Book Review: Anxiety Girl by Lacey London

Anxiety Girl: It's okay to be afraid...Anxiety Girl: It’s okay to be afraid… by Lacey London

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The premise intrigued me, because it seemed heavily centered on anxiety, which I have (fun stuff). Sadie Valentine is the main character, a beautiful young woman who seems to have almost everything—a great best friend (Aldo, a gay hairdresser), a glamorous apartment her mother gifted her, commission selling paintings (although I didn’t ever get the feeling she really enjoyed art much, just that it was a kind-of job) and fun, city living. What she doesn’t have is a love life, and getting over her ex-fiance is one thing that pushes her over the edge into a breakdown, even months after they’ve split. There’s also some catty frenemies, and Sadie’s distant, cold mother who make matters worse. Sadie ends up falling into a sudden and deep depression/anxiety mash-up, and finally leans on a support group for help before taking back her life.
What I didn’t like: I would have loved the author to develop the plot line with Sadie’s mysterious father a little more—it felt thrown in and back out just as quickly. The bitchy friends made me see red, so I was waiting for a Sadie to smack them down HARD for a long time, and it didn’t quite turn out like that, so I got miffed that she wasn’t tougher on them. And also, I think there should have been more solutions to anxiety presented (including a more in-depth look at medication, which does work wonders for some.) But…
What I liked: Sadie was a character I really enjoyed! I could picture her clearly, and I could feel her pain. I don’t know how different the story would look through the lens of a reader who doesn’t suffer from anxiety or depression (possibly quite different), but for me, it rang true many times. I cared about her. I cared about Aldo. Their friendship was endearing, and they really felt like family to each other. I liked the support group, and I would have even enjoyed more interaction with the group characters, besides the one girl she befriended (who I also really liked though I’ve forgotten her name).
Overall, I’d give it 3.5 stars, but let’s round to 4. I fell in love with Sadie in a way, and I was so happy for her ability to turn herself around. Good book that touches on the struggles with anxiety, particularly for someone who doesn’t think it can ever happen to them. I’d love to see what happens to Sadie next!

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Book Release Countdown

Happy Tuesday!

Let’s be real; Tuesdays aren’t all that thrilling, although we are having tacos tonight at my house. So.

But today is exciting because I got my final proof for Beach Glass & Other Broken Things in the mail, and even though there was a pretty significant fix I had to make (with help) in order to upload the final, final, final version (HOPEFULLY???) I’m happy and relieved release day is almost here! Just 8 more days until I can take a big breath and let this book out into the world. I’m a little nervous because I am literally out of time to order another paperback proof, so fingers crossed that everything comes out okay and I can double/triple-quadruple check everything online.

What I’ve learned: Self-publishing an entire book is so, so different than self-publishing an e-story (duh), and way different than being published with a (small) publisher. I did not realize how much work everything was going to be for me, or how much stress I’d be under as I neared the release date. The awesome thing is it’s also been really cool, and I will definitely do it again. Someday. LOLOLOLOLOL.

For now, I’m checking things off my long list and have to get final files uploaded to the various sites, contact some local press, set up my FB giveaway, mail out some paperbacks to some early readers, and things like that.

Next Wednesday will be a great day, and I will be back then to share my release day links. Make sure you come back, too!

 

Book Review: Legend by Jude Deveraux

 

I’ve been able to catch up on some reading lately (yay!) so I’ll have some more reviews coming (Caraval is one of them!). For a book review tonight, let’s do a little throw-back with a book I first read in high school. Back then (the late 90’s mostly, ::sob::), a couple of my friends and I discovered this tiny, little-known room (The Room of Requirement, possibly?) with loads of romance paperbacks, and a couple cool staff members who let us borrow them. If memory serves, I first found this book there, and it is one of my old favs to this day. 

Legend by best selling author Jude Deveraux, is a perfect mix of humor, plot twists and romance, although it is light on the steam factor. Kady Long is a 30-year old chef living in Virginia. In fact, she’s one of the most famous chefs around. People come from all over the country to eat at Onions, the restaurant where she works. She’s also happily engaged to Gregory, the son of her boss. Kady can’t believe how lucky she is and yet she cannot stop thinking about the mystery man who’s haunted her dreams since childhood. With only the top half of his face visible in her dreams, the rest covered by a black veil, Kady doesn’t know who he is but she convinces herself that her Arabian prince must be Gregory; they look similar enough.

As Kady runs a few wedding errands, she wanders into an antique shop and on a whim, purchases a rusty flour tin. Later, when she opens it, Kady is surprised to see a beautiful old-fashioned wedding dress, a pocket watch and a family photograph with the name Jordan on the back. To her amazement, the dress fits her perfectly. Having found no wedding dress as of yet, Kady knows this is the one she will wear to marry Gregory. But then Kady is overcome with a dizzy spell and when she comes to, she is no longer in her apartment but in the old Western town of Legend, Colorado. The year is 1873 and Cole Jordan is about to be hanged. What happens next is an amazing tale of time travel and love. As Kady tries to find a way back home, she is pulled deeper into this time period and into the arms of Cole. But then she learns a secret that changes everything in ways she never could have imagined.

Legend is warm, optimistic, and lovely. I fell in love with the characters, especially Cole. He is sweet and fun and he really opened up a side of Kady that I feel she was hiding. Kady is a joy to read and it’s refreshing in a romance not to read about a “perfect” woman. She’s also a very talented chef and for food lovers, this is a must read as she describes recipes and also puts on a feast that lasts for several days. Throughout the book she cooks everything from rattlesnake to croissants. I also couldn’t stop wondering about the mysterious Arabian man from her dreams. Who is he? Is he connected to Gregory? To Cole? And when you learn the answer, you will be surprised too. Legend is a wonderful romance novel that you won’t want to put down. And when you do, you’ll be wondering how long before you can pick it back up again! It’s a book I’ve read dozens of times, and I always enjoy it when I revisit it. Love.

Originally posted with Writers News Weekly in 2009. Revised and posted in 2017.

Introducing Book Bestie, Jamie McLachlan

Meet one of my co-authors, Jamie!

Book Besties

As some of you may know, I’m Jamie McLachlan—Canadian author of the Memory Collector Series: Mind of the Phoenix (an Amazon Bestseller in Dark Fantasy), Pawn of the Phoenix, and Rise of the Phoenix. The Memory Collector Series follows Moira and Detective Keenan Edwards as they search for the Phoenix, a serial killer intent on eliminating the Elite and freeing the empaths. Moira, an empath and slave to the Elite, must decide how much her freedom is worth and what she’s willing to sacrifice in order to attain it.

I’m delighted to be a part of Book Besties, and I can still remember the first time we reached out to one another. It’s been quite the journey, and I’m glad I got to share it with these lovely authors. The theme and title of Déjà You: Stories of Second Chances came easily to us, while the cover took…

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April Update

Hi.

I’ve been having some minor blog guilt because I know I’m slacking on cool, new posts (sorry!) BUT I do have a few neat things to share today. Soon, I’ll have some book reviews (because, yay! I’ve been reading more) up, too. But today I just want to update you on a few things.

-My publisher Penner is interested in Weightless. It doesn’t mean they’ll take it, but I’m excited that the premise was intriguing enough. So far, I’ve sent a few chapters and the synopsis. I’d be grateful for some good vibes. I really love this story and I think it deserves an audience.

-I’m back on to the querying game for Witch Lessons! Partly fun, partly brutal, I’m starting out again with a pretty good responses. I’ve gotten some rejections but I also have a partial and a full out right now. So that’s sweet. Another batch is going to go out next week so fingers crossed. I really have had a good feeling about this ms for a long time. I love it, and I hope others will, also.

-As for poetry news, I got an acceptance for SIX poems from a really kick-ass place. I’m still waiting to hear that they’ve received my email accepting their acceptance (ha) so I don’t want to shout it from the rooftops yet because I’m still a little afraid it won’t happen. But still, so far so good?

Beach Glass & Other Broken Things is almost here! Can you believe it? Because I sure can’t! Don’t forget to sign up for the Goodreads giveaway. There’s still plenty of time left to enter and win a signed copy plus an engraved piece of beach glass. Right now I’m just reading through the last proof to make sure all is good on the paperback front, and then that’s it. I can sit back and enjoy my book birthday in a few weeks!

-Deja You: Stories of Second Chances, my BookBesties collaboration is also almost here. We just ordered our proofs and they arrived today, and they are gorg. Now we need to read through and make sure there’s no errors or anything, and then that will be on the way to publication (May 30th). We’ll also be doing a giveaway for that, so stay tuned.

-Fireflies & Fairy Dust. The anthology I’m helping out with is now re-opened for submissions. Please check it out here.

I think that’s it. Besides the mess that is my personal life right now (a happy mess, but still, a mess, thank you house reno), that’s all. Work at the library is going well, family is good, and I am anxiously awaiting completing some of the projects above so that I can get back to the writing. Damn, do I miss it.

Take care, guys. Enjoy the upcoming weekend!

Cover Reveal: Déjà You! 

