Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My Dream Author Panel

Calling all bookworms! How many of you have ever attended a conference or convention where there was a panel of authors talking about their books and answering questions? Have you ever considered who YOU might want on a dream panel of authors? Can you imagine how amazing it would be to choose your favorite authors to participate in YOUR very own dream panel?

I hadn't given this much thought until I was contacted recently by Eventbrite, the largest self-service ticketing platform that helps people find and plan events. And for those of us who are bookworms, they help readers connect with authors through bookish events. Every year, there are awesome conventions around the country where readers and fans are able to connect with their favorite authors. In fact, May 2nd through May 8th, I'll be in Atlanta at the RT Booklovers Convention. I'll be signing books, participating in author panels, and hosting a YA slumber party with other fabulous YA authors. If you live in the area, you should come and see me!


Anyhoo, Eventbrite is currently doing a special project and asking bloggers to share their dream panel of authors. And when they asked if I would be interested in participating, I, of course, was excited to take part! Who wouldn't want to participate in such a cool project? I may be an author myself, but I still consider authors to be like rock stars, and like many readers out there, I have my favorite authors and those I would LOVE to meet in person.

DREAM PANEL OF AUTHORS

Since I read books from various genres, my panel would include all YA (young adult) authors, but I'd choose a couple of my favorite authors from each category. 

YA Paranormal:

-Stephenie Meyer




















-Maggie Stiefvater




YA Dystopian:

-Suzanne Collins



-Veronica Roth



-Kiera Cass














YA Contemporary:

-Jennifer Niven



-Jandy Nelson




YA Contemporary Romance:

-Stephanie Perkins



-Sarah Dessen





YA Fantasy:

-Leigh Bardugo



-Victoria Aveyard




Sounds like an awesome cast of authors, right? I would create two panels with all of the authors listed, and the two moderators would be:

Moderators:

1) Myself (Kristin Smith)



















2) James Dashner (only because I've met him and he's a pretty funny guy)


The event would be held in Charlotte, NC since that's where I live, making it easy for me to attend and participate.

Event Location:

Charlotte, NC



Obviously, one thing to consider is what kind of questions I would ask these famous authors. Here is a list I came up with, but feel free to add your own questions in the comments. I'd love to know what questions YOU would ask YOUR dream panel of authors.


Questions for the Authors:

1) How many manuscripts do you have that will probably never see the light of day?

2) What is your favorite thing about being an author?

3) What is the most surprising thing about being an author?

4) If you could be granted one wish, what would it be?

5) If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

6) Who is YOUR favorite author?

7) Name some books in YOUR TBR pile.

8) How many books do you read a year?

9) What is one piece of advice you would give to aspiring authors?

10) Name one thing you cannot live without.

11) Are you a pantser or a plotter?

12) Of all the books you've written, which one is your favorite?


So, what do you think? Does this sound like a good panel? I'd love to know, who would be on YOUR dream panel of authors? Tell me in the comments! :)

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And if you're interested in finding an event in your area, Eventbrite's event planning software page is a great tool. You can find it HERE.

Happy Wednesday! :)

Friday, January 13, 2017

Cover Reveal for The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King

I'm super excited to share the cover reveal for Emily R. King's THE HUNDREDTH QUEEN. Not only is Emily a dear blogging friend —whom I've had the pleasure of meeting in person!—but she's also a fantastic writer. I'm currently reading an ARC of her book and absolutely loving it. So you guys are in for a treat when it releases in June! That's all I'll say for now, BUT you can read my full review very soon.

And now on to the Cover Reveal!

Are you ready for this?

**DRUMROLL PLEASE**

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The Hundredth Queen
Emily R. King
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: June 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

As an orphan ward of the Sisterhood, eighteen-year-old Kalinda is destined for nothing more than a life of seclusion and prayer. Plagued by fevers, she’s an unlikely candidate for even a servant’s position, let alone a courtesan or wife. Her sole dream is to continue living in peace in the Sisterhood’s mountain temple.

