Friday, August 31, 2012

Count Down To Love/Back to the Books Giveaway Hop (INT)

Welcome to this stop on the Back To Books Giveaway Hop, hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer. On my blog you can win an ecopy of Julie N Ford's COUNT DOWN TO LOVE. Check out my review/interview and Julie's guest post.

Abandoned at the altar, Kelly Grace Pickens finds herself left holding not only the bouquet but also the exorbitant bill for an A-list wedding. Homeless, a once promising singing career floundering, and her life bearing an uncanny resemblance to one of her country music ballads, she reluctantly accepts a last minute offer to appear on a reality TV show akin to the bachelor. Pitted against silicon-enhanced supermodels in four-inch heels, Kelly feels confident that she will be among the first would-be fiancés to be excused. Only, when the mysterious bachelor from New York City, Dillon Black, invites her to stay, Kelly finds herself thrust into the vortex of a game she doesn’t have the first idea how to play. Nursing her hopelessly broken heart while avoiding the foils of her fellow contestants, Kelly is oblivious to Dillon’s affections as she wades through hurt and betrayal to discover, in the end, that she has landed firmly on both feet.
Leaving behind Nashville’s Music Row for the majestic Grand Teton mountains, Count Down To Love takes readers on a journey from duplicity to sincerity as Kelly discovers that being true to oneself is the first step in finding happiness and everlasting love.

Entering is easy. Simply . . .

  • Follow my blog in some way. Leave a comment telling me you've done so and a way to contact you.

Extra enteries:

  • Follow Julie's Blog, leave a comment and a way to contact you.
  • Like Julie's FB page, leave a comment and a way to contact you.
  • Follow me on Twitter, leave a comment and a way to conact you.

Please have all enteries in by midnight on the 7th of September. It is in your best interest to leave SEPERATE comments as will be choosing the winners. (One of the these days I'll have time to figure out rafflecoptor.) As always, thanks for stopping by! Be sure to see who else is participating in this giveaway hop.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Count Down To Love by Julie N Ford--Book Review and Interview

COUNT DOWN TO LOVE by Julie N Ford. I agreed to participate in the blog tour because the book just sounded so cute, and I have to say that it met all my expectations. The characters are so easy to love. The side characters are hilarious. I loved the plot, setting, and everything about the book. I'd recommend this to any and everyone who loves to read. It a great, fun, clean escape from reality. Be sure to stop by on Sept 1 for a chance to win a copy. Also, take a look at Julie's guest post and interview (below). There's info on a Grand Prize giveaway that is going on in conjuction with the blog tour too.

:) :) :) :) :)

Abandoned at the altar, Kelly Grace Pickens finds herself left holding not only the bouquet but also the exorbitant bill for an A-list wedding. Homeless, a once promising singing career floundering, and her life bearing an uncanny resemblance to one of her country music ballads, she reluctantly accepts a last minute offer to appear on a reality TV show akin to the bachelor. Pitted against silicon-enhanced supermodels in four-inch heels, Kelly feels confident that she will be among the first would-be fiancés to be excused. Only, when the mysterious bachelor from New York City, Dillon Black, invites her to stay, Kelly finds herself thrust into the vortex of a game she doesn’t have the first idea how to play. Nursing her hopelessly broken heart while avoiding the foils of her fellow contestants, Kelly is oblivious to Dillon’s affections as she wades through hurt and betrayal to discover, in the end, that she has landed firmly on both feet.
Leaving behind Nashville’s Music Row for the majestic Grand Teton mountains, Count Down To Love takes readers on a journey from duplicity to sincerity as Kelly discovers that being true to oneself is the first step in finding happiness and everlasting love.

Grand Prize Giveaway:
As part of the tour, Julie is generously offering a grand prize giveaway of a hard copy of Count Down to Love, a CD of the band Due West, and a copy of the single, “Who I Am”, which Julie and Due West wrote and recorded specifically for the book. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post or any of the other stops on the tour. (Visit the tour page for the full tour schedule.) The more stops you comment on, the more entries you have into the contest!

