenza, and after drifting for weeks between life and death they lost all memory of their earlier years. When they awoke, their heads were as empty as the young D. H. Lawrence’s piggy bank.

They were two bright, determined young people, however, and through their unremitting efforts they were able to acquire once again the knowledge and feeling that qualified them to return as full-fledged members of society. Heaven be praised, they became truly upstanding citizens who knew how to transfer from one subway line to another, who were fully capable of sending a special-delivery letter at the post office. Indeed, they even experienced love again, sometimes as much as 75% or even 85% love.

Time passed with shocking swiftness, and soon the boy was thirty-two, the girl thirty.

One beautiful April morning, in search of a cup of coffee to start the day, the boy was walking from west to east, while the girl, intending to send a special-delivery letter, was walking from east to west, but along the same narrow street in the Harajuku neighborhood of Tokyo. They passed each other in the very center of the street. The faintest gleam of their lost memories glimmered for the briefest moment in their hearts. Each felt a rumbling in their chest. And they knew:

She is the 100% perfect girl for me.

He is the 100% perfect boy for me.

But the glow of their memories was far too weak, and their thoughts no longer had the clarity of fouteen years earlier. Without a word, they passed each other, disappearing into the crowd. Forever.

A sad story, don’t you think?

Yes, that’s it, that is what I should have said to her.

Disclosure: this short story, in full, was quoted directly from the author's website.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Brand New Ending by S.A. Rolls Excerpt and Giveaway!

The Indie/Self-Published Author Event, hosted by the lovely ladies over at Say It with Books, is a month-long blog event that features all independently and self-published authors and their brilliant, but under-recognized works. Follow us throughout June to discover your next favorite book!

I'm so excited to share S.A. Rolls's debut novel with y'all today:

A Brand New Ending by S.A. Rolls

Release Date: 3 April 2013
Page Count: 532
Publisher: CreateSpace (self-published)
Genre: New adult, Romance, Contemporary

Phoenix Harper never imagined her life would come to this: A life not worth living anymore.

After a failed suicide attempt, Phoenix is sent to be observed at a local psychiatric hospital. There she meets Braeden Harris, a hospital aide with his own haunting past.

Not long after their first encounter, they feel an unexplainable pull towards one another. Will fate bring them together, or will outside forces tear them apart?
 
Buy the book at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Click "Read more" for an exclusive excerpt from A Brand New Ending, as well as a fabulous giveaway for a copy of the book with some swag!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Press Release: The Rockin' Chair by Steven Manchester Excerpt and Giveaway!

Steven Manchester's newest novel just hit shelves!

Release Date: 18 June, 2013
Publisher: The Story Plant
Genre: Literary, Family

Memories are the ultimate contradiction. They can warm us on our coldest days or they can freeze a loved one out of our lives forever. The McCarthy family has a trove of warm memories. Of innocent first kisses. Of sumptuous family meals. Of wondrous lessons learned at the foot of a rocking chair. But they also have had their share of icy ones. Of words that can never be unsaid. Of choices that can never be unmade. Of actions that can never be undone.

Following the death of his beloved wife, John McCarthy—Grandpa John—calls his family back home. It is time for them to face the memories they have made, both warm and cold. Only then can they move beyond them and into the future.

A rich portrait of a family at a crossroad, The Rockin' Chair is Steven Manchester's most heartfelt and emotionally engaging novel to date. If family matters to you, it is a story you must read.

Click "Read more" for a sneak peek of the novel, and to win one of FOUR finished copies!

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Starlet Series by Carla J. Hanna Giveaway!

The Indie/Self-Published Author Event, hosted by the lovely ladies over at Say It with Books, is a month-long blog event that features all independently and self-published authors and their brilliant, but under-recognized works. Follow us throughout June to discover your next favorite book!

I'm so excited to share the Starlet series by the fabulous Carla J. Hanna with y'all today. Stick around til the end to enter to win all three books in paperback!

Starlet's Web (#1)

A-list actress, 17-year-old Liana Marie Michael struggles to find herself when Hollywood's obsession with youth and power threatens to destroy her future. Used to talking and thinking in scripts, can Lia find her own voice? Can she and a Latino Tim Tebow overcome Hollywood's web of lies?

Liana is dating Hollywood's hottest heartthrob while filming her seventh motion picture with sexy co-star Byron. Surrounded by a culture of casual sex and adult responsibilities, Lia feels lost and confused. With her film soon to wrap, her acting contracts up for renewal, her high school graduation looming and growing tension between her and smart student athlete, Manuel, life feels overwhelming. Will Lia find the courage to share her love for Manuel, a guy unimpressed with Hollywood? In the eternal quest for youth, what life-shattering secrets has Lia's mom been keeping from her? Can Manuel accept Lia's role?

