2018 A-Z Blogging Challenge – C

I’m taking part in the A to Z Challenge again this year and my topic is Writing Prompts! I tend to have a close, intimate relationship with writer’s block, so I figured I’d turn this year’s challenge into one that can hopefully help a few others let loose with their words. For those who aren’t authors/writers, definitely still participate! The more the merrier. Have fun with this!

Here we are for letter C!

Write for as long as you want/need, share in the comments (if you are comfortable doing so), and pass word along to your friends. Follow my blog and Facebook page to get all these A-Z posts and more.

Happy writing! ~Samantha

A-Z - C

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2018 A-Z Blogging Challenge – B

I’m taking part in the A to Z Challenge again this year and I’m really excited to share my topic – Writing Prompts! I tend to have a close, intimate relationship with writer’s block, so I figured I’d turn this year’s challenge into one that can hopefully help a few others let loose with their words. For those who aren’t authors/writers, definitely still participate! The more the merrier. Have fun with this!

Here we are for letter B!

Write for as long as you want/need, share in the comments (if you are comfortable doing so), and pass word along to your friends. Follow my blog to get all these A-Z posts and more.

Happy writing! ~Samantha

A-Z - B

#AtoZchallenge 2018 friendly new badge logo

2018 A-Z Blogging Challenge – A

I’m taking part in the A to Z Challenge again this year and I’m really excited to share my topic – Writing Prompts! I tend to have a close, intimate relationship with writer’s block, so I figured I’d turn this year’s challenge into one that can hopefully help a few others let loose with their words. For those who aren’t authors/writers, definitely still participate! The more the merrier. Have fun with this!

Here we are for letter A! 

Write for as long as you want/need, share in the comments (if you are comfortable doing so), and pass word along to your friends. Follow my blog to get all these A-Z posts and more.

Happy writing! ~Samantha

A-Z - A.png

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(S) Steady as the Snow Falls by Lindy Zart

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Steady as the Snow Falls
By:
 Lindy Zart

Publication Date: April 14, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

Hired by a stranger to write his life story, Beth Lambert arrives at a seemingly abandoned house in the hills near her hometown. She knows the rumors, she knows it is dangerous and unwise. But she needs the money. And she needs to prove that it isn’t a mistake to think she can make a career out of a dream.
Inside the house of emptiness and coldness, she finds a man with curt words and haunted eyes. He is eccentric, odd. Brutish, even. He scares her, and he intrigues her. When she learns who he is, she wants to run. But there is the money, and there is the dream, and eventually, there is simply Harrison Caldwell. The haunted man with the black, ugly truth.

*~*

“My regular followers are probably aware by now that I review everything Lindy Zart releases. You can call it an addiction if you’d like, but I prefer to think of it as dedication.” -Me

Steady as the Snow Falls was an incredible read for me. It was everything Zart, of course. It was beautifully written, poetic with a hypnotic rhythm. I melted into the words, surrounded by the snow, cold, and weariness. I stopped reading to get work done (what?!) and couldn’t stop thinking about this book until I picked it up again. At night I’d fall asleep and be pulled into my own world, reminiscent of some of what the main character, Beth Lambert experienced with her past.

One character in this story made me uncomfortable, but not the one most would expect. More specifically, Ozzy’s made me uncomfortable. He was odd and twisty, with a sense of entitlement. He was so well-written, I felt like I knew him. Maybe I have known an Ozzy at one point in my life.

I love Harrison Caldwell’s character. Loved him in the beginning, loved him after his “black, ugly truth” was revealed. I love their relationship and the build between them. Between Beth’s persistence and Harrison’s stubbornness, I was sucked right in.

If nothing else, I can always count on Lindy to make me feel something. She pushes the boundaries of regular literature and creates something memorable with this book. This is a wonderful read that you should get right now! 

*~*

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 5/5 Stars
Dialogue– 5/5 Stars
Plot – 5/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 4/5 Stars
Structure/Pacing/Editing – 4/5 Stars
Ending – 4/5 Stars

Total: 4.5 Stars

Links
Amazon Buy Link
Amazon.ca Buy Link
Amazon.uk Buy Link
Amazon.au Buy Link
BN Buy Link
Kobo Buy Link
iBooks Buy Link
Goodreads Book Page

About the author:

Lindy Zart is the USA Today bestselling author of Roomies. She has been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her family. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work. She also has a completely healthy obsession with the following: coffee, wine, bloody marys, peanut butter, and pizza.

You can connect with Lindy at:

Google.com/+LindyZart
Twitter.com/LindyZart
Facebook.com/LindyZart
Lindyzart.com
Lindyzart@gmail.com
Listen to the playlists for Lindy’s books on Spotify.com
Get an eBook autograph from Lindy at Authorgraph.com
Check out Lindy’s YouTube channel.

