Saturday, January 19, 2013

Happy Birthday to The Writer Diaries!

I wanted to make a post to let everyone know about a new project I’m getting involved in called The Writer Diaries. Our blog launches TODAY, and I would love for all my followers to stop by and take a look. Anyone who’s looking to find some new authors to check out or if there are any writers out there interested in the words of wisdom twelve crazy ladies have to share stop on by.
We’re planning to post on popular writing topics, review books, talk how music inspires our writing, and of course share our experiences writing.
Visit us at follow us on facebook here, or follow us on twitter at @writerdiaries
For more information on the lovely ladies I'll be working with check out their blogs below. We're all at different points in our writing careers and I think we'll be able to offer different and interesting opinions on the topics we talk about.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Nominated three times for the Liebster Award!

April Books has been Nominated by Simply Sensational Book Fanatics, Cozy Afternoon Chums, and YA Midnight Reads for the Liebster Award! I want to say thank you to all of my nominators and congratulations to all of my nominees, you all have wonderful blogs.

The rules of the Liebster Award are as follows:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you.

2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees;

3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen. (No tag backs)

4. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.

Random Facts About Me:

1. I hate peanut butter cookies, yes I know your jaw just dropped. Love peanut butter, LOVE cookies, hate peanut butter cookies, I’m an enigma.
2. I am a huge Buffy-nerd. I own all seven seasons on box set and can still quote every episode, it’s really more of an incurable disease, but like a good one.

3. I am completely scatterbrained. I’m always working on a million things at once and it’s not because I’m crazy busy it’s because I just have all these ideas constantly bouncing around. Right now I have one book published, and literally twelve that are in various stages of undone because I’m constantly writing down ideas.
4. I play guitar, though not well. I played when I was in high school and this past Christmas my boyfriend bought me an acoustic so I’ve been getting back into it.

5. I am horrible at math. I write, I draw, I paint, I play guitar, I even sing off key, but I can’t add or do an equation to save my life.
6. I love zombie movies! Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland, The Walking Dead, I can’t get enough and have probably seen everyone in existence including the low budget B-films.

7. I have one sister and we are polar opposites, and I mean that in pretty much every way. Looks I’m blonde with green eyes, she has dark brown hair and brown eyes. In high school I was an art-geek and drama-nerd, she played varsity sports. I, as stated above, am terrible at math; she’s going to be an accountant. As different as we are though we’re really close.
8. I was a bit of a punk kid in high school. I’ve grown up quite a bit in the last six or so years, but once upon a time my life revolved around bands like Taking Back Sunday, The Matches, Senses Fail, The Used, and pretty much anything involved with Vans Warped Tour. My favorite accessory was my stud belt, on the weekends I was either loitering around town, at a bonfire or at The Rave in Milwaukee seeing a show, and I dyed my hair every other week changing it to colors such as bleach blonde, black, red, and even blue once.

9. I once stole a bicycle. See the above comment to reference my rebellious youth.
10. I love thunderstorms, and yes I realize a lot of people say this, but I really love them. I’m the kind of person who if there’s a thunderstorm going on will sit in the window and watch the clouds light up. I’ve also been known to leave the window open so I can hear better and smell the rain.

11. I love to travel. I try and get away at least once a year, usually sometime in January and go somewhere warm.

Questions from My Nominator:

The questions below are from SSBookFanatics, I was also nominated by Cozy Afternoon Chums, and YA Midnight reads, but this post got a little too long with me answering 33 questions and a few of them were quite similar so I decided just to post the origional 11 questions from my fist nomination.

1. What do you love most about blogging?
                Writing about all the things I would normally rant or talk to myself about makes me feel less crazy.

