Monday, April 30, 2012

Taking over + Favorites = Awesome

Love Books by LoveDgirlA1065
I'm so excited!!!
I was asked to write a guest post for an author's blog!  I was so excited that I decided to write about favorite books.  Included in the post, you will get to know me a little bit better and even see a short list of some of my very favorite books.

Click here to be taken to the guest post!

J.S. Sharp is an author and blogger.  We have very similar book tastes when it comes to mysteries, thrillers and suspense and through Twitter we have become fast friends.  I love reading his blog and highly recommend any of his short stories!  Stop over, say hello and let him know I sent you.  He's also new to the blogging world, so don't forget to follow!

Happy Guest Post Day!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

SM Boyce Takes Over!

Hey gang!  I’m thrilled to be sharing some awesome news with you, and I’m so grateful that Hilary let me kidnap her blog for the day to do it.  You may remember me from when I was here a last month on my Hidden World blog tour promoting my novel, The Grimoire: Lichgates.  To those of you who participated and won some of the hundreds of dollars in prizes, thanks for making that tour so epic!

So today, I’m here with awesome, Grimoire-related news I think you’ll really like.  Because we of the modern era like information to be fast and furious, I made this quick video to tell you what all the fuss is about:


There’s a lot of buzz around the pendant, and I’ll fill orders in the order they’re received.  That means it’s really best to act as soon as you know which pendant you want.  For all the ordering info, head over to the pendant’s page on my blog.

*HilyBee butts in...*
Oh!!! Let me tell them!!! You can also enter to win a short guest appearance in Heritage, the epic finale!!  All you have to do is pre-order a pendant and enter the giveaway.  Click here to be taken to the giveaway!

(okay okay...I'll go away now..)
Thanks again for having me today!  You’re all amazing and I can’t thank you enough for reading Lichgates. You’re making all my geeky little dreams come true.
 

Learn More:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Authors Not-So-Anonymous Week #16

Welcome everyone to the sixteenth Authors Not-So-Anonymous weekly meeting!! This weekly series is about authors from Twitter and Facebook!  This week, I would like to introduce Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali into Authors Not-So-Anonymous!


Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali is the author of An Unproductive Woman and a certified breast oncology nurse in Texas.  "I don’t ever recall not writing, however, in the beginning I don’t think I considered writing as a serious lifetime goal until I was in my late twenties...Writing was a neat intellectual and artistic exercise.  A hobby, nothing more."

What began as a hobby, turned into a career but not one without trial and error - "Looking back though, I think I wrote AUW was an act of catharsis.  Writing the story, developing love and hate for the characters, living and commiserating with them, was my way of buffering myself from the things that were troublesome in my life at the time.  I’m not sure it was the healthiest thing for me to do, but I do think it was a blessing of sorts.  I was buoyed by the strength of my main character Asabe.

After writing AUW, I shopped it out to several different publishers.  There was some interest, but nothing ever panned out.  So, AUW spent several years in a box in a closet or garage virtually forgotten.  Then I stopped writing altogether.  Life got busy and I forgot this great gift that sort of completed my identity.  An opportunity arose to self-publish AUW and I’ve been writing seriously every since then."  Her writing career is much like her character's life, Asabe struggled but also had the strength to keep going and try again.



Khaalidah's biggest inspirations are her children, herself and breaking the mold of typical literature.  "My children open my eyes to possibilities and they make me hopeful.  My three children ages 20, 19, and 10 are foremost in my mind when I write, because I always want to write something that they will be proud of and will want to read.  Believe me when I say however that this is no easy task.  They are a discerning group with an intuitive understanding for what make s a story work.  They are heavy hitters when it comes to critiquing, especially my eldest."  

"I am a woman of color and a Muslim.  These are traits that I believe broaden my scope as opposed to restrict it.  This inspires me to write the kinds of stories that I would want to read, the kinds of stories where I can see myself reflected.  I’m pretty sick and tired of the status quo as regards contemporary literature and film.  Both industries, I think, are built in great part, on shock value.  How much leg and cleavage can we show?  How many sex scenes can we justify in the midst of a zombie outbreak?  Let’s pepper this dialogue with “f” words.  It’s lazy and insulting.  In my opinion, these are tactics meant to divert us from what we were really searching for when we sat down to read or watch or listen, that we want to be moved.  We want to think and feel and see something of our own strength in the conflict."  I couldn't agree with her more!  As an avid reader, I too am tired of all the *typical* stuff that happens in novels - which is why I branched out and read more Indie authors now than I have ever read in my life.  Plus, aren't we always trying to please ourselves when we read?  Why not write something you would read.

Khaalidah is currently working on two project - The Hinterlands and a graphic novel Honor&Truth.  She is also working with the Grim5next Express - a collaborative project that include musicians, artists and writers!  I recently read and reviewed her book An Unproductive WomanClick here to go to the review.  Khaalidah can be found on her website, Goodreads, Facebook, Google+, Amazon, and SmashwordsShe has graciously given me a code to pass along that allows everyone to get a free copy of An Unproductive Woman from Smashwords!  The code is CX79A (code ends on May 7, 2012).



Have an author to nominate?  Send me a message via Twitter or leave a comment with the author(s) name and Twitter name and the tag #ANSA.  I'd love to add new members!  Happy Reading!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dos and Don'ts of Commenting

Lets chat...about leaving comments - shall we?

Tips for leaving comments - How to not cheese off bloggers 101.... Dos and Don'ts of commenting...

1. Do ask a question - If you ask a question that is an actual question you want answered, I will answer if I can understand what you're asking...so please, try to use spell check and grammar check.

