Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Prom Anonymous by Blake Nelson

Teen Book Reviewer - NYIA is in the house!!!!

Amazon Blurb:
Laura, Jace, and Chloe were best friends growing up, but once high school hit, they grew apart and found new (very different) friends. Now theyre juniors, and Laura has decided that nothing would be better than to go to the prom with her two oldest friends. A flurry of planning ensues. Freaky Chloe doesnt have a date or a dress, and isnt sure she wants either–after all, the only thing freakier than Chloe is Chloe in a dress with a blind date. Laura is determined to find her an appropriate date. Jace the jock wants to go with the cute new tennis star, but has a difficult time asking him. And Laura is so caught up in planning the perfect evening that she ignores the fact that her relationship with her boyfriend, with whom she had had sex over a hundred times in their 14 months together, is falling apart. Of course, all works out in the end. This is a fun read with decently drawn characters, some serious issues, a fair amount of teenage drinking, and a satisfying ending.

Prom Anonymous was an adorable teen romance and I loved it. I thought that the author did a great job of capturing all the different prom stories and the point of view from the three main characters (Chloe, Laura, and Jace) in a clever way while still in third person. Laura story of a blind prom date was so cute! I loved how the mysterious Zach seemed like he would be a good match for her. I also loved the Jace and Paul romance because it had that whole are-the-friend-gonna-end-up-together thing going on. I also loved the Laura love triangle going on with her crappy boyfriend and the new guy. The only thing that I didn't like about the book is that sometimes the parts seemed slow, but with any great book there are sections where less drama takes place. Overall I give the book a 5 out of 5 because it was an enjoyable light read.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Book Promotions - My top 5

I spoke at the Baltimore Book Fest and I spoke about critique groups, beta readers and marketing.

I currently have many peers who have new books coming out within the next 9 months. And let me just say, I've done tons and tons of different things in the last 2 years to promote my books. You know ... get the word out.

Here are somethings I used that worked the best and that I saw the largest returns.

Oh my I tell you bloggers are the best source of encouragement, buzz builders, and help for getting your books talked about. I can't say enough about working with book bloggers. They're gems!

Let me tell you, now that I have been in the book business awhile, it would surprise you that many older publishers are just know starting to see the benefit of using social media to get the word out about their books. I just wish I would have jumped in the social media pool a lot sooner because it's a lot of fun. Some of the most powerfel ways to spread the word is Twitter, FB (maybe Google+ may give them a run for their $) and blogger to name a few.

This is a silent helper. The more book reviews you have, the more the internet book browser will purchase your book. Not to mention it shows how the word is getting out. Since many people have to read your book before someone actually post a review.

This is definately a must. Covers are very subjective because what I like, someone else may not like. But book covers is the first draw to getting someone interested in your book. And to change a cover can be costly to the small publisher in more ways than just the cost of a new artist to come up with a cover.

I've been able to get my book in bookstores and libraries by mailing a selected list a marketing plan, media kit and ARC. Then I have my marketing person follow up with a visit. It's garnered us sales.

Publishing the next book within 1 year.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Have U Changed Your BOOK Buying HABITS?

So, have you done it? Turned, simulated, and changed your book buying habits since the onset of ebooks and ereaders?

I was a library, bookstore groupie. I would hang out in the library for hours. And for me, that wasn't a lot. I lived in DC and would visit the Library of Congress and just... hang out and read. Being in that large, stately building of books, oh the smell... indescribable. But my first love was the neighborhood library where I used to walk to get...peace. Looking back on my life as a young person, I had a lot of drama, but I loved to dream and the city library let me do it.

Grew up, got out of college, had kids and ... would sneak off to the bookstore on my lunch break. I'd scoop up tons of books for my weekend all night reading sessions in bed. Then hooked my kids on my favorite hide out, the local library.

BUT now...
I'm an ebook addict. It happened. Not over night but gradually for me. I started buying ebooks when I would be stuck at work, at my desk and have to stay in for a 30 min lunch break. So I started to buy quick short stories to read on my computer at work while I ate. It got to the point where I was downloading 1 a day. After I got my ereader...well, the rest is history. I have bookshelves filled with googobs of books, but mostly for my kids who don't have ereaders. But even my 8 yr old said he wanted one and I've ordered books for him and my 10yr old who fight over my reader. Not to mention my teen who wants her own this Christmas.

THE Future...
It's happening. With the closing of our local bookstore, buying more books online at book festivals or downloading onto an ereader is a much easier option.

From a Author/Publisher Perspective...
More and more of my MG are staring to sell in ebooks, although the lionshare of the sales are in paperback. My YA's started off selling more in paperback, until I put them in ebook and they are selling far better than my paperback books. Which is great for the publishing company since we don't have to print so many initial runs of books. And the cost for producing ebooks is much cheaper.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Contagion Movie Review

When Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to Minnesota from a Hong Kong business trip, she attributes the malaise she feels to jet lag. However, two days later, Beth is dead, and doctors tell her shocked husband (Matt Damon) that they have no idea what killed her. Soon, many others start to exhibit the same symptoms, and a global pandemic explodes. Doctors try to contain the lethal microbe, but society begins to collapse as a blogger (Jude Law) fans the flames of paranoia.

I wanted to go see this. The movie OUTBREAK and 28 DAYS stuck out as some of my favs and I thought this would be another one of those bio-horror movies that would keep me on the edge of my seat in a suspense frozen state. Well, let me just say that the best actress was played by Gwyneth Paltrow - her dying scene was amazing. But the rest of this movie left me bored and frustrated while I was waiting for that big, big something to happen. This one, I won't live down for awhile, since I dragged my husband to see this instead of THE DEBT which looks really good I could kick myself. I gave this 1.5 out of 5 seizures.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Get Ready for Writing Nanowrimo!!

Anyone Can do it and when you prepare - the results are awesome!

Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) from November 1st-30th. It’s the writing frenzy where you kick out a large number of words to hopefully finish a novel in record time. Many people start the challenge and end up with a sizeable number of pages by the end. Some are inspired to start writing for the first time. Others are inspired to finish something for the first time. Some, like me, find that writing at breakneck speed produces a lower quality of work that doesn’t reflect what is normally produced when writing within your own timing. Truth is, my natural timing is four months from start to finish. I tried to increase my speed and did it without much trouble. It increased by 3 weeks, and for me, that cooking time for a novel fits just right.

There are ways to make speed writing more effective. The overall goal, is to produce more in a shorter period of time. If you keep this up, who knows, speed writing may become a habit.

Prepare for it

When you set out to write a novel in a short period of time, outlining is your friend. Take a week to write a detailed outline of the story. It will help to work out most of the kinks before you even sit down to write. Create character profiles of the main characters and review outline before the start of your writing marathon.

Plan it

If you are going to focus on spitting out as many words as possible a day, then plan it. Block out your writing time for the month. Figure out when you are most productive. Is it in the morning, at night or midday? Make a rule – no sleep unless you have kicked out a minimum of a certain amount of words. Make sure you schedule extra time for working out of corners or temporary writer’s blocks. Make your schedule somewhat flexible so that you don’t get burned out and give up.

Write it

With a printout of your outline next to you and a bullet list of your character profile – start the race. Follow your outline. If you want to go rogue, go ahead, write until the roadblock. If you reach a road block – write anything, take some time off to think on it, then re-work your outline and get back to it. Also, if you took out writing time to think, add more blocks of writing time to make up your word count later. Whatever you do – don’t stop writing. Remember, you will always have to edit it.

Don’t look back

Whatever you do, don’t read over what you’ve written until you are finished. That is an easy way to get distracted. Remember, you’ll have to edit the thing many times before your piece of art is perfected. Just write forward, don’t make corrections, don’t read over it, just push forward and write.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Cover Tease - Explorer X - Beta

Well one of the best part of being an author is seeing an artist capture your characters and the world you've built on the cover.

This is my Middle Grade Series for ages 12yrs +

Although Explorer X-Beta comes out next Spring I just have to show you the cover :-D

Oh, and check out My Artist - Alicia 'Kat' Dilman's amazing site - click

Here's the First Book of the series:

I can't believe it's been 10 yrs from 9/11

You know I've always been a pretty resilient person.It could be because I grew up with a lot of drama that shaped me into this ... survivor. I don't know.

But what I do know is, on 9/11 I was in my office when someone yelled out, "Check out the TV." I went into the conference room with my fellow co workers, and my jaw dropped at the news.

Now I worked in DC at the time, in a place that could very well be hit next and we all looked around and bolted.

I grabbed my purse, and jetted to my car where I called my husband who was at home with my kids. Many of my family members worked at the Pentagon and the White House, not to mention one of my best friends worked at the World Trade Center. I called her on my way home and she'd called in sick that day and was in literal shock while we spoke on the phone.


And at this one time in my life, with all the other hurdles, challenges, stumbling blocks...this time will be remembered a bit more than most. Maybe because it was one thing that I didn't have to experience alone. It was something that I experienced with millions of people and we all......SURVIVED, GOT STRONGER, and learned that we are truly gifted to be able to take one more breath.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I'm a Guest Author at Soundry's Kindle Book Party!

I've been invited to a Kindle Reading Party!!!

Kindle Party!
Thurs. Sept 8th 7-11pm
Hello sexy, modern readers ,

Are you always looking for a good download for your ereader? This party is for you! Bring your ereader–it doesn’t have to be a Kindle. Ipads, Nooks, etc are all welcome to the party!

Kindle Parties feature indie novelists reading from their digitally published books. Questions and comments follow each author’s reading both in the studio and online via our live chat and video stream on The Kindle Party Channel on

If you like what you hear, you can download on the spot! Zippity Zappity!

This is a party with a purpose! We want readers to discover new writers and help indie authors build their fan base by combining grassroots and viral marketing.

We will also be talking about social media outlets for book lovers and writers.

We have also invited indie publishers and book stores to the party! Have a book you want to publish? You should definitely come to this party!

