You Will Know Me – Megan Abbott (Book Review)

Megan Abbott is a Goodreads fan-favourite so I picked up this book on a whim between another book that I’d been struggling with.

Megan Abbott

Devon is a teenaged Olympic Gymnastics hopeful. Her parents are heavily involved with a very tight-knight group of gymnastics community, but no other gymnast is as as talented as prodigy, Devon and Kate and Eric Knox have stopped at nothing to help pave her way to success.

The gymnastics community is rocked when the young, good looking boyfriend of an assistant coach meets a violent and mysterious death and suddenly Kate and Eric Knox are finding out things about each other, their friends and their children that they are shocked to learn.

Honestly, I didn’t even know what this book was about when I started to read – I actually thought it was going to be a young adult novel but I was wrong. It was a beautifully written mystery thriller that was from the perspective of Kate Knox, Devon’s mother. I wasn’t sure that I could keep track of the large circle of characters at first and it did take me some time to figure them all out — most become periphery characters and the main ones become quite clear very quickly.

You Will Know Me was a great little surprise and my introduction to Megan Abbott as an author. I have heard a lot of buzz around her work and have generally tried to keep low expectations when it comes to hype — but I feel like her writing style was fantastic and kept me wanting to know what was going to happen. Even if I had all but figured out what was going on before it unraveled, I was still able to enjoy the wrap-up of the mystery.

This is a very short review, but there was really nothing bad that I had to say about it.

I would recommend this book to anyone except for maybe my friend, Belinda because her line of work would just leave her picking at plot holes that might not be obvious to anyone else reading 😉

Let it be known that I have since purchased three other Megan Abbott books.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall-Kelly [REVIEW]

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I read a really important book this week: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly and I recommend it to anyone who has the will to learn about history and to become engulfed by some purely wonderful reading.

Three girls from three different lifestyles from three different countries cross paths during the rigours of World War II.

From Goodreads:

New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.

An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.

For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.

The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten

Review:

I could not put this book down – I read 350 pages of it in one Sunday afternoon sitting (it did help that I have been sick and almost bed-ridden). I am a sucker for a good historical fiction any day of the week, but Martha Hall Kelly smashed this one right out of the park.

This book was written beautifully and from the perspective of all three women throughout important and poignant stages of their lives. As I read this book, I began to realise, without knowing too much, that this story was built on true events and actual people. I began to read some, research some and so on … I was so excited to realise that socialite, Caroline Ferriday was a real person!

I felt so connected to each character and so entranced by each of their stories and felt the heart break of both Caroline and especially Kasia. I had to keep turning the pages to see what would happen next, as well as cross referencing the actual historical version of events.

Martha Hall Kelly wrote the horrors of what the Nazi’s had subjected the Lilac Girls to, how the healthy young body’s were defiled and violated. She added colour and tone to facts and events that took place at Ravensbrück concentration camp as well as the Neuremberg Trials where Herta Oberheuser met her fate for the crimes that she had committed against humanity.

The portrayal of Caroline Ferriday was beautiful and easily imaginable. At first her chapters felt a bit dry, but as her plight began to unravel, I fell in love with her heart – the way she used her social standing for her cause and her unrelenting loyalty to those who were in need. I learned the most about Caroline Ferriday while researching for myself and saw that who she really was, is very accurate to how the author of Lilac Girls portrayed her.

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The real Caroline Ferriday with the real Lilac Girls

I feel like this book was so cleverly put together and have an immense respect for the commitment and research that Martha Hall Kelly put in to make this book as beautiful and as brilliant as it is. Not only did I become engrossed in the story, but I also learned things about World War II that I didn’t know without it feeling like an overwhelming block of wordy information.

Over all, this has got to be one of the best books I have ever read. I was so grateful to receive an advanced readers copy from the legends over at Penguin Random House Australia – probably my most favourite book that I’ve received since beginning this blog. I don’t generally give books 5 stars, but I’ve been incredibly lucky to have read what have been two consecutive five star books.

I am going to recommend this book to everyone starting right here! Thank you Martha Hall Kelly for bringing the story of Caroline Ferriday and the Lilac Girls to light — another important story of devastation, bravery and heroism from the past that really needs to have more of a spotlight.

Dane Cobain on Indie Authors & Why it’s a tough gig

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Hi, folks!

My name’s Dane Cobain, and I’m an indie author, poet and musician from the UK. I’m here today to talk about indie authors, money, and how the two of them rarely come together. The truth is, it’s almost (almost, but not quite!) impossible for an indie author to make any money from their work, and I think that’s a shame.

And the problem isn’t really down to the readers – after all, there are a lot of keen readers out there who are buying, sharing and supporting the work of indie authors. The problem is with the process itself – you see, it’s not easy to release a book. You might think that the hard work ends after you’ve spent a couple of years planning and writing the damn thing, but that’s not true at all.

For a book to be ready to go to market, you need to work with a professional editor to make sure that your manuscript is perfectly polished, and you also need to find a good cover designer to make the book stand out. Both of these require a cash investment, unless you’re lucky and you’re able to cut a deal with someone. But you can’t cut corners and edit your own work – even if you’re an editor yourself. You need that level of objectivity, and you need to get a second pair of eyes to look at it.

Cover designs also cost a little extra because you need to cover the usage rights for the images. And then once that’s done, you have to think about the cost of ISBNs etc., as well as some of the other little bits and bobs that are associated with publishing costs.

And then there are marketing costs – for example, if you send your books out to bloggers, you need to cover the basic cost of the book and then the postage, which all adds up. If you run competitions then you need to worry about the prizes. Even paying for web hosting and a domain name can add up, over time.

Oh, you make a little money back, of course. You earn a percentage back from each sale, and you can sell physical copies at events for a profit. I’d estimate that I make somewhere in the region of £30-50 per month in profit from royalties and sales, but I spend around £50-75 on sales and marketing.

And it’s not just me, either – I’m friends with literally dozens (if not hundreds!) of authors, and I only know one or two who are able to support themselves through their writing alone. Even then, they’re supplementing the income that they make from book sales with freelance writing work and other consultancy services.

The fact is, unless you already have a huge social media following – YouTubers, I’m looking at you – then you’re always going to struggle to sell enough books to make a living from it. And unfortunately, new publishers are starting to focus on marketing potential rather than on the ability of the author when they sign new people to the books (no pun intended).

It’s capitalism in action, and it’s just the way that the world works, but it does make it more difficult for indie authors. As for myself, I work from 9-5:30 at a marketing agency, and work from 6:30 until midnight most evenings, as well as 14-16 hours a day at the weekend, if I’ve got nothing planned.

It’s hard work being an author, and it’s often financially unrewarding. But we don’t write for the money. We write because we’re compelled to write. That’s just how it is.

But it’s okay, because you can do your bit – buy a book from an indie author. The royalties will almost give them enough money to buy half a pint of beer, and you’ll get a book out of it, too!

You can check out Dane’s social media and website by clicking on the following links:

Dane Cobain – Website
@DaneCobain
Facebook Page

 

Book Tag –

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You know you’ve made it in the blogging world when someone thinks to tag you in one of their posts! .. Okay, maybe I haven’t made it and maybe no one sends me as many ARCs as the next blogger nor do I get lots of stuff for free, but I do love a cute little tag from one of my beautiful blogging counterparts.

So, Lys from over at The Mad Reader has tagged me in her post and so here I go… completing this tag using only Chelsea Handler gifs to convey my feelings.

 

Pick a book that started off bitter but got better

The Girls by Emma Cline. I read a lot of snarky and bad reviews about this book but I was determined to give it a go. It was slow to start. It was unnecessarily flowery and some of the metaphors really just made me want to punch myself in the groin.

But overall, as the book progressed and the plot unraveled and the character’s developed, I enjoyed it more and more and was able to look past the flowery descriptiveness.

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Pick a book that made you smile beyond compare

Funny that I chose Chelsea Handler gifs to convey this post because all of her books make me laugh and smile. It’s rare that I laugh out loud at a book– but her books are absolutely hilarious. Some chapters I have had to screen shot and pass on to friends so that they too, can share in the hilarity. Chelsea is dry-humoured and funny, that is probably the best thing about her. So, for this one, I choose her second book, Chelsea, Chelsea Bang Bang – Chelsea Handler 

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Pick a book set in a foreign country

One of my favourite ever books — Girl At War by Sara Novic. This book is set in the Yugoslavia during the 1990s war between Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Croatia. It was a beautifully written book that describes this area of the world for exactly what it was before the war and what has taken so long to build back. For me, its slightly personal given my Croatian heritage.

I recommend this book to anyone and everyone!

 

Pick a book in which a mysterious or shady character was first introduced

The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins by Irvine Welsh.

Hilarious, fucked-up, twisted, psychopathic, brilliant. From the beginning of this book, Lucy Brennan the MC is a total sociopath and she only unravels quickly as the plot begins to develop. As with most Irvine Welsh books, the plot is crazy but its so incredibly good! And FYI, the book has absolutely nothing to do with the sex lives of siamese twins (everyone always raises an eyebrow at me when I mention this book).

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Pick a book that was grainy and the plot barely developed

Ugh. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. This book took me an entire year to read. It was so slow, so shit, so not what all the Goodreads reviews promised me. I understand that this is an incredible controversial view to have — but it was just such a misrepresentation of fans in general.

Close second to this was My Favourite Manson Girl — I turned the pages and kept waiting for the exciting, amazing and spectacularly unique story to unravel and then I got to the last page and was like, oh? that’s it? right. And then I went back to Goodreads (on both accounts) to see that maybe I’d read the reviews wrong or got the books confused — but no, apparently these two books are front runners of YA.

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Pick a character(s) that was full of life and made you smile

As much as she was really irritating in some essences of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes — I would have to say that Louisa Clark was full of life and made me smile especially in the sequel, After You. She could sometimes be over the top and embarrassing, but she had a beautiful heart and a lot of things that could have really kept her kicking a rock about and I always look for that kind of positivity and warmth in people in my own real life.

 

Pick a book that had some juicy secrets

I really can’t think of a book where a character or plot held a secret… Maybe I’ll give an honorable mention to Attachments by Rainbow Rowell — I disliked this book but mostly I think I dislike anything this author has to offer (no offence, its just that her books seem so vapid and simplified for me) but in terms of secrets, this book was full of them, mostly some creeper dude going through two people’s emails and reading everything about them like a peeping tom staring through a window every night — but just like, the technology version of invading someone’s privacy to that degree (and then the MC falls in love with him and is okay with all of this!?)

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Pick a book that had a vast, big universe / setting

Wicked by Gregory Maguire.

I love this book, I love this book, I love this book! The alternate universe of this book is spectacular and descriptive unlike the unnecessary way that The Girls was written — I have such a brilliant imagery of the universe of where this story takes place! There is nothing snarky to say about this book imo. It was perfect.

 

Pick a book in which a character was portrayed as a hunk

Pretty much any novel where a male is involved, they’re a hunk. Its a bit boring. What about the guy who’s maybe not iron man, but who is kind, generous and loyal AF?! Honestly, its unrealistic for the school dork to be good at listening, good at being a supportive boyfriend and be incredibly hot — not to mention smart enough to be a Dr or a computer hacker.

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Pass on the tag

I tag Sophie, Hollie and Jenny

Why I Write – Guest Post by Jon. D Zimmer

I would like to welcome Jon D. Zimmer as a guest poster on saidjess.com with his article Why I Write.

Jon is the author of The Narcissist: A Dark Journey.

When I started college I majored in English. I wanted to be a writer. I had written several short stories when I was eighteen, and felt like I was about to join the hallowed halls of Shakespeare and Hemingway, but reality seems to have a way of trumping fantasy. I got married, changed my major to business, and had a successful career. However, I didn’t like the cold world of profits at all cost, particularly the human cost.

As soon as I was able I retired, left that dispassionate world, and began to write. To me, writing was a pathway of expression, of sharing the ideas and emotions that we all feel, of creating characters and events that the reader can relate to. And I didn’t limit myself to any particular genre. I wrote The Trinity Pact, a spiritual book; The Cozy Place, a murder mystery; An American Dynasty, historical; The Secret Invasion: Book One of the God Chronicles, a fantasy; and my latest novel, The Narcissist: A Dark Journey, a psychological thriller.

Though they were different genres, I was able to express the human condition at its best, and at its worst. In The Cozy Place, a consuming love begets a serial killer, exemplifying love at its worst, however, we all sometimes show our love in a less than a loving way. We abuse, physically and psychologically, we deceive, and we lie to those we love, and when we do it, we wish we hadn’t, as sometimes it takes more than a lifetime to make it up.

In An American Dynasty I took an American family through four generations of American history to depict the absolute role that politics and wealth plays in the lives that we lead. Throughout history, wealth has been able to control, and in many instances, enslave populations. It could happen here and now, to us. I love politics.

My latest novel, The Narcissist: A Dark Journey, is a psychological trip through the psyche of one Charlotte Prentice. She literally has everything: beauty, intellect, wealth–and yet she is a very dangerous person. She is someone we all know, or know of, and in ourselves. She and her ilk are dispassionately driven to success, and are our scourge, but in this novel I have left any judgement of guilt up to the reader. How would you judge Charlotte?

I am almost finished with Book Two of the God Chronicles, a fantasy in the event humankind continues after this life. In this new life, I have tried to remove all of the reasons for our really bad, nasty habits. There is no requirement for sustenance, there is no celebrity, no gender, no sickness, but I am really challenged, even with all of those things that cause us to do naughty, bad things, to eliminate the nature of humanity. But I think I have. That’s the beauty of writing.

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The Narcissist: A Dark Journey – Book Blurb

Charlotte Prentice literally has everything: beauty, intellect, wealth. She is also very dangerous. Driven dispassionately to success, the reader must decide Charlotte’s guilt or innocence. After reading The Narcissist: A Dark Journey, what will be your verdict in the case of Charlotte Prentice?

Buy Links:
Amazon
: https://www.amazon.com/Narcissist-Journey-Jon-D-Zimmer/dp/1535050128
Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Narcissist-Journey-Jon-D-Zimmer-ebook/dp/B01I24SOUS
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-narcissist/id1131737210
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/ebook/the-narcissist-2

Social Media Links:
Blog: http://www.jondzimmerauthor.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jonzimmer.75
Twitter: @JonDZimmer

Books That Have Left An Imprint On Me

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Books that have left an imprint on me

I am obviously a big reader — that is evidenced just by how many books I go through per month and how long I spend at this blog, writing reviews and trying to put a lot of thought in to them.

I decided to list the books that I’ve read in the most recent times that have left a big impact on my me. That’s not to mean that all of these books have imprinted themselves on my heart in an emotional way, but they are memorable and they won’t be forgotten quickly. They are in no particular order.

imprintWicked by Gregory Maguire

A lot of people will be familiar with this title after the number one Broadway Musical, Wicked. This is the book that the musical was based on. I was a huge fan of the musical (it is my lifetime goal to run away and live a life of song — when I learn to sing) and more specifically, Idina Menzel (original Broadway version of Elphaba) so I was interested in reading the book.

The book was a little bit hard to read in the beginning. I found it slightly confusing and put it back on the shelf for awhile. In the meantime I was hired to work a job that was 55 minutes from home (specific, right?) and I came across an audio version of the book. I am ashamed to admit, that this was my only viable way of getting through it as swiftly as I did. It cleared up the confusion for me and the narrator was just as I felt like it should have been. When I wasn’t driving and working, I was turning the pages at an alarming rate and I couldn’t seem to stop.

I felt such heart for Elphaba’s plight. The plot is so much more involved than the love story that the musical focuses on. It is a political novel that could possible be aligned with that of a Nazi regime in a fictitious world but not unlike what happens in the real world. At the end of the novel, I cried in shock and I hated Dorothy and I hated Glinda of the Uplands and I hated all who had wronged Elphie and who were responsible for her downfall.

It was the first time in a long time that I had suffered acute book grief and I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks and couldn’t even begin another novel for at least a month. My heart is still with Elphaba and while I rarely re-read books, I’ve reread this three times!

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Girl At War – Sara Novic 

This book entirely changed my entire perspective of refugees. This was a perfect story of how quickly a seemingly stable life can be upturned and torn apart by tragedy and war. Refugees aren’t always poor or poverty-stricken, but are comfortable-living families who are a victim of circumstance and location alone.

I have Croatian heritage and I was a child during the Sarajevo war in the 90s so this was a topic that I enjoyed reading and learning a little bit of history about, despite it being fictional. Anna was the perfect character that I fell in love with. I understood her detachment and her sense of not belonging. This book made me sad and happy and again, left feeling grief that it had come to an end.

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Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang – Chelsea Handler

The reason this book left such an imprint on me is because of how incredibly funny it was. I am a huge fan of comedy and laughter. I don’t really conform to political correctness and I believe in being unapologetically honest which is probably just how Chelsea Handler gets through life. I have never laughed so hard while reading a book and if I was nearly this funny, I would probably copycat her and write a series of life stories similar to this just to showcase my own comedy.

But alas, I am not this funny.

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The Fault In Our Stars – John Green

I have to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of any of JG’s other books. I find them boring and dull. I did however, love this one. I’m not sure if its because it’s the first JG book I read, but this hit home for me. I put off reading it because it works as a trigger for me as someone who is dealing with a family member who has cancer and also as someone who’s biggest fear is ending up with an oxygen tank (for my various medical issues). I understood many aspects of how the main character felt, not feeling “normal” in her teen years and being that “sick” kid. There were some quotes from this book that was like a punch to the heart and that I found incredibly relatable to me.

Then, I realised that this was reduced to a creepy teen love story by 15 yr old girls and I have to work for it to keep its imprint on me without it being sullied by annoying tweens and teenagers.

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Someone Else’s Daughter – The Life & Death of Anita Cobby – Julia Sheppard

This book left an imprint on me based on the violent, horrific way in which this poor woman lost her life. This is one of Australia’s most horrific murders that happened 30 years ago this year. Anita Cobby’s murder happened in the area of where I grew up, so I found special interest in it. However, this is a grisly, graphic book that chronicles the lives of the 5 men who savagely and brutally murdered her, as well as the chronicle of Anita’s clean-cut, innocent and young life. This book is about everyone involved as well as the courtcase that proceeded until justice was served.

I cried many times while reading and carried this book with me almost every night. How could such an awful thing happen to someone so good?

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Why Not Me? – Mindy Kaling

The imprint on me from this book was this — ‘you don’t get what you want by resting on your arse and expecting shit to happen’. Oh yeah, and Mindy Kaling is just that right amount of left-of-the-middle that you’ll find funny. Or maybe you won’t, but I did/do. This book started off a bit slow, but as I got in to it, I felt my admiration for this woman grow.

One thing that bothers me in life are people who expect everything to happen to them easily without putting in the effort and it was inspiring. We could all better ourselves by taking a little bit of Mindy’s work ethic.

 

What books inspire you? Which books have left an imprint on your heart?

The Girls – Emma Cline: Book Review

The GirlsThe Girls by Emma Cline
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I saw a little bit of hype surrounding this book and had to wonder, how does a debut author garner so much hype!

It should be noted that I am the person who is drawn to the opposite of hype. I hate it, I sway away from it and if something is hyped, I usually figure that it’s going to be a rather large disappointment. I decided to read this anyway because I had began to read The Room and it had never made me want to punch a child more (and that is saying a lot) so I had to put it down.

I am totally happy with The Girls. I thought it was a great book. I jumped in with little to no expectations and without the understanding of really, what it was about.

Because you are dying to know The Girls is about:

This book was set in 1969 – the narrator is fourteen-year old Evie Boyd whose parents are recently divorced. After a fall-out with her bestfriend, Connie, Evie seems fed-up with the bordem of upper-middle class life and completely transfixed by The Girls: a bunch of haphazard girls who seem to act as careless as she wishes to and as nonconforming as she could never dare to be.

By a chance meeting, Evie gets pulled in to the world of these Girls who are governed mostly by Russell, a man who manages to lull them in to a false sense of community — basically — this is a bold portrayal of a Charles Manson-esque character. He is charismatic, erotic and slowly but surely erodes any semblence of ego and independent-thinking that these girls previously encompassed.

The Girls live in a commune where they are encouraged to love and give and become free of the rules of society. Evie finds this world seductive, or moreover, is seduced by the idea of Suzanne, one of the more senior members of the group. As she becomes more disgruntled with the her mother’s ways, Evie becomes more involved in what is loosely called a cult by outsiders.

With a certain power over the girls, Russell incites rage within them after a deal with a famous friend goes awry and sees how far he can push them to help him get what he wants, or at least send a message that he is not to be messed with.

The book shifts to a present time where adult-Evie reflects back upon her life in that summer of 1969 and the horrors that she narrowly avoided by what seems to be some miracle; or perhaps just spared by the love between shared between The Girls.

In my opinion the book was far too flowery. Other people in the Goodreads comments section have totally ripped apart the wordiness of this book in some parts, however, depsite the fact that flowery and overly descriptive writing is not for me, I couldn’t look past Cline’s ability to cleverly put together words in a series of ongoing metaphors that I could never dream to. Other readers laughed and threatened that this book would end up on their “DNF” (Did not finish) shelf, but I say that that would be doing a disservice to themselves and also to the author who has obviously spent a lot of time putting together what seems like at times, a stream of consciousness, of what it is like to be a coming-of-age teen girl in a world where ‘campaigning for your own presence’ is essential to move forward in every aspect of life.

At the end of the day, I would probably consider this a Young Adult read, but it could probably be enjoyed by any woman both who have lived through this era or who simply want an engaging read. While I mentioned that this book is flowery, I was able to accept that for what it was and concentrate on the plot which I found to keep me turning the pages.

While users at Goodreads make themselves famous by snarking out books in what they feel is a witty fashion, insulting the author and the author’s talent, it is my hope that Emma Cline will make herself famous by doing exactly what she does best; writing. After all, reviewers need to understand that behind a book is an author and no-one likes to have their hard work ripped apart by a person who could never dream to do better.

View all my reviews

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – Q&A With L.J EPPS

L.J Epps is the author of romance novel, I Wish I Could Remember You.

A story of enduring love as romance goes all wrong and Emily Montgomery struggles to rebuild her life after a terrible accident changes everything.

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L.J Epps has been kind enough to answer some questions about her writing, her style, what it’s like to be an author and she also delves a little deeper in to the storyline of her book, explaining the plot!

Q & A with L.J Epps

What inspired you to write your book?

I had the idea for my book roaming around in my head for years. When I was growing up I would get different ideas in my head for a book or movie. One of the ideas I had was about a woman going through a messy divorce and losing her memory but only remembering the good years she shared with her husband. Since he claimed he had changed and she could only remember the good in him she had to decide if she was willing to give him a second chance.
Do you have a specific writing style?

I usually write down all of my ideas on paper and then just jump in and start writing the story. Once I’m well into the story –which would be a couple of chapters in I try to make an outline. That way I can have some sort of idea where the story will end up as I’m writing.

How did you come up with the title?

Funny but the working title was called Forgotten because I wanted to show that Emily has forgotten all of the bad things her husband has done to her and forgotten her new boyfriend, Robert because of her memory loss. But as time went on I wanted more of a sad romantic type title. That’s when I came up with I Wish I Could Remember You.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

My advice is if you love to write you should write as much as possible. Even if you never make any money from your writing, if your proud of it or if one person likes it that makes it all worth it.

What books/authors have influenced your writing?

One of my favorite authors is Nicholas Sparks. When I read his novels I always get emotionally involved. I’ve shed a few tears reading his novels, and that’s the kind of reaction I would like my novels to get when people read them. I love novels where I want to jump to the end to see what happens but I don’t because that would ruin the story for me.

What genre do you consider your books?

I write fiction novels. My first novel is Contemporary Women’s Romance. I also write Young Adult Fantasy and Dystopian.

Do you ever experience writers block?

Yes, I experience writers block sometimes, when that happens I listen to music. Sometimes music brings ideas flowing to my brain. I’m not sure why but it does.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Yes, I’ve written scenes that I’ve hated so I keep rewriting the scenes until I feel better about them. I have even gotten rid of entire scenes and started over from scratch.

Where did your love of writing come from?

When I was a child I day-dreamed a lot and I had an active imagination. So I think it started when I was a child. I loved to dream up new worlds and new people and as I grew up I liked to write about them.

Do you write every single day?

I try to write every day. It’s not always easy because sometimes time is limited. Some days I can get a lot written and other days a little. But as long as I can write down a few words here and there each day I can get my writing goals completed.

Which writers inspire you?

I like Nicholas Sparks, Danielle Steel, J.K. Rowling, Susan Mallery, and Suzanne Collins.

What are you working on at the minute?

I’m finishing up a Young Adult Fantasy-Dystopian novel I’ve been working on. It should be released in a few months.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?

I have two favorites. I love to write Contemporary Women’s Fiction and I also like to write Fantasy as well.

What is your latest book about?

My latest book is about a woman named Emily. She in her thirties and is going through a terrible divorce. Her husband, Steven is abusive and controlling and he doesn’t want the divorce. Emily is trying to move on with her life and during her separation she meets someone new named, Robert. Before the divorce can take place Emily is in a terrible accident that robs her of some of her short-term memories. She can only remember the good times with her soon to be ex-husband not the bad, and she cannot remember Robert at all. Both men profess their love for her and she has to decide who she wants to be with. Will she choose the man who claims he has changed even though she has heard about the terrible things he has done to her from her sister, but can’t remember? Or will she choose the man she’s been told she’s in love with now but can’t remember him at all.

L.J Epp’s book is available through hardcopy, kindle, kobo and iBooks.

Official Author Website: LJ Epps, Author

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10 Netflix Shows To Start Watching – According to Author, Erin Rhew!

Thank you so much for hosting me today, Jess! And thank you to Jess’ readers for joining us!

I’m here as part of the Rhew 2 Rhew tour! My husband, Deek Rhew, wrote an amazing thriller called 122 Rules, published by Pandamoon on April 5! In addition, my publisher chose the month of April to feature my trilogy, so Deek and I decided to make a thing of it. And the Rhew 2 Rhew Tour was born! 😉 Stay tuned because there’s an opportunity for you to enter a Rafflecopter drawing for a chance at a $50 Amazon gift card!

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Top 10 Netflix Instant Shows to Start Watching

Ok, I’m terrible at doing my top 10 of anything or telling you my favorite of something because I always have to qualify it. I’m like, “Well, my favorite Western about Wyatt Earp is Tombstone.” I think part of it is because my interests are so diverse. I’m a girl that will watch football, rom coms, adventure, sci-fi, and most anything in between. I don’t have a favorite book genre because I love fantasy, sci-fi, dystopians, romance, historical fiction…I could go on.

I think it boils down to this: I like a good story. So, here are 10 Netflix Instant shows I’d recommend. They’re not THE only top 10, nor are they MY only top 10, but it’s about as close to nailed down as you can get me on this topic. Haha! Oh, and they’re in random order because I can’t rank them without obsessive qualifiers. 😉

1) Bones—This storyline is amazing! The characters are rich and complex, and the tales are fascinating. I’ve always loved a good “who-dun-it” and catch-the-bad guy crime series, and Bones delivers. I think in another life, I must have been a medical examiner or something because I am fascinated by those types of shows. Plus, on the show, I adore how Brennan—the female forensic anthropologist—is the logical, non-romantic one while Booth—the male FBI agent—is the emotional, romantic one. It’s the opposite of the traditional portrayal of gender roles and makes for comical situations for both characters. It’s in its 11th season, so other people really like it too! 😉

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2) Prison Break—If you love action, adventure, and intrigue that will keep you on the edge of your seat, I recommend Prison Break. Brothers Michael and Lincoln are under the gun to escape Fox River Penitentiary before Lincoln is executed for a crime he didn’t commit. But they discover the people who framed Lincoln will stop at nothing to put him in the ground. It’s a heart-pumping good time. Oh, and good news, they’re planning a 24 style reboot to this show!

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3) The 100—If you are like me and are both a sci-fi and dystopian lover, then prepare to have your nerd fantasies come true. We’re talking space AND a post-apocalyptic world! Air is running out on the Ark, the ship that ensured the survival of the human race after nuclear war, so the ship’s council votes to send 100 criminals down to the surface to see if Earth’s inhabitable. Since they send adult criminals through the airlock, the only ones left on board are teenagers. These teens are sent down and discover Earth is inhabitable, but there are still so many pieces of the puzzle they never accounted for.

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4) Fringe—More sci-fi, but this one is like sci-fi meets Bones. This show explores crimes committed through science and sends FBI Agent, Oliva Dunham, on the hunt. She’s paired up with mad scientist Walter Bishop and his shady but exceptionally smart son, Peter. I love the interplay between the characters and “helping” them solve these complex crimes. We’re talking telekinesis, space/time continuum, shared brain activity, and more. It’s geekdom at its best!

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5) Gossip Girl—Holy moly, I adored this guilty pleasure! We follow the lives up Upper West Side teens and the wannabes who try to weasel into the group. Only, there’s a catch. Someone, Gossip Girl, tracks their every movement and reports it. Can’t hide your misdeeds with a spy like that! This group manages to get themselves in all sorts of crazy entanglements. And I promise, you’ll find out the identity of Gossip Girl in the end. 😉

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6) The Vampire Diaries—Two words: Stefan and Damon. Enough said. LOL! Alright, alright, there’s more. This tale blurs the line between good and evil. When Damon blows into town, you’re sure he’s the bad brother, but Stefan has some pretty big skeletons in his closet too. The arrival of these two vampires turns the small town of Mystic Falls upside down, and the paranormals just keep on coming, including some of the most ancient vampires around—the Originals. If you like the Originals, you can also watch their spinoff show on Netflix.

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7) VikingsSo technically this one isn’t on Netflix. It’s on Amazon Prime. However, it’s must-see. If you’re at all interested in history, you’ll love the story of warlord Ragnar Lothbrook, scourge of England and France. But even more than the main character, this series has awesome supporting characters. You’ll get a history lesson AND have fun doing it!

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8) Roswell—Aliens. Need I say more? Three aliens landed on Earth as children and assimilated into society. Max, the brooding alien, saves the life of a girl he’s crushing on and accidentally reveals his secret to her (Sound familiar? Well, this show predates Twilight). They begin the whole complicated love situation between a human and alien, complete with alien hunters and a decree from the home world to shake things up.

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9) Reign—This show totally appeals to the history nerd and period piece lover inside of me. You’ve heard of Mary, Queen of Scots, right? Had a legitimate claim to the throne, plotted against Queen Elizabeth, got beheaded. It’s a common theme for royals back them. BUT this show takes you back to Mary’s teenage years. Back to the time she thought she could wed the future French king and rule England, France, and Scotland. Ah, what a dreamer. But plots and intrigue abound in the castle, as they often do, and Mary’s story takes us on quite the thrill ride.

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10) Heroes—When I first heard this show’s tagline “Save the cheerleader, save the world,” I was like, “Huh?” But I’m a huge fan of X-Men and the Avengers, so I thought I’d give this bunch of supernaturals a try. And I’m so glad I did. The bad guy, Sylar (played by Star Trek’s Zachary Quinto), is an amazing character. Quinto gives him depth and humanity amidst his depravity. And who doesn’t want to have a superpower? I mean, come on. We all wish we did. Bonus points if you can match the character from Prison Break with a character from Heroes!

Thanks again for hosting me, Jess! Readers, here’s your chance to learn a little about me, my husband Deek, and our books…AND enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

For those that don’t know, Erin is a young adult fantasy author who is married to adult thriller author, Deek Rhew. Together, they are “the Rhews,” and their street team is the Rhewination!

8659935_origDeek and Erin– Join the Rhewination! 😉

The Prophecy(Fulfillment Series Book 1)

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Title: The Prophecy

Author: Erin Rhew

Publisher: BookFish Books

Cover Design: Anita at Race-Point

Available Now! Amazon Buy Link

Synopsis:

Growing up on a small farm in the kingdom of Vanguard, seventeen-year-old Layla Givens lives a deceptively tranquil existence. But her carefully constructed life quickly falls apart when she’s abducted by a religious zealot who proclaims her The Fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy and whisks her away to marry her greatest enemy.

Wilhelm, Prince of the Ethereals, is reluctant to meet his new bride. He’s grown up believing Vanguards are evil, an enemy to fight and fear…not love. Can he set aside his prejudices and work alongside Layla to bring lasting peace after centuries of war?

Nash, a loner who has never fit in, carries a huge secret, one big enough to destroy both kingdoms. When he accidentally meets Layla, he’s no longer content to live in the shadows, but he must resist his growing attraction–for her safety and for the longevity of the two kingdoms.

When Nash’s secret is revealed, a firestorm sweeps through both realms, with Layla at the center. Now she must choose between duty and desire while the fate of two nations hangs in the balance.

 

The Outlanders (Fulfillment Series Book 2)

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Title: The Outlanders

Author: Erin Rhew

Publisher: BookFish Books

Cover Design: Anita at Race-Point

Available Now! Amazon Buy Link

The Fulfillment (Fulfillment Series Book 3)

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Title: The Fulfillment

Author: Erin Rhew

Publisher: BookFish Books

Cover Design: Anita at Race-Point

Available Now! Amazon Buy Link

About Erin Rhew

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Erin Rhew is an editor, a running coach, and the author of The Fulfillment Series. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the “Grammar Police.”
A Southern girl by blood and birth, Erin now lives in a rainy pocket of the Pacific Northwest with the amazingly talented (and totally handsome) writer Deek Rhew and their “overly fluffy,” patient-as-a-saint writing assistant, a tabby cat named Trinity. She and Deek enjoy reading aloud to one another, running, lifting, boxing, eating chocolate, and writing side-by- side.

 

Connect with Erin Online!

For the latest and greatest, visit her web page:

www.ErinRhewBooks.com

 

About Deek Rhew

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Deek lives in a rainy pocket in the Pacific Northwest with the stunning YA author bride, Erin Rhew, and their writing assistant, a fat tabby named Trinity. They enjoy lingering in the mornings, and often late into the night, caught up Erin’s fantastic fantasy worlds of noble princes and knights and entwined in Deek’s dark underworld of the FBI and drug lords.

He and Erin love to share books by reading aloud to one another. In addition, they enjoy spending time with friends, running, boxing, lifting weights, and exploring the little town–with antique shops and bakeries–they call home.

Connect with Deek!

For the latest and greatest, visit his web page:
www.DeekRhewBooks.com

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Want a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card?

DEEK RHEW: 122 RULES – AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT

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Rhew 2 Rhew Blog Tour – 122 Rules Book Blitz Extravaganza!


How’s that for a catchy title? What a crazy adventure this has been FIVE years in the making, and it has finally arrive: 122 Rules has been born unto the world. The stories I could tell just so I could tell you this story…well, let’s just say it’s been an interesting, educational, and life-altering adventure.

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This has been a grand journey, filled with hardships, fun, learning, and growth. But of all the things that have happened on the writing road, meeting the love of my life is the most unlikely and easily the luckiest, most blessed things to have ever happened to me.

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Ahhhh, it’s cold out here!

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Do ya feel lucky punk? Well, do ya?

Erin Rhew and I started out as critique partners, became friends, and now she’s my bride. She’s my best friend and partner in all things. Even if I don’t sell a single copy of my writings, I’ll always be a smashing success because I met Erin.

Book Blitz

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On this half of the Rhewination tour, I am visiting blogs all over the globe, from Australia to the farthest corners in Canada. Next week, on the second half of the tour, Erin will be gracing the pages of 50+ bloggers!

In addition, we are giving away a $50 Amazon gift card! Prepare yourselves to win!

122 Rules

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Today, we are announcing my adult thriller novel, 122 Rules.

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Synopsis
In his black and white world, Sam Bradford–former Marine turned government assassin–finally sees a speck of grey. He has always followed orders without question, but his latest assignment threatens to disrupt the precision of his universe and may either severe or redeem his last remaining sliver of humanity.

Using his mastery of the 122 Rules of Psychology, Sam hunts down everyone The Agency sends him to find and eliminates them. Just as he has his rifle scope focused on his latest victim, Monica Sable, a SoCal girl entangled with the mob, his long-dormant conscience reappears for a final performance…one last ditch effort to save the sinking ship of Sam’s soul. He’s killed innocents before, but tarries on pulling the trigger this time.

When Monica escapes his crosshairs and fumbles her way across the country in a pathetic attempt to elude capture, Sam gives chase. But he’s not the only one after her. Ruthless henchmen, hired by the mob, froth like bloodhounds and nip at Monica’s heels. Now Sam is faced with a choice: turn his back on the rules and jeopardize his way of life by helping her or join the pack and rip her to shreds.


What are readers saying?

122 Rules is a fast-paced thrill-ride, filled with rich characters living in an expertly woven world of mystery and suspense. Deek Rhew’s debut novel will take readers by storm, and keep them coming back for sequels.

​~Michelle K. Pickett, Bestselling and award-winning author of PODs and Unspeakable.

The perfect, fast-paced novel for fans of kick-butt heroines, creepy killers, and getting caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. An absolute must-read!

~Meradeth Houston, author of Travelers, An Absence of Light, and the Sary Society Series

Visit Amazon and Goodreads!

While you’re on Deek’s site check out Birth of an American Gigolo.

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Synopsis

An old party girl shoehorned into domestic divaship, infuriated by her husband’s cheating and his holier-than-thou, tree-hugging, no-tits and no-hips girlfriend, inflicts her wrath by training a local boy in the fine art of seduction. She and her new boy toy turned love god start a gigolo business as a distraction for the neglected and mistreated housewives of Alabaster Cove.

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Take a selfie with your ebook or paper copy of Birth and post it on social media with the tag #BirthSelfie. We’ll post you on the Rhewination web site!

Deek Rhew

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Deek lives in a rainy pocket in the Pacific Northwest with the stunning YA author bride, Erin Rhew, and their writing assistant, a fat tabby named Trinity. They enjoy lingering in the mornings, and often late into the night, caught up Erin’s fantastic fantasy worlds of noble princes and knights and entwined in Deek’s dark underworld of the FBI and drug lords.

He and Erin love to share books by reading aloud to one another. In addition, they enjoy spending time with friends, running, boxing, lifting weights, and exploring the little town–with antique shops and bakeries–they call home.

Connect with Deek!


For the latest and greatest, visit his web page:
www.DeekRhewBooks.com

Next week be on the lookout for Erin’s:
The Fulfillment Series Blitz Extravaganza!

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Erin Rhew’s book that started it all, The Prophecy!

 

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Erin Rhew’s, The Outlanders!

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Erin Rhew’s, The Fulfillment

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Erin Rhew is an editor, a running coach, and the author of The Fulfillment Series. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written

word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the “Grammar Police.”

A Southern girl by blood and birth, Erin now lives in a rainy pocket of the Pacific Northwest with the amazingly talented (and totally handsome) writer Deek Rhew and their “overly fluffy,” patient-as-a-saint writing assistant, a tabby cat named Trinity. She and Deek enjoy reading aloud to one another, running, lifting, boxing, eating chocolate, and writing side-by-side.

 

Artwork

Authors, do you think the artwork for The Prophecy, The Outlanders, The Fulfillment, Birth of an American Gigolo, and 122 Rules is as stunning as we do? Visit Race-Point.com to find out how you can get the amazing Anita to work on your book as well!