Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews

Author Interview and Excerpt featuring Krysten Lindsay Hagar, In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety (a Cecily Taylor Series book #2) w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #interview #YA @KrystenLindsay

In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety

by Krysten Lindsay Hager

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GENRE:   YA

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BLURB:

Cecily feels like she has it all: great best friends, the beginnings of a career as a model/actress, and she’s dating her favorite singer, Andrew Holiday. Then Cecily’s best friend Lila begins to ditch her every time Lila’s boyfriend calls. Cecily feels lost, but she and Andrew begin connecting more and she’s never been in a relationship where she felt so understood. Andrew even begins to confide in her about his anxiety. Soon Cecily experiences her own anxiety on a magazine photo shoot, but she manages to impress the magazine staff. Just when it seems like all her dreams are coming true, everything comes crashing down when a photo of Andrew with another girl appears online. He swears nothing happened, but Cecily is crushed. She feels like she’s lost two of the people closest to her.

Was her perfect relationship real or was she in over her head?

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Excerpt Three:

One day I had the career and the guy of my dreams. Then Danielle King came along. If people could be trusted, maybe it would have been okay, but they can’t. They suck. And now my dream relationship was gone and no one would ever know what had actually been in my grasp.

How can a person go from having a whole life with someone, and then it ends like you were never even together? No wonder people talk about how awful divorces are. That must hurt a million times more. Sure, I don’t have to see Andrew every day at school like I did Zach, but it seems like Andrew was everywhere. I went to the grocery store with my mom and they were playing one of his songs because he’s technically a local.

 Andrew’s music was always what I listened to when I was sad. His heartache music got me through the worst times and now, not only could I not stand to listen to it, there was now the chance I could end up hearing music about our breakup. Actually, I didn’t know which was worse: the possibility he’d use our relationship as inspiration for a song, or finding out I was barely a blip on his radar and not even warranting a mention.  

What was I supposed to do with my life now?


Welcome Krysten Lindsay Hager! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself. 

 

I write YA books and also have a middle school series (The Landry’s True Colors Series). I’m also currently working on some rom-coms for adults. I like to write funny, feel good books with happily ever afters.

Is In Over Her Head: Lights, Camera, Anxiety a single title, or part of a series? 

 

It’s part of the Cecily Taylor Series that follows a teen getting to embark on the life she’s always dreamed of where she’s acting and dating the singer/songwriter she’s been a fan of for years.

What were your inspirations for the story?

 

One of my inspirations was my own childhood music crush (George Michael) and applying those feelings to the book. There are certain songs from back then of his and a couple other musicians that bring out a real reaction in me and they inspired a lot of the book.

Please share your setting. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most? 

 

I created my own town in Michigan because I visit lake towns every summer and I already used another (Grand Haven) in books I’ve written (Next Door to a Star and Competing with the Star). This setting, Blue Arbor, is if you took Ann Arbor, Michigan and had a lake nearby. I needed it to be near a beach for the music video shoot, but I wanted somewhat of an urban feel to show that this isn’t a small town.

When did the writing bug first bite? 

 

I started writing as a kid and my mom wanted me to prove I was serious about it so she started signing me up for workshops and writing conferences before I even graduated high school. It was so overwhelming going to these things feeling like such a kid, but her idea was to throw me into the deep end of the pool to see what I’d do. I ended up feeling like this was exactly where I belonged. She told me later that my dedication to it (even when I was overwhelmed) made her realize this was something I was committed to doing.

Who are you favorite authors, book/series?

 

I read a lot of different types of books like mysteries (particularly teen ones), non-fiction, rom-coms, literary fiction, YA, and middle grade. I love May Sarton, Sylvia Plath, Cathy Hopkins, Ann M. Martin, Judy Blume, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Tolstoy.

If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

 

Can I include ones who have passed on? Not trying to be creepy, but I would LOVE to have a chat with F. Scott Fitzgerald and May Sarton. Oh, and Paula Danziger! To just sit and listen and maybe take notes.

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?

 

I read, watch TV, pay attention to too much news, spend time messaging with friends, and journaling.


What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

 

Read and take classes and go to conferences. Honestly, it’s the only way I was able to learn the business. I sacrificed a lot of stuff to save up for those because they weren’t cheap, but that’s what helped me. I mean, you need training for any job you go after and writing is no different. 

 

Also, before you put a book out make sure to publish some articles or something so you get used to feedback on your work. I’ve seen people epically meltdown because their first experiences with strangers criticizing them was on their “baby” that they devoted everything to and it was brutal. It helps to get your feet wet first by putting other material out there.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, crushes, fame, first loves, and values. She is the author of True Colors, Best Friends…Forever?, Next Door to a Star,  Landry in Like, Competing with the Star, Dating the It Guy, and Can Dreams Come True. True Colors, won the Readers Favorite award for best preteen book and the Dayton Book Expo Bestseller Award for childen/teens. Competing with the Star is a Readers’ Favorite Book Award Finalist. Landry in Like is a Literary Classics Gold Medal recipient.

