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

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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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Cure for Diabetes blog blitz

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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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BIG CHANGES!

The Bookworm Box

If you saw the pictures from our most recent packaging party, then you know what a great first couple of months we’ve had! Thank you to everyone who bought or tried to buy a bookworm box!

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At first we really didn’t think we’d sell but maybe 100 a month, so we thought it would be rather simple to box, label and ship the books.  But 100 turned into ten times that in a matter of minutes! We are so grateful for this because it has given us the opportunity to raise more than $40,000 for charity in just two months!

With the launch of any new business, you have to work out kinks along the way. One of the biggest kinks we have encountered is offering two separately priced boxes. We want to make sure we have enough supply and volunteers to meet the demand so we can better benefit the…

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Important Update

The Bookworm Box

IMPORTANT INFORMATION regarding on sale date.

We initially announced that our May Bookworm boxes will be going on sale tomorrow, April 19th. However, due to a new PayPal policy we just found out about tonight, we cannot list the boxes for sale until a certain number of days before they will be shipped. Therefore, the new date to order May boxes will move to Sunday, May 10th at 3pm central for U.S. and 12pm central for international orders.

Again, we apologize for this inconvenience. Profusely.

~The Worm

…and others who prefer not to be mentioned.

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Book review – Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ .5 stars

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby is not the typical type of book I read. To be honest it is pretty far out of my comfort zone. I would call it a fictional memoir set mostly in the 1960s. The book opens with Sophie Straw (still named Barbara at the time) winning a beauty competition and being crowned Miss Blackpool. The moment the crown and sash are placed on Sophie, she knows that this is not the life for her. She wants to move to London and be a female comedienne. After handing over her crown to the runner-up Sophie packs her bags and heads to London. After several weeks of working at a department store and with no leads to the world of comedy Sophie meets Brian, an agent. Brian wants her to just be another pretty face in commercials, but Sophie has a dream. She wants to emulate her idol, Lucille Ball, and be on tv in a comedy. Sophie goes to many unsuccessful auditions before she meets Bill and Tony, radio writers who are trying to break into comedy tv. With a great group of colleagues and friends, Sophie becomes a tv sensation starring in her very own sitcom which runs for several seasons. The book closes on Sophie reuniting with Bill and Tony to write a reunion play for all the stars of the 50 year old tv program.

This novel reads like a true story. The life and laughter shown throughout makes you wish you were helping create the sitcom right along with the characters in the book. Each characters personality is reminiscent to real-life actors of the same time. The last chapters dealing with the reunion of the cast is bittersweet but mostly melancholy. Everyone has aged and is no longer in touch with their typical audience. The struggle to connect feels very real and is heart wrenching. I have never read a book that makes you seriously doubt the fictional aspects of it as much as this novel does. The writing is vivid and very relatable.

Recommendation: I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about actors of the 1960s or that time period in general. Similar books include: Searching for Grace Kelly by Michael Callahan, A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott, West of Sunset by Stewart O’Nan, and Truth in Advertising by John Kenney

Purchase link:  http://amzn.to/1POaEDU

Funny Girl by Nick Hornby

The Book(ish) Box monthly subscription

If you know me, you know I love monthly subscriptions. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fun magazine, numerous samples, or a box of themed products. For me monthly subscriptions are like getting gifts in the mail every month.

I’ve been researching book related box subscriptions and came across The Book(ish) Box by Appraising Pages. With a monthly subscription you get 3-5 feminine home, beauty, and fashion items as well as a shirt from the Appraising Pages Shop. The shirt is exclusive to The Book(ish) Box and cannot be bought in the Appraising Pages Shop. Each box retails at over $50 but costs on $29.99 plus tax. Payment cutoff is the 20th of each month. Boxes ship around the 1st of each month. Order yours today before they sell out!

Once I receive my monthly box I will discuss the contents plus offer any reviews that I might have.

The book(ish) box

https://thebookishbox.cratejoy.com

Book review – Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty

Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty

Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ stars

Over the holiday weekend I finished a great book, Big Little Lies by Lianne Moriarty. I had seen this book recommended a lot on social media, and with great curiousity I checked the book out from my local library. I was immediately drawn into the curious lives of the people living on Pirriwee Peninsula in Australia. New in town Jane with misunderstood son Ziggy, Madeline with her blended family, and Celeste and her rambunctious twins form unlikely friendships with each other while navigating through the drama of kindergarten. The women find that they need their friendships even more as petitions start circulating for Ziggy’s removal from school. Before anything can be resolved secrets about everyone come to light and change the sleepy town of Pirriwee forever. Throw in an accidental homicide and Big Little Lies lives up to the hype surrounding this novel. Although this novel is over 450 pages it reads like a 300 page book with it’s fast-paced dialogue and action.

Recommendation: I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed The Invention of Wings by Susan Monk Kidd and The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel.

Purchase link: http://amzn.to/1E6IdMR

Book review – Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Book review of Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ stars

I was not expecting the roller coaster of emotions that I experienced in Slammed. When I first started the book I was a bit turned off by the high school setting and ensuing high school drama. I actually thought about not finishing the book a few times. I ended up taking a few weeks off from reading it which was a smart idea. When I picked up the book again only a few days ago I was immediately drawn into the story. The back-and-forth of Layken and Will’s relationship was a bit frustration but ultimately necessary to their growth. As the second half of the book progresses you really see the depth and maturity of both main characters.  Will’s fierce protectiveness of his life with his younger brother is something to be admired. It was great to read a male character who had strong goals for his life at such a young age. Layken’s relationship with her mother and brother are one of my favorite parts of this book.The one part of the book that I didn’t care for was the musical lyrics that were quoted throughout the book. I understand the poetry slam aspect of the novel but the constant musical lyrics made the book almost *too* young adult for me. In the end, though, I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved this novel and can’t wait to read more about Layken and Will’s relationship.

Recommendation: I would highly recommend this novel to fans of YA novels especially ones with strong emotions and tragic situations. This book will make you cry.

Purchase link:  http://amzn.to/1ysDy1u