Let’s Talk Shop

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything besides reviews, promos, etc. And while the response has been fantastic, I would like to first, know a little bit more about my readers. Who are you? Tell me about you and what you like to read. I will use that to make sure that I include what you’re interested in on here.

What would you like to see more of on the blog?

What are some issues you think need to be addressed? Is it hard to find contact information? Would it be better if I added a different or more social media networks?

Would you like to talk about writing?

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a writer. I’m constantly working on new stories and I’d be very interested in knowing what you think is missing in YA. What would you like to see more of? What would you like to see less of? What annoys you? What do you love?

Writing is a struggle. Sticking to schedules, factoring in life, it can be a chaotic, crazy mess. I know that for me, as a freelance writer/editor/all things related to books that I am constantly swamped with edits and fact checking and research and managing everything that needs to get done (thank you for planners right?). 

Would you like to talk about those struggles or my own writing issues? Would you like help in your own process? 

Comment or shoot me an email about WHATEVER. I want to make this blog more helpful and insightful. Send me your thoughts!

Always,

Jordan

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2016 Reading Challenge

Welcome to the first ever YA Book Madness created reading challenge! 

Designed with Young Adult books in mind, this 2016 challenge has a huge span and great variety to broaden your reading horizons and help you find hidden YA gems. 

52 challenges. That’s one book a week. It’s perfectly doable, though it might take a little hunting. 

I’ll be on this journey right along with you and keep you posted when I complete a challenge!

Let me know if you’re participating in this challenge or any others. Interact and have fun!

Without further ado…

2016 challenge

Happy reading, 

Jordan

Interview: Forget Tomorrow-Pintip Dunn

FINAL COVERGoodreads/Amazon/B&N/Kobo/iBooks/Book Depository

Publisher: Entangled TEEN

Release Date: November 3, 2015

synImagine a world where your destiny has already been decided…by your future self.

It’s Callie’s seventeenth birthday and, like everyone else, she’s eagerly awaiting her vision-a memory sent back in time to sculpt each citizen into the person they’re meant to be. A world-class swimmer. A renowned scientist.

Or in Callie’s case, a criminal.

In her vision, she sees herself murdering her gifted younger sister. Before she can process what it means, Callie is arrested and placed in Limbo-a hellish prison for those destined to break the law. With the help of her childhood crush, Logan, a boy she hasn’t spoken to in five years, she escapes.

But on the run from her future, as well as the government, Callie sets in motion a chain of events that she hopes will change her fate. If not, she must figure out how to protect her sister from the biggest threat of all-Callie, herself.

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  1. What sparked the idea for this unique dystopian society?

I was lying down for a hazy, mid-afternoon nap with my son and contemplating my writing career. Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, if a future me could send a memory back to myself, so that I would know if I succeeded as an author and whether those long hours and heartache were worth it? My mind immediately jumped to the next thought: “Hey! That would make a cool world for a book.” I’d already decided I wanted to write my next novel about sisters, and in particular, the protective, maternal love a teenage girl can have for her much younger sister. What would be the worst memory a girl like this could receive? I asked myself. The answer was obvious: a memory in which she saw herself killing the sister she swore to protest. And voila! Even before my son woke up from his nap, a story was born.

2. Logan is a surprisingly endearing and warm character. What would you say makes him a contender for the next book boyfriend? (I’ve certainly got my list)

Ha! I completely adore Logan. He had my heart from the moment he appeared on my page. I would say some of his best qualities are as follows:

Thoughtful: He used to bring Callie a red leaf every day to remind her of the sun.

Brave: At great personal risk to himself, he rescued Callie from Limbo, a hellish prison for those destined to break the law.

Sensitive: Logan cares deeply about his family and is haunted by his inaction five years ago, which he believes put his brother in jeopardy. 

Capable: Logan is the consummate outdoorsman. There’s nothing he can’t do — build a fire, navigate a map, side-stroke across a river, dragging Callie on his hip. 

Believes in Callie: When Callie has doubts and fears the person she will become, he believes in her strength and her love for her sister. 

3. What are the most important lessons learned from Forget Tomorrow?

I think the most important lesson in Forget Tomorrow is that you have to live for today. In this world, the people have placed all of their hopes and dreams into the future, and everything is a countdown to the day that they receive their future memories. The students call each other by their birthdays, and they are ordered in their classes, not by height or grades or alphabetical last names, but by the time remaining until they receive their future memories. 

However, as Callie finds out, sometimes the future doesn’t tell you want you to want to hear. As she goes from Limbo to Harmony, she meets people who have been paralyzed by their futures, As she witnesses them sacrificing their own happiness for what may or may not occur, she learns that the only way to live — the only way to continue breathing — is to forget about tomorrow and live for today. 

4. Have you started on book 2?

Yes! I am writing book 2, Remember Yesterday, right now and having a blast doing it. The story is completely worked out; I’m just in the process of putting words to paper. I’m so excited for everyone to read Jessa’s story, and I’ve even seen the cover for this book already. Hint: it is STUNNING. I might even be more in love with it than the cover for Forget Tomorrow, if that’s possible. (Okay, maybe not possible. Lol.)

You can read more about Remember Yesterday on Goodreads. You can even pre-order it on Amazon! 

5. Do you have a favorite quote that shows what captures the feeling of the story?

I’d love to quote you some song lyrics from “Crystal Ball,” which was a song written by David Elliott Johnson and Kimberly Brown for FORGET TOMORROW. These are not my words, but they perfectly capture what Callie is thinking and feeling at the beginning of the novel. So much that I cried the first time I heard this song: 

You’re not alone
Not on your own
You’ve got me I’ve got you
For everything you’re going through
If you believe
In what I see
You won’t worry about tomorrow at all
cause I can show you in my crystal ball

The lyrics are even more beautiful when Kimberly Brown sings them with that stunning, crystal-clear voice! This song just kills me every time I hear it.

If you haven’t heard “Crystal Ball” yet, you can listen to a teaser of the song here: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0qpJyUltrs


6. What inspires you to write?

Nothing and everything. What do I mean by that? Nothing, because when you write for a profession you can’t wait for inspiration. You have to write every day (or almost every day) because otherwise, the book will never be finished. Many times, my best inspiration will come after I sit down and start putting words to paper. 

Everything, because I take inspiration from everything that I do, from the people I see, from the thoughts I have, and from the emotions I feel. I will say, though, that witnessing something beautiful — in particular, nature — fills me up with an emotion that I want to express. However, the way it is expressed often takes place in the form of ideas that I get from going about my daily life. 

7. Do you have any bizarre writer’s quirks?

I think my writing process is pretty unique. After I get an idea and spend a bit of time brainstorming and plotting, I write what I like to call a “zero draft.” This “zero draft” is essentially the same as as the “fast draft” that many writers do — write the story down as fast as you can, without editing and making sure your words are “pretty.” The difference is that most writers will then take this draft and revise and polish it. I throw the entire thing away, hence the “zero draft.” I then re-plot, working out any story or character problems, and then I rewrite the entire manuscript slowly. During the “zero draft” stage, I’ve written 14k words in one day. During the slow re-write, it is more like 1k a day, although this will ramp up towards the end. 

Oh, and I write on my iPhone. Because of long-standing fibromyalgia/RSI, I can’t type on a keyboard without considerable pain. So my last four novels have been written on my iPhone!

8. Do you have advice for aspiring writers?

Persevere. The path to publication is long and hard and riddled with rejection — at least it is for most people. You don’t need a particularly thick skin, but you do need the ability to get up when you’re knocked down and try again. 

Moreover, unless you are one of the lucky few, story-telling is truly a craft that must be learned through years of practice and thousands of words upon the page. If you truly love it, stay the course — and that will put you miles ahead of the others who have quit when the business got too hard. Hint: the writing business is always hard. 

9. What’s your favorite part of the writing process?

Gosh, this is a hard question, because I kinda like all of it! I think my two favorite are the “zero draft” stage (see above) because this is when the story comes to life and then the re-write stage, where I get to make my words pretty. So, surprise, surprise my favorite parts are the writing parts. Like I said, I do enjoy editing but that feels more like “work,” while the writing feels more like joy. 

authPintip cropped-2Website/Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Goodreads

Pintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis,”

Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, YARWA, and The Golden Network.

She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com

Keep reading and check back for my review of Forget Tomorrow on November 3rd!

Jordan

#ElePitch: Pitch YOUR Story

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Just received this exciting email from Elephantine Publishing: 

Read on if you’re looking to pitch your book or you want to see what could be coming to shelves near you

Running from October 15-31

Here’s how it works:

1. Pitchers have to follow us on Twitter
2. Tweet us @ElephantinePub along with your pitch
3. Include our campaign hashtag #ElePitch and the following genre and subgenre hashtags that best represents their unforgettable story.

