Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Made To Cruise

I recently returned from a week-long Caribbean cruise with my family and all of my husband's family and can I just say how utterly AMAZING it was?! I think I was made to cruise! From the excursions to the shows to the constant food, (which you DO get sick of after a few days! Lol.) it was a great family vacation.

I'll admit, I was a little worried about doing some of the excursions like snorkeling or hiking waterfalls with small children, but they never missed a beat. I felt like it was ME trying to keep up with them! Lol.

We went to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Cozumel, and Nassau, Bahamas. We snorkeled, swam with sting rays, hiked waterfalls, cliff jumped, ate authentic Mexican cuisine, and swam in crystal clear waters. And since my husband lived in Mexico for two years and is fluent in Spanish, he enjoyed speaking Spanish to all the locals in Cozumel! :)

The nightly performances were amazing. I loved the music and dancing and various costumes. And on the last night, they did a tribute to Michael Jackson and the performer looked and danced just like the King of Pop! It was awesome.

So here are some pics of my crazy crew.

That's our ship in the background.

After a hot day of touring Cozumel, all these kids needed was a soda and a place to sit.

Snorkeling in the Cayman Islands.

Yep, that's me holding a sting ray. I think he liked me. (Stingray City, Cayman Islands)

Out first coconut milk.

The kids loved the towel animals our steward left on our bed every morning.

We took a carriage ride through the streets of Cozumel. Sure beat walking!

Cozumel. You can see our cruise ship in the background.

Loved the giant starfish in the Cayman Islands!

Another big one!

My hubby and me at a beach in the Bahamas.

Nassau, Bahamas

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of Jamaica where we hiked Dunn's Falls and went to the Blue Hole. But it was a blast! :)

What fun trips do you have planned this summer?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Happy Release Day & Giveaway! Such A Daring Endeavor by Cortney Pearson

I'm super excited to have Cortney Pearson on my blog today sharing with us her latest release, the second book in the Stolen Tears series, Such A Daring Endeavor. Not only is Cortney an extremely talented writer, but she's also the SWEETEST person in real life. I was fortunate enough to connect with her at the LDStorymakers conference I attended in May, and meeting her was definitely one of the highlights of my trip to Utah.

So, without further ado, I'll turn the time over to Cortney so she can introduce her AMAZING new book! And don't forget to enter her awesome Giveaway for the chance to win a $30 Amazon gift card! Take it away, Cortney!

I'm so excited to have this story out! It's been probably the hardest thing I've ever written (or edited!), which makes it all the more satisfying to FINALLY have it ready for release.

Things I love about this book:
Refusal to give up hope, even when things seem dismal
Loyalty between friends and siblings
The kissing ;)

I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do. There's something about characters, after spending so much time with them, fleshing them out and making sure their wants and needs are evident that presses them deeper into my heart, and I hope you'll come to love them too.

If you haven't read the first book yet, NOW IS THE TIME! Be sure to grab your copy for 99 cents this week and learn all about Ambry, Talon, and the tears that bring them together! 


Be sure to enter the giveaway for $30 at Amazon. Who DOESN'T want that?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tweet about the Release! 

Hope fades only if you allow it to. #kindle #YAFantasy #Books #NewRelease

Forbidden feelings, enchanted tears & an epic conflict between 2 nations. Such a Daring Endeavor is out now! #Books

The ever-growing need to protect a vial of enchanted tears. Such a Daring Endeavor = OUT #Kindle #YA #Fantasy #Books

Whether she likes it or not, drinking those tears changed her. #kindle #YA #Fantasy #Books #NewReleases

Sappy Part!

Huge thanks to my beta readers on this project, Emily R. King and Danette Hansen, as well as my incredibly talented editor, Charity West. She has the plot-eyes of a deathly hawk, you guys, and is out to scalpel any and every detail that absolutely doesn't make the story better out of that ms! Seriously, she's amazing. So thankful for my friends who've supported me, my mom, my husband and sons, and always always always, my Heavenly Father.

