Pink Fire Pointer 2013

The Illegitimate Book Reviewers And How to Spot Them
Authors need book reviews to sell their books, and of course they want great ones. Authors who learn their craft, do their research, and produce quality, well-written books deserve good endorsements, and by putting in the proper time and effort, such authors usually receive glowing praise from reviewers. But even good books can receive bad reviews-and I don't mean reviews that say negative things about the book. I'm talking about ones written by people not qualified, no matter how highly esteemed, to write them. Why are they not qualified? Because they do not read the books. Let's face it. Books are a business, and reviewers know authors need them. Free reviews are becoming harder and harder to find. Reviewers are now being paid for their services, and they should be; their time is valuable, and reading a book and writing a decent review can take many hours. Authors need to be prepared to pay for the service and to realize it's a business investment, just like advertising and marketing, where money is invested in hopes it will result in book sales. But unscrupulous people-let's call them illegitimate book reviewers-are willing to prey upon authors' needs. They realize they can make money off an author without providing a legitimate service. Let's say you make $100 for every book you review, and it takes you eight hours to read a book. That's $100 a day. But wouldn't it be nice to make $200 or $400 or $1,200 a day? What if, instead of reading the books, you just skimmed them, or you just regurgitated what the back cover said? Think how many fake ones you could pump out, and how much money you could make, while giving authors what they want. So what if the review is only four sentences? As long as you give it five stars at Amazon, the author will be happy, right? Cha-ching! Sadly, yes, in many cases, authors have been happy. But mostly they are first-time or self-published authors new to the business who got lucky getting accurate descriptions of their books. I've known many such authors rave about how their book was rated by one of these "esteemed" or "top" reviewers, often one close to the top in Amazon's rankings. Early on when I started offering book reviews, I realized it was unlikely I would ever be ranked in Amazon's Top 10, not because my reviews lacked quality or I didn't cover enough books, but simply because I was not a robot, and I actually read the books. If you look at Amazon's list of top Amazon reviewers, many of them have reviewed over 5,000 books. If you are a service with several reviewers on staff, that number is understandable, but most of the top ranked are individuals. How can this be? Even if it's your full time job and you could read a book a day, or even two books a day, that's only ten a week or about five hundred a year. You'd have to have been reviewing at Amazon for ten years to break 5,000. Okay, I guess that's possible, but take a look at some of the top ones on Amazon. Some of them have posted on up to fifteen books a day. Yes, some of them are legitimate and write quality write-ups, so I don't mean to disparage those individuals. Granted, a few of these people might be speed readers, but the jury is still out on the legitimacy of speed reading. I had a friend who claimed to be a speed reader. I gave her three mystery novels to read that she returned to me the next day. When I asked her whether she had figured out who the murderer was in one book, she couldn't remember "whodunit." If you're reading so fast you can't retain the basic plot, you're not really reading the book. Worse, some of these write-ups have nothing to say that an author can even use. I've seen some that are only three or four sentences of plot summary without anything that states the book is "good, excellent, engaging, or not to be missed." An author can't get a blurb for a back cover if a review only summarizes but does not rate the book's quality. Still worse, many of what authors hope will be useful endorsements for their books end up, because the books weren't read but text was quickly reworded from the back cover, with characters' names misspelled, factual errors about the plot, and sometimes even mistakes about the theme, content, and whole point of the book-all dead giveaways a book was never read. Sometimes the plot summaries then only result in confusion, and if a reader is confused, he's not going to buy a book or waste his time reading it. Some authors might not care about such details. If the review is good, it's good enough to sell books, right? But if it's misleading, readers are not going to be happy when the books they buy do not reflect what is said about them. Hopefully, when readers have those experiences, they'll know better than to trust those reviewers again. Sadly, as long as money is involved, illegitimate reviewers won't be going away any time soon. But as an author who is payin

Steps on Becoming a Book Reviewer
So you want to be a book reviewer. You love to read books and you think you can make some extra money by writing book reviews, or maybe you're an author who is a bit frustrated that you can't get reviews so you decide to start reviewing books yourself, or you think by writing reviews, you might get people interested in reading your books. Those are all great reasons to become a book reviewer, but how do you go about it, and what standards or guidelines do you need to follow? Book Reviewer Qualifications In this Internet age, anyone can be a book reviewer, but some basic qualifications are needed to become established as a reputable and reliable one. You don't need a Ph.D. in English, you don't have to be an expert in anything, and you don't have to be an author. But you do need to have a good command of the English language and be able to express yourself well. You also want to have a professional attitude, be fair, and be thoughtful about how you express your opinion, not only reacting based upon your own preferences but also considering the book's intended audience and what you think the majority opinion may be toward the book. In short, being balanced yet honest are key qualities for a successful book reviewer. Getting Started People get started reviewing books in numerous ways. Many authors begin by swapping books and writing reviews for each other as a way of mutually supporting their fellow authors. You might want to begin by writing reviews and posting them at Amazon or Barnes & Noble's websites, or any of the reader/book lover sites such as LibraryThing. You might even decide to set up your own blog or website where you can post your book reviews. Today, many bloggers are their own independent book reviewers. If you don't want to run your own blog, you might connect with bloggers to be their guest book reviewer. Don't overlook the possibilities of reviewing online or in print-potential homes for your book reviews are endless. If you really want to learn the ropes of book reviewing, you may want to start out by writing reviews for an established book review service or publication. While print publications are phasing out book reviews, many magazines and newspapers still carry reviews. Some of these publications have an established book reviewer or book review team while others solicit reviews. Send a query to the publication and ask whether it would be interested in a review of a specific book, or whether you can write reviews for them-many of them receive books in the mail that they might be willing to send you. Online review services, including Reader Views, Review the Book, and Feathered Quill Reviews also have book review teams. Many of these services are set up so readers can choose the books they want to review. Some of these services offer monetary compensation for reviewing books while others offer only a copy of the book to be reviewed as compensation. In either case, it's a great way to get started earning your book reviewer credentials. Finding Your Niche as a Reviewer At first, you might want to review any book you can to earn your credentials and become known as a book reviewer, but over time, you might decide you want to become an expert reviewer for certain types of books, such as romance novels or self-help. Several reviewers/bloggers exist who focus solely on one type of book. If you are already an author, you may want to review books similar to yours, whether they are mysteries, thrillers, or cookbooks. If you have certain credentials, such as being an archeologist, a history professor, or a licensed psychologist, you may want to focus on reviewing books in those fields. If you're a stay-at-home mom, you may want to review children's books or parenting books. And by all means, don't forget the self-published authors. Yes, you might like to read John Grisham's novels, but he probably doesn't need your book reviews to boost sales, so consider writing a review for a self-published author who just wrote his first thriller and is trying to get exposure. That way, you will both be doing each other a favor, promoting the book together through your review. Self-published authors can be extremely grateful for your help and then refer their friends to you so you can quickly build your credentials and clientele. Reviewing for Money When you start out being a reviewer, you probably want to review some books for free just to get your name out there and build up your credentials. You might offer your services to the members of an authors association and give a special low price for a review. Many authors are not going to pay $50, much less $600 for a book review (yes, there are reviewers who charge $600), but they might be willing to give you a copy of their book and $25. As you become known and increase your credentials, you can always charge more. Don't be embarrassed about charging to write reviews. You