But a visit from the tyrant Rajah Tarek disrupts Kalinda’s life. Within hours, she is ripped from the comfort of her home, set on a desert trek, and ordered to fight for her place among the rajah’s ninety-nine wives and numerous courtesans. Her only solace comes in the company of her guard, the stoic but kind Captain Deven Naik.
Faced with the danger of a tournament to the death—and her growing affection for Deven—Kalinda’s only hope for escape lies in an arcane, forbidden power that’s buried within her. 
In Emily R. King’s thrilling fantasy debut, an orphan girl blossoms into a warrior, summoning courage and confidence in her fearless quest to upend tradition, overthrow an empire, and reclaim her life as her own.
Author Bio:
Emily R. King is a reader of everything and a writer of fantasy. Born in Canada and raised in the USA, she has perfected the use of “eh” and “y’all” and uses both interchangeably. Shark advocate, consumer of gummy bears, and islander at heart, Emily’s greatest interests are her four children. She’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and an active participant in her local writers’ community. She lives in Northern Utah with her family and their cantankerous cat.

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Congrats to Emily! Isn't her cover gorgeous?! Did you add her book to Goodreads? If you didn't, you should! 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Best Books of 2016

Most of my time this year was spent getting ready for the publication of Catalyst and writing the sequel, but I did manage to sneak a few books in there to read for my own pleasure. Here are some of my most memorable reads from 2016.

 All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven


Simply put, this book rocked my world. I've read YA contemporary books about suicide before, but never one that delved so deeply into the thought process of one who is so heart-wrenchingly depressed that he feels like his world is literally caving in on him, and there's no escape. It was beautifully written with an emotional undercurrent that seems to be lacking in so many books that I read lately. I want to read a book that makes me FEEL, and this one gave me all the feels. I can't recommend it enough.

 Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


I'd heard so much about this book that, I'll be honest, I wasn't sure if it would be able to live up to the hype. And maybe it's because of that hype that I didn't fall in love with it as much as I wanted to. Told from five different viewpoints, I had a hard time truly connecting with the characters because the story kept shifting from one head to another. It's also a very complicated plot, so there's no easy reading with this one! But with that being said, there were a couple of characters that I couldn't get enough of, and they really sold the story for me. The writing was phenomenal, and the storyline was unique and intriguing. I would definitely recommend it, especially if you like YA fantasy.


Heist Society by Ally Carter 



I just finished reading this one, and like Six of Crows, I wanted to love it—I really did. But maybe it's the style of writing that bugged me or maybe the POV which seemed to hop from one head to another with no clear narrator (which was really weird). The storyline itself was intriguing, especially if you like teenage con artists who get together for an impossible heist. I'd recommend it, and I may try another of Ally Carter's books to see if I like the style better.


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins



This was a book that I couldn't put down. I was so intrigued by the plot, and I desperately wanted to know who the killer was. Unfortunately, I figured it out before the end, but that didn't take away from the novel at all.


Room by Emma Donoghue



I read this as part of the monthly book club I belong to. Despite the horrific situation these characters are placed in, it reads more innocent and naive than chilling and vulgar since the story is told from the eyes of a five-year-old boy. His innocence as he and his mother are held in this room is what makes the story so intriguing. The author does a phenomenal job of getting into the head of a five-year-old and seeing the world from his perspective.


Between Two Fires by Mark Noce 


This was a great story about love and courage. I fell in love with the main character, Branwen, who has quick wit and a sharp attitude. She's a woman who doesn't need a man to protect her, and she makes that clear when she's the one who's able to lead her people to victory.


The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater 


This was my first encounter with one of Maggie Stiefvater's books (I'd heard so much about her writing) and trust me, it did not disappoint. Her writing captures the moment and makes you feel as though you are right there tasting the sea spray, feeling the wind on your face, and galloping across the cliff with a dangerous beast beneath you. The story itself felt a bit slow at times, but the writing drags you in so deep that you hardly even notice.