Krysten’s work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Grand Haven Tribune, the Beavercreek Current, the Bellbrook Times, Springfield News-Sun, Grand Blanc View, Dayton Daily News and on Living Dayton.  

Author links:

Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krystenlindsay/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/krystenlindsay/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VRYS65N/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07VRYS65N

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07VRYS65N

Amazon Japan: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B07VRYS65N

Amazon IN: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B07VRYS65N

 

Book One: https://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Come-True-Cecily-Taylor-ebook/dp/B079S3KJSH

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

 

Krysten Lindsay Hager will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, Reviews

Author Interview and #Review of Stealing Kisses in the Snow (a Rendezvous Falls novel) by Jo McNally w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #contemporaryromance @JoMcNallyAuthor

Stealing Kisses in the Snow

by Jo McNally

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GENRE:   Contemporary Romance

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BLURB:

Maybe “perfect” is over-rated…

Between juggling two kids, two jobs, and a fixer-upper house, single mom Piper Montgomery is so busy she can hardly see straight.  But when rugged biker Logan Taggert strolls into the B&B where she’s working, she can’t help but stare.  He has bad boy written all over him. She’s promised her kids a “perfect Christmas” this year, and bad boys aren’t part of the plan. But how can she resist?

Once his grandmother is back on her feet, Logan can leave her Victorian B&B get back on the road.  It’s where he belongs after all, even if his grandmother’s matchmaking book club biddies try to convince him otherwise.  But there’s something about beautiful, spitfire Piper that makes him wonder if kids and commitment might be just what he needs after all.

As Christmas draws ever closer, so do Piper and Logan.  Could these two opposites find all they want this Christmas is each other?

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Excerpt Three:

The woman hesitated, glancing back at her daughter. Momma Bear had saved her cub. She swallowed a couple times, then gestured to the door with the mop. Her voice still shook, but the volume lowered.

“You need to go.”

“I’m sorry I startled you. I’ve had a long-ass…” He glanced at the kid and grimaced. 

“It’s been a long trip, and I got caught in a rainstorm just south of here. I haven’t eaten since yesterday’s dinner…”

Her eyes softened a fraction, even as she held the mop out firmly. She nodded toward the door. “The Methodist church three blocks over has a food pantry, and the Catholic church does soup and bread every Wednesday for whoever stops in. Father Joe might be able to help you find a place to sleep. But you can’t stay here.”

Logan couldn’t stop his bark of laughter, even though it made her jump. She thought he was homeless? He couldn’t decide if he was offended or impressed. Clearly scared out of her wits, she was still kind enough to offer him a chance at hot food and a bed. Yeah, definitely impressed. It was no surprise she worked for his grandmother, who was also a tough-as-nails woman who cared about others far more than she ever let on. Her eyes started to narrow again, so he tried to clarify that he wasn’t some random vagrant.

“Actually, I can stay here.”

She lifted the cell phone. Not good. His words tumbled out. “I’m Logan Taggart. This is my grandmother’s place. I know I look like Sasquatch right now, but I’m honestly just here to help my grandmother.”

 

  • Welcome Jo McNally! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

 

Thanks for inviting me! I write contemporary romance for Harlequin–HQN and Special Edition. My husband and I share the house with our 96 lb rescue dog, Tully. Or I should say she shares the house with us! Sometimes it feels like we’re only here to serve her needs and desires. We’re in the process of moving from North Carolina to Upstate New York, so our lives are pretty busy right now.

 

  • Is STEALING KISSES IN THE SNOW a single title, or part of a series? 

 

Stealing Kisses in the Snow can be read as a stand-alone, but it is part of my Rendezvous Falls series. 

 

  • Please share your setting for (book title). Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most? 

 

Rendezvous Falls is a fictional town set in the Finger Lakes wine country of upstate New York. It’s a beautiful area of rolling hills and long glacial lakes. And lots of vineyards and wineries (New York is the third largest wine producing state in the US). I grew up near there and my brother and his wife live in the Finger Lakes now. We love to do winery tours, especially at the wineries where you can sit and sip your wine while overlooking one of the lakes and take in the changing colors of the seasons.

 

  • When did the writing bug first bite? 

 

My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Williamson, would put photos on the blackboard from magazine ads, and ask us to pick one and write a story about what was happening in the picture. It felt magical to look at an image and create a whole world around it, and I was hooked!  

 

  • Who are you favorite authors, book/series? 

 

The answer to this question changes constantly, because I’m always reading. One of my favorite recent authors is Alyssa Cole–I adored A Princess in Theory. I love Lucy Parker’s London Celebrities series, Mariah Stewart’s Chesapeake Diaries, and Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Good books. When I want a more intense read, I reach for Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter books–her paranormal books are can’t-put-downable!

