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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Brown Paper Packages aka Last Minute Gifting

If you're like me this year, with eight days to Christmas, you're still scrambling to finish gifting.
Here are some of the favorite books at our house to get your book giving spirit going and help you finish your list!

Board Books:
This is not your average alphabet book. This one tells a story in 26 words. Even our ten-year-old likes to read CAVEMAN and it's a hands down favorite for potty training our two-year-old.


Picture Books (Do you call these a series?):

Chapter Books:

Girl: Is your Fancy Nancy lover too old for picture books? Have no fear, Jane O'Connor saved the day with NANCY CLANCY chapter books.

Family Read Aloud:

Middle Grade:
THE EVER AFTERS, MAY B (perfect for Little House on the Prairie lovers), and RUMP

 Two series my ten-year-old absorbed this year: REDWALL and THE JANITORS

What books are you giving to the little people in your life? Any favorites my family missed?

Friday, December 6, 2013


****This copy was provided to me by Netgalley or an honest review****

From Goodreads:
Ever since high school, Kayla has been crazy for gorgeous football player Talon. But before she could muster the courage to tell him, he became a hot item with her beautiful BFF, Reagan. The only person who knows Kayla’s secret is Wesley, Talon’s best bud—and he’s got it bad for Reagan. Now they’re all in college together, hanging out 24/7. For Kayla, seeing the two lovebirds together is absolutely unbearable. So Kayla and Wesley hatch a plot to drive them apart before Talon has a chance to give Reagan the Christmas gift she’s been waiting for.

Soon enough, the once happy couple is fighting. Reagan suddenly can’t get enough of Wesley’s goofy sense of humor, and Talon seems to be paying more attention to Kayla than a guy who’s “only a friend” ever should. But just when everything seems to be falling into place, Kayla and Wesley accidentally spend a night together and discover a hitch in their plan they never considered: that switching partners may not lead to a perfect ending after all.

First line: I love my best friend’s boyfriend. But I swear I saw him first.

Note to anyone who decides they want their best friend’s significant: suck it up and deal, otherwise you end up like me – surrounded by your friends, but feeling 100% alone.

This is the second of Cassie Mae's books through Random House Flirt. Her first one, FRIDAY NIGHT ALIBI, I reviewed (and adored) here. If you follow my blog you know I fell for Cassie Mae a few years back and read her entire blog, start to finish in two sittings. She is hilarious and not afraid to let it all hang out. I knew then that I'd read anything of hers and happily beta if she'd ever ask me. Yup, I was smitten. And I still am. She writes funny, sexy characters, awkward situations, and plenty of mishaps along the way.

SWITCHED was everything I'd come to expect from her, but it still read fresh, new, and holy cow the guys in this novel were hot. Wesley had my drooling. I kept thinking, come on Kayla, realize he's the one for you. Cassie managed to write two characters (Kayla and Wesley) I loved even when they were trying to break up their best friends and that (the likable characters) isn't not easy to pull off. Reagan I wanted to clobber more times than not, but she was great too. The condom war was hilarious!

I think of this story as a love square (do such things exist?). Some of my favorite scenes were Kayla biting Talon's nose, she and Wesley's snowball fight, when Talon helps her into the Open Mic night, and when Kayla eats Talon's mom's burnt cookies.

If you're looking for a fun, NA read, I hope you'll give this one a try.
You can find it on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble.

In addition to the giveaway below, I'm allowed to choose one person at random who comments on this blog between now and Dec. 8th at midnight to win their own NetGalley review copy of SWITCHED.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

IWSG Hard vs. Hard Core: In search of balance

In my writing I swing from two extremes:


Hard Core

I want to find a happy, healthy medium between I suck, my writing sucks, I have no good ideas, and I can't make dinner or listen to an entire sentence not coming out of my own head because I am on the rollingest roll in existence. This book baby won't even need to be edited.

Instead I want this

and this

so I can feel this

So tell me, dear readers, how do you find that beautiful balance? 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

THIRD LIE'S THE CHARM by Lisa and Laura Roecker

Happy Release Day!!!!!

I first found out about The Liar Society books through Janet Gurtler, another great YA contemporary author who publishes through Sourcebooks Fire. When she posted the covers on her blog I had to read the books. And then when I read the first one I immediately delved into the second one. So guys, this is a time I can shout from the rooftops that the books are as good as their covers.
Also, I'm always intrigued with people who can write collaborations and the idea of sisters working together on a book is rather intriguing for me. (Jolene Perry guest posted about it here.)
I couldn't wait for the final book in this thrilling saga to come out, so when I recieved a review copy from Netgalley I did some jumping and I little bit of dancing;)

Here's the cover, it's my least favorite of the three, but fitting for this final book.

From Goodreads:
New friend into old, the bond of the Sisterhood will never grow cold.

Life at Pemberly Brown is a whirlwind for Kate Lowry. Determined to finally destroy the secret society responsible for her best friend Grace’s death, Kate joins the Sisterhood hoping to go all Trojan Horse on their asses. But the night of her initiation another student at Pemberly Brown dies in what looks like tragic accident.

Kate knows better.

Kate and her faithful ginger, Seth Allen, immediately uncover a connection to the boy’s death and the secret societies that rule Pemberly Brown. But it’s not until Kate begins receiving pages from Grace’s old journal that she begins to piece together what really happened the night she died and how it connects to Pemberly Brown’s most recent tragedy.

Meanwhile, Kate’s ex-boyfriend Liam is following her around like an angry guard dog and she’s falling hard for the mysterious Bradley Farrow. Both boys are tied up in the mystery that surrounds Pemberly Brown, but only one of them can truly be trusted.

In this chilling conclusion to The Liar Society series Kate will fight to save her school from the evil that lurks beneath its hallowed halls. But will her quest destroy her or finally lead her to true love? She can only hope her third lie’s the charm.
As you guys know, I don't want to spoil the ending for everybody. But know I ached for Kate and the difficult decisions she had to make, in love, in friendship, and all in the name of bringing down the Sisterhood. There are twists, surprises, and a rather satisfying end. So great work L & L Roecker, for writing a great conclusion to a series I've thoroughly enjoyed. Read this book. But read THE LIAR SOCIETY and THE LIES THAT BIND first:)

Have you read this series? Are you as happy with the character development and humor sprinkled into this chilling ride? I reviewed another great book, RACING SAVANNAH by Miranda Kinneally out today over at Sporty Girl books if you'd like to check it out.
What's your most anticipated read for this month? Please share, because I don't want to miss it:)

Monday, December 2, 2013

MINE TO TARNISH by Janeal Falor

Janeal and I were twitter friends back when we were both querying. She took the self publishing route and her first book, YOU ARE MINE, become an Amazon Bestseller. I talked about that book here.

My favorite secondary character in YOU ARE MINE was Katherine, a Tarnished seamstress, so I was beyond thrilled when I learned Janeal's next book, MINE TO TARNISH (out yesterday!) would be Katherine's story. I just finished it this morning, listening to in on that funny text-to-speech my kindle has.

As always, her covers are breathtaking.

Katherine is a girl in an oppressive society where men completely rule and use magic to do so. Woman are valued based on the amount of magic in their blood, but they're not able/allowed to use it. (I'm wondering and hoping that will change with book three, MINE TO SPELL).
Katherine determines she'd rather join the Tarnished than become Nigel's wife, but she leaves behind as object that allows Nigel to track her and exposes the Tarnished hiding place. She and young, handsome Charles make a dangerous escape together. She's wholly unprepared to live any life but the one she was raised in.

While I didn't enjoy this one as much as the first, it was great to get a better look into the lives of the Tarnished and to watch Katherine fully change and realize everyone, no matter your sex or status, should be treated as a person.

You can find Janael here and MINE TO TARNISH here.

Congrats on your release!

Saturday, November 30, 2013


*waves* 50,000 you are looking mighty fine. 50K, fifty thousand. In all your varieties I'm thrilled to reach you...

Yesterday with 4000 words left to go I sat down after the non-writing of wonderful Thanksgiving and nothing came. I mean seriously, I couldn't even reach the 1667 daily WC goal. By 10:30 I'd fallen asleep in front of the screen multiple times and discovered "e" is the key I hit as I fall asleep typing. Whether it's because "e" is so often used, or that middle fingers weigh more, or because I'm left handed I'm not sure. Anyone else experienced this phenomenon? Well, moving on:)

I gave up and went to bed then woke up this morning and the words flowed off my fingertips. 2.5k in the1.5 hours before the family woke. I completed the home stretch (640 words) just now, went through the stress of figuring out how to compile from Scrivener (file, compile, choose your fomat), and validated my novel. Thanks to all who cheered me on in the process and all the other writers out there keeping me going. The #5amwritersclub helped so dang much. Hugs and left-over pumpkin pie for everyone:) And if you're still beating at the keys, you guys can do it! I'm cheering for you!

Random stats:
Number of days I wrote: 24
Biggest word count day: 5,137
Smallest word count day: 544
Number of manuscripts I worked on: 2 (45k in Voices and 5k in Red)
Number of Write-Ins I attended: Zero, but I'll correct this next year.
Estimated number of words to finish my novel: 15 K

 I'll have a few reviews up next week. See you then. And thanks, guys, for reading my blog and giving me comment love. This thankful month, I'm especially thankful for you.

Now to finish my other November challenge:
buttons, eight ornaments, and the hanger to go.

Monday, November 25, 2013


For the past three years Charleston, SC's and Blue Bicycle Books have hosted Yallfest. This year 50 of the country's top YA and MG authors, including 25 NYT bestsellers came for panels, presentations, and signings. And it is ALL free. Which is probably why the numbers on attendees rose to over 4000 people, well over 1k more than expected.

I asked my HS, turned writer, friend, Denise McKibbin, to come with me and we had so much fun catching up, discussing the authors we had to meet (me: Carrie Ryan, her: Libba Bray), and freaking out about the awesomeness of Yallfest.
Denise McKibbin and I in front of Blue Bicycle Books after our surreal day of happy


My Book Haul
Bought: The Evolution of Mara Dyer, Elenor and Park, In a Grass Grimly, Nick and Nora's Ultimate Playlist, Brightly Woven, Girl of Fire and Thorns (not pictured), We Are Not Eaten by Yaks. Brought from home: The Forest of Hands and Teeth and Shadow and Bone,

Why I loved it:
Besides being free, this was my first book festival. I've always be to book conferences where I workshopped my materials, made connections, and tried to act professional. This time, I was 100% book lover/reader and while I did envision myself sitting in one of those seats (I mean who wouldn't?) I let myself be carried away in the fun and happy atmosphere of great books and great authors. Watching them interact was great fun. Like, did you know that Ransom Riggs (Mrs. P. Home for Peculiar Children) is married to Tahereh Mafi (of Shatter Me series glory?) And she was so cute and tiny with these five inch plus clear shoes with sparkles in the bottom like the 70's shoes with goldfish swimming in them. I learned little things like that Rainbow really is Rainbow Rowell's first name (and she was so nice and amazing and giving I had to buy her book) Likewise with Alexandra Bracken; I had never heard of her or her books, but watching her quiet beauty and her words-esp. to the teen writers out there-I had to read her.

What was hard:
The signings and panels happened at the same time and each author only signed for an hour (unless they were Rainbow or Marie Lu who came back for more or stayed beyond their time).

Where I'll be next November:
Back at Yallfest and I plan on seeing you there.

Have you ever been to a book festival? What's your favorite part?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Guest Post: WRITING COLLABORATIONS by Jolene Perry

I'm doing this with Nano
 so I asked the insanely talented Jolene Perry to take over my blog.

If you're looking for the Veterans Day DEPLOYED giveaway, scroll down or click here.

Take it away, Jolene. My blog is now yours ... at least for today;)


I think it’s fun that people are so curious about this. The most asked question that Nyrae and I got on Out of Play was – HOW DO YOU WRITE WITH SOMEONE ELSE???

Here are a few things I wanna tell EVERYONE about it.

1.     If you like being in control, don’t write a collaboration ;-) The FIRST thing I do when I step into writing a story with someone else, is know that the story is out of my hands, know that if someone vetoes my idea, I just move forward, which brings me to…
2.     When you edit. Edit forward. What I mean by this is – If your partner deletes something of yours, or says – “this doesn’t work” or something along those lines. You move forward. You LET IT GO and continue on. If you’re frustrated about this, that’s not good ;-) Which brings me to…
3.     I write collaborations for FUN. The second they’re not fun, I’d walk away. This has not yet happened to me because I’m good at #1 and #2. And this brings me to…
4.     You must trust your writing partner. You HAVE to trust their instincts as a writer, their knowledge of their character, and that they know how to craft a story. Which brings me to…
5.     Picking your partner – The first person I collaborated with was Nyrae Dawn. She is AH-mazing. She’d been writing for a lot longer than I had, and I knew I’d learn a lot. Dizzy was the first book I ever wrote IN ORDER because Nyrae writes in order. Which helps me remember…
6.     I always learn so much when I write with someone new. From Nyrae I learned how to write a story starting at the beginning. I tried to write one on my own this way after we finished Dizzy and it didn’t work, BUT it helped.
7.     Nyrae and I approach a story differently. I come up with the character and the story decisions are dictated by that character. Nyrae comes up with the storyline and then molds her character to fit to it. HARD for me to work this way, but again – see #1.
8.     Christa Desir is not only a writer but an editor. She writes emotion like NO ONE else I know. I really pushed myself to dig deeper into my characters after writing with her. Also. If you’re intimidated by your partner b/c of their awesomeness like I used to be with her? (Now I’m just thrilled to be friends w/ someone who has so much awesomeness) I think it’s a GOOD thing. It’s also good to diversify who you write with, for example…
9.     I needed to write something light and fun, emailed Cassie Mae a premise and a few ideas and she sent me a Chapter One later that day. LOVE that. Her comedy writing is brilliant, so I learned a lot from her too. And…
10. Steph Campbell is the second person I wrote with. She does such amazing deep, conflicted love stories. And we didn’t know when we started, if Tobin and Delia would find their way to each other in the end. It worked. For us.
11. With all of these partners, we each took a character, a general idea of where we wanted the story to go from beginning to end, and then sort of mapped out (kind of) the few chapters ahead of wherever we are. I like to keep things loose so the unexpected can happen while writing.
12. Benefits: I learn a LOT from the people I write with. It’s FUN. There are no long pauses while I figure out plot points b/c I always have a brainstorm partner who knows the story as well as I do. Their audience reads our book, and hopefully some of those people wanna come hang and read my books, and vice versa…
13. So. IF you can do #1 and #2, and keep all the other fun stuff in mind… Writing a collab is a BLAST.
14. And FINALLY. Me and Cassie Mae will be teaching a class on collabs at the LDS Storymakers Conference in 2014 :-D

Jolene wears juvenile T-shirts, worn out chucks and eats too much chocolate. She writes. A lot. She makes up words, drinks Shirley Temples and suffocates a little without her iPod. She writes for Albert Whitman Teen, Entangled Teen and Simon Pulse. Rep'd by Jane Dystel of DYSTEL & GODERICH.

Monday, November 11, 2013

A Veterans Day Guest Post with Dr. Stanley Hall

The "Hub" here. Robin's "Hub," that is. As she mentioned in this post, I'm not familiar with the mockinjay, but have a huge passion for birdwatching as well as rock climbing and helping military families. I moved to the Mojave desert as a marriage and family therapist counseling US Marines & Sailors. I added birds to my life-list and grew in my appreciation for the dedication and sacrifice of military families.

I moved to 29 Palms because I needed a job and wanted to climb in Joshua Tree. However, leaving 29 Palms is something I've only done physically. Emotionally, I am still tied to the military families who serve in that hot desert. The crucible-like conditions caused many families to split-up, and some went home rather than endure the extreme conditions of intense training and isolation. However, many families survive and come out stronger. Some stay and call it "home" even after their term of service is over.
On this Veteran's Day I want to honor all those who have sacrificed for our country and
praise them for their service. In honor of today I am giving away one paperback and two free electronic copies of my book, DEPLOYED: THE SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR FAMILIES AT WAR.

All you have to do is comment below to be entered. 

If you would like to purchase DEPLOYED for yourself or a military family please click here (and scroll to the bottom of the page). 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Oops...In Over My Head

So with all the happenings of November I forgot about ISWG. So instead of coming up with something on the spot, here's the link to my CP Ilima Todd and her spot on post for this morning. If you don't already follow her, you should. She's the real deal.


I won't forget next time. Happy crazy November. And if you're NaNoing I feel both your excitement and your pain. You can do it!

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Conversation with the Hubs

NaNo is off to a great start (4442 in the first 2 days), so I took a break and went to see Ender's Game with the hubby Saturday night. It was all I'd hoped it would be (and I want the soundtrack). Orson Scott Card has been one of my writing heroes for pretty much forever. I've met him twice, we're both Mormon, and now we live in the same state.

Actual conversation in the theatre with hubby after this Catching Fire preview (Nov. 22nd, guys!)

Hubby: Why do they keep showing that weird sideways roadrunner?
Me: It's not a roadrunner, it's a mockingjay.
Hubby (and birding expert): There is no such thing as mocking jays
Me: Stifled snort. Maybe not in real life, but in The Hunger Games Series they were genetically engineered...and then they became a symbol...
Hubby covers my hand: Shh...okay, I got it.

Needless to say he won't be watching that movie with me;)

In other news:
My agent sister Gail Nall sold her MG novel to Aladdin for publication Spring 2015!!! You can congratulate her here on her blog or on twitter @gailecn
I'm up on First Impressions again, this time with my MG Life is a Tongue Twister. you can check it out here or here.

I'll be back next week with a guest post by the incredible Jolene Perry and possibly a NaNo update.
How's your November shaping up? Did you use that extra hour this morning to kick some WC bootie?

Friday, November 1, 2013

What I'm Doing this Month

And my inspiration for the month:

So here I am, typing away even when I have SO much other and don't know if I will reach 50K. I might fail this year, but at least I'm trying:D

Here's how I make NaNo work:
1. Let myself write crap.
2. Set a consistent time that works for me. (for me it's 5am, but we can't all be early risers)
3. No internet until I've written 1k. (It's amazing how that ups my productivity.)
4. Do sprints (15 or 30 min., whatever floats your boat) Join a group or a sprint online (twitter is great for this.
5. Take a day off. I take off Sundays and my Mondays are usually high word count, amazing.
6. Remind myself that even if I don't reach 50K, I'm learning and growing from the process. Still, I push for 50K, even when it's hard.

I have a guest post planned, but otherwise this blog will be rather quiet this month. If you're doing NaNo be my buddy and we can cheer each other to our goals!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Middle Grade Monday with MG Expert Israel and Janitors 3

I've invited my ten year old, Israel, to review Tyler Whitesides latest release, Janitors: Curse of the Broomstaff. My son couldn't wait to read it, even if it meant he had to use my kindle. To direct him a bit I asked him to answer the questions in blue.

From Goodreads: A secret society of Janitors with wizard-like powers continue their battle, and now, the stakes are even higher. The Bureau of Educational Maintenance is after Alan Zumbro and this time they mean business - deadly business. Spencer, Daisy, and their little team of rebels must find the source of all magical Glop and destroy it before it can destroy the world as we know it. No small task with the BEM and their monster toxites at their heels. It's a wild and dangerous ride as they follow the trail of clues all the way to the hiding place of the mysterious aurans: guardians of a secret landfill. What they discover there will change the way

Spencer sees himself, not to mention the fate of the rebels.

Why is Janitors Three: Curse of the Broomstaff so cool?
I really like the idea at the beginning that this book is about garbage. Serious, it's garbage. Well, not that type of garbage like the book isn't good, but the garbage that you throw in the trash can. Also, there's this thing, where this guy, if you have the guts he can look in somebody elses trash can and he can learn about them. For example, say you find wrapping paper you would know there was a birthday party or someone was having a birthday or giving a gift. Say you find a bunch of credit cards, then you would know that they were rich or something. And then there's the part about how he put another food fight and that by a custom, they meant following every single glopified crosswalk on the way to the special place. If you didn't cross all of them and just get there the bridge would collapse, unless you're authorized with the secrets, you can't get in.

Tyler Whitesides is an amazing writer, seriously. Glopified is so cool. He took magic and changed it to glopified. (he must have had a baby to come up with that) I loved all three Janitors books, it was like a bouncy house, I was sucked into everything. An evil school, glopified duct tape, glopified razor blades, plungers, push brooms, and so much more.

I also liked the idea of the vortex bag being about to suck up everything and the idea of being able to conquer the trash minions by using trash talk.

Which book in the series is your favorite?
Number three was the best, but they were all awesome. I think my favorite part of book one was the part where they were running around trying to stop the bad guys from becoming warlocks and in book two, I liked the part where they were battling their way down to where Spencer's dad was. (His last name was Zumbro, by the way). My favorite of number three was the part was well, the entire trash site. And seriously, being able to travel between toilets and a trap that sinks you into cement. It is unbelievable.

If you could be one of the characters who would you be?
If I was one of the characters in the book I would be Spencer (he's a Dark Auran). I like the fact that the Aurans are a good guy and a bad guy, but they're being lead by V. Then there are Dark Aurans and the Aurans panned them because they stole the special janitor book from a wizard...

What was the funniest part?
The part where they were trying to lift up Walter the Warlock and they were going to use this plunger and the glopified plungers you can lift up and elephant and it will feel like a feather. Well they tried to do that with Walter but they used a REAL plunger, like that's used on a toilet.

Is there any love involved?
Yes, Roe, she disguised her name as Jenna, has had a crush on Spencer since book two. But don't worry, there's no kissing, just the heroic stuff and close to kissing.

Who would like to read the Janitors Books?
Boys of 7 to any age and girls the same. Parents will kind of get grossed out about the fact that they're using cleaning tools.

Tyler Whitesides and Brian Jaques are my favorite writers. I'll tell you about Brian Jaques's books another time.

Thank you, Israel, for being on the blog, and Tyler Whitesides for writing such a great MG series! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Author Crush Jolene Perry

Last week I spotlighted three favorite recent reads and mentioned I'd discovered an author I couldn't wait to introduce you to. I read three of her books in three days, they were that good. So here's my journey to discovering Jolene Perry
I heard about Jolene a few months back when I saw the cover reveal for this beauty on Jenny Morris's blog.
I couldn't stop staring. My copy isn't as pretty as the high quality versions, but imagine the richness of the floor and the reflection in the wood and not being sure if it is covered in a thin layer of water or not, but being intrigued either way. It's hot, it's playful, and... I'm getting away from myself. So, at this point I started following Jolene's blog. She has wonderfully real posts. and interacts well with readers. Also, I've always been curious about collaborations and she's sure done a lot of them (and she's even teaching a class on it for LDStorymakers 2014!) I want to go so bad, but the chances are pretty slim *cue serious sad face here*

So, I kept following, but I hadn't read anything of hers yet. I bought 3 Sides to a Circle, but didn't start it. And then she released the cover reveal of this beauty out next March from Albert Whitman Teen:

This cover took my breath away (and I'm usually anti-hearts. It's a joke in my family that Stan's going to get my a ginormous heart pendant). I had to read it. I looked up the book, the publisher, and the cover designer.  When Jolene posted it was up on Netgalley (be still my heart) I rushed to request it. The Summer I Found You was a read now option...*cue frantic happiness* If you're on Netgalley go now and swoop it up. I'll wait.

I began reading this beauty in the midst of my walking pneumonia and I read it in half a day. I couldn't get enough of Kate and Aidan (and their alternating POVs). Having recently moved from a military town and being married to a councelor specializing in military and deployment issues, I know how real Aidan's struggle is, to have a future plan of retiring military and then to be receive a medical discharge at 19. We had many friends go through this for various reasons. Aidan lost an arm. He couldn't do buttons, or drive his stick shift, or open the toothpaste without using his teeth. Add that on top of the mental trauma of the incident and the loss of his commanding officer and friend and you have one troubled boy. Enter a girl dealing (but poorly) with her DiabetesType I diagnosis and the need to self-regulate, to prick and plunge needles into her skin. One issue we could clearly see, the other not so much. The plot gripped me, I cried for them, I ached for them, and I loved right along with them. I've never found a one-armed man as hot as Aidan!
*some language, but it was authentic to military life

I couldn't help myself, I had two more Jolene Perry books on my kindle, so I opened 3 Sides to a Circle, saving the LDS read for Sunday-lol. 

I should mention this is one of her collaborations, this time with Janna Watts. This book is NA told from 3 POVs. I haven't read many NA yet, but the college years were huge for me. So much of my life and decisions I made happened during these years. My freshman year, that first time on my own, I ended up with a roommate unlike any I had expected. We filled out surveys and I still don't know how the college thought we're pair well. So I could relate to the shock of Honor meeting wild child Libby who seems to know everyone and have crazy ideas to make everything an adventure. Add nerdy Toby to the mix and you've got three memorable characters for a great ride. This is another book I absorbed in a day. It was a little heavy on the language and crudeness factor, but I couldn't resist the writing. 

Next I read The Weight of Love. Isn't this cover stunning? I love the light in it, the yellows and her face to the sun.

