Summer in the City Giveaway

At First Blush and Alterations Summer in the City giveaway Twitter post

It’s finally summer! A time for fun, beaches, books, and TWO giveaways! One giveaway is US only and the second is open internationally.

ALTERATIONS and AT FIRST BLUSH both feature strong, driven, talented teens navigating fast-paced New York City fashion internships, first loves, and social media versus real life.

In ALTERATIONS, we follow Amelia Blanco as she leaves behind her lifelong crush to attend a New York City fashion design program, make new friends and discover hidden talents. But when she returns home to Miami, she must reevaluate her idea of Pinterest Perfect in life (and in love).

In AT FIRST BLUSH, beauty YouTuber Lacey Robbins is on the cusp of a million subscribers. Interning at On Trend magazine seems the best way to get to that magic number, but rebranding (and falling for) the cover boy, an arrogant pop star, could destroy everything she’s worked for, forcing her to choose: YouTube life or real life?

We want you ready and equipped for whatever you’ve set out to do this summer, whether it’s at the beach or at work! We’re giving away FOUR prizes: one winner will receive an ebook of ALTERATIONS and Stephanie’s emergency fashion and sewing kit:

 
Emergency beauty kit prize

A second winner will receive an ebook of AT FIRST BLUSH by Beth Ellyn Summer plus a prize pack including e.l.f. brand lip glosses, highlight/blush sticks, cream highlight/blush, and eyeshadow brushes.

Beth make up gift

TWO International winners will win a copy of ALTERATIONS or AT FIRST BLUSH!
 
To enter, see below:

US ONLY GIVEAWAY: Ebook & Summer in the City beauty prize packs:

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

INTERNATIONAL ENTRIES GIVEAWAY: Ebooks

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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YA Giveaway: Books plus Barnes & Noble Gift Card!

I’m excited to be a part of this huge giveaway! Win young adult books + $200 gift card to Barnes & Noble!

Details here: Author Martina Boone’s Website

 

YA Giveaway June 2017

 

Here’s a description of the books in the giveaway:

  • Betsy Aldredge and Carrie DuBois-Shaw, Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things: Pride and Prejudice meets Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot in this humorous and heartfelt debut about a loving, quirky family on the hunt for the mythical Sasquatch.
  • Jennifer Bardsley, Genesis Girl: Blanca’s lack of a digital footprint makes her so valuable that she gets auctioned off to the highest bidder.
  • Martina Boone, Compulsion: A girl with a gift for finding lost things discovers romance, secrets, and danger in the magical garden of her family’s three-hundred-year-old South Carolina plantation.
  • Melinda R. Cordell, Those Black WingsKay is your typical shy gal who runs screaming from love — until she finds herself way over her head in a relationship. It’s not love if he forces you to stay.
  • Brenda Drake, Touching Fate: With a simple touch of the tarot cards, Aster can change a person’s fate, but when she meets Reese, a hot Dutch guy cursed to die on his eighteenth birthday, saving him will come at a deadly price.
  • Brenda Drake, Thief of Lies: One jump into a gateway book linking the great libraries of world will lead Gia to love and secrets that change her forever. 
  • Pintip Dunn, Forget Tomorrow: In a world where memories can be sent back in time, seventeen-year-old Callie sees the unthinkable — a vision of her not-so-distant future self killing her little sister. 
  • Jennifer M. Eaton, Fire in the Winds: When the alien of her dreams crash lands his ship in the woods, time is ticking down to Armageddon, and Jess must think fast if she’s to save him without sacrificing Earth—and everyone on it.
  • Clara Kensie, Aftermath: After surviving four years as a prisoner in the attic of her kidnapper sustained by dreams of her loving family, Charlotte fights her way to freedom only to discover that her family is broken and she can’t be truly free until she frees the prisoner she left behind. 
  • Amy McNulty, Ballad of the Beanstalk: A prequel to the fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk that reveals the true story behind the magical singing harp.
  • Sarah Nicolas, Keeping Her Secret: When Riya finds herself sharing a bunkhouse with her first girl-crush at summer camp, Courtney’s need to keep up appearances initiates an all-out war between their feelings and what they think is expected of them.
  • K. M. Pyne, #Meet: Ruby Knight’s best friend goes missing after behaving strangely. Her friend has been catfished on the internet and this sets off a detective style search for her friend. Mash up of Nancy Drew and Pretty Little Liars.
  • K. M. Pyne, #YOLO: Someone at Ruby Knight’s school is out for revenge! Who is murdering students and what do they ultimately want?
  • Stephanie Scott, AlterationsAfter reinventing herself at a summer fashion camp in New York City, Amelia returns to Miami and finds herself caught between her life-long crush and his geeky twin brother.
  • Janet B. Taylor, Into the Dim: Hope Walton’s insular world implodes when she learns she must travel to the brutal, 12th century age of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine to save the mother she thought lost forever.
  • Janet B. Taylor, Sparks of Light (Advance Reader Copy)When Hope Walton and the rest of the Viators uncover a plan to steal a dangerous device from inventor Nikola Tesla, only a race through the Gilded Age of 1895 NYC can save the natural timeline from utter destruction. 
  • P. D. Workman, Questing for a DreamCompletely alone for the first time in her life, is it possible for Nadie to find happiness and peace in a foreign world where she is abused and discriminated against?
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Insecure Writer’s Support Group: How to Survive the Little Quits

 
Happy June! It’s one of those days where the sun is out, the sky is clear, and it’s a just-right 72 degrees. A rare perfect day!
Insecure Writers Support Group
 
It’s Insecure Writer’s Support Group day! 
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance.
It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
 
Visit other bloggers in the group by clicking here.
Connect with fellow writers. This group is all about connecting! 
Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG

June Question:

 Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I’ve never said the Big Quit, as in, I’m quitting for good, but I’ve had many little quits throughout becoming a writer. Surviving the more frequent, little setbacks can be draining and challenging. The early quits happened often for me. When you want to write a book but don’t know how, the task is daunting. Google things like ‘how to write a book’ and you find some decent resources and blog articles, but once you start searching keywords about publishing, the results get a bit hairy. Scammers are out there waiting to prey on those who want to turn their ten-years-in-the-making epic saga into a bestseller. It’s tempting to quit right then and there. Personally, I think it’s the business side of writing and publishing that brings on the urge to quit the most. Selling books is a tough biz.

The best advice I’ve heard is to revisit your purpose for writing every year or two. We don’t all have the same goal. 

As for writing itself and the “little quits,” here are things that motivate me that maybe can encourage someone reading this:

  • Review past milestones
    • I look at my early goals: I just wanted to write ONE book. Now I’ve written 7+ books. Four have been pitched to publishers, 1 has been published. I have a short story that will be published later in 2017, and *secret project* in development for publishing.
  • Surround yourself with writers at different levels
    • Through Romance Writers of America, I have author friends and colleagues who have a career’s worth of books in their catalog. They inspire me to keep going. Most of them started seeing more success and sales after multiple published books. At the same time, you want to connect with writers who are going through a similar stage as you; new to submitting work, debut author, etc. Those shared experiences are so valuable. Writing can be lonely, so make friends–and not just any writer friends, but motivated writer friends. Befriend the writers who are regularly writing, submitting work, and moving forward. Don’t get dragged down by naysayers who’d rather gossip or complain than to get new words down.
  • Read, read, read, read, read
    • Turn your writer brain off and read for fun. Read something totally outside of what you write. Read a bestseller or a book recommended to you. Just last week I Amazon-1-clicked a romance novella in a subgenre I never read. The premise sounded interesting and I was curious. I read the whole thing on a weekend morning. I looked up the author to see how she was setting up her book series, was inspired by her writing and covers, and then set myself up for an afternoon of working on my own writing. You never know when inspiration will hit.
  • Movies and TV
    • It’s the start of summer and I’m giving you all permission to binge watch to your heart’s content! Turn ON your writer brain when you revisit a favorite movie or TV series. What makes it so relatable and engaging? Why are you willing to rewatch? Pick a series everyone raves about. Why is it so loved? What about the characters and the writing have appeal? Can you take any elements from it and add to your own writing?
  • Go out and live life
    • If you aren’t under contract or a deadline, step away from the keyboard and go do something cool. Author Barbara Samuel visited my Romance Writers group for a workshop this year and encouraged us to make artist dates. Go by yourself or with a friend to visit or do something artistic. Visit a museum, craft fair, poetry reading, a play, or sit in the park and sketch. Active your artistic side that is separate from writing. I love this idea!

 How about you? What Little Quits have you overcome? Any you are struggling with now?

I love to hear from you! 

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May Super Sale and Giveaway!

May Super Sale and Giveaway

ALTERATIONS book coverHello, readers! I’m excited that my Young Adult romance ALTERATIONS is in Love Kissed’s May Super Sale and Giveaway! A bunch of romance reads are on sale this month, including my book for $1.99 on ebook retailers. Enter to win a Kindle! Three more winners get a $25 Amazon gift card!

See all the sale books and enter the May Super Sale & Giveaway here:
 
More details:
43 Romance Authors are offering 61 books, most on sale for a limited time.
Love Kissed has pooled our funds to offer an awesome giveaway!
Enter to win a Kindle and Amazon Gift Cards just for subscribing to our newsletters or following us on social media.
 
 
 
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Insecure Writers Support Group: Researching the Weird

Insecure Writers Support Group

The Insecure Writers Support Group

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Find more blogs to visit here: www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com

This week I’m at the Romantic Times Booklover’s Convention in Atlanta! I’ll share all the bookish fun on the blog when I return.

May 3 Question:

What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story?

The first draft I ever fully completed and pitched to agents and editors was a young adult book set in 1963 during early space exploration, aka the Space Race, and also involved school segregation. I had to research A LOT. I discovered that automatic doors (say at a grocery store) were invented around this time and were actually produced in Texas where my story was set. My story touched on President Kennedy’s assassination, so my online research inevitably drifted into JFK conspiracy sites–yikes! Back away slowly….

I spent many hours reading through NASA history and early space program records which amazingly you can find online. Though my novel has so far not been published, it was really cool to see my research validated reading books like The Astronaut Wives’ Club and Hidden Figures.  I love reading about women and minorities who were very much a part of history but were often not treated with the same level of detail or consideration.

If you’re a writer, what research oddity or exciting discovery have you come across? If you’re a reader, what’s your favorite type of non-fiction?

 

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RT Con: 2017 Romantic Times Convention Atlanta!

In one week I’ll be part of the festivities at the HUGE book convention RTCon aka The Romantic Times Convention in Atlanta! If you’ll be there, make sure to say hello. I’ll be part of these two events plus a workshop for writers called Pitch Wars Road Show where we help aspiring authors craft their book pitches.

 

I’m part of the YA Spooky Slumber Party (even though my name isn’t on the list). Lots of prizes and games and a chance for readers and authors to hang out … in PJs! 

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Facebook Author Easter Hop

 

Facebook Author Easter Hop

Welcome to the Easter Facebook Hop!

With tons of prizes from over 100 authors and bloggers, including Amazon gift cards, it’s a great way to spend your Easter Weekend!

Plus a chance to win an ebook copy of ALTERATIONS!

Meet new authors and discover awesome book blogs.

Most of all: have fun!

The master Facebook page list is below the cut:

Continue reading Facebook Author Easter Hop

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Insecure Writer’s Support Group: All About Blogs

Insecure Writers Support Group

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group is intended to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
 
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting! More information and a list of participating blogs are here at the IWSG website.

April 5 Question:

Have you taken advantage of the annual A to Z Challenge in terms of marketing, networking, publicity for your book? What were the results?

I first learned about this community of writers from the A to Z blog challenge around 5 years ago. I’d been a blogger for ages (LiveJournal represent!) but was new to connecting with writers. The challenge is to post every day in April with the A to Z prompts: April 1 = A, April 2 = B, etc. and to pick a theme. I did TV shows, women writers, and something else I’m already forgetting. I found it fun but a lot of work to create the posts.

I have not done A to Z since I’ve been published, and while I love this writing community, I focus my marketing efforts to reader spaces rather than to writers. I connect with readers on Instagram and some on twitter. Beyond that, Facebook groups and targeted advertising. I’m still new at this, so if you’re looking for marketing tips, I’ll have to refer you on to where I get my info. Ask in the comments!

So long story short, I stick with the IWSG community for the monthly blog post (like this) and the Facebook group, but as far as marketing, networking, publicity specifically for my book, not so much.

Since I have your attention….

Fun stuff announced recently:

  • WELCOME HOME  Young Adult anthology cover reveal! YA Books Central revealed the cover for the short story collection I’m a part of, all fictional stories involving adoption. Releases September 5, 2017 and there will be a book tour!

Welcome Home Anthology Cover

Add WELCOME HOME on Goodreads.

  • Romance Writers of America RITA® Finalists revealed … and I’m one of them! I could barely believe the news myself and asked the board member who called me if she was sure I was on the list (she was sure). My YA romance ALTERATIONS is up for Best First Book. The big awards she-bang happens this July in Orlando (Disney!)
RWA RITA 2017 Best First Book Nominations

RWA RITA 2017 Best First Book Nominations

  • The Sweethearts of YA group blog. A group of six YA authors are banding together to offer fun posts and prizes.

Sweethearts of YA

 

Let’s talk blogs! How do you like using your blog to connect?

Who are you most interested in connecting with?

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Sweethearts of YA Group Blog

Sweethearts of YA

I’m excited to announce I’m part of a new group blog of young adult authors: Sweethearts of YA! A blog for readers who love the kind of books we write.

The six of us Sweethearts – Linda, Robin, Karole, Erin, Stephanie, and Darcy – write novels that have very different characters, in all kinds of settings, with a variety of “spice” levels, but our books have one thing in common: They all celebrate the magic of love and happily ever after.

Sweethearts of YA Authors

We’ll post every Thursday, with a mix of group posts, individual posts, guest author posts, and … contests! Yes, every month (the fourth Thursday of the month, to be exact), we’ll post a contest with chances to win fun prizes, including our books, swag, gift cards, and more. Be sure to fill out the “Subscribe” box on the home page so you don’t miss a thing.

Stop by and check out the site. We’re also on twitter @SweetheartsofYA and a little birdy tells me soon to be on Instagram. 

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Romance Writers RITA Nomination!

Hello! What happy Friday to a happy week!

I found out Tuesday that my debut ALTERATIONS is nominated for the Romance Writers of America RITA® Award for Best First Book! These are books across all categories of romance, but funny enough, four of the six nominees in this category are young adult books! (And hot tip: the past two years, a YA book won the Best First Book category!)

RWA RITA 2017 Best First Book Nominations

RWA RITA 2017 Best First Book Nominations

The way the nominations are handled, members of the RWA board actually call the nominees on the phone. They make it known ahead of time when the Call Day is, and since I entered the contest, of course I knew which day. But still, even as my cell phone rang beside me at work with a California number, I assumed it was a junk call. After all, the home RWA office is in Texas! As soon as I heard author HelenKay Dimon announce her name, my heart started pounding. When she told me I was a finalist for Best First Book, I very maturely responded “Shut uuuuuhhp” and then asked her if she was sure my name belonged on the list.

No, I really did ask her that. Imposter Syndrome is real, folks! There are so many great books that never win awards or make bestseller lists. It’s the luck of the draw. I’m feeling fortunate and lucky and very grateful.

I’ve already sent off five more copies of ALTERATIONS for the final round of judging. I’m preparing for the RWA conference in Orlando this July, and even made a Pinterest board for pretty dress inspirations for the awards. My main character Amelia would be proud!

See the full list of nominees here.

Enjoy your weekend everyone. I’ll be posting here Monday with more news on the author front!

ALTERATIONS cookie basket

ALTERATIONS cookie basket! From my critique partners!

 

 

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