What are your most memorable reads from 2016?



Monday, November 21, 2016

My Book Baby Releases Today! And a Giveaway!


Today is the day! Catalyst officially releases into the world today, and I couldn't be happier! I want to thank all of you who signed up for my Book Blitz through Xpresso Book Tours. I really wanted to do a list of everyone participating and link it to your blog, but when I found out that I had over 115 people sign up, I didn't think it was possible! I will, however, do my best to visit all of the blogs throughout this week—thank you so much!!

Also, for those of you who may not follow me on social media, I have the BEST NEWS EVER! Barnes and Noble picked up Catalyst and will be stocking it on their shelves nationwide, coming in December!

Here's a look at the Catalyst book trailer for those who might have missed it before...


Welcome to the world, my beautiful book baby!



Catalyst
Kristin Smith
(The Deception Game, #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: November 21st 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult


Book Synopsis:

Too pretty.
Too smart.
Too perfect.

In a crumbling, futuristic Las Vegas where the wealthy choose the characteristics of their children like ordering off a drive-thru menu, seventeen-year-old Sienna Preston doesn’t fit in. As a normal girl surrounded by genetically modified teenagers, all of her imperfections are on display. But after the death of her father, everything she’s ever known and loved changes in an instant.
With little skills to help provide for her family, Sienna clings to the two things that come easily—lying and stealing. But not all thief-for-hire assignments go as planned. When a covert exchange of a
stolen computer chip is intercepted, she becomes entangled with a corrupt government official who uses her thieving past as leverage, her mother as collateral, and the genetically modified poster boy she’s falling for as bait.
In order to rescue her mother, there may only be one option—joining forces with the Fringe, an extremist group, and their young leader who’s too hot to be bad. Problem is, these revolutionaries aren’t what they seem, and the secrets they’re hiding could be more dangerous than Sienna is prepared for. In the end, she must be willing to risk everything to save the one thing that matters most.

Catalyst is a thrilling adventure of danger, romance, intrigue, and deception.


**Look for Catalyst on the shelves of Barnes and Noble stores nationwide, coming in December!**




Here's what best-selling authors are saying about Catalyst: 


"A gripping thriller with a tough, but vulnerable heroine who must fight against a corrupt underworld. High stakes and non-stop action paired with terrific writing will have you turning the pages late into the night.”

~Kimberley Griffiths Little, award-winning author of the Forbidden trilogy (Harpercollins)


"An amazing young adult thriller! Full of intrigue, high stakes, and danger, this read will keep your heart racing and your mind turning deep into the night."

~Jessie Humphries, best-selling author of The Ruby Rose series


"An action-packed sci-fi thriller filled with romance, danger, and twists you won't see coming, CATALYST provides a glimpse into an eery future depicting what can go wrong when those in power attempt to make things right.”

~Ilima Todd, author of Remake





I have to thank my dear friend and critique partner, Leandra Wallace, for making me this next awesome graphic. It's perfect because Sienna, the main character in Catalyst, rides a Harley. I printed this graphic out, framed it, and I'm planning to use it Tuesday night at my Launch Party in Charlotte. Thank you, Leandra! :)



These Are a Few of My Favorite Things by Kristin Smith


Books. Sunsets. Reading to my children. Cuddling with my husband. My laptop. Sleeping in. Surfing the internet. Dinner with friends. Sushi from Coral Sushi (has to be from here!). The beach. Christmas. Halloween. Fall decorations. Fires in fireplaces. Making s'mores around a bonfire. Deltaville. Kissing. Snow. Gelato. My pool. Sledding. Music. Watching movies with my family. Chick flicks. People who care. Lazy days. Cake (any kind). People who listen. Playing the piano. My bed. People who show up at my door with cookies. Zumba. Dancing. The electric slide. Date nights. My family. Binge-watching Netflix. Gilmore Girls. Hot cocoa. Dreaming big. Root beer. Vampire Diaries. Blankets. Sweaters. Boots. Reign. Chocolate (in any form!). Amazon. Pinterest. Vacations. Las Vegas. Book stores. New books. The Selection Series. Planning parties. Supportive friends. The Hunger Games. My wonderful husband. My sweet boys. Chips. Diet Mountain Dew Code Red. Dinner with friends. Scarfs. Glitter. Make-up. Inspiring stories. My readers.


Author Bio:
 Kristin Smith writes young adult contemporary and science fiction novels. When she’s not writing, you can find her dreaming about the beach, beating her boys at Just Dance, or belting out karaoke (from the comfort of her own home). Kristin currently resides in the middle-of-nowhere North Carolina with her husband and five incredibly loud but extremely cute boys. To read more about her obsession with YA novels or her addiction to chocolate, you can visit her at kristinsmithbooks.com.




Enter the Giveaway to win a Clean Teen Publishing Mystery Box!


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Thanks for stopping by and celebrating my book launch with me! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Book Blast: Piper Morgan to the Rescue & a Giveaway

Happy Release Day to Stephanie Faris for Piper Morgan to the Rescue! Check out this adorable middle grade book and be sure to enter the Giveaway!

Piper Morgan to the Rescue
By Stephanie Faris

Cover 
(click for full resolution):



Blurb:

Piper helps some four-legged friends find the perfect home in the third book of the brand-new Piper Morgan series.

Piper is super excited to help out at Bark Street, a local animal shelter in town. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by adorable puppies and dogs all day? And when Piper sees Taffy, the cutest dog she has ever seen, Piper is determined to find a way to bring Taffy home. But it won’t be easy—especially when she finds out someone else wants to make Taffy a part of their family, too!



Author Photo (click for full resolution):



Bio:

Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.

Stephanie is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses, as well as the Piper Morgan series. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive.

Links:
Instagram



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Congrats to Stephanie! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Timeless Blog Tour/Doppelganger Quiz & Giveaway!

Many of you who follow me on social media know that I recently met and hung out with the very talented Gayle Forman, author of If I Stay. She was so fun and down-to-earth, and I had a great time!

L to R: Holly Hughes, me, Monica Hoffman, Gayle Forman

The funny thing is, Gayle was convinced that I have a dark-haired doppelganger, another author named Nova Ren Suma. 

Nova Ren Suma, NYT Bestselling author of Imaginary Girls and The Walls Around Us

Of course, as soon as I got home that night, I looked Nova up, curious to see if indeed we resembled each other. And when I had the opportunity to sign up for Crystal Collier's Blog Tour for Timeless and host the Doppelganger Quiz, it wasn't much of a decision to make! Doppelgangers are a fascinating concept!

I'm excited to celebrate the release of Timeless! Be sure to take the Doppelganger Quiz below to find out who your Doppelganger is in the Maiden of Time trilogy. I took the quiz and my doppelganger is... ALEXIA! Woot!

Without further ado...


I'd like to welcome Crystal Collier here today to share her new book and introduce you to YOUR Maiden of Time doppelganger!

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?

BUY: Amazon | B&N

GUEST POST

Have you ever met someone who looks and acts like someone else you know?

These doppelgangers exist in life, so it makes sense they would exist in literature. Today, you can meet your alternate ego in the Maiden of Time trilogy. Answer 5 simple questions to find out which character is most like you. (Some villains included.)

Look at that! You're a story book character. What do you think? Didn't like your match? Maybe should have picked something else? Try again. Share your results. Buy the books and learn more. (Did she really just say that? Yes, yes she did.) You can also enter to INSTANTLY win some really cool prizes below.

Who is your ideal book character match? (Inside or outside the Maiden of Time trilogy.)

Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese.

Find her online HERE.




(Email address is required for awarding prizes.)

That was fun! Huge congrats to Crystal! Did you take the Doppelganger Quiz? Who did you get? Win any prizes?
Happy Tuesday!
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