Woohoo! I'm delighted to be a part of my wonderful friend Jodi Gallegos' cover reveal today! Beautiful book, beautiful author, beautiful cover! Check it out...
Gripping, romantic, and evocative of its time— A Shine that Defies the Dark is a spellbinding story of one woman who will stop at nothing to survive during a tumultuous time in American history.
After a six-year exile, Ophelia Breaux and her mother are overjoyed to return to the Louisiana bayou. But it seems the ghosts of the epic feud that drove them away still haunt Plaquemines Parish, and with the Great Depression sweeping the nation, the two soon find they can’t make ends meet.
Seeing no other option, Ophelia’s mother takes the drastic step of sharing her bed with the town judge in exchange for a reduced rent. The judge has had a life-long obsession with Momma, and Ophelia is desperate to end this arrangement and get her away from him.
When Remy Granger shows up, Ophelia knows it could mean more trouble—and that’s the last thing they need. Handsome and dangerous, he’s the first boy she ever kissed, and a member of the most notorious family in southern Louisiana—but he’s also got an opportunity for fast money in rumrunning. Ophelia goes all in, and it turns out she may have a knack for the business. But she’s going to have to run even faster if she wants to save Momma… dodging the cops, rival gangs, and her traitorous heart at every turn.
Jodi is a YA and NA writer, black belt, registered nurse and case manager for a busy home health agency. She lives with her husband, three sons and an evolving herd of undisciplined animals in Colorado. She has a well-earned fear of bears, but tolerates the Teddy and Gummy variety. She has been obsessed with books, both reading and writing them, for most of her life and prefers the written word to having actual conversations. The most current projected completion date of her To Be Read book collection is May 17, 2176.
You can find more about Jodi at jodigallegos.com
I'm delighted to be a part of the cover reveal blog tour for a brand new upmarket women's fiction launching on October 24. It's a book that I've had a big part in as it's being published by the fantastic Lakewater Press. So, congratulations to the wonderful author Barbara Quinn!
Here's a little bit about the book...
Coming home to catch her husband with his face between the long, silky legs of another woman is the last thing Sofia expects—and on today of all days. So, after scratching an expletive into his Porsche and setting the cheating bastard’s clothes on fire, she cranks up her beloved Bruce and flees, vowing never to look back.
Seeking solace in the peaceful beachside town of Bradley Beach, NJ, Sof is determined to start over. And, with the help of best friends, new acquaintances, a sexy neighbor, and the powerful songs of Springsteen, this may be the place where her wounds can heal. But, as if she hasn’t faced her share of life’s challenges, a final flurry of obstacles awaits.
In order to head courageously toward the future, Sofia must first let go of her past, find freedom, and mend her broken soul.
It really is a fabulous book.
If you scroll down to the bottom of the post you'll find a Rafflecopter giveaway. Lakewater Press are GIVING AWAY 25 eARCs of this fantastic book, but BE QUICK because this ends in just 2 days.
Here's a little about Barbara...
Barbara Quinn is an award-winning short story writer and author of a variety of novels.
Her travels have taken her to forty-seven states and five continents where she’s encountered fascinating settings and inspiring people that populate her work.
Her many past jobs include lawyer, record shop owner, reporter, process server, lingerie sales clerk, waitress, and postal worker. She’s a native New Yorker with roots in the Bronx, Long Island, and Westchester. She currently resides with her husband in Bradley Beach, NJ and Holmes Beach, FL. She enjoys spending time with her son and his family and planning her next adventure. She wants to remind everyone that when you meet her, SHE’S NOT SHOUTING, SHE’S ITALIAN.
What's even better is that even if you don't win an eARC you can pre-order the book for just 99c now! How amazing is that?!
I'm delighted to be sharing in the fabulous Brenda Drake's brand new release book blitz today. THUNDERSTRUCK is born! Check out all the lovely details below, enter the giveaway, then buy the book!
by Brenda Drake
Published by: Entangled Crave
Publication date: September 11th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Mythology, Romance
Synopsis:Stevie Moon is famous…at least to the subscribers on her comic review vlog. At school, she’s as plain as the gray painted walls in the cafeteria. So when Blake, the hot new guy at school, shows an interest in her, she knows trouble when she sees it. Been there. And never doing it again.
As the son of the god Thor, Blake Foster’s been given an important mission—to recover the Norse god Heimdall’s sacred and powerful horn before someone uses it to herald in the destruction of the entire universe. But while Blake is great in a fight, the battlefield that is a high school’s social scene is another matter.
