Sunday, March 26, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #7

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Date. The idea is to share what you've read lately, what you're currently reading, and what you plan to read next. I love seeing what other people are reading and then adding to my never-ending TBR, so I thought this would be a fun meme to participate in each week!

What I Read Last Week:

  • Flying by the Seat of my Knickers by Eliza Watson ~ I'm behind on writing reviews again, so I haven't written my review for this one, but it was really cute. I especially liked the Irish setting!
  • A Brit Unexpected by Brenda St John Brown ~ I LOVED this romantic comedy. My review will be up on release day (April 10th).

What I'm Currently Reading
As you can see, I've got an eclectic mix of books going on this week! 

  • Big Girls Do It Running by Jasinda Wilder ~ I don't read a lot of non-fiction, but one of my goals for this year is to read at least 3 non-fiction books and this is my second. Jasinda has written a ton of fiction, and I haven't read any of it, but I follow her Facebook page and saw her talking about this book. Since it was only 99 cents, I decided to give it a try, and it's interesting so far. 
  • Learn a Word in 100 Words by Patricia Josephine ~ My friend Patricia has been doing flash fiction on her blog for awhile and this is a collection of those stories, all inspired by unique and unusual words. 
  • Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee ~ LGBTQ Middle Grade! I'm not far into this one yet,  but it's cute so far. 

What I Plan to Read Next:
It Happened on Love Street by Lia Riley ~ Lia is one of my favourite authors; it feels like forever since her last release, so I'm really excited about this one, which comes out next month.

Last Week on the Blog:
  • My new business, Sunrise Author Services officially launched last Monday, and I did an intro and explanation here on the blog. If you're an author and you're looking for a cover or promotional graphics, or you need help with various promotional services, including finding reviewers for your books, be sure to check us out! We also have a blogger-exclusive newsletter for book bloggers to learn about ARCs, promotional opportunities, and giveaways.
  • I helped with the cover reveal for A Brit Unexpected by Brenda St John Brown (which I mentioned above that I read and loved). There's a chance to win 1 of 5 ARCs, but you'd better hurry because the giveaway ends today!

My contemporary coming-of-age/romance novel, Something in the Air, has been on sale for the last week and a bit, and it's still on sale! I'll be changing the price from 99 cents back to $2.99 soon, so take advantage of the sale while you can.

What have you been reading lately? Have you read any of the books I've been reading? I'll be doing the rounds of fellow It's Monday! What Are You Reading? participants, but in case I miss you, be sure to leave a link below so I can visit you! Also, if you did a general weekly recap, feel free to leave a link so I can check it out!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Cover Reveal: A Brit Unexpected by Brenda St John Brown

Cover Design: Sarah Hansen / Okay Creations
Release Day: April 10th, 2017

How do you know when a fake relationship turns into a real one? #AskingForAFriend 

Claire is not:
- A natural athlete
- Very good with mornings
- Greyson Vaughn’s real girlfriend

But she pretends to be his girlfriend on television. And Twitter. And the gossip websites that question Every. Single. Thing. about his movie star existence. Including the question on everyone’s lips — #WhosThatGirl? 

Enlisted by her grandmother to act as Greyson’s “mysterious English girlfriend” during a weekend at Castle Calder, Claire agrees to help the Hollywood hottie combat rumors of stalking his pop-star ex. She needs a distraction — from grad school, bills and her dull-as-dishwater love life — and, well, it’s only for a weekend.

Until Greyson asks her to continue the ruse through his upcoming London premiere. And another trip to Castle Calder for a sexy weekend escape. Where there are no cameras and no reporters. Nothing but the two of them and a “fake” relationship that’s starting to feel very, very real.
One of Five ARC's for A Brit Unexpected

About the Author
Brenda is a displaced New Yorker living in the English countryside. She writes novels about teens and twenty-somethings kissing. Her characters do other things, too, but there's always kissing. When she's not writing, Brenda enjoys hiking, running and reading. In theory, she also enjoys cooking, but it's more that she enjoys eating and, try as she might, she can't live on Doritos alone.

Connect with Brenda St John Brown

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sunrise Author Services Official Launch!

Today is the official launch of Sunrise Author Services, a company by authors for authors!

Sunrise Author Services is something Jessica Tate and I have been planning for well over a year. We wanted to take our personal experiences as authors, designers, and assistants and help other indie authors or aspiring indie authors in their journey to success. We've put our abilities together and created this company.


What services does SAS provide for authors?

SAS currently offers premade covers, teaser graphics, and personal assistant services.

Will you be offering any other services in the future?

Yes! We're going over the possibility of adding more services down the line, but as of right now we're focusing on the covers, graphics, and PA services to start.

What makes SAS stand out from the rest?

We're indie authors and we know the value of good promotion. When you choose SAS, we will do everything we can to promote your book on our blog, newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And our help doesn't stop after the services are finished. We're also more than happy to share future sales and other promotions. All you have to do is send us a message with a link and we'll do the rest.

Will you ever offer any discounts?

Of course! We will periodically be offering discounts (% off or $X off) on our services. Keep reading and you'll find one you can use right now!

What do I do to inquire about a service?

We have two forms: one for the covers and graphics (for me) and one for the personal assistant services (for Jessica). Fill out the form for the service you're interested in and we will contact you within 72 hours via email to go over the details.


Since today is the official launch for Sunrise Author Services, we wanted to offer something special for authors. For the rest of March you can receive 5% off your service of choice with the coupon code GRANDOPENING. Just add it at the bottom of the form and we'll take that off your total.

Want to save more? Sign up for our author newsletter to get a special coupon code just for subscribers.

Are you a blogger? Sign up for our blogger newsletter and we'll give you first dibs on ARC and promo opportunities.

Keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
for the latest news and special offers.

Who's up for a giveaway?

Two lucky winners will receive $5 off any service of their choice. This discount can be used at any time in the future (but not with any other discount). Enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Announcing Sunrise Author Services

After almost a year of working on what we called our 'Secret Project', Jessica Tate and I are excited to announce our new business, Sunrise Author Services!

This is a business for authors created by authors. With several years of self-publishing experience, we know all the work that goes into publishing a novel, and we want to help you. Some of the services we'll be providing including graphic design, author promotion, and personal assistant services. This will also be a great opportunity for book bloggers to discover new authors, read ARCs, and help promote authors who are new to them and maybe even old favourites.

This is where you come in. Jessica and I are looking for people to help spread the word about Sunrise Author Services. If you'd be willing to share a blog post, a tweet, a Facebook post, and/or Instagram post during the week of March 20th when we officially launch, we'd be incredibly grateful. We're a small business with big dreams, and you can help us achieve those dreams by spreading the word!

Sign up here to help us with the launch the week of March 20th. We'll send an email with everything you'll need a few days before the official launch.

If you're an author who's looking for help with promotion or you're in need of some graphics, sign up for our author newsletter, which will include exclusive discounts and promos.

If you're a blogger, sign up for our blogger newsletter, which will include information about ARCs, promo opportunities, and giveaways.

As incentive for signing up, everyone who helps us spread the word will be entered to win a $5 gift card (Amazon or B&N). If enough people sign up, we'll add another $5 gift card for a second lucky person!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #6

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Date. The idea is to share what you've read lately, what you're currently reading, and what you plan to read next. I love seeing what other people are reading and then adding to my never-ending TBR, so I thought this would be a fun meme to participate in each week!

What I Read Last Week:
Let it Shine by Alyssa Cole
How Not to Fall in Love by Deirdre Riordan Hall
Love and Shenanigans by Zara Keane
I'm so behind on writing reviews, but I really enjoyed Let it Shine (set during the Civil Rights Movement and featuring a black heroine and a Jewish hero) and Love and Shenanigans (funny, cute, and set in Ireland which is always a bonus for me). I did review How Not to Fall in Love, though, and I have a guest post from the author up too.

What I'm Currently Reading:
Long Road Home by Marie Meyer ~ I loved Meyer's The Turning Point, and I'm enjoying Long Road Home so far.

What I'm Reading Next:
Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee ~ LGBTQ Middle Grade! I'm so excited to read this one. It comes out March 14th.
Flying by the Seat of my Knickers by Eliza Watson ~ I mentioned week before last that I plan to do another Irish Week the week of St. Patrick's (next week - eep!) so I'm going to try to get to this book in the next few days so I can have it read and reviewed for next week.

This is Read an e-Book Week, and two of my novels are on sale on Smashwords. You can get Blue Sky Days (New Adult Romance) and The Game Changer (Contemporary Women's Fiction) for just $1.50 with the code RAE50.

What have you been reading lately? Have you read any of the books I've been reading? I'll be doing the rounds of fellow It's Monday! What Are You Reading? participants, but in case I miss you, be sure to leave a link below so I can visit you! Also, if you did a general weekly recap, feel free to leave a link so I can check it out!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Monthly Recap: February 2017

Happy March, lovelies! I hope 2017 is treating you all well so far. Did you have a good February? Mine was pretty good, although kinda chaotic. I'm having trouble finding balance this year. It feels like all I do is work, but I have so much to do! I'm working hard to get as  much done as I can and still take some down time for self-care.

Here's what my February looked like:

What I Read: 

  • The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro (4 stars)
  • Dirty London by Kelley York (3.5 stars)
  • Let it Shine by Alyssa Cole (5 stars)
  • How Not to Fall in Love by Deirdre Riordan Hall (3.5 stars)
  • Love and Shenanigans by Zara Keane (4 stars)

Blog Highlights:
  • I recapped what I read, watched, and did in January 
  • I did a bookish merch spotlight on NerdyGrlDesigns, who makes beautiful bookmarks, magnetic bookmarks, and stickers. I'm one of Melisa's reps on Instagram, and I shared my discount code in the post, so be sure to check it out!

Bookstagram Highlights:
Follow me on Bookstagram

All the Rest:
  • My friend JK and I went to a Harry Potter event at our local Chapters. There was a really fun scavenger hunt, a costume contest, and a 'photo booth', where we took the pictures below. It was great. We also spent an afternoon later in the month hunting for Funko Pops and CDs.
  • I finally finished writing something! It's a Christmas novella, so it won't be coming out for several months, but it had been over a year since I'd finished writing anything. Last year was such a train wreck, I didn't have as much time for writing and my motivation and creativity were lacking. I started and abandoned several projects, and was thrilled when I actually finished this story. It's super cute and sweet and romantic - pure fun fluff. Now that I'm finished that, I'll be going back to the contemporary romance I was working on before Christmas.

  • My youngest nephew turned 7 in February. It feels like he was just born!
  • I'm still obsessed with Supernatural. I've managed to make it to season 4 in my rewatch. It's slow going because I haven't had much time to watch TV, but I'm hoping to get through another season or two in March. I'll get caught up eventually!
  • Another season of Bookish Bingo has come to an end. I managed to get 2 rows completed. I'm participating again for Spring. Head over to Pretty Deadly Reviews if you'd like to participate!

So, that was my month. How was yours? How many books did you read? Do you have a favourite? Do you have a blog post you wish got more attention in February? Feel free to leave a link in the comments. Also, if you did a wrap-up post, be sure to leave that link too so I can visit you!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Guest Post: Love, Hate, and Why I Write by Deirdre Riordan Hall

I'm thrilled to have Deirdre Riordan Hall on the blog today to talk about why she writes what she writes. Until recently, I was most familiar with her YA books, so I was interested to know why she decided to make the leap to women's contemporary fiction (especially since I've done the same in the span of my own 5-year writing career). Deirdre was kind enough to write a post for my readers, and I love her reasons for wanting to branch out and try her hand at all kinds of stories. 

Love, Hate, and Why I Write
By Deirdre Riordan Hall

I'm nothing if not unconventional. I tend to do things backwards, inside out, sideways… When given the traditional path or something else, guess which way I'll go? I don't know if it's a quirk in my biochemistry or that I prefer to eat my pie from the crust to the middle, but that's how I roll—or bite as the case may be. And it's no different with my writing life.
Years and years ago, I started with screenplays and picture books then dove into young adult fantasy fiction, took a new adult detour, returned to young adult fiction—paranormal, then contemporary, then fantasy, then back to contemporary… In between the writing and publication of YA contemporary my novel Sugar (and then Pearl) I also tried my hand at middle grade and then back to young adult (I always return to my home in YA). To date have written about thirty manuscripts. Do you see a pattern here? 


That's because there isn't one. 

So why do I write what I write? 

I write what I want to read and to answer the inspiration and story ideas given to me. But more concretely, I write because I feel the need to connect the dots between what I'm feeling and the big picture—the universal, the you and me. To bridge the feeling of loneliness with the knowledge that we're linked. To bring a world beyond what is at our doorstep or in our kitchen or on the screen to inky life. To remind myself and everyone else that we're not the sum of who we've been told we are. 

We get to define ourselves. We're bigger and bolder and brighter than we could ever imagine. It's through fiction that I find courage and strength and possibility. I uncover magic and love and light. I discover that it's you and me not us and them. In Sugar, a young adult contemporary novel, I told the story of the heroine who was told she was too much yet not enough. She found her more than enough and set the world alight with her courage. Pearl was dealt a crappy hand, had a grim home life, but was given a way out. Even though she proved human and made mistakes, she forged her own way forward, breaking the abusive and addiction riddled cycles of the past. 

In my new adult series, Follow your Bliss, each of the main characters takes a long look in the mirror and decides to define life on her terms and have fun while doing it. In Love, Hate, and Other Lies We Told, my latest and a romantic comedy, Navy is lost, but finds herself—and love—in books, romantic fiction with book boyfriends to be exact. Her best friend urges her to come out from the pages and live more by daring her to go on a series of dates leading up to Valentine's Day. Navy ultimately goes along with the plan and experiences a series of sexy, unfortunate, exhausting, and bizarre encounters that she documents on her blog. Not the least of which is with her nemesis, Carrick, who she successfully avoided for years. But he's like an itch, one she resists scratching until he reveals the truth about who he is and what he's been doing for the last decade. But Navy has secrets of her own and it's not until she learns to trust again that she lets the people who care most about her into her life and steps out of her box (aka her tiny studio apartment in Manhattan). 

I think the beating heart of this book is that despite the main character feeling betrayed and alone, there's an underpinning of interconnectedness she discovers when she reaches out, stretches past her comfort zone, and turns up the volume on her life. 

This storyline came to me in the form of the main character going on a series of dates that aren't Instagram worthy. Well, Bash's dinners are 😉 but the rest, well, they're certainly blog worthy disasters. I wanted to integrate the dating aspect and the quest for love in a more mature way than I felt I could portray in YA, while leading the story with humor and heart. The best vehicle, one I hadn't yet attempted, was women's romantic comedy. 

I'm a big fan of Alice Clayton, Emily Giffin, and more recently Sally Thorne. The books by these authors have depth, but also feel like a little escape into someone else's drama and reliably have a happy ending, which I'm all for! So I took a chance. More than anything, after the second half of 2016 that I had personally and what we experienced here in the US (where I live), I felt like we could all use some more love in our lives as well as comic relief and an escape, at least for the space of 300-plus pages. 

As a hybrid author, both traditionally published and self-pubbed, I have a list of books I'm hoping to see in print this coming year while I co-write an exciting YA with Cheyanne Young. Available on Valentine's Day is the follow up novella to Love, Hate, and Other Lies We Told following Kat's story: How Not to Fall in Love.

After that, I'll be back at it with young adult contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, and then some middle grade to finish the year. It's a big year! My motto for 2017 is: go big or go back to work. I have a lot of exciting things in store and hope you'll join me for the twisting, turning, plot-twisting ride. 


Thank you so much for being here today, Deirdre! As someone who writes the stories in her heart and mind, regardless of genre or age category, I enjoyed reading about your own writing journey. 

Be sure to check out my reviews for her two latest releases, Love, Hate, and Other Lies We Told and How Not to Fall in Love
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