Category Archives: Uncategorized

Play On

Title: Play On

Author: Michelle Smith

Release Date: April 21, 2015

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

Play On Cover 

Synopsis: In the small town of Lewis Creek, baseball is everything. Especially for all-star pitcher Austin Braxton, who has a one-way ticket out of town with his scholarship to a top university. All that stands between him and a new start is one final season. But when Austin starts flunking Chemistry, his picture-perfect future is in jeopardy. A failing grade means zero playing time, and zero playing time means no scholarship.

Enter Marisa Marlowe, the new girl in town who gets a job at his momma’s flower shop. Not only is Marisa some home-schooled super-genius, she’s also a baseball fanatic and more than willing to help Austin study. As the two grow closer, there’s something about Marisa that makes Austin want more than just baseball and out of Lewis Creek–he wants a future with her. But Marisa has a past that still haunts her, one that she ran all the way to South Carolina to escape.

As Austin starts to peel back the layers of Marisa s pain, it forces him to look beyond the facade of himself and everyone he thought he knew in his town. What he sees instead is that in a small town like Lewis Creek, maybe baseball isn t everything–maybe it is just the thing that ties them all together.”

And I have an excerpt!

In this scene, Marisa’s reporting for her first training session at the Braxton family’s flower shop, and Austin is in charge of the grand tour.

~

I clap my hands together and start for the first display cooler. Marisa’s shoes squeak against the floor as she follows me. “All right, then,” I say on an exhale, turning to her. She stares up at me, all bouncy ponytail and bright eyes. “We’re supposed to be training. So, first things first. Flowers: how much do you know about them?”

She giggles, and dang it, she needs to stop. Please make it stop. All these little things she does that make my stomach do weird flip-flops are going to turn into big things, and big things are a lot harder to ignore.

“It’s safe to say I know a bit about flowers,” Marisa says. “Your mom gave me one heck of a quiz during my interview to make sure I knew my stuff. She even asked what my favorite flower was and how often I’m supposed to change vase water. I mean, really?”

I twirl my finger, signaling for her to continue. “And your answers were…?”

She tilts her head to the side. “Purple roses. Every two-to-three days. Do you think I’m an amateur?”

Even if I did, it wouldn’t matter. I’d train her all day, every day as long as she kept smiling at me like she is now. But that smile falters as her gaze falls to the floor. She clears her throat and says, “Before we moved here, my mom was obsessed with gardening. She taught me everything I know.”

Her voice dips. Before I can ask if she’s all right, she shakes her head and looks back to me, her eyes not nearly as bright, but still as piercing as they were before.

I shrug and force a smile of my own. “Looks like we have something in common. My momma’s a gardening freak, too.” As if owning a flower shop didn’t already give that away. Strike two, Braxton.

She steps to my side, her arm brushing against mine as she gestures to the cooler. “Anyway, continue, Floral Prince. Teach me your ways. I’m sure you know much more than I do.”

I narrow my eyes. “You’re makin’ fun of me, aren’t you? Is it the apron? Because I’ll have you know, I’m rockin’ this apron.”

She grins. “I would never make fun of a prince,” she says seriously and curtsies. The girl freakin’ curtsies.

I cross my arms. “All right, feisty pants. I see what you did there.”

Her jaw drops. “You did not just call me feisty pants. What are you, sixty? Who even says that?”

“I do, obviously. And what I was going to say is, you can’t put whatever flowers you want in the cooler. This is where we keep the special order arrangements and loose flowers. Single roses and stuff like that.”

Instead of replying, her lips curve up again. My heart hammers against my chest. No matter how tough he acts, every guy dreams of someone looking at him this way. Like every word out of his mouth is coated in gold, even if it’s the cheesiest thing that person’s ever heard.

No one’s ever looked at me this way before, not even Jamie. It’s killer. And it’s kind of freaking me the hell out because I’d never even seen this girl until a week ago, and she’s got me acting like an idiot.

“What—” I cough to cover the crack in my voice. “What’s that look for?”

She shrugs and moves past me toward the cooler. In its reflection, I see her staring at the arrangements, her fingertips pressed lightly against the glass. “I like your voice,” she says. “It’s laid-back. Easy-going. Like you have all the time in the world.” She faces me again. “And your accent’s kind of to die for. But you can pretend I didn’t say that.”

So awesome, right? I can’t wait to read this! I’ve heard really good things so far.

Pre-order Links and Goodreads Link:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Play-Lewis-Creek-Michelle-Smith/dp/1939392594/ref=sr_1_3_twi_1_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1428181303&sr=8-3&keywords=Play+ON

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/play-on-michelle-smith/1120253899?ean=9781939392596

Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Play-on-Michelle-Smith/9781939392596

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781939392596

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23140153-play-on

Author Bio:

Michelle Smith Author Photo

Michelle Smith was born and raised in North Carolina, where she developed a healthy appreciation for college football, sweet tea, front porches, and a well-placed “y’all.” She’s a lover of all things happy, laughs way too much, and fully believes that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.

Michelle lives near the Carolina coast with her family.

Author Social Media Links:

Website: http://msmithbooks.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MichelleA_Smith

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Michelle-Smith/102249256558130

Tumblr: http://michellesmithya.tumblr.com/

 

 

 

 

HELLO WORLD! Campaign

Liza Wiemer and I are excited to introduce you to the HELLO WORLD! campaign.  For more information, please watch this video:
(Fun fact: The two groups of teens at the end of the video are from Washington Island and Sturgeon Bay, the setting for HELLO?. Not only are the young adults excited about this, but so are the communities!)
But basically what we’re asking is for you to take a picture of yourself (or with some friends! or if you’re shy, of something meaningful) with a sign that says “#HelloFrom” and then wherever you are.  For example, I could take a picture of myself at the Edgar Allan Poe House or Camden Yards with a sign saying #HelloFrom Baltimore.”  Then please post the picture on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and/or Instagram – the more the better! Plus, please add a link to your blog post with all the information about the campaign.  Make sure to use #HelloFrom so that we see it.
Please feel free to tag people.  We want everyone to know about this and, hopefully, participate from all around the globe!  And you’ll want to tag people because you’ll get extra entries in what may be the best contest EVER.  Liza went all out, and 20 people are going to win amazing prizes.  You want one of those 20 to be you. :D
Prizes include pottery, chocolate covered cherries (and I’ve had them and they are AMAZING), a quilted chalkboard, coffee, blank greeting cards with scenes from Washington Island, and much more!   I can’t win but if you do, please send me some of those chocolate covered cherries. ;)
This is an incredibly exciting event! We hope you’ll participate and help us not only introduce HELLO? to the world, but bring us all closer together through the power of “Hello!”

HELLO? Cover Reveal!

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Hello? By Liza Wiemer

Publication Date: October 27, 2015

By Spencer Hill Contemporary

About Hello?

Tricia: A girl struggling to find her way after her beloved grandma’s death.

Emerson: A guy who lives his life to fulfill promises, real and hypothetical.

Angie: A girl with secrets she can only express through poetry.

Brenda: An actress and screenplay writer afraid to confront her past.

Brian: A potter who sets aside his life for Tricia, to the detriment of both.

Linked and transformed by one phone call, Hello? weaves together these five Wisconsin teens’ stories into a compelling narrative of friendship and family, loss and love, heartbreak and healing, serendipity, and ultimately hope.

To learn more about Hello? and to add it to your TBR: Goodreads

I’m the publicist for this book and I’m so happy and excited about the reception it’s getting already.  Here is a small sample of the excitement from other bloggers and authors:

“Heartfelt and honest, Hello? will have you rooting for its characters until the very last page.”

—Heather Demetrios, author of I’ll Meet You There and Something Real

“Liza Wiemer’s Hello? is a poignant tale of friendship, love, loss, and resilience. Told from multiple points of view, the richly drawn characters offer a powerful example of how connected we all truly are. This book will compel readers to consider the existence of destiny. Hello? grabbed me from the first page and pulled me right through to the gorgeous ending.”

—Kristina McBride, author of One Moment and The Tension of Opposites

A uniquely written story about the beauty of human connections told through incredibly vivid characters. It’s one contemporary YA fans shouldn’t miss.

Kathy Coe, A Glass of Wine Book Reviews

“In her YA debut, Liza Wiemer has officially launched herself on the map with grace. Hello? is a powerful and brilliantly woven story of love, loss, and human connection that makes you believe in the world again. It owned my heart from the first page to the last. One of the most original books EVER.”

—Hannah McBride, The Irish Banana

About Liza Wiemer:

Liza married the guy who literary swept her off her feet at a Spyro Gyra concert. Their love story can be found on Liza’s “About” page. Besides being a die-hard Packer fan, Liza is also a readaholic, a romantic, and a lover of crazy socks and rooftops. Hello? is her debut YA novel. She also has had two adult non-fiction books published, as well as stories and articles in various publications. She’s a graduate of UW-Madison with a degree in Education and the mother of two sons.

Seek Me in Shadows Cover Reveal

Seek Me in Shadows is the sequel to Follow Me Through Darkness and is by Danielle Ellison.  It’ll be released in October. (Click here to subscribe to her newsletter.)

SMIS

Jacket copy:

“Neely Ambrose thought she was done with secrets. When she escaped the Compound, she also believed she’d escaped a future built on lies and deceit. She was wrong; the world outside isn’t much better. In fact, it may be worse.

All Neely wants is to safely deliver the people of the Compound into Remnant camps so she can go start a life of her own with Thorne. But that’s before the Remnants start dying around her, before camps are destroyed just after she’s left them, before she notices a strange bird carving at the site of each attack, and before Thorne is taken.

The Mavericks believe Thorne is dead, taken by the Elders who will stop at nothing to find Neely, but she’s determined to prove them wrong.

But the only clue she has to find him is a bird carved into the last place where anyone saw Thorne. As she starts a journey to find him, she learns the birds are a symbol for a secret group that’s made a home in the shadows. A group that even Xenith doesn’t know about, that the Remnants won’t talk about, and that Neely feels may have a plan of their own — and that plan may involve her.”

I’ve read it early and it is AMAZING, guys.  You need this book.

Court Spotlight Q&A

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So you may remember that I recently had a promo post for Court by Cat Patrick.  It’s one of my favorite books of this year and now Cat’s back to answer some questions!

cat patrick pic

-Favorite book, and why?

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, because it made the strange stories I’d wanted to write seem possible.

-Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I feel like the red thread in all of my books is that people should be who they are and not who someone else wants them to be. Life is much more interesting that way.

-Who are your favorite authors, past and present?

I would like to have a dinner party with Ray Bradbury, J.K. Rowling, Gabrielle Zevin, Rainbow Rowell, Harper Lee, Stan Lee and Neil Gaiman.

-Favorite books to movies

The Hunger Games series, The Fault in Our Stars and Perks of Being a Wallflower are some of my favorites. Non YA, I think the Gone Girl adaptation was one of the best I’ve seen.

-When you start a book, do you already have the whole story in your head or is it built progressively?

 

Most times, it’s built progressively. I outlined Revived, and it was the most difficult book I’ve written.

Court Promo Week!

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Title: Court

Author: Cat Patrick

Date of Publication: October 23rd 2014

EXCERPT:

It was supposed to be study time. Every Sunday evening between five and eight o’clock, the halls of the boarding school known as Eurus Academy were silent, the common spaces deserted. Students were either in their rooms or at the library—where all that could be heard was the rustling of pages, the clacking of keyboards, and the gurgle of bodily noises that only seemed to present themselves during the quietest of moments.

It was a time for students to feed their minds.

Instead, Gwendolyn Rose, first daughter of the Duke of Coal, was preparing to sneak out and feed her soul.

Right after she addressed the knock on the tower door.

“Just a second!” Gwen called in a voice some people said sounded like her mother’s, buttoning her generic uniform cardigan. She made sure the backpack on the bed was zipped and the trunk by the footboard was locked. She smoothed her raven hair and opened the door.

“Margaret’s back,” her longtime friend Hope blurted out, going up on her toes like a child, making her blond waves bounce and her glasses slide down her freckled nose. “We’re meeting at the library and she’s going to tell me all about Boston. I still can’t believe she went to the Democracy. Her parents must have had to pay a fortune!”

Citizens were allowed out of the Realm, but only after paying the king a leave tax determined by social standing and other unknown factors. It was much harder for a commoner to leave than a courtier—and even courtiers couldn’t cross the borders into one of the Democracy’s states more than a few times per year without very special permission.

“Would you like to come hear about her trip?” Hope continued. “How was your weekend, by the way?”

Since kindergarten, Hope had spoken like she thought you’d stop paying attention if she didn’t get it all out quickly enough.

“My weekend was fine, thank you,” Gwen said calmly, playing a part. “It was nice to see my parents,” she lied. “I read, spent some time with my sister, and helped around the house.”

“It sounds fulfilling,” Hope said.

If your idea of fun is hanging out with your family.

“It was.”

“So, the library?” Hope pushed up her glasses and looked at Gwen expectantly.

“I’m meeting my cousin in Stuart.” It felt strange to articulate the excuse that Gwen had been rehearsing for an hour in her head. “I did my work earlier.”

Ever trusting, Hope didn’t waste energy trying to figure out which cousin Gwen was planning to meet—or why. She just told her to have a nice evening and left.

Backpack slung over her shoulders, Gwen stepped into the corridor and shut the door behind her. As with many things in Eurus, there were silent reminders of hierarchy here.

The sleeping floors of Eurus Academy had regular dorm rooms lining the hallways, but at the corners, there were four, single-occupancy tower rooms. Larger, with ornate rugs covering the wood flooring and special heating units to warm the stone walls, the tower rooms were for the oldest from the five, non-royal families: Coal, Wind, Tourism, and Oil.

Since the inception of the Realm, when the Democracy still hadn’t discovered it, Natural Gas had been the king’s resource. Sons and daughters of the king slept in the castle—not on campus—so there was no tower room for the Natural Gas family.

The oldest girls from the Families slept on the sixth floor; boys on the fifth.

Gwen tapped down three Italian marble steps to the plush carpeting, the Medieval feel of the secluded corner tower giving way to a modern-baroque hallway with cream-colored walls papered from chair height up with sweeping blooms in varying shades of light blue, metallic on matte.

She looked right toward the northwest tower, which belonged to the Brevard family. Specifically, it belonged to Josephine Brevard. Haakon had no idea, but Gwen had seen him leaving that room recently. She hadn’t minded: Gwen had no interest in Haakon. The time to worry about that was many years down the road.

 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23377533-court

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About Court:

 

For more than 300 years, a secret monarchy has survived and thrived within the borders of the US, hiding in plain sight as the state known as Wyoming. But when the king is shot and his seventeen-year-old son, Haakon McHale, is told he will take the throne, becoming the eleventh ruler of the Kingdom of Eurus, the community that’s survived for centuries is pushed to the limit. Told through four perspectives, Court transplants us to a world that looks like ours, but isn’t. Gwendolyn Rose, daughter of the Duke of Coal, is grudgingly betrothed to Haakon — and just wants a way out. Alexander Oxendine, son of the Duke of Wind and Haakon’s lifelong best friend, already grapples with internal struggles when he’s assigned to guard Haakon after the king dies. And commoner Mary Doyle finds whispers in the woods that may solve — or destroy — everything, depending on your bloodline.

 

Money. Love. Power. Community. What’s your motivation?

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O3D37QE/

cat patrick pic

About Cat Patrick:

Raised in a house that was struck by lightning–twice–Cat Patrick is the author of young adult books ForgottenRevived, and The Originals, and the co-author of Just Like Fate.

As a child, Cat could be found making up stories like her first book, Dolly the Purple Spotted Dolphin; growing corn in the backyard; or performing with a traveling sign-language troupe. She earned a journalism degree from the University of Wyoming and a master’s degree from Boston University, and worked in public relations for fifteen years. She lives outside of Seattle with her husband and twin daughters, and is on Twitter @seecatwrite, or Facebook at authorcatpatrick.

Cat once…

  • Interrupted Warren Beatty’s lunch to snap a picture with him.
    • Appeared on a game show, but not as a competitor.
    • Climbed a 50 foot tower and rappelled back down. (At least she thinks it was 50 feet.)
    • Met Muhammad Ali.
    • Was on the high school golf team.
    • Got a tattoo.
    • Was pooped on by a dolphin.
    • Performed a high kick routine to Personal Jesus.
    • Interviewed Carmen Electra.
    • Worked as a “concessionist” at a movie theater.
    • Met the guy who created Sonic the Hedgehog.

Cat likes… Crunchy snacks, decaf nonfat lattes, mint chip ice cream, Alan Rickman, zombies from afar, traveling, reading, easy hikes, challenging plotlines, stargazing, silly hats, and boots.

Cat dislikes… Talking on the phone, socks with holes, zombies close up, the flu, mean people, touching ice, copyedits, flying, spiders, squeaky windshield wipers, black licorice, and salmon.

Website: http://catpatrick.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/seecatwrite

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorcatpatrick

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4254441.Cat_Patrick

Giveaway:

Click here to enter a set of all of Cat Patrick’s books—signed!  Good luck.

Anne & Henry Cover Reveal

Anne & Henry cover final

ANNE & HENRY

 

A love worth losing your head over

ANNE

Wild, brazen, mischievous, bewitching

HENRY

Driven, haunted, charming, magnetic

ANNE & HENRY

Apart they are bound to destroy themselves. Together, they are bound to destroy each other.

HENRY TUDOR’S LIFE HAS BEEN mapped out since the day he was born: student president, valedictorian, Harvard Law School, and a stunning political career just like his father’s.

But ever since the death of Henry’s brother—perfect, high-achieving Arthur—his family has been twice as demanding. And now Henry’s trapped: forbidden from pursuing a life as an artist or dating any girl who’s not Tudor-approved.

Then Anne Boleyn crashes into his life.

Anne is wild, brash, and outspoken. She is everything Henry is not allowed to be—or to want. But soon Anne is all he can think about. His mother, his friends, and even his girlfriend warn him away, yet his desire for Anne consumes him. Henry is willing to do anything to be with her. But once he has her, their romance could destroy them both.

Inspired by the true story of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, ANNE & HENRY reimagines the intensity, love, and betrayal between one of the most infamous couples of all time.

Add it to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22453734-anne-henry

About the Author

DAWN IUS is a short-story author, novelist, screenwriter, professional editor, and communications specialist. She is an active member of the International Thriller Writers association, co-founder and senior editor of Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and the author of nine educational graphic novels published by the Alberta Canola Producers Commission. When she’s not slaying fictional monsters, she’s geeking out over fairy tales, Jack Bauer, Halloween, sports cars, and all things that go bump in the night. Dawn lives in Alberta, Canada, with her husband, Jeff, and their giant English Mastiff, Roarke.

Connect with Dawn:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authordawnius

Twitter: @dawnmius

Blog: www.dawn-ius.blogspot.com

Email: dawnmius@gmail.com

I am so excited to read this! What do you think?

Welcome to Camp Boyfriend Week!

The next few days on the blog will be devoted to the Camp Boyfriend series by JK Rock.

I never went to summer camp and this series is making feel like I missed an essential part of childhood.

Yes, as someone who’s grown up watching horror movies, I know the downside of summer camp (as evidenced in the Friday the 13th series and Sleepaway Camp, although at least in the first series, odds are good that the kids would be fine*) but reading these books and watching Indian Summer make me feel like maybe I was robbed a little bit.

Did you go to camp? Let me know how it was in the comments. :)

* = save for the odd drowning, with a victim that may or may not come back from the dead

The Beast of Seabourne

The Beast of Seabourne by Rhys A. Jones comes out on October 28.

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Synopsis:
“Oz Chambers has a wonderful secret; the obsidian pebble, gifted to him by his dead father, is an artefact of astonishing power.  The sort of power that makes the year eight science project a hands-down walkover thanks to the the pebble’s genius avatar, Soph. But, there are sinister forces abroad who will do just about anything to get their hands on the pebble, and when fellow pupils start being attacked,  Oz finds himself in very hot water.  Soon Oz and his friends, Ruff and Ellie, are caught up in a centuries old mystery involving a missing ring, lava toothpaste and a murderous monster known as the Beast of Seabourne.”
I’ve been lucky enough to read this and it is AMAZING.  If you are a fan of middlegrade books, you have got to check this series out (the first book is The Obsidian Pebble).