Thursday, September 26, 2013

HOW TO DATE A NERD by Cassie Mae & THE FUNERAL SINGER by Linda Budzinski

Zoe has a great pair of legs, perky boobs, and wears exactly what she needs to show it all off. She works hard for the easy sleazy ‘you only wish you were me’ reputation, burying who she really is—an all-out nerd.

The only time Zoe gets to be herself is when she hides under her comforter to read X-Men comics, sending jealousy stabs at everyone who attends Comic-Con. Keeping up her popular rep is too important, and she’s so damn insecure to care about the consequences. But when Zoe’s sister takes her car for a ‘crash and burn into a tree’ joyride, her parents get her a replacement. A manual. Something she doesn’t know how to operate, but her next door neighbor Zak sure as heck does.

Zak’s a geek to the core, shunned by everyone in school for playing Dungeons and Dragons at lunch and wearing “Use the Force” t-shirts. And Zoe’s got it bad for the boy. Only Zak doesn’t want Popular Zoe. He wants Geek Zoe.

She has to shove her insecurities and the fear of dropping a few rungs on the social ladder aside to prove to Zak who she really is and who she wants to be… if she can figure it out herself.

First of all, I just want to eat that cover. Something about the green and pink ... yummy! 

In a word, this book is CUTE! The dialogue, the awkward moments, the sweet, blushing romance, the nerd references, and Zak (woohoo!) all combine to produce one super cute book. 

Zoe is a difficult character to like in the beginning, what with all her Popular Zoe meanness, but the author somehow pulls it off by showing us the real Zoe inside. We've all been there, haven't we? We want to be liked. Maybe envied. And who would find it easy to give that up once they have it? Zak is the opposite. Secure in himself. He likes and does things that make him a nerd, but so what? That's who he is. A sweet, adorable, super sexy nerd boy!

Zoe and Zak have some history. Zak knows exactly who Zoe is deep, deep (possibly very deep!) down inside. The question is whether Zoe can be brave enough to let everyone else know the real Zoe.

Beneath the giggle-yourself-silly humour are some important and worthwhile messages. Messages about accepting yourself (Zoe, I'm talking to you!). Messages about forgiveness (man, Zak gets hurt over and over again, and over and over again he gives Zoe the forgiveness she doesn't think she deserves). This is a story that just about everyone can relate to.


So Cassie, the fabulous author of this book, wants to know what's nerdy about each of us.

Here are some of my nerdy attributes:
  • At primary school I sometimes chose to sit alone at break and read my book instead of sitting with my friends.
  • I've played the flute since high school. I even went to orchestra camp. (Yip. Orchestra camp)
  • My husband's been re-watching old, badly made Star Trek episodes recently, and after a number of episodes, I actually found myself *gulp* sort of ... enjoying them!
  • Superheroes rock.
  • Reading a book is better than going out on a Friday night. Or any night!
  • (PS - I adore Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, but those are so universally loved by nerds and non-nerds alike, I don't think they qualify as nerd-makers!)

Visit Cassie's blog to find out the nerdiest thing about her!

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Seventeen-year-old Melanie Martin has witnessed her share of lame eulogies and uninspired epitaphs while singing part-time at her dad's funeral home. She's determined to be more than a funeral singer, more than just someone's "beloved wife" or "loving mother."

When Mel's impromptu rendition of "Amazing Grace" at a local rock star's graveside service goes viral on YouTube, she becomes an Internet sensation, gains thousands of fans and followers, and snags a hot rock star boyfriend--Zed Logan, bass player for The Grime.

But instant fame isn’t easy—and neither is love. Especially when Mel realizes she’s falling for another guy—one who may just want her heart more than her voice …

I LOVE the premise on which this book is based. I love the song lyrics mentioned. I loved imagining Mel's voice soaring above silent crowds. I appreciated the message behind her story about the consequences of sudden fame and what it can do not only to that person, but the people in his/her life. And yet ... I felt like this story needed ... MORE.

I felt that more could have been done with the plot, and DEFINITELY with the relationship between Mel and the guy she ended up falling for. I found their attraction to one another to be not entirely ... believable. I wanted more interaction between the two of them. I wanted to see a connection. I couldn't quite understand what drew her to him, and, even more so, what drew him to her. Maybe I missed something. Maybe it's just that my personal taste veers more toward character interaction than, perhaps, other readers' or writers' tastes. I just wanted MORE there!

