Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Instagram (Maybe One Day...)

I love looking at Instagram accounts. Right now, my social media platforms are Blogger, Twitter, & Goodreads. I'd like to add Instagram one day but...I don't have a smartphone. And as of right now, I'm content w/my out-of-date phone, 'cuz it's cheap. If I ever have a book published, then I'll consider shelling out of the moolah to become part of the 21st century. 

But not having Instagram doesn't keep me from stalking some of my fav accounts. Here are a few that I visit often:

misswendyd of The Midnight Garden (a great YA book review site): She posts the prettiest staged pics of books and objects. Plus, the food!! She eats some of the yummiest-looking treats, some that look too perfect to be real. Perhaps this is a L.A. thing, as ice cream in IN just does not look like that, lol! 

therippedbodice: I found this account on Wendy Darling's feed, a romance only bookshop ran by two sisters. (kudos on such a clever name!) I've loved scrolling thru and seeing the transformation of the shop from empty bookshelves to complete. They have heart-shaped lights over the counter!! 

tulipinadesign: The. most. gorgeous. flowers. ever. Want to feel like you've fallen into spring and it's eaten you right up? Visit! Trust me, you'll get your color fix for the day. 

houselarsbuilt: Such neat pics of party decor, crafts, and style. I'd love to try out some of her ideas, super awesome. 

(tulipinadesign and houelarsbuilt were recommended by The Nester, which is a fabulous home blog worth checking out)

therealsjmass: Not gonna lie, I have such an author crush on this lady. She seems like one of those ppl who's just awesome to know. Plus, her tropical vacation pics have been so nice to look at while enduring our early spring nippy days. 

authorvictoriascott: I love how this author account has a nice mix of book/author life/real life images. Like the pic of her latest book launch party (fyi, book launch pics are like crack to me) and the pics of her adorable little girl. Sooo cute! 

mizgillianberry: This girl lives literary! Like her bed, w/book-themed pillows. Love!! She also does amazing book art @ The Art of Young Adult

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So there's some of my fav procrastination places on the web. ;) Enjoy! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Guest Post by Kimberly G. Giarratiano (In Celebration of Dead & Breakfast Releasing!)

Hey guys! It’s my book birthday and I’ll blog if I want to. Thanks, Leandra, for hosting me. (Leandra, as we all know, is a good soul who never fails to amaze me in her generosity for her fellow authors.)

Today Dead and Breakfast is released. A Kindle Scout winner, D&B is also my second full-length novel. My career is sort of all over the place. My first book was published by a small press. I self-published a sequel novella. And now Kindle Press, Amazon’s crowd-sourced imprint, is publishing Dead and Breakfast. If you’re interested in Kindle Scout, I wrote a post about it here. Anyhoo, it’s not easy being an author. Even with Amazon’s backing, there’s no guarantee D&B is going sell gangbusters. YA is a tough market for indies as teens, as tech savvy as they are, prefer physical books to ebooks. Luckily, Dead and Breakfast has crossover appeal to mystery-loving adults. Woohoo!

Set in Key West, Florida (one of the ten most haunted cities in America), the book was inspired by a vacation my husband and I took over four years ago. Key West is really an unusual island. It has pastel-colored Victorian houses with intricate lattice work, double balconies, and turrets. Feral roosters who are protected by the local government roam the streets. Hemingway’s six-toed cats have procreated in abundance. Key West City Cemetery is a striking metaphor for the island as it’s both creepy and whimsical. Epitaphs read, “I told you I was sick.” Scooters are the preferred form of transportation, followed by bicycles, and one’s feet. The humidity is so thick and oppressive, it’s practically corporeal. And every October, people flock to the island for Fantasy Fest, a ten-day bacchanalian party where clothing is very optional.

If you ever get a chance to visit, take it. It’s unlike any other part of Florida. Or the country, for that matter. In the spirit of my book’s release (pun intended), I wanted to share some photos of that trip. I hope you enjoy them.


Hemingway’s studio


Feral rooster


Fort Zachary -- my husband enjoyed the military history


Mallory Square during the Sunset Celebration


Key West City Cemetery


Beautiful Victorian architecture

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Dead and Breakfast
Available on Amazon

Murder and mayhem in a haunted Key West Hotel!

Despite living in Key West his whole life, 18-year-old Liam Breyer is a skeptic of the supernatural until a vengeful spirit, murdered fifty years ago, nearly drowns him in a swimming pool. Luckily help arrives in the form of pretty — albeit homesick — ghost whisperer Autumn Abernathy, whose newly-divorced mom has dragged her to the island to live and work at the Cayo Hueso, a haunted bed and breakfast.

Although they initially mistrust each other, Autumn and Liam team up to solve the decades-old mystery. But on an island where every third resident is a ghost, dealing with an unstable spirit has deadly consequences. If Liam and Autumn don’t unmask the killer soon, they’re likely to become Key West’s latest haunted attraction.


Kimberly G. Giarratano, a forever Jersey girl, now lives in the woods of northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and small children. A former teacher and YA librarian, Kimberly adores Etsy, Jon Stewart, The Afghan Whigs, ’90s nostalgia, and (of course) everything YA. She also speaks Spanish, but is woefully out of practice.

Kimberly always dreamed of being a published author. Her other dream is to live in Key West, Florida where she can write in a small studio, just like Hemingway.

* ** 

So in celebration of what I feel is Kimberly's best novel yet (and her writing is always SO good), I made up a table with a tropical feel. Who wouldn't want to be transported to the Keys, sipping on a fruity drink and enjoying some key lime pie? (Me, me!)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Under My Skin Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal: Under My Skin by Laura Diamond with Giveaway
Welcome to the cover reveal for
Under My Skin by Laura Diamond
presented by Swoon Romance!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Under My Skin by Laura Diamond
Bookish Brit Adam Gibson is one wonky heartbeat away from a fatal arrhythmia. But staying alive requires Adam to become keenly focused on both his pulse and the many different daily medications he must take in exactly the right dosages. Adam's torn between wanting to live and knowing that someone else must die in order for him to do so. He needs a new heart. 
The pressure is getting to him. Adam stops talking to his friends back home, refuses to meet kids at his new school, and shuts his parents out entirely. His days are spent wondering if can cope with having a dead man's heart beating inside his chest, or if he should surrender to the thoughts of suicide swirling around in his head. And then a donor is found… Outspoken artist Darby Fox rarely lets anything stand in her way of achieving her goals . Whether it’s painting, ignoring her homework (dyslexia makes a mess out of words anyway), kissing a hot boy she doesn't even know, or taking the head cheerleader down a peg , no one has ever accused Darby of being a shy. She also happens to be the twin sister to a perfect brother with good looks, good grades, manners, and the approval of their parents - something Darby has never had. Darby's always had bad timing . She picks the worst time to argue with her brother Daniel. In a car with bald tires, on an icy road in the freezing cold, the unthinkable happens. In a split-second, everything changes forever.
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Under My Skin by Laura Diamond Publication Date: April 12, 2016 Publisher: Swoon Romance
Laura Diamond
Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist currently specializing in emergency psychiatry. She is also an author of all things young adult—both contemporary and paranormal. An avid fan of sci-fi, fantasy, and anything magical, she thrives on quirk, her lucid dreams, and coffee. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found sniffing books and drinking a latte at the bookstore or at home pondering renovations on her 225 year old fixer upper, all while obeying her feline overlords, of course.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Recent Recommended Reads

So this book was touted as having an epic girl friendship in it. And it delivered! Safi and Iseult have a bond that means they'd go to hell and back for each other. The action was amazing, and the romance that's in this book is the kind that really comes off the page. The words Dennard chose were perfecto, and I want MOAR of this romance! Also loved the witcheries, it made this fantasy stand apart from many others. Looking forward to the sequel!

Magical realism at its finest. This book was just fabulous. The setting, the main character, Finn; they both just got under my skin. At times creepy, but always so lyrical. And there's a super neat twist when it comes to the end w/Finn, something I've never even heard of before, and was fascinated reading about it. There's also a brother bond in this book, and I always dig same-sex sibling relationships (because I never had a sister).


So you know that tiny little book, The Hunger Games? Titans is like The Hunger Games and horse racing got together and had a baby. And it is a gorgeous baby you just want to coo at. I am a horse lover and and intrigued w/the horse racing world (the gorgeous pure-bloods, the prestige, the odds, the hats...) and so this book just hit all the right notes. There's also a close friend relationship in this book that I loved getting to experience, plus a crotchety old man, so two more wins right there. Also, there is romance, but light, and it didn't come from the direction you'd expect (which I appreciated). 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Character Names

I find character names really interesting. I wonder how the author came up w/it, if it just popped into their head, or if they had to search for it, if they changed it from something else, etc. So I thought I'd share some of my character names today (also, I can't come up w/anything more interesting to blog about right now, heh). 

Silence- my first character, from the 1st book I wrote. That book is SO bad, but I hope one day to rewrite it. Which, w/everything else waiting in the wings to be written, I'll probably be fifty. Ugh, that's depressing!

Amity- my second character. I love this name! And as the book she's from is one I'm not willing to just let wither in a drawer, I fully plan on rewriting this one too. This book is probably the book of my heart. And I feel like the rewrite I have in mind will make it so much more. Hoping to get around to it next year, we'll see.

Tam- third character. Funny tidbit, I went to a critique meet-up a few years ago, and one of the other ladies in the group also had a main character named Tam, and both our books opened up on our character's birthday! I've since rewritten my beginning, so that is actually no longer true, but neat coincidence at the time. 

Flannery- fourth character. Also love this name. She's my mule-loving, carriage-driving character. 

Muriel- she's my fifth character. And I will soon be diving into her story as my latest WiP. So excited about this story, guys. I just feel like it has the potential to be awesome-- if I can get it right. Fingers crossed!

Viala- the character from my short story published in the Brave New Girls anthology.

Prina- character from a fairy tale short story adaptation I recently finished. 

Lizette- character from a mg sci-fi short story I'm currently working on.
* * * 

So those are my main characters. If anyone wants to share some of their character names in the comments, I'd love to read them! 

And if you remember, I mentioned last month we were going ice skating w/the kidlet. And he was excited too (kept going around the house saying 'push, push, glide'. No idea where he got that from...okay, I lied, probably cartoons). He did one complete circle around the rink on the kiddie walker. Then had to go potty, so we did that, got back on the ice and half-way around, he decided he was done. Completely, as in not moving at all, and demanding to be held. Argh, kids! So Dad picked him up and skated him back in and that was all. He then ate two cookies and was perfectly happy to go home! (kid after my own heart...)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Launching a Book Video

I've got something so fun to share w/you all today! Victoria Scott has made a video about launching her latest book, Titans. Enjoy!

(If you'd like to watch it in a bigger screen, go to Youtube here.)

And you all know how excited I've been about this book, right? Well, guess what?! It's in my grubby little hands. I will be reading this on my lunch break today, while I indulge in my lovely...frozen...meal. (yuck) Oh well-- 'cuz metal horses!!!