Thursday, May 18, 2017

Cover Reveal: Marked Beauty by S.A. Larsen

Today I get to share a very special cover reveal with you. The author, SA Larsen, is not only my CP (critique partner) but she's a dear friend and probably one of the kindest people on social media. I'm super excited to be be able to help celebrate the gorgeous cover for her YA debut novel, MARKED BEAUTY! Seriously, I'm in love with it! Are you ready to see it??

Okay, here we go!



MARKED BEAUTY by S.A. Larsen
Title: Marked Beauty
Author: S.A. Larsen
Publisher: Ellysian Press
Release Date: October 2017

Book Blurb:

Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.

Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras. Not a welcome gift for a teenager. Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her.
Viktor Castle also has a secret. He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.

After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only to put her in more danger.

As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground. For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls.

ADD to GOODREADS


About the Author

S.A. LARSEN is the author of the award-winning novel Motley Education, the first book in a fantasy-adventure series for middle grade readers. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Marked Beauty is her debut young adult novel. Find her in the land of snowy winters and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty-five years, four children, a playful pooch, and three kittens. Visit her cyber home anytime at www.salarsenbooks.com.

Connect with her on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Blog | Goodreads



GIVEAWAY!!!

This is a #hashtag giveaway, where two lucky winners will receive a FREE eBook of Marked Beauty upon its release.

To participate:
  • Share one of the premade images via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Or write up a blog post using one of the images.
  • Include #MarkedBeauty in your description.
  • Optional for extra entry: include Add to Goodreads (with link) in your description.
***Posts MUST contain the hashtag #MarkedBeauty for entry into the giveaway or we won’t be able to find you.

Pre-made tweets (you add the image)

"A lust 4 life energy. An ancient curse. One soul's journey thru death 2 find the cure." #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0

"Uncovering some secrets can kill you, or worse ... steal your soul." #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0 #YAlit

An ancient race. A timid girl. And a journey to the in-between. #MarkedBeauty #CoverReveal http://bit.ly/2qdE0q0 #YAlit

The giveaway begins May 17th and will be open until May 23rd. Winners will be announced May 24th via social media.




HUGE CONGRATS TO SA LARSEN!!! I CAN'T WAIT UNITL THE FALL!!


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Release Day! Forgotten is Out in the World!

Today is the day! Today FORGOTTEN, the 2nd book in the Deception Game series, releases to the world! Woot!

But before we celebrate, let me tell you a little story.

I hadn't TRULY experienced writer's block until I started writing this book. I got about three-fourths of the way through and then it hit me. HARD. No matter what I did or how hard I tried, I COULD NOT move forward and write the end of the novel. It was frustrating. But I quickly learned that the best way to deal with writer's block (for me, at least) is to take a break.

So I did.

I read books and binged-watched Netflix, and since I'm a religious person, there was also a lot of praying involved. I had a deadline, and I knew I needed to finish the book. ASAP.

And then one day, a glorious idea came. And then another idea came. And I FINALLY knew how the book HAD to end. I didn't want to write it. I cried all the way through it. But when it was done, I knew it was the exact conclusion it needed.

Are you curious yet? LOL.

Needless to say, writer's block sucks. Every writer will probably experience it, but eventually we make it through to the other side.

Welcome to the world, my beautiful book baby! <3


Forgotten
Kristin Smith
(The Deception Game #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
The epic tale of Sienna Preston continues in this second installment of the exhilarating Deception Game series.
 Seventeen-year-old Sienna is no stranger to heartache and loss. But this time, it’s different; someone―or something―has tampered with a loved one’s memories, and she’s determined to get answers.
The trail leads her to the glittering skyscrapers and modern luxuries of Rubex, the Capital of Pacifica, where she infiltrates the government’s Agency for Intelligence and Genetics. But answers are not always easy to come by, especially when her own memories may have been altered. Luckily, Zane Ryder is there to help her put the pieces back together, his devotion and concern muddying the waters between friendship and something more.
 When Sienna gets too close to uncovering dark Agency secrets, she’s framed for the murder of a prominent government official, sending her on the run. Sienna’s heart may be torn about who she loves, but none of that really matters anymore―because the only thing that awaits her now is a death sentence.

Grab book 1 for only 99¢!
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

Zane parks his Aria on the lake side of the dam, and we both climb out.

“Bring back memories?” Zane asks with a wry grin.

“How you thought I was trying to kill myself? Again?” I laugh. “I don’t know why you thought I was so suicidal.”

Zane shrugs. “Maybe I didn’t. Maybe I just wanted an excuse to rescue you.”

My heart trips over itself. “Zane,” I say softly, “you can’t keep saying things like that.”

He moves around the side of the car. “Why not?” When he takes my hand in his, the warmth of his fingers heats up my whole body.

“This isn’t a good idea,” I mutter, but I make no move to extract my hand from his.

He looks down at me, then at our entwined fingers. “But what if it is? What if it’s the best idea in the whole damn world?”

“Because—because you’re engaged. To someone else.”

“But I don’t want to be,” he says, his voice low. He takes a step closer until he’s so close that I could wrap my arm around his back if I wanted to.

“Zane,” I warn, but the warning gets caught in my throat. He’s giving me that look. The same one he gave me before he kissed me that first time on the couch in his house.

“What?” he whispers.

“Please, don’t—” But he’s already leaning down, his eyes focused on my mouth. My breath comes out shaky as his fingers slip from mine and his hands touch my waist, gently bringing me closer. Before I can stop myself, our lips meet, and a thousand nerve endings converge to a single spot. His lips are fire and warmth and need. And that single spark ignites an already-smoldering flame.




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.



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Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday Updates & Happy Release to At First Blush!

Hello, friends!

There are lots of things going on that I wanted to share with you. The first bit of exciting news is that FORGOTTEN, the sequel to CATALYST, will release on April 18th, much earlier than expected. Yep, you read that correctly! My 2nd book baby will make an appearance in a week! Needless to say, I'm definitely feeling the stress and excitement of another book releasing into the world.

The blog tour will run from April 18th through April 25th, and will be through Xpresso Books. If you'd like to help spread the news of the release of FORGOTTEN, you can sign up at the link below. (Pretty, pretty please!) Thank you in advance!

SIGN UP HERE TO HELP WITH FORGOTTEN RELEASE

And here are a few teaser images that my wonderful friend and critique partner, Leandra Wallace, made. LOVE THEM!!!




You can pre-order your copy of FORGOTTEN HERE.
Buy CATALYST HERE.



BOOK TOUR:

At the same time of the FORGOTTEN release, I'm doing a little book tour in the western part of the US. If any of you live in the following areas, please come out and see me!

Saturday, April 15th @ 2 pm- The King's English Bookshop in Salt Lake City, UT

Isn't this just the cutest bookshop EVER?!

Thursday, April 20th @ 5 pm- Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Henderson, NV (Stephanie store)



For the event at the Henderson B&N, I'll be teaming up with bestselling YA author, Jessie Humphries, who lives in that area. It should be a lot of fun!



I have to say that one of the best things about being a published author is having fans reach out to me, telling me how much they loved CATALYST. I think the next greatest thing would be to receive some FAN ART! That would be pretty awesome. :)

In other exciting news, I'm now a Pitch Wars 2017 Mentor! I'll be co-mentoring with my dear friend, Beth Ellyn Summer, and we are SO excited to be mentoring YA this year. In a few months, we'll post on our blogs the kind of manuscript we're looking for, so be on the lookout for that post in July! If you'd like more information about Pitch Wars, see Brenda Drake's website HERE.



I'm also excited to celebrate the release of Beth Ellyn Summer's book, AT FIRST BLUSH. I'm a little late to the party (the book released last week) but I still wanted to show my love and support for this awesome book and author. If you haven't gotten your copy of AT FIRST BLUSH yet, you totally should!! Here's a preview:

BLURB

Who would have thought that a teenager could have a successful career creating makeup tutorial videos on YouTube? For Lacey Robbins, this dream has been her reality. An up-and-coming YouTuber, she has thousands of fans and can't wait for the day when her subscriber count reaches the one million mark. And when she is offered a high school internship at On Trend Magazine, she figures that this could be the make it or break it moment.
But sometimes your dream job isn't all that it seems. Her editor is only interested in promoting junk products, and her boss in the Hair and Makeup department introduces her to the larger world of makeup artistry, making her wonder if making tutorials online is all she is meant to do. To top it all off, when the magazine's feature subject, musician Tyler Lance, turns his broodingly handsome smile her way, falling for him could mean losing her fans, forcing her to make a decision: her YouTube life or her real life?
Fans of Zoella's GIRL ONLINE will fall right into the world of this YA DEVIL WEARS PRADA and stay hooked from the first blush to the last glossy kiss.

About the Author:

Beth Ellyn Summer writes contemporary young adult fiction that somehow always includes the following elements: fame, makeup, and television. She graduated from Long Island University with a degree in Print and Electronic Journalism. Interning for Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon was the highlight of her college years. When she's not writing, Beth can be found swatching eyeshadows, solving Wheel of Fortune puzzles, and playing with her adorable cat, Penny Belle. Beth lives on Long Island in a cookie cutter town that, in an ironic twist of fate, doesn't have a single decent bakery.

You can connect with Beth at any of the social media links below.

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest
Goodreads


So many congrats to Beth! I hope your book release has been everything you dreamed it would be! <3



Friday, March 3, 2017

Forgotten Cover Reveal & Giveaway!

Hi everyone! Today is a super exciting day because I get to share with you the Cover Reveal for FORGOTTEN, the 2nd book in the Deception Game series which releases on August 21st. I absolutely LOVE how the cover turned out! Marya Heiman, Clean Teen Publishing's amazing designer, is so incredibly talented. I'm just in awe of her skills and what she came up with for Book 2.


I know you're anxiously waiting to see the cover, but before I show it off, I'd like to thank all of my blogging buddies who are helping out with my cover reveal today. Be sure to stop by their blogs and show them some love. <3


Leandra Wallace
Stephanie Faris
Beth Ellyn Summer
Elizabeth Seckman
Emily R. King
Brenda Drake
Mark Noce (posting on 3/8)
Mary Bernsen
Jennifer Lapachian
Jenny Bynum
Tonja Drecker
S.A. Larsen


Okay, you ready to see the cover???

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Here we go! :) 

FORGOTTEN by Kristin Smith

(The Deception Game, #2)
August 21, 2017

Pre-order your copy here


Book Blurb:

The epic tale of Sienna Preston continues in this second installment of the exhilarating Deception Game series.

Seventeen-year-old Sienna is no stranger to heartache and loss. But this time, it's different; someone―or something―has tampered with a loved one's memories, and she's determined to get answers.

The trail leads her to the glittering skyscrapers and modern luxuries of Rubex, the Capital of Pacifica, where she infiltrates the government's Agency for Intelligence and Genetics. But answers are not always easy to come by, especially when her own memories may have been altered. Luckily, Zane Ryder is there to help her put the pieces back together, his devotion and concern muddying the waters between friendship and something more.
When Sienna gets too close to uncovering dark Agency secrets, she's framed for the murder of a prominent government official, sending her on the run. Sienna's heart may be torn about who she loves, but none of that really matters anymore―because the only thing that awaits her now is a death sentence.


ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

BOOK ONE IS NOW AVAILABLE IN STORES AND ONLINE!

CATALYST by Kristin Smith
(The Deception Game, #1)

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 (The Deception Game #1) Teasers:




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.




And that's it! What do you think of the cover? Did you enter the Giveaway? 

Happy Friday! 



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Cover Reveal: Dark Winds Rising by Mark Noce

I'm happy to have Mark Noce here today sharing the cover reveal for his latest novel, DARK WINDS RISING! Take it away, Mark! :)

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Dark Winds Rising is the sequel to my debut novel Between Two Fires, and comes out with St. Martin’s Press December 5th 2017! Today is my cover reveal for the next book in my historical fiction series set in medieval Wales. A big thanks to St. Martin’s Press for the great cover art!