Starlet's Web is not only a love story. With fast-paced narrative that reflects Hollywood's hyper-drive lifestyle, Ms. Hanna transports the reader into an actor's daily life and demonstrates how difficult it is for young adults to break free from a path created by someone else—even when it is a successful one.
 


Hollywood actress Liana Marie Michael finds out that loving someone unconditionally, without losing who she is in the process, does not always have a convenient ending or an easy to memorize script. 

As the path unfolds in front of her, Lia challenges the demons and destruction of her past, which had kept her like Alice in Wonderland, frozen in time and unable to escape the heavy web of expectation shrouding her heart. She needs more than the promise of true love to help her prevail. Exhausted from indecision, should she listen to what others think is best for her? What should she choose? 

Starlet's Run is a triumphant story of Lia's determination to step forward into a new and authentic life, taking on a role she has never before been given the chance to play—her self.
 


Young Hollywood actress, Liana Marie Michael, gives up the fight until she sees the light.

Isolated on set in the United Kingdom, Lia struggles through the 5 Stages of Grief while shooting her last feature film. Cancer survivor, Oscar winner, and victim of several crimes, Lia sinks into despair as her heart fails. With supportive childhood friend Manuel Biro, and the help from Swiss billionaire-heir Pierre Lambert, Lia is 'so done' with acting and learns that she needs more than just a man's love to prevail.

Starlet's Light, the third installment of the popular Starlet series by Carla J. Hanna, is a touching story of Lia's struggle with trust and commitment as she shapes the role she plays in her own life.
 

About the Author


I'm a mother of two awesome kids and a very happily married woman. Four years ago, we moved to Colorado, close to family and those amazing mountains. I train for triathlons and walk my golden retrievers. My life is complete.

The Starlet series is about a child star / daughter of an A-list actress. It is very realistic, capturing how the children of stars talk in scripts. In real life, they cuss in every sentence as they "run lines" and it's really jarring to hear. I had to remove the cussing to be YA but I think the reader can still get the feeling that Lia and Evan are absolutely unique. The Starlet series is not like any other book about teen stars you've read because it is not paparazzi-driven—that's just not 'real'. I know because I lived in the house that I describe in the book in Santa Monica. I was not an actress but all my friends were industry people. I'm in the second book (Can you guess who?).

I wrote the series after holding my dad's hand through all his cancer treatments (chemo and radiation) for palate cancer and lymphoma at the same time that my daughter was diagnosed with a pituitary gland problem and precocious puberty.

My series started with two simple questions: What if we stayed in Santa Monica, California? What if my kids continued to play with the sweet, isolated children of celebrities?

My tall, beautiful daughter would have wanted to become a swimsuit model and my charming son would have dated Violet Affleck. I would have begged them not to become actors.


Giveaway!


Want to win a complete paperback set of the Starlet series? One lucky reader will receive all three books in print!!! This will be an easy-peasy one-entry giveaway—fair for all!

To enter, leave a comment in response to Carla's question(s)...
The Heavy: Coming-of-age fiction talks about sex, drugs, hardship, and violence. Some of the most popular books examine homosexuality and the new adult bestsellers explore erotic teen sex. But mainstream novels tiptoe around talking about God. Teens think both about what to do in bed and if they should pray. Why can’t a novelist talk about it without having to be labeled Christian or preachy?

The Light: The characters in the Starlet series represent many cultures and races. The protagonist, Liana Marie, is a mixed-race actress and the supporting male lead, Manuel, is a mixed-Latino who grew up in Santa Monica, California. I like the diversity in Los Angeles and think the characters are good representations of it. Why do you think that the majority of the characters in young adult mainstream romances are white?
Choose one discussion point or choose both, but please make your comment meaningful!!! Comments just consisting of a one-worded response or "thanks for the giveaway" will not be eligible for the additional entries. Carla and I really want to hear you guys' thoughts! :)

Rules and disclosure:
Sponsored wholly by the author—thank you so much, Carla!
Giveaway ends July 6th at 11.59 pm (your time).
Open to US, Canada, and UK residents only! Sorry, rest of the world! Check out my sidebar to enter giveaways that are currently open internationally.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be chosen.
Although I do select winners, I am in no way responsible for the prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop!

The Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop, hosted by Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, works like this: each participating blog hosts a giveaway and then we link up together allowing our followers to hop easily from one giveaway to another. For followers, it means lots of chances to win free books. For blogs hosting giveaways, it means lots of new visitors and followers. It's a win-win! The Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop is scheduled from June 21st at 12.01 AM until June 30th at 11:59 PM (EST).


The Prizes


One lucky subscriber gets their choice of book from The Book Depository. Any book, any book you want! :) No catch.


I love giving away eBooks too, so a runner-up will win these three fantastic titles:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How to Conduct Research for Your Novel by Nancy Klann-Moren and Giveaway!

Nancy Klann-Moren presents her debut novel...

Release Date: 12 November 2012
Publisher: Anthonyann Books (self-published)
Genre: Literary, Historical, Civil Rights Movement

In the small town of Hadlee, Mississippi, during the 1980s, Jason Lee Rainey struggles to find his way amongst the old, steadfast Southern attitudes about race, while his friendship with a black boy, Samson Johnson, deepens.

By way of stories from others, Jason Lee learns about his larger-than-life father, who was killed in Vietnam. He longs to become that sort of man, but doesn't believe he has it in him.

In The Clock Of Life, he learns lessons from the past, and the realities of inequality. He flourishes with the bond of friendship; endures the pain of senseless death; finds the courage to stand up for what he believes is right; and comes to realize he is his father's son.

This story explores how two unsettling chapters in American history, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Vietnam War, affect the fate of a family, a town, and two boyhood friends.

Click "Read more" to learn what kind of research Nancy did for her book, and to win a finished print copy!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Little White Lies by Erin Lawless Excerpt and Giveaway!

The Indie/Self-Published Author Event, hosted by the lovely ladies over at Say It with Books, is a month-long blog event that features all independently and self-published authors and their brilliant, but under-recognized works. Follow us throughout June to discover your next favorite book!

I'm so excited to this fun British New Adult novel with you guys today!

Little White Lies by Erin Lawless

Beware false friends and the smiles of certain boys.

Miles and Nicky are getting married. Unfortunately, their wedding party is a tangle of ex-housemates, ex-friends and ex-lovers.

Leigha, Sukie and Harriet used to be the best of friends. Unfortunately, there are some things you just can’t forgive.

Johnny thought that Leigha was the love of his life. Unfortunately, he still thinks that; even more unfortunately, she never loved him at all.

Adam and Harriet might have been something, once. Unfortunately, now Adam isn’t even sure if he’s going to be able to look her in the face.

So this wedding isn’t just a wedding, it’s a reunion. Can anything be salvaged from the past? And what really happened between them all, back at university?

With a playful but firm grasp of the zeitgeist, Little White Lies moves back and forth between 2007 and 2012 and seven characters to build up a rich and compelling story, in turns funny and sad, but always honest, about friendship in all its forms and the practicality of second chances.
 
Buy the book at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Sony eStore | Kobo | Smashwords

Click "Read more" for an exclusive excerpt and to enter an awesome giveaway!!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Author: Barbara Delinsky Interview and Giveaway!

Brought to you by the fabulous Wunderkind PR...

I'm so excited to welcome one of the BIGGEST names in women's fiction, Barbara Delinsky, to the blog today to celebrate her newest release from St. Martin's Press.


Welcome to Books à la Mode, Barbara! Let's get this interview started.

Will you please share a brief bio with us?

Barbara Delinsky is nothing if not prolific. Since 1980, she has written well over fifty novels, and shows no sign of slowing down. More than twenty million copies of her books are in print worldwide, translated into over a dozen foreign languages.

Born and raised in Newton, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts, Barbara earned a B.A. in psychology at Tufts University in 1967 and an M.A. in sociology at Boston College in 1969. Before beginning her career as a writer, she was a researcher for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and a photographer and reporter for the Boston Herald.

Barbara's career in writing began when she read a newspaper article about romance fiction. She researched the field, read 40 to 50 category romances and sat down to begin her own. She found that her background in psychology was helpful in "lanning the emotional entanglements of [her] characters," and claims that she has "pulled on virtually every aspect of [her] background and of [her] life experience in general [in her writing]."

Barbara's awards are many. From Romantic Times magazine, she's received the Special Achievement Award (twice), the Reviewer's Choice Award and the Best Contemporary Romance Award. She's also received the Romance Writers of America Golden Medallion and Golden Leaf awards.

Now residing in Needham, Massachusetts, Barbara is married to a prominent local lawyer and has three sons.


Could you tell us a bit about Sweet Salt Air, which hits shelves June 18th?

On Quinnipeague, hearts open under the summer stars and secrets float in the sweet salt air...

Charlotte and Nicole were once the best of friends, spending summers together in Nicole's coastal island house off of Maine. But many years, and many secrets, have kept the women apart. A successful travel writer, single Charlotte lives on the road, while Nicole, a food blogger, keeps house in Philadelphia with her surgeon-husband, Julian. When Nicole is commissioned to write a book about island food, she invites her old friend Charlotte back to Quinnipeague, for a final summer, to help. Outgoing and passionate, Charlotte has a gift for talking to people and making friends, and Nicole could use her expertise for interviews with locals. Missing a genuine connection, Charlotte agrees.

But what both women don't know is that they are each holding something back that may change their lives forever. For Nicole, what comes to light could destroy her marriage, but it could also save her husband. For Charlotte, the truth could cost her Nicole’s friendship, but could also free her to love again. And her chance may lie with a reclusive local man, with a heart to soothe and troubles of his own.

Bestselling author and master storyteller Barbara Delinsky invites you come away to Quinnipeague...

Sounds absolutely magical! What inspired you to write about the medical issue addressed in the book?

One little box—specifically, a box waiting for pickup in the labor rooms where each of my grandchildren was born. The box contained umbilical cord blood, which my own kids chose to freeze for their kids, and this got me thinking about its uses. A little research later, I felt I had a cutting edge issue fit for a book.

Fascinating how a real-life event could spark something so big! You fully embrace modern communication—email, cell phones, texting as dialogue—in your writing. What are the benefits and challenges of including technology as forms of communication in your novels?


These things are real. They're how people communicate these days, which makes including them in books a no-brainer—not if you want to relate to an audience that is living in the here and now!

Definitely! It's so odd when I read books or see movies that don't include devices like cell phones or tools like Facebook. Half of the mysteries could be solved and half the conflicts avoided with a simple Google search in most thrillers. What is your character-sketching process like? How do you conclude, after planning, that they are real enough to write about?


I do very general character sketches. In Sweet Salt Air, for instance, I knew that Charlotte would be a world traveler while her friend, Nicole, was married and at home. I knew that Charlotte needed to find something to anchor her, while Nicole needed the self-confidence to take command. It wasn't until I actually started to write, though, that these women found their voices. The first handful of chapters are always crucial for this. Just as the reader gets to know the main characters, so do I!


How much of yourself do you put into your books?

That depends. I consciously avoid politics and religion, though I fear that my lead characters reflect my approach to the world. And the things they do? I have to be comfortable with that.

There's a lot of me in Sweet Salt Air, though you'd have to know me well to see it. I once struggled through knitting an Aran Isle sweater, so Charlotte does the same. I have always appreciated the ocean, which Charlotte and Nicole both do. Blue and green are two of my favorite colors, hence the decor in Nicole's beach house.

There's also a bit of fantasy in the growing of herbs in this book. Fantasy is definitely me, especially since I have zero talent as a gardener.

It's fiction after all—go all-out on the fantasy! ;) Which comes first for you, character or plot?

Sometimes one, sometimes the other. In my 2009 book, While My Sister Sleeps, the main character came first. I had never written a coming-of-age story before, and though my main character is 27, she hasn't yet found herself. I wanted to help her do that. In this newest novel, the plot came before the characters.

Where can you be found on the web?


It was a pleasure chatting with you today, Barbara! Thank you so much for joining us, and best of luck with future endeavors!


Giveaway!


We've got one finished copy of Sweet Salt Air up for grabs. To enter the giveaway, fill out the Rafflecopter form below. For extra entries, leave a comment in response to Barbara's question:
Charlotte and Nicole, the protagonists of my new book Sweet Salt Air, were best friends growing up. They've taken very different directions in life and, now in their thirties, are trying to reconnect. In the course of as very special summer, each has to accept faults in the other. How about you? Does your best friend have faults that you've learned to accept? What are they?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL—comments only consisting of "I love the sound of this book" or "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry!!!! Barbara and I really want to hear you guys' thoughts! :)

Don't forget the terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publicist—a huge thank you to Wunderkind PR!
Giveaway ends July 1st 2013 at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US readers only. Sorry, everyone else! Check out my sidebar for giveaways currently running that are  open internationally—you don't want to miss those!
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prizes will be forfeited.
Although I do select winners via Rafflecopter (Random.org), I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤ Plus you get extra entries ;)
Good luck!