Book Birthday! 

Hi, everyone. Today is release day for Like Waves: Poetry! Can you believe it? I can’t. It seems like a whirlwind, especially looking back and realizing how much I’ve accomplished this year, what with publishing 3 books, getting individual things published, and everything else. Phew! 

I am happy for these milestones, and hope you’ll share your support of my newest release. About the book:

A collection of poetry by Amanda Linsmeier, Like Waves dives into the author’s complex relationship with her body, told in three sections: Before, During, and After/Still. The first part centers around her struggle with low self-esteem and depression, the second throws the reader deep into the years of recurrent miscarriage, and the third, with the acceptance of her own imperfections. 

These poems evoke emotion and offer a deeper understanding of not only the author’s experience within her own skin, but her connection to the bodies and minds of others. This book is a labor of love, blood, and tears, the story of one writer’s journey from girlhood to motherhood, from resentment to gratitude.

Like Waves is available here. Thank you for the likes, follows across social media, and for supporting my work. ♡ 

Have a beautiful day! 

Book Review: Magic With Skin On by Morgan Nikola-Wren

Magic with Skin OnMagic with Skin On by Morgan Nikola-Wren

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The cover drew me in first. How could it not? Once I opened the book I was quickly drawn in to the words Morgan Nikola-Wren created. Not just the words, but the world. As a reader, I loved it. As a writer (and poet) I was humbled. The word choices throughout are strong, beautiful, gut-punching. There’s strong imagery and metaphors in some, but it’s really the way the words are put together that create such beauty.
The poems are told in in Acts (7, to be exact), and there’s prose in between, so that it reads like a story, which I loved. The poems center around a relationship (somewhat toxic or damaging) and move forward through heartbreak, pain, and then healing. Themes of love—passionate and unrequited—are strung throughout, and there are several poems that touch on words/voice/power. I related to so much to it, I had to take a step back and breathe.
Sadly—or shamefully—I do not use bookmarks, and so I have a habit of dog-earring (?) pages that speak to me. I have over 20 pages of this book bent at the corners, I loved the poems on them so much. In fact, I plan to get a tattoo of one of them. Which one remains to be seen. But still, wow. Two of my favorites:
IX.
it’s nights like this, when
your grief goes smashing
into the walls that i think of
those moments that curled your hand
so sea-shell perfectly into mine
my memory skips
at the velvet shock of your skin
and i wonder
how i ever managed to fit
so much rage into my fists

and
XIII.

the next time you come at me,
with charm in your eyes
and a throat full of
“would never hurt you,”
i’ll remember that i’m just
a mistake your memory
couldn’t carry, and you’re
just an apology i’ll never
hear the air explode into,
a double-joined voice
and a snake oil smile—
so, scrub your shadow
from my front door
don’t sell me
a knock-off
love i don’t need

My only wish is that the poems had named titles instead of Roman numerals. I don’t even KNOW what those numbers are, ha, and it would be nice to put a title to each poem so I could say my favorites instead of “on page whatever”.
Gorgeous book of poetry, and a talented poetess. 5 stars. I hope to be this good someday.
If you love poetry that is rich, sensual, and powerful, get yourself this book. I’m already gleefully awaiting her next.

View all my reviews

Bookloot July Unboxing! 

Hi! The excitement is real, people. I got my first book subscription box from BookLoot yesterday and was NOT disappointed! Scroll down for a full reveal of July’s box, themed “What Fate Awaits”… 

And….ta-dah! 

How gorgeous! I recieved:

-The Library of Fates, a book by Aditi Khorana, which was already on my TBR list and I cannot wait to read it!

-Blossom of Ash, a short story by Kennedy Vega– a Hades/Persephone retelling which sounds awesome. 

-A Cloud Atlas candle, very clean/soap scent

-A Raven Boys temporary tattoo 

-coloring pages and pencils

-A pretty Ink & Wonder wooden bookmark

-2 pieces of candy, already gobbled up by my monsters

-Insert card art and a button 

I am already signed up to receive next months box and my Bookish Box should arrive any day as well. I may have a new addiction, guys…

Book Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon 

When Dimple Met RishiWhen Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I struggled with this rating, and here’s why: Dimple is not my fav. Rishi is adorable. How to marry the love/hate I have with the book, when actually, it’s more like like/dislike.
Liked:
-The premise. Two Indian teenagers with very different plans for life, and outlooks on tradition. Dimple hates make-up and has no interest in getting married. Rishi is a dutiful son who respects his parents, and just wants to get married. To Dimple. Though they’ve never met. But their parents have, and it’s they who plant the idea in Rishi’s head to get together with Dimple during Insomnia Con—some kind of coding/ap convention. Too bad Dimple has no idea this goofy stranger has already planned their lives together…
-Rishi. Like I said, he is adorable. It’s sweet to see a young man not be obsessed with sex, or be the same, tired old cliché. He was sensitive, romantic, gentle. Honey-colored eyes. And artistic. Hello? Yes, please.
-The little snippets we get of Rishi’s art and the comic convention was neat. Wish there’d been more of it. I’m not a comic-lover (mostly because I’m clueless about it all) so it would have been nice to learn more here.
-the Indian culture, in large doses, in small doses, just throughout the book. I have always admired Indian culture, food, clothing, dance, etc so it was wonderful to learn more and have it be from the main characters POV.
Disliked:
-Dimple? I don’t know. She’s kind of meh for me. Yes, I liked that she was smart, geeky, and wore glasses. Liked that she was a good friend to Celia. Liked that she got over herself and got her head out of her ass to be with Rishi. But. Why. Was. She. So. Rude. She’s just abrasive in general. And the whole “domestic” meltdown at the end didn’t feel realistic.
-Stop punching Rishi. Stop thinking you’d like to bite his nose? Ew. If this was a boy hitting a girl would it be cute?
-A little draggy in parts. I also felt like the structure was off in the plot, or the pacing. Like, they are hooked up very early in the book. Where’s the conflict exactly?
-Ending was super rushed. Also contest and all that done in like, two seconds. When did they have time to work on this project?
-Rich kid hate. Yawn.
-Did not buy the hook-up between C & A. At all.
-The dual POV. Yes, I like a dual POV in general. But why every other paragraph practically? It was distracting and kept me head-hopping the whole book. I wish the author had done every other chapter instead.

Despite the issues I found, I would read it again. It was enjoyable overall and a quick, easy read. I’d definitely read more work by this author.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann 

Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My PrettyPoisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved the description for this book (not to mention the cover) and read it quickly straight through, then went back to savor some of the poems again. I dog-eared my favorite pages (yes, I do that), and I have two that really stood out to me “The Never Ending Story” which was heart-breaking in its description of anorexia, and “To My Sheep, Wherever You Are” because I work at a library and it made me laugh. There were several that I loved, and only a few that were just meh to me; overall a really solid collection. Some poems were quite clever, spun in a way I’d never have imagined, such as the magazine retelling or the “If Tampons Were For Guys”. I enjoyed the comparison between modern day beauty standards and fairytales, between young women and these fantastical beings, although I wish there’d been even more of a fairytale aspect to some of them. I’d recommend this to lovers of poetry OR fairytales. I think it’s a sharp, lovely combination of the two, told in subtly powerful way, both funny and tragic. I’m definitely a fan of Christine Heppermann after reading this book. Oh, and did I mention the amazing photographs and artwork inside? Gorgeous, haunting book I will definitely read again.

View all my reviews

Book Review: The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs 

The Friday Night Knitting Club (Friday Night Knitting Club, #1)The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have had a copy of this book for years, and always liked the cover. I finally read it for a book club pick this month. From the description it reminded me of How to Make an American Quilt. Georgia is the owner of a yarn shop, Walker and Daughter, which she runs with her pre-teen daughter Dakota, and with the help of her good friend, the motherly-figure Anita, who helped get Georgia started with her business when she was still a single, pregnant young woman. There’s other characters too, including Lucie, who gets pregnant on the sly, Darwin (really??) a blunt college student, and James, Dakota’s absent father who stumbles back into their lives. He not only wants a relationship with his daughter, he may also want Georgia back too– but can she forgive him? There’s other characters too, but I honestly don’t even remember their names. They felt like disjointed members of a group.
The writing style was not for me. I didn’t mind the fragments as some reviewers, but the constant head-hopping was so frustrating. I don’t mind 3rd person POV, but for goodness sakes, I could hardly get invested in one character before it jumped to the next, sometimes in the same scene! I also thought the amount of backstory really dragged the story down. So. Much. Backstory. I didn’t feel a connection to any of the characters or believe they had a connection to each other until halfway through the book because the stories all felt so separate.
The ending had a bummer twist, and I actually cared enough by then to feel sad, but it was too late. 3 stars for effort and potential, and for the good parