Category Archives: Reading Nook Blog Posts

Book Blitz: ‘With Your Friends’ by William Grant

Title: With Your Friends

Author: William Grant

Genre: Young Adult / Coming of Age

About the Book:

Peter Hansen feels like he’s suffocating. His home is a battleground for his parent’s fights and the lonely world around him in Haverty, Illinois is filled with the problems he could face upon entry into adulthood at the end of his senior year of high school. Everything around him feels like it’s slowly closing in and he doesn’t know where to look for help. And then the divorce comes.

When his parents’ marriage finally falls apart, Peter thinks things will get better. What he begins to realize is that the only thing more suffocating than the fighting is the silence of his mother’s grief. He struggles to find peace of mind in a group of friends he meets at a local coffee shop. Through these relationships and his budding romance with his new friend, Ryan, Peter must find the air he needs and the beauty in a world where things frequently fall apart.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Barnes and Noble

Bookshop Org

Tattered Cover

About the Author:

William Grant holds a BA in Fiction Writing and Photography from Columbia College Chicago. He’s had work published in Hypertext Magazine and The Lab Review. He currently lives in the Chicagoland area with his partner and their cat. This is his first novel.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.williamgrantwrites.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/willtg & www.instagram.com/withyourfriendsbook

Twitter: @buzzishere

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Release Blitz: ‘Tight Ends & Tiaras’ by Lex Martin

Title: Tight Ends & Tiaras
Author: Lex Martin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 5, 2022
BLURB

USA Today bestselling author Lex Martin delivers a swoony, single dad romance about a college football player and the fake girlfriend he knows he should resist. Football is one hundred percent the focus of my life—until a squawking toddler, with a temper to rival my own, lands in my lap and flips my life upside down. I’ll never be Dad of the Year. Anyone will tell you that. Except maybe Sienna, my sister’s former roommate, who somehow manages to make my broody ass laugh and sees something in me no one else does. When Sienna offers to let me and my little princess move in with her, I’m not sure if it’s to help or because she wants revenge on my teammate and long-time rival, who broke her heart. Either way, I’m game. Because I need to get my ex off my back, and Sienna doesn’t mind pretending to be my girlfriend. Only neither of us is ready for the sparks that fly between us or the consequences when they do.  What you can expect:– sexy single dad– fake dating– sports romance– slow burn but steamy– opposites attract– college football– small town

PURCHASE LINKS
$3.99 for a limited time
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
AUTHOR BIO

Lex Martin is the USA Today bestselling author of The Varsity Dad Dilemma, the Texas Nights series, and the Dearest series, books she hopes readers love but her parents avoid. A former high school English teacher and freelance journalist, she resides in Texas with her husband, twin daughters, and a bunny named Dandelion.

AUTHOR LINKS
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Author Interview: ‘The Thief and the Bastard’ by Kit McKinney

About the Book:

Claire has a secret – someone has stolen something very dear to her, and she has travelled from France to London to get it back. With a strange man named Jean by her side, she steals in order to survive, and to find what was taken from her. She is barely scraping by when she and Jean decide to steal from a more glamorous target – The Feather and the Wren. What she finds there, however, changes her life forever.

Duncan, a veteran-turned-entrepreneur, has a secret too – he is the bastard child of the licentious nobleman, The Duke of Argyll. Now, with the help of his friend and comrade-in-arms, Lord Thomas, he plans to find his family and take his place in society. That is, until a young French woman steals the only proof he has of his pedigree.

Thrust together by fate, Claire and Duncan find themselves battling with their attraction for one another. But can Claire help Duncan realise his destiny as an heir to the Argyll title? Can Duncan help Claire find what she is looking for? Can love help them find their way?

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I’ve been writing since before I can remember. When I was a kid, my parents had a particularly disruptive divorce, and I found solace in books and daydreams. The more I read, the more I wrote, and when I was in middle school, I decided to write my first book. It took me ten years to write and finish my first book, and by the end of it, I was exhausted. 

Throughout that process, I found the world of romance novels. My mother had given me a regency romance novel when I started puberty to teach me about the birds and the bees, and I was absolutely fascinated. It took until I had gotten married, written a few failing high fantasy books, and had my own child that I realized I could write what I loved to read. 

