Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Edenbrooke Giveaway!

Wow, I am queen slacker this week. SO sorry! But good things come to those who wait!

I have a signed ARC copy of EDENBROOKE by Julianne Donaldson to give away! I am very excited about this as it's a smaller publisher and I want you all to have a chance to read it! BTW you can order it online, get it at Deseret Bookstore and Seagull Book, all Utah Costcos carry it, and Barnes and Nobles everywhere carry it! So go find it! You will love me!

Just fill out the form below. USA and Canada mailing addresses only please. The contest will be open until my birthday, April 6th! 11:59 pm EST.

P.S. you're all slackers with me too. I was going to give all of you 2 extra entries if you commented on Julie's guest post(I mean Julianne...I know her as Julie!) but none of you did although I know you read it. Next time! ;)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dark Divine Giveaway Winners!

Sorry this took me so long. Life has been crazy busy. I hope you enjoyed my posts about Edenbrooke. I saw a lady purchase it at our local costco and I just had to rave about it to her!

But this is about Dark Divine! Which you all know how much I love Bree and the series! 2 lucky winners will receive the whole trilogy from the publisher! So with no further adieu and the help of our winners are...

Christina Kit!

Thanks for everyone who entered! Come back tomorrow for yet ANOTHER giveaway! Yeah this is a crazy giveaway month!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Guest Post by Julianne Donaldson: A Day in the Life of a Romance Writer

There is so much to post about! I should have posted this yesterday but got busy with a certain movie premiere! Which I will post about later. Then there's the winner to find for the Dark Divine giveaway! But I wanted you to all read this fabulous post. If you comment you might just be happy that you did tomorrow. Just sayin.

Julianne is the author of EDENBROOKE, a new regency romance that came out early last week. Julianne Donaldson grew up as the daughter of a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot. She learned how to ski in the Italian Alps, visited East Berlin before the wall came down, and spent three years living next to a 500-year-old castle. After earning a degree in English, she turned her attention to writing about distant times and places. She lives in Utah with her husband and four children. Edenbrooke is her first novel. You can find more about here at her website HERE.

8:00 a.m. I awake suddenly, look at the alarm clock, and try not to swear. I shouldn't have stayed up so late last night reading that book! Now the kids will be late to school unless some morning miracle happens.

8:00 - 8:45 a.m. Chaos. Three kids to feed, dress, and get ready for school. Papers have to be signed and returned (why can I never find a pen?), shoes have to be found (have you looked in your room? by the front door? in the car?), backpacks packed and hair and teeth brushed. Finally, the front door is slammed, and it's just me, my three-year-old, and my dog. Oops! Forgot to let the dog out. Clean up the pee on the carpet. And on with the day.

10:00 - 12:00. It's Tuesday, so my three-year-old goes to my neighbor's house, where he plays with friends while I get some computer time. The first hour is spent answering emails, posting on my blog, and corresponding with my agent and publisher. The second hour I sit down, take a deep breath, and try to enter the world of romance and history. The dog barks. The doorbell rings. Someone calls to chat. I look at the clock. Fifteen minutes of writing time left! I scramble to reach my goal of 800 words. It's all a mess, but there might be some gems in there I can use.

12:00 - 3:30 p.m. I pick up my three-year-old, give him lunch, and we spend the afternoon cleaning the house, doing laundry, watching PBS, and playing with Legos. Don't forget to let the dog out!

3:30 - 6:30 p.m. The older kids come home, with friends, until the house is overrun with at least ten kids. There's homework, snacks, after-school activities (it's time to go to gymnastics! do you have your scout uniform? get in the car, everyone! hurry, we're late!), dinner prep, and drama.

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Husband comes home, we eat dinner, finish homework, run to basketball games, pick up from gymnastics, juggle church meetings, and in general act like chickens with our heads cut off. Finally the kids are in their beds (but not necessarily asleep).

8:30 - 10:30 p.m. It's time to unwind and spend some time with my husband. Dishes are optional, as is folding laundry. We like to sit on the couch together. He surfs the TV while I do research on my laptop. This is not writing time--I can't write with the TV on and kids coming downstairs (i'm thirsty. i can't go to sleep. everyone's talking and keeping me up. what's the deadliest insect in utah?). But I research the historical aspect of my books, look up photos of England, catch up on blogs I follow, email, write blog posts, etc.

10:30 - midnight or later. My time. I will pick up a good book or sit and dream of my own book. Late-night writing, if I'm not too tired, can be my favorite kind. As I drift off to sleep, I imagine my heroine falling in love, I dream of smoky looks and passionate love letters. I jump up to jot down a phrase or two, but all too soon the day has worn me out. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get more writing done.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review: EDENBROOKE by Julianne Donaldson

by Julianne Donaldson
Paperback, 240 pages
Published: March 27th 2012 by Shadow Mountain

Placement in the Pile: Top Picks!

Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she’ll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry.

From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will she be able to rein in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke.

From page one I was drawn into Marianne's world. Each character was vivid and real. I was pulled into the world of Regency England where rules are strict, women are limited, love was pure and things are not always what they seem. Marianne certainly has to deal with all of this. And she is unfortunate enough to be a free spirit limited by her circumstances.

I devoured this novel and found myself dreaming about living in that it's England, my favorite place I've ever visited! This book is truly a "proper romance". My heart soared with the joys, and was pulled by the tensions of the situations that Marianne finds herself.

Fans of Jane Austen will fall in love with this new look into the life of a spirited young woman constricted by the world, searching for her place, and finding love.

I very much look forward to more from Julianne Donaldson!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Interview and Giveaway! Bree Despain

So when I was reading my ARC of THE SAVAGE GRACE I knew I had to do an interview with Bree for all of you. I was just loving this book so much and wanted to ask her some questions about her whole experience with it. So, here's the interview, and at the end a FABULOUS giveaway!

1) How was it writing the end of Grace and Daniel's story? How was it different from writing the other books?

I was surprised at how hard it was to write the end of the story. In fact, I kept turning in the manuscript without the last two chapters--because I couldn't bring myself to write "the end." I have to admit that I teared up a bit when I did, but it also feels really good to have brought the story full circle. Third books in a trilogy are challenging to write because there is SO MUCH going on that needs to finally be pulled together in a satisfactory way. I didn't want to drop the ball on the third book and leave a bad taste in readers mouths about the series as a whole. That's pressure!

2) The end of the book is complete, but of course the characters will go on with their lives. Are there any plans for another book or short story in the future?

I heard a famous author say once that the end of the book should feel like "just the beginning" for your readers to imagine in their own heads what happens to the characters after that. I really wanted to capture that feeling with the ending of this series. Right now, I have no plans for more books in the TDD world--but I'm not going to say "never." I do see myself possibly doing a couple of short stories just for fun.

3) The Savage Grace is my favorite book in the series. Do you have a favorite?

I love all the books for different reasons, but I think the first one, THE DARK DIVINE, will always have a very special place in my heart. It's the one that I wrote for myself and poured so much my heart into--without knowing if it would ever be published or if anyone other than my family would ever read it. However, I think TSG is probably the most fun for me to read--it really pushed my plotting and action-writing skills to the limit.

4) Is there anything about your writing process that is an absolute must for you? A quiet location? A certain snack?

Chocolate! I always have a little bowl of dark chocolate chips at my side while I write. Over the summer, I went on a really strict diet that didn't allow me any sugar (or chocolate!) for about a month. I was surprised that my writing productivity went way up during that month. But when I got my revisions back from my editor, I ended up having to rewrite almost every single sentence I'd written during my choclate-free-month. It may not be a very scientific conclusion, but that was enough for me to never try writing without chocolate again!

5) What is your favorite read lately?

My three favorite reads as of late: WHITE CAT by Holly Back, EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton, and UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi.

6) What are you working on now?

I'm working on a new book that is slated for publication in Fall 2013. I don't know what I'm allowed to say about it yet, but I can tell you that it's a story I started before THE DARK DIVINE was published, and I am so excited to be working on it again!

and for my own knowledge... 7) How do you pronounce Sirhan?

I pronounce it Sir-han. Like "Sir" (as in, "Yes, Sir!") and "Han" (as in, "Han Solo" or "rhymes with "on"). But really, any way you want to pronounce it is fine by me.

Totally random tidbit about how I came up with that name: I found an old Life Magazine from 1969 in my Grandmother's house. The cover story was about a man named "Sirhan Sirhan" who had just been convicted for assassinating Senator Robert F. Kennedy. The article said that "Sirhan" means "wolf" and I decided to use it for the name of the formidable leader of the largest werewolf pack. The character's full name "Sirhan Etlu" means "Wolf Warrior."

Thanks so much Bree! It was a blast as always! NOW it's giveaway time! I am so ridiculously excited about this! The publisher has offered to give not just ONE but TWO of you the ENTIRE Dark Divine Trilogy!!!!!!

Just comment about Bree's interview, and fill out the form below! It's that easy!

Contest will be open just until Wed, March 21, 11:59 pm EST. So get on it!

Oh and P.S. Happy St. Patrick's day!

**The contest is USA mailing addresses only. Sorry for the inconvenience. I should have specified earlier.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Book Signing Report: Bree Despain!

Yesterday I was lucky enough to go to the launch party and book signing at The King's English in Salt Lake City for THE SAVAGE GRACE, book 3 in the Dark Divine Trilogy.

It was so great to see Bree again and celebrate this awesome book! Here's some pics and highlights from her presentation entitled "The End".

*Once again I am just going to type my notes as I wrote them as Bree said this is paraphrased Bree. ;)

  • Sequels are hard. The Lost Saint, I affectionately refer to as the book that ate my soul. But the third book has to be easier to write, right? Heh. heh. Yeah right.
  • You spend your writing career learning how to write a first book, that took me 10 years. No one teaches you how to write a second or third book
  • At times this book had beasty claws, fangs and got very bloodthirsty around the full moon
  • One obstacle was there are so many strings that need to be tied up in the final book, things you have to complete
  • Also third books have a lot more climax, 2/3rds of the book is climax
  • All the characters you've introduced, not just the main ones, have to have their stories come full circle. Some will fail at thier goals, some will succeed, some will even die.

  • The hardest obstacle to overcome in writing this book was saying goodbye. When I typed the last words from book 3 I would be saying goodbye to charcters that had been talking to me since a dark cold night in January so long ago.
  • I put off writing the end. I kept turning in drafts without the last few chapters
  • Well I finally turned a draft in, still without the last few chapters and my Editor said "I love the ending!" But that freaked me out, that's not the end! I said. He told me they were already doing copy edits and were going to print in 2 days.
  • So i had one night to write that perfect ending, to say goodbye
  • what I finally had to do was force myself to stop thinking about what the perfect ending would be, and just write what felt true for the characters.

  • When I finished
    my husband bought me not just one kitten, but two! We call them the kittens Divine. Merlin is black and Avalon is grey.
Then Bree read from the book a little, and did some giveaways thanks to winners from a fairly hard trivia! I was shooting myself for not remembering a few of them since I had JUST read TSG not that long ago. She gave away some of the awesome Dark Divine Jewelry and some of the nailpolish with pedicure supplies, and then one person got her food of choice for writing, chocolate covered cinnamon bears.

It was so wonderful to see Bree again! I just love her smiling face, I love how much she cares about her readers, and especially I love her books. She's such an inspiration!

Alright, so that being said, come back tomorrow to see what Bree had to say for my interview with her! And there just might be something super super awesome posted along with that interview. ;)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review: THE SAVAGE GRACE by Bree Despain

by Bree Despain
Hardcover 496 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by EgmontUSA (Yes folks, that's TODAY!)

Placement in the Pile: Top Picks!

A troubled soul. An impossible choice. A final battle.

Wrestling with the werewolf curse pulsing deep inside of her, Grace Divine was finally able to find her brother, but it nearly cost her everything.

With her boyfriend, Daniel, stuck in wolf form and Sirhan's death approaching, time is running out for Grace to stop Caleb Kalbi and his gang of demons. If she fails, her family and hometown will perish. Everything rests on Grace's shoulders.

The final installment in The Dark Divine trilogy brings Daniel and Grace's love story to a breathtaking conclusion.

I cannot tell you how much I loved this book. It was the perfect conclusion to the series. It is a long book yes, but it never feels that way. The action just keeps building and building and building. Unlike another very popular book series, you will not feel like the final "battle" scenes are a let down. No, this book was everything it should have been, and more.

There is not a lot I can or want to say about content because I don't want to spoil it. But I will say that the romantics won't be disappointed, the action fans won't be disappointed. I laughed, I literally cried. I was surprised by some twists, not as surprised by others, but that was okay. I loved and hated characters in a way that made me really care about the book. I was worried a bit about the title and what it would mean (which you don't get till the very end!) In the end I was 100% satisfied with the story, but it still left room for me to think of the characters in the future.

Bree Despain, you recaptured my heart! Thank you so much for putting the time and effort into this one, cause it was my favorite of the series!

**Be SURE to come back often this week! I am having a "Divine" week here on the blog! We will be having an interview with Bree, a report of her book launch party tonight, and an AWESOME giveaway you won't want to miss!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thursday Three (4)

1) I adore our library system. It had a large system of books available for their hold system. One thing I did the other day was put a bunch of St. Patrick's day books to read with my daughter on hold. And many of them have come in! I love reading books with my girls. I hope they learn to love reading as much as I do!

2) I'm just not ready to go to bed if I haven't read for a few minutes. It's my wind down time...sometimes. Sometimes a book grabs me and keeps me up. But a lot of the time I read a little and it helps my mind go to another world and not worry about what's going on in real life.

When is your favorite time to read?

3) Next week is going to be "Divine". In so so many ways! Be sure to check it out all week, not just Thursday.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Everneath and Supernaturally Giveaway Winners!

As usual I want to thank you all for reading my blog and entering the giveaway. I have lots more giveaways this month so please don't fret if you didn't win this one!

Our two lucky winners are:

Erin Thain: EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton


Maegan Langer: SUPERNATURALLY by Kiersten White

It just worked out that you both got your first pick! So that's nice!