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  1. Vitamins and Death

    October 19, 2014 by Suzi

    Titles and covers are so important, and today I get to share with you a book that did a good job at both. Medeia Sharif’s newest novel, Vitamins and Death.
     
    It certainly caught my attention. And she follows that up with an awesome cover and an intriguing story.


    VITAMINS AND DEATH by Medeia Sharif
    Release Date December 10, 2014
     
    Deidra Battle wants nothing more than to be invisible. After her mother, a public school teacher, engages in an embarrassing teacher-student affair at Lincoln High, they relocate to a different neighborhood and school. Being her mother’s briefcase, Deidra joins her mother at her new workplace, Hodge High.
     

    Since her mother has reverted to her maiden name and changed her appearance, Deidra thinks no one will figure out they’re the Battles from recent news and that they’re safe. Neither of them is. Hodge brings a fresh set of bullies who discover details about the scandal that changed her life.
     

    Feeling trapped at home with an emotionally abusive, pill-addicted mother and at school with hostile classmates who attempt to assault and blackmail her, Deidra yearns for freedom, even if she has to act out of character and hurt others in the process. Freedom comes at a price.
     

    And here’s all the places you can find Medeia


  2. The Big Reveal

    October 16, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Do you put a lot of thought into picking the jobs of your main characters?

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    Unless the occupation is important to the story somehow, I tend to just put it in the background somewhere, giving it a mention then moving on.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I put some thought into it. Since I write YA, if it’s a job for a main character I’ll focus more on finding the right thing. When it comes to parents I tend to fall back on the basics, or toss in a random thing like…tightrope walker, just for fun.

     

    Chad Morris
    So far in my books, it’s mostly just students, teachers, an inventor and an evil genius.

     

    Shelly Brown
    Ummm, I’ve never even thought about this question before. Maybe because my stories are about children/youth and when I do include employment the jobs are often intricate to their characters and the plot.

     

    Crystal Collier
    I’m always watching for strange or unique careers and making mental notes. Most of my works are YA, and you’d be shocked at some of the interesting jobs a teen can find at funeral homes, universities, and factories. To me, the job a person takes says almost as much about them as their name.

     

    Jessica Salyer
    I find that their job kind of comes with their character. Like it’s a part of who they are. Sometimes, I don’t even think about it or address it.

    Do you put a lot of thought into picking the jobs of your main characters?


  3. School rivalries

    October 12, 2014 by Suzi

    This last week two of my friends released their first collaboration together. Cassie Mae and Jessica Salyer. Secret Catch is a fun ya contemporary about a school rivalry and a girl and boy caught in between it.
     
    The boy is a football player and the girl goes to his rival school, and has a cousin who is very hateful towards anybody from the boy’s school. You’ll love both Tyler and Sam. They have a terrific chemistry and I’m sure you’ll be rooting for them being together like I did.
     
    Their whole story got me thinking about school rivalry things. I grew up in a town with two high schools. I didn’t know hardly anyone from the other school, and I wasn’t an athlete. Whenever we played them in hockey, football or basketball, the games were always big, but the rivalry was more in fun.
     
    Whereas in Secret Catch, the rivalry is serious stuff.
     

    In our town, we had three junior high schools. Two of the junior highs were funneled straight to each of the high schools. But the third school got split. Half went to one high school and half went to the other. So maybe that made a difference too because some athletes played against kids who had once been their teammates a few years before.
     

    Since I wasn’t an athlete, I have a different perspective, but I’m curious for those who were athletes. Does it make those rivalries seem more intense when you have a personal stake in that game? You’re involved, whereas I was just a spectator.
     
    Or maybe school rivalries weren’t as important to me because I’m not a super competitive person. That’s entirely possible too.
     
    And maybe there were so kids who were super serious about the rivalry, and I just didn’t know it.

     
    So I’m curious how it was for you. Were you an athlete in high school? Did you have any intense high school rivalries? Have you read Secret Catch?
     

    If you haven’t, go here to find it on Amazon.
     

    Secret Catch by Jessica Salyer and Cassie Mae
     
    Tyler Koontz is Trojan gold all the way. There’s nowhere he loves to be more than on the football field.
     

    Sam Nolan is Skyhawk red born and raised. With her mom’s depression problem and her dad’s recent death, she lives for her little brother who is a big football fanatic.
     

    There’s one rule in this town…
     

    Trojans and Skyhawks don’t date. EVER.
     

    So when Tyler and Sam fall fast and hard for each other, what are they to do? Keep it a secret of course.
     

    The problem is in a town this small, secrets don’t stay secret for long.


  4. The Big Reveal

    October 9, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

     

    Crystal Collier
    All of the above. You can rarely have too many sets of eyes on a new work. Typically my books go through about 5 critique partners and 5 to 10 beta readers (plus the occasional critique group). We won’t even talk about what editors do to a book…

     

    Jessica Salyer
    I have a group of Critique Partners/Beta Readers that I depend upon. They are a necessity for me and I really don’t know what I’d do without them. I’m in a fairly large group, which is nice because we’re all very busy and I can just say, “Hey anyone have time to look at this?” If you want to be a writer I would suggest getting a Critique group that you trust.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    My husband is my First Reader. He’s always honest with me, telling me what he thinks works and what doesn’t, what he likes and what he doesn’t. We don’t always agree, and I don’t always make the changes he suggests, but I do always listen to and value his opinion.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I have a few people I reach out to when I need readers, some who give me general notes and some who give more in-depth feedback over a few rounds. It all depends on each story and where I’m at in the revising process, really.

     

    Chad Morris
    Yep. My wife is always my first reader and she SAVES me. Seriously, she gives great feedback. Because four of my five kids are in my target audience, I also read my manuscripts to them and gauge reactions. Plus, I run them through a few other trusted friends. When it gets down to galleys, my mom reads through my books and catches a lot of little errors.

     

    Shelly Brown
    I use beta readers. I have tried crit partners and crit groups but I think for my style of writing it is best to pass along a completed work. Of course there are exceptions to this and I’ve passed on chapters here and there to get feedback but overall I need time to go through and edit. I’m lucky to have a bunch of friends who help

     

    Do you have critique partners or beta readers?


  5. Nobody Knows

    October 7, 2014 by Suzi

    Kyra Lennon has a new book coming out and I’m excited to share it with you today.

    Nobody Knows (Razes Hell Book 1) by Kyra Lennon
    To be released November 3rd, 2014
    (Cover Design: Najila Qamber Designs and Photographer: Lindee Robinson Photography)

    It’s not easy being friends with rising rock stars – especially when you’re the glue that holds them together.

     
    Razes Hell has taken off in the charts, and Ellie can’t believe her childhood friends, Drew and Jason Brooks, are on TV and drawing crowds after years spent playing in dodgy bars. From obscurity to overnight success, Ellie soon realises life in the public eye isn’t all it’s cracked up to be as dark secrets become headline news and old conflicts are re-ignited. When a fake feud meant to boost the band’s popularity threatens to rip the boys apart for real, Ellie finds herself torn – a position which only gets more uncomfortable when her loyalty to Jason collides with her blossoming relationship with Drew.

     
    Nobody knows how deep their issues run; nobody but Ellie. With friendship, a music career and a new love on the line, can Ellie keep their tangled pasts from ruining their futures?
     

    Find Here on Goodreads | Find Here on Amazon
     
    And here’s more about Kyra
     

    Kyra is a self-confessed book-a-holic, and has been since she first learned to read. When she’s not reading, you’ll usually find her hanging out in coffee shops with her trusty laptop and/or her friends, or girling it up at the nearest shopping mall.
     
    Kyra grew up on the South Coast of England and refuses to move away from the seaside which provides massive inspiration for her novels. Her debut novel, Game On (New Adult Contemporary Romance), was released in July 2012, and she scored her first Amazon Top 20 listing with her New Adult novella, If I Let You Go in November.
     
    Other important links:
    Facebook | Twitter | Blog

     
    Tour hosted by: Concierge Literary Promotions


  6. The Big Reveal

    October 3, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Do you do a lot of research for your writing?

     

    Shelly Brown
    The better question is have I ever written a novel that doesn’t require a lot of research. I’m a research nut. Informationaholic. I graduated in History and love to dig deep into places, cultures, people, facts.

    I wish I could do all of my research before I write then just write but there is no way I can possibly think of all of the questions I will have to address as I craft a story. What did they use for privies? Did that album even exists then? What kind of tree would be native to that part of the world? Would they EVER have the opportunity to have a private conversation? I research before I write, while I write, and while I edit.

     

    Crystal Collier
    I’ve written historical fiction in several time periods and cultures, which takes more research than most people want to think about—all the details from what kind of fabric they made clothing out of to societal expectations for age groups and genders. I think the hardest thing to nail down are the attitudes that would be prevalent in another time and place. Before I start writing, I do a ton of research to try and get myself in the appropriate mind frame. As I write, I’m constantly pausing to check a fact or find deeper specifics. Did you know that in 1750, King George the 1st established a marriage law that made the legal marriage age 21? Think that would fly today?

     

    Jessica Salyer
    Google is my friend. I find I’m constantly check information on it. From little things like the weather somewhere at a certain time of the year, to things that take more research like telekinesis and the use of your brain.

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    Most of my work doesn’t require a lot of research. If I do need to look into something, I’ll do a bit before I start writing, so I have some basic idea, then I’ll do more thorough research after.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    I don’t need to do tons of research, but when I do I usually do a mix of before and throughout writing as and when questions come up. I can’t say I’ve ever discovered anything fascinating, sadly!

     

    Chad Morris
    Though my Cragbridge Hall series is a crazy romp through a futuristic academy with amazing inventions, because it is set in a school and involves some time travel, it also includes a lot of real information and history. I just turned in a draft of Cragbridge Hall, Book 3, The Impossible Race. This book has a crazy tournament, where teams race from invention to invention doing challenges, so I got to study up on Joan of Arc, peregrine falcons, Nickola Tesla, Mars, Greek Mythology, Dinosaurs in ancient Argentina, the first American spy, acid lakes, and dragons in literature. If real info is a major part of the plot, I have to study ahead of time. If not, I can study as I go.

     

    What kind of research do you do for your writing?


  7. Home is Where You Are

    September 30, 2014 by Suzi

    A few years ago, I participated in this blog hop hosted by Theresa Paolo. And she had all these amazing sounding books listed on her WIP page. The exact types I’d pick out of the library.

    And Home is Where You Are was one of them. So I was totally excited when I heard she’d decided to self-publish this one as Tessa Marie. And I was really happy that I got to read it before everybody else too. (The benefit of being somebody’s critique partner.:) )

    And now I get celebrate the release day with her. So scroll down to learn all about Home is Where You Are. AND… have a chance to win a gift card so you can buy this terrific book!
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    HOME IS WHERE YOU ARE BY TESSA MARIE

    RELEASES SEPTEMBER 30 2014

    FIND IT ON AMAZON: http://bit.ly/HomeAmazon

    FinalHome

    Anna’s life reads like a check list.

    Straight A’s (Check)

    Editor of the school paper (Check)

    Volunteering time at the local soup kitchen (Check)

    Ivy League (So close she can taste it)

    Falling in love with a homeless boy (Not on the list)

    Dean has a plan too. Survive. After being subjected to his foster father’s violent attacks, Dean made the hard choice to leave. Now he lives on the streets doing everything he can to get by, refusing to let people help him. But when he meets Anna, he realizes not everyone is out to hurt him.

    Slowly, Anna and Dean let each other in, blending their two worlds into one. But when a series of events brings Dean’s world into perspective, he pushes Anna away. Not willing to accept the line that divides them, Anna sets out to bring Dean back to her. Her determination and faith in their future puts her on the tracks of danger, and he is the only one who can save her.

    ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS: http://bit.ly/HomeIsGR

    Anna

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tessa

    Tessa Marie lives in the same town she grew up in on Long Island, NY with her long time boyfriend and their fish. Under her real name, Theresa Paolo, she released her debut novel (NEVER) AGAIN, a NA romance, in Fall 2013 with Berkley (Penguin) and (ONCE) AGAIN released this summer. She is also the coauthor of the Amazon bestseller KING SIZED BEDS AND HAPPY TRAILS and BEACH SIDE BEDS AND SANDY PATHS, a YA contemporary series. She has a hard time accepting the fact she’s nearing thirty, and uses her characters to relive the best and worst years of her life. She put her love of writing on hold while she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Dowling College. When she’s not writing, she’s behind a camera, reading, or can be found on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

     


  8. Awknowledge this…

    September 28, 2014 by Suzi

     
    I just picked up a new book from the library, and I did what I usually do: Skim the first page and then turn to the acknowledgements. I like to see if an agent is listed, especially when it’s a writer in the same genre/category as me. And it’s interesting to see how some write their acknowledgements. Fun, with voice. Boring. Long. Short.
     
    The book I got is we were liars by e. lockhart. And no, that’s not my mistake. Neither the title nor her name is capitalized on the cover. For anybody that doesn’t know, e. lockhart is a successful (mostly) contemporary YA writer. I’ve read a few of her books and have heard a lot good about this one.
     
    So anyway, I was reading the acknowledgements and I’m like whoa. Holy name dropping. She sends thank yous to other successful writers including: Justine Larbalestier, Lauren Myracle, Scott Westerfield, Sara Zarr, Libba Bray, Gayle Forman and many many more. (Those were the ones I’m most familiar with.)
     
    And it got me thinking. Were most of these authors ones she met after becomming a well known writer? Or were some of them (I’ll assume not all, of course) her CPs that have been there during a lot of her publishing journey.
     
    It makes me wonder too if a lot of these authors who make the bestsellers list associate together. If they’re friend, or if they just have professional working relationships.
     
    Maybe in ten years, somebody will read my acknowledgement page and say, wow—she knows all those awesome writers? And I’ll be able to say, yeah—I’ve known them for years because they were my friends when I started out. They helped me become the writer I am today. (And well, maybe I helped them too. :) )
     
    Wouldn’t that be cool? (No need to answer, of course it would.)
     
    Do you usually read the acknowledgements page before starting a book?


  9. The Big Reveal

    September 26, 2014 by Suzi

    Welcome to the Big Reveal
     

    I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
    of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at
    all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will
    have a new question for them.
     

    Are you a fast writer?

     

    Shelly Brown
    I write most of my first drafts during NanoWriMo, so about 30 days. BUT, I have usually worked through a decent amount of plotting before I start. Maybe a few months of thinking about the plot and making notes for myself. As you can imagine my editing is more extensive than people who take their time though.

     

    Crystal Collier
    I think every person has two modes: sprint until you die, and jog the distance. I’ve written both ways, with a deadline (and new white hairs), and casually over time. It’s a constantly evolving process and every book is a different story (pun intended). My last book took 3 months for the first draft and six months to complete all the editing. Granted, that was around my debut novel release and we home school, so I had split loyalties. If I wrote without the littles around, I imagine it would take about 3 to six months to complete a novel. I like to take enough time to really feel grounded in every scene and to build the language into something beautiful. Books are lasting legacies. They shouldn’t be rushed.

     

    Jessica Salyer
    The last novel I wrote took me just under three months to write the first draft. I had already written the book once and this was me rewriting it, so I may have been at a little advantage for it. (the first time it took me a year and a half to write.)

     
    Madeline Mora-Summonte
    I am a slow writer. I do a lot of thinking, the writing comes out in a gush, then there’s more thinking. I might put a bigger project down, pick up a smaller one, complete that, then go back to the bigger one. My process is really kind of a mess.

     

    Rebecca Barrow
    Drafting takes me a while, probably around six months averaged out. (It feels like longer.)

     
    Chad Morris
    I can write a book of 70,000 words in about two days.
    I wish.
    The truth. I make a short outline (1 page), then I jump into a REALLY rough draft. That takes me a few months. Maybe 2-4, depending on the book. But I have to rewrite and revise that draft for another month or two before I’d say it equals other people’s first draft.

    Are you a fast writer?


  10. Fun with horror

    September 21, 2014 by Suzi

    Yes, I said fun with horror. I’m one of those people that love scary movies and books. And just this week one of my good friends, Rachel Schieffelbein, released a horror novel, Flesh Eating Zombies and Evil Ex-Girlfriends. And here’s the super creepy cover for her story. She’s published a few other novels/novellas, but this is her first horror.

     
    I loved it. And I don’t show favoritism to zombies, I like all horror, but hers was really good.
     
    And Rachel’s story inspires me.
     

    I sooooo want to write a horror novel, but unfortunately I don’t have a story yet. Which kinda sucks. I’ve got so many other (mostly ya) story ideas in my head, just not any horror. I do have one premise, but nothing has developed plot-wise, so I’m not ready to jump into writing it yet.
     
    Hopefully that idea will materialize. Or maybe another. We’ll see.
     
    Have any of your story ideas been inspired by a friend’s book?