So I wrote The Thief and the Bastard, and I have to say, I’m hooked all over again. It took me years to write novels before I got into romance, where The Thief and the Bastard took me a month. I was just so inspired and in love with the process of it, I couldn’t put my pen down. That, and I was on my maternity leave. I decided from there that I would make romance more than a guilty pleasure, and really let myself enjoy my writing in ways I never had before. 

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Where and when I write changes day to day, just as my life does. I wrote most of The Thief and the Bastard on my phone while I nursed my baby to sleep. The next book I wrote completely on my computer the few minutes I had between rocking her to sleep, and falling asleep myself. Now I make the time, and hope to continue that trend as I go back into the work force. For instance, this morning I wrote a scene while I made my baby eggs, and I’m writing this while she plays with blocks on the floor. Whatever happens, I’ll always find a way to squeeze a few words out a day. 

3: Where do your ideas come from?

If I am completely honest, my ideas come from daydreams. I don’t daydream a whole lot anymore, but when I do, it’s usually me trying to find the mood for a book. If I’m having a hard time writing, I’ll set my work down and just sit there and ‘watch’ it unfold in my head, then figure out how to describe it from there. 

With Silk Sheets and Dark London streets, I literally just sat down and wrote, not bothering to think of what the story would be, or where it would take me. Every new scene would flesh the world out for me, and from there I would figure out how I wanted the story to go. It took me until about chapter three to have an idea of the world and whether or not I wanted to make the story a series, and I’m really glad I stuck out with it. So far the first three books are finished, and I’m three-quarters of the way done with book four.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

It really depends on the story, but as I was taking a shot in the dark, The Thief and the Bastard really dragged me along behind it. I usually have a general idea of the story, such as major plot points, and sometimes a particular scene or two, but I find that the more structure I have, the harder it is for me to write something quality. I feel too beholden to my plans, and can’t let the conversations happen naturally.

Dialogue between characters really is what drives my stories. I’ll sit down with an idea for a scene in mind, and then as the characters talk, I’ll realize that what I had planned wouldn’t work, because these characters would never say ‘X’, or ‘Y’, so I write it how I think they would speak, and go from there. If that changes the story, then so be it.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

My books are historical romance, set in the Georgian era. I remember my first romance book, not really much what happened in it, but the fancy it bred in my heart at the idea of balls and bonnets. I have read contemporary, and I particularly like to read Scottish Highlander type stories, but for some reason when I sit down to write romance, I think historical London.

I think it might be the fact that the culture is so different from mine and that love feels a little forbidden in the time. Men could find themselves in affairs and understand their sexuality, but for a woman to know her own body was pretty taboo, which makes the whole thing that much more exciting. I’m not one to like things too risqué, so I think it scratches that adventurous part of me, the part of me that wants to be elegant and powerful and bad (in a good way, of course).

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

When I describe characters, I actually go through and try to find actors or models who look how I want my character to look, and use that as a base for my character’s face. Claire’s appearance is based off of a beautiful French actress, Emmanuelle Béart. Duncan was originally based off of Adrien Brody, a man that I particularly find very alluring, but I eventually switched the actor as I wanted to use Adrien Brody for another character. I eventually found a picture of a man named Tony Ward, who is a Lebanese-Italian fashion designer that is absolutely gorgeous. I don’t know if he would act the part well, or really much about the man at all, but he certainly has a great face that I found inspiring.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I love to read, and sometimes when I have issues with writing, I’ll sit down and read to find inspiration. One of the authors that I found really fun and chill was Wendy Vella, who wrote a supernatural regency series that I absolutely devoured. I also read an author named Minerva Spencer, whose saucy scenes I thought were particularly well done. I really hope that I can one day write eroticism in such a compelling way. There’s a particular scene in her story Outrageous, where the main male character gets in a fight, and instead of focusing on the fight, he flexes for his lady, which I thought was both hilarious and sensual. Outside of historical romance, I used to read a lot of Sherrilyn Kenyon, and loved her supernatural series as well. I definitely think that I will do something historical and otherworldly for my next series. In fact, I already brainstormed characters and supernatural situations that I hope to explore when I finish this series. 

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

Sillily enough, I am reading The Crown and the Sceptre by Tracy Borman, which is a history of British royalty. I am also reading A History of the British Isles by Kenneth Campbell and the entirety of the Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle. That might give hints to where I want to take my next series, but I really wanted to know more about the era and culture that I am writing about, as American culture has never been particularly good at educating people on other’s cultures and history. I have found the history books very enlightening so far, though I’m still far from the time period I write in. And I have also been enraptured with the stories of Sherlock Holmes, as I have only ever seen adaptations of the work, and hope to learn how to ravel a web of mystery like Arthur Conan Doyle can.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

I honestly don’t have a favorite book, though I feel like I should sometimes. Books are much like music to me, my favorite song and book is different almost everyday, depending on my mood and what is interesting that day. My favorite books in that past have been The Giver by Lois Lower, Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Outrageous by Minerva Spencer, but right now I’m looking for my next favorite book.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Write for yourself. I don’t ever plan to make money off my writing, but I want people to read it. I self published because it was a dream of mine, and I enjoy it, not because I want to make a career out of it. I will try my hardest to make the most out of writing, but at the end of the day, I will write whether or not I have an audience. I love writing because it helps me cope with my mental health issues and it enriches my life. I love writing like I love eating. It’s something to enjoy and do every single day. So I write for myself. Beyond that, do your research so you know what to expect. Things change all the time, and what might be true as I write this will be different when you start. From what I have read, having a back log is one of the best things for a writer, so work on getting things out, make the cover of a book you want to read, read blogs, and follow your favorite authors. There’s a lot of great information out there if you just look. And good luck!

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?

You can find me at:

Facebook: Kit McKinney, Kit McKinney Fan Page

www.en-gb.facebook.com/people/Kit-McKinney/100079066089609

Twitter: @KitMcKinney4

Instagram: www.instagram.com/KitMcKinney4

Amazon page: www.amazon.co.uk/Kit-McKinney/e/B09YS7GBN9

About the Author:

Kit McKinney is a mother and author from San Antonio, Tx. She has been writing since she was in middle school, and fell in love with romance as a genre in her early teens. After graduating from Texas A&M and giving birth to her first child, she decided to commit herself to family, love, and happily ever afters. Happy reading.

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Book Blitz: ‘Cat’s Curse’ by Kelley Heckart

Title: Cat’s Curse

Series: Dark Goddess Trilogy 1

Author: Kelley Heckart

Genre: Paranormal Historical Romance

About the Book:

New Release! Do you like romance, intrigue, and star-crossed love? A mixture of history and Celtic mythology, Cat’s Curse is an ancient Scotland paranormal romance based on a real Irish king known as Aedan the Treacherous in the Welsh court. It’s the first book in the Dark Goddess trilogy. Warning: Iron-willed enchantresses, hunky sword-wielding warriors, some violence and steamy sex, more than a little blood-drinking, a complicated love triangle, and lots of passion.

He’s a cursed, exiled Irish prince. She’s a succubus with lost memories. Destiny brought them together. Their dark secrets will tear them apart.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Excerpt:

Although dressed in a simple undyed tunic and plaid trews, Aedan had a king’s rigid bearing. There was more to learn about this man. His nearness sent shivers from her head to her toes. She inhaled his special male scent, earthy and spicy with a touch of wood smoke, and it drove her mad with need, weakening her knees. Oh, how she wanted to taste his blood and so much more. Her body tingled with the awakening of the bloodlust. She needed to get away from him at once.

“Apology accepted. I must be on my way home now.” She pursed her lips.

“Wait. I wanted to ask yer permission to call on ye tomorrow.”

“Call on me?” Cardea smiled, suddenly feeling demure.

“Aye, that is the proper way for a Christian man to speak to a lass and a lady.”

He appeared flustered and possibly blushed.

Lightning-like energy surged in the air between them, sending pleasant shivers all over her body.

Her cheeks flushed, and she felt like a young, chaste maiden, the heat spreading through her in a blazing firestorm. “You think me a lady?”

She’d been called many things over the centuries—succubus, demon, Lamia—but never “lady.”

“Aye, but a strange one at that.” He smiled, revealing his teeth in a relaxed manner.

It pleased her how his eyes lit up when he smiled. How she wished to see him in sunlight, but it was never meant to be.

About the Author:

“I write strong female heroines because I never wanted to be a helpless princess waiting for a prince to save me. I wanted to be able to save myself.”

Multi-published author Kelley Heckart writes romances with fantasy/paranormal elements set in ancient, medieval, and contemporary time periods. Her compelling stories reflect her passion for history, mythology, and the supernatural. Experience her fierce warriors and alpha males, bold women, otherworldly creatures, magic, and romance.

When not writing or editing, she enjoys practicing target archery, and writing and recording music with her musician husband.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.kelleyheckart.com

Blog: www.kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @CelticChick

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kelleyheckartauthor

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/kheckart

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/kelleyheckart

Booksprout: www.booksprout.co/reviewer/author/view/2237/kelley-heckart

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kelleyheckart_author_musician

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Kelley-Heckart/e/B002BMOQ3C

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Author Interview: ‘Rules of Falling’ by Leslie Tall Manning

About the Book:

From the award-winning author who brought you i am Elephant, i am Butterfly and Upside Down in a Laura Ingalls Town.

Erica O’Donnell is hardly the quintessential high school senior. She doesn’t have a driver’s license. She’s never been to a concert. Sports are out of the question. She doesn’t own a pair of heels. No boy has ever asked her out. All of this for good reason: Erica faints. A lot. And at the most inconvenient times.

Chronic fainting, also known as syncope, keeps Erica on the sidelines as the odd-girl out. Luckily, Lindsay Bennett hovers nearby to catch Erica each time she nose-dives to the floor. Lindsay isn’t only Erica’s best friend—for four years she’s been her savior.

But things are about to change.

When Lindsay breaks up with her boyfriend Adam to pursue a married man, Erica is intrigued. But as Lindsay’s relationship intensifies, Erica finds her own world spinning out of control: from covering up her friend’s affair, to hiding her feelings for Adam, to casting suspicion when a string of arson fires sweeps through the town.

Gradually peeling away layers of deception from those she trusts the most, Erica must decide how far she is willing to go to uncover truths—and how many people will get burned in the process.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Reviews:

“Manning has pieced together a web of events and characters with a perfectly elegant flow. What seems to be a modern coming-of-age tale, mixed with a slight bit of romance, quickly turns into a suspenseful mystery filled with betrayal and deceit…highly recommend.” ~ Amy Powers, Readers’ Favorite Reviews

“Rules of Falling gave me a lot of the same vibes as i am Elephant, i am Butterfly, and I am just as impressed with this book. Readers will not be disappointed!” ~ Jennifer, Book Sirens Reviewer

“Complex and sophisticated. Absolutely un-put-downable.” ~ The Prairies Book Review

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

Thank you so much for the interview! As a kid, I was always making up stories and plays, and performing for my family. In high school I was involved in everything theatre and music related. Flash forward: I was in college as a theatre major, ready to graduate, when I took a play writing class. I was subsequently asked to direct the play and present it as part of the Day Reparatory Theatre program. During my final semester, I took a novel writing class, and it was like the flood gates opened and never shut! I have been writing for 22 years, both plays and novels, for adult and young adult audiences. And that very first play from college is now an award-winning novel called Knock on Wood. Sometimes life comes full circle!

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

YES!! I only write in my home office (situated in my little 1910 home) and only Monday through Thursday, from 11-2. I am very strict about this writing schedule. This is the best way for me to keep my writing style consistent. 

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Heck if I know! Ever since that first play, ideas pop into my head all day long! It’s a blessing and a curse. Most ideas flitter away. Some make it to a Post-It. If that Post-It makes it to a file, then it will probably stay there forever. But if it makes it to my desk, then there is a good chance it will eventually become a book.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

There are two types of writers: Pantser (flying by the seat of your pants) and Plotter (knowing exactly where the story will go). I am right in between. I think about the story and take notes for up to a year before sitting down to write. Once I know the beginning, the ending, some crucial scenes, some character names, and the title, I begin. During the first draft, all hell breaks loose because the characters start bossing me around. I take back control during edits. You know, killing a character, bringing in a new one…showing them, ultimately, who’s boss.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I am what’s known as the genreless writer. I love to dabble when I read, and I do the same when I write. I have written everything from contemporary adult fiction, to magical realism, to a musical. It’s difficult enough to build an audience as a romance, horror, or any other genre writer. But as a genreless writer, I have to work extra hard to not only build an audience for each book, but get those readers to read across genres. Many of my readers do this, but there are so many who would rather read a book that follows a strict genre format. That, my friends, is not me. I’d rather write what my heart dictates than follow the herd.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

RULES OF FALLING, my latest YA contemporary novel, would make a great limited series, or so says Taleflick, the book-to-film curation service. And while I don’t usually put a face to my characters for my readers, as I want them to use their own imagination, I would cast the following: 

Erica, teen protagonist who suffers from chronic fainting: Sadie Sink 

Adam, hunky volunteer fireman who sees more in Erica than anyone else: Uriah Shelton kind of guy

Lindsay, the misguided bestie who gets involved with a married man: Amber Midthunder (Native American)

Mom, who is a bit neurotic when it comes to her daughter: Jennifer Aniston or Jennifer Garner

Larry, antagonist and total creep: Someone like Alexander Ludwig

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I work in the evenings as a private English tutor, so I end up RE-reading the classics over and over again with my students; however, some of my favorite authors are Ray Bradbury, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Mitch Albom, and Laurie Halse Anderson. 

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I’ve just finished The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. Dark and sad, but a necessary read in today’s crazy world.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury. This little book has layers! Each chapter can stand alone as a short story, as we meet all of the neighbors in one young boy’s life. At the same time, there is an ominous feeling hovering over the town, as there is a murderer on the loose. Bradbury does such a great job of juxtaposing the warmth of summer with a backdrop of foreboding. Also, the story takes place just before the Great Depression hits, but because the characters do not know this, additional suspense is created.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Well, that’s a packed question! I give talks on this subject, and they last two hours. If I had to offer two pieces of advice before someone sits down to bleed onto the page, I would tell them this: Do not make excuses for NOT writing; in other words, get your butt into the chair! Secondly, don’t let anyone EVER tell you that you CAN’T write. Everyone gets better. Maybe not your first book, or even your second. But you will get better. Remember that novel I wrote in college? It sits in a box under my bed. My literary agent has never seen it. I have grown as a writer since that first book. And you will, too!

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?

Here you go. Stop by and say hello!

Website: www.leslietallmanning.com

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/8118702.Leslie_Tall_Manning

Amazon Books: www.amazon.com/Leslie-Tall-Manning/e/B00VRZ3FOK%3Fref

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Leslie-Tall-Manning-Writer/236448826562926

Twitter: @LTManningWriter

Instagram: www.instagram.com/leslietallmanning

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/leslietallmanning

Bookbub: www.bookbub.com/profile/leslie-tall-manning

Book Sirens: www.booksirens.com/book/SFBU8QK/L9BNVKW

About the Author:

Leslie Tall Manning is an award-winning novelist who writes about adults and teenagers craving independence and often stumbling into it headfirst. She especially loves digging into universal themes such as friendship, bravery, and self-forgiveness. Her previously published books have received 5-star reviews from Publishers Weekly; Prairies Book Reviews; Midwest Book Reviews; Netgalley; Novel Gossip; YA Books Central; Readers’ Favorite; Pickled Thoughts and Pinot; and the Story Circle Network. Manning’s awards include the Sarton Women’s Literary Award; North Carolina Author Project Award; Self-e Library Journal Selection; International Book Award Finalist; Taleflick Road to Development Finalist; Indie Brag Medallion; Story Monsters Certificate of Excellence; and the Firebird Literary Fiction Award. She spends her days writing furiously and her evenings tutoring young adults. When she isn’t crafting books, plays, or musicals, she enjoys taking care of her Victorian home and traveling with her artist husband. She is proudly represented by Uwe Stender at the TriadaUS Literary Agency.

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