Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sweet Peril

Well my nose is back to the grindstone! It's going to be a busy week at both my jobs, and I am suspecting less time will be put towards reading, at least for a little while. But it's okay, because I already finished book 7 in my Summer Reading Project, Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins. I read the first book in this trilogy, Sweet Evil, for my last Summer Reading Project in one day. To keep the tradition alive, I did the same with this book.

Retrieved from Goodreads
's been six months since the summit of the Dukes where angels protected Anna from being killed. Since then, Kai has moved to Los Angeles, Kopano is back at Harvard, and Anna has been working in her capacity as the daughter of the Duke of substance abuse. And it's slowly killing her, because a part of her likes what's she's doing. Then a prophecy changes everything. Anna might be the only Neph who could banish the dukes from Earth. So she sets out with help from Kope and her father to track down other Neph who would help them fight when the day comes. Not that they're sure when that day is, of course.

If I recall, I gave Sweet Evil a glowing review for a couple reasons. One, I thought the idea of emotions being displayed like colors for the Neph to read was really cool. This still stands. Two, I liked the fact that Anna was genuinely a nice person without being a Mary Sue. If anything, her niceness got her in to trouble because she was so trusting. Oh, and did I mention the snogging? Holy cow that was sizzly. All these points apply to Sweet Peril as well. It was neat to see more of Kope, and the adventures to find the Neph were pretty cool. I wish we'd seen more of Kai, if only for the sizzly kisses. When does the last one come out?

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Georgia Corbins Blog Tour

Today I have with me Kara Leigh Miller, author of The Georgia Corbins, a YA contemporary romance released through my employer (and publisher) Entranced Publishing. Before I get to the interview, here's some stuff you should know about this lovely lady and her novel.

Ali Philips never thought anything could be more devastating than the day Levi and Tucker Corbin, her two best friends - her only friends - moved away. Three years passed without a single phone call, text message, or email from them and she's resolved to the fact that she will probably never see them again. Until one morning when she comes face-to-face with Levi Corbin in physics class.

Little does she know, the Corbins have returned to Haldeen with only one thing on their minds: winning Alie's heart. Ali soon finds herself in the middle of a love triangle she doesn't want any part of. As she tries to reclaim the friendships she's lost and adjust to the unfamiliar feelings she's having, she struggles with making the one decision that will forever change their lives: Levi or Tucker Corbin?

She's always had a special bond with Tucker and feels most comfortable when she's with him. but Levi brings her to life in a way she didn't think was possible and makes her feel things she didn't think she would ever feel. Torn between the two, Ali is certain of only one thing - by the time it's over, she'll lose one of her best friends.

About the Author:

Born and raised in the small town of Mexico, new York, Kara was an only child who was forced to find ways to entertain herself. Playing make believe with her Barbie dolls and stuffed animals was her first real taste of storytelling before she became old enough to develop a love affair with the written word. In early 2010, Kara picked up her first erotic romance novel, and she was instantly hooked. She loves to write contemporary romance, erotica, and young adult romance. Currently she has several full-length novels in the works, a series of novellas, and handful of short stories. Kara is an active member of the CNY Creatie Writing Cafe and the CNY Romance Writers. Today, Kara resides in New Haven, New York with her husband, five kids, and three cats. When she's not reading to writing, she's thinking about reading and writing. And when she's not doing that, she's spending time with her family and friends.

  1. If you could tell anyone in the world five things about yourself that really define "you," what would they be?
    - First and foremost, I'm a mom and wife. My family takes priority over everyone and everything.
    - I'm an only child and a Daddy's Girl.
    - I'm loyal to my friends to a fault.
    - I have trouble telling people "no" when they ask for my help. I often put my own needs and wants aside to help others.
    - I love to laugh and typically surround myself with people who have a great sense of humor.
  2. What was your inspiration for The Georgia Corbins?
    The inspiration for The Georgia Corbins came in the form of a picture on the television.

    My husband had turned on one of those all music all the time channels on cable. I don't remember what song was playing, but there was a still photograph of a tractor in the middle of a hay field with a man leaning up against it and a woman starting at him. As it often does, my mind began to wander and I started asking questions. Why was the man in the field? What's with the tractor? Why was the woman watching him? Did they know each other? Were they lovers? Friends? Family? What were they doing? Talking? Having an argument? Breaking-up? The longer i stared at that picture, the more questions I had. And I knew there was only one way to get all the answers... I had to tell a story.

    But, where the heck did I begin?

    Well, I let that picture and my questions have free reign of my brain for the rest of the night, and just as I was getting ready to fall asleep, a scene started to play in my head: a young girl sitting on the roof of her house, staring out across a hay field, watching two shirtless guys loading hay into a wagon. She was sad, confused, angry, and in love. I knew I had found my story.
  3. How long did it take you to write the first draft of this book?
    About three months. Once I started, I couldn't stop. it just poured out of me.
  4. What is your writing/editing process? Pantser? Outliner?
    I'm a pantser to a fault. Plotting, outlining, it feels too restrictive. I'm one of those people who, when I write something down, I have to stick to it, which can make writing difficult. I like to be surprised by my characters and what they say and do.
  5. How did you decide to go the indie/small press route?
    Originally, I had written a couple of novellas, and it seemed like the most logical route to go with a small/indie press. I'd had some great experiences with them, and after getting rejected by a ton of agents, I figured I'd try a small press for my novel. I'm glad I did. Entranced is a wonderful publisher and they feel like home.
  6. What are your favorite YA books overall? Recently?
    The Park Service Trilogy by Ryan Winfield. It's fantastic! I also enjoyed the first Hunger Games book - the other two left a lot to be desired.
  7. Favorite type of ice cream?
    I'm not much of an ice cream eater, but on the rare occasion when i do, I like plain vanilla with fresh, crushed strawberries, and whipped cream. Mmm...

Buy Links: Amazon | Kobo | Smashwords

Author Social Media Links:

Giveaway Code:

To celebrate the release of The Georgia Corbins, Kara Leigh Miller is giving away exciting prizes. The Grand Prize, which is open to US residents only, includes a signed copy of The Georgia Corbins, The Georgia Corbins hardcover journal and postcards, The Georgia Corbins tote bag, Kara Leigh Miller pens and notebooks, and Legasea bookmarks.

Second and third prizes are an ebook copy of The Georgia Corbins, and one lucky person will win a first chapter critique. International entries are welcome. Good luck! Winners will be announced July 1st.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Of Poseidon

Well, one day soon I will be posting about what's going on in my life as an author, but today is not that day. Today I want to tell ya'll about the book I just finished. I'd been waiting for it to come out in paperback, so I'm a little late to be with the first rounds of reviews on it. But oh well. I wasn't positive I was going to like this book, but wanted to give it a go because ya'll know how much I love any story that has to do with the ocean. So here's the scoop.

Retrieved from Goodreads
After Emma has a close encounter (and by that I mean falling face first into him)  with a hunky dude with a trident tattoo, she feels instant sparks. Actually, it's more like lava. Galen is the prince of Syrena (mermaids) searching for the girl with the gift of Poseidon, the ability to communicate with fish. And he thinks he's found it in Emma, but that doesn't make any sense. She has blonde hair instead of black, and no matter how hard she tries, she can't form her fin. But she's definitely got the gift, and Galen should be taking her off to his brother Grom so they can mate, as is tradition. But there's one little catch. Galen is falling in love with her.

What I really liked about this book: the obvious fish out of water attitude of Galen and his friends Toraf and Rayna. They've got no clue how to talk to regular humans or interact in their lives. It's quite funny how formal they are. The kissing. Awwww I wanted Emma and Galen to get together, especially since it had that forbidden sizzle. Emma. Talk about a girl with spunk. [Spoiler] She throws a girl through hurricane proof glass. That takes some serious spunk.

Things that were iffy for me: Galen's possessiveness. Okay, I get that you don't want the girl you love to be going on a date with someone else, even though you've just admitted that she has no choice but to mate with your brother. But to threaten the guy? I dunno. I have a thing about possessiveness that stretches beyond feminism. It made me not like Galen as much, even though I was liking him pretty well. What else? Oh, um, women have no choice in who they mate with. The guys always choose. And while this insults me on a human rights, women's rights level, I appreciated it as world building. Societal thing. I could see that being part of a dystopian novel. But I still want Emma to go kick some butt in Of Triton and end that stupid practice.

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars
Up Next: Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


So last night I sat in my room, reveling in the fact that I got to sleep in the next morning. It's the end of my first week of work for the summer, and I am tuckered out. So as I lay sideways on my bed, idling chatting with friends, I finished off Transparent by Natalie Whipple. I've been following Natalie's blog for over a year now, and have always loved her honesty about her life and writing. She doesn't try to be the quintessential writer. She expresses her doubts, lets you in to her life and shows you how she thinks. As with Kiersten White, I'm glad I read her blog before her books. It gave me an insight into Natalie's voice.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Fiona is a syndicate baby, born into a life of crime with her dad as head evil-doer. She lives in a world where most people have genetic mutations, from flying, to scent emission, to super strength. Fiona is different. She is the only person in the world who is invisible. And her father's been using her for crime. One night, Fiona and her mother run away to Madison, Arizona, where they hope to start a new life outside the grasp of the syndicates. But her father isn't going to give up that easy. Fiona makes friends with Bea, Seth, and Brady. Their two gifted families come together to help her escape the man she's hated but been forced to love her entire life.

I want to say upfront that I enjoyed this book. It was a quick read, and there was a lot of action. I was totally shipping Seth and Fiona from the beginning. I liked Brady well enough, but he seemed too hung up on the fact that she was invisible. I know, I know, it would be really hard to get past something like that. But still, she's more than her power. Still, I do sorta wish this weren't a standalone. Not because I think all books should be part of series (I can't count the number of trilogies I wish were duologies because the middle book was POINTLESS) but I wanted more of Fiona's development and interactions with the two families (what I really found interesting).

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars
Up Next: Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Last Olympian

Ahhhhh. That's what I'm feeling. That relaxing and sort of sad sensation you get when you finish a series you enjoyed. You know you're going to miss the characters, and the world and those little quips that seemed like a joke between you and the author and no one else. What series am I talking about? Why, the one I've been reviewing for you for the past week! Percy Jackson and the Olympians! I just finished The Last Olympian, the final book in the series. And here we go:

Retrieved from Goodreads
It's finally here, the battle that will raze or save Olympus. Kronos has risen and taken on the body of Luke, son of Hermes. At the same time, the monster Typhon has been released from under Mount St. Helens and is heading East to destroy New York. And even the gods can't stop him. Along with Annabeth, Tyson, Grover, and the hellhound Mrs. O'Leary, Percy must find a way to save Olympus or see the world destroyed. But he doesn't know how to do it, and the one path open to him might kill him.

This final book doesn't carry as many of the funny, snarky comments as the previous books in the series, and  with good reason. There's a freaking war going on for most of it. People are dying, there's a spy at Camp Half-Blood, gods are fading left and right, and things are being destroyed. I loved the look into Luke and Annabeth's past, and how Percy comes into his own. He finally has to make decisions that will effect the rest of the world, and he recognizes the weight of them. A satisfying ending to a satisfying series. I'm excited to dive into The Heroes of Olymus series this summer. My one problem with this book: no one seemed to care who the spy was! I try to stay positive in my reviews, but this one thing bugged me. I don't think it detracted from the book very much, but if I were in the situation I would have taken the hour to see which demigod had the bracelet relaying all the positions and plans of the demigods to evil Kronos. Less people would have died. But no one seemed to care who it was! But other than that, loved this book.

