CTR Current Contests and Events

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Run the Risk Blog Tour with Guest Post from Author Lori Foster

Today I have Lori Foster on the blog with a guest post. Her new novel, Run The Risk, is newly released. If you would like to follow the Blog Tour for the book, be sure to check out the Run The Risk Blog Post. I'm pretty excited to be part of the Blog Tour. Lori has written some pretty great books and I can't wait to sink into this one!

Here's a little about Run the Risk:

When Detective Logan Riske goes undercover to find Pepper Yates, a potential link to his best friend's unsolved murder, he vows to gain her cooperation by any means necessary. But the elusive beauty is more suspicious—and in far more danger—than he expected. And the last thing Logan needs is to start caring for her….Pepper has spent years dodging the corrupt club owner who will stop at nothing to keep her silenced. She can trust no one, not even the handsome new "construction worker" who's moved in next door. The heat between them is undeniable. But will surrendering to passion bring her the safety she so desires—or will her feelings for Logan draw them both into a killer's crosshairs?

And here is Lori's post.

3.      When you come up with an idea for a novel, do you imagine it as a series or standalone? Do you think in terms of chapters? How do you envision the book?
I never think beyond the first scene that comes to me, or the current scene I’m writing. What happens for me is that I see a situation – see it, like I’m watching a movie - and most times the hero is the dominant force of the scene. From there, the hero tells me his story as I write it. 

In the beginning, I’m only interested in getting that first scene down on paper. Little clues pop up as I need them. The hero – who is always the biggest visual for me – makes himself more known as I go along. It’s really sort of magical how it happens. The characters introduce themselves, popping up when I least expect them. And they tell me the story – what they think I need to know, when they think I need to know it. 

My current series is a little different because four heroes got introduced in the first book! Far as I can remember, that’s the first time that has ever happened. As soon as each guy hit the page, he made it clear he had a story to tell. I don’t know everything about his story until I start writing it, but each one told me they would want a book. 

For timing purposes – because I’m pathetic when it comes to numbers – I pace the length of the book by keeping most chapters around 20 to 25 manuscript pages. That gives me, and the characters, a sense of when the book should be wrapping up.

 Have you picked up Run the Risk yet? Tell us what you thought in the comment section. Haven't read it? What is your favorite Lori Foster book?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Book Tour: Dark Frost with Q&A with Jennifer Estep

I'm pretty excited to have Jennifer Estep back on the blog. Those of you who have read my reviews, you know how much I love Jennifer's work and have heard me gush about how great her series are. I'm proud to be apart of the Dark Frost Blog Tour and to get to spend some time telling you why you need to read this book. Or the series if you haven't yet. Because it's awesome.

Jennifer let me ask her a few short questions not only about the book, it was hard, I wanted to ask her about so much, but it would have been too spoilery and I'd rather satisfy my curiosity in the next book.

So, here are some questions I got to ask Jennifer.

What was your biggest challenge when writing Dark Frost or other books in the series?

JE: One of my biggest challenges is just finding the time to write. There are so many other things that authors do – answer e-mails and reader comments, keep up with social media, get the word out about our books – that it’s sometimes hard for me to just sit down and make the time to write.

There were also some scenes in DARK FROST that were challenging for me to write. I won’t spoil the scenes here, but Gwen goes through a lot both physically and emotionally in this book. But trying to capture what she goes through and how it impacts and changes her was a fun challenge, and I hope readers enjoy the book.

Things get a bit rough towards the end of this book, do you already have an idea of how the series will turn out, or are you going from book to book?

JE: A little bit of both. I know the big plot points and story arcs and how I want things to end (although that could change a bit as I write more books in the series). I won’t say too much here, but I know how what happens to Gwen at the end of DARK FROST will set up and play out over the next few books. But I am also a panster when I write, so I don’t do a lot of detailed outlines or things like that. In some cases, I just sort of go where Gwen, her voice, and the rest of the characters take me.

Gwen has some pretty great lines in this book. Is it easy for you to come up with these funny, snarky lines?

JE: Most of my heroines have a little bit of snark, sass, and sarcasm in them, and Gwen is no different. I like coming up with snappy things for her to say. Some of them work better than others, but I enjoy trying to give her some witty comebacks.

You write both adult and young adult novels. Do you have a preference when writing? Is it a challenge to go from adult to young adult?

JE: I like writing both adult and young adult novels, and all of my books have a lot of the same elements in them – a strong, sassy heroine, magic, and lots of action and fight scenes. As an author, it’s nice for me to be able to write something dark and gritty with my Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series and then write something that’s a little lighter and more of a coming-of-age story with my Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series.

It’s always challenging to write a book, no matter what genre you are working in. But it was a little more of a challenge for me to do write in a new genre with a YA series and try to capture that YA voice, but you always want to keep growing as a writer, and I think writing the Mythos Academy series has helped me do that.

Are there any other series on the horizon?

JE: Right now, I’m pretty busy writing my Elemental Assassin and Mythos Academy series, but I have a couple of ideas for new series. We’ll see what happens.


Jennifer is giving away a paper copy of her new book, Dark Frost! Check out a few rules for entrying.

