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.