The Book{ish} Box – May box review

I ordered and received my first Book{ish} Box in May. To say I was excited would be an understatement. I knew the Book{ish} Box was different than most book subscriptions. Instead of books you get 3-5 book related feminine home, beauty, and fashion related items. I loved my first month’s box and can’t wait to get one every month. Here’s what way in my May box:

Shirt from Appraising Pages – On the shirt is a quote from the book The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (on Twitter – @appraisingpages)

A Twisted Turban “You had me at hello” by A Thread Up – because some books have you by the very first chapter (athreadup.storenvy.com)

Buttoned up Earrings by Knuckles and Knots (knucklesandknots.etsy.com)

Mermaid Kiss coconut lip balm from From the Page (www.etsy.com/shop/fromthepage)

Mini Book Love Cookies from Songbird Sweets – they are almost too adorable to eat, almost! (www.songbirdsweets.etsy.com)

I absolutely love each item from the Book{ish} Box. The shirt was the perfect size since I chose the size before the box shipped out. Every item was adorable but also functional. I have worn the shirt many times since receiving it, and the twisted turban is great for keeping your hair out of your face while still looking cute. The items shipped change every month so you’re always getting new things. Check back to see what the June Book{ish} Box contains!

Book{ish} Box

The Bookworm Box (April) – review ***updated***

I received my featured Bookworm Box at the end of April. This was my first time ordering one, and I didn’t really know what to expect. Every month and almost every box is different. Authors and book reviewers donate signed books and swag to be included in the box with a good amount of the box proceeds going to various charities. Here’s what was in my featured April box.

Signed book mark – The Cityscape Series by Jessica Hawkins

Signed book card – Tempting Rowan by Micalea Smeltzer

Griffin Peterson CD sampler  (a favorite musician of Colleen Hoover)

Bookworm Box pen

Signed copy – Jacked by Tina Reber (1st book in The Trent Brothers Series)

Signed copy – Thoughtful by S.C. Stephens (4th book in the Thoughtless Series)

Book Crush Book Reviews chapstick – Asian pear flavored

I was very satisfied with the many items in the box. I would have preferred if both books were the first in the series, but since all the items are donated that obviously can’t always happen. I loved the bookmark and book card simply because I have never heard of either author. Learning about new authors is one of the reasons that I like to receive book boxes. I have added both books to my to-be-read pile and will review them in due time. As a writer and blogger I appreciate the time and effort that goes into creating such a special and unique box for book lovers.

Overall, I felt like The Bookworm Box was a special present to myself. While I loved everything I received, I will only be signing up for the box sporadicly. I love that these boxes help different charities every month. I would encourage any bookworm to try it out one month. These boxes sell out within minutes every month so set a reminder for yourself if it’s something you may be interested in. The May box is already sold out. Sign up at http://www.thebookwormbox.com to receive an email when the June box goes on sale.

The Bookworm Box - April

* * * The Bookworm Box is now available as a monthly subscription * * *

10 Steps to Overcome Writer’s Block

I often suffer from Writer’s Block. This blog post has some great tips on how to get past the block.

Carly Watters, Literary Agent Blog

writing top 10 by Brian ClarkFind yourself looking at a blank screen a lot lately? It happens to all of us. (I have to write proposals, catalog copy, and pitches too!)

So what do you do when you’re stuck? Here are some great tips for overcoming the dreaded writer’s block.

Join the club that knows how to defeat those obstacles and has learned to look forward, not back:

1. Acknowledge the feelings and try to get to the root of them: Are you nervous, anxious or unsure about your story? Are you scared that it won’t live up to reader’s expectations? Are you looking at the clock and–knowing you have limited time–watching the hands move around? If you’re truthful about your reservations you can recognize and move past them.

2. Forgive yourself a perfect draft: No one writes a clean first draft. It’s called a “Shitty First Draft” for a reason. Read some Anne…

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Win 1 of 10 copies of THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD!

This book sounds fantastic. Enter the Goodreads giveaway for a chance to win a copy of THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD

Carly Watters, Literary Agent Blog

Women’s fiction and suspense readers! A giveaway is happening!

Win 1 of 10 copies of THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD from Goodreads. 

“This is a powerful thriller about buried secrets that painfully resurface, innocence lost across the generations, and the terrible price we pay for growing up and growing older.” — David Bell bestselling author of The Forgotten Girl

“Nostalgia wrestles tragedy in this haunting tale.” — Kathryn Craft author of The Art of Falling and The Far End of Happy

SecretsLakeRoad_cover_hi res

THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD is available 8/4 in a store near you.

A haunting story about the destructive power of secrets, this accomplished and gripping suspenseful women’s fiction debut is perfect for fans of Lisa Scottoline and Heather Gudenkauf

Jo has been hiding the truth about her role in her high school boyfriend’s drowning for sixteen years. Every summer, she drops her children off with her mother at…

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Book review – Marrow by Tarryn Fisher

Marrow Cover

Marrow by Tarryn Fisher

Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Tarryn Fisher is easily one of my top favorite authors. Her books are not sugar and spice. You will not get the warm fuzzies when you read her novels. What you will get is a story that will grip you, usually tightly around the throat, and never let go. I fell in love with her writing when I read Mud Vein last year, and I’ve been a huge fan and supporter every since. The only problem I have is that whenever I read Tarryn’s books I have an awful time writing a review. Her writing is multi-faceted. Her characters so real that it’s hard to imagine them not physically existing. I fail time and time again to properly articulate the roller coaster ride you experience when you read a Tarryn Fisher novel. The only way to truly experience the ride is to pick up a copy for yourself and dive right in. Below I will attempt to fill you in on Marrow.

Before anything can be said about Marrow you first have to meet Margo. Margo is a murderess. A vigilante. A punisher of the child beaters, killers, and rapists that society doesn’t know about or can’t find. It’s doubtful that you would ever meet Margo that is unless you’ve been a bad, bad person. Margo keeps to herself mostly. Her best friend, only friend, Judah is in a wheelchair. His confidence is the only thing stronger than his muscular upper body. Margo and Judah live in The Bone. Her house is the one that looks vacant and starting to fall about. To Margo it’s the Eating House. It comes alive with the emotions rarely shown in the house. It mostly feeds off the drama of her prostitute and agoraphobic mom. At 19 years old and after the death of her mother, Margo is more mature and stronger than most predators on this earth. Her compassion for children goes as deep as the marrow in her bones. It’s her conviction to make the predators, the bullies, the killers pay. No one else will. Margo has survived The Bone, The Eating House, and her horrible mother, but can she stop herself from turning into the type of predator she is hunting? Only time will tell. As long as The Bone is in her marrow, she will always know how to find her way home.

Recommendation: highly recommended to anyone who enjoys dark books that mess with your head and leave you with a book hangover. I have never read another author with the voice of Tarryn Fisher. Read her books. Drink them in. Store them in you marrow.

Purchase links for Marrow and Mud Vein:

Marrow – http://amzn.to/1JQxVn8

Mud Vein – http://amzn.to/1IOheYg

Cure for Diabetes blog blitz

CureForDiabetesBlitzBanner1

I am so happy to participate in a blog blitz for diabetes. There is a book giveaway in the middle of this post. Don’t forget to enter!

Forward by Lee Child:

INTRO FOR BRENDA NOVAK:

I’m a thriller writer, and a thriller reader, and hence a sucker for the classic thriller plot, where an ordinary man or an ordinary woman slowly becomes aware of a looming threat: someone or something is out there, close by, infinitely dangerous; or perhaps an intruder is already in the house, mocking, violating a sanctuary, or perhaps – really creepy – he’s been living in the attic for a couple of weeks already, camping out, undetected, silent, leaving odd nighttime disturbances … who moved that chair? Or perhaps, for added anguish, it’s not the ordinary man or woman under threat: it’s his or her son or daughter, their child, their responsibility, the intended victim, a helpless target. What mother or father wouldn’t fight to the death? And they do … 400 pages later, an investigation has been conducted, the bad guy has been identified, close scrapes have been survived, and finally the family is sitting together on the bottom stair, stunned but finally safe, as the bad guy is put in the cop car and driven away. The end. Diabetes starts like that. But it doesn’t finish like that. It’s a mysterious malfunction. No one knows the cause. Researchers suspect an element of genetic susceptibility, and in those susceptible it’s possible the Coxsackie B4 virus kicks things off. Then a tiny balance among the human body’s billion moving parts goes slightly out of whack, and the beta cells in the islets of Langerhans (such an innocent name) inside the pancreas shut down and stop producing insulin, so the body can no longer deal with the kind of sugars we crave. The intruder is now in the house. Untreated, all kinds of complications will follow. Cardiovascular disease, and stroke, and damage to the eyes, kidneys, and nerves. And more. Including death. All in store, unbelievably, for the ordinary parent’s beautiful and vulnerable child. No one’s fault. Type 1 diabetes is unrelated to lifestyle. Most victims are thin or normal, healthy, well fed, well loved. The fight back begins with maintenance. Sometimes diet is enough; more often, insulin must be provided. An endless round begins: testing and injecting, testing and injecting. Most sufferers do OK for a long time, but only OK. Quite apart from the social and organizational burdens of diet and injection, they can feel under the weather a lot of the time. But in thriller terms, we can at least get them barricaded in a safe house, at least temporarily, doors and windows locked, guns drawn, with the bad guy lurking outside in the yard. But how do we get the bad guy in the cop car? Research is the answer, but it’s fantastically expensive. All around the world, teams of biochemists are working hard, but they have to pay the rent. And eat. Their funding comes from governments and institutions and drug companies – but also from hundreds of thousands of concerned individuals. Many of them are parents of diabetic children, and it’s easy to see why. The primeval instinct that makes a mother or father fight to the death is a powerful one – perhaps the most powerful among our emotional inheritance. But in the case of diabetes it’s frustrated. There’s no identifiable antagonist, no role for a gun or a blade. There’s no bar fight to be had. If only it was that easy. I know of no parent who wouldn’t gladly smash a long-neck bottle and join the fray. But they can’t. Such parents have to channel their natural aggression into a long, patient, endless struggle for progress. They raise awareness and money any way they can. This anthology is an example. It will help fund the search for a cure. All good. In fact better than good, because whatever else, there are some great authors and some great stories here to enjoy. So if you buy it, you’ll get some excellent entertainment – but also you might just get the chance to be that mysterious character on page 297 of our notional thriller, who contributes the tiny but vital clue that eventually leads to the big reveal on page 397. Your few cents could make the difference. You could be the one.

Lee Child

New York 2015

Excerpt From WANDERLUST by Roni Loren

When the song finished, Lex sauntered to the edge of the stage to address the audience. “How’s everyone doing tonight?” Screams answered him. He gave an easy laugh, clearly comfortable being the center of attention. “I’m glad y’all are having a good time. We are, too. New Orleans definitely knows how to throw a party.” He put his hand against his brow to shield his eyes from the spotlights and squinted at the sea of people below him. “Turn up those house lights. I want to see these beautiful faces.” Female voices reverberated off the walls as the lights above the crowd switched on. A redhead a few steps away from Aubrey lifted up her shirt as soon as Lex’s eyes traveled in that direction. Nice. What was this? Mardi Gras? Lex smiled and gave a little nod of acknowledgement to boob-job girl, but otherwise didn’t comment. “You know, I’m feeling mighty thirsty, and I heard a rumor that New Orleans is home of the body shot,” Lex said, continuing to survey the audience with a sly smile. “So I’m thinking, that maybe I should try one tonight. What do you think?” The shouting of the crowd increased. “Now all I need is…a willing victim,” Lex continued. Bustier girl began her bouncing routine again and waved her hands frantically trying to catch his eye. Lex paced across the stage, taking his time, holding his finger up and preparing to point to the chosen one. Aubrey put her money on Miss Augmentation, but he passed that section up without a glance. As he neared Aubrey’s end of the stage, his eyes landed on her exuberant neighbor. The girl’s scream turned shrill. “Pick me! Me! Me!” Lex lowered his hand ready to point and then shifted his gaze, locking eyes with Aubrey. Her breath caught. Oh, shit. Seconds seemed to tick by, but she couldn’t pull away from the stare. She managed to wag her head slowly back and forth. No. No. No. He smiled, lowered his finger, and pointed directly at her. “You. The sexy brunette in the black t-shirt.” Her stomach took a nosedive. “Come on, I won’t bite,” Lex said, waving her forward. “Unless you ask nicely, that is.” The girl next to Aubrey shot her a glare that could have curdled milk. The sea of fans parted as if she’d suddenly morphed into royalty, and she forced her leaden feet to cross the few yards to the barricade. Her heart took up residence in her throat, threatening to jump out. This was a disaster. She silently cursed the bouncer from backstage. If she had met the band beforehand, she would’ve never ended up in this position. Building a professional relationship with the band after this was going to be next to impossible. Hands patted her back and shoulders as the two bouncers flanking the stage helped her climb over the metal barrier. Lex squatted at the edge of the stage, all wicked grin and guyliner, and stuck his hand out. He cocked his head, beckoning her closer in a way that spoke without the words. Come on over, lamb, said the wolf. This will only take a minute.

Book Giveaway (open internationally):

Brenda Novak (Sweet Talk & Sweet Dreams)
— Brenda Novak Mini-Tote with Three Autographed Whiskey Creek Paperbacks
Melissa Foster (Sweet Talk)
— DESTINED FOR LOVE, Digital E-book
— HEARTS AT PLAY, Digital E-book
— TAKEN BY LOVE, Digital E-book
— FATED FOR LOVE, Digital E-book
Allison Brennan (Sweet Dreams)
— MURDER IN THE RIVER CITY, Digital E-book
Lauren Hawkeye (Sweet Seduction)
— All Three Parts of THE OTHER BROTHER, Digital E-book
Gina L. Maxwell (Sweet Talk)
— SEDUCING CINDERELLA, Digital E-book
— RULES OF ENTABLEMENT, Digital E-book
— FIGHTING FOR IRISH, Digital E-book
Violet Duke (Sweet Talk)
— LOVE, CHOCOLATE, AND BEER, Digital E-book
— LOVE, DIAMONDS, AND SPADES, Digital E-book
— LOVE, TUSSLES, AND TAKEDOWNS, Digital E-book
— LOVE, EXES, AND OHS, Digital E-book
Nancy Naigle (Sweet Talk)
— SWEET TEA & SECRETS, Autographed Paperback
— WEDDING CAKE AND BIG MISTAKES, Autographed Paperback
— OUT OF FOCUS, Autographed Paperback
CJ Lyons (Sweet Dreams)
— SNAKE SKIN, Digital E-book
Tiffany Snow (Sweet Dreams)
— SHADOW OF A DOUBT, Digital E-book
Steena Holmes (Sweet Talk)
— THE MEMORY CHILD, Digital E-book
Liliana Hart (Sweet Dreams)
— DOWN AND DIRTY, Digital E-book
Nina Lane (Sweet Seduction)
— All Three Novels in the SPIRAL OF BLISS series, Digital E-book
— BREAK THE SKY, Digital E-book
Molly O’Keefe (Sweet Talk)
— BETWEEN THE SHEETS, Digital E-book
Rosalind James (Sweet Talk)
— JUST FOR NOW, Digital E-book
Cynthia Eden (Sweet Dreams)
— BROKEN, Digital E-book

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book & Author Details:

Sweet Talk, Sweet Dreams, Sweet Seduction
Boxed Sets
Publication date: May 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Thriller

Synopsis:
Sweet Talk Boxed Set
Priced at only $9.99, this heart-warming, limited edition collection features ten BRAND NEW contemporary romances by New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors
Sweet Dreams Boxed Set
Priced at only $9.99, this fascinating limited edition collection features thirteen BRAND NEW thrillers by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors
Sweet Seduction Boxed Set
Priced at only 9.99, this stunning limited edition collection features thirteen BRAND NEW contemporary romances by New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors.


You can make a difference while you read! All proceeds from the sales of these boxed sets will be donated to the Diabetes Research Institute via Brenda Novak’s Online Auction for Diabetes Research.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/series/show/142932-authors-to-benefit-diabetes-research

Purchase:
Amazon links:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00R5CZ4ZM
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00R5CZ53I
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00R5CZ4VG

Barnes & Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sweet-talk-boxed-set-brenda-novak/1120945759?ean=2940046471113
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sweet-dreams-boxed-set-brenda-novak/1120945757?ean=2940046471090
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sweet-seduction-boxed-set-brenda-novak/1120945760?ean=2940046471120

Apple:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sweet-talk-boxed-set-ten-new/id953311755?mt=11
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sweet-seduction-boxed-set/id953310482?mt=11
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sweet-dreams-boxed-set-thirteen/id953313748?mt=11

4 Reasons You Should be Taking Risks with your Fiction

Carly Watters, Literary Agent Blog

Playing it safe gets boring. Writers who take chances end up pushing the boundaries and get conversations going. And when conversations get started publicity will take off.

  • Station Eleven
  • Age of Miracles
  • The Golem and the Jinni

What do these books have in common? They defy category. They took risks and they paid off. They step outside our known boundaries, but stick to universal human emotion–that’s how we relate to their worlds.

4 Reasons You Should be Taking Risks with your Fiction:

1. Memorable is better than derivative. Nothing will make people remember like something they’ve never read before. Agents included. We are always looking for things that we can’t forget. When we say “we’ll know it when we see it” this is what we’re getting at. If we can’t forget it means that when we send something to an editor that they won’t be able to get it out of…

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