About Me

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Hi, I'm Jamie. I'm a writer, reader, and huge TV junkie. I just might post about all three here on this blog. Have a look around. And if you want, drop me an email and tell me what you think. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: FLAWED by Kate Avelynn

by Kate Avelynn
ebook pub date 11/23/2012
paperback pub date 12/11/2012

product description from goodreads.com

Sarah O’Brien is alive because of the pact she and her brother made twelve years ago — James will protect her from their violent father if she promises to never leave him. For years, she’s watched James destroy his life to save hers. If all he asks for in return is her affection, she’ll give it freely.

Until, with a tiny kiss and a broken mind, he asks for more than she can give.

Sam Donavon has been James’ best friend — and the boy Sarah’s had a crush on — for as long as she can remember. As their forbidden relationship deepens, Sarah knows she’s in trouble. Quiet, serious Sam has decided he’s going to save her. Neither of them realizes James is far more unstable than her father ever was, or that he’s not about to let Sarah forget her half of the pact...

My Review:

FLAWED is a stunning piece of fiction, beautifully written and expertly crafted in such a way that grips you and carries you on a roller coaster ride of emotions and nerves. The three main characters, James, Sarah and Sam, each possess both good and bad characteristics, and I found myself both rooting for and cursing them constantly. 

Sarah first comes across as timid and weak, but we discover (along with Sarah) her true self through the novel's progression. Her decisions throughout had me almost yelling out loud at her they were so wrong at times, but the great thing about Avelynn's storytelling prowess is that I completely understood why she was making them. Many times I found myself asking what I would do in her situation, which is always a great thing for a story to produce in a reader.

James is seemingly the polar opposite of Sarah. He's strong, protective, unafraid of standing up for both himself and his sister. But James also harbors a darkness that eats away at him from page one. A darkness that shows itself more and more as the novel moves forward. A darkness that threatens everyone. I have to admit that my feelings toward James changed by the end of the book, but to avoid any spoilers, I won't say how. 

Sam, to me, is the light of this novel, though as I said, he isn't all good and perfect all the time (who is, right?). But Sam does represent possibility and hope, not only for James and Sarah, but also for himself. The relationships he has with both Sarah and James are severely damaged right from the start, but he has a quiet optimism inside that somehow keeps the fragility of those relationships intact.

My Rating:

I really can't express how powerful and moving this novel is. I was swept into the story from the first page, and I stayed there until the unbelievable end. I give FLAWED 5 Stars, and highly recommend (demand, really) that you all go and get a copy now and meet a cast of characters that will stay with you long after you've read the last word.  

Sunday, November 25, 2012

AVOW by Chelsea Fine book trailer & giveaway!

Hey lucky followers, I'm so stoked to be able to show you the all-new book trailer for Chelsea Fine's upcoming Archers of Avalon finale, AVOW! I revealed the cover last week (you can check out that post here) and Chelsea was nice enough to send me the trailer to share with you guys (yay us!).

Okay, I won't keep you waiting. Here's the trailer for AVOW, book three in the Archers of Avalon series!

Isn't that great? I seriously don't know how Chelsea was able to take any of those photos with Tristan standing there (major distraction, right?) but she did, and did a great job, too!

As a bonus, Chelsea is also giving away some outstanding prizes that you're definitely gonna want to get in on. Signed books, cash, electronics--score! Wanna know how to enter? Check out the rafflecopter below! (and it's INTERNATIONAL!!)

Be sure to visit Chelsea on Twitter, her website, or Facebook, and congratulate her on an awesome trailer and say thanks for the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Find me on ADR3NALIN3!

Hey folks, head on over to the ADR3NALIN3 Blog today for my post on NaNoWriMo!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cover Reveal...AVOW by Chelsea Fine!

You guys, I'm super-duper thrilled to be part of the cover reveal for Chelsea Fine's final book in the Archers of Avalon trilogy, AVOW! 

I've gotten to know Chelsea via Twitter and she's such a sweet, funny gal I now consider a friend. I've yet to begin the Archers series (curse you, TBR pile!) but I can't wait because I just know her humor and sharp wit are gonna shine through!

Okay, I'm not gonna keep you in suspense. Here it is, the cover for book three in the Archers of Avalon trilogy, AVOW!

Isn't that beautiful?! I seriously love all three of these covers (note: book two may just be my favorite; brownie points to anyone who can guess why. lol) and can't wait to get hard copies to add all this pretty to my shelf:
Aren't they gorgeous all lined up together?! Squee!

Here's a bit about AVOW:

Scarlet remembers. Everything. Her past lives, Tristan, Gabriel, Nate: she remembers it all--including how to get to the Fountain of Youth. But time is running out.

Heather and Gabriel have been kidnapped by Raven, while the curse that has plagued Scarlet and Tristan for centuries has shifted, putting the star-crossed lovers in more danger than ever before. Water from the Fountain of Youth is the only thing that can save Scarlet and her loved ones. But the water comes at a price.

With lives--and hearts--at stake, Scarlet leads her friends on a dangerous journey to the Fountain of Youth. Where eternal life is possible, but death is certain.

And a bit about the author herself:

I grew up (and still live) in the Phoenix, AZ area where I studied Design at Arizona State University. During college, I also took my first creative writing class, which is how I fell in love with writing. In 2007, I found myself working at a credit union, staring at a computer screen, and bored out of my mind. I promptly opened up Word and began writing a story...to kill time. (I know, I'm a terrible employee.) But eight pages and forty-five minutes later, I realized I was actually having fun. Years later, (after I quit the credit union and became a self-employed artist...because let's face it, I was no good at "being on the clock" what, with all the story-writing during "work" hours) I asked a publishing company to edit a short story of mine and before I knew it I was on the road to publishing my first book, Sophie & Carter. Now I spend most of my days writing, painting, and trying not to burn the house down when I cook. Other than that, I'm an avid reader, a lover of music, a Battlestar Galactica fan, a coffee addict, a chronic texter, an obsessive teeth-brusher, and a shameless superhero enthusiast. Oh, and I have the best agent in the world, Suzie Townsend of Nancy Coffey Literary!

Wanna keep tabs on Chelsea and all that's to come from this awesome author? Check her out on her website, Facebook, Goodreads and Twitter!

And be sure to stop by my blog every Monday between now and the release of AVOW on December 11th for some special treats from Chelsea--including a giveaway! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cover Reveal -- SHRAPNEL by Stephanie Lawton!

You guys, I'm so excited to be part of the cover reveal for the awesome Stephanie Lawton's latest novel, SHRAPNEL (Evernight Teen, Jan 2013)!

I "met" Stephanie a few months ago via Twitter (seriously, how did we introverts ever meet people before social networking?) and can honestly say she is a super funny, super sweetheart. I quickly grabbed a copy of her debut novel WANT and fell in love, not only with the story and characters, but with Stephanie's spot-on writing. So needless to say, I'm excited for this one!

Okay, without further ado, here it is, the cover of SHRAPNEL by Stephanie Lawton!

Isn't it great? There are so many tells in such a simple shot: The quirky-yet-daring laced-up boots, the semi-revealing tank top, the nervous insecurity of the lace-wound fingers. Gah! I can't wait to read this!

Here's a bit about SHRAPNEL:

It’s been six years since Dylanie and her family visited a Civil War site and the place came alive with cannon fire. Problem was, no one could hear it but her.

Now she’s sixteen, her dad’s moved out, her mom’s come out of the closet and Dylan’s got a spot on Paranormal Teen, a reality TV show filming at historic Oakleigh Mansion. She’ll spend a weekend with two other psychic teens—Jake and Ashley—learning how to control her abilities.

None of them realized how much their emotional baggage would put them at the mercy of Oakleigh’s resident spirits, or that they’d find themselves pawns in the 150-year-old battle for the South’s legendary Confederate gold. Each must conquer their personal ghosts to face down Jackson, a seductive spirit who will do anything to protect the gold’s current location and avenge a heinous attack that destroyed his family.

And a bit about the author!

After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting.

A lover of all things gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles.

If you'd like to stalk learn more about Stephanie, visit her websiteFacebookGoodreads and Twitter

And be sure to tell her how awesome you think this cover is! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Release Day, David James! Plus an interview & giveaway!

Let me start this post by saying Happy Release Day to David James! His debut novel, LIGHT OF THE MOON, is out today! 

I've yet to read LOTM (I will soon!), but the description sounds awesome--and that cover is gorgeous, see?

David was gracious enough to answer a few questions, so I won't dilly-dally any longer...on to the interview! (p.s.--stick around, cause there's a giveaway at the end!)

1. Welcome, David, to my little corner of the Blogosphere! So, your debut novel LIGHT OF THE MOON comes out today! (cue the band!). I know all too well the level of nervous excitement you're going through right now. Can you tell us what's the number one thing you're most anxious about when it comes to your novel being in others' hands?
Woo! Thanks, Jamie. I wasn’t nervous until I READ THAT QUESTION! Kidding, kidding. Like you know, it is both very exciting and very nerve-racking to release a book. I’m so thankful for the amount of supportive and enthusiasm I’ve gotten from the writing and blogging communities. I guess the one thing I’m most anxious about is this: The. Font. In LIGHT OF THE MOON there are a few different font styles that play throughout the book, and it’s really only in the paperback version that you can see this. Because poetry is so important to this story, I wanted each “voice” to have a separate feel, and sometimes I used fonts to do this. So, get the paperback if you can! Plus, the paperback edition includes special extras that the e-book does not.
2. You went the Self-publishing route for LOTM, a venue that is gaining speed at a crazy rate. Did you try the "traditional" way first (be it seeking an agent or small press), or did you know going in that you wanted to publish this novel on your own? 
Yes and no. For years I’ve been impressed with authors who have self-published.  Authors like Keary Taylor, Shelly Crane, and Michelle Leighton have really changed the self-publishing industry for the better. I did query several agents, got many emails of interest, but nothing stuck. Agents have a lot on their plates and sometimes it’s difficult to get your message across the first time around. More than anything, I wanted to get my story into the hands of readers, so I decided to take this road.
3. Your amazing cover was created by the equally amazing Keary Taylor (LOVE her!). Did you have much input as to the final product, or was it more of you gave her an idea of what you wanted and she went with it?
I’m so thrilled with how the cover turned out. Keary Taylor is truly as talented as a designer as she is an author, and I was so fortunate to be able to work with her. The cover design was a mutual effort, though I won’t pretend to have the talent Keary does for things like this. When you read the story, however, you’ll see just how much the cover actually reflects the words inside. All of the pretty is because of Keary Taylor, and I couldn’t be happier!
4. Just from the LOTM description, I get the sense that the ultimate story here is one of love. Is that something you always have strived/will strive for in your writing, to focus on love and the power it holds?
Yes! For some reason, I’ve always had this idea in my head that every single thing can be related back to love. I still believe that. For LIGHT OF THE MOON I wanted to create a world that was completely magical and paranormal and dangerous, but also was upon the idea that love is the root of it all. The idea of love is important in LIGHT OF THE MOON, but you’ll also see that finding and keeping love are two very different things in this world. And things get dangerous. 
5. What's the main message you hope readers have after reading LIGHT OF THE MOON? 
I love how you worded this question. The main message I hope readers take from LIGHT OF THE MOON is this: Hope. In fact, the last word in LIGHT OF THE MOON is “hoped.” Because this is a story that deals with so much danger resulting from love, I wanted to leave the reader with the knowledge that love may conquer all, but it’s hope that keeps most things alive.
6. Now that LOTM is out in the world, are you doing what so many of us do and wishing you could go back and change anything, or are you happy and content with the finished product?
Oh. My. Goodness. You’re killing me here, Jamie! I’m very happy with the final product (I mean, did you see the cover!?). I do think it’s interesting how I keep thinking about the world of Calum and Kate, and how it keeps expanding. I’m excited to work on the sequel, and I’m interested to see which characters the readers love and hate, and who they want back!
7. Do you have a certain time/place you do your writing, or do you take what you can get, lol?
I write all the time. All. The. Time. Mostly, I do a lot of writing in the morning and late at night. There’s this weird thing that happen mid-day when I refuse to do much of anything. Also, if I don’t have a book to read on the side, I find that I don’t get much writing done.
8. The world of writing is so subjective, as we all know. What's one book that the world has seemingly embraced that you just didn't care for or find as interesting?
I try to finish all books, though the more I read the more I find that sometimes you just can’t. The hardest books for me to read are non fiction. Textbooks. For whatever reason, I can’t finish anything like that is supposed to teach me things. I guess we all learn differently. Find knowledge in different places.

9. Who or what inspires you to keep going with your writing?
So many things. I think music and movies are the two things that inspire me most. I love how those two things can create vivid moments in only a few minutes and then stay with you forever.
10. And finally, a question I ask all interviewees: You've been invited to meet your absolute favorite author. Who would that be, what one question would you ask him or her, and what would your answer to that question be?
Maggie Stiefvater. After I fainted twice, I’d ask her “What is the one thing that inspires you most to be such a lyrical writer?” My response to that question would be “Life.”
Thanks, David, you're the best!
Thanks, Jamie! I’m so happy to be a part of your blog for today.

In honor of his release, David is offering up an ebook of LIGHT OF THE MOON! Simply comment on this post sometime before midnight Wednesday to enter--and it's INTERNATIONAL! I'll pick a winner and announce on Thursday!

Monday, November 5, 2012

GONE GIRL goes traveling!

So the lovely Christa Desir was gracious enough a few weeks ago to offer me her copy of GONE GIRL by the super-fab Gillian Flynn (if you've never read her work, you have to. Like, have to.) and I quickly said YES! I offered to send the book back once I was finished reading it, but Christa said, "No way. Just pass on the goodness, that's all I ask." 

So, I came up with a great idea--I would send GONE GIRL to anyone interested in reading it, said readers would write a personal comment to the author somewhere inside the book after doing so, and then I would send it on to Gillian as a sort of thank you for being so freakin' awesome. Sounds like fun, right?!

Now, what I need from you guys is simple. If you happen to be interested in reading GONE GIRL (note: This is adult fiction, not YA, but Gillian Flynn is a master storyteller/writer, so you'll love it, trust that!), simply leave me a comment stating that fact, along with your name/email address. Once I get 10-15 participants, I'll send out a group email with some details, kay? (note: US only, folks. Sorry, my international peeps!)

Okay, so comment away, and be sure to check out Gillian Flynn on her website, Goodreads and Facebook