This week's writerly news: Olive Tapenade, Swing, & #JLBgivesawayanINDIE

Quick post because I'm a day behind... Don't forget that February's ELSKER photo-a-day challenge starts TOMORROW! (Get it HERE for free.) Woohoo!!! Here it is again for your convenience (and here's last week's post if you have any questions):

Quick note: the handles at the bottom are our INSTAGRAM
ones! Ashley & Anna do not have a Twitter; Rachel's is
@nerdherdreads, and mine is @coffeelvnmom :)

This week I'm listening to a lot of swing music... Count Basie, Benny Goodman, and Django Reinhardt to name a few. Shout and Feel It by Count Basie is one of my faves... and because I know some of you probably won't be that into it, I thought I'd give you a more modern version as well. :)

Which version do you like best?

olive tapenade
I can seriously eat the entire batch myself.

After running out of Christmas gift ideas for my dad these past few years, I've begun to do more food-ish ones. This last Christmas I made a gift certificate for one "Jar o' the Month", and for January, I made him olive tapenade. (We're still doing Whole30 over here, hence the simple-yet-delightful dishes.) If you love olives, you'll want to make tons of this! YUM! 

Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave

Waiting on Wednesday this week was SURVIVAL STORIES OF THE ALMOST BRAVE by Jen White.

And... that's all I have time for. Come back MONDAY MORNING to see the #JLBgivesawayanINDIE Elsker giveaway! There's going to be a lot of fun ways to enter!  (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT'S ALMOST FEBRUARY?)

Have a blessed weekend, everyone! 

Waiting on Wednesday {69}: Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is: Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave.

Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave

Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave

by Jen White

Publication date: June 9th, 2015

From Goodreads:

After their mother's recent death, twelve-year-old Liberty and her eight-year-old sister, Billie, are sent to live with their father, who they haven't seen since they were very young. Things are great at first; the girls are so excited to get to know their father – a traveling photographer who rides around in an RV. But soon, the pressure becomes too much for him, and he abandons them at the Jiffy Company Gas Station.

Instead of moping around and being scared, Liberty takes matters into her own hands. On their journey to get home, they encounter a shady, bald-headed gas station attendant, a full-body tattooed trucker, free Continental breakfast, a kid obsessed with Star Wars, a woman who lives with rats, and a host of other situations.

When all seems lost, they get some help from an unlikely source, and end up learning that sometimes you have to get a little bit lost to be found.

This week's writerly news: February's #JLBgivesawayanINDIE photo-a-day challenge + more

Howdy, guys! :) As promised, here is what's been brewing for a few months now: a new monthly meme/giveaway here at Let Me Tell You A Story, co-hosted by Ashley and Anna's For the Love of Books and Rachel at The NerdHerd Reads! :D 

I'm so excited! #JLBgivesawayanINDIE isn't just about a monthly indie book giveaway. It's about sharing booklove with fellow readers and sharing favorite books and expanding our book fan base and just overall booknerdery interaction. That's why, even though each monthly photo-a-day challenge will be loosely based on the book-of-the-month up for grabs, it's also broad enough of a subject that participants can choose to use the words however they see fit (bookish or not). Woot!

Participating will get entries into the giveaway, but they're not necessary. You can do the photo-a-day challenges just for fun and not enter at all! Whatever works! Point is, camaraderie, and support for indie authors and talk about ALLLL THE BOOKS. :) 

So... that's all I'm saying until February 2nd, when February's #JLBgivesawayanINDIE will officially begin (the challenge will begin on Instagram/Tumblr/Facebook/wherever you want to do it Sunday, February 1st, but the giveaway starts Monday, the 2nd). If you're curious about what's going to be up for grabs, check out Elsker (I believe it's actually free right now on Amazon), go over the photo-a-day challenges and see how the words coincide with the book (or how you could make them work for you in a different way) in your daily photos. I think we're going to have a great time, and I know ST is going to love giving one winner a book and some great swag. :D (And you will all love Ull! *swoons*) I'll be announcing the specific items up for grabs on the 2nd, so make sure to come back and check it out!

Moving on...

This week's song is one I've been totally addicted to by Sia called Soon We'll Be Found. The video is my favorite version of it (because her voice is sorta raspy), but you can also watch the official video (YAY! ASL!), HERE.

Also, I've updated my (very boring and plain-looking) YouTube writing playlists, so if you'd like to get a feel for the books or simply want some new songs to listen to, feel free to check them out, HERE! :)

The Bunker Diary

Waiting on Wednesday: This week's WoW was THE BUNKER DIARY by Kevin Brooks (haha... in case you noticed, I somehow happened to choose two people with my same last name two weeks in a row!).

And... I guess that's about it. Do spread the #booklove about #JLBgivesawayanINDIE and the photo challenge, and have a blessed weekend! 


Waiting on Wednesday {68}: The Bunker Diary

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is: The Bunker Diary.

The Bunker Diary

The Bunker Diary

by Kevin Brooks

Publication date: March 15th, 2015

From Goodreads:

Room meets Lord of the Flies, The Bunker Diary is award-winning, young adult writer Kevin Brooks's pulse-pounding exploration of what happens when your worst nightmare comes true - and how will you survive?

I can't believe I fell for it.

It was still dark when I woke up this morning.

As soon as my eyes opened I knew where I was.

A low-ceilinged rectangular building made entirely of whitewashed concrete.

There are six little rooms along the main corridor.

There are no windows. No doors. The lift is the only way in or out.

What's he going to do to me?

What am I going to do?

If I'm right, the lift will come down in five minutes.

It did. Only this time it wasn't empty . . .

This week's writerly news: this week's song + a #JLBgivesawayanINDIE sneak peek

It's Friday! There's a lot going on so I'm going to go straight to the stuff! Like... this #JLBgivesawayanINDIE teaser! 

I am SO excited, because we're officially READY for the first #JLBgivesawayanINDIE of the year! Make sure to come back next Friday (the 23rd) for a preview, because we're going to be doing a lot of fun, interactive things each month to go along with each book that will be up for grabs. A quick shout-out to bloggers who are participating, too... thanks so much, guys! If you want to showcase indie books once a month this year and share the giveaway/participate in other stuff as well, check out THIS FORM before it's too late! :D

Currently listening to:  WEEKEND by Verite. Lots of Cozenage 2 (yes, book two is still untitled... with this series I just have to wait until something jumps out at me, and it hasn't happened yet) plot stuff has been crashing into my head the past couple of weeks. There are so many different people and emotions and things happening in this book that it's a beast to contain everything with words at times, but... this song... it really makes me think of Logan and Jennifer Dawn. (Not sharing the "official" video, because it is *not* how I see the song at all, so here's a video with just the music.) 


Food: I have made these Breakfast Cups SO MANY TIMES. They're delicious. I swear you will not be able to stop thinking about them once you make them! 

In a World Just Right

Waiting on Wednesday: This week's was IN A WORLD JUST RIGHT.

And... I think that's about it. Did I miss anything? :/ Check out my Instagram (authorjessicabrooks) or Tumblr (username coffeelvnmom) because I got the most BEEEAUTIFUL illustrated copy of The Princess Bride, and I've been sharing photos!!! :D

Also, do wish Eugenia from Genie in a Book a wonderful birthday if you have a chance! :)

Have a blessed weekend! 


Waiting on Wednesday {67}: In A World Just Right

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is: In A World Just Right.

In a World Just Right

In a World Just Right
by Jen Brooks

Publication date: April 28th, 2015

From Goodreads:

High school senior Jonathan Aubrey creates worlds at will. In Kylie-Simms-is-my-girlfriend, he’s given himself everything he doesn’t have in real life-–the track team, passing grades, and his dream girl–-until one day he confuses his worlds and almost kisses the real Kylie Simms. Now his girlfriend Kylie and the real Kylie are changing, and Jonathan must solve the mystery of his own life to save his love from a gruesome fate.

This week's writerly news: new favorite writing songs + a #Whole30 recipe

This week's *actual* writerly news is... pretty much non-existent! ;D The girls have been on break for three weeks now, so the environment just hasn't been all that conducive to writing. I've gotten lots of *other* stuff done, though, so that's nice. Really looking forward into diving into some stuff Monday!

I've been doing Whole30 for almost two months now, so the yummy sweet recipes I usually shared before taking a break from the writerly news posts are a thing of the past for now, but I am TOTALLY in love with this Grilled Chicken Shawarma (and the Israeli salad, too) at the moment. So fresh, and natural! (And the shawarma seasoning works great on steaks, as well!)


Moondust (Stripped):

I'll Be Good

Currently listening (over and over) to Jaymes Young's I'll Be Good and Moondust (Stripped & also the original version). Jaymes Young's voice is like velvet. Got so many great scenes in my head now! *melts to the floor* 


#JLBgivesawayanINDIENext month I'll be starting up #JLBgivesawayanINDIE. I'm very excited about the photo-a-day challenges and giveaway (and just highlighting authors in general), so if you're interested in participating as a reader/blogger, feel free to check out THIS POST and sign out the form before it closes.

Waiting on Wednesday:

This week's WoW was Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier in Hitler's Army. I'm a sucker for WWII YA (I mean, hello, CODE NAME VERITY, ROSE UNDER FIRE, and TAMAR: A NOVEL OF ESPIONAGE, PASSION AND BETRAYAL are some of my favorite books), and knowing this story is true (click the link and read "about the author") just made it even more special. Also, I was just approved to read an e-ARC of it, so YAY!

Ships and OTPs:

The Flora characters have recently been listed in a few places, which I thought was cool (thanks, guys)! You can check them out below:

* OTP of the year (!!!): Rowan and Dahlia at Genie in a Book

* BRO-TP (ha ha): Briscoe and Rowan at life_love_fandoms

* Friend"ships": Dahlia and David at life_love_fandoms 

Have a blessed weekend! :)

Waiting on Wednesday {66}: Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier in Hitler's Army

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine. This week's can't-wait-to-read pre-publication book is: Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier in Hitler's Army.

Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier in Hitler's Army

Unlikely Warrior: A Jewish Soldier in Hitler's Army
by Georg Rauch

Publication date: February 24, 2015

From Goodreads:

As a young adult in wartime Vienna, Georg Rauch helped his mother hide dozens of Jews from the Gestapo behind false walls in their top-floor apartment and arrange for their safe transport out of the country. His family was among the few who worked underground to resist Nazi rule. Then came the day he was drafted into Hitler's army and shipped out to fight on the Eastern front as part of the German infantry—in spite of his having confessed his own Jewish ancestry. Thus begins the incredible journey of a nineteen year old thrust unwillingly into an unjust war, who must use his smarts, skills, and bare-knuckled determination to stay alive in the trenches, avoid starvation and exposure during the brutal Russian winter, survive more than one Soviet labor camp, and somehow find his way back home.

Happy 2015 + this year's new #giveaway theme: #JLBgivesawayanINDIE

 photo 4c71216a-564e-4af5-9322-72606162ae2e.jpg
Happy and blessed New Year from Killer and me! (He insisted on wearing his party hat.) I'm so excited about what 2015 has in store, including a new monthly theme called #JLBgivesawayanINDIE starting in February (if you're interested in participating in the photo-a-day part, or even simply sharing the monthly giveaway, fill out the form below); a book or two coming out (or three, we'll see); and just a more restful year based on the way I see things going. :) Yay!

As most of you know, last year I did #JLBgivesawayaDVD: a monthly DVD giveaway. I wanted to interact with everyone and also give them a little something, and while my goal was kind of met, it didn't feel as though a whole lot came out of it. Part of the reason I love social media and blogging is because it's a way to make friends. To expand the #booklove camaraderie. That didn't happen as much as I'd hoped with the giveaways. And, considering I'm an indie author, I know there are some *great* underrated indie books, and felt that this year was going to be about concentrating more on them and getting them into YOU, the reader's, hands. Hence, #JLBgivesawayanINDIE. :) (For you international pals, yes, the giveaways will be international, but your winnings will have to be in ebook form, due to shipping costs.)

At this point, Rachel from The NerdHerd Reads and Ashley and Anna from For the Love of Books are on board to share the fun photo-a-day challenges and give shout-outs to each new monthly giveaway. Though they're the *official* hosts, so to speak, I'd absolutely love to have more readers/bloggers on board, so if you want to participate (by tweeting, doing a monthly blog post, et cetera), please sign THIS FORM, and I'll get back to you shortly. 

There's also another project I'm super-excited about for this year, but as it's in the very beginning stages, I can't say much about it yet. I promise to keep you posted!

One last tidbit of news: Tomorrow, Saturday the 3rd, Tabitha, Mandie, and I will be doing the first #nerdherdmovienight of the year and watching Step Up together. If you'd like to join in and watch with us, search for the hashtag on Twitter at 6:00 p.m. PST, and join the conversation! :)

Have a blessed weekend!