Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bookanista Review - Shinobi by Cole Gibson

It's Thursday, and time for another Bookanista review. Today I am reviewing Shinobi by Cole Gibson. But before I get to that, here are the other Bookansita posts today: 

On to my review -

About SHINOBI by Cole Gibson:
Can Rileigh stop a vengeful ninja before she's trapped forever?Reincarnated samurai Rileigh Martin may have just graduated high school, but she feels like there isn’t much to celebrate. Her boyfriend Kim doesn’t remember who she is, her past-life enemy Whitley has returned, and her future is unclear.When Kim suddenly regains his memories, Rileigh is overjoyed—until she realizes that Sumi, a powerful, reincarnated ninja, has also regained her memories. In the aftermath of Sumi’s attack, Rileigh’s ki powers are draining away and the Network unexpectedly starts hunting her. With time running out, Rileigh must track down Sumi before her powers completely vanish and she’s forever seen as the enemy.This jaw-dropping conclusion to the Katana series—heralded by Booklist as “an action-packed page-turner”—delivers knock-down-drag-out action, cleverly rolled up with a romance that spans lifetimes and a friendship that survives a supernatural effort to tear it apart.Praise:"A swift tale of romance for the young teen with a warrior heart."—KIRKUS REVIEWS

Why I liked it: 
SHINOBI is the conclusion to the KATANA series, and wow...what and end! This entire series was such a great ride. And this installment is no different. Filled with action, romance, and a bad-ass main character, this story absolutely satisfied the warrior-girl in all of us! If you like a little samurai action with your romance, this is a great series. The writing is great, the characters - believable. And the ending? Well, let's jsut say this ended in a way that makes sense for the story - and the series. It is fabulous!

What great books have you read recently?

    Tuesday, February 25, 2014

    #IndieReCon Is HERE!!!

    Hi all! I wanted to sneak in and let you know that I am going to be pretty scarce over the next few weeks. Why, you may ask?
    • Major deadlines coming in NF
    • Need to work on Collide
    • Need a breather
    • #IndieReCon is here!
    On that last one, be sure to check out #IndieReCon. The lineup is amazing and it all starts today. CLICK HERE for the agenda and complete information!

    Friday, February 21, 2014

    New Release News!

    Happy Friday! For some reason I always like sharing bookish news on Fridays. Today is no different. I am finally ready to share news about not one, but two upcoming releases.

    First, for my Requiem Fans, I am releasing an omnibus of the Requiem Series in Mid-March in mobi and epub formats. It will include the three novels, as well as the Requiem Shorts. And, because several of you asked, it also includes a special NEW short about Nesy and Aydan before they were Nesy and Aydan. VOCA ME is the story of Elle and Adam. See where their love began!

    More on that soon.

    First I want to share more news...

    I am also releasing a BRAND NEW YA novel with cross-over appeal entitled COLLIDE. COLLIDE is a paranormal thriller I am more than a little excited about! Think X-Men meets Bourne Identity. Add a little Nikita and I think you have the idea. Check out this FAB video that totally gets me in the mood for the story:

    Here's the blurb for a little more info:


    There’s more to paranormal activity than ghosts and cheap mind tricks. For some people, there’s torture, secrets and death.

    When a surprising mental breakdown draws too much attention from a secret government group call the Order, 17-year-old Dakota discovers that her so-called boring life isn’t so boring after all. Between the lies, secrets and assassins out to kill her family, Dakota discovers a world she's never imagined. Now she must uncover the truth before a new breed of terrorism takes everything away – including her life. 

    I just can't wait to share this with you. COLLIDE will be out in late March/early April in all digital formats and possibly print (I just love print!). I will share a lot more about it as I gear up for the release. For now, spread the word and add it to your Goodreads TBR pile. April will be here before you know it!

    Thursday, February 20, 2014

    Elevated by Elana Johnson - a Review

    Hey everyone! I hope your Thursday is amazing! I am thrilled to bring you my review of ELEVATED by Elana Johnson today. 

    The Blurb:
    The last person seventeen-year-old Eleanor Livingston wants to see on the elevator—let alone get stuck with—is her ex-boyfriend Travis, the guy she's been avoiding for five months. 

    Plagued with the belief that when she speaks the truth, bad things happen, Elly hasn’t told Trav anything. Not why she broke up with him and cut off all contact. Not what happened the day her father returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. And certainly not that she misses him and still thinks about him everyday. 
    But with nowhere to hide and Travis so close it hurts, Elly’s worried she won’t be able to contain her secrets for long. She’s terrified of finally revealing the truth, because she can’t bear to watch a tragedy befall the boy she still loves. 
    Why I liked it:
    There is so much to love about this book! First, the writing - it is no secret that I like Elana's books. And this one is no exception. But Elana takes her normal fantastic writing to a whole new level with this novel in verse. This is a format I personally love, and Elana does a great job with it. I sincerely hope there will be more novels in verse from her in the future!

    The characters in Elevated are great: relatable and so perfect for the story. Which brings me to the story itself, this is a great contemporary. It brings together the drama most of us remember from our youth.

    To sum it up - great writing, great characters, great writing...what's not to LOVE! Do yourself a favor and pick it up today. You'll devour it in one setting!

    Buy ELEVATED today:
    Barnes and Noble

    Tuesday, February 18, 2014

    Happy book Birthday to Elana Johnson and Elevated!

    Time for another Author Spotlight! Today I am thrilled to be hosting Elana Johnson and wishing her a HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY for her latest writing endeavor - ELEVATED. A few weeks ago I participated in her cover release. Well, as it so happens, the cover was changed since then and I will have it for you here. But first, here is a little more about Elevated:

    ELEVATED by Elana Johnson:

    The last person seventeen-year-old Eleanor Livingston wants to see on the elevator—let alone get stuck with—is her ex-boyfriend Travis, the guy she's been avoiding for five months.

    Plagued with the belief that when she speaks the truth, bad things happen, Elly hasn’t told Trav anything. Not why she broke up with him and cut off all contact. Not what happened the day her father returned from his deployment to Afghanistan. And certainly not that she misses him and still thinks about him everyday.

    But with nowhere to hide and Travis so close it hurts, Elly’s worried she won’t be able to contain her secrets for long. She’s terrified of finally revealing the truth, because she can’t bear to watch a tragedy befall the boy she still loves.
    Praise for ELEVATED:
    "ELEVATED will take you on an emotionally gripping journey through the highs and lows of first love."
    ~Carolee Dean, author of Take Me There and Forget Me Not

    "Poignant, raw, and intense, ELEVATED is a novel that will grip your heart and linger in your mind long after you turn the last page."
    ~Stasia Ward Kehoe, author of Audition and The Sound of Letting Go 

    Buy Links:

    And yes - the new cover:

    I will be reviewing the book later this week, so watch for that. And trust me - it is EPIC! 


    And to all of you - go get the book. You won't regret it.

    About Elana Johnson Elana Johnson’s work, including Possession, Surrender, Abandon, and Regret, published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster), is available now everywhere books are sold. Her popular ebook, From the Query to the Call, is also available for download, as well as a Possession short story, Resist. School teacher by day, Query Ninja by night, you can find her online at her personal blog or Twitter. She also co-founded the Query Tracker blog, and contributes to the League of Extraordinary Writers.

    Monday, February 17, 2014

    15 Reasons to Attend IndieReCon


    As you may or may not know, IndieReCon starts next week from Feb 25 - 27. Each day is packed with giveaways, chats, posts and fun.

    Here it is - 15 reasons why you should register for IndieReCon Today!

    1. Keynote speakers JA Konrath and Barry Eisler are hosting a 2 hour chat to honestly answer any questions you have. Need I say more!

    2. Find out how to face your fears and how to focus on your writing, being creative, and writing to your readers with Bob Mayer, Alicia Vancil, Rashelle Workman, Susan Quinn, Orna Ross, CS Lakin, and Rachel Aaron.

    3. Find out all the nitty gritty details on self-publishing basics like pricing, distribution, and formatting from top industry professionals like Miral Sattar, Peter Bowerman, Joel Friedlander, and The Passive Guy (David Vandagriff).

    4. Build your marketing skills and publicity skills with KP Simmons (InkSlinger PR), David Gauthran, Lori Culwell, Micheal Alvear, Jim Kukral, Joanna Penn, Angela Ackerman, and Martha Carr.