Book Marketing - 3 Tips For an Online Book Review
Book marketing used to require live book tours, where authors visited bookstores all over the country, making speeches and reading from their books. These tours were supplemented by book reviews in newspapers and magazines. Reviewers in those print media would receive complimentary review copies, often in pre-publication form as Advance Reading Copies (ARCs). Today fewer publishers are willing to pay for live book tours and few authors enjoy the hassles of 21st century air travel followed by impersonal hotel rooms. These days more and more authors and publishers are turning to online reviews, especially reviews published in the Amazon online community. Amazon has become so critical to book sales that publishers now send ARCs to ordinary people who are the most prolific and effective online reviewers. Authors allocate a hefty portion of their publishing budget to getting online book reviews. Yet many authors hold inaccurate beliefs about what they need to get an online book review. The steps are actually quite simple and easy to follow. First, there is no need to pay anyone to write a review for your book. You will be wasting money and you will most likely not get a quality review. A better idea: Use your book review budget to buy extra review copies and send them to the reviewers who seem most suited to review books in your field. If your book is a how-to manual for training an adopted dog, look for reviewers who seem to like books about dogs. Some will even mention the breed of their dog in their reviews and/or online bios. Second, offer reviewers a complete hard copy of your book. A hard copy doesn't mean a hard back book; most reviewers will work with paperbacks. However, reviewers often resist reading pdf copies online and they most likely will balk at the idea of printing their own copy of a 250-page book at their expense. With the increasing popularity of readers, these preferences may change. Always ask before sending a pdf file and be prepared to offer a print copy. Third, after someone agrees to review your book, simply send the book. You do not need to send promotional material. Editors of print book review sections and managers of book stores will be concerned with the book's publicity plans. Most online reviewers are ordinary people who just want a good book. Do not write to the reviewer asking, "Where is my review?" Reviewers tend to have stacks of books on their coffee tables, all awaiting review. They may choose not to review a book if they realize they would have to write a negative review, especially if the book appears self-published or from a very small press. While it's nice to get a thank you note after a review, this step is not at all necessary. Even more important, do not complain about your review. A few negative or neutral reviews might actually help your book. Readers realize you didn't get all your friends to write puff pieces.

My Game of Thrones Reading Adventure

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

First things first. I'm such a big fan of the HBO series A Game of Thrones. I can honestly say I may never have picked up the books if I hadn't watched the shows. If you're thinking "How can you watch the show and then read the books" I always try to read the book before the tv/movie, but I loved the show so much that I knew there had to be more details that I was missing, so I started A Game of Thrones about a year ago. Yes, a year ago! A Game of Thrones is over 800 pages in hardcover form, so it's not easy to carry around. I decided to get the e-book for my iPad, but I would only get like 10 pages and then a tweet/email/gchat would distract me.

Each chapter of A Game of Thrones is told from a different point of view so at first it was difficult keeping track of who was where. Reading A Game of Thrones was about studying the characters and how the book is different from the show. I found that the book and the show are really close, but you do learn more about the past and Ned's promises to his sister Lyanna. There are a number flashbacks and dreams that were never shown on the show that I'm glad I got to learn about. Some people only got creepier in the book. Yes, I'm looking at you Cersei Lannister! If you love the show and are looking for a fantasy novel then pick this one up! Don't let the size of the book or the hype deter you, it's a great read.

I loved A Game of Thrones so much that I started Clash of Kings, book two in the series. Interesting side note a number of YA authors are big fans of A Game of Thrones, the books and the show!

Guest Post: Letting Go of Plans to Make Way for the Real Story

Please help me welcome Nichole Giles author of DESCENDANT. Nichole is guest posting on letting go of plans.

When I first started writing Descendant, the entire concept revolved around the fact that my main character, Abby, had some extraordinary abilities. Originally, she could do a lot of other things, but as I got writing the story, I realized that I was in over my head, and that the story was going to be way too complicated. If I wasn’t careful, I’d end up with a story about another super hero.

Don’t get me wrong, super heroes are extremely cool. I’m a big fan of super heroes. But as I got to know Abby and Kye, I realized that they are so much more human than anything else. And rather than make them invincible, I allowed them to keep the powers that sort of made them who they are, and then I gave the rest away to other characters, or dropped the abilities altogether.

Once I made that decision, the story came alive in a way it never had before. I figured out where their powers came from, why they each have the abilities they do, and why those abilities are so important to the story. Also, it was doing this that brought up Abby and Kye’s connection, and the history behind it. That connection has become a backbone for the plot, and one of the things that keeps them moving through it.

By letting go of what I thought this story was going to be, I discovered what it truly is.

Abby and Kye’s journey has evolved over a long time, and the story has changed dramatically in the process. But the things that have remained consistent are Abby’s ability to Heal others, and her intuitive ability to See things. The love story hasn’t changed much either, actually. It’s just become deeper and more refined. So there’s that.

I’m a fan of love stories, so everything I write will involve some romance. It’s just who I am as a writer. Love at first sight? Check. Long lost kindred souls? Check. People and circumstances trying to tear the lovers apart? Check. And guess what? Other than the love at first sight thing (which was part of the very, very first draft of this story forever and ever ago) Abby and Kye’s story evolved organically. Most of what happens between them wasn’t planned in advance.

A bit of trivia: there is one scene that started it all, including the special abilities and everything else that evolved from that. It’s a scene between Abby and Kye. While it changed somewhat in the revision process, it is, to me, the truest part of the story.

Anyone want to guess which scene it is? Leave your guesses in the comments for a chance to win a signed Descendant bookmark.


About DESCENDANT: Seventeen-year-old Abigail Johnson is Gifted.

