Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Down to You by M. Leighton


Let me start this review by disclaiming that I consider to be an author friend of mine. I know from personal experience that she's an amazing mentor because she was one of the very first authors to reach out to me when I began this indie author journey. The fact that she does not embrace the 'eat your young mentality' instantly turned me into a life-long fan of hers. Despite her New York Times Bestselling Author status, she's not forgotten the people who helped her to achieve her goals. She works tirelessly (morning, noon, and night) promoting her fellow authors and bloggers while writing book after book. Everything she does is impressive and further proves she's the real deal.
Now, on to the review of Down to You (The Bad Boys Series #1). This is a quick, fun read that will not leave you disappointed. It will, however, leave you craving Up to Me (The Bad Boys Series #2), which is due to be release January 6, 2013. After reading Down to You (The Bad Boys Series #1), I'm confident in saying Olivia, Cash, and Nash will forever be engrained into reader's minds, and they will long be equated with the hot and sexy couples that readers never seem to get enough of. As important and exciting as the chemistry between Olivia, Cash, and Nash are the book's twists and turns and Down to You (The Bad Boys Series #1)'s unexpected ending... which of course I wouldn't think of spoiling in this review.

If you haven't already, make this one of your next reads... especially if you like to get into and out of a good book quickly. I read this in a matter of a few hours (after a tree fell on the powerlines by my house on Christmas, and my entire household was forced to slow down play board games and read). The only caution I'm going to give is related to the genre. It is an adult contemporary romance, and by NOT appropriate for younger readers.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Giveaway Winner Announced

The Building a Following Giveaway winner is Cindy Perez. (Congrats, Cindy!) The contest was as fun as it was successful. There were 263 entries and a 10% increase in the number of people following my blog.
I'd like to thank everyone who participated and all of my fans, friends, and followers. Their support is critical to what I do. I'll be returning on 1/4/13 with Welcome Back: 2013 Resolution. Until then, Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1) by


Friday, December 14, 2012

YA Indie Carnival - Givaway + Bonus

It's that time of year again, when the YA Author Sponsors host a giveaway meant to build a following. Anyone interested in participating will have from 12/14 to 12/21 to visit our blogs, read/respond to our questions, AND join any or all of our sites in order to be entered for the giveaway (see Rafflecopter below or on the individual sponsors' sites). The winner will receive seventeen wonderfully, exciting books (plus a few other prizes) by some amazing authors. The grand prize winner will be announced on December 24th right here on this blog. Don't delay, scroll down to the Rafflecopter, enter, and visits our blogs.

BONUS: Anyone responding to this question (pulled from a recent Time Magazine poll) is automatically entered to win a copy of The Warrior Trilogy Boxed Set (Warrior, #1, #2, & #3) [Kindle Edition]:
If by some slim chance the Maya Long Count calendar is accurate and the world ends on December 21st, which song (or book or movie or fictional man/woman) would you want to hear (or read, watch, or be with) during your final moments?  

Giveaway Package Includes:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

YA Indie Carnival - Famous Character's Personal Ad

This week, the sponsors of the YA Author Club are having a little fun. We are creating the personal ad for a book's famous character. Below is my take on a personal ad as written by Kelsey Hayes from Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1) by

Young orphaned college student seeking an older Indian prince who is willing to become Indiana Jones-like in order to hunt, find, and retrieve priceless trinkets. A tolerance for tigers, brothers, and goddesses required. The enjoyment of poetry--reading and writing--is preferred.

Next week, don't forget to join us when we have our 2nd Annual Christmas Giveaway. Stay tuned for more details on how to win the package.

Giveaway Package:

Black Blood (Time Spirit Trilogy, #2) by

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tiger's Destiny by Colleen Houck

Tiger's Destiny (The Tiger Saga #4) by





Friday, November 9, 2012

YA Indie Carnival - Vote... Vote... Vote

This week, the YA Indie Carnival sponsors are posting topics on voting. For me, this is going to be short and sweet (NaNoWriMo waits for no man). In the spirit of elections, voting, and may the best man (ah-hum... woman) win mentality, I'm posting a link. With it, you can go and vote in Goodreads Choice Awards 2012.

Important Notes & Special Pleas:

In the Nominees for Best Romance and Nominees for Best Goodreads Author categories, you will find On Dublin Street by
In the Nominees forYoung Adult Fiction category, there are three nominations for authors who were at one time members of the YA Indie Carnival 

Friday, November 2, 2012

YA Indie Carnival - Work In Progress

This week, the YA Indie Carnival sponsors are sharing their current work in progress. This is an extremely timely topic for me because I'm taking on the NaNoWriMo challenge. I plan to write 50,000 words in November.

In order to keep myself excited about the project, I invested in a book cover (last week), formulated a story (last weekend), and began the story (yesterday). I'll be sharing all of that with you and asking for forgiveness because this is a draft so rough I would normally not share. I should also mention that this particular book will not be young adult. Instead, it will be a very dark and sexy mainstream fiction. I decided that if I was going to go out of my comfort zone (writing non-stop without editing), I would go all out. The verdict is still out, but you can take a few minutes reading the summary/excerpt, ogling the cover (courtesy of Phatpuppy Art), and letting me know your thoughts.

Introducing... Grave Bound (Secrets, #1)

For her entire life, eighteen-year-old Emily Riddles swore by her community's code of secrecy. It may have been simple, keep it in the family, but it wasn't always easy to follow. The one time she broke the rules with Levi, her summer fling and outsider boyfriend, she saw firsthand what happened to those who forgot the code. She may never know how Owen, her father, found out about her and Levi's late-night meetings or the details of their private conversations, but she would forever remember what happened when he did. Owen tied Levi to a tree and whipped him to death while making her watch. From that day forward, she knew the ramifications of sharing anything with anyone about The Community. She also knew she'd never make that mistake again.

Levi's murder did little to quench her father's fury. He hatefully taunted Emily by reminding her that he did not kill Levi... that she and her loose tongue had cost him his life. When Emily did nothing, said nothing, and conformed to Owen's demands just as she'd been taught her whole life to do, he knew he had his bluff in. He could do anything to her and in front of her. His secrets would forever be safe.

Owen had been right until Emily's world turned upside down. The commune was raided, and every woman and child was swooped away and sent to safe houses. Regardless of their label, Emily never felt safe. Owen and his gang of hellions had been arrested, and she would be blamed for everything. In retaliation, her father would beat her to deathmost likely on the same tree Levi died—unless she could win back his trust.

Based on the special interest the young DA, Tope Bryson, paid her during interviews, Emily suspected the raid was as much about finding a star witness as it was about locating evidence. No matter how she felt about the compassion shown to her by Tope, Levi's death, and her fear that her own father wanted to end her life... the secrets she held, her father's secrets, were grave bound.


"happily ever after my ass!" Emily said, slamming her book closed. She looked around and realized everyone who'd accompanied her to the lake for the first swim of the summer had long since gone home. Emily's friends had learned years ago her love of books came before everything. Once started, she would keep reading until finished. Nothing short of a burning house could distract her.

For the millionth time, Emily wished she could be more like everyone else in the commune... wished she could conform... wished she didn't resent with every fiber in her being the fate in store for her. It was the destiny of every woman in her community on their twenty-first birthday.

Friday, October 26, 2012

YA Indie Carnival - Spooky, Scary, & Eerie

It's that time of year when the sponsors of the YA Indie Carnival post stories or excerpts that will have you biting your nails and begging for people to sleep with you for the next few days. This post is timely for me. I'm writing a scene for Dark Angels of the Cross, and it has had such an unexpected impact on me that my sleep has become fitful and restless because my dreams are so deadly... foretelling... and--worst of all--real! 

Anyone who has read The Warrior Series knows I will not shy away from suspenseful or thrilling or brutal scenes. The one I'm living through is so much more. It's all of that rolled into one and built on top of an extreme sense of loss. I won't say anything more, but fans of the series are in store for lots of surprises. Just stay tuned.

In the meantime, I've included the parking garage scene from Guardians of the Cross. This is one of the scariest scenes of the book according to my beta reader. If you've ever had to walk alone through a dark parking garage at night, you can understand why.

Don't forget to take a few minutes to browse the other members' sites.  ENJOY!

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Brody screeched to a stop, jumped out of the car, grabbed Mallory, and carried her toward the ER.  “Allie, park the car and meet us inside,” he called over his shoulder. 

Unable to do anything but follow directions, I climbed into the driver’s seat.  At the automated garage gate, I pushed the red light and sat impatiently while the arm slowly lifted, allowing me entrance.  I didn’t bother taking the yellow time-stamped ticket from the machine.  I was completely irritated by the time I reached the third floor without finding an empty spot. 

I whipped Brody’s car into it and cut off the engine.  At that exact moment, the entire garage went black.  Reality hit me hard.  I had to wade through this darkness, alone, in order to make it inside where Mallory and Brody were waiting.  Logically, I knew my heart was not beating as fast as a hummingbird’s, but it felt like it was pounding at the same rapid rate.  Regardless, I refused to call Brody away from Mallory or make her wait when she needed me.    

Ignoring the blackout and my fear, I got out of the car and slammed the door closed behind me.  Sucking in courage like it was air, I felt my way along the warm hood of the car and over to the cold cement wall in the middle of the garage.  I let the familiar barrier guide me toward the staircase.  No matter how hard I tried, I could not ignore the uneasiness bubbling its way to the surface of my nerves.  Everything – the absolute stillness, quiet, and gloom – reminded me too much of the morning I was attacked... too much of Daryl's plans for me.  

I wanted to run toward the ER, but my inability to see my hand in front of my face prevented the sprint I craved.  I was forced to awkwardly fumble my way along the divider, stumbling several times. At the end of the wall, I knew there was a crossover that would lead me to the staircase. Somehow, it looked darker and more ominous than the garage.  Was that possible?   

I, before I knew what was happening, tripped over a block meant to protect pedestrians from traffic.  Despite my own racket, I heard footsteps speeding toward me. With a force that caused my breath to catch, I regretted my every decision that day.  On my knees, I prayed for the strength to make it out alive. 
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