 

  • Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time? 

 

I haven’t done it as much lately as I would like, but I enjoy golfing with my husband. Himself is a die-hard golfer, but I’m more of a hobby golfer. But I enjoy the slower pace and the beautiful courses we’ve visited in the US and in Ireland. 

 

  • What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

 

I think it’s really important to remember that what works for one writer may not work for you, even if they’re a best-selling author or if they wrote multiple books on the subject. I was intimidated for years by all the craft books that told me I “needed” to write an outline so detailed I’d need a wall-sized whiteboard to contain it all. I mean, that’s fine if it works for you, but it terrified me. As soon as I gave myself permission to write my own way, I felt free. Do your homework, but pick and choose what works for you.

How did I love this book?  Let me count the ways.

  1.  Logan – I know that Ms. McNally was trying to make him a “bad boy” but he really is a good guy with a heart of gold.  Yes, a big ole Marshmellow especially when it came to Piper’s kids.  Oh, Lily…she broke my heart at one point in the book but her emotions and reaction were completely spot on.  And the way that Logan handled the situation was also spot on.  His relationship with Ethan was more complex but also spot on.  Ms. McNally really incorporated Piper’s kids in the story and it was completely relatable and honest.  Logan, himself, was a dream.  Meeting Piper was the punch in the gut that he needed in his life and didn’t really know what to do after that.  I enjoyed watching him embrace the inn for what it was and then realizing that he could have it all.
  2. Piper – the single mother that didn’t think she could love another man again.  I really liked how McNally wrote her in the book.  Fierce, smart and loving but also vulnerable and not sure of herself as a woman.  I could understand her feelings of feeling rusty with a man and I love how Logan eased her into a relationship with no strings even if, feelings started getting in the way.  She also finally had her say with her mother in law and I loved it.  Good gosh that woman was a menace.  Look I understand that her mother in law lost her only child but the way that she treated Piper was inexcusable in my book.  Near the end when she finally apologized to everyone (separately), did I finally have some compassion for her.
  3. The romance itself – It was a very slow build that I enjoyed.  Piper and Logan became friends first, after a shaky start, but I could tell that they felt an instant connection from the start.  I know, neither one of them would admit it but I could see it.  While this book some semi-closed smexy scenes in it, you could still feel the heat coming off these two.  The attic scene is priceless.  Just saying…Plus, the sneaking around the kids.  Spot on again with those scenes.
  4. Piper’s Kids – Oh my.  I swear Ethan could be any kid in any school with an attitude and Lily is just a cutie.  She never knew her daddy so they way that bonded with Logan is precious.  He knew that he was a goner with her.  It took more time with Ethan but I could see the seed planted by the end of the book.  Ethan and Lily had their own personalities and they are well written.  Ms. McNally doesn’t write them as filler but as true characters that are invested in their mom’s relationship with Logan.
  5. The in-laws – While they are the “villains” in the book, I could at some point understand where Susan was coming from.  Unfortunately, she did some things that were unforgivable in my book but it’s relatable.  I have an ex-sister in law that behaves like her so I get it.  And I don’t like it.  Ultimately, she, Piper and Logan finally have it out and it is sad but also heartbreaking in the end.

I remember reading Ms. McNally during her Harlequin days.  I loved her books then and I really loved this one.  I can’t wait to read Liam and Bridgit’s story next.  There is a book before this one but this one stands on its own.  You will get an update in regards to that one but you don’t need to read it to fully enjoy Piper and Logan’s story.

If you are looking for a heartwarming, relatable holiday book, pick this one up.  Ms. McNally delivers the goods and sets the tone for a “perfect” Christmas.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Jo McNally lives in coastal North Carolina with 100 pounds of dog and 200 pounds of husband – her slice of the bed is very small. When she’s not writing or reading romance novels (or clinging to the edge of the bed…), she can often be found on the back porch sipping wine with friends, listening to great music. If the weather is absolutely perfect, she’ll occasionally join her husband on the golf course, where she always feels far more competitive than her actual skill-level would suggest.

 

Author Links

Website: https://jomcnallyromance.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JoMcNallyAuthor/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoMcNallyAuthor 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jo.mcnally/ 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15850595.Jo_McNally 

 

STEALING KISSES IN THE SNOW Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1335041486

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stealing-kisses-in-the-snow-jo-mcnally/1129992769

iTunes: https://books.apple.com/us/book/stealing-kisses-in-the-snow/id1446004554

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/stealing-kisses-in-the-snow

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Jo_McNally_Stealing_Kisses_in_the_Snow?id=vTp-DwAAQBAJ

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

 

Jo McNally will be awarding one print copy of SLOW DANCING AT SUNRISE by Jo McNally and 1 print copy of STEALING KISSES IN THE SNOW by Jo McNally, shipping limited to North American (US and Canada) only to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews

Interview of C.C. Bolick featuring Fear Justice w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #YA #UrbanFantasy #99 cents

Fear Justice

by C.C. Bolick 

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GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy

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BLURB:

Seventeen-year-old Rena Mason counts the days until she can leave for college. Every night her father drinks himself to sleep, leaving her to care for her younger brother. When her father is kidnapped by terrorists, her dreams of freedom become a nightmare.

Stunned that her father has a history with these terrorists, Rena knows she must run or be their next victim. She learns the tough guy at school has a reason to look after her – he’s working for a government agency with the same goal as the terrorists: find a woman who disappeared eighteen years ago. Time is running out since only this woman’s special gift can save the world from a looming nuclear attack.

Rena can’t trust anyone, especially not the stone-cold agent she’s falling for. Can they save the world before Rena’s feelings trap her in an agent’s fight for justice?

Fear Justice contains elements of fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal, with a clean romance. It’s the first book in an exciting new series called The Fear Chronicles.

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Excerpt Two:

“Rena,” Dad said. “Are you okay?”

I turned to where he stood, a few feet from the camper’s door. “It’s nothing. Thought I heard a noise in the woods.”

He walked to the edge of trees and peered into the darkness beyond. In his right hand, he held a bottle of water. His left hand, bent and scarred making his fingers barely able to move, hung at his side. “There’s nothing here but a squirrel. Surely you’re not afraid of a squirrel.”

“I’m not afraid of anything,” I said.

Dad smiled and walked toward the water’s edge. “I believe you on that one.”

I moved to stand by his side. “Did you fix the pool?”

“Good as new or until someone else loses a retainer and stops it up. Are you thinking of going swimming?”

“Not tonight.”

“What are you thinking of, Rena?”

“Where did Coach Andrews find you?”

“Sleeping off a hangover in the back room of a bar down on Railroad Street. Jacob told me you were worried, and with good reason. I promise not to let that happen again.”

“I thought something might have happened to you. I should have called you when—”

Dad put an arm around my shoulders. “No, I should have called. I let my demons take over and I wasn’t here to look after you and Alfie.”

“We were fine.”

“Because of you. I never imagined you growing up without your mother. I always knew the day would come when you realized what I really am inside. Your brother still has a way to go.” He looked down at me. “Thank you for not making him hate me yet.”

“No one hates you, Dad. We just want you to be here. Really here, with us all the time, not out drinking.”

“I deserved that.” Pulling away, Dad moved closer to the water. “You’re strong, Rena, like your mother. And smart. Thank goodness you didn’t turn out like me.”

“I’ve been applying for scholarships. My counselor thinks I’ve got a good shot at getting money for school. I’ve kept a 4.0 in every class and I want to get into a school that teaches aerospace engineering.”

“You want to be an engineer?” His eyes stayed on the water. “That would make your mother proud.”

“What about you?”

“Everything you do makes me proud.”

“I want out of this town,” I said, barely above a whisper. “I don’t want to live like this.”

If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?  At times I’ve distanced myself from people who would probably never understand why. It’s part of being a writer and truly living in my own stories. I’d apologize to them.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have? If I didn’t choose a unicorn, my children would disown me.

How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre? I write from my heart using the voices of my characters.

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received? The best is when someone suggested I switch from writing in Word to Scrivener. My efficiency in writing a book tripled, which helped with many other time-crunches in my life. The worst is when someone told me I’d never be a real author if I self-published. I had a dream of reaching readers and I’ve accomplished that. The rest takes time no matter how you publish.

Are the experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Okay, legal disclaimer time … My books are works of fiction and I would never write about a real-life person or event. Joking aside, I think as an author all of my books are based heavily on the experiences of my life. Write what you know, right? But since this is fiction, it’s a hundred times more exciting than my life.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

C.C. Bolick grew up in south Alabama, where she’s happy to still reside. She’s an engineer by day and a writer by night—too bad she could never do one without the other.

Camping, fishing… she loves the outdoors and the warm Alabama weather. For years she thought up stories to write and finally started putting them on paper back in 2006. If you hear her talking with no one to answer, don’t think she’s crazy. Since talking through her stories works best, a library is her worst place to write… even though it’s her favorite!

C.C. loves to mix sci-fi and paranormal—throw in a little romance and adventure and you’ve got her kind of story. She’s written nine books including the Leftover Girl series, The Agency series, and The Fear Chronicles.

The Book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour. 

Buy Link:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07N53W6CK

Author Links:

www.ccbolick.com

https://www.facebook.com/CCBolick/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15857316.C_C_Bolick

https://www.instagram.com/cc_bolick/

https://twitter.com/ccbolick

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway