Thursday, April 9, 2015

Interview with Laura Chapman

The Marrying TypeAlways the wedding planner, never a bride, Elliot Lynch is famous for orchestrating the splashiest weddings in Charleston, South Carolina. When her father’s sloppy management practices leave them on the brink of bankruptcy, Elliot will do whatever it takes to save the family business. When asked to appear on “The Marrying Type,” a reality TV show about the people behind the scenes as couples exchange I dos, she says yes to the invasion of privacy (and the hefty paycheck that comes with it). With a camera crew capturing every detail of her life, Elliot faces her most challenging contract yet: planning a wedding where her ex is involved in every part of the process. Add in a lazy assistant, liquor-loving bridesmaid, and rival planner encroaching on her turf, and Elliot’s wedding season goes from high-end to high-stress. Forced to confront her past, Elliot must live out her troubled present on national TV if she has any hope of saving her future. 

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laura chapman

Author Bio: 
 Laura Chapman is the author of The Marrying Type, Hard Hats and Doormats and the Autumn and Tuck series, which appear in Merry & Bright and A Kind of Mad Courage. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Until she fulfills her dream of landing a British husband or becoming a Disney princess, you can find her in a bar penning her next novel. 
  Connect with Laura! 
 Twitter: @lmchap 
Facebook: laurachapmanbooks 
 Instagram: @lmchap614   
 Website: www.laurachapmanbooks.com 
Blog: www.change-the-word.com 
  Find the Book! 
 Amazon: http://bit.ly/themarryingtype 
 Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-marrying-type-laura-chapman/1121256561?ean=2940151308946 
  GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25009611-the-marrying-type 


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Q. What inspired the plot for "The Marrying Type"?

I started plotting a wedding-related book back in college, but it wasn’t until I read Jane Austen’s “Persuasion” that I had a more concrete idea of what the story would look like. After deciding to write a contemporary reimagining, I was inspired to modernize the story with a wedding reality show, because I used to binge-watch episodes of “Whose Wedding is it Anyway?” and “Say Yes to the Dress.”

Q. Who would you cast as Elliot and Eric if The Marrying Type was made into a film?

This is a tough question to answer, because I tend to change my mind from day to day. Right now, I imagine Elliot as being played by Emilia Clark (Daenerys on HBO’s “Game of Thrones”). And after seeing him in "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," I'd cast Andrew Ridings as Eric. This could change tomorrow (and it actually did when I wrote this answer). I’d love to hear what other people imagine once they read the book.

Q.  Are you and Elliot similar or completely different from one another?

We share some similarities--we’re both emotional eaters and a little scared to try new things--but we’re pretty different. She is more organized, patient, and kind than I am. She’s also much better at follow-through, for example, if she says she’s going to exercise, she goes for a run. By comparison, I’m the kind of person who spends hours making a monthly meal plan and going grocery shopping only to pick up a burrito or order pizza instead.

Q. While you were writing this novel, I read that you indulged in all kinds of wedding shows; did you also do mock cake tastings and try on wedding dresses as well?

No, but I definitely should have! I’ll admit that during the final editing process, I rediscovered my love for cupcakes and indulged in trying a lot of varieties. I live next door to a cupcake shot that previously appeared on “Cupcake Wars,” so I’ve had ample opportunity to sample new varieties.

Q. What are you currently reading?

Right now I’m actually reading the second draft of my third novel. I have a tough time reading other books while I’m writing or heavily editing my own. As soon as that goes to my beta readers, I plan to finish reading “Zoey and the Moment of Zen” by my very talented label-mate Cat Lavoie and “Goodnight June” by Sarah Jio is sitting on my nightstand.

Q. Would you say that you're more of a plotter or a panster?

I’m definitely a plotter. I create fairly detailed character sketches and a scene by scene outline of the book before I get too heavily invested in the project. I’ve tried pantsing, but I always end up stopping to create the outline a few pages in or I’ve chucked the project. I have to know where we’re going. That said, my outlines are always subject to change, and sometimes I’ll add or remove scenes after the first draft of the novel. One of my favorite scenes in “The Marrying Type” came about in the third draft.

Q. What is your favorite thing to munch on while writing?

I wish I could say something super healthy like apple slices or celery and peanut butter,. While those are frequent writing snacks when I’m on the healthy living wagon, my favorite writing snacks are cinnamon gummy bears and Cheez-its. I like to lineup the bears in rows on my desk before eating them. It’s much more dramatic and delicious that way.

