Monday, September 30, 2013

Felicia Tatum Author Interview

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I bring you our second UtopYA Con 2014 author, Ms. Felicia Tatum. Now, if you’ve followed the blog for a while, you’ll know I wrote a review of The White Aura not too long ago. Check it out here: Book Review - The White Aura
I hope you enjoy getting to know this author as much as I have. Grab a cup of java, sit back, and read on!

Jo: Hello, Felicia! Nice to have you with us today.
Felicia: Hi, Jo! Thanks so much for having me.

Jo: Let’s skip all the pleasantries and jump in with both feet, shall we? I’m gonna be frank, I Google every author I do an interview on, go read their blog, Twitter feed, and Facebook page, and try to dig up as much “stuff” as I can on them. I like to make ya’ll think and shake a bit in your proverbial boots. So, what I found when I plugged your name into Google was that you completely own the search. I had to go through seven pages before I found another Felicia Tatum (and there are about ten of them in the U.S.). How often do you Google yourself and how did you manage to boost your visibility so high?
Felicia: I’ve been doing it more recently because I’ve been having some issues with my books being pirated. I have no idea how my visibility is so high, but it’s awesome!

Jo: I see you started blogging in May of 2012. What led you to begin a blog and how did you decide what to post there?
Felicia: When I started writing, I thought “hey, a blog would be fun.” After talking to some other authors, I decided having interviews every Friday would be a good way to stay active. It’s evolved from there.

Jo: Have you done anything to drive more traffic to your blog? What are your daily stats?
Felicia: I joined Girls Heart Books as a host and that’s led to a lot more traffic. I get about 4,000 views a month. Daily changes so much it’s hard to give a direct answer.

Jo: I know the feeling. Blogs are such finicky things. I saw you made your first book, The White Aura, free forever. What drove you to make that decision and how has it helped in other areas?
Felicia: After attending UTopYA in June 2013 and hearing sooooo many amazing, successful author saying perma-free is a great way to gain readership, I decided to give it a go. Especially since the third book, Devlin’s Descendant, released this month.

Jo: That makes sense, actually. I wish I could do that with my first book of the Mystic series. Alas, I can’t. It will be $0.99 forever, I guess. Changing topic! I see you live in Tennessee (I lived in Dayton for over ten years *waves*). What do you love most about the state?
Felicia: How awesome!! I love the natural beauty everywhere I go...the Great Smoky Mountains are probably my favorite place. Ever.

Jo: Beautiful, yes. But the ticks up there are out of control. That’s one thing I don’t miss at all! Do you use any of the settings or imagery in your books?
Felicia: Tennessee is what I know, what I love, so yes, I use it for my books :)

Jo: Shoe lover? Tell me about your favorite pair. Do you have a photo of them?
Felicia: I can’t pick my favorite pair! Are you crazy? It’s like asking to pick my favorite child! (Which, I mean, I only have one...but still!) I don’t have a photo of my favorite...but I want these...badly.

Jo: Wow. Those are gorgeous! Here’s my favorite pair (yes, I own them). I love sparkles or ribbons. haha! Anywho… I noticed you re-released The White Aura. Tell me where you found your editor, Jeanie Creech, and about your relationship there.
Felicia: I found her from the amazing Ariana Browning, who recommended her when she was just starting out. Jeanie is absolutely amazing and I love her. She makes my books pretty and she loves them, too. It’s a great relationship. 

Jo: I adore my editors. Couldn’t imagine life without them. *Shout out to Crystal Lee and Tia Silverthorne Bach!* UtopYA Con 2014 should be an interesting event. The “Take Me to Your Reader” theme is awesome. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone face-to-face! Will you be sporting something with an alien theme, or do you have cool stuff like t-shirts you’re gonna wear with your name on them? In other words, how will we recognize you?
Felicia: I don’t have any alien’ll have to think of something. Good thing I have a while to figure it out, huh? What about this shirt? Only have it say “I want to read.”

