Fun Friday #3: Travel Dreams

We’re going to play a game. You know this one. Someone gives you a round trip ticket to anywhere in the world for free, where would you go? There is no backing out because of work, family, responsibilities. The universe has aligned in your favor to allow you to go somewhere that you’ve always wanted to go.

I’ll go first and I’m going to cheat a little bit by saying Europe. Yes, I know there are how many different countries in Europe, but like I said, I’m cheating. 😉 There are 3 places in particular that I’d love to visit someday.

#1: London

The home of the BBC. The place where Doctor Who was born and Sherlock solves crimes. The country that keeps popping out all these sexy actors with even sexier accents. Of course there are landmarks that would be fabulous to see.

The London Eye1024px-London_Eye_at_night_2

Photograph by Mike Peel (www.mikepeel.net). [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Shakespeare’s Globe theatre

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Sourav Niyogi [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Buckingham Palace

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By Oxyman (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

2. Ireland

The setting of many romantic historical novels. I have ancestors from Ireland. I’m not sure how far back, that would be my mom’s area of expertise. I tend to stick to fictional things. One of my favorite books is Irish Hearts (Irish Hearts #1 & #2) by the amazing Nora Roberts. Ever since I read it (when I was probably too young to be reading romances), I’ve wanted to go to Ireland to see the rugged landscape. Maybe even find a fairy or a leprechaun.

Wicklow, Ireland

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By Michal Osmenda from Brussels, Belgium (enhancedUploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Liscannor

http://flic.kr/p/6TL8Pb

Blarney Castle

At Blarney Castle

http://flic.kr/p/4hdyVv

3. Scotland

Castles. Kilts. David Tennant. Need I say more? Okay, fine. Many people group Ireland and Scotland together, but they are soooo different! Ireland is known for software and potatoes, Scotland is known for its banking. They both are known for kilts, but the styles are completely different. Scottish kilts are usually a plaid, while Irish kilts are solid. The castles are what I would really love to see. These large, proud fortresses, crumbling from time and weather. Imagine the stories they could tell if they could talk…

Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle

http://flic.kr/p/5b2HRB

Melrose Abbey

MELROSE ABBEY

http://flic.kr/p/6xXMsm

David Tennant in a kilt. (I had a much more enticing photo, but, sadly, it was copyrighted:/)

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By Christine Van Assche from Slidell, LA, USA (Tennant KiltUploaded by Cirt) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Where would you go if you could go anywhere in the world?

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Distractions from writing

Everything is a distraction! Here are my top five and for a bonus, here’s #6!

Sleep.
There are nights that I’m really getting into the story and I don’t want to stop. The kids and hubby are in bed, the house is quiet, I’m comfy huddled over my laptop. Then the sandman shows up and I’m rubbing my eyes and wondering why there are two screens instead of one. If I didn’t get half my ideas while I’m sleeping, I would be much more annoyed with it!

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3 Reasons Blogging Rocks!

Last week I wrote a post about why blogging sometimes sucks. It’s overwhelming, it’s a lot of time, yada, yada, yada. There’s always two sides to a coin though. Today I’m going to share three reasons I enjoy blogging.

 

1. You get to interact with people who share your interests.

How many of your family and/or friends are as excited about writing as you are? For me, I’d have to say…none. Don’t get me wrong, they support me and they think it’s neat, but they don’t understand the frustrations of your character not doing what you want. They don’t see why I’m so excited when I’m researching my latest idea. 140 characters or less on Twitter though, and I immediately get the praise, feedback, or excitement that I’m looking for. Blogging works the same way, just with no character limit.

2. You get to meet new people and make new friends.

This goes hand in hand with #1. You become part of this whole new world where you’re all united by a common thing. In this case, writing (or reading). Within this world, you’re bound to make some new friends. I’m glad to say I’ve met some amazing people that I never would have met if I didn’t start blogging.

3. Gives you a chance to learn about yourself.

Every day/week/month, however often you blog, you have to write about something new and hope others find it interesting. You come up with topics; either by yourself or by scouring the internet for blog post ideas. (<—That last one is totally me.) Once you find/come up with the great topic, you’ve still got to write about it. You have to weave words that express what you want to say. No hand gestures, facial expressions allowed. Just the words. You really get to think about the topic and see how you view it.

What are some reasons you love blogging?

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Why I sometimes hate blogging

As a writer, I constantly have words flowing through my head. Some make sense, most don’t. Some days they come out willingly, other days I’m trying to push them out with the same outcome of trying to put a cat in water.

It’s the same with blogging. I’ll get these totally amazing ideas, but as soon as I sit down to write them…Bam. Words=cat. Computer=water. Even if I am able to get a few posts out that are half way decent, the well runs dry. What am I supposed to blog about? I’m by no means an expert in the world of writing. I don’t have any inside scoops to share. Heck, I’m not even published! Yet. That day will soon come.

What do you do when you can’t think of something to blog? Do you post something random? Like a blogging hate blog post? What do you enjoy reading about from your favorite blogs?

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Cover Reveal: Quintessentially Q by Pepper Winters

We’ve heard from Tess. We’ve seen her backbone, bravery, and what she’ll do for love. Soon, we’ll get to see into Q’s. *This is the 2nd book in the series. To read my thoughts on the first book, Tears of Tess, go here.

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“All my life, I battled with the knowledge I was twisted… fucked up to want something so deliciously dark—wrong on so many levels. But then slave fifty-eight entered my world. Hissing, fighting, with a core of iron, she showed me an existence where two wrongs make a right.”

Tess is Q’s completely. Q is Tess’s irrevocable. But now, they must learn the boundaries of their unconventional relationship, while Tess seeks vengeance on the men who sold her. Q made a blood-oath to deliver their corpses at Tess’s feet, and that’s just what he’ll do.

He may be a monster, but he’s Tess’s monster.

Release Date: end of 2013

 

 

 

Sneak Peak into Quintessentially Q…

 

*Prologue*

 

I thought I would be her nightmare—her terror and darkness. I wanted to be. I needed her more than food or sunlight. Only when she came into my life did I start to live—intoxicated by her taste, screams, and joy.

But our fucked up fairytale didn’t exactly have a happy ending.

Tess.

My Tess.

My esclave—so strong and fierce and sexually feral—wasn’t strong enough for what happened.

Her cage wasn’t me anymore.

It was them.

*Chapter One*

All I could think was—she’s dead. She had to be. All that blood, so bright with a coppery tang, almost sweet.

Her snowy skin was extra frosty, grey-blue eyes closed to me.

Rage and terror strangled as I fell to my knees in the warm puddle of crimson. The whip in my hands was slippery with sweat, and I hurled it away in disgust. I did this. I let myself go and showed my true self. The monster inside ruined the only brightness in my life.

“Tess?” I pulled her into my arms, dragging her cold, lifeless form closer. Blood smeared over us, and her red-welted body oozed with damnation.

“Wake up, esclave,” I growled, hoping an order would force those dove-blue eyes open. No response.

I bent, pressing my cheek against her mouth, waiting endlessly for a small puff of breath, a signal I hadn’t gone too far.

Nothing.

Fear stopped my heart, and all I wanted to do was rewind time. Rewind to a simpler place where I lived with needs and urges, but never let myself believe I could be free. Rewind to the day when Tess arrived, and I promptly sent her back to her silly boyfriend Brax. At least if I did, she would be safe and my life wouldn’t have ended.

At least then, Tess would be alive.

My demons killed her.

I killed her.

I threw my head back and howled.

***

“Q. Q!”

Something sharp bit my shoulder and I flinched. Rolling away, I tried to ignore the call. I deserved to stay in this endless hell. The hell I created for killing the one woman who stole my life and showed me an emotion I never dared dream for: love.

My cheek smarted as if someone slapped me, blazing through the darkness with a bite of pain.

Eyes snapped open to a wild-eyed, blonde goddess on top of me. The debilitating terror wouldn’t leave, even though she was alive, and glaring at me with passion I grew to know so well.

“What the hell, Q. That’s the third time this week. You going to tell me what you’re dreaming about to warrant howling like a werewolf?” Tess pinned my shoulders to the mattress and I couldn’t stop muscles from tensing. I liked her on top, but didn’t like her holding me as if she was in control. It wasn’t how I worked.

“None of your business.” I rolled, grabbing her hips to pin her beneath me. I risked a small smile. With her under me, my world righted again. I ran hands over her waist, up her throat, to her lips. Her breath fluttered, coming faster and the rest of my panic receded.

She was still breathing.

I hadn’t killed her.

Yet.

 

**EEP! Now tell me that you are not delightfully intrigued! Curious to know about the bird on the cover? Gotta read Tears of Tess!

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Review: Tears of Tess by Pepper Winters

I have been waiting for this book for weeks. Ever since I saw the first teaser on Facebook, I knew I had to read it. I was not disappointed. Here’s the blurp for Tears of Tess.

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A New Adult Dark Contemporary Romance, not suitable for people sensitive to grief, slavery, and nonconsensual sex. A story about finding love in the strangest of places, a will of iron that grows from necessity, and forgiveness that may not be enough.

“My life was complete. Happy, content, everything neat and perfect.
Then it all changed.
I was sold.”

Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility.

For their two year anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. Sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and soul-connecting sex set the mood for a wonderful holiday. With a full heart, and looking forward to a passion filled week, Tess is on top of the world.

But lusty paradise is shattered.

Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror.

Captive and alone with no savior, no lover, no faith, no future, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can’t save her from the horror of being sold.

Can Brax find Tess before she’s broken and ruined, or will Tess’s new owner change her life forever?

 

My Thoughts:

I’m not usually one to read something so dark. I love rainbows and butterflies. This was leaning more towards tornadoes and snakes. Terrifying, yet oddly fascinating. As soon as Pepper emailed the ARCs out, I downloaded it to my kindle and made the kids go to bed. Then I stayed up until 4am reading it. Oh. My. Freaking. Heck. It was so deliciously twisted that I questioned my own sanity and choices between right and wrong.

Tess starts off sort of shy and wanting to please her boyfriend, Brax. She’s willing to do anything to keep him and their relationship happy, even if it doesn’t completely satisfy her. While on a romantic romp to Mexico, Tess’s life is forever turned upside-down. She’s kidnapped and sold into slavery. Instead of giving in and giving up, Tess becomes a fighter. She is totally bad A.

Q is handsome, mysterious, and rich. Tess hates him on sight, yet is still intrigued by him. While I longed to hate him for who he was, a slave owner, I was in Tess’s head the whole time and couldn’t help but want a taste of him if I had a chance to bite him. Just when you begin to think you understand him, he does something unexpected and you’re left reeling. Then you think you get him again, and wham!

There were so many twists and turns in this story. It was an emotional roller coaster ride. I loved every minute of it. I felt as twisted at Tess and Q by the time I was done. All I can say is, great job Pepper Winters!

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Intrigued? Win a free copy through these 2 giveaways! One signed copy with swag. 2 paperbacks (open internationally).

Or go out and buy one!

Amazon     AmazonUK     Nook     Paperback     Paperback on Amazon     Goodreads

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New Adult & Romance: Why is it so popular?

Romance has taken the New Adult category by storm. To the point that many people think New Adult is a sub-genre of romance. Even Amazon has their New Adult section under Romance. Although it seems like it’s just romance, it’s not. Again, it’s not. Romance is a genre in the category of New Adult, just like it is in the categories of Adult and Young Adult, but it is not the only one.

If there are so many more directions to go with New Adult, why does the category seem so ocused on romance? Even Amazon has their New Adult section under Romance. Don’t get me wrong, I love romance, I live for romance. You will probably never see me write anything other than romance. Alright, that’s one person’s opinion, but obviously there has to be more than me if it’s such a huge thing.

New Adult is about experiencing things for the first time. New job, college, living on your own. One of the big things that many new adults experience is falling in love for the first time. Not high school love where the end is almost in sight as soon as you start dating, but the kind of love where you think, ‘yeah, I can imagine living the rest of my life with this person’.

For the readers who have already experienced these things, they read it to remember the butterflies and sympathize for the ones who are going through it. They read it to go through the feeling of falling in love again through someone else. For the ones who haven’t experienced it, they read it and imagine if that is how it will be for them. For each sides of the fence, it’s about dreaming.

Romance evokes dreams and fantasies. How many little girls watched Disney movies and wondered when their prince would come? How many teenagers dreamed of a vampire sweeping them off their feet? (In my case I was hoping for Damon Salvatore, not Edward.) How many new adults dreamed of turning their very own college bad boy into a man who chased after them? Or brought a hermit hunk out his shell and into her arms?

Dreams are why we read in the first place. We want to escape the dull and dreary real world into a place of fun and adventure. We want the heart racing and girly squeals that come from falling in love.

Why do you think romance is so popular?

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Setting SMART goals

“Write a novel.” That’s the first goal we have. Great, but the novel isn’t going to be written the first time we sit our butts in that chair. We need to plan how we’re going to get from point A to point B. We need goals. Life gets thrown at us. Babies, vacations, work, death, keeping up the house. There are thousands of things to distract us. If we have goals, it will give us something reach for.

Goals will only help us if they’re within reach. Just like when you’re running and you say, “I’ll run to that mailbox”, then you reach it and set a further goal, “I can make it to that light post”. We need to break our writing down into reasonable goals. When writing your goals, make sure they are SMART.

S – Specific. A goal isn’t going to do you any good if you don’t know for sure what the goal is.

M – Measurable. If you can’t measure your goal, there is no way to see if you are achieving it.

A – Attainable. It has to be realistic. If you say you’re going to write a 125,000 word high fantasy novel in one week, you’re going to be disappointed.

R – Relevant. If your goal isn’t relevant to what you’re working on, it’s not going to do you any good.

T – Time-stamped. Give yourself an ending point of when you want your goal completed.

An example of a SMART goal would be: I’m going to write *500 words/day M-F on my NA paranormal novel.

It’s specific- you state exactly what you want to do.

It’s measurable- you can track those 500 words.

It’s attainable- *this would be attainable if this were a comfortable amount for you to complete. If the most you know you’ll have time for each day is 250, then 500 wouldn’t be attainable.

It’s relevant- it’s a goal that is getting you closer to your ultimate goal of finishing your novel and getting published.

It’s time-stamped- not only are you going to write 500 words, but you’re going to do it M-F

What SMART goals are you going to set?

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New Adult Readathon and Giveaway

*Giveaway is closed. Congratulations to Katy for winning the copy of Strength by Carrie Butler!

 

Hello to the blogging world! Summer gets so insanely busy at our house. Hopefully I can get back to this a little more steadily once it starts cooling down. On the upside, I’m getting a pretty good tan. 😉

Have you been following the New Adult Readathon? So many wonderful books have been added to my must-be-read list! If you have been following, you’ll notice I was supposed to post on Tuesday, but my sun-fried brain insisted it wasn’t until today, which is why you’re getting my fun game now.

Game? Yes, we are going to play a fun little game called Reading Playlist. Here’s what you do: pick one of the books from the read-a-thon (or any NA book for that matter) and let me know a few songs that you think would be on a playlist for said book. For example, if I were to make a playlist for Strength by Carrie Butler, Bring Me to Life by Evanescence would be on there. Wouldn’t you agree? Rena’s bringing Wallace out of his shell and giving him comfort when he was alone? I know that one isn’t on the list, but it’s one NA book I highly recommend reading.

Games usually have prizes. Since I’m a huge fan of Carrie (as an author and as a friend), the winner will get a free e-copy of Strength! Woo-hoo! Start thinking of your favorite song/book combos and enter to win.

*In order to be eligible to win, you must sign up for the NA Readathon at Bookish Treasures. To sign up, you will link to a blog post, tweet, FB status, ect. All the details are at on Laura’s blog. 🙂

**Edited to add: This giveaway ends at midnight tonight EDT!

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Cover Reveal: Courage by Carrie Butler

How many of you have read Strength by Carrie Butler? I have and I loved it! I was able to read an ARC of Strength many moons ago. It was great because I added a new literary boyfriend to the list. (I’m pro-Cole! Woot!) It stinks because that added an even longer wait until I can read the next one! It’s getting closer though. Carrie has FINALLY released the cover for Courage, the second book in her Mark of Nexus series.

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Title: COURAGE
Series: Mark of Nexus – Book 2
Author: Carrie Butler
Category: New Adult (NA)
Genre: Paranormal Romance (PNR)
Release: October 15, 2013
Formats: E-Book & Paperback

Cover Credits:

Design: Carrie Butler

Photography: Subbotina Anna & Yuri Arcurs

 

Courage (Mark of Nexus #2) features four unique points-of-view. While the novel stands alone, it is best enjoyed after Strength (Mark of Nexus #1).

♥  ♥  ♥

Making a deal with the bad guys wasn’t the highlight of Rena Collins’ semester, but, hey, it saved her boyfriend. Now, in order to appease the human-altering organization known as ERA, she’ll crawl under their microscope while they study the Mark of Nexus and plot their eye-glazed version of the future—until she realizes that’s not all they’re plotting.

Wallace Blake has always known his girlfriend is unlike most girls. But now that information has surfaced regarding the two bloodlines that balance his supernatural race, he finally understands why. Rena belongs to one of them. She’s been augmenting his power, all along…

Enter: Corynn Catley. Brought into the country under the guise of an internship, she’s intended to become ERA’s secret weapon. Kind of. Her abilities cancel out Wallace’s, rendering him powerless, but that’s exactly what he’s always wanted. Too bad it only works when his girlfriend’s not around.

All the while, Rena fails to notice the crush her geeky best friend, Aiden Ross, is nursing. He’d give anything for her to see him in a new light—even reinvent himself through questionable means—but there’s a reason people are told to be careful what they wish for. Finding the courage to tell her could put everyone’s lives in danger.

Where to find Carrie:
WEBSITE  |  BLOG  |   TWITTER  |  FACEBOOK  |  GOODREADS  |  GOOGLE+  | NA ALLEY | PINTEREST 

Where to find Courage (Mark of Nexus #2):
BOOK PAGE  |  GOODREADS  |   BOOK TRAILER

 

Isn’t is amaze-balls? While it doesn’t have the eye candy Strength did, I know the fabulously ripped Wallace is just past the edge of the cover. And how bad-A does Rena look with her tat? Gotta say, I’m getting pretty exicted!! If you’re feeling the same way and you’re a book blogger, you can start requesting e-ARCs via this form

 

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