Mar 21, 2017

Fast 5 with Gena Showalter

Hi, all! I'm so excited to welcome Gena Showalter, whose new book, LIFEBLOOD, is already a NYT bestselling success! Gena's here to answer a few quick questions and make sure you check out the giveaway!

1.     Last book you read:  

     GS: I’ve been working so much, the last handful of books I read...I hate      admitting this because I'm usually a devoted reader...were all my own.  Can’t     Hardly Breathe (the copy edit), Can’t Let Go (finished the rough draft) Lifeblood (last round of edits), and The Darkest Promise (checking for typos—fingers crossed I got ‘em all).

2.     Last thing that made you cry:  

    GS: An onion—the bastard!  
               
3.     Last trip you took:  
GS: I went to New Orleans with my bestie (and fellow author) Jill Monroe to celebrate the release of Feversong by the amazing Karen Marie Moning.  Darynda Jones and Diana Love were there and oh, my gosh, what awesome ladies!  In true Showalter fashion, however, I never left the hotel.  If I wasn’t attending a conference panel, I was in my room, working on a contemporary romance titled Can't Let Go (part of my Original Heartbreakers series).  Deadlines, man.  They tend to follow you LOL

4.     Favorite quote:  
 GS: I have this on my wall as a constant reminder that no matter how bad things get, I’m going to come out on top.  It’s my anthem, and the reason I can make it through a single day. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:1-2.         

 5.     Best moment as an author: 
 GS: Nothing beats finding out (1) you’re going to be published for the first time (2) you’ve hit the New York Times for the first time and (3) you’ve sold the movie rights to one of your books.  Okay, that’s not true.  When a movie is actually made—that’ll be better. 



Synopsis:
"My Firstlife is over, but my Everlife is only now beginning."
With her last living breath, Tenley "Ten" Lockwood made her choice and picked her realm in the Everlife. Now, as the war between Troika and Myriad rages, she must face the consequences.
Because Ten possesses a rare supernatural ability to absorb and share light, the Powers That Be have the highest expectations for her future—and the enemy wants her neutralized. Fighting to save her Secondlife, she must learn about her realm from the ground up while launching her first mission: convincing a select group of humans to join her side before they die. No pressure, right?  
But Ten's competition is Killian, the boy she can't forget—the one who gave up everything for her happiness. He has only one shot at redemption: beating Ten at a game she's never even played. As their throw-downs heat up, so do their undeniable feelings, and soon, Ten will have to make another choice. Love…or victory.

Author Bio: Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the Intertwined Novels, the White Rabbit Chronicles, and the Everlife Novels, among numerous novels for an adult audience as well. Her stories have been praised as “unputdownable.” Gena lives in Oklahoma with her family and a menagerie of dogs. Follow her on twitter @genashowalter and visit her website at genashowalter.com.


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Mar 14, 2017

New Release Spotlight: Organize Your Way by Katie and Kelly McMenamin

Look, if you know one thing about me it's that I love to organize things, so a book about organization is basically my version of book porn. Check out this snazzy new book to help you organize, well, your life. And best yet? You do it your own way.

Stressing over the mess? Discover YOUR personal organizing style—and stay organized forever!
Organization isn’t one-size-fits-all. Different people need different solutions. Fortunately, Katie and Kelly McMenamin—the organizing gurus behind PixiesDidIt!®—have found the key to making organization stick, with strategies that work for every personality.

Whether you’re OCD or a little less fastidious, Katie and Kelly will help you discover your organizational style, using unconventional approaches or sticking to what already works. Along with personality-based solutions for every space in your home, they offer advice on solving strife between different “PixieTypes.” So you can keep the stuff you love . . . and the peace!


