Much Awaited November Book Releases

November 1

Underneath The Sycamore Tree by B. Celeste

Room to Breathe by Liz Talley

November 5

Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Leave Me Breathless by Jodi Ellen Mapas

Tell Me Everything by Amy Hatvany

Stealing Her by Rachel Van Dyken

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

We Met in December by Rosie Curtis

November 8

Captain Dreamboat by Tawna Fenske

November 12

The Light We See by J. Lynn Bailey

November 19

Inexpressible Island by Paullina Simons

Demise of a Self-Center Playboy by Piper Rayne

November 26

Where Winter Finds You by JR Ward

The Ring by Jillian Dodd

Eight Will Fall by Sarah Harian

Spy by Danielle Steel

November 28

Ophelia by Tara Brown

 

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Much Awaited September 2019 Book Releases

This is the first time I have done a post like this, but I am going to start releasing a post at the beginning of each month about the book releases for the month. I know we are already eight days into September, but better late than never. This is by no means an all-inclusive list of releases.

September 3rd:

Missing Person by Sarah Lotz: “Reclusive bookseller Shaun Ryan has always believed that his uncle Teddy died in a car accident twenty years ago. Then he learns the truth: Teddy fled his home in Catholic, deeply conservative County Wicklow, Ireland, for New York and hasn’t been heard from since. None of Shaun’s relatives will reveal why they lied about his uncle’s death or why they want Shaun to leave the whole affair alone.
But Shaun has a burning need to find out the truth. His search is unsuccessful until he’s contacted by Chris Guzman, a woman who runs a website dedicated to matching missing-persons cases with unidentified bodies. Chris and her team of cold-case obsessives suspect that Shaun is looking for the “Boy in the Dress,” one victim in a series of gay men murdered by the same killer. But who are these internet fanatics really, and how do they know so much about a case that has stumped police for decades? Soon armchair sleuths and professional investigators are on a collision course with a sadistic serial killer who’s gotten away with his crimes for far too long – and now they’re in his sights.”

Wild Steamy Hookup by Piper Rayne: “It was never my plan to wake up in a Vegas hotel room as Dominic Mancini’s WIFE. The man has brought me nothing but heartache since I was sixteen. At least we agree on one thing—a quickie annulment and we can both get on with our lives. I can go back to teaching little girls to dance and he can go back to making millions on Wall Street. But sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas. It follows you right into an ambush by your Italian Mamas who deliver Oscar-worthy performances when heaping on the guilt. So, we do what any good Italian kids would do. We secretly agree to pretend to give marriage a try. But our easy solution morphs into a convoluted mess and leaves us wondering—is it safe to bet on each other?”

September 10th:

Code Name: Sentinel by Sawyer Bennet: “As a former member of the United States Secret Service, I’m no stranger to putting my life on the line in the name of duty. Having left the nation’s capital to re-settle in Pittsburgh, the skills I acquired during my tenure in Washington have made me a valued member of the team at Jameson Force Security. But when the President comes seeking a favor to protect his niece, I find myself on the fast track back to the Oval Office. Simply put… she’s beyond brilliant. A nationally renowned energy scientist, Barrett Alexander is on the verge of a breakthrough that will change the world. Unfortunately, that has also made her the target of a suspected terrorist cell. And while Barrett doesn’t believe she’s in any real danger, the President isn’t willing to take chances with her life. As the threats against Barrett become more calculated, I decide taking her on the run is her best chance of survival. Danger, isolation, and attraction ensure we grow closer than I’d ever thought possible. When I realize I want to keep her safe for reasons that have nothing to do with my job and everything to do with the woman I’ve fallen in love with, no one is safe from the hell I’ll rain down on those that threaten her.”

The Institue by Stephen King: “In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute. As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of ItThe Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.”

The Nobodies by Liza Palmer: “Charmingly candid, hilarious, and deeply moving, The Nobodies is a novel about failing but never losing the core of yourself, from a beloved writer at the top of her game. If there’s one thing Joan Dixon knows about herself, it’s that she is a damn good journalist. But when she is laid off from yet another soon-to-be-shuttered newspaper, and even the soulless, listicle-writing online jobs have dried up, she is left with few options. Closer to 40 than 30, single, living with her parents again, Joan decides she needs to reinvent herself. She goes to work as a junior copywriter at Bloom, a Los Angeles startup where her bosses are all a decade younger and snacks and cans of fizzy water flow freely. For once, Joan has a steady paycheck and a stable job. She befriends a group of misfit coworkers and even begins a real relationship, after years of false starts. But once a journalist, always a journalist, and as Joan starts to poke beneath Bloom’s bright surface, she realizes that she may have accidentally stumbled onto the scoop of her lifetime. Is it worth risking everything for the sake of the story?”

The Testaments: The Sequal to Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood: “More than fifteen years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.

Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.

As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.

‘Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.’ Margaret Atwood

Akin by Emma Donoghue: “Noah Selvaggio is a retired chemistry professor and widower living on the Upper West Side, but born in the South of France. He is days away from his first visit back to Nice since he was a child, bringing with him a handful of puzzling photos he’s discovered from his mother’s wartime years. But he receives a call from social services: Noah is the closest available relative of an eleven-year-old great-nephew he’s never met, who urgently needs someone to look after him. Out of a feeling of obligation, Noah agrees to take Michael along on his trip.
Much has changed in this famously charming seaside mecca, still haunted by memories of the Nazi occupation. The unlikely duo, suffering from jet lag and culture shock, bicker about everything from steak frites to screen time. But Noah gradually comes to appreciate the boy’s truculent wit, and Michael’s ease with tech and sharp eye help Noah unearth troubling details about their family’s past. Both come to grasp the risks people in all eras have run for their loved ones, and find they are more akin than they knew.”

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow: “In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut.
In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.
Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.”

September 24th:

No Judgment by Meg Cabot: “When a massive hurricane severs all power and cell service to Little Bridge Island—as well as its connection to the mainland—twenty-five-year-old Bree Beckham isn’t worried . . . at first. She’s already escaped one storm—her emotionally abusive ex—so a hurricane seems like it will be a piece of cake. But animal-loving Bree does become alarmed when she realizes how many islanders have been cut off from their beloved pets. Now it’s up to her to save as many of Little Bridge’s cats and dogs as she can . . . but to do so, she’s going to need help—help she has no choice but to accept from her boss’s sexy nephew, Drew Hartwell, the Mermaid Café’s most notorious heartbreaker. But when Bree starts falling for Drew, just as Little Bridge’s power is restored and her penitent ex shows up, she has to ask herself if her island fling was only a result of the stormy weather, or if it could last during clear skies too.”

Ruined With You by J. Kenner: “When her high maintenance boss is assaulted, manager Xena Morgan contacts the only person who can help—the sexy, arrogant, incredibly capable Stark Security agent Liam Foster. The former vigilante takes every case personally, and he’s determined to find answers—particularly since he thought he’d cleared this threat already. Xena had been thrilled when Liam completed his assignment, because he affected her in ways she didn’t want to contemplate, awakening yearnings that threatened her deepest secrets. But now she needs him, and her body won’t let her forget it.  As their attraction heats to a feverish degree, the web of lies, danger, and passion they find themselves in tangles further. Liam will stop at nothing to protect his client, even if it means sacrificing everything he holds dear … and exposing the secrets that may destroy him—and Xena—forever.”

The Braid by Laetitia Colombani: “In India, Smita is an untouchable. Desperate to give her daughter an education, she takes her child and flees her small village with nothing but resourcefulness, eventually heading to a temple where she will experience a rebirth.
In Sicily, Giulia works in her father’s wig workshop, the last of its kind in Palermo. She washes, bleaches, and dyes the hair provided by the city’s hairdressers, which is now in short supply. But when her father is the victim of a serious accident, she discovers that the company’s financial situation is dire. Now she must find a way to save her family’s livelihood. In Canada, Sarah is a successful lawyer and twice-divorced mother of three children whose identity is wrapped up in her work. Just as she expects a big promotion, her life is shattered when she’s diagnosed with cancer. A moving novel of hope and renewal, The Braid is a celebration of womanhood and the power of connection and perseverance.”

The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht: “The city of Elendhaven sulks on the edge of the ocean. Wracked by plague, abandoned by the South, stripped of industry and left to die. But not everything dies so easily. A thing without a name stalks the city, a thing shaped like a man, with a dark heart and long pale fingers yearning to wrap around throats. A monster who cannot die. His frail master sends him out on errands, twisting him with magic, crafting a plan too cruel to name, while the monster’s heart grows fonder and colder and more cunning. These monsters of Elendhaven will have their revenge on everyone who wronged the city, even if they have to burn the world to do it.”

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman: “In Berlin, at the time when the world changed, Hanni Kohn knows she must send her twelve-year-old daughter away to save her from the Nazi regime. She finds her way to a renowned rabbi, but it’s his daughter, Ettie, who offers hope of salvation when she creates a mystical Jewish creature, a rare and unusual golem, who is sworn to protect Lea. Once Ava is brought to life, she and Lea and Ettie become eternally entwined, their paths fated to cross, their fortunes linked.
Lea and Ava travel from Paris, where Lea meets her soulmate, to a convent in western France known for its silver roses; from a school in a mountaintop village where three thousand Jews were saved. Meanwhile, Ettie is in hiding, waiting to become the fighter she’s destined to be. What does it mean to lose your mother? How much can one person sacrifice for love? In a world where evil can be found at every turn, we meet remarkable characters that take us on a stunning journey of loss and resistance, the fantastical and the mortal, in a place where all roads lead past the Angel of Death and love is never-ending.”

Enchanting Sebastian by Kristen Proby: “Turning thirty-five doesn’t mean much to most men. For Sebastian Wakefield, it’s the end of life as he knows it.
When your father is the King of England, thirty-five is the year that a marriage will be arranged, a suitable bride cementing a future you didn’t choose. The obvious solution for escaping the archaic laws of the throne is for Sebastian to leave the country. And where better to go than America? Nina Wolfe has spent her career avoiding scandal. As a Hollywood publicist and minor celebrity in her own right, she knows exactly what it takes to keep the media at bay—and what will send them into a frenzy. Prince Sebastian hiding out in Cunningham Falls, Montana is an unlikely story. Ending up in his bed, even more so. And keeping their arrangement out of the press might just be impossible. The ring on her finger is about to spark a firestorm that will change her life, and no professional spin will help Nina fit into the world of royalty. Only love could write an enchanting new beginning—if they’ll let themselves fall.”

FYI:

Make sure you grab your copy of Loved by Death here. I am going to make it available, soon, on other sites as well.

On This Day… September 8

Let’s take a look at some writing-related historical events.

  • 1830 Frederic Mistral is born
  • 1873 Alfred Jarry is born
  • 1930 First appearance of comic strip “Blondie”
  • 1933 Michael Frayn is born
  • 1947 Ann Beattie is born
  • 1948 Thomas Mofolo dies
  • 1960 Penguin Books in Britain is charged with obscenity for trying to publish the D.H. Lawrence novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover
  • 1999 Harry Potter and the Prison of Azkaban  is published in the US

FYI:

Make sure you grab your copy of Loved by Death here. I am going to make it available, soon, on other sites as well.

Marked – My Thoughts

I haven’t done a “book review” in a while. I put that in quotes because I don’t consider it a review. I don’t really go through the good and the bad of books that much. I simply share some thoughts about books. I don’t consider myself a book reviewer, but if you are an author and have self-published some books, reach out to me because I am willing to help other Indie authors. I know how hard it can be to get reviews.

Alright, Marked is the first book in the Hous of Night series by PC and Kristin Cast. I started reading these in high school when a friend of mine let me borrow her copy. She was also the one that told me I should read it considering my other literary interests (Twilight).

Unfortunately, I only get to the third or fourth book when I couldn’t go any further. See, my friend had lent the books to another student as well, but that student had one of the books and then moved to Las Vegas taking the book with her. So, 10+ years later, I mentioned these books to my mom and she started giving them to me for Christmas. (I love my mom, for she enables my book addiction.)

*SPOILERS ARE BELOW*

The House of Night series gives a new take on the world of vampires. A young woman, Zoey Redbird, is marked with a crescent moon on her forehead, which immediately causes her to become an outcast amongst her family and friends. She has to get to the school, otherwise, she will die, but her step-father and mother want to pray the vampire away.

She escapes and goes to her grandmothers, and long story short winds up at the House of Nigh school with a gash in her head and her mark already colored in. This makes her stand out amongst her new classmates.

This entire book takes place over just a few days, the days leading up to Samhain. She easily makes friends with what would probably be considered the outcast group, but she also, sort of, forced into joining the dark daughters.

Of course, any good book has to have an antagonist, and that would be the leader of the dark daughters, Aphrodite, or as Zoey’s group of friends so lovingly call her, “Hag from Hell.”

The Zoey is determined to fix the problems within the school because Nyx has chosen her. She also wants to knock Aphrodite down a peg, which does accomplish, to an extent, by the end of the book. There are plenty of other problems that she will have to face, I’m sure, but she is off to a great start.

I’ve read a few reviews on this book, it has a four-star rating on Goodreads, but some of the most negative ones talk about the way the book is written. People seem to have a problem that the style of the book is very informal. There are “asides,” colloquialisms, and slang throughout the book. I suppose, for some, that might be a problem, but that’s part of the reason why I love the book so much.

I can’t speak for other authors, but I like writing because I can break the rules. I like to take liberties that some people may find as wrong, but there is nobody saying that you can’t. That’s what draws me into the writing of the Cast’s. It is very easy to get lost in their book, at least for me. The books are meant to be young adult, and I think that writing plays very well into that genre.

Anywho, I think you should give it a read. I will be doing one of these for each of the books. But FYI, the book I am currently reading is Psycho, so that will be the next “My Thoughts” post.

“You know how it is with cats: They don’t really have owners, they have staff.”
― P.C. Cast, Chosen

FYI:

Make sure you grab your copy of Loved by Death here. I am going to make it available, soon, on other sites as well.

A Question For My Readers

Today’s post isn’t going to be about writing. In fact, I have a question for my readers. Would you like to see blog posts about ghost stories?

I’ve always been a big fan of ghost stories. I’m talking real ghost stories, not just horror books. I’m talking about stories like The Portrait of Theodosia Burr, The Pink Lady at the Grove Park Inn, Ghosts of the USS Constellation, and The Hawthorne Hotel.

I think ghost stories are helpful for writers, especially those of us who want to write horrors or similar genres. Of course, whether you believe they are true or not isn’t relevant. The point is they are fun to read and can give you some clues as to what makes a good spooky story.

I spent a lot of time in high school and college reading books about ghost stories in my state of North Caroline. Trust me, we have A LOT. In the town of Asheville alone, which is about five minutes from me, there are 10+.

My proposition is, would you like a couple (or five) blog posts that share ghost stories from around the world each week along with the regular blog posts. I wouldn’t be replacing my normal writing tips and tricks with the ghost stories. I would simply be supplementing them with some fun spooky stories.

I wanted to get my readers opinion since you guys are the reason I do this. Please let me know what you think if you want me to or not.

If you have your own ghost story, let me know, and I may share it on the blog. With your permission, of course.

“I’ve got quite a vivid imagination and I’m easily overwhelmed by sensations and things that are beautiful or scary. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a ghost – I think I’m probably haunted by my own ghosts than real ones.” – Florence Welch

FYI:

Grab your copy of Loved by Death on Amazon. Get Loved by Death: Book One of The Wolfsbane Chronicles today.

How to Embrace Vulnerability and Write Your Truth

We’ve spoken about writing your truth before. As you have probably noticed, it can get very convoluted as to what it really means to write your truth. The reason for that is because everybody has their own truth.

Today we are going to look at vulnerability, which I believe is the key to writing your truth. If you can bare your emotions on the page, then conveying a truth is going to be very hard to do.

Emotions play a huge role in writing. Not only in the act of writing a story, but in everything that surrounds it; publishing it, sharing it, getting feedback, everything.

I would say that I have only been a true writer for a year. While I have been writing for most of my life, it was only last year that I buckled down and chose this as my life. Last year was when I shared my writing for other people to read. Last year was when I put myself out there to be loved or rejected. Last year I experienced more emotions than ever before. In fact, it feels like it has been longer than a year.

When I first started this blog I said I was going to go the traditional route when it came to publishing my books. I was going to an agent and all that, but I switched to self-publishing. One, because I am a bit impatient. Two, I wanted to get my book out there for people now. That doesn’t mean I have given up hope on getting an agent, it just means I’m doing things on my own for now. Emotions played a huge role in this.

There are weeks where I feel confident and excited. Then I will have doubts and thinking about a back-up plan. But I know in my heart of hearts, writing is the only career that is going to make me happy. (That and acting, but let’s not get started on that tangent.)

The reason I am sharing this is that, as a writer, you can’t be afraid of emotions. I would hazard a guess that most writers are introverts. We don’t do well speaking out emotions out loud, thus we write them. So, if writing is how we express our emotions as introverts, how can we express our self if we don’t show vulnerability.

But What Will Others Think?

This is probably the biggest roadblock in showing vulnerability through writing. Everybody is worried about being judged. I could say, “get over it,” but that’s rude and annoying. You can’t just simply get over things. Everybody has to work through their own problems in their own time. That doesn’t mean that you can’t work through them faster, but you still have to work through them on your own.

Too often people write off these types of issues as just being in your head. They don’t think there is a real issue. But fears are fears. They are all important and everybody has the right to be afraid of things. The important thing is that you figure out what those fears and work through them so they don’t hold you back in life.

I will dedicate another post on working through these types of issues. For now, let’s look at some of the best ways to show vulnerability in your writing.

Be Open

The key to showing vulnerability is to be open. You can write a one-sided story. Even children’s books have a good side and a bad side. You can’t have light without the darkness. There is no good without the bad. A day always has a night.

When you write with openness, you allow the story to guide you. It will naturally show you where it needs to go. I don’t know how many times my outline has changed once I started writing the story because what I had planned didn’t feel right once it was put on paper.

Trust

Writing with openness and vulnerability means that you trust the process of writing. If you can’t trust the process, you will end up holding yourself back and censoring yourself. I’ve already talked about how censoring yourself is bad for writing your truth. You have to trust that the story is going to lead you to where it needs to go.

This could mean that characters you hadn’t planned on killing are going to die. Your story could plummet to depths you never imagined, but as you work your way back out, your story is going to be better for it. Trust is hard, but it’s what makes for a good story.

DO NOT CENSOR

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, you can’t write your truth and censor yourself. This is also one of those fine lines. There is a way you can go too far with your writing where it can end up causing a lot of backlash. This, in my opinion, is when you write with the purpose of being mean and hateful. If this is you purpose going into a book, do us all a favor and stop. There is enough hate already, there is no need for any more.

With that said, you can write without censorship and not be mean and hateful. If your story tells you that it needs something that many people would consider taboo, put it in there. It will be a better story for it. It can be written in a tasteful manner as well.

A big taboo subject that people are sometimes afraid of touching on is abuse. This could be domestic, sexual, what have you. It’s a touchy subject, but if stories about these things aren’t shared, then nobody is going to learn about them. People who aren’t afraid to write about these things are people who help to change the world for the better. The same goes for injustice as well.

These three tips are heavy subjects, and I understand that. Being vulnerable isn’t something anybody likes feeling. But it is a fact of life. If you don’t feel vulnerable at some point in the writing process, then you need to take a step back and see where you are holding back. Be vulnerable and change the world with your writing.

“If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.” – Wally Lamb

FYI:

Grab your copy of Loved by Death on Amazon. Make sure you keep an eye on Loved by Death: Book One of The Wolfsbane Chronicles. You never know what kind of sale you might find.

A Quick Christmas Wish for You and Yours

Today’s post is going to short and sweet. I just want to stop by and wish everybody and Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah (sorry, I know this one is already over), Happy Kwanza, and a Happy New Year. Hey, even Happy Boxing Day if you celebrate it. Whatever your preferences are, I wish you happy whatever you celebrate. I hope it was or will be filled with love, happiness, good food, a family you like to be around, and presents galore.

In the video above you can see how I decorate and everything.

My tree went up the day after Thanksgiving, and presents were put under shortly thereafter. My parents and I tend to go overboard with gifts. Books will always be given to somebody, my mom and I are big readers (duh). On Christmas Eve, we go to visit my grandparents on both sides. On Christmas Day, it’s just my parents me. We open presents and eat a big meal.

We do New Years in a “big” way as well. We always watch the Rose Parade, and we always have ham, greens, and black-eyed peas. I love the holidays, any holiday really.

I would love to learn what you guys do for the holidays and what some of your favorite traditions are.

Happy Holidays everyone. Have a great end of the year and I will see you in 2019.

“I celebrate everyone’s religious holidays. If it’s good enough for the righteous, it’s good enough for the self-righteous, I always say.” – Better Midler

FYI:

Grab your copy of Loved by Death on Amazon. Make sure you keep an eye on Loved by Death: Book One of The Wolfsbane Chronicles. You never know what kind of sale you might find.