Friday, January 30, 2015

Book Junkie: Not-So-Anonymous and Kim Holden Q&A - utopYA Con 2015

Happy Friday! Wow, it's the weekend already. How awesome is that? Following along with my usual Friday meme from now on, I'm bringing you all a snippet and link to the official utopYA Con post of the week. This time, it's from Ashley Bodette over at Book Junkie: Not-So-Anonymous. Let's get going!

From Book Junkie:

I am so excited for this year's keynote speakers for #utopYA2015!  Not only will we get to hear their amazing keynote addresses, but each of the keynote speakers will also be answering 10 questions in a blog post interview on utopYA's webpage! 

And I'm super excited to let you all know that EIGHT of those ten questions will come from readers like YOU!  This week, I am accepting questions for Kim Holden here on my blog.  That means you have eight chances...

See the rest here!

If you missed the other posts from the official bloggers, check them out:

Jo Michaels Blog - Marissa Meyer Interview
A Book Vacation - Heather Hildenbrand Guest Post
Paisley Reader - Denise Grover Swank and Lauren Miller Q&A

Now quit staring at your screen and get going to ask those questions!

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


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Submission to Publishers? A List of Eleven

Happy Thursday, everyone! I know how difficult it is sometimes to take the leap to traditional publishing and/or finding that perfect agent. Many of the folks I know are Indie and love it. They wouldn't change a thing. However, if you're interested in finding a publisher, here are ten that are taking submissions now (and aren't Author Solutions). As always, remember to read over ANY contract offered to you. When in doubt, CONSULT AN ATTORNEY. With those things in the back of your mind, let's get to the list!

I'm not putting my stamp of approval on any of these publishers because I don't know them from a hole in the ground. This is only meant to be a list for your perusal. As always, keep your babies (books) safe from predators.

You do NOT need an agent to submit to these houses right now.

Winter Solstice - Solstice Publishing
They're taking New Adult (and all sub-genres) submissions.
See the guidelines here.

Ichthus Publications
They want Christian fiction only.
Guidelines (their website) here.

Harper Collins Christian
Theology, biblical studies, and so forth.
See the whole list here.

Another seeking Christian fiction, biblical studies, and children's bible stories.
Check it out here.

Tinder Press
Fiction. Seems like all genres. Must not be published.
Guidelines can be found here.

Forest Avenue Press
Looking to publish two literary fiction novels (no short story collections).
Submit by following these guidelines.

JMS Books
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, all of that (LGBT). These fiction genres: romance, YA (must be over 10k words), erotica, erotic romance.
See their guidelines here.

Leap Books
They want novellas for their SHINE line! Commercial YA with romantic elements.
Guidelines are here.

Trade business novels with high commercial appeal. Yeah, that means non-fiction.
Submit using guides here.

Vinspire Publishing
Ethnic Romance, Historical Romance, Amish Romance, Romantic Suspense. That's the whole list.
See their guide for submission here.

Sinful Press
You have very limited time here. Erotic novels 60-100k words in length.
Check it out here.

There you have it! If you're gonna take the leap, good luck!

Do any of these appeal to you? Are you planning to submit? Tell me about it.

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


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Book Review - 8 Weeks

Wow. Happy Wednesday, everyone! Here we are again with another book review. I know you're all super excited to hear about this one. Let me tell you, it was one heck of a story. I'll also be posting the link to the review on the Time 4 Books 2015 Review Team page. If you haven't seen that, you gotta check it out. So many awesome books on there already. We're certainly paying it forward for the Indie author community. If you'd like to do your part, pop on over to the signup page and join us. No rules, just reading! It's so much fun! Anyway, let's get to the information about the book up for review today. Grab a cup of coffee and read on.

Title: 8 Weeks (Time for Love #1)
Author: Bethany Lopez
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length (print):
Buy Links: Amazon Kindle (on sale) $0.99

Is eight weeks enough time to earn back the love of someone you've betrayed...the only one you've ever loved?

Shelly has been in love with Cal since they started dating in eleventh grade. Despite everyone saying that the odds were against them, they got married after graduation and built a life together. Now, six years later, she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. Devastated, her first instinct is to call it quits…

After a drunken binge at his best friends’ bachelor party, Cal betrays the one person who has always been there for him, his wife, Shelly. Terrified and realizing she might divorce him, Cal must come up with a way to prove to her that his love is true…

Cal asks Shelly for eight weeks. Eight weeks to convince her that their marriage is worth the fight. Will Shelly be able to trust him again, or will their marriage end the way many others do when faced with opposition… In divorce?

This story is meant for readers 18 and older. 

***WILL NOT APPEAR IN REVIEW ELSEWHERE.  I think the cover tones/imagery/typeface all fit the genre and storyline on the pages. It's emotional. There's branding of a series at its finest going on here, too. I love how all the covers match. Makes for an easy recognition across books.***

Let's get to the yum.

I grabbed a sample of 8 Weeks during my 12 Days of Review Requests event when the author pitched the novel to me. I was captivated from page one. It grabbed my emotional side and refused to let me go. I could see the turmoil coming, knew how it would transpire, and still cried. Needless to say, I had to have the rest of the story. I bought it and dove right back in. Anyway, let's get going on the story part and why I rated it the way I did.

From a Reader's Perspective:
I know people like the main characters so I felt every moment of their stress. A group of people who've been friends forever, who suddenly have a spike wedged through their relationships. Yeah, some of them are a bit cliche, but those stereotypes exist for a reason (because they're real people). It's tough when you're in a group of people and two of them have a falling out. Who do you side with? How do you get over it? Betrayal of one is like a betrayal to all. But, at the center is the conflict between Cal and Shelly. I have to say, I loved them both so much. Yes, Shelly has her moments of childishness. But, she married the only boy she ever slept with, and I condone her for demanding she be treated with the highest level of respect. I think I might have thrown more than one fit in her situation. I give her props for even trying to save her marriage. Cal is so sweet and in love with his wife. I don't see many guys putting forth the kind of effort he did. Plot was great, and the author treated the incident in Vegas exactly as she should have. I won't tell you more, I'll just say the situation was handled precisely as it should've been to show the connection between the couple at the highest level. Pacing was also spot on. You get two POVs: Cal and Shelly. While I understand why the author did it, I think an unreliable narrator is fun sometimes--leaves the reader wondering. But not anything to ding the rating for.

Even though this is a book in a series, it's also a standalone.

From an Editor's Perspective:
"This hurts more then I remember..." Should be: "than" I remember. Usually, they guys were hounding... Should be: "the" guys. There were a few of those kinds of errors, but nothing that kept me up at night, wondering about who the editor could've been and why those were missed. Overall, well written and edited.

1 Star for giving me great characters all around
1 Star for making the story believable
1 Star for pacing
1 Star for a heart-twisting plot
1 Star for editing
Overall, 5 out of 5 stars! Recommended if you enjoy books with emotion, a super tense central conflict people will either love or hate, and cool characters with verve.

As I always do when I come upon a five star read, I'm giving a couple of copies away! Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

What do you think? Gonna check it out?

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


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Collaborating on Google Drive

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! I promised you this post last week and ended up not doing anything at all. Eeeeew. What can I say? I have my off days, too! *grin* But, as promised, it's a Tuesday and you're getting all the deets. Now, I'm not going into all the things Google Drive can do, because that's a vast amount of information, but I'll explain how it can be used to co-edit a document and a cool feature that's available once you're on the inside. Ready? Cool. Grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

Once you click on the drive icon from Gmail, you'll see something like this:

You'll want to click the New button (in red) on the top, left-hand side for this exercise. Here:

Now, you'll have a choice to make. Please choose Google Docs like this:

Drive will magically take you here:

Click on the words Untitled Document in the top left:

Type in the name of your new doc in the popup box:

I'm not going into all the menu options today, that's a whole other blog post. But, as you can see, you have a ton of ways to format your document (and it auto-saves your progress):

Now, you need to look on the top right and find the share button:

Once you click it, you get a popup like this:

Start typing a name. If you have them in your Google address book, you'll get a dropdown:

Choose one. Click on the dropdown on the right that says Can edit:

These are the options you get:

Be sure Can edit is chosen (it's the default, but...). Now, you've chosen your collaborator, so let's go look at advanced options. Click the button:

You'll see a screen like this:

Pretty self-explanatory, no? Make your choices and send it on. I'm inviting the awesome Casey L. Bond to join us for this tutorial.

Here's where the magic happens! Once your collaborators access the document, they'll have a little icon (based on their Google Drive photo) in the top right, next to your name (Casey's is the cover of her novel, Reap, mine would be my logo):

As they type, their name shows next to the text (this works for each person typing):

They can change options just like you can:

Now, see the little icon next to Casey's?

Click it and select launch chat. This pops up:

It gives you a way to discuss what's being typed in the document as others are editing it without making changes. How cool is that?

Add to the coolness, this document is automatically saved in the main menu of your Drive. You can pop it into a folder, or leave it with all the other stuff you have stored there. The sky's the limit!

I hope this little walkthrough taught you something you didn't know. The power of Google Drive is awesome, and I hope to hear about you guys using it in the future!

Did you learn something? Ever used that feature before? Tell me about it!

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


Monday, January 26, 2015

Author Interview - Rachael Brownell

Happy, happy Monday, everyone! Today I have another unofficial utopYA Con 2015 author interview for you. This time, we're meeting author Rachael Brownell. I think you'll love this little lady! She's got a lot going on, and has a ton of cool information for you. If you're new to the blog and wondering what utopYA Con is, click here to find out and get your tickets at the early-bird price! You only have a couple weeks left. Don't be the sad girl (or guy) left out in the cold! Okay, I'll shut up and get to the interview now. Grab a cup of coffee and let's get going!

Jo: Hiya, Rachael! Welcome to the blog. So good to have you here! Any friend of Casey L. Bond is a friend of mine. I hope you’re ready for all the junk I managed to dig up. Got your fingers ready and your nerves steeled? *grin*

Rachael: Thanks so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here!

Jo: You say that now... *wags eyebrows* So, I know you’re an author who writes for the love of the craft and the readers. Tell me, at what point did you decide not to go with the traditional publisher that picked up the first two books in the Holding On series? Do you look back and wish you had?

Rachael: Actually I have never looked back since leaving my publisher. There was so much that I didn’t agree with and had no control over that I will never go back unless I have more control.

Jo: I hear that from a lot of authors. Excitement that fades to black after just a few weeks or months. I may go digging around on that topic. *grin* Okay, I have to ask you if you still have a snip of something you wrote in high school. Would you share it with us? If not, tell me what writing did for you (on a personal level) back then.

Rachael: Writing was my outlet back then. I would love to share a snippet of that with everyone but the only thing left I’ve already shared. Holding On is the product of the one very long, not so great, book that I wrote when I was 17. I put my heart and soul into that book to make it what it is today.

Jo: I understand. I lost most of my early writings, too. So, what made you decide to change your book covers for the Holding On series? How many options did you go through?

Rachael: I wasn’t considering changing the cover, really. I liked the covers that I had but I was browsing Marisa’s website after looking at one of her posts and fell in love with a pre-made set that she had. It just felt right. I knew the second I saw them that I wanted them to represent the series. The rest is history.

Jo: Well, they certainly are beautiful. During my stalking research, I found another author with your name. Are you ever confused with that Rachael Brownell? Has it ever made for a super awkward situation?

Rachael: Ummm... yeah. About her. Let me just say for the record that I don’t know her, I’m not related to her and no, I didn’t write a book about getting sober. When I realized that someone else was already published under my real name, spelled the same and everything, I contemplated using a pen name but decided against it.

Jo: I can't imagine the comments. *face/palm* Time for rapid fire questions! Yellow or blue?

Rachael: blue

Jo: Niiiiice! Over the roll or under the roll (this is referring to the way the toilet paper comes off the roll on the holder)?

Rachael: under

Jo: B.J. Sheldon, did you hear that? *giggles* Fantasy or fact?