Pixies Did It Website: http://www.pixiesdidit.com/
Pixies Did It Twitter: https://twitter.com/PixiesDidIt

Bio: Katie McMenamin and Kelly McMenamin are sisters, professional organizers, personality-type experts, and founders of PixieDidIt! Their business is an outgrowth of buttoned-up hedge fund analyst Kelly spending 30-odd years trying and failing to get her messy older sister Katie, a writer, to be more organized. Countless fights ensued until they had an idea: What if there is more than one way to organize? Today, they spend the bulk of their time organizing for clients, writing for their website, and giving talks on how to organize according to your personality type. Kelly lives in NYC with her husband and three sons and Katie lives in their hometown, the Land of Champions, aka Cleveland, OH, with her husband and three daughters.
Pixie Did It's Top 10 Tips:
1. Knowing who you are is the key to organization mainly because if you’re pretending to be someone else, it’s hard to remember where that pretend person put something!  

2. Change is hard, so be honest about organizing tasks. People who never hang up their coats in a closet, probably never will; get a coat rack and call it a day.  

3. Perfect isn’t real. Magazine perfection is styled by a professional whose job it is to make everything perfection for the millisecond it takes to snap a photo.

4. No shame, no blame! You liking clear, spotless surfaces doesn’t make you OCD (it’s not a personality disorder), it’s your personality type.

5. Later Box It. When you can’t part with a useless item, store it away in a box and revisit that box in a few months (a year), whatever you missed keep, whatever you forgot … dude, let it go.

6. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Change is hard (see #2!) so if storing TP right next to the toilet works for you, do it, but for heaven’s sake try to make it look nice—unless you live alone on Antarctica then who cares.

7. Organizing at its core is about retrieval. Period. Can you easily find and get things when you need them. Everything else is an argument about aesthetics.

8. One-step solutions are golden. Hanging up your coat is a five-step process whereas popping it on a hook is one-step. Light bulb (at least it was for us!)

9. Be loud & proud. So, you write important To Do’s on your hand in a pinch. Who cares? Don’t apologize, defend it and tell any scolds where they can go.

10. There’s no best way to organize—just the best one for you!

Giveaway:
1 Finished Copy of ORGANIZE YOUR WAY (US Only)


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Mar 9, 2017

Brutally Honest Check In

So ... hey there.




Remember me? I know, I know. It feels like it's been forever since I posted with any regularity. Or played on twitter. Or showed off a book on instagram. And I've spent the last several weeks - months, really - debating on sharing what's going on. But I've gotten a few questions and I know I've been seriously absent-minded lately, especially regarding blog tours so I feel like it's time to come clean. I'll try to keep this short and simple and to the point.

Right before Thanksgiving, I started feeling ... off. Not quite myself. I spent the last year as a running joke with friends and family that I could never stay still. I was the girl with 6 jobs - full time job at a doctor's office, part time job at Ulta, blogging, blog tours, planning 2 book conferences, and trying to see my family and friends in my free seconds.

The beginning of December, I ... lost it. Call it a nervous breakdown, call it a mental breakdown ... Whatever it was, I lost it. I was drowning and could not find my way out of it. So many circumstances, personal and professional manifested themselves into this perfect storm of anxiety. I spent weeks in a state of panic attack. To the point where my body didn't know how to not have one. 

I stopped eating. I lost 26 pounds in 3 weeks. All I would consume was half a bowl of dry cheerios and a gallons of water. I cried every hour of every day. My coworkers started asking me what was wrong, watched as I literally fell apart on day and sat with me, holding my hands through the worst of it. 

My parents and my sister never left my side because I was terrified of being alone. I was a girl who loved to be by herself and suddenly, the idea of being left by myself was enough to make me shut down. They asked if I needed to go to the hospital and check myself in for a few weeks (I didn't ... but I probably should have).

At the worst of it, I was alone in my office at work and spent two hours researching the easiest ways to kill myself. What ways were most effective. What ways would cause the least amount of stress on my family to deal with. I wrote that letter to my family, detailing that they were amazing and I loved them, but I was simply too tired to keep going.

Needless to say, I stopped reading. I stopped blogging. I stopped being on social media. I couldn't even fake being happy. I had never been able to understand how people could get so depressed and so anxious that getting out of bed became a Herculean feat. But that's exactly what it was. I forced myself to live minute by minute for months.

I only told a super small group of friends and family how bad it got. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I mean ... I'm known for being sunshine and sparkles and happy, and I was so afraid that if people saw this broken, damaged version of me, that they would want nothing to do with me. I mean, I wanted nothing to do with me.

To those people, and you know who you are, thank you. I'm not kidding when I say you literally saved my life.

I'm getting better. I am better. I feel closer to being a calmer version of the old me. Having friends and family rally around me and keep me in check (and in prayer) is the best medicine. I'm still struggling to keep my focus in the blogging world, and it's why so many times I have posts and blog tours falling through the cracks. I'm stepping back for a bit and taking it slow.

So ... what's the point of this? It's not for sympathy. It's not. Part of it is an apology to the people I've let down recently - bloggers and publishers I spaced on, never emailed back, or went radio silent on. And it's to tell everyone what I've been going through so they know I'm not a total flake (just a partial one), and to let anyone out there who reads this know one thing:

I get it. I've been there. My door (inbox or DM) is always open. You are not alone.


Feb 24, 2017

Makeup Inspirations - Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I am so excited to share with you some makeup looks from Jen armentrout's steamy new novel, TILL DEATH!





Till Death releases 2/28!
Till Death Trailer:
[embed]https://video214.com/play/nWBQQPmNYruuznYL0PEY8Q/s/dark[/embed]
FOLLOW THE TOUR:
Wednesday 2/22 - Reads All The Books  - Book-Inspired Cocktails & Brews
Thursday 2/23 -  Vi3tBabe/Deity Island - Book-Inspired Manicure
Friday 2/24  - The Irish Banana Review – Book-Inspired Makeup
Monday 2/27 - No BS Book Reviews – GIF Review
Tuesday 2/28 - Jenuine Cupcakes – Book-Inspired Cupcakes
Wednesday 3/1 - Vilma’s Book Blog – Cover-Inspired Décor
Thursday 3/2 - Kimberlyfaye Reads – Book Cover Reimagining
Friday 3/3 Stuck In Books – Favorite Bed & Breakfast Destinations

Giveaway:

Feb 20, 2017

Review: The Blue Moon Narthex by N.J. Donner


Review:
Fun, original, and exciting, THE BLUE MOON NARTHEX is a book I have been waiting for. N.J. Donner absolutely knocks it out of the park with this one.

There is a depressing shortage of upper MG/lower YA books with male protagonists. With the exceptions of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, books aimed at adolescent males seem in short supply these days, which makes me so happy that Donner has stepped in to fill that void with Cole McCarthy.

Cole is witty, energetic, and smart as he unravels the mystery of his father. Blending action with humor and a fast moving plot that kept my attention, Donner has put himself on the map. I can't recommend this book hard enough to those looking for the void Harry and Percy left behind. 

Rating: 


ABOUT BLUE MOON NARTHEX:
The balance of good and evil has been left in the hands of a thirteen year old...

Since the beginning of time, Karmanic matter worked silently and unassisted keeping good and evil in balance, until growing greed in the world meant Karma couldn’t keep up. As World War I rages, the secret Karmanic Sovereign Legion works behind the scenes to help Karma.

A suspicious train accident and an odd stone-shaped object that belonged to his father thrust Cole McCarthy and two schoolmates into the middle of this battle to keep dark forces in check. 

With only the powerful stone, a letter, and grandfatherly Norm to guide them, the trio must unravel clues and tap into unknown strengths to discover who Cole’s father really was and keep themselves and those they love safe.

Includes chapter 1 of book 2 in the Karmanic Sovereign Legion series!


LINKS: Amazon | B&N


ABOUT N.J. DONNER:
N.J. Donner is the author of the new Karmanic Sovereign Legion books. N.J. loves to explore. The world fascinates him and he wants to figure out why and how things work, including Karma.

College adventures took N.J. far from his small Nebraska hometown to the southern hemisphere and the inner city. This was the beginning of his wanderlust and today he loves to travel with his wife, Amanda, and their three children.

N.J. became the first person to graduate with a minor in international affairs from Nebraska Wesleyan University and spent the years right out of college building a successful steel company.




Tour Schedule:
Week 1:
Week 2:
Week 3:


Giveaway:
Blue Moon Narthex Swag Box (US Only)

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Feb 13, 2017

Review: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones


Review:
Let's get this out of the way: WINTERSONG had me at Labyrinth. I'm a hue fan of the movie, have watched it countless times, and still quote it regularly. So a book about goblins and a goblin king (y'all know I pictured Jareth, AKA David Bowie the entire time), had me utterly intrigued, and I'm happy to say S. Jae-Jones didn't disappoint me.
Where Labyrinth always left me leaving more what the romance. What WINTERSONG gave me? THE ROMANCE.
*swoons*
Following Liesl down the rabbit hole as she tries to save her sister, Kathe, when Kathe is kidnapped. Now I gotta say, Liesl is a better girl than I am because I was content to let Kathe rot in the Underground (she's annoyingly selfish and vain). But Liesl saves her sister, by offering up herself, and thus becomes 'trapped' in the Goblin King's world where she absolutely flourishes.
I will admit that the beginning of the story was a bit sluggish, but something about S. Jae-Jones' writing and way with words kept me going, and I am so glad I did. This story is completely original and absolutely beautiful.

ABOUT WINTERSONG:
Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.



LINKS: Amazon | B&N


ABOUT S. JAE-JONES:
S. Jae-Jones, called JJ, is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and the author of Wintersong, forthcoming from Thomas Dunne in February 2017.

Born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, she lived in New York City for ten years before relocating down to Dixie, where she is comfortably growing fat on grits and barbecue. When not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skydiving, taking photographs, drawing pictures, and dragging her dog on ridiculously long hikes.




Tour Schedule:
Week 1:

Week 2:


Giveaway:
3 Finished Copies of WINTERSONG (US Only)

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Feb 6, 2017

Bookburners Blog Tour: Excerpt

Welcome to the first day of the BOOKBURNERS blog tour! Thanks for stopping by. Here's a fun excerpt from the book:

An Excerpt from Bookburners Episode 1: Badge, Book, and Candle

He set his hand on the book’s cover. Sal hadn’t noticed before how the leather was discolored: most of it matched Perry’s skin, but a crimson bloom spread beneath his fingers. She heard a sound she couldn’t name: a footfall, maybe, or a whisper, very soft. Goose bumps chased goose bumps up her arms.
“Perry, who are the Bookburners? Do you think someone’s following you?”
“I thought you didn’t want to know.”
 She leaned over the couch, over his shoulder, and checked through the blinds. Street still bare. Red Toyota pickup. Honda Civic. Garbage. E-Z Carpet Cleaner van.
“Please, Sal. They would have nabbed me on the way. They did not. Ergo, I wasn’t followed.”
“What the hell is going on?”
Someone knocked on her door.
“Shit,” Perry said.
“Jesus Christ, Perry.” She grabbed her phone off the living room table. “Who is that?”
 “Aiden. Probably.”
 “Mister Brooks?” The man on the other side of the door was unquestionably not Aiden—too old, too sure, too calm. An accent Sal couldn’t place twined through his words. “Mister Brooks, we’re not here to hurt you. We want to talk.”
“Shit,” Perry repeated, for emphasis.
Sal ran to her bedroom and returned with her gun. “Who are you?”
“I’m looking for Mister Brooks. I know he’s in there.”
“If he is, I doubt he’d want to see you.”
“I must talk with him.”
“Sir, I’m a police officer, and I’m armed. Please step away from the door.”
“Has he opened the book?”
 “What?” She looked into the living room. Perry was standing now, holding the book, fingers clenched around the cover like she’d seen men at bay clutch the handles of knives. “Sir, please leave. I’m calling 9-1-1 now.” She pressed the autodial. The line clicked.
“Stop him from opening the book,” the man said. “Please. If he means anything to you, stop him.”
 “Hello. This is Detective Sally Brooks,” and she rattled off her badge number and address. “I have a man outside my apartment who is refusing to leave—”
Something heavy struck the door. Doorjamb timbers splintered. Sally stumbled back, dropped the phone, both hands on the pistol. She took aim.
The door burst free of the jamb and struck the wall. A human wind blew through.
Later, Sal remembered slivers: a stinging blow to her wrist, her gun knocked back against the wall. A woman’s face—Chinese, she thought. Bob haircut. Her knee slammed into Sal’s solar plexus and she fell, gasping, to the splinter-strewn carpet. The woman turned, in slow-motion almost, to the living room where Perry stood.
He held the open book.
His eyes wept tears of blood, and his smile bared sharp teeth.
He spoke a word that was too big for her mind. She heard the woman roar, and glass break. Then darkness closed around her like a mouth.


© 2017 Max Gladstone, with permission from Saga Press


About BOOKBURNERS:
The critically acclaimed urban fantasy about a secret team of agents that hunts down dangerous books containing deadly magic—previously released serially online by Serial Box, now available in print for the first time!

Magic is real, and hungry. It’s trapped in ancient texts and artifacts, and only a few who discover it survive to fight back. Detective Sal Brooks is a survivor. She joins a Vatican-backed black-ops anti-magic squad—Team Three of the Societas Librorum Occultorum—and together they stand between humanity and the magical apocalypse. Some call them the Bookburners. They don’t like the label.

Supernatural meets The Da Vinci Code in a fast-paced, kickass character driven novel chock-full of magic, mystery, and mayhem, written collaboratively by a team of some of the best writers working in fantasy.


Amazon | Indiebound | B&N



About the Authors:
--Max Gladstone:
MAX GLADSTONE has been thrown from a horse in Mongolia, drank almond milk with monks on Wudang Shan, and wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat. Max is also the author of the Craft Sequence of books about undead gods and skeletal law wizards—Full Fathom Five, Three Parts Dead, Two Serpents Rise, and Last First Snow. Max fools everyone by actually writing novels in the coffee shops of Davis Square in Somerville, MA. His dreams are much nicer than you’d expect. He tweets as @maxgladstone. Bookburners, which he wrote with Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery, is available from Saga Press in January.
--Margaret Dunlap:
Before joining the Bookburners, MARGARET DUNLAP wrote for ABC Family’s cult-hit The Middleman in addition to working on SyFy’s Eureka. Most recently, she was a writer and co-executive producer of the Emmy-winning transmedia series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and co-created its sequel Welcome to Sanditon. Her short fiction has previously appeared in Shimmer Magazine. Margaret lives in Los Angeles where she taunts the rest of the team with local weather reports and waits for the earthquake that will finally turn Burbank into oceanfront property. She tweets as @spyscribe. Bookburners, which she wrote with Max Gladstone, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery, is available from Saga Press in January.
--Mur Lafferty:
MUR LAFFERTY is the author of The Shambling Guides series from Orbit, including the Netfix-optioned The Shambling Guide to New York City and Ghost Train to New Orleans. She has been a podcaster for over 10 years, running award-winning shows such as I Should Be Writing and novellas published via podcast. She has written for RPGs, video games, and short animation. She lives in Durham, NC where she attends Durham Bulls baseball games and regularly pets two dogs. Her family regrets her Dragon Age addiction and wishes for her to get help. She tweets as @mightymur. Bookburners, which she wrote with Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, and Brian Francis Slattery, is available from Saga Press in January.
--Brian Francis Slattery:
BRIAN FRANCIS SLATTERY is the author of Spaceman Blues, Liberation, Lost Everything, and The Family Hightower. Lost Everything won the Philip K. Dick Award in 2012. He’s the arts and culture editor for the New Haven Independent, an editor for the New Haven Review, and a freelance editor for a few not-so-secret public policy think tanks. He also plays music constantly with a few different groups in a bunch of different genres. He has settled with his family just outside of New Haven and admits that elevation above sea level was one of the factors he took into account. For one week out of every year, he enjoys living completely without electricity. Bookburners, which he wrote with Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, and Mur Lafferty, is available from Saga Press in January.

Tour Schedule: