Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer Giveaway Hop: Click and Interview with Lisa Becker

Click by Lisa Becker

Fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats, Renee Greene, the heroine of Click: An Online Love Story, reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds entirely through emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical “B” celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee wades into the shallow end of the dating (cess)pool and endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends. And ultimately, they will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.
You can follow Lisa on Facebook here
View the Click: An Online Love Story video trailer here
Purchase Click at Amazon here
Purchase Double Click at Amazon here

interview with Blkosiner's Book Blog

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.

Renee Greenereluctantly joins her pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles with the story unfolding entirely through emails. 

--How did you get the idea for the story?
My husband and I met online on a popular dating website.  After we married, I was recalling some of the hilarious experiences that I had with both traditional and online dating.  I decided to capture some of them in writing and from there, a novel emerged.   The ultimate goal was to create a fun read for anyone who has ever had a bad date, been in love, been dumped, or is searching for "the one." But, the happy ending is real.  Steve and I have been happily married for 10 years and have two amazing daughters - ages 8 and 6. 

--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
I most readily identify with Renee.  She and I share a lot of qualities including a self-depreciating sense of humor, fear of flying, motivation in our PR careers and love of baking.  Mark is loosely based on a friend who encouraged me to try online dating.  He’s a terrific guy who is still himself searching for “the one.”   So if you know any nice single girls, let me know.  ;)  But, my favorite character – and the one I would most want to spend time with –  is Shelley.  She’s confident, brash, outrageous and wholly unapologetic for her choices.  She was so fun to write.  Her hilarious habit of giving nicknames to her “man du jour” was inspired by a childhood friend of mine who had a nickname for a guy in college that she admired from across the dorm cafeteria.  She called him Maverick because he looked like Tom Cruise in Top Gun.  Much like Shelley, she is a self-confident, gorgeous, lovely gal and it wasn't long before they met and dated for a spell. 

--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?

A friend, after seeing the Double Click cover, said, “Can’t wait for part three, Right Click; the story of how Renee becomes a conservative and falls madly in love with a one percenter!"  While I don’t think Renee will become a member of the Tea Party anytime soon, I love the title.  Right Clickis a slow-moving work in progress. 

--What book(s) is your book’s “cousin”? (Similar kind of read, set-up or style)
Many years ago, I read a book called e by Matthew Beaumont which tells the story of a fictitious ad agency vying for a big account, with the story all told in emails.  I thought that narrative style would work really well for the story I wanted to tell about the online dating world.  It was a modern way of storytelling that fit the topic and the times. 

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?

I like to write with the television on in the background.  When I first started writing, I was obsessed with Law & Order reruns.  Now, I can’t seem to get enough of NCIS.  I guess there’s a part of me that likes to see justice served. 

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
I’m fortunate to have had a series of wonderful careers outside of writing including being a wife, mom, PR professional, college professor, volunteer and Girl Scout troop leader. 

You can follow Lisa on Facebookhere
View the Click: An Online Love Story video trailerhere
Purchase Click at Amazon here
Purchase Double Click at Amazon here

Lightning round: this or that?

Vanilla or chocolate?
Chocolate!  I worked at a candy store one summer, a true story of which is detailed in Double Click.  I thought for sure I would tire of chocolate after being encouraged by my boss to try them all.  No such luck!  Again, judging by my figure, I would have been better off in the long run of growing tired of the tasty treats. 

Edward or Jacob?
Neither!  I’m sadly old enough to be their mothers. 

Ebook or paper?
Both!  I resisted a Kindle for a long time but find it surprisingly easy to use.  And you can’t be the convenience.  But I still love the feel of a paper book in my hands. 

Salty or sweet?
Oooh…put them together and you’ve hit gold!

Beach or mountains?
I live in a part of Los Angeles County called Manhattan Beach, less than two miles from the ocean.  I love walking along the strand, looking out over the ocean, searching for dolphins and playing in the sand with my girls. 

Phone call or email?
Phone call.  As much as I enjoy the convenience of email, there’s nothing that beats having a real conversation with someone you love. 

Early bird or night owl?
Neither!  I’m sort of in the middle.  I’d love to wake up at nine and stay up until midnight. 

Messy or neat?
I want to say neat, but I know my husband would say a resounding “Messy!” with that exclamation point at the end. 

Ninjas or pirates?

Ninjas.  I admire their stealth nature.  
Blkosiner's Book Blog Giveaway
Ebook (Kindle, Nook or PDF) of Click: An Online Love Story and Double Click to one winner open internationally
-Fill out Rafflecopter to enter
-Ends on 8/7/2013 11:59 pm EST
-If you win a review on your blog and/or amazon is appreciated but not required.

*If, for whatever reason, the Rafflecopter widget does not appear, you can click on the link where it says rafflecopter giveaway and it will show up, sorry for the inconvenience.

other blogs:

<!-- end LinkyTools script –>

Follow on Bloglovin

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. I also feature books that may have already released, but I am anxiously waiting to read.

This week, I'm featuring:
Everything Breaks

Tucker was supposed to be the designated driver. But there was something about the beauty of that last true summer night, that made him want to feel out-of-control just once. He drank so much and so quickly that he was instantly sick. That left Trey to drive. "I'll catch up to you later," were the last words Tucker would ever say to his friends as he heaved by the side of the road. It was the last time Tucker would ever see them alive.
Tucker’s grief and guilt are just about unbearable and he wonders how he can continue living himself. When he meets the Ferryman who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers that divide the world of the living from the world of the dead, Tucker gets a chance to decide: live or die. The temptation to join his three best friends on the other side may be too much for Tucker to overcome. A gripping, haunting and emotional read.

Releases: October 3rd 2013 by Putnam Juvenile
What are you waiting on?

Got Great Giveaways?

I am hosting Got Great Giveaways from while Kathy is taking a break from hops and features.

Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.
Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.
Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.
Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.
The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.


Publishes in US: November 13th 2012 by Atria Books
Genre: YA contemporary
Source: netgalley
Series? No.

Buy it:  Amazon     IndieBound        Book Depository
Find Katja online:~twitter ~facebook

    This story is the master of suspense. It gives us lots of information about Natsya like she doesn't talk, and there is something wrong with her hand... and from the synopsis lets us know that she used to be a piano prodigy, and now she is trying to lay under the radar. But she attracts the attention of hot and charismatic Luke, and the mysterious and lofty Josh Bennett. 
    She is sullen, depressed, and doesn't want to inflict herself on her parents, so she is living with her aunt who is a nurse and works nights. But we don't know exactly why she is like that. I wanted to know how she was murdered but is alive, who did it, what happened to her hand, and why she doesn't speak. But these answers are deliciously spread out. It is a suspense to find out little clues spread over time. She is such a fragile and strong character all at once. She had something beyond her control happen to her, and it has effected every aspect of her life, and it took the thing that she loved most. And while she is damaged, and puts up a front, she is still trying to heal. She is finding a way to make her new life work, and little by little she lets people in, and shows them the beautiful and wonderful person she can be--broken pieces and all. 
    Although most of the book is in Natsya's point of view, we also get Josh's at crucial times and it gives invaluable insight, and also is a way to keep us in the dark a bit more with things. 
    Josh has such a broken past, with so many around him dying. He feels alone but also doesn't want anyone to get too close because he thinks that God hates him and kills all that he loves. Because his past seems to show that. But he has such a good heart. You can see how much he cares for his best friend Drew, and it made me smile when I read their interactions. 
    There is a lot of banter in this book, there is also quite a bit of language, but never to the point where it bothered me or seemed like it was there just to be there. It showed something about the characters, and it fit in with their personalities. 
    The Sea of Tranquility is a dark and gritty book. It is for mature teens and adults only because these are some seriously damaged kids, and it comes out in their actions sometimes. It is a story of healing, forgiveness, getting and giving second chances. While it does feature some dysfunctional adults, there are also some that I loved. Drew's parents completely took me by surprise but I loved them. And Natsya's parents confused me at times, but I can see it come full circle in something I can understand from both points of view. 
    The romance is a slow flame, building from wisps of smoke, and it was also so well done. As Josh slowly falls for Natsya, we get to see the more soft side of Natsya as well. I just loved watching them fall in love and try to protect the other from themselves. 
    It isn't at a break neck pace but it is amazing still, you have to slow down and appreciate the character growth and the intricacies of the characters. Their pasts shaped them so much--how they think, how they live, how they interact with others. It is great to watch how they all give to each other and even when they are hurting each other, everyone is learning and helping them to be better people.  
    The ending was amazing, and tied it all together and gave me not the ending I was expecting but something far better than I could imagine. 

Bottom Line: The Sea of Tranquility is beautifully written, deliciously suspenseful, and has a swoonworthy romance, one of my favorite contemporaries this year!

Books similar to The Sea of Tranquility:(links go to my review) Easy by Tammara WebberPushing the Limits by Katie McGarryWait for You by J. Lynn

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you play the piano at all? Or any musical instrument?
Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, July 29, 2013

Review, The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

The Beginning of Everything
The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider

Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: in one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra’s knee, his athletic career, and his social life.
No longer a front-runner for Homecoming King, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra’s ever met, achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.
But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: if one’s singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?
Robyn Schneider’s The Beginning of Everything is a lyrical, witty, and heart-wrenching novel about how difficult it is to play the part that people expect, and how new beginnings can stem from abrupt and tragic endings
Publishes in US: August 27th 2013 by Katherine Tegen 
Genre: YA contemporary
Source: Edelweiss HarperCollins Children
Series? No.

Buy it:  pre-order on Amazon here -   – pre-order on Indiebound here 

Find  online: ~site ~twitter

    Loved Ezra's voice... Funny and captivating. Exactly what a male protagonist should be. The first person pov works well here, and Robyn Schneider the author is a great storyteller through Ezra. Ezra was sarcastic and tragic, making heavy and light of just the right things. He was brutally honest at times, but also knows how to tell the story without being gratuitous or grusome, but still getting his point across. I just loved the writing style so much!
    I reviewed this because I loved the synposis, the weird first name of Severed heads, broken hearts (before it changed to the Beginning of Everything) intrigued me, and especially since it was on Edelweiss, though I would have eventually bought or got from the library.
    Friendship with Toby was good too and hate they went apart for a while but story would have been different. Makes me think about all the little decisions that really effect so much. I adored Toby because he took Ezra right back into his circle without question. He gave him a hard time only in that I love you man ragging kind of way, letting him know by saying the opposite that he accepts him.
   Cassidy is the love interest in this one, and she is elusive, seems not to care what others think, just is her own person. I liked her, and wanted to know more about her, and only very little by little did it come out. I think that her and Ezra work together, and though there is a bit of insta-love it seems more at first like physical attraction and seeing a wounded part of each other's soul and connecting that way. So, it worked for me, but I can see how it might not for some others.
   I really enjoy the debate group too. What made this awesome was just that everyone was realistic. No one was perfect, and had their strengths and weaknesses. They were more than one dimensional as well, which is awesome.
   The ending is so bittersweet, because some of the things I wanted to happen and work out didn't but ultimately we see this huge character growth and development in Ezra that somehow made it all worth it.

Bottom Line: Awesome witty writing style, a bittersweet character driven story.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Lose use of arm or leg?
Follow on Bloglovin

Dragonwitch Guest Post

dragonwitch tour

Tour Schedule


A New Tale Is Added to this Christy Award-Winning Fantasy Saga!

Submissive to her father's will, Lady Leta of Aiven travels far to meet a prospective husband she neither knows nor loves--Lord Alistair, future king of the North Country.

But within the walls of Gaheris Castle, all is not right. Vicious night terrors plague Lord Alistair to the brink of insanity. Whispers rise from the family crypt. The reclusive castle Chronicler, Leta's tutor and friend, possesses a secret so dangerous it could cost his life and topple the North Country into civil war.

And far away in a hidden kingdom, a fire burns atop the Temple of the Sacred Flame. Acolytes and priestesses serve their goddess to the limits of their lives and deaths. No one is safe while the Dragonwitch searches for the sword that slew her twice...and for the one person who can wield it.

Author Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a passel of cats, and one long-suffering dog. When she's not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and studies piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of HEARTLESS, VEILED ROSE, MOONBLOOD, STARFLOWER and DRAGONWITCH. HEARTLESS and VEILED ROSE have each been honored with a Christy Award.

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 8/13/13

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Top Ten Writing Quirks

Okay, I don’t know that I am particularly quirky for a writer. In fact, I know many writers will share these little quirks and would, indeed, look upon them as normal aspects of the writing life. But, perhaps to non-writers these writerly habits might appear on the quirkish side, so here you go, in no particular order . . .
1. Cat in the lap, preferably two
Since I work with rescue kittens, we often have a collection of little fluffies in the house, making a two-cat-lap situation quite do-able. Currently, we have only my five adult cats, and none of them likes to share, so it’s one cat or nothing. But they serve as excellent anchors to keep me in the chair and writing. After all, one doesn’t like to disturb the cat!
2. Sitting cross-legged while I work
This probably ties into the cat-in-the-lap scenario, since it is difficult to fit two cats (or my big 16lb boy) in my skinny little lap without sitting cross-legged. And even when  I don’t have a cat, I often find myself assuming this position, whether I’m working with my laptop in my lap or sitting at my desk. (Just noticed that I’m doing it even now!) I just find it more comfortable . . . until my legs go to sleep.
3. Always wearing a sweater, no matter the weather
Despite growing up in the North Woods of Wisconsin, I am naturally a cold-blooded creature, and I can never quite get warm enough. So I always have my Writer’s Sweater on hand for a quick fix to that problem! I used to have this really ugly, old sweater that was affectionately known as “Yuck Sweater.” I used it throughout college, and it even has paint on it from art school days. Now I’ve moved on to a sweater of more attractive color, about five times too big for me. It’s very snuggly.
4. Writing openings by hand
I find beginnings particularly difficult to write. They intimidate me. So if I try to sit down and write them directly into my word processor, they usually come out really thin and insipid. Instead, I write all my beginnings by hand in a notebook. This keeps me loose and relaxed, knowing that I’m not trying to make it perfect right away. Often (though not always), the beginnings I pen by hand end up making it into the final draft of the novel!
5. Carrying a “brain”
This is another quirk carried over from college. I always have a beautiful journal with a magnetized front flap and a pocket in the back for important cards, and carry this instead of a purse. It’s more conveniently sized then a purse, and that way I will always, no matter the circumstance, have paper on hand should inspiration strike! I used to refer to it as my “Better-Than-A-Brain,” but my college friends shortened that to just “Brain,” and it stuck. So yeah. I carry a brain. Not a purse. People get used to it.

6. Won’t skip ahead
I feel if you come to a difficult scene in your novel, you shouldn’t skip ahead and write on a passage that’s more interesting or easy. I believe that each scene needs to be interesting to you as the writer so that it will be interesting to the reader. If a scene is giving me extra pain, I believe I need to figure out why, even if it means stalling in the manuscript for several days, even weeks. This way, when I get to the end, there are no holes in the draft, and each scene is interesting and carefully crafted to fit the rest of the book. If I skipped around . . . well, who knows what might happen?
Not everyone writes this way, nor do I think everyone should write this way. But it works better for me!
7. Writing dialogue-only scenes
Sometimes if I am particularly stuck on a scene, I will write it as a dialogue-only scene. No narrative, not even a “he said” or “she said” thrown in here and there. Just the dialogue. Often this helps me to find the core life of a scene without any distractions. Then I can go back and fill in narrative.
If I get a good idea for a scene that is several chapters ahead of where I am currently writing, I’ll plug dialogue-only bits into my outline. Again, I won’t skip ahead in the manuscript! But I’ll set the dialogue into the outline so that it’s there and ready to flesh out once I arrive at that scene.
8. Can’t write with hair down
I have quite long hair, and I really love it. It’s fun to style and curl and scrunch, and I always leave it down when I go out since I think it’s my best feature. But . . . I cannot concentrate if it’s down! When I am working on a manuscript, I have to tie it up out of my way, usually in a big knot on top of my head. This serves a twofold purpose: First, not bothering me while I work—second, it’s got a nice, curly wave to it when I pretty up at the end of  the day for my husband to come home!
9. NO MUSIC. Or basically anyone around
I cannot concentrate if music is playing. Sometimes, if I’m really in the zone, I can work through a little bit of light classical music turned way down . . . but only sometimes! This is why I don’t often end up “soundtracking” my novels as many novelists will. I don’t listen to music for inspiration, certainly not while writing! I also struggle to write if anyone is around. If I try to work on the weekends when my husband is home, he can be quiet as a mouse, and it’ll still sound to me as though he’s stomping around all elephant-like, clanging bells! So he usually goes out to work in the garden over a writing weekend, sweet man that he is.
So basically, I have to have it quiet and calm when I work. No classic writer-in-the-coffee-shop for this cookie!
10. Brainstorm out loud
When I get the first idea or two for a story, I usually don’t write anything out but just let it sit in the back of my brain for a few weeks or months. Then, when I’m starting to get ready to actually write it, I’ll first brainstorm out loud. I’ll call up my long-suffering mother and talk out the idea at her, figuring out answers to any questions she might ask. If she’s not available, my husband has learned to take on that role. They both say I, “Think with my mouth.” Heh. Yeah, kinda.
But, after I’ve talked out the idea, I’m ready to sit down and starting writing out all the various thoughts, putting them into logical, sequential order. And before you know it, a book is born!

