Monday, June 11, 2012

That's Me!

I'm taking a few weeks off for family vacation. We're leaving Montana for some California sun. While I'm gone, I'll be missing you and writing blog posts in my head and reading lots of great books and then wishing I could share them with you . . . the usual!  

See you soon!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Blog Tour: Altercation by Tamara Hart Heiner

by Tamara Hart Heiner
First, there was this . . .
(And I loved it!)

Goodreads Blurb:
Detective Carl Hamilton is called out on a homicide case, where the partially decayed body of an unidentified teenage girl is found along a remote highway. . . . Weeks before, Jaci Rivera join her best friends Callie, Sara and Amanda for a night of pizza and shopping. But an evening at the mall turns into a terrifying twist of events that drives Jaci and her friends 2000 miles across the Canadian border.

The girls escape the kidnapper's lair only to find that he has spies and agents working on both sides. They are being hunted, and not even the police can be trusted. . . . And Detective Hamilton is in a life and death race to find the three remaining girls before the kidnapper does.

And NOW, there is this . . .
(And I love it even M-O-R-E!)

Goodreads Blurb:
In this sequel to Heiner's debut novel, PERILOUS, the FBI promises Jacinta Rivera and her friends that they are safe. Jaci wants desperately to believe them but weeks of hiding from their kidnapper, alias "The Hand", have left her wary. Hidden from the public eye in an FBI safe house, Jaci must reconcile both her father's mysterious disappearance and the murder of her best friend.

A betrayal lands Jaci back in the grasp of The Hand, shattering her ability to trust, and leaving her to wonder if she will ever piece together her broken life.

When Tamara gave me the opportunity to participate in this blog tour, I jumped at it. These books are riveting! I couldn't put either of them down once I'd started, and this is a series where the sequel is even better than the first book. I love them. I HIGHLY recommend them. In fact, my school library has already purchased copies of Perilous, and the librarian added Altercation to her to-buy list while she waited for its release. Don't miss out on these ones!

And . . . because she's just that cool, Tamara is offering prizes!!

* Tamara's Contest: *
Prizes: EVERY DAY  she will randomly select one person who made a comment on that day's blog. The winner will then get to decide if they would like an ebook copy of PERILOUS or ALTERCATION.  There's just one catch: there must be AT LEAST ten comments on that day for me to do the giveaway. SO TWEET THIS POST, FOLKS!

But if that's not enough, leaving a comment also gets you entered into the PRIZE DRAWINGS. This won't be random; it's cumulative. Every comment you leave counts as 1 point. If you are a follower on her blog, you get 1 point. Every time you tweet or share on Facebook about the tour, it's one point. She'll even add it up for you; just include her in on the tweet @tamaraheiner or on Facebook @tamarahartheiner (unless you don't trust her math, and then feel free to tally it up and send it to her).

THIRD PRIZE: 50-page critique of something of your choice (if you're not a writer, a $5 gift card)
SECOND PRIZE: lot of five YA books
FIRST PRIZE: $20 gift card to
You will find Tamara's blog here:

And you'll find her books here:
Altercation $15.95 link on Amazon:
ebook for $4.99:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

SURRENDER Blog Tour: Elana Guest Posts about Raine

Welcome to one of Wednesday's blog tour stops for the wonderful Elana Johnson and her fabulous new book, SURRENDER -- companion to POSSESSION. I L-O-V-E-D it!!

Elana's work including POSSESSION, REGRET, and SURRENDER is available from Simon & Schuster wherever books are sold. She is the author of From the Query to the Call, an ebook that every writer needs to read before they query, which can be downloaded for free on her website. She runs a personal blog on publishing and is a founding author of the QueryTracker blog. She blogs regularly at The League of Extraordinary Writers, co-organizes WriteOnCon, and is a member of SCBWI, ANWA and LDStorymakers.

She wishes she could experience her first kiss again, tell the mean girl where to shove it, and have cool superpowers like reading minds and controlling fire. To fulfill her desires, she writes young adult science fiction and fantasy.
You can find Elana here:

The Making of a Character: 
Raine Hightower
A guest post by Elana Johnson

Dude, hello! It’s SURRENDER’s release week, and since it’s not a traditional sequel—but more of a companion—I wanted to get some character information out there right at the beginning of the tour.

I think characters are the heart and soul of any novel, and I’m always fascinated by how people come up with their narrators. See, I struggled with this book.

Who’s story was it? Gunner’s? Or Raine’s? I pitched the idea of a dual-narrated novel to my agent, and even she was leery. So I wrote consecutive chapters from Raine’s POV, and then Gunn’s, and then alternated them.

This helped me get to know both Gunner and Raine better. (You can find out more about Gunner on Nichole’s blog today—go check it out.)

Today we’re talking about Raine Hightower. I stole Raine’s last name from a family in my neighborhood. Ever heard of Chelsie Hightower—the dancer on Dancing With the Stars? Yeah, her family lives in my neighborhood.

And Hightower is a super-cool name, and it sounded dystopian. So into the book it went. I can’t remember how/when I came up with Raine, but I added an E to the end for hipness. It is pronounced “rain” like the water that falls from the sky. The E just makes it feel futuristic to me…

Raine belongs to a group known as the Insiders. She’s been in for just over a year, and that was an interesting angle to come at the story from. I think so many times our characters are thrown into a world that’s completely foreign to them, and we take them through the plot that way.

But Raine’s already in. She’s the Director’s daughter, so she’s expected to be perfect and play by the protocol—and she does during the day. But at night, she does everything she can to unravel her father’s society. They have an interesting dynamic that twists and explodes throughout the novel, and that’s something I love. Taking an existing relationship and forcing it to become something different.

The more I wrote Raine, the more I realized how much of a history she truly has. She has a best friend you’ll see in SURRENDER. They have rituals and routines. She has a failed friendship from her childhood. You’ll see that come to life and impact the plot in SURRENDER. She has a sort of love/hate relationship with someone on her Insider team. You get to see that banter in the book, and all of that helps to form Raine into someone who’s real on the page.

At least that’s my hope. You can read the first two chapters of SURRENDER for free on my Facebook page. You’ll get to see both Gunn and Raine… because the novel’s dual-narrated. Hey, it’s what it needed to be.

So are you up for a dual-narrated novel? Ready to dive into Raine Hightower’s life? I hope so!

You can win one of five SPECTACULAR SECOND books this week! It’s easy peasy lemon squeezy. All you have to do is fill out this rafflecopter widget with what you’ve done.

Also today for one day only, you can enter to win a swag package of exclusive character art—including Raine Hightower—and stickers and bookmarks. No rafflecopter widget necessary – just leave a comment!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Happy Book Birthday to Surrender!

Happy book birthday!!!

The sequel to Elana Johnson's awesome
is finally here!

Goodreads Blurb:
Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control…

Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.

All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn. Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque....

get your copy of 

Monday, June 4, 2012

MMGM - My Sister the Vampire

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born. 

My Sister the Vampire Book 1
by Sienna Mercer
Goodreads Blurb:
This new, funny series for tween readers takes sibling relationships and twin hijinks to another level as it introduces Olivia, who meets her look-alike, Ivy. But there is one major difference--Ivy is a vampire. And shes not the only one in town who is.
I bought a copy of this book for my daughter, because I thought it looked like a cute story. SHE LOVED IT! She plowed through it in a day and begged me to buy her more of the series. To me, that's a winner. The last time she got this excited about a book was when she read Charmaine Clancy's Zombie Dog. Hmmm....
I read the book so that I'd know if it was MMGM-worthy. And it is. It's a light-hearted and fun story that will appeal most strongly to MG girl readers. I think some of the adult reviews on Goodreads are a bit harsh, considering the intended audience of the story. Sometimes grownups over-think things. This is a darling MG series and I recommend it!

** Others who can be counted on for MMGM: **

 Happy Monday!
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