  • Open to US only
  • One entry per person
  • Must leave your email in your comment
  • Winner will have 48 hours to respond to winning email before another winner is chosen
That's it! Be sure to leave Jennifer some love in the comments too! I want to thank Jennifer for having me on the tour and for being on the blog today!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cornerstone Blog Tour with Exceprt

Well, it seems I've had a bit of trouble getting this one up. My apologies to Misty! But I'm glad to have her on the blog and to tell you guys a bit about her book. It's a bit out of my normal range of genres. But I'm glad I got to read it and I hope that you guys will take a chance on it.

Here's a bit about the book:

CORNERSTONE is the story of Nalena Maxwell, a girl who's been dubbed The Waste at her new school, due to her mom's obsessive paper hoarding. Nalena desperately needs something to change in her life. But when she receives a sign (and it's the wrong dang one) that invites her into an ancient community, EVERYTHING changes- what she knew of her family and her life and her future. While seventeen years worth of family skeletons come crashing into Nalena's life, it is the boy...the one with eyes as clean as Jesus...that steps up to help Nalena figure out what he already knows about her...
 Misty has provided me with an excerpt of her story. So enjoy this enticing piece!

Something big happened.  
    I know it because Cora is waiting for me on the school’s front steps.  Cora is maybe the only friend I’ll ever have at Simon Valley High.  She is the polar opposite of popular and she was one of the girls that used to follow me around, trying to worship me when I first came to the school.  Now, the way things have worked out, she is a step above me on the popularity scale, because even though she’s awkward and a little repulsive in her habits, she’s not considered a freak.  She’s been in the Simon Valley Public School System since kindergarten and due to the familiarity, she’s escaped their perpetual ridicule.  Instead, our peers have granted her the privilege of being completely ignored.  She doesn’t see it that way.  
    I think Cora was delighted when the popular crowd spit me out.  It wasn’t exactly personal, but it meant that there were finally some shoulders for her to stand on instead of being on the rock bottom of the social pyramid herself.  Not wanting to jeopardize any upward mobility on the coolness meter, Cora distanced herself from me along with everyone else and our friendship was reduced to covert waves while passing in the halls.   
    What worries me now is that Cora only wants to talk to me publicly when there is something really big going on.  The last time we talked was about three weeks ago, when she met me at my locker to say that there was a rumor going around that my mother was insane and got carted off to a mental institution over the weekend.  She said she wanted to make sure it was really a rumor.  As soon as I verified that it was, she went off with her mouth shut.  It’s not like she’d go spreading around the truth.  I’ve just come to accept that Cora is the closest thing I’m going to get, as far as having a friend, until I graduate.
    I see her immediately as I climb the steps, sausaged into her usual white button down sweater, even though it is too warm for it.  She pulls a tissue out of her sleeve and dabs her nose excitedly as I approach.  Cora has post nasal drip that makes her a mouth breather.  When she’s excited, the air she sucks in sounds too juicy.  
    She scurries down the steps to meet me and I hear her trying to breathe through her saliva.  Whatever news she has must be really big to have her producing so much spit.  My stomach fills up with an uncomfortable heat as I think about the boy at the library last night.
    “Garrett Reese is asking around about you!”  Cora bubbles.  Literally.  A bubble of spit sticks in the corner of her mouth and she wipes it away with an enthusiastic flick of her tongue.   “How does he know about you?  Were you really kissing in the library?  That’s what Nikki Legarno said, but I told her that couldn’t be right.”
    A wave of hot, rancid stomach soup rolls through me.  Garrett Reece.  The boy has a name.  And he is exactly the worst thing I expected him to be: popular.  I put my hand over my eyes to shut Cora out.  My brain curls into a knuckle.  The boy, with eyes as clean as Jesus, is asking about me.  So, today he’ll find out.  His interest in me will end and what his curiosity will cost me will just begin to tabulate.  I try to steady myself for seeing the words scrawled across my locker again.  
    Cora taps my hand.  
    “Are you okay?”  she asks, but she doesn’t wait for my answer.  “You know who he is, don’t you?  Oh my gawd he’s got the most gorgeous blue eyes ever!   I would die just to have him look at me!  I mean, he’s not all muscley like Jake O’Keefe or Brent Goudreau, but he’s hot.  It’s because he’s really, really good at sports.  Did you know he’s like...all star everything?  He won all kinds of medals for wrestling and track and I heard he could pitch a baseball through the side of an army tank.  I think he’s super cute...even if he’s not all muscley.”  She takes a big, spitty breath.  “He’s super smart too.  Oh!  And he’s a Classic.”     
    I slide my hand up and grip my brow.  “Classic?”  
    “Oh, you know!  The Middleditch twins are too.  They all drive the old clunkers. Well, not clunkers, really.  They all have super old cars in mint condition.  I think Garrett’s is the nicest, though.  You had to’ve seen it before.  It’s the burgundy Riviera...”   
    “Okay.”  Is all I can think to say because I think I’m going to pass out.  Or throw up.  Or both.  The other students are pushing past me, around me, knocking me out of their way to get to their first hour classes.  I’m scared to death to go inside and face my locker.
    “Okay?  What do you mean, okay?”  Cora asks.  “Give me the scoop.  Why’s he asking about you?  Did you know he was going to?”
    “Really?” Cora dabs off her nose and swallows down another breath.  She’s thoughtful for a minute, scanning the grounds and picking through the swarm of students as if she hopes to find this boy.  My stomach rocks.  “What about the kiss?”
    “There wasn’t any kiss.  Last night’s the first time I ever met him.”  I tell her.  I don’t know why I’m telling her anything except that I have to tell someone something.  “I was at the library studying and he came and sat by me.”
    “Sat by you?  Did he say anything?”
    “Not really.”
    “He didn’t say hi or anything?  He must’ve said something.”
    “We talked about finals.”  I’m swaying, even though my feet are flat on the cement step beneath me.
    “You don’t look good.  Are you okay?”  Cora asks.    
    “No.”  I say.  She steadies me by wrapping her hand, the one with the wet Kleenex, around my upper arm.  And I’m grateful.  
    “Well, come on.” She gives me a reassuring tug toward the front doors.  “I’ll walk you in, okay?  Maybe we’ll see him.”
    “I hope not.”  I mumble.
    “Is it because of your house?”  Cora asks.  I don’t even bother to answer her.

Want to know what I thought of it? Check out my review:

I wasn't quite sure what I was getting into when I first opened this up. To be honest, the whole paper hoarding thing was almost off putting, since my mom is a hoarder, just not a paper hoarder.. But really, it does have a place in the story, and once it starts to all make sense, the book really takes off.

This has a slight paranormal touch to it. This novel doesn't really go into the whole new world, but we learn right along with Nalena. Nalena was interesting. I kept wanting her to stand up for herself, but as things progressed through the novel and we start to see changes in her, I was excited by the time I finished the book. I had high hopes for Nalena and she definitely shows so much potential as she learns her new life.

I enjoyed reading this novel. The book left me with a want to get my hands on the second, while not a cliffhanger, there is still so much to come that I wanted, needed, to know what happens next. This book is well worth the time and money.

 Thanks to Misty for putting on the tour and for letting me review her book. I hope you take a chance with the book and that you enjoy it!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Spring Blog Carnival: The Vagabond Booth

Spring Blog Carnival 

Welcome, welcome, welcome! So, now that you spend some time traveling the internet for the Spring Blog Carnival, I have a few travel things I'd like to share with my fellow vagabonds. 

Travel Tips:
1. Baggy clothing might be more comfortable, but when going through security at the airport, train station, etc, it's better to skip on the clothing that makes it look like you could be smuggling something. Fitted clothing is preferred if you don't want a pat down.

2. Make sure you if you plan on buying things to make sure you have enough space in your suitcase for everything. This one I learned the hard way in Paris on our mini trip from London.

3. When visiting a foreign country, there are things you can do to not stand out. Jeans, baseball caps, sneakers and such are American things. This wasn't such a bad thing in the UK for me and the hubs. But in Paris, it got us a few dirty looks from the locals.

4. Don't plan everything down to the very last detail. There will be things that catch your eye and side track you.Try to leave a day of relaxation as well. It's easy to get run down fast when always on the go.

Okay. Now, on to the challenge!

This is pretty simple. It's a scrambler. I've listed a few of the major ports for tourism from around the world. Unscramble the words below.

kynorew (2 words)
rpias (1 word)
ndnolo (1 word)
more (1 word)

So, if you want to win a prize, successfully unscramble the words and post your answers in the comment section below along with your email.  What prize are you playing for?  For this:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

Contest is open until May 15th.
Anyone is able to enter, one entry per person. 
Be sure to include your email in with your answers.
Contest is open Internally anywhere Book Depository will ship.
Good luck and happy reading!
If you haven't already, be sure to check out all the other great booths!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Review: In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

In Too DeepReleased: February 8th 2012
Publisher: Flux
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
I never meant for anyone to get hurt. All I wanted to do that night was make a play for Carter Wellesley. His heartless rejection was mortifying, but people got the wrong idea when they saw me leaving his bedroom, crying. That’s how rumors of rape started.
Now girls at school are pouring out their sympathy to me. Guys too. But not everyone’s on my side. The school has become a war zone and the threats are getting scary. What began as poetic justice has morphed into something bigger—forcing me to make a terrible choice.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: Just Your Average Princess by Kristina Springer

Just Your Average PrincessReleased: October 11th 2011
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Rated: YA
Buy: Amazon
Jamie Edwards has loved everything about growing up on a pumpkin patch, but ever since her cousin Milan Woods arrived, things have really stunk. Jamie can’t imagine it was easy for Milan to leave her life back in Los Angeles and move to Average, Illinois, population one thousand. But it’s kind of hard to feel sorry for her since (a) Milan’s drop-dead gorgeous; (b) she’s the daughter of two of Hollywood’s hottest film stars; (c) she’s captured the attention of everyone in town, including Danny, Jamie’s crush since forever; and (d) she’s about to steal the title of Pumpkin Princess right out from underneath Jamie!


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