2. What do you love most about writing whether it's books, or blog posts?
                Writing books is… it’s like that feeling you get when you read your favorite book but times ten. I love creating characters and discovering who they are and what they’re going to do next. I’ve said a few times books write themselves and no matter how detailed my outline is with every page there are new surprises even for me.
3. Which book was your favourite to read when you were say... a teen?
                When I was a teen I read a lot of Stephen King. The Talisman was probably my favorite. But I also really liked some of the books they ‘made’ me read in English, The Giver and Catcher in the Rye were awesome.
4. What is your favourite snack - one you simply can't do without?
                Chocolate... any form of chocolate will do.
5. If you could spend a day as someone else, who would that be and why.
                Can it be a fictional character? Because there are a few I would love to be for a day.
6. What's your favourite holiday destination?
                Either somewhere really warm or that has lots of snow. If it’s going to be cold I want snow, but otherwise anywhere with a beach and 80 degree weather will do.
7. What is your worst pet peeve?
                When you’re out at the bar (or for me – at work) and someone plays the same annoying song, like “Call Me Maybe” twelve times in a row. I hate that song.
8. If someone asked you to swallow a fly for $100, would you? Why?
                No… I just don’t think I could get it down without gagging.
9. What's your favourite poolside drink?
                Poolside? Hmm… margaritas, preferably strawberry but lime would do just fine.
10. Who or what inspires you on a daily basis?
                On a daily basis, my parents. It took me a long time to realize how supportive both of them really are, but now I know they both have my back no matter what.
11. Which family member are you closest to, and why?
                My mom, and then my sister, the three of us have just always been really open with one another.
My Nominees:
Sadly I was unable to pick only 11 names, but I feel being nominated three times should grant me an extra two nominees. Regardless of my rule breaking I think all of the blogs below are deserving of this award and I hope all my followers check them out.

Lucinda Elliot Sophie De Courcy
Laekan Zea Kemp Laekan Zea Kemp

Jenn Naumann YA Author Jenn Naumann
Vikki Scribblings of an Aspiring Author

Tabitha Martin Tabitha Martin

Kelsey Macke Kelsey is Writing

J.A. Ward J.A. Ward Writes

Angie Black Tall Thoughts from a Short Girl

Vicki Orians Page After Page

Sarah L. Blair The Things I think and Do Not Say

Brianna Shrum A Shortcut to Shrums

Chynna Blue Chynna-Blue Ink

Summer Heacock Fizzygrrl

My Questions for Nominees:

1.       What got you into blogging?

2.       Favorite TV show and why?

3.       When writing books are there any reoccurring themes in your work, or if you’re not an author are there any reoccurring themes in the books you like to review?

4.       What were you like as a teenager?

5.       Paperbacks or e-books and why?

6.       Do you have a funny vacation story?

7.       Have you ever been out of the country and where did you go?

8.      Book you’re most looking forward to reading this year?

9.       Biggest turn off in a book?

10.   What are you doing when you’re not reading or writing?

11.    Favorite holiday and why?


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Review for Touch by Jus Accardo

A Fast Pace Read with New and Different Characters
3.75 Stars. I really liked how this book started out; it pulled me in and introduced me to a main character that was really different from most other characters I’ve been reading about in YA fiction. Dez is a strong lead and she breaks the mold of the typical YA heroine. Actually she’s pretty much the opposite of the typical YA heroine. She’s not meek or weak, she’s not bookish and she’s not this inexperienced virgin. Dez is a bad girl, she drinks and takes risks. She skateboards and does everything in her power to piss off her father. She makes bad choices, but she’s just as heartfelt and real of a character as any other I’ve read.

I also enjoyed that the male lead was also different from the typical attractive, snarky, confidant guy I’ve read in every other book. Don’t get me wrong I still love characters like that, but Kale was interesting because he was so different. Kale is the opposite of the tyical experienced, crass male lead. Kale is innocent and naieve. He knows little of Dez’s world as he’s grown up sheltered behind the walls of an organization called Denazen. The author really flipped the typical gender roles around in this book and did so in a way I appreciated.

Touch reminded me of a movie I once saw called “Push”. It’s about people who have developed special abilities, each differing from person to person – similar to X-Men, and about this organization that wants to capture them and use them for their own purposes. It was an interesting story; though I did have a few hang ups with certain parts of the plot.

I think this book would have benefitted from having another fifty to a hundred pages or so. It didn’t feel short, but there were places where things felt a little rushed. For example I liked all the action at the beginning of the book. In fact I love how it starts, but I wanted the time Kale and Dez spent in her house to last a little longer. I wished they had had a little more time to talk before Dez’s dad showed up. Also I wish that we had been shown a little more of Kale’s personality. He’s really innocent and while I liked how sweet he could be, sometimes his naivety made him seem a little too simple or even slow. I guess I just wanted to see him grow a little more; I wanted a little more insight into his head.

Another thing I had a problem with was that I didn’t really understand why Dez’s dad was as cold as he was. I wished this had been explained better. And, while I liked the little love triangle between Dez, Kale and Alex, I only bought Alex’s betrayl of Dez up until he stabbed Kale, then I didn’t understand him anymore. If he was trying to make a deal to get with Dez because he thought she still had feelings for him, totally screwing her over was no way to win her heart, and after he knew she didn’t feel the same I just didn’t believe that he was that desperate or that stupid to continue on.

Overall this was interesting and I enjoyed that the characters were so different than the one’s I’d been reading about lately. I really wanted to give it four stars, but a few little bumps in the plot brought this one down for me. Still I think it was a worthwhile read.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Start the New Years out with Good Books!

Is your New Years Resolution to read more?

As a Self-published author I’m always looking to help promote others who are self-published or indie authors. So to start out 2013 right, I want to suggest a few of my favorite indie books for you to spend your Christmas money on and help out some indie authors in return. I have four very different books below, all in different genre’s so there’s something for everyone, and they’re all well written and great reads.

Laekan Zea Kemp’s “The Things They Didn’t Bury” – Pick this up if you like contemporary with a kick. This historical piece will lead you through a deep emotional mystery that will look at how war and love change people.
Read My Review: 5 Stars

The war took everything. Except the truth. When Liliana and her family move back to Argentina after seeking refuge in the States during La Guerra Sucia, a lifetime's worth of wondering comes to a head, reigniting the search for what really happened to her mother, one of the thousands of los desaparecidos—the disappeared.

With the help of a young Flamenco player who saw the atrocities committed by the military firsthand, Liliana not only makes the devastating discovery of what really happened to her mother but by forcing open the country's old wounds as well as her own she also learns a disturbing truth about her origins that will reconstruct the lives of the people she loves most.
Seamlessly alternating between the voices of mother and daughter—one trying to survive the rising chaos of The Dirty War and the other sifting through its aftermath, The Things They Didn’t Bury is a novel about forbidden love and family secrets,
Gripping, heartbreaking and lyrical this is not a story about war or about the secrets still buried beneath its wreckage but it is a story about the things they didn't bury, intangible and infinite—love, truth, and family.

Lucinda Elliot’s “That Scoundrel Emile Dubois” – Pick this up if you like “old school vampires”, historical romances, and time travel. This is a traditional vampire novel with a twist.
Read MyReview: 5 Stars

When young Sophie de Courcy, bored but patient companion to the Countess of Ruthin, agrees to marry her long-time hero, dashing French rogue Émile Dubois, she is catapulted into a dangerous world of Man Vampires and Time Warps. With the help of Agnes, her no nonsense, tarot-reading Welsh maid, she must come to terms with his scandalous past, help him defeat the evil Vampire neighbours and help Émile escape from the machinations of time which threaten to destroy their new found love. All this in just one book!

'Scoundrel' is an entertaining, over-the-top Gothic adventure, alive with colourful character comedy as it flits between Revolutionary France and misty Wales.

Samantha Young’s “Smokeless Fire” – Pick this up if you like Paranormal Romances and love triangles but are sick of wizards, vampires and werewolves. Jinn will be your new favorite mythical creature after this book.
Read MyReview: 4.5 Stars


When eighteen year old Ari Johnson is transported from her bedroom into the chilling realm of Mount Qaf - home to the terrifying and mercurial Jinn - she learns a truth that rocks her very world. Suddenly her anxiety over college and her broken friendship with Charlie seem like small change compared to the war she now finds herself stuck in the middle of. Her unease isn’t lessened any by the hot guardian, Jai, who won’t stop following her around everywhere - a Jinn whose loyalty Ari hates to question but must. She has no idea who she can trust.
When the truth burns through her life in its determination to turn it to ashes, Ari will have to battle with ancient deadly creatures, epic family drama and heart-wrenching romantic entanglements.

