Friday, January 27, 2017

Best Books of January

January is coming to an end, which means it's time to tell you all about the great books I read this month.

The first book I read this year is a Cyrano de Bergerac tale from an author who is new to the Aladdin M!x line, Joanne Levy.

In Crushing It, we meet a 12-year-old girl dealing with new feelings about her male neighbor. Kat and Tyler have been friends for their entire lives, yet over the summer Tyler blossomed into a hottie. Her BFF has also undergone a summertime transformation and, worst of all, her BFF now has a crush on him. The story follows the basic Cyrano de Bergerac theme, but the fact that Kat has had existing relationships with the couple she's helping makes it even more complex. Anyone who has ever felt "less than" can relate to Kat. This book has a very strong message about being yourself and embracing your interests as you try to find friends and romantic partners.

Every little girl loves mermaids. Even as an adult, the idea of an entire world taking place beneath the ocean is fascinating. So it's no surprise that Debbie Dadey's Mermaid Tales series is so popular. This month I read book #16 in the series.

In Flower Girl Dreamsall Pearl wants is to be a flower girl. When she hears her school's cafeteria worker is getting married, she may just get her chance. He's already chosen three of her friends to be flower girls. So she sets to work trying to win a spot--along the way her goals change, though. She finds herself dedicated to helping make it the best wedding ever. You just want to hug little Pearl. She has such a big heart and the lesson of the satisfaction we get from giving instead of receiving is one that we all can learn from.

I don't get to read picture books very often, so when I had the opportunity to purchase an autographed copy of this book from Susan Eaddy, I jumped at it!

Poppy's Best Paper is a beautifully illustrated picture book about a young rabbit who wants to be a writer when she grows up. She gets her chance to try it out when her teacher assigns a paper. When she finally turns in her paper, she's sure it will be a huge hit with the teacher. Instead, her friend, who doesn't even want to be an author, is the one whose paper is read to the class. This book has a very important message about friendship and jealousy--and it's something every single one of us will experience throughout our lives from time to time.

Stories about disappearances are always my favorites, so I couldn't wait to read Kelly Hashway's latest book. But this one was such a pleasant surprise!

Fading into the Shadows is an action-packed story about teens battling falling constellations. The shadows that lure the teens into this world creeped me out in a way few stories have in my life. And once there, the action didn't stop until the end. Plus, there's a love triangle with two guys that will win young readers' hearts. But what really keeps the tension going throughout the book is the race to stop the constellations before the people Ella cares about fade into shadows.

I always look for any excuse to read Sandra Cox's amazing books. Her recent re-release of a romantic suspense gave me a reason to read it and tell all of you about it!

At the center of The Crystal is a crystal ball that allows its owners to see the face of their one true love. For Gabriella, that face is a man she just happened to bump into before entering the store that is selling the ball. She buys the crystal globe in question and adventure ensues. That stranger just happens to want the globe for himself...and a chase ensues. There is plenty of tension between the main characters and enough intrigue to keep you turning the pages until the end!

Next up is a book by one of the most supportive blogger-authors I know. If you haven't read Beverly Stowe McClure's blog, definitely head over and subscribe. This month I read her September 2016 re-release of a 2013 book:

I love ghost stories...and I also love children's adventures in the style of Peter PanA Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat satisfies both of those loves, with a young boy and his friends discovering a ghost ship near an old lighthouse. Over the course of the story, this world provides a form of escape for the main character, who is going through a tough time at home. Kids will be able to relate well to this touching adventure.

What are you reading now?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Writing and Promoting: Does Age Change Our Approach?

Last year, my blogging buddy Karen Walker posed an interesting question as part of her blog post. She was questioning why she chose to do very little marketing for her most recent book release. Her question? Am I too old for this game?

It's actually a very good question. I know several authors who had serious careers going a couple of decades ago. Then at some point, they got tired of the hamster wheel that is creating, perfecting, and promoting a book and said, basically...

They'd reached an age where they just were over it. There's something interesting about that, though. While the thought of promoting their work seems exhausting, nothing stops them from continuing to write. They publish their own books or write for small presses that provide promotional help. They write and publish...but they feel no pressure to sell thousands of books.

Most authors hate the process of promoting our work. Asking social media followers to buy our books is just...

Begging a bookstore manager or librarian to carry your book is even worse.

I could easily see how "retirement" might mean writing more and begging less. In fact, when I picture writing at 80 years of age, this is what I see:

Hanging out in bookstores and talking to fellow book lovers is always fun. It's just the "hustle" of trying to sell just one more book.

Do you think age affects how we market our books? 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Cover Reveal: Incense and Peppermints by Cathrina Constantine

Cathrina Constantine is a friend and blogger who has a new book coming out. Today, I'm helping her with her cover reveal. Be sure you scroll down below the cover to read all about the book, which releases on March 10!


Peace demonstrations, sit-ins, and burning the U.S. flag following the escalation of the Vietnam War are leading to a catalyst known to the world as the Sixties, and a musical revolution, flower power, hippies, marijuana, and drugs are carrying the generations—young and old—into a new decade. All the while sixteen-year-old Mary Monroe is caught between being an innocent good girl and an autumn of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll.

When her brother offers a solution to her dilemma in the form of a little pill, Mary ignores the rumba in her brain and takes a walk on the wild side. Plunged into popularity and a life she’s only imagined, she meets Michael Covington, the hot newcomer, and she’s instantly drawn in by his less than flawless exterior and bad boy sex appeal. Caught up in the danger and excitement as they drift from party to party, into underground fight clubs, and through a series of drug and alcohol fueled adventures, Mary follows her new crush into a world where young girls are never truly safe from the predators lurking in the shadows and young men are hiding from the harsh reality of war.

Feeling buzzed and as if her life is spinning out of control, Mary is assaulted by an unknown man at a party, and she’s left questioning if the enigmatic Michael is truly her hero or if he is the face behind the terrible attack. With every piece of information Mary learns about Michael, her doubts grow deeper, but with every minute she spends in his presence, so does her love.

With the war and her fear threatening to separate Mary and Michael forever, only the death of a friend, a crushing confession, and her own sensibilities can carry her over the threshold between adolescence and adulthood.

Add it on Goodreads.


Cathrina Constantine is the Best Selling author of Don't Forget To Breathe. Her book won Readers' Favorite International Book Award for 2015 and The Literary Classics Seal of Approval and Literary Classics Gold Award. Her Paranormal Fantasy, Wickedly They Come has been awarded the 5 Star Seal from Reader's Favorite. Tallas from her dystopian series received Literary Classics Silver Award and Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

Cathrina resides in Western New York with her husband, five children, two Labrador Retrievers and her cat, Bones. When not attached to her computer, she likes to take long walks in the woods with her dogs, drink way too much coffee, and is an avid movie watcher. She loves music and doesn't need a dance floor to shake a leg.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Introducing Forgotten by Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith has been a busy, busy author lately. The first book in her The Deception Game series came out in late November and here she is with its sequel. Scroll down to read all about it!


Seventeen-year-old Sienna is no stranger to heartache and loss. But this time, it's different; someone—or something—has tampered with a loved one's memories, and she's determined to get answers.

The trail leads her to the glittering skyscrapers and modern luxuries of Rubex, the Capital of Pacifica, where she infiltrates the government's Agency for Intelligence and Genetics. But answers are not always easy to come by, especially when her own memories may have been altered. Luckily, Zane Ryder is there to help her put the pieces back together, his devotion and concern muddying the waters between friendship and something more.

When Sienna gets too close to uncovering dark Agency secrets, she's framed for the murder of a prominent government official, sending her on the run. Sienna's heart may be torn about who she loves, but none of that really matters anymore—because the only thing that awaits her now is a death sentence.

Buy Links:


Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she's not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at