Author Assistant Services

Are you an author in need of help and looking for an assistant on a full-time, part-time, or as-needed basis? Well, then I'm your gal! Learn more about the services I provide HERE.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!



To all those who celebrate, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas filled with family, fun, and love!




Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Until Midnight Launches Today! {Giveaway}


Happy Holidays, everyone! I’m Melissa Landers, author of the Alienated series, and I have a present for you—a brand new e-short from Disney Hyperion!

UNTIL MIDNIGHT takes place onboard an intergalactic transport, soon after ALIENATED ends and before the sequel INVADED begins. The story details Aelyx and Cara’s last day together before he returns to Earth to mend the alliance and she continues to his home planet. It’s sweet and romantic, and as a bonus, it includes a four-chapter preview of the sequel, which releases February 3rd

Oh, and did I mention the best part? IT’S FREE!

You can download UNTIL MIDNIGHT from the following e-tailers:

*If you live outside the USA, no worries. I’ve uploaded the story to Scribd for you. (The only downside is it doesn’t include the bonus preview chapters, due to technical reasons from the publisher.) Link: http://www.scribd.com/AuthorMelissaLanders

To celebrate this new release, I’m offering TWO lucky winners an autographed swag pack complete with a personalized bookplate, mini-poster, bookmarks, and stickers—open internationally! Just fill out the rafflecopter form below.

Best of luck, and happy reading!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Melissa Landers writes romantic science fiction for teens and the young at heart. To learn more, or just to say hello, visit her at www.melissa-landers.com

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

One Song Away Blog Tour {Interview and Giveaway}


I'm so excited to have the One Song Away Blog Tour stopping by today with my interview with author Molli Moran and a giveaway...


One Song Away
by Molli Moran
12/1/14
New Adult 

She needs a fill-in boyfriend. He needs a favor. It’s the perfect, no-strings arrangement until they both realize it’s too real…

Sophie-Claire Wright’s life is like a bad country song on repeat. She keeps running into her cheating ex, her songwriting career isn’t taking off, and her roommate just kicked her out of their apartment. With nothing to lose, she decides to do the one thing she said she’d never do: she moves back home. She left her small Southern town with big dreams, but now she’s going home with empty pockets.

Life moves at a slower pace in Sophie’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hometown, but her well-meaning, matchmaking mama doesn’t have a slow gear. Sophie invents a boyfriend to hold off her mother’s efforts, but she’s out of luck when her mom wants to meet him. Sophie panics until she runs into Jake Cooper. Her high school crush is back in town, too, and when he asks her for a favor, she agrees—on one condition. He says he’ll be her fill-in boyfriend, so it should be simple: introduce him to her family and then “break up” with him after a few weeks.

Sophie is sure she’ll be able to resist Jake this time and that their fake relationship will keep them both away from wagging tongues. Sure, she was in love with him years ago, but that was then. This is now, no matter how great he looks, or how she feels around him. But she didn’t bargain for moments that feel all too genuine. Dates that don’t seem fake. Kisses that leave her shaken and wanting more. And she didn’t count on old feelings resurfacing and complicating their arrangement—which is starting to feel less like acting and more like the real deal.

Soon, Sophie can’t tell which kisses are real or fake, but she knows she’s in deep…and she thinks Jake is, too. When she gets a chance to go back to Nashville and chase her dreams again, she has a choice to make: stay or go? Continue hoping that the life she wants is one song away, or write her own?




What three words best describe One Song Away? 
Someone asked me this recently and this is SUCH a hard question. Haha. Okay, three words to describe One Song Away: heartwarming, swoon-worthy, brave.

Grab a copy of One Song Away and answer the following:
favorite chapter? Another hard question! Probably Chapter 17, for spoiler-ish reasons.

favorite page? Page 118/119 (on my e-reader) because reasons.

favorite setting? Hmm, probably Freshly Ground, the coffeehouse Sophie Claire spends a lot of time in, because a lot of fun things happen there.

flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser:

“Maybe I was thinking about work.”

She chokes on her sip of water and a hacking sound is all that emerges. “Right,” she says finally. “Cappucino makes you so happy that you get a silly grin on your face.” She reaches for my notebook on the coffee table. “If I open this, am I going to find pages with Sophie + Coop scribbled on them?”

Can you tell us a bit about your character Sophie-Claire? What makes her special and what do you love about her?
Sophie is an aspiring singer/songwriter who finds her life changing in a lot of ways when she moves back home. She’s got a dramatic side, and she loves her friends and life. She’s special to me because she’s learned who she is and is becoming proud of who she is. We don’t see a lot of heroines with confidence in YA or NA, so when Sophie HAD self-confidence to begin with, and learned more, I was so happy.

Since your character Sophie-Claire is an aspiring songwriter, how big of a role does music play in One Song Away? Is there a specific song that you associate with Sophie-Claire, Jake, or the book as a whole?
Music played a *huge* role in my writing process with One Song Away; I have a whole playlist, which I’ll be sharing part of during this blog tour. Country music especially makes up most of the playlist, since Sophie is a Tennessee girl. I would say the one song I associate most with Sophie-Claire is Cassadee Pope’s “You Hear a Song.”

If you could “borrow” ANY character from ANY medium (books, tv, comics, movies, etc) to write about, who would you choose and why?
Hmm, to write about…probably Gale Hawthorne from the Hunger Games series, because he’s one of my all time favorite characters. I’ve even written some fan fic starring him. ☺

As a New Adult author, why do think NA is so popular and important? What are some of your go-to New Adult recommendations? 
I think New Adult is so vital because we can’t overlook these readers who ARE new adults, and who are looking for books that will speak to them about their stage in life. Plus you have people who, like me, are just a few years beyond that age range, but can still identify with New Adult books. NA books are about people whose lives are just wide open with possibility: for a job, for a friendship, for romance, and I love reading about that.

A few favorites: Megan Erickson’s BOWLER UNIVERSITY series, anything Cora Carmack writes, Lia Riley’s OFF THE MAP series.

What is the best thing about being an author? The hardest? Most surprising?
The best thing is…getting to write. It’s my therapy, it’s a way of expressing myself, a way of reaching out to others and telling stories to make them smile or heal or feel better. The hardest is the occasional moment of self-doubt that comes along. And I’d say the most surprising is hearing how deeply my stories have touched a few people.

What was the last book or tv show or movie that:
made you laugh out loud? (TV show) Supernatural’s 200th episode!

made you cry? (Book) EVERYTHING LEADS TO YOU by Nina LaCour

scared you? (TV show) An episode of Sleepy Hollow

made you swoon? (Book) LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT by Dahlia Adler

inspired you? (TV show) Doctor Who, because it has such wonderful messages about love, bravery, friendship.

Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at Cooking!
I’m really embarrassed to admit That I’m scared of the dark.
The last great book I read was RUIN AND RISING by Leigh Bardugo.

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by One Song Away, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it? 
I think it would be a mocha inspired cupcake with vanilla sprinkles, and I’d call it the Rebel Cupcake…for reasons.

Thank you so much for stopping by, Molli!


Molli is a Southern writer who doesn’t consider her day complete if she hasn’t written. She loves coffee and talking fast, things she attributes to being raised by Gilmore Girls. She’s a romantic at heart, and brings that to her books. When not reading or blogging, she can be found obsessing over Doctor Who, cuddling her various pets, or spending time with friends, family, or her girlfriend.

$25 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
5 E-copies of One Song Away
2 One Song Away Swag Packs

(this is a tour wide giveaway and is open internationally)


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, December 15, 2014

Rebels By Accident Blog Tour {Excerpt and Giveaway}


I'm thrilled to have the Rebels By Accident Blog Tour stopping by today! You can read an excerpt of this wonderful YA book and enter to win a copy below...


Rebels by Accident
by Patricia Dunn
12/1/14
Sourcebooks Fire
A fresh and authentic coming-of-age story set during the early days of the Arab Spring.
All Mariam wanted was a vacation. What she got was a revolution...
It’s tough fitting in, especially when you have super-traditional Muslim parents and are the only Egyptian at your high school. So when Mariam and her best friend and fellow outcast, Deanna, get arrested after an ill-fated night of partying, she knows that she is in big trouble.
Convinced they need more discipline, their parents pack Mariam and Deanna off to Cairo to stay with Mariam’s grandmother, her sittu. But Mariam’s strict sittu and the country of her heritage are nothing like she imagined, challenging everything Mariam used to believe.
When a girl named Asmaa calls on the people of Egypt to protest against their president, Mariam and Deanna find themselves in the middle of a revtolution, running from teargas, dodging danger in the streets of Cairo, and falling in love for the first time. As Mariam struggles to reconcile her rich Egyptian heritage with her American identity, she finds that revolution is everywhere, including within herself.  


Praise for Rebels By Accident

“I laughed and I cried. The only thing left to say is ‘more please’!” —Randa Abdel-Fattah, author of Does My Head Look Big in This?

“An excellent young-adult novel that is an important and enjoyable read for both teenage girls and any adult wanting to understand more about the present-day life of Egyptian Americans.” —Kirkus
“A powerful coming-of-age story set on the brink of Egypt’s January 25 Revolution in 2011... Dunn allows Mariam’s voice its space—making it tentative, passionate, doubting, and utterly believable—while creating a cast of Cairo youth, rebels, and expatriates that upend Mariam’s preconceptions and will do the same for many readers.” Publishers Weekly
“The next best young adult novel. Educational without being preachy, light without being flimsy...Not only realistic, it’s grounded in current events.” —The Huffington Post

EXCERPT
from Rebels by Accident

Sixteen (well, almost sixteen), and I’m behind bars. Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic. It’s not as if I’m locked up with serial killers or slashers, but I’m in a cell. Deanna’s with me, along with about thirty other underage girls who were also at the party and didn’t run away in time or convince the police to let them go.

As we piled into squad cars, I watched these girls (and even a few guys) put on all the moves—-crying, flirting, screaming, fainting, even begging—-to get out of the arrest, but none of it worked.
I have to say Deanna gave it her best. Not being able to crack a smile really worked to her advantage when the officer in charge said to her that he was glad someone was taking the situation seriously. She wasn’t kidding when she said she was a great litigator like her mom. When the cop found me hiding in the bathtub with the shower curtain drawn (could I have picked a more obvious place?) and dragged me downstairs with the rest of the crowd, there was Deanna, telling the police we shouldn’t be responsible for the actions of some stupid guys who brought beer to the party. She almost had one cop convinced to let us go when Karen, the bane of my existence, stepped forward and threw up on his shoes.

All through elementary school and middle school, Karen and her drone Beth talked trash about me and my family. Their favorite insults were that my dad was in Al--Qaeda and my mom was only one of his many wives.

At least she’s not in our cell. They put her, and all the other vomiting kids, in a separate cell—-with buckets.

Still, it stinks in here. I stick my nose between the bars, trying to breathe air that doesn’t smell like puke, beer, or raw fish. Who has an open sushi bar at a high school party? Then again, what would I know about parties? This is the only party I’ve been to since first grade.

“Come on, Mar. It’s not that bad.” Deanna pushes against my shoulder. I don’t budge. I don’t say anything.

“Funny how we started the night trying to break into the party, and now we just want to get out.” Deanna stands closer to me, but I can’t even look at her. If I do, I’ll start to cry. And I’m already the biggest freak at school.

“Look, I know you’re flipping out here, but everything will be okay.”

“Are you kidding me?” I turn to her and lower my voice. “I’m in jail. Do you know how happy this is going to make my parents?”

“Happy?”

“Now they can feel totally justified when they never let me leave our apartment again.”

“Relax.”

Relax? We’ve just been arrested! We are in a holding cell with girls who have picked on me—-or, worse yet, ignored me—-since kindergarten. On top of that, my parents are going to kill me! Why did I let Deanna talk me into going to this party?

Okay, the truth: she didn’t have to talk me into anything. I wanted to go. I would’ve done anything, even lie to my parents, to crash a party. I knew I wasn’t invited and that I’d probably be kicked out as soon as someone saw me. But forcibly removed—-by the police? That I didn’t expect.

Still, I shouldn’t blame Deanna for helping me get what I wanted. But I do. It was an amazing night of music and dancing. Yes, I danced with three guys! And nobody made jokes about my dad being a towel--head or my uncle being Bin Laden…Tonight I was dancing and laughing. I wasn’t a freak or a weirdo; I was just another girl having fun.

“Actually,” I say, turning to Deanna, “thanks.”

“You’re thanking me?” she asks.

“Hey, I know I’m in big trouble but tonight was an adventure—-probably the last one I’ll have until I’m thirty.”

“Don’t mention it,” she says. Most people would say she has no expression on her face, but I can tell she’s smiling.


Patricia Dunn’s, Rebels By Accident, (Sourcebooks Fire, October 2014) tells the story of a troubled teen sent to Cairo who finds revolution is everywhere, including in ourselves.
Dunn was the managing editor of Muslimwakeup.com, America’s most popular Muslim online magazine from 2003-2008. She has an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College where she also teaches.
Her writing has appeared in Global City Review, where she edited the post-9-11 International Issue. Salon.com, Women’s eNews, The Christian Science Monitor, The Village Voice, The Nation, L.A. Weekly and other publications have featured her writing.
Her work is anthologized in Stories of Illness and Healing: Women Write Their Bodies, from Kent State University Press (2006); Progressive Muslim Identities: Personal Stories From the U.S. and Canada, Muslim Progressive Values; and most recently in the bestselling anthology, Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women, Soft Skull Press. She is featured on WISE Muslim Women.
Dunn was raised in the Bronx, became a political activist while living in Los Angeles, has traveled throughout the Middle East, and lived in Jordan and Egypt before settling back down in New York where she lives with her teenage son and her toddler dog.

Win a paperback copy of 
Rebels By Accident!
Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire, I have one copy for one winner.
DETAILS
-US only
-ends 12/26
-must be 13+ to enter
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-I am not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Anni Moon And The Elemental Artifact Blog Tour {Book Spotlight and Giveaway}


I'm over the moon excited to have the Anni Moon & The Elemental Artifact Blog Tour stopping by today...


Anni Moon & the Elemental Artifact
by Melanie Abed
9/30/14
Oculus Print

Anni doesn't know about Elementals, Funk, Zephyrs, excited talking Bat-Rat creatures, and, least of all, Dragons. All that changes when her best friend, Lexi, is kidnapped and forces beyond Anni’s control trap her on a hidden, floating island in the Elemental world.



In a race against time, Anni sets out to save her friend. Along the way she finds allies among the Elementals, but she is also presented with a choice, one that might help save Lexi. If Anni agrees to an ancient, open-ended contract, will her sacrifice cost her more than she’s bargained for? Or will it land her in the middle of an age-old war between the humans, the Elementals, and the dreaded Fectus?





Praise for Anni Moon...

A fast-paced adventure, a mystery, and a fantasy world all rolled into one!”

I really enjoyed the analogy in this fantasy.  In Anni Moon and the Elemental Artifact, the age-old fight of good against evil has been enhanced with the fantastic Melanie Abed imagination!”

I am hoping this is the beginning of a new series, as I’d love to read further adventures of the girls and their new friends, and family members.  I literally could not put the book down once I started to read!”



Win a copy of
Anni Moon and the Elemental Artifact!
I have one ebook copy for one lucky cupcake.
DETAILS
-open INT
-ends 12/19
-must be 13+ to enter
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

WAGGERS Blog Tour {Review, Interview, Giveaway]


I'm so doggone excited to have the WAGGERS Blog Tour stopping by today with my Review, an Author Interview, and Giveaway...


WAGGERS
by Stacy Nyikos
illustrated by Tamara Anegon
12/2/14
hardcover, 32 pages
Sky Pony Press



When Waggers is adopted, he tries to be good; he really does! But it isn’t Waggers’s fault that his tail goes crazy when he gets excited. How much harm can a tail do, anyway? Well, his new family is about to find out. In the kitchen, the cookies smell so good that Waggers’s tail makes the dough hit the ceiling. And when Waggers helps the kids defeat a monster in the living room, there may be a sofa casualty. After his tail accidentally scratches the paint off the car in the garage, Mom and Dad aren’t so sure their home is the right fit for such an excitable pup. Could this be the last straw, or can Waggers and his family find a way to stay together?



WAGGERS is an adorable doggy tail tale about a cute pup named Waggers who tries REALLY hard to be good, but has an out of control tale that makes one big mess after the other for his new adopted family.


Stacy Nyikos has created another perfectly charming and fun picture book that is sure to delight little readers. The tale of WAGGERS is full of humorous, happy, and surprising moments that will tickle the funny bone and warm your heart. Stacy’s storytelling is accessible, sweetly simple, and engaging; she clearly knows her audience! Waggers’ good intentions and misadventures are not only entertaining, but also relatable, and little readers will be able to see themselves in this well-meaning doggie. The notion that everybody is good at something and everybody has talents, shines brightly in WAGGERS!

Tamara Anegon has wonderfully captured Stacy’s story with her bright, whimsical illustrations. Every funny mess, loving moment, and unexpected event is brought to life through captivating pictures that little readers will just love!

WAGGERS is a super fun, giggle inducing picture book that will put a smile on your face!

What three words best describe your picture book, Waggers?
affectionate, rambunctious, big-hearted

What inspired Waggers? Have you ever known a real life Waggers (of the furry or human kind)?
Oh man, and how. Four years ago we adopted a dog from the pound. She's a mutt, part German Shepherd, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Lab, and who knows what else. We named her, Desi, which is a shortened version of the name they gave her at the pound, Destiny, but with a little Cuban flair. I don't know why this works, but it suits her perfectly. Maybe, secretly, she's all the rage on the dog nightclub scene. You never know. We swore one of our other dogs was a banker. And another owned a chain of lodges in Virginia. Clearly, there are side effects to having a writer in the family. Our dogs have lots of secret, adventurous lives.

But back to Desi. What she definitely has is a crazy, crazy tail. I've never seen a tail on a dog like the one she has. I wish there was a machine to measure how fast and strong it is, sort of the way they measure the speed of a baseball pitch. Desi's tail would set records. It took her a while - and multiple decapitated plants - to harness the strength of her tail and use it for good instead of evil. Now it's a chocolate milk moustache shaver and dust bunny relocator...most of the time. There are still a few walls in my house that have lodged complaints about excessive wagging, but Desi has pleaded squirrel mania. She can't control herself around squirrels. The walls have begrudgingly given in. but the squirrels are just getting fiestier by the day. A showdown is in the making. I hope my house survives.

As you've probably guessed, it wasn't much of a leap to go from the antics of my dog to those of Waggers. In fact, Waggers sometimes seems a little calmer than Desi.

Grab a copy of Waggers and answer the following:
favorite line?
Mom and Dad were finally swayed. How much harm could one tail do?

favorite illustration?
My favorite illustration is the face off between Waggers and the squirrels. Waggers is so intent on stopping those blasted squirrels, but the squirrels don't even realize Waggers is watching them, until he half destroys the house. The look they give him from the window - Buddy, what is your problem? - is one I have seen on many a squirrel who faces down Desi. It's the best illustrations ever.

favorite kind of mess Waggers makes?
My favorite mess is the cookie making mess. I could see that happening so fast with my kids and our dog. It's also a really yummy mess to clean up.

Share the following: what was the last book that...
made you laugh out loud?
Bud not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that book!!! It's serious. It's funny. It's heartening. It's an amazing story. Amazing!

made you cry?
Like everybody else in the world right now, The Fault in Our Stars. Such raw, honest writing.

scared you?
Um, well, I avoid scary books. I avoid scary movies. They invade my dreams for months! So, maybe the scariest book was...nope. I can't do it! I'm getting scared just thinking about scary books!

inspired you?
Jefferson's Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley was the most recent book that inspired me. I did my PhD at the University of Virginia, which Thomas Jefferson founded. While there, I taught for the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute, which recruits minorities into graduate work in political science to create a more diverse faculty across the U.S. That Jefferson had a large family with one of his slaves was long-contested. Today, it's fact. Bradley did nothing short of genius in making that story accessible to a young audience. My youngest daughter reread the book for six months. It is amazing, inspiring writing.
you absolutely loved?
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. I know. Not what you were expecting, right? But I love this book because it, too, is not what anyone was expecting. The first time I read it was at an exhibit of Caldecott winners and honorees at the Chicago Museum of Fine Arts. I was 25. My girlfriend and I literally walked half of Chicago afterward so I could get a copy. It was the first book I read to my first child (followed by Captain Underpants). We LOVE funny.

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Waggers, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
If I were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Waggers, it would be a mess of chocolate covered in sprinkles that have been wiped off and wiped back on at least three times. I would call it the Tower o' Trouble. Despite its shaky appearance, it would be fantastically delicious.

Thanks again to Stacy Nyikos for appearing.  For other stops on the Waggers blog tour please check http://www.stacyanyikos.com/blog.html

Stacy Nyikos is the award-winning author of many mischievous books for children. She’s not sure how that happened. She didn’t get into trouble as a child. Well, if you don’t count borrowing sandwiches from her dad. He wasn’t eating them anyway. Stacy holds an MFA in Writing for Children at Vermont College, which she didn’t borrow. They gave it to her. Really. Ask her kids. Or her dog. Just don’t ask her husband. He’s misplaced a few sandwiches. When she isn’t chasing stories—or sandwiches—Stacy can be found scribbling in the wilds of Oklahoma. She is currently working on a new adult novel about her grandfather’s adventure canoeing from Indiana to New Orleans – over 2,000 miles of paddling – in 1939.



Win a copy of WAGGERS!
I have one copy of this adorable picture book for one lucky cupcake.
DETAILS
-US only
-ends 12/17
-must be 13+ to enter
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, stolen prizes


a Rafflecopter giveaway