INDIE-pendence Day blog hop

One of my pals at Indie Ignites, Leigh Talbert Moore, is also in a group called the Indelibles. The Indelibles are doing a wonderful "pay it forward" kind of blog hop July 2nd through July 5th to celebrate indie authors.

Since I probably couldn't word it better than they did, here's the gist of it (copied and pasted):

This INDIEpendence day, the Indelibles would like to celebrate indie authors (self-published and small-press) by holding up examples of outstanding indie works. We believe that amazing works of fiction can be found in indie novels. By highlighting and bringing greater awareness to quality indie books, people will find great books to read, indie authors get support, and we continue to change hearts and minds about the gems that can be found among self-published and small-press novels.

WIN all around!

Will you join us?

Here's how it works:

  1. PICK A BOOK: Pick an indie (self-published or small press) book that you either HAVE READ AND LOVED or WANT TO READ. 
  2. WRITE A POST: On INDIEpendence day (July 2nd), write a post about that book. It can be a review, an interview with the author, or simply a post highlighting the book. In your post, be sure to include: 1) HOW you found out about the book and 2) WHY you liked it (or WHY you want to read it). Make it easy for people to sample your indie author by providing buy links as well.
  3. DO A GIVEAWAY (optional): You can give away swag, or a copy of the indie book you're highlighting, or don't do a giveaway at all - it's up to you! 
  4. IMPORTANT: you may NOT highlight your own novel or one of the Indelible's novels (this is a Pay It Forward event!) 
  5. GO TO GOODREADS (optional): Add the Indie book or books you're featuring to our ever-growing INDIEpendence Day List.
Easy peasy.

Doesn't that sound great? If you'd like to sign up to highlight an indie book, click HERE to go to the Indelibles' post for the form and a description of what one random host will win for participating! 

I can't wait to share the indie author love (hint: the book I'm featuring is a YA about Motocross) and hopefully find some new books to read as well! See you at the blog hop!


Light 'Em Up: Igniting This Summer's Writing Inspiration

Writers look for (and find) inspiration everywhere, including throughout the artistic and unique melodies and words in music. ST Bende and I are over at the Indie Ignites blog sharing our current writing inspiration (including Fall Out Boy, Of Monsters and Men, and Philip Philips). 

We were trying to keep the post short, but two more current inspirations for me (one sparking ideas in my head for years now) are 

1) Mayday Parade's A Lesson in Romantics album (You Be the Anchor That Keeps My Feet On The Ground, I'll Be The Wings That Keep Your Heart In The Clouds being my absolute favorite song ever and inspiration for If I Speak True a couple years ago -- link)


2) Hillsong United's ZION album (Mercy Mercy, reloaded being one of the ones I can have on a loop and just keep writing forever -- the louder the better -- link)

Whether you too are looking for some writerly inspiration, or simply wanting to enjoy some new songs this summer, I'm sure you find a few you like. :) Check our post out HERE and share some of your current favorite songs with us! See you there!

June is audiobook month!

I just realized today that June is audiobook month (which is cool, as Pity Isn't An Option is currently being made into one--did I mention how exciting this is? I have? Oh. Right.) when I was reading a post on Page Turners' Blog titled: Five Reasons Why Audiobooks Are Great For Students. (I personally LOVE audiobooks and can't wait to add more to my library.) Recently, my younger two and I spent a few weeks of driving back and forth to school (it's kinda far away) listening to the YA book, IF YOU FIND ME by Emily Murdoch. (UGH! Good recommendation for audio, by the way, if you have teens. Even Lovemuffin was enthralled when he was in the car!)

Anyway. The five reasons listed are great, which leads me to my point: summer is the perfect time for audiobooks, as many families are on the road a lot! And if not vacationing/traveling, a lot of time is spent in the house doing chores or crafts, ect. and audiobooks are the perfect for that! So, I wanted to share Page Turners' post, because

1) THE BOOK THIEF is so good (and is being made into a movie, you know, so of course you have to read/hear it first)

2) The other two books look good, too

3) Any time we can encourage students to read is a GOOD time, right?


4) Librarians and teachers receive an extra entry, and that's just awesome!

Check out Stacey's five reasons why audiobooks are great for students and enter the giveaway HERE

Blog Tour: INVISIBLE by Cecily Anne Paterson

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"Today I'm officially brave, which is what you are when you're scared but you still show up."

Blurb: Jazmine Crawford doesn’t make decisions. She doesn’t make choices. She doesn’t make friends. Jazmine Crawford only wants one thing: to be invisible.

For Jazmine, it’s a lot easier to take out her hearing aid and drift along in life pretending that nothing’s wrong than it is to admit that she’s heartbroken about her dad dying. She’s been drifting and ignoring her over-worried mum for four years now. But something’s got to give – and soon.

When bad girl Shalini and her mates adopt Jazmine, she follows along without thinking but quickly finds herself part of their plan to vandalise the drama classroom. Jazmine manages to save the key prop, a jewelled headdress, before drama teacher Miss Fraser walks in to find a room full of destruction. Later, sitting in disgrace in the principal’s office, Jazmine is offered a choice: become a ‘runner’ for Miss Fraser in the upcoming production of The Secret Garden or face a three week suspension and a permanent mark on her record.

It’s Miss Fraser who clinches the decision. “I believe in you Jazmine,” she says. “I know you can do this.” And Jazmine, terrified, disbelieving and elated all at the same time, joins the play and leaves her invisible life behind.

For a while it’s all good. Writing in the new journal that Miss Fraser gives her connects her to the memories she has of her father. Drama star and chocolate lover Liam is friendly and Jazmine realises that making friends, talking to her mother and feeling her emotions isn’t as scary as she thought. In the play, Jazmine becomes the prompter and a stand in and discovers to her amazement that she loves the stage and has a natural talent for acting. In a final happy twist of fate, acting diva Angela breaks both her ankles and with only a week before the curtain goes up, Miss Fraser asks Jazmine to take on the main role of Mary.

But it’s not quite as good as it seems. Jazmine is still fearful and doesn’t want to give too much away. She can’t quite believe that Liam likes her, and is worried that if people knew what she was really like, they wouldn’t want to be her friend.

But then Shalini returns from her suspension. In her mind, she has been betrayed. She’s out for payback, and she expects that Jazmine is going to do what she’s told, or else she just might expose her greatest secret...

I read INVISIBLE back in March after coming across it while perusing Amazon. (It was and currently still is available for free.)

Seeing as it was

1) a young adult book


2) written by an indie author

I knew I had to check it out. I wasn't prepared for the kind of story Cecily wrote, to be honest. The blurb pretty much explains the jest of the storyline; but when you read INVISIBLE, feelings come into the picture, too. You feel how Jazmine feels. You get how numb she's become, how lacking the relationship between her and her mother is, how sad it must be to not allow herself to have emotions most of the time.

Without giving anything away, I'd like to point out that this is one of those books where you want to applaud for the MC at the end because you're so proud of how much she's learned. Cecily does a great job of getting you inside Jazmine's head (sidenote: Jazmine is hearing impaired). The Secret Garden references are neat, but most of all I truly enjoyed watching the little bubble Jazmine kept around herself expand and grow wider, allowing more people and feelings in the further the story goes. The book is a little slower-paced through the first half, but as these types of stories go, it wouldn't work if it wasn't. You have to get to know the "before" Jazmine in order to see how far she's come.

One last quote:

"Later, as I'm supposed to be copying safety rules for using the power drill off the board I'm secretly and strangely happy. I never realised before that when someone says 'see you at lunch' it feels like sunshine."

And that's how this book feels by the time you reach the end: Like the darkness around Jazmine and her mother is gone and the sunshine is beaming down on you, empowering you to move on.

Sidenote: Cecily is from Australia, so there are a few references that kind of throw you off if you're from the US, but they're hardly worth mentioning.


1 paperback of Invisible by Cecily Anne Paterson
Ends 22nd June

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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About Cecily

Cecily Anne Paterson is what they call a TCK, or a third culture kid, which basically means she grew up overseas and has some weird issues. Now she’s a mostly normal Australian living in a small town in New South Wales, although her four children don’t wouldn’t necessarily agree with the mostly normal bit. She’s been an editor, a communications officer, an ESL teacher and now a writer. Her ambition is to write two young adult books a year for the next ten years.

Find Cecily on Facebook, Weebly and Goodreads

Find INVISIBLE on Amazon, Smashwords, iBooks, and Lulu

Pity Isn't An Option audiobook celebration

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Harry is celebrating!

Summer break has officially arrived! *throws coffee beans* 

With last Friday commencing the beginning of two months without school, there's a lot going on right now, but the most important bit of news is... *drumroll please* The audiobook version of Pity Isn't An Option is officially about to be narrated! Woohoo! *throws MORE coffee beans* *does cartwheels* I have found the perfect guy for the job--he does Jonas and Hattie well and is definitely going to do PIAO justice. YAY!!! *applause* *applause*

Also, PIAO received a very lovely review last week--Genie explained the mood so well (including this line:  This novel had something that some dystopian novels lack: FEELING - and that counts for a lot in my eyes.) that I just had to thank her for taking the time to read and review by sharing her review HERE

Join me in celebrating this lovely news by entering a few current contests that are floating around the interwebs for no other reasons than this is SO EXCITING and entering is FREE (and so are the books if you win)!!! I've listed them below for your convenience:

*** Check out an interview with Jonas and Hattie at Sara's Blogoversary celebration and enter to win a copy of Pity Isn't An Option and signed bookmark HERE 

*** Read an all-new excerpt from Pity Isn't An Option (Hattie's POV) and enter to win a copy of Pity Isn't An Option at Say It With Books' Indie Self-Published Author Event HERE

Thanks for joining me in the celebration and have a blessed week!