Amazon | Nook | Kobo | iTunes 

Big hugs to you! (And go get your copy! *winks*)


Monday, June 20, 2016

Book Release: Trouble By Any Other Name by Lori MacLaughlin

Today I'm excited to celebrate the release of Lori MacLaughlin's latest novel, Trouble By Any Other Name, which is the sequel to Lady, Thy Name is Trouble. A huge congrats to Lori! And be sure to scroll down and read an exclusive excerpt from her book! 

Title: Trouble By Any Other Name

Sequel to Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble

Author: Lori L. MacLaughlin

Release Date: May 16, 2016

Genre: Fantasy


About the Book:

Tara Triannon is no stranger to trouble. She's yet to find an enemy her skill with a sword couldn't dispatch. But how can she fight one that attacks through her dreams?

With her nightmares worsening, Tara seeks answers but finds only more questions. Then her sister, Laraina, reveals a stunning secret that forces Tara to go to the one place Tara's sworn never to return to. Her troubles multiply when Jovan Trevillion, the secretive soldier of fortune who stole her heart, is mentally tortured by an ancient Being intent on bending him to its will. And worst of all, the Butcher — the terrifying wolf-like assassin she thought she'd killed — survived their duel and is hunting her again.

Hounded by enemies, Tara sets out on a harrowing quest to discover the true nature of who she is, to come to grips with the new volatility of her magic, and to defeat the evil locked in a centuries-old trap that will stop at nothing to control her magic and escape through her nightmares.

Buy Links:

About the Author:

Lori L. MacLaughlin traces her love of fantasy adventure to Tolkien and Terry Brooks, finding The Lord of the Rings and The Sword of Shannara particularly inspirational. She's been writing stories in her head since she was old enough to run wild through the forests on the farm on which she grew up.

She has been many things over the years – tree climber, dairy farmer, clothing salesperson, kids' shoe fitter, retail manager, medical transcriptionist, journalist, private pilot, traveler, wife and mother, Red Sox and New York Giants fan, muscle car enthusiast and NASCAR fan, and a lover of all things Scottish and Irish.

When she's not writing (or working), she can be found curled up somewhere dreaming up more story ideas, taking long walks in the countryside, or spending time with her kids. She lives with her family in northern Vermont.

You can find her here:


They found the ruins of Tamara's cottage just north of the village on a narrow stretch of flat land backed by a low hill. Nothing remained standing. The area was wildly overgrown, in sharp contrast to the carefully tended fields. Thorn trees thick with foliage and sprinkled with small white flowers grew in masses amid the crumbled foundation, as if protecting the site from intruders.

Tara and Jovan dismounted and tied the horses. A soft hush descended, deadening all sound. The air grew thick with the smell of herbs, and Tara suddenly found it hard to breathe. Slowly, she walked toward the ruined cottage. An odd melody seeped into her mind, and she hummed it absently. She reached the wall of thorns and stopped. The leafy branches were too thickly intertwined to see what lay beyond. She parted the limbs, being careful to avoid the needlelike thorns, and a mournful wail flooded her mind. She jumped back, letting go of the branches. The piercing cry faded to a painful whisper.

Jovan caught her arm. "What happened?"

"I'm not sure. Did you hear anything?"

"No. You did?"

She nodded. "It was so sad and full of pain. It hurt."

Jovan grasped one of the branches. "I feel something, but it's very faint."

"Give me your hand." Tara clasped his other hand and touched a thorny limb. The wailing cry seared across her consciousness. Jovan's hand tightened on hers. The woeful keening filled her eyes with tears, then the sound changed. It grew intensely joyful, triumphant, softening to a tender, loving caress.

"Mother," Tara whispered. She clutched at the thorny branches, spiking her fingers and drawing blood.

Jovan caught her and drew her back, holding her firmly in his strong embrace. "She's not in there," he said gently. "It's her spirit you hear."

"Mother, why did you have to die? I needed you so much!" Tara wrenched away and ran back toward the sleeping village. "You murderers!" she shouted. "You killed her! Damn you to the Abyss!" She sank to her knees, tears burning her cheeks.

Jovan dropped down beside her and gathered her in his arms.

She sobbed bitterly. "They killed her."


Isn't that a great excerpt?! Congratulations, Lori! :)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Cover Reveal for At First Blush by Beth Ellyn Summer!

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am to be able to share Beth Ellyn's gorgeous cover today for her debut novel At First Blush. I've been waiting to see it, as I'm sure many of you have. And now, the wait is OVER! Are you ready?

Here goes....













Lacey Robbins has one goal for the summer: hit one million subscribers on her YouTube beauty channel. Working as an On Trend magazine video blogger is just the platform she needs to get there, but falling for the cover boy, rock star Tyler Lance, was not part of her plan--especially since his dating history is longer than her Sephora wishlist.

She can't avoid him for long though, not when it's her job to film vlogs with him. As Lacey and Tyler grow closer on and off camera, her channel becomes popular for all the wrong reasons, and the two YouTubers she's working with officially hate her. Lacey's only solace is spending time with Kendall Wynn, On Trend's resident makeup artist. Kendall's scattered, carefree approach to makeup reminds Lacey why she ever picked up a tube of lipstick in the first place.

Nothing about this summer is going according to Lacey's perfect plan, and pretty soon she learns that filming makeup tutorials is easy. It's real life that could use some editing.


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.

Connect with Beth:

Congratulations to Beth! I love her cover so much! Don't you?!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Happy Release Day to Dating An Alien Pop Star!

Dating an Alien Pop Star
Kendra L. Saunders
Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication date: June 7th 2016
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance
Daisy Kirkwood has only just escaped her small-town life and run away to New York City, the land of last-minute secret gigs at famous musical venues, when she’s kidnapped by aliens. Unfortunately, no one ever writes about how to handle alien abduction in those fancy NYC guidebooks.
Griffin and Dev are supermassively sexy aliens from a politically and environmentally troubled planet who arrive on Earth with very little knowledge about human ways other than what they learned from a wayward E! News signal. Their mission is to pretend to be the most influential people on the planet—English pop stars, of course!—and gain the help of a powerful secret society. Upon arriving, they abduct Daisy Kirkwood, a nerdy young woman who loves music but could seriously use a bit of help in the love-life department. Though Griffin and Daisy initially squabble, neither can deny the intergalactic sparks whenever they’re too close to each other. Together, they must face murderous aliens, cultural misunderstandings, bad backup musicians, and the dark side of fame and the media, all set against a tight deadline…
Part High Fidelity, part Bridget Jones’ Diary, part Doctor Who, Dating an Alien Pop Star is a sexy romantic comedy.

Q&A With Kendra L. Saunders

Fans and friends recently submitted questions about Dating an Alien Pop Star, sci-fi, and lots of other fun stuff. Here are their questions, and Kendra's answers!
Tamar: If Dating an Alien Pop Star was to be filmed, would you prefer a movie or a series? Or would you'd rather have one of your other books filmed?
KLS: I would feel so anxious about someone making bad casting choices that I would find it hard to get excited about either option unless I had some creative say about casting. I'll still never forgive whoever cast Eric Bana as one of my all time favorite characters, Henry, from Time Traveler's Wife!

If the casting was good, though, I think it would make a fun movie trilogy.

Stephanie: Who would Griffin vote for in the upcoming election?
KLS: Griffin would write in David Bowie's name. I mean, who else can fix everything going on in this world?

Corey: favorite snack(s) to eat during a long writing session?
KLS: I'm a Cheez-Its fanatic, so I usually have some of those at home. If I'm going to have something sweet, I really like pastries with some kind of fruit. If I'm out I usually have a bagel. As for drinks, lattes of any kind are perfect, including chai, or green tea lattes at Starbucks!

Janelle: What are Griffin's guilty pleasures? And Daisy's?
KLS: Griffin has a hard time understanding the concept of guilty pleasures, because he tends to like things very openly. He does get some derision for his choices, especially in fashion and fruity drinks, but it rarely stops him.
Daisy's guilty pleasures are Cosmo magazine (she doesn't understand why everyone writing in seems to be only 19 years old these days), Lifetime movies, and Duran Duran.

Kate: Who do you want to narrate the audiobook versions of the Alien Pop Star series?
KLS: Tom Hiddleston!

Laura: When did you first know that writing was your passion? What were or are some of your sci-fi inspirations? (Books, shows, movies etc.)
KLS: I've known I wanted to be a writer since I was in first grade! I never had any doubt of it, and worked on writing and making jewelry ever since! Some of my biggest sci-fi influences as a kid were the original Star Wars movies, and the book A Wrinkle in Time. Now, I'd add Douglas Adams' work, Ray Bradbury's work, the book Dune, the book The Time Traveler's Wife, and original Twilight Zone and Outer Limits episodes to that list!

Jennifer: How much hair product does Dev use? (giving Dev some love)
KLS: Dev has discovered a nice sticky light brown substance that he can acquire by breaking leaves off of one of his lab plants. He uses that in his hair to make it remain artfully tousled through the day. Griffin is not supposed to know about this, ever, for two reasons: he'd tease Dev mercilessly, and then he'd steal the plant for his own hair usage.

Karmen: Did the characters come to you easily? What's your favorite thing about this book?
KLS: These characters came to me easier than any I've ever written. All of them jumped onto the page already fleshed out. Griffin and Daisy, especially, were super easy to write in that first book. The second one was a slightly different story...

My favorite thing about this book is that I didn't hold back being nerdy about things I love: music, fashion, space, and New York!

Author Bio:
Kendra L. Saunders is a time-and-space traveling fashionista author who writes books about magical, dark-haired men, interviews famous people, and suggests way too many bands to you via whatever social media platform she can get her hands on. She writes with good humor because humor is the best weapon for a girl who can't learn karate (or ballroom dancing).
She is the author of DATING AN ALIEN POP STAR, the magic realism novel INANIMATE OBJECTS, dark comedy DEATH AND MR. RIGHT, the upcoming romance THE UNLOVE SPELL, and has conducted interviews with NYT Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout, goth rocker Aurelio Voltaire, and Project Runway winners Dmitry Sholokhov and Michelle Lesniak Franklin among many, many others.

Hosted by:

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

IWSG June: Pressures of Writing a Sequel

Hey everyone! Thanks for stopping by for this latest installment of the IWSG blog post. A huge thank you is in order for the ninja captain himself, Alex Cavanaugh, who is the creator and director of this wonderfully supportive group. And it's never too late to join! For more info on the IWSG or to sign up on the nifty linky-link, you can go HERE.

I'm typically a fast drafter, which basically means I spend A LOT of time revising once I'm finished. A book I'm working on may go through several rounds of revisions before I feel comfortable enough sending it to critique partners. But now that my first novel is being published, I have to write the sequel. And I have a deadline for it.

First of all, I've never had a deadline before. I wrote when I wanted to write, and typically, once I was immersed in the story, I wanted to write all the time. But now, I'm finding it hard to have the desire to write. But I HAVE to. It's not an option. I have a publisher who is expecting the sequel by a certain time, and I need to make sure I can deliver the novel by then.

Can I just say how much pressure that is?!

Lately, I've been a little blocked. The words aren't coming, the storyline is falling apart, and it's frustrating. I took a couple weeks off and now I'm coming back to it with fresh eyes, and I can only hope that it's enough to pull me through. My goal is to finish the first draft before we go on our cruise in a couple weeks. Can I do it?

I don't know. But I'm certainly willing to try!

What are you insecure about this month?