My summer calendar overfloweth, or as I recently told someone in an email- is engorged. Right? Sometimes I do not chose the best word. LOL. In addition to all the 999 things my three kids need carted to for the next three months, I have a lot going on myself. There are conferences, library visits, speaking gigs and more. All of those involve a raffle basket situation. Donating a basket is always optional, but super fun. I buy more raffle tickets every summer than I care to admit. Getting free books is my ultimate thrill. They call my name and I jump around like they called me up for The Price is Right! So, when MY NAME is going on the tag outside the basket, I want it to be something that earns a pile of tickets. But what do I put inside? I’m a tiny fish in the wide wide sea of better known authors. I don’t have 30 books to put inside. I have two print books. That’s a let down, right? And I’m too poor to give away Kindles and $100 gift cards. So, what’s a bookish girl to do? I want to woo you with my awesome basket!
So far, I’m thinking one book in each of two baskets, then theming the other contents around the books. For my sweet romance, Written on Her Heart, I’m thinking about adding a journal and maybe tea and a mug <– is that lame? I am so terrible at this!
For the YA, I am stunned stupid. I have NO IDEA what to put in there at all. Like. At. All.
This is probably a good time to thank all of you amazing people who contribute books to raffles every year. You are wonderful. I adore you. Please help. LOL
As many of you know, I’m on vacation. My family and I drove from Ohio to Orlando last weekend, a seventeen hour drive made of suck. Alas, we lived. We’re here and we had a blast together. No iPad, laptops or video games for the kids. They were forced to enjoy one another from the moment we unpacked until we get back in the car to go home – at which point I will gladly plug them in. Anyhow….Hubsy and I went to the Polynesian Resort for their luau dinner last night and it was awesome. I love being packed into a room full of happy people yammering away about their lives and vacation. Hubsy and I had a table to ourselves in the front row, which made eavesdropping very easy. No one paid any attention to us. All they saw was the back of our heads. But I was listening because I’m creepy like that.
The family behind us couldn’t get over the fire eaters and male dancers made of abs and glistening with something shiny. The men periodically murmured things like, “I need to get back to the gym” and “Sure, when you’re twenty-five it’s easy to look like that.” The women wondered how a fire eater gets insurance. “What must THAT cost?” they pondered. “Can you imagine his life insurance rates? What’s your profession? Fire eating. Well, that’s gonna cost ya.”
I sat sipping frozen punch from a giant coconut carved into a monkey face. My worst nightmare. You know I imagined no less than a dozen times that the monkey head came to life and bit my fingers off into bloody stumps. You should’ve seen the strange way I held the drink for that reason. My fear of monkeys only gets worse every day.
So, I’m not sure what all happened at the luau, but I have a slew of new story and character ideas. Crowds entertain me so very very much. Writers never know where inspiration will hit, I guess. And don’t get me started on what I learned about the Magic Bullet blender doo-dad my father in law made icees for the kids with. #deathmaker
Thanks to the wonderful Women on Writing, I have the honor of visiting with Jadie Jones today. She’s a delightful woman and YA author. I’m reading her novel Moonlit and will have a review up this week. So far, I love it. Of course I would. Have you met the author? Well, now you will because here she is!
My favorite Fantasy Authors – Jadie Jones
J.R. Tolkien: I grew up on the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. Talk about the master of world building. His words paint such a vibrant, thorough picture. When I was young, his characters felt so real that I was sure they lived in the woods behind my house. In fact, his world felt tangible to me – a place I could get to and call home if only I knew the way.
C.S. Lewis: I was an oddball kid and then an awkward teenager with a serious set of braces, frizzy hair I had yet to figure out, and bad skin. I was certain I belonged somewhere else – that I’d become something shiny and whole. So the idea of stepping through a door – or wardrobe – and into a whole new world was very appealing to me. I didn’t realize how much this stuck with me until one of my editors said that Moonlit was like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe meets The Hunger Games. It’s actually a very fitting description.
C.J. Redwine : her debut novel, Defiance, leans more towards Dystopian, but there’s definitely a fantastic element at play. Defiance was one of my favorite books of 2012. I devoured it in two days’ time. Her writing style is what I like most, and she switches back and forth between two point-of-views in a way that is easy and organic.
Peter S. Beagle: The opening of “The Last Unicorn” might be my favorite first paragraph of all time: “The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone. She was very old, though she did not know it, and she was no longer the careless color of sea foam, but rather the color of snow falling on a moonlit night But her eyes were still clear and unwearied, and she still moved like a shadow on the sea.” Immediately, I am transported, and I believe. I think that’s what a fantasy author has to do for me: make me believe in the fantastical creature or world that they create.
