Monthly Archives:: June 2017

Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t

June 19, 2017 Top Ten Tuesday 7

TTT

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted over at the other blog I write for, The Broke and the Bookish.

I love series, but I also hate them. I love getting LOTS of time in the worlds that I love, with the characters that I love. But at the same time, there’s always a long wait between books and there’s always so much to remember! I really suck at finishing series, which has made me super leery of starting them. Needless to say, I have started a LOT of series… but I found a whole bunch more I’d like to start anyway, so it was hard to narrow it down to ten!


Legend Trilogy
by Marie Lu


Graceling Realm Trilogy by Kristin Cashore


Bridgertons Series by Julia Quinn


The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy by Tessa Dare


From Manhattan With Love Series by Sarah Morgan


Sevenwaters Series by Juliet Marillier


Pink Carnation Series by Lauren Willig


Snow Like Ashes Trilogy by Sara Raasch


Lucky Harbor Series by Jill Shalvis


Scarlet Trilogy by A.C. Gaughen

How do I even prioritize these?
Any I should push ahead of the others? Any I should not even bother with?
Which of these would you love to start soon, too?

 


The Debut Dish: Kayla Olson, A.V. Geiger, Gillian French, Gwen Cole, & Christina June (+ Giveaways)

June 18, 2017 Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway 6

The Debut Dish, a bi-monthly Debut Author Challenge feature, is where you go for the scoop on some pretty awesome debut authors and their new books! Hopefully these interviews will inspire you to add many, many more books to your to-read list. Because, really, who doesn’t need more books in their lives?

This issue of The Debut Dish features Kayla Olson (The Sandcastle Empire), A.V. Geiger (Follow Me Back), Gillian French (Grit), Gwen Cole (Cold Summer), and Christina June (It Started With Goodbye).


The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson
June 6, 2017 from HarperTeen
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

When all hope is gone, how do you survive?

Before the war, Eden’s life was easy—air conditioning, ice cream, long days at the beach. Then the revolution happened, and everything changed.

Now a powerful group called the Wolfpack controls the earth and its resources. Eden has lost everything to them. They killed her family and her friends, destroyed her home, and imprisoned her. But Eden refuses to die by their hands. She knows the coordinates to the only neutral ground left in the world, a place called Sanctuary Island, and she is desperate to escape to its shores.

Eden finally reaches the island and meets others resistant to the Wolves—but the solace is short-lived when one of Eden’s new friends goes missing. Braving the jungle in search of their lost ally, they quickly discover Sanctuary is filled with lethal traps and an enemy they never expected.

This island might be deadlier than the world Eden left behind, but surviving it is the only thing that stands between her and freedom.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Survival—but at what cost?

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
Ahhh, such a tough question! So many of my favorites are close to the end of the book, or at places where there are big reveals. I also love any time there are quiet moments on the island’s beach, where the girls are trying to figure out their new normal—how to be, with themselves and each other, in this new place. I also love the big flare-up moments that happen while they’re trying to figure those things out, too.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
In my office, lying on the floor, listening to a podcast—and then my phone rang, and everything changed. It was all very surreal!

What’s your favorite junk food?
Dark chocolate, for sure! The darker the better, bonus points if there is a spicy element to it.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
Probably this shiny gold robot whose head pops off to reveal a ballpoint pen? I also have a dilophosaurus made of Legos, which I might have permanently borrowed from my little guy’s collection…

Don’t miss the opportunity to win a copy!


Follow Me Back by A.V. Geiger
June 6, 2017 from Sourcebooks Fire
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murdered at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Fangirl + Popstar + Twitter + Love = CREEP-ITUDE

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
My favorite scenes are all the Twitter direct message conversations between the two main characters. Tessa and Taylor develop a rich friendship through their shared celebrity obsession, but they’re both hiding secrets from one another. I love the interplay of truth and concealment as their friendship turns into something more… and all their lies come back to bite them.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I was in my office on a Monday morning. I didn’t expect to hear anything that day. I’d been told the week before that the book had gone to acquisitions, and I should expect an answer by Friday afternoon. Friday came and went. I heard nothing. I assumed the silence meant they had passed. I spent the weekend drowning my sorrows with raw cookie dough and a marathon of New Girl episodes. Then, Monday morning I got the news. I’ll leave my reaction to your imagination. (It involved more cookie dough and lots of screaming.)

