Denise Grover Swank is on tour now with CLP Blog Tours and sharing the brand-new cover of her latest novel After Math!
Before she agreed to tutor Tucker Price, college junior Scarlett was introvert, struggling with her social anxiety disorder and determined to not end up living in a trailer park like her mother and her younger sister. A mathematics major, she goes to her classes, to her job in the tutoring lab, and then hides in the apartment she shares with her friend, Caroline.
After junior Tucker Price, Southern University’s star soccer player enters the equation, her carefully plotted life is thrown off its axis. Tucker’s failing his required College Algebra class. With his eligibility is at risk, the university chancellor dangles an expensive piece of computer software for the math department if Scarlett agrees to privately tutor him. Tucker’s bad boy, womanizer reputation makes Scarlett wary of any contact, let alone spending several hours a week in close proximity.
But from her first encounter, she realizes Tucker isn’t the person everyone else sees. He carries a mountain of secrets which she suspects hold the reason to his self-destructive behavior. But the deeper she delves into the cause of his pain, the deeper she gets sucked into his chaos. Will Scarlett find the happiness she’s looking for, or will she be caught in Tucker’s aftermath?
**Everyone who leaves a comment on Denise’s tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of After Math before June 3 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**
Elle Marie is now on tour with CLP Blog Tours and Chronicle of the Mound Builders!
Archaeologist Dr. Angela Hunter discovers an ancient codex at a Mississippian Indian dig site in the St. Louis area. Knowing the Mississippians, or Mound Builders, had no written language, she is determined to solve the mystery of the 700-year-old, perfectly preserved codex.
In the early 1300’s, an Aztec family is torn apart. A judge rebelling against the Aztec tradition of human sacrifice is cursed and escapes his enemies with his 12-year-old son. They travel from the Gulf of Mexico up the Mississippi River to settle in the thriving community of Migaduha, modern-day Cahokia Mounds, Illinois.
Angela recognizes the symbols as Aztec pictograms and begins to translate the story. However, other forces also want the codex and will do anything to get it. Can she learn the secrets of the chronicle before the tragic events of the past are repeated today?
Elle Marie started writing at the urging of her husband, who always believed she was destined to be an author. After first publishing a nonfiction book, Living the Thin Life, she turned to fiction.
A visit to Cahokia Mounds sparked a fascination with the mysterious Mound Builders, about whom so little is known. What was their culture like? How did ordinary people live in the 14th century? What caused the civilization to vanish, seemingly overnight? She put her imagination to work and came up with a story line that put it all together.
By day, Elle works in the information technology field at a large financial services firm. She is a graduate of the Missouri University of Science & Technology and lives in the St. Louis area with her husband. Chronicle of the Mound Builders is her first novel.
Connect with Elle!
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May 20 – Chick Lit Plus – Review
May 20 – Lavender & Camomile – Excerpt
May 21- Every Free Chance Book Reviews – Guest Post & Excerpt
May 21- Amie’s Reviews – Review
May 22 – A Blue Million Books – Guest Post, Q&A & Excerpt
May 23- Ai Love Books – Review & Excerpt
May 24 – Murder! She Read – Review
May 27 – Brooke Blogs – Review & Guest Post
May 27 – Samantha March – Q&A & Excerpt
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I’ve been writing since I was a young girl. When I wasn’t crafting little stories, I was pretending to be a reporter. I would read newspaper stories out loud with my neighbor and we’d record ourselves on cassette tapes.
In high school, I was on the school newspaper staff, took creative writing and entered short stories in school contests.
Writing has always been a passion.
– How would you describe your books?
My first book, A Suburban Mom: Notes from the Asylum, is a collection of humor/parenting columns. (It’s available in paperback and Kindle.) The columns are warts-and-all comedic (sometimes sentimental) riffs on the insanity that occurred in my house when my three children — including a set of twins — were very young and I was attempting to work from home.
I was also a co-author of The Center for Public Integrity’s 1996 book The Buying of the President, which contains profiles of the 1996 presidential candidates and their major campaign donors. It was the product of a year of investigative reporting.
– Why was Mortified a book you wanted to write? Why did you decide to start blogging?
I first started reading personal blogs in earnest in 2004. I became fascinated with the format and wrote a feature story about the people, specifically women, who wrote them. In March 2005, I joined their ranks and started writing a parenting blog, The Boston Mommy Blog, for the Boston Herald’s web site. (I worked as a reporter for the Herald before my twins were born.) I loved the ability to instantly share my work with other harried parents and to hear their stories as well. Since then, I’ve blogged about parenting for a number of sites, contributed to several TV review blogs and blogged about pop culture, media and politics.
However as my children got older, they didn’t like the fact that I was writing about them on parenting blogs. Not at all. In fact, they asked me to stop using their names and eventually asked me to refrain from blogging about most things that happened in our house. I completely understand their request and largely stopped writing about them, even though some of the material would’ve made for some great columns.
Although I have scaled back on blogging about my children as they’ve grown, other bloggers haven’t made the same choices. Some folks keep writing – sometimes quite vividly – about their kids’ experiences with adolescence and puberty. Additionally, some bloggers do not seem as if they keep certain parts of their private lives off-limits. They write their unvarnished opinions about intimate aspects of their lives, as well as the lives of those they love, in a way I never could. Their reveals certainly make for compelling reading, but I often find myself wondering whether there is every any fallout from their oversharing. By writing Mortified, I got the chance to imagine what it would be like to share everything online. It’s not for me.
I honestly don’t think that the majority of people who overshare do so with ill-intent. People are oftentimes just looking to vent and aren’t necessarily assessing the long-term implications of the material they’re sharing online.
In the case of the main character in this book, Maggie Kelly, she’s very unhappy with her life and doesn’t have a good outlet for her intense dissatisfaction. She creates a blog, which she thinks is anonymous, and treats it like an online diary when, in all honesty, she shouldn’t. No one should. Maggie thinks that the angry and ugly feelings that are churning inside of her which she shares online will never be connected to her because she doesn’t list her last name or her hometown. She turns out to be very, very wrong about that. In real life, we’ve seen countless stories of people who’ve created “anonymous” blogs who wound up getting fired or otherwise humiliated when their blogging identity was revealed.
If there’s one message that I hope people get from this book, it’s that the internet is not a private place.
– What are some of the worst moments of oversharing you have seen online?
I’ve seen parents write about very private moments with their children — whom they name — about things like periods and body development. I’ve read online accounts where in-laws and/or exes are maligned.
– What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
I have a difficult time determining when my material is ready for someone else to read it. I could edit forever and probably still tinker with word choices here and there. At some point, you just have to let go.
– What are your favorite genres to read?
I’m all over the map on this, very eclectic. I go from reading novels by Jennifer Weiner, Jodi Picoult, Ann Hood and Tom Perrotta, to humor by David Sedaris and Dave Barry, along with various works of nonfiction. Over the past year, I’ve also been re-reading some of the classics.
– What do you want readers to take away from your story?
The meta-story is that we all have a tale or two about being mortified by someone close to us. We’ve all been there. It’s not a good place to be. However in the modern era of blogs, Facebook and Twitter, it’s frightfully easy to mortify people we love online, for the whole world to see. It’s one thing to make an embarrassing remark about a spouse at a party, it’s another to make it online where it’s Google-able.
– How important do you think social media is for authors these days?
Authors should know how to use it to promote their work, to engage with other folks (readers and writers alike) and to give kudos to fellow writers. Social media knowledge these days is as necessary as having access to the internet.
– What would be your advice to aspiring writers?
Try, as best as you can, to develop a very thick skin. (I’m still working on that.) Then, fearlessly, go for it.
Connect with Meredith on Twitter! @MeredithOBrien
Bio: Born in Brisbane, I started my working life as a dentist. After 15 years of drilling and filling I discovered there was more to life, and put pen to paper. Now I drill by day and write by night.
When not doing either of those things I like spending time with my husband and two little dogs, fishing and camping, motorbike riding, traveling, drinking wine on my deck and eating chocolate. Last year I ran my first half marathon and took up paddle boarding.
I have lived in a myriad of places: Melbourne, Perth, England, Rockhampton, Roxby Downs, Sydney, Cairns and am now situated on the New South Wales Central Coast.
Titles: The Seven Steps to Closure
Bio: Ellen Cardona wrote Brownie Fix to help deal with the postpartum depression she experienced after one of her pregnancies. Through her writing, she found that postpartum depression was real but conquerable, especially when one has the help of some dark chocolate and even darker humor.
When Ellen is not writing, she teaches literature to college freshmen and attempts to help them understand the writing process, though they think she’s crazy because of her love for literature and writing.
Ellen graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a PhD in Humanities with a specialization in Literature. Even though she has published several academic works on Ezra Pound, she could not ignore her true passion as a fiction writer.
Ellen lives in Richardson, Texas and continues to learn daily from her husband and two children. In good times and bad, she still enjoys her brownies.
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005IC38EU/ref=as_li_tf_til?tag=ellencardonac-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=B005IC38EU&adid=1AR1GXZZAECEWZJEMZMT&&ref-refURL=http%3A%2F%2Fellencardona.com%2F
Thanks to Chrissy Anderson for sharing this guest blog on the dreams of a novelist!
Buriiiiiing, buriiiiing, buriiiiing….
“Hi, is this Chrissy Anderson?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Hi, hunny, this is Rita Wilson. It’s an honor to speak to you.”
(Long dubious pause on my end of the receiver)
“Hunny…are you there?”
“Rita Wilson? The Rita Wilson…as in Mrs. Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson?”
“Yep! Hey, listen, I read The Life List and I have to tell you I was blown away. It’s not your average chick-lit read and Chrissy’s not your average chick-lit heroine; she’s opinionated, judgmental…snarky. I found her personality hysterical, clever and totally relatable!”
“Are you surprised?”
“Well, no, not surprised with what you said. It was my intention to write about myself as an authentic person that women of all kinds-twenty-somethings, housewives and super woman wanna-bes- could relate to. I think all of us can connect to the pressure of constructing the ideal life, only to fall short. I guess…I’m surprised the book found its way to you. I’ve been trying to get a copy of it in your hands for over a year. I think the closest it got was to your agent’s assistant’s assistant.”
“Are you kidding? I found my way to your book! Everyone in Hollywood is reading it. You’ve created something really special and I want to help you take it to the next level. It’s got to be a movie.”
“That’s exactly what I think!”
“You know what I love the most about it…well, beside the fact that the role of Chrissy’s therapist, Dr. Maria, is made for me!”
“I love that The Life List is part I of a trilogy. This whole project has the shelf life of a can a soup! It’s going to last forever. And the whole love triangle thing happening between Kurt and Leo, and how you took two men who are polar opposites, sexy and compelling in their own right, and made them both these guys that Chrissy could easily fall in love with…it makes me giddy with excitement! I went to your website and voted for my choice. Love how you have the ability to do that there! It’s so cool to see how the votes are split between the two guys, isn’t it?”
(OMIGOD, OMIGOD, OMIGOD! Rita Wilson went to my website!)
“I go crazy thinking about the marketability of your work, Chrissy!”
“I know, right? Show me one woman who can’t identify with something I went through in this book, and I’ll show you a woman who is either very young, very much in denial, or the very luckiest woman on earth.”
“Well, hunny, I hope right now you feel like the luckiest woman on earth, because we’re about to make all of your dreams come true. Your convoluted and chaotic real life love story is about to become the American version of Bridget Jones’s Diary. Are you ready?”
Aaaaaaand this is where you hear a record scratch.
I’m chick-lit novelist Chrissy Anderson, and the pipe dream above has been my pipe dream ever since I wrote the first word of the first chapter of The Life List. Introduce me to one chick-lit novelist who says she doesn’t have a pipe dream like mine and I’ll slap her senseless for being a big fat liar! Isn’t world-wide recognition and critical acclaim for a story well-written why we stay up long after our day jobs are done, our families have been fed, the laundry folded and our kiddos have fallen asleep? Don’t we write with the hope that women everywhere will benefit in some way from the distinctive words we scour the thesaurus to find and fill our novels with? Every single time we hit CTRL-S before logging off of the computer don’t we let out a big sigh and say a little prayer that something huge will happen with our work? Don’t we all secretly wish that someone like Rita Wilson will stumble upon our books and be so moved by them that she insists on acting as a force accelerator, catapulting our work to Twilight-like proportions?
Well, poop on you. I do! In fact, most days it’s that pipe dream that keeps me going. It’s that pipe dream that pushes me to enroll in promo day after promo day on KDP select, pimping myself out to any book blogger and website that’ll help me get more downloads than the month before. It’s that pipe dream that eggs me on to spend countless hours (and dollars I don’t have) promoting those promo days on e-reader websites, knowing that half of them forget to plug me on the right day. It’s that pipe dream that gives me the courage to shamelessly promote myself to my 799 facebook fans. It gives me the strength to draft another blog for my website (www.askchrissy.net) and SEO the crap out of it. To spend my weekends doing book signings…scouring the internet for opportunities to advance my rankings on Amazon’s best sellers list…Oh, and let’s not forget about cramming in some time to write the last novel in The List Trilogy.
For me, my pipe dream is my lifeline. I mean, I’m certainly not failing (far from it actually), but if you’re a relatively un-known writer like me, you know the struggle I’m talking about here. You know how hard it is to beat last month’s downloads, to make a buck from a sale, get a 5 star review, get another facebook fan, pull off a higher ranking on Amazon….to get the time to write an actual book, let alone read one! My pipe dream is what makes me smile through all of the trials and tribulations of being a small fish in this big intimidating literary ocean. It’s what gets me excited and…hopeful- hopeful that all of my creativity, hard work, and wit will pay off. If you’re an ounce of the dreamer I am, you know the kind of motivation I’m talking about.
So I know I’m not alone, share your pipe dream with me in the comment section. Who knows…maybe one of us reading this has the ability to fulfill one! C’mon, let’s get silly and support each other. Anyone know Rita Wilson?
I am sharing an excerpt today from A Good Kind of Knowing by Kathy Lynn Harris for CLP Blog Tours!
Wednesday was Bingo Night at the lodge, one of the Order of the Moose’s best fund-raising activities. Ruby D. and Sera headed for the game room, making their way through the darkened entrance, past the large oak bar and through a maze of heavy round wood tables and a line of pool tables lit by swinging beer lamps.
They followed the growing crowd noise, as a good third of the town of Lakeville was already there. The room was lined with six-foot tables and metal folding chairs, all having seen their better day. A thick halo of smoke was forming a cloud over the room, settling just beyond the overwhelming aroma of popcorn, nachos and processed cheese.
Ruby D. spotted her mother and the kids up front, and Little Ricky ran up to Sera when he saw them. He jumped into her arms and she tried to swing him around like she used to.
Ruby’s girls smiled shyly as Sera walked up to the table. Sera knew the look already, the new demeanors. Ruby D. must’ve spoken to them.
Across from Sera, about five tables over and sitting by himself, was Louie Mikesh, with his black vinyl pocket protector hanging out of his white shirt. He was busy organizing his bingo cards around him. Sera waited for him to look up, but he was too engrossed in preparations. Next to him on either side in the folding chairs were his beautifully groomed dogs. They sat watching, with ears perked. One had his head up watching Louie’s strategy, the other rested his long nose on the table in front of him. Both reminded Sera of those pictures of dogs smoking cigarettes, playing poker or shooting pool together.
“So much for health codes in this town,” Ruby D. said, sneering at Louie’s dogs. “You’d think that crazy man would have more sense than to bring those mutts with him to Bingo Night.”
“He’s not crazy, Ruby D. Just a little different, that’s all.”
“Looks batshit crazy to me.”
“Looks batshit crazy to me, too,” Little Ricky copied his mother.
“So what’s going on with you and Bill?” Ruby D. nudged Sera to get her attention back to their table.
“Nothing. Everything. I don’t know.”
“Try not to take it too personally. I suppose he’s just being Bill, which ain’t exactly an ideal prototype,” Ruby D. said.
“And who made you an expert on this?”
“You. And you thought I wasn’t listening.”
Sera laughed. “Oh well, as King Lear said, ‘Pour on. I will endure.’”
“Oh Lord, now she’s quoting Shakespeare. Somebody get this woman a beer!”
Sera declined the beer for fear she’d lose what little food she’d been able to keep down today. In fact, as she began to feel worse, she was about to grab her keys from her friend, when a meekly shouted “Bingo!” caused a stir across the room.
Louie stood up and waited for one of the bingo “officials” to check off his game sheet. “It’s all correct,” he said. His dogs barked in celebration.
“I’m tellin’ you, that man is fruit loops,” Ruby D. said.
“Fruit loops!” Little Ricky shouted, standing on his chair and hugging his mama’s arm.
I am excited to be participating in the Barrage of Books event, hosted by the fab author Lori Verni-Fogarsi! She has a lot planned for the release of her latest novel, Unexpecting, (including a blog tour with CLP Blog Tours!) so head over to her page to check it all out! My publishing company, Marching Ink, is also helping with the promotion by donating our very own tote – complete with copies of my latest novel The Green Ticket and Cat Lavoie’s amazing debut Breaking the Rules. There are also plenty of other totes and books up for grabs, so be sure to use the Rafflecopter to get entered! The Barrage of Books event is running through May 5, plenty of time to get entered to win!
Bio: J. W. Bull lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two sons. Although she has worked as a sous chef for Lavande Restaurant, she currently is a private violin teacher and a member of The Georgia Symphony. She is also finishing another novel, Musical Chairs, a mystery involving Maggie’s cousin—Molly Malone, plucky part-time symphony player and fulltime Irish fiddler. It’s a hilarious spoof on symphonies, Irish fiddling, and mysteries that continues the Malone saga.
Connect with J.W.!
Bio: Wendy Chen writes lighthearted romantic fiction. She began writing Liar’s Guide to True Love during her frequent (and sometimes severe) bouts of wedding nostalgia. Years after planning her own nuptials, she still gets unduly giddy about attending weddings.
Wendy was a lifelong New Yorker until she decided to try out suburban life a few years ago. She now lives in Northern Virginia with her family while she works on her next novel. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.
Bio and photo retrieved from wendychenbooks.com