Don’t have an ereader? Curious? Come and find out why you might want one.

Cost: $5 at the door

Meet this month’s Kindle Party authors!
Richard Gazala: Author of Blood of the Moon

Joseph Barbaccia: Author of The Eight Currents

LM Preston: Young adult sci-fi author. LM Preston is the author of Explorer X-Alpha, The Pack and Bandits

Larry Buttram: Author of False Witness, Honor Thy Sister, The Third Generation and A Curtain Torn

Raymond Rose: Owner of Christopher William Books, an epublisher and author of The Fire Inside and Better Together

John Meagher: Author of Tales of the Left Hand

L.B. Gschwandtner: Founder of and author of The Naked Gardner, Foxy’s Tale and Page Truly and the Journey to Nearandfar

Karen Cantwell: Author of the Barbara Marr Murder Mystery Series including her newest novel, Silenced by the Yams.

Kate Nevermore: Author of Blood for the Living

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Well I’ve done it. I co-authored a book! It had some really great highs and some frustrating lows, but it was a great collaboration and pushed me in areas I never traveled before. After cleaning up our storage area in my basement, I ran across a short story my husband wrote for his English class back in college. Although the story was told from an adult prospective, I salivated at creating a teen character under the same premise as his short story.

I asked him if I could write a story using the basis and plot of his short story. He was elated that I wanted to. He wanted me to totally control the writing of it, but gave me key elements of the world building, characters and background of the story he wrote.

I came up with my draft outline of three books that would complete the series and the world building, character details and plot progression.

We chopped it up together and then I started to write. It took me 4 months to write this one – mostly because it took awhile for the story to flush out in my mind since the core plot wasn’t originally mine. However, *wink* once I owned it, I made major changes and fine tuned the plot to the point where he told me after he read the first draft, that I blew his mind with my changes :-D


It brings the best and the worst out of you. It allows you to explorer depths and ideas that you never considered before. You will have an in your face support system and motivator trying to achieve the same thing you are.


Make sure you like them.
You and your co-author should be able to easily communicate, not hold grudges and should like spending lots of time together. If you can’t do any of the above it may become a stressful partnership.

Come up with a Cohesive Idea.
Decide who does what, the main plot and how you will develop it and rules for engagement.

Outline that puppy together.
Building an outline with a clearly defined plot allows each co-author to stay on track. It is also a good way to flush out ideas.

Show me the Split.
Agree on how the split is made for the success of the project. Best case the split is 50/50 but early on is the time for making the decision on what is fair for specific effort.

No Big Heads allowed.
Be courteous and respectful with reviewing each others contribution.

Friday, September 2, 2011


*** SEPTEMBER 2 – 5 ONLY ***
The first ever INDIE BOOK BLOWOUT – To celebrate this exciting event, I’ve reduced the price on my book to only 99¢!

Yes, it’s a weekend to remember!
To score dozens of FANTASTIC indie books for only 99¢, visit While you’re there, register to win a brand new Kindle & up to $100 in Gift Cards (entry form on the site).

BUY MY BOOK HERE: [Click Here]


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Famished by Lauren Hammond

Hello ya'll! Teen book Reviewer NYIA is in the house!

Can I hear you snapping your fingers to welcome her? She's here to give us the 411 on a new book she read by Lauren Hammond.


There is no United States. There is no world. An asteroid has destroyed what the human race knew as earth and The Great Famine has wiped out most of the surviving human population. For the few remaining survivors, food is scarce-- precious--a luxury. A luxury that most humans can’t find.

Seventeen year old Georgina Carver is fortunate. She’s survived the destruction. She eats three times a day while the rest of humanity is plagued by The Great Famine. And she’s safe, hidden away in an underground colony with her family and several other families of survivors.

All of that changes the day she’s randomly selected to be a gatherer. Georgina must leave her safe yet simple world and venture out into a world unknown. A vast, dangerous, destroyed world that could literally eat her alive.

After Georgina is severely injured, her life begins to fall apart. She can’t remember how she got home or what happened to her while she was on the new earth. The boy she is crushing on avoids her and she keeps having visions that involve an unknown person with violet eyes.

As Georgina begins to unravel the truth, it doesn’t take her long to figure out that maybe her safe yet simple life isn’t that safe at all.


This is a good dystopian. The main character lives underground in a post apocalypse. Her dad built an underground home for her family. The mean adults sent kids out to scavenge for food with a boy that was her non-crush that she fights against liking. So while they were gathering stuff the boy left her in danger. I like that she still continued with her job even though her partner left her. Then it gets even more dangerous when cannibals were chasing them! Her mom came to the rescue which I liked. But things didn't get better for her after that, she snooped around and walked into another mess that told about the deceit of her people. And I can't give it away for you, but it was a great twist. I gave it 4 out of 5 half-eaten apples. I love the excitement and twist. My only frustration was with the ending, I wanted more. I understand there is supposed to be another book, but I wanted more closure. But I loved the main character and the way she pulled me into the story.

BUY THIS BABY FOR JUST $1.50 in ebook!!! Click Here