Rachael: fantasy

Jo: Great answer! Not that I expected anything less. Now I get to ask a cool question! *grin* Since the theme of utopYA Con 2015 is time travel, I’m going bananas with these little inserts. In the future, how many books do you think you’ll have published total, and what kind of impact do you see your stories having on the world?

Rachael: I hope to have at least 3 more out this year. The rest is yet to be determined. I try not to look too far into the future, I don’t want to let myself or anyone else down. As far as an impact on readers, if I am able to make one person love one of my books, one of my characters, or just one cover, it will all be worth it.

Jo: Well, one baby step at a time! *grin* I know you’re embroiled in a super-secret project with author Casey L. Bond—and it’s super-duper secret—but would you share a tiny tidbit (like a genre) with my readers? What made you two decide to write together?

Rachael: We’ve been talking about writing something together for a while. We’ve only shared a few fun facts with our street teams so I’ll share those with all of you as well…
  1. It's a serial series.
  2. It's dark, twisted and unlike anything we've ever written as individuals.
  3. It's very unique--in a good way!
  4. Here's the tag line of book one: HE'S NEVER LOST A GAME...

Jo: Eep! Sounds like it'll be amazing. I can't wait to read it! Do you see your writing career as something you’d like to eventually do full time, or do you think you’ll always be an off-time keybanger? Why/why not?

Rachael: I would love to do this all day every day but I also have a passion for my day job that will probably always keep me from giving it up.

Jo: Isn't it nice to love what you do? A huge thumbs-up for you, lady! Is there anything I didn’t ask that you wish I had? Any little secrets hiding in your repertoire you’d like to share? *grin*

Rachael: If I gave away all my secrets there would be no mystery :)

Jo: True! Thought I had you for a second there. LOL! *wiggles brows* Sadly, that’s all the time I have for today. Thanks so much for being an awesome guest, Rachael! I’m looking forward to meeting you at utopYA in June!

Now, it’s time to tell you all about the featured book of the week!

Title: Holding On
Author: Rachael Brownell
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Length (print): 235 Pages
Buy links: Amazon Kindle FREE  ~  Kobo FREE  ~  iBooks FREE  ~  B&N FREE

For five years Becca has been struggling to hide her feelings for her best friend, Brad. Now she finally has a chance to move on. She’s in a new city, she’s attending a new school, and she’s met the first guy besides Brad who’s held her attention in a long time. Not only is Ethan attractive, he’s an amazing tennis player, and he might just be Becca’s match on and off the courts.

Brad has loved Becca for as long as he can remember. Now that Becca’s family has moved two thousand miles away, Brad may finally be ready to lay his heart on the line and do whatever it takes to hold on to Becca.

But is Brad too late? Or will Ethan’s secret drive Becca back into Brad’s arms? Torn between her love for Brad and the promise of something new and exciting with Ethan, Becca has an almost impossible choice to make, the choice between letting go or holding on.

While your fingers are in the clicking mode, why not give this lovely lady a follow on every social media platform I could think of when writing up the template for these interviews (plus some)?

FacebookAuthor Rachael Brownell
Twitter: @HoldingOn2013
Goodreads: Rachael Brownell
Website: Author Rachael Brownell
Amazon Author Page: Rachael Brownell on Amazon

Rachael has honored us with a giveaway! Get your clickin' fingers goin!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have any questions, pop them into the comments below. Rachael will be around to answer and/or respond!

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


Friday, January 23, 2015

Paisley Reader, Lauren Miller, and Denise Grover Swank - utopYA Con 2015

Happy Friday, good people of the blogosphere! This week, over on The Paisley Reader, there's a huge opportunity for you. I'll give you a snippet of Maria's (she's the blog owner) post and give you a link so you can go check it out. Without further ado...

From The Paisley Reader:

Now back to this fantastic opportunity.

Each of these amazing authors, in addition to their keynote addresses, will be answering 10 questions in a blog post interview on utopYA’s webpage.

Guess what? Eight of these questions in each interview will come from you! That’s right, EIGHT! This is your opportunity to ask your burning questions of these authors.

This week, I am accepting questions for Denise Grover Swank and Lauren Miller. That means you have sixteen...

Yeah, you're dying to know more, huh? Well, get on over to this post and check it out!

Week one was an interview I did with Marissa Meyer. If you didn't catch that, you should certainly do so. It can be found at this link.

If you missed the post from A Book Vacation where Shana had the awesomesauce that's Heather Hildenbrand bring you a guest post, be sure and pay the post a visit here.

Next week, Ashley (Book Junkie: Not so Anonymous) will give you the chance to ask Kim Holden a question or two.

How exciting is this?

What are you waiting for? Get over to Maria's blog and get those questions rolling!

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


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book Review - Moonlight

Happy Thursday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I have another book review for you from my 12 Days of Review Requests event. Lots of great books were pitched, around twenty were chosen for review. If you haven't joined the 2015 Review Team, do that here. Just grab the image from the page, create a blog post on your blog saying you're joining us, come on back and add your link to the linky thing at the bottom of the page. If you wanna check out the reviews, you can do that here. So far, the team has reviewed twenty-three books! Not bad for only being twenty-two days into January. Indies are totally winning! So, before I get to the book for today, I'm gonna share my TBR from the event (as usual). Grab a cup of coffee, get comfy, and let's go!

The Release Club 1 - Misty Provencher - REVIEW HERE
Dry Stories - Kate Baggot - REVIEW HERE
Moonlight - David Rose - REVIEW BELOW

Bound by Duty - Stormy Smith - Amazon Kindle $2.99
Shadows on Snow (A Flipped Fairy Tale) - Starla Hutchon - Amazon Kindle $2.99
From the Wreckage - Michelle G. Miller - Amazon Kindle FREE
8 Weeks - Bethany Lopez - Amazon Kindle $3.99
The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge - Christine Nolfi - Amazon Kindle $0.99
Facade: A Vampire Love Story - R. M. Webb - Amazon Kindle $0.99
Siren - Jennifer Melzer - Amazon Kindle $3.99
Queen of Someday - Sherry Ficklin - Amazon Kindle $5.99
Fragile Creatures - Kristina Circelli - Amazon Kindle $2.99
At One's Beast - Rachel Barnard - Amazon Kindle $2.99
Unseen - Stephanie Erickson - Amazon Kindle $2.99
The Heart Thief - S. Lee Benedict - Amazon Kindle $4.99
Refuge - Violet Haze - Amazon Kindle $0.99
Kindling Flames-Gathering Tinder - Julie Wetzel - Amazon Kindle FREE
Kinetic: Book One of the Kinetic Trilogy - C. M. Zimmer - Amazon Kindle $2.99
Destiny Finds Her - Miranda Lynn - Amazon Kindle $2.99
To Get Me to You - Kait Nolan - Amazon Kindle $2.99
The Lady of Souls - Jenn Gott - Amazon Kindle $4.99
Sticks and Stones - Shawn McGuire - Amazon Kindle $0.99
Good Luck With That Thing You're Doing: One Woman's Adventures in Dating, Plumbing and Other Full Contact Sports - Karen Yankosky - Amazon Kindle $2.99
Desprite Measures-The Caledonian Sprite - Deborah Jay - Amazon Kindle $2.99
The Last Guardian Rises - Rebecca Trogner - Amazon Kindle $0.99 

Now, some information on the book up for review:

Title: Moonlight
Author: David Rose
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
Length (print): About 57 pages
Buy Links: Amazon Kindle $1.69

Moonlight is a fantasy romance set in modern Japan. Two young teenagers, Tadao and Yuzuki, pledge their love in the face of imminent separation. Can they honour their promise to meet again as adults? Can they overcome an impossible challenge to achieve happiness together? The story includes elements of tragedy and magic, and Yuzuki's little cat, Miss Moonbeam, holds the key.

***Will not appear in review elsewhere. I think the cover of this book is a perfect target for the audience it's intended for and the genre in which it's written. It feels very anime-ish (great for the setting of Japan), and the content is right in line. I'd like to see the author's name a little larger, but that's a minor nitpick.***

I grabbed a sample of this book when the author pitched it to me for review and was totally frustrated when I got to the last page and there was no more story. That's always the way I get hooked on a read, and Rose did a great job of setting the stage for a heart-wrenching story to unfold. I had to have the rest of the tale! Off to Amazon I went to one-click. But let's get to what matters.

From a Reader's Perspective:
Because I'm not familiar with Japanese nomenclature, it was a bit difficult to follow the story in the beginning with the changing of names (it coincided with the changing of relationships in the children's heads). Once I got used to that, it was a much easier story to get into the groove with. And did I ever get into the groove. There were tissue needing moments, moments that make you move to the edge of your chair and cross your fingers, and moments where I hoped it wouldn't end the way I thought it might. To tell you any more would be to ruin the story. Character development was well done for such a short read, and I became completely invested in the outcome. There wasn't much in the way of scene/world building, but I appreciated that Rose left so much of it to my imagination and focused on what was important (the relationship building). This left me adoring the cat as much as I did the children. Plot and pacing were excellent, and I read the book in a couple of hours.

From an Editor's Perspective:
It needs a proofreader's touch to clean up punctuation here and there (dialogue tags vs action tags were the worst of it), but otherwise I didn't highlight much.

1 Star for making me cry
1 Star for character building
1 Star for letting me identify and bond with the characters (even the dang cat)
1 Star for plot and pacing
.75 Star for editing
-.25 Star for punctuation usage
Overall, 4.75 out of 5 stars! I round up, so this book gets 5 starry stars. Recommended if you enjoy a romance built over time where the characters go through more than just doe-eyed love star strikes.

What do you think? Do you like short stories? What's the best one you've read?

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


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Indie-Visible PubHub Launches


Hey writers!

Did you know you can visit Indie-Visible's PubHub to build your own publishing team?

Indie-Visible is giving extra focus to the PubHub side of things and want to give a big shout out to our AWESOME TEAM OF FREELANCERS.

Indie authors can use this list of highly recommended professionals to "Build Their Publishing Team" and gain assistance in all phases of the publishing process. Propel your next book to the heights of success with expert content editing, copy editing, proofreading, cover art, formatting, interior design, and marketing. PubHub has it ALL! In addition to building your team, PubHub also provides ongoing Expert Articles with tips and advice on all phases of publishing, including the business side of being an author. Indie-Visible's goal is provide a one-stop, interactive site for all indie authors seeking assistance, encouragement, and a team to root for them.  

New to Indie-Visible? Check out the Soft Launch Post for a nice overview of what they do. If you haven't yet familiarized yourself with them, I encourage you to head on over to their site, get to know The Literacy League Crew, and subscribe to the two Hubs for tons of fun and informative posts.

If you've been following their posts, THANK YOU!

If you haven't yet subscribed to BookHub or PubHub, you can subscribe on any of their posts, or sign up here.

 Giveaway Alert!

As an added BONUS, if you subscribe to either or both Hubs, you will be automatically entered to WIN a fantastic prize package giveaway from the PubHub that will fulfill any author's dreams! This package will include a day blitz package from Red Coat PR, website design by Starling Magic, book cover art from MaeIDesign, branding from Whit&Ware, and more!

Next Tuesday, there will be an official Giveaway Post with all the pertinent details coming soon. It is something you will not want to miss.

So, what are you waiting for? Go check out Indie-Visible and join me in bringing LITERARY JUSTICE TO ALL!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Featured Author - Casey Peeler - Publication Spotlight

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I'd like to bring you some great information about my featured author, Casey Peeler. If you missed the interview with this awesome utopYA attendee, you can check it out here. In order to do more for my featured authors, I've come up with a plan to showcase their books on the weeks between interviews. So, you can look forward to that. Get ready to find more new books to read! Ready? Here we go!

First, I'll always list the featured book.

Title: Southern Perfection
Author: Casey Peeler
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Length (print): 221 pages
Buy links: Amazon Kindle $3.99  ~  Barnes and Noble Nook $3.99  ~  iBooks $3.99  ~  Google Play $3.99


Life is full of choices: good, bad, and ones you can’t control.

Raegan strives to be perfect in every way. Varsity cheerleader, honor student, and proud granddaughter of Dover Lowery. By day, Raegan is an over-achieving high school student, but at three o’clock, her real work begins.

