A Letter from January

If you have seen me on twitter or my last few posts you will know I'm currently obsessing over the 3rd book in The Guardians of Vesturon Series, Determinant!!! Well like yesterday I have another special treat for you from this book! January, on of the main characters from Determinant, has written you a letter!  Check it out and don't forget to enter that giveaway!

Letter from January

Dear Readers:

You first met me in Survival, if you read it of course.  I was one of Maddie’s roommates.  Don’t worry though if you haven’t read it. Determinant is a story unto itself, and it’s about Rykerian and me and how we met and fell in love.  Without going into too much detail and spoiling all the fun, I will say this.  Rykerian really did save me, in more ways than one.  But it didn’t come without a price.  You know how those Guardians are *wink* (possessive, controlling, demanding, need I say more)? 

When I first saw him, I thought he was my guardian angel.  What can I say?  The man is smokin’ hot. *Fans self rapidly*  Uh huh!  Trade places with me and you’ll see.  Okay, forget I said that.  There’s no way in hell I’m letting anyone trade places with me...ever!

So anyway, when I finally figure out that he’s the real deal, he’s not yanking my chain, and he feels the same way I do, the world goes to hell in a hand basket.  Go figure.  My life story, right.  

Yeah, well, Determinant is a crazy ride.  You’ll meet this new guy named Jurek and he’s a scary mess.  Rykerian pretty much hates him, but that’s too bad.  He’ll just have to deal with it.  

There are lots of surprises for you, and I’d love to tell you all about them, but if I did, they wouldn’t be surprises then would they?  I will say this.  There is one scene where my normally reserved and controlled Rykerian is so out of sorts that if it weren’t for his dear sweet mother, he would most likely have run through the streets of Vesturon naked.  There, have I peaked your interest just a bit?  I hope so :)

See you in the pages of Determinant!

January St. Davis

Thank you January for sending this in! Readers I hope you do meet January soon.  She is awesome! Also here is yesterday's post just in case you missed getting a glimpse into January's BFF's head! 

there will be 3 winners with this giveaway 1 Grand Prize and 2 Second Place winners
the Grand Prize winner will get a $20 Amazon Gift Card and an e-copy of Resurrection and Determinant!!!
the second place winners will get an e-copy of Determinant and Resurrection
this giveaway is INT
following is not mandatory but it is appreciated
fill out the rafflecopter to enter or you can enter here at Annie's website 

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Interview with Colleen Hoover

Can I tell you how freakin' excited I am today?  You know why? Because Colleen Hoover is on the blog of course! If you haven't read Slammed and Point of Retreat where have you been?!  Those book are PHENOMENAL and if you haven't read them I'm going to need you to drop everything you're doing right this minute and go read them now!  I'm such a fan of this talented lady and I am honored that she is on the blog today and I hope you enjoy the interview and the SUPER awesome giveaway!

Hey Colleen! Thank you so much for joining me on this interview! I'm very excited and I know your readers are excited too!

First things first the  general question. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your books?

I've always loved to write.  I have an issue with self-doubt, as do most people, so I never thought I could actually write a successful book.  It was never a personal goal of mine to become a "writer," but it was always a far off dream.  When I wrote SLAMMED, I had no idea that I was writing a novel that would become a best-seller.  I honestly wrote it as a hobby to pass time during my sons theater rehearsals.  Once I started writing the book, I fell in love with the characters and couldn't stop.  After a few months of it being available on Amazon, it took off.  If you could see my husband and I in the evenings, you'd laugh.  We just sit there, staring at each other and shaking our heads saying, "How in the hell did this happen?"  It's been surreal.  

What is your inspiration?
Definitely the music of The Avett Brothers.  There is a line in one of their songs that says, "Decide what to be, and go be it."  I think that had a lot to do with me accepting the fact that I really did want to be a writer, and I should just do it already!

What is your favorite writing environment? Are you a music listener? A couch sitter?
I have three young boys, so it's chaotic most of the time.  I have an office with a desk, but I always unplug my laptop and sit in my chaise to write.  I listen to music while I edit, but not while I'm doing actual writing.  I need silence.  

What's the weirdest job you've had?
Weirdest?  I used to do investigations for Child Protective Services.  I saw a lot of weird stuff.  Scary stuff.  Sad stuff.  

What would you do with an unlimited supply of money?
If you frequent my blogs at all, you know how much I like giving stuff away.  I don't know why, it just makes me happy.  I would probably do bigger and better giveaways, keep writing and let my mother and sisters retire so we could go on a cruise whenever we felt like it.  

Have you ever done any unusual research for your book?
I like to play devil's advocate, which is why I took an unethical situation in Slammed and tried to make the reader root for it.  I was thinking of how it would be cool to have this them in all of my books.  Take some ethical situation and turn it around to where you empathize with the characters.  I did a search on "unethical things" and came up with mostly articles about incest.  My husband ran across it the next day and just shrugged his shoulders when I tried to explain it away.  That was awkward.  