Dark Winds Rising (synopsis)
Queen Branwen finds her world once again turned upside down as Pictish raiders harry the shores of her kingdom. Rallying her people once more, she must face her most dangerous foe yet, the Queen of the Picts. Ruthless and cunning, the Pictish Queen turns the Welsh against each other in a bloody civil war, and Branwen must attempt to stop her before her country threatens to tear itself apart. All the while Branwen is heavy with child, and finds her young son’s footsteps dogged by a mysterious assassin. Branwen must somehow defeat the Picts and save her people before the Pictish Queen and a mysterious assassin threaten to destroy their lives from the inside out.


About the Author

Mark Noce writes historical fiction with a passion, and eagerly reads everything from fantasy to literature. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he’s an avid traveler and backpacker, particularly in Europe and North America. He earned his BA and MA from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he also met his beautiful wife. By day, he works as a Technical Writer, having spent much of his career at places like Google and Facebook. When not reading or writing, he’s probably listening to U2, sailing his dad’s boat, or gardening with his family.

Dark Winds Rising is his second novel in a historical series published by St. Martin’s Press. His debut novel, Between Two Fires, (also published via St. Martin's Press) is available wherever books are sold. Learn more at marknoce.com or connect via his newsletter or blog.

Between Two Fires: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Macmillan


Monday, February 20, 2017

Exciting Updates

Hi, everyone!

It's been a while since I've written a blog post, but that's only because life is crazy (but good!). Crazy good! :)

The biggest news I have to share is that CATALYST is now in Barnes and Noble bookstores around the country. I can't begin to tell you how thrilling it is to have people texting and messaging me pics of CATALYST in THEIR local bookstore. Here are some of my most favorite pics I've received so far:

This one was found at a B&N in Denton, TX and is SO cool because CATALYST is surrounded by Sarah Dessen books, and I LOVE Sarah Dessen!! What a dream to see my book on the shelves with her books. LOVE! <3


This is another great one because now I'm shelf buddies with Erin Summerill, author of EVER THE HUNTED. Erin and I will be rooming together at RT Atlanta in May, so super cool that we're shelf buddies too at this B&N in Pennsylvania. :)



My dear friend, Sandy, spotted CATALYST in a Manhattan B&N! Love that it's made its way to the Big Apple!



This one was spotted in Kansas City by fellow CTP author, Shannon Thompson. Poor CATALYST looks teeny tiny compared to THE CROWN'S GAME. Lol.



Love this one! Jacy Merrill and Monica Hoffman—my local author buddies—and I discovered CATALYST at the B&N closest to where I live in NC. Such a surreal experience to see MY book on the shelves next to so many fabulous authors. 


Have you seen CATALYST in a B&N near you? If so, please snap a pic and tag me in it. I love seeing it make its way across the country. :)



In other exciting news, CATALYST has a sequel. The sequel has a title. And this title now has a release date AND an upcoming Cover Reveal. FORGOTTEN, the sequel to CATALYST, will release on August 21st. The cover reveal is scheduled for Friday, March 3rd. Here's where I need YOUR help.

If you'd like to help with the cover reveal for FORGOTTEN (Book 2, The Deception Game series) please sign up using the form below. Thank you!!




One last exciting bit of news: I have my first book tour this weekend, scheduled in my hometown and surrounding areas in Virginia. If you live in the Richmond area, you should come by and see me! Details below:

Friday, February 24th: Hopewell High School (A visit to my Alma Mater)

Friday, February 24th 7-9:00 pm: Book signing at Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Short Pump

Saturday, February 25th 10:30 am -12:00 pm: Author event at the Appomattox Regional Library. Kristin will be talking about her book, answering questions, reading an excerpt, and signing books.
**This event is sponsored by the Junior Woman’s Club of Hopewell.**

Saturday, February 25th 2:00 - 4:30 pm: Book signing at Books-A-Million in Colonial Heights



Do you have any exciting news to share? Did you sign up for my Cover Reveal? Do you live in the Richmond, VA area?


Have a great week!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

January Reads

I wish I could say that I got a ton of writing done in January, but I can't. I did, however, read a lot of books! I 'm finally working through that looming TBR pile, and I'd almost forgotten how much fun reading can be. When I'm working on a project, I become so focused on writing that everything else takes a back burner, including reading. But it feels great to set aside some time for something that I love to do.

Is anyone else taking the Goodreads Reading Challenge? I set a low book goal knowing that I'll have at least one book release this year and will be writing 1-2 books as well. However, I started off the challenge with a bang! Here is an overview of the books I read in January.

THE RAVEN BOYS by Maggie Stiefvater  (4 out of 5 stars)


I really liked this book. First of all, I love Stiefvater's writing, especially her descriptions. In The Raven Boys, she's created these complex characters who each have their own issues they're working through—and she does it seamlessly. The story is told from multiple POVs, which I'm typically not a fan of, but she does it so well that being in multiple heads enhances the story, not detracts from it. My only complaint is the lack of romance. It says it's a paranormal romance, but there wasn't enough romance in my opinion to call it that. 



THE HUNDREDTH QUEEN by Emily R. King (5 out of 5 stars)



I received an ARC for this book, and I'm thrilled that I was able to read it months before it releases to the world!

This book is a beautiful, captivating tale of forbidden love, deep courage, and inner strength. Kalinda is a strong-willed character who doesn’t fully realize her potential until faced with an awful future married to a terrible tyrant. She is an extremely likable character who cares for those around her. She’s able to see the good in others, even an enemy who’s hated her since childhood. It is this belief that she can unite with her enemies that helps Kalinda secure her future with Rajah Tarek and ultimately carry out her grand plan to save herself, the one she loves, and the courtesans bound to the rajah.

This book was so unique and different from anything I’ve ever read. It was so layered and well-written that I found myself falling into the story, invested in each character, and longing for Kalinda to end up with her one true love. I love the world and culture King created. I loved that it had a gladiator feel with the wives and courtesans of the rajah battling against each other to maintain or increase their position. But I also loved the forbidden romance between Kalinda and Deven. The world-building was exceptional, the characters well-developed, and the writing exquisite. A must read for fantasy lovers!




HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE by Jennifer Niven (4 out of 5 stars)


Honestly, I loved this book. I do feel like it comes with a bit of a disclaimer, though, because there is A LOT of language. That's the only reason I didn't give it 5 stars. I'm not a huge fan of the "F" world, and it was used in the book quite a bit. I understand that these are teenagers, but still. I think Niven did an excellent job of making us FEEL for both Libby and Jack. That's what I love about her books—she knows how to bring in ALL THE FEELS! I love her beautiful prose. And yes, she writes about hard topics, but that's the way life is, right? Life isn't all peaches and roses. I applaud Niven for having the guts and courage to write about the tough things that make life completely unpredictable and totally sucky at times.




P.S. I LIKE YOU by Kasie West (5 out of 5 stars)


Such a fun, cute story that goes to show you don't REALLY know someone until you get to know them. This was my first Kasie West story, and I have to say, I'm an immediate fan. I do believe Kasie West is now one of my favorite YA contemporary romance writers. I love that her stories are clean, with no language or sexual content. The romance was swoony, and the story was sweet, entertaining, funny, and completely unputdownable. Loved it!




THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND by Kasie West (5 out of 5 stars)



Loved this book. There were definitely places I laughed out loud, and there were places where my heart broke for the main character, Gia. Another great Kasie West book!



THE STATISTICAL PROBABILITY OF LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT by Jennifer E. Smith (5 out of 5 stars)



I seriously loved this book. I read it in a day. You wouldn't think it could carry that much depth because it really only takes place in the space of 24 hours, but that's what's so amazing! You come to care so deeply for the main character, Hadley, that your heart breaks over her father leaving her and her mother. Much of the book is done in flashbacks, giving us a glimpse into what it was like when her father left, and why she's so wary about going to his wedding in London. I loved the romance, but I also loved that this book was about so much more than a love story. It's about family, forgiveness, hope, and moving on.


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Have you read any of these books? Any on your TBR list?

Have a great Wednesday! :)


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