What happens when appearances are not what they seem? Will Raegan be able to hold on to her life as she knows it, or will she be left all alone? All of these questions are answered with one night, one song, one story, and one boy.

Title: No Turning Back
Author: Casey Peeler
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Length (print): 337 pages
Buy links: Amazon Kindle FREE 


After getting involved with Dylan, the bad boy of the Dixon High Swim team, Charley decides to stay close to home for college. It’s just safer that way. Later, she realizes it’s a mistake, just like dating Dylan. She decides to put the past behind her and leave the small hick town of Grassy Pond. There is only one problem; she makes this decision three weeks before the fall semester begins.

Charley packs up her Honda and heads to Southern College. On the morning she’s about to leave, Cash walks back into her life. He has been her best friend since they were four and is the only one who knows the REAL Charley. She leaves her farm in Grassy Pond with all kinds of “what if” questions.

Charley decides to live her college career to the fullest. She finds a great group of friends, joins the swim team, and meets a guy named Joe. He’s got eyes that make ya wanna melt!

At college, she encounters a new problem. Charley has been away from home for only forty-eight hours before she breaks the two promises she made to herself. Will she be able to overcome her past? Find new love? What will happen with Cash now that he is back in her life? Will she find what she is wanting in Jackalope Joe? How will her first semester of college end? Joe, Cash, or alone?

Title: Finding Charlie
Author: Casey Peeler
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Length (print): 264 pages
Buy links: Amazon Kindle $2.99


One bottle of Jack and the words “I’m sorry” are all it takes for Charley’s world to turn upside down… again. Charley has a decision to make. Does she sink or swim?

After Dylan reminds Charley that he always has the upper hand, she decides it’s time break free. But how? She uses her past, present, and what she hopes to be her future to find her freedom.

With the help of Cash Money and the Kluft Girls, she devises a plan to take down Dylan. Will she succeed, or will she find that she will never escape his hold? Once this plan is put in place, who will be by her side when it comes to an end? And will this plan include Jackalope Joe?

Title: Loving Charlie
Author: Casey Peeler
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Length (print): 251 pages
Buy links: Amazon Kindle $3.99


When Charley decides to make Dylan famous, she never thought about the repercussions that might occur, and how it would affect everyone around her.

Now that she has followed through with the plan, she is unsure of what the future holds. She has to decide what is more important in life: living her dream, speaking the truth, or keeping quiet.

Charley’s life comes full circle when her freshman year comes to an end. Will Dylan be in her past and Cash in her future? Or will Dylan continue to be an eerie constant in her life?

Title: Our Song
Author: Casey Peeler
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Length (print): 53 pages
Buy links: Amazon Kindle $3.99


Belle Montgomery is a small town Carolina girl. She leaves her simple life, family, and friends behind to open for the one and only country music mega star, Jake Bryant. With a break in their tour, sparks are bound to fly when Jake visits the small Podunk town of Lattimore. That is until Belle's long-time friend Chase McSwain makes his feelings known. Will sparks fly between Belle and Jake, or will Chase extinguish them before they start?

There you have them! I do hope you enjoy this little book buffet!

Don't forget to give Casey a follow!

 Website: Author Casey Peeler
Amazon: Casey Peeler's Author Page
Facebook: Casey Peeler Author
Twitter: @AuthorCasey
Tumblr: Casey Peeler Author
Pinterest: Author Casey
Goodreads: Casey Peeler
YouTube: Author Casey Peeler's YouTube Channel
Tsu: Casey Peeler
Wattpad: Author Casey
Google +: Casey Peeler Author

What do you think of this feature for Mondays?

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


Friday, January 16, 2015

A Book Vacation and Heather Hildenbrand - utopYA Con 2015

Happy Friday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I’m bringing you a snippet of the official utopYA Con post from Shana over at A Book Vacation. She has a guest post from the amazing Heather Hildenbrand you don’t wanna miss. Let’s get going!

Hello fabulous readers! This month for my official UtopYA post, I have a treat for you!
Heather Hildenbrand, author of Imitation, book one in the Clone Chronicles Series–an amazing series that Jerry Bruckheimer and Alloy have optioned for NBC–stopped by the blog to reminisce about her  experiences at UtopYA!

So, without further ado, I give you Heather:

I am what UtopYA refers to as a veteran. I was there at ground zero: year one.

And also at year two. And three. I’m what I call a repeat offender.

UtopYAcon for me is kind of like six degrees of Kevin Bacon. Except, without any Footloose dancing. And with a different type of celebrity. Okay, wait. There was that one time with the dancing. But we don’t talk about that. #staysinthevault

What I’m trying to say is that I’ve made so many connections as a result of attending UtopYA, beginning with year one and every year after, that when Shana asked me to write this post...

If you want to read more of Heather's post, you should check it out here.

Were you aware of Heather’s awesomeness? What did you think of that post?

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


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Preparing to Co-Author

Happy Thursday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, I have a little writing tip for you about writing with someone else (or many people). I hope you’re all ready to dive into the awesome. Grab those pens and notebooks and let’s get going!

Recently, I published a book titled Fractured Glass (get a copy here). This is co-writing at its finest. Nearly every reviewer has commented about how seamless the writing is from one author to the next, how well the story flows, and how amazing the character development was (see the lovely image Casey L. Bond made from some of our reviews).

Why do you think that is?

If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you’ll know I put out a call for collaboration in an anthology around December of 2013. What I was looking to do was upset the common thought surrounding the definition(s) of an anthology: 1.) a book or other collection of selected writings by various authors, usually in the same literary form, of the same period, or on the same subject. 2.) a collection of selected writings by one author.

Usually, an anthology is a collection of short stories. I wanted a collection of novellas. Once I got with the other ladies involved, we went a little bananas. I’m not sure who it was, but someone shouted out, “What if we used the same characters and drove them through five different genres, or five different stories, in one novel?” I was floored. It was unlike anything that had been done before. Yes! But how to do that? Well, we needed a world that would support changing genres. That’s how the fractal universe was decided upon. It gave us freedom while setting certain boundaries or rules for what the characters could do. Once we had that down, we came up with our main characters, Harley and Sloan Glass. Then, we had our title.

We decided to give ourselves a month to think about those characters and the world they’d live in, and (after copious note taking) we high-fived one another and split.

Cut to a month later. We met online via Google Drive with the free PDF on character development (get it here) open to edit. Here’s where the magic really began to happen. Via the chat feature, we threw ideas left and right, filled out the PDF, and the first person in line was ready to kick us off. A month after that, and we had our first 20k word (approximate) section by the one and only Tia Silverthorne Bach. Of course, she left some room for expansion and revisions.

She uploaded her section and shared it, we set a date and time where we’d get together and discuss the story, plot, characters, and flow, and we got to reading.

Once everyone had read the first part, we met with a new document open that listed the following:
  • What we liked.
  • What we didn’t like.
  • What we’d like to see changed.
  • What can't be changed no matter what.
  • Suggestions, tips, and thoughts for section two.
Editing of that document went crazy. Once again, the flow of ideas was incredible. I felt very at ease with everyone, and creativity had no bounds in our meetings (neither did critique—this is one tough-skinned group of women). Every section after the first was treated the same way. It helped us see our strengths, weaknesses, and holes.

But what held us central and firm was excellent preparation. We discussed our characters to death and knew the journey they’d embark upon before the first word was written.

One thing we didn’t do was go back and add any kind of foreshadowing for upcoming sections. Everything you read was off the cuff and based on what the folks before had done. It kept the surprises real and twisty, while keeping the characters the same from page to page.

During editing, all we had to work on was consistency of speech of the characters and where the worlds were connected. Writing styles were left intact, and each author had their unique voice preserved. Choosing co-authors was the most grueling, and enjoyable, thing I did. I adore these women!

Shout out!
Tia Silverthorne Bach
Casey L. Bond
Kelly Risser
N. L. Greene

Those are their Twitter pages. Go give them a follow!

So, if you’re thinking of co-writing a novel, remember that excellent planning and communication (liking the other people involved doesn’t hurt at ALL) are the cornerstones of success.

Next Tuesday I’ll go into how co-editing in Google Drive works. I think you’ll be shocked.

Grab a copy of Fractured Glass on Amazon here. See what the buzz is about!

Thinking of co-writing a novel? Do these tips help? Tell me about your project!

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


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Book Review - Dry Stories

Happy Hump-day, everyone! It's the middle of the week and just two more days to go until the weekend. I've been writing my little fingers off on a WIP I think you'll all be super excited for. More on that later. Today is book review day! I've written a review for this author before, and I adored Love From Planet Wine Cooler. You can see that review here. If you haven't joined the 2015 Review Team, come on over and get involved! Just grab the badge, put a post on your blog with the badge and a little note about you joining, and come add the post to the linky thing on this page. No rules! Just books. All the books! Anyway, grab a cup of coffee and let's get going.

All about the book up for review today:

Title: Dry Stories
Author: Kate Baggott
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length (print): About 82 pages
Buy Links: Amazon Kindle $3.56


When I called you each morning, while it was late night to you, my body thought it was night too. Our energy levels and rhythms were the same. I could feel it over the phone, across time zones and oceans. I felt like I was still at home combing nits out of your hair and helping your brother and your cousin edge you toward a new life, a better way of life without booze. Then, one more day passed and I got enough sunshine and enough fresh air for my body to adjust. I was back in this place, I had a new rhythm of family life and work and the ways of this adopted country.

“How can I do this?” I thought. “How can I fit this responsibility in too?”

Disguised as letters to a friend in need, “Dry Stories” delves into the psyche of the main character, revealing her passions, her fears, her needs, and her desires. Separated from her home country while living abroad with her husband and children, she struggles to conform to foreign traditions, accept local customs, and maintain her identity.

This literary compilation of short stories can be read as stand-alone pieces, or sequentially in a compelling novella. Each story is a letter written to a friend recovering from alcoholism and resonates with the truth of what it is to be human in a naturally disconnected world.

On to the review!

I snagged a sample of this book during the 12 Days of Review Requests event on my blog when the author pitched her story to me. I've read Kate's work before and loved it; I knew this book would be on par as far as quality of writing. I was happy to find it was, and went on to buy the book. I was so invested in the story, I read it in one sitting. But, let's get to the good stuff.

From a Reader's Perspective:
I found the story (or collection of stories) to be touching and soul-searching on a whole new level. I've never dealt directly with an alcoholic, but I've seen enough movies and met enough recovering ones to be a little familiar with the process of drying out. What the author brings to the table in this book feels personal and raw. She drags you down into the quagmire with the main character, showing you what it's like to feel responsibility toward someone you know who's struggling. Even if it isn't your place to be the rock in that person's life, your heart tells you not to give up. I was pulled by the compassion and humanity on the pages, even as I felt for the main character and her struggles with her own demons. Everything flowed well, though I would like to have seen a bit more of the story. It felt as though it ended rather abruptly. Though I wouldn't discourage you from reading it based on that alone. What you get is a heart-wrenching tale of two people who struggled in similar ways, but dealt with it very differently. You realize they're bonded on a much deeper level, and for one to fall would be the demise of both.

From an Editor's Perspective:
Very nicely done.

1 Star for excellent flow
1 Star for showing me the true horrors of dealing with an alcoholic
1 Star for making me feel the connection between the main character and her friend
.5 Star for keeping me interested enough to keep reading
-.5 Star for the abrupt ending that left me a little hungry for more
1 Star for stellar editing
Overall 4.5 out of 5 stars. But, I round up! So, this book gets 5. Recommended for those who like writing on a deeper level. A story with heart instead of fluff.

What do you think? Have you read Baggott's work? Gonna pick this one up?

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


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How Writers Can Use Google Chrome Remote Desktop

Happy Tuesday, good people of the blogosphere! Today, you get a digital goodie that's all about productivity and collaboration. So, sit back, grab a cup of Jo, and let's get rolling!

I'm sure you're all familiar with Google Chrome, right? Well, if you don't use that, this post isn't for you. But, if you do, and you have an iOS device...

Google Chrome Remote Desktop is now available for your Apple device. It's free, and you can get it here.

Why am I so excited about it? Well, as you may know, I recently published a book titled Fractured Glass with four other ladies. When it came time to edit the novel, we had a ton of back and forth between myself and Tia Silverthorne Bach (the editors). It was difficult to collaborate with the miles between us.

The Remote Desktop app would've allowed us to share our desktops and edit that novel together. It would've cut our editing time in half (at least), and given us the opportunity to make decisions about structure and consistency on the fly. Those two things set us back a couple of times.

But, if you're writing a novel with a second person, this app could be of even more use. Tell me you wouldn't love to be able to co-edit right in MS Word! Yeah, that's what I'm saying. You can both be writing your novel at the same time.

As a disclaimer, I'm not being paid to tell you about this (I never am), and I'm not sure how many people can share at once with this app. I just heard about it over the last week.

When you click on the link above, it'll give you screenshots to show you how the app works, and you can read the reviews of users taking advantage. It's sitting at four stars, which means it can't be terrible or difficult to use.

So, if you're someone who likes to try new things that may save you time, check it out. If not, just keep doing what you're doing. Like I said, I just found out about it. Once I get some use under my belt, I'll be back to let you all know my thoughts about how it works/doesn't work. So, we'll see!

Do you use it? How? Has it helped you? If not, will you give it a shot?

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


Monday, January 12, 2015

Author Interview - Casey Peeler

Happy Monday, everyone! It's time for another unofficial utopYA author interview! Today, I bring you Ms. Casey Peeler! You're gonna love her southern charm and spunk. If you aren't familiar with utopYA, I have to wonder if you've been hiding under a rock, or if this is your first visit to my blog. *grin* Are you an author or reader of awesome books? Then this is a conference you don't want to miss out on! Find more information about the con here. Once you've decided this IS the con for you (how could it not be?), get your tickets while they're still on sale at early bird prices! Then, come on back to the blog and meet some of the people attending! Every Monday from now until the middle of June, you'll get either an author interview or some awesome information on the featured author's books. Don't miss out! Okay, enough of my jawing. Let's get to the good stuff!

Jo: Welcome to the blog, Casey! Wow, are you ever an interesting lady. I spent a good amount of time researching you for this interview. I hope you’re ready for what I found. *grin*

Casey: Oh my gosh! I can’t wait to see what you’ve found! I’m super excited about this interview and utopYA 2015!

Jo: Right? Just six months away now. Wow. Okay, let’s jump right in so the natives don’t get restless, shall we? What made you choose the Southern Romance genre?

Casey: I have lived in North Carolina my entire life. Some people don’t think of NC as “that Southern.” Once I open my mouth, you’ll never doubt it.  :) I chose Southern Romance because that is what I know. I absolutely love a good ole country boy, country music, hunting, fishing, and a good field party back in the day! I’m also a girl who believes there are fairytales and happily ever afters.

Jo: There are most certainly happy ever afters. I'm totally living my own. *grin* North Carolina is certainly in the South. Love that you have an accent! So, which aspects of romance can we find in your six novels?

Casey: Full Circle Series (No Turning Back, Full Circle, and Loving Charley) is about overcoming your past and discovering who you are as an individual in order to find your HEA. It can be read from anyone that’s in high school to 100, even though it is considered New Adult. Our Song is a Contemporary Romance novella. It’s one of my favorites that I’ve written. I told y’all I’m a sucker for a country boy. Now make him a country singer in a pair of tight jeans shaking it on stage, and I’m a goner! In Tune: A Love’s Duet is an anthology that features several authors and includes Our Song. All proceeds go to Fender Music Foundation to put music back in classrooms. Southern Perfection is a Young Adult romance, but it’s so much more than just romance. It’s about a family, secrets, faith, and love. This one holds a piece of my heart!

Jo: Those sound amazing. I love books with a life lesson of some kind. What event or events brought you to the decision to re-release Southern Perfection? Can you give us an example of a major change we might find?

Casey: This answer could be really long, so I’m going to be as brief as possible. Kenzie, Jillian Dodd’s daughter, read Southern Perfection after a conversation Jillian and I had in September. She liked it, but thought I could make a few changes to make it even better. After a call with Jillian and Beth Suit, editor, the rest is history! It’s releasing 1/13/15, tomorrow! ** Eeeep! Two stepping all over the house right now! **

In the new Southern Perfection, there are major changes in the prologue, the flow of the story, one major scene/turning point, and Emmett and Raegan’s future is laid out for you.

Jo: Sometimes, you just gotta have those re-writes! Sounds like a lot of work went into the second edition. I wish you awesome luck with it. I have to know: Where’d you come up with the name Emmett?

Casey: Honestly, I always try to find names that sound like strong, southern men. I also try to use names you don’t see often in other novels. If you look up the meaning, you will find it means, “a powerful force to all those lives they touch.” ( ) If you’ve read Southern Perfection, you would agree that the name suits the character. Ladies, he’s going to make you swoon even more in the NEW Southern Perfection!

Jo: I use that name in my Abigale Chronicles Series for middle grade readers. It's my son and my grandfather's name. *grin* I love it! Does your dance mom background ever show up in your novels? If yes, which one and how? If no, why not?

Casey: At this point, that hasn’t happened yet! Now that you bring it up, it totally could in the future.

Jo: Why not, right? *wiggles eyebrows* Tell me a little about being a special needs teacher. What grade do you teach? What’s it like working with special needs kids?

Casey: I have taught high school special education for eleven years. I have students from grades 9-12, and I teach anything from English to a class called Occupation Preparation which is where students learn job skills to be productive citizens. Teaching students with special needs is an adventure each and every day, and sometimes the things kids say you honestly wouldn’t believe unless you were there. Most people tell me that they admire what I do, but honestly, I wouldn’t teach any other type of student. The students I teach each day are the ones that are our future. They aren’t going to be a doctor or lawyer, but they are the ones that will keep this world functioning. We all know that a college degree is nice, but if you didn’t have a mechanic, plumber, electrician, or any other vocational trade, this world would be in a mess. The biggest obstacle I face each and every day is their self confidence. They think everyone “knows” that they aren’t the top of the class. What I try to instill in them is that it doesn’t matter if you are number one in your class or two thousand as long as you are comfortable with who you are - strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes - you will go far in life.

Jo: *claps* What an awesome thing you're doing. My niece is a deaf interpreter for special needs high schoolers. I totally admire you ladies. Rapid fire questions! Wine or beer?

Casey: Beer!

Jo: Woman after my own heart! Beautiful Disaster or Walking Disaster?

Casey: Beautiful Disaster <3<3<3<3 #TravisMaddox4Life #mypermanentbookboyfriend

Jo: I knew that. *laughs* Big or small?

Casey: Small

Jo: Like, really tiny? I do adore small dogs. Now I have to ask you the time travel question because that’s the theme of utopYA 2015! Since you love country, you might like this one! *grin* If you could go back to the old west in America, what type of business would you be most interested in seeing? What town would you go to? Is there anything you’d want to do while you were there?

Casey: The Saloons! Helloooooo! I’m all about a cold beverage, loud music, and entertainment!

Jo: Sounds like fun! You could host a party there! Besides utopYA, you’re going to four other events in 2015 including A Novel Experience in Las Vegas. Have you ever attended any of those events before, and which one is your favorite? Why?

Casey: This year, utopYA is the only event that I have attended in the past. I will have to say, I’m super excited for Vegas!

Jo: Vegas should be fun. If you see A. G. Howard, high-five her for me! *grin* I poked around your review blog, Hardcover Therapy. Love it! I adore how it started with people asking you what they should read next. Tell me a couple of the difficulties you’ve had running a review blog, and what you get out of it.

Casey: The hardest thing is balancing everything - everyday life, reading, and writing. At one point when I was just reviewing, I felt horrible telling people no. Needless to say, I learned that you can’t read everything. My cousin loves to read as much as me. Chelly is now part of the Hardcover Therapy team, and she will be at utopYA with me again this year! :)

Jo: Amen. Balance is difficult at the best of times. Awesome that you're bringing Chelly on! I bet she's stoked. What are you working on right now? Care to give us a quick rundown?

Casey: **Takes a deep breath**
~Southern Perfection re-releases on 1/13/15.
~By Chance, a NA standalone novel, will release late March 2015.
~Full Circle Series will re-release in time for utopYA.
~Waiting on Walker, a MC Novella with a country twist releases early August 2015
~Full Circle Spinoff: Piper’s story (title TBD) will release in late October 2015.
~In December 2015, you will see either a Christmas novella featuring the Full Circle Series OR a novel to go along with Our Song!

Jo: Whoa, that's a lot to manage! I'm crossing my fingers all goes well for you. I’ve taken up a TON of your time (hey, I’m thorough if nothing else), but I have just one more question. I saw that you named Travis Maddox as your perma-book boyfriend. What is it about that character that makes you swoon?

Casey: He was my “first” I guess you could say. Yes, I have read all kinds of books, but nothing compares to him. I swear, I was never the one that liked the bad boy kind, but I have always looked for the good in everyone. Even though he does some stupid things, he has a good heart. He tries so hard! Bless his heart! He wants to do what’s right and take care of Abby but he doesn’t know how. Oh and him fighting – HOT, tattoos - HOT, and that dang dimple – BEYOND HOT! Most of all, I love that when he loves with his whole heart, he is never the same. 
 “I know we're fucked up, alright? I'm impulsive, and hot tempered, and you get under my skin like no one else. You act like you hate me one minute, and then need me the next. I never get anything right, and I don't deserve you...but I fucking love you, Abby. I love you more than I loved anyone or anything ever. When you're around, I don't need booze, or money, or the fighting, or the one-night stands...” ~ snippet from Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

I guess you could say every dang detail about him makes me swoon. I’ve read that book at least 8 times, and each time I fall harder and harder! Needless to say that Walking Disaster let me in on everything I wanted to know, and oh I was in tears at one point! I could ramble on for DAYS about why Travis “Maddog” Maddox is my permanent book boyfriend, or I should say book husband because if didn’t you know, I married him in a Beautiful Wedding! ;)

Jo: How sweet is that? I read some of the lesser reviews of that novel before I wrote mine. Holy crap people can be mean! Anyway, moving on! Well, that’s all the blog space we have for today. It was lovely having you on the blog, Casey! Thank you so very much for your time. I can’t wait to meet you at utopYA in June!

Casey: Thank you again for having me today! Jo, you have outdone yourself! You went above and beyond with your research and I <3 it! Thank you for wanting to know more about me and letting everyone coming to UTopYA know a little more about me! This has been a blast… now I’m going to swoon over Travis! ;)

Now, it’s time to reveal the featured book of the week! **PLEASE NOTE! Price changes to $3.99 on all platforms on 1/14/15 at 12:01am**

Title: Southern Perfection
Author: Casey Peeler
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Length (print): 221 pages
Buy links: Amazon Kindle $0.99  ~  Barnes and Noble Nook $0.99  ~  iBooks $0.99  ~  Google Play $0.99

Synopsis: Life is full of choices: good, bad, and ones you can’t control.

Raegan strives to be perfect in every way. Varsity cheerleader, honor student, and proud granddaughter of Dover Lowery. By day, Raegan is an over-achieving high school student, but at three o’clock, her real work begins.

What happens when appearances are not what they seem? Will Raegan be able to hold on to her life as she knows it, or will she be left all alone? All of these questions are answered with one night, one song, one story, and one boy.

While your fingers are in the clicking mode, why not give Ms. Peeler a follow on every social media platform I could think of when writing up the template for these interviews (plus some)?

Website: Author Casey Peeler
Amazon: Casey Peeler's Author Page
Facebook: Casey Peeler Author
Twitter: @AuthorCasey
Tumblr: Casey Peeler Author
Pinterest: Author Casey
Goodreads: Casey Peeler
YouTube: Author Casey Peeler's YouTube Channel
Tsu: Casey Peeler
Wattpad: Author Casey
Google +: Casey Peeler Author

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If you have any questions for Casey, pop them into the comments below.

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