Thursday, May 30, 2013

June 2013 Releases

Yay! I've been waiting for June's releases for a while, a long while now. What do I mean? Well, you'll have to see what's below that I'm excited about and why to understand. :-)

Phoenix (Black City #2) by Elizabeth Richards (6/4/13)  
Why -> I have yet to read Black City, but it looks so amazingly good. Therefore, Phoenix had to make the list. I may be waiting until the third book releases until I read this trilogy. I have been enjoying that as of lately.

One by LeighAnn Kopans (6/10/13) 

Why -> Oh this looks so good. In world where you're either a Super (with two powers) or a normal (no powers) having one power makes you a freak. Merrin can only hover, because she's a one. Thanks to her chemistry skills she has a chance for an internship with the Hub, who researches superpower manifestation. Then she meets another One, Elias, and together their Ones combine allowing them to fly, like Supers. And then there's the revelation that the Hub might be more sinister than Merrin thought.

Triangles by Kimberly Ann Miller (6/18/13)

Why -> Well aside from the fact that Kimberly is one of my amazing critique partners this book is super alluring. I'm so excited for Kimberly and her debut book! A cruise ship, two guys, the Bermuda Triangle, and alternate realities that could become permanent. Seriously, that's all that needs to be said to catch my attention. I. Can't. Wait.

Solstice by P.J. Hoover (6/18/13) 

Why -> Oh my goodness, another amazing book I've been dying to get my hands on. So I read the original version that was released in 2011, but Hoover now has a shiny new deal with Tor Teen and the book has had a makeover. I can't wait to read this, again and see what's new. The original, by the way, was awesome! And the best, it's set in Austin, my hometown. So. Excited.

Defy the Dark edited by Saundra Mitchell (6/18/13)

Why -> I've definitely enjoyed some of the recent anthologies with current YA authors. I like them, partly, because they give a chance for me to discover authors I've never read before. I have a list of authors from other anthologies that I can't wait to read their novels, based on their short story writing. Plus, I get to enjoy authors I love, who I've read all of their books (Beth Revis). lol

Hidden by Marianne Curley (6/25/13) 

Why -> Ebony has been sheltered, secluded, home-schooled - hidden for her entire life. But things are changing. She's getting more beautiful every day, stronger, and she's glowing. When she meets Jordan, the boy she's drawn to, something happens to her, something that can be seen from Heaven. That's because she's a stolen angel, and Heaven has found her, but she doesn't know it. Stolen angels? Oh, this one looks so good!

What books are you excited for releasing this month? Did I miss any big ones? I usually do and learn about them as the month goes by. *sigh*

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Triangles - Blog Tour

I had hoped to be able to share a review of Triangles with you, but my arc has yet to arrive. I'm hoping it wasn't misdelivered to a neighbor, depending on the neighbor they could be enjoying it instead of me. lol 

You can be sure I will share a review when once I read it, though! 
For now, here's the Goodreads blurb: 
A cruise ship. A beautiful island. Two sexy guys. What could possibly go wrong?

In the Bermuda Triangle—a lot.

Hoping to leave behind the reminders of her crappy life--her father's death years ago, her mother's medical problems, and the loser who’s practically stalking her--seventeen-year-old Autumn Taylor hops on a ship with her sister for a little distraction. When she wakes up in the Bermuda Triangle, she fears she's gone nuts for more than one reason: that loser’s suddenly claiming they're a happy couple... a hot guy is wrapping his arms around her and saying "Happy Anniversary"... and suddenly, she’s full of bruises, losing her hair, and getting IV medication. Autumn visits the ship's doctor, hoping for a pill or a shot to make the craziness go away. Instead, she's warned that these "alternate realities" could become permanent.

She just has to ask herself one question—how the hell is she going to get out of this mess?

Now go enter the contest Spencer Hill Press is currently running for - a free cruise
That's right, a FREE CRUISE!  
You can preorder Triangles or wait and buy it when it releases on June 18th! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What If Questions

I read recently somewhere that you need to start with the "what if" question. This made sense, yet the majority of my manuscripts are mostly character driven. After having read this I started randomly questioning all sorts of things, stupid things, and even bordering on ridiculous.

I kept in mind one particular character. I've been thinking about her for well over a year. I have known her name, that she has a specific strange ability, that she's not who she thinks she is, and that people are looking for her. I even know one of those people looking for her, a boy her age. I even know what she and the boy look like. And that folks, is all I've had since she popped into my mind.

I don't even have a name for this boy yet. I don't know why she's in hiding, and doesn't realize it. I don't know what the people seeking her want with her. I don't know what her world is like, but I know it's not our world.

Then, about a week or so into coming up with crazy what if's I had a revelation. My husband and I were were watching one of our ghost shows. I can't remember the exact show or episode, but the ghost in question had been involved with the Civil War. Towards the end of the show I turned to my husband and asked, "What if the South had won?" He looked at me like I'd lost my marbles and then some.

So I explained. What would the world look like today if the South had won and there were two nations instead of one? What if the South and the North were two different countries? He shook his head and told me I was nuts. But, I couldn't let it go. More and more questions about this subject kept popping up.

For days I kept thinking about what our world would look like. Then this character inserted herself in that world. Now I know a little more about her. I still don't have a name for the boy or know exactly why they're looking for her, but I now know I'm on the right track. I'm beginning to see little snippets of things that happen to her.

So now begins the research for this new manuscript. I'm hoping to have this one thought out enough that I can write it for my NaNo project this year. Hopefully!

Do you have those difficult to figure out characters and stories? Do you start with a "what if" question or not?

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Devil's Triangle by Toni De Palma - Book Tour

When 17 year old Cooper dies in an attempt to burn down his school, he finds himself in the afterlife. Lucy, the Devil's sister who has crossed party lines, decides to give Cooper another shot at heaven. The deal? Cooper returns to Earth and has to find a girl named Grace. The rest is up to him.

While Cooper figures out his mission, he's thrown into the life he's always wanted. Great parents, a spot on the Varsity football team and a real future are all within reach. But what he really wants is Grace, a feisty girl with an abusive boyfriend who can pound Cooper into pulp if he doesn't watch out.

While Lucy plays demonic-puppeteer, clues to an unknown past between Cooper and Grace start to unravel. Cooper discovers that what's keeping him and Grace apart is far more sinister than anything this bad boy could have ever imagined.
Enter for your chance to win a signed copy of The Devil's Triangle and a $10 gift card to Barnes and Noble.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest Rules:
  • Giveaway begins May 23rd and will end June 14th. The winner will be announced at #TheDevilsTriangleParty on Twitter June 14th between 7pm-8pm. If the winner doesn’t respond to the tweet by the end of the party, another winner will be chosen.
  • Open to U.S. residents only
  • We are not responsible for items lost in the mail & have the right to disqualify anyone, at any time.
  • Personal information given by the applicant in the giveaway will never be shared. All information is deleted once the giveaway ends.

You can find out more about Toni and stalk follow her on these sites:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Liebster Award!

I've been given the Liebster Award by the fabulous Tonja Drecker over at KidBits. If you don't follow her, you really should. I love her blog!

Here are the rules:

The Liebster Rules: 1. The Liebster Award is given to bloggers by bloggers. 2. Each blogger should post 11 facts about himself / herself. 3. Each blogger should answer the 11 questions that are asked by the nominating blogger. 4. Choose 11 new bloggers to nominate for the Award and link to them in the post. 5. Create 11 new questions for your nominees. 6. Go back to their pages and tell them they've been nominated. 7. No tag backs.

Here are my 11 facts:

1) I am horrible at sports, seriously. I did belong to a summer swim league for a couple years in middle school, and didn't hurt anyone.
2) I was a German major my first two year of college. Then switched to English.
3) I finally majored in history!
4) I love photography. 
5) I LOVE genealogy research. I'm one of those nuts who goes through old obituaries looking for treasures.
6) I hate scary movies, loathe them. But I absolutely love watching Ghost Hunters and the Haunted Collector.
7) I would rather read than watch TV most days.
8) I'm a huge Twilight fan, I don't care what anyone says.
9) I have 119 unread books sitting on my Kindle. 
10) I enjoy cooking.
11) I want to relearn German and learn French in the very near future.

Next up, Tonja's 11 questions for me:

1) Can or could you hula-hoop?

When I was a kid I was really good at the hula-hoop, loved it. Now? I haven't tried in years, so I don't know. I'll have to try this summer.

2) What is your favorite outfit to wear? Jeans, sweats, a special sweater?

Sweats! I only dress up when I leave the house. When I'm home, its sweats and t-shirts. 
3) Do you prefer french fries or onion rings? With ketchup, mayonaisse, or something else?

Onion rings with a mixture of ketchup and mayo. 
4) What was your favorite book as a child and why?

I loved the Berenstain Bears' books. I still have them! 
5) If you had a teleporter, where would you go?

Germany! I went there when I was 16 and that has been my top place to return to ever since. I loved it. My dad is actually from a small town northeast of Munich and I'd love to return there to visit with family.

6) What is your favorite joke?

I don't really have a favorite joke, but there is one that I like only because I find it stupid. I know someone who does think this is the best joke ever, so that makes it really funny to me. 
Okay: What do you call a fish without and eye? A fsh.

7) What was the best present you've ever received?

My husband gave me diamond earrings for his birthday one year. It was funny because he asked me to get him something that was right next to the jewelry box. I grabbed it without noticing the box. He had to ask me for things next to the box three times before I noticed it. He still won't let me live it down. Any other woman would have noticed a jewelry box, not me.

8) Do you sing in the shower?

Heck no! My family would laugh at me for days. I stink at singing. No talent there.

9) How many pets have you had in your life so far, and what were they?

6 cats and 3 dogs! 
Krasni - An Irish setter my grandparents gave my parents when they got engaged. I was devastated when he died.
Tiger & Bootsie - My cat and my sister's cat when we were in elementary school. 
Rosie & Hazel - The cats we got when Bootsie died. Tiger was still around. 
Cassie - A German Shepherd we had when I was in high school. Poor dog was surrounded by cats. 
Fiver & Smokey - More cats. Smokey died a few years ago. 
Bailey - My dad's Rat Terrier. I say my dad's because he adopted my dad and no one else in the family.
We don't currently have any animals in my house, but my parents still have Fiver and Bailey (and my sisters dogs.)

10) What three books do you think everyone should read?

Oh my goodness, only three?
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.
The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. 

11) What was the last thing you ate?

Um, cheetos. Hey, come on I need something to snack on while I edit. lol

Now for the 11 bloggers I nominate:

1) Elodie 
2) Carissa Taylor
3) Julie DeGuia
4) Tasha Seegmiller
5) Christine Attardo
6) Linda Cassidy Lewis
7) Mary Cain
8) Lauri Meyers
9) Jade Hart
10) Sarah Allen
11) Leslie Pugh

And, finally, my 11 questions for the nomonies:

1) What is your favorite TV show of all time?
2) What is your favorite writing/editing snack?
3) If you had to move and could live anywhere you wanted, where would you move? 
4) What are your top three favorite books?
5) When is the most productive time of day for you to write/edit?
6) Where did you go on your last vacation?
7) Coffee or tea?
8) What is your favorite social media website?
9) Which yet-to-be-released book are you most looking forward to reading?
10) When you were in grade school what did you want to be when you grew up?
11) What is your favorite sports team?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Problems of a Bookaholic

I've known for some time that I'm a bookaholic, and this leads to issues. Mainly shelf space issues. I just don't have enough space. I have teaching books, history books, and novels all over the place.

Another issue I've found is I have a ridiculous amount of books on my shelves and Kindle that I have yet to read. This has been really evident when I sit down to write my monthly blog posts on new book releases. I'm finding that I have series books I'm not at all caught up on, and they're sitting on a shelf or my Kindle.

So why haven't I read them? I keep requesting books from the library. And library books have to be returned by a certain date or else I have to pay a daily fee. So, yeah, I've been reading those instead. I'm sure my librarians all recognize me when I walk in. I'm always there to pick up books I've requested. I request a lot. I stalk the online card catalog. I'm almost always first on the list for books. Except for Dan Brown's new one, I'm #44 out of around than 450 people, so not too bad.

As wonderful as the library is, this takes away from me reading what I actually own. Which is a ridiculous amount of books and ebooks.

So I've come to a new approach. I have to start reading what is on my shelf, not request a million books from the library. As of last week I cannot add any new books to my requested list. I have to start finishing series and books that I own. There are several series I need to finish off. If I don't own the final book I'm allowing myself to get it from the library, but nothing else. I own a ton of stand alone books as well that need to be read.

Here's a peek at what I have on my shelves, with regards to novels and writing. With all of the ebook sales I've noticed this year, you can imagine what my Kindle looks like. I have even more signed books at my parents' house. 

My signed books.

More signed books.

I've only read Everneath and Abandon on this shelf.

I've only read the first two and last two.

The only shelf I've read everything on.

I've read the first 3, watched the movies for the next 3, & haven't read the last one.

I still have to read all of the Percy Jackson books. I read some of the Narnia books when I was younger, but want to reread them.

A mix of new books, used books, and ARCs I've collected over the past couple of years.

All books I snagged from my Mom's bookshelves.

All used books, except for Only a Few Bones, and a couple from a library book sale.

My middle grade collection. I still have to read some of them.

My writing craft bookshelf.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Meet Christine Marie!

Today I'd like to welcome one of my amazing critique partners, Christine Marie. Not only is Christine a writer and one of my critique partners, she's also a publicist, and a darn good one, too.

Welcome Christine, it's great to have you here! :-) 

Hi Heather! Thanks for having me on your blog.

What made you want to become a publicist?

Well the idea occurred to me some time ago when I graduated college. I kept on trying to think what I could do with my degree while following my passion for books. At the time, I guess, I wasn’t thinking that I should start my own company so I ventured out into the “send your resume to a bunch of people who won’t respond” world. If it wasn’t for my good friend and wonderful critique partner, Toni De Palma, I would have never taken the leap into starting my own company. She presented the idea and I said yes. The rest is history. =) 

What services do you offer?

I pretty much offer every kind of service an author might need to promote their book. Whether the book hasn’t come out yet or has been out for years, I can come up with a marketing campaign to help spread the word. Some of my services include setting up blog tours (consisting of book reviews, spotlights, author interviews, and character interviews), cover reveals, writing press releases, and distributing promotional items such as bookmarks, pens, etc. I also make it a point to help my client utilize all social media outlets to promote their brand as an author.

Do you think being a writer gives you a different approach to being a publicist for authors?

I really do. As a fellow writer I know how much hard work and dedication goes into writing a book, and as a publicist I know how important it is to promote your work in the right way. I understand the heart of being a writer and that gives me a lot of passion to help authors achieve their goals.

As a writer and a publicist for authors do you think you would be interested in branching out beyond authors, into other areas?

As much as I’d like to think that I could be a publicist like the fancy movie star/party ones you see on HBO, I think my heart belongs with books. Of course I would never rule anything out completely because I have an open mind, but at the end of the day I’m a bookworm.

Yay to bookworks! ;-) I love your logo on your site. Where did the idea for the owl come from and did you design it?

The idea for the logo came about at around 1 o’clock in the morning in the midst of drinking way too much tea with my good friend and graphic designer Kelly McGovern. I have always been a fan of owls because they’re symbolic of a wise and sophisticated type of animal. Then the steampunk/robotic aspect of the owl popped into my brain so I turned to my friend and drew something that a 5 year old would draw. Within minutes she worked her magic and started creating the wonderful logo that you see today.

Okay, you are a writer yourself. Tell us a little about your writing and what your influences are.

I write primarily YA Paranormal and YA Fantasy. There’s something about creating another world that is so incredibly exciting. My influences are J.K. Rowling, George R. R. Martin, Veronica Roth, and Cassandra Clare.

And just because I’m both nosey and a huge book lover, what are you reading right now?

I am currently reading City of Glass by Cassandra Clare. =)
I love that series! And I can't wait for the movie! Speaking of reading books, you have another project you recently started regarding books. Can you tell us a little about it?

I actually just recently started a YA book review blog with my friend of ten years Allison Herrighty. We go under the names BatStine and Swarley and review books every Thursday. Feel free to check us out. 

Thank you again, Christine! 

Thanks so much for doing this for me Heather.   

You can learn more about Christine on her website and Facebook, or contact her directly through her email: 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Toni De Palma's Book Signing

So this past Friday I went to my first book signing here in New Jersey! We're sadly neglected here on the shore. Then my amazing critique partner and author, Toni De Palma held a book signing at my alma mater, Georgian Court University! So exciting.

She was signing from 11 to 1 and I had hoped to be there right from the beginning. That didn't happen, sadly. I had to make several stops along the way and found myself there rather late. But I made it! Got my books signed! And hung out with Toni and her amazing publicist, Christine Marie, who you'll get to learn more about here on my blog on Thursday.

Here are some of the pictures I took at the signing.

Yummy! They had a wonderful refreshment table set up. My 3yo ate tons of cheese and grapes. lol

Toni signing one of my books. I brought my copies of The Devil's Triangle and Under the Banyan Tree. Both excellent!!

Me and Toni!

Toni with her wonderful display! They did such an amazing job at GCU!
You can find out more about Toni and stalk follow her on these sites:

Toni's books:

The Devil's Triangle 

When 17 year old Cooper dies in an attempt to burn down his school, he finds himself in the afterlife. Lucy, the Devil's sister who has crossed party lines, decides to give Cooper another shot at heaven. The deal? Cooper returns to Earth and has to find a girl named Grace. The rest is up to him.

While Cooper figures out his mission, he's thrown into the life he's always wanted. Great parents, a spot on the Varsity football team and a real future are all within reach. But what he really wants is Grace, a feisty girl with an abusive boyfriend who can pound Cooper into pulp if he doesn't watch out.

While Lucy plays demonic-puppeteer, clues to an unknown past between Cooper and Grace start to unravel. Cooper discovers that what's keeping him and Grace apart is far more sinister than anything this bad boy could have ever imagined.

Under the Banyan Tree

Irena's not sure where she's headed when she runs away from home--she just wants to leave the trailer she shared with her mamma and daddy far behind. When she stumbles upon the Banyan Tree motel, something tells her it's exactly where she's meant to be. But trouble follows Irena wherever she goes, and the Banyan is no different in this story about what it means to be a family.

Jeremy Owl 

Jeremy is a 10 year old science geek who's just trying to get by. When the two bullies grab the owl pellets Jeremy's found in the woods, he loses all hope of studying them under his teacher's microscope. But when Lorelei Eversole, the school cuckoo, steps in, she wins the pellets back. When Jeremy discovers a mysterious, glittering bone inside one of the pellets - a discovery that even a braniac like him can't figure out - he must admit that Lorelei might not be as dopey as she seems. A flying pig, enchanted pies, and a wild adventure all show Jeremy that science has its limits. And that sometimes magic turns up in the most unusual places.