Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy











It’s that time again! For no other reason than that I like giveaways… we’re onto the FORTY-FIRST Recently Released Giveaway Goodness Giveaway run by yours truly, A Book Vacation!

 

RRG October

Many of these novels have recently released. I’ve included my reviews below to help you pick the novel you’d like to win!

Interested? Of course you are! I’m offering ONE lucky winner one of these novels:

This is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway from the book depository, but you need to make sure they send to your country before entering–check here.

To enter you must:

-Be 13 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Fill in the mandatory question on rafflecopter (extra entries optional)

Click here to go to the Rafflecopter Entry Form!

This contest is open internationally and will end at 12:01am EST on November 1st. The winner will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a comment!

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Review:Neurotica

From Goodreads: If you find yourself talking to Jayne Dandy, keep the conversation on Star Wars and rubber ducks—best not to mention men, dating, or S-E-X. Because Jayne is fine with the way things are: writer of obituaries and garage sale ads by day, secret scribe of adventures in distant galaxies by night. But her crippling fear of intimacy has made her the butt of jokes since forever, and hiding behind her laptop isn’t going to get her lightsaber lit.

After her therapist recommends that she write erotica as a form of exposure therapy, Jayne joins forces with pen and paper to combat the demons that won’t let her kiss and tell. Unexpectedly downsized at work, she adopts a pseudonym and secretly self-publishes one of her naughty books to make ends meet. When her adorable, long-time friend Luke, co-owner of the popular Portland food truck Luke Piewalker’s, hears she’s been demoted, he insists on hiring her to sling éclairs and turnovers at his side. Her secret must be kept, but sparks ignite between them, sending Jayne and her X-Wing into a tailspin that will either make her face down her neuroses or trigger a meltdown of Death Star proportions.

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This novel is absolutely amazing, giving readers an in-depth look at the indie publishing world through the eyes of Jayne, a young woman who struggles with intimacy.  Jayne, better known to her readers as Jaina Jacen, is an intriguing character who innocently enough begins a maelstrom when her erotica books take off in the ebook world–a feat Jayne never imagined, nor wanted.  Published under a pseudonym and only in hopes of making ends meet, Jayne’s world is turned upside down when the demand for more, including public appearances and signings, become a reality she cannot ignore.  But these books were never supposed to hit it big, and no one is supposed to know her true identity, especially not her family nor Luke, the friend who is really interested in so much more.  This conundrum adds much humor to the novel as it takes off, and Gordon’s writing style kept me captivated from the very beginning.  Jayne is such a sweet, shy character, and watching her try to dodge all romance, while in the throes of writing and publishing erotica behind closed doors, makes for a great read, perhaps more so because it’s 100% clean.

Though I am indeed a prude and dislike heavy sex in my novels, I have to admit that Gordon MADE me WANT to read Jayne’s fictional books just to know what all the hubbub was about throughout this enticing story.  Gordon really does an amazing job keeping readers on edge, snickering, and in love with all the characters as this humorous story unfolds, making it a must read. Especially as Luke is such a great guy.  And perhaps my favorite part is that it’s completely clean. While Jayne does write erotica, Gorgon keeps this NA novel PG, which is exactly where it needs to be to get the point across.

If you’re looking for a hilarious, clean, introspective read, then look no further that Neurotica.  Five stars.

5 stars
I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.
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Top Ten Movie Scores for Jayne (aka. Jaina Jacen) While Writing:

One way Jayne Dandy deals with the complexities of Life and Related Topics is through her love of writing. (What a *novel* idea!) Though she starts out penning stories in the sci-fi/fantasy realm, her therapist encourages her to try a little erotica to help her work through her intimacy issues. Think of it as exposure therapy, as in, write us a story about naked bits and the people attached to them! But when circumstances of the unemployed type dictate that Jayne find a new way to pay the rent, she decides that sending her naughty stories out into the Big Bad World to earn their keep just might work.

Like many writers, Jayne relies on auditory inspiration—music! What would her playlist look like? Well, if Jayne is anything like me (and I dare say she might be, at least atiny bit), she listens to movie scores. Because lyrics, while awesome, make a writer stop and sing and possibly dance. (I’ve been known to dance while writing. Which means no writing gets done. Just a lot of embarrassment, especially if the windows are open and the neighbors can see in.Although last time I put an open guitar case on the lawn and made $4.85. Groove on, baby!)

The following is a list of five fantastic movie scores with romantic overtones that Jayne—or, I mean, Jaina Jacen—might have listened to while breathing life into her erotic novels:

Pride and Prejudice, Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Leap Year, Randy Edelman

Winter’s Tale, Hans Zimmer and Rupert Gregson-Williams

Romeo and Juliet, Abel Korzeniowski

Twilight Saga: New Moon, Alexandre Desplat

And what about when she’s writing her sci-fi stuff? This list could go on and on. Here are Jayne’s ten favorites:

Man of Steel, Hans Zimmer

Guardians of the Galaxy, Tyler Bates

Godzilla, Alexandre Desplat

Inception, Hans Zimmer

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Jesper Kyd and Lorne Balfe(Never underestimate the awesomeness of video game scores!)

Divergent, Junkie XL

Captain America: Winter Soldier, Henry Jackman

Thor: The Dark World, Brian Tyler

The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Howard Shore

The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, James Newton Howard

I LOVE movie scores because they are already a story all their own. Often I purchase movie scores without seeing the films they belong to as then the music molds to whatever I have going on in my own head, in my own fantasy worlds—I dare say Miss Jayne thinks along those same lines. There’s nothing like a heart-slamming chase scene or face-melting love scene done in music to really get those creative juices flowing. And when writing her erotica, Jayne Dandy needs all the creative juices she can get.

Happy reading!

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Eliza Gordon

About the Author:

A purveyor of fictions, Eliza Gordon has excellent taste in books, shoes, movies, and friends, and questionable sanity in the realm of love. Best leave that one alone. www.elizagordon.com

Connect:

Website |  Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Giveaway:

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway Here!



We’re celebrating the release of Every Time I Think of You by best selling Author Tracey Garvis-Graves! Check out how Tracey came up with the idea for the book and take a peek at the excerpt below. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Title: Every Time I Think of You

Author: Tracey Garvis-Graves

Age Group: Adult

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Goodreads

Amazon US (e-book and paperback) | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Amazon Australia  | Barnes & Noble | Apple | Kobo

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SYNOPSIS:

Thirty-year-old Daisy DiStefano has two people she holds dear: the grandmother who raised her, and her three-year-old son, Elliott. But when Daisy’s grandmother is killed in a seemingly random act of violence, Daisy must take steps to protect herself and her child.

Despite a thriving career in San Francisco, thirty-six-year-old Brooks McClain has returned home to spend what little time his mother has left before she succumbs to the deadly disease that is ravaging her. The seasoned investigative reporter has taken a position with the local newspaper and been on the job less than twenty-four hours when he’s summoned to cover the death of Pauline Thorpe.

Brooks is all business, but the more time he spends with Daisy DiStefano, the more invested he becomes; there’s something about a single mother, a defenseless child, and an unsolved crime that has stirred Brooks’s protective instincts like nothing ever has before.

And when the unthinkable happens, Brooks will do whatever it takes to clear the name of the woman he’s fallen for and the child he’ll protect at any cost.

Romantic and suspenseful, Every Time I Think of You shows how far two people will go to fight for the ones they love, and the life they’ve always imagined.

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An Idea Was Born: A Guest Post

by Tracey Garvis Graves

One of the questions I’m often asked is, “How did you come up with the idea for this book?” My books are fairly plot-driven, and Every Time I Think of You was no different. I could see the opening scene in my head like a movie so I knew what the inciting incident – in other words, the event that would send the main characters’ lives in another direction – would be. But in this case, my opening scene was the result of not only plot, but also a character. I have wanted to write a book where the main character was a crime reporter for a while now. I tend to gravitate toward heroes who are regular guys, and I wanted to see what would happen when I put this particular hero into various situations (and a little hot water). What would he do? How would he react? What, exactly, was he made of?

However, if main character Brooks McClain was going to be a crime reporter, that meant I had to come up with a crime (which ultimately, I’d have to solve). I’ve never written a book with a mystery or suspense element before, but I wasn’t going to let a little thing like that get in the way of telling this story. I’ve said time and time again that I never want to be an author who writes the same book over and over, but with that motto comes challenges. I have to deal with the discomfort that comes from tackling something different than I’ve done before, and often this means learning new things.

I have a love/hate relationship with research. I keep telling myself I’m going to write a book that doesn’t require as much research, and then I write a book that requires extensive research. I should really start listening to myself! Some of the things I did in the name of research for Every Time I Think of You included taking a four-hour firearms safety course and learning how to load and shoot a gun, which was something I didn’t have any experience with.

I also studied ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, by reading memoirs and poring over countless websites dedicated to the disease. Although the timing of the recent ALS ice bucket challenge is merely a coincidence, it makes me happy to know that this devastating illness is receiving such an outpouring of support from the general public.

I studied addiction, specifically methamphetamine addiction. What I learned was heart-wrenching, eye-opening, and often tragic. In total, I read six memoirs about addiction and read countless online articles. I watched a fascinating Frontline documentary from PBS about methamphetamine addiction and its effects on law enforcement and the community.

I reached out to a criminal defense attorney in California so that I could gain an understanding of that state’s legal processes, and I spent several hours in person and on the phone with my cousin Jack, who is a detective with the Des Moines Police Department. Jack was instrumental in explaining the outcomes of all the different scenarios I proposed (naturally, I named the detective character after him). I interviewed three different crime reporters (who all told me slightly different things), and one of them saved me from a potentially embarrassing gaffe. In Every Time I Think of You, I include an actual newspaper article written by Brooks McClain. Newspaper reporters use the Associated Press Stylebook to ensure that their articles are written correctly whereas The Chicago Manual of Style is the go-to guide for fiction writers. The crime reporter who proofed my article had me make a small tweak so that it was correct in form.

I spoke to a nurse, to make sure I got the details of Daisy’s DiStefano’s work schedule correct. There were less significant things I needed the answers to, such as what kind of jewelry a nurse would be permitted to wear to work and what floor she might work on if she were involved with a particular patient.

In addition to the factual research necessary to write this story, I also had to choose the path I’d take to solve the crime. I learned that there were a few different ways I could handle this: One, I could write the story in such a way that the reader would probably not know who committed the crime until the very end. Two, I could choose the slightly-less-suspenseful route and let the reader be privy to clues that would allow them to guess the identity of the perpetrator much earlier. That way, I could let the focus of the story rest on how the person would be brought to justice. I chose option two because I felt it would lend emotional resonance and depth to the story.

Now that I knew how I’d tell the story, I needed to concentrate on the characters. I usually have a pretty good outline in place before I sit down to start writing. This method doesn’t work for everyone, but for me it helps to have a roadmap of sorts so that I don’t waste too much time writing myself into corners. This is not a spoiler because you know from the blurb that the book deals with the aftermath of the death of Daisy’s beloved grandmother. However, once I was about a fourth of the way through the first draft, I realized that the character I’d chosen to commit the crime didn’t actually do it.

I fought it for a while, but the more I got to know these characters, the more I realized my inner muse was right. This person couldn’t have done it.

Delete, delete, delete, delete. Sigh.

The real perpetrator had a motive, but it was subtle and at first I couldn’t see it. And the person who I’d originally intended to commit the crime was actually somewhat responsible. But it will be up to the reader to draw their own conclusions about what transpired that evening in Daisy’s grandmother’s apartment, because the opening chapter of the book is narrated by Daisy’s three-year-old son, who has a very limited ability to explain it. I actually first wrote this opening chapter from the point-of-view of Daisy’s grandmother, Pauline. It gave the book a much darker tone than I wanted so I scrapped it and decided to let Elliott take the reins.

There is also one final plot thread that I chose not to tie up with a big red ribbon. Initially I wrote a paragraph that would have explained why a certain character made the choice that he did, but then I realized it wasn’t necessary. Readers are smart and book discussions are extra fun when there’s a bit of speculation involved.

I’m not an especially fast or prolific writer, and that’s fine with me. Between the research and the actual writing time, this book took fourteen months to complete, and there were times I wanted to pull my hair out. I’d told my husband there were a couple of twists I was hoping to pull off, but wasn’t sure I knew how to accomplish them. I told several people that writing this book made my brain hurt (but one of the readers who received an advance copy told me she kept saying to herself as she read it, “This book is so smart!”). When I hear feedback like that, it tells me that everything I did in the name of Every Time I Think of You was worth it.

I hope you enjoy Brooks and Daisy’s story.

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 EXCERPT

I glanced at my watch. “I need to get going.” I stood and Daisy followed me toward the door. “Don’t hesitate to call the police for any reason. Pay close attention to your surroundings. Keep your door locked. Don’t ever open it without the chain on.” I paused, once again struck by how alone she seemed. Was anyone watching out for her? “Listen, I don’t mean for this to sound as sexist as it’s going to, but is there a guy around?”

Rarely did I ask such a personal question, especially when the answer was absolutely none of my business.

And I’ll admit to being more than just professionally curious as I waited for her answer.

“There was, but not anymore,” she said. “It’s just Elliott and me. We’ll be okay. When someone knocks, I look through the peephole. If I don’t recognize the person, I leave the chain on when I open the door. I also bought a gun.”

She said that last part with such nonchalance that it took me a second to process it.

“You what?” I probably said it with a little more force than I should have.

She looked taken aback. “Shane helped me pick it out.”

I was speechless. “I’m sorry, but you don’t—”

“Look like the type of person who would own a gun?”

It was hard to argue with that statement when it was exactly what I was going to say. “Yes.”

“I didn’t buy the gun because I wanted to. Frankly, I would rather not own one. They scare me,” she said. “But I bought one anyway because the thought of looking something evil right in the eye and knowing that I’m more than likely going to come out on the losing end of it terrifies me. The fear that I’ll be assaulted, or raped and left for dead, or worse yet, that someone will try to harm my child, is the reason I have this gun. That’s the type I am.”

I saw her then, really saw her. Five foot seven, maybe, but small-boned. She was wearing a fitted V-neck T-shirt that emphasized her slight build. I could see the prominent ridge of her collarbone and the deep hollow at the base of her throat that I suddenly couldn’t stop looking at. She’d be no match for anyone. If she wanted a gun, I was hardly in a position to tell her she couldn’t have one.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I was out of line. It’s really none of my business what you do.”

“It’s okay. Pam reacted the same way you did. But I’m doing everything I can to be a responsible gun owner. I’ve signed up for the safety class so I can learn how to handle the gun. How to shoot it. I’ll apply for the permit as soon as I have my certificate. I’ll go to the shooting range, and I’ll practice.”

Taking her to the shooting range was something I could do to help her. It would also give me a chance to spend time with her, which was something that was becoming more appealing by the minute. I could feel the boundary between witness and reporter starting to blur, but I really didn’t care. It had been a while since a woman had sparked my interest the way Daisy had. “You don’t have to justify anything to me. It sounds like you’re doing everything right,” I said. “I’ll let you know if I hear anything on the case.”

“I would really appreciate that.”

Elliott put down his coloring book and ambled across the room.

Daisy lifted him into her arms. “You look tired, buddy. Are you ready for your nap?”

“I’m not tired,” Elliott said, yawning and rubbing his eyes.

“Oh, my mistake,” Daisy said, smiling at him. “I think we’ll try a nap anyway, just in case.” She looked at me. “Thanks for stopping by.”

“It was no problem. I’ll see you soon.”

As I stepped into the hallway she said, “Brooks?”

I turned around. “Yes?”

“Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but you seem to genuinely care about my safety, and I want you to know that I appreciate it. I need all the help I can get.”

I met her gaze and held it for a moment. “You aren’t reading it wrong at all. Take care, Daisy.”

She smiled and it illuminated her face, making every feature even prettier. She closed the door, and I made my way down the hall.

It was true that I cared about Daisy’s safety. Maybe Scott DiStefano had never abused or neglected Elliott, but Daisy’s decision to arm herself made me wonder what he’d done to her.

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GIVEAWAY
ONE WINNER WILL RECEIVE (INT):

ONE signed copy of On the Island, Covet, and ETITOY. Also included, a $50 gift card to Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Also, the winner will receive an ARC of Tracey’s next work-in-progress, The Girl He Used to Know (an adult contemporary second-chance romance novel). And finally, Tracey will either use the winner’s name in The Girl He Used to Know (first name or last name only, or the actual real name if comfortable) OR the winner can suggest a name for a character.

**The restrictions to this are that it will not be the name of a main character. It will be a supporting or minor character. Also, this is a fictional character. It is not a character based on the winner.

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!

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About the Author:

 

Tracey Garvis Graves is a New York TimesWall Street Journal, and USA Todaybestselling author. Her debut novel, On the Island, spent 9 weeks on the New York Timesbestseller list, has been translated into twenty-seven languages, and is in development with MGM and Temple Hill Productions for a feature film. She is also the author ofUncharted, Covet, Every Time I Think of You, and Cherish. She is hard at work on her sixth book.

Tracey loves to interact with her readers and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

 



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Synopsis:

Almost fifteen-year-old Caleb Hart is a Cadaver-Manipulator in the year 2025. When teens receive a government-sanctioned pharmaceutical cocktail during school, paranormal abilities begin manifesting… making the teens more powerful than the adults.

After Caleb discovers he has the rare, Affinity for the Dead, he must do whatever it takes to hide it from a super-secret government agency whose goal is exploitation.

Caleb seeks refuge in his new girlfriend, Jade, until he realizes that she needs as much protection from her family, as he does from the government.

Suddenly, Caleb finds that hiding his ability while protecting Jade and his friends is a full time job; can he escape the government, protect Jade and lose the bullies that are making him miserable?

 

Available BELOW:

DEATH WHISPERS Audio

 



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PerceptionFrom Goodreads:

The world will never look the same…

There comes a defining moment in every young person’s life that irrevocably shifts their point of view. For a new teacher who still compares herself to her students, it’s a missing girl and a false accusation that could cost her more than her career. For a young man who settles into a rut that not even his broken marriage can pull him out of, it’s a drifter’s gun to his head. For an idealistic college student, it’s her parents’ divorce pulling back the curtain on who they really are, shattering everything she thought she knew about love. And for a recovering addict who’s not ready to change, it might just be an unhappy ending to her illicit affair.

In Perception, discover five captivating stories that explore what it means to be a new adult.

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Available now:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | B&N | Smashwords | iTunes

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Review:

For the Love of DeathFrom Goodreads: The year is 2049 and in the new dystopian order, the Randoms have risen to the top like cream. Earth faces dire consequences because of the Helix Complex and their illicit use of mass-sterilization. Many who could have children, were made into mules from the virulent Zondorae concoction of 2030.

Now middle-aged, Death’s children do their best to move forward in a world where technology and paranormal powers collide in a mix of tragedy and circumstance. Zombies have been raised for the slave trade by those Randoms in power.

Paxton Hart and Parker’s twin girls are grown and on the radar for those that understand how critical they are for the future. The tight-knit circle of friends continues to network for solutions to the depravity that has taken hold.

Can the original group right a tremendous wrong? Will the new generation of Randoms find a solution for propagation, or will their power base cannibalize those who choose harmony instead of greed?

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Um, WOW. Blodgett is back in the latest Death series novel, and our beloved characters are all grown up with teens of their own now. And. It’s. Awesome!

Gramps is still kickin’ at 80 years old, but as we find out fairly early on, his daughter, Ali, Caleb’s mother (the main character in death 1-6), is dying, and Caleb’s teenage son, Paxton, is having a really hard time with this.

So begins the novel, as Paxton struggles with his powers as he watches the cancer eat away at his grandmother (not Gramp’s wife), a woman that so totally gets him, he can’t handle the inevitable separation. And like his father Caleb, Paxton struggles to control not only his gifts, but his anger as well. And it is this anger that sends him and his twin sister, Deegan, on an adventure not unlike those his father and his friends used to have when they were young… lovers of Death rejoice!!

Paxton has an awesome ability that is new to the Death series–the ability to jump, or blink, to another dimension, and as the story unfolds, Blodgett presents two vastly different worlds that are so imaginative and amazing that you’ll feel like you’ve blinked there alongside them. As Deegan finds herself in dire circumstance after dire circumstance, and the dead continue to rise in both worlds, readers are in for some action packed sequences as the new “greysheets” once again mess with Harts.

This novel focuses on Paxton and Deegan, but soon our beloved Caleb and his old band of friends come on the scene once again, up to their old antics, and the fun really begins. I will admit that I was on pins and needles throughout this entire novel, especially with the new threats that await our characters, and I loved that we get to see the parent/child bond in this novel; seeing some of my favorite characters of all time, all grown up, is a real treat, and I hope that Blodgett continues this tradition with all her novels. And, from the ending we’re left with in this novel, I at least know there will be one more novel following this beloved cast of characters, if not more, as Blodgett leaves us with a fairly evil cliffhanger.  Five epic stars.

5 stars

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Excerpt:

“Mom—no. Brother,” I rake a hand through my hair, on the look out for the BS bots.

They swarm inside the toxic fog of smoke, everything all screwed up by noise and odd pulse tech gone haywire.

Two ram together, fall on their mechanical asses and stumble to get up. They knock heads and fall again.

The parents watch them crash into each other.

“Not very bright,” Dad remarks.

God, Dad.

“Right, listen… you guys we need to get to Pax. He’s taken off to find Deegan and he’s the blinker in the group and we don’t want to be stuck with them.” I sweep my hand out and they take in the idiot bots.

“They appear to ignore mundanes and focus on the paranormal.” Dad is sliding into the default Scientific Observation Mode.

Great.

“Yeah, they’re juiced about everyone but Organics.”

“Caleb,” Mom says, her voice a shadow of the strident Nazi-word queen of my youth, “I think we need to go wherever we’re going—right now.”

A bot advances, its circuitry is buzzing, some of the lightweight flesh of whatever alloy they’ve used in the manufacture torn away like a flap of scalped skin.

Instantly, I think of the Skopamish.

I repress a hysterical chuckle, the crooked mouth rising like a Phoenix. Don’t think the parents will dig the humor.

“I think this one is a little brighter than the rest, son.”

It shambles forward like a metal zombie. I notice it has been soundly torched but whatever covers its body has shielded it from the blanket of my bungled torch episode.

Cripes.

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Guest Post:

Hybrid Authoring

Tamara Rose BlodgettIndie?

Traditional?

Hybrid?

What on God’s green earth are all these new monikers for authors now? Well, we’re a secret club, making these classifications as difficult as possible to figure out for our readers!

Ha! Just joking. Actually, until a few years ago, it was pretty straight forward.

You (the author) wrote a really cool story, sent it out to a million agents, hoped someone gave a care, and got published by one of the Big Five publishing houses.

Sounds reasonable.

Not.

I wrote my first book in 2007, and was so inspired by TWILIGHT. I know there’s readers out there rolling their eyes so hard in their collective heads it’s like a seizure. I hear you, I do. But Twilight was a big deal. Why? It helped put YA paranormal romance on the map; big time. Did you know that Fifty Shades is fan fiction based on Twilight? Yeah. Twilight was revolutionary. I loved it. I wrote Blood Singers and finished it after reading that book. I was too chicken to send it out so I put BS in a drawer. Then I hit on the idea for Death Whispers and did get brave enough to send it out. I fully expected a ton of rejections. I got a few (lol). Then there were agents who made helpful comments (yay!). Then one agent wanted a partial (that’s about 50 pages).

I was stoked like a chimney on fire.

Then he was like: revise this hard and I’ll look at it again.

I was crushed! What? He doesn’t like my “baby?”

Well—yeah. But the good news? The really great news? He gave me hope. I revised the MS hard (like a good girl). The day before I was going to send him the entire thing, I heard about Amanda Hocking. A chick that was truly brave had tossed her stories on Amazon. I was riveted.

Could I do that?

Yes.

So I did.

Self-publishing changed my life. A homemaker of twenty-five years that always wrote stories can [now] do it as a job?

But was I really a writer if I didn’t get pubbed from a Big Five?

Yes.

It sure felt real when I was working 40-60 hour weeks, at a minimum. Then Hubs encouraged me to write under a pen name. He made it up himself (super-sexy). I wrote a lot of titles under that name.

Then A Terrible Love came out under my pen name and made the New York Times list. I about died. (I had an agent by then.) She phoned and told me, because the magic reaches their ears first.

Did I feel like I was a real writer then?

No. I felt like I was a writer in 2007 when I finished Blood Singers.

Then Simon and Schuster picked up ATL and had me write two more books. That’s when I became a “hybrid.”

I’m not the only indie who went on to get a traditional book deal from a Big Five publisher.

I’ve done both now, and love the hybrid thing. It diversifies an author. That said, I am completely pleased to self-publish and enjoy the freedom the Amazon platform provides.

I dig a guest post that breaks down the mystique of a profession. And that is the case with writing. It’s a cool job. But like any job, it’s hard work. Now we have Amazon and our dream of storytelling can be realized whether it be through self-pubbing or traditional.

Being a hybrid is a wonderful thing.

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Giveaway:

Win a $25 Amazon gift card PLUS a paperback of For the Love of Death!

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It’s HERE!!  Chelsea Fine’s RIGHT KIND OF WRONG releases today! Published by Grand Central Forever, RIGHT KIND OF WRONG is the third novel Chelsea’s Finding Fate Series and is a New Adult Contemporary Romance. Check out my 5 star review below, as well as an excerpt, and make sure you enter the giveaway!

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Right Kind of WrongREVIEW:

From Goodreads: Sometimes wrong can feel oh so right . . .

Jenna Lacombe needs complete control, whether it’s in the streets . . . or between the sheets. So when she sets out on a solo road trip to visit her family in New Orleans, she’s beyond annoyed that the infuriatingly sexy Jack Oliver wants to hitch a ride with her. Ever since they shared a wild night together last year, he’s been trying to strip away her defenses one by one. He claims he’s just coming along to keep her safe-but what’s not safe for her is prolonged exposure to the tattooed hottie.

Jack can’t get Jenna out from under his skin. She makes him feel alive again after his old life nearly destroyed him-and losing her is not an option. Now Jack’s troubles are catching up to him, and he’s forced to return to his hometown in Louisiana. But when his secrets put them both in harm’s way, Jenna will have to figure out how far she’s willing to let love in . . . and how much she already has.

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I really loved this third installment of the Finding Fates series, Fine’s awesome series of standalone novels that focus on a different cast of characters within the same world. While a bit darker than the others with its ties to drug trafficking and the mob, Fine does a great job creating a realistic backdrop, fleshing out the characters, and making readers fall in love with them, past sins aside. This novel also carries a bit more tension within the pages than the other novels in the series, with the threat of death surrounding the characters, and I liked the added drama and anticipation this brought about as I read. Though I will admit I thought some of the situations in the novel were resolved a bit too neatly, I still really loved this novel and was indeed glued to the pages from the get go.

Fine is a magnificent storyteller—I have yet to read a novel of hers I haven’t absolutely adored. Both Jenna and Jack bring a realness to the story that makes readers feel like they’re right there alongside them, steamy scenes and all, and I loved getting to know the people behind the names that are spoken about in the other two standalones in the series. I actually got extremely giddy when I realized that Fine was cross-referencing a scene from Perfect Kind of Trouble, giving us the other side of the coin—seeing events unfold from Jack and Jenna’s viewpoint, already knowing them from Kayla and Daren’s point of view. It takes a talented author to be able to weave together multiple scenes within standalones, and Fine certainly delivers in this swoonworthy, high tension story. Five stars.

5 stars

I received this novel from the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon ** Barnes and Noble ** iBooks ** Kobo Indiebound ** BAM

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EXCERPT:

Padding my bare feet back into Jack’s bedroom, I start riffling through his drawers like a wet raccoon, searching for something that can pass as pajamas. I try on four pairs of basketball shorts and two shirts before finding items small enough to fit me without being obscene.

I’m not a small person—not at all. I’m average height, average weight. It’s just that Jack’s a giant who, apparently, wears size 100 in everything. Twisting the shirt around my middle so it hangs properly, I absently inhale and smile when I catch Jack’s scent.

What? No. Don’t smile about that, you idiot.

RKoW teaser 6I unclench my fists from his shirt and smooth out the wrinkles I created clutching it to my nose. I’m not like a wet raccoon at all. I’m worse. Raccoons would be ashamed of me.

My inner dialogue—I’ve just accepted that I’m certifiable, at this point—comes to a halt when I hear an engine in the front yard.

Jack.

My first instinct is to run outside and smack him—you know, violent tendencies and all—but I regain my composure and choose a more mature tactic.

I stand perfectly still in the dark living room and wait for him with a scowl.

Through the window, I watch his dark figure stumble out of the car and slowly climb the front steps all hunched over. What did he do, go get drunk? Great.

I cross my arms, scowl still poised to kill, and wait as he opens the door and quietly steps inside. He flicks on the living room light and I ready myself for the shit storm I’m about to rain all over his ass. But my words, my anger, my bitter intentions fall away the instant I see his face.

“Jack.” It’s more of a gasp than a word as it leaves my mouth.

He pulls his eyes up from his bloody and torn hand, and sets them on me. “Jenna. What the hell?” Several emotions cross his eyes. Anger. Fear. Relief. Anger.

I pull a face. “Don’t ‘what the hell’ me. You’re the one who stole my car and drove off into the night.”

He screws his face up. “So you waited up to yell at me?”

“Well…” I pause.

Is that why I waited up? Well, crap.

“Yeah,” I finally say, not particularly proud of my answer.

“Typical,” he mutters. “Listen. I’m not in the mood to bicker with you right now so if you don’t mind rescheduling this bitch-out for tomorrow, that would be great.”

He brushes past me, his shoulder lightly sweeping mine, and halts at the touch. Facing me, he softens his husky voice. “I’m sorry.”

Long eyelashes lower over his storm-gray eyes as he searches my face, and the wicked wildfire inside me instantly reignites as his gaze drops to my mouth.

The thick frustration that filled the room just moments ago thins into a sweet trepidation, curling around us with a daring charge. So delicious. But so dangerous.

I carefully step back and clear my throat. Jack does the same. We’re masters of avoidance.

Without another word, he moves past me and marches down the hall. That’s when I spy the blood running down the back of his shirt from a large gash between his shoulder blades.

My heart stops.

“Jack?” I say, staring with wide eyes. “What happened to your back?”

He looks over his shoulder and frowns. “Oh. That.” Turning back around, he continues striding down the hallway. “Knife wound.”

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Tattooed beautiful woman in old spooky interior

And don’t miss Book 1 in the Finding Fate Series…

BEST KIND OF BROKEN

See my 5 star review HERE!

Best Kind of Broken

Finding Fates

And book two:

Perfect Kind of Trouble: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

See my 5 Star Review Here

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Author PhotoABOUT CHELSEA FINE:

Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She’s ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen.

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter ** YouTube ** Instagram ** Author Goodreads ** RIGHT KIND OF WRONG Goodreads

 Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway!



It’s that time again! For no other reason than that I like giveaways… we’re onto the FORTIETH Recently Released Giveaway Goodness Giveaway run by yours truly, A Book Vacation!

 

RRGG Septermber

Many of these novels have recently released. I’ve included my reviews below to help you pick the novel you’d like to win!

Interested? Of course you are! I’m offering ONE lucky winner one of these novels:

This is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway from the book depository, but you need to make sure they send to your country before entering–check here.

To enter you must:

-Be 13 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Fill in the mandatory question on rafflecopter (extra entries optional)

Click here to go to the Rafflecopter Entry Form!

This contest is open internationally and will end at 12:01am EST on October 1st. The winner will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a comment!

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And don’t forget to enter my other epic giveaways:

Enter to Win a Signed 8×10 Photo of Monroe from GRIMM!! — ENDS September 10

Silas

Win a Signed Copy of Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, a Signed Copy of Pyxis: The Discovery by K.C. Neal, a Signed Copy of Alight: The Peril by K.C. Neal, plus TONS of SWAG! — ENDS September 27

3000 Likes Giveaway

 



In celebration of reaching 3000 likes on my Facebook page, I’m running a special giveaway!

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3000 Likes GiveawayOne awesome Facebook follower will win:

Signed Books:

  • Dangerous Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  • Pyxis: The Discovery by K.C. Neal
  • Alight: The Peril by K.C. Neal

Signed Bookmarks from:

  • Heather Hildenbrand– Imitation
  • K.C. Neal–Pyxis
  • Angeline Kace– Descended by Blood

Rubber Bracelets:

  • Helia’s Shadow by K.C. Neal—Contains Aliens
  • Helia’s Shadow by K.C. Neal—YA Sci-fi Romance
  • DFTBA (from The Fault in Our Stars)

Plus:

  • Signed Purse—K.C. Neal
  • Sampler Booklet—Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield
  • Sampler Booklet—The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkmans
  • Sample Lesson Booklet—Game of Thrones Dothraki Language
  • Sampler Booklet—The Young World by Chris Weitz
  • The Fault in Our Stars Stickers
  • Veronica Roth Answers Four Questions Poster
  • “Warning: Zombies Inside” Poster
  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner Poster

 

Good luck!

_________________________________________________________________________________________

To enter you must:

-Be 13 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Fill in the mandatory question on Rafflecopter (extra entries optional)

This contest is open internationally and will end at 12:01am EST on September 27th. The winner will receive email notification from me soon after! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a thoughtful comment!



The Fated 5 have come together to bring you a collection of five steamy new adult urban fantasies about sacrifice, second chances, destiny and love against all odds. With fan favorites from new adult and urban fantasy bestsellers Rachael Wade, Nikki Jefford, Stacey Marie Brown, Alyssa Rose Ivy, and Heather Hildenbrand.

 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

***Available for a LIMITED TIME only!***

Five full-length novels in a boxed set for only 99 cents.

 

Amaranth by Rachael Wade – Camille moves to Southern Louisiana to escape her abusive past, not expecting to fall in love and plummet into the world of Amaranth, a place of exile for reformed vampires.

Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter by Nikki Jefford – Thanks to her rare blood type, Aurora’s forced to hunt vampires in Alaska. Now Aurora’s only friends are groupies of the undead and the only boy she can think about may very well be a vampire.

Darkness of Light by Stacey Marie Brown – Ember has never fit in. After she lands herself in a facility for troubled teens, she meets the darkly mysterious and hot as hell, Eli Dragen who is keeping secrets that can’t
stay hidden much longer.

Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy – A summer in New Orleans leads to a chance encounter with the infuriating yet alluring Levi. Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.

Whisper by Heather Hildenbrand – Five months after Whisper is released from the Skye View Wellness Center she stumbles upon an unconscious boy at a bonfire party who holds the key to breaking her curse.

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Reviews:

So far, I’ve read two of the full length novels in the Fated Boxed Set, Whisper by Heather Hildenbrand, and Flight by Alyssa Rose Ivy

22797518WHISPER by Heather Hildenbrand

From Amazon: The Cherokee believe when a person dies, their soul is reborn. Life is repeated. An endless cycle of lessons to be learned, love to be found, destiny to be fulfilled. For the past six months, in every flower, every bird, I’ve imagined my parents, relieved of their human forms.

Now, after five months at the Skye View Wellness Center, it was summer. A time for parties and friends, but that’s the last thing I want to do. So when my best friend Erin convinces me to attend a bonfire at Eagle Point, I can’t handle the crowd full of sympathetic stares or drunken class clowns who would use my tragedy as a way into my heart – or my pants. The solitude of the woods offers an escape, until I stumble upon a boy, unconscious and bleeding, his pockets stuffed not with identification but with poetry illustrating the beauty of dying. I’ve seen enough death. I will not leave this boy’s side.

Even after he wakes, when the only thing he can remember are visions of events that haven’t happened yet…

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When I heard that Heather Hildenbrand was updating and re-releasing her wonderful novel, Whisper, I was beyond excited. I first read this novel back in 2012, and I thoroughly enjoyed it then. And knowing that scenes were going to change, new events would be occurring, and that the relationship between Hildenbrand’s characters would be turned up a notch had me eagerly awaiting this novel for a re-read, and let me just say, it’s perfection.

Whisper is not like any of Hildenbrand’s other novels; it’s completely unique to her writing style yet still innately hers through and through. It’s a captivating read, tackling the very real issue of grief, while putting a supernatural spin on it. While Hildenbrand has written many supernatural novels before, this novel has a more contemporary feel, and it’s attention to the tough topics of death and redemption are hard hitting, but extremely beautiful. Truth be told, not all readers are going to understand Whisper’s feelings or struggle to move on with her life if they haven’t experienced such debilitating grief in their own lives, so it may seem a bit slow to some readers; it’s not an action novel (not until near the end, that is). Yet, while it does start out slow, that’s the nature of this story; it’s not meant to be a fast-paced gripping novel, but rather one of love and grief. Those feelings wouldn’t be portrayed correctly if it moved any faster than it does, and I, personally, enjoyed this slower paced novel, allowing me to connect with the characters in a more real, vivid way than action packed novels tend to do.

Dylan is a most amazing character. He completes Whisper in a way that automatically brings a smile to my face, and I just adore him. Hildenbrand did a phenomenal job fleshing out her characters so well, especially Whisper, making the reader really feel for her, and all the characters, for that matter. Whisper’s grief is palpable and her character drudged up some long buried feelings I had concerning my own grief. Likewise, Taregan caused me to feel immense hatred, and yet, Hildenbrand was able to make me still feel sorry for him in the end; the fact that she actually made me feel for the one character I couldn’t stand is a testament to Hildenbrand’s sheer writing capabilities, and I really enjoyed this story, especially the Cherokee folklore, magic, and overall presence of the novel. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

I loved the changes in the novel as well. Hildenbrand has smoothed over some areas, added some steam, and she’s indeed changed the entire ending to create a more fluid conclusion. And I loved every minute of it. While I didn’t realize it the first time I read the novel a few years back, these updates bring about a real sense of connectivity, and they have strengthened the novel tenfold. If you haven’t read this novel yet, or even if you have, this updated re-release is a must read. Five stars.

5 stars

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13570162FLIGHT by Alyssa Rose Ivy:

From Amazon: Sometimes you just have to take flight.

A summer in New Orleans is exactly what Allie needs before starting college. Accepting her dad’s invitation to work at his hotel offers an escape from her ex-boyfriend and the chance to spend the summer with her best friend. Meeting a guy is the last thing on her mind—until she sees Levi.

Unable to resist the infuriating yet alluring Levi, Allie finds herself at the center of a supernatural society and forced to decide between following the path she has always trusted or saving a city that might just save her.

(Mature Young Adult / New Adult, contains sexual situations, underage drinking, and mild language).

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Alyssa Rose Ivy has done a phenomenal job creating a paranormal world that really draws the reader in. Set in New Orleans, Ivy places her fictional characters in a place that exudes otherworldly power, and I loved that Ivy really gave readers a taste of the area and culture, weaving it into the story alongside her interesting plotline. The paranormal aspect of this novel was extremely unique, and Ivy does a great job whetting readers’ appetites; I can’t wait for more because she’s only just begun to scratch the surface in terms of who the Pteron really are and what power they hold over the entire paranormal world.

Initially, however, I didn’t like Levi. He is the representation of the cocky male who knows he looks good and won’t take no for an answer, and this persona has never impressed me in real life or fiction. Levi is arrogant, and he’s always turning the conversation into something sexual, so I was worried that I actually wasn’t going to like the novel since Allie seemed to be giving in to him too easily, which is a big no-no for me as I’m a supporter of the strong female lead. Yet, as the book progressed, Levi grew on me a little, and I began to enjoy his and Allie’s whirlwind summer romance, especially once I knew more about Levi’s background and noted that Allie was strong in her own right. My love for Levi was once again suspended, though, when he went ahead and did something that angered me to no end, something I’m not okay with by any means, and neither is Allie, as is evidenced from the last 30% of the novel. But truth be told, I’m very proud of Allie’s reaction. I feel exactly the same way Allie does when everything comes to light, but I am also a little worried that her defenses will fall away too easily as Levi attempts to smooth talk his way out of this situation. Only time will tell.

I really do like Allie, but many times throughout the novel I found her making rash and ill-advised decisions, which turned me off a bit. However, she has just graduated from high school, she’s 18, has no supervision, and has just ended a long relationship. I know how it feels to be let loose and trying to turn over a new leaf, so I can’t hold it against her.

I also was very thankful that Ivy keeps her novel clean. With Levi as the main character and his obsession, it seems, with getting Allie into bed, it was nice that Allie held out and that any and all sexual encounters between the characters were all “fade to black.” This is turn makes it more YA friendly in that it’s not explicit or overbearing for younger readers whom I think will really enjoy the story and Allie’s strong sense of self-worth. She doesn’t need a man to make her strong, and I loved that she was so assertive and a good role model in that respect. Four stars.

4 stars

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Giveaway

Enter to win a custom Fated charm bracelet.

Enter the Rafflecopter HERE

Giveaway

AND

Sign-up for a free Fated Bonus Bundle and chance to win a $50 Gift Card and Live Chat with the Fated 5.

 



You guys!  Michelle N. Files writes this awesome post called #ShareTheLove every now and again, in which she features a reader, author, blogger, cover designer, or publicist, and then posts it online with a giveaway; a few days later, a follow-up post about why Michelle loves that person goes live too, and it’s just too cool!  And you know what?  Michelle interviewed ME!  I am so excited!  Check it out and make sure you enter to win the giveaway!

 

shana-a-book-vacation

You could Win:

*Any e-book version of MY favorite 2014 reads* (that are currently available for purchase/pre-order) — and you can see all 37 of my top reads in Michelle’s post

*Signed Paperback of Soul Survivor by Michelle Files*

*Random swag pack of awesomeness*(includes UTOPYA swag Michelle collected and swag from RT 2014!)

Make sure you hop on over to Michelle’s Blog and check it all out!



No Blog Left Behind is running an AWESOME Giveaway for both International and US entrants! Check it out!! From No Blog Left Behind:
giveaway

  • Please, do not cheat your way through these entries. These authors and bloggers took time away from other things to donate and are all awesome and deserve your love. All of our love!

  • Also, please makes sure you enter the correct giveaway! There are two, US Only and International. I’m so pleased to see the amount of donations for the international giveaway. It makes me happy beyond imagination. Just remember though, if you are in the US, you can enter both!

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US ONLY

US

Special thank you to:

Mindy McGinnis.Kristine Wyllys, Megan Erickson, Kim from Kimberly Faye Reads, Nikki Godwin, Hollie Westring, and Jay Crownover for these awesome donations to this giveaway!

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International

International_2International International_3

Special thank you to:

Lia Riley, Eva Pohler, Mindy Ruiz, Rachel Harris, Christina Lee, Carlyle Labuschagne, AJ Pine, Kim from Kimberly Faye Reads, Nikki Godwin, Chelsea Fine, Bella Roccaforte, Hollie Westring, Amber Lough, Kris from The Book Beacon, Kris from I Read Selfies for donating all these awesome prizes to this giveaway!

TO ENTER, CLICK HERE:

http://noblogleftbehind.booksbymigs.com/?p=72

 


On August 3, I had the opportunity to attend the Shore Leave Convention, an annual sci-fi con that apparently takes place every year. I’d never heard of it, but the newspaper had a little write-up about it, and when I saw that Silas Weir Mitchell—Monroe from GRIMM—was going to be in attendance, I drove right up!

I wandered around for a while and it was definitely an experience, from the people dressed up to the Tardis booth, there were lots of interesting people and attractions to see. I met Michael Welch while there—Mike Newton from Twilight, among other roles—and had him sign all my Twilight books; he was really chill and nice about it. And cute.

10553602_10204412288691278_1992833860498106859_n

And then I attended an hour long question and answer with Silas Weir Mitchell, and it was amazing. He was funny, articulate, and very much Monroe. It was awesome to hear about how he got his start in acting, how GRIMM actually came to be, and what all his fellow co-stars were like. His mannerisms and facial expressions were the definition of Monroe, and it was so cool to actually see him up close (I was in row 2) and realize how much he really made Monroe his own character. Perfection.

k

There was a signing a little while after his question and answer session, and so I did get to talk to him just a tiny bit while he signed some photos for me, and you know that I’m always thinking of my blog readers and potential giveaways whenever I go somewhere cool, so you know I got Silas to sign an 8×10 photo of himself just for a giveaway on the blog.

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So, without further ado, I give you the signed 8×10 Silas Weir Mitchell photo that I’m giving away to one lucky winner, complete with a photo protector. This is an international giveaway. Good luck!

Silas

To enter you must:

-Be 13 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Complete the mandatory question on rafflecopter (extra entries optional)

Click here to go to the Rafflecopter Entry Form!

This contest is OPEN INTERNATIONALLY and will end at 12:01am EST on September 10th. The winner will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a comment!

 

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And don’t forget to enter my other epic giveaways:

Win a signed hardcover of Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater, an exclusive book wrapper of Sinner, and tons of signed swag–ENDS August 10

What You Win

Win a Signed Paperback of The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay plus tons of signed swag–ENDS August 17

Untitled

  Win a Signed Paperback of The Mechanic by Tim O’Rourke–ENDS August 20

The Mechanic

Your Choice Recent Release–ENDS September 1

rrgg august



It’s that time again! For no other reason than that I like giveaways… we’re onto the THIRTY-NINTH Recently Released Giveaway Goodness Giveaway run by your truly, A Book Vacation!

 

rrgg august

Many of these novels have recently released. I’ve included my reviews below to help you pick the novel you’d like to win!

Interested? Of course you are! I’m offering ONE lucky winner one of these novels:

This is an INTERNATIONAL giveaway from the book depository, but you need to make sure they send to your country before entering–check here.

To enter you must:

-Be 13 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Fill in the mandatory question on rafflecopter (extra entries optional)

Click here to go to the Rafflecopter Entry Form!

This contest is open internationally and will end at 12:01am EST on September 1st. The winner will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a comment!

______________________________________________________________________

And don’t forget to enter my other epic giveaways:

Win a signed hardcover of Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater, an exclusive book wrapper of Sinner, and tons of signed swag–ENDS August 10

What You Win

 

Win a Signed Paperback of The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay plus tons of signed swag–ENDS August 17

Untitled

 

 Win a Signed Paperback of The Mechanic by Tim O’Rourke–ENDS August 20

The Mechanic



Button

The MechanicFrom Goodreads: The Mechanics were built to help people. They looked and behaved just like humans. But when the Mechanics malfunctioned and started to kill those who had given them life, they were hunted down and destroyed, until only one remained.

When twenty-two-year-old, Hope Last, has a chance encounter with a mysterious man named Aidan Croix, an immediate and intense attraction forms between them.


Hope soon fears that Aidan is keeping a terrible secret and begins to suspect that he might not be human after all but the last of the Mechanic’s the world has been hunting for. But Hope knows that it isn’t just her heart but her very life, Aidan holds in his hands.

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Tim O’Rourke’s latest release, The Mechanic, whisks readers away to a future where the world’s technology has advanced so far that the creation of seamless robots, those that look and feel like humans, is in the past. Welcome to a world where robots walk among us, but beware your neighbor; it’s impossible to tell who’s human and who’s not, a feat that now has society in an uproar because something’s gone wrong… the “mechanics” are turning on those they love, on those they’ve sworn to protect, and, in fits of stress and emotional overrides, they kill. Perhaps it’s unintentional, but murder is murder just the same, and as society works to rid itself of the mechanics once and for all, only one threat remains, hidden.

But who is the mechanic? O’Rourke sends readers on a rollercoaster ride as this novel unfolds. While I am quite proud of myself for actually having figured out the truth of this novel before the fact, O’Rourke does a wonderful job keeping readers on their toes concerning the identity of The Mechanic and all s/he holds in the balance as the world desperately attempts to find him/her.

Meet Hope. She’s lonely, fragile, and on the hunt for love. As the novel unfolds, we learn of her past abuse and her trepidation when it comes to relationships, and we feel her angst as she meets Aiden, only to become smitten with him almost immediately. And oh how lovely he is! O’Rourke has created some awesome characters in this story, and knowing his penchant for the strange and darkness of his novels, I knew that whatever happened, it wouldn’t end well for some of the characters I’d come to love, and I was right. But it’s such a perfect ending that I’m not even upset by the twisted inner workings of it all. In fact, I love them. Another perfect revelation.

O’Rourke has once again written a most enticing piece that you just must read. Five stars.

5 stars

I received an ARC of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Available Now:

Amazon

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And now for the GIVEAWAY!

Tim O’Rourke is giving away a SIGNED PAPERBACK of The Mechanic to one lucky winner!  Good luck!

To enter you must:

-Be 18 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Fill in the mandatory questions on rafflecopter (extra entries optional)

Click here to go to the Rafflecopter Entry Form!

This contest is open internationally and will end at 12:01am EST on August 20th. The winner will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a comment!

______________________________________________________________________

And don’t forget to enter my other epic giveaways:

Win a signed hardcover of Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater, an exclusive book wrapper of Sinner, and tons of signed swag–ENDS August 10

What You Win

 

Win a Signed Paperback of The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay plus tons of signed swag–ENDS August 17

Untitled



Have you met River and Raynn yet? 

It’s time to get lost in a new world.

They found me when I was five; a little girl sitting on a bench in Grand Central Station, soaking wet, asking about the rain.

I remembered nothing about how I got there, or who my parents were. I couldn’t even remember my name. I was tagged, labeled and doomed to cycle through state care for the next twelve years; moving from one family to another. They all rejected me as the dreams began to come, the memories began to return, and things around me began to explode.

Now my mind is full of a world of shadows, things that my heart pleads with me to be true, that I hope are only fantasy. That the disturbing past I see is not mine.

When I sleep I hear whispers of magic, and of evil queens, and a world that exists alongside our own. Things that could never be. But, there is one thing I know to be true. That there was a boy who was torn from me. A boy that I know means more to me than a brother, or than a lover. But what he is to me, I am not sure. I hear him cry for me in my dreams, I hear people call him The Catalyst.

I know I need to find him.

I wouldn’t have tried, if I would have known that finding River, would have made all my dreams turn into a haunting reality.

ADD TO GOODREADS
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Check out Rebecca Ethington’s YouTube page for some live interactive videos of River & Raynn

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwKr4zggGMlbSzTqQGaYVCA
Check out the Of River & Raynn official website

http://riverandraynn.com/

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Check out this amazing giveaway Rebecca Ethington has running now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Rebecca Ethington is a story teller and author from Salt Lake City, Utah. She has been telling stories since she was small. First, with writing crude scripts, and then in stage with years of theatrical performances. Rebecca’s first stint into the world of literary writing, The Imdalind Series, was released in October 2012 and since its release each book has been found in several top 100 lists on Amazon. Rebecca is a mother to two, and wife to her best friend of 14 years. Her days are spent writing, running, and enjoying life with her crazy family.

Website † Facebook † Twitter † GoodReads

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Rebecca Ethington is also a featured author at Chapter by Chapter BookRave in NY on September 20th! YA BOWLING, ADULT/NEW ADULT Mingling party! Get your tickets today! Book Signing FREE and open to the public.
For the full author list visit: www.cbcevent.com


Good evening!  I’m in the mood for a giveaway–so I’m going to be giving away two ecopies (Kindle or Nook) of STRONGER by Misty Provencher–one of my top 10 reads of the year.  Seriously, this novel is absolutely phenomenal, and you need to read it.  NEED to.  Check out the synopsis, my 5 star review, the teaser, and then be sure to enter the giveaway!  Good luck!

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StrongerFrom Goodreads: Two men are vying for a place in Lydia Strong’s life. Desmond has solid ties from her distant past, while Aiden is only concerned about being her future. But right now, party-girl Lydia has lost herself in a shot glass and dozens of one night stands. She’s forgotten her own worth and she’s plummeting toward the rock bottom of her life.

While Des and Aiden compete to create her future, Lydia realizes she’s got to be stronger than she’s ever been, to fight her addictions and choose the life she wants now. She must find herself again, before the wrong man walks away

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Welcome to the riveting world of Lydia Strong, a woman spiraling down the wells of addiction. A novel completely unique and jarring, in amazing ways, Stronger pulls readers in, making Provencher’s tantalizing story the readers’ own addiction. Definitely one of my top ten reads of the year, Stronger is an extremely real, well written story that is not to be missed. Intense, passionate, real; this novel will leave readers breathless as it unfolds.

Certainly a read for the more mature crowds, this NA novel tackles topics such as abuse, self-worth, alcoholism, theft, and manipulation. It’s intense, but it’s Oh. So. Good. I was wrapped up in the story and truly felt like I was a part of it as I watched Lydia slowly fall to pieces, searching out one night stands (not too graphic on the sexual escapades) and alcohol to try and put the truth of her heartbreaking, loveless life behind her. Manipulated and at rock bottom, Lydia has much to overcome in order to begin building up her world once more, and that includes separating herself from the worst sort of abuser and allowing herself to love, live, and take control. But in order to do that, she’s got to love herself, first.

This is an amazingly intense novel that I absolutely adore. Provencher has done a fantastic job creating vivid, real characters and situations, and I highly suggest giving this one a read. I was a little concerned it might not be my cup of tea going in, but Provencher soon quelled my fears as this utterly fantastic novel unfolded. Be prepared for a slew of feels as this novel takes you on an amazing journey. It’s so perfectly written that you will fall deeply in love, just as I did. Five epic stars.

5 stars

Check out the HIGH ratings on this awesome novel, and be sure to add it to your goodreads pile!

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

AddtoGoodreads

STRONGER Teaser

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To enter you must:

-Be 18 years or older (or have parent/guardian permission)

-Fill in the mandatory questions on rafflecopter (extra entries optional)

Click here to go to the Rafflecopter Entry Form!

This contest is open internationally and will end at 12:01am EST on July 31st. The winner will receive email notification! Please read my giveaway policy and leave me a comment!

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That’s it! Good luck!

And, since I’m a teacher and absolutely LOVE this new release from Weird Al, here’s a catchy song just for you.  SMILE!



Enchanted HeartFrom Goodreads:

Cassandra Vera never ever breaks the rules.

Ever!

She’s also had a nonexistent social life since her best friend moved to Vegas. Armed with a new set of resolutions, the promise of a hot date, and her adoptive parents out of town, Cassandra agrees an overnight road trip to Las Vegas to celebrate her birthday is the perfect way to ring in the New Year. After all, it’s Vegas, the city where secrets are meant to stay hidden.  Little does Cassandra know the secrets of her own pastare buried there, as well.

In the shadows of the glitz and gaudy lights of Vegas lies a power struggle centuries old. One wrong step and Cassandra could destroy the delicate web of secrets.  Now an enemy she never knew existed is after her and the one boy who may be the missing piece to the puzzle —and her heart— is the one person she can’t afford to trust.

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Mindy Ruiz’s debut novel is a fast paced thriller, full of swoontastic scenes, danger, mischief, and mayhem; all the things a girl like me wants in a novel. Add on a new twist to Greek mythology, a topic I love, and reading Enchanted Hearts was a little bit of heaven. Fun, light, and entertaining, this novel is one you don’t want to miss.

Set in Vegas, I was thrilled to be able to see the sights and hear the sounds in my minds eye as I read, something my unimaginative brain struggles to do on a regular basis, unless I’ve visited the area being discussed, which is generally few and far between. Luckily, my job sent me to Vegas a few years back, and Ruiz’s descriptions fit my memories to a tee, allowing me to almost step right onto the page with the characters—that’s how real it felt to read this novel. This added validity to the story for me, and I truly enjoyed it from start to finish.

The protagonist, Cassandra, is a very interesting character, though I’ll admit that she’s a bit of a jerk on occasion, yet she is intricate and real, an aspect that I really loved about Ruiz’s writing. All her characters are real, even Malory, one who has no saving grace in my opinion; she’s just an awful person, and I really dislike her, wanting Cassandra to turn her back and let her go… but alas, Cass is just a better person than I.

Overall, though, the characters were fun to get to know, and I loved the division of the houses. And while some events are a little unclear for me in terms of happenings and such as their fast pace and quick succession were a little over my head, or maybe I just missed a piece here or there (it happens), Enchanted Hearts really is a great read that I highly recommend, and I’m looking forward to the sequel as I’m sure some of the questions I have will be put to rest there. Four stars.

I received this novel from the blog tour host in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon | Kindle: 99 cents for a limited time | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

AddtoGoodreads

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Take the Quiz:

Which Vegas House Suits you? http://www.playbuzz.com/mindyr10/whats-vegas-house-suits-your-luck

House Suits Quiz

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 Giveaway: You can win:

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Giveaway Swag

Enter using this Rafflecopter Link 

 

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Author PhotoAbout Mindy Ruiz:

Mindy Ruiz lives in a sleepy Beach Town in Southern California. When she’s not writing, she spends her time chasing after three boys, making flirty eyes at her hunky husband, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Dallas Cowboys, and hanging out at the beach with her very large and loud Italian family.

Her career in publishing started in the 4th grade with a story about a magic, museum-hopping, chair. Now, Mindy writes young adult, new adult, and adult paranormal romance. Her books always include tormented heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of swoon-y moments that will put a smile on your face or make your heart race. Mindy is the lover of a good romance, the underdog and John Hugh’s 80′s teen movies.

When her toes aren’t in the sand or her mind isn’t in the clouds, Mindy loves hearing from readers.

Links:

Facebook  www.Facebook.com/MindyRuizBooks

Twitter  www.Twitter.com/MindyRuiz

Instagram  Instagram.com/MindyRuiz

Author Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8282908.Mindy_Ruiz

Pinterest  pinterest.com/MindyRuizBooks

 

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And be sure to check out all the stops on the tour:

Blog Tour Schedule:

July 7th

Book Briefs – Review

Dark Novella – Excerpt

I’ll Read Till I Drop – Review

Random Redheaded Ramblings – Review

July 8th

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Guest Post

Book Lovin’ Mamas – Interview

Deliciously Wicked Books – Review

Between fantasy and reality – Review

A Dream Within A Dream

July 9th

Lost in Between the Pages – Dream Cast

LuLo Fangirl – Review

Adventures in Writing – Guest Post

Home of Writing – Review

July 10th

A Thousand Lives Lived –Review

Chelsea’s Reading Adventures – Review

Typical Distractions – Review

Book Butterfly in Dreamland – Excerpt

July 11th

SassyCat’s Books Review – Author Interview

This Girl Reads A lot – Review

Surrender to Books – Review

A Book Vacation – Review

Girls With Books – Excerpt

Fabulous and Fun – Interview

July 12th

Coffee and Characters – Excerpt

Made For You Book Reviews – Review

Booklover Sue – Top 10: Books or authors

The Book Blog at the End of the Universe (formerly Bookmarks, Spoilers and Happily Ever After) – Review

Cherry Mischievous – Promo Post

July 13th

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club – Review

RhiReading – Excerpt

Not Everyone’s Mama – Review

Bittersweet Book Love – Review

Bibliophile Mystery – Guest Post

July 14th

WTF Are You Reading? – Review

Talking Books Blog – Guest Post

Mostly Reviews – Review

Mother/Gamer/Writer – Interview

 



NEUROTICA

Neurotica

by Eliza Gordon

Expected publication: August 2014

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If you find yourself talking to Jayne Dandy, keep the conversation on Star Wars and rubber ducks—best not to mention men, dating, or S-E-X. Because Jayne is fine with the way things are: writer of obituaries and garage sale ads by day, secret scribe of adventures in distant galaxies by night. But her crippling fear of intimacy has made her the butt of jokes since forever, and hiding behind her laptop isn’t going to get her lightsaber lit.

After her therapist recommends that she write erotica as a form of exposure therapy, Jayne joins forces with pen and paper to combat the demons that won’t let her kiss and tell. Unexpectedly downsized at work, she adopts a pseudonym and secretly self-publishes one of her naughty books to make ends meet. When her adorable, long-time friend Luke, co-owner of the popular Portland food truck Luke Piewalker’s, hears she’s been demoted, he insists on hiring her to sling éclairs and turnovers at his side. Her secret must be kept, but sparks ignite between them, sending Jayne and her X-Wing into a tailspin that will either make her face down her neuroses or trigger a meltdown of Death Star proportions.

unnamed

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unnamedELIZA BIO (June 2014):

A purveyor of fictions, Eliza Gordon has excellent taste in books, shoes, movies, and friends, and questionable sanity in the realm of love. Best leave that one alone.

www.elizagordon.com

 

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GIVEAWAY

For a chance to win $15 GC or an ebooks of Must Love Otters, click this Rafflecopter Link!



Chris Cannon Blog Tour_____________________________________________________________________

Going Down in FlamesFrom Goodreads:

If her love life is going down in flames, she might as well spark a revolution.

Finding out on your sixteenth birthday you’re a shape-shifting dragon is tough to swallow. Being hauled off to an elite boarding school is enough to choke on.

Since Bryn is the only crossbreed at the Institute for Excellence, all eyes are on her, but it’s a particular black dragon, Zavien, who catches her attention.

Zavien is tired of the Council’s rules. Segregated clans, being told who to love, and close-minded leaders make freedom of choice almost impossible. The new girl with the striped hair is a breath of fresh air, and with Bryn’s help, they may be able to change the rules.

At the Institute, old grudges, new crushes, and death threats are all part of a normal day for Bryn. She’ll need to learn to control her dragon powers if she wants to make it through her first year at school. But even focusing on staying alive is difficult when you’re falling for someone you can’t have.

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This novel is a ton of fun–Cannon bring the world of dragons to life and I thoroughly enjoyed it; I mean, who doesn’t want to be a dragon?  While some of the pacing was a little fast in terms of the characters’ acceptance and abilities, the dragon world is one of intense mystery, and I found myself wishing to be a part of it as the novel unfolded.

Imagine being a teenager and finding out that, well, you’re not human.  Nope.  You’re actually a dragon, and your parents have been in hiding from the dragon realm, as well as hiding your true identity from you your whole life.  You know how teenagers tend to be a little over-dramatic and think the world is constantly crashing down on them?  Well, for Bryn, it is.  With her 16th birthday comes secrets and rigid, outdated laws that she now must abide by or risk her family’s well-being, but in turn she is also risking her own life as the outcast and utter “abomination” that stems from her own existence.

I have to give Bryn props, because she is a very strong character, and that’s what I like the most about her.  In the face of adversity, and there’s a lot of it, she’s strong-willed and doesn’t back down, a trait that makes her even more detrimental than her counterparts in a fight.  I really liked this about her, and although I found her to be just a little too accepting of the facts around her, such as the fact that she’s a dragon, I loved her spunk and the fact that she faces her fears and her tormentors head on.

This novel deals with much more than just a dragon story, though.  With it’s phenomenal themes concerning bullying, peer-pressure, family values, and doing the right thing even when it’s easier to go with the flow, it stands apart from other novels of its genre. Cannon has done a great job bringing this story to life, and I can’t wait to dive back in to this enticing world once the sequel releases.  Four stars.

4 stars

I received this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Available from:

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo Books

Only 99 cents for a VERY limited time!  Scoop it up stat!

AddtoGoodreads

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chris cannonAbout Chris Cannon

I love reading and writing snarky, kick-butt characters who take on the world and win.

My truths: You can never have too many books, shoes, or purses.

Coffee is the Elixir of Life.

There should be a National Nerf Bat Day where you are allowed to whack annoying people upside the head.

Author Links:

http://chriscannonauthor.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/802893.Chris_Cannon

https://twitter.com/ccannonauthor

https://www.facebook.com/chris.cannonwrites

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Giveaway:

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Click this RAFFLECOPTER LINK to enter!

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Check out the rest of the stops on the TOUR:

June 30:

Addicted Readers – Excerpt

Booksniffer Book Reviews – Review

July 1:

Meredith & Jennifer’s Musings – Review

July 2:

Book Briefs – Review

Bookworm Dreams – Review

Mom With A Kindle – Excerpt

July 3:

Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance – Review

Seeing Night Reviews – Review

July 4:

WOrkS of FiCTioN – Spotlight

July 7:

Unabridged Bookshelf – Review

July 8:

Total Book Geek – Review

Donnie Darko Girl – Review

July 9:

A Book Vacation – http://abookvacation.com – Review

A Dream Within A Dream – http://adreamwithindream.blogspot.com – Promo Post

The Book Beacon – http://thebookbeacon.com/ – Review

Jump Into Books – http://jumpintobooks.blogspot.com – Promo Post*

July 10:

Gabic Reads – www.gabicreads.blogspot.com – Review

Rampant Readers – http://rampantreaders.com – Review

Jessabella Reads – http://www.jessabellareads.org – Promo Post

The Book Cookies – http://thebookcookies.blogspot.com – Review

July 11:

Curling Up With A Good Book – http://curling-up-with-a-good-book.blogspot.com/ – Promo Post

The Phantom Paragrapher – www.thephantomparagrapher.blogspot.com – Review



et cetera
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