Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Effortless With You Cover Reveal!!

My Swoon sister, Lizzy Charles, is revealing her cover today! (The best part of taking part in cover reveals is that you get to see them before anyone else does and this one is gorgeous!) Also, I want to add Lizzy is also a fellow Minnesotan. I just think that's cool. :)
Okay, without further ado, here's her cover:

Effortless With You
School is out and Lucy is ready for the perfect summer: lazy days at the pool, invitations to the most exclusive parties, and romantic dates with her hot new boyfriend. That is, until she lands in trouble one too many times and her parents issue the ultimate punishment: a summer job. Suddenly, the summer can't end fast enough.

To make matters worse, the job is painting houses with Justin, the most popular, egotistical guy in school. Spending all summer with Justin might be other girls' dreams, but definitely not Lucy's. After all, Justin is cocky, annoying, and a jerk. So what if he's the most beautiful jerk Lucy's ever seen? Or that his grin makes her forget she’s mad at the world? Or that maybe, just maybe, there's more to Justin than Lucy realizes. Only one thing is certain: it won’t be the summer she wanted, but it might be exactly the one she needs
When Lizzy Charles isn’t scrambling to raise her two spunky toddlers or caring for premature and sick babies as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she’s in a quiet corner writing or snuggled up with a novel and a few squares of dark chocolate. Black tea keeps her constant and she loves guacamole. She married her high school sweet heart, a heart-melting musician, so it’s no surprise she’s fallen in love with writing contemporary YA romance novels.  
You can find Lizzy on her website, Facebook and Twitter.
And don't forget to add Effortless with You on Goodreads!

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Thrill of It All

Heather Gardner and Tara Tyler are hosting the Thrill of It All blogfest! They want people to "share a big thrill" today to celebrate their books Maguire's Corner and Pop Travel. (Both of which are filled with thrills.) :)

I had a hard time deciding between two different thrills, so I'm not going to. ;) I'll just talk a little bit about both of them.

Paris To London w/ Rachel Conway SchieffelbeinI've been showing horses for about twenty years, with a few years off to have kids. But I'm back in the saddle this year and it's been so much fun! I know my husband thinks I just sit there while the horse does all the work, but he's wrong.

This picture is a few years old, but that's me on a great mare named Paris to London. I actually wrote a YA novella set at the Arabian Youth Nationals horse show and named the horse after her. :)

The other thrill in my life is coaching speech. (I know, totally nerdy.) But watching my kids do well after seeing how hard they work is a huge thrill. This year we sent three kids to State. They cried and hugged each other and me and the other coach. It's awesome.

How about you? What thrills are in your life?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Musical Inspiration

Last week I had the lovely Stephanie Wardrop and Kelly Hashway on here talking about how music inspires their writing. You can find that post here. Today I'm going to talk a little about the music that inspired Secondary Characters. :)

I can't actually listen to music while I write. I'd end up singing along and then writing the words to the song instead of what I should be writing! But, even though I don't write and listen at the same time, I have had songs inspire my writing.

In fact, it was a song called Secondary Characters that inspired my novella. It's from a musical; two minor characters find themselves alone on stage and take full advantage of their time in the spotlight.

So, sometimes the song inspires the idea, and sometimes I'll hear a song and think it's just right for one of my manuscripts. One song that I'd have on the soundtrack for Secondary Characters is Zac Brown Band's song, Keep Me in Mind.

This would be Lance's song to Mabel.
"We always go our separate ways, but no one could love you baby the way I do. Keep me in mind."
Lance is totally willing to wait for Mabel to notice him.
Thanks for dropping by everyone! What songs have inspired you? 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Annalisa Crawford: That Sadie Thing

I'm excited to have Annalisa Crawford on my blog today. She's hopping around talking about different short stories from her anthology, That Sadie Thing. (The cover is below and it is so awesome! Totally one of my favorites.) I'm going to go ahead and hand things over to Annalisa:

Huge thanks, Rachel, for letting me take over your blog today. I can't believe this is my penultimate post for the tour!

I veer between writing very simple, straight-forward stories and weird ones that my mother doesn't understand. The Girl who is Good probably falls into the latter category.

Before this story was placed in a competition, and indeed afterwards, people (competition readers, mostly) have got very confused by it. I don't think it's confusing - you just either believe she's imagining everything or you believe every word is actually happening... Or, if you really want to, you can believe a mixture of the two. I don't mind. I know what I think is happening, and I'm happy for you to have different ideas.

Sorry, I didn't mean that to turn into a mini-rant. 

I have no idea how this story turned out the way it did. I had the first line in my head for a while: The girl who is good sits between her parents in an elegant restaurant, doing and saying very little, and being very good. It seemed harmless enough.

I'm a huge people watcher - and when I see unusual groupings in restaurants or cafes I always wonder what's going on. After all, a girl in her late teens doesn't often dine out in restaurants with her mother and father, does she? She'd be with her friends or boyfriend.

So this nameless girl then decided to bring her dinner back up and hate her parents. I went with it - this was a case of letting the character speak. The fact that she's bulimic, I think, does make sense of the rest of the story... but I can't tell you what it is, because it would spoil it.

About Annalisa
I live in Cornwall, with a good supply of beaches and moorland right on my doorstep. I live with my husband, two boys, a dog and a cat. Despite my location. I neither surf nor sail, and have never had any inclination to try. I much prefer walking along the beach and listening to the waves crashing over rocks. For this reason, I really love the beach in the winter!

Buy That Sadie Thing here (this link should take you direct to your local Amazon)
Follow Annalisa here, or Like her here
Read her blog here

Saturday, June 15, 2013

My Sister's Reaper

Dorothy Dreyer's book, My Sister's Reaper, comes out from Month9books in print on June 18th. The ebook version came out last month and she already has a bunch of wonderful reviews. I can't wait to get a copy of it!

My Sister's ReaperSixteen-year-old Zadie’s first mistake was telling the boy she liked she could bring her dead sister back to life. Her second mistake was actually doing it.

When Zadie accidentally messes with the Reaper’s Rite that should have claimed her sister Mara, things go horribly wrong. Mara isn’t the same anymore—Zadie isn’t even sure she’s completely human. To top it off, a Reaper is determined to collect Mara's soul. Now Zadie must figure out how to defeat her sister’s Reaper or let Mara die … this time for good.


Mara sat in her nightgown at the edge of the woods that bordered our backyard, knees pulled up to her chest, rocking and staring at the house. I ran to her, my breath coming out in short gasps.

“Mara, what the hell?”

She continued to stare at the house, rocking to a rhythm I couldn’t understand.

I put my hands on my knees, trying to catch my breath. “Mara, talk to me.”

She stopped rocking. She slowly turned her head. It seemed to take forever until she found what she was looking for, and I was suddenly sorry I’d caught her attention. But Mara’s gaze didn’t land on me. She looked past me. I was hesitant to take my eyes off her to see what she was looking at, but at the same time I was afraid of what might be behind me, of whatever could cause her to act like this. I followed her gaze to a shadowy figure under the tree across the street. Who was there? I narrowed my eyes, but couldn’t make out who it might be.

“He’s coming for me.”

Her voice was flat. Empty. Terrifying.

“Who’s coming, Mara?”

She looked at me, her hazel eyes unblinking. “He won’t stop. There’s no escape.”

I looked to the tree again, but the figure was gone.
Author Bio
Dorothy Dreyer has always believed in magic. She loves reading, writing, movies, takeout, chocolate, and spending time with her family and friends. Half-American and half-Filipino, Dorothy lives in Germany with her husband and two teens.

You can find My Sister's Reaper on
And you can find Dorothy on her website,


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer of Love Tour! Music and Manuscripts

Today my lovely Swoon sisters, Stephanie Wardrop and Kelly Hashway, are joining us to talk about music and manuscripts.

Do you listen to music when you write, or do you prefer quiet?

Stephanie's answer:
Have to have music.  I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to what I
listen to!  It's at

Kelly's answer:
I listen to music before I write because it definitely inspires me. I like the quiet while I'm writing though.
What song would be on your book's soundtrack?
In this section of the e-novella, Georgia discovers that Michael is --
much to her surprise -- a closet reggae fan.  You wouldn't think he
would be, but he had an older cousin who introduced him to the music.
The cousin died years ago and no one really talks about it, so the
music is kind of special to Michael. And this is pure backstory, by
the way.  No one not reading this post will know that! He doesn't just
like the standard Bob Marley stuff beloved by drunk frat boys.  He
likes some serious dub.

Okay, well there's a love triangle in this series so I have to pick two songs. ;) "Be Your Everything" by Boys Like Girls sums up Ash and Meg's relationship really well. And "Yours to Hold" by Skillet would be Noah and Meg's song.

Be Your Everything

Yours to Hold

Did this song inspire you to write a certain scene in your book, or did you hear the song afterward and think 'oh that's perfect!'
The song I decided to have playing in his car in the final scene,
despite what I just said above, is Bob Marley and the Wailers' "Could
You Be Loved?" because that's exactly what he's wondering about
Georgia.  And she's wondering the same thing.  You'll have to check
out Book Three to find out how this develops.

Could You be Loved

I heard "Be Your Everything" and thought, that's Ash and Meg's song! It was perfect. Then I searched for songs that really showed the side of Noah that Meg sees and as soon as I heard "Yours to Hold" I knew I'd found it.

Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie and Kelly!
To find out more about their books, click the links below:
Charm and Consequence (Snark and Circumstance, #2) 
Advantage: Heartbreak (Game. Set. Match. Heartbreak, #2)
And come back next week, I'll be posting what song
would be on the soundtrack for my novella, Secondary Characters.

Monday, June 10, 2013

How to Date a Nerd: Cover Reveal!

I am so excited to be part of Cassie Mae's cover reveal for How to Date A Nerd. This cover is seriously adorable, as is Cassie. :)
First, a little about the book:

Zoe has a great pair of legs, perky boobs, and wears exactly what she needs to show it all off. She works hard for the easy sleazy ‘you only wish you were me’ reputation, burying who she really is—an all-out nerd.

The only time Zoe gets to be herself is when she hides under her comforter to read X-Men comics, sending jealousy stabs at everyone who attends Comic-Con. Keeping up her popular rep is too important, and she’s so damn insecure to care about the consequences. But when Zoe’s sister takes her car for a ‘crash and burn into a tree’ joyride, her parents get her a replacement. A manual. Something she doesn’t know how to operate, but her next door neighbor Zak sure as heck does.

Zak’s a geek to the core, shunned by everyone in school for playing Dungeons and Dragons at lunch and wearing “Use the Force” t-shirts. And Zoe’s got it bad for the boy. Only Zak doesn’t want Popular Zoe. He wants Geek Zoe.

She has to shove her insecurities and the fear of dropping a few rungs on the social ladder aside to prove to Zak who she really is and who she wants to be… if she can figure it out herself.

And now for the cover!
Isn't it awesome?

Cassie Mae is a nerd to the core from Utah, who likes to write about other nerds who find love. She’s the author of the Amazon Bestseller REASONS I FELL FOR THE FUNNY FAT FRIEND, and is the debut author for the Random House FLIRT line with her New Adult novels FRIDAY NIGHT ALIBI and SWITCHED. She also has a three book deal with Swoon Romance Publishing, including her book HOW TO DATE A NERD. She spends her time with her angel children and perfect husband who fan her and feed her grapes while she clacks away on the keyboard. Then she wakes up from that dream world and manages to get a few words on the computer while the house explodes around her. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with the youth in her community as a volleyball and basketball coach, or searching the house desperately for chocolate.

Find Cassie on her blog or on Facebook, and you can find her books by clicking on the titles above. :)


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

IWSG: Bad Reviews

Today is the first Wednesday of the month. If you don't know what that means, and you are a writer, go here right now! Big thank you to Alex, Sheena-kaySuzanne, and Laura for hosting the Insecure Writer's Support Group this month!

As most of you know, my novella, Secondary Characters, came out recently. So I have been preparing myself for the bad reviews which I know are coming. Every book gets them. And when we get them we remind ourselves, every book gets them.

But to help take the sting out even more I've been looking up bad reviews of books I loved. (Does this make me crazy? I hope not.) And I have seen some really horrible, hateful reviews for books that are really and truly amazing. So you really can't please everyone.

So next time you are feeling bad about a negative review I recommend looking up one of your all time favorites on GR and seeing what kind of horrid abusive it's gotten. Because trust me, someone out there hates it.