RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS BOOK.
YES, I'M SHOUTING.
BUY IT. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.
OVER AND OUT.
Book Blitz: Within and Without by Deborah Maroulis
Welcome to the book blitz for
Within and Without by Deborah Maroulis
presented by Lakewater Press!
Grab your copy today!
Within and Without by Deborah Maroulis
While the weekdays consist of thickening scars derived from high school wounds, weekends have become a peaceful respite from the noise of fake laughter and competing early morning parking lot music. Instead, the humming of the farm equipment accompanies the melody of the songbirds. I click off my alarm two minutes before it’s set to ring, the light casting gray streaks on the walls and sideways shadows on the dolls lining them. I’ve never understood why the sun saves its best colors for the evening. Seems to me it’d have more energy for pretty things early on. The house is silent—Granny’s probably already in the vineyards barking at her crew. God knows where Mom is. My stomach gurgles, and I move my tongue around my mouth and swallow as much saliva as I can generate. Familiar tension creeps through my ribs and squeezes my lungs. Sitting up, I slide my journal from under my pillow and hold it close to my chest. Its slick, cold cover pressed against me pushes away the dread. I draw in a deep breath and release it slowly, letting the air and spit be enough nutrition for now. The aroma of bacon and griddle cakes waft through the cracks of the old house, and my stomach churns. I move around my tongue and swallow again. Tucking my legs under me, I open my journal to an empty page and record my food allotment and exercise routine. The more I write, the less I shake.
I'm so thrilled to be able to share with you the BEAUTIFUL cover of my LOVELY friend Taryn Bashford's NEW book today. But first, here's a little about the book...
Dutiful daughter. Classical singer. Secret pop songwriter. And suffering from stage fright.
Trust Fund Kid. Indie singer. Immensely gifted performer. And refusing to sing again.
Are they polar opposites? In his grief and fury at the world, Jacob certainly thinks so.
But when Jacob loses everything and Astrid uncovers a shocking family secret, they may need each other to make sense of their lives.
And here's the cover...
HOW LOVELY IS THIS COVER?!!!
Click to check out the book trailer here...
And now pre-order here...
Taryn is the author of The Harper Effect and currently lives on the Sunshine Coast with a family that includes teen children and a highly-strung dog. Taryn’s lived on four continents, meaning her job experience has been varied: an advertising sales rep, a ski chalet chef, a late-night newsreader and the CEO of an internet company, but writing and Australia are her true loves. Taryn is currently working on her PhD in Creative Writing while tutoring undergraduates and writing more novels. When she’s not writing or teaching, she’s training for triathlons in the hope they will compensate for the fact she spends ten hours a day sitting on her tushie.
Follow Taryn here!
I'm delighted to be a part of the cover reveal tour for the fabulous Marisa Noelle's debut, THE UNADJUSTEDS, coming November!
CHECK IT OUT!
I like to offer my blog to authors from time to time, put them in the spotlight and show the world who they are and what they write. And, today, I'm pleased to welcome Margaret Rodeheaver. Read on to learn a little about her romance novel, read a short excerpt, and to hear her answers to my quickfire "Which do you prefer?" interview!
Welcome to the small town of Chinkapin, Georgia, where recently-divorced Laurie Lanton is starting her new life in a warmer climate. To keep her mind off her ex, Laurie joins Mary and the other volunteers at the Treasure Chest, a charity thrift shop run by 'St. Mark's Across from the Tasty Chick.' Anything can happen at the Treasure Chest - and does. Two robberies, a leaky roof, and an invasion of mice give Laurie plenty to think about. But a couple of new men have also caught her attention.
Will she pick Chase, the interesting and talented musician from St. Mark's choir? He sure is easy to be with, but there's something in his past no one wants to talk about. And just when things are heating up between them, Laurie overhears something that throws their future into doubt.
And what about Jeff, the new painting instructor at the local arts center? He seems to have a few secrets of his own, including something he’s discovered about an old painting at the thrift shop.
When disaster strikes the Treasure Chest, will Laurie's "super power" be enough to save it? Because if not, the Treasure Chest might have to close, and then what will happen to St. Mark’s?
An excerpt from “Hidden Treasure” by Margaret Rodeheaver:
“That sure smells good,” Laurie said. “One of these days I’m going to have to break down and get some for myself.”
“Have one!” Carol held out a chicken tender.
“No, thanks. I’ll stick with my peanut butter crackers.” Laurie rummaged in her purse. She sat
in the chair by the desk, and as she opened the pack of crackers, she saw something out of the corner of her eye. “Oh my gosh! Did you see that?”
“What?” Carol saw the expression on Laurie’s face and froze, her cup of soda midway to her mouth. She swept her eyes from side to side trying to see the whole office without moving. Suddenly a little brown mouse scurried out from under the table and disappeared under the cabinet near the door.
“Ew!” Laurie said, jumping up. Carol scooped her food into her lap and scooted her chair into the middle of the room.
Mary had just come back from the restroom and stood in the doorway. “What’s all the excitement?”
“We just saw a mouse!” Carol said, a note of hysteria in her voice.
“Well, no doubt! Those tenders smell so good I’m surprised you don’t have all kinds of critters fighting over them. I was hoping I might swap my salad for them without you noticing.”
Laurie still had a worried look on her face. “It came from under there,” she said pointing to the table.
Mary leaned over slightly and peeked under the table. There were two large boxes stuffed with bags and bits of paper used to wrap fragile items. “You guys, anything could be living under there. Snakes, spiders, who knows what.” Carol gave her a nasty look. “Well, I would have straightened that stuff out,” Mary said defensively, “but in case you haven’t noticed, I can’t bend over.”
“Thanks for cheering me up, Mary. Lord, just wait until Virginia hears about this. Bless her heart, she was about ready to quit after Alice got whacked in the head. This might just put her over the edge.”
“You sound pretty nervous yourself,” Mary said. “I guess we need to find some mousetraps.”
“Ooh! We could get a live trap and sell it as a pet!” Laurie said.
“Right, you do that.” Mary rolled her eyes.
“Come to think of it, we have some mousetraps. I priced them the other day. They’re in the furniture room, next to the fishing poles. Watch my lunch. I’ll go get them.” Carol left the room. Mary and Laurie looked uneasily around, and squealed simultaneously as the mouse ran back across the room.
“Did you see him again?” Carol crept back into the room with a two-pack of mouse traps.
“Yep. He’s back under there.” Laurie pointed under the table.
“Well, here. Let’s get these baited.” Carol pulled the plastic wrap off the mousetraps. Laurie and Mary baited them with pieces of chicken, careful not to pinch their fingers.
“Guys, I’ve read that mice can’t see very well, so they run along next to walls and things,” Laurie said. She placed the traps against the wall on either side of the office door.
“This one must have better eyesight than most. He was out in the middle of the room,” Carol observed.
“I wish we had another trap or two,” Mary said. “Because you know, if we saw one mouse, there are probably several more.”
It was almost closing time and, as usual on Saturdays there was a rush of customers. Mary waited on them as Carol finished tagging the jewelry. Laurie looked around the shop for another trap, and came back to the office carrying a bird cage.
“Look. What do you think? We can put some food in here and rig the door so it slides down if something goes in.”
“You’re serious about catching them alive, aren’t you,” Mary said.
“Catch and release. Like I do with my men.”
“Wow!” Mary raised her eyebrows and smiled. “You go, girl. Do you have any bait left?”
“You mean for man-catching?”
“Honey, you’ve got all the bait you need for that!” Mary said.
WHICH DO YOU PREFER?
Dogs or Cats: Dogs, but I like cats too!
Paperbacks or Ebooks: Paperbacks - esp. for study or reference. Ebooks for traveling w/ a library at my fingertips.
Ketchup or Mayo: Ketchup!!
Beach or Mountains: Beach
Inside or Outside: Inside (preferably with a view!)
Morning or Evening: Morning
Drive or Walk: Walk
Keyboard or Notebook: Keyboard
Drama or Comedy: Comedy
Drafting or Revising: Revising
Margaret Rodeheaver writes short fiction and novels for children and adults. She enjoys listening to music and visiting coffee shops, and lives with her husband near Macon, Georgia. For more information about Margaret Rodeheaver and her books, sign up for email updates at www.MargaretRodeheaver.com
Many congratulations to the brilliant Lynnette Beers on the release of her brand new novel, SAVING SAM, out today!
As an experienced San Diego lifeguard, Sam Cleveland has been trained to save others. On what becomes the most treacherous beach day ever, she battles the sea as her ability as a lifeguard is tested. While she risks her life to rescue swimmers from the rough surf, her world comes crashing down when she learns that her brother Robert has been in a serious accident. She then must leave San Diego and the young woman she’s recently started dating to return to her hometown—a place that holds a horrid memory from her childhood.
Once back in Mississippi, Sam sits vigil at Robert’s bedside. Always protective when Sam was a child, Robert clings to life as investigators search for the person responsible for his accident. As she faces the possibility of losing her brother, Sam is reminded that her hometown holds an unspeakable secret that she and Robert vowed to always keep buried.
On the hunt for the man who intentionally harmed Robert is Lieutenant Annie Wright—the woman who captured Sam’s heart years ago. Now just friends, Sam and Annie work together to find the person responsible for Robert’s injuries. But as painful childhood memories resurface, so do old feelings of love. Will Sam choose to move forward with the chance at new romance in San Diego, or will she return to the comfort of familiar love with Annie in Mississippi?
BUY NOW ON AMAZON!
Can you tell us a little about how your writing journey began - at school, as a teen, later in life? Were you good at English at school?
For as long as I can I remember, I loved to read. As a child, I liked that I could get lost in a good story. I was good at English from a young age, most likely because my parents encouraged me to read when I was little. I was in third grade when my teacher, Miss Brinker, got me excited about writing stories. It was by far my favorite part of school because I could let my imagination run wild as I wrote my little kid stories. When I was a teen, the writing shifted to analytical essays, and it wasn’t until I was in college getting a BA in English that I knew I wanted to be a writer. I took a few years off after I received my bachelor’s degree, but once I enrolled in an MFA program, I grew so much as a writer. During those years in grad school, I felt encouraged and challenged by my fellow MFA students, many of whom are still dear friends.
Did you always want to be published, or was there a moment when you decided to take your writing out into the world?
Before I even considered writing a novel, I only wrote short stories and narrative essays, but after I went on a summer study abroad trip to London, I started to come up with ideas for a novel. I ended up going on three summer study abroad trips to London when I was in graduate school. By the third trip, I had a clear idea of where that book was headed as far as the plot and characters. It was at that point when I knew I wanted to be a published novelist. Once I did a major revision of my novel, I felt incredibly driven to become a published author. Now, I’ve got two novels published, a third one completed, and another one just starting to take form. I can’t not write. When working on my work-in-progress, I feel I’m doing what I was meant to do.
Did you have a team of readers and critique partners, or people you used to help you polish your work before submitting to publishers? Do you still have these people on your team even now you're published?
No, I don’t have critique partners. When I write my books, I’m very much focused on the story. I don’t share the completed book until it has been revised and edited numerous times. For my most recently released novel, Saving Sam, I had a few beta readers review the manuscript and give me suggestions for improvement. I know writer’s groups can be valuable to some writers, but they’ve never worked well for me because it’s hard to hear so many differing suggestions during the creative process. I tend to want the entire creative process to be a solo journey, which seems to work well for me. I’m especially fanatical about editing my books. Many people say to just get out a finished draft, but I’m the type of writer who edits as I go. As I wrote Saving Sam, I became almost overly fixated on getting each chapter just right before I moved on to the next. I still do another overall final edit before I send the book to my publisher, but my process seems to work well for me so far.
Can you tell us a little about when you first received an offer of publication? How did that go?
For about a year and a half, I sent out query letters to try and get Just Beyond the Shining River published. I went to writers’ conferences and pitched my book idea to editors and agents. A couple of agents seemed eager to see my manuscript, but they ended up not offering me a contract to publish my book. I decided to submit to a small publisher called Regal Crest Enterprises. They’re a lesbian publisher and seemed like a good place to start as far as me publishing my novel. Regal Crest’s submission guidelines asked to see the full manuscript, along with a synopsis and bio. I submitted my book to them sometime in December of 2016. In the meantime, I was still going to conferences to pitch my book to agents. In January of 2017, I received excellent feedback from an agent who in turn said she wanted to see my entire manuscript—after I trimmed off 30,000 words! I then set out to cut chunks of material from the book, realizing in my gut that I shouldn’t cut so many words. I might’ve cut around 3,000 words when I received an e-mail in January of 2017 from Regal Crest offering me a contract to publish my book. I was at the hair salon at the time, and when I glanced at the e-mail, I thought it’d said, “We would not like to offer you a contract.” It took me a couple moments to realize it said, “We would now like to offer you a contract” (italics added for emphasis). I even showed the e-mail to my hairstylist to have her read it to make sure I’d read it right. I was over the moon at this news and almost couldn’t believe it. I knew nothing about publishing contracts, so that was a whole new area for me to research. My publisher is incredibly fair, reliable, and supportive. The process to get the book in print consisted of more edits (by two of Regal Crest’s editors and also by me). The whole editing process was both interesting and mostly painless.
How is life as a published author? What's been the highlight and the lowlight? What things have you struggled with up to this point? Is your publisher good at helping with marketing and promotion, etc?
The highlight for me is seeing my book in print and signing my books. I’m a full-time college professor, and sometimes my students will buy my novel. I get such a thrill to sign one of my books for a student. The lowlight is not knowing how to convince new readers to read my books. My publisher and editor say that it could take three or four books for readers to take me seriously. One thing I learned early on is that agents are usually hesitant to represent a new writer. It’s all about sales, and there’s a big risk to take on a debut author. I’m grateful that my publisher is so supportive of new writers. As far as marketing, Regal Crest has an excellent website and uses social media to promote their writers, but marketing for the most part is done by me. That’s another lowlight—figuring out how best to promote myself as an author. My first book was a Goldie finalist for best debut novel (a Golden Crown Literary Society award), and that increased sales slightly. As most newer authors know, marketing can be difficult.
If you had one piece of advice for upcoming writers what would it be?
My advice is always this: Don’t give up but also dedicate a lot of time to your craft. This means getting your manuscript in the best shape possible before sending it to agents and publishers. It’s also important to not let rejections discourage you. As a fellow writer kept telling me when I was sending out query letters, “It only takes one yes.”
Lynnette has been telling stories ever since she was a child, but it wasn’t until adulthood that she realized she wanted to pursue a career in writing. After earning degrees in English and film studies, she went on to get an MA in literature and an MFA in fiction writing. She’s been a professor of creative writing, British literature, and composition for over twenty years. Her first novel, Just Beyond the Shining River, takes place in England and is partially told through old letters which reveal scandalous family secrets. Her most recent novel is titled Saving Sam, an intense, fast-paced story about a lifeguard in San Diego who, after finding out her brother has been in a serious accident, must return to her hometown in Mississippi—a place that holds a horrid memory from her childhood. When not writing, Lynnette enjoys mountain biking, hiking, and ocean swimming.
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
Get in touch today!