Waiting on Wednesday

Dissonance by Erica O’Rourke

Delancy Sullivan has always known there's more to reality than what people see. Every time someone makes a choice, a new, parallel world branches off from the existing one. Eating breakfast or skipping it, turning left instead of right, sneaking out instead of staying in bed ~ all of these choices create an alternate universe in which an echo self takes the road not travelled and makes the opposite decision. As a Walker, someone who can navigate between these worlds, Del's job is to keep all of the dimensions in harmony. Normally, Del can hear the dissonant frequency that each world emits as clear as a bell. But when a training session in an off-key world goes horribly wrong, she is forbidden from Walking by the Council. But Del's not big on following the rules and she secretly starts to investigate these other worlds. Something strange connecting them and it's not just her random encounters with echo versions of the guy she likes, Simon Lane. But Del's decisions have unimaginable consequences and, as she begins to fall for the Echo Simons in each world, she draws closer to a truth that the Council of Walkers is trying to hide ~ a secret that threatens the fate of the entire multiverse.

ISBN 9781442460249 | March 11th 2014 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers| Amazon | Goodreads

Guys, it’s Monday again

I don’t particularly like Mondays. They mean I have to get up on time and be responsible again. Actually I don’t think anyone likes Mondays that much.

Anyway I didn’t get around to reading anything this week, obviously, so there weren’t any reviews last week. There probably won’t be a lot this week either because it’s the last week of classes.

Almost done with the semester!

Blurb Tour: The Difference A Day Makes

I’d like to welcome Barbara Longley to The Life and Lies to help kick off her tour for her new novel, The Difference A Day Makes!

About the BookMEDIA KIT CoverTheDifferenceADayMakes

Ryan Malloy has lost it all. After his fiancée dies in a tragic accident, he enlists in the army, only to lose his best friend in a roadside bombing. Wracked with guilt and grief, Ryan finds life unbearable—until a job offer from his former commander gives him a glimmer of hope. And in the tiny town of Perfect, Indiana, the man who thought he had nothing left to live for meets the only woman who can tempt him into risking his battered heart one last time…

Paige Langford has it all: wealth, beauty, and ambition. Yet when her boyfriend’s betrayal leads to the loss of her job and her reputation, she retreats to her brother’s rural Indiana home to regroup. There she meets Ryan Malloy, a gruff, hard-drinking loner whose surly temper can’t hide the haunted misery in his eyes. He is everything Paige never wanted, yet he may be exactly what she needs—if only they can overcome their personal demons to forge a love strong enough to save them both.

ISBN 9781611099379 | Expected publication: April 23rd 2013 by Montlake Romance | Amazon | Goodreads

 

About the AuthorMEDIA KIT Authro Photo

As a child, Barbara Longley moved frequently, learning early on how to entertain herself with stories. Adulthood didn’t tame her peripatetic ways: she has lived on an Appalachian commune, taught on an Indian reservation, and traveled the country from coast to coast. After having children of her own, she decided to try staying put, choosing Minnesota as her home. By day, she puts her master’s degree in special education to use teaching elementary school. By night, she explores all things mythical, paranormal, and newsworthy, channeling what she learns into her writing.

 

 

 

Giveaway

BBT The Difference a Day Makes Book Cover Banner copyBarbara is giving away two $10 Amazon Gift Cards to randomly drawn commenters. The more you comment, the more chances you have to win! Don’t forget to follow the rest of the tour below!

REVIEW TOUR
4/22/2013 Write About
4/23/2013 Reviewing Shelf
4/24/2013 The Dan O'Brien Project
4/25/2013 Long and Short Reviews
4/26/2013 Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
4/26/2013 SECOND STOP Voicu Mihnea Simandan
4/29/2013 It's Raining Books
4/30/2013 Writer Wonderland
5/1/2013 Harlie's Books
5/2/2013 Wickedly Wanton Tales
5/3/2013 Tinasbookreviews
BLURB BLITZ TOUR
4/22/2013 The Life (and lies) of an inanimate flying object
4/22/2013 SECOND STOP Hope Dreams. Life... Love
4/23/2013 Andi's Book Reviews
4/24/2013 Krystal Shannan - Where Love and Destiny Collide
4/25/2013 Book 'Em North Carolina
4/26/2013 MeganJohnsInvites
4/26/2013 SECOND STOP LizaOConnor
4/29/2013 Harlie's Books
4/29/2013 SECOND STOP Full Moon Dreaming
4/30/2013 United By Books
5/1/2013 Rookie Romance
5/2/2013Rachel Brimble Romance
5/2/2013 SECOND STOP JM Stewart, Contemporary Romance Author
5/3/2013 Worlds of Possibilities
5/6/2013 Flirting With Romance
5/7/2013 Books and Other Spells
5/8/2013 Let's Get BOOKED!
5/9/2013 4 the LUV of SANITY
5/10/2013 Read Your Writes Book Reviews
5/13/2013 Jianne Carlo
5/13/2013 SECOND STOP Wake Up Your Wild Side
5/14/2013 Samantha Holt
5/14/2013 SECONDS STOP Dawn's Reading Nook Blog
5/15/2013 Lily Pond Reads
5/16/2013 Melissa Keir- Sexy Between the Covers
5/16/2013 SECOND STOP Once Upon a Time...
5/17/2013 Tiffany Talks Books

Just One of the Guys

Just One of the Guys by Kirstan Higgins
Genre: Adult Contemporary romance
ISBN: 9780373777037
Published: August 21st 2012 by Harlequin HQN (first published October 7th 2007)
Amazon | Goodreads

Rating: 5

Being one of the guys isn't all it's cracked up to be...So when journalist Chastity O'Neill returns to her hometown, she decides it's time to start working on some of those feminine wiles. Two tiny problems: #1--she's five feet eleven inches of rock-solid girl power, and #2--she's cursed with four alpha male older brothers.

While doing a story on local heroes, she meets a hunky doctor and things start to look up. Now there's only one problem: Trevor Meade, her first love and the one man she's never quite gotten over--although he seems to have gotten over her just fine.

Yet the more time she spends with Dr. Perfect, the better Trevor looks. But even with the in-your-face competition, the irresistible Trevor just can't seem to see Chastity as anything more than just one of the guys...

* * *

Okay, I'm going to tell you why Just One of the Guys is not only one of my new favorite Higgins books, but one of my new favorite romances period.

1. The heroine is different. She's not super feminine in her character, but she's definitely feminine in her desires and her passion and her attitude. Growing up with four older brothers, Chastity Virginia (yeah, that's her name. I know, right?) yells when she's mad, throws punches with intent, and won trophies in college for rowing. She's a quarter inch away from being six feet tall, and she's got man-shoulders. She runs 10-mile races up hills for kicks. But she's thirty, she wants her passion to be returned, and her body is telling her that she should have already made at least three babies by now. I mean, how many romance novels do you read with female protagonists like that? most of the time they're young, innocent, unable to take care of themselves, and feminine. Chastity is not the typical female protagonist ... and that's one of the reasons I like her so much.

2. Like any good novel, there are a few sub-plots running through this novel; one is the failing marriage of one of Chastity's brothers, named Mark. He and his wife are going through hell (and possibly divorce and child custody problems) but they still love each other. There is this chapter (chapter 22--it's seared into my head) that made me cry because it was so amazing. See, Chastity babysat for Mark's soon-to-be-ex-wife, and she didn't tell him. When he found out, he blew up at her. Then later when he apologized they started talking, and he opened up to her about how badly he wants to make things right. she gave him a little advice and they had a sob-fest and in the end it worked out so perfectly. But the thing that got me was that so many stories I've read with failing relationships are about trying to get over the person, instead of reconciling. It was beautiful and inspiring and I read the chapter 3 times because I loved it so much.

3. Another one of those sub-plots was the relationship between Chastity’s parents. They’re officially divorced, but they still hang out all the time for dinner, they still love each other, and her dad just assumes her mom will wait around for him to retire. But that isn’t the case. Her mom starts dating again and throws everyone for a loop. Then when she gets into a serious relationship, shit really hits the fan. I was surprised by the outcome. I won’t say what it was for the sake of keeping this review spoiler-free. But I will say that it was different. It wasn’t the same-old same-old over again. Suffice to say, this book was the opposite of Happyland-syndrome.

4. The romance between Chastity and Trevor was so epic. I’m not going to say anything else about it because I don’t want to risk spoiling it. It has to be read in order. You can’t know anything out of order. But trust me, it was epic and wonderful and powerful and perfect and beautiful.

Like all of Higgins's books, the writing is fun, easy to read, relaxed, and a little snarky. This one was a little awkward because some of it was written in a different tense than what she does now, but it's one of her earlier books, and I can't hold that against her.

Anyway, you should go get this book. Amazon, B&N, Paperbackswap, your local book store, etc. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Content/recommendation: Some language, mention of sex (but nothing explicit) Ages 17+

Free Audiobook Today!

Get The Great Gatsby for free today! It’s narrated by Anthony Heald, who is amazing (He did Crime and Punishment as well, which I’ve listened to twice).

Click the picture for more!

My Summer Reading Challenge

So I’m going to do my own summer reading challenge. Basically I’m going to challenge myself to read/listen to several books I’ve been meaning to read for a long time, and just never gotten around to.

Feel free to join in if you feel so inclined.

  1. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
  2. Beach Music by Pat Conroy
  3. Paper Towns and
  4.  The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
  5. Jennifer Government by Max Barry
  6. We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han
  7. White Cat by Holly Black

There. That’s seven books I’ve been meaning to read for a long time and still haven’t gotten around to. You think I can do it?

By the way: I count “Summer” as May 10-August 20. Because that’s when I don’t have to live in my dorm anymore. Mind you I’ll still be in school, but I won’t be living in my dorm. so it’s summer. yeah that makes so much sense.

 

What books have you just not gotten around to that you want to read this summer?

Waiting on Wednesday

The Symptoms of my Insanity by Mindy Raf

ISBN 9780803732414 | Expected publication: April 18th 2013 by Dial Books for Young Readers| Amazon | Goodreads

A laugh-out-loud, bittersweet debut full of wit, wisdom, heart, and a hilarious, unforgettable heroine.

When you’re a hypochondriac, there are a million different things that could be wrong with you, but for Izzy, focusing on what could be wrong might be keeping her from dealing with what’s really wrong.

I almost raised my hand, but what would I say? “Mr. Bayer, may I please be excused? I’m not totally positive, but I think I might have cancer.” No way. Then everyone at school would know, and they would treat me differently, and I would be known as “Izzy, that poor girl who diagnosed herself with breast cancer during biology.”

But Izzy’s sense of humor can only get her so far when suddenly her best friend appears to have undergone a personality transplant, her mother’s health takes a turn for the worse, and her beautiful maybe-boyfriend is going all hot and cold. Izzy thinks she’s preparing for the worst-case scenario, but when the worst-case scenario actually hits, it’s a different story altogether—and there’s no tidy list of symptoms to help her through the insanity.

Waiting on Wednesday

I love David Sedaris. I’ve listened to audiobooks of three or four of his essay collections. He’s hilarious. Wildly inappropriate, but hilarious.

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

From the unique perspective of David Sedaris comes a new book of essays taking his readers on a bizarre and stimulating world tour. From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler's experiences. Whether railing against the habits of litterers in the English countryside or marveling over a disembodied human arm in a taxidermist's shop, Sedaris takes us on side-splitting adventures that are not to be forgotten.

ISBN: 9780316154697 | April 23rd 2013 by Little, Brown and Company| Goodreads| Amazon

Review: Doughnut

Doughnut by Tom Holt
Genre: ??? Profit
ISBN 9780316226103
Published March 5th 2013 by Orbit
Amazon | Goodreads | Audible

Rating: 5

The doughnut is a thing of beauty.
A circle of fried doughy perfection.
A source of comfort in trying times, perhaps.
For Theo Bernstein, however, it is far, far more.

Things have been going pretty badly for Theo Bernstein. An unfortunate accident at work has lost him his job (and his work involved a Very Very Large Hadron Collider, so he's unlikely to get it back). His wife has left him. And he doesn't have any money. Before Theo has time to fully appreciate the pointlessness of his own miserable existence, news arrives that his good friend Professor Pieter van Goyen, renowned physicist and Nobel laureate, has died.

By leaving the apparently worthless contents of his safety deposit to Theo, however, the professor has set him on a quest of epic proportions. A journey that will rewrite the laws of physics. A battle to save humanity itself.

This is the tale of a man who had nothing and gave it all up to find his destiny - and a doughnut.

* * *

Okay. Imagine a combination of the following: The strangeness of Barney (you know, the big purple dinosaur), the character Author Dent (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), and the complex plot and speed of a James Patterson mystery novel. That’s the best way I can describe Dougnut to you.

Basically, I read the summary and I was like:

36808985

but I figured I’d give it a try because I love funny stuff.

Well, I loved Doughnut. It was hilarious, and smart, and a little intellectually toned, but for the most part just fun. It’s hard to say what my favorite part was: either the way everything fit together in the end to the point that I was like “WHAAAAT. WHAAAAAATTTTT.” or how awesome the characters were, or how good the writing was… Seriously I can’t recommend this book enough.

Also the audio narrator was wonderful.

Content/Recommendation: Some language, no sex. Very funny. Ages 18+

Review: Until There Was You

Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins 
Genre: Contemporary adult Romance
ISBN: 9780373776115
October 25th 2011 by HQN Books
Amazon | Goodreads

Rating: 5

Posey Osterhagen can't complain. She owns a successful architectural salvaging company, she's surrounded by her lovable, if off-center, family and she has a boyfriend—sort of. Still, something's missing. Something tall, brooding and criminally good-looking—something like Liam Murphy.

When Posey was sixteen, the bad boy of Bellsford, New Hampshire, broke her heart. But now he's back, sending Posey's traitorous schoolgirl heart into overdrive once again. She should be giving him a wide berth, but it seems fate has other ideas…

* * *

I tore through this thing in like five hours... I stayed up until 4am reading. I love Kirstan Higgins so much. She's a good writer, she's funny, she's clever, her characters are awesome, and there's always a cute dog or cat. Sometimes both.

Also she rocks at writing kissing scenes. WOW!

The number-one thing I love about her novels is this: She writes these awesome contemporary romance novels, but she doesn't litter them with explicit sex, which I DON'T like to read (I mean really, I feel like I'm sneaking into a XXX movie when I read stuff like that. It's private, man! The characters don't want you to know what's going on under the sheets!).

Anyway, Until There Was You didn't disappoint. Liam was amazing, Posey was sweet, Nicole (the daughter) was adorable, and the family was family: a-typical in every way, funny, weird, and full of life. I love it. I wish I could keep this book forever instead of bringing it back to the library.

But hey, other people have to read it too, right?

Content/recommendation: Few occurrences of language, suggestion of sex. Ages 17+

Review: Etiquette and Espionage

Etiquette and Espionage, by Gail Carringer
Genre: YA, Steampunk, Adventure
ISBN 9780316190084
February 5th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Amazon | Goodreads

Rating: 5

It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners—and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's, young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage—in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.

Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail Carriger's legions of fans have come to adore.

* * *

I listened to this book in almost one sitting, while on a long car ride. I was almost disappointed when I got there because I had two chapters left and I wanted to know what happened!

E&E was a very cute and clever story.  It had everything: awesome characters, a villain you love to hate, mystery, adventure, surprises, romance, humor, and wonderful descriptions. Also, Werewolves and vampires. But not the sparkly modern-day super-sexy kind… the kind that will kill you. Oh yeah, also, they’re the professors.

And the students of the school Sophronia goes to?… they live in the sky. How cool is that? I loved Sophronia so much, and she reminded me of myself when I was nine (though she was like fourteen or something)

Suffice to say, I wanted to transfer to that finishing school instead of my boring old university.

Content/Recommendation: Clean! Recommend to ages 13+ (keep in mind, I’m 21 and I loved it).

Audio: The reader, Moira Quirk, was excellent! Wonderful use of accent and inflection, and very talented. Looking forward to hearing more of her voice acting.

Guest Post: Grim

Today I’ve got Joseph Spencer, author of Grim, stopping by the blog! Check back later for a review (probably after May 10th, since that’s the last day of my semester… You know how it is).

Grim by Joseph Spencer

Grim is a complex, gritty, and often gory tale which follows a series of grisly murders in Prairieville. The blood trail leads to a reclusive millionaire Heath Grim, who wears a mask to hide his war scars from the world, but he harbors a darker secret on the inside. Virtuous detective Adam White almost always gets his man, but he's haunted by the one case he's never closed - his wife's murder. When White is pushed to the limits of his sanity from a rising body count and a criminal kingpin who has turned crooked cops and corrupt politicians against him, will he be able to collar the killer? Or will a plot to tarnish his image and the killer's information on a common enemy turn White into the type of man he's hunted throughout his law enforcement career?

 


 

Ten Things I Wish I Knew About Being An Author Before Getting Published, by Joseph Spencer

You’ve done it! You committed to writing the great American novel you always thought you could write. You put your butt in the seat, your hands over the keyboard and your words on the screen. It’s finished. Your debut novel is finished, and set to skyrocket straight to the top of the bestseller list. The lion’s share of your work is done, right? WRONG!

For most authors, this step in the process is where the real learning takes place. The reality is debut authors, particularly ones who aren’t celebrities or aren’t being published by a major house, have to work as hard or harder on the business and marketing side of the book to get their masterpiece in front of a marketplace which isn’t familiar with them or their work. People are looking to stretch their dollars further in these times of economic hardship, and they have to be convinced that your work is worth spending their hard-earned dollars on. With that in mind, here are some things to consider if you’re looking to be published for the first time and aren’t quite sure what your next step should be.

1. No Agent, No Cry

When I began my publishing process, I figured I had to have an agent before any publisher would even consider my manuscript. That’s just not the case. The truth is a majority of independent authors submit unagented manuscripts all the time. The right agent will definitely help, but you can be published without one. Also, when you query agents, don’t get depressed when you get form letter rejections. Every author gets rejected, and it’s common for rookies to get the cold shoulder.

