I’m escaping Sydney’s winter and heading waaayyy north in the next few days. California, here I come!
Wherever you are, don’t miss this jumbo YA Beach Reads Giveaway put together by the lovely Jessica Ruddick. One grand prize winner will receive all the print books you see in the graphic below — that’s *twenty* YAs in all kinds of genres! Twenty individuals winners will each receive one book.
Click on the graphic to visit Jessica’s website and enter the giveaway. Entries open June 5 and close June 12, 2017 (US EDT). Check Jessica’s website for full terms and conditions.
If you haven’t already signed up to my author newsletter list, you might want to ’cause I’m featuring a book giveaway exclusively for subscribers very soon! I’ll be giving away two paperback copies of this little New Adult beauty, Beth Anne Miller’s A STAR TO STEER HER BY. Click on the gorgeous book cover to sign up*, or visit this link.
A Star to Steer Her By
I’m scarred. Broken. I’ll never be the same.
But I will take this journey.
Ever since my last dive ended in bloodshed, I’ve been terrified to go back into the water. But the opportunity to spend a semester at sea is too good to pass up. I need to get my life back.
I never expected to love it this much. And I never expected Tristan MacDougall.
Rugged, strong, and with demons of his own, Tristan helps me find the courage I thought I had lost and heals me with every stolen moment we share. But the rules of the ship mean we can’t be together.
When a dive excursion goes terribly wrong, our only hope for survival is each other.
My first book, written in elementary school, was bound in pink fabric and was about—what else?—a girl and her horse. I soon began cheating on horses with the sea, becoming an open water scuba diver at age 14. That love of the sea led me to a college semester aboard a schooner. I returned with fond memories of the exhilaration of being on a ship under full sail, less fond memories of hurling over the leeward rail on a daily basis, and a sailing bug I couldn’t quite shake.
In addition to horses and the sea, I have a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts), which I explored with my first novel, INTO THE SCOTTISH MIST (The Wild Rose Press, 2011), and carried into my new novel, A STAR TO STEER HER BY (Entangled Embrace, 2017). A native New Yorker, I work in the publishing industry and am always looking ahead to my next voyage, whether a short one on a dive boat or whale watch, or, with luck, a longer one on a tall ship. You can find me on the web at My first book, written in elementary school, was bound in pink fabric and was about—what else?—a girl and her horse. I soon began cheating on horses with the sea, becoming an open water scuba diver at age 14. That love of the sea led me to a college semester aboard a schooner. I returned with fond memories of the exhilaration of being on a ship under full sail, less fond memories of hurling over the leeward rail on a daily basis, and a sailing bug I couldn’t quite shake.
In addition to horses and the sea, I have a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts), which I explored with my first novel, INTO THE SCOTTISH MIST (The Wild Rose Press, 2011), and carried into my new novel, A STAR TO STEER HER BY (Entangled Embrace, 2017). A native New Yorker, I work in the publishing industry and am always looking ahead to my next voyage, whether a short one on a dive boat or whale watch, or, with luck, a longer one on a tall ship. You can find me on the web at www.bethannemiller.com
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Seventeen-year-old Olivia Dresden can literally see the path to goodness in each person. Her precognition means that different versions of people’s futures flicker before her eyes. But forced into isolation, she can only watch as her mother, Chairwoman Dresden, chooses the dark, destructive course every time. Even so, she remains fiercely loyal to the woman her mother could be.
When the chairwoman captures Ryder Russell, a boy from the rebel Underground, Olivia sees a vision of her own imminent death. Despite her bleak fate, she rescues Ryder and flees with him, drawing her mother’s fury and sparking a romance as doomed as Olivia herself. As the full extent of Chairwoman Dresden’s gruesome plan is revealed, Olivia must find the light in her mother—or blink out of existence with the rest of the world.
Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of YA fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL.
Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. Her novel, FORGET TOMORROW, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book. In addition, it is a finalist for the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, the Japanese Sakura Medal, and the MASL Truman Award. THE DARKEST LIE was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her other books include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, the novella BEFORE TOMORROW, and the forthcoming GIRL ON THE VERGE.
She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com
I’m trying the “write through your grief” thing on for size today. Not sure it’ll work, and I know I’ll be far from eloquent, but here goes. Long post ahead…
Pets. They speak to you in their own ways and love you with their whole heart. And when you have to let them go, the pain of it almost defies description. A few weeks ago, on Halloween evening, our darling little 17-year-old cat, Possum, was diagnosed with an inoperable tumour on her jaw bone. This past week, we had to face the heartbreaking reality—the tumour was growing quickly and aggressively. There were other problems, but I won’t go into them now. Her quality of life was diminishing and nothing could be done for her aside from giving doses of heavy painkillers three times a day. Yesterday, December 8, our local vet came to the house and put Possum to sleep on my lap under the shade of her favourite avocado tree.
There are so many great memories of Possum that I want to keep alive. Like the day we went to a breeder intending to get a British shorthair, but we were pounced on by this scrappy, marsupial-like kitten when we walked in. A failed ocicat, the breeder called her, because she failed to “spot.” The 14-week-old kitten successfully climbed up my husband’s jeans legs, then mine. It was written: we were the chosen ones. Despite wanting so desperately to come home with us, Possum cried for the entire first night.
But she soon became attached to us and her new big bro, Pinklepurr. I’d never known a cat to love so hard and so much. And she was a talker. I swear you’d say something and she’d reply quite thoughtfully. I think most owners of talkative Oriental cats will know what I mean! We also soon found out that she fetched things like a dog. Toy mice and pistachio nuts were her favourite play things. She understood the words “no” and “excuse me.” The latter was used if she was on my lap and I needed to get up. She had a congenital weepy eye. We’d sing the Kleenex tissue song to her and wipe her eye clean. Afterwards, she’d blink up at us gratefully. In cat language, slow blinking means “I’m happy. I’m smiling.”
She could always be counted on to make up her own games. Possum taught us some too, like what we called the stair game, which was kind of like tennis. She would sit halfway up a staircase and bat a toy mouse down at us. Our job was to throw the mouse at her and she’d skilfully lob it back. When she got tired of playing, she’d find unusual places to snooze. One day I arrived home to find her sleeping on a dish draining rack above the kitchen sink.
Possum was the kind of cat who had to be involved in everything going: house renovations (twice), folding bedsheets, sorting cupboards, wrapping gifts, helping me write, making phone calls, or opening boxes. (The box would become her new bed for the following three days, then she would discard it.) We bought a Possum-sized stepladder so she could watch us cook from the end of the kitchen bench.
Our cats were only allowed outside under supervision. But in the chaos of a renovation, one night she slipped out after curfew. I found her on the back porch very early the next morning, looking scruffy and carting around a T-bone that she’d scrounged from a neighbour’s yard. She acted like she’d been abandoned and wandering in the wilderness for weeks instead of hours.
One night a real possum (the marsupial kind) visited our yard. Possum and the possum locked gazes. They seemed to be quite confused but fascinated by one another.
Many people think cats are aloof. But not all of them are snooty. Personable Possum used to run to the front door to greet us when we came home. (That said, she disliked other cats, especially fluffy-tailed ones, and dogs.) As soon as I sat down, Possum would take her rightful place on my lap or my laptop. For a long time, she wanted to sleep in our bed. A photo my husband took of Poss and I asleep side by side even made it into the Awkward Family Pet Photos book. We often joked about getting a baby sling for her because she always wanted to stick close to her humans. I made a silly photo blog for our cats; it was short-lived, but today that blog gave me huge comfort.
Writing this post now, it’s incredibly tough to not have Possum here on my lap, with her white chin on resting my left arm. I already even miss getting clawed (never deliberately). It’s… Yeah, I need some tissues. BRB.
The two of us hanging out just a couple of weeks ago…
Possum used to roll over and beg if we were eating something she thought we should share.
Possum looking after me earlier this year when I was sick.
Okay. Do I feel better after writing this post? Marginally. I already miss the way she looked up at us with so much love in her eyes, the way she’d keep me warm when I was sick, keep me company on the couch. I even miss clearing out her litter tray. Weird, I know. We’ve gone from a two-cat household to a zero-cat household in less than a year, and it’s so, so hard to bear.
But as a close friend just said to me, and I hope she won’t mind me repeating it here, “You will never forget her and you will always love her, but day by day, it will get a little easier to bear.” For my own healing, I’ll probably revisit to this post as I remember all the fun things Possum did in her 17 years. And I still have literally hundreds of photos and videos of her. Hundreds. Maybe sorting through those day by day will ease the pain some more.
I’m grateful to the amazing vets and nurses at Sydney Animal Hospitals for taking such good care of Possum for the past 10 years and right to the very end. They kindly sent us a cute bunch of flowers today. Thank you to my friends and family who’ve shared our loss privately. Your words have really meant a lot and given us strength. I want to single out my boss, who isn’t a cat man, but understood the special relationship with Possum and gave me time off in the days leading up to our loss. *Thank you*
Vale, dear Possum, ultimate lapcat, substitute baby, and writing partner. I still can’t believe you’re gone. You brought us joy every single day. I hope you and Pinkie are together once more.
That’s Possum helping me wrap a present I’d bought for a friend from the British Museum.
You can’t hide your secrets from Lathan Montgomery-he can read your darkest memories. And while his special abilities are invaluable in the FBI’s hunt for a serial killer, he has no way to avoid the pain that brings him. Until he is drawn to courageous, down-on-her-luck Evanee Brown and finds himself able to offer her something he’s never offered another human being: himself.
Dawns a unique and powerful love
Nightmares are nothing new to Evanee Brown. But once she meets Lathan, they plummet into the realm of the macabre. Murder victims are reaching from beyond the grave to give Evanee evidence that could help Lathan bring a terrifying killer to justice. Together, they could forge an indomitable partnership to thwart violence, abuse, and death-if they survive the forces that seek to tear them apart.
Thank you to everyone who entered my Goodreads November giveaway! Ten paperback copies of my novella, LIVE FAST, DIE YOUNG, are now on their way to ten lucky winners across the U.S. Congrats, everyone!
Some lovely reviews of the novella have come in recently. It’s always amazing and humbling to hear that people are taking time out to read my work. Soren from Ripley’s Booklist said it had “A nice blend of humor and emotion, with a realistic teen voice.” And Sabina on Goodreads said she “cried a lot,” which, believe, me is a huge compliment! I cried when I wrote this story too because I adore my poor tortured characters. Check out more reviews on my website.
Soooo, December, huh? This year went by in a flash. One of the highlights of 2016 for me was going to the U.S. for the RWA conference in San Diego, where I saw my two critique partners win the highest honours in romance writing — Pintip Dunn nabbed the RITA for Best First Book and Kim MacCarron earned a Golden Heart Award for Best Inspirational Romance manuscript. Golden Heart winner and fellow Aussie Gabrielle Luthy and I trotted off to a cat cafe and got our feline fix. We giggled over buying American laundry “souvenirs” from a supermarket — a magical wrinkle eraser and a Tide spot-stain remover. #ohtheglamour.
My agent and I were treated to an impromptu dolphin show while we had lunch by the water. Apparently, dolphins are enlisted by the navy for mine detection among other things.
In Nashville, I saw my favourite band of all time, Duran Duran. (Actually, I almost missed them because my plane was delayed first by a janitorial issue and then storm activity.) Nile Rodgers and Chic were the support act. OMG – gobsmackingly good. DD and Nile performed a tribute to David Bowie, blending ‘Planet Earth’ with ‘Space Oddity’.
Spare a thought (or ‘Save a Prayer’) for DD, who’ve just lost a high court battle for the rights to their early works. Read about it here. Heartbreaking stuff. In the meantime, I urge you to listen to and download their later works, like the albums ‘All You Need Is Now’ (I made a tiny reference to it in my novella) and ‘Paper Gods’.
In more heartbreaking news, my 17-year-old cat, Possum, has been diagnosed with an inoperable tumour. We don’t know how much time we’ve got together, but we’re making the most of it. She’s pretty much glued to my lap, “helping” me write as always!
How about you? Was 2016 a good, bad or meh year for you?
Get ready, get set for a Goodreads Giveaway! Ten paperback copies of my novella, LIVE FAST, DIE YOUNG, are up for grabs! The giveaway is open to U.S. residents, and runs from November 1 to November, 30.
Tricks can be fun, but TREATS are way better. And this contest gives you a chance to win a ton of treats in the form of signed books, ebooks, candy, book swag and more from 13 authors!! We know…it’s kind of SPOOK-TACULAR!
So how do you snag the loot? It’s simple, and you don’t even have to dress up and walk in the cold door to door to get the goodies.
Visit each of the THIRTEEN participating author websites. You will find the name of the candy/treat they are giving away, as well as what BOOK they are offering as part of the PRIZE PACK! Be sure to write down the name of the treat, you’ll need it later.
I’m giving away a Kindle e-copy of my ghost book, THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE, plus Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Each author will provide a link to another author website on the hunt. (We are making it nice and easy so you don’t get lost in the dark) =)
Have fun reading all about the books each author is giving away in the prize pack, plus any other tricks and treats the authors may have in store for you.
When you have collected the names of all 13 author “TREATS”, head on over to complete the Trick or Treat Hunt Page Google Forms doc HERE and enter the correct treat next to the corresponding author name.
You can enter for BONUS chances to win via the Rafflecopter found on each author’s website, by doing things like following them on Twitter or following their Goodreads page, or tweeting about the Hunt!
A creepy-awesome black canvas tote bag with a cool skull filled with each of the books noted below as well as bookmarks and other great book swag. You will also win all of the treats that the author’s list on their pages PLUS a bunch of other candy treats all in a black plastic cauldron. You’ll even get the cute little plastic skulls shown in the prize photo.
PARTICIPATING AUTHORS and their AWESOME BOOKS!
Amy McNulty – NOBODY’S GODDESS (advanced paperback)
Kiran Oliver – DAYBREAK RISING (ebook)
Dorothy Dreyer – SCARE ME TO SLEEP (Kindle ebook)
Jodie Andrefski – THE SOCIETY (signed paperback)
Julia Ember – UNICORN TRACKS (paperback)
Julie Reece – THE ARTISANS (signed paperback)
Nina Rossing – FJORD BLUE (signed paperback)
Pat Edsen – BEYOND YOUR TOUCH (signed paperback)
Pintip Dunn – FORGET TOMORROW (signed paperback)
S.A.Larsen – MOTLEY EDUCATION (signed paperback)
Suzanne van Rooyen – OBSCURA BURNING (Releases 11/10 ebook)
Vanessa Barneveld – THIS IS YOUR AFTERLIFE (Kindle ebook)
Vicki Weavil – FACSIMILE (signed paperback)
The contest runs from Friday October 28th, 2016 through Midnight, October 31st, 2016 (EST)
Winner will be announced November 1st.
Contest is US only. Thank you for your understanding.
To continue the blog hop, click on lovely Jodie Andrefski‘s book cover below. Good luck!
Jodie Andrefski has gathered a ton of fabulous authors (and me!) for a Halloween blog hop from October 28 to midnight, October 31. You could win a literal bucketful of our books and glorious treats. No tricks!
Stay tuned for details on how to enter in the next few days.
In the meantime, tell me, do you have a costume ready for Halloween? This adorable chocolate labrador I found on Pinterest has the right idea:
Cursed with a terrible gift…
Criminal investigator Xander Stone doesn’t have to question you—he can hear your thoughts. Scarred by lightning, burdened with a power that gives him no peace, Xander struggles to maintain his sanity against the voice that haunts him day and night—the voice of a woman begging him to save her. A gift that threatens to engulf them… Isleen Walker has long since given up hope of escape from the nightmare of captivity and torture that is draining her life, her mind, and her soul. Except…there is the man in her feverish dreams, the strangely beautiful man who beckons her to freedom and wholeness. And when he comes, if he comes, it will take all their combined fury and faith to overcome a madman bent on fulfilling a deadly prophecy.