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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!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Must Reads: STAR CROSSED by Jennifer Echols!

Not familiar with this little feature? It's simple, really. Monday Must Reads! is a feature I created to showcase books that I think you, well, Must Read (ha!).

This week's selection is one that I adored, by an author equally adored. It's adult, so be forewarned if that's not your cup of tea, but it's written with the humor and brilliance of all her other novels, so it's a win no matter the genre. If you haven't already, trust me when I say that you simply Must Read...

by Jennifer Echols
pub date: February 2013

product description from goodreads.com

Wendy Mann loves her job rescuing celebrities from public relations scrapes. She grew up with nothing, and now she’s drawn to glitz, glamour, and a lighthearted lifestyle. She speaks her mind, so she’s just the tough cookie to tell stars the truth about how other people see them, even when they don’t want to hear it. But after six years at the top of her game, Wendy crosses the line. A star she was sent to save rebels against her and nearly gets her fired. To salvage her job, she must rehabilitate the career of a singing starlet with a penchant for posting inappropriate photos of herself and arguing online with her famous ex. Problem is, the ex is represented by Wendy’s arch nemesis from college, the hot and haughty Daniel Blackstone. And both stars are scheduled for a collision course on national television, broadcast live from Las Vegas.

Daniel’s uneasy when he hears Wendy Mann from his firm’s most hated competitor has been brought in to revive the career of his client’s ex-girlfriend. Daniel must win at any cost. And if he has to seduce Wendy to smooth the way to their partnership, he’s willing to sacrifice himself for the cause. But Daniel doesn’t count on the scorching heat between them—and when they get to Vegas, all bets are off.

Such a fun, romantic comedy filled with the right amounts of humor, sex, mystery...go forth and read it ASAP! 

Be sure to check out Jennifer online:

Website     Goodreads     Twitter

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The hated "info dump" kills

Okay, if you know me at all, you know that I loves my TV. Yes, love it. I am the first to admit that I watch way too much of it, but I own that fact, so it can't hurt me, right? :-)

One of my Monday night musts is Teen Wolf (MTV). If you've never watched it, I suggest you do. Especially if you love cliffhanger episodes and angsty teens and shirtless torsos. Ah, shirtless torsos... Ahem. Anyway, TW is one of my new faves, and I get all excited when Monday rolls around because I know I'll get an episode full of action and drama and surprises that leaves me anxious for next week.

Except for this last episode. Yeah.

Writers the globe over know that if there is only one "rule" that can't be broken (bent maybe, but not broken), it's that you never fill a page/chapter/novel with nothing but information. Have a backstory to tell? Do it with dialogue. Need to tell the reader why someone does what they do? Show them instead. This applies to novels, movies, and yes, TV shows. 

Teen Wolf has, to me, always been at the top when it comes to good storytelling. They've kept a great pace on the show, moving characters forward and advancing their plots each season like pros. Sure the show is far-fetched and oft times over the top--that's what makes it fun. But Monday's episode knocked that pedestal right out from under them and brought them to the floor (my opinion, people; don't start rioting in the streets). 

The episode was centered around Derek, the hotter-than-should-be-legal Alpha who did something detrimental last week. Several characters were placed in familiar settings at the episode's beginning, poised to ask questions about where he may have disappeared to. Que the info dump. 

Two characters we don't see much of on a regular basis were the messengers charged with explaining why Derek is the way he is, why things that are happening are happening, and why a new pack of evil alpha wolves is suddenly ready to rip the town apart. Now, let me say that the info we got in this episode was good, and I loved learning about Derek's past. But for the sake of TV (and a novel), this was not a good way of giving it to us.

Nothing happened. Yeah, there was some action that played out as the story was being told, but it was all in the past, mainly with characters we as viewers don't really care about. Two alternating stories were being told, but they ultimately tied together in the end (which deserves a kudos to the writing team for that), but I would have been so much more on-the-edge-of-my-seat happy if I could've learned all that while Scott (MC) and his friends were actually out searching for Derek, instead of sitting in rooms talking about him. See what I'm getting at? Show, don't tell.

That's a standard in writing. Show us what you want us to know, don't tell us. Now, I'll admit that I'm guilty of telling instead of showing (who isn't), but I know that I shouldn't do it, and actively try to avoid things like Monday's Teen Wolf. Which is why I was so surprised that that episode aired the way it did. For a show on the cutting edge of teen dramas, those writers made a boo-boo.

So, the moral of this post: Don't bring your readers (or viewers) down by filling a chapter or scene or even half a novel with nothing but information being thrown at them. Make it exciting. Make it fun. 

Show it.

And since you read to the end, enjoy.

Shirtless torsos. Told ya. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: DARKER DAYS by Jus Accardo!

The lovely Jill (a fellow Alabamian!) over at Breaking the Spine created the Waiting on Wednesday meme for us bloggers to showcase books we're waiting on. 

I fell in love when I read this author's first novel. And her second. And her...you get the idea. So I'm super excited for the first book in her new series, which sounds so cool and awesome I know I'm gonna love it. My WoW this week is...

by Jus Accardo
pub date: August 19, 2013

product description from goodreads.com

Jessie Darker goes to high school during the day, but at night she helps with the family investigation business. Cheating husbands and stolen inheritances? They’re your girls—but their specialty is a bit darker. Zombie in your garage? Pesky Poltergeist living in your pool? They’ll have the problem solved in a magical minute. For a nominal fee, of course...

When gorgeous new client, Lukas Scott, saunters into the office requesting their help to find a stolen box, it sounds like a simple case—until the truth comes out. The box is full of Sin.

Seven deadly ones, in fact.

They’ve got five days to recapture the Sins before they're recalled by the box, taking seven hijacked human bodies with them. Easy peasy—except for one thing...

There’s a spell that will allow the Sins to remain free, causing chaos forever. When the key ingredient threatens the life of someone she knows, Jessie must make the ultimate choice between love and family—or lose everything.

Doesn't that sound great? It's like a modern-day Nancy Drew meets Anita Blake! ha! Okay, hurry up, August 19th!

Be sure to visit Jus online:

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cover Reveal: SHELF LIFE by Stephanie Lawton!

Okay, so today's cover has already been spread around the blogosphere by over 50 blogs (wowza!) but the author is someone I consider a friend so I simply have to share it here!

Her writing is beautiful, haunting, funny...all the adjectives, really. And I know that her newest novel, SHELF LIFE, is gonna rock those adjectives just as much. And the cover is...well, see for yourself:

Beautiful. Just beautiful. I love the whole sun-drenched look, and the pose the models are in, and the font of the title and... Okay, I love all of it. But the best part is the synopsis, because it makes me wanna read this book even more than I already did! 

It’s impossible to focus on college biology when your family believes doomsday is imminent and the government is out to get you.

All Pete Wilson’s ever wanted is to become a veterinarian, but those dreams are going up in flames. Commuting to an urban college and helping his parents with their apocalyptic prepper crap is more than he can handle.

Worse, Pete’s asshole neighbor is stirring up trouble, his family’s stockpile has been destroyed and farm animals are turning up dead.

Lindsey Linger is the tomboy sister of his best friend. Now a sexy spitfire, she and Pete are liable to set the barn ablaze as their romance finally heats up. But she’s hiding a terrible secret, and rural life isn’t all bonfires and hayloft romps. That becomes clear one icy winter night when the survival of everyone Pete loves hangs in the balance.

Can Pete be the hero they need, or will this be the end of the world as he knows it?

What about you? Love it? Hate it? (at which point I'll drive to where you are and kick you in the toes.)

Be sure to visit Stephanie online:

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Must Reads: THIS IS NOT A TEST by Courtney Summers!

Not familiar with this little feature? It's simple, really. Monday Must Reads! is a feature I created to showcase books that I think you, well, Must Read (ha!).

This week's selection is one that I absolutely loved. Filled with amazing prose, fervent action, and believable characters, it's a novel that holds you till the end. If you haven't already, trust me when I say that you simply Must Read...

by Courtney Summers
pub date June 2012

product description from goodreads.com

It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually wantto live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?

Seriously you guys, if you're like me and are way behind on your TBR lists, move this one up a few pegs and start it now, because it's truly something.

Be sure to visit Courtney online:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: MONSTERS by Ilsa J. Bick!

The lovely Jill (a fellow Alabamian!) over at Breaking the Spine created the Waiting on Wednesday meme for us bloggers to showcase books we're waiting on. 

I cannot wait for this novel to come out. I devoured the first two in the trilogy, and I'm eagerly waiting to see how it all ends! My WoW this week is...

by Ilsa J. Bick
pub date: Sept. 10, 2013

product description from goodreads.com

The Changed are on the move. The Spared are out of time. The End...is now.

When her parents died, Alex thought things couldn't get much worse-until the doctors found the monster in her head.

She headed into the wilderness as a good-bye, to leave everything behind. But then the end of the world happened, and Alex took the first step down a treacherous road of betrayal and terror and death.

Now, with no hope of rescue-on the brink of starvation in a winter that just won't quit-she discovers a new and horrifying truth.

The Change isn't over.
The Changed are still evolving.
And...they've had help.

With this final volume of The Ashes Trilogy, Ilsa J. Bick delivers a riveting, blockbuster finish, returning readers to a brutal, post-apocalyptic world where no one is safe and hope is in short supply.

A world where, from these ashes, the monsters may rise.

If you've yet to pick up this series, I urge you to do so. Brilliant writing combined with apocalyptic horror? Score!

Be sure to visit Ilsa online:

Friday, July 12, 2013

More Echols love!

It's day four of #JenniferEcholsWeek, hosted by the lovely Katelyn at Tales of Books and Bands! I'm having such a great time this week, visiting all of the participating blogs and sharing in the fandom over such a great author!

Today I thought I'd show my Echols love by sharing a few pics I have from the SUCH A RUSH signing (yes, I didn't have any other idea for today's post, lol). I'm fortunate enough to live but a couple of hours from Ms. Echols, so I try to go see her whenever she has a local signing (and I'm hoping she'll be having one for Dirty Little Secret soon!). Enjoy!

Signing for a fan!

My friend Jess Leake came to this one, too!

This is my favorite pic of Jennifer Echols. She reminds me of J.K. Rowling here!

I know I have more Echols pics, but can't seem to find them :-(  But I'll be taking more soon!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

It's Double-Chat Thursday!!

Tonight's gonna be a busy one, because I'll be taking part in not one, but TWO Twitter chats! The first...

I'll be joining Pendrell authors Lani Woodland, DJ DeSmyter, Angela Corbett, Dan Haring and SC Langgle for a live chat, where we'll answer YOUR questions about our books, writing, what we had for breakfast...anything! Chat begins at 8pm EST, so be sure to follow #PendrellChat to keep up. Oh, and there'll be giveaways, too!

And second...

#JenniferEcholsWeek continues! Tonight, again at 8pm EST, those who loves Echols and her books will be chatting it up live, so come on and join the fun! Just follow #JenniferEcholsWeek and chime in anytime!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: DIRTY LITTLE SECRET by Jennifer Echols!!

The lovely Jill (a fellow Alabamian!) over at Breaking the Spine created the Waiting on Wednesday meme for us bloggers to showcase books we're waiting on. 

It's no secret that this week's author is one of my favorites. Her writing sucks you in from the very beginning and takes you on a journey that leaves you wanting more, always. And I know this book is gonna be no different.  So in honor of Jennifer Echols Week, hosted by the lovely Katelyn at Tales of Books and Bands, my WoW this week is...

by Jennifer Echols
pub date: July 16, 2013

product description from goodreads.com

From the author of the “real page-turner” (Seventeen) Such a Rush comes an unforgettable new drama that follows friends-turned-lovers as they navigate the passions, heartbreaks, and intrigue of country music fame.

Bailey wasn’t always a wild child and the black sheep of her family. She used to play fiddle and tour the music circuit with her sister, Julie, who sang and played guitar. That ended when country music execs swooped in and signed Julie to a solo deal. Never mind that Julie and Bailey were a duet, or that Bailey was their songwriter. The music scouts wanted only Julie, and their parents were content to sit by and let her fulfill her dreams while Bailey’s were hushed away.

Bailey has tried to numb the pain and disappointment over what could have been. And as Julie’s debut album is set to hit the charts, her parents get fed up with Bailey’s antics and ship her off to granddad’s house in Nashville. Playing fiddle in washed-up tribute groups at the mall, Bailey meets Sam, a handsome and oh-so-persuasive guitarist with his own band. He knows Bailey’s fiddle playing is just the thing his band needs to break into the industry. But this life has broken Bailey’s heart once before. She isn’t sure she’s ready to let Sam take her there again…

Sounds amazing, right? And I just love that cover (like all of Echols' novels, really). And the best part? It comes out next week!! 

Be sure to check out Jennifer online:

Be sure to follow Katelyn's blog and #JenniferEcholsWeek on Twitter to join in all the Jennifer Echols fun!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

It's Jennifer Echols Week!!

The awesometastic Katelyn at Tales of Books and Bands has created a fun-filled week to celebrate an author I truly adore, both as a person and as a writer, and I couldn't be happier to be part of Jennifer Echols Week!

Be sure to check out Katelyn's blog here for all the deets, and make sure you visit it daily to see all the other awesome bloggers who are taking part in celebrating the Queen that is Echols. Oh, and I hear there's a sweet giveaway at the end, so be sure to stick around for that, too! And you can follow along on Twitter, too! #JenniferEcholsWeek

To kick off this exciting Echols-stravaganza here on my little slice of Bloggerdom, I'm pulling out a review of the first Echols book I read--the one that made me go gaga for her writing. If you've yet to read any Echols books, I suggest starting with this one...

by Jennifer Echols
pub date: March 17, 2009

product description from goodreads.com


All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far...and almost doesn't make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge -- and over....

And here's my original review:

GOING TOO FAR tells the story of Meg, an out-of-place girl stuck in a small southern town. Her only dream? To leave (I can relate!). But then, as tends to happen, she meets one of the best male leads in YA: John After. Ah, Officer After. He's 19. He's gorgeous. And he's fallen for Meg big time. And Meg's fallen for him. Of course, neither will admit it at first. Which makes for really good reading for all of us!
With quirky writing and some steamy scenes (that I'm not going to reveal here, you'll just have to read the book!), GOING TOO FAR was a fun read that kept me hooked until the very end. And after I turned the last page, I found myself thinking about what Meg and Officer After might be doing now...a true sign of a great book!

I happily give GOING TOO FAR 5 stars. If you're a YA contemp lover who wants to go on a journey with great characters and great writing, I urge you to pick this book up today!

Be sure to check out Jennifer online:

Website     Goodreads     Twitter

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Must Reads--ANYTHING by Jennifer Echols!!

Not familiar with this little feature? It's simple, really. Monday Must Reads! is a feature I created to showcase books that I think you, well, Must Read (ha!).

This week's MMR is a tad different than any other I've done before, because I'm not recommending a single book to you, but an author's entire library! Yes, today, in honor of Jennifer Echols Week (hosted by the awesome Katelyn at Tales of Books and Bands), which starts tomorrow, I'm saying you simply Must Read any Jennifer Echols book you can get your hands on!

Her list is extensive, and trust me when I say each book is better than the last. Well, if I'm being 100% honest, nothing beats Endless Summer. Oh wait, maybe Forget You. Oh wait again, maybe Going Too Far. Yeah, Going Too Far would be the one to beat. I think. Oh who am I kidding, it's Echols--there is no loser! Check out this list of her novels, and follow Katelyn's blog to join in the fun of Jennifer Echols Week (hint: there'll be giveaways)!!




Be sure to check out Jennifer online:

Website     Goodreads     Twitter