All that being said, this was still an enjoyable and thought-provoking novel that managed to keep me turning the pages :-)

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Thanks to Swoon Romance for sending me copies of these books to review!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Alex J. Cavanaugh's CASSASTORM is here!

Alex J. Cavanaugh is taking the world by storm this week in celebration of the final novel in his space opera series! We all got to ask him a question, and here's his answer to mine:

If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be? (Visiting hundreds of blogs a day doesn't count!)
Invisibility would be cool. Or X-Ray vision. Or the power of suggestion. All of which could turn me into a great super villain. Wait, that might be bad…

By Alex J. Cavanaugh

From the Amazon Best Selling Series!

A storm gathers across the galaxy…

Commanding the Cassan base on Tgren, Byron thought he’d put the days of battle behind him. As a galaxy-wide war encroaches upon the desert planet, Byron’s ideal life is threatened and he’s caught between the Tgrens and the Cassans.

After enemy ships attack the desert planet, Byron discovers another battle within his own family. The declaration of war between all ten races triggers nightmares in his son, threatening to destroy the boy’s mind.

Meanwhile the ancient alien ship is transmitting a code that might signal the end of all life in the galaxy. And the mysterious probe that almost destroyed Tgren twenty years ago could return. As his world begins to crumble, Byron suspects a connection. The storm is about to break, and Byron is caught in the middle…

“CassaStorM is a touching and mesmerizing space opera full of action and emotion with strong characters and a cosmic mystery.” – Edi’s Book Lighhouse

“Cavanaugh has created wonderfully moving moments of great poignancy… CassaStorm could have been a dark story full of hardship and angst, but instead it's a cleverly balanced story about hope and triumph.”
- Lynda R. Young, author of Make Believe

$16.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 268 pages, Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
Science fiction/adventure and science fiction/space opera
Print ISBN 9781939844002 eBook ISBN 9781939844019
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Find CassaStorm:
Amazon -

Alex J. Cavanaugh has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and works in web design and graphics. He is experienced in technical editing and worked with an adult literacy program for several years. A fan of all things science fiction, his interests range from books and movies to music and games. Online he is the Ninja Captain and founder of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. The author of the Amazon bestsellers, CassaStar and CassaFire, he lives in the Carolinas with his wife.
Visit Alex's blog this week and leave a comment for a chance to win a Cassa mug, mousepad, magnet, and swag!

Monday, September 16, 2013


So ... remember that A to Z Challenge we crazy bloggers like to take part in every April? Well, a number of books have come out of that challenge, and here's the latest one!

Kittie Howard's
Louisiana's A-Z Something Extra: Lagniappe

This novella sized ebook is a personal and historical journey through the Bayou State. It will launch in early October. If any of you are followers of Kittie's blog, you'll know that she shares the most delightful stories about her life growing up in Louisiana, and this book is no different. Her imagery is gorgeous, making you feel like you're right there in the scene with her.

And here is the cover!

Designed by Morgan Media

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Indie Life: Planning your Own Book Launch

Indie Life is a monthly feature hosted by the fabulous Indelibles where we get to share something related to indie writing life.

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So, as an indie writer, if you're wanting to have a book launch to celebrate the release of your book, you have to organize it yourself. I've never done this! For my first two books, I've done online launches with people spreading the word all over the web for me. And that was awesome (and I plan to do it again), but this time, for the third and final book in my series, I want to do a REAL LIVE BOOK LAUNCH!

So my first question for you today is this: if you've had one for yourself, or you've attended book launches for other authors, what actually happened there? I know you sell and sign copies of your book, and give a little talk, maybe read a section of your book (hoping no one falls asleep ... #authornightmare), and possibly do some giveaways of cool freebie stuff. But is there anything else fun and unique to do?

Please help me! I want to make my first real life book launch super, duper awesome!

My second question is this: If you are a published YA author and you have ebooks, print books, bookmarks, badges, magnets, keyrings, postcards, or ANYTHING pertaining to your books that you'd like to donate for a massive giveaway, please send me an email or tell me in the comments. For my online launch I'm planning to have a massive Rafflecopter giveaway, and for my real life launch, I want to put together a great big goodie bag of stuff for one lucky winner (which means your stuff will be going into the hands of a young South African reader who will hopefully spread the reading love around with her (or his) friends!).


PS. Today The Writing Nut is hosting me for the weekly Wednesday Writer's Workspace feature. Come visit!

Cover Reveal for Sheena-kay Graham's SACRIFICE HER

Sacrifice HER 
by Sheena-kay Graham 
 Add to Goodreads: Sacrifice HER 
Coming December 2013 

When a city is at stake is the life of one sixteen-year old girl worth risking thousands? Deidra Moore goes on the run after escaping from a group of human sacrifices for Bane: God of War. She doesn't believe he exists and sees uncertainty in the scorching desert as a better alternative. But Faux City isn't finished with her and their leader Lord Brinn is ordered by Bane - through one of his maiden worshipers- to bring her back or face dire consequences. In the desert Deidra meets a wanderer named Kane and as feelings spark can they find a safe place to lead a new life before Lord Brinn and his soldiers catch up with them? Yet the question remains. Does Bane really exist and if he does what will happen if either side succeeds or fails? Told in alternating perspectives of both the runaway servant girl and the blonde strong willed leader. 

Sheena-kay Graham was never meant for a traditional job behind a desk. Her childhood career plans included becoming a ballerina, actress or someone who helped people. So naturally she decided to be a writer who writes from her bed. Yes, no desk for this Jamaican book lover. No matter if it’s reading, writing or using the get the gist. The love of the written word has always been with her leading to stories, novels, poetry and way too much fan fiction. This Christian woman can be found trolling Amazon online, in local book bookstores, watching movies on the big screen, or in her bed, or reading/writing/on the laptop...again in her bed. Mainly writes YA fiction and is ready to unleash her creativity to wow the masses.

Cover Design
Image of woman with flowing hair (purchased): © Transfuchsian |
Cover Designer:  Langao @

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Sign Up: THE FAERIE WAR Release Day Blitz & Book Reviews!

It's that time again!

I'm getting ready to release another book, and I can't do it without you! This one is EXTRA special because it's the end of my very first series. If you'd like to be involved, there are two ways you can be super duper awesome...

If you'd like to share this banner on your blog, please link back to this blog post at

Release Day Blitz

Release day is Monday October 21st!
For anyone who wants to help spread the word, I'll send you an announcement post that you can put on your blog on release day. To make it interesting and a little less "generic", I'll be utilizing my Photshopping skills to create some scenes/characters from the novel along with teaser excerpts. I'll send different images to different blogs so that you don't all have to post the same thing :-)
If you want to take part in that (pretty please!!), sign up here ...

Book Reviews

For interviews, giveaways and guest posts, I'll be contacting bloggers directly to see who's interested, but if you'd like to post a book review during the blog tour, which is running from October 22nd to 29th, please sign up here ...


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Change of Scenery Will Help Your Writing

This post is brought to you by the Insecure Writer's Support Group, an online group where writers can express doubts and concerns, and those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. The IWSG is celebrating it's two year anniversary today! Congratulations!

So ... change is as good as a holiday, right? That's what people say. Unfortunately, I'm not talking about taking a holiday here! I'm still talking about working. And what I want to suggest is that changing your writing space can help reinvigorate your passion and creativity for your writing.

This is where I normally write:

I love my study. It has so much SPACE, and it's filled with my favorite books, and there's a comfy armchair in the corner and warm sunlight streaming through the blinds.
I've been writing in this study almost every day for many months now, and I'm starting to get tired of it. Everything is the SAME. Every day is the SAME. I'm starting to feel a little bit like the hermit my husband tells me I am!

On Monday I wasn't able to be at home and so, for the entire day, I had to work in an environment I wouldn't normally work in (my husband's parents' house!). I was worried I wouldn't be able to get much done, but I did more than double what I'd normally do in a day!

Yesterday I was home again, and the amount of work I was able to get done went doooown. So now I've learned. A change of scenery is what I need. And this is where I am today:

Tea on 23, a coffee shop built in an old Pietermaritzburg home.

Where do you normally write?
Where do you go when you need a change of scenery?