The poetry scene is very different.  How did you come up with the Slam idea?
I love watching Slam Poetry on youtube.  I was actually watching slams when I got the urge to read a work of fiction about slam poetry.  When my searches came up empty, I decided to try and write one.  

Lastly, Can you tell us about your WIP?

I've got two I'm working on right now.  Will's Story is Slammed from Will's point of view and the first chapter can be read here: http://colleenhoover.com/2012/06/09/you-might-want-to-read-this/

The second novel I'm working on is currently titled Fall Together.  It's a contemporary young adult romance.  The main character is a 17 year old named Sky.  I can't say a lot about this one, because like Slammed, it has a huge twist.  I'm still working on how to word the blurb.

I don't know about you guys but I CANT WAIT For Will's Story and Fall Together!  Thank you so much Colleen for answering the questions and providing this amazing giveaway! If you've read Slammed I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section and if you haven't I would love to know so I can start bugging you until you buy it!

a signed copy of Slammed provided by the awesome Colleen Hoover
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Indie Revolution: Determinant Exclusive Extra

I just now (like not even a minute ago) finished Determinant! It was SOOOOO good! Determinant is book 3 in the Guardians of Vesturon Series that can also be read as a standalone.  For today's post I have for you one of the scenes in Determinant told from a different POV! Don't forget to come back the rest of the week for all the other stuff I have for you and don't forget to enter that awesome giveaway! 

Here is a scene from Determinant in Jurek's POV

I returned January to her precious Rykerian at the Guardian Compound, as promised.  As soon as we arrived,  I felt his anger blasting forth--not at me, but at her!  What kind of moron was he?  I knew these Guardians could be complete asses but this was beyond ridiculous.  In an attempt to smoothe things over I commented, “Calm down Guardian.  Your female is fine and you have nothing to worry about.”

Apparently that was the wrong thing to say because he snatched her hand off of my arm and proceeded to drag her away from me as if she were some kind of rag doll.  This was certainly no way to treat a female one treasured and I instantly became furious and defensive.

“If you harm even one hair on her head, I will destroy you and your family!” I seethed.

Rykerian turned into stone and dropped January’s hand as if it burned him.  What kind of fool was she dealing with here, I wondered?

“Go to him.  If he is what you want...Go!” Rykerian said as he took off for the house.  That Guardian was an imbecile.  Now I questioned whether I needed to leave January here at all.  Maybe it would have been best for me to have left her at Lare-Stell, the space station.

In all her innocence, she ran after him, calling his name.  I could feel her distress.  I turned to Rayn, shaking my head and said, “Are all of you Guardians this dimwitted or is he the exception?”

Rayn huffed, “Can you blame him?  He has been gravely distressed these past weeks, unable to eat or sleep, worried about his one true love because you have stolen her away from here against her will.  He did not know how she had been treated or if you had been cruel to her.  What did you expect from him?  To greet you with open arms?  You are no better than a barbarian in our minds and yet you call him a dimwit.  Who is truly the idiot here?”

“Had I been that distressed over my one true love, I would have been overjoyed to see her safe return.  Instead, he is filled with anger,” I spat.

Suddenly, we heard January screaming.  Rayn and I ran in the house and to my utter surprise, January had unwittingly locked Rykerian in the Power of Command’s grip.

“I don’t know how to make it stop!  I didn’t know I could do that.  He wouldn’t stop and I kept telling him to, but he wouldn’t listen.  I finally screamed at him to stop and I guess Command took over.  I don’t know what to do!” she fretted.

I took one look at the high and mighty Rykerian and threw my head back and started laughing my ass off.  As far as I was concerned, he could stay like that for the rest of the night.  It served the bloody bastard right for the way he had treated January.

“Jurek, stop it!” January yelled.  “We need to help him!” 

Rayn attempted to calm her down with words, to no avail.  He finally had to use his Power of Tranquility on her.  When her hysterics eventually subsided, he began instructing her on how to use her Power of Command to release Rykerian from its clutches...to no avail.  

Personally, I would have liked nothing better than to see him remain in that state, at least for a while longer, just to make him regret his actions.  I circled him, poked him in the chest a few times for good measure, although not as much as I would have liked for it was angering January. 

I finally added my two cents for I truly hated to see January so upset by this.  I reminded her of how I taught her how to use her Power of Telekinesis.  I felt Rykerian’s thoughts when I said this.  I knew my words were angering him further, so I continued taunting him with the greatest of pleasure.  I wanted to be sure he understood that January had managed not only to survive under distressing cicrumstances, but she had actually thrived and learned more about her abilities.
When it became most apparent that she would be unable to release him from her hold, I decided to do something a bit underhanded.  I summoned Tak, for I knew it would aggravate her to no end. January and Tak had a somewhat antagonistic relationship, but when put to the test, it seemed to bring out the best of her supernatural abilities.  