What’s your favorite junk food?
Currently obsessed with chocolate peanut butter cups.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
Besides the 7,000 empty peanut-butter-cup wrappers? Probably the pile of scrap paper where I was practicing my author signature. Book signings will be a new experience for me!

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Grit by Gillian French
May 16, 2017 from HarperTeen
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

His presence beside me is like heat, like weight, something I’ve carried around on my back too long.

It’s summer in rural Maine; when seventeen-year-old Darcy Prentiss isn’t raking berries with her sister, Mags, and cousin, Nell, during the day, she’s drinking and swimming with the boys in the quarry by night. She knows how to have a good time, just like anyone else, but when you’ve been designated the town slut, every move you make seems to further solidify your “trashy girl” reputation.

But the fun is what’s been keeping Darcy’s mind off the things she can’t forget: a disturbing secret she shares with Nell, the mysterious disappearance of her ex-best friend, and that hazy Fourth of July party that ended with Darcy drunk, on her back, wondering how she let it get this far.

Then someone in town anonymously nominates Darcy to be in the running for Bay Festival Princess—a cruel, almost laughable gesture that can only be the work of someone with a score to settle. Everything Darcy has been trying to keep down comes bubbling to the surface in ways she wasn’t prepared to handle…and isn’t sure if she can.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Dark, suspenseful, heartfelt.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
I’m not sure I can do this without spoilers! I’ll just say that it’s the climatic scene at the quarry; you’ll have to read it to find out more.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
In my living room. My husband played back the telephone message my agent had left (we had a landline and an old-school answering machine at the time) and found out HarperCollins was interested in Grit! I burst into tears; it had been a long road getting to that point.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Dark chocolate, hands-down.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
The hospital wristbands that my youngest son wore after his birth (he was born 2/1/17.)

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Cold Summer by Gwen Cole
May 2, 2017 from Sky Pony Press
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Today, he’s a high school dropout with no future.
Tomorrow, he’s a soldier in World War II.

Kale Jackson has spent years trying to control his time-traveling ability but hasn’t had much luck. One day he lives in 1945, fighting in the war as a sharpshooter and helplessly watching soldiers—friends—die. Then the next day, he’s back in the present, where WWII has bled into his modern life in the form of PTSD, straining his relationship with his father and the few friends he has left. Every day it becomes harder to hide his battle wounds, both physical and mental, from the past.

When the ex-girl-next-door, Harper, moves back to town, thoughts of what could be if only he had a normal life begin to haunt him. Harper reminds him of the person he was before the PTSD, which helps anchor him to the present. With practice, maybe Kale could remain in the present permanently and never step foot on a battlefield again. Maybe he can have the normal life he craves.

But then Harper finds Kale’s name in a historical article—and he’s listed as a casualty of the war. Kale knows now that he must learn to control his time-traveling ability to save himself and his chance at a life with Harper. Otherwise, he’ll be killed in a time where he doesn’t belong by a bullet that was never meant for him.

Describe your book in five words or less.
A non-typical time-travel book.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
It’s actually the first WWII scene in the book, where the MC is sitting in a foxhole with another guy. It’s one of the first scenes that came to me when I starting writing the book.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
At home—boring I know. I love all those cool stories about people crying in public, but mine was nothing like that. My agent already told me Sky Pony was interested, so I kinda knew what was coming when the call finally came. Still an awesome moment, though.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Cheetos and Oreos (original double stuffed).