Blessed-or cursed-with Sight and Healing, Abby lives an unsettled life, moving from place to place and staying one step ahead of the darkness that hunts her. When she arrives in Jackson, Wyoming, she is desperate to maintain the illusion of normalcy, but she is plagued with visions of past lives mixed with frightening glimpses of her future. Then she meets Kye, a mysterious boy who seems so achingly familiar that Abby is drawn to him like he's a missing piece of her own soul.

Before Abby can discover the reason for her feelings toward Kye, the darkness catches up to her and she is forced to flee again. But this time she's not just running. She is fighting back with Kye at her side, and it's not only Abby's life at stake.

Praise for DESCENDANT: "A hot new spin on paranormal, Descendant is refreshingly imaginative and powerful. I can't decide which was best -- piecing together Abby's sinister past or keeping up with her heartbreaking future. If you like your YA laced with melt-my-heart romance and a good helping of heart-pounding suspense, you'll love this book!" -- Michelle Davidson Argyle, author of The Breakaway

"This debut novel delivers in all the right ways, with heart-pounding action and a delicious romance that sweeps centuries. I loved it!" --Elana Johnson, author of Possession and Surrender

Thanks for participating! And don’t forget to enter the Descendant Blog Tour giveaway provided by Nichole Giles!


I'm so happy to be part of the HERO'S GUIDE BLOG TOUR! I just finished THE HERO'S GUIDE TO SAVING THE KINGDOM and it's so funny. This is such a special occasion, because I have had authors, bloggers and reviewers on my blog, but this is the first time I've had a prince! Who is this prince? Well you can learn all about him below! The tour is just getting started, so there will be a giveaway, a twitter chat, and hello did I mention a prince?

Prince Liam
Occupation: Prince, hero
Affiliation: Founding member, League of Princes
Kingdom of Origin: Erinthia
Current Residence: Royal Palace of Harmonia
Parents: King Gareth & Queen Gertrude
Sibling: Princess Lila
Longtime Foe: Deeb Rauber (a.k.a. the Bandit King)
Likes: Saving lives, exercise, capes
Dislikes: Evildoers, bards, melon
Signature Move: The Double-Flip Half-Twist Disarming Sword Thrust with a Cape Flourish
Quote: “I am Liam of Erinthia. And you can consider yourself rescued.”
Little Known Fact: Once defeated a team of bandits while armed with nothing but an empty birdcage and a lemon wedge.

Storming the Castle Giveaway: The first THREE entrants today will receive signed copies of THE HERO’S GUIDE TO STORMING THE CASTLE and EVERYONE who enters is eligible to win a $200 gift card to the bookstore of his or her choice. You will need this SECRET CODE to enter the giveaway: Prince Charming. Enter here. *Update the link is working*

Twitter Chat: Join New York Times Bestselling author Marissa Meyer and Christopher Healy for a Twitter Chat on fractured fairy tales on Monday, June 3rd at 9pm ET. Hashtag #talesretold. There will be giveaways!

Tour Stops: If you want to link to other stops on the tour – you will find those here:

Review: Such A Rush

Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols

Source: Advance Readers Copy

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

I love the gritty trailer park feel of Such A Rush. Leah is a girl who has every reason to be dysfunctional and yet she is kind and has a quiet fierceness about herself. The more I read about Leah the more I wanted to protect her.  Most people have made up their mind about Leah and they judge her for her looks and for where she comes from. Instead of lashing out Leah shows how strong she really is.

Greyson, her boss's son treats her like dirt and accuses her of sleeping with his dad. Greyson is such a jerk considering that Leah has always had a crush on him. Why are guys such jerks sometimes?

There are moments where you see how sheltered Leah really is, like the fact that she doesn't know how to drive or swim. Then there are other times where she uses her looks as a shield. When her best friend Molly convinces her to go to a party Leah dresses like the girl they all expect her to be. People call her names and treat her like crap and Molly is no where around. I don't think Molly was always a great friend.

Jennifer Echols gives you the most dysfunctional mother I have seen in YA literature and while I get that its a main obstacle I really wanted someone to be there for Leah. I wish the mother-daughter role had been developed a little more.

I think contemporary fans will really enjoy Such A Rush.  Such a Rush is my first Jennifer Echols novel and look forward to reading more from her in the future. I would love to see a follow up novella to check in on Leah.

May What I'm Reading Now

Hi All! Here is my schedule. Feel free to join me and then we can discuss. Also I am always up for taking recommendations. If you check my blog often you will find I add and remove books just depending on my moods. What are you reading or looking forward to reading this month?

Currently Reading:

Currently Audio Book:


Just Finished:

A little side note but I want to celebrate that after almost a year I have finally finished GAME OF THRONES and yes I loved it!

Signed Book Giveaway Hop

I'm so happy that Kathy has a signed book giveaway hop, because I collect signed books and if you have visited my blog before then you know that most of my giveaways are signed books. So I searched and searched for the perfect book and I decided on Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers. I have met Lisa a few times and last year I picked up an extra copy of Personal Demons to giveaway on my blog. So today is that day! All entries must be via rafflecopter form.

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Cover Reveal, Interview and Giveaway: Everything Breaks

I'm excited to welcome children's author Vicki Grove! Vicki has a new book coming out this Fall and today she's here to talk a little about EVERYTHING BREAKS and to share the cover. Vicki's publisher Penguin is also giving away a copy of EVERYTHING BREAKS to one lucky reader!

What was the initial inspiration for the novel?

The initial inspiration for Everything Breaks was a horrific memory from high school~ three boys, on prom night, drank a few beers then missed a switchback curve on a high bluff road. They were driving what has always been pretty much my fantasy car, a 1967 cherry red Mustang convertible. I picture that moment when the car was like a bright flying fish against the twilit sky, then it crashed and burned on the beach below. Most of my books, maybe all of them, have begun with a resonant memory that I wanted to plumb. I just finished reading a novel about a marine biologist, and in the afterward the author confessed that she felt justified in making up some of the weird fish the biologist came upon because "many real fish are stranger than any I could create." That's how I feel about book ideas. Real life events, the ones that linger in memory, seem to me to often be far stranger and more mysterious than anything I could come up with using sheer imagination.

What would I tell readers about the book?