Q. How does it make you feel, being a published author, and actually seeing your name on the front cover of your novels?

It’s still surreal. I’ll even admit that sometimes I feel slightly embarrassed about it. Not in a bad way, but kind of like when you had a solo in choir. You were excited to do it, and it took a lot of work, and you’re proud. But once you’re standing in front of that audience, you feel a little exposed and shy being the center of attention.

Q. Out of all of the novels and short stories you've written, which one would you say is your favorite?

That’s another tough question, and I imagine it’s like picking a favorite child! Each one has a special place in my heart for different reasons. “Hard Hats and Doormats” was something I wrote to help me laugh at a complicated time in my life. “The Marrying Type” showed I was growing as a writer. And the Autumn and Tuck shorts were exciting, because I wrote them so quickly and at a time when I felt like I had writer’s block. But, I’m very much a “love the one you’re with” kind of girl. I’m in the process of plotting my next book, and right now it’s my favorite. I’ll probably hate it by the time I’ve gone round after round with it in the editing process!

Q. What can your fans expect next?

I have fans? (Hi, Mom!) As mentioned, I have a third novel going through the beta writing process. It’s the first novel in a series, and the sequel is near completion. I hope the first book in the series is publication ready within the year, but I won’t count those chicks just yet. By the time this post goes live, I am hopefully neck-deep into writing the first draft of a Christmas novella due out later this year. Hopefully I haven’t jinxed myself by publicly discussing these projects! If all goes to plan, I’ll start writing my fifth book, the standalone story I’m plotting, later this year.

Q. Last year, when we had our first interview, I asked you for advice for aspiring authors; and since I'd hate to make you repeat your advice again, I'm going to try something different. What advice do you have for people who have written their novels and think it's not good enough? What about for the people who believe they are ready to publish their novel?

If you fall into the first group of people, I’m with you, buddies. After you’ve written and revised and re-written and re-revised your manuscript so many times, it’s hard to still have affection for your project, and it’s easy to lose your confidence in it. At this point, I’d suggest taking a break from your story. Either step away from it completely and work on something else, or send it to a trusted friend or colleague who can beta-read it for you. He or she can offer you more objective feedback that might help you pinpoint what it is about this story that just doesn’t feel publication-ready. If you go the first route and take a little break, give yourself a few weeks or even months, because this will give you a chance to look at the novel with your own fresh set of eyes. You can’t do that when it’s too fresh on your mind. If you think your book is ready to publish, again, send it to a few beta-readers. Also, go over it again yourself to look for any editing errors. Once you’ve done that, and you feel really good about it, you can either query your book with agents or publishers or decide to self-publish it. No matter which route you go, make sure you have the book in the best shape possible. You might want to hire an editor, and I definitely encourage you to go that route if you self-publish. No matter how careful you are, there’s always going to be a typo or misspelled word that you miss. It’s just science.

Thank you so much, Josie Ann, for having me on the blog, today, and thanks to all of you for following along.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Release Day: Seth & Greyson by Jessica Sorensen

Seth and Greyson

Happy Release Day to Jessica Sorensen and her new book SETH & GREYSON! We are so excited to be sharing a sneak peek into the book with you. Make sure to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win an ebook copy of this book! #NeverBeAfraidToLove

Seth and Grayson
Synopsis
After being betrayed by someone he thought he loved, Seth leaves for college hoping to get a new start. But leaving his past behind is more complicated than he expected, and underneath his upbeat attitude, Seth struggles with opening up to people.
Then he meets Greyson.
Seth is instantly drawn to Greyson and his sweet and charming personality. But even though he feels a strong connection with Greyson, Seth’s still hesitant to open his heart to love.
With the help of his best friend Callie, Seth realizes he needs to overcome his fear of commitment. But will he be able to finally admit how he truly feels about Greyson?

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Excerpt
       
As I sit down in a desk toward the back of the room, I try not to think about what my mother said this morning, but I find myself assessing each person as they enter. It’s not until the object of my stalking walks through the doorway that I consider maybe my crazy mother was right. I quickly realize how insane that would make me for believing her and force myself to stop thinking like my mother. I’ve always been more levelheaded than both my parents, and I want to hold onto the trait. Tearing my attention away from him, I lean over to grab my textbook and a pen out of my bag. When I sit up, I’m surprised to find he’s taken the desk right next to mine. Up close, he’s even better looking, but there’s a hint of nervousness in his eyes that I didn’t notice while looking through the lens, which is kind of strange. Usually, I see more when I’m taking pictures. Or maybe he was just happier when he was around his friend. “Hey,” he greets me with a slightly nervous smile. “Hey.” I rack my brain for something to say that won’t make me sound awkward, but he beats me to the punch. “I’m Seth,” he says, extending his hand to me. “Greyson.” I take his hand, noting it shakes a little in mine. “Is this your first class?” “For the fall semester, yeah.” “You’re not a freshman?” “No, I am,” he replies. “I just started the year this summer.” I smile, and decide to flirt a little, see where it goes. “So you should be a pro at classes by now.” “You would think so,” he muses. “But I’m not a fan of school and being a fantastic student is at the bottom of my list, right between getting a good night’s rest and becoming friends with my slobbish roommate.” “You live in the dorm?” I ask and he nods. “I actually thought about doing that, but my parents insisted I need a place of my own. That it’s good for my aura.” His brow cocks. “Aura?” “Yeah, they’re a little crazy like that, but in a good way.” I try to pick up on the vibe he’s giving. Is he just being friendly? Or is he interested in me? I watch as his eyes trail down over my neck and chest, suddenly realizing that we’re still holding hands. Definitely a bit awkward, but in a good way. And that means he’s interested, right? When his gaze reaches our joined hands, he startles and quickly pulls away. I catch a flash of alarm in his eyes as he scans the room before looking back at me. He clears his throat. “So, you just moved here?” I wonder why he’s acting so weird suddenly. Maybe I misread his interest. Doubtful, though, so what is it? “Yeah, from Florida.” His eyes snap wide. “Holy shit. How the hell did you end up going from the sunshine state to cowboy central?” “Is Wyoming cowboy central? I thought that was Texas?” “Clearly, you haven’t been around when the fair rolls in. It’s like rodeo central. Nothing but cowboy hats, boots, and ridiculously tight pants as far as the eye can see.” “Sounds… interesting, I guess.” “Try horrifying. Some of the stuff I’ve seen through those tight jeans,” he shudders, “still haunts my nightmares.” I laugh at him and he grins, obviously pleased with himself. Like how he was with the girl earlier, he seems to enjoy making people laugh. I consider what my mom said about finding friends and going out on dates. He’s hot, nice, and funny. As long as I can keep the conversation going and find the right moment, I might ask him out. Get myself out of the damn rut I’ve been in.

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AboutTheAuthor

JessicaSorensenauthor pic_new
 
Jessica Sorensen is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author from the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.
Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

Giveaway
 
SERIES READING ORDER
Book 1: The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden
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Book 2: The Redemption of Callie and Kayden
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Book 3: The Destiny of Violet and Luke
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Book 4: The Probability of Violet and Luke
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Book 5: The Certainty of Violet and Luke
Amazon, iTunes, B&N, Kobo and Smashwords  
Book 6: The Resolution of Callie and Kayden
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Book 7: Seth & Greyson
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Monday, March 30, 2015

Release Day: Spark & Spark X by Jessica Sorensen

spark
 
Happy Release Day to Spark (the Death Collectors Young Adult version) and Spark X (the the Death Collectors New Adult version) by Jessica Sorensen. Check out a teaser from the New Adult version below and make sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win an ebook copy of one of these books! Good luck!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00038]
Synopsis
Now that Ember is a Grim Angel, she's facing the biggest challenge of her life. Not only does she have to decide if her heart lies with Asher or Cameron, but she has to make a choice that could alter the fate of the world.
Good or Evil.
Angels or Reapers.
Which side will conquer?
**Mature Content Warning** 17+ for language and sexual content.** (New adult paranormal version of my young adult book, Spark (Death Collectors, #3). It contains more violence and more sexual content.)

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Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00039]
Synopsis
Now that seventeen-year-old Ember is a Grim Angel, she's facing the biggest challenge of her life. Not only does she have to decide if her heart lies in Asher or Cameron, but she has to make a choice that could alter the fate of the world.
Good or Evil.
Angels or Reapers.
Which side will conquer?
(This is the young adult version of Spark X (Death Collectors, #3).

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Excerpt
**from Spark X - the New Adult Version**
Prologue Asher I’ve been in love with Ember Rose Edwards for a while, but she doesn’t know it. I can’t tell her, either, not when the battle’s ending solely rests on her making a choice and sacrificing someone she loves. If I were to divulge how I feel, I’d be interfering even more, and I’ve already been banished for entering her life. It’s not something I regret. I made the choice the day I first saw her. I wanted her in my life, regardless of the consequences. That day feels like such a long time ago, yet it hasn’t been more than a few months. So much has happened since then. So much has changed, for the better and the worse. God, we were both so different back then. As I sit beside her bed and watch Ember sleep, my thoughts drift back to the day when I first laid eyes on her… I was sent to that place to collect a soul, but what I didn’t expect was that I’d end up at a house crammed with a ton of humans, dry humping the shit out of each other. I had instantly wanted to get the hell out. A rock song plays on the stereo and floats across the room full of people dancing. Beer cans and cups cover the floors, and the air is drenched with the stench of cigarettes. It has been a long week. Michael, the leader of the Angels, has sent me on a total of five missions to collect souls, which is a large amount compared to most Angels. Then again, Michael has never been a fan of me, considering I have Reaper blood. My sole purpose tonight is to wait until the person dies then collect their soul before the Reapers get ahold of it. I’ve already spotted three Anamotti, and I’m guessing they’re here for the same reason I am—waiting for the person to pass away. I sense a fight in the air, thick and heavy, like tar. I lean against the wall near the corner, watching the crowd, drinking a beer, eager for the night to be over. As my gaze travels over each human, I wonder which one of them is the unlucky person who will die tonight. Humans are so fragile, so... The air suddenly thins and charges with electricity, full of life and death mixed together. My attention drifts to the side of me, my senses sharpening as I zero in on a girl. Ember Rose Edwards. Her name comes to me like a breath of fresh air. I’ve never met her before, but know her name for solely one reason—she carries Angel blood, just like she carries Reaper blood. Sadly, I haven’t crossed paths with a Grim Angel in a while, because Reapers are making them a dying breed. Usually, I pass by without so much as a second glance, despite my connection to them. This time, though, I find myself staring. One, two, three songs go by, and I still can’t seem to take my eyes off her. She’s gorgeous, to say the least. Dark hair flows down her back, skin as pale as snow, full lips as red as a rose, and big, hazel eyes. But her beauty isn’t the only thing that captures my attention. It’s the pain hidden in her eyes, masked beneath her strength. Her attention is fixed on the throng of dancing people, and she looks as uninterested as I felt until I laid eyes on her. She keeps her distance, too, probably because of her Grim Angel ability to see death with a touch. I know I should stay away. Let her be. I’ll be breaking a lot of rules if I interfere with her life, but I find myself moving in her direction, drawn to her. When I reach her, I whisper the first thing that comes to mind. “God, it’s like mating season in here.” She shudders from the feel of my breath and stumbles forward, stomping on the toe of my boot. As she regains her balance, her gaze whips in my direction and slowly travels from my boots to my shirt then finally rests on my eyes. She swallows hard as our gazes lock, and I realize she is afraid of something. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to frighten you,” I apologize quickly. She shivers again then clears her throat. “Sorry about your shoes.” She starts to back away nervously. “Crowded rooms just make me a little uneasy.” I chuckle, crunching the empty cup in my hand and chucking it into a nearby trashcan. “I know what you mean. All this”—I gesture at the people dry humping one another—“is an excuse for the opposite sex to rub up on one another.” “That’s a pretty good observation.” She almost smiles, and I feel like I won the lottery or something. Pressing my lips together, I inch closer and lean over her shoulder. She stiffens from my nearness, probably worried I’ll touch her and force her to see my death. I won’t put her through that, though, so I make sure to leave a sliver of space between us. “Take those two for instance.” I point at a girl with pink hair dancing with a gangly guy. He moves with a huge lack of coordination, while the girl is graceful, looking bored as hell. “I think they’ve got their own mating ritual going on. Although, I think it might be a one-sided mating ritual.” She tracks where I’m looking. “I think you’re right.” She turns to me, and for a moment, the pain in her eyes vanishes and pure lust flashes, instead. “It looks like she’s bored.” My heart thuds deafeningly inside my chest from the look of desire in her eyes directed at me. “Is she a friend of yours?” She nods, biting her lip contemplatively. “Her name’s Raven.” I cock my pierced brow. “Like the poem?” “You know Edgar Allan Poe?” He face lights up with excitement. Jackpot. The girl has it bad for the dead poet, who I vaguely remember meeting two centuries ago. “A little bit.” I stare at her beauty, trying to figure out what to do next. I know what my body wants to do with her, and my mind seems to be veering toward the same thing. Regardless, I’d be in a shitload of trouble for touching her. Fuck, even this conversation is going to get me into trouble. “What’s your name?” I ask, trying to act as normal as I can. “Ember.” She scoots forward, holding her breath as a girl stumbles by, having a drunken conversation with the air. “Ember I like it.” I dare a step or two closer and breathe in the faint scent of her—roses with a hint of lilies. “ ‘And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor,’ ” I quote the one line I can remember from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” “I thought you said you knew a little?” she asks me, impressed. I shrug, stuffing my hands into my pockets. “What can I say? I’m fascinated with the idea love, death, and the insanity it brings.” She grows uncomfortable with my mention of death, and her eyes anxiously sweep the crowd as if she’s seeking an escape. I can’t have her leave just yet. I need to keep her here a little longer. I don’t want her to go.

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AboutTheAuthor

  JessicaSorensenauthor pic_new

Jessica Sorensen is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author from the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.
Facebook | Twitter | Website | Goodreads

Giveaway
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SERIES READING ORDER
The Death Collectors New Adult Version
Book 1 - Ember X
Book 2 - Cinder X
Book 3 - Spark X
The Death Collectors Young Adult Version
Book 1 - Ember
Book 2 - Cinder
Book 3 - Spark

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Release Day: Awakening You by Jessica Sorensen

awakening you

Happy Release Day to Jessica Sorensen and her new book AWAKENING YOU, book 3 in the Unraveling Series. Check out a teaser from the book and make sure to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win an ebook copy of this book!

awakening you Synopsis

Lately, life has been going well for Ayden. His relationship with Lyric is starting to heat up and his career in music is taking off. But the disappearance of his sister still weighs heavily on his mind. Desperate to find out where his sister is, Ayden decides to take drastic measures. But his dangerous risk leads to the unraveling of secrets, and he’s left facing a darker past then he ever could have imagined.
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Excerpt“And don’t ever forget that, my friend.” I remove the dipstick, glance at the oil level, then put the stick back in. Wiping my hand off with a rag, I step back from the car. “It looks like it might—” My back bumps into Ayden. He hardly ever instigates contact first, expect on rare, amazing, wonder-filled occasions, so I allow myself to enjoy the earth-shattering moment and breathe in the feel of his body heat. I smile stupidly when he doesn’t move away. “Whatcha doing?” “Nothing.” His voice is uneven, revealing his nerves. “I was just…” He releases a breath then places his hands on my hips. Surprisingly, his fingers are steady. “I just wanted to touch you.” He rests his forehead against the back of my head and inhales deeply. “And to make sure you’re okay.” “Okay about what?” My eyelids drift shut as I lean into his touch. His simple touches are better than light. They awaken my body and bring it to life. More. More. More, my body is craving. The addiction is potent, consuming, aching. Leaves my body wanting, pleading, shaking. Sometimes I feel like I’m withering, fading. Fading. Fading. Fading. Into him. “About about what happened the other day when I sleepwalked.” His fingers grasp onto me, and his chest crashes against my back as his shallow breaths turn ragged. “I know I probably freaked you out. I’ve been meaning to ask you about it, but I didn’t want to upset you, so I decided to wait until stuff cooled off.” “I’m not upset about what happened.” And not surprised one little bit that my theory about him was right. I turn around and loop my arms around him. “I’m just worried about you and how you’re handling it.” “I’m fine,” he swears, searching my eyes for my true feelings. He forgets, though, that I’m like an open book.
  AboutTheAuthor   JessicaSorensenauthor pic_new

Jessica Sorensen is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author from the snowy mountains of Wyoming. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading and hanging out with her family.
SERIES READING ORDER
Book 1 - Unraveling You
Book 2 - Raveling You
Book 3 - Awakening You

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Novel Spotlight: Bad Will Hunting by Heather Wardell

During her time on "Ragged Royalty", Ashley developed a reputation as the show's scowling shrew. Clever editing, no doubt, but she still hates it. Now that her stint on the show is complete, she's determined to get the revenge she deserves on the producers who made her look so awful. Without it she can't move forward and decide what comes next for her. She knows what doesn't, though--ever seeing MC or Kent or any of the other contestants again. She hates all of them and they hate her too. Who could like "Angry Ashley"?
When she meets sexy attorney Will on the flight home, she believes he can help her get everything she needs. Until he double-crosses her. Now she needs revenge on him too.

After reluctantly enlisting fellow contestant Sam's much-needed help in her "Bad Will Hunting" mission, Ashley turns up a ton of dead ends but also some exciting life-changing possibilities. But she can't get over her need to get one over on Will, and on everyone else who's wronged her.

With so much "bad will" in her way, can Ashley ever find true happiness?

About the Author


Heather is a natural 1200 wpm speed reader and the author of sixteen self-published novels including the free ebook "Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo" which has had over 385,000 downloads.

She came to writing after careers as a software developer and elementary school computer teacher and has no plans to leave it.

In her spare time, she reads, runs, swims, crochets, takes care of her aquarium and her cat Trinity, and plays drums and clarinet. Generally not all at once.

This picture, taken by and licensed from Martin Russell of PixelMagic Digital Photography, was used in the program for Heather's first musical as a drummer ("Fame! The Musical") in February 2012.

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**Click here to read an excerpt from "Bad Will Hunting".**