Blake knows his only choice is to team up with the adorable Stevie, but she’s not willing to give him even the time of day. He’ll need to woo the girl and find the horn if he hopes to win this war. Who better to tackle Stevie’s defenses than the demi-god of thunder?
“Every page brims with captivating Norse mythology and deliciously creative worldbuilding.” Pintip Dunn, New York Times bestselling author.
After disposing of the troll, Blake rushed to May’s house and showered. His thoughts kept going to Stevie. After hearing what Jörd said to him, he wanted to see her. The pull to go to her was too strong. He had no choice but to give in to it.
He climbed the tree outside Stevie’s room and sat on the branch. A blue light blinked on and off inside the room. He lightly tapped on the window. Muffled voices from within the room hummed against the glassed pane.
The curtain pushed aside. Amira was close to Stevie’s back when the curtain slid to the side. Stevie said something to Amira that Blake couldn’t hear through the thick glass. Amira turned away and dropped onto the bed. Stevie flipped the locks and opened the window.
“You scared the shit out of us,” Stevie snapped.
Amira crossed her arms. “Yeah, we’re watching scary movies here.”
Blake tried not to laugh, but he couldn’t hold it in. “My apologies. Can I have a moment alone with you, Stevie?”
“With me?” She glanced back.
“No.” Amira heaved a sigh. “With the other Stevie in the room.”
“Where do you want to go?”
He reached his hand out to her. “Out here is fine.”
She narrowed her gaze on him. “I don’t think so.”
“Come on,” he said. “It’s perfectly safe. This branch is thick. Trust me.”
“Stop being a chicken and go already. I have to pee.” Amira shuffled off.
Stevie hesitated before grabbing his hand and letting him guide her out the window and onto the branch. “This is crazy, you know that?”
“If you never throw caution to the wind, you’ll never be rewarded.” He sat on the branch and held her hand as she came down beside him. Her hand was warm and soft in his, and he wanted to hold it forever.
The loose pajama bottoms she wore had cats on them. Her pink tank top rode up a little and exposed a bit of her midriff. Her light-brown hair, the color of the acorns he’d gathered with his grandmother when he was a boy, rose in the wind behind her. Wide, dark eyes met his, her full lips parted in a smile.
“What did you want?” She glanced at the ground. “Wow, this is pretty high.”
“Don’t worry. I won’t let you fall.” He slid his hand across her lower back and held her waist. She shivered. “Are you cold?”
“A little,” she said.
“Hold on.” He let her go, shrugged off his hoodie, and draped it around her shoulders.
She held it closed at the zipper. He returned his arm around her, grasping her waist. She shuddered, and he smiled at her response to his touch.
“You didn’t answer me,” she said. “What did you want to talk to me about?”
“Actually, I’m not here to talk,” he said. “Have you ever had an urge to do something, and once it’s in your head, you can’t sleep or think until you do the thing?”
“I guess.” When she looked over at him, they locked eyes and an intensity passed between them like the energy he felt in the handle of his hammer after catching lightning with it. He noticed a faint scar just above her cupid’s bow.
“How did you get the scar?” he asked.
“Scar?” She glanced down at her chest.
“Not there,” he whispered, lifting her chin to look into her eyes. “On your lip.”
She touched it. “Oh this? It’s an embarrassing story. Let’s just say, I learned to watch where I’m walking, especially when poles are around.”
He chuckled. “I can imagine what happened.”
She lowered her head again, her feet kicking back and forth.
He decided to take his chance and cupped her face in his hands, bringing her face to his and kissing her. It was a gentle, wanting kiss. Her lips were soft and warm against his. She tasted like May’s brownies. When Stevie hadn’t responded to his kiss, he was about to release her, but then her lips began moving with his. He cradled her in his arms and they balanced together on the branch.
Brenda Drake is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She grew up the youngest of three children, an Air Force brat, and the continual new kid at school. Her fondest memories growing up is of her eccentric, Irish grandmother’s animated tales, which gave her a strong love for storytelling. So it was only fitting that she would choose to write stories with a bend toward the fantastical. When she’s not writing or hanging out with her family, she haunts libraries, bookstores, and coffee shops, or reads someplace quiet and not at all exotic (much to her disappointment).
WOW! What a few months it's been! I'm sorry that my blogs have been so quiet lately but things have been freaking hectic behind the scenes.
I have to start by talking about Pitch Wars. As you know I'm an MG mentor again this year, so a great deal of August was spent reading all the lovely submissions I received as well as working with my mentees. YES, menteeS! Plural.
First up, it's essential I let you know that the quality of submissions this year was fantastic. And I mean that, hand on heart. I struggled to narrow down my YES folder right up until those final days. I had subs bouncing from NO to MAYBE to YES and back again. I was reluctant to let go of some of the beauties I read, and picking just one was rather painful. Of course, I've been through this before so you'd think it would get easier. Nope. In fact, I'd say it's getting harder. I want to work with so many of you. The mentees I interacted with on the Twitter feed during August were humble, grateful, willing, and bags of fun, and if I could add some extra months to the year I would mentor each and every one of you. But alas, I am yet to become this powerful.
So, in the end, the book I picked to mentor this year is an MG fantasy by the very wonderful and awesome Kimberly Fernando. I'm not going to go into too much detail about her book because there will be plenty coming up over the coming months - interviews and the like - that will give you more insight about this brilliant author and her work. But suffice to say, I LOVE HER AND HER MANUSCRIPT!
I am also extremely lucky this year to have a wild card mentee - basically an extra fabulous author to mentor and guide over the next couple of months in preparation for the agent round in November. But, there's an awesome twist! Not only am I working with the incomparable Kirk Kraft on his heartfelt and humorous MG contemporary, but I get to share the mentoring experience with three other ladies! Yes! Ashley Martin, Amanda Rawson Hill, and Cindy Baldwin are the dream team, and I absolutely adore these guys. Kirk is one lucky guy...
To make my last few months even busier, I've been inundated with requests for my editing services lately. You guys are the best! Rebecca and I don't have magical time-turners so we can't take on everyone straight away - and please know how painful it is for us to say we don't have availability that suits your schedules too. But, it's definitely a humbling experience knowing that you want to team up with us and make your manuscripts the best they can be. All I can say is, book up as far in advance as you can!
I was delighted when a good friend of mine here on the GC, Vacen Taylor, invited me to be part of a panel she was putting together for Comic Con later this month. And what an awesome topic myself and some incredible artists will be presenting: An Artist's Guide to Mental Health and Wellbeing. Be sure to come along if you're in Brisbane on September 24.
As you probably know, I am also the editorial director at Lakewater Press, a new boutique small press born in March 2016. I've been so lucky to have worked and continue to work with such fantastic writers. Well, this year so far has been amazing. We've published sequels, signed new authors, ran highly successful promotions, and have even more sparkly books launching in the build up to Christmas. Every day I learn something new at Lakewater and taking a book from acquisition to publication with a team of extraordinary people by my side is a gift. I don't think I'll ever stop being grateful.
I haven't had much time to write my own words lately, well, in fact, for a long time now. I kind of lost my spark, especially after the horrible drawn-out experience with WINELL ROAD. But, my goodness, creativity is back with a vengeance. I thank the kids on the Gold Coast for helping me with that. The schools I've gotten to visit this year gave me the opportunity to meet some amazing kids who just buzzed and shone with creativity and the love of a good story. We really must keep building this in our younger generation.
I have penned the outlines of several MG horrors with my fifteen-year-old son for a series of standalone novels (one of which has caught the eye of a couple of agents! *takes deep breath* *doesn't get too excited*). The first book is written but needs a darn good edit. The second and maybe third I intend to write during NaNoWriMo.
I also dusted off an old women's fiction I wrote years ago called The Breastfeeding Club and decided to pitch it on Twitter. And Hells Bells, I received interest! This is another book that needs some serious polishing, but I'm excited to get cracking as I think this book is something special and at the time of drafting perhaps my writing wasn't quite ready and maybe the story was a little too emotional for a new mum to cope with! But now I'm DEFINITELY ready!
And finally, I've had the most wonderful response to WINELL ROAD and kids asking me when the sequel is due out. Well, it's written and just needs that final sprinkling of magic, then I promise it'll be published. It's been a long time coming, I know!
There have been a bunch of other things going on lately, especially with my kids and their busy lives but I won't go into detail about that. But, it's definitely worth mentioning how proud I am of my clan! They are the best friends I could ever ask for.
Anyway, I hope you guys are all well and writing hard! You know where I am if you need me, so feel free to shoot me an email or a Twitter message at anytime!
Bye for now!