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TITLE: Déjà You
PUBLISHER: Emerald Lily Publishing
RELEASE DATE: May 30, 2017

In Déjà You, five authors share stories of second chances, as varied in telling as the writers themselves.

Kelly Cain’s We’ll Always Have Oahu takes us on a whirlwind New Adult romance set in the 80s between a young woman on a high school graduation trip and a handsome Navy sailor.

Bianca M. Schwarz transports us to 1760 in The Pearl with the story of Marcus Landover, who attends a card party and ends up with more than he bargained for in the beautiful Sophia Chelmsford.

Amanda Linsmeier’s Joy and Sorrow reunites lovers separated by death in a Women’s Fiction tinged with the unusual.

The Eyes of the Heart by Jamie McLachlan gives us Rosalina, who is forced to confront her attraction and the truth about her blindness when a new gardener is hired at the Greystone house.

Finally, C.H. Armstrong brings us Mr. Midnight, where tragedy reunites two star-crossed lovers, but misunderstandings soon rip them apart. Now, six years later, the stars are realigning with the help of the smooth voice of a late night radio DJ.

Some of the stories are sweet, some sad, some steamy, but all carry the same theme. Déjà You is a collection of stories for those who believe in love, but most of all, second chances.


The Birth of Déjà You

About two years ago, a group of five novice writers signed with the same small publisher, each inexperienced in the publishing world yet committed to understanding the process and finding success. Through their mutual dive into unchartered territory, Amanda Linsmeier, Bianca M. Schwarz, C.H. Armstrong, Kelly Cain, and Jamie McLachlan reached out to one another and became instant friends, sharing laughs, tears, and the struggles of life and writing. We soon dubbed ourselves “Book Besties.”

During the fall of 2016, we decided to write a book of short stories together. As friends, we wanted to combine our talents to create a collection that would inspire hope and happiness. After much deliberation, we chose the theme “Second Chances” and decided to title this anthology, “Déjà You.” Though each story contains the same theme, they all are as unique as the author who wrote it. Including New Adult, Women’s Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, and Contemporary Romance, each short offers a different take on the theme and involves varying heat levels, from sweet to steamy.


About the Authors

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Kelly Cain has published a multicultural adult and new adult romance, but she writes across genres and age groups, currently penning book one of a young adult urban fantasy series. Most of her stories are set in Texas with frequent travels to her home state of California, and all of her stories have an excess of food weaved throughout.

If she’s not writing, she’s probably reading. Or maybe cooking. Check out her website for recipes for dishes featured in her books, and some other fun stuff. She has two adult daughters and lives in a suburb of Houston, Texas.

Kelly is the author of Altered, a new adult multicultural romance available wherever books are sold and Connections: A Steamy Short Story exclusively available on Amazon. Visit her on her Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Tumbler.

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Bianca M Schwarz was born in Germany, spent her formative years in London, and has a US passport, but she considers herself a world citizen. She lives in Los Angeles because that’s where they make movies and she used to work on them. She writes novels because that’s kind of like making a movie in people’s heads and because she just loves books. Bianca has one son, because that’s all she can handle and she tolerates her husband because, well, she loves him and there is no help for that. Visit her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

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Amanda Linsmeier is the author of Ditch Flowers and Beach Glass & Other Broken Things. Her writing has been featured in Portage Magazine, Literary Mama, and Brain, Child Magazine. Besides writing Women’s Fiction, she loves reading and writing fables, fairytales, and fantasy, and sometimes she pretends her Hogwarts letter is still coming. She can be found blogging about writing and books at amandalinsmeier.com. When she’s not writing, she works part-time at her local library and brings home more books than she has time to read. Amanda lives in the countryside, surrounded by trees, with her family, two dogs, and two half-wild cats. You can Amanda’s blog for book reviews and random musings, or check her out on Twitter or Facebook for more information.

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Jamie McLachlan is the Canadian author of Mind of the Phoenix, an Amazon Bestseller in Dark Fantasy and the first novel in the Memory Collector Series. The third, Rise of the Phoenix, is set for release in summer of 2017. When not writing, Jamie reads, dabbles in various crafts, and spends time with her family. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and her website.

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C.H. Armstrong is an Oklahoma-native transplanted in the Midwest. A life-long lover of books, she made her author debut with the 2016 release of her historical fiction novel, The Edge of Nowhere, which was inspired by her own family’s struggles during the one-two punch that was The Great Depression and The Dust Bowl. Armstrong is currently working on two young adult novels and is a regular contributor to the Minnesota-based women’s magazine, Rochester Women. Visit her on Twitter, Facebook, and her website.


For more information on Déjà You or the Book Besties, visit their website, or find them on Twitter or Facebook.

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