2. Do post anonymously if you don't have an account or simply don't want anyone to see your *name*. 

3. Don't expect all comments to be seen right away.  Anonymous comments almost *always* get sent to the spam pile.  And if they don't, it's because they don't look spammy. (anyone else craving spam?)

4. Do leave a comment. I will not judge you or be mean to you - so leave your thoughts!

5. Don't leave a rude, nasty, hateful comment and expect to receive any kind of feedback.  I just delete them and forget them within minutes of reading it.

6. Do have fun, interact, and check back on the comments more than once (especially if you love the topic we're discussing).

7. Don't judge other people in the comments.  This is a bully free zone!

8. Do leave me quirky comments.  I love them!

9. Don't leave a comment because you think you have to.

10. Do give me your feedback on a certain type of post.  I like hearing your feedback!

I'm trying very hard to interact with each person who leaves a comment.  Please understand that I am a busy college student, and I promise to get back to each person ASAP.  This was needed, sadly...anything else to add to the list?  Happy Commenting!

Review Day: An Unproductive Woman

It's Review Day again!!!!!!!!!!

Title: An Unproductive Woman
Author: Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

(description from Smashwords)

After ten years of marriage, Asabe and Adam remain childless. Fueled by desperation and a long held secret, Adam marries a second wife. This decision acts as the catalyst to change no one could have predicted. Read An Unproductive Woman to learn what secrets Adam has withheld that would explain his unreasonable longing and pursuit of a son at all costs.(end)

*Some spoilers are included.*

Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali did an incredible job with this novel. The characters drive the plot forward and are definitely the main focus in this novel.  I formed strong opinions of the characters very early on.  Adam is a complete jerk, but makes the story interesting.  Asabe is such a sweet, caring and beautiful woman who just wants to give her husband Adam everything he wants, but when that isn't enough she even helps him with his other wives.  Asabe tries everything to keep her husbands attention, but he always falters and acts like a child.  Adam...he's very frustrating - all he cared about was having a son because he gave up the only son he already had.  Asabe had the patience of a saint to put up with Adam for sure.  Khaalidah wrote both of these characters as if they truly were soul mates! d'awwww....


This novel is like looking into the still-practiced religions that believe in polygamy, rely heavily on having a son, and the various marriage ceremonies/practices that come with them.  Khaalidah really developed each character to the fullest - you can really see these characters coming to life.  I felt bad for the characters, wanted to strangle and knock some sense into other characters, and sniffled away tears a few times.  Khaalidah showed the perspective of each character beautifully and flawlessly.  She shows you exactly what Adam, Asabe, the wives, their extended family, friends, neighbors, etc feel about everything that happens.  It's an incredible novel, and a must read for anyone who enjoys looking into different religions, romance, marriage, or simply what happens when you're obsesssed with having a certain gender of a child.


Why 4 stars?  Although I absolutely fell in love with this novel, I also fell out of love with it just as easily.  It's somewhat forgettable once you're finished with it.  Some of the chapters had too much detail that brought the chapters from exciting to too long.

Purchase a copy of An Unproductive Woman on Smashwords or Amazon for only $2.99 (Kindle edition).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Quick Tip! [From the Archives]

Today's Quick Tip [From the Archives] is....

deciding on when to read another book!  Scenario: You just finished a book.  It was amazing (or terrible...)!!  Give yourself time to bask in the glory (or dread) of the this book.  Wait at least until the next day before starting another book.  Waiting will let the story sink in and really end.  If you jump into another book too soon, you'll find yourself thinking more about the last book and less about the new book, missing important details or mixing up the two books.  Nobody wants that!  BUT if you just can't wait, and I know I do it too...then read something completely different from it (if possible).  For example, when you finish a particularly creepy book go read a romance or comedy novel to help push out the creepiness...or whatever feelings that are lingering.

(Click here to see the original Quick Tip.) 

Happy Reading!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Hey There Delilah: Kindle Touch Screen Sensitivity

Hey There Delilah is a *new* mini-series where I help solve Kindle problems.  I get asked all the time "So...something isn't working right on my Kindle and I have no idea why.  I don't have a warranty anymore...PLEASE help!"

Before you decide you hate your Kindle, want to return it and get a new one...ask me!  I've had many freak outs when I thought something with my precious little device was wrong...but really it was something simple.  Here is a common problem that I have come across for many people who use a Kindle and Kindle app.

Problem/Question: My Kindle Touch screen is not reacting very quickly when I touch it.  The battery is half charged - should I send it in?


My answer: Not yet! Try this first. Do not push harder or down on the screen to get it to work.  That will just break it and not all warranties cover that!

How to fix it: 1. Restart your Kindle: menu - settings restart OR menu - restart  2. Check for updates.  Yes this matters!  Simply turn on the WiFi or 3G; menu - settings - check for updates OR menu - check for updates  3.  If your screen still isn't responding well after the updates and restart, charge your Kindle completely.  Touch screens require more power, so the battery might be lower than it is showing it is.  Turn off your Kindle while charging.*  4.  If the screen still is not working properly after all of these steps, contact Kindle Customer Service about options.  If you still have a warranty then this issue is covered 100%, if not then CS can give you the options.

* Side note:  If steps 1-3 fix your problem, make sure you write down the date the issue occurred somewhere.  If this occurs more than once within a month or during the next full battery charge, you should contact Amazon.

How to prevent it:  Power down your Kindle at least once a week.  Do not leave the WiFi or 3G engaged 24/7 unless you are using it - it will drain the battery faster.  Make sure you update and/or check for updates on your Kindle at least once a month.  Only charge your Kindle Touch battery when the battery is low or if the device is getting noticeably slower.

Have a Kindle problem?  Ask me!  I love helping people figure out their Kindle issues.  *Please note, I can't solve all Kindle problems.  Some of them can't be fixed at home.*  Send me an email, tweet, message me on Facebook, or leave a comment and I will get back to you!  Happy Fixing!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Authors Not-So-Anonymous Week #15

Welcome everyone to the fifteenth Authors Not-So-Anonymous weekly meeting!! This weekly series is about authors from Twitter and Facebook!  This week, I would like to introduce V.L. Locey into Authors Not-So-Anonymous!

V.L. Locey is a adult author and blogger.  She works on her farm with her husband and daughter, takes care of numerous animal children, all the while maintaining her blog and writing career.  V.L. is a very talented writer, with a hilarious blog and now a brand new book!  Her biggest inspiration is her mother - "She took a floral arrangement class well into her sixties simply because it was something she had always wanted to do, but, raising three kids hadn`t left her time to do so before.  When the writing bug bit me and my daughter was in school, I remembered this about my mother, who passed several years ago, and decided to push ahead with this love of writing.  So yeah, Mom, this is for you.  Thanks for showing me that it`s never too late in life to do what you love."

Some V.L.'s favorite authors are J.R. Ward, Rick Riodan, J.K. Rowling and Edith Hamilton.  "I`m a rabid reader, love to write, adore Greek mythos, coffee, Marvel comics, playing X-Box games, am secretly (or not so secretly) in love with the boys on ‘Big Bang Theory’ and enjoy spending time with my family and our critters." An author after many of our hearts, VL is such a sweet woman and talented author.

PhotobucketV.L.'s book Of Gods and Goats just released on April 6, 2012.  This is the first book in the trilogy.  Here is an excerpt from her novel:

Thank you,” I said again. His fingers were tugging at the cover as he balled his fingers into a fist that could drop Godzilla. “I have some questions,” I added and pulled slightly to keep my chest covered. Not that he hadn`t seen all I had to show already but, you know, a woman has to have some modesty, right?

“I would be surprised if you did not,” he responded tightly. “Ask and I shall attempt to answer your queries, but first you must eat. Would you wish for me to feed you?”

I blinked at him for a moment in surprise then shook my head.

”No, I think I can manage to chew but thanks,” I muttered then looked down at where his arm was stretched across my stomach. “If you move that I can sit up and eat,” I pointed while Argus rose up on his back feet to check out the milk pitcher with very greedy feline eyes. Ares and I both lunged for the glass container at the same time as my cat reached up to dunk his paw into it. Ares` hand slapped down over mine on the handle as I rolled into his side. And then we sat there like a couple of drunken toads on a log.

I could see so much in his eyes in that moment: Hope and despair and fear and strength, eons of misery and laughter, anger and pleasure. All of that was there, and yet something was missing. I felt my blanket slipping downward but I couldn`t do a damned thing to stop it. I was too wrapped up in those godly eyes of his to care.

“You are a very special woman, Libby Simons,” he grunted as if the admission had cost him dearly. I made some sort of goofy sound then leaned forward slightly. I will swear on a stack of the Iliad or whatever it is Greek gods swear on, that my gesture was to make sure the pitcher didn`t hit the floor. I would swear and then I would be tossed into the Olympic jail for perjury. The real reason I drifted closer to him was because he was moving towards me and I really, really, REALLY wanted to taste his lips. (end)

oh look! A video!


Of Gods and Goats can be purchased on Smashwords in ebook format OR from the Of Gods and Goats site in paperback.  Follow V.L. Locey on Twitter, Facebook , Goodreads, and her blog Thoughts from A Yodeling Goatherder.


Have an author to nominate?  Send me a message via Twitter or leave a comment with the author(s) name and Twitter name and the tag #ANSA.  I'd love to add new members!  Happy Reading!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Review Day: Fireflies in December

It's Review Day!!!!!

This review is for the TBR Challenge.  Click the pretty button on the top right side of the page to read more about the challenge.

Title: Fireflies in December
Author: Jennifer Valent
Rating: 3 stars

photo from Amazon
(description from Amazon)
Little does anyone realize that simple Christian charity will inflame the bigots and hatemongers in this small Virginia town. Escalating episodes of horrific violence ensue, including sexual attacks directed at 13-year-old Jessilyn Lassiter, the novel’s narrator, after her white family takes in her black best friend, Gemma, when she is orphaned by a tragic fire. Winner of the Christian Writers Guild’s 2007 Operation First Novel contest, Valent has created a darkly evocative historical novel that boldly explores the divisive effects of unreasoning hatred, greed, and fear on a community already struggling with the economic and racial tensions caused by the Depression and exacerbated by the Ku Klux Klan. As these forces impact one family, childhood innocence is lost, but Valent’s characters also experience the affirmation of a deeper, more lasting faith. (end)


A book that instantly brought To Kill a Mockingbird to mind, this one promised so much...yet gave me less.  The best part about this book was the characters by far.  Jessilyn, her parents, Gemma, and Luke are quite the group.  The characters come alive like few books of this type are able to do.  Each one has a very distinct personality that makes them fit together perfectly with the rest.  Valent pieced together the characters flawlessly.

The overall plot was very dramatic - being told in the point-of-view of miss Jessilyn at the age of 13, the twists and turns the plot took were gut wrenching, but sometimes expected.  Each chapter was well thought out and the real plans and members of the KKK didn't emerge until the very end.  The story also reminded me of Out Of The Dust, another exceptional novel told by a strong, young women growing up in the depression and dealing with difficult people.  This novel could easily become another classic book about the depression, racial tension and how difficult it was for even the children to face.

Why 3 stars?  The overall plot rose and fell like any true novel; however, the ending really lacked something.  I never found out more about Luke - even though it was hinted at and almost promised by previous text.  I almost felt like there could be a sequel, even though there isn't nor is there one planned.  It almost felt like the author ran out of pages or had to cut down the ending.  It was rushed in some aspects, and drawn out in others when it should have been the opposite.  I was overall disappointed with the ending, but really enjoyed the rest of the novel.

Happy review day!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Review Day: Frugality: Let's Get Thrifty!

Today's review marks the end of the challenge I started on March 5.  The challenge: use JM's workbook Frugality: Let's Get Thrifty! for one whole month.

Title - Frugalarity: Let's Get Thrifty! (click the title to purchase from Amazon)
Author - JM Greenleaf
Type of book - workbook; ebook format
Rating: 3 stars

(description from Amazon)
Frugalarity: Let’s Get Thrifty – It’s Not Just About Extreme Couponing is a workbook created for the extreme novice. These printables (if readers are using an e-reader or their computer) and reproducables (for those using a paperback edition of this workbook) are those that are most often used in my household. Because this workbook is based on my personal experiences, as well as information gathered on http://www.frugalarity.com, I expect this book to continue growing and updating.
(end)
I was an extreme novice when it came to using coupons, keeping track of what I had in the kitchen cabinets, and planning meals ahead.  I have tried and tried and tried to utilize these simple but very useful, money and time saving techniques but after about a week of "YES! I can do this!" spirit, I sink back into old habits and stop clipping or keeping track. Until now... 

This workbook is a miracle!  It really helped me keep track (when I actually remembered to use it) AND helped me save time/money.  I was able to keep a detailed inventory of what food I had in my kitchen and it made getting ready for the grocery store trips much much easier.  *shudders* I really don't like going to the grocery store (or as I've come to call them...food libraries. *smirk*).  I knew what I had in my cabinets and about how much, so I knew if I needed to get more or if I was good for the week.  I loved being able to just grab my "to-buy" list and run off to the store.

A few downsides to this workbook - I can guarantee it will be much more helpful to larger, busier families and to those people who have the space to buy groceries in *large* quantities.  With just two people in our apartment, we make a trip to the grocery store when needed AND there are two grocery stores litterally within 5-6 minutes from our apartment - no need to make HUGE shopping trips.  The workbook taught me how to cut down through organizing, but didn't teach me anything about coupons or using up what you already have effectively.

The inventory list was by far my favorite part about this book.  If you are looking for a workbook to help guide you in the right direction of keeping track and being more, uhm..  frugal with your grocery spending then I highly recommend this to you.  Before you decide to purchase it, save all your grocery reciepts for a  a couple weeks and see how much it is really adding up to.  Then purchase the book and see if it makes a difference - it made about a $50 difference in our spending!  Happy Review Day!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Authors Not-So-Anonymous Week #19

Welcome everyone to the ninteenth Authors Not-So-Anonymous weekly meeting!! This weekly series is about authors from Twitter and Facebook!  This week, I would like to introduce Jonathon D. Fluck  into Authors Not-So-Anonymous!

Jonathon Fluck is a children's author from New Jersey.  He began writing children's books after he realized how much fun it was telling original stories to his son each night.  "About a year a go my oldest son asked for a bedtime story and each night I came up with a new story but used the same characters.  It was at this point that I realized how much fun it would be to write a children's story."  A children's author inspired by his very own children! So sweet!

Photo from Amazon.com
" T-Bot and Peabody Explore is a series where the two main characters explore and learn. T-Bot and Peabody are based off my two sons.  T-Bot like my oldest son loves to learn, study facts, and figure the world out.  Peabody is like my youngest son, he just wants to have fun and if he learns along the way; that's nice.  I co-author these stories with my wife and I do the illustrations.  It has been awesome sharing this with her. Even our muses help with brainstorming ideas, it's a family affair!"  Such a fun family project!

His inspiration and support came again from his two sons and the his loving wife.  "The characters, T-Bot and Peabody, are based on my two sons.  T-Bot is based of my oldest son and Peabody is based on my youngest. My two sons started me down the writer's path, but I start new "projects" all the time, it's finishing them that is an amazing feat and had it not been for the encouragement and help of my wife Karen, T-Bot and Peabody would have remained an oral story that never made it outside of our house."

Jonathon's favorite novels include numerous classics such as The Count of Monte Cristo, 1984, Beowulf, and Cyrano De Bergerac.  "I love Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain, and Oscar Wilde."

Photo from Amazon.com
T-Bot and Peabody Explore the Zoo is the first book in the series and the second book is T-Bot and Peabody Explore the Ocean.  The series will continue with T-Bot and Peabody exploring different areas of the world in depth taking you on a new adventure every time

Purchase a copy of T-Bot and Peabody here and enter the coupon code WET48E4B to save 15%!

Keep up with Jonathon and T-Bot and Peabody on Facebook, Twitter (@TBotAndPeabody) or Twitter (@JonathanFluck) or support them through Kickstarter!  T-Bot and Peabody can be purchased from Amazon, Createspace, Powell's Books and can be ordered through any bookstores.

Have an author to nominate?  Send me a message via Twitter or leave a comment with the author(s) name and Twitter name.  I'd love to add new members!  Happy Reading!

Review Day: Silver Linings

Today's review is...

Title: Silver Linings
Authors: Kate James
Rating: 4 stars

(description from Amazon)
Katlyn’s world is shattered when her fiancĂ©e is killed in an accident.  The beneficiary of his considerable wealth, Katlyn has his numerous properties at her disposal.  Seeking solace at his St. Lucian villa, she gradually begins to build a new life and fulfil a dream of owning an art gallery.  Hesitantly, she also opens herself to accepting love once more.  Yet fate intervenes again, threatening to destroy all that she has begun to build.
(end)

** Some spoilers are contained in this review!**

Silver Linings is a novel that changes at every turn.  It starts out with the tragedy of Katlyn losing her fiancee Jack.  Coping with the death of her fiancee, Katlyn plans to turn her life around by following her life-long dream of being a artist and gallery owner.  She soon finds new friends, a new home and even a new romance that is more passionate than she could ever imagine.  When Katlyn's gallery is destroyed in devastating hurricane, she must decide if she wants to rebuild or just pack up and retreat back to the city.  After making her decision, Katlyn is not feeling much like herself anymore and goes to see a doctor.  She finds out some very troubling and disturbing news that has the potential to kill her.  Will she survive?

This novel is wonderfully written.  The natural rise and fall of the plot will keep you intrigued while the plot twists will keep you guessing.  The main characters seem to jump off the pages.  The tragedy and romance fill the reader with such emotion they can hardly wait to finish and see what happens.  Kate James did an incredible job of telling the tale of Katlyn, Jack and all the other characters.  She also manages to keep the feeling light and happy through the unbreakable bonds of Katlyn and her best friend Myra, as well as Katlyn and her new friend Jolene.  Kate wrote with such a passion and eye for detail that readers are surely to notice, and be thankful for.

Why four stars?  Although I really liked this novel, it was very true to the tragedy/romance genre(s).  There were hints of mystery in the novel that I would have liked more from; however, I am satisfied with how the situations played out.

Silver Linings can be purchased from Amazon in Kindle or print format.  Happy Review Day!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Authors Not-So-Anonymous Week #14

Welcome everyone to the fourteenth Authors Not-So-Anonymous weekly meeting!! This weekly series is about authors from Twitter and Facebook!  This week, I would like to introduce Leslie Davis Guccione into Authors Not-So-Anonymous!


Leslie Davis Guccione is an author of many genres - children's, adult (romance/women's) fiction, historical mid-grade mystery, teen thriller/mystery, teen romance, adult romantic suspense, adult romance and humor.  She has gone by numerous names - "I started using my maiden name Leslie Davis for kids and Leslie Davis Guccione for adults.  Then the pen name, Kate Chester for my teen series Hear No Evil...Then to simplify things, I wanted to USE Guccione for everything but some publishers thought it too long so there are a few Leslie D. Guccione out there too."  Pen names are often used to help authors "disguise" who they really are, somewhat like a secret identity for a superhero.  Could you imagine every author having a mask on in their photo?  *smirk*  (insert pen name) - saving readers from not-so-witty puns everywhere.  heh. Anyways...

Leslie has a degree in art from Queen University of Charlotte.  She began creative writing during college, and spent 10 years in PR and non-profit fundraising, including ghost writing letters for athletes and celebrites on behalf of their CHARITIES.  "In 1985, my agent Denise Marcil, sold my YA mystery Somtheing Out There and romance A Touch of Scandal the same day.  I was off and running.  3 million sales in about 9 languages and 31 books later, I'm still at it."

Leslie teaches at Steon  IN SETON Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction MFA program.  She is constantly reading new books, and her favorites are always changing.  "Barbara O'Connor is a master at voice/plots for kids (How to Steal A Dog).  Jack Gantos for humor out of chaos. I started out with Carla Neggers & Barbara Delinsky and still search out their latest adult; Jessica Warman and Kimberly Marcus strong new YA voices.  Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Nighttime knocked my socks off."
Leslie most recent novel~~women's fiction~~was chosen as a Barnes & Noble NOOK FIRST exclusive and launched Dec. 26.  It hit #1 and stayed in their top ten during January.  It's now also available at Amazon.com.


(description from Amazon)
THREE DILEMMAS, TWO FRIENDS, ONE DESERTED TREE HOUSE...

The friendship of Boston bred Johanna Lawrence and Two Rock, South Carolina’s Lilly Covington spans, well, decades. From their days as college roommates through their years as lakeside neighbors, they’ve offered each other sympathy, support and solace for life’s rough edges. Summer’s come round again and with a new crop of concerns, they commandeer their sons’ long-deserted tree house for morning coffee, evening margaritas and soulful contemplation.

Happily married Johanna has a family reunion to organize, a husband needing attention, a daughter wanting advice, and a son sweeping Grand Central terminal as community service for graffiti violations. Fresh from her mother’s memorial service, she carries her small bag of ashes on morning walks around the lake, “waiting for wisdom” as she grapples with her emerging role as materfamilias. Who has she become? How did she get there so fast?

Single again Lilly, bemoaning her fresh status as an empty nester and the second divorce from her only husband, hopes to seek refuge in her aging bungalow next door~~until “Ex-ex” announces that he and his paramour, graphic designer Cat Gallordi, intend to use it on alternate weekends.

Complications deepen at the far end of picturesque Lake Allamuchy. Johanna’s first love, the bad boy she used years ago to defy her parents, suddenly appears. Quicker than he can dub their tree house The Chick Palace, he embroils Johanna and Lilly in a triangle, steals hearts and turns summer upside down. Just as he did one long-ago August.

With her trademark heart, humor and sass, RITA finalist and creator of the Branigan brother series, Leslie Davis Guccione plunks us into a lakeside romp fueled by friendship, family, and one old flame not averse to once again testing the waters.
(end)

Visit Leslie's blog for details.  Have an author to nominate?  Send me a message via Twitter or leave a comment with the author(s) name and Twitter name and the tag #ANSA.  I'd love to add new members!  Happy Reading!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Archive and How To Updates!

I have recently updated a few important tabs.  The Archives now contains all the how-tos or tutorials AND helpful links for anything you might need for your Kindle.  I've added video links, troubleshooting links, and updated past tutorials.  The most *important* update was the downloading ebooks onto your Kindle update.  I have added how to get an ebook from your email onto your Kindle.  Amazon is always trying to make their customers happy, so they added video tutorials on a couple basic concepts for each model of Kindle.  Check them out on the How To Archive tab.  If you would like to see a new tutorial for anything with Kindle/eReaders, let me know in the comments!  Happy Update Day!

Sneak Peek and Cover Reveal!!

I have a very special treat today!
A cover reveal AND sneak peek!!!!!!!!!

Becca J. Campbell's upcoming book Foreign Identity is a sci-fi novel that will be released on May 15, 2012!  The cover art was done by Anna Howard at DailyIkon Photography. 

Photobucket

What do you think of the cover?  It's seems like a mystery novel's cover.  Very simple, but has this creepiness about it with the shadow hand and white-tree background.  The title looks like it has been written in blood.  It looks like a Goosebumps or MG mystery novel cover.  It doesn't quite fit the "science fiction" genre to me.  I wish the sign wasn't so...clean and nice looking, more shabby and forgotten or old looking.

Here is a sneak peek into the novel with a full description:
Cold. Confusion. Fear. This is how it all begins.

Waking up without your memory in a cell and bound by chains is terrifying.

Two nameless strangers, a man and a woman, find themselves imprisoned together. With no memories of their own identities, let alone their captor and tormentor, escape is the only option. The pair faces a bizarre labyrinth of rooms and clues that confuse more than they explain. Every discovery only brings more questions.

Who captured them? Why were they taken? What does their captor want from them? What can the riddles mean?

Who are they?

Lacking allies and options, the duo must learn to trust one another. Mazes, puzzles, and even strange, lurking creatures force them to rely on their wits--and each other--for survival. But survival isn’t enough. They need answers.

Will the answers be enough? Will the truth bring them closer together, or drive them forever apart? Will discovering their identities finally bring them home? (end)


*shudders* It sounds so creepy, but so good. I absolutely love the mixture of mystery and science-fiction elements this little blurb has promised. I can't wait to see what the novel brings! While reading the blurb..my mind immediately went to Lost (the television show.). If Becca's novel is anything close to the how amazing that show was, it will be an instant best-seller.

Now...what do you think of the cover?

After reading the excerpt, I fully agree with what I said. The cover doesn't really do this blurb justice. I wish it was creepier and more shabby - less clean lines. I like that the cover is simple, easy to read and you know exactly what the title is and who the author is. One thing I dislike about covers is when the title and author name run together and I can't tell which is which.
The ebook and paperback will be available on Amazon and Barnes&Noble beginning on May 15, 2012. Follow Becca Campbell on Goodreads, Facebook, and her blog to stay up to date with all news surrounding the upcoming release. Happy Cover Reveal Day!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Quick Tip!

Today's Quick Tip is to about reviews!  Before you purchase a book, go through the reviews and read a few of them.  Just be careful, some will contain spoilers.  Try to find the medium to semi-long reviews.  The super long reviews will typically contain all the spoilers, whereas the short and super short reviews don't contain more than "It was good." or "I really liked it."  Reviews will give you a better idea of what you are getting into, especially if you are on the fence about buying a book.  They can convince you to purchase or pass. 

If you don't have time to look at the reviews, look at the star ratings.  Most sites will state what percent of the stars are 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1.  That will also help tremendously.  If the majority of the stars are between 3 and 5, the chances of liking the book are higher; however, if most of the stars are between 1 and 3, you might want to pass and move on.  Happy Quick Tip Day!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Quick Tip!

Today's Quick Tip is on stretching your ebook budget.  Wait to purchase ebooks unless you know are going to read them right away.  The prices are always fluctuating and sometimes they even go free for a day!  To stretch your budget, follow sites such as Free Kindle Dude and Pixel-of-Ink .  You will find daily deals and the ebooks that are free for that day.  Purchasing ebooks only as you read them will allow you to get the best price for the ebook and saves you money.

Kindle Select is also a new program that authors and publishers are able to take advantage of on Amazon.  In this program, they are required to make their ebooks free 5+ times throughout the year for a full day each time.  If you follow me on Twitter, I usually tweet about the KS freebies that I find for that day.  These ebooks range from $.99 to $12.99 for normal prices, so watch out for those freebies too!  Happy Saving!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Authors Not-So-Anonymous Week #13

Welcome everyone to the thirteenth Authors Not-So-Anonymous weekly meeting!! This weekly series is about authors from Twitter and Facebook!  This week, I would like to introduce Judah Lee Davis into Authors Not-So-Anonymous!

Judah Lee Davis is an adult book author.  She was an avid reader growing up.  She taught herself how to read at the age of three, and by the age of seven was reading books such as The Hobbit and The Yearling.  "On many occasions I attempted to write similar novels, but all I ended up with was a three ring binder full of stories about elves that had my Mom in stitches. Not the intended effect."  Judah filled journals with morbid poetry as a teen, like Emily Dickinson - which later became her inspiration.  "Fifteen years later when I began writing my first novel, I pulled out those space savers and used them for inspiration.  It was like an archeological excavation of PMS."


Judah gave up becoming a doctor to be a writer - "At 21, I thought I had it all figured out.  I was poised to apply for medical school that fall. I had a serious boyfriend, and I could easily wear my size seven CK jeans.

Two months later my boyfriend dumped me, and I gained fifteen pounds worth of jelly roll that poured out over the buttons of my once-so-friendly jeans.  Throwing my hands up in the air, I canceled my plans for graduation, took a long look at the jelly roll in the mirror and began to realize several important truths about myself.

I suddenly realized that deep down inside, I had strong desire to tip the couch over in search of change for the rest of my life.  I wanted to live off of Ramen noodles and take toilet paper from the gas station.  I wanted to be that person who came back for a free refill six hours later, but yet wrote stories for a living and could maybe even be considered happy.

So I decided to be a writer.

I changed my major to journalism, graduated form Auburn University in 2001, and have since been working as a corporate journalist.  My series of novels are written in my free time, which is usually only earned by the constant sacrifice of a little thing called SLEEP."  She turned her sadness into something much more happy and bright.  Judah's favorite authors include Heidi Ruby Miller, Ayn Rand and Chelsea Handler.  "I love so many different authors for so many different reasons."  Her novel She Tells All was released in 2009 and the sequel Evey Women's Hero was just released in February in 2012.


**Warning: Some content not appropriate for readers under the age of 17.  Read at your own risk.**


Here is an excerpt from She Tells All:
Seven and a half brown shots later, I stood on the rickety stage and looked out over the sea of horny cowboys.  I was certain I could smell sperm in the air.
There were only two other girls who were brave enough, or might I say, dumb enough, to enter the redneck festivity, and I stood sandwiched in the middle with a girl on either side.  It was a slut sandwich. It was a stupid sandwich.  It was a stupid slut sandwich.
“Welcome to our annual wet T-shirt contest,” a redneck drawled drunkenly over the loud speaker.  I could tell he listened to Hank Williams Jr., participated in lawn mower racing, and had the Blue Collar Comedy tour on DVD.
“We’re going to go ahead and get started now, and y’all cheer real loud, ‘cause the girl with the most cheers wins the money!”Not surprising that those morons couldn't think up a more sophisticated system.  
Out of the corner of my eye, I attempted to assess the competition.  The girl to my left was considerably fatter than me and had large pendulous breasts.  Her mousy brown hair fell over her shoulders like silly string and her face appeared to be experiencing an onslaught of angry freckles.  I wondered how many shots of liquor it had taken to talk her into entering.
The girl on the right looked exactly like a Britney Spears impersonator wearing a cowgirl hat and boots.  She had already taken her white T-shirt and flipped it over her bra -- Pamela Anderson style -- to show off her tan and muscular flat stomach.
I quickly decided I didn’t have a hope in hell to beat her as I glanced down at my pudgy white jelly roll lapped over my pants.  She looked like a Playmate dressed up for Halloween and I looked like I belonged in a Jenny Craig waiting room.  It was all said and done.  I would be second place and I knew it, but it was too late to back out.
The redneck DJ cranked up Shake Whatcha Momma Gave Ya and called the first contestant.  She waddled out to the front and started vibrating her droopy ass as they tried to put out her flabby fire with a garden hose.
She looked like a Teletubby on meth. She got low and humped the air like a horny Chihuahua.  Then she flopped around like a fish out of water as her pendulous breasts followed two seconds behind every move she made. Honestly, I was a little concerned that she might be having a seizure, but I wasn't feeling too judgmental because I knew I was next.
The liquor congealed in my stomach when they called for contestant two.  I timidly stepped out into the spotlight and braced myself for impact.  As the freezing cold water blasted over my body, I was overcome with the strange and unfamiliar feeling ... The cold water had rendered me completely sober. Despite my horrifying realization, I tried to start shaking what my momma gave me, but I had two things working against me:  I was white AND I was SOBER. I bent my knees and tried to stick my butt out, but I knew if I got too low, I’d end up on the flo. I felt like a fat grasshopper takin’ a dump.
I ran out of booty shakin’ moves within the first ten seconds and started doing some really strange stuff, like the Charleston, the robot, those silly Vogue hands, the Roger Rabbit, the Hammer, and a ten-year-old dance routine from middle school cheer leading tryouts.  About the time I broke into the Cabbage Patch, the redneck asshole running the show finally took pity and re-directed the hose to the next poor victim – Britney Spears.
Britney didn’t seem to mind the cold water as much.  She pranced out there, stuck her tiny round ass out and then started working her hips like she was riding something very large. She could have never guessed what was about to happen next. (end)

Purchase She Tells All in paperback from Amazon here or Kindle format here  Pick up the sequel Every Women's Hero in paperback here or Kindle format here.  Judah also wrote and published the third book in the She Tells All series, The Diary of Dion.

Check out tons of hilarious stories on her blog, AND the Q&A on GoodReads here - so stop by and ask Judah any questions you have!

Have an author to nominate?  Send me a message via Twitter or leave a comment with the author(s) name and Twitter name.  I'd love to add new members!  Happy Reading!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Night Sky Blog Tour!

Welcome to the Night Sky Blog Tour!  For the blog tour, I decided to interview the author of Night Sky - Jolene Perry!  Click here to read more about the blog tour and the rest of the stops it will make.

Jolene Perry is a YA author who began her writing career in late 2009.  She grew up in Alaska, is an expert chaser of two kids, plays the guitar, currently lives in Alaska, loves to be outside and loves to be going fast - in a car, on a boat, on a bike, etc.  "I started writing my first book for fun, not thinking it would be a whole novel.  When I finished it, and knew I could write a whole book, the next came much more quickly.  Her favorite authors include John Green, Laurie Halse Anderson, Stephanie Perkins, and Kendare Blake.  "John Green, Ockler and Anderson are people whoe writing I HOPE to emulate - eventually...one day..."

She began writing Night Sky after watching numerous rom-com movies where the guy always gets the girl in the end.  "Jameson came from the idea that at the end of the movie, where the guy's in love with his best friend, and he DOESN'T get her, what happens then?  So, I wanted to write a "nice guy" in high school, and Jameson came to me pretty quickly.  I didn't know Sky existed until Jameson was in his Dad's porsche driving in the middle of the night.  I tried to think of someone who was the opposite of Sarah.  And then Sarah came from the idea of the all-American high school girl."  Each character was built on the previous character, creating a perfect group for Night Sky.

description for Night Sky
Girl I’ve loved, girl I’m falling for. Now that they’re both in view, the problem is clear.

After losing Sarah, the friend he’s loved, to some other guy, Jameson meets Sky. Her Native American roots, fluid movements, and need for brutal honesty become addictive fast. This is good. Jameson needs distraction – his dad leaves for another woman, his mom’s walking around like a zombie, and Sarah’s new boyfriend can’t keep his hands off of her.

As he spends time with Sky and learns about her village, her totems, and her friends with drums - she's way more than distraction. Jameson's falling for her fast.

But Sky’s need for honesty somehow doesn’t extend to her life story – and Jameson just may need more than his new girl to keep him distracted from the disaster of his senior year.
(end)

Night Sky was just released on March 1, 2012.  You can purchase it on Amazon.  Jolene's books can be found on Amazon, Goodreads and Barnes&Noble.  She is currently working on another YA novel, Knee Deep, that is due out in May.  Follow Jolene and Night Sky on Facebook, the Night Sky website, on Twitter or tweet with the #NightSky, Goodreads, her blog, or on Jolene's website.  Happy Blog Tour Day!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Review Day: What A Demon Wants

It's Review Day!!!!!!!!!


Title: What A Demon Wants
Author: Kathy Love
Rating: 3 stars

* This book is not suited for readers under the age of 18 50 due do the very sexual content.  I do not recommend this novel to anyone who does not like books with multiple scenes of nudity and sexual behavior.*

This review is for the TBR Challenge.  Click the pretty button on the top right side of the page to read more about the challenge.
Photo from Amazon
Side note: This ebook currently costs $8 from Amazon.  I was able to get this ebook for free from Pixel-of-Ink.  If you want to read this ebook, I can loan it on Kindle.  The print copy is actually cheaper this time than the ebook edition; however, you will have a hard time finding it new.

(description from Amazon) 
She's No Angel
A bodyguard?  Why in the world would a demon need a bodyguard?  Yes, it's true Ellina Kostova is only half demon. . .and an author with a cult following, but that just means strange stuff happens. She isn't in real danger.  Heck, she's in more danger from Jude Anthony, the guy her brother has hired to protect her.  In big danger, actually.  Because she just cannot be attracted to. . .well, anyone.  She's too much of a demon in bed.  No, really.


Jude has grown accustomed to being an outcast, adrift in both the mortal and preternatural worlds.  Being a paid fighting machine isn't glamorous, but he does it--and many other things--spectacularly well.  And man does Ellina Kostova need a lot of protection.  But he needs protection, too. She's making him remember what it feels like to be human.  And he's already learned no good can come of that.  Especially when he's been hired not only to protect her--but also kill her. . .(end)

I started reading this book thinking it was going to be another dramatic, intriguing fantasy novel.  Boy was I wrong!  This novel has some serious...uh...scenes in it.  At first, I thought it would just go away after the a while...but it got more intense.  It became so descriptive I felt like I needed to rub Purrell on my brain after reading a couple sentences... so...descriptive...(shudders).  It was good, outstanding even, but it was intense.

Now...on to the rest of the novel.  I really liked it.  The characters, Ellina, Jude, Maksim, Jo...made me want to be part of their lives.  They were lovable, believable, but also completely different than the average fantasy/demon-y character.  The plot was outstanding - an author, Ellina, who writes about a demon hunting cake decorator, gets a bodyguard after as series of break-ins and then falls in love with him all while being hunted (SPOILER ALERT!) by her gay, bestfriend neighbor!  Such a drama filled story...


Why 3 stars/  The author did an incredible job of keeping the story alive and making you believe this could actually be happening right under your nose.  Creepy, but awesome.  I just wanted more of actual story and less of the overly descriptive sex scenes.  Happy review day!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

To My Indie Authors and Readers!

Have you heard!?!  The 2012 Kindle Book Review Contest is now taking entries!  What does this mean for you?  Only something amazing!!

Authors can enter to win some serious prizes.  The Kindle Book Review holds this contest to help Indie authors get their name out there (just like I try to...but way faster).  Click here for more information about entering and the rules.  Make sure you read carefully the rules about what types of files they accept, it's pretty specific!  There is a $15 fee for authors, but the end results is worth it!

What's at stake for the authors? The five winners will receive $100 cash each and an advertising package with The Kindle Book Review. The categories are:
  • Mystery/Thriller
  • Romance 
  • Suspense/Horror 
  • Literary Fiction
  • Sci-fi/Fantasy
Readers can enter to win a Kindle Fire loaded with tons of the best Indie ebooks of 2012 AND each week there will be a weekly drawing for FREE Indie ebooks!  It is completely free for readers to enter - go here to see more and enter.

The deadline for ALL entries is May 15, 2012.

Good luck to everyone and please let me know if you enter!  I'd love to how many of my author friends and reader friends enter the contest.  Happy Kindle Review Contest Day!