Friday, May 24, 2013

Darker Days Cover Reveal!

I absolutely love Jus Accardo. I've read all of her books, which is why I'm so excited to help reveal the cover of her new book, Darker Days! Feast your eyes!

Darker Days (Darker Agency, #1)  
by Jus Accardo

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.


“So not your biggest fan at the moment,” I said, closing the office door behind me. The runofffrom my jeans had soaked my sneakers pretty good. With each step, I gave a slight squishing noise accompanied by an annoying squeak against the old tile floor.
From across the room, Mom stared. “What happened to you?”
            “It attacked me.” Tossing my bag on the couch, I sank into her chair and made sure to grind my butt into the cushion. Got it nice and wet. I was all about sharing the love—and right now, the love was soggy.
            She laughed, waving a folder in my direction. “Surely you’re overreacting. It was one little zombie. They don’t attack people.”
            “I’m serious, Ma. It tried to drown me. And the client assaulted me with ugly footwear. As far as punishments go, I’d say we’re probably square. I’ve learned my lesson.”
            “You’re serious?” Amused expression now replaced by concern, she crossed the room and leaned over her desk to get a better look at me.
            “As a coronary.” Once I was sure the chair had sponged up all it could, I stood and huffed past her. Pulling at my favorite T-shirt—the word Fate inside a blood red heart, is a four letter word on the back—I said, “Child welfare would not be happy to hear you tried to feed your only child to a walking corpse…”
“But why would it attack? Did you provoke it?” Folding her arms, she frowned. “Insult it, perhaps?”
            I winked at her. “Provoke it? Sure. I went and wiggled my ass in front of it yelling lunch just to see what’d happen.” I’d called it Stinky, but that didn’t count as an insult. Something couldn’t be considered an insult if it was true, right?
            Right eyebrow twitching, she fought against a smile. “But you’re okay, right? No bites, broken bones, head injuries, possessions…?”
I smiled and did a little twirl. “All in one piece and still me.”
Mom had a checklist she went through at the end of each job. I was known for taking almost as much damage as I inflicted.
“Oh, and you’re probably going to get a call from the client. I sorta smashed her fence in the process.”
            Mom groaned. “I told you to be more careful.”
            “It’s not like I tried to break anything.”
            “Something tells me you didn’t try hard enough not to break anything, either.”
            “In my defense, it wasn’t a simple trap and slap…”
            “We can’t afford this.” She reached down and pulled a white envelope out from under a stack of papers. “This is the bill for that Mercedes you smashed.”
            “Oh! So not my fault. How was I supposed to know that Spring Heel was gonna land on the car? If it makes you feel any better, I think he was aiming for my head…”
            “If you keep this up, we won’t even be able to afford the rent.”
            She was right, of course, and it made me feel horrible. “I’m sorry. I guess I’m a wrecking ball wrapped in blue jeans. Take my cut of this job and put it toward the repairs. Keep my paycheck for the next month, too.” A good start, but it didn’t feel like enough. Sure, it would cover the damages—I hoped—but I felt guilty about upsetting her. The bills that were piling up kept her awake at night. This was only going to make things worse. We got a fair amount of business, but the overhead in our line of work was sky high.
As much as I hated the idea, I knew what would cheer her up. “I’ll even throw in pet possessions for the next month.”

Find Darker Days

About Jus Accardo

JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. At the last minute, she realized her path lay with fiction, not food, and passed on the spot to pursue writing. Jus is the bestselling author the popular Denazen series from Entangled publishing and is currently working on the first book in a new adult series due out summer 2013. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.

Find Jus Accardo

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Rules for Disappearing Blog Tour

Synopsis via Goodreads:

She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.

Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.

But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.

Expected Publication: May 14th 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Purchase: Amazon

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About the Author

Ashley Elston lives is North Louisiana with her husband, three sons and two cats. She worked as a wedding and portrait photographer for ten years until she decided to pursue writing full time. Ashley is also a licensed Landscape Horticulturist and helps her husband run a commercial lawn and landscaping business. They also custom harvest pecans and have cows. Yes, cows.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Musical Monday: Jason Odell Williams

Musical Monday: Jason Odell Williams

Welcome to another installment of Musical MondayEvery Monday I will feature a book and the music that inspired it! This is an awesome opportunity to showcase your book and also inspire other writers looking for new music. In case you missed it, last week's post can be found here.

