Friday, May 31, 2013

Cover Reveal: Playing for Keeps by Emma Hart

Playing for Keeps is the second novel in Emma Hart's The Game series.  I loved book one, The Love Game, and apparently a lot of other people did too, because it's a New York Times and USA Today bestseller!


From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Emma Hart, comes the second book in The Game series, and the story everyone wanted after The Love Game…


She's in love with him. 
He's trying not to love her. 
One night changes everything.

Aston Banks never meant to get close to Megan Harper – not even for that one night. Haunted by a childhood he refuses to face, he knew she could break through every wall he’d ever built and tear them down without even realising she was doing it.

Betraying Braden by starting a relationship with Aston wasn’t on Megan’s to-do list, but the second she sees a glimpse of someone other than the arrogant ass she’s come to know, she can’t walk away.

Aston’s childhood is worse than Megan ever guessed, but as he tries and fails to push her away, it’s clear her love is stronger than the demons that cling to him every day. And now, because of it, he finally has to deal with what he’s buried deep down.

What he doesn’t want to face. What he’s fought against for so long.

And they have to do it all without Braden finding out.

Keeping a relationship secret has never been harder.

 **This book can be read as a standalone novel, but reading The Love Game (The Game, #1) beforehand is advised.)



EXCERPT:  Disclaimer: This is from the unedited version of the book, and is therefore subject to change or removal before publication.

MEGAN

“If you’re trying to hide, babe, then you’re failing. I can see you.” Aston’s words crawl over me in a smooth caress, making my throat dry up and my blood boil simultaneously.
“Why would I be hiding?” I sit up and look forward, determined not to meet his eyes.
He shrugs a shoulder carelessly, twirling a pen between his fingers. I catch his every movement from the corner of my eye. His eyes are burning into the side of my head - they’re begging me to turn, begging me to look.
“Because you want me so badly you can’t bear to see me,” he says in a dramatic tone with a touch of arrogance.
My back straightens. “Clearly someone has been feeding your ego again,” I reply dryly. “Because I don’t remember ever telling you I want you.”
His bicep brushes mine as he leans forward. “Is that so?” he asks, his voice low and barely perceptible.
I fight the urge to drop my eyes to the desk. “Damn right it is.”
A fingertip trails down the back of my arm, the tingling feeling making me fight against a shiver.
“I think you’re wrong,” he whispers. “Because I’m pretty sure you said you wanted me on Saturday night – right before you dug those nails of yours into my back and wrapped your pretty little legs around my waist.”
My head snaps round to him, and our faces are inches apart. His lips are curled in a slightly smug smile, and I hate the fact that’s where my eyes fell first. I drag them away from his mouth and across the sharp planes of his face until they meet his smoky eyes.
I remember why I didn’t want to look at him. His eyes have the power to entrance me and to break me. Right now it’s the former – the silvery hint at the edge of his iris pulling me in and holding me captive. I remember why, from the first touch of his lips against mine on Saturday night, nothing could have stopped us happening.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR


 By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to a terrible two year old and growing bump, due September 2013. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of juice and writes books.
She likes to write about magic, kisses and whatever else she can fit into the story. Sarcastic, witty characters are a must. As are hot guys.
Emma is currently working too many books to even count - including Playing for Keeps, the companion book to New York Times and USA Today bestselling novel, The Love Game. She likes to be busy - unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.

Find Emma online at:
Blog: http://www.emmahart93.blogspot.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/YAAuthorEmmaHart
Twitter: @EmmaHartAuthor


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Book Blitz: The Girl Guide by Christine Fonseca

I'm really excited to take part in the book blitz for The Girl Guide by Christine Fonseca!  I loved books like this when I was a teenager, and I actually know a not-quite teenage girl who will be getting a copy of this as a gift very soon! :D


Finding your unique voice in a noisy world can be hard—very hard. But not if you have a great guide! The Girl Guide: Finding Your Place in a Mixed-Up World is a must-read for girls in grades 6–8 as they enter the tumultuous world of adolescence. Packed with fun worksheets and quizzes, as well as stories from older girls and women, The Girl Guide covers everything a teenage girl needs to know on the journey toward her own identity. Proven strategies for dealing with stress management, confronting relational aggression, being safe online, navigating the changing mother-daughter relationship, and more make this the ultimate guide for any girl to get through the teen years and discover her unique point of view in the world.

Add The Girl Guide on Goodreads and purchase it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  You can also read the first chapter online here.

Reviews:

"The Girl Guide is a game-changer and should be in every girl's backpack." ~ Ali Cross, author of the Desolation series

"The perfect remedy for a world obsessed with airbrushed perfection. A must read for every girl who has ever wondered what it means to be strong. Girls who can find beauty and strength within should be--and can be--the new normal, and The Girls' Guide is there to show the way." ~ Danyelle Leafty, author of The Fairy Godmother Dilemma series

"It's easy to understand, professional and relevant without being preachy, and really delves into the situations and emotions that girls out there are experiencing...I highly recommend this book."
Michelle McLean, author of Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers (Career Press 2011) and To Trust a Thief (Entangled Scandalous 2013)

"It's like an older sister and a mom rolled into one helpful book, all with the intent of helping me discover the best "me" there is. Definitely something I'd recommend to girls who are feeling lost...or just overwhelmed"
Shayna, High School Junior


"The Girl Guide is an easy-to-read, profound book that allows teenagers to understand it's the world that is different, not the teenager. I'm picky about the type of books that I introduce to my kids and I must say, this is one of the superior ones." - A Reader's Refuge

"For those parents, librarians, teachers and counselors who have teens that are struggling to find their own identity, or even that enjoy getting to know themselves better. Definitely a delicious pick!!" - Novel Nutritious

Guest Post by Christine Fonseca: Summer, Girl Guide Style


The Girl Guide is all about finding yourself and your unique voice in the world. And what better time to start on that journey than summer! Summer is a great time for renewal. The days are long, the weather, perfect, and the vibe – magical. So, as you’re taking a break from school or work, catching up with friends and family, and venturing out for a special vacation, why not add a little “inner” journey to your adventures and spend part of the summer discovering the “real” you?
            Journeying inwards, like any trip, requires a map, some supplies, and an adventurous spirit. Fortunately, these things are easily acquired. A journal can become an ideal map to the inner you. Use it as you spend a little time each day reflecting on your dreams and hopes. Take stock of what you’ve accomplished so far, and plan where you’d like to go in the future. Then, once you have a good sense of your inner dreams and desires, make a plan for the future. Add new experiences, read different books, complete projects you’ve previous abandoned. In doing these things you can begin to cultivate your own authenticity.
            And don’t forget to pack an adventurous spirit as you journey inwards. Embrace the you that lives within. You may be surprised the “you” you can get to know this summer.

About the Author

Critically acclaimed nonfiction and YA author Christine Fonseca believes that writing is a great way to explore humanity. Using her training and expertise as an educational psychologist, Ms. Fonseca is dedicated to helping children of all ages find their voice in the world. Her titles include Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students and 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids and delve into the often misunderstood world of giftedness and emotional intensity. May, 2013 will bring the release of the much awaited The Girl Guide: Finding Your Place in a Mixed-Up World, a book for girls in grades 6-9 that focuses on developing strong resiliency skills. In addition to her nonfiction titles, Ms. Fonseca is the author of several YA novels including Lacrimosa (the Requiem Series) and the critically acclaimed YA thriller, Transcend.  When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, she can be sipping too many skinny vanilla lattes at her favorite coffee house or playing around on Facebook and Twitter

Author Links:

Website/Blog – http://christinefonseca.com
Pinterest - http://pinterest.com/authorchristine                                                 

And finally, don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Girl with Guitar Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the Girl with Guitar blog tour.  I love this book, I love that author Caisey Quinn is donating all release-week proceeds to help victims of the recent Oklahoma tornado, and I'm so happy to be part of the tour!



After Kylie’s dad dies in a freak accident, he leaves her with nothing other than her crazy step-mother, Darla, and the ability to play guitar. When Darla kicks Kylie out and she loses her job all in the same day, she hops a bus to Nashville determined to make her late father’s dreams come true. Waitressing and saving her pennies to record a demo, her big break comes when she’s asked to join a tour going down the tubes with once platinum album-selling country music superstar Trace Corbin. But touring with Trace is hardly a dream come true since he’s pretty much drinking his career down the drain. If Kylie can’t pull Trace out of his rut, he’ll pull her and her dreams down with him.

Add Girl with Guitar on Goodreads here and purchase it on Amazon here.


MY REVIEW

Move over, rock-star hotties…there’s a new book boyfriend in town, and it’s country-music heartthrob Trace Corbin!

Trace is, of course, the love interest in Caisey Quinn’s Girl with Guitar, the story of a talented young country singer-songwriter, Kylie Ryans, trying to make it in the music business.  Kylie finds herself performing as the opening act on Trace’s latest tour, and as you might expect, things get very complicated very quickly.  Kylie and Trace share both smoking-hot sexual chemistry and a soul-deep love for music…but another thing they have in common is the major skeletons that won’t stay in their closets.

I think this book is going to be BIG.  Obviously I can’t see the future, but I wouldn’t make that prediction if I didn’t believe it.  Girl with Guitar sucks you right in with smooth writing, an endearing heroine, and a just-can’t-stop-reading storyline.  It’s a perfect beach read, but at the same time, it manages to express some very dark and painful emotions.  Quinn’s character development is very thorough and convincing, and the pacing and plot progression is pretty close to perfect.  My only small complaint would be that the drama felt a little too drawn out at the very end, and there was one stupid decision I really, really wish Trace hadn’t made.  (It’s not that I want him to be perfect—he’d already done plenty of stupid things by that point.)  But the drama is pretty standard for this kind of book, and I don’t think most readers will really mind.

I also have to mention that a lot of the writing is really strong on the sentence level.  There are these incredibly apt, witty one-liners like this description of a VIP room full of scantily-clad girls: “It was like the seventh circle of hell, if the devil was a porn director.”  And then there are beautiful descriptive passages like this one, which I’ll leave you with:

She should’ve just thanked the audience, hopped down off the stage, and resumed her regularly scheduled life.  But she didn’t.  Instead she made the colossal mistake of looking over into hazel eyes that darkened to the color of the sky just before a deadly twister touched down, destroying everything in its path.  She was from Oklahoma, and knew a thing or two about storm warnings.  Trace Corbin was setting off all the sirens inside of her.  Kylie was standing directly in the path of something wild and dangerous and a hell of a lot more powerful than she.  Look away, her subconscious screamed at her.  But she couldn’t because for the first time since her daddy died, she was alive.








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Author Caisey Quinn on...


Why I Heart Country Music

Girl you make my speakers go BOOM BOOM. –Luke Bryan

Some people call it hillbilly heartbreak music. Others call it beer and break ups. I call it fu*#ing fantastic. I should warn you up front, my brother is an Actual Musician, as in, he’s In A Band. I, however, am tone deaf. My brother is not a fan of the country music and is more into progressive metal and classical. Yeah, he’s the black sheep. Whaddya gonna do? But he knows his stuff about music and all I know is what feels good to my ears. And my soul. Call it what you want, country music can elicit some serious emotion.

Just because I have to mention her, (you have to when you talk about country music, or I think there’s a fine or something) Taylor Swift’s Fifteen would have made a huge difference in my life if I’d heard it when I was actually fifteen. Instead of twenty-six. But it brought back my hellacious freshmen year of high school and y’all, that was some stuff I’d wrestled, shoved, kicked, and drank out of my memory. Or so I’d thought.

Lee Brice’s Hard to Love makes an appearance in my debut novel, Girl with Guitar, because if my husband and I had a song, that would be it. We got married too young and before he’d gotten a handle on a very serious drinking problem. Whoa, okay, I didn’t actually mean to tell y’all that. But there it is. And we’ve been married seven years, together for nine, and we made it through. But when that song comes on the radio, he reaches over and grabs my hand and I squeeze his. Hard. Every time. Sometimes my eyes get watery. Because neither of us have forgotten how hard those first few years were and how much stronger we are for having gotten through them.

I heart country music because it’s men in tight jeans, cowboy boots, sitting on tailgates around the bon fire, playing guitar, drinking too much, loving too soon, and breaking your heart. Pretty much the story of my life y’all.

Some of my favorite artists are George Straight, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Hank Williams Jr, and of course Luke Bryan, who is basically the template for my main character Trace Corbin in Girl with Guitar.

I get that it’s not for everyone. Just like death metal isn’t for everyone. But I love it. It’s a part of me, and it will probably show up in every book I write in one way or another. Like Kylie, I can’t always find the right words for every situation, but I can almost always find a country song with lyrics that fit. 

For the record, I listen to lots of different types of music and also enjoy Adam Lambert, The Civil Wars, The Lumineers, Christina Perri, Rihanna, Third Day, Thousand Foot Krutch, Red, Flyleaf, Fireflight, and a few others, including some most people have never even heard of. But I blame that on my brother. ;) 

About the Author

Caisey Quinn is a wearer of cowgirl boots, writer and avid reader of New Adult romance, lover of wine, and is addicted to chai tea lattes. She’s the brand spanking new author of soon to be released books including Girl with Guitar and Keep Me Still. (Which may or may not include spanking).
Caisey lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, daughter, and other assorted animals. She is currently hard at work on Girl on Tour, the next book in the Kylie Ryans series. Girl with Guitar is her first novel.

Visit her online at:

Twitter: @CaiseyQuinn

Email: caiseyquinn@gmail.com



Precious Things Announcement

So...please don't throw tomatoes, but...

I have changed the OFFICIAL release date of Precious Things to June 4, 2013.

Notice I said OFFICIAL release date--if the book is ready to upload before the 4th, you can bet it'll be uploaded!

I have a few reasons for this:

1. BEA is May 30 to June 1st, and a lot of bloggers/major readers will be MIA and in some cases, completely without internet.  I know 99.999999% of those people don't care about Precious Things anyway,  but, I don't know...I thought maybe I shouldn't have my official release during BEA.

2.  Now Precious Things has its official release on a Tuesday, like traditionally published books.

3. (i.e., the real reason) I want the time to make sure PT is in the absolute best shape possible.  My job is going to run extra hours starting next week, and I have a few other things I need to do, and...just, for various reasons, I think the few extra days will really help me.  And I'm a perfectionist, okay?!

So...I'm sorry!  But I promise I will do my best to make it worth the wait!  The contest will still end on May 31st and the winners contacted on June 1st.  I really, really appreciate all your entries and support.

And while you're waiting...

Here's some more Evan!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Release Day Bash: Girl with Guitar by Caisey Quinn

Today is the very special release day for Caisey Quinn's first novel, Girl with Guitar!  I will be reviewing the book on Friday as part of the blog tour, so be sure to stop back then.  Also, Caisey is offering a special signed version of the ebook through May 29th only, so you might want to grab it right away!  And what's more, Caisey is donating all first-week proceeds to help victims of the recent tornado in Oklahoma.  Isn't she amazing?!


After Kylie’s dad dies in a freak accident, he leaves her with nothing other than her crazy step-mother, Darla, and the ability to play guitar. When Darla kicks Kylie out and she loses her job all in the same day, she hops a bus to Nashville determined to make her late father’s dreams come true. Waitressing and saving her pennies to record a demo, her big break comes when she’s asked to join a tour going down the tubes with once platinum album-selling country music superstar Trace Corbin. But touring with Trace is hardly a dream come true since he’s pretty much drinking his career down the drain. If Kylie can’t pull Trace out of his rut, he’ll pull her and her dreams down with him.

Add Girl with Guitar on Goodreads here and purchase it on Amazon here.

And here's a teaser...which happens to be hot, hot, hot:


When they reached the sunroom, Trace was a perfect gentleman—much to her frustration. He handed her a towel, then did not so much as glance in her direction as he stripped down to his boxer briefs and wrapped a towel around his waist. She, on the other hand, couldn’t get enough. The sight of his bare skin had her synapses firing like AK-47 rounds. 
He was thick and muscular and had just a hint of a farmer’s tan. Back muscles rippling with each movement reminded Kylie of the horses her grandparents had. Something clicked in her head as she realized what it was that had her practically panting after him. He was loaded, like probably obscenely wealthy, but he did all the work around the farm himself. Still took care of his sisters. Himself. Had callouses on his hands like her daddy did, because he wasn’t afraid of hard work. Okay, and yeah, he was hot as hell and could sing a girl’s panties right off of her.
She peeled her wet clothes off slowly—hoping he’d turn and look, but he just picked up what she’d dropped and darted out of the room. She kept her drenched bra and panties on and wrapped the towel around herself. She was feeling majorly insecure due to the “not at all interested” vibe Trace was radiating in her direction.
Kylie headed towards the master bedroom with the intention of using that bathroom to shower, but changed direction at the last minute. Since Trace was gone, she’d go ahead and add her bra and panties to the laundry. Borrowing Rae’s clothes was one thing, but the thought of wearing someone else’s underwear freaked her out.
She padded barefoot back towards the sound of a whirring washing machine. Trace was still nowhere to been seen when she finally found the laundry room. She dropped her towel and tossed her bra in the machine. She had just begun to slide her underwear down when the sharp intake of breath alerted her to the broad frame that darkened the doorway.

About the Author


Caisey Quinn is a wearer of cowgirl boots, writer and avid reader of New Adult romance, lover of wine, and is addicted to chai tea lattes. She’s the brand spanking new author of soon to be released books including Girl with Guitar and Keep Me Still. (Which may or may not include spanking).
Caisey lives in Birmingham, Alabama with her husband, daughter, and other assorted animals. She is currently hard at work on Girl on Tour, the next book in the Kylie Ryans series. Girl with Guitar is her first novel.

Visit her online at:

Twitter: @CaiseyQuinn

Email: caiseyquinn@gmail.com


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Monday, May 20, 2013

Release Day Blitz: Trophy Husband by Lauren Blakely

Woohoo!  It's the official release day for Lauren Blakely's contemporary romance Trophy Husband.  Lauren is the author of the absolutely adorable, sexy, and very popular romances Caught Up in Us and Pretending He's Mine.  Today I have an excerpt from Trophy Husband to share with you as well as more information about the book and a giveaway!

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Trophy Husband  by Lauren Blakely ,
Publication date: May 21st 2013
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:
Sometimes you can't help falling in love, even when you try to do the opposite...Successful fashion blogger McKenna Bell has spent far too long protecting herself after the way her ex-fiancĂ© left her at the altar for a college chick he met the night of his bachelor party. Loving again, trusting again, well, that's just not in the cards. Especially now that her ex is back in town with his new woman, demanding custody of McKenna's favorite creature in the whole world--her dog. No effing way. McKenna's had enough of him, and she decides to even the score by finding her own hot young thing -- a Trophy Husband. Sure, she's only twenty-seven, but doesn't that make it even more fun -- and infuriating to her ex -- to pursue a younger man? When she declares her intentions on her daily blog, her quest quickly skyrockets in popularity, and that's when Chris enters the picture, and he’s got all the assets. He's handsome, successful, and turns her inside out with a kiss to end all kisses, the kind that makes you feel like a shooting star. But loving again could mean losing again, and it's so much easier to focus on getting even, isn't it? Unless, you just can't help falling in love. Which means McKenna will have to come face to face with what she really wants in life -- protecting her heart from hurt, or letting go of her fears of a new beginning.
Add Trophy Husband on Goodreads here, and purchase it at AmazonAmazon UKAmazon CanadaBarnes & Noble, and Smashwords.
EXCERPT
I could so fall in love with him. I could fall in love with him in a heartbeat. He brings his other hand to my waist, and pulls me in close. He’s seated on the bar stool, and I’m standing as I slide into the V between his legs, his firm thighs now on either side of me. The distance between us narrows, and the temperature rises. Like this, with him so close, I can tell how much he wants me. As much as I want him. I am turned on beyond belief, my skin is so hot, and my body is aching all over with the need to be touched, and he knows it. And just like that, the mood between us here at Circa Rose shifts. It’s no longer flirty, or chatty, or get to know you. We’re no longer a guy and girl confessing to crushes and likes. As he plays with the waistband of my skirt, his hand dipping inside, stroking the bare skin of my hips just above my panties, we are a man and a woman who want to get the hell out of here. The air between us electric, like the moments before a summer storm.

“We don’t need to shoot that promo anymore, do we?” he asks, and his voice is different now too. It’s smoky and low, and as he brings me in closer, I can tell he’s gone to the same place I’ve gone to. Desire. And then the hope that we can take this contact to another level.

“I was really hoping to see your fancy studio though,” I tease.

“It has a nice couch.”

“We could do a lot on a couch.”

“It’s ten blocks away.”

“That’s far,” I say, and I’m keenly aware of how my voice has become a ragged whisper. He has to know what I want right now. Him. His green eyes are dark, shadowed with lust and staring intensely into mine. He’s waiting for me to say more. “But I think I really want to see that couch.”

“Good, because I would really fucking love to make out with you properly right now.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lauren Blakely is an unabashed fan of clever jokes, toast, and good guys in novels. Like the heroine in CAUGHT UP IN US, she thinks life should be filled with movie kisses and coffee drinks. Lauren lives in California with her husband and children, and spends her days writing both true stories and make-believe ones.

Links:
Website: http://www.laurenblakely.com/ 
Blog: http://laurenblakelybooks.blogspot.com/ 
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LaurenBlakely3 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaurenBlakelyBooks 
Lauren Blakely Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6860216.Lauren_Blakely 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Blog Tour: Gadget Girl by Suzanne Kamata


Welcome to my stop on the Gadget Girl tour organized by Xpresso Book Tours.  I loved this book, and I'm happy to share my review and a giveaway with you!



Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible by Suzanne Kamata
Publication: May 17th 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary

Synopsis:
ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS meets STONER AND SPAZ

Aiko Cassidy is fourteen and lives with her sculptor mother in a small Midwestern town. For most of her young life Aiko, who has cerebral palsy, has been her mother's muse. But now, she no longer wants to pose for the sculptures that have made her mother famous and have put food on the table. Aiko works hard on her own dream of becoming a great manga artist with a secret identity. When Aiko's mother invites her to Paris for a major exhibition of her work, Aiko at first resists. She'd much rather go to Japan, Manga Capital of the World, where she might be able to finally meet her father, the indigo farmer. When she gets to France, however, a hot waiter with a passion for manga and an interest in Aiko makes her wonder if being invisible is such a great thing after all. And a side trip to Lourdes, ridiculous as it seems to her, might just change her life.

Gadget Girl began as a novella published in Cicada. The story won the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award in Fiction and was included in an anthology of the best stories published in Cicada over the past ten years.

Add Gadget Girl on Goodreads and purchase it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


MY REVIEW

I knew I would love Gadget Girl from the first page, when the novel’s protagonist and narrator, fourteen-year-old Aiko, tells us she’s named after the indigo plants her father harvests to make blue dye.  Aiko has never met her father, who lives on the Japanese island of Shizuko, but she knows all about the indigo plants his family farms, and she’s even trying (not very successfully) to grow her own indigo in Michigan.  The loving, careful detail with which Aiko describes the indigo, and its ability to dye fabric “the color of a storm-bruised sky” as well as to possibly cure sicknesses, told me Gadget Girl would be a book rich in culture.  And it was, featuring a setting spanning Europe and the U.S., many eclectic details of the art world, and Aiko’s love for modern Japanese culture and her desire to reconnect with that part of her heritage.

Aiko was born with cerebral palsy, meaning her left arm and leg don’t always work correctly.  She deals with her feelings about her illness, as well as other aspects of her life, in the manga she writes called “Gadget Girl,” which features a very nimble-figured heroine who always saves the day.  In real life, Aiko is frustrated by her disability, by her mother’s artwork, much of which is actually inspired by Aiko and her illness, and by the fact that her father doesn’t know about her.  She dreams of one day going to Japan to connect with her father and perhaps apprentice with a manga artist.  However, when her mother wins a Paris art competition, Aiko ends up spending the summer in France instead of Japan…

For some reason, I tend to get really tired of books set in Paris, so I was really happy to find that Gadget Girl took a more eclectic approach to the city than most novels I’ve read.  My favorite part was the description of a Japanese-inspired garden designed by Isamu Noguchi, which made me want to visit Paris more than countless depictions of the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower ever have!  I was also fascinated by Aiko’s trip to Lourdes, a place known for its sacred healing waters.

However, Aiko’s trip is most important not for the places she goes, but for the people she meets and the truths she learns about her own family…I won’t say too much about that, only that certain moments of the book really made me emotional, and that I loved the way the author tied everything together in the end.

Gadget Girl is told in the realistic voice of a fourteen to fifteen-year-old girl, which means that, in a publishing climate where the YA voice keeps getting older and older, this voice is definitely on the younger side of YA, and could be characterized as middle-grade as well.  I think middle and high-school readers would really, really respond to this book, and I hope it gets into as many hands as possible.  And it’s also sure to please many adult readers, including myself!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 Five-time Pushcart Prize nominee Suzanne Kamata is the author of the novels Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible (GemmaMedia, 2013) and Losing Kei (Leapfrog Press, 2008), and editor of three anthologies - The Broken Bridge: Fiction from Expatriates in Literary Japan, Love You to Pieces: Creative Writers on Raising a Child with Special Needs, and Call Me Okaasan: Adventures in Multicultural Mothering (Wyatt-Mackenzie Publishing, 2009). Her short fiction and essays have appeared widely. She is the Fiction Co-editor of literarymama.com.

Author Links:



Follow along with the rest of the tour here, and don't forget to enter the giveaway below!

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mini Teaser!


            “Sorry, I know it’s not a lot of food, and you haven’t had dinner…”
            “I’m not that hungry.  Not for food, anyway.”
            “And, of course, I didn’t realize you’d be soaked through and freezing.”  He teases away a strand of wet hair that’s plastered to my cheek, and the concern in his eyes is so real, it makes my breath catch.  Then he says: “We should get that shirt off.”
            I snort.  “Well, that was subtle.” 

Precious Things Teaser Pics and Giveaway Update

Thanks to Kari March at A Book Whores Obsession, I now have five teaser pics for Precious Things, and they're all amazeballs! I have added an entry to the Precious Things giveaway (just click on the button to the right to access the giveaway page) where you can get a daily entry by sharing one of the pics at your blog, facebook, goodreads, twitter, etc. If you'd like to participate, just shoot me an e-mail at thaliansmhc at yahoo dot com, and I will send you all five pics. Thank you all so much for your support! Oh, and here's teaser number four...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Quick Thoughts on Selling Out

I'm going to try to make this as short as possible, even though I could say a ton about this topic, because I really need to be working on Precious Things right now... I just became aware of a recently posted, now-deleted blog post in which an author claimed she wrote an erotica book, even though that's not her preferred genre, to "sell out," and it worked--she made more money on the erotica in two weeks than she had on her other books in their years on sale. I'm not going to name this author, but I have talked to her on Twitter and she's seemed like a nice, genuine person, so I'm hoping her post was a little tongue-in-cheek. And/or that her sudden success, after so many years of frustration, prompted an emotional outburst that was maybe a bit too exaggerated. In either case, I didn't agree with her view of the subject, and it reminded me of something I experienced in graduate school...

 One of my professors was talking about what hard work, for what little financial reward, writing can often be. She made some comment about commercial writing for money, and I said jokingly (okay, half-jokingly--and it was a small, relaxed class, so I wasn't making a scene or anything) that making money was what I wanted to get out of writing.  My teacher responded, being completely serious, "Well then why don't you just churn out a cheap romance novel really fast?"

Um...I don't write fast.  Writing a book is hard, whether that book is about people having existential crises (i.e., a lot of literary fiction) or people falling in love.  Even if I TRIED to write the most commercial book as I could, as quickly as I could, it would still be hard work.  I couldn't sit down and do it in a night, or a week, and probably not even in a month.  And in some ways, commercial writing, such as romance, can be HARDER than literary fiction--you don't just have to make the reader think, or dazzle them with your gorgeous prose.  You have to ENTERTAIN them, for God's sake!

Look, I have read some absolutely horrible romance novels.  I've also read some horrible literary fiction.  I've read romance that felt sincere, and literary fiction that felt fake and pretentious, and written, if not for money, than for awards.  But the fact is, it felt that way to me, and I can't say for sure what the author's intentions were.  Perhaps some authors do write solely for money and fame, but my guess is there are probably less of those than we think.

In case you didn't know (!), I'm writing a new adult novel right now.  Would I be writing it if the genre hadn't taken off in the last year?  Probably not.  But I've actually found that I really, really enjoy writing about a heroine that age (although I still maintain that writing is hard work that just makes me grumpy most of the time).  I'm actually worried that my book still won't be commercial enough, because the romance is a very slow burn and there's, like, poetry and class discussions.  And yeah, if this book doesn't sell, I might write another that focuses more on a relationship and less on school.  But I still wouldn't consider that selling out--I'd consider it trying to write the best book I can while still trying to make a living.

I understand getting super-frustrated with the business--I'm there too.  But I think calling something you've written, or an entire genre of work, "trash" or equating it to "selling out" is really selling yourself short.  Remember the movie Knocked Up, when the Seth Rogen character and his friends start a website called Flesh of the Stars so they won't have to get real jobs?  That's selling out.  Writing a book?  That's just hard work.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Cover Reveal: Maven by S.A. Hutchson

Yep, it's another cover reveal...and it's a gorgeous one!  The cover for Maven was designed by the multi-talented author herself!



Maven (The Endure Series, book 1), by S.A. Huchton

Genre: Science Fiction Romance (New Adult)

Release Date: June 3rd, 2013

Book Description:

How far would you go for love?

Since losing her parents at 14, young prodigy Dr. Lydia Ashley has focused on one thing: an appointment on the Deep Water Research Command Endure. Now 21, she's about to realize that dream, but nothing is how she imagined it would be. Her transitional sponsor forgets her, her new lab is in complete chaos, and, as if that weren't enough, she's about to discover something so horrific it could potentially destroy all life on the planet. 

Daniel Brewer, a noted playboy and genius in his own right, may be exactly what she needs... Or he may make everything worse.

Has she finally found a puzzle she can't solve?

Add Maven on Goodreads here.
 
Author Bio:

Starla Huchton released her first novel, The Dreamer’s Thread, as a full cast podcast production beginning in August 2009. Her first foray went on to become a double-nominee and finalist for the 2010 Parsec Awards. Since her debut, Starla’s voice has appeared in other podcasts including The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine, The Drabblecast, and Erotica a la Carte. She is also a voice talent for Darkfire Productions, and narrates several of their projects, including The Emperor’s Edge series, This Path We Share, and others. Her writing has appeared in the Erotica a la Carte podcast, a short story for The Gearheart, and an episode of the Tales from the Archives podcast (the companion to Tee Morris and Philippa Balantine’s Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series), which garnered her a second finalist badge from the 2012 Parsec Awards. Her second novel, a Steampunk adventure entitled Master of Myth, was the first place winner in the Fantasy/Science Fiction category of The Sandy Writing Contest held annually by the Crested Butte Writers Conference. Maven is her third completed novel and the first in a planned series of four.
After completing her degree in Graphic Arts at Monterey Peninsula College, Starla opened up shop as a freelance graphic designer focusing on creating beautiful book covers for independent authors publishers. She currently lives in Virginia where she trains her three Minions and military husband.
Links:
Twitter: @riznphnx