Author Interview: Laurel Osterkamp + giveaway

Today, The Solitary Bookworm welcomes Laurel Osterkamp author of November Surprise, Campaign Promise, Starring in The Movie of my Life, Looking for Ward, and Following my Toes. Without further ado, Laurel Osterkamp everybody!

The Solitary Bookworm: Is There a Message in Your Novel That You Want Readers to Grasp?

Laurel Osterkamp: Definitely! Lucy, the main character, even states the theme towards the end. “It’s our history that brought us to this point, and it’s made us who we are.” Since the whole book is about finding parallels between Lucy’s personal dramas and the country’s public dramas, I think that’s pretty fitting.

TSB: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

LO: I have a writing group where we share our work and give each other feedback. They always tease me about the lack of setting in my books, and when I actually describe the setting, they tease me for that too! I forget to provide details, so that’s something I really need to work on.

TSB: How many books have you written and which is your favorite?

LO: I’ve written three full length novels: Following My Toes, Starring in the Movie of My Life, and November Surprise.
Also, two novellas: Looking for Ward and Campaign Promises I think my favorite is a tie between Starring in the Movie of My Life and November Surprise. I really pushed myself and discovered new things about my writing while working on both of them, but in different ways.

TSB: If you had the chance to cast your main character from Hollywood today, who would you pick and why?

LO: That’s hard. Whoever plays Lucy has to come off as smart, pretty without realizing it, and believable from the ages of 17 to 37. Perhaps Gennifer Goodwin.

TSB: When did you begin writing?

LO: I’ve been writing things for fun, like journals and short stories, for as long as I can remember. I started writing sketch comedy about 15 years ago, and my first book, Following My Toes, was written about eight years ago.

TSB: How long did it take to complete your first book?

LO: The first draft took about six months, but all the revisions took well over a year. I guess all total, it was around two years.

TSB: Did you have an author who inspired you to become a writer?

LO: Oh, sure. There are tons. Today I’ll mention Jennifer Weiner. She’s very prolific, and I love how she helped to redefine the romantic heroine. Good in Bed was one of the first “chick lit” novels with a flawed main character, who was beautiful and strong in her own way.

TSB: What is your favorite part of the writing process?

LO: Probably revisions. By that time I know the characters and the story arc really well, and I can work on refining the details and making it as perfect as possible. The challenge can be a lot of fun.

TSB: Describe your latest book in 4 words.

LO: Awesome political love story!

TSB: Can you share a little bit about your current work or what is in the future for your writing?

LO: I have a blog written in Lucy’s voice about the current election and her marriage to Monty. It’s fun to continue their story. You can read it at http://novembersurprises.blogspot.com

This spring I was on a federal jury, and of course the whole time I was thinking about how I could use the experience for my next novel. I have some ideas, so that’s what my next book will be about. Since it’s going to be fiction, I can make jury duty much more exciting than it actually was!

GIVEAWAY

Laurel Osterkam is hosting a giveaway for $30 Amazon gift card. Want to know the details?

  • Comment on this post to get 1 entry.
  • Purchase November Surprise (link indicated below) and forward your receipts to  laurel@pmibooks.com for additional 10 entries.

Winner will be chosen on Oct 12th. Good luck!

Title: November Surprise
Publisher: PMI Books
ISBN: B008TWYW0U
Date Published: 8/2012
Purchase Links: Amazon

For Lucy Jones, the distinction between love and politics is hazy at best. Both can be all-consuming, and either can lead to a heart-breaking loss or an exhilarating win. Whatever the case, if you’re seen as a loser, you probably are one. Lucy first learns this lesson in 1988, when she’s a shy girl, battling a high school bully and rooting for Dukakis. Through the years Lucy will experience the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat as she makes the choices that define her. Meanwhile, she also struggles to define her relationship with Monty, who comes in and out of her life like the changes in public opinion. Is Monty simply a one-night stand, a kindred spirit, or the love of her life? And by 2008, can he offer her a change to believe in?

Over the course of twenty years and six presidential elections, Lucy grows and adjusts with the times. Filled with snarky political and pop-culture references, November Surprise is about the journey we take to believe in a candidate, in love, and in ourselves.

November Surprise is a companion piece to Campaign Promises, which is free on Amazon. They can be read in either order. Both have a liberal slant.

EXCERPT

Monty and I have been dancing together all evening. The slow songs are the best, but we also do the Macarena and even the Chicken Dance. I can’t stop laughing the entire time I’m quacking my hands.

Jack and his new wife, Petra, have fed each other cake. Petra has thrown her bouquet, and all the toasts have been given. The night is winding down, and Monty leads me off the dance floor.

“I’m really glad neither of us had dates,” he says.

“Yeah, me too.” My heart beats just a little bit faster than normal.

“And I’m sorry about earlier. Hitting on you like that. It was clumsy. Will you forgive me?” His face is flushed and his tie is loosened. I’m sure I’ve noticed before how good looking he is, but this is the first time I’ve let myself appreciate it.

“There’s nothing to forgive.” I look around, make sure nobody is watching, and then I stand on my tip-toes and plant a kiss on his cheek. When he doesn’t flinch or pull away, I give him the barest whisper of a kiss on the lips.

It’s all the encouragement he needs.

With a conspiratorial smile, he takes my hand and leads me outside the reception hall. I follow willingly.

When we get to a dark, hidden spot, he wraps his arms around my waist and kisses me deeply. I can feel it everywhere, my entire body is tingling, my knees are weak, and I’m sure that at any moment, my heart will explode.

I don’t want him to stop. But he does.

“Where are you staying tonight?” he asks.

“I was going to drive back to my parents’ house.”

“Hmm…” he leans in and kisses me some more. I press up against him like I can’t get close enough. He tilts his head back ever so slightly, so he can talk.

“That’s a long drive. Do you want to stay with me, instead?”

“You have a hotel room?”

“It’s close to the airport,” he whispers. “I fly back to New York really early tomorrow.” Then he baby kisses my eyes, nose, and chin.

I don’t answer immediately. I’m trying to steady my breathing. “So you can make a clean get away?”

“It’s not like that.” he smiles. “And you haven’t even said yes, yet.” But he knows I’m going to. “You can’t ever tell Jack,” I say.

“He just got married, Lucy. Do you really think he’ll care?”

I rub my hands down his back and across the taut muscles in his arms. “I never had sex with him, and we dated for months. If he finds out you and I had a one night stand…”

Monty cuts me off with another kiss. “I promise I’ll never tell him,” he murmurs, between kisses.

We make out a few seconds more, but our kissing is interrupted when I’m consumed with a fit of giggles.

“What’s so funny?” Monty asks.

I shake my head. “Sorry. It just occurred to me. I’m about to do it with the homecoming king.”

Monty chuckles. “Does that turn you on?”

“Yeah,” I admit. “Kind of. Is that okay?”

He kisses my neck. I tilt my head back and sigh in pleasure.

“Are you kidding?” His lips are a mere centimeter from my skin as he mumbles, and his arms tighten around me even more. “If I had known, I would have worn my crown.”

Now we’re both laughing.

“You know this isn’t the sort of thing I usually do…”

He raises his face so he’s looking me in the eye. “I know,” he says, and he smiles. Crinkles form around his green eyes, and I feel a moment of panic. There’s no way I’m casual enough to be with him for just one night.

“Let’s make it special, okay?” He reaches down and clasps my hand, and I let him lead me somewhere, again. This time, I follow him to the parking lot. Tonight, I’d follow him anywhere.

AUTHOR BIO
Official Website | Blog

Laurel Osterkamp was a comedy writer in Minneapolis before she began writing novels. Her first novel, Following My Toes, has been a Kindle best seller and won the 2008 Indie Excellence Award for Chick Lit. Starring in the Movie of My Life received honors in the 2011 Indie Excellence Awards for Chick Lit, and in the 2011 International Book Awards for Women’s Fiction and Young Adult Lit. Both books are indie approved at indiereader.com. She currently teaches high school, and is working on her next book, which is inspired by her recent jury duty.

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Book Review: Death’s Dream Kingdom by Jessica Penot + Giveaway

The Solitary Bookworm & Reading Addiction Blog Tours presents Death’s Dream Kingdom by Jessica Penot

Title: Death’s Dream Kingdom
Author: Jessica Penot
ISBN: B004YXMFYS
Source: Reading Addiction Blog Tours
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | MUSA Publishing

Death’s Dream Kingdom is the story of a woman who is ordinary in every
way. She’s an average mother and wife and is happy living every day mired in the ins and outs of the mundane, until she is murdered. After her death, Cera finds herself lost in a nether land somewhere between life and death where demons, ghosts, and old gods roam the streets preying on the living. In this strange world, Cera is told that she is everything but ordinary. In death, she alone can help heal the rift between worlds and help bridge the gap between life and death. Caught somewhere between her desire to live again and the desire to find heaven, Cera fights those that would pull her into the politics of the netherworld. But the will of the Fates is stronger than Cera’s will and Cera quickly finds herself pulled into a quest that will drag her to hell and back and into the arms of an ancient demon lover. She will find that she is a child a Fate and that she alone can challenge Death himself for dominion over his kingdom.

REVIEW

Death’s Dream Kingdom was an exhilirating read. Death’s Dream Kingdom is a story about life today and life after death. It had entricate characters that gives more depth to the story which only makes the adventure more exciting especially with the inclusion of Greek mytholody. I have loved Greek mythology as long as I can remember and Penot’s version of it through Death’s Dream Kingdom was beautiful. I think the only think I can comment negatively about the book is that the first part has been confusing on my end but Penots use of her imagination in writing Death’s Dream Kingdom has proven to be a talent.

GIVEAWAY

Check out TSBs Facebook page to have a chance to win a copy for yourself. Just fill out the form and good luck!

AUTHOR BIO
Official Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

I am a therapist and writer who lives in Alabama with my three corgis, children, husband, and other strange creatures. My short stories have been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies including CSM, Summer Gothic, Bound By Blood, and Outer Darkness. I have ghost story columns in theValley Planet and White Cat Magazine where I share my love for ghost stories that send shivers down your spine and keep you up at night. I also share my passion for all things ghostly and haunted at my blog, ghost stories and haunted places.

I am currently working on my next Haunted America Book for History Press, Haunted South Alabama. Follow me at my blog to learn about the ghost stories I am chasing and collecting for this fascinating addition to Haunted America. I’m also workng on the next book in my Circe series. The demon is awake and waiting for my new heroine in the swamps of Southern Alabama. Click Here to Follow My Blog!

You can contact me at jessica.penot@gmail.com

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Book Review: Glimpse by Sara Daniell + Giveaway

The Solitary Bookworm & Reading Addiction Blog Tours presents Glimpse by Sara Daniell

Title: Glimpse: The Dwellers
Author: Sara Daniell
Pages: 278
Publisher: M&E Publishing
ISBN: 9780615685915
Source: Reading Addiction Blog Tours
Purchase Link: Kindle | Print

Orion Draper is not your typical Dweller. She is a non-conformist with an insatiable appetite for adventure. And trouble. So it is no surprise when she finds herself eavesdropping on a Constable meeting. One word that makes no sense, “Earth”, sends Orion on a quest for answers.

What is this “Earth”? And why has it never been mentioned before? Her search is soon over, but not without a heavy price to pay. Forced to leave behind the only home she has ever known, Orion fights for the chance to return. Every corner holds a new danger, and every shadow hides a secret. No one can be trusted, and no town is permanent.
Will Orion ever return to Dandux? Or is she forever condemned to repeat this hell she now knows?

REVIEW

Glimpse is a story about Orion and her life as a Dweller in the Sphere, speficially Dandux. Orinio is tagged as a troubled teen according to the Spheres code and that doesn’t suit well with Orion. She maybe a little different but troublemaker she is not. Together with her friend Sage she snoops around the perimeter of Dandux after eavesdropping at a secret meeting and that night turned her and Sages life around.

Orion is a bull headed girl who doesn’t take sh*t from anybody as long as she does what she think is right. Someone who will do anything to prove her point eventhough death can be a possibility. Sage is a very faithful friend. Very colorful character, street smart and devoted to her friend. Together they try to fight hunters to survive inevitable death. They meet Plath, a lead hunter who seems to be on their side after an encounter where Plath left them and helped them live but is Plath one of the good guy or bad guy?

The world building was phenomenal, I couldn’t put it down. The pacing was fast and I finished this book in one sitting. The story felt like dystopian-ish (a genre that I don’t usually read) but it worked well for me. The end of the story was intriguing so I can’t wait to read on what will happen to Orion in the next book. An awesome book to start what seems like a great series. For only $.99 this is definitely recommended and worth it.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

GIVEAWAY

It’s that time again to win one awesome book so head over at TSBs Facebook Page, fill out the form and good luck on winning! 🙂

AUTHOR BIO
Blog | Facebook

Sara Daniell is a 27 year old from a small town in Arkansas. She is married to her best friend, has two amazing daughters, and is a full time college student working towards her Masters in Special Education. When not busy with working, doing homework, and being a mom, she loves to read and write.

Sara Daniell is the author of The Holly Nather Trilogy & The Dwellers series.

Favorite Quote:
“You’re off to Great Places! Today is YOUR day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!” ~ Dr. Seuss



Blog Tour: Doppelganger by Milda Harris + Giveaway

The Solitary Bookworm and Reading Addiction Blog Tours presents Doppelganger by Milda Harris

Title: Doppelganger
Author: Milda Harris
Pages: 146
Publisher: Self-pub
ISBN: B008R0JPKQ
Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords

Citrus Leahy is having a really bad day. First she’s late to school. Then she runs into the girl who drives her nuts because she always calls her Orange instead of her name. To cap it all off, when Citrus finally makes it to class, she sees herself already inside. Wait. What? Citrus Leahy has a doppelganger!  It’s probably aliens taking over the world and her life has just turned totally upside down. Goodbye, normal. Hello, paranormal. Luckily, her crush Aedan has the exact same problem!

GIVEAWAY

Here’s a chance to win a copy of Doppelganger by Milda Harris, all you need to do it fill out the form located in TSBs Facebook Page. Good luck!

AUTHOR BIO
Official Website | @mildaharris | Blog | Facebook

Author Milda Harris is a Chicago girl who ran off to Hollywood to pursue a screenwriting dream! She has a dog named after a piece of candy (Licorice), was once hit by a tree (seriously), and wears hot pink sunglasses (why not?). Between working in production on television shows like Austin & Ally, Hannah Montana, and That’s So Raven and playing with her super cute dog Licorice, she writes young adult murder mystery, horror, paranormal romance, and chick lit novels.

Her books Doppelganger, Adventures in Funeral Crashing, Adventures of a Graveyard Girl, The New Girl Who Found A Dead Body, and Connected (A Paranormal Romance) are for sale now!

September 3 – Reading Addiction Blog Tours – Tour KickOff

September 4 – Unabridged Andra – Excerpt/Giveaway/PROMO
September 5 – Paranormal Wastelands – Review/Excerpt/Giveaway
September 6 – Cabin Goddess – Review/Interview/Giveaway
September 7 – Firestar Books – Guest  Post/ Giveaway/PROMO
September 8 – A Dream Within a Dream – Review/Excerpt/Giveaway
September 9 –Cozie Corner – Review/Giveaway
September 10 – Literature Lover’s Labyrinth – Review/Interview/Excerpt
September 11 – Bunny’s Reviews – Excerpt/Guest Post/Giveaway/PROMO
 September 12 – Celtic Lady Review’s – Excerpt/PROMO
September 13 – Book Splot Reviews – Review/Guest Post/Giveaway/Excerpt
September 14 – Book Sake – Giveaway/PROMO
September 15 – Lizzy’s Dark Fiction – Review/Excerpt/Guest Post/Giveaway
September 16 – Andi’s Book Reviews – Review/Guest Post/Excerpt/Giveaway
September 17 – The Solitary Bookworm – Review/Guest Post/Giveaway
September 18 – Book Maven – Review/GuestPost
September 19 – Kimmie’s Bookshelf – Excerpt/PROMO
September 20 – The Thoughts of a Girl – Review/Excerpt/Giveaway
September 21 – Whoopeeyoo! – Review/GuestPost/Giveaway/Excerpt
September22 – Debbie Jean’s Blog – Review/Excerpt/Giveaway
September 23 – My Escape – Review/Guest Post/Giveaway
September 24 – Feed My Need for a Good Read – Guest Post/Excerpt/PROMO
September 24 – Colorful Bookshelves – PROMO
 September 25 – Known to Read – Review/Giveaway/Excerpt
September 26 – The Book Faery Reviews – Guest Post/Giveaway/Excerpt/PROMO
September 27 – One Page at a Time – Review/Excerpt
September 28 – TE Garden of Books – Excerpt/PROMO
September 30 – My Reading Addiction – Excerpt/Giveaway/PROMO
October 1 – Library Geek Girl – Review/Guest Post

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Guest Post: Why Covers are so Important + Giveaway

Hello guys. Please welcome A.L. Jackson on the blog today, author of Pulled! I just reviewed Pulled and I loved it. Don’t want to gush or rant here since A.L. deserves all the spotlight! 🙂 Without further ado –

Hey All! I’m A. L. Jackson, author of Pulled and Take This Regret. I just wanted to thank Insomnia of Books for allowing me to share with all of you today, and on such a cool topic, Why Book Covers are so Important.

So let’s be honest…how many of you have purchased a book based on the cover alone? I have! Most of us are very visual creatures, our attention caught by the beautiful, the unique, and at times, the incredibly strange. We’re drawn to color and style, sharp lines, and bold words.

But what does that mean for covers? They say you only have a few seconds to capture someone’s attention on the internet, and when 80% of books today are sold on Amazon and with the massive number of titles that are listed there, it’s now more important than ever for covers to catch a potential reader’s eye.

There are a few key elements every book cover should have. The first and foremost is it should be pleasing to the eye—something that makes someone browsing titles stop and think, Wow, that’s an amazing cover. This is the point where your cover has done its job in making someone take a closer look at the book itself. The cover should also tell the potential reader something about the story inside, the design consistent with the genre of the book, although it should be unique enough that it stands out from the crowd. It should also give the reader a hint at the amazing story they will find inside.

Covers are so important because it’s the first thing someone sees—the main thing that will tell a potential reader to move or to take a closer look.

So what is it about a cover that draws your attention?

GIVEAWAY

It’s that time again you guys. Same as before, all you have to do is fill out the form in TSBs Facebook Page and that’s it! Good luck to everyone who enters and who ever wins, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. Toodles!

Book Review: Sophie’s Turn by Nicky Wells + Giveaway

The Solitary Bookworm and Reading Addiction Blog Tour presents Sophie’s Turn by Nicky Wells

Title: Sophie’s Turn
Author: Nicky Wells
Pages: 424
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
ISBN: 9781938404207
Source: Reading Addiction Blog Tour

Slapper. Slut. Adulteress. These are hardly words that Sophie Penhalligan would normally use to describe herself. Yet this is exactly how she is behaving, all things considered, even if she isn’t quite married to Tim yet. And it’s all happening because her past is coming to tempt her! Nine years ago, she met her teenage idol and rock star extraordinaire, Dan, up close and personal. Well, almost. Now Dan has crash-landed back in her life. How could Tim ever stand a chance against the charming, handsome singer? How could she?

REVIEW

Sophie’s Turn is a great beach read, it was a swift and easy story to follow and I think all romantic buff might enjoy. Sophie just wanted the good life – the nice boyfriend, a steady and productive job, great relationship with friends, and a nice little home as a married woman. Sophie’s plan is already in action as she has everything she wants and needs with a slight problem – Tim, her boyfriend. From the start of the story, you’ll really feel something different about Tim. He’s an ok partner but there are just things that can irk you about your partner and Sophie has a few on her mind. With her problems in tow, she accidentally bumped into Dan – the rock star from her younger years and then that’s the start of an emotional roller coster for Sophie.

What I love most about the story is the ending of how Sophie made a decision with her situation against the two men in her life. It was courageous of her and I believe it was the right thing to do. I can’t seem to write a better review of not including spoiler so I’ll give you a gist of Sophie’s Turn. It is a quick and enjoyable read with tons of twist and turn. The writing is so light you’ll be able to read it in no time. I have to admit that when I was reading Sophie’s Turn I kept on comparing it to Bridget Jones although they are so different. Maybe it’s an English thing. Anyhoo, who doesn’t love a quick romance story with an ending that will leave you wanting for more? Although the story ended with a hint of another book, I believe Sophie’s Turn can be read stand alone.

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*

EXCERPT

“What the hell is going on here?” I hissed, trying to prevent others from hearing our exchange.

“Oh, Sophie, Dan’s turned up. Isn’t it amazing?” she beamed at me.

“I can see that,” I kept hissing, “But what is he doing here?”

Rachel was quite drunk herself and looked at me with those bleary eyes that usually meant she was up to no good. “Sophie,” she declared solemnly and rather loudly, “you have broken the man’s heart. He has come to reclaim you.” She wobbled unsteadily and I gripped her arm. Usually one to hold her liquor, party-girl Rachel had clearly gone too far tonight.

“Shshshshshshshsh!” I admonished. “Will you keep your voice down? What are you talking about?”

“Dan is completely besotted with you, and he said he couldn’t bear the thought of you getting engaged to Tim so he had to…hic…come and check him out…hic!” Oh God, she had the hiccups. She would have to spend the night in the guest room. Once Rachel got the hiccups, she was beyond salvation. I gave her twenty minutes before she collapsed. I had to extract critical information fast.

“Why did you introduce him to Tim?” I continued my interrogation. “Couldn’t you have sent him away?”

“Oooh noo, Sophie. I couldn’t turn this lovely, heartbroken man away.” She looked at me with big, innocent, and totally unfocused eyes. “In fact, we were just looking for you. You seemed to have… hic… hic… hic…disapp-hic-eared.”

“What did you say to Tim about who Dan was?” I needed to know.

“That he was Dan, of course. Your boy-hic-friend from Tusk!” She dropped this bombshell completely nonchalantly.

“You what?” I squeaked. “Please tell me you’re joking.”

“Noooo, I’m s-hic-erious! Ti-hic-im thought it was very funny. Hic.”

I wrung my hands and barely prevented myself from tearing at my hair. If Tim had thought it was funny, he must have thought Rachel was being facetious or winding him up. He had seen her drunk before (and the experience hadn’t done anything to endear her to him in any way), so it was likely that he hadn’t paid the slightest bit of heed to the truth she was spouting. But I had to move, and fast.

“You,” I said to Rachel, grabbing her by the shoulders and steering her toward the stairs. “You have had enough to drink. You are going to bed.”

“I hic-am?” Rachel asked, surprised.

“Indeed,” I confirmed grimly and marched her up the stairs. “Right, here you are. Guest room. Bed. Now.” I propelled her forward and she flopped on the bed like a rag doll.

“Very ti-hic-hic-red,” she mumbled before passing out.

I, on the other hand, had sobered up dramatically and had only one thought left: damage limitation. I blundered back downstairs, racing quite unladylike in my high heels, and skidded to a halt in the lounge. There they were, companionably sitting in front of the stereo, playing DJ.

I clattered across the floor, grabbing a bottle of champers and three glasses off a table as I went. Tim looked up, and then sprang to his feet.

“And here she is,” he announced to Dan with no small measure of proprietary pride. “Doesn’t she look gorgeous?”

Dan rose to his feet, somewhat unsteadily, and looked me up and down. A sad smile played on his face for just the briefest of moments.

“She looks stunning, indeed. Congratulations to you both.” He walked over to me and planted a chaste kiss on my cheek. “Well done,” he said softly, and Tim beamed gratefully, completely unaware that the comment was aimed solely at me. In fact, he seemed completely besotted by Dan’s manly, famous presence.

“Dan here and I were just discussing rock music,” he informed me as though Dan were his new best friend.

I shuddered for a moment. God forbid.

“Dan has some very interesting views about the movement, you know?”

I winced and smiled a secret apologetic smile at Dan, but he was too drunk to notice anything patronizing in Tim’s comment. I had to separate the two before things got out of hand. Luckily, one of our other guests absolved me of thinking up more ruses by descending on Tim and whisking him away to the kitchen.

Dan and I regarded each other in silence.

“You do look beautiful,” Dan repeated, suddenly sounding a whole lot more sober.

I wanted to cry. “What are you doing here?” I whispered, not trusting my voice.

“I don’t really know,” he acknowledged. “I just felt…lonely. At a loose end. I had to see you and convince myself that…well, that it really is too late. You know?”

I was simultaneously touched and petrified. “I thought we’d agreed…,” I started, but Dan interrupted immediately.

** GIVEAWAY **

Here’s another giveaway for everyone – a chance to win an eBook of Sophie’s Turn and all you have to do is fill out the form in TSBs Facebook page and that’s it. Good luck guys! 🙂

AUTHOR BIO
Official Website | @WellsNicky | Facebook

Rock On! Nicky Wells writes fun and glamorous contemporary romance featuring a rock star and the girl next door. Her debut novel, Sophie’s Turn, is the first part in her Rock Star Romance Trilogy. Not unlike Sophie, her heroine, Nicky loves rock music, dancing, and eating lobsters. When she’s not writing, Nicky is a wife, mother, and teaching assistant. Nicky is also a featured author on the innovative reader/author project, loveahappyending.com.

Originally born in Germany, Nicky moved to the United Kingdom in 1993, and currently lives in Bristol with her husband and two boys. In a previous professional life, Nicky worked as a researcher and project manager for an international Human Resources research firm based in London and Washington, D.C.

Visit Nicky on her blog where you can find articles, interviews, radio interviews and, of course, an ongoing update on her work in progress, the second and third parts of the Rock Star Romance Trilogy. You can also follow Nicky on Twitter and find her on Facebook.
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Book Review: Telesa: The Covenant Keeper by Lani Wendt Young + GIVEAWAY

The Solitary Bookworm & Enchanted Book Tours presents Telesa: The Covenant Keeper by Lani Wendt Young

Title: Telesa: The Covenant Keeper
Author: Lani Wendt Young
Pages: 432
Publisher: Self-pub
ISBN: 1466253711
Source: Enchanted Book Tours
AMAZON | B&N
Telesa Trilogy FB page

When Leila moves to her new home, all she wants is a family, a place to belong. Instead she discovers the local ancient myths of the telesa spirit women are more than just scary stories. The more she finds out about her heritage, the more sinister her new home turns out to be. Embraced by a Covenant Sisterhood of earth’s elemental guardians – what will Leila choose? Her fiery birthright as a telesa? Or will she choose the boy who offers her his heart? Daniel – stamped with the distinctive tattoo markings of a noble Pacific warrior and willing to risk everything for the chance to be with her. Can their love stand against the Covenant Keeper?

A thriller-romance with a difference. If you enjoyed Twilight, then you will be enthralled by Telesa as it blends the richness of Pacific mythology into a contemporary young adult love story that will stay with you long after you have turned the final page.

REVIEW

I burn. Inside and out. I burned. There was indescribable pain and the knife edge of pleasure. It was ecstasy and hell all at once. Then, as swiftly as it had begun, it stopped. I was empty. A dried hus scorched beyond belief. Withered and dead. I fell. The steaming darkness claimed me.

Telesa is an engrossing tale about Daniel and Leila – a tragic love story that proved to go against all odds. Okay, first off all Telesa is not really solely about Daniel and Leila I just wanted to put that out as early as now to make a dramatic entrance of some sort. Telesa is actually more of about the journey of Leila in discovering her history and power. Everything went well for Leila that is until she was face to face with Nafanua- her mother.

Leila, our heroine, is a gifted teenager who lost her father and mother. She went to Samoa to rediscover her roots but was warned immediately by her aunt and uncle about things unknown to her. Leila was a strong lead. She can be very stubborn and irritating at some parts but you can definitely see her charm. Then she meets Daniel. Daniel is the swoon worthy kid persistent in keeping Leila at his side. He is all what you would want in a partner – handsome, respectful, courageous and smart in addition to being one of the head kid and the captain to the rugby team. Smart and sporty. Yum!

The two didn’t had a relationship immediately (thank God) and their relationship took time to develop. You can definitely feel the connection and the relationship was very believable. It was a cute partnership that I can really say works well in a series. The irritating part here though is Leila. She can’t make up her mind if she wants to be with Daniel or not. She loves him completely one minute then shuts him off the next. I was at wits with irritation. But as I said, it all worked out in the end.

So let’s talk about the whole Telesa gig and Nafanua. As discuss there are three gifts to a Telesa: Telesa matagi – air, Telesa casa loloa – water and Telesa faNua afi – fire. Air and water are very common and fire is considered a myth but it just so happened that Leila was fanua afi which makes her a very important and powerful Telesa. Nafanua has many secrets, juicy and oh so scandalous secrets that will be reveals in due time, and it seems like she’s not the mother Leila expected her to be.I don’t want to indulge you with too much information so enough about Nafanua, you need to get to know her to appreciate the story let’s move on to Sarona. Now, that is one crazy b*tch which makes her a more effective villain that I appreciate so very much. I was so mad and pissed at her althroughout. Talk about a well written and effective evil b*tch with sooo much power. You’ll definitely be in for a treat.

Telesa was an awesooome read not just because of the heart pumping action and heart breaking non-mushy lines (need to emphasize on the non-mushiness of the love story) but it is also a tale of family, courage, belief, discovery and self respect. Telesa has an interesting twist to a story used plenty of times in the past. Telesa had its own version and twist and I can definitely say the journey was nail biting from start to finish. Its a starter to a trilogy but it can be read stand alone. And with what I have read, looks like the second book will be as good as this one. Let’s see. For now, Telesa is a 5 star rating on my list.

** GIVEAWAY **

And since Telesa is such an awesome read, I have to give you guys a chance to read it too right? So, Here’s another giveaway for you guys. There will be 1 eBook copy up for grab. Easy entries (wouldn’t even take 3 minutes to finish) and this is international. Open until Sept 11th. All you have to do is full out the form in TSBs Facebook page and that’s it! Good luck! 🙂

ABOUT THE TELESA TRILOGY

Lani self-published her second book ‘Telesa: The Covenant Keeper’ as an electronic book in October 2011 – a first for a Samoan author. Telesa is the first book in a Young Adult contemporary Fantasy series set in Samoa and within two months, it had reached number one on the Top Rated Fantasy Romance List on Amazon, the world’s largest e-book distributor. On June 10th 2012, the second book in the series, ‘When Water Burns’ was launched on Amazon, making it to Amazon’s ‘Hot New Releases’ listing within the first 48 hours. Both books 1 and 2 are also available in print books. The third book, ‘The Bone Bearer’ will be released in early 2013.

Lani uses a variety of social media to market, distribute and promote her writing, taking it to a global audience. The multi-visual marketing campaign for Telesa showcased a wide variety of Pacific talent as Lani collaborated with ‘up and coming’ innovators in the fields of photography, film, dance, art design, sports, modeling, bone carving, music, and fashion.

AUTHOR BIO
Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook

Lani is a Samoan-NZ writer who blogs as a (slightly Demented) Domestic Goddess at Sleepless in Samoa. Her award-winning short fiction has been published in collections in NZ, Australia and the UK. In 2009, Lani was commissioned to research and write her first book, the narrative non-fiction account of the disaster which devastated the islands of Samoa, American Samoa and Northern Tonga. The printing of ‘Pacific Tsunami – Galu Afi’ was funded by the Australian government and all proceeds from the book go to survivors who shared their stories for the project.

Lani is married to Darren Young (who is probably the most patient man alive) and when she’s not writing blogging, Tweeting, Facebooking, getting depressed about a two star book rating on Goodreads, and ecstatic about a rave review on Amazon – she’s the full-time mother to her five fabulous children. (Who are also very patient people)

She won the following awards:

  • 2011 USP Press Fiction Award, ‘Sleepless in Samoa.’ Short story collection.
  • 2010 Commendation Award, Commonwealth Short Story Competition. ‘The Beast that Came from the Sea.’
  • Winner of the 2002 Telecom/National Univ of Samoa Short Story Competition. ‘A Sister’s Story.’

Guest Post: Meeting Deadlines and Keeping your Sanity at the Same Time by Angela Scott + Giveaway

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The Solitary Bookworm opens its doors to Angela Scott who is the author of Desert Rice. I already read the book and recommend it. Read my review and you’ll know why. 🙂  Let’s give it up for Angela Scott!

Meeting Deadlines and Keeping your Sanity at the Same Time

I’m actually writing this post at the same time that I have two deadlines looming over my head. The first is for a short story to be included in a YA Anthology. The deadline is September 1st and I haven’t even typed one word of it. The second is for my novel Survivor Roundup due to be released at the end of November, but to have that come to fruition I need to have it done and handed over to my editors by the first part of September as well. But…the book has no ending. I still need to write one. September is coming fast.

Ahhh, the joy of deadlines. They’re a necessary evil. Without deadlines, nothing would ever get done. Because believe me, procrastinating is easy and writing a book is hard. I can easily find a million other things to do than actually sit down at my laptop and write, especially when the writing comes painfully slow. That’s not fun. Youtube cat videos are fun.

Just the word DEADLINE sounds so…awful. I mean, it has the word dead in it. That can’t be good.

For me, it’s all about attitude. If we look at deadlines as evil and impossible to meet, we will begin to begrudge them and we won’t perform to our best ability, ultimately leading us to miss the deadline. So instead of looking at it as a foe, we need view deadlines differently. We don’t want to take them lightly, defiantly not, but  if we can change our attitude, embrace the deadline as a friend, or a helper, then the whole idea of a deadline becomes easier.

Because what are deadlines for anyway? To help us achieve our goals and attain our dreams. Maybe we should change the name from DEADLINE to GOAL LINE. Doesn’t that sound better?

Some tips to meet the goal line:

  1. Embrace it, but in that process make sure it’s realistic. Most often times deadlines are broken because we didn’t block out enough time or provide ourselves with a buffer to account for mistakes that will happen or problems that may pop up. An insane deadline WILL make you insane. That is a given. Don’t do that to yourself.
  2. Break your project down into smaller steps with smaller goal lines. If the whole novel is to be complete by say, September 1st, then do little bite size chunks between now and then, whatever those goals may be—write 2,000 words a day for example. Like they say, Q: “How do you eat an elephant?” A: One bite at a time.
  3. Reward yourself. I love this tip. Pats on the back are nice, but a new purse or a pair of shoes is awesome! Do whatever it takes to meet those goals. You met your 2k for the day?  Treat yourself to something special—an ice-cream, a movie, a walk in the park (always good to relax your mind and get your creative juices flowing). Rewards work great for little kids, but they work miracles for writers.
  4. Form a cheerleading group. Tell your friends and family about your deadline and have them help and encourage you to meet it. When you get your friends and family on board, it will be easier to miss a family function or turn down a lunch date. They will understand.
  5. Lastly, don’t be so hard on yourself. Commit to your deadlines, but refuse to allow it to destroy you. So you missed the deadline, life happens, take a deep breath, review what happened, and then create a new goal line and try again. It’s okay.
  6. Now I’m off to meet my goal lines. Wish me luck. I hope I write my 2k today because that new pair of pumps in the store window display is calling to me.

** GIVEAWAY **

People who are following TSB already knows how giveaways are handled in TSB but for the benefit of our new friends – all you have to do to win a copy of Desert Rice is to fill out the form located in TSBs Facebook Page here (click click the link) and that’s it! Good luck ya’ll!

Blog Tour: The Bachelorette Project by Tami Anthony

The Solitary Bookworm & Reading Addiction Blog Tour presents The Bachelorette Project by Tami Anthony

Title: The Bachelorette
Author: Tami Anthony
Date Published: 6/3/2012
Purchase: AMAZON

SYNOPSIS
When an unfortunate twist of fate leaves 28 year-old socialite Leslee Robinson broken-hearted and unemployed, she embarks on a journey to discover what boggles every twenty-something single woman’s mind: What do men REALLY want and how do you find the perfect mate? With the help of her two best friends; Annie, a self-conscious, sarcastic single mother; and Karen, the neurotic, perfectionist ‘bridezilla,’ Leslee creates The BACHELORETTE Project, a ‘scientific’ dating experiment designed to uncover the enigma of the male species. Continue reading

Book Review: Phobia by C.A. Shives + 2x Giveaway

Title: Phobia
Author: C.A. Shives
Pages: 324
Publisher: Firestor Editions
Source: Enchanted Book Promotions

Ex-cop Artemis Herne thought he left the grit and crime of the city in the past when he moved to a small town in Pennsylvania. But the discovery of a woman’s dead body, bound and covered with snakes, sends panic through his community and ignites his investigative instincts.

As the serial killer continues to target his prey, Herne must confront his own haunted past to uncover the pattern in the deaths. He soon discovers that every victim suffers from a phobia. And every murder transforms the victim’s worst fear into reality.

Tormented by his personal demons, he is forced to face his own fears as he hunts for a murderer who uses terror for a weapon.

REVIEW

OMG! This is absolutely, incredibly, super dupppppeeer good material. Oh wait, good is not enough to describe Phobia – Phobia is FANTABULOUS! A must read in the suspense/thriller genre. It was arrrrrrrrrrrr amazing! Men on men I was blown from page one until the very last. It has been a long time since I read a good suspense novel and I am over the top joyous to have read Phobia.  Continue reading