Jo: That’s a rockin’ shirt! Maybe I’ll cook something up between now and then. How’s college treating you? Do you get pretty good grades? And, what’s your major?
Felicia: I’m in graduate school for my MBA and it’s not treating me well. I’m a bit stressed at the moment haha I enjoy learning and my business degree is really helping me with my writing business, so I try to apply my books to all the situations. I get decent grades...I’m passing!

Jo: Master’s Degrees are tough. The Best Boyfriend in the World got his MBA back in April of last year. He was stressed! Kudos to you for reaching for the stars! What’s your favorite thing to wear while writing and why?
Felicia: My pjs. Cause I’m lazy and like to be comfy.

Jo: Me too! I saw on one of your blog posts that you found some old stuff you’d written way back when you were younger. What was your first story like and do you remember how it made you feel when you finished it?
Felicia: It was ridiculous! lol It was about an English guy and he wanted this girl (aka me) and it was just Writing always made me feel complete when I was younger.

Jo: I know the feeling. My first story isn’t really one I’d ever like to read again. But only because it still scares the bejeebies outta me. Favorite color?
Felicia: Pink

Jo: Pink is good. Unless you’re a boy. Then you just get teased about it. Toilet paper – under the roll or over the roll? This question is regarding how you put the roll on the holder - if it spools from the top or the bottom.
Felicia:  Over

Jo: Using your writer know-how, tell the readers how the first scary movie you ever saw made you feel and the title.
Felicia: I don’t do scary...I watched Halloween, the old, old version, when I was a young teen and it haunted me. My mom and brother stood in the yard and stared in my window like Michael Myers so that was it for me. No more scary movies. I don’t sleep if I watch them! 

Jo: I wonder if that’s an author thing. I don’t watch them for the same reason! If there were such a thing as time-machines, tell me one thing you’d go back and change, and what effect you think it would have on everything that’s happened since then.
Felicia: I wouldn’t do this just because I have my daughter and I wouldn’t change that for anything...but I do wish I had majored in writing and kept with it after high school instead of worrying about a job that would make more money. Happiness is so much more important.

Jo: I agree. One last question! Tell us about the huge giveaway you’re having in December of this year.
Felicia: EEK! Megan Curd and I were just chatting away and she mentioned she wanted to do a Christmas giveaway. Well, I love holidays and think doing giveaways is soooo much more fun on them, so I told her I’d help. We asked the UTopYA authors if they’d be interested in donating and received a great response!! The 25 days of Giveaways starts December 1st, so keep a look out ;)

Jo: I’ll do that. I think Megan’s interview falls in that window of time so maybe she’ll shout it out! Well, that’s all the time we have for today. Any parting shots?
Felicia: Thank you, Jo!! Can’t wait to meet you next year! And if you read this, thank you! Come say hi on my Facebook or Twitter :)

I hope you all loved meeting author Felicia Tatum! She’ll be back next Monday with a guest post for you. I encourage you to come back again and say hi.

For her featured book this week, I give you The White Aura:

How do you live with the gut clenching truth that the one you love will die if you meet them? Twenty year old sorcerer Scott Tabors is learning how. After seeing seventeen year old Olivia Whitehead outside of a coffee shop, his heart will never be the same. He longs for her, he wants her, and he knows she will be his. They are heart mates. …but due to a curse on his family, he can’t meet her. Not yet.  So for now, he visits her in her dreams. Her dreams where he can tell her everything but his name.
Olivia Whitehead is a typical junior in high school. She and her best friend are having the time of their lives, but she can’t help but notice the changes happening to her.  Especially the changes in her heart after she begins dreaming about a mysterious dark haired young man. But what will happen when the school heartthrob decides he wants Olivia? Will she realize the dream man is real or will she move on? 

Find the book here (FREE):

Follow Felicia on social media!
Facebook: Felicia Tatum
Pinterest: FMTatum
Enter Felicia’s giveaway here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’m opening up the floor for questions. Ask away!
Well, that’s all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Book Review - Twisted by N.L. Greene

Happy Friday, good people of the blogosphere! It's time for another round of book reviews. I read a number of books at once so you'll tend to see them in clumps here on the blog. Today, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I'll be writing reviews for those I've finished. Monday is the special day you'll get to meet author Felicia Tatum, one of the ladies planning to attend UtopYA Con next year. Tickets for that event go on sale October 1st!

At the end of this post, I'll be sharing a giveaway by a wonderful Indie author, Tia Silverthorne Bach, and a giveaway that includes the book I'm reviewing today. So strap in, read on, and get ready to enter to win!

First, a little about the book on the chopping block today:
Title: Twisted
Author: N.L. Greene
Length: 248 Printed pages
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Price: $2.99 on Amazon

Description from Amazon:
Growing up isn’t always easy. But for most teenage girls, they can rely on their best friend to help them get through the process. A BFF is something that is truly treasured and completely irreplaceable. You share all of your secrets, and are loyal and honest with each other, even when you’re acting just a little bit crazy. You have each other’s backs no matter what and you form a bond that is virtually unbreakable.

At least that’s what normal teenage girls experience.

Nat and Mel have been bestie’s since childhood and Nat has followed her blindly ever since. But as Nat’s friendship with Mel begins to lead her down the wrong path, she starts to question the sincerity of their relationship. Nat starts to see Mel’s manipulative, deceitful ways become more focused on her. Will Natalie hold on tight to the friendship she’s had her entire life, no matter what it cost her? Or will she let her heart lead her to a relationship that’s not so twisted.

***Attention*** Book recommended for mature audiences! Contains underage drinking, smoking, drug use and some sexual content.

I'm gonna start off by saying I really like the cover on this book. One thing I'd like to see changed is the size of the title font. It's difficult to read when tiny. But the cover isn't what drew me in; it was the synopsis. I could totally relate. This book was brought to my attention when I liked the author's Facebook page, and I went to check it out and purchased it. *She has no idea this review is even being done* How much fun is that? I love surprises. Haha!

Enough of my rambling! On to the review.

From a reader's perspective:
I picked up a copy of this book on Amazon and it was well worth what I paid. I loved the characters in Twisted. They reminded me of people I knew growing up. Yes, even Melanie was someone I could picture in my head and recognized right away. I got so wrapped up in the story, I couldn't stop reading. I wanted to know where Natalie was going to end up and how she was going to be brought to the epiphany at the end. First person past tense was a clever way to tell this story, because it put me right in Nat's shoes. By the end, I needed a tissue. It's heartbreaking to read about someone going through what Nat does and not be able to give them advice or guide them in any way. That's when you know you've gotten hold of a great book! I cared about what happened to her.

From an editor's perspective:
This book is very well written. Emotions were strong and there was plenty of tension throughout. Characters were well developed. One thing it needs is a proofread. There were small errors throughout that a proofreader would catch that actually threw me out of the story a few times. But errors are expected in any book, even those traditionally published. So don't let the tiny ones in this book sway you from picking up a copy.

My Rating:
+1 Star for creating characters I loved
+1 Star for making me care
+1 Star for pulling my heartstrings
+1 Star for great storytelling
+.5 Star for editing
-.5 Star for need of a proofreader
Overall, 4.5 out of 5 stars! And you all know I round up, not down!

Now for the Rafflecopter giveaway widgets. With the first, you have a chance to win a copy of Chasing Memories (link goes to my review of that book) by Tia Silverthorne Bach and a really cool necklace! With the second, you have a chance to win a TON of really great books, gift cards, and swag!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck, everyone!

While you're here, don't forget to check out my special guest for the week, M.R. Polish. Next week I have author Felicia Tatum! She's running a giveaway for the duration of her stay so make sure you come on back for all that!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Great Books and Human Nature

Happy Thursday, good people of the blogosphere! What a crazy week it's been. I've managed to get into a couple of really awesome books lately and want to share those as well as talk about a series of posts I wrote last year on Human Nature. So grab your pens and notebooks and let's get going!

A library card is something I'm still in awe of having. Libraries give you the ability to, not only read, but take home a multitude of books you can learn from if you simply give them your name, number, and address. It stuns me every time I go in and see all those books for the consuming just sitting there on the shelves, waiting for me to pluck them out, take them home, and read the words on the pages. As a library hound, I've run across a couple of amazing books for bloggers and authors you guys might want to consider picking up yourselves.

If you go to your library and they don't have one of these books, you can request one and should have it within a week or two. How cool is that? Plus, it's all free!

So, here's the list:
  • Blogging for Creatives: How Designers, Artists, Crafters and Writers can blog to make contacts, win business and build success. by Robin Houghton

This book was helpful in giving advice on how to blog, make social networking contacts, and attract visitors. If you want to monetize your blog, there's advice in there about that, too. I skimmed over that part, because I refuse to run ads on my blog other than my own, but it has a lot of great information in it.
  • Wired for Story: The writer's guide to using brain science to hook readers from the very first sentence. by Lisa Cron

I'm about halfway through this book and I can already tell it's a winner. It really gets into why people read and what they want, rather than telling you how to craft a novel. You can check it out when I'm done with it. Haha!
  • I love the For Dummies series and picked this one up because it looked awesome: Writing Young Adult Fiction - for Dummies. by Deborah Halverson

I've only glanced through the contents, but I'm eager to get into it this weekend.

One thing I noticed as I was reading Wired for Story, is she talks a lot about Human Nature and how it plays a big part in how people get hooked on a tale. I thought it might be a good idea to give you a few links to those posts while you're here, so you have some supplemental materials if you decide to check out the book.

Human Nature Series:
The Love Affair
Holding a Grudge
Seeking Revenge
Situation Reaction
Thought Processes

If you take the time to flip through and read those posts, you'll have a good foundation on which to build as you read Wired.

Do you have a library card? How often do you visit?

Remember, today is the last day to pick up Mystic~Bronya for free over on Amazon so get on over there and grab a copy!

If you haven't entered to win a copy of Sixty Days of Grace, today's your last chance on that one, too! Here's the Rafflecopter entry form one more time:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure and check out the guest post from Monday by M.R. Polish! Next week, we'll have a new author and you don't wanna miss this one.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Announcing: the Twin Flames Trilogy by Danielle Bannister

Happy Hump-Day, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I bring you an awesome little tidbit about a series I think you'll all enjoy. Sit back and grab a read.

I wrote a review for Pulled, the first book in the trilogy, back in October, 2012. While I never posted it on the blog, you can check it out over on Goodreads here. Here's a snipped from the review:

"From a story perspective, Pulled was an excellent one. I am compelled to Google "twin flames" and see if it's actually a part of mythology. I took a mythology class but we never discussed that topic. I love books that introduce me to new things, and I adore stories that leave me room to fill in the blanks with my own imagination. The main characters were nicely fleshed out."

Without further ado, I give you the information for the whole trilogy! Click the headings for the book trailers!


   When college freshman Naya meets Etash, a terribly scarred sophomore, she finds herself inexplicably ‘pulled’ toward him.
   As Naya and Etash fight against the pull drawing them together, they discover that their connection is too strong to be denied. A connection deeper than either of them could fathom.
   Together they will learn that this is not the first time they have been ‘pulled’ together.
   Nor will it be their last.
   Get Pulled into a love story like no other.