    5. Chat with bestselling authors Chelsea Fine and CHelsea Cameron on how it is to be a hybrid author. IN addition, you will find out secrets (including information about audio books) from some bestselling indie authors that make up the Indelibles.

    6. It's FREE!

    7. We have fun contests! - LIKE THIS ONE FOR GETTING THE WORD OUT

    8. Since it's online, you can stay in your PJs and we won't laugh at you. :)

    9. There are huge giveaways! Yeah... HUGE! (Hint - Begins with a KO and ends with a BO :) <-- AHHHH!!!!

    10. Learn about awesome organizations that support indie authors including: KOBO, IndieReader, Shelf Unbound, Indelibles, Author Marketing Club, Alliance of Independent Authors, Goodreads and Bibliocrunch.

    11. Discover some great new indie authors to read.

    12. Join our live podcast with the guys from Write Publish Repeat (Sean Platt, Johnny Truant, and Davide Wright) - Such an amazing MUST READ

    13. Did we mention it's FREE?

    14. Because it will be epic! (At least we think so.) <- No really, it is!!!

    15. Find out tips in how to maximize your book exposure with leaders from Goodreads, Kobo, Smashwords, IndieReader, and Amazon.

    Every single blog post, chat, vlog will be packed with all the information you need to help you on the self-publishing path.

    IndieReCon will help you learn all the dirty secrets about the indie pubbing industry and help you succeed.

    February 25-27 from 10-10.

    Tell your friends.

    Hang out with us all day. Hourly posts. Tons of chats. A few vlogs and webinars. Check out the amazeballs online.

    If you want to receive updates on the conference, go to our web site and enter your email up in the left sidebar to receive updates and a drawing for giveaways so you don’t miss out!

    See you there!
    Co Founders: SR (Shelli) Johannes and Ali Cross
    Hosts: Chanda Hahn, Cheri Lasota, Christine Fonseca, Heather McCorkle

    Thursday, February 13, 2014

    Bookanista Review: Vengeance by Megan Miranda

    It's Thursday, and time for another Bookanista review. Today I am reviewing one of my favorite reads this year - Vengeance by Megan Miranda. If you love a great sequel (or companion - though I think this is more of a sequel), you'll LOVE this continuation of the "Fracture" story. But before I get into that, here is a peek at the other Bookanistas and their fav books this week:
    On to my review -

    About VENGEANCE by Megan Miranda:
    Nobody really believes in a curse. Until you know the people who disappear. Too much coincidence, you look for reason. Too much death, you grasp for something to blame. Carson pulled Delaney out and he died on the side of the road with her mouth pressed to his. Her air in his body. Troy. She told the cops it was suicide. Didn't matter. The lake released her and grabbed another. But when Decker's father dies in a pool of spilled water on their kitchen floor, all Decker can feel is a slow burning rage. Because he knows that Delaney knew that his dad was going to die. She knew and backed out of his house and never said a word. Falcon Lake still has a hold on them both, and Decker can't forgive Delaney until he knows why.

    Why I liked it: 
    This was an outstanding follow-up to FRACTURE. Told from the POV of Decker, it was a messed-up emo ride that had me 1000% hooked from the very beginning. I loved Miranda's story development, the character growth and her writing. Definitely NOT a light read in any way, this is an angst-filled emotional ride. And given my love for all things emo, it's not big shock that I LOVED this book!!! And yes, I loved it MORE than Fracture!

    If you like dark, emo stories that deal with a huge depth of emotion, this is for you!

    What great books have you read recently?

      Wednesday, February 12, 2014

      IndieReCon Contests, Presenters, and More Cool News

      Happy Wednesday everyone! I wanted to sneak in and make sure ALL of you know about the IndieReCon FREE online conference coming on 2/25 AND the fabulous contests going on NOW.

      That's right. It's time to celebrate your favorites in Indie Publishing with these amazing contests:

      Best Indie Novel Award
      for fans to nominate their favorite indies!

      Best Indie Cover Award
      for authors to submit their own awesome book covers!

      Nominations and Submissions are open only through FRIDAY, so you've only got a couple more days to get in the action. Hop on over to the IndieRecon website for complete details.

      And, as if that wasn't enough, check out some of these AWESOME presenters for the conference:

      JA Konrath
      Barry Eisler
      Lara Perkins
      Orna Ross
      Amy Edelman
      Lori Culwell

      and so many more...

      Monday, February 10, 2014

      Writing After A Long Break : 6 Tips To Get Back In the Groove

      Hi everyone! Hope you are having an awesome Monday. The break was amazing. Not only can I finally report that I am healthy, but I can also report exciting NEW things in the writing department.

      I am so excited to be working on my current project. It's a paranormal thriller that's best summed up as X-men meets Bourne Identity. SO dang much fun to write. I truly can't wait to bring it to all of you.

      Which brings me to this post...Writing after a long break.

      I haven't written new material since October. That is nearly four LOOOOONNNNNNGGGG months. Too long. And guess what I've discovered -

      Once I am out of the habit of writing, it is very difficult to jump back in.

      Let me state that again, because I feel like it is really THAT important: Once you are out of the habit of writing, it is really hard to jump back in. Sure, once the story starts flowing it feels fantastic. But the break has broken your habit; it's made you susceptible to all of the distraction. You know, Facebook, Twitter, TV, Google chat, Flappy Bird. Everything. And you will feel like you are fighting off the distraction genie until you are back in the habit of writing - a minimum of 21 days.

      So, what do you do? How do you force yourself to get back in the groove.

      For me, it took a combination of a few things which I've listed below:

      1. Remind Yourself of Your Writing Goals: Hopefully at the beginning of the year/month/week you set some goals regarding writing. If not, do that. Then do something to keep those goals at the forefront of your mind. For me, I outlined my publishing timeline for the year and keep a countdown clock to help me stay focused.
      2. Visualize Yourself Writing: I am a huge believer in the power of creative visualization. One of my favorites involves me, writing without getting blocked, creating the stories I really want to tell. Every morning, evening and before a writing session I spend a few moments with this visualization. And dude - it helps! My blockages are fewer. My ideas of exploding!
      3. Find A Partner in Crime: When I struggle the most, I need writing partners to push me along. The best are the ones that will keep me focused on my goal and reward my efforts with a little chatting time. They are as good as any to-do list app out there!
      4. Turn Off Your Social Media Sites: Whatever is your distraction of choice - the internet, social media, your phone, the TV, chores, etc - whatever it is, you have to discipline yourself to stay away except for designated times. Apps like 30/30 and others can help you schedule this playtime. No matter how you support your efforts, the key is to stay away from the distractions so you can concentrate.
      5. When in Doubt, Try Things Like Write or Die: I LOVE the new Write or Die app. Not only punitive now, the app provides motivation, creativity boosts and rewards, in addition to the punishment most of us think of with this app. For me, Write or Die helps me focus for a brief amount of time, often with amazing results. Using short bursts of writing time, I can crank out 2K or more in an hour of drafting.
      6. Stick with the Routine For a Minimum of Three Weeks: I'm not going to lie to you, There will be days when you are trying to establish this habit when you will be MISERABLE! You won't want to write, you will guilt yourself into taking some time off, etc. Trust me, don't succumb to temptation. Instead, go back through items 1-5 and force yourself to stick with it. You'll be back into a habit of writing in no time!
      The long break definitely played havoc with my writing goals. But the tips above have helped make this month more productive than ever. Maybe they will help you!

      Monday, February 3, 2014

      Time to UnPlug


      Hi all! I'm unplugging and living life this week! See you 2/10!

      Sunday, February 2, 2014

      Book Review: Bad Dad by Derek Munson

      Happy Sunday! I am spending the day in Super Bowl party mode. But I wanted to sneak over to the computer and post a quick review for a new picture book - Bad Dad by Derek Munson, illustrated by Melody Wang

      Here is a little about the book, due to release Feb 28:
      Uh oh! Looks like Dad is in trouble again! The library books are overdue. The kids are late for school. And the last cookie is missing from the cookie jar. Again. And somehow, Dad always seems to be in the middle of it all. But is he really all that bad?
      Why I liked it:
      First, I can't say enough about how beautiful the illustrations by Melody Wang are. It is a visually stunning book to look at. As for the story itself, it's cute and really speaks to the relationship between a father and his children. I grew up without a father figure in my life until I was a teenager. I've loved watching the relationship between my girls and their father - and so much of this book reminded me of that relationship. I truly enjoyed it!

      Pre-order it today:
      Barnes and Noble