Saturday, January 31, 2015

31 Days of Better Blogging: Day 31 - Test Your Blog!

Today is the FINAL day of 31 Days of Better Blogging!! 


The last challenge is all about testing your blog. 

These are some really good sites to test your blog's speed, SEO, ranking, and how it looks on different browsers: 

Thanks for hanging around and following along with me to see if I actually finished the challenge!! 

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Friday, January 30, 2015

BOOK BLITZ: Clarity: The Complete Series - Loretta Lost + Giveaway!!

Book & Author Details:

Clarity – The Complete Series by Loretta Lost 
Publication date: December 17th 2014 
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

This bundle contains all three books in the Clarity series:

Clarity 1

Her world has always been dark, but he might be able to change everything…

Fiercely independent Helen Winters was born completely blind, but she vowed never to let her disability keep her down. She did not expect a traumatic event to devastate her life and force her to drop out of college. Disillusioned by the cruelty of people, Helen retreated from society to live by herself as a reclusive writer in the woods–where no one could ever hurt her again.
When a brilliant young doctor shows up on her doorstep, promising her that his new research can give her the ability to see for the first time, Helen stubbornly refuses. She has learned not to trust anyone, and to rely only on herself. But Dr. Liam Larson will not take no for an answer. He makes it his personal mission to rescue Helen from her loneliness, and bring joy into her world once more–the joy she has denied herself for so long.
When Helen’s demons come racing back into her life, threatening to rip her apart and destroy the strength she has carefully rebuilt, Liam is the only one who might be able to save her. Can he reach the broken girl in time, helping her to heal and see the world in a different light? Or will Helen’s grief send her spiraling out of control, lost to him forever?

Clarity 2:

When violent memories come racing back, he is her only hope…

Helen Winters was living a lonely existence when the charming Dr. Liam Larson coaxed her out of solitude with the promise of healing her sightless eyes. She was hopeful at the prospect of gaining vision for the first time and being reunited with her family. She was also growing somewhat fond of the persuasive young doctor. For the first time in years, she was being magnetically drawn to a new friend…
Then everything came crashing down.
Plunged into a hellish nightmare, Helen is forced to face the same evils she ran away to escape so long ago. She is unprepared to have her hopes crushed and her peace destroyed. She finds herself living in constant terror and drowning in fear–and Liam’s voice is the only thing that can keep her afloat. His comforting touch becomes the only light in her pitch-black darkness. Helen has always been a tough girl who relied only on herself. But this time, she can’t survive alone. Due to the horrors of her past, Helen has promised herself not to trust anyone. When her life becomes unbearable, how can she trust Liam enough to let him save her?

Clarity 3:

After many years of darkness, Winter never thought that she’d be happy or safe again. Her whole world changed when she met Liam Larson, a charming young doctor determined to be her knight in shining armor. When a brutal night unleashes vicious reminders of her past, Winter must struggle to hold on to the little bit of happiness she has found.

When everything begins to fall apart, Liam’s strength and kindness might not be enough to save her. Battling with the betrayal of her family, terrifying nightmares, and frequent reminders of her enemy that make daily life difficult, Winter’s first instinct is to run away. She is tired of being the victim and living in a cruel, crowded city where she doesn’t feel like she belongs.
But Liam promises her that if she only trusts him, he can change everything. And that’s exactly what he attempts to do, starting with an operation to heal her eyes, and then her heart…


Buy links for the first two books in the Judge Me Not trilogy: 
--I Stand Before You (Judge Me Not #1): 
Amazon | B&N

--Never Doubt Me (Judge Me Not #2): 

Amazon | B&N

“If you’re going to study under me, the number one rule is that you should not be afraid of touch.” The teacher’s voice is calm and pleasant, and I am eager to absorb his every word. “If someone tries to grab you or hit you, then they are stepping onto your battlefield. Your body is your turf—and the moment someone steps onto your turf, you are no longer blind. If they touch you, you touch them back. You grab whatever you can. If you can feel your attacker, you can see your attacker.”
“Okay,” I say softly.
“Do you see this?” James reaches out to touch my shoulder. “Now you know exactly where I am. Now you have valuable information about me—all the information you need to take me down.”
I nod in understanding.
“And now—observe this,” James says removing his hand from my shoulder. He steps around me, slowly circling my body. “Now that I am no longer touching you, I have become invisible to you. I could be anywhere around you. You have some clues, but not all the clues you need. You don’t want to run away. You don’t want more space between us. You want to move into me so that you can see my body and neutralize it so that it is no longer a threat. It might seem counterintuitive at first, but you’ll soon understand once we begin training.”
My mind is blown. It makes so much sense. When Grayson attacked me, I ran away. I am always getting nervous and flinching away from contact with people. I never realized that doing so gave them the power.
“Remember this concept,” James says again. “If they’re not touching you, they’re invisible. So take advantage of touch, and make it your friend—not your enemy.”
I take a deep breath and nod thankfully. “I will,” I say with determination. It also occurs to me that I have psychological issues with running away. Going to New Hampshire might have saved my skin for the time being, but it did not erase my problems completely. Instead, it exposed my home to infiltration from my attacker. If I had stayed, and pushed forward instead of caving in, I could have changed everything.
I want to change everything.
“It’s good to keep your enemies close,” Liam tells me, “so don’t worry. We’ll teach you what you need to do.”
“And I have the perfect way to start!” James says happily. “Winter, how would you like to kick Liam’s ass a lot?”
A laugh bubbles out of my throat. “Really? I think I’d love that.”
“Darn,” Liam says in dismay. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author: 

Loretta Lost writes for the same reason that you read: to experience all the love and excitement that can often be lacking from real life. She finds it therapeutic to explore her issues through the eyes of a different person. She hopes to have a family someday, but until then, her characters will do nicely.

Author links:

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31 Days of Better Blogging: Day 30 - Brainstorming


Day 30 is all about brainstorming!! 

As a writer, brainstorming is very important to me. Some of the best ideas I've had in my writing and in other areas of my life have come from brainstorming sessions. I've also wondered about my sanity during brainstorming situations. There are some scary things floating around in this head! 

I have five tips for brainstorming. These are things that I use to help me come up with ideas: 
  • Listen to music that fits the mood or theme of whatever you're trying to come up with. For example, I listen to a lot of jazz music when I'm trying to develop characters. I like characters who have soft and hard edges like some jazz music so sometimes I grab my headphones, turn up the volume, and lay back on the couch until something comes to me. (Or I fall asleep. Don't do this if you're sleepy.) 
  • Write down everything. Dump it all out on a piece of paper, a Word document, a note app on your phone, or even a cocktail napkin. Whatever you have on hand, write everything in your brain on that. When I was working in retail and I came across a brilliant idea, I'd write it down on receipt paper. I ended up with stacks and stacks of little notes but it helped me keep from forgetting my ideas. 
  • Phone a friend. Or text. Bounce ideas off of someone you trust who will not judge you if you send them a message at 3 A.M. Especially if that message says something like , "I created a fictional cat in this story because I want a cat and the hubs says we can't have one." (Not that I've sent something like that to anyone.) 
  • Get a hobby. I've had some "lightbulb" moments while I was immersed in one of my favorite hobbies. There are several times I've been working on a piece of jewelry and think about what it would look like on a character. Usually a dead character but beggars can't be choosers, right? 
  • Have a good sense of humor. Allow yourself to be silly, even more so when you're getting frustrated with yourself or the situation. Find something funny in your brainstorming process and give yourself a good laugh. Don't be so serious! 
I hope some of my tips help with your brainstorming process. What are some things you do to help brainstorm? 

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#Feature & Follow Friday - Hard Print or Kindle/Nook?


This is my second Feature and Follow  Friday! I would do more but I always seem to forget until it's Sunday and then it's too late. I love reading the Feature and Follow posts because they always feature cool bloggers and I love the questions because, let's just be honest, I'm nosey and I like to know what other people are thinking and doing with their life. 

You can check out the featured blogger, find out how FF works, and read up on the rules here. 

This Weeks Question: 
Hard print (real thing) or Kindle/Nook, which is your favorite? 

I will always choose the real thing over an e-book any day! Before I started blogging I wouldn't even touch an e-reader. I like being able to hold the book in my hand and thumb the pages while I read. BUT I have grown quite fond of the Kindle app on my phone. I love being able to pick up my phone at any time and have a book right there at my fingers. Especially when I'm somewhere I don't want to be or my social anxiety is kicking in. I can sit and read and calm myself down. Not too mention I have become addicted to free books on Kindle. I have as much trouble saying "NO" to the free Kindle books as I do the review books from NetGalley and Edelweiss. I guess I'm a bit of a book slut, I'll take it anyway I can get it. 

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Thursday, January 29, 2015

31 Days of Better Blogging: Day 29 - User Friendly

Today is about making sure your website is user friendly! 

In order to make sure your website is user friendly you should: 

  • Make sure your menus work
  • Make sure your links work
  • Your contact info should be placed somewhere that will be easily seen 
  • Your layout should be streamlined and easy to navigate
  • Your font should be easy to read
  • Sidebars should free of clutter and only filled with things that are of vital importance to you and your readers 

Is your site user friendly?

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BOOK BLITZ: Into A Million Pieces - Angela V. Cook + GIVEAWAY!!

Into a Million Pieces
Release Date: 01/2015
300 pages

Summary from Goodreads:
Allison McKready is a succubus. So is her twin sister. But while Allison spends her summer break hiding in the library behind her Goth makeup, Jade fools around as often as she can. Allison can’t believe Jade would ignore their mother’s fatal example so recklessly, but concealing a cursed bloodline and its dangerous effects is far from Allison’s only problem. Mean girl Julie’s snob mob is determined to ruin her summer, and Aunt Sarah’s Bible thumping is getting louder. Only her new friend, Ren Fisher, offers safe haven from the chaos of her life.

When one of Jade’s risky dates leads to humiliation and sudden tragedy, Allison reels, and Ren catches her. But as her feelings for him grow, so does her fear that she’ll hurt him—or worse—in an unguarded moment. The choice is coming—love him or save him—but Allison might not live to make it. One way or another, the curse will have its due.

Buy Links:
AmazonBarnes & NobleKobo BooksGoogle Play

Trailer Link:

About the Author

Angela V. Cook lives a very unexciting, but never boring, life with her husband and two children just outside of Detroit. Like most writers, she’s been making up stories for as long as she can remember and can’t imagine a life that doesn’t involve creating worlds.

Angela loves to write novels for teens because it’s the best outlet for her sarcastic personality, immature sense of humor, and love of romantic firsts. Her idea of the perfect day involves a quiet house, a good book, and a piece of cheesecake. Or two.

Author Links:

The giveaway (open to Continental U.S. only)
This is a summary of the giveaway items. Additional information (covers/blurbs/photos/descriptions) of the giveaway items can be found on my website,

Grand Prize:
Signed Copy of SUMMER ON THE SHORT BUS by Bethany Crandell, along with two signed bookmarks
Signed Copy of PRESS PLAY by Eric Devine
Signed Copy of ESSENCE by Lisa Ann O’Kane, along with two ESSENCE buttons
Signed Copy of THE HUNDRED: FALL OF THE WENTS by Jennifer Prescott
8x10 ENSNARED art print by Nathalia Suellen, signed by NYT Bestselling Author A.G. Howard

Two runner-up prizes:
Each runner-up will receive a $10 Amazon gift card, and a signed INTO A MILLION PIECES bookmark

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Blitz Organized by:

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