I haven’t written an What’s In My Mailbox post in ages, so here goes:
Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis is the sequel to Hollis’ smash hit Girl, Wash Your Face. I pre-ordered it for Kindle when it was announced. I’m only 18% into it so far because I listen to Hollis’ podcast fairly regularly and a lot of the material is the same as she talks about on Rise.
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton is one I just got from the library today. It’s one of those that is usually recommended in non-fiction along with books such as Holli’s, so I thought I’d give it a try. I also see this book on Instagram a lot, so I’m assuming it’s a good read for book bloggers.
In Pieces by Sally Field is one I have on audiobook through the library and I listen to it during my commute. I bought the hardcover book in the US but listening to Field read her story is way more engaging. She goes into detail a lot about her family history at the beginning which isn’t usually interesting for me, but to hear Field describe her grandparents, it makes it worth the time.
You by Caroline Kepnes is my book before bedtime. Again, this one is available from the library (the only one not available was the Hollis book and that was due to it not being popular in the U.K. and there being a lot of reservations on it via my American library Libby app). It’s pretty much like the Netflix series, but it’s still engaging because the main character, Joe, is just too crazy to ignore. Plus, he’s a bibliophile and a literary snob and what English major doesn’t admire that in their characters?
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End of the Lie (Anastasia Phoenix #3) by Diana Rodriguez Wallach
Publication Date: March 4, 2019
Publisher: Entangled Teen
With her harrowing tale of espionage and near death experiences finally out in the open, Anastasia Phoenix thought things would be better. That she and her friends had outsmarted Department D, the criminal empire her parents helped create.
She thought wrong.
Former friends have turned to enemies, causing more innocent lives to get swept up into the dangerous world her parents created. Now it’s up to Anastasia to stop the damage before anyone else gets hurt—or worse. She embarks on a treacherous trail from Poland to Prague, and old rivals emerge at every turn. But when the final confrontation occurs, will she be too late to protect the ones she loves… or even herself?
KEIRA IRENE PHOENIX [Looking directly into the camera. Footage released by Phillip Stone Media, Inc.]
“Hi. My name is Keira Phoenix, and I am the daughter of international criminals. In May, I was kidnapped by a man named Craig Bernard who, at the time, I thought was my boyfriend. We had met weeks before at a bar in Boston. The anniversary of my parents’ death had just passed, so I was upset when he showed up, acting nice. [She scoffs, rolling her eyes.] I invited him to a party I was hosting, then later that night he drugged me and took me from my home.
“I don’t remember the abduction—one minute I was in my bed, the next I’m waking up on an airplane, my head pounding and my hands bound together with plastic cable ties. [She rubs her wrists.] I was held captive in Italy for months, by armed guards, and I had no idea why. Eventually, I learned that Craig Bernard and all of the men involved in my kidnapping used to work for my parents. Only not as engineers for the Dresden Chemical Corporation. They were spies. All of them, especially my mom and dad. It turns out that my parents, along with Randolph Urban, CEO of Dresden, conspired to create a criminal enterprise known as Department D, which stretches back long before I was born. We have photographic proof that my parents were involved in the assassination of Italy’s Prime Minister Aldo Moro in 1978, and we have a journal, in my father’s handwriting, and eyewitness testimony that proves he was involved in the fake terrorist plot that defamed nearly a half dozen Islamic women in London two years ago along with the reporter who covered the story, Julian Stone.
“I believe I was taken by enemies of my parents as payback for their past criminal activity. Evidence of my time in captivity is undeniable. [For the camera, Phoenix holds up a proof of life photo with a church bulletin, and a posed photo of her body in the trunk of a car.] I was rescued by my sister, Anastasia, and her friends, who acted alone, because the Boston P.D. refused to listen to them, for reasons none of us understand. After my rescue, my sister, her friends, and I made statements to Italian law enforcement and the CIA, and I was instructed to stay in hiding for my own protection. But I was never safe. No one around us is safe. Tyson Westbrook, a seventeen-year-old friend of my sister’s, was murdered recently as a way to get to us, to lure me and Anastasia out of hiding. When that didn’t work, when we continued to fight, these people poisoned one us—Marcus Rey, son of Dresden executives Carlos and Rosario Rey.
“They’re picking us off one by one, and we don’t know how high up the corruption goes. Our parents were hired by world leaders to create propaganda for decades. Now these same people are covering up their crimes against us—including kidnapping, poisoning, and murder. They’re trying to silence us, take us out, and prevent us from exposing the truth behind Department D and its shell corporation, Dresden Chemical.
“We won’t stay silent anymore.
“We won’t stay in hiding.
“And we won’t trust law enforcement to act on our behalf.
“That’s why I’m coming forward now. I’m telling my story, in my own words. I need the world to know what’s going on, so hopefully no one else gets hurt.
“I’ve learned a lot about my parents recently, and you will, too, over the coming weeks. They did a lot of bad things. I know that. And they might even still be alive. [She cocks her head.] I’ve heard the rumors, like you, but I swear, if they are, I haven’t seen them.
“However, I am certain that the only way my sister and I will ever be safe is if we bring down the Dresden Chemical Corporation and its corrupt underbelly, Department D. We need to take back our lives and stop paying for crimes we didn’t commit.
“My name is Keira Phoenix and I survived Department D. But will you?”
Other Books in the Series
About the Author
Diana Rodriguez Wallach is the author of the Anastasia Phoenix series, three YA spy thrillers set to debut beginning in March 2017 (Entangled Publishing). She is also the author of three award-winning young adult novels: Amor and Summer Secrets, Amigas and School Scandals, and Adios to All The Drama (Kensington Books); as well as a YA short-story collection based on the Narcissus myth, entitled Mirror, Mirror (Buzz Books, 2013). In 2011, she published a highly regarded essay in Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperCollins). It was the only essay chosen from the anthology by Scholastic to be used in its classroom materials. Diana is featured in the anthology, Latina Authors and Their Muses (Twilight Times Books, 2015), and she is currently on staff as a featured blogger for Quirk Books. In 2010 Diana was named one of the Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch by LatinoStories.com, and she placed second in the International Latino Book Awards. She is an advisory board member for the Philly Spells Writing Center, and is a Creative Writing instructor for Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. She holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and currently lives in Philadelphia.
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The Crush Collision(Southern Charmed #2)
by Danielle Ellison
Publication Date: February 18, 2019
Publisher: Entangled Teen: Crush
Haley Howell has had a hopeless crush on her brother’s best friend, Jake Lexington, for as long as she can remember. Too bad to him, she’ll forever be off-limits. But with senior year and acceptance to a college outside their tiny southern town of Culler, South Carolina, comes new confidence. Haley’s ready to get Jake to notice her—whatever it takes.
No one in Culler notices the real Jake anymore—to them, he’s nothing more than the star football player or the kid with the family tragedy. When one mistake lands him in community service, he’s shocked to find his best friend’s little sister there, too, looking cute as hell and threatening all his no-friends-with-benefits rules. But Jake isn’t ready to take a chance, no matter how crafty Haley’s willing to get to prove him otherwise…
Interview with Danielle Ellison
- Tell us about your writing process. Do you aim for a daily word count, page count, or a couple of scenes each day?
I am do not have a regular process. I procrastinate too long, a habit I’m working on, and I outline the whole book, and then I just pour out a book in spurts than in a daily basis. I would love to be someone who wrote every day, but I can’t always mentally do it everyday. I do try to write once a week, but even sometimes that turns into two weeks. It all depends on if I have a deadline or not.
- What gave you the inspiration for your book? Is it part of a series?
This book is part of a series, Southern Charmed series. It’s the second book but each story is a standalone set in the same town with some characters that interchange, so it can be read it any order. The series is my take of a southern town like Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girls). The inspiration for this book was that I watched a lot of Friday Night Lights back in the day and I really wanted to write a character to pay tribute to Tim Riggins.
- Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both?
I’m a plotter. I need an outline to thrive and write well; at this point, I’ve got it down to a science that works well with my joy of character-driven stories.
- Do you prefer a certain type of music to listen to when you’re writing, or are you better with silence?
I don’t write with music or anything like that. I do enjoy background noise when I can get it, like coffeeshops, and I used to only write in that kind of setting, but now I write a lot with my partner playing video games in the background.
- What book(s) are you reading now?
I am reading Uncharted by Erin Cashman and my next read is Sadie by Courtney Summers
- Anything else you’d like us to know about this book or any others (past or future)?
I love this book, and Jake and Haley really surprised me with their story. It’s so amazing to me, and I can’t wait for everyone to read it. Each of the love stories in the series are also stories and celebrations of friendship, and I hope when you visit Culler (for the first or second time) you find something to love. And if you do, stay tuned because I have two more coming.
About the Author
Danielle Ellison is a nomad, always on the lookout for an adventure and the next story. In addition to writing, she’s the founder and coordinator of the NoVa TEEN Book Festival. When she’s not busy with books, she’s probably watching her favorite shows, drinking coffee, or fighting her nomadic urges. She is newly settled in Oklahoma (for now) with her cat, Simon, but you can always find her on Twitter @DanielleEWrites.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This is my stop during the book blitz for All That Doesn’t by Tracy Krimmer. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 20 till 21 August. See the tour schedule here.
After a devastating end to her marriage, Dory Walker has rebuilt her life in her hometown of Sycamore Bay. She’s left her music career behind and is only looking forward to her future with her rekindled love, Harris Malone.
Single dad Harris is doing his best to guide his young daughter and take the reins of his soon to be retired dad’s hardware store. With Dory by his side, he can do anything.
But just when Dory thought she had it all, a surprise visitor turns her world upside down with a revelation that threatens to tear her family apart. She turns to Harris for help, but he’s caught up trying to save his relationship with his daughter. Can the bond between Dory and Harris survive these turbulent times?
You can find All That Doesn’t on Goodreads
“A has-been country music star. A divorced dad from a small town. Almost a decade of bottled up passion…”Links:
– All vendors link
About the Author:
Tracy Krimmer loves coffee, popcorn, Drew Barrymore, and the movie Saving Silverman. She enjoys reading great books (of course) and writing realistic characters for you to enjoy. When she listens to music she prefers the 80s and 90s music she grew up on. In a typical day you’ll find her writing at one of her favorite spots–on the couch, at the kitchen table, or at her favorite hometown coffee shop.
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of All That Doesn’t. One winner will win a Bath & Body Works gift set. US Only.The set contains:
– 1 Hello beautiful Shea & vitamin e shower gel
– 1 Hello beautiful fragrance mist
– 1 Hello beautiful Shea butter & coconut body lotion
See picture below
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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- $15 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
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All her life, Katie has been chosen last for everything: the last picked on the playground, the last picked by her absent father, and definitely the last picked by boys—even her secret crush, Alex, friend-zoned her. This senior year, Katie is determined to come first.
But then Alex asks her to help him find a date?!
Alex has been living life in the fast lane, but he’s ready to slow down—with a girlfriend. The last person on earth he’d consider? The girl his brother developed serious feelings for before he died: Katie. The only way Alex is going to get over Katie is by falling for someone new. And who better to help him find his new crush than the girl he can’t stop thinking about?
What can possibly go wrong?
Author Guest Post – Interview
1. What is your writing process? Do you aim for a word count daily or maybe just a scene?
My writing process is sporadic and totally nonsensical. I have a weird day job schedule of ten days off and ten days at work (13-hour shifts), so I write whenever I can. That might mean writing on a plane, on a bus, in a lunch shack, or in the middle of the night when my family is sleeping. Sometimes I’ll write thousands of words in one sitting. Then I’ll get distracted by something else—maybe by another book I’m writing or a book launch. I’m generally getting pulled in a million different directions with both my writing and my life, so I have to be flexible and write wherever I can whenever I can.
2. What sort of research did you do for this book?
I’ve played more console video games than online ones, so I wanted to make sure I got those scenes right. I was always double checking things with the help of Google and gaming forums. I also watched a documentary on pro gamers and the e-sports industry. And finally, I had the help of my subject matter expert—my oldest nephew who is well versed in MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games)
3. What are you working on now? Any chance of a sequel?
I have a couple of projects on the go right now. I’m currently working on an adult romance and another YA, but nothing is set in stone, yet. As for a sequel to Secret Crush, I’ve toyed with the idea of writing a book that follows another character in the story: Barista Ben.
4. How did you come up for the idea of your book?
The story was definitely inspired by my time spent playing video games and knowing people who play a lot of online games. I wanted to tell a story about geeks like me. I also wanted a way to tell a contemporary story that can take place in both reality and a fantasy world.
5. Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked?) recently?
I was really behind in Game of Thrones, so I’ve been catching up on that, lately. I’m so obsessed! Next on the list to catch up on: Outlander, Shannara Chronicles, and Into the Badlands. And I’ve recently watched two movies that I thought were pretty cute: Set It Up and The Kissing Booth.
About the Author
Casey Griffin can often be found at comic conventions on her days off from her day job, driving 400 ton dump trucks in Northern Alberta, Canada. As a jack of all trades with a resume boasting registered nurse, English teacher, and photographer, books are her true passion, and she is currently busy writing every moment she can.
Website • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads
- What is your writing process? Do you aim for a word count daily or maybe just a scene?
My writing process is different every day. I have five kids, two of which aren’t in school yet and one of them is an adorably naughty two-year-old. I’m trying to be a full-time writer and a full-time mom and it’s a huge juggling act. I’ve had days with a word count as high as 10,000 (those are rare) and other days I don’t get to write at all. My schedule is very hectic.
My goal each day is to write as much as I can. Sometimes that means waking up before the kids or not even starting until after they’re in bed. But once I sit down to my computer, I definitely aim to finish at least a chapter. I never stop mid-scene unless I absolutely have to. My kids are used to it by now and have given up complaining because it’s futile. If I’m fifteen minutes late picking them up from school, or dinner doesn’t get made until seven, it’s probably because I was in the middle of a conversation and didn’t want to lose my momentum or train of thought. My perfect work day would include eight hours of uninterrupted quiet time. But I’m not holding my breath for that anytime soon.
- What sort of research did you do for this book?
So far, none of my books have required a ton of research. This one has required the most though, because I don’t speak Spanish. I made some jokes in the book about Google translate, but it was basically my best friend while writing. A lot of the learning process explained by Mike is exactly what I went through. For example: checking a word from English to Spanish then Spanish to English, to make sure it was the same both ways. Sometimes, when I intentionally needed words that didn’t translate correctly, I had to try translating a bunch until I found one that worked. I’m not Hispanic/Latina, so for this book I also had a bunch of Latina beta readers and spent extra time with their reviews. Then I did some rewriting in an effort to make sure nothing sounded offensive or incorrect.
- What are you working on now? Any chance of a sequel?
My motto is always quit while you’re ahead, so there won’t be a sequel or spin off to Perfectly Misunderstood. This was even the last book in the series. I’ve had requests to write Brady and Beth’s story (from book 1), Jake and Lilly’s story (from book 2) and most recently to write a spin-off for Becca. And while I’m glad that readers have loved my supporting characters enough to want a whole book about them, I know there’s no way I could please everyone. Plus, I have too many ideas floating around in my head. It’s time to move on to something new.
Currently, I’m working on a book about two people brought together by a series of mysterious events, which are orchestrated by a secret matchmaker. It has a hint of mystery and elements of magical realism, but it’s basically another YA contemporary romance. This one is unique because it’s a series of four different novella length books and each book covers the same week in time but is told from a different character’s point of view. Each point of view builds on the last and reveals different scenes or clues that tie into the overall story. I’m not sure yet if I will release them as four different novellas or compile them into one really long book.
- How did you come up for the idea of your book?
I knew from the second I mentioned Mike McGinnes in book one, that I needed to do a story about him. There was just so much potential for something ridiculous or funny because of the type of guy he is. But I also knew that it would be fun to give his surface character some unexpected depth. As for the storyline, that adapted a lot as I wrote it (as do all of my books). I’ve always enjoyed a good hate-to-love story, so I knew from the beginning that’s what Perfectly Misunderstood would be. I love writing humor, sarcasm and witty comebacks. Also, I find stories where the characters dislike each other in the beginning, particularly rewarding in the end when they get together.
- Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked?) recently?
When I watch TV, I tend to binge watch my favorites over and over again. Right now, my husband and I are in season 4 of Psych. If you can’t tell from my writing style, I love to laugh, and the Sean and Gus relationship is so funny and over the top. I love their little quirks and shenanigans. Other shows I’ve watched start to finish, multiple times include: The Office, Community and Raising Hope. If I could achieve any goal as a writer, it would be to write for a television show like one of those. Steve Carell is a comedic genius.
About the Author:
Jayden’s glare intensified, and I could tell she was sending me mental death threats. Eventually, she gave up and sat down across from me. “Was that so hard?” I asked.
“About as hard as you head.”
“I have harder parts than my head,” I countered. Her eyes grew wide at the implication. I let her stew for a second before lifting my sleeve and flexing my bicep. “You think that’s hard? You should see my abs.” I’d said it as a joke, but it was basically true.
She was surprised for the briefest moment, then she grunted. “How Cro-Magnon of you.”
“Your grunt suggests you’re familiar with the genotype on a personal level.” I smirked.
Jayden’s eyes narrowed. “At least I’ve evolved. Your face suggests that you haven’t yet.”
I tsked in good nature. “Your face might be prettier than mine, but your manners prove you haven’t evolved as much as you think.”