Today’s post for the A-to-Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter S!

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(M) An Interview With Michele G. Miller

M
Today’s post for the
A-to-Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter M!

Michele PhotoI’d like to introduce you to Michele G Miller, an amazing author, my first client, and a good friend of mine. She’s a dedicated writer who loves to dabble in a bit of everything. Pushing herself to always do more, write better, and explore the world of literature makes her a standout in the independent world. 

Continue reading

(L) A Whole Lotta Lovin’

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Today’s post for the A-to-Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter L!

I’ll read almost anything. I don’t mind a little quirk, a young adult fantasy, a short thriller, or a long monologue. Whatever it is, it needs to pull me in. One thing I’ve been straying from lately is the predictable romance. This isn’t easy to avoid these days, when romance is all over the place. Hey, I get it. Sex sells. Always has. Always will. Of everything that this world has been through, all of the changes, romance remains.

Whatever the case, love and sex can be found in many nooks and crannies and wide open spaced of a book these days. It gets bored, honestly.

I like to read a story with a plot based on something besides the kiss the character keeps envisioning or the between-the-sheets playtime of the main character and her conquest.

I love me a romance just as much as the next person, but does it really have to be the focus of a book? Why can’t more people write books about strong characters who don’t rely heavily on love or lust? Why can’t the lifeblood off a main character be independence? 

*end rant*

(K) Kindles

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Today’s post for the A-to-Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter K! 

I always told myself, and anyone who would listen, that I’d never cave and get a Kindle or any other type of e-reader. I refused to sink into the reasons for the demise of paper books. Well, I started this blog and caved a few months later after finding an e-book being offered for free on Amazon. The rest is honestly history.

I used my cell phone for quite some time, hopping onto the Kindle app and changing the font size and coloration of the books I was reading, killing the battery on my phone during late night reads. My husband and parents surprised me a couple years ago with a Kindle Fire, and I swear I started crying. I don’t know why. I think I didn’t expect it. And I’ve always believed that the greatest physical gift you can give someone is a book. When you grasp a book, you literally hold a world in your hands.

I love my Kindle now. I’ve had the same one since that birthday and have filled it with all types of books and games.

The Kindle Oasis just came out, and I’m intrigued by what it has to offer, though the price tag is WAY out of our budget. Besides, why should I buy a new Kindle when my older one is amazing?

(J) Book Review: Jessie’s Girl by Lindy Zart

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Jessie’s Girl
By:
 Lindy Zart

Publication Date: February 26, 2016
Genre: New Adult

Synopsis:

The road trip from Minnesota to Pennsylvania and back is meant to be the final adventure before four friends go their separate ways in the fall.

Except nothing goes as intended, beginning with the unexpected addition of Catherine Tate, Jessie Keller’s new girlfriend. Sam Kent denies his attraction to her while simultaneously deflecting unusual interest from his pal Hannah Lopez. Dickie Dean is the socially inept book lover who surprises them all.

Amidst a malfunctioning vehicle, being caught in the middle of a robbery, beer drinking, mosquito attacks, and other teenage drama, the five experience courage, broken hearts, fear, and laughter. Most importantly, they make memories.

*~*

“My regular followers are probably aware by now that I review everything Lindy Zart releases. You can call it an addiction if you’d like, but I prefer to think of it as dedication.” I started out my most recent Zartian review with this statement, and I think I should just make it my opener for all Zart posts.

Anywho, onto the review. I enjoyed Jessie’s Girl. This is a fun, 80’s-set novella filled with fun adventure and great use of era dialogue. Zart doesn’t waste any space with this one, as it is far shorter than her other books at around 30,000 words. All of the characters in the book are so exceptionally diverse in personality and looks, but somehow have a dynamic friendship with one another. The inclusion of Jessie’s new girl, Catherine Tate, throws a wrench in the core group’s plans for a road trip. 

The only thing I would have liked more of  was visual imagery; I got an idea of what everything looked like, but I wanted more. 

*~*

The Final Countdown

Characterization – 4/5 Stars
Dialogue– 4/5 Stars
Plot – 4/5 Stars
Visual Imagery – 3.5/5 Stars
Structure/Pacing/Editing – 5/5 Stars
Ending – 4/5 Stars

Total: 4.1 Stars

Links
Amazon Buy Link
Smashwords Buy Link
Goodreads Book Page
YouTube Book Trailer

About the author:

Lindy Zart is the USA Today bestselling author of Roomies. She has been writing since she was a child. Luckily for readers, her writing has improved since then. She lives in Wisconsin with her family. Lindy loves hearing from people who enjoy her work. She also has a completely healthy obsession with the following: coffee, wine, bloody marys, peanut butter, and pizza.

You can connect with Lindy at:

Google.com/+LindyZart
Twitter.com/LindyZart
Facebook.com/LindyZart
Lindyzart.com
Lindyzart@gmail.com
Listen to the playlists for Lindy’s books on Spotify.com
Get an eBook autograph from Lindy at Authorgraph.com
Check out Lindy’s YouTube channel.

Today’s post for the A-to-Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter J! J

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(I) Book Review: Into Your Dreams

into your dreams cover

Into Your Dreams
By:
 Chae Strathie and Poly Bernatene

Publication Date: March 30, 2012
Genre: Children’s Literature

Summary:
A flight of fantasy at your fingertips… Just close your eyes and drift away.

*~*

This book was a whim purchase for me when I was A.C. Moore a while back. I have a hard time turning away from a good book deal, and this little gem was sitting on the shelf begging to go home with me. Into Your Dreams is a cleverly written, visually stimulating read that keeps on giving. There is a fun build up through the Seuss-like rhymes and rhythms. It’s fun for me to read aloud, as the words throughout are new and intriguing when they roll off the tongue. The art throughout this story is vibrant and unique and suits the story well.

This book would make a great gift for a baby shower, birthday, or just a great addition to any shelf. I also just picked up The Tickle Tree for only $4.99 by both of these authors

*~*

The Final Countdown – 4 Stars

Links
Into Your Dreams – Amazon – Board Book
The Tickle Tree – Amazon –
Board Book (only $4.99!!)

Today’s post for the A-to-Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter I! I

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(H) An Interview with Mindy Hayes

H
Today’s post for the A-to-Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter H!

Mindy HayesFor today’s post, I decided to interview my newest client, Mindy Hayes! Mindy has written a great variety of books so far, with some wonderful projects coming down the pipeline. She’s originally from San Diego, California, but now resides in Summerville, South Carolina.

Hi! Thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview for Livre It To Me. Let’s start out with something easy. What have you written?

Hey Hey! I’ve written the young adult fantasy series, The Faylinn novels, as well as the contemporary romance series, The Willowhaven series. And I just finished the coming of age romance, The Day That Saved Us, which will be available SOON!

What are you working on at the minute? What’s it about?
Well, I’m working on a few projects right now. One that’s being referred to as the #secretproject with Michele G. Miller that I’m not allowed to talk about yet, but I’m very excited about! I’m also in the middle of a collaboration with Veranda Kuhar who is illustrating a children’s book I wrote called, I Could Be A Monkey. And finally, I’m working on a psychological suspense that’s been in the making for over a year about a rock star that is accused of murdering his fiancé. And that’s all I’m going to say about that last one!

When and why did you decide to become a writer?
I think I’ve always had a little bit of a writer in me. I used to write little stories in notebooks and pretend I’d written novels. But, I didn’t actually start writing novels until 2007 after I got married. I’d just finished Twilight (I know. That’s what they all say, but it’s true. Haha.) And I thought to myself, ‘I want to write a book, so why the heck no?’! My husband wanted to know what I did with his wife because I wasn’t even much of a reader before we got married.

What is your favorite genre to write in and what draws you to this genre?
You know…I can’t pick one genre. I love anything that surprises me, and my stories surprise me all the time…haha. I honestly think it depends on what I’m writing at the time. I’m a big believer in writing for myself, so I write what I want to read, and I love reading an assortment of things. I loved fantasy when I wrote The Faylinn novels, and I’ve loved writing contemporary for the last couple years. My psychological suspense is definitely a change in genres, but it’s just as exciting, if not more because of all the twists and turns and mystery. Most things I’m still in the dark on that one!

Out of all the characters you have created, who are you most drawn to?
I’d have to say Sawyer Hartwell (Me After You) from my Willowhaven series. I wrote that book when I was going through a serious low period in life. I’d recently lost some close family relationships that seemed irreparable. I was recovering from a miscarriage after years of infertility. Sawyer Hartwell became my therapy and my heart. I think she’ll always be my favorite because she helped drag me out of the darkness when I needed it most.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing your first book?
Well, if we’re talking about my first published book, Kaleidoscope, I’d recently finished a YA faery series that I DID NOT like. I wasn’t a fan of how the author depicted the faeries, so I decided I was going to write faeries how I imagine them. And that’s the beauty of writing. It’s up to you to create a world you believe in!