Well, this book is a departure for me, in that it's supernatural and my other books have been realistic, though the last one, a Medieval murder mystery, had supernatural touches. I would rather very young readers didn't touch this book. Fifth graders are too young, in my thinking, because not only is it loaded with some of the grittier ideas from Greek mythology but it also deals with some of the toughest issues of the present. I do think Tucker, the sole survivor of the crash in the first part of the book, goes through something like the Orpheus myth, in that he enters the Underworld to try and bring back his friends, or at least to ask them questions he can't stand not to have answered. But then he must figure out how to reach the light again himself if he wants to survive his own pain, grief, and guilt. I have to say, I lost both of my parents within a few months of each other a couple of years ago, and I was taking my own trip along with Tucker as I wrote, wishing questions I had for both my parents had been answered, trying to figure out what remained of them that I could still absorb into my life and have. I cried a lot while I wrote this book. My editor said she cried when she read it.

How do you feel about the cover?

I like the cover of Everything Breaks a lot, partly because the trees resemble the ones that canopy the gravel road leading to my house, here deep in the Missouri Ozarks. And partly because the dog, though a monster, has a doggish look, especially his raised paw. He could almost be my dog, Imogene. Except that Imogene's a typical creek hound, and the dog on the cover is actually Cerberus the Guardian of the Underworld. I think the cover is spooky, and I like that it expresses the moment when everything could have come out differently for the boys in the car behind those high-beam headlights. When things break, they often break very, very fast. In an instant a fantasy car can become a great flying fish, curved upward for an instant before heading straight down to fiery oblivion. Yeowww. That sounded pretty grim, huh? The book is scary, I think, but not that grim.

I adore your last question, Cari. What is the best part of sharing a new book with the world?

I've been a freelancer for nearly thirty years, and I can never get through my head that someone might actually do me the honor of taking a book of mine into her hands, cracking open the spine, and reading a story that came from my heart and experience, as all my stories seem to do, since I write pretty close to the bone. In this book, a character based on my dad, Tucker's step-grandfather, starts telling him stories, and in some ways those stories keep Tucker sane. I think stories do keep you sane. Your description of yourself on your blog says something like you're just trying to juggle life, books, and blogging. I laughed out loud at that~ so true! All us bookies are friends at heart, I think, valuing the same basic things, learning our lessons more through fiction than through that strange trickster, reality. Sharing a new book is like renewing a bond, keeping close to the good fight that readers and librarians are engaging in daily. Here's to us! all good wishes, and thanks for having me! Vicki

Tucker was supposed to be the designated driver. But there was something about the beauty of that last true summer night, that made him want to feel out-of-control just once. He drank so much and so quickly that he was instantly sick. That left Trey to drive. "I'll catch up to you later," were the last words Tucker would ever say to his friends as he heaved by the side of the road. It was the last time Tucker would ever see them alive.

Tucker’s grief and guilt are just about unbearable and he wonders how he can continue living himself. When he meets the Ferryman who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers that divide the world of the living from the world of the dead, Tucker gets a chance to decide: live or die. The temptation to join his three best friends on the other side may be too much for Tucker to overcome. A gripping, haunting and emotional read.

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To learn more about Vicki visit her online at:

TLA Meetup 2013

Wow I can't believe it's time for TLA! Jen from I Read Banned Books, Kate from Ex Libris Kate, Stephanie Pellegrin, and I are so excited to not only attend TLA but get everyone together.

Come hang out at Jake's Burgers on 515 Main St on Thursday, April 25th, 8pm! Map and menu here. This is an all-ages venue, but full bar. We'll be taking up the entire upstairs so there is room to eat, drink, and mingle.

This is open for everyone: Readers, Writers, Bloggers, Authors, Publishers, friends, family, and cute single guys. Ok maybe I'm just asking for that last one!

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Cover Reveal: SCORCHED by Mari Mancusi

I'm so excited to help Texas author, Mari Mancusi with the cover reveal for her new book SCORCHED! SCORCHED is published by Source Books; who, in my opinion, has amazing authors like Miranda Kenneally, Geoff Herbach, and Joy Preble! I absolutely love the cover and can't wait to read SCORCHED! What do you think about the cover and blurb?

It all started with one of those Scholastic Book Club flyers, being passed around my elementary school. As I scanned the pages my eyes fell to one particular book and I found I couldn’t look away. The cover depicted a mighty dragon, filling up almost the entire page—claws outstretched, teeth bared, fire blasting from its throat. At the bottom, there stood a girl, wielding a mighty sword, determined and unafraid as she took on a creature ten times her size.

The book was Robin McKinley’s Hero and the Crown. And the cover is still one of my favorites—even today. (As is the book itself!) In fact, I reread the paperback so many times it eventually fell apart. But my love for dragons has lasted forever.

Now I have my own dragon book. Set in our world—in our time—with one last dragon egg, unearthed from a melting glacier and ready to hatch.

But will this dragon have the power to save our world? Or will its very existence serve to tear us apart?

Release Date: 09.03.13

About the book:
Sixteen-year-old Trinity Brown is used to her grandfather's crazy stories, so she never believed the latest treasure he brought home was a real dragon's egg. Not until their home is invaded by soldiers trying to steal it and a strange boy who tells her the world as she knows it will be wiped out in a fiery dragon war—unless they work together to stop it. Meantime, there's a different voice whispering to Trinity, calling to her, telling her what to do...the dragon inside her egg is not ready to give up without a fight.

Read Chapter 1 of SCORCHED

Mari Mancusi always wanted a dragon as a pet. Unfortunately the fire insurance premiums proved a bit too large and her house a bit too small--so she chose to write about them instead. Today she works as an award-winning young adult author and freelance television producer, for which she has won two Emmys. When not writing about fanciful creatures of myth and legend, Mari enjoys goth clubbing, cosplay, watching cheesy (and scary) horror movies, and her favorite guilty pleasure—playing videogames. A graduate of Boston University, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon, and their dog Mesquite.

To learn more about Mari visit:

Review: Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting

Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Short Version
: Dead Silence will not disappoint fans of the Body Finder series. If you are new to the series, Violet has the gift to find the bodies of those who have been murdered. Each body carries a unique echo that calls to her and the killer has a matching imprint that only Violet can see/hear/smell. Violet has a hard time controlling it so she is always pulled into danger because she's compelled to follow the echo or imprint. The Body Finder books are told from Violet's point of view and the killer's. Kimberly's writing is impeccable and by far one of my favorite authors in YA. Kimberly really brings the creepy factor when she tells the story from the killer's point of view! If you haven't read this series pick it up today!

Personal Note:
The Body Finder Series is really special to me. I remember reading The Body Finder and wanting everyone to read it! The Body Finder, Desires of the Dead, Last Echo, and Dead Silence were all five star books for me. I have interviewed Kimberly a number of times and I met her as a debut author in the first year I had my blog. I feel like I got to see her grow as an author at the same time that my blog grew up. I can't wait to see what Kimberly Derting comes up with next!

Warning if you haven't read The Last Echo do not read the long version because it contains spoilers, but don't worry I have no plans on telling you much about Dead Silence. I hate spoilers and wouldn't do that to my readers. You have been warned! If you haven't read The Body Finder, Desires of the Dead, or The Last Echo stop reading now!

Long Version:
After you read the prologue you are going to need to take a break. No I'm serious you are going to wonder what Kimberly has in store for you!

In The Last Echo Violet was forced to fight for her life and in Dead Silence she is now dealing with an echo of her own. The echo is this eerie music that can't ever be turned off. Her family is trying to be supportive, but Violet just wants everyone to stop. My heart breaks for her. In Dead Silence Violet learns more about her ability from a very unlikely source.

I was also really happy to see my boyfriend Jay get more time, because we hardly saw him in The Last Echo. Jay is supportive, but he is tired of who Violet has become since joining Rafe and his group. The only thing I was really hoping for was that Violet would punch Rafe and that never happened!

The killer is completely psycho and will creep you out. I have no idea how Kimberly comes up with the murder scenes, because they feel so vivid!

I don't think anyone will see the ending coming. I know I had questions, but I'll leave that up to each reader. If you do read it, tweet or email me so we can discuss!

To learn more about Kimberly Derting visit:

Guest Post: Stephanie Burgis

I'm so happy to welcome author Stephanie Burgis! Stephanie's new book Stolen Magic is available where ever books are sold. Stephanie wrote a wonderful guest post on magic and mischief! Also be sure to visit Stephanie's website to read the first three chapters of Stolen Magic!

Magic and Mischief by Stephanie Burgis

In real life, I’m an oldest child - or in other words, the one traditionally expected, in most families, to be “the responsible one”. I’ve always been fairly quiet, polite, and a compulsive rules-follower in an awful lot of ways.

So maybe that explains why it is so incredibly freeing for me to write from the perspective of incorrigible Kat Stephenson: youngest sibling, rule-breaker, magic-user, and mischief-maker extraordinaire.

Kat’s never afraid to break any rule that doesn’t make sense to her - or to punch someone if needs be! She throws herself into reckless adventure and danger, whether it’s leaping onto a highwayman’s horse or racing down the ancient stairs of a secret passageway leading to a smuggler’s cave.

Most telling of all, in her version of early-nineteenth-century Regency society, where girls are expected to be quiet and obedient and magic is the greatest scandal of all, Kat turns out to be a magical Guardian, with a secret mission to fight against malevolent magic-users. She’s anything but a proper young lady!

A refined young lady in Regency England might decide to pack extra handkerchiefs when taking a trip to a house party full of snobs ready to sneer down at her and her family. Instead, here’s how Kat handles her own journey (from the opening of Stolen Magic):

Despite what either of my sisters may say, I actually possess a great deal of common sense. That was why I waited until nearly midnight on the last night of our journey into Devon before I climbed out of my bedroom window.

Luckily, my family was staying on the first floor of the inn, so the rope I’d brought along in case of emergencies was more than long enough. Luckier yet, I knew a useful secret: it’s much easier to sneak out in the middle of the night when you can make yourself invisible…

Maybe I’ll never be a true Kat myself. But I secretly wish I could be.

Stephanie Burgis grew up in East Lansing, Michigan, but fell in love with Regency England when she discovered the novels of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer. The author of Kat, Incorrigible; Renegade Magic; and Stolen Magic; she decided to be a writer when she was seven and sold her first short story when she was fifteen. Stephanie lives with her husband, fellow writer Patrick Samphire, their son, and their dog in Wales. Visit her online at

Rotten Blog Tour

I'm so excited to be part of the Rotten Blog Tour! Today I'm bring you a chance to win a copy of ROTTEN! Big thanks to Michael Northrop, Scholastic, and Savi from Book with Bite for inviting me to be part of the blog tour!

About Rotten by Michael Northrop

A troubled teen. A rescued Rottweiler. An unlikely friendship.

Jimmer "JD" Dobbs is back in town after spending the summer "upstate." No one believes his story about visiting his aunt, and it's pretty clear that he has something to hide. It's also pretty clear that his mom made a new friend while he was away---a rescued Rottweiler that JD immediately renames Johnny Rotten (yes, after that guy in the Sex Pistols). Both tough but damaged, JD and Johnny slowly learn to trust each other, but their newfound bond is threatened by a treacherous friend and one snap of Johnny's powerful jaws. As the secrets JD has tried so hard to keep under wraps start to unravel, he suddenly has something much bigger to worry about: saving his dog.

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Kick Butt Characters Hop

I want to welcome Ellen Oh who is interviewing Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan!

Interview with Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan Authors of Wasteland

Welcome to the Wasteland. Where all the adults are long gone, and now no one lives past the age of nineteen. Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan’s post-apocalyptic debut is the first of a trilogy in which everyone is forced to live under the looming threat of rampant disease and brutal attacks by the Variants —hermaphroditic outcasts that live on the outskirts of Prin. Esther thinks there’s more to life than toiling at harvesting, gleaning, and excavating, day after day under the relentless sun, just hoping to make it to the next day. But then Caleb, a mysterious stranger, arrives in town, and Esther begins to question who she can trust. As shady pasts unravel into the present and new romances develop, Caleb and Esther realize that they must team together to fight for their lives and for the freedom of Prin.

Ello - This is one horrible and brutal world you guys have created! You’ve got this world where there are no adults, only children, and you throw in strange hermaphroditic creatures called the variants. How did this all come to you?

SK: Actually, it started as an idea Laurence had a few years ago and grew from there. We both grew up in families where the kids lived in a very separate world from the adults; honestly, on weekends and after school, I would just head out the door and not come back until dinnertime. During the summer, I would be gone all day. Unsupervised kid world is incredibly different from the supervised kind; there are all kind of crazy power dynamics, superstitions, big personalities, strange alliances, and a certain magic that occurs when adults aren’t watching and you’re not reporting back to them. But it can also be a little scary, lonely, and intense. Those are just some of the feelings that lie at the bottom of this book, beneath the futuristic dystopian trappings.

LK: Only living until you’re nineteen is also a metaphor for everybody’s teenage years, which can seem a complete lifetime in themselves, for good and for bad. There’s an intensity during them that comes only once. Some people say, thank god. I’m more positive about it.

Ello - Now you two have been writing together for a while. How did you first start writing together and how do you make it work?

SK: We were both writers long before we started working together: Laurence more with fiction and me with TV. And we both write plays; we first met at a theatre conference. We didn’t consciously set out to write together; we were having dinner one night and I was talking about an elderly friend of mine who grew up in NYC during the 2nd World War. Laurence immediately said, “that would make a great screenplay!” And we just stayed there late talking it out, taking notes on the paper tablecloth. And that became our first graphic novel.

LK: The process usually works this way: we outline it together, very thoroughly. Then we divvy up sections and write them. Then we switch off and each rewrites the other, with a lot of screaming and crying. That’s a joke: it’s just a little screaming and crying. We do several drafts that way. Finally, by the end, we’re reading it word for word, side by side.

SK: Of course, that makes it sound easy… the actual writing-together part was (and is) hard! I like to say that the ideal co-author has four traits: talent, professionalism, sanity, and discipline. A good sense of humor doesn’t hurt, either! Having worked with people who have only had one or two, I’m thrilled to be with Laurence, who has all five. (I hope he thinks I come close, too!)

LK: Now I have to say so. But it’s true!

Ello – How different has it been writing YA versus screenplays and your graphic novels?

LK: Writing YA fiction is harder, to be honest. Graphic novels are scripts and mostly about the story and the structure: no audience will ever read your stage directions. In other words, they don’t have to be that well written! But in a novel, every word is going to be read by a stranger. So all the words have to be good. And when two writers have to agree on every word, it can be, to use a pleasant euphemism, challenging.

SK: See what I mean? Collaboration is really hard, especially in fiction!

Ello - I LOVE Caleb and Esther! They are such fantastic characters! But let’s talk about Esther first. I love that she is this normal rebellious teen acting out in this harsh world. It felt right to me, even to the point that it causes her grave troubles. And her relationship with her older sister, Sarah, who seems so pious at first, but then ends up being quite complicated, felt real to me. Sarah had that right blend of older sister, mothering aspect and Esther was the typical rebellious younger sibling. I liked seeing that normalcy, but then the consequences were intense and severe.

SK: For the record, I actually have a very close relationship with my sister. (She’s a children’s librarian, by the way… which means we always have plenty to talk about!) But there is something about the Esther/Sarah thing that’s very close to my heart. I guess it’s no surprise that I identify mostly with Esther – her impatience, her rebellion – but I also know what it’s like to care so deeply about someone, your love can comes across as controlling and judgmental. What’s most moving to me is that these two have so much in common, yet are so busy acting out and feeling victimized, they don’t get to open up and realize that they’re allies for a very long time. That strikes me as a very familiar and sad dynamic in so many families…

LK: That was the point, of course, to show identifiable feelings in an extreme environment. You’d still be yourself, after all, even in a world like this. And it was intentional not to make Esther a super-hero. We like super-heroes, but it seemed more interesting to make her fight herself, as well as other people. And to screw up, as well as succeed.

Ello – Ok now turning to Caleb. First of all, I want to say that Wasteland read like a post-apocalyptic western to me. I kept picturing Caleb as a young Clint Eastwood. Were you guys thinking western?

LK: Well, we don’t like to reveal the trade secrets of how we get inspired—mostly so we don’t get self-conscious about it—but the movies and books Susan and I have seen and read definitely came into play, including Westerns. If you pictured Clint Eastwood, that’s great, though I’d prefer a better actor. No offense to Clint.

SK: The fact is, we both read a lot, and we also watch a lot of movies and plays. And together, we have kind of eclectic tastes: everything from Westerns, literary fiction, romantic comedies, children’s literature, classic cinema, horror, documentaries, poetry, Hong Kong action movies, biographies, 70s dramas. We always talk about what we’ve just read or watched, too… and after a while, it all just kind of seeps into and informs your work. So it’s really kind of a mishmash of many influences.

Ello – Caleb is a really complicated character. Not the clear good guy, which again, reminded me of Clint Eastwood in his spaghetti westerns. I loved that about him.

LK: With Caleb, we were working in the tradition of the male anti-hero, characters who used to be common in movies and books. These guys were both good and bad; as opposed to today, where characters tend to be either/or. (Except on cable TV, where characters are allowed to have more gray areas.) If you start a hero with real flaws or even villainous aspects, then it’s more dramatic when you see the better side of him. We wanted Esther (and maybe the reader) to have real misgivings about Caleb, so her journey toward him would be more interesting.

SK: Exactly. It’s not only more dramatic, it’s more interesting.

Ello – So I find it near impossible to talk about your bad guy, Levi, without spoiling the story because he is such an integral part of the plot. But I can say that I found him quite charming and I admit to constantly hoping that he wouldn’t be all bad.

LK: It’s a (true) clichĂ© that the better the villain, the better the story. Levi was the most fun to write because we could express the rotten parts of ourselves through him. Also, that he had a good if distorted reason for doing what he does (which we won’t spoil, either) makes you realize that there are only so many emotions: some people use them well and others horribly. Seeing your own drives and resentments in a villain can be eye-opening and revelatory—not just about him but about yourself.

SK: I actually really like Levi, too! And he’s not all bad in that as Laurence says, he has a reason for his behavior. But like everyone in fiction and life, he has choices, and the decisions he makes have ramification. He’s flawed, but human.

Ello - I have to tell you that I think you need to write a whole other book just on the variants. I’ll even settle for a short story. I’m just so fascinated by them. What were they based on?

SK: To give you the heady answer, we were intrigued by the idea of discrimination in this world. It seems that people have always needed some other group to look down on and treat horribly… so what better than an entire people who are themselves victims of the environment? We also love the gender flexibility of Skar and her people – the idea that instead of hiding your hermaphroditism, you wear it proudly. It’s part of your identity. As a group, the variants represent a lot of good things– they’re disciplined, proud, and brilliant hunter/warriors – but we don’t sentimentalize them, either. They’re also suspicious, opportunistic, occasionally cruel, and hierarchical.

LK: Again, the notion of complexity in all the characters, so the audience doesn’t always know who to trust.

Ello – Would you be surprised if I told you that there was a biblical feel to your story? Very old testament. (we can take this question out if we don’t want to put any hint of religion in it.)

SK: It’s funny; we didn’t set out to create a Biblical story, but because it’s such a harsh and basic world, certain themes -- family relationships, limited resources, people wandering in the wilderness – just came up that seemed that way. As for some of the names – Sarah, Joseph, Levi, and so on – we were thinking about children having children who have children, and what they would still be naming them after thirty or so years. We thought the Bible would be an important book during apocalyptic times, and that might be reflected in the names people gave their offspring.

LK: These names would still be in the air, long after people would have forgotten the book they came from.

Ello – Please, please, can you give us a little teaser for what’s to come in the next books?

LK: No, we’re sorry. I’m just being silly; we can say this: the second book is a physical journey for Esther and other characters and the third book is their destination. Nothing goes smoothly and time is short.

SK: LOTS of surprises in both books… involving not only Esther, Caleb, Skar, and their friends, but new people they meet along the way. Even our editor was totally taken off guard!

Thank you so much!

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Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop

Last month Barry Lyga announced that he would offer bloggers a chance to giveaway signed copies of his books. I was lucky enough to get a copy of I Hunt Killers and Hero Type. So in this giveaway there will be two winners. Make sure to enter via rafflecopter and a big thanks to Barry Lyga!

Hero-type by Barry Lyga, Jonathan Todd Ross (Narrator)

Everyone is treating Kevin as a hero. He was in the right place and the right time and he saved a girl from being murdered. Only Kevin knows though, why he was able to save her. Things get even more complicated when Kevin is seen removing two patriotic “Support the Troops” ribbons from his car bumper. Now the town that lauded him as a hero turns on him, calling him unpatriotic. Kevin, who hadn't thought much about it up to then, becomes politically engaged, suddenly questioning what exactly supporting the troops or even saying the pledge of allegiance every day means.

I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1)by Barry Lyga

What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

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I'm so happy to welcome Sherri L. Smith! When I first heard about ORLEANS I immediately thought about Katrina and then I opened my advance readers copy and I saw a letter. Most copies come with a press release, but ORLEANS also came with a letter from Sherri about her inspiration. I reached out to her publicist and asked if I could share it as part of her blog tour. There are a number of blog post out there but I hope you stop and read this one today. Please help me welcome Sherri L. Smith.

ORLEANS Author Letter from Sherri L. Smith 11/23/12

   When they tell you an evacuation is mandatory, they don't say that you are on your own. The assumption is you have a car, money, fuel and somewhere to go. You are able-bodied and the roads are clear, the airports open. But the fact is, the airports closed the day before. You live alone. You are diabetic and nearly seventy years old. The highways are packed and you are faced with a choice: weather a Category 3 hurricane in a your old truck in a traffic jam, or in the house you grew up in, the one on high ground that has withstood hurricanes for close to one hundred years. That was the decision my mother made when we spoke on the evening before Katrina made landfall. As the day continued, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin announced "they" would be going door-to-door to help the elderly and infirm. I convinced my mother to go with them when they came knocking. She packed her bags and waited by the door.

   No one ever came.

   When Katrina hit, a wooden beam punched through the roof of my mother's house and sent her running into the living room. Moments later, her bedroom ceiling came crashing down on top of her bed. It was more damage than the house had ever experienced, but she was okay. It was just another storm. We called her insurance company that morning. The phone rang and rang, but no one answered. And then the levees broke.

   My mother tried to leave New Orleans. Her truck was swamped by flood waters and she had to be rescued by a passing swamp boat. The next day, she walked a mile and half to the nearest drugstore in the hopes of finding more insulin and drinking water. The stores were closed but the looters were open for business, having done what the city, what FEMA, and what the Red Cross had failed to do. They had torn open the front of a Walgreens and set up an aid station. There were no meds available, but looters gave my mother enough drinking water to last the week.

   She was trapped in the city of her birth for four days while I scoured the internet looking for ways to rescue her. Terrified police officers were shooting people on bridges out of town. Gangs were patrolling their neighborhoods, protecting their turf when the law would not. Entering New Orleans seemed a fool's errand. Then, on the fifth day, with one dose of insulin left in her cooler, I made a desperate call to the Coast Guard. An hour later, my mother was picked up in an ambulance and driven to the airport. She was loaded onto a plane with a hundred other evacuees and flown to points unknown. At a Red Cross shelter, they gave her a debit card for $300. She flagged down a cab and returned to the airport. She had to ask the driver what city they were in: Charlotte, North Carolina.

   It took the rest of the day for her to reach me in Los Angeles. A week later, she was in the hospital with an infection caught from the flood waters, a fever that left her delirious and near death for a day and a night. But she survived that too.

   At some point during this time, I was driving home from work when I heard a voice in my head, the voice of another survivor. A girl who said, "O-Neg Davis, he beautiful." This was Fen. She was from New Orleans, but the city was no longer new. And bad things had happened—storms, violence, fever. There were no neighborhoods, only tribes, and they were segregated, not by race or poverty, but by blood. I dictated her words into my voicemail and Orleans was born.

   It was months before my mother and I were allowed back into the city. The Army Corp of Engineers had been through by then, covering wind-torn roofs with the ubiquitous blue tarps. But not my mother's house. Afraid of "damaging the roof," they left it uncovered and the house mildewed from the inside out. My mother passed away in New Orleans a week after the second anniversary of Katrina. She had just finished remodeling her home. As I tell people time and again, as they are now learning on the East Coast in the wake of Sandy, sometimes the aftermath is as deadly as the storm.

   Orleans is dedicated to my mother, Joan Marie Mack Smith. She was a grandmother, teacher and friend. A fighter, like Fen, and a caregiver, like Lydia. She and her city will live on.

Sherri L. Smith

Sherri L. Smith has written several award-winning novels for young adults. Flygirl (2010) won the California Book Award, was a YALSA Best Book for Young Adults, and has received fourteen State Award nominations. She lives near Los Angeles. For more information, visit her website at or her blog, The Middle Hundred, at She can be found on Twitter @Sherri_L_Smith.

One lucky winner will receive a Delta Relief Kit, complete with a signed ARC, a blood type ID dog tag, a glow stick, and the ever-crucial Snickers bar—everything you need to navigate ORLEANS, at least from the comfort of your armchair! (U.S. only)

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A Day With: Michelle Taormina (Graphic Designer & Illustrator)

Welcome to my new monthly feature "A Day With" where I invite someone in the book industry to walk us through their day. A Day With was inspired by Harper Bazaar’s “24 Hours With” it’s a monthly article in which a designer will talk about their daily routine. I hope you enjoy this new monthly series of posts!

Michelle Taormina - Graphic Designer & Illustrator
Twitter @mtrmina

Thursday Feb 21st 2013

8:30 am: Quiet Time

This is when my day begins. Well, when I get into work anyway. I wake up at 6:30 to get ready for my hour commute from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn (It’s a real place, google map it) to 53rd street and 5th avenue. That is where the Harper Collins building resides.
The office is a ghost town at this time. I’m one of the few crazy people who would rather come into to work early, rather than an hour late. I check my Twitter, Facebook, make my fake coffee (Teecino) sometimes I mix some real coffee in there cause well, I need to wake the heck up. I eat my breakfast. All the while making a list of what I’m going to get done throughout the day, which is usually a pretty damn long list of book related activities.

10:00 AM Cover Meeting

We had one of our weekly cover meetings this morning, which I am always in charge of coordinating. This happens twice a week. The designers and editors meet to discuss cover design directions and ideas. Today I showed a few comps (compositions) I did for Suzanne Young’s new Harper Impulse title. Related to her A Need so Beautiful series. We don’t have a very big budget for these E-Pub titles so I was limited to searching for images on I shouldn’t say limited. They have an amazing array of Royalty Free images to purchase and I did find three gorgeous images. One of which was approved by all! Done and done! I love it when covers are easy. It so rarely happens.

I also showed new cover concepts for the paper back version of Patricia McCormick’s NEVER FALL DOWN. While I absolutely love what my art director and I did for the hard cover jacket. We were asked to redesign this for the paperback version. Not a problem! It’s never really a problem is it? You sort of have to bite your tongue and just say, “OK well what are you looking for this time around?” We do have a huge Newberry finalist sticker to place on the jacket so maybe a redesign isn’t such a bad idea. This is me looking on the bright side. Something you will learn to do as a designer. If you don’t a nervous breakdown will ensue. So learn it! Anyway, I digress. I showed new comps that were very different from what you see here. The editor had a clear favorite, so that means we move forward with that one and push it to look perfect. More color contrast, type variations, sticker positioning etc. Then I’ll bring it into the meeting next week for more feedback. Pray for me!

12:00 The Occasional Department Meeting.

I really love the people I work with and this rare meeting is one of the reasons why. I have worked at many publishing houses in my 7 years of designing book covers and I can not once recall ever having a staff meeting like this one. We all sat down and went over issues, hiccups, concerns that were circulating throughout the department. I guess you could say it was a a bit of a designer venting session. We like to talk it out here in the Childrens Design department. Kleenexes, hugs and all.
My amazing creative director takes notes and makes sure everything is dealt with in a tactful and swift fashion. It’s really amazing to have Art Directors and Creative Directors who stick up for their designers. That’s why I give them my all. They’ll fight for my designs, and any concerns I’m having within the company. I’m never afraid to speak my mind for fear of being fired. More offices should function this way. You all know who you are.


That was a stupidly long meeting. My stomach is making sounds I’ve never heard before. Luckily I have a lunch date with one of my good friends and fellow designers. We used to work together at Simon & Schuster. Those were good times. Anyway, being a Harper employee we get free access to MoMA (museum of modern art) which has an amazing cafĂ©. In short…awesome lunch with my buddy =)


I hope you’re still awake? I’m sorry I’m not a member of the Bigfoot Research Organization or a cast member on Mythbusters. You would probably not be so bored right now. But I promise it gets a little better.

Now I begin to design at my awesome stand/sit desk, so I’m not sitting on my bum all day! Exciting right?! Blood circulation is important, people! Anyway, I tend to wear many hats here at Harper (this is what my art director tells me). I do a lot of my own photo retouching and that is much of what I did today. I also created some hand lettered title options of one of my titles. I also like to search for new photographers and illustrators. I have a keenly trained eye when it comes to looking for the perfect image/model to use for a cover. It’s a gift, really. Everyone here has their own strengths and photo research and manipulation just so happen to be mine. I like making contacts with new talent. I try to reach out to anyone I feel will be a major asset to the beautiful covers we are working to create. Today I contacted 4 photographers for the new cover I’m designing for Kiersten White’s sequel to MIND GAMES. So excited about this title! And designing for an author like Kiersten is a joy! She always gives awesome shout-outs to her designers in her acknowledgements. Most authors don’t do this, which is a shame. Designers work really hard (time, attention, research, type solutions, blood, sweat, tears, migraines) to make your dream covers come true.

We have some wonderful in-house and out-of-house freelancers that I’m so grateful to have access to. I’ve learned to delegate my work. Give them projects I may not have the time to complete. They’re so helpful and wonderful. Love my freelancers!

What else did I do today? Oh yes. Another one of my many skills is organization which is why I’ve been put in charge of processing invoices. Today is invoice day. You might be saying to yourself, “but Michelle, you are a wonderful, amazing designer, why oh why would you be processing invoices?” Because I’m damn good at it that’s why. My Creative director refuses to let anyone touch them but me. I think I’ve done TOO GOOD of a job! Ugh! In all seriousness, I do a lot of freelance work outside of my 9-5 job so I know what it’s like to wait for a check from a big company like Harper. It could take forever!!!! And ever!!!! To get paid! People need to pay their bills and eat, so I like to see that they receive their payment in a timely fashion. You’re welcome.

5:00 If you are still reading this, I love you.

Today was a bit lengthy with the meetings. My work day is over. Now I’m heading to Cross Fit, then home before having dinner with some good friends (I have no freelance work tonight for a change). Then I’ll fill out a job application with Mythbusters before playing some lotro, reading Game of Thrones and going to sleep.

Thank you for spending the day with me

Your Friend,

I want to thank Michelle for walking us through her day! I learned a lot about the process and had so much fun reading about what her day! To learn more about Michelle you can visit her online at or on Twitter @mtrmina

Lunar Love Giveaway Hop

I'm thrilled to be part of the Lunar Love Giveaway Hop, because I get to share one of my favorite books from 2012. Born Wicked has had not one, but two gorgeous covers. Only with the new paperback cover does Born Wicked feature a moon, so it's perfect for this giveaway. If you don't win I would still recommend you go out and get this one because Star Cursed, the second book in the series, will be out in June and that will gives you plenty of time to read Born Wicked. All entries must be through rafflecopter.

About Born Wicked:

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word... especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

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Thanks to Kathy at I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Bookworm Lisa for hosting this giveaway hop!