What made you decide to become a writer?
I never “decided” to become a writer per se. I’ve always had stories in my head that I would play around with but never really considered turning any of them into a novel. Then, about five years ago, I had just finished chemotherapy treatments for Lymphoma when we moved to a new city. I didn’t know anyone, my girls were in school and I was at home waiting for my hair to grow back when the dialog and narration for my first novel just started coming to me—insistent, almost, that I let it out. I thought I might as well go ahead and write some of it. So one day I sat down at the computer and started my first chapter. One chapter turned into twenty and three months later I had my first novel.  

Who inspires you?
Kristin Hannah. She is my favorite author. In fact, if I could die and come back as any author, it would be her. I tried to emulate her while writing my first two novels but in the end both books just sounded like me. I guess that’s okay too.
What would you like your readers to get out of your writing?
With Count Down to Love I hope my readers will be entertained and maybe even laugh a little. And by taking Kelly’s journey with her, every woman will see that she too can find her true self. 
Where did this idea come from?
The idea for this story began as most of my ideas do, with a dream. Every now and then I’ll wake up in the morning with a story brewing. If I’m intrigued by the premise I’ll mull it over some more, allowing it to mushroom until I have a basic concept—characters, plot, central conflict. Then, living in Nashville around many struggling music artists, I was inspired to make Kelly a jilted signer/song writer. 

Who was your favorite character to develop?
Dillon. His character sprung from my secret affinity for cowboys. Then the fact that reality dating shows often choose handsome and wealthy men, someone they think women will swoon over like money and looks are all we ladies care about—as if—made me want to add another dimension. So, I made him a self-made millionaire with a mysterious past that would also give him some depth and an upbringing similar to Kelly’s. 

Any advice for aspiring authors?
Write because you love it, because the voices in your head won’t let you rest until you free them onto the page (or computer screen), because to stop is not an option. Keep writing when you get discouraged because even if you never make a dime off your work, the journey was well worth the effort.

What can we expect next from you?
My next novel is titled The Cadaver Ball and will be coming out sometime in 2013. It’s a women’s fiction/mystery about a woman from Southern California who meets the man of her dreams when she attends Vanderbilt Medical School’s, Cadaver Ball, with her college roommate. A year later she is married and living in Nashville with two step sons and has a sneaky suspicion that something doesn’t feel right regarding her husband’s first wife’s death. Being the curious person that she is, she just can’t help but go poking into the past, which lands her right in the middle of a dangerous conspiracy. The story is sort of a modern twist on the Rebecca and Jane Eyre novels. 
Where can we purchase your book?
Amazon and Barnes & And you can order a signed copy from my web site. 


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Night On Moon Hill by Tanya Parker Mills--Book Buzzin'

A NIGHT ON MOON HILL by Tanya Parker Mills. I'm excited for this book to come out. Be sure to stop by Tanya's blog for an incredible giveaway that's going on.

Swimming is Daphne’s one refuge–
until the night she finds a dead body in her pool.
University professor and renowned author Daphne Lessing has never felt at ease in society. But a disturbance in her once calm and controlled existence suddenly unearths events from her past and thrusts an unusual child into her life.
Without wanting to, Daphne soon finds herself attached to Eric, a ten-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome who is obsessed with fishing and angels. Daphne is faced with a choice: Does she leave him and return to her solitary, ordered life, trusting others to do right by him, or does she allow this bright child to draw her into the world she’s tried to shun?
And what about the man that entered her life with Eric? Will she be able to shut him out as well?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

My Best Advice--Guest Post by Julie Ford

Welcome, Julie! Thanks for stopping by. Be sure to check out her book COUNT DOWN TO LOVE. My review will be posted soon.

My Best Advice--Julie N Ford

When asked by my publisher to write some sample book club questions for Count Down to Love, I decided to look for inspiration in the back of one of my favorite novels. I didn’t find much that helped me settle on what questions to include in my book, but I did stumble upon yet another author offering advice to fledgling writers. 

Basically, it was the same old thing: keep reading, keep writing, keep submitting, and don’t give up. In other words, another lame, generic attempt by someone who has—by the grace of God—made their mark in the publishing world at not dashing the hopes of all the would-be writers with dreams of becoming famous published authors themselves. (Whew! Did I mention that I’m a master at the run-on sentence?)

Now I’m not famous, or arguably even a “good” author, but I still have some advice:

1st Keep reading even though now that you are writing you will rip every book to shreds, wondering how in the world this person got published after breaking all the “rules” you kill yourself trying to follow. 

2nd Keep writing but only because your characters wake you up in the morning screaming in your head to be released and brought to life on the page. Because a story that started as an intriguing idea, or a dream has continued to grow, mushrooming like the cloud of an atomic bomb until it consumed your every thought. Because inspiration comes to you at the most inconvenient times and you wish there was a way to safely type and drive, type and cook, type and shower, type and just about everything . . .

3rd Keep submitting not because you daydream about seeing your novel featured on the end cap at B&N (btw, seeing your book on an end cap is pretty cool), and definitely not because you have aspirations of becoming the next Stephenie Meyer. But because you have enjoyed bringing your story and characters to life and you want others to enjoy them as well. Because completing a manuscript is a huge accomplishment. Because you are proud of what you’ve written.

4th Don’t give up if you really love to write. If your greatest joy comes after crafting a well-written sentence, or when a scene comes together in a way you hadn’t intended, becoming more perfect than you’d ever anticipated. If you feel a rush of excitement unlike any other when the words flow from your head to your fingers tips as if they have a life of their own. If baring your very soul on the pages of your manuscript brings a freedom you’d never imagined.

Keep writing because to stop is not an option.

Because you still have stories to tell.

Because even if you never make a dime off your work the journey was well worth the effort.

I want to thank Bonnie for hosting this interview, giveaway and guest post. I hope all of you who decide to read Count Down to Love will enjoy the story as much as I loved writing it. And to all those inspiring authors out there, truly, if I write a book, you can too 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Count Down To Love by Julie Ford--Book Buzzin'

COUNT DOWN TO LOVE by Julie Ford. This one sounds great! Take a look. Stay tuned for a giveaway, an interview, and a guest post by the author.

Abandoned at the altar, Kelly Grace Pickens finds herself left holding not only the bouquet but also the exorbitant bill for an A-list wedding. Homeless, a once promising singing career floundering, and her life bearing an uncanny resemblance to one of her country music ballads, she reluctantly accepts a last minute offer to appear on a reality TV show akin to the bachelor. Pitted against silicon-enhanced supermodels in four-inch heals, Kelly feels confident that she will be among the first would-be fiancés to be excused. Only, when the mysterious bachelor from New York City, Dillon Black, invites her to stay, Kelly finds herself thrust into the vortex of a game she doesn’t have the first idea how to play. Nursing her hopelessly broken heart while avoiding the foils of her fellow contestants, Kelly is oblivious to Dillon’s affections as she wades through hurt and betrayal to discover, in the end, that she has landed firmly on both feet.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand--Book Review

UNBROKEN by Laura Hillenbrand. This book was absolutely amazing. I can't believe anyone every lived through WWII. The amount of research that was done and the way Laura wove the story together was breathtaking. I learned so much about the war, perserverance, humanity, and life. I couldn't put it down, yet when I think of recommending it, I have to be completely honest. Some of the things that happened were absolutely horrific. It made me ill to think anyone actually had to live the way the POW's lived. Is it an amazing book . . . yes. Should you read it . . . yes.

:) :) :) :) :)

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood.  Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard.  So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini.  In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails.  As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile.  But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.
Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater.  Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
In her long-awaited new book, seven years in the making, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in her blockbuster bestseller, Seabiscuit.  Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pledged by Gweynneth White--Book Buzzin'--Excerpt

PLEDGED by Gweynneth White. Here is one of the excerpts talked about in my earlier book buzz.

EXCERPT ONE: Meet Seth and Erin . . . 

Despite the heat, Seth felt icy. Dread could do that to him. Or so he had recently discovered. Deep breathing usually calmed him, so he sucked in a lungful of desert air and told himself to relax. It didn’t help. By the time he’d walked from the aircraft to the immigration hall he’d ripped off a jagged piece of thumbnail, already bitten raw. He handed his US passport to the Botswanan border official, and, after a frown, and a stamp, he joined the crowd at the baggage carousel. Botswana in southern Africa was the last place on earth he’d ever have picked for a holiday destination. But he wasn’t here on holiday. Not even close.

His backpack was slow in coming. Tired from his long-haul flight from New York, he leaned against the wall and closed his eyes. Almost as if to mock him, the hated vision that had brought him to Botswana burst into his mind. In an instant he was back in ancient times, watching a man he knew only as Gideon. As usual, Gideon was huddled on a windswept hill with his band of hopeless soldiers, waiting to be slaughtered by a huge army gathered in the valley below.

Seth snapped his eyes open to stop the battle from waging in his mind. It wasn’t that he was particularly squeamish; he’d watched enough movies to iron clad his stomach against gory visuals. But no movie had ever left him icy with dread the way Gideon’s battle did. And the reason for that was simple. The moment the visions had started, he had known that the war, fought so long ago in a place he’d never heard of, was far from over. And, as reluctant as he was, he too was being enlisted to fight in a cause he didn’t understand or want. 

He forced himself to focus on the present: Erin, who waited for him in the arrivals hall; his brother Kyle, whom he’d come to Botswana to visit; Kyle’s expedition to find the Lost City of the Kalahari . . .

He ripped off another piece of fingernail. Thinking about the search for the Lost City was almost as bad as the war-vision. I hope Kyle never finds the damned place. He slapped his hand on his thigh. Enough! Grabbing his backpack off the carousel, he set his face into a smile and strode into the arrivals hall.

The first hurdle was finding Erin. She was due to arrive an hour earlier on a flight from Cape Town in South Africa, one of Botswana’s neighbours. He’d never met her, although they had spoken over the phone once. Then she’d described herself as “a short, seventeen-year-old (a year younger than him) with a mass of ginger hair.” She’d sounded nice. Meeting her was the one ray of brightness in this otherwise dark picture.

He stopped to scan the crowd. A petite girl with shoulder length, reddish-blonde curls, dressed in skinny jeans and a purple blouse, immediately caught his eye. It had to be Erin. Nice legs. What’s it with girls that they always under-sell themselves? He studied her face with his artist’s eye. Vermeer would’ve killed to paint her. Suddenly wishing he didn’t look so grimy after his three plane-changes, he walked over to join her. “Hi, I’m Seth. You’ve got to be Erin. My brother’s just married your sister Izzy.”

“And after only knowing each other for about a week.”

Her dimpled grin was infectious, making him crack his trademark crooked smile. “Madness.”

“Mysterious.” Erin cocked her head to one side, seemingly appraising him. He knew he had been accurate when he’d told her he was tall and dark-haired. But what he had failed to mention was what girls had often said they liked about him: his strong, angular face, softened by expressive brown eyes. He watched her eyes rove over his grey Muse: Resistance t-shirt, taking in his broad shoulders and chest. From there they darted down his black camo-pants to his boots. Amused by her blatant assessment, he cocked his head to one side, watching her. Suddenly Erin giggled – was she embarrassed? – and picked up her bag. 

“We’ve yet another plane to catch. My fourth in the last twenty-four hours,” Seth said, hoping to explain away his rumpled appearance. “To a place called Maun.” 

“So we do. Let the adventure begin.” 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ways To Help Out Your Favorite Authors

I've been struggling to come up with a topic this week, probably because I've been loving the Olympics so much. Go, USA! It's amazing what all those athletes have accomplished. It's been quite a ride. :) So, I finally decided to do a post on something I've been thinking about for a long time. How to help promote our favorite authors.

Some of my suggestions you may have thought of already or may seem obvious, others may not. Hopefully, something here will spark an idea and you can take it from there. 

As a writer, I've done my best to support and promote new authors, since I know some day I will be in their shoes. What I've learned from doing this is that it really is all about marketing and word of mouth. Those authors that are out there, meaning online, promoting their books are the ones I see being successful. Those authors that have teams helping them are the books we know the best, whether we've read them or not. So, how can we help our favorite authors, especially those that are not "well known" as of yet?

  • Buy their books. This may seem obvious, but consumers spend money on what they like. It's as simple as that.
  • Along with that, once you've discovered an author you like, try to purchase their book directly from the publisher. That way, the author gets a bigger portion of the pay, whereas if the book is purchased through a third party, their cut isn't as big. This may not be possible for everyone, but Indie authors you should be able to get the book directly from the publisher. I've been surprised at what I've been able to find from a publisher, and the cost isn't all that different.
  • Post a review. Whether that be on your blog, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, Facebook, really anywhere. It lets people know the book exists and that you liked it. One of the most powerful tools for an author is positive word of mouth. I'm amazed at how many people are now coming to me directly for reading suggestions just because I've been vocal about the books I've read.
  • Post an interview or have the author do a guest blog post. Again, it's exposure and gets the name out there.
  • Participate in blog tours. Your blog is one more stop that the book gets to make which makes it known to how many more people. You never know how far the word can spread.
There are many more things I'm sure others have thought of, but this is what I've found as worked for me. It doesn't take too much effort to do any of these things, and I'd like to think that I've been able to help out some of the authors out. And hopefully, when I'm published others will return the favor. In the meantime, Happy Writing, Reading, and Promoting!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Shifter by Steven Jackson--Book Review & Interview

SHIFTER by Steven Jackson. The concept of this book intrigued me from the back cover. I got the book with high hopes and it basically held up to what it said it would. The concept is very unique, something I haven't ever run across. It was a refreshing read. The characters were easy to relate to. The setting was wonderful, and I loved the ending. There was a little bit of language and I had some personal issues with the writing style, but I would recommend this to anyone who loves a good, interesting read.

:) :) :) :)

John Davis might be going insane. Or he might be reshaping reality. He isn’t sure which.
When the world starts shifting around him, he’s the only one who seems to notice. The changes seem harmless at first—sunny skies, a nicer apartment, new furniture—but quickly turn sinister when his best friend vanishes without a trace. In his search for the truth behind his friend’s disappearance, John uncovers a mysterious organization dedicated to hunting down those who can shift reality—and they want John dead. If John isn’t the Shifter, he needs to find out who is before the organization catches up to him and his reality unravels completely.

What made you decide to become a writer?

Ah, nothing glamorous I’m afraid! I’d love to say I was adopted by a troupe of travelling librarians at the age of three and made to read books by candlelight...but unfortunately although I love books and always read a lot I never really thought about writing and never once attracted the attention of wandering bibliosoph. That is until I finished reading Harry Potter, or maybe it was the Twilight series...(how many writer-points have I just lost?!)... I’m not sure – this was October 2009 so it could well have been Breaking Dawn. Anyway, I just wondered how people like Stephanie Meyer could just sit down one day and write these incredible novels that people absolutely loved, having barely looked at a book before. I thought that if the rumours were true, and J K Rowling just dreamed up Harry on a train one day, maybe I could have a go at writing something. So I tried. I just wanted to see if I could write a coherent, interesting novel. It was for me back then, I wasn’t thinking about publication at that point. Perhaps in the end it was a challenge I set myself, never really thinking I’d manage it.

Who inspires you?

When I was asked that in an interview once I panicked and said “Alfred the Great”. I didn’t get the job. These days I’d say Stephen Hawking, for making physics accessible to someone like me. His book A Briefer History of Time had a sort of wry humour in places which you have to admire, plus it explained things so that I can appear more intelligent than I really am at parties. He’s an amazing story of triumph over adversity, but he’s humble, amusing and self-deprecating with it. And if it’s something we Brits love it’s a self-deprecating hero. And if Hawking can write a book without having the full use of his body, then what excuse do I have not to try?

What would you like your readers to get out of your writing?