Tak popped in and had the identical reaction as I had.  He took one look at Rykerian and began laughing heartily, while January stood by and fumed.  What made her even more angry was his suggestion of how he, with his manly charms, could make her forget all about Rykerian.  I telepathically suggested to him that he should try to kiss January.  

Tak did as I suggested and it was at that point that her anger literally became visible.  Her aura turned a deep scarlet and blasted forth as she called Tak a dog and told him to get away from her.  I then heard the word, “Release,” come from her mind.   Rykerian dropped to his knees and curled up into a tight ball.

Tak and I locked gazes and shared another hearty laugh that was purposely ignored by January.  We did not mind, as it was a rare occasion indeed, that we even found something to laugh about.  

“I do not understand what she sees in that weakling Jurek, but I shall always hold that image of him, frozen like a pitiful statue, in my mind,” Tak said with a smirk.

“And I shall take great pains to remind her of that as often as I can,” I responded.  “Guardians!  They are nothing but a group of pompous asses.”

Doesn't that make you want to read Determinant to see what is really going on?

there will be 3 winners with this giveaway 1 Grand Prize and 2 Second Place winners
the Grand Prize winner will get a $20 Amazon Gift Card and an e-copy of Resurrection and Determinant!!!
the second place winners will get an e-copy of Determinant and Resurrection
this giveaway is INT
following is not mandatory but it is appreciated
fill out the rafflecopter to enter or you can enter here at Annie's website 

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Indie Revolution Giveaway: A.M. Hargrove

This week is all about A.M. Hargrove and her The Guardians of Vesturon Series!  We have for you interviews, review, exclusive extras, and a BIG Giveaway! Today I thought I would just start out by introducing you to Annie and her awesome books and give you a chance to start earning entries in the giveaway!

Goodreads | My Review | Amazon | B&N | Smashwords | Survival is FREE!

Survival (Book 1 of the Guardians of Vesturon), a YA paranormal romance

"Maybe I was caught between the two worlds. I was having serious trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality."

While on a backpacking trip in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, nineteen-year-old Maddie Pearce finds her world has been thrown into a vortex and is madly spinning toward the impossible. Abducted by a mad psychopath, Maddie narrowly escapes with her life. But that is only the beginning. Her mysterious rescuer introduces her to a world that Maddie has difficulty accepting as reality. Will this strikingly gorgeous stranger be the key to her future or will she return to her mundane world, scarred from her experience? Follow Maddie as she is forced to make difficult decisions that carry her to mysterious places.
Other books in The Guardians of Vesturon Series
Beginnings (prequel)
Resurrection (book 2) | My Review
Determinant (book 3)

& now my Interview with A.M. Hargrove

Hey Annie!  Thanks for joining me on this interview!  I'm excited to have you on the blog today!
For those that aren't crazy stalkers like I am, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Sure!  I love to hike, backpack (you know those scenes from Survival in The Great Smoky Mountain National Park? They were all based on personal experiences.  Except for the parts with Darryl Carter, of course!), snow ski and trail run.  The truth of it is if there are some woods and some trails, its a given that I’m going to like it!

So I hear you just recently released a book?  Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Yes!  That would be Determinant, and it’s the third book in my Guardians of Vesturon series.  Determinant is the story of January (one of Maddie’s college roommates that you were initially introduced to in Survival) and Rykerian, Rayn’s brother.  What’s different about Determinant is that it’s really a stand alone novel.  So if a reader doesn’t want to start the series from the beginning, that’s perfectly fine.  They could read Determinant, and have no difficulty following the story line.

What's the craziest research you have ever done for one of your books?
The craziest research I’ve ever done was that of quantum physics and I absolutely hated it.  My mind doesn’t work that way, but I wanted to pull something reliable in for my explanation of cheating the space/time continuum.  The most basic explanation has always been the string theory, but I thought maybe quantum physics could be used in another way.  As I was researching and reading, it quickly became apparent to me that even the simplest of explanations would be so complex that the reader would be doing what I was--UGH!  

I hear rumors that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) might have some type of role in Determinant? Can you tell us a little bit about that incorporation?
To the rumors you’ve been hearing... they aren’t rumors.  The CDC played a rather large but brief role in Determinant during the hemorrhagic small pox outbreak.  They are the go-to organization for any kind of communicable disease outbreak so they would obviously be involved in something like this.  But, they are also the storage facility for all types of viral specimens, which is where the terrorists stole the virus from in the first place. I don’t want to give too much away--you’ll just have to read Determinant to find out what happens ;)

And now for the last "serious" question…what are you working on now?
I’m currently writing Dark Waltz, Book 1 of the Praestani Series.  In Determinant, I introduced a new character and he sort of stole the show.  He actually begged me for his own series (imagine that!).  He’s a bit of a trouble maker, a bad boy but has a heart if you know where to look.  The Praestani Series will be in the adult genre because when you read Determinant and meet Jurek Herdekian, you will see that not only is he too old to be written as a YA character, he is also too irreverent and will only play by his own set of rules.

How about now we go a little more random with some "favorites"?
Favorite color?
Black for clothing.  Greens and blues for everything else.

Favorite cereal?
Are grits a cereal?

Favorite nail polish?
OPI, Champagne Toast I think that’s what it’s called, but I’d have to check the bottle and I’m out of town.

Favorite food?
Thai and sushi.

Favorite Season?
Fall for the beauty...winter because I love to snow ski out west.

And the hardest question of all…Favorite book?
NOOOOOOOO!  I can’t pick one.  But....I will always love Mr. Darcy!

there will be 3 winners with this giveaway 1 Grand Prize and 2 Second Place winners
the Grand Prize winner will get a $20 Amazon Gift Card and an e-copy of Resurrection and Determinant!!!
the second place winners will get an e-copy of Determinant and Resurrection
this giveaway is INT
following is not mandatory but it is appreciated
fill out the rafflecopter to enter

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Don't Tell !!!

I'm so Freakin' Excited about this cover reveal!

I love new Indie Authors and Mercy's debut looks just like my kind of book!

Are you ready to see it?

Well you can't yet because first here is the blurb!

Oh before I do that did I mention there is a GIVEAWAY?

Now back to business...here is the blurb for Mercy Amare's debut novel, Don't Tell!

I could be surrounded by a million people, but I would still feel alone. I smile on the outside, but inside I feel like I’m slowly dying. I cry out for help, but nobody sees me, at least not the real me. They see a façade, a mask that I put on to hide the pain.

I pretend that I’m normal, but really, what is normal? Maybe what I’m feeling is normal. The hurt, the disappointment, the loneliness… it could be all just be a part of life. Maybe I will never know what normal is.

I put on long sleeves and makeup to hide the bruises, but they only mask the outside. What happens when I can’t carry my burden alone any longer? What would happen if I told somebody the truth?

Don't Tell is a YA Contemporary Romance about love, forgivness and hope.   Coming Fall 2012.
Now that you are all excited about Don't Tell because that blurb was AWESOMESAUCE! I will show you the awesome cover!




What do you think?! Isn't awesome!!! Well I love it!

SO now for that promised giveaway!

1 person will win an e-copy of Don't Tell
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Lazy Days of Summer Giveaway Hop

Thank you to Colorimetry and I Am a Reader, Not a Writer for hosting this giveaway!

1 person will win e-copies of all these books
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Check out the other giveaways I have going on HERE
Check out the other stops in this hop!

Review: Candid by Michelle Pennington

Today I have for you my review of Candid!  Don't forget about the giveaway at the bottom of the post! I hope from my review I can convince you that you should enter that giveaway! You want this book!
Amazon | Goodreads

Life is simple for high school senior, Sienna Whitfield. With a few good friends, a camera, and a dream, she has everything she needs to be happy. But when Jordan Rubio, the most popular girl at Haskins High, makes her mad, she decides to use the power of photography to right a few social wrongs. As if that doesn’t cause enough drama in her life, she realizes she’s falling for the new guy, Lee Franklin. Strong and protective, he’s just what she needs to survive the craziness she’s stirred up at school. If only she didn’t have to keep her feelings for Lee a secret from her mom…
My Review: 4 Stars

Candid was a great high school romance with a hint of forbidden love and revenge!

I loved the concept of using photography to stir up the social ladder pot a bit!  In the book Sienna took pictures to expose the unnoticed that deserved to be popular and expose the popular that deserved to be social outcastes.  When she does this she finds how much power she has with her photography and how much danger she can get herself into for stirring up all this drama.  I thought the common "don't stick to the status quo" high school theme was portrayed nicely in Candid and I really loved the different take Michelle Pennington brought to it!

Now I gotta talk about Lee...you know I always got to give my take on the Hottie of each book.  Let me tell you Michelle Pennington can write some hotness! I loved Lee! He's a great guy from the beginning and the second you see him all you can do is Swoooon.  He's protective, patient, and freakin' cute!  Really, he has it all!

Sienna was pretty awesome herself.  She is a photography nerd that typically doesn't care what people think of her t-shirt and jean wardrobe.  She grew as a character a lot in Candid and I'm very interested to see how she continues to grow in Focused.

I recommend Candid to anyone who likes a sweet high school romance with some bumps in the road.  I can't wait for Focused!

1 kindle copy of Candid
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Cover Reveal: The Wild Ones

Today I have the cover of THE M. Leighton's new novel The Wild Ones!!!

Are you as FREAKIN' EXCITED as I am about this cover reveal?!!!???!!!

Oh and did I mention I have the blurb for you too?

Passion as hot as midnight in the South and love as wild as the horses they tame.

Camille “Cami” Hines is the darling daughter of the South’s champion thoroughbred breeder, Jack Hines.  She has a pedigree that rivals some of her father’s best horses.  Other than feeling a little suffocated at times, Cami thought she was pretty happy with her boyfriend, her life and her future.  

But that was before she met Patrick Henley.

“Trick” blurs the lines between what Cami wants and what is expected of her.  He’s considered the “help,” which is forbidden fruit as far as her father is concerned, not to mention that Trick would be fired if he ever laid a hand on her.  And Trick needs his job.  Desperately.  His family depends on him.

The heart wants what the heart wants, though, and Trick and Cami are drawn to each other despite the obstacles.  At least the ones they know of. 

When Trick stumbles upon a note from his father, it triggers a series of revelations that could ruin what he and Cami have worked so hard to overcome.  It turns out there’s more to Trick’s presence at the ranch than either of them knew, secrets that could tear them apart.


Ummm...Can I say HOW HOTTTTTT IS THAT???!!!! 

Am I right or am I right!? 

Make sure you add this one to your goodreads to-be-read pile and grab it on August 1st! 
I just finished it and can attest that it is just as awesomely swoony as all of Mrs. Leigthon's other novels! You're going to want to pick this one up ASAP!

 Comment with your thoughts! Do you love the steaminess?


Guest Post: Women at Work During WWII

Today I have for you a Guest Post by Christopher Geoffery McPherson so I'm going to go ahead and hand it over to him! Enjoy and don't forget to enter the giveaway :) 

Women at Work During War World Two

When I began working on the story that would eventually become my novel "News on the Home Front," I thought it important that it include two specific elements: how women at home dealt with the changes that came during the war years -- rationing, divided families, death of loved ones, etc.; and the role of women in the workforce. For my main characters, I chose women of means rather than middle-class women because it would allow my story a little more flexibility. So, while the characters Carole and Irene are neither middle class nor poor, the war still affected them -- just like it did every other person in America at the time.
Emerging from the crippling economic depression of the 1930s, America during the war saw many changes, perhaps none so dramatic as the entry of more than six million additional women into the workforce to replace men needed in the fighting overseas. Women in the workplace were nothing new: many women worked outside the home prior to the war. What changed was the necessity for women to work.  No longer was it a choice made by a specific woman or her family; now, there were jobs that needed to be done with no men available to do them. The only option, then, was women.
In doing my extensive research for "News on the Home Front," I was struck by just how much women contributed to the war effort. There were the obvious examples of women working in the aircraft factories building planes (as Irene does), but also women who organized neighbors to knit socks for soldiers, to work with the Red Cross to roll bandages to be used overseas, and to organize not only the many scrap drives that occurred during the war (metal, rubber, paper) but also drives to collect books and games that were shipped to soldiers so they would have additional recreational activities. I don't think it any exaggeration to say that many mountains were moved by the force of women working separately and together during the war.
Keep in mind that there was a price to be paid for women being in the workplace. Among others, this price included families breaking apart because neither parent was home (father overseas, mother in the aircraft factory) leaving juvenile delinquency to become a problem in many cities. In addition, there was the problem of women being forced to quit their jobs once men came back home -- an issue also addressed in my novel.
Clearly, though, the work women provided was a vital part of America winning the war and it is to them that "News on the Home Front" is dedicated.

In my research, I came across three radio episodes that illustrate some of the affects of women at war:
The first is an episode of "An American in England" from 1942 called "Women of Britain." Although this looks at the role of women in England rather than America, the situation there was identical to here in the states. 
The second and third, from 1942 and 1943, are from the top-rated radio comedy "Fibber McGee and Molly" and look at the swift replacement of men by women workers and how unexpected that was for so many people. 

You can hear "An American in England" here

You can hear "Fibber McGee and Molly" here and here.

If you have any stories of women in the workplace during World War Two, I would love to hear from you.  Please email me at NewsOnTheHomeFront  (at) Yahoo.com

an e-copy of News on the Home Front
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Interview & Giveaway: Michelle Pennington

For today's post I have for you an interview with Michelle Pennington! You will find out more about her, why she went Indie, and her WIP, plus some more random facts :) Don't forget to enter the giveaway and be looking out for my review of Candid coming soon!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you write.
A little bit about myself? Hmmmm… I have two adorable little girls that I’m dying to go sew sundresses for, but I have to fold my laundry first. *grumble* I’m also the proud mother of a two year old boy that I’ve almost smothered with kisses this morning even though he’s the biggest stinker to ever come into my life – except possibly his father. Being a mother becomes an enormous part of your identity, so it’s not surprising that came out first. There’s a lot to just being me though. I’m creative, but disorganized. I’m often enthusiastic, but even more often a procrastinator. I ruthlessly clean out my fridge, but my garage is likely to be given federal disaster area status any day now. I paint canvases and anything else careless enough to get too close when I have a paint brush in my hand, and I can’t keep a plant alive for love or money. Basically, I’m pretty normal except for the parts of me that are weird. Luckily, I’m really good at figuring out what makes ordinary people extraordinary in ways other people may not see. Combine that with my love for weaving stories, and I am just the right mix to make a good author. Hopefully, time will make allow me to get there. Right now, I’m enjoying the Contemporary YA romances I’ve been writing, but I have so much more I want to write when I can get to it. Paranormal, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery, ect… : You name it and I probably want to write it. If only writing didn’t take so long! I’m afraid one lifetime won’t be enough. 
Why did you decide to go Indie?
So many people assume that I’m an Indie because I couldn’t get accepted by a publisher. The truth is, I’ve never even submitted to one. I like to do things my way, on my schedule, and produce a story that I feel is 100% me. I may submit to a publisher sometime, just for the experience, but the truth is that I would have a hard time sacrificing the things I love about Indie Publishing if I was accepted. I know there are a lot of benefits to traditional publishing too, but so far, I’m perfectly content with following my own road.
What is your inspiration?
People are my inspiration, and my characters are the results of my serious people watching fetish. So many of my story ideas come from dreams I have, but those dreams come from the observations I soak in every day. Beyond that, it might be a song, a movie, a stray thought, a painting… I never know where it will come from.

Are any of your characters modeled after people you know?
Some of my characters are. In Candid, Lee and his mom definitely are. Sienna isn’t, but she’s almost real to me so that’s kind of different. A lot of the minor characters in my stories are flashes of people I’ve known. I never take a person and copy them straight onto my character though. That would be cheating – and dangerous. Instead, I take bits and pieces from people and swirl them around a bit. The more developed and complex a character is, the more people I’ve swirled into them.

Are you an outliner?
When I start something, I take off at a sprint, flushed with inspiration and creativity, with only a vague idea of where I’m going. Eventually I stop to take a breather and realize that it’s time to map things out or I’m going to end up lost. Then I outline the rest of the story, sometimes going back to outline the beginning if I realize it’s causing me problems. It’s a reflection of how I deal with the rest of my life. I should probably start with outlining, but its hard work and a real enthusiasm killer if I don’t already have a good start to keep me motivated.
Where is your favorite place to write?
I write best at my kitchen table, early in the morning. It’s just comfortable enough that I can take it for hours at a time (if I get the chance), but not so comfortable that I get distracted. Plus, it’s harder for my two year old to bang on my keyboard, I have a window to stare out of when I’m thinking, and snacks are just a few steps away. That last one is vital!

Can you tell us about your WIP?
Which one? I have three at the moment, and oh, that drives me crazy! But I just can’t seem to help it. The one that you’d most be interested in is Focused. It’s the next book in the True Images Series, and it picks up only a few hours after Candid ends. I’ve written it in Lee’s perspective, as well as Sienna’s, because Focused is just as much his story as hers. I can’t even tell you how fun it is getting in his head. Because of that, Focused is going to have a more intense pace and a leaner, more masculine flavor to the story to contrast with Sienna’s growing sense artistry and femininity. I love it!
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Indie Revolution: News on the Home Front

Today I introduce you to Christopher Geoffrey McPherson, author of News on the Home Front!  We are going to start off with a little introduction of the book along with an excerpt and then tomorrow I will share with you an awesome guest post!  And as always don't forget to get in on the giveaway at the bottom of the post! 

Set against a worldwide canvas that includes New York, Paris and Germany "News on the Home Front" tells the story of two women who have been friends since their childhood in West Lake, Maryland. The world war has torn apart their lives leaving each trying to find a way to put it back together. It's been a difficult few years with rationing and shortages starting to take their toll. Carole's boyfriend, Philip, is off to fly for the Army; and Irene has taken a job at the nearby aircraft factory. Carole promised Philip that she would wait for his return from the war -- but circumstances begin to conspire against her. She's waited her whole life for him, but can she make it until the end of the war?

In this excerpt from the World War Two novel "News on the Home Front," Irene is on her way to the aircraft factory where she has taken a job during the war. Her best friend, Carole, is at home, recovering from an accident. Carole's fiancé, Philip, is about to be shipped overseas.

The sleek Rolls pulled away from the Trent estate just outside West Lake as the snow fell lightly around them. Secured and warm in the back of the light grey car, Irene huddled in one corner, her shaved-beaver jacket crumpled close to her bare neck. She turned her head and looked out the steamed windows as the scenery passed by. She sighed heavily as she thought of the holidays just past and her friend, still asleep from the heavy sedative, in the house. She turned away from the window, adjusted her left glove, tightening it around the base of her fingers, one finger at a time.
As the car wended its way through the snow-covered roadway, bypassing the city of Baltimore, she thought sadly about returning to her job. It was not the job which made her sad, it was the thought of another sad Christmas behind her which dampened her spirits. When she left the house this morning she could not bring herself to look at the gaily decorated Christmas tree secure in its own little corner of the huge living room. It hurt too much. At Philip's request, Irene had agreed to stay at the estate for a while until Carole fully recovered from the injuries. After her car dropped her at the plant, she would have the driver go home to assist the maid in packing several bags of her things. Philip suggested Irene take a few days off from work, but Irene refused. Thinking of the women at the plant where she worked, she would feel guilty and not very patriotic if she took even one day off. There had not been one absence by any of the women in her plant for the past 150 days. Carole was in good hands; the plant needed Irene.
And it felt good to be needed. She turned her gaze back to the window and the scenery passing by, thinking of how long it had been since she had been needed by anyone. It had been too long. When word came women were needed to fill in for the men in the military at the factories and plants, she went right down to the first factory she came to and volunteered for work. They needed women for the swing shift and she agreed. Today, however, she had been asked to work day shift. It was a change which threw off her timing. She bristled, at first, at the thought of working in a plant. Her father and brother had been dead for several months; she looked at this opportunity (any opportunity, really) to get out of the house as a godsend. But, a factory?
When she had seen how much she could do for the war effort, however, all doubts she might have had quickly left her mind as she took off her silk jacket, threw it into the assigned locker and got to work. Now, after all these months, she was an important member of a team. A vital member of the working class. She was proud to earn a paycheck. The money left to her by her father and from her brother's insurance was all fine and good; but, to earn a paycheck was different. It qualified her to be a member of society now. And she was proud of it.

Author Bio: I was one of those kids always noodling with words, writing nonsense stories and animal adventures. I got a serious case of the word flu when I was asked to write an article for my high school newspaper. It's a disease from which I have yet to recover. 

In the intervening years, my work has appeared in daily newspapers, monthly magazines, extensively on radio -- and the occasional dalliance with television. I have written advertising copy and radio commercials. There is a bucket filled with awards sitting in my garage and I continue to write, write, write. 

Also featuring my byline are "Forever -- and other stories" a collection of short stories, "The Life Line" the novel of the big one that levels San Francisco, "News on the Home Front" a novel of two friends during World War Two, and "Mama Cat" a book for children. Also, several short plays, a few radio plays and a boat load of radio documentaries. I am currently working on a novel of Paris in the 1920s. 

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Excerpt from Focused by Michelle Pennington

Today I have for you an excerpt from Focused, book 2 in Michelle Pennington's True Images Series. 
If you missed yesterday's post about Candid, book 1 in the True Images Series, you can find it HERE!
Also as always don't forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post! Enjoy :) 

Finally able to run, I took off into the grey world around me. The sky was the same color as the pavement beneath my feet as night fought to hang on a few minutes longer.  
I kept my pace slow for a while to ease my body into the run, but with the even, familiar rhythm of my steps came thoughts I wanted to keep blocked out. In my mind, I relived the torment of helplessness and fear that had clenched me when I’d first seen the photo of Sienna being loaded onto an ambulance. Trapped on a bus an hour away from her, I’d had nothing to do but wait.
Just like now. 
My steps unconsciously picked up speed. It was a while before I realized that I was running without pacing myself and going faster than I’d intended. I recognized some of the landmarks around me and wondered how I’d come so far so quickly. I forced myself to slow down and focus on my music to keep my mind from straying again. 
Usually, running was a fluid, almost unconscious exercise for me. Now, each step was jarring and the cold air burned in my lungs. I refocused on regulating my breaths and fought to ignore the protests from my muscles. I began to realize how stupid I’d been to run this far. I’d played a basketball game only 10 hours ago and I hadn’t slept or eaten since. But running had always helped me control my stress, so I’d pushed myself to do it. Now I had run far enough that it was going to be hard going to get back home. Still, I would make it and maybe I’d be so exhausted that I’d finally get some sleep before I went to see Sienna.
In the struggle against my body, I’d let down the wall that blocked off my thoughts. I saw Sienna’s white, bloodied face in my mind again. It had kept me from sleeping and now it flamed the heat of my anger to scorching once more. It gave me the energy I needed to push for home, but the whole purpose of this run was to control my temper – not let it consume me.
As I ran, I ceased to exist as I drowned in sea of red thoughts. No longer bound by the pain of my body, I flew down the empty streets towards home. If I breathed, I never knew it. If I touched the ground, I never noticed. I didn’t see the houses I passed, the driveways, or the street lights. I only saw Caleb’s face, sneering and taunting me with my decision. 
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Guest Post: Suzanne Lilly

Whatever Happened to Your Very First Car?
Guest post by Suzanne Lilly

I never had a car until after high school. Writers blog about their first cars all the time, and almost always there’s a comment about how they tricked it out and gave their friends rides to and from school. I wasn’t so lucky. I was already married and living in an apartment that was walking distance from most everything we needed. But we were having our first baby, so my husband decided we needed a car.

He decided this without talking to me about it.

He decided to buy a big car. Again, without talking to me about it. I despise big cars.

He thought, “The bigger the better. It’s safer for my family.” So he drove home a huge, ugly green Chrysler Newport, like the one in this picture.
Horrified? I was too. I almost cried when I saw it. Driving it was akin to steering a yacht down the city streets.

As safe as the car probably would be in an accident, it wasn’t reliable. It started having problems and stalling at inconvenient times and places. One night it stalled as we were driving to his parents’ house for dinner. We didn’t have phones with us, so we ended up walking a couple of miles to their house. With the baby. His dad drove us back to our car and got it running again.

One day, I took my daughter to a well-baby appointment, and afterwards, the car wouldn’t start. I was stranded for a couple of hours with a tired and cranky baby on a hot summer afternoon. My relationship with Mr. Chrysler was quickly heading downhill.

Later that month, the car stalled in the middle of a busy intersection. Thank goodness the baby wasn’t with me that time. I had to push the car to the side of the road while angry drivers honked their horns at me. That was the day I decided to break up with Ugly Green Chrysler.

I got it running somehow and drove it home. The minute I walked into the apartment, I called a local junk car dealer and asked him to pick up the car. For free. “Just take it away,” I told him. He arrived about an hour later and towed the car. He must have felt sorry for me, because he paid me $50 for that hiedeous hunk of steel.

It was the best impulse decision I ever made.

That ugly old car probably got parted out to many different people restoring their classic Chryslers. Maybe pieces of it ended up in this beauty.

My personal horror story prompted me to give the heroine in my book a cute car. A Volkswagen Jetta. The local car mechanic is a friend of hers, and he helps her trick it out. Here’s how I picture Mariah’s car.
Cute, right? I won’t tell you what happens to it, because that would spoil my story, Shades of the Future. You can download a sample of the book at my Amazon Author Page. During the month of July to celebrate the book launch, I’m giving away a pair of designer sunglasses to one commenter on one of my blog posts.

In the meantime, do you want to share? Whatever happened to your first car?

About Suzanne Lilly
Suzanne Lilly is a writer at night and a teacher by day, which is why she’s known online as the TeacherWriter. Her articles and stories have appeared in numerous places online and in print. She writes contemporary young adult romance and middle grade novels. When not busy with words, she enjoys swimming, hiking, reading, fine arts, and cooking. She lives in California with her family and furry friends and has yet to feel an earthquake. You can follow her on Twitter as @suzannelilly, visit her TeacherWriter blog, at her Suzanne Lilly Author website, or friend her on Goodreads, and on Facebook.

Her debut novel, Shades of the Future, published by Turquoise Morning Press, is available July 2012. What would you do if you could see your future? What you think is “the gift” may actually be a curse.


Character Interview with Sebastian

Today Sebastian from What A Boy Wants is in the house!!! Are you as excited as I am? If you haven't read Nyrae Dawn's freakin' amazing you need to! If you need more convincing after reading this awesome interview you can read my review that was posted yesterday-where I SQUEEd a whole bunch!!!! Comment to let me know that I'm not the only one that thinks Bastian is HOTTTT (I know I'm not the only one!)

Hey, Sebastian! Thanks for stopping by today! Mind if I ask you a few questions? What's up! Are you kidding? I'm always down for giving my opinion.

Could you tell us a little about yourself for those that haven't read What a Boy Wants yet? Hahaha. Dangerous question. Seriously though. I guess I'm your average guy. I like to kick back with my friends and have a good time. You know. the usual. Except for the car situation. I'm in serious need of some wheels. Bad.

What made you decide to become the "Hook-up Doctor"? Money! Jobs are hard to come by and I happen to know a lot about hooking up. Okay, okay. Don't want that to sound bad, but I've seen a lot. I notice the mistakes girls make when going for a guy and figured sharing my knowledge wouldn't be a bad gig for me and for them.

Whenever you were in the "business" did you ever think "this isn't right"?
Not for the most part. I mean, yeah I started out doing it for money, but I feel like I was helping too. I've seen my mom get hurt a ton of times and I was doing my best so that didn't happen to other girls. Then... I can't really say what happened because I don't want to ruin the book, but when things started to get... interesting, yeah, I felt guilty, but I wasn't really sure how to deal with it either. Can we not admit to Jaden, Aspen and Pris that I just admitted to not knowing something?

Are you still an egomaniac ;)? Dude, I'm totally not an egomaniac. there's a difference. I'm confident and there's nothing wrong with that. When girls used to email me as the Hook up Doctor, I used to tell them to be confident too, so it's not like I just go around puffing my chest out. Confidence can go a long way. I think everyone should be confident in who they are, or whatever.

And now for the question everyone is dying to know, How are you and Aspen doing? Freaking awesome. Seriously, my girl is incredible.

Thanks for stopping by Bastian! Hope to see you soon! Maybe a little in What a Boy Needs? Absolutely. Like Jaden can have a book without us all being there. He's my boy. Like I've always say, the four of us are a package deal.
Pretty sweet, right?