Pulled Back

   Some believe that true love never dies.  Instead their love is simply, reborn. 
Jada is not one of those people. Used to being moved around by a father running
from his past by drowning his sorrows in booze, Jada learns that love is for fools.
   Until she meets Tobias and Hawk; childhood friends since birth. What will happen to their friendship when fate takes over?
   Two flames will reconnect while a third burns with rage.
   Will the reunited lovers burn bright? Or will their flames be smothered?
   Get Pulled Back into a love story that has been reborn.

Pulled Back Again

   What if the love of your life was taken from you?
   What would you be willing to risk to get her back?
   Jada and Tobias thought moving away from their former predatorial friend, Hawk, would keep them safe.     
   They were wrong.
   Join Twin Flames, Tobias and Jada, as they fight to keep their love burning bright.
   Get Pulled Back Again into a love story that has no end.

About the author:
Danielle Bannister is a work-from-home mom of two children, Tristan and Marina, living in a small coastal town in Maine with her husband Jason and bunny Floppinator. She has her BA in theatre, her Master’s in Literary Education, and has written two other novels, Pulled and Pulled Back as well as a collection of short stories entitled Short Shorts.
You can follow her writing struggles on her website
Find her on Facebook
Or Tweet her @getpulled

Time for the buy links!
Pulled: FREE on Amazon
FREE on iBooks 

Pulled Back: $2.99 On Amazon
$2.99 On iBooks

Pulled Back Again: $2.99 on Amazon
$2.99 on iBooks

I hope you all enjoyed reading this little blurb! Tomorrow, back to our regularly scheduled program. Don't forget, while you're here, head on over to the guest post for Monday written by M.R. Polish, one of the authors attending UtopYA Con 2014.

And pick up a copy of Mystic~Bronya while it's still FREE on Amazon!

What do you think about the Twin Flame trilogy?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mystic~Melody Official Release Day

Happy Tuesday, blogospherians! Today is the official release day for Melody, book four of the Mystic series. I have some goodies for you all today! Get your clickin' finger ready. I'm gonna start off by giving you the cover, synopsis, and an excerpt (something I never do). Then, we'll get to the fun stuff! Ready? Let's go!

Title: Mystic ~ Melody (book four)
Author: Jo Michaels
Genre: New Adult Paranormal
Length: 120 printed pages
Amazon (Kindle): $3.99
Paperback: $8.99

Melody Acworth sounds like an angel. If she's not careful, she'll become one soon. Enrolled in singing lessons at age seven, she took to the stage and began to get fan letters. Some were good, some were detrimental to her psyche.

When Melody sees magazines laden with beautiful girls, she begins to look at herself in the mirror and think she should look more like them. Her mind takes the cruel letters to a dark place and she stops eating altogether. Before long, she's in the clutches of death.

By the time Markaza, a mystic with purple hair and tattoos, shows up, Melody's on her last legs. It's either eat or die. Markaza works furiously to try and repair the mental damage done so she can get Melody to New York; where she must learn to use a power hidden deep within herself to save the world.

They're running out of time. As December 21, 2012 approaches at an alarming rate, Markaza's visions turn dark and foreboding. The creature grows stronger every day. Soon it will rise and destroy mankind unless all six women band together to fight it.

Melody must be saved or the world will be destroyed.

Now, an excerpt!


Markaza leaned forward and put a hand on Melody’s knee. “I’m sorry that happened. I can only imagine how crushed you must’ve been.”
“It was horrible. The look in her eyes scared me more than anything. I still don’t know why that watch shattered.”
“To teach her a lesson.” Markaza’s voice took on a vicious edge. “Tell me about the letter.”
Melody chewed her lip. “What letter?”
“Don’t play dumb. The one you mentioned earlier.”
They locked eyes, and Melody felt like the information was being pulled right out. With a shaky hand, she reached into her back pocket and produced the worn paper. As she passed it over, she realized she must’ve folded it back up and replaced it after her run automatically. She shook her head.
As Markaza read the words on the page, her face contorted and her nostrils flared. When she slapped it down on her knee and curled her fingers into claws, Melody thought the girl was about to punch something.
“Who sent this to you?”
“I don’t know. It isn’t signed and the envelope didn’t have a return address.”
Markaza’s eyes roamed up and down Melody’s body. “Is this the reason you’ve done that to yourself?”
Saying nothing, Melody turned her head and peered out the window. She felt her stomach tighten so hard it made her toes curl.
They rode the rest of the way in silence.
When they arrived, Melody ushered her new friend straight upstairs from the foyer. There was no way Mom could find out the girl was there. Mom would flip out, and there was no telling what Markaza would do; she looked dangerous.
Melody pushed through the door, closed it, and turned the lock. She figured she was eighteen and there was no reason she couldn’t lock her door. Besides, if all went well, she’d be gone soon anyway. No locked doors was a bullshit rule.
Markaza was standing stock-still, staring at something.
“What?” Melody asked.
“You have a poster of Lily Conyers on your wall.” Markaza gestured to the huge ad taking up half the wall by the bed.
“Yeah? So?”
“She works for WSTW now.”
Melody’s mouth dropped open and she squealed. “Really? Do you think I could meet her if I go to work for them? I just love her! She’s sooooo beautiful!”
“You know what? I think that’s a pretty good idea. But you’re gonna have to work really hard to get well if you ever want to meet Lily. She’s pretty popular, you know.” Markaza was grinning, but it didn’t look like a happy smile.
Wolfish was the only word Melody could think of to describe it. A shiver ran up her spine. “So, umm, what do I need to take with me?”
“Just what matters most; things that can’t be replaced at a store. Don’t worry about a lot of clothes or shoes,” Markaza answered.
Melody opened a small suitcase on the bed and began throwing things into it. Most of what she decided to take had sentimental value rather than monetary: an old pocket-sized photo album, some jewelry she’d gotten as gifts from special people, a few outfits, and two pair of shoes.
A shaking of the door handle followed by a knock reverberated through the room, and Melody froze mid-stride.
“Melody? You better unlock this damned door right now!” Debra’s voice floated through the room, and her daughter moved toward the door as though pulled by some invisible force.
Markaza stepped forward and blocked the path. “Tell her you’ll be down in a minute.”
“I can’t. She’ll be so pissed!” Melody whispered. After a moment of silence, she relented. “I’ll be down in a minute, Mom.”
“No. You’ll open the door this very instant!”
Heat filled Melody’s body as her voice rose. “No! I’m not a baby. You’re done treating me like one! I said I’ll be down in a minute, and that’s what I mean.” She was trembling from head to toe; but, somehow, Markaza’s presence was providing strength.
“I’m calling your father!”
Melody groaned and put her head in her hands. “Now I’ve done it.”
Markaza grabbed the girl’s trembling arms. “Stop it. She won’t hurt you with me here. Get your stuff and let’s go.”
Now, on to the fun stuff!
First, there's a giveaway for four printed, signed copies going on over at Goodreads. You can enter here:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Melody by Jo Michaels


by Jo Michaels

Giveaway ends October 01, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Here's an entry form for a Rafflecopter giveaway. I'm giving away two Kindle copies.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Both of these giveaways end on October 1, 2013.

But wait! There's more! More? How can there be more? Well, check this out:
Mystic~Bronya is FREE through Thursday over on Amazon. If you pick it up, please be kind and tweet about the freebie you grabbed or post it to Facebook.
Mystic~Lily has been REDUCED to $0.99!
Mystic~Shelia has been REDUCED to $2.99!

Mystic~Coralie will be releasing in the next month or so. If you click the name, it'll take you to an info page on my website where you can read all about it. ***HOT TIP*** You can also grab some great downloads from the FREEBIES page on my site. LOVE IT?

What are you waiting for? Get going and enter already! *happy dance*

While you're here, don't forget to check out the guest post from M.R. Polish that went live yesterday.

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!