Today on the blog, we have the fabulous author Jason Odell Williams!
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Personal Statement

by Jason Odell Williams

Book blurb: 
Getting into college has never been harder. You can no longer rely on that perfect SAT score or a 5 on your AP Mandarin exam. And field hockey or basketball? Please. The real sport is Volunteering. This year, seniors all over Connecticut are positively euphoric over a natural disaster that's promising Katrina-style opportunities. Let the games begin!

"The Personal Statement is what separates the men from the boys, the ladies from the whiny bitches. Nowadays, everyone applying to top schools has the credentials on paper. But life experience... front line, in the trenches, blood-on-your-shirt and sweat-in-your-eye life experience… that’s the ONLY way to stand out these days. Especially for me. Not only am I competing against thousands of highly qualified candidates. I’m also competing against hundreds of Emily Kims. Not metaphorically. Literally.”

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Writing Playlist

Below is a playlist of songs I listened to for inspiration and/or I felt like the main characters of the book would listen to. Enjoy!
Personal Statement Playlist by Jolene Haley on Grooveshark

“Don’t Get Me Wrong” – The Pretenders
“Who’s Gonna Drive You Home” – The Cars
“Fast As You Can” – Fiona Apple
“Strangers” – The Kinks
Carol King – Tapestry (full album)
Fleetwood Mac – Rumors (full album)

“Valerie” – Amy Winehouse
Back to Black (full album) – Amy Winehouse
“Carry On” – Fun.
“Another Saturday Night” – Sam Cooke
“Daylight” – Maroon 5
“Best for Last” – Adele

“Stronger” – Kelly Clarkson
“We Are The Champions” – Queen
“Pictures of You” – The Cure
“Just Like Heaven” – The Cure
“Friday I’m in Love” – The Cure
“Parents Just Don’t Understand” – Will Smith
“Don’t You” – Simple Minds
“If You Leave” – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
A Chorus Line – Original Cast Album

“Vienna” – Billy Joel
“You Learn” – Alanis Morissette
“Linger” – The Cranberries
“Cannonball” – The Breeders
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” (cover) – Tori Amos
“These Are Days” – 10,000 Maniacs
“Sweet Jane” – The Cowboy Junkies
“Whatever” – Oasis
“Silent in the Morning” – Phish
“The World Has Turned and Left Me Here” – Weezer
Liz Phair – Exile in Guyville (full album)
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Chapter Excerpt

There are over 100 high school kids here and every last one of them (myself included) is after something. Not one is in Cawdor out of the goodness of their heart. These are highly motivated and successful students (like Emily Kim) with perfect SAT scores and 5’s on their AP exams – exams in obscure and esoteric subjects like Mandarin, Macroeconomics, and Comparative Government & Politics. These kids are the leads in their school plays, speak three languages, play nine instruments and still, still, they come here looking for a leg up – that extra edge that will guarantee a top-tier acceptance letter in the spring. When did it get to be so crazy?

As if he can read my mind, that 15 year old Latino hipster, Duncan Rodriguez, saunters by and says, “Gonna be a lot more heartbreak than triumph after all is said and done.”

“Hunh?” I ask, seriously worried he has mind-reading capabilities.

“Well,” Duncan says, pulling off his thick frames and polishing the lenses with his skinny black tie, “not only are most of these sex-starved teens gonna go home with nothing more to hook up with than their hand, but they all think being here is like some golden Wonka Bar ticket, like it’s gonna seal the deal with their top choice school. But there’s no way you can all get in to your top choices.”

“Why not?” asks Mac innocently.

“Cuz,” Duncan replies, putting on his glasses again. “Numbers don’t add up. Harvard had an acceptance rate last year of 5.9% – the lowest rate in in the history of the school. That means out of the 34K and change applications, just north of two thousand were accepted. There’s like a hundred or so rising seniors here, yeah? And I bet 30 or 40 of them have Harvard as their top choice, right?”

“I know Emily does,” I blurt out without meaning to.  “There ya go. So that means of the, let’s say… 35 that are applying to Harvard, only 2 will get in. Two! That’s 33 disappointed sets of parents back home. And yet all of these posers are positively salivating at the prospect of another Katrina or Sandy hitting their home state and the opportunities they think will come with that – opportunities to pad the resume, give weight to their personal statements, add gravitas to their entrance interview. ‘Oh you were there when Hurricane Calliope hit… what was that like for you?’ It’s the new blood sport, gentleman. Competitive volunteering.”