2. Do your homework

Whether you’re querying an agent or a publisher, don’t expect to cut and paste a generic form letter and get great results. You’re writing professionals who see massive volumes of material every day. If you don’t stand out, you don’t get out of the slush pile. Besides, if you wrote a fantastic science fiction novel, you don’t want to submit it to a romance publisher or an agent who handles primarily nonfiction works. There are a number of online resources which can help. www.pred-ed.com is one of the best out there.

3. Do It Yourself?

If you’ve submitted your manuscript and aren’t getting any bites from agents or publishers, there’s another decision to make. It’s up to you whether you think the reason you’re getting rejected is that the material isn’t professional standard, whether it just needs more polish on the editing table or whether the scope of your work hasn’t found its niche. Another alternative is self-publishing. It’s becoming more common for authors to publish their own work through companies like CreateSpace, Lightning Source and Smashwords. The author eats a lot of upfront cost, but also keeps more of the profit when the book sells.

4. Together Everyone Achieves More

The TEAM acronym isn’t just a corny slogan for high school basketball warmup shirts. Authors go a lot further when they find the right network of specialists to help them with creative and promotional services. Did you know there are companies to help you find the right agent (www.agentresearch.com)? Online resources can help you choose editors, cover artists, publicists, and other specialists to help whip your manuscript into shape.

5. Love at first site

In this age of social networking and content delivery on the Web, it’s important for authors to have a strong online presence. If you don’t have one already (get out from under the rock), you need to get Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads accounts to post announcements to promote your book both before and after it’s published. This will help get the word out to your close friends and family who will be your best salesmen to other prospective readers. Depending on your economic situation, you can choose to make your sites either author or book specific. Also, try to blog content frequently on your site.

6. Everyone’s a critic

It’s important for authors to develop a thick skin when putting their work out on the marketplace. Please keep in mind that suggestions made by professional editors are meant to enhance the book’s appeal. If an editor sends back your manuscript with a lot of corrections, it doesn’t mean you’re an unskilled writer. It just means that editor sees potential for you to make your work even better.

7. Just face it

It’s not enough to lock yourself away in an office and write. Our society loves celebrities. Even if you don’t feel any differently, others look at you as a big deal once you get published. Readers want to meet and talk to the people responsible for the characters and stories they love. Make an effort to do a tour of local libraries, local book stores and fan conventions which make sense. Also, it’s just as important to do blog tours with companies such as Full Moon Bites (http://fullmoonbites.blogspot.com). Remember, out of sight, out of mind.

8. Give to receive

Odds are that you never expected to be hawking pens, bookmarks, notepads, magnets and various other items when you started writing your manuscript. However, these promotional materials go a long way in trying to get readers to remember you and your work. Sites like www.vistaprint.com sell a variety of material you can purchase cheaply and give to readers at your appearances.

9. Upon Further Review…

There are times when all it takes to break open a treasure chest of potential readers is a favorable review from the right online blogger, media critic or genre-specific site. Sending out review copies costs money, but it’s essential in winning over readers who are on the fence about buying your book. Attempt to get as many reviews as you can because people are more likely to give you a shot when they see your material was liked by other readers.

10. Be Good to Each Other

Believe it or not, other authors can become your best allies when you’re trying to attract your following of loyal readers. Creating a network of writing friends, whether it’s a local group which can help you work on your skills and read your work or whether it’s an online group which can give you tips on promotion or help you cross-promote each other, is a rewarding and potentially lucrative experience. On my site, I do a weekly blog post of author interviews. I let other authors know they are welcome to promote themselves because it drives traffic and visitors to my site, too.

Joe Spencer is the author of Grim, a paranormal crime thriller released by Damnation Books in September 2012. It’s the first in the planned Sons of Darkness series. His second book, Wrage, is due out in 2013. He can be reached at www.josephbspencer.com.

 


For more about Grim, check out the other tour posts:

Waiting on Wednesday

What is it with novels about anti-boy societies? I think it's related to our messed up views on feminism, but who knows.

anyway this looks exciting.

Taken by Erin Bowman

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.
They call it the Heist.
Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.
Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

ISBN: 9780062117267 | Expected publication: April 16th 2013 by HarperTeen | Amazon | Goodreads

Disclaimer

Copyright 2016 Haley Mathiot. All reviews are 100% honest and unbiased. One or more items featured in the blog post may have been free or discounted. Receiving free or discounted product does not affect review. For more please see my disclaimer page.