I’d like it if people came away feeling that they had connected with the main character, and that they felt for him in his plight. I think he’s a really likeable guy, the kind of person you’d like to meet. In a way, I feel sorry for what I put him through! So if there was something people could take from my writing it’s probably a feeling that they were really engaged with the story and the people in it. Also, someone once asked me if there was a romantic relationship between two of the characters that I’d not really considered when I was writing it. That was a pleasant surprise, to think that there were elements to these people that I as their creator hadn’t thought about. I’d heard that when you’re writing some characters get away from you and develop into something you can’t remember intending for them to be, but it was a revelation to have it happen to me. I’d like readers to see something in those characters I hadn’t seen, a depth or a personality trait that they’d discovered and I hadn’t. 

Where did this idea come from?

The idea of Shifts and Shifters developed out of my hope that nothing was set in stone. I think I wanted to believe that if you tried, you could shape your own reality and mould your future regardless of your present. In a funny way it kind of reflects my journey into the world of writers and stories and books. I was set doing one thing, looking wistfully into a world I didn’t belong to and wanting to see if I could do what they did. I think the idea of shaping and realising your own reality, making it and yourself into who and what you want to be, is something that everyone thinks about. It’s the whole concept of taking control of your life and becoming the person you want to be and making the world fit around it; it’s quite an empowering thought. Of course that’s only how the general idea came about; in the book it’s much more dangerous and unpredictable, capable of causing death and destruction as well as good things. Perhaps it comes back to being careful what you wish for, only my characters never wished for it even if I did.

Who was your favorite character to develop?

I think in all honesty my favourite was probably Brice, the highly unpleasant technology guy. He, and one or two others have been described by one reviewer as a total sociopath, which is probably fair. I loved getting into his head, putting myself in his shoes and immersing myself in his twisted character. He is partially based on the nameless pangs of anger and jealousy we’ve all felt and quickly suppressed - being unsuitable for polite society - and partially based on my experience of people like him. He’s the dark side given life and a brain. It was interesting to pit him against the unfailingly cheerful Stuart, who actually I started to resent myself, having spent too long thinking with Brice’s mind. I think it’s disturbing how easy it is to adopt an evil person’s point of view if you try hard enough.

Any advice for aspiring authors?

Don’t take it too seriously. Have fun with it. If at any moment you begin to resent your book or the act of writing it, put it away. I am extremely aware of how pretentious I sound when I say this but writing is an art. It’s not something to be rushed or judged as it’s taking shape. I managed to complete Shifter within seven weeks, but I only realised that was quite fast when I later considered trying to get it published. I never started out wanting to publish; I only wanted to write to see if I could. When I decided to try and publish it, then it got serious and I started freaking out. My advice to people is to concentrate on the story and your enjoyment of creating it, not the end goal of publishing it and living in a giant house made of diamonds. I hear most people make virtually no money on their first book anyway, so don’t think like that or you’ll disturb your writing and get disappointed all in one go. Just enjoy it.

What can we expect next from you?

I am about 60,000 words into my second book, which I am having great fun with at the moment. I can’t wait to finish it and send it to my publishers. It’s just finding the time to finish it is so hard! Work is suddenly really busy and weekends and evenings get booked up with social things so quickly. I don’t have a huge amount of time to myself. It’s no surprise really that Shifter (written at a time when I was living at home with my parents trying to make enough money to move out) was finished in less than two months. This one (being written now that I’m living with my partner in the city) has already taken a year and it’s hovering at the two thirds mark. I’m hopeful that in the next two months it’ll be done. It’s a supernatural thriller; I’m playing with werewolf/demon concepts but setting it very firmly in the real world with real people. It has a controversial aspect to it that I’m wondering if people (i.e. my publishers!) will like; I guess it’s a risk I take for telling the story I want to tell in the way I want to tell it. I guess I’m still unknown enough to get away with writing my story rather than the story I think will sell!

 Where can we purchase your book?