Moonlit by Jadie Jones:
Eighteen-year-old Tanzy Hightower knows horses, has grown up with them on Wildwood Farm. She also knows not to venture beyond the trees that line the pasture. Things happen out there that can’t be explained. Or undone. Worse, no one but she and the horses can see what lurks in the shadows of the woods.
When a moonlit ride turns into a terrifying chase, Tanzy is left to question everything, from the freak accident that killed her father to the very blood in her veins. Broken and confused, she turns to Lucas, a scarred, beautiful stranger, and to Vanessa, a charming new friend who has everything Tanzy doesn’t.
But why do they seem to know more about her than she knows herself? Is she really Tanzy? Or someone new? Was she ever Tanzy? And how will she choose between the many realities she’s coming to know?
About the Author:
Jadie Jones has been dreaming about being an author since she wrote her first book in the seventh grade – in a black and white composition tablet, of course. But life happens…jobs, husband, baby. Jadie has that magical time known as naptime to thank for Moonlit. Because, when all was quiet in the house (with the exception of the washer humming in the background) Jadie could hear Tanzy, who she thought she had long ago relegated to past dreams, calling to her. And one day Jadie pulled out a pen and answered. The result was Moonlit.
Find Jadie online:
Jadie Jones’ blog:
Dare You To by Katie McGarry
If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk’s home life, they’d send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom’s freedom and her own happiness. That’s how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn’t want her and going to a school that doesn’t understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn’t get her, but does….
Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can’t tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn’t be less interested in him.
But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won’t let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all….
I should start by saying I read Pushing the Limits out of sheer curiosity. The cover art was everywhere I went online for weeks. The blurb didn’t catch me, but after seeing the cover 9 trillion times I gave in and downloaded it. I loved it. Like really loved it. I bought copies for my kids’ babysitters and started following Katie on twitter. The book seemed to stand alone, so when I heard there was a sequel, I started looking for news on it periodicly. The cover is so hot. I shared it on twitter. Then, I found the ARC available through NetGalley and nearly wet my pants when I was approved to read it. I literally squueeeed.
I devoured this book. I loved it even more than the first one. Right? Who does that? Katie did it. She drew me in to a character I didn’t think twice about in Pushing the Limits. Beth is my new favorite character ever. Like ever. She’s a hot mess. Awful. And Katie slowly peels away the layers until the reader sees how raw she is, what life’s done to her, what her heart goes through – continually. I was broken on her behalf. I groaned when she made poor choices after having good ones available because I “got” that bad choices were what she understood. The “safe” was the frightening unknown to her. OMG. Just. Wow.
Beth’s relationship with Isaiah was turbulent, but strong. It was hard to see his heart broken because he is essentially as lost as she was when the story began. We knew he loved her in Pushing the Limits. I hope Katie is telling his story next because I want so much to see him find something real.
For someone as adrift as Beth, Katie delivered the perfect hero. (I don’t mean her uncle here, though again, OMG she nailed it with him. He was amazing. Perfect. Loved). Katie introduces Ryan, the most steadfast teen I’ve ever read. He’s confident, even when he’s not. He takes chances, stands his ground and leads. He is precisely perfect for Beth. He anchors her and we can see her closed off heart unfurling as she dares to dream of something more than she has before.
The banter is fresh and fun. The romance is hawt. The story is real. I love this. I plan to buy copies for my home and the YA readers in my life. This is a must read book for anyone who loves an amazing story. Thank you Katie. Again.
I’m excited to have my first post up on Not Your Usual Suspects blogspot. Not Your Usual Suspects is a blog where Carina Press Mystery and Romantic Suspense Authors hang out, chat, share and blog together. I’m beyond excited to be there. It makes my Carina contract feel *that* much more real, more official.
My debut cozy mystery arrives in early October. I’ve come through a ton of firsts for this book already. I’ve learned the exact release date is October 7th. I’ve worked through my editorial (read as Revision) letter. I’ve done edits and am awaiting copy edits. Last week I got my first peek at the back cover copy. Things are moving right along. It’s happening. I say it, but my brain is still all hipster cool, like whatever. Until things like today happen and my face is on the blog wall with other Carina mystery authors. Then I get all stupid happy.
I can’t wait to share the back cover copy with you and to soon get a peek at my cover. In fact, that’s kind of what I blogged about over at Not Your Usual Suspects. You all know how hooked I am on Pinterest. I use it for inspiration while I write these days. When the cover art folks emailed looking for help with nailing the cover, I did my best to answer and then I directed them HERE. To my Murder by the Seaside Inspiration Board.
You see, Hubsy? All the time I spend on Pinterest IS handy….sometimes LOL. <— Bunny trail thoughts….
Anyway If you’ve got another click in you today, come see my debut blog post at Not Your Usual Suspects and be super surprised when you see it’s not actually about writing or mysteries. See you there!