So I suppose those are my Top Ten Writing quirks for you! What do you think: quirky or totally normal?

 Follow on Bloglovin

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Stacking the Shelves, The Sunday Post Mailbox Memes

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews,  check it out and sign up  here
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.
What I read:
The Edge of Never (The Edge of Never, #1)
Becoming Myself: A Woman's Journey of Transformation
The Infinite Moment of Us
If You Could Be Mine
Last Week on the blog:
The Redemption of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence, #2)
Source: Netgalley
Source: Library
OCD Love Story
OCD Love Story
Source: Simon Teen via Edelweiss

My week: Today is Katie's 5th birthday, so fun times celebrating!

What are you reading? Any of my books new to you or have you read any of my books? If so, what did you think?
Also, feel free to link up your blog and mailbox post.
Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, July 26, 2013

Review: The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence, #1)
The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence #1) by Jessica Sorensen
There are those who don’t get luck handed to them on a shiny platter, who end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, who don’t get saved.
Luck was not on Callie’s side the day of her twelfth birthday when everything was stolen from her. After it’s all over, she locks up her feelings and vows never to tell anyone what happened. Six years later her painful past consumes her life and most days it’s a struggle just to breathe.
For as long as Kayden can remember, suffering in silence was the only way to survive life. As long as he did what he was told, everything was okay. One night, after making a terrible mistake, it seems like his life might be over. Luck was on his side, though, when Callie coincidentally is in the right place at the right time and saves him.
Now he can’t stop thinking about the girl he saw at school, but never really knew. When he ends up at the same college as Callie, he does everything he can to try to get to know her. But Callie is reserved and closed off. The more he tries to be part of her life, the more he realizes Callie might need to be saved.


Publishes in US: December 13th 2012
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Source: Netgalley
Series? Yes. 1st in Coincidence series.
The Redemption of Callie and Kayden (The Coincidence, #2)
February 13th 2014 by Sphere
The Destiny of Violet and Luke (The Coincidence, #3)
January 7th 2014 by Forever

Buy it:   Amazon   IndieBound    Book Depository

Find Jessica online: ~site ~twitter ~facebook

    I enjoyed this one and devoured in less than 24 hours... I connected with Callie and Kayden, and their emotional turmoil was really well written and the emotions drew me into the story. 
    It is told in dual narrative and it is clear cut who is talking and what is going on. The voices are done well, and both have a story to tell. 
    Callie's friendship with Seth was another thing that I really liked about this story. He had a great personality and it felt like a bff or very good brother and sister relationship because he is protective, but he encourages her and understands her. So, here is where many will probably start to turn away, because he is gay.  Yes, I know. Formulaic right? The two damaged people falling in love and helping each other heal, and oh by the way there is the gay best friend. I have read a lot from my commenters (yes I love you all) that they are tired of this type of story because it is predictable. 
    But it was exactly what I needed, and wanted in a story right now, and that is what it comes down to. Great characters, good writing, and emotional response. 
    There are a lot of secrets and a few twists that I didn't see coming. But it was good about giving details a little at a time to form the whole picture even though you get the general idea of what happened to Callie and Kayden right away. But there are intricacies that come out through the story, and they both grow page by page and that is great to watch. 
   But that ending, it is the mother of all cliff hangers, and made me mad. I can't wait for the next one!

Bottom Line: Emotional book where I connected with the main characters.

Books similar to :(links go to my review)

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Has anyone ever saved you?
Follow on Bloglovin