You can get it at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and from Rhemalda Publishing at I’m currently working on a publicity campaign to spread the word a bit and maybe have it available at a few other places but that’s still quite a way off. The links to the book are below – I’m pretty nervous about it being exposed to the world; nothing prepares you for that - but I really hope people enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Big In Japan's Jennifer Griffith Guest Post--Book Buzzin'

Thanks for joining us, Jennifer. It's all yours. :)

“Don’t Write What You Know”
Thank you for letting me be your guest blogger today! It’s an honor.
Do you remember those skits by Monty Python, “And Now for Something Completely Different?” You probably wanted something completely different on this blog today, so here’s a post about sumo wrestling!
Sumo. It’s gross, right? Flabby, mostly-naked guys slamming into each other at full speed?
Ah, but my friends, it is much, much more! 
Sumo is the national sport of Japan. It’s of ancient origin. Only men are allowed to compete. Foreigners have been part of sumo for almost 100 years, and the current champion is foreign, as was his predecessor. There are about 1000 men who are in the pro ranks, and there are six levels that a competitor must climb through (or shove through, actually!) to get to the top tier. There are six tournaments a year, three in Tokyo, and three at other locations in Japan. The winner of a tournament receives The Emperor’s Cup, a huge silver trophy I couldn’t lift if my life depended on it.
There aren’t any weight classes, so the biggest, heaviest guys compete against everyone else in their level. It pays to put on weight! And having good balance can help a wrestler (rikishi) win, even if he’s lighter than his opponent.
The rules are simple. To win a match, a Rikishi must force his opponent out of the ring or make him touch the ground with any part of his body other than the bottom of his foot. Matches are super intense, but they only last a few seconds. The power of these giants is just incredible. 
Lots of matches are available to watch online.
Some of us eat sushi at restaurants called “The Happy Sumo,” but there’s a darker side to the sport. In recent years some incidents of hazing and bout throwing have come to light, and there have been scandals that have rocked the sport and disillusioned some fans.
Now, I did live in Japan for a year and a half (LOVED it!), and I did see a sumo wrestler in a train station one time in Tokyo, but I didn’t know much about the sport until I started researching it for my newly released novel BIG IN JAPAN. It’s the story of an overweight Texan guy who’s a nobody, walked on and invisible in his job and in love, who goes to Japan and accidentally becomes the first blond sumo wrestler. 
Anyhow, for this book, I didn’t follow the advice of “write what you know.” Heh heh. I’m a 5’1” girly girl mom of five who lives in the Arizona desert. (Although I do love Japan and wanted to take readers on a virtual tour of it.) Instead I followed the rule “write what you want to know.” I wanted to know more about sumo, thought it was so exotic and readers might want to know about it too.
Robert Frost said in his poem “Maple,” “Name some children some names and see what happens.” I echo that: “Pick an exotic subject for your novel, research it and see what happens.” 
It could turn out to be BIG!
Jennifer Griffith is the author of four novels. BIG IN JAPAN is published by Jolly Fish Press and is available at bookstores nationwide and online. It is also available as an ebook. Find her on Facebook at and on Twitter, @GriffithJen.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Friends and Foes by Sarah M Eden--Book Review


Another book by one of my favorite authors. I don't think I will ever tire of Sarah's books. They have me engaged from the minute I open the book, to the minutes I close it, wishing I had another one right away. FRIENDS AND FOES was no exception. I loved everything about the book and can't sing high enough praises. I can recommend it to any and everyone who loves a great read.

:) :) :) :) :)

After five years of tracking and capturing spies on English soil, Philip Jonquil, Earl of Lampton, is in pursuit of his last quarry. But at a traveler’s inn, he encounters an unexpected and far more maddening foe: Sorrel Kendrick, a young lady who is strikingly pretty, shockingly outspoken, and entirely unimpressed with him. Indeed, Sorrel cannot believe the nerve of this gentleman, who rudely accuses her of theft and insults her feminine dignity. Doubly annoyed when they both end up at a party hosted by mutual friends, Philip and Sorrel privately declare war on one another. But Philip’s tactics, which range from flirting to indifference, soon backfire as he finds himself reluctantly enjoying Sorrel’s company; and, much to her dismay, Sorrel finds Philip’s odd manner to be increasingly endearing. In the midst of this waning war and growing attraction, Philip catches wind of the French spy he’s been tracking, and Sorrel inadvertently stumbles upon a crucial piece of the puzzle, making her indispensable to the mission. But can two proud hearts negotiate a ceasefire when cooperation matters most?

paperback -
for Kindle -