Signings and book festivals and book recommendations, oh my!

Hi, guys! I was going to do a Reader Question Friday post today, but those take me a while, and I’ve been trying to spend my laptop time actually writing books instead of blogging. But I’ve missed you all! If you’ve sent me a message and you’re waiting for a response, I do still have some emails pending.

Upcoming signing/appearance:SacrificeCover

If you’re in the Maryland area, I’ll be at the Frederick Book Festival next Saturday, June 27, 2014. I’m presenting on a panel with Jodi Meadows, Lea Nolan, Elizabeth Kirke, and Julie Lindsay at 1pm, and signing books afterward. The festival is free, so if you’re in the area, stop by! I have ARCs for Sacrifice, and I’ll bring a few with me. If you ask for one, I’m happy to give you one! Don’t be shy! First come, first served! Don’t worry if you don’t live locally. I’ll be doing a few contests for ARCs in the next few weeks…

Book recommendations:

I recently read the following books and really enjoyed them. Check them out:

These Gentle Wounds by Helene Dunbar (Contemporary YA, somewhat dark)

Five years after an unspeakable tragedy that changed him forever, Gordie Allen has made a new home with his half-brother Kevin. Their arrangement works since Kevin is the only person who can protect Gordie at school and keep him focused on getting his life back on track.

But just when it seems like things are becoming normal, Gordie’s biological father comes back into the picture, demanding a place in his life. Now there’s nothing to stop Gordie from falling into a tailspin that could cost him everything—including his relationship with Sarah, the first girl he’s trusted with the truth. With his world spinning out of control, the only one who can help Gordie is himself . . . if he can find the strength to confront the past and take back his future.

Split by Mel Bossa (Contemporary Adult Fiction with LGBT Themes, this book was AWESOME)

Quiet and imaginative, Derek O’Reilly spends a lot of time watching a movie in his head. His fiancé Nathan, aka “Mr. Alpha”, wonders why Derek hasn’t taken any interest in their wedding planning. Aunt Fran—his spiritual guru—would like to know when her guilt-tripping nephew became some kind of kept boy. One evening, she drops Derek’s childhood journal on his lap, forcing him to remember the name he’s been trying to forget since he was eleven years old. Nicolai Lund.

Nick was Derek’s neighbor—and first love.

Weeks before Derek’s engagement party, a chance meeting with Nick catapults Derek into the past. Nick could flood Derek’s stale existence like a blond tidal wave, but Nick isn’t that sixteen-year-old rebel anymore. He’s a man hardened by invisible scars.

As Derek reads through his diary, Nick and Derek’s powerful relationship sways between past and present, sweeping over their emotional landscape, revealing what they were, still are, and might yet be to each other.

Alienated by Melissa Landers (Paranormal YA, very fun, reminded me of the show Star-Crossed)

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

White Hot Kiss by Jennifer Armentrout (Paranormal YA, fun and sexy)

Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.

Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever.

Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul.

But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.

What Happens Next by Colleen Clayton (Contemporary YA dealing with rape in a non-“issue book” way)

Before the ski trip, sixteen-year-old Cassidy “Sid” Murphy was a cheerleader (at the bottom of the pyramid, but still…), a straight-A student, and a member of a solid trio of best friends. When she ends up on a ski lift next to handsome local college boy, Dax Windsor, she’s thrilled; but Dax takes everything from Sid—including a lock of her perfect red curls—and she can’t remember any of it.

Back home and unable to relate to her old friends, Sid drops her college prep classes and takes up residence in the A/V room with only Corey “The Living Stoner” Livingston for company. But as she gets to know Corey (slacker, baker, total dreamboat), Sid finds someone who truly makes her happy. Now, if she can just shake the nightmares and those few extra pounds, everything will be perfect… or so she thinks.

Witty and poignant, Colleen Clayton’s stunning debut is a story about moving on after the unthinkable happens.

45 Pounds (More or Less) by Kelly Barson (Contemporary YA, LOVED this book, very relatable)

Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 10 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in 2 1/2 months.

Welcome to the world of infomercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, embarrassing run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—-and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin-—no matter how you add it up!

Speechless by Hannah Harrington (Contemporary YA, another one I loved)

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she’s ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there’s strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she’s done. If only she can forgive herself.


Who wants another chance to win an ARC?

So let’s do this again!

This time, let’s have a little more fun. Storm has a lot of themes, but one involves bullying. (I’m not giving anything away. You can tell right from the book description that it opens with Chris Merrick getting beaten up in a parking lot.)

If you’d like to win an ARC for Storm: The Elemental Series, leave a comment about a time you witnessed a bullying event, whether as the victim, a bystander, or even the bully him/herself. If you can’t think of a time, just throw your name in the hat, and I’ll count your entry. (Hey, I don’t want to make anyone spill uncomfortable secrets.)

This contest is open to everyone on the planet (Yay, international! Sorry, intergalactic readers), and you have until 11:59pm EST Friday night, February 3.

If I get more than 50 entries, I’ll give away two ARCs, so please spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, Google +, email, carrier pigeon, shouting from the rooftops, chalk drawings on your driveway, or any other means possible.

ARC Winners!!

So I woke up this morning feeling like crap. It might have something to do with the fact that I got about twenty minutes of sleep.

You know what always makes me feel better? Doing nice things.

So even though I didn’t get 75 entries, I’m still going to give away two ARCs!

Thanks to the powers of the random number generator, the winners are…

Drum roll, please…

Beth Scharwath and Martha Pao!!

I hope I am not butchering your names. I am not currently at my best.

Please email your mailing address to, and I’ll ship them out tomorrow.


And everyone else, stay tuned…we’ll be doing another giveaway in February…

Well, looky what we have here…

These arrived on Friday the 13th. Who says that day is unlucky?

100 days ’til publication.

I think we should do a contest this week.

Stay tuned…

Oh, and here’s an awesome video I just watched, about motivation.