Goodreads Rating: 5 stars
Up Next: Transparent by Natalie Whipple

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Battle of the Labyrinth

I feel ashamed it's taken me five days to get through this fourth installment in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. My only excuse: I moved again. I've started work for the summer which has meant relocating for the past three years. What with starting my job again, and trying to see friends before I left, I honestly didn't have the energy to read. But now I've finished this novel and intend to start The Last Olympian right after I complete this post.

Retrieved from Goodreads
After being attacked by demonic cheerleaders at his new school, Percy flees to Camp Half-Blood. From there, he, Grover, Tyson, and Annabeth set out on a quest through the Labyrinth to find it's creator, Daedalus. The Labyrinth is the only way Luke and the army of Kronos can attack the camp, and if Percy and the gang find it's creator first, they might be able to stop it. But there are things in their way: a huge ranch that deals in black market trading, and an arena where heroes and demons must fight to the death to pass through. Just another summer for Percy Jackson.

The Battle of the Labyrinth is longer than The Titan's Curse, and in my opinion, the plot is a little bit thinner. I loved the idea of the Labyrinth though, how it changes time and distances, and is always trying to confuse and kill the people in it. Probably the person I felt for most in this story was Calypso, who has a hero sent to her island every thousand years who she is destined to love and can stay if he wishes. The only problem is, the gods only send her heroes who are destined not to stay. It's so mean, and I felt so sorry for her. I'm excited to see how this all resolves in the last book.

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars
Next up: The Last Olympian

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Titan's Curse

Yes, I know, I know, I just posted a review yesterday, and if I don't want to screw up my eyes like last summer, I need to not devour books so fast. But I wanted to read The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan, and I didn't have anything else to do yesterday. So I actually spent all day in bed reading. And I polished off this third installment in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series after putting down The Best Man. And heeeere we go.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Thalia, the daughter of Zeus, has awakened from her life as a tree, thanks to the Golden Fleece. Now she, Percy, Grover, and Annabeth are tracking down more half-bloods to protect the camp as old spirits are awakened by Kronos (both good and bad). While rescuing Bianca and Nico di Angelo from a manticore vice principal, Annabeth is kidnapped and the others meet the Hunt. These ladies are immortal companions of Artemis, sworn to never love men. When Artemis goes in search of a monster now stirring the mortal world and is kidnapped as well, Zoe Nightshade of the Hunt, Biana (newly of the Hunt), Grover, Percy, and Thalia go in search of her.

I enjoyed this book more than The Sea of Serpents. I don't really know why, though. Maybe it's because I love the idea of the Hunt, and it was good to see Grover again, not wearing a wedding dress. Perhaps it's because Percy had some awesome conflict in this one, while I felt his largest trial in the last book was accepting his half brother. Either way, I tore through The Titan's Curse, and I think it set up The Battle of the Labyrinth quite nicely. There were, of course, many laugh-out-loud moments in this book, which I always appreciate. Maybe after I'm done with this series I'll read something a little more serious, but for now I'm content to laugh my way through Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

Goodreads Rating: 5 stars

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Best Man

So I'm about to kick off this year's Summer Reading Project (for more details, see above tab). This summer will be, if possible, more hectic than the last one. Not because I've drastically hiked the number of books I want to read, but because I've added my job at Entranced Publishing to the mix, and I want Origins finished by the new year, which means lots of writing this summer. First off, since I wanted something light and fun to celebrate the end of my second year of college, I read The Best Man by Kristan Higgins.

Retrieved from Goodreads
Three years ago Faith Holland was left at the altar by the man of her dreams. He was everything any woman would ever want - sweet, kind, intelligent, and totally hunky. But he was also gay. After some much needed R&R in San Francisco, Faith returns to her hometown among the vineyards of upstate New York to put her knowledge as a landscape architect to work on her family's estate. There she has to confront her ex-fiance, Jeremy, and, unfortunately, be civil to Levi Cooper, the one who ruined her wedding. But Levi looks so damn good, and is definitely straight. Maybe love is in the air, if they can stop arguing.

I am a huge fan of Higgins' novels. I picked up the first on in a grocery store in Palm Desert many years ago, and laughed my way through Joshua Tree National Park. Since then I've read four of her other books, and have now added The Best Man to the list. Like the rest of her books, this one has a hilarious cast of secondary characters and some steamy smooches. Faith is not a Mary Sue, and the conflicts surrounding her relationship with Levi evolve throughout the novel, which I deeply appreciated. I heartily enjoyed reading it, and even teared up once. That being said, it didn't replace Fools Rush In or Too Good To Be True as my favorite.

Goodreads Rating: 4 stars
Up Next: The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

Monday, June 10, 2013

Flood Gates

I have been finding time to write this past week. I've reread all my character arcs and plot outlines and what I've written so far (Origins). And, between packing my boxes to move out, and editing my final paper, and relearning the controls on the explosivity of volcanoes, I've been writing. I've added another 3k this week, which is more than I've done since NaNo. Which is pitiful, I know, but saying I've been busy would be a gross understatement.

And, remember what happened to me while I was writing Balancing Act? I got inside Callie's head, and her depression at not being able to compete effected me? Made me sad, made me relive that moment when I broke my own ankle over and over again? Well, something of the same sort has been happening with Origins. Last night I was working on a particularly emotional scene with the character of Alicia. It's simple: she's hitting a punching bag and trying not to think. And it's not working.

Writing that scene, in which Alicia exhibits so much emotional pain, effected me a lot. After finishing it, I had to stand up, walk around, and talk to people to bring myself back to the real world. I knew that if I remained in her head too long, I would start to cry. And I don't really like crying.

At least this time around, when the flood gates opened into my characters minds, I was more prepared for how much it would effect me. Characters that I've dreamed up are effecting my emotional state. But I know how to handle it much better now. I can't let myself get dragged down.

Anywho, back to writing.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sexism in SF

Today I read a post about Ann Aguire's experience with sexism in SF. It makes me so angry to read about what's happened to her at panels and as an author in general that I will make this post short, and let you read the article for yourself.

I want to write SF. I am currently working on an SF project which will probably be considered soft, since it's character based. Does it make me any less of a writer because I'm a woman? NO. Does being a woman mean I can't write SF? NO. Do the people who believe this have their heads stuck in an uncomfortable spot which limits their access to sunshine antiquated views about women in writing and publishing? ABSOLUTELY. Read the article.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Finding Time

It's June. Oh. My. Gosh. WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN? This school year has flown by so fast I've forgotten a lot of things that happened. I'm taking my last set of classes for the year. I have 2 finals this week, and I've read over thirty books since I finished my Summer Reading Project. But there's one thing I haven't done much of this year: written.

I haven't had much time this year. And normally I'm really good at making time to write. But somehow, this year slipped away and here I am with barely any more of Origins than I had at the beginning of the year. And that stinks. Because I love those characters already, and I love the story and I love writing it.

So this weekend I set aside some time, and I wrote. I only got down about 2000 words before something called me away, by gosh did it feel good to sit down and immerse myself in a story I adore.

I hope I get more time to write once summer here. By that point I'll have only two jobs instead of a job, an internship, and full time school. I feel like laughing hysterically just reading that. And next year looks to be just as hectic, with my release date set tentatively at February 3rd and taking classes required for my major (I have a seminar about WWII, I'm so excited!).

This summer I will really have to buckle down and work on Origins, even if I'm exhausted. My goal has been two write two novels a year, and so far I've stuck to that.

Back to work now. Like I said, two finals this week.