This is an LDS novel, again with a military influence. The MC, Jaycee, lost her husband two years previous on a deployment and is raising their autistic son on her own. The male MC, Mitchell, is a boy who strayed early in life, but came back to the church and is serving a mission in Alaska where Jaycee lives. From Jolene's blog, "The Weight of Love is a story about letting go of the past, falling in love during impossible circumstances, and learning that often the best kinds of joy are the ones worth waiting for." 
I don't read much LDS fiction, but I've found a few writers whom I really enjoy. I've added Jolene to the top of that list. I especially liked the different POV's for this story because each were going through so many different issues and experienced the same things in different ways. I LOVED the hair cutting scene and how wonderful Mitchell's mom was to Jaycee. If you enjoy LDS fiction, or are looking to give it a try, I hope you'll pick up this one. 

Jolene was sweet enough to tell me how the titles for her books came about.
The Weight of Love used to be "Things We Carry" or "What We Carry" but they both felt awkward. I just felt that in ways love tied them both down in good ways and in bad ways and kept them apart, so it had a weight to it. That's where that one came from.

The Summer I Found You was not my title. My publisher sent me an email saying - By the way we've changed your title to The Summer I Found You. Originally the title was Used To Be, which I didn't love and told them as much. Also, Eileen Cook has a book out w/ that same name and it's a YA Contemp.

3 Sides to a Circle is a title I've had spinning in my head for a LONG time and when Janna came up with the idea for the book, I was like - WE HAVE TO USE MY TITLE!! lol.

I think Knee Deep is my favorite title. I love how it weaves through the book, and I also love how simple it is. That's a book where I wrote a line in the novel and was like - WOW. There's my title.

I will also be supah long-winded and say that the same publisher that picked up The Summer I Found You also picked up a book of mine called The Happiness of Joy and changed the title to Stronger Than You Think - I'm still getting used to it...

Thanks Jolene, for being on the blog and for writing books I crave to read. 

Jolene is having a giveaway for 4 paperbacks to celebrate the release of The Weight of Love. I'm putting the link below, but don't feel like you should go to it as I want to up my chances of winning them!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you read Jolene's books? If so, what's your favorite? I'm trying to decide which one to dive into next.

Next Monday I have a guest post by a MG expert. I hope you'll check it out! I crack up each time I read his reviews.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

(Never) Again Release Bloghop

If you're looking for the Butterman Travel Cover Reveal, scroll down or click here.

I'm participating in a bloghop in celebration of Theresa Paolo's release of (NEVER) AGAIN! Congrats, Theresa!

Here's how it works:
Liz, the main character of (Never) Again got her heart broken and refused to ever open it up to anyone again. We all know how that goes though. How many times have you swore off something only to step right back into it? So for this bloghop I want to know what it is you swore you would never do again and then wound up doing.

I have a rather long list, but the one I feel most guilty going back to is these guys:

I cannot resist Cheetos or Doritos with their artificial orange cheese flavor. Every time I buy a bag for my kids I find myself devouring it along side them and licking the orange scum off my fingers. On occasion I've even shoved my fingertips into the crevices of the bag to get those last cheesy crumbs.
Even time I tell myself, never again...but there's always a next bag, another chip, more cheesy finger licking.

What's something you've sworn you'd never do again, by find yourself doing anyway?

Congrats again to Theresa! You can find Theresa's blog here and more about (NEVER) AGAIN here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Time Travel, Butterman Style

In honor of the cover reveal for Pk Hzeros's new book I'm answering the following question: If I could walk into Butterman (Time) Travel, Inc, and book a time trip, where (and when) would I go?

If it could be an imaginary place I would go to Damar. But as I have to come up with a real location and time I have to say visiting Lewis and Clark and going on their expedition to open the West.

Here's her lovely cover: Isn't it gorgeous?

 PK Hrezo is a native Floridian whose life could easily be a Jimmy Buffet song. She shares her home with her firefighter husband and their two children. When not creating characters and their worlds, PK can be found at her other job of rearranging passenger’s itineraries for a major international airline. The only hobbies she loves more than traveling, are reading, writing, and music, and when the four are combined she exists in total bliss. She blogs regularly at PK HREZO: Fearless Fiction  Where to find her: Twitter: @pkhrezo, FacebookWebsite

If you could go anywhere where would you go?