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About the Author Jason Odell Williams

Originally from Columbia, Maryland, and a graduate of The University of Virginia, Jason is an award-winning playwright whose work has been produced at regional theatres across the country (and in Canada, eh!) Jason currently works as a writer and producer on the TV series “Brain Games” which airs on National Geographic. He lives in New York City with his actress-singer-director-producer wife, Charlotte Cohn, and their daughter, Imogen who is working on her hyphenates as we speak. For more please visit

Monday, May 6, 2013

Musical Monday: Helen Boswell and Mythology

Welcome to another installment of Musical Monday! Every Monday I will feature a book and the music that inspired it! This is an awesome opportunity to showcase your book and also inspire other writers looking for new music. In case you missed it, last week's post can be found here.

Today on the blog, we have the fabulous author Helen Boswell!

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by Helen Boswell

Goodreads blurb: 
Hope Gentry doesn't believe in Fate. Born with an unusual power to see the dark memories of those around her, Hope just wants to be a normal teenager. But on the first day of her senior year of high school, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to a transfer student named Micah Condie. 

At first glance, Micah seems like a boy that most girls would dream about. But when Hope's powers allow her to discover Micah's darkest secret, she quickly becomes entangled in the lives of mythical entities she never dreamed existed. Was this her destiny all along? And will her powers help her survive the evil of the Demon Impiorum? 

Mythology isn't just for English class anymore.

Where to find Mythology:

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Playlist for Mythology 

Song list: (title : artist : album)
Demons : Imagine Dragons : Night Visions
Resistance : Muse : The Resistance 
How to Save a Life: The Fray : How to Save a Life
All the Sand In All The Sea : DeVotchKa : 100 Lovers
When You Were Young : The Killers : Sam's Town
Butterflies & Hurricanes : Muse: Absolution
This Is Your Life : The Killers : Day & Age
Only The Young : Brandon Flowers: Flamingo
For Better...Or Worse? : The Postmarks : Memoirs at The End Of The World
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Notes from the Author
...Some of the songs are natural carry-overs into the playlist for MYTHOLOGY: THE WICKED (out Fall 2013).

Why these songs?

Some because they gave me all the FEELS
e.g., Butterflies & Hurricanes gives me the tingles :)

Some because I could picture the songs playing for specific scenes
e.g., Micah riding away on The Triumph to the beginning of Resistance

Some because of their specific lyrics
e.g., Demons fits Micah to perfection.

"When you feel my heat

Look into my eyes
It's where my demons hide
It's where my demons hide

Don't get too close
It's dark inside
It's where my demons hide
It's where my demons hide"
5. Author information (pic is attached)

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Mythology Excerpt and Word Cloud

Excerpt from Mythology:

It’s an interesting photograph, the one by Draper. It’s of the crowd at a city train station like the one on Exchange Street. The subjects of the photograph are a man and a woman on opposite ends of the frame. They’re highlighted, but by being transformed to black and white while everything else in the photograph is in true color. There’s almost a tragic feel to it, like they’re forever imprisoned apart from each other in monochrome.

I take a step back to look at the photograph from a distance. But the other person in the gallery must have been standing right behind me, and I crash into him. I step forward and spin around.

He’s wearing all black – a black suit with simple, elegant lines, a black dress shirt, black shoes. He has dark eyes, a dark complexion, jet-black hair. I wonder if he dyed it to match his suit. 
His eyes are fixed on me. And this is exactly where I stop noticing anything about the rest of his face because there’s an eerie white fire blazing in his pupils." 

“Do you want to know the story behind Fate?” he says suddenly.

“Huh?” I immediately wish I hadn’t said anything. I have no idea what he’s talking about, but that doesn’t mean I have to sound so... inarticulate.

“Fate,” he repeats with an indulgent smile. “The title of the piece you were examining so closely.”

I know the placard doesn’t show the title for the photograph, but I glance over my shoulder anyway. Nope, just the name of the artist.

“Is it yours?” I ask.

“Oh, no,” he says. “But I know its story.”

“Okay,” I say gamely. Maybe he read about it somewhere. Maybe he made up the name himself. Either way, I’m too curious not to ask. “So what’s the story behind ‘Fate’?”

“It’s about finally meeting someone. And never meeting someone.”

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About the Helen Boswell

Helen was a complete bookworm from the time she could sound out the words on the page. She'll always be thankful for her mom allowing her to read at the kitchen table during mealtimes. Reading naturally led to writing by the time she was eight or nine - she started with fantasy stories, dabbled in contemporary fiction, and even tried a little romance. MYTHOLOGY is an urban fantasy/love story and in that way reflects some of her earliest writing interests.

Things that inspire Helen to write are bowls of ice cream with lots of Magic Shell, the lack of cats or other things she's allergic to in the vicinity, and plugging into playlists with her Neff headphones - the knit ones with the bear's ears.

Where to find Helen: