Book of the Month - Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals! #AmReading #Books

November 24, 2016
**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Calling all bookworms!

The best gift for a bookworm is a gift of books. What better way to do that with a "Book of the Month" club gift? Well, if you are hounding down the deals this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, well you should check out what "Book of the Month" has to offer this year!

This limited time #TreatYourself offer is only for November 25th THROUGH 27th and when you purchase a gift subscription you can get 50% off a 3-month membership AND also receive a free book and tote. Don't you just love receiving when you give? Purchase Now

And for #CyberMonday ONLY, you can get 50% off a 3-month subscription and receive a free book and tote along with it. Awesome, huh? Purchase Now.

I personally tried out the Book of the Month (check out my review here) and I think it's such a cool way to find new books recommended by some pretty famous people sometimes AND you even get to talk about this book with the people who chose the book (they're sometimes famous!)
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Virtual Scavenger Hunt - You're Invited! (Have Fun, Win Prizes!)

November 14, 2016
I'm doing something a little bit different this time!

Next Sunday running from about 12pm PST with winners announced around 5pm PST, there will be a "Virtual Scavenger Hunt"! And I really hope you will join me. It will be easy to participate and each question you answer is an entry to win a $50 Starbucks Gift Card!

Make sure you join me over on my Facebook page here.

It will be about Suzanne Eglington's newest book, "Beckham 101" and I can't wait for you guys to get to know this book! If you missed out on the Twitter Party I had over this past weekend, this is a great chance to know the book.

Make sure you let me know in the comments if you are joining in! I hope to see you there!

Disclaimer:  I have been compensated to host this event. I am not eligible for prizes.
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Twitter Party Announcement! Join me November 13th at 3 pm PST [Win Prizes!]

October 28, 2016
Ready for another Twitter party?

Well, I'm so excited to join you guys again to celebrate the launch of a new book called, "Beckham 101" by Suzanne Eglington. I think you'll like chatting with this romance author, she'll have some interesting things to share with us about her newest book!

Here's a brief summary of her newest book called Beckham 101 -

BECKHAM 101 is the third installment in the Kate and Robert Chronicles by author Suzanne Eglington. Eglington invites readers into the intimate inner world of the newly wedded duo as they learn to navigate life as a committed couple. Settling down brings new perspectives and people into Kate’s and Robert’s lives, along with the exposure of more of Robert’s mysterious past. For Kate, being married to a top cop means managing both desire and reality.

You'll have the chance to win one of 4 $5 Starbucks Gift Cards and the grand prize winner will receive a $25 Starbucks Gift Card. Join me on November 13th at 3pm Pacific Time (6pm Eastern) to celebrate the launch of her book. Be sure to use hashtag #Beckham101 if you are participating and make sure to RSVP below so I know you will be joining in!. Also be sure to follow me @BeingTheWriter and @Suzeglington on Twitter for updates!

If you have RSVP'd, click to tweet out the message below & invite your friends to join us!

RSVP for Twitter Party on 11/13 at 3pm PST! Chat @Suzeglington about her book #Beckham101 & win prizes. #giveaway 

Here are some disclaimers -

Winners to be announced throughout the Twitter Party. I am not responsible for shipping the prizes to the winner. Selections of winners are random and based on whether or not the participant has participated in Twitter party and include hashtag # in their tweets in response to questions asked of participants throughout the party. Prize winners will be announced throughout the Twitter Party and must follow necessary directions to claim prize. Please only RSVP once. Multiple RSVPs will not increase chances to win prizes. I have been compensated to host this Twitter party. I am not eligible for prizes.
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Cooking for Picasso - A Book Review & Giveaway #amreading

September 30, 2016

Recently I finished a charming book called, Cooking for Picasso and I can't wait to tell you about it! I happened to pick up this next book following the heels of a vivid thriller. So the transition for me to this book, which reads at a totally different pace, made my initial experience of the first couple of chapters a bit rough. But you know what? I was very nicely surprised about how this book turned out.

First, here's what the book is about -

A novel inspired by a true incident: In the spring of 1936, Pablo Picasso, unable to paint because of his turbulent love life, secretly left Paris and rented a villa on the French Riviera. No one is certain what happened to him, but suddenly, Picasso picked up his brush and created a series of remarkable paintings, including two pictures of an unidentified young woman. From this intriguing episode, author Camille Aubray creates a fictional story about Ondine, a young chef working in a local café, whose life is transformed by the artist's visit to her seaside village of Juan-les-Pins. Running parallel to the tale of Picasso and Ondine is the contemporary story of Ondine's American grand-daughter, Céline, who ventures to the South of France on a quest to uncover family secrets about what really happened when her grandmother crossed paths with Pablo Picasso. In the lush, heady atmosphere of the Côte d’Azur, and with the help of several eccentric fellow guests attending a rigorous cooking class at her hotel, Céline discovers truths about art, culture, cuisine and love that enable her to embrace her own future. Like Hemingway in The Paris Wife, Picasso is one of a handful of early 20th century figures who still has real star-power. COOKING FOR PICASSO explores the great artist and his work in a human, intelligent and highly engaging new light.

I finished reading it over one of the last hot weekends of this summer/fall season. First you meet Camille, who shows up (in the present) on this elaborate boat for a very elusive reason that you will later figure out. You jump right into the 1930s where you now are introduced to Ondine who works at the restaurant owned by her parents. She's instructed to deliver meals to a patron who lives nearby. And then she realizes who the patron is - the famous, Picasso. But how does the modern tale of Camille enter into it? Well, there is a portrait of Camille's grandmother Ondine, painted by Picasso, which she's not even sure exists. And so the journey begins to find out if the portrait exists, and if it does, what happened to it?

Like I said, it took me a little bit to get involved in the story, the first couple of chapters were just a bit slow for me, but once I delved into the heart of the story, I loved it. The mix between the two generations - the 1930s and the present - went seamlessly for me. I loved the contrasting world and the battle to discover a painting that may or may not even exist. The portrayal of Picasso is interesting and although I really don't know too much about the painter's life, this really provides intriguing insight into who he was as a person. 

I think if you love historical fiction, this is the perfect book for you. It's a mix of mystery and romance. It's a light-hearted read with a lot to give and I was so happy to have read this. This will be a book I plan on re-reading, actually.

I am so happy to announce that I get to giveaway a copy of this book to one lucky reader! Enter a comment letting me know if this books interests you and what you like about it. Ends 10/15. US Only.

If you can't wait to read this, make sure you visit Amazon and purchase your copy today!

**UPDATE: Thanks to everyone for entering! The winner is Teresa Young. Thanks for entering everybody!

I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. Affiliate links are included in the above posts for which I will receive small compensation if you purchase through my link. 
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Dark Matter by Blake Crouch - A SciFi Thriller I Won't Long Forget

September 13, 2016

I had the chance to receive a copy of the book Dark Matter by Black Crouch in exchange for an honest review.  And I was reluctant at first, I mean I hate to judge a book by the cover, but there was something jarring about the bold red and the dark text. So it sat on a shelf for a while until a exhausted my stack of "to be read" from the library. It was the long Labor Day weekend, and knowing that this book was there, I started reading it.

Now, you are first introduced to Jason who has a normal evening with his wife and son, Charlie. Until his wife convinces him to go see an old friend who is celebrating his recently received prestigious award at a local, nearby bar. Jason goes to say hello and congratulate his friend, but he doesn't stay long at the bar. He leaves with the slight twinge of resentment and maybe even regret over his own choices with his life and career. Walking the long way home though, brings him back to center a little bit, until he senses the presence of someone. When the masked gunman prods him to get into Jason's own car, telling him to drive, his life isn't the same after that. 

This is just the beginning in this intense thriller. Just as the description says, before Jason blacks out, someone asks him, "Are you happy?" The answer to that question is the core of the story.

I read a review that said that you can't describe this book without giving things away. And I kind of agree. So I won't launch into a more descriptive review here, but I will summarize how I felt by saying this is a very unique and amazing thriller that I was very impressed by. I read it (nearly) one day, except I savored the ending over the course of two days because I hated seeing this come to an end. This book made me think about all the decisions I've made in my own life that brought me to where I am and makes me wonder that very question myself, "Am I happy? What would I change if I could?" It's science fiction but the science doesn't distract or confuse me. The characters are strong and the core plot of the story kept me enthralled to the end. The bizarre situations this main character finds himself in are very vivid and real feeling, despite the weirdness. Plenty of people seemed to criticize the writing and I didn't have any issues with it. I felt like the short sentences helped build upon the pressure and intensity of the moments and actions in the story.

I am highly recommending you check this book out. Purchase this book now on Or get this from the library! Overall, you will be glad you read this.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This post includes an affiliate link for which I will receive small compensation if you purchase through my link.
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Lisa Unger's Ink & Bone - A Book Review #AmReading

August 6, 2016

About the Book (Courtesy of Publisher)

In this explosive psychological thriller by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Unger, a young woman’s mysterious gift forces her into the middle of a dangerous investigation of a little girl’s disappearance.

For as long as she can remember, twenty-year-old Finley Montgomery has been able to see into the future. She dreams about events before they occur and sees beyond the physical world, unconsciously using her power to make supernatural things happen.

But Finley can’t control these powers—and there’s only one person who can help. So Finley moves to The Hollows, a small town in upstate New York where her grandmother lives, a renowned seer who can finally teach Finley how to use her gift.

A gift that is proving to be both a blessing and a curse, as Finley lands in the middle of a dangerous investigation involving a young girl who has been missing for ten months and the police have all but given up hope.

With time running out there’s only so much Finley can do as The Hollows begins to reveal its true colors. As she digs deeper into the town and its endless layers, nothing is what it seems. But one thing is clear: The Hollows gets what it wants, no matter what.

What I Thought

When I first started reading the book, I thought the language was a little flowery. Then I really started getting involved in the thriller and getting to know, Finley, a young seer who lives with her grandmother Eloise, and who fights and resists against the abilities she's had since a child (of course those with a powerful gift resist it!) Alongside getting to know Finley, you also get to know a family who has been dealing with their missing child, a young girl who got taken in the middle of a family hike.

When the connection is made between Finley and this family (thanks to the help a doubtful detective named Jones) the book got really exciting. Along with Finley's point of view, you also get the point of view of the young girl who was taken and you experience what she experiences in horrid conditions. Although that part of it isn't overdone (which I appreciate). 

This is a memorable book that hints of a sequel, which I am really hoping will happen. I enjoyed the character Finley, although I was mildly annoyed at the whole 'I'm gifted and hate it' type of thing that seems to always happen with those who have special gifts like hers (at least most of the time in the literary world). The characterization of the couple, Merri Gleason and Wolf dealing with the missing daughter was powerful, and you felt a love and connection to the whole family (even the scoundrel husband who was cheating on his wife). 

I've read Lisa Unger books before and this one definitely didn't disappoint. The setting wasn't as vivid as the story line and the characters, despite the fact that the "Hollows" as the town was called, played an important part of the mystery. Some of the paranormal parts seemed to be a bit overdone to me, but I didn't mind because I do like that kind of stuff anyways. I think it's a great summer read - not too dark but definitely a mystery you won't want to put down. Buy now on or Barnes and Noble.

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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The Assassin Game by Kristy McKay #AmReading #BookReview

July 31, 2016

I had the chance to review this young adult thriller called the Assassin Game!

About the Book (Courtesy of the Publisher) 

Who will be left after lights out?

At Cate's isolated boarding school, Killer is more than a game- it's an elite secret society. Members must avoid being "Killed" during a series of thrilling pranks, and only the Game Master knows who the "Killer" is. When Cate's finally invited to join the Assassins' Guild, she know it's her ticket to finally feeling like she belongs.

But when the game becomes all too real, the school threatens to shut it down. Cate will do anything to keep playing and save the Guild. But can she find the real assassin before she's the next target? 

What I Thought

I enjoyed this book! I thought it took me a few chapters to really get into it. You first get introduced to Cate when she's taken by classmate's to kick off the beginning of a game they call "Killer" (what could go wrong with that kind of game, right?). She has to go through a pretty gross initiation into this exclusive game along with three other kids getting initiated into the game.

Then comes along a guy from her past, a guy named Vaughan that she last saw when she was 8 years old and changes the dynamic of the game and how things end going for Cate and her friends. I really really liked this character a lot. In fact, he was my favorite character. He reminds me of a guy I once knew in high school actually. 

As for the setting was an isolated coastal island that is set in Europe. It's rocky, beachy, cold feeling. I thought the setting was vivid enough to make it feel real but wasn't an important factor to the story.

For the plot line, I thought it got to be very exciting when the game really started and especially got excited when there was a real threat that begun for the students playing the game. I'm a sucker for a traditional whodunit as I love seeing if I guess right and of course, I usually am NOT right. But it was still fun and this book kept me guessing (my suspect list was not right at all!). 

There was a little romance that occured in the book, it was a perfect amount without making it distract from the suspense. Also being that this is a young adult book, if you are a parent considering recommending this, the romance doesn't go beyond kissing and handholding. 

Overall, I'd give this about three and a half stars. Which is not bad at all for me! I think there were some slowish parts, but overall, I think this an exciting young adult thriller perfect for YOU and the teen/pre-teen in your life you want to recommend this to.

You can purchase this book on Amazon (it's titled as the "Killer Game") or Barnes and Noble.

I received this book courtesy of NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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When Reality Becomes Real - The Last One by Alexandra Oliva

July 5, 2016

The book starts out with a haunting prologue laying out the fates of some of the production team members that are part of the reality show. A disturbing beginning that is quickly forgotten as you are introduced to the reality show as it plays out for the viewers, which is sharply contrasted by other chapters which lay out the point of view of one contestant in particular who is now off on her own for a solo challenge.

Before I go forward, read this excerpt of the prologue -

The first one on the production team to die will be the editor. He doesn’t yet feel ill, and he’s no longer out in the field. He went out only once, before filming started, to see the woods and to shake the hands of the men whose footage he’d be shaping; asymptomatic transmission. He’s been back for more than a week now and is sitting alone in the editing studio, feeling perfectly well. His T-shirt reads: coffee in, genius out. He taps a key and images flicker across the thirty-two-inch screen dominating his cluttered workstation.

These contestants have been brought together for a survivalist challenge - what's real? what's not? At first it's easy to tell, fake props, fake set ups. But as you get into the weeds of the solo challenge with the main character who you are watching, you do wonder...what IS reality here?

This book has stayed with me long after it's over. I just finished it yesterday afternoon and it still isn't over in my head. I think of what the main character saw and what she lived through. The book has chapters in third person that portray each of the contestants as reality show caricatures (Waitress, Zoo, Tracker, are some of the nicknames assigned to each of them) Each playing their part as reality show producers have created for them (either knowingly or unknowingly). Then there are chapters where have the first person account of a contestant off on her own (unsure who this was at first but after a while you do realize her former caricature; surprisingly, we don't learn her real name until the end) as she figures out clues and where to go next.

This book was a surprisingly excellent and I'm not much of an outdoorsy person. But honestly this is as close as I will ever (and ever want to) get to living outdoors and being a survivalist. Although it does leave me with the feeling that I should brush up on my skills at least a LITTLE bit. There were some gruesome parts I had to flip past...some religious doubt/criticism that I wanted to skip past (and thought was mildly unnecessary, but didn't distract me from the story when I did move beyond it). Again, the story stayed with me long after it was over. It was a disturbing and adventurous story all at once. Honestly the experience and the setting was so vivid for me that when the character became thirsty, I took a sip of water. 

This is a highly recommended book for the summer and if you have any mild enjoyment of reality shows, outdoorsy or survivalist themes, or even mild apocalyptic type of themes, I highly recommend this story. I know it will take you by surprise.

Purchase this on Amazon today.

Best of all, I get to giveaway this book to one of my lucky readers! All I would like you to do is to comment with what sounds interesting to you about this book! Ends 7/25.

The winner of my giveaway is Stephanie Matthis who I chose using 

I received this book in exchange for my honest review. I included an affiliate link with this post which I receive small compensation if you purchase through my link.

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My Resolutions for the Second Half of This Year

June 21, 2016
Happy Belated New Year!

 I feel like June is a great time to dig out the dusty resolutions and re-evaluate them. So for me, there's a few on the list that I've long since forgotten. For one, this story I promised myself I'd get published this year, I'm ready to move onto other things for a while. Well, I got too deep in the editing and revising weeds and lost sight of whether or not the story was any good so I need a healthy step backwards. 

Then I'm in need of some exercise which also means I'm in need of some better walking shoes. I'm thinking about these New Balance shoes or these Naturalizer shoes. 

I kind of accomplished an unintentional resolution! I refamiliarized myself with some of the books in my bookshelf. I haven't read so many in so long that I felt like I fell in love with so many old favorites again. I kept saying to myself, "I forgot that book! Ooh! Ahhh! I forgot THAT one! Oooh! Ahh!" So I re-read a huge amount. That was pretty awesome! Now I have plucked out the ones that I should probably donate or try to sell.  And that is a resolution for part two of 2016.

My blog. Oh how I've neglected the blogging community I once enjoyed so much. I don't really know where to begin to resolve anything there, but maybe starting with one normal post a week. Today I knocked out a couple, that does make me feel better about things. I once read that a writing blog can do more harm than good for a writer. See, once you get to talking about writing than it can feel more fun to talk about writing than to write. Well, I'm not sure I agree with that anymore so I'm going to see if I can pick up the steam on this and talk about the writing I'm not doing enough of with the community I've lost sight of. I hate that I ended with a preposition by the way.

Have you thought about what your resolutions were this year? What were they? Did you accomplish them at all?

This post contains sponsored links for which I received small compensation for including them in my post.
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The Battle With Your Inner Critic

June 20, 2016
My Muse vs My Anti-Muse

Don't you hate when you are writing a story and the little worm that's the inner critic peers at your story and goes, "You're kidding right?" It'll start to rattle off all the reasons the story won't work. If THAT doesn't stop you, than it starts to remind you of all the things you should be focusing on that isn't THAT story.

So that's when I seek out my muse which is tragically easily intimidated by the site of the inner critic (the anti-muse). But you know there are a few things that I find helps improve the strength of my muse in order to battle the inner critic.
1) Get exercise.

Lately it seems like the best approach to clear my head, which in turn, clears out that inner critic, is going for a walk. I head outside. Luckily this weather is suitable these days to clear my head - it's cool but not too hot - and since I can't afford to find a fitness instructor these days - it's also a good way for me to get exercise. I'm sure the wellness and fitness community in my heart appreciate my efforts to exercise!

2) Just go ahead and obsess on those worries for a while.

Once I listed out all of the things plaguing my mind these days and you know the second I did that, I felt better. I let myself obsess for a while and actually I've kept those list of worries and when the anti-muse hits, I'll look over those worries for a while and drop off that anti-muse onto THAT page and go back to the story I was writing before.

3) Be flippant.

The anti-muse may taunt and say that your first draft isn't any good, but you know what? All of the writing advice that I hear tells you that it's okay for your first draft to be crummy. As I write, I tell this to the anti-muse and it humphs and pouts and storms off.

So these days those are my three tactics for battling against my inner critic. What are yours?

This post contains sponsored links for which I received small compensation for including in my post.
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All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage [A Book Review]

May 3, 2016

I was lucky enough to receive a complimentary three month subscription to the Book of the Month club.  I'm by no means obligated to write this review, but I decided to for this particular book.

When you first start reading Elizabeth Brundage, you are having dinner with the neighbors living nearest to the couple who moved to town recently - the Clares. Then there's a knock at the door - the husband, the unlikeable George Clare, is holding his child and the the little girl says to the couple who have opened their door to them, "Mommy's hurt."

Thus the mystery begins. Wife and mother, Catherine Clare has been killed. But by who? But wait, there's another story to tell first.

That's when we meet the original family who owned the farmhouse that the Clares now live in. The Hale family. And they suffered their family tragedy - one resulting in a death.

My first impression

There are no quotations in this book. You get used to it fairly quickly, though. It's definitely weird at first.

I noticed a lot of the words associated with this book are "chilling" and "haunted" and "suspense." Those aren't quite the words I would associate with this novel. Close, but not quite.

The mystery surrounding Catherine Clare's murder doesn't get addressed until much, much later in the book. What follows that initial scene is the background of the Hale family and the marriage between Catherine and her husband George. George proves to be a cunning, smarmy, unlikeable con who only seems to fall apart when his image is threatened. Catherine, more likeable, but annoyingly devoted to a man who she soon realizes doesn't like her one bit.

Then the Hale boys. All three are troubled, all are likeable. You meet Cole who becomes more part of the story than the other two, especially with his loving nature towards Catherine's daughter. The three boys are strongly connected to Catherine as she makes a home for her family in the farmhouse they used to grow up in.

The farmhouse itself is haunted, although don't expect the usual jumps and creepiness you'd find in a ghost story. This isn't like that. It's more like the awareness of another presence in the room and the memories of the death that happened in the Hale family that Catherine doesn't quite figure out until later too.

My overall impression

This is a book filled with unhappy people trying to make their life work. It was a book that switched around points of view a LOT and once I felt like I got going with a character, it would switch around. It felt like I was riding in a car with a person who kept pressing the breaks.

But this book did keep me interested and coming back to it. I wanted to see how the lives of these characters played out. And despite how I knew things were ending up for Catherine, I wanted her in some way to get out of the situation.

I would recommend this book, especially if you sort of are interested in a challenging, troubling mystery that keeps you coming back for more. Not my top five picks but certainly worth reading. It stays with you.

Last week I wrote a blog post asking, will justice be done? Will Catherine's killer get away with it or will he (or she) be caught?

Well....I can't tell you without giving too much away. I can tell you it isn't quite the clear cut ending and justice that I was hoping for, but it was worth it. The ending was fair and that's pretty awesome to me.

If you want to read this book, purchase it now through Amazon. I also highly recommend signing up for the Book of the Month Club. They're offering a 30% off a 3-month subscription if you use the coupon code MAY30. Purchase the subscription today!

This post contains affiliate links for which I will receive small compensation if you purchase through my link. Which pays for things like coffee.
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Book Thought of the Day - Will Justice Be Done? #AmReading

April 28, 2016

I decided to try out a new feature to my blog and see how well this goes. I'm currently reading "All Things Cease to Appear" by Elizabeth Brundage. And I'm nearing the end of the book. The process of reading this book has been entirely revolving around, "Will the person who did this get away with it?"

You get to see first hand what this killer is doing and how he manages to get away with it, even when someone gets close to finding out. He STILL manages to get away. Well, the end of the book has jumped ahead about 20 years and now I'm plagued with that question still, "Will the killer get away with it?"

When I'm reading a book like this, when you have very little sympathy for the killer and what he does, I find that I'm so afraid that somehow this person will get away with it. Reading this book has been quite the ride too because it starts out with you know who died, yet you are following along her story and life for the rest of the book. It has some other complications thrown in of course and it is more than just a murder mystery book. It seems to be about the plight of the unhappy if I was being honest.

I sure hope it doesn't turn out the way I fear it will. But we'll see. I'll make sure to write my review once I'm done with the book.

By the way, I got this book through the Book of the Month club which I am now partnered up with in their affiliate program. Personally if my budget wasn't so tight right now, I would go for this subscription! It's a lot of fun and I find that I enjoy getting the mail each month. You can get 30% off your 3 month subscription by using the code MAY30, so subscribe today. This next month's book will be chosen by "How I Met Your Mother" star Josh Radnor.

Until then, what are you reading? I would love a suggestion! 

This post contains affiliate links for which I will receive small compensation if you purchase through my link.
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10 Scary Movies I Would Hate to be Stuck In

April 20, 2016
scary movies, horror movies

I have to say that I love a good scary movie. And the horror genre is one of my favorites to take a look at! (Except when it's gory. I hate that.) So there's a few movies out there that I've thought to myself, "I'd be miserable from the get go in that movie." Or some that have just stayed with me long after the movie has been done. So I was thinking about this lately - the movies I would absolutely HATE to be stuck in. Here's my ten -

1) Blair Witch Project

This classic movie that introduced the whole faux found footage to the horror genre. It isn't one of my favorites though and I have to tell if I managed to be stuck in this movie, it would be horrible. And horrible not because of the Blair Witch rumors. For me, I hate the woods and I don't like camping. I'm really sure I would make everything worse.

Check it out on IMDB.
Watch it now on Amazon 

2) Nightmare on Elm Street

Although this is a movie on my "watch list", I'm a little nervous about the whole idea of someone coming into your dreams and killing you in your dream for real. The whole concept would be pretty awful for me especially, because I dream so vividly. So, this one may be a must see but would be horrid for me to be stuck in.

Check it out on IMDB.
Watch now on Amazon.

3) Devil

It's one of the movies I really like, but you know what has recently changed my mind completely about whether or not I'd like to be stuck in the movie? This story about a woman in China who died after being stuck in an elevator for a month. Read about it here.

So considering the idea of not only being stuck in an elevator on a high rise, just think about the company you'll be keeping in THIS movie.

Check this out on IMDB.
Watch now on Amazon.

4) Cloverfield

My favorite monster movie! I am sort of a sucker for found footage horror movies too. And I'm really looking forward to seeing this movie's follow up 10 Cloverfield Lane (although not TECHNICALLY a sequel). But I wouldn't want to be stuck in this movie because aside from the fact that the entire city is under attack by a monster, I would NOT want to face those horrid underground spiders!

Check it out on IMDB.
Watch it on Amazon.

5) The Exorcist

The music for this movie is awesome, but there's a little too much in this movie for me to want to even be stuck in it for a minute. Reading the book is as close as I want to get!

6) It Follows

The concept of this movie is creepy - you sleep with someone and then the curse they've been carrying has passed along to you. The curse? Some creepy looking monster people only you can see start to come after you! Scary. I saw this one last year and it was VERY good. But it gave me a nightmare and so that killed the whole idea of me wanting to be stuck in the movie. The idea of someone unseen coming after me *shudder*. No thank you.

7) The Conjuring

I really like this movie and I love the transition from a pleasant happy start to something very disturbing and all consuming. One scene that gets me every time - that I still think about as I sleep - was when that one girl is in her room and smells something really nasty and then the ghost or SOMETHING near her bed starts tugging at her feet. Watch it here -

So no-go on this movie. I could not be stuck in this one!

Check it out on IMDB.
Watch it now on Amazon.

8) The Strangers

So I live in an apartment complex. So you wouldn't think I'd be this freaked out by this movie. But you know what? Any time I hear a neighbor come home late at night, I always think of this movie and how horrid it would be for some weirdo to knock on the door - AND NOT LEAVE. This would be way too terrifying and I don't think I'd be much help here.

Check it out on IMDB.
Watch now on Amazon.

9) The Mist

I think I'm most afraid of movies that include large mutant insects. This is one of them. I wouldn't want to be in this movie AT ALL. I do like it though, although [SPOILER] the ending was VERY stupid.

Check it out on IMDB.
Watch now on Amazon.