Indie Author Event at Say It With Books

Say It With Books Indie-Self Published Author Event June 2013
A brand new excerpt of Pity Isn't An Option is featured at Say It With Books' Indie Self-published Author Event! (A big thank you & platter of cookies to them for putting the spotlight on indie authors!) Click HERE to check out the photos, excerpt, & enter the giveaway.

Please spread the word!

Have a blessed weekend,


Shout it from the rooftops!

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Today's post is actually a carryover from something I tweeted a while back. As you may or may not know, I belong to a small group of indie writers known as Indie Ignites. We have a twitter account, and some of us have signed up to tweet specific days with the intention of having a camaraderie online with other indie writers. Being as I am one of the II tweeters, I save links throughout the week regarding writing posts, indie posts, reviews, my fellow IIers, and all that other stuff, so I have plenty to tweet when my day comes. Somehow, I ended up on a list of articles regarding indies in general and the right or wrong (bad or good, beneficial or not, sales-racking vs. sales-tanking... you get the point) ways to sell your books. Because, at the end of the day, most people write a book to sell. I mean, sure, that's not always the main point (it definitely wasn't for me), but it's there.

So I was going through all of these articles, and I've found that after a while of doing this, I always start to panic a little. You know what I mean... first you're all "MY THIS IS AN INTERESTING ARTICLE... GREAT POINTS!" and then a little clickety click here and there and ten articles later, you're freaking out, looking at all your stats, trying to do what so and so did and blah blah blah and you feel like a failure. OR, you decide you have to do things the way this one person did, and you change up your already decided plans to fit his suggestions which may or may not make a darn bit of difference in your situation anyway.

I'd gotten to that point where I was feeling the panic arise, not only because of the articles but the process of auditioning for the audiobook version of Pity Isn't An Option (YAY) and worrying that my "case" might not look worthy enough of being done as my indie sales are well, indie sales, and was like "Oh no..." when I felt this feeling (the Lord, I'm sure) reminding me why I wrote in the first place. Reminding me that the reason for this whole situation with Pity Isn't An Option has nothing to do with me anyway, so why am I worried about it? It was like He gently poked at my heart, bringing back the feelings I wrote for Jonas, and pointed me to what happened to Lovemuffin. Like He was saying, "Remember how things were? How you felt? Remember how incredibly sick he was? Remember what I did?" And as that all whirled and swirled in my emotions and I remembered, truly remembered the WHOLE POINT, I felt the panic slip away. I felt the truth of the writing come at me, I remembered that being a writer is HUGE and a big thing to be excited about and something to OWN.

That's when I tweeted the above quote. Because yeah, sure, we need sales, and sales tend to be the main motivator that keeps us on the interwebs (not counting interacting with friends, which I *so* do, and I love you guys, man, so much... *tear*). But I think sometimes we forget to write from our hearts. We start following all the "rules". We get anxious to push the "next thing" out. Or we allow those panic-y, "Am I doing this right? What does so and so say? I'd better look at my sales levels..." feelings determine our actions and the choices we make.

But I think it would be better if, for once, we sorta regressed. If we concentrated on WHO WE ARE and WHAT WE HAVE ACCOMPLISHED instead of being in such a rush and worry to do those things that we miss what's already happened.

Hence, the title for this post. I'd rather write from my heart. I'd rather share what means most than compromise those stories and feelings because of a few rules. I'd rather have less come out more often so I can enjoy this process. I'd rather shout from the rooftops that I AM A WRITER AND I LOVE WHAT I DO then feel as though I'm never measuring up.

Jonas and Hattie answer a few questions for Sara in Bookland's BLOGOVERSARY

Happy Monday! :D

Jonas and Hattie have been interviewed over at Sara in Bookland's blog to help celebrate her one year BLOGOVERSARY. (Woohoo! Cookies all around!) An ebook of Pity Isn't An Option is also up for grabs, so head on over HERE to read the interview and enter the giveaway! (Feel free to share some BLOGOVERSARY love by sending her a note of congrats and enter the other giveaways going on while you're at it!)
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Harry the owl and I also giving away five free bookmarks to help Sara celebrate... so the first five people to put their email in the comments section here will receive a bookmark (with excerpt from PIAO on the back) from Harry! *throws confetti*