Month

April 2017

Terri W. reads… #carolinareads

I’m turning the tables on myself. Here is my #carolinareads interview.

What’s the first book you remember reading?
Tales of the Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. I also read the John Jakes North and South series at a young age too.

What’s the most recent book you have read or what are you reading right now?
I tend to have a few books going at one time. I’m listening to The Glitch by Ramona Finn Story Fix Transform Your Novel From Broken To Brilliant by Larry Brooks, The Anatomy of Story by John Truby and I’m reading Dragon Slayer’s Academy The New Kid at School by Kate McMullan with my youngest daughter.

Why did you choose that book?
The Glitch I agreed to read for a book tour, the two writing books I’m reading because they were recommended as good books on writing, and The Dragonslayer’s Academy because my daughter chose it for her free reading time.

If you could meet one book character or one author, who would you like it to be and why?
There are so many authors I would like to meet and my list of characters is huge. I get to meet a lot of great authors at the Space Coast Book Lovers Convention. I would like to meet Jim Butcher, Kim Harrison, James Scott Bell, Darynda Jones, and Sue Grafton.

You can only choose five books for your bookshelf. What are they?
Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan, The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Outlining Your Novel by K.M. Weiland, The Harry Potter series, Bless Me Ultima Rudolfo Anaya

 

Terri is a blogger, (duh! This is my blog), writer, mother, wife, and crazy recycled hippie. I spend most of my time reading and trying to write my own book. It is my hope to get something out there before the end of 2017. I’m currently working on two ideas, one a 1920 deco-punk novel where vampires control the flow of bootleg alcohol and an urban fantasy about a valkyrie taxi driver.

 


Join the movement!
I want to promote reading. I know there are so many out there who have read a book and thought, this is something others need to know about. Reading encourages a lifelong passion for learning. #carolinareads is a movement that will give readers a chance to share what they are reading. There is a five question interview. I will share it on my website and give you a chance to not only promote your love of reading but also to promote yourself as you can include a website in your two sentence biography. Don’t live in the Carolinas? Well, do you know someone who does (hint: the person who created this form) you can still participate. Submit the form and I’ll let you know the date of your spotlight. Spread the word! Join the movement. Please email a picture if you would like it to be included.

Fangirls Box Set by Robbie Cox

Maybe because I dream of having fans one day or maybe because I am such a gooey fangirls sometimes, this was a fun collection of books to read. I think Robbie’s knack for storytelling is getting better with every book he writes. He has a unique skill that allows him to write in multiple genres. That’s just plain cool in my opinion.

These stories follow the lives five fangirls as they mingle with their favorite authors at a weekend conference. I liked how each story connected somehow because the characters overlap into each other’s story.

 

Romance is more than just stories between the covers of a book, and many hope the tales spring from the pages and into their lives. For the readers gathered together in historic St. Augustine for the St. Augustine Authors Event their fantasies are about to come true. Some have visions of doing more than just getting a signature from their favorite author or cover model, while even authors arrive hoping for a little spontaneous adventure. Lives change during this weekend event as people take the fantasies, which have kept them warm at night, from the pages of their novels to bring the heat into their lives as well as their sheets.

Fangirls: The Collection brings together five stories from five different ladies and shares the relationships they are hoping turn out to be more than just fantasies.

Amazon

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Robbie will attend Space Coast Book Lovers Convention June 1-4

 

For the latest news on Robbie’s releases, upcoming events and appearances, and special giveaways, join his newsletter – http://bit.ly/23CFhQQ

Robbie started writing as a way to escape – escape his teachers, escape his fears, even to escape his insecurities and doubts. However, his stories of seduction and adventure, not only allowed him to hide in the lives of his characters, but also captivated those who wanted to escape with him. Now, he enjoys a full-time career as a storyteller and novelist, and invites readers to runaway with him- to escape, getting lost in the seduction of adventure.

When he is not writing, Robbie can be found on his back porch enjoying a cigar, a scotch, and a good story. He derives pleasure from his large family and his crazy group of friends who provide the inspiration for his blog The Mess that Is Me.

He is the author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Warrior of the Way, along with the paranormal series, The Witches of Savannah. His Contemporary Romance series includes The Rutherford Series, The Harper Twins, and the Fangirls series.