Kristie Cook’s “Promise” – Pick this up if you liked Twilight but wished it had been steamier. This book had that irrevocable, undeniable, I’d die for you kind of love but with college age characters and steamy sex, and still managed to work in Christian values.
Read MyReview: 4.5 Stars

Alexis Ames decides to learn who she really is, with or without the help of her mother, who guards their secrets closely. After meeting Tristan Knight and discovering that he's not normal either, the secrets begin to unravel. Their union brings promise to the future of mankind. But it also incites a dangerous pursuit by the enemy. Because they are a match made in Heaven and in Hell.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Into the Deep Re-Release! Cover Reveal!

Into the Deep is being revised! 

In the revised edition you will find new content as well as bonus material including a chapter from Brant's POV and excerpt from the sequel (yes, sequel), Hidden Beneath, which will be out Summer 2013. Below is the new cover for the revised edition, which will be out in a few months (March 1st being my goal release date).

From the Back Cover:

Ivy Daniels is a high school junior still learning who she is. After an accident, Ivy finds herself with an ability she doesn’t want, an ability to uncover secrets which quickly begins to redefine what she thinks about the people around her as well as herself. Because of this ability, Ivy becomes the one thing that stands between an angry teen and the death of every student on campus. The only problem is she doesn’t know who wants everyone dead. Will she figure out who has this dark secret, or will she fail to find him in time?

Through her search to do the right thing, Ivy discovers that knowing the thoughts and secrets of those around her may just tear her apart.

Praise for Into the Deep:
5 Stars “Well-written and emotionally charged, I found this book to be a total gem.” – Jen Naumann, author of What I’ve done, The Day Zombies Ruined My Perfectly Boring Life, and Shymers
5 Stars “This starts off as interesting, and gets more and more so.” – Lucinda Elliot, author of That Scoundrel Emile Dubois
4 Stars “…an interesting storyline, an original spin on the paranormal, and well-written.” – Jen Minkman author of Shadows of Time

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Review for The Things They Didn’t Bury by Laekan Zea Kemp

A Beautiful and Deeply Layered Mystery.

5 Stars.
I don’t read a lot of contemporary, but the mystery in this story had me hanging on edge just as much as the paranormal and suspense books I read. This is a deeply layered story. And, even though it’s a historical piece set in Argentina I still felt completely able to relate to Liliana and the things going on in her life.

Liliana’s father moves her and her sister back to Argentina after years of living in the states. They fled to the US after the disappearance of Liliana’s mother and to protect them from the war, but now back at her mother’s childhood home Liliana finds herself sucked into a mystery of lies and deceit that will span generations. After finding her mother’s diary Liliana is shown through her mother’s eyes a time when free thought was persecuted and people feared being abducted from their own beds.

I loved watching Liliana retrace her mother’s footsteps to try and figure out what happened to her. You really feel for her and understand her need to know who her mother was. This book will lead you through the lives of many characters and seeing how the war destroys some of them will break your heart; but Liliana is strong and persistent and won’t stop until she uncovers the truth, even when she discovers that finding the truth may change everything she knows about who she is.

I really felt for these characters, they were well written and fascinating. Even the supporting characters were deep and well rounded. I could completely relate with Liliana and I loved Diego. Getting to see the world through both of their eyes really lets you see the whole story of not only the war, but the mystery they uncover together, and the romance between them. Diego is a really honest, hardworking guy and he gets sucked in to helping Liliana when she asks him for a few simple favors like a ride into town. But, when he sees her venturing into dangerous territory he looks out for her and the two of them quickly become a team. I loved watching the two of them grow closer. The romance between them felt completely natural and I enjoyed the sweet scenes between them. Their relationship helped break up this intense story and really made it feel balanced.

This book had me hooked from beginning to end; I’ve never read anything like it. Definitely pick this one up.

Indie Book Goal 2018