Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On the Bright Side debuts today!

On the Bright Side is a hilarious road to guardian angeldom paved with so much drama and due-paying that it makes middle school look painless.

As if the devil’s food cake at her wake and the white fat pants she’s stuck wearing for eternity weren’t bad enough, fourteen year-old Gabby is quick to discover that Cirrus, the main rung of Heaven, is a far cry from the Pearly Gates. Here, Skyphones and InnerNets are all the rage. Until Gabby finds out she has to protect Angela, her school nemesis, in order to move up through the training levels of heaven. Problem is, Angela is now hitting on Gabby's should-have-been boyfriend. (awkward!)

Instead of protecting Angela, Gabby pranks her (like tripping is a sin?) at the hopes of cooling off the new couple. At first, they seem harmless until the school dance sabotage gets completely out of control. Then, her Celestial Sky Agent, who happens to have anger management issues of his own, puts Gabby on probation, threatening her eternal future. 

Determined to right her wrongs, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to Earth for just one day. Without knowing, she kicks off a series of events and learns what can happen when you hate someone to death. 

S.R. Johannes is the author of Untraceable (a teen wilderness thriller) and On The Bright Side ( a tween paranormal).
She started out writing for her local school paper, winning a state Nutrition essay contest for “Be a Smart Cookie”, and singing in a local Jazz band. Somewhere along the way, she earned an MBA in Marketing and embarked on an 18-year marketing career in Corporate America working as a marketing and communications consultant.
In 2000, S.R. traded in her expensive suits, way-too high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. She started her own marketing & communications business, www.bilaninc.com, and continues creating materials for a variety of large profit and nonprofit clients, including Spanx, Goody Hair Products, Chick Filet, Delta, CARE, and the Boys & Girls Club of America.
S.R.’s dream is to publish children’s books and magically imprint the imaginations of kids. In addition to juggling nap schedules while attending client meetings, Shelli focuses on her writing. She is a frequent marketing speaker at SCBWI conferences across the U.S and runs a popular marketing blog, Market My Words (www.faeriality.blogspot.com) where she provides marketing advice for authors in the hopes of helping them better market their words.
In her spare time (yeah right!) and if the kids allow (yeah right!), Shelli obsesses over movies, reads children’s books (over and over), wishes she could squeeze in Bikram Yoga sessions, and dreams of sleeping in on the weekends.
She currently lives in Atlanta with her dog, British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess that someday will change the world.
How to Buy: 

Paperback will be available in February. Purchase the Kindle e-book on Amazon.  


If you would like to get periodic author news on an upcoming special edition in Jan or on the release of future books, please register your email address here. She does not expect to send more than one email a month.

Social Media

Praises for On The Bright Side

"S.R. Johannes delivers a cute paranormal thrill ride for middle graders! Even in death there is a BRIGHT SIDE!" - Addison Moore, author of the bestselling Celestra series and soon to be TV show

Clever and charming, ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is the story of a reluctant guardian angel, her still-breathing crush, and the frenemy she’s assigned to protect. A great read! -Suzanne Young, author of A Need So Beautiful, A Want So Wicket (6/12), and The Program (2013)

“ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is both hilarious and heart-warming – a tale that’ll have you hoping that there really *are* spunky and determined angels like Gabby who’ve got our backs.” - Kristin O’Donnell Tubb, author of Selling Hope & The 13th Sign (2013) (Feiwel & Friends)

"With a smart, snappy heroine and a heart-warming crush, ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is a page-turning new take on guardian angels that left me begging for a sequel!" - Gretchen McNeil, author of Possess and Ten (9/12) (Balzar + Bray)

Praises for Untraceable

"Grace is a spunky, independent, nature girl who doesn't need a boy to save her. With wilderness survival, a juicy love triangle, and more twists and turns than a roller coaster, this fast-paced novel had me holding my breath until the very last page—and still begging for more!" -Kimberly Derting, author of the The Body Finder series (Harper Teen) and The Pledge series (S&S)

"This thrilling story is a dramatic entanglement of mystery, deception and teen romance. The action flows like a brisk mountain stream interspersed with rapids, holding suspense to last page." - Kirkus Reviews

2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Quarterfinalist (under the original title of Grace Under Fire) - Judges Reviews:

"This story starts out with a bang...it reads like the young woman were narrating it to a friend, and had the ring of a young person's style and intensity. Grace sees authority people, or at least those she knows, as a bit bumbling, which is true to age. Authentic representation of youth in action also. Original in premise and style, and good use of background...Good story!" - Sue Grafton, author of bestselling Kinsey Milhone series

"This murder mystery features a teenaged heroine, but she has the self assurance of a woman twice her age. The prose is very descriptive...and the dialogue is genuine. The setting of small town North Carolina and the surrounding woods is appealing. The story moves along at a brisk clip, and it feels as if we already have some important clues. We look forward to seeing what's in the case file and what Grace and her motorbike, Luci, will be up to next." - Sue Monk Kidd, author of Secret Life of Bees

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by  
Each week we spotlight the books we've received 
for review, swapped, won or purchased.

In My Mailbox / On My Kindle

The Luxe
Nothing Else Matters
Haunting Grace
Drew in Blue
Little Girl Gone
The Book of Lost Souls
Seven Exes Are Eight Too Many

For Review 
Anything from NetGalley 

Room from Bookins

Little Girl Gone from ReadingGroupGuides
The Luxe Series: The Luxe, Rumors, Envy and Splendor 
from Uniquely Moi Books  

Purchased / Free on my Kindle
Book of Lost Souls
Drew in Blue
Haunting Grace
Nothing Else Matters
Seven Exes Are Eight Too Many

What was in your mailbox this week?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Romi Moondi admits she's a little 'head crazy'

Today I have the wonderful and very funny author of The Year of the Chick talking to us about the voices in her head. I posted my thoughts on her book yesterday and you can read them here.

Romi, I have heard other authors say that they 'hear voices in their head' and that is how they write their books ~~ the characters are telling their stories. Not being a writer myself, that concept has always intrigued me.

When some people hear voices, we get them medical attention, others end up becoming writers. Does this happen to you? How do you come up with your stories?

Hi Susan, that's a great question, and one that will ultimately reveal that I'm mentally imbalanced. I'll start by saying that I should've been getting medical or psychiatric attention for years now, but instead I became a writer. I'm sure myself and a lot of writers have that "head crazy" in common. Usually we can contain it, but sometimes it trickles out in social gatherings, when we have that sudden "aha!" burst of inspiration. Usually when that happens people look at us weird.

It's awkward.

The first book I published was a collection of humorous essays, so not a lot of voices in my head for that one, but fiction? Fiction and its characters can drive a writer mad.

In my case it was doubly confusing, since the main character and story of "Year of the Chick" are loosely based on my own life. Therefore it was OH SO EASY to play conversations in my head and decide how the dialogue should flow, because I know my character inside and out. In fact, sometimes a conversation or topic that began in real life, expanded and blew up to become a brand new scene for the book. Anytime that would happen (many times), I had to re-organize my brain, to make sure the fiction stayed on the fiction side, and that the real life memories stayed catalogued in the actual events of my life.

At this point I should mention that taking a shower is essential in coming up with brand new scenes. That may sound a little weird, but taking a shower is a regular activity where I know I won't be disturbed, so my imagination immediately takes off once I turn on the water. It has almost become a Pavlovian dog-like psychological experiment (i.e. water turns on, voices in my head commence).

It's hard to explain all the "head-talking" to friends, but I'm grateful for it, because I've never been more proud of anything I've done than I am for "Year of the Chick," and I'm beyond excited to turn this book into a trilogy.

So thank goodness for A: an active imagination, and B: a long mane of hair that takes FOREVER to shampoo and condition :-)


Brief bio:

I am Canadian, and here are some strange personal facts:

-I wore denim-top-to-bottom in high school (there is a direct inverse relationship between how much denim I wore and how few tongues were launched down my throat at school dances...or anywhere in high school at all).
-I'm continually baffled by that Malaysian baby whose father let him smoke two packs of cigarettes a day. That baby had so many fat rolls, and I thought cigarettes were supposed to be slimming.
-I always hated those insufferable couples who would cuddle and make out on the subway...until I became half of one. But now I'm back to being none of one so I hate them again. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

On Tour: Year of the Chick by Romi Moondi

An awkward family homecoming at Christmas.

A humiliating public weigh-in, with two judging parents as the audience.

The announcement of a deadline for arranged marriage doom.

And that's just the first two chapters.

In "Year of the Chick," Romi Narindra must find love before her parents find her a husband. This is a difficult task in a world where self-consciousness is at an-all-time high, and dating experience at an all-time low.

Severely lacking in seductive skills and uninspired by her corporate job, Romi turns to what she loves, by writing about her quest to find love on her brand new blog.

From whiskey-breath scum bags to uni-browed creeps and everything in between, Romi and her wingmen come up empty time after time. But hope floats again when she meets a fellow writer unexpectedly.

On the Internet.

So will it be arranged marriage doom, or an Internet affair that's not as creepy as "To Catch a Predator?"

Time will tell in the "year of the chick," a twelve-month quest to find love.

Tick-tock. ~~synopsis from Goodreads

My thoughts on The Year of the Chick ~~

Loved this book! The author has kind of a weird, but wonderful, sense of humor and I don't remember when I have laughed so much, reading a book. I 'get' her sense of humor ~ what a great read!!

It was great following Romi's quest to find a man ~ her parents were going to do it for her in a year anyway. She wanted to find one on her own, for love, before they selected one for her. The adventure that Romi goes on is hilarious and enlightening at the same time.

I marked some of my favorite lines. You need to read the book to understand what exactly these mean in the context of the story but these were some of the ones that made me LOL!
  • In front of our parents we were robots with the "horny" button disabled, but when the moon shone bright our howls of desire could be heard across a hundred mile.
  • My sister and I were victims of the "envelope adhesive." (love it!)
  • Fifteen pounds was the same as fifteen solid chocolate Santas. 
  • I wondered what it was to like have your default button set to "logic" versus "psycho."
And the great lines go on and on. Like I said, I loved this book and loved that it made me laugh.

I can't wait to read the next installment of Romi's life 
~ this author is writing a trilogy!  

Come back tomorrow to hear what Romi has to say 
about the voices in her head! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WWW Wednesdays January 25

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading 

To play along, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Destined to Fail by Samantha March. Great story!

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished Deep Down True by Juliette Fay. I have loved this cover since I first saw it and it has been on my TBR pile ever since. I am so glad I read it. My thoughts are here.

I also just finished Night Road by Kristin Hannah. OMG, what a great book!!  
Loved it!

What do you think you will be reading next?

Next I will be reading Pyxis by K.C Neal. I can't wait to see what all the excitement is about!

 What's on your WWW Wednesday this week? 

 Happy reading everyone!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Deep Down True by Juliette Fay

From the author of Shelter Me--a funny and poignant novel about having your heart in the right place.

Newly divorced Dana Stellgarten has always been unfailingly nice- even to telemarketers-but now her temper is wearing thin. Money is tight, her kids are reeling from their dad's departure, and her Goth teenage niece has just landed on her doorstep.

As she enters the slipstream of post-divorce romance and is befriended by the town queen bee, Dana finds that the tension between being true to yourself and being liked doesn't end in middle school... and that sometimes it takes a real friend to help you embrace adulthood in all its flawed complexity. ~~ synopsis from Goodreads

My thoughts on Deep Down True ~~

First of all, I need to confess that this book first caught my attention because of the cover ~ I think it is beautiful. I love blue and this cover has a whole lotta blue. Seriously, a cover can do it for me ~ give me a beautiful cover and I am going to want to delve into the story!

So this is a great story about a family thrown into turmoil when the parents divorce. I think we all can relate to that, either personally or because of someone close to us.  

It also covers the teen years and how complicated that can be. And are adults really that much different? We all want to be liked and to fit in, don't we? Dana, the mom and Morgan, her teenage daughter, just want to be accepted by the 'cool kids' ~ but at what cost? There are some good life lessons in this story.  

I really liked the story, the characters and the author's writing. I especially like Alder, Dana's Goth teenage niece, who shows up on her doorstep because of troubles at home. She has an old soul and is a really great kid ~ what an asset she was to the family and I just loved how she just always seemed to know what to say and do. She did not judge people and seemed to see the good in everyone and every situation. I wish I had Alder in my life. 

And I love it when I find the connection in the story to the title that the author gave her story. I get 'deep down true'. 

Juliette Fay has another book out, Shelter Me, that sounds great too. I am going to be adding that one to my TBR list.

Here are some of my favorite lines from the book ~~ 

'People want to be liked. They do things or go along with stuff because they are afraid they'll get shut out if they don't.' ~~Alder (isn't that great?)

The memory of a book, Dana mused as she turned off the light and headed out of the room. Wouldn't life be so easy if that's all we needed to feel comforted?

'But you don't always see what I see either. And sometimes it's the people closest to us that we don't see as clearly as we see other things.' ~~ Dana

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by  
Each week we spotlight the books we've received 
for review, swapped, won or purchased.

In My Mailbox / On My Kindle

The Delilah Complex
Desires of the Dead
My Little Pet Dragon, A Picture Book Adventure
The Darkness Gathers
What Happened to Hannah
The Ninth Step
Waiting On Hope
The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken
High-Heels And Slippers!

For Review 
What Happened To Hannah for TLC Book Tours 

Desires of the Dead from BookMooch 

Bedbugs from Pawing Thru Books
The Darkness Gathers from Read It Forward
High-Heels & Slippers from Chick Lit Central 

e-Books Purchased / Free for my Kindle
The Delilah Complex
The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken
My Little Pet Dragon
The Ninth Step
Waiting on Hope

What did you get this week? 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

200 Followers Giveaway!!

 Let's Celebrate!!

I just recently jumped from 
80+ followers to 200+ followers!  

A lot of those new followers are because of a 
giveaway hop that I participated in. 

Aren't giveaway hops wonderful?

So..... since I held my very first, little, tiny giveaway when I reached 50 followers, (that was so exciting!) 
I am going to give one book for every 
50 additional followers that I currently have. 

So, let's pause a moment to 'do the math'.

If you are catching my drift .... 
that will be 3 (three) books
I'm going to give away!!

I looked through my shelves and I am going to offer 
several, gently read books that the winners can pick from. 
Some are ARCs but, hey, that's okay, right?

So the first name drawn will have first pick from the choices. The second name will then pick from the rest of the choices and the third will pick ....... you get the idea.

And let's make this International!!

For all of you outside the U.S. ~ you can get any book of your choice up to $15 
from The Book Depository, if they ship to you.

 ~ So here are the books up for grabs ~
  More could be added to the list later, 
depending on my mood and what I get read.

~ and these are in alphabetical order, 
just because that is how we do it in the library world ~

The title links will lead you to my thoughts on the books. 

Chosen by Chandra Hoffman 

A Cure to Die For by Stephen G. Mitchell

Folly Beach by Dorothea Benton Frank

Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi (ARC)

Spin by Catherine Mckenzie 

Year of the Chick by Romi Moondi


Friday, January 20, 2012

Fun on Friday!

Here's another fun video ~

~ just because it's Friday 
and we should enjoy ourselves.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Spin by Catherine Mckenzie

Katie Sandford has just gotten an interview at her favourite music magazine, The Line. It's the chance of a lifetime. So what does she do? Goes out to celebrate - and shows up still drunk at the interview. No surprise, she doesn't get the job, but the folks at The Line think she might be perfect for another assignment for their sister gossip rag. 

All Katie has to do is follow It Girl Amber Sheppard into rehab. If she can get the inside scoop (and complete the 30-day program without getting kicked out), they'll reconsider her for the job at The Line.

Katie takes the job. But things get complicated when real friendships develop, a cute celebrity handler named Henry gets involved, and Katie begins to realize she may be in rehab for a reason. Katie has to make a decision -- is publishing the article worth everything she has to lose? ~~synopsis from Goodreads

My thoughts on Spin ~~

Poor Katie - she wants to be a writer so bad. It's just that her idea of a social life gets in her way, too much drinking and partying. When she bombs her dream job interview, she is crushed.

But wait ..... they have a deal for her - go into rehab and get the scoop on a star and maybe they will have a job for her. Okay, she can do this! But while she is there, pretending like she needs treatment, she learns a lot about herself and those around her. They are not just stars, they are people just like she is.

Katie does a lot of growing up during those 30 days in rehab. Much of it was painful to go through but it's good in the end, right? Let's hope so!

What an amazing story! I immediately connected with Katie and wanted her to find happiness in her life. This book pulled me in and I spent a great weekend totally immersed in Katie's world. I love it when I find a book that I don't want to leave!

It was interesting how the author worked the word 'spin' into the story in various ways; spinning out of control, head was spinning, put a different spin on the story ~ you get the idea. It made it all connect together.

I totally enjoyed reading Spin. This is the first book that I have read by Ms. McKenzie but she is definitely going on my list of 'to-be-read' authors.

And I am so excited that she has 2 more books being published this year! I can't wait to get my hands on them!

Spin will be out in paperback in the U.S. on February 7. 
Her next novel, Arranged, will be released on May 15th with another book, Forgotten coming out later in 2012.  

Spin is going to be on tour in February over at 
TLC Book Tours

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WWW Wednesdays January 18

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Should Be Reading 

To play along, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Deep Down True by Juliette Fay. I have loved this cover since I first saw it and it has been on my TBR pile ever since.
It's time to get it read!!

What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum for my book club discussion. We had probably one of the best discussion we have had about a book in a long time.

Great book club selection! 

I also finished reading Year of the Chick by Romi Moondi for it's ChickLitPlus Book Tour.  Look for my thoughts on January 26th and an author guest post on January 27th.

Loved it!

What do you think you will be reading next?

I will be reading Night Road by Kristin Hannah. My book group won copies from TLC Book Tours (whoo hooo!) and we will be discussing it later this month.

 What's on your WWW Wednesday this week? 

 Happy reading everyone!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...