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
Actually, I don’t have a desk. Our house is pretty small, but one day I will have an office with a great desk. And when that day comes, the oddest thing will be a couple gamer figurines.


It Started With Goodbye by Christina June
May 9, 2017 from Blink/HarperCollins
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Modern Cinderella with no magic.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
My favorite scene is the very first one I wrote. My main character, Tatum is feeling sorry for herself because she’s found herself in a pickle, both legally and with her family. She’s been forced to attend an event for her stepsister. There, she bumps into a cute stranger with whom she has an undeniable connection. Tatum also takes the first step in advertising her new graphic design business at this event. So, it’s the scene where things start to take a turn for her, in some unexpected ways.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I think I had gone home from work sick that day and was actually laying in bed when the email came through. I burst out crying and called my husband, still in disbelief.

What’s your favorite junk food?
All of it? I love chocolate, pizza, all carbs, but the one I munch on mindlessly while writing is popcorn.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
I’m not sure if this counts as odd, but I have a Golden Girls mug right next to my monitor. My mom gave it to me because one of my characters in ISWG is a big fan of the show.

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Customizable, Promotional Book Flash Drives for Bloggers & Authors | Product Review

June 2, 2017 Product Review 1

I recently teamed up with the awesome people at USB Memory Direct, and could not be more thrilled with my experience! USB Memory Direct provides customizable flash drives in a number of different colors and styles, but of course my favorite one is the book-shaped one! Just take a look!

 

I’ve always been a fan of the idea of having my own branded flash drives for my graphic design portfolio to hand out with my resume, or to give my clients their products in a way that makes them remember who I am for a long time after our partnership has ended. But then I was pitched this book-shaped flash drive, and think of the possibilities! You can never have too many flash drives, so instead of printing business cards for your book blog why not get a batch of these to hand out to publishers, authors, and readers? I know it won’t end up in the trash like a stack of business cards might after a long day at BookExpo or ALA. What about ordering a batch to be included in giveaways you host on Twitter or on your blog? They are cute, classy, functional, and make you stand out from all the other book bloggers out there.

Authors! Did you know USB Memory Direct will make pretty much anything your heart desires? What about designing one of these book-shaped flash drives to help promote your upcoming release? I know I would love to receive one of these in a promotional swag pack. Publishers and libraries could also benefit from having a few custom drives laying around for visiting authors, conventions, and giveaways. Anything to get your name out there, right?

I received my first batch of book flash drives for That Artsy Reader Girl, and I LOVE them. Not only do they come in a ton of different storage sizes, USB Memory Direct’s customer service is amazing. I think Chelsea and I came up with probably 5 designs before I finally settled on the perfect one. I shot my logo over to her and then we worked together to come up with the best color combination (only two colors can be printed on these drives, so I had to picky about the colors I would use and make sure they showed up nicely on the wood). Even though the drives are produced in and shipped from China, they arrived quickly. Each drive was individually packaged in a plastic bag. I love the look and the feel of the real wood design. They are sturdy and of amazing quality. The printing is smooth and the colors are saturated. I couldn’t be happier, as they are just so cute! I’ve already received multiple demands from friends and family who are placing dibs on one. I only wish they had a split ring (or a drilled hole for me to add one myself) on them somewhere so I could put one on my keyring for easy access.

Bottom line, if you’re looking for a way to stand out in the crowd and promote yourself, your blog, your book, your library, your bookstore, your publishing house, or even just show off your favorite hobby I would definitely recommend checking out USB Memory Direct. You can choose between USB 2.0 and 3.0, and between 64 MB of storage all the way up to 128 GB. The people at USB Memory Direct will have your quote to you in less than 15 minutes, and will help you every step of the way. With reasonable prices, unbeatable customer service, and unique designs I can’t see why you’re still reading this blog post and not ordering your drives already!

This promotional post was sponsored by USB Memory Direct, who sent That Artsy Reader Girl custom flash drives in exchange for an honest, unbiased review of their product.