You can learn more about Robbie at his website – http://www.robbiecox.net
You can also follow Robbie on his social media sites:
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/robbiecoxauthor
Twitter – https://twitter.com/CoxRobbie

You can also be a part of Robbie’s Readers Group, Robbie’s Rascals, for sneak peeks and special giveaways – http://bit.ly/1LdzaLb

The Warrior of the Way Series includes:

Reaping the Harvest (Book 1)
Lore Master (Book 2)
The Warrior’s Blade (Coming 2017)

The Rutherford Series includes:

Losing Faith (Book 1)
Roll the Dice (Book 2)
To Be Cherished (Coming 2017)
His To Command (Coming 2018)
Sharing Hearts (Coming 2018)

The Harper Twins Series includes:

Sibling Rivalry (Book 1)
Taming Karla (Coming in 2017)

The Fangirls Series includes:

Nikki (Book 1)
Lily (Book 2)
Cassie (Book 3)
Olivia (Book 4)
Willow (Book 5)
Fangirls: The Collection (Box Set)

The Witches of Savannah Series includes:

Come Halloween (A Stand Alone)
Enter the Witch (Prequel)

The Best of Both Worlds includes:

Ribbons & Bows (Book 1)
Under the Wrapping (Coming in 2017)

Robbie’s Other Books includes:

Behind the Mask (Coming Oct. 2017)

What It Takes

So you think you like reading? You think you like books? Are you the kind of reader who goes through withdraws if you don’t read at least once a day? If you answered yes, then having a book blog might be a fun way for you to grow as a writer yourself, and to help all those authors you love.

It doesn’t take money. You could do this completely free. Check into blooger.com and wordpress.com. There are a lot of good blogs where the blogger uses all free resources. Paying a little money helps but it is not necessary at all. For this site, I paid for a wordpress.org site, my url, and the template I use. I also paid for a professional to design my logo. I spaced out these purchases so I didn’t have a huge chunk all at once. I’ll talk more about developing your blog in a later post. Today, I want to share how I connect with authors and how to develop relationships with them.

When I first started I reviewed books I had already read. I had no idea how to connect with authors and I suffered from a bit of intimidation. I found a site listing authors who want readers to review their books. (I tried to find it but I can’t so I don’t know if it is still around.) I found two books that looked interesting and sent in a request. I honestly didn’t expect much because I was just starting. The authors agreed and sent me their books. It was as cool as Christmas morning to a kid. Both of these authors contacted me directly. I read their books and then wrote reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and my blog. Then I took a bold step and asked them if I could do an interview. Again, I didn’t expect them to agree, but they did. Since then I have helped these two authors every chance I get. They are both wonderful ladies and I recommend both their books.

Then I listed my blog on the website The Book Blogger List. Once I did that, I had too many requests. If you list your blog on this site, make sure you are specific about your requirements. If you are not clear, you will be asked to read anything and everything. I try to get back with an author within 48 hours, but that doesn’t always happen. I keep a folder in my email labeled “Book Review Requests”.  When I have completed the review and it is posted, I move that email to a folder marked “Book Review Requests Completed”. I keep requests in that folder for about a month after it is posted just in case I need to get to it easily.

For me, it is easier to read books on my Kindle, so I always ask for .mobi files. I do not take epub or pdf anymore. At first, I didn’t ask for exactly what I wanted/needed and I had to convert files. If you need to do that, you Calibre. It’s a free software that will convert .epub but not .pdf. It’s also a good way to store any and all ebooks.  I can read books on my phone, my tablet, or my Kindle. For me, this is awesome because I never know when I might have a few free minutes I can read. I think authors are also more willing to give away free ebooks.

I also request books to review through NetGalley.  There are a lot of books here to read. I have been turned down though. So if you go through this website, don’t be upset if you request a book and the publisher/author says no. Just move on; don’t take it personally.

Book tour companies are another way of getting books to review. Be careful with this because it is easy to get overwhelmed with too many books. I only work with one tour company; The Audiobookworm. Jess is an awesome gal to work with. I like to listen to audiobooks when I exercise.

Big houses are hard to get free books from, but there are so many indie authors who write great books. For this reason, I read more indie books than big house books. I get to know the authors and work with them on a much more personal level. I now have some authors who just send me their books and/or arcs without me even asking. That makes me feel like a rock star every time that happens.

There is some professional protocol you need to follow if you want to develop a good rep for your blog.

  1. If you get a free book in exchange for a review, state that in your post and on your site.
  2. If you say you are going to review a book- review it. There have been a couple of times, books got lost in my tbr. I contacted the author each time, explained while the review was later than I had told them, then quickly got it done. That leads me to…
  3. Tell the author how long it will take you to read their book. Be realistic and then add two weeks to your turn around time. Let’s face it- life gets in the way.
  4. If you read a book, that is just horrible- let the author know before you post your review. No one likes a surprise like a bad review. Remember for many of these authors, their books are kindred to their souls. When they write a book and share it with the world, they open themselves and it is raw and personal for them.
  5. Post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. No matter how good your site, you will never have an audience as big as Amazon. So share your input so more readers will see the book. Again, state if you got a free book in exchange for a review.
  6. Don’t ask for money for your review. Just don’t. It’s tacky.

Authors need readers and readers need authors. A book blog is a great way to meet both these needs. I haven’t spent much time on SEO, mailing list, and audience development. I’m working on that over the next couple of months. I’m not for sure how much I am really helping my authors and I want to do more. For me, I’m not looking to make a lot of money with my blog. I have one affiliation account with audiobooks.com and I need to work it more. I try to make enough to pay for my own expenses. I’ve gone back and forth on trying to make more. I’ll be looking into that over the next couple of months too.

If you are a book blogger or looking to start one, comment below and let’s connect more.

 

 

 

 

Talk About It Tuesday

Talk About It Tuesday. Talk about whatever writing project you have going on right now. If you’re an author, blogger, or writer share a little from your current WIP (work in progress) or an upcoming book. One random post will be chosen to be featured on my blog, terriluvsbooks.com every Tuesday. Please fill out this form http://goo.gl/forms/ata6k9heyw9fGcwq1 You must like my Facebook page to qualify http://www.facebook.com/wilsonterria/ in order to qualify.

 

The Night the Lights Went Out by Karen White

I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for a review.
If I could give this 4.5 stars I would.

This was a fun book to read. Being from the south, there were many relatable parts. Even if you aren’t from the south, I think you will enjoy this book. The author created strong characters that felt real. If the main character were real, I think we’d be friends. It is a quick read, but I had to get through it to see how the ending panned out so I think that’s why I read it so fast. I normally read fantasy, but this provided a much-needed break from vampires and fairies. It’s nice to read something different every once in awhile. I will buy this for a friend of mine when it comes out just because she will be happy to see I have other interests and it was THAT good.

 

 

Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It’s not her first time starting over, but her efforts at a new beginning aren’t helped by an anonymous local blog that dishes about the scandalous events that caused her marriage to fail.
Merilee finds some measure of peace in the cottage she is renting from town matriarch Sugar Prescott. Though stubborn and irascible, Sugar sees something of herself in Merilee—something that allows her to open up about her own colorful past.
Sugar’s stories give Merilee a different perspective on the town and its wealthy school moms in their tennis whites and shiny SUVs, and even on her new friendship with Heather Blackford. Merilee is charmed by the glamorous young mother’s seemingly perfect life and finds herself drawn into Heather’s world.
In a town like Sweet Apple, where sins and secrets are as likely to be found behind the walls of gated mansions as in the dark woods surrounding Merilee’s house, appearance is everything. But just how dangerous that deception can be will shock all three women….

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I grew up being a voracious reader and it was a natural step to turn my interest to writing. I have published award-winning and bestselling novels including my latest release, FLIGHT PATTERNS, a multi-generational story of love, loss and mystery set along the gulf coast of Florida in Apalachicola. FLIGHT PATTERNS was released by Penguin Random House in May, 2016.

I write what others have termed “grit-lit”–southern women’s fiction, as well as a contemporary paranormal mystery series set in Charleston, South Carolina. All of my books are set in the US South, and feature a female protagonist at a crossroads in her life.

On January 10, 2017, THE GUESTS ON SOUTH BATTERY–the fifth book in the Tradd Street series, will be released. I’m so excited to be continuing Melanie and Jack’s story–with a whole host of characters, both old and new.

In April, 2017 THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT will be released. Set in suburban Atlanta in the fictional town of Sweet Apple, this is the book I’m calling my “Steel Magnolias” meets “The Girl on the Train.” Spanning from the Depression era to modern day, it’s a story of three very different women, and the true meaning of friendship.

I live near Atlanta, Georgia with my husband, two children, and two of the cutest Havanese dogs, Quincy and Sophie. Readers may recognize Quincy as General Lee in the Tradd Street series.

Happy reading!

For more about me and my books, please visit my website at www.karen-white.com or connect on social media: Facebook,  Twitter,  Instagram,  and Pinterest

Mary M. reads… #carolinareads

 

What’s the most recent book you have read or what are you reading right now?

I just finished The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson.

Why did you choose that book?

I love the character of Magnus Bane in Cassandra Clare’s other books, and I was curious to know more about his backstory.

You can only choose five books for your bookshelf. What are they?
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, The Orchard by Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Precious Bane by Mary Webb, Pretty Monsters: Stories by Kelly Link, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

I’m a writer whose imagination is constantly running wild. Real life always inspires me to jot down poems and stories. (website: www.marydeka.com)


Join the movement!
I want to promote reading. I know there are so many out there who have read a book and thought, this is something others need to know about. Reading encourages a lifelong passion for learning. #carolinareads is a movement that will give readers a chance to share what they are reading. There is a five question interview. I will share it on my website and give you a chance to not only promote your love of reading but also to promote yourself as you can include a website in your two sentence biography. Don’t live in the Carolinas? Well, do you know someone who does (hint: the person who created this form) you can still participate. Submit the form and I’ll let you know the date of your spotlight. Spread the word! Join the movement. Please email a picture if you would like it to be included.

The Good Spy Dies Twice by Mark Hosack

Author: Mark Hosack

Narrator: Mark Hosack

Length: 10h 19m

Publisher: Wide Awake Audio⎮2017

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Release date: Jan. 19, 2017

Synopsis: Jake Boxer, investigative journalist and host of the conspiratorial news show Bullseye, is in serious trouble. Not only is his soundman murdered by Russian intelligence agents while reporting on a secretive New World Order, but his network cancels his show, leaving Jake humiliated and spiraling into a deep dark depression.
Years later, a condemned murderer, who claims he was abandoned by the CIA, and who starred in an early episode of Bullseye, is finally executed for killing two supposed Soviet spies back in the 1970’s.
Jake Boxer, still trying to piece his life back together, is on his honeymoon in a posh ski resort in the Alaskan mountains when he gets word of the inmate’s execution . . . and the old killer’s final words: “The good spy dies twice.”

Those five words, seemingly meant for Jake, draw the ex-reporter from his forced retirement and into a complex and deadly global conspiracy involving his newlywed wife, the secretive New World Order, and the hotel’s hundred or so “guests.”
Everyone is a suspect.
Described as James Bond in a Stephen King novel, THE GOOD SPY DIES TWICE is the explosive first book in the Bullseye Series. Part spy thriller, part whodunit, this fast-paced novel introduces an exciting new hero, the intrepid, conspiratorial journalist, Jake Boxer.

Buy Links

Buy on AudibleAmazoniTunes

About the Author/Narrator: Mark Hosack

Mark Hosack is the author of THE GOOD SPY DIES TWICE (Book 1: The Bullseye Series, nominated for the 2016 RT Source Award), and IDENTITY (Simon & Schuster). He also wrote on the web series SEQUESTERED for Sony Crackle, the screenplay for GIVE ‘EM HELL, MALONE (Thomas Jane, Ving Rhames), and he both wrote and directed the award winning independent film PALE BLUE MOON. Mark lives in Los Angeles with his wife and a brood of gremlins who insist on calling him Dad.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreads

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What It Takes

I’ve been blogging about books since last summer. I had another blog before that but I was not very good about keeping up with it. Working on this has taught me a lot about the book industry and I’ve  learned a lot about myself and my in-real-life life. Each week I want to share something that helps me get done all that I want to get done. I want to take some time to start talking about my own writing. It is my hope that by this time next year I will have my own book to share with you and will be looking for people to review what I’ve written.

I don’t do mornings!

If you’ve looked at my bio page, you know I have two kids, a dog, and a husband. What you may not know is that I homeschool my two girls. They are currently in fifth and second grade. Homeschooling has been an even bigger adventure than blogging. I taught high school, middle school, and college for twelve years. I have two Master’s Degrees and I started working on my Doctorate. I have been in the classroom, the library, and the administration office. During my tenure, I saw just about every side of education and I saw how it was changing. The system itself is set up to encourage those who would succeed in any arena. But not everyone achieves her full potential in a public school system. I saw too many students, especially girls get lost.

My husband and I were married for twelve years before we decided to have children. When we made that leap, it was important to us that one of us stayed home. I don’t really remember how it came about that I was the one who did it. I guess, I just wanted it.

My girls are crazy.

Being a mother and especially a stay at home mother changed me more than I could have ever expected. Looking back, I don’t know that I would have made some of the same decisions. I can honestly say, though, that I am happy with how everything has worked out.

Most days are totally crazy. I often feel like I am being pulled behind a runaway horse.  Organization has been key to getting anything done. I’m still working on that area in my life. I go back and forth between keeping a paper journal/organizer and using an electronic one. Right now I am focusing on an electronic one because I’m trying to carry as small of a purse as possible. I use Google calendar. Each area of my life has a different “calendar” so it will show up in different colors allowing me to keep things separate. Here’s a look at my calendar:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Pink is for personal stuff
  • Purple is for things dealing with the AM Girls (August and Miranda, my daughters)
  • Green is for blogging and food planning.
  • Orange is for work/ writing.
  • Blue is for my husband (we share a portion of our calendars with each other for planning purposes).
  • Gray is for Nano stuff (when I participate).
  • Red is for gratitude. I started this in February and it works out very well. Each night I get a notification on my phone and I write something I’m grateful for each day in the notes section of this event.

I used a bullet journal last year and I liked it a lot, but I like colors and it took too long to get the right color marker out to use. I recommend a Bullet Journal if you are someone who likes to write things down.

What you can’t see in these pictures is the notes section for appointments. This is where I really organize my thoughts. For example, I work with Sherry Rentschler. I get a lot of emails from her and we talk about many different ideas. I have started keeping track of our conversations in my calendar. It has become a simplistic CRM program.

As my writing and business expand, this system may morph into something else. I’m working on a way to develop a tighter system for my writing so I give myself stricter deadlines and my work flows better. I will be adding those into my calendar.

Now here is the one thing you need to know. Does this always work? Am I always this organized? HECK NO! There are more days when this whole thing falls apart. However, this gives me something to strive towards. It is a goal. Each week gets better and better.

 

Talk About It Tuesday

Talk About It Tuesday. Talk about whatever writing project you have going on right now. If you’re an author, blogger, or writer share a little from your current WIP (work in progress). One random post will be chosen to be featured on my blog, terriluvsbooks.com next Tuesday. This thread closes each Tuesday at 11:59 pm, EDT
You must like this page in order to qualify.

 

 

Heels Over Head by Clay G. Small

 

I requested this book from NetGalley and I am so glad I did.
I finished this book in one day! I just had to see how it would end. I have to say I thought it might end just a little differently than it did. The author set everything up perfectly without revealing too much too fast. It was fun seeing how all the characters connected and each scene progressed the storyline. I felt empathy for Henry. I wanted him to be triumphant. Not being familiar with all the finance the business aspects of this book, I thought the author did a good job using these to advance the story, but not bore or confuse the reader.

 

 

Henry Lindon is playing a game of tit for tat that he’s about to lose.

Successful, charming executive Henry Lindon was happily making high-dollar global deals and enjoying the good life in Dallas when his job mysteriously disappears—and with it, his identity. On top of that, he’s sure his beautiful wife is having an affair with some Romeo down in Argentina. While attempting to start a new life teaching law, Lindon is finding his paranoia has got him around the throat and won’t let go.
In class one day, the discussion goes off track from law and libel to tattoos. When a student appears in his office in pink shorts and a crop top and takes the subject of tattoos to a much-too-personal level, Lindon’s at a loss to explain why and worried about ramifications. Discovering he may have the Department of Justice on his back with phony felony charges, he’s reaching his breaking point and nothing’s making sense. Two tattoos, a murder, and an old rivalry are part of a distant game of revenge that’s about to come full circle.

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Clay G. Small is the former senior vice president and managing attorney for PepsiCo, Inc. He lives in Dallas, Texas, with his wife, Ellen, and teaches at Southern Methodist University.

Website, Facebook