What/who are your muses?
MUSIC. I always have music when writing. I have a playlist for each book before I start to write and add songs to it as the stories progress. And people, of course, anyone and everyone! Watch out! My husband, ex-boyfriends, actors, musicians, friends, ex-best friends. I also go to Pinterest for a lot of inspiration. Paintings, scenery, sweet couple love photos, etc…

What is your writing process typically like?
Every book has been different. I’m very much a pantser. I can’t outline. It’s pointless. I’ve tried, but I veer from it almost immediately. I write what comes to me, and I figure out how to make it all come together. Sometimes I write the end and go back to the beginning to figure out how to get there. Only once have I needed to write a book chronologically and that was Luminary because I was wrapping up The Faylinn novels, and wanted to make sure nothing was left out or unanswered. It was the most difficult book to write. Writing chronologically stumps me. I need to be able to write whatever I’m inspired to write whenever I feel like it.

What goes into your cover selection process?

It depends on the designer and the cover. I designed The Day That Saved Us cover and asked my designer to put it together. It went through a gazillion mockups before one felt right. While some of my previous covers were custom shoots, and I simply handed them off to the designer and asked for her to work her magic! I want to make sure my covers stand out in the sea of novels. You’ll never see a naked man chest on my covers (No offense to other writers! Just not my style.)

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

I honestly think writer’s block comes when the story isn’t going in the right direction. So, I take a step back and rethink what I’ve already written and go back to when it was going smoothly to figure out where I went wrong. I also plug in my headphones and blast music sometimes to clear the cobwebs. I’ll probably go deaf at an early age. Or I read. Read, read, read. Words inspire me.

Do you personally prefer to read e-books or traditional paper/hard back books?

I prefer traditional paperbacks, but the only time I really get to read now is right before bed while my husband is sleeping next to me and I can’t turn on any lights, so I have to read on my phone. Also the convenience of e-books is undeniable. I can’t always carry around a book in my purse, but I’ve got hundreds on my phone.

Who are your favorite authors?

Oh goodness. Tarryn Fisher, Gayle Forman, Colleen Hoover, Melina Marchetta, Jenny Han, Katja Millay, Tahereh Mafi, Paullina Simons. Just to name a few…haha

What books are you currently reading?

Right now I’m reading Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone and loving it!

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to edit it or do you prefer to finish it all at once?

Well, I’d prefer to finish it all at once. I’m a culprit of self-editing. I can’t leave a scene alone, so I’m constantly going back to the beginning, reading forward and then moving on with whatever scene I decide to write next. So, if I think the book is done, it’s probably not, so I won’t leave it alone for more than a couple days before I go back to it. I can’t leave it unfinished for long.

What’s your favorite quote?

Well, fetch. I can only pick one? Umm…probably a Tarryn Fisher quote. This one is from her book, Mud Vein.

“There is a string that connects us that is not visible to the eye. Maybe every person has more than one soul they are connected to, and all over the world there are those invisible strings. Maybe the chances that you’ll find each and every one of your soulmates is slim. But sometimes you’re lucky enough to stumble across one. And you feel a tug. And it’s not so much a choice to love them though their flaws and through your differences, but rather you love them without even trying. You love their flaws.”

It’s 1am and you’ve been writing all night. What three items are on your desk?

My water bottle, my phone, and snack of the hour (goldfish, popcorn, chocolate, anything unhealthy most likely) And technically it’s my couch. I’m not cool enough to have a desk yet…haha.

When you aren’t writing, where can we find you?

Working. Fun, right? I’m an office manager for a few chiropractic offices that take up most of my time, so when I’m not there, I’m writing. I try to squeeze in time with the husband, of course…haha. We have our shows (Blindspot, Castle, Quantico, New Girl, Mindy Project, Arrow, The Flash, Criminal Minds, Limitless, Undateable, Life in Pieces, Baby Daddy, Elementary, Big Bang Theory, Second Chance, Mysteries of Laura, The 100, Scorpion, etc… Clearly we have a problem) that we watch together every night before he goes to bed and I stay up to write. It’s turned into our nightly ritual. My life is pretty glamorous.

Tell me a joke.

Why don’t you ever see hippopotamus hiding in trees? Because they’re really good at it.

Haha…I only know corny jokes.

What is your favorite book and why?

Oh geez. Favorite book. I have several. Don’t make me choose! Mud Vein by Tarryn fisher, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, and If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

Sitting on my couch writing. Most probably. Haha. But hopefully I’m happy and still loving what I do.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Don’t let your feelings of inadequacy keep you from pursuing your dreams. That feeling with never goes away. Only you can keep you from reaching your full potential. Just keep writing what you love. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.

Thank you so much, Mindy, for taking the time to do an interview with me!
For anyone interested, Mindy’s books can be found here:
Kaleidoscope (Faylinn, Book 1)Amazon Link
Me After You (Willohaven Series, Book 1) Amazon Link