#A= Adult
#NA= New Adult
#YA= Young Adult
#PR= Paranormal Romance
#SF= Science Fiction
#RC= Romantic Comedy
#CL= Chick Lit
#CR= Contemporary Romance

Need an example? @ElephantinePub Marin tries to prove that all men are liars and cheaters #ElePitch #CL #RC

4. If we see something we like, we’ll message them with the details on sending us the manuscript.

So if you can’t already tell, we’re looking for a few specific genres. Here’s a better idea of what we’re searching for:

Romantic Comedies​ like Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic and Jennifer Weiner’s Good In Bed

Chick Lits like Melissa Senate, Jane Green, and Emily Giffin. Titles like Something Borrowed, Sex and the City, and Jemima J

Adult, NA, YA romance (or with romantic elements) in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Paranormal like Scarlett Dawn, Erin Tate, Jayne Castle who wrote the Ghost Hunter series, Amy Bartol, Jaymin Eve, Jennifer Armentrout, Elizabeth Norris, Sarah Maas, Rae Carson, Marissa Meyer, Leigh Bardugo.

Happy pitching,

Jordan

 

Cover Reveal: A Love Restored-Amy Miles

Title: A Love Restored
Author: Amy Miles
Series: Cherished Hearts
Release Date: June 28, 2015 
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A woman who spends her life on the sidelines.
A man desperate to discover his true worth.
A woman who seeks love in all the wrong places.
 
Ashlyn Doyle has spent her life trying to blend in. A sweet wallflower by nature, she is unaccustomed to the spot light, but as the personal assistant to a bestselling romance author with a drive to enjoy life to its fullest, she throws herself into her work.  With a hectic touring schedule to maintain, a party animal boss to keep in line and the task of discovering the perfect eye candy to grace the cover of Ender’s Betrayal, Ashlyn is in for more than she bargained for.
 
Determined to make his mark on the world, Slade Collins leaps at the opportunity to audition as cover model for Tamsin Archer’s newest novel.  Tales of Tamsin’s wild parties, affinity for hot men and the wild success that has sky rocketed every former model to fame leads Slade to use his sly smile and British accent to quickly attract the attention of both Tamsin and her shy assistant. But the faster Slade moves toward the dream he so desperately desires, the more he begins to realize fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 
 
Tamsin Archer loves to party, drink to excess and enjoy every drop of success her name has afforded her. With Ashlyn’s firm grip on the reigns of their five city tour, Tamsin soon settles in to the task of bedding her newest cover model, Slade Collins but soon discovers that all the drunken hookups and empty wine bottles in the world can’t fill the void that she feels.
 
Sometimes you have to learn to love yourself before you can love someone else. 
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Follow on Twitter: @AmyMilesBooks
 
Instagram: Amy Miles Books
 
 

Sign up for my newsletter to get all the latest updates!  http://bit.ly/1jkG1Hn


 
Pleasant reading, 
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Endless Possibilities Read-A-Thon (6/4-6/6)

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As a blogger that frequently works with Good Tales Book Tours, when I received an email announcing a read-a-thon, I had to join. Taking place from June 4-June 6 from 2PM to 9PM CST daily, this seems like the perfect way to tackle my ever growing TBR pile and maybe even knock some NetGalley titles off my list.

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If you’d like to join in on the fun, head on over here –>JOIN!

Be sure to stop by the website and check out the many guest authors stopping by!

If you’re interested, there’s also a Facebook party featuring author interactions, freebies, and giveaways –> Facebook Event

Without further ado, here’s my read-a-thon TBR:

  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall
  • The Heir by Kiera Cass
  • Night School: Endgame by CJ Daugherty
  • Those Girls by Lauren Saft
  • Strange Skies by Kristi Helvig

Please share your TBRs in the comments ❤

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ARC Review, Interview & Giveaway: The Legend of the Light Keeper-Kelly Hall

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Title: The Legend of the Light Keeper (Light Keeper series, #1)-Kelly Hall Publication Date: March 25, 2015 Publisher: Booktrope

cooltext1889161239 copyAfter a hurricane destroys her home, Lily Jordan is ready for life to get back to normal. That would be easy if her mother’s recent engagement hadn’t landed her in a house along Southeast Texas’ most haunted ghost road.

The secluded scenic road is steeped in rich history and legends, but when Lily is given an old diary on her birthday, will she find that those legends hold more for her future than she’s bargained for?

With the help of new friends, Hunter and Owen, and forbidden love, Talon, will she uncover dark secrets from the past and find the key to her own gifts? Is it fate or circumstance that brought her to her new home?

Normal gives way to the paranormal in book one of the Light Keeper series where mystery and suspense will keep you guessing until the very last page.

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  1. Do you believe in ghosts? 

Yes, I also believe in varying degrees and types of hauntings.

  1. What are some of your favorite ghost stories?

It’s hard to name a popular one, there are so many, but for me I really love hearing other people tell their accounts. It’s fascinating to me to listen to someone’s experience and be able to see their emotions when they tell them.

  1. Have you ever been to a haunted house?

Yes, I have. I have a friend I grew up with that lived in a house where I experienced things when I would sleep over. Sounds, seeing apparitions, windows closing on their own, and she even had her own claims of poltergeist type hauntings. Her mother always said the house was haunted by a little girl and one of our other friends believed that the little girl followed her home one night. There have been other places where I felt things but I think that most houses will take on the energy of the people who once lived there. I believe that our emotions and energies leave imprints.

  1. What inspired this story?

I really just wanted to write a book that no one else had ever written, about something that I was familiar with. I thought it would be cool to take a hometown legend, in this case the legend of the Bragg Road Ghost Light, and make up my own explanation as to what the Light is. It was always just an interesting story to me and I was skeptical about it existing as more than just debunked headlights or swamp gas. Then it was about a year after I started writing the book, that I had my own experience with the Light, while on a drive down the road with my family. It was something I can’t explain and something I’ll never forget.

  1. What are some of your favorite spooky books?

Well, while my book doesn’t have any vampires, I usually tend to lean toward books about or that include them and funny enough, they aren’t that scary. I love The Mortal Instruments, The Morganville Vampires, and The Vampire Academy series just to name a few. The scariest book I’ve ever read was Pet Sematary by Stephen King. That really creeped me out.

  1. Did you do any research for this story?

Since my story is written about a real local ghost road legend, I did do research on the road and the theories. I then took a lot of those and molded them into my own story, weaving little threads of them throughout, but taking creative liberties with them as well. All of the legends and historical events spoken of are real, but not all took place directly where I wrote them to. When world building I had to simplify things a bit. There are little nods to my hometown throughout, such as places that inspired me, but only someone from my hometown would probably understand them. That was fun to do.

  1. What are some of your favorite paranormal films/tv shows?

I love paranormal TV. I love anything that tells me about history and legends and I also love TV series like The Originals, Vampire Diaries, and Bates Motel. As far as movies, I love all kinds but I have a deep love for classics and old Hitchcock and horror films. Arsenic and Old Lace is one of my favorites because it deals with the macabre serial killing aunts, but does so with humor and I love Cary Grant. I also love psychological thrillers.

  1. Will this be a series? If so how many parts?

Yes, this will be a series of five books. I’m very excited about it!

  1. How do you feel about love triangles?

I love them! I love seeing one done in a fresh way with fresh dynamics. There is a rather strange one in mine and there will be more of that in the books to come.

  1. Tell me a little about your book, something that is NOT in the general synopsis?

Lily’s new friends Owen and Hunter are brothers. They live with their Granny and are the only other people living out on the road with Lily and Talon and their parents. Owen has feelings for Lily that no one can understand. They learn something really interesting about each other and it makes things much more confusing for poor Owen.

  1. If you could describe The Legend of the Light Keeper in 3 sentences what would they be?

Lily is a not-so-normal girl seeking normalcy who learns that her new home holds deep secrets of her powers and lineage. She’s thrust into a new living arrangement and quickly falls for her soon-to-be step-brother. Strange things start to happen and all comes together when she’s given an old diary for her birthday that leads her to her purpose and her new power.

  1. What do you want the reader to take away from this story?

This story is an introduction to my series. I really want the reader to get a good feel for the characters, understand their situations, and relate to them. This is a series about learning to embrace your inner gifts. Like Lily, we all have some special gift inside of us whether it’s that one is really good at a hobby, loves to read, or is empathetic to others. I want my readers to realize that it is okay to be themselves and let their inner gifts shine. Once we learn to embrace our talents and gifts and what makes us unique, that is when we really begin to shine and that’s when great things happen. The Light exists and it’s in us all.

Thank you so much for this opportunity. ~Kelly cooltext1889171582 copy3.5/5 Stars

***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review and in participation with this tour.

The Legend of the Light Keeper is a chilly tale of mystery, murder, and heartbreak but it is also one of self-discovery, faith, and hope. Combining the spooky aura of legend and real life tragedy, The Legend of the Light Keeper will have you hanging on to every clue, hoping to solve the dizzying puzzle of the Light and its connection to Lily.

PROS:

  • The Legend of the Light Keeper centers on the ghost stories and speculation about the Light on Ghost Road in Bragg, Texas. Based on a series of eye-witness encounters with this paranormal phenomenon and the history of Conquistadors, oil, and railroad greed, the story is all the more haunting because it is based in fact and you can read more about the legends with a quick internet search.
  • The history of the Light and Bragg, Texas is rich and intoxicating. There are so many secrets and uncertainties that it consumes you and it’s easy to get lost in the strength of the atmosphere. Lily’s heritage is as shadowed as her abilities but as the truth outs, everything is connected in a seamless, wonderfully clever way. The diary, the forbidden romance and intrigue of the past add a bit of daring and drama that ups the adrenaline propelling the story forward.
  • Lily lost everything in the hurricane but she is resilient, thoughtful and strong. Lily thinks of others before herself, is constantly concerned about their welfare and takes serious risks. Unafraid to get dirty and hang with the boys, Lily is adventurous and willing to try anything whether it be mudding or camping out in the woods with poisonous snakes and creepy neighbors. Lily is conflicted about her past. She’s terrified. She doesn’t know what’s going on with the Shadows and the Light but one thing she does have is faith. Lily recognizes the Light as truth, answers to riddles of the past, and hope. Lily can see what others do not and her beliefs are unshakable. Lily gets scared, she crumbles, she cries but that makes her all the more real and compelling in her vulnerability.
  • Talon is charming, helpful, warm, and the rock Lily needs to get through the mess the Light has brought into her life. His past is full of regrets and secrets that permeate the plot, lurking beneath the surface. Talon is playful, constantly teasing Lily one moment and chasing away her fears in the next. He accepts her wholeheartedly and becomes a friend that Lily can count on.
  • Together, Lily and Talon have an easy, magnetic connection. They flow together. The romance is more casual than longing looks and heated touches. It’s natural, almost like fate. It feels inevitable, potent and tethered to the Light.
  • Secondary characters are memorable, lively and have unique qualities that each compliment and build the story. Owen and Hunter are double trouble. Hilarious, full of boyish pranks and inexhaustible energy, they bring a light cheerfulness to the gloom and doom of the Light and Lily’s Shadow attacks.

CONS:

  • There are two main story arcs, that of the mystery shrouding the Light and the blossoming love between Talon and Lily. So much focus was put on building and maintaining the chemistry between these characters that the Light felt like it took a backseat to their romance. As the story progressed, concentration on the Light and the ghostly aspects increased but Lily’s preoccupation with Talon’s feelings towards her was a distraction.
  • Lily’s ability to see Shadows was introduced with little explanation other than she’s always seen them. Counterbalanced with her power to see loved ones’ spirits on the brink of death, while there were poignant, beautiful scenes of loss and love, there were hardly any background stories of Lily’s battle with the Shadows. A clearer picture of Lily’s history with the Shadows, how they interacted with her, how they altered and shaped her life might have laid the foundation for Lily’s crippling fear of the dark. Instead, Lily’s panic attacks feel like overreaction for a good part of the story.
  • It was farfetched that everyone simply believed Lily’s stories. The woman in the Light, the Shadows, her insistence that her nightmares were horrifying depictions of the past were all accepted with wide eyes and a promise to hunt for the truth. Lily had just met all of these people, Talon, Owen, Hunter, Granny; they had no basis to trust her especially on something so subjective as ghosts and dangers in the dark.

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Kelly Pic Kelly Hall was born and raised in Southeast Texas, and lives in a small town just a stone’s throw from the ghost road where her Light Keeper series is based. When she’s not busy writing, or spending time with her husband and two sons, this self-proclaimed creative junkie dabbles in many different forms of art, including cake decorating and mixed media.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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This tour was organized by Good Tales Book Tours.

If you like any of the following, you’ll enjoy this:

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