10) The Descent

Not a movie I have seen yet, but I know I wouldn't do well in this movie at all. The whole cave thing and spelunking and then you have these terrible awful things after you. *shudder*

Check it out on IMDB.
Watch now on Amazon.

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through my link, I'll receive a small compensation. This pays for things like coffee.
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Chat with Author Nathan Rollins & Win Prizes! #AnyMeansNecessary

April 6, 2016
Ready to join me again for another Twitter Party?

This time I will be chatting with author Nathan Rollins about his exciting new book, "By Any Means Necessary." You will be SO glad you joined in, this sounds really good.

About the Book

Twin sisters. One brutally murdered. The other returning home. The police are doing nothing. And a killer is playing a game. He killed her sister to get her home. He wanted a challenge. He wanted a target who could fight back. Can she find the killer and do what needs to be done? Or will he win his twisted game.

About the Party

The party will be on April 24th at 2pm PST and make sure you use the hashtag #AnyMeansNecessary so I know you are joining in. 

If you haven't joined in a Twitter Party before, particularly ones with authors, I'll be asking Nathan some questions about his book and his writing process and then I'll be asking the participants some questions (meaning YOU) and you will get the chance to win prizes. PLUS you will have the chance to ask Nathan some of your own questions too!

Here's some of the prizes - 

Grand Prize - $15 Amazon Gift Card
5 Winners - $10 Amazon Gift Card

Make sure you RSVP below so I know you're joining in on the fun! Plus, be sure you are following me @BeingTheWriter on Twitter as well as author Nathan Rollins @Nathan_Rollins1. Enter your Twitter user name, link to your Twitter account home page, and your email (see how I've done it below). Also by RSVP'ing I'll be tweeting you a reminder to join in before the party starts, so you won't miss it!

And make sure you click the tweet below so I know you are joining in on the fun!

Chat with @BeingTheWriter & @Nathan_Rollins1 about his book #AnyMeansNecessary at 4/24 at 2pm PST RSVP to win prizes

Here are some disclaimers -

Winners to be announced throughout the Twitter Party. I am not responsible for shipping the prizes to the winner. Selections of winners are random and based on whether or not the participant has participated in Twitter party and include hashtag # in their tweets in response to questions asked of participants throughout the party. Prize winners will be announced throughout the Twitter Party and must follow necessary directions to claim prize. Please only RSVP once. Multiple RSVPs will not increase chances to win prizes. I have been compensated to host this Twitter party. I am not eligible for prizes.
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The Marauders by Tom Cooper [Review]

March 23, 2016
I had the chance to read the book, The Marauders by Tom Cooper. I have to tell you I was VERY surprised about how much I enjoyed this book. It's a heartfelt story that's kind of on the violent side in some moments, but in others, you really begin to care about these characters and understand them (even though quite a few of them are rough).

This book was a combination of things for me - a bit of comedy, a bit of tragedy, and a lot of Louisiana. The characters in the book struggle with two devastating environmental factors - Hurricane Katrina, and the BP Gulf Coast Oil Spill. You are first introduced to two brothers - the Toup brothers - who are looking out for their territory (which hides their very special secret stash of something special, if you know what I mean) and spot Gus Lindquist who is roaming a bit too close to their property. But Gus isn't looking for their stash. He's looking for gold. Since Hurricane Katrina, so much of people's stuff has ended up in the swamp which Gus collects and sells for cash. He has made his share of enemies by using his medal detector to sell off his findings, but things for him get much worse he realizes his prosthetic arm is gone.

But these aren't the only hardships we hear about in the tale. Next we have father and son shrimping team Wes and his father. Sadly, they lost Wes' mom in Hurricane Katrina, they both have been battling those memories since the day she was gone. Both are battling the impact of the BP Oil Spill as Wes' father struggles to keep himself afloat as a shrimp fisherman. But when Wes resolves to finish his boat and cuts ties with his father, he begins to face exactly what it means to fight for what you want and not lose yourself amongst the struggles.

In another part of the bayou, coming out of prison, Cosgrove partners up with a fellow parolee, Hanson, an opportunity steal the goods out of an elderly woman's house to re-sell. But then they come across even more trouble when the mess with none other than the Toup brothers.

I wasn't sure if I was going to like these characters, but despite their often unappealing and appalling ways, each of them became endearing to me (except for the Toup brothers who remained a threat for most of the book; but even them I got to know a bit better).

The shrimping community comes alive in this book and the competition to sustain a life among the tragedies following Hurricane Katrina and the BP Oil Spill make each person you come across likable and understandable. Each character provides good humor to bounce off of such as Gus' corny knock knock jokes.

In my mind, I thought it was more a guy book (not a lead or supporting female character among them) and there is some mildly uncomfortable violence throughout, I had a heart for these characters and their woes and struggles. As for the ending, I was very satisfied, even though it had a sad twinge to it.

I would highly recommend this book if you want to experience the lives of unique, but dysfunctional characters. Cooper's vivid depiction of the Louisiana area made me feel like I was there and his ability to portray the dialect of the region was perfect.

Purchase the book now by visiting this link to Random House website.

I received the above titled book in exchange for my honest review.
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Chat with Author James Thibeault and Win Prizes [Twitter Party!] #DeaconsFolly

March 21, 2016
I am so excited to announce we have another Twitter party coming up! I'll be chatting with the author of the book Deacon's Folly by James Thibeault and this book is really good. I can't wait to hear what he says about it!

About the Book Deacon's Folly

When a backwoods town has a barbecue, it's to mock a teenage boy who nailed himself to a tree house. While Devon’s not the brightest bulb and has no recollection of his childhood, he’s a kind soul who seems friendly enough. Still, the whole town despises him. Only the new deacon in town takes sympathy towards the boy and is determined to discover Devon’s forgotten past, and the reason why it is never discussed.

About the Party

The party will be on April 3rd at 2pm PST and we will be using the hashtag #DeaconsFolly.

If you haven't joined in a Twitter party before, you will have the chance to chat with the author about his book as well as win some prizes! Here's what you can win -

Grand Prize - $25 Amazon Gift Card
Second Prize - $10 Starbucks Gift Card
Third Prize - $5 iTunes Gift Card
Fourth Prize - free eBook copy of Deacon's Folly

Make sure you RSVP so I know you'll be coming! Enter your Twitter user name, link to your Twitter account home page, and your email (see how I've done it below). Also by RSVP'ing I'll be tweeting you a reminder to join in before the party starts, so you won't miss it! Make sure you follow me @BeingTheWriter and the author at @DeaconsFolly1.

If you're joining, click the tweet below and let all of your followers know they can join in too!

Chat with @BeingTheWriter about the book #DeaconsFolly with @DeaconsFolly1 at 4/3 at 2pm PST RSVP to win prizes

Can't wait for the party to check out James Thibeault's book? Click this link to purchase on Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Here's some disclaimers -

Winners to be announced throughout the Twitter Party. I am not responsible for shipping the prizes to the winner. Selections of winners are random and based on whether or not the participant has participated in Twitter party and include hashtag # in their tweets in response to questions asked of participants throughout the party. Prize winners will be announced throughout the Twitter Party and must follow necessary directions to claim prize. Please only RSVP once. Multiple RSVPs will not increase chances to win prizes. I have been compensated to host this Twitter party. I am not eligible for prizes.
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5 Lessons I Learned the Hard Way with Hosting Twitter Parties

March 18, 2016
Over the last 8 months or so, maybe longer, I've had the opportunity to host Twitter parties with authors about books they want to promote. If you don't really know what a Twitter party is, it's an hour long (usually; some can be a half hour!) Q&A with participants who seek to win prizes and you (the host) will be discussing the brand or company or person or book. A twitter party with an author is a bit different because I have an Q&A session with the author as well as give opportunities to those joining in to win prizes. So after I ask the author a question, I'll ask the participants a question so they can win a prize. I also encourage participants to ask the author questions as well.

But along the way I have learned some lessons. Very valuable lessons that I take with me into each brand new party I prepare for. I thought I would share them in case you want to start hosting these parties yourself.

1) Have clear guidelines on how people can win prizes.

This was a lesson learned the hard way. My very first party someone called me out towards the end that I had contradictory rules on my blog post about how people win prizes. I was imagining a sudden stampede of angry people at my door demanding a redo of the entire party when that happened. I apologized and explained this would be fixed. All was well, but I realized I couldn't let this happen again.

So as you are describing rules on how people can win prizes, make sure they are clear! Do people need to RSVP? Do they follow you and someone else? What people aren't eligible? Make sure that is obvious on wherever you are announcing the party.

2) Choose a short hashtag.
This may not seem like a big deal, but hashtags are imperative to a successful twitter party! Everyone will be using them too - you, the author (or company you are promoting), the participants, etc. With each tweet, a hashtags must be added to tweets so people can follow along the party and see all the tweets of whoever has joined in.

So if you have a long hashtag, let's say about 15 characters, that's taking up a lot of tweet space. And you want enough characters left on twitter to promote, ask questions, announce prizes, etc. Make sure you select a hashtag that is unique, but short enough so it gives you room to say what you want to say.

3) Simplify how people reach you for prizes.

I once asked people to PM (private mail) the author on Twitter if they have won a prize. This wasn't a mistake exactly, but people kept asking me if the author could follow them so they can send their info. This caused confusion and way too much back and forth. I've also tried asking people to send me emails and that ended up with me continuously checking if people emailed (some said they did, but I never got an email).

I've simplified it now so people people PM their necessary information to me and I send it all to the author at the end so they can easily send out prizes. It isn't always perfect but it sure is less of a headache than many other scenarios I have tried.

4) Try all kinds of promotional methods for your Twitter party event.
You'd be very surprised about the ways you can promote your Twitter Party! There's twitter party calendars you can list on. There's social media promotion. There's sending messages to your email subscribers. You can trade favors will fellow bloggers and friends to help you promote your party. You can send tweets to people who have participated in the past. Tweet people who RSVP'd early before the event starts in case they forget.

But attempt only one method of promotion and you won't have much attention at all. This was also a lesson learned the hard way when I naively thought I didn't need to do THAT much extra promotion leg work. Well, I did need to and it wasn't a successful event (at least not in my opinion). So put in the extra effort and it will pay off.

5) Be prepared. For anything.

I always plan my tweets in advance and since twitter parties can move fast this preparation saves me plenty of headaches.

But because of how my twitter parties work, I invite people to ask authors questions! This sometimes results in someone taking one of my prepared questions, which creates difficulties on my part as I scramble with a new question to replace the one I had prepared. So my advice here is to prepare things in advance. I have extra questions to ask in case this happens and always try to do digging on the author's previous interviews to see if I can find something unique to ask.

Overall, twitter parties can be a successful and fun way to promote your company or your book. There are a lot big social media companies out there who will do this for you and create all the buzz you need, but if you are trying a DIY approach on marketing your book, you may want to keep these tips in mind.

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Twitter Chat with Networking Expert Gail Tolstoi-Miller (And Win Prizes!) #NetworkingKarma

February 22, 2016

I am so excited for this next Twitter Party coming up, because I have to say I'm not the best at things like networking and I could use the help. Gail Tolstoi-Miller has come out with this amazing new book to help people improve their networking skills! Here's a bit about Networking Karma (you can read the full blurb on Amazon!

Are you Awkward? Uncertain? Even jittery at networking events?\

Author Gail Tolstoi Miller, an award-winning entrepreneur and successful CEO, feels your pain. In fact, she spent years experiencing the same emotions when networking. An avowed introvert, Gail discovered a powerful and universal law of connecting, she calls Networking Karma. And when she embraced it, Gail put those anxious, apprehensive interactions behind her to become a career coach and owner of a networking event planning company.

Now, Tolstoi-Miller shares her secrets with you in her new book, Networking Karma.

If you are trying desperately to get past the constant inadequacy you feel every time you try to attend a networking event, this book is for you!

Networking Karma is a mindful approach to living that asks you to consider each chance meeting and budding relationship as an opportunity to inform, assist, advocate or connect others. “Embracing this spirit of selflessness,” Tolstoi-Miller says, “is the key to building a professional and personal fan base; one that will ultimately return your kindness in unknown and awesome ways. “

Networking Karma proves that life is not “all about me.” In fact, Tolstoi-Miller reveals that the most successful networkers are on a constant mission of “giving.” Throughout this book, you will explore dozens of essential and specific Networking Karma to-do’s; powerful ideas you can implement immediately. Shared by some of today’s hottest thought leaders, speakers and business trailblazers, these proven tactics are absolutely essential to getting the edge you need to succeed in business and in life.

So I can't wait to talk to Gail about her book and any tips that she can give to all of us about improving our networking skills! Here's the information about the Twitter Party - 

What: We'll be talking with networking expert Gail Tolstoi-Miller about her book Networking Karma and you'll have the chance to ask her advice and get tips all about how you can improve your networking skills! Make sure you use hashtag #NetworkingKarma if you are joining in on the fun. 

When: Sunday, March 6th at 2pm PST (5 pm EST) 

Why Should You Join? Aside from the fact that you'll have the chance to get networking tips from an award winning CEO and career coach, you'll have the chance to win prizes! Here's what you can win -

$10 Amazon Gift Card (1 Winner)

$10 Starbucks Gift Card (2 Winners)

$10 Barnes and Noble Gift Card (1 Winner)

And one lucky grand prize winner will get a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

So, if you want to join in make sure you RSVP below. All you need to do is provide me with your Twitter User Name, the link to your Twitter Account, and your email address. Make sure you follow me @BeingTheWriter and author Gail Tolstoi-Miller @gailtolstoimill  

Also, click this tweet to share with your followers so they can join in on the fun too -

Can't wait for the party to improve your networking skills? Visit the NetworkingKarma website and purchase a copy of the book today!.

Here's some disclaimers - 

 Winners to be announced throughout the Twitter Party. I am not responsible for shipping the prizes to the winner. Selections of winners are random and based on whether or not the participant has participated in Twitter party and include hashtag # in their tweets in response to questions asked of participants throughout the party. Prize winners will be announced throughout the Twitter Party and must follow necessary directions to claim prize. Please only RSVP once. Multiple RSVPs will not increase chances to win prizes. I have been compensated to host this Twitter party. I am not eligible for prizes.
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The Winemaker Detective Series - Chat w/Translator Anne Trager

February 2, 2016

I am so excited to announce a fun Twitter party coming up soon. We'll be chatting with one of the translators, Anne Trager, about her involvement in the popular French detective series, The Winemaker Detective.

Here's what this series is about -
An immersion in French countryside, gourmet attitude, and light-hearted mystery. Two amateur sleuths gumshoe around French wine country, where money, deceit, jealousy, inheritance and greed are all the ingredients needed for crime. Master winemaker Benjamin Cooker and his sidekick Virgile Lanssien solve mysteries in vineyards with a dose of Epicurean enjoyment of fine food and beverage. Each story in this three-book omnibus is a homage to wine and winemakers, as well as a mystery.
Here's what you need to know -

What? We'll be chatting with translator Anne Trager about her work with this amazing French detective series, which is now being made into a TV series!

When? The Twitter Party will be on February 21st at 12pm PST. Make sure you use hashtag #LeFrenchBook in your tweets.

Why Should You Join? You will gave the chance to win eBooks from the series and one lucky winner will receive the grand prize of a print copy of the Omnibus, which includes the first three books!

How to Join? It's simple. Leave a comment listing your Twitter username and make sure you follow me @BeingTheWriter and Anne Trager at @lefrenchbook. Then click the below tweet to let your followers know you'll be joining us, so they can join too!

Join me Sunday, 2/21 at 12pm PST to chat w/ Anne Trager @lefrenchbook about the #lefrenchbook series! RSVP today

Check out the Winemaker Detective series website for details about the book and check them out on Facebook, Again, the party will be on February 21st at 12pm PST and we'll be using hashtag #LeFrenchBook.

Here's some disclaimers -

Winners to be announced throughout the Twitter Party. I am not responsible for shipping the prizes to the winner. Selections of winners are random and based on whether or not the participant has participated in Twitter party and include hashtag # in their tweets in response to questions asked of participants throughout the party. Prize winners will be announced throughout the Twitter Party and must follow necessary directions to claim prize.

Please only RSVP once. Multiple RSVPs will not increase chances to win prizes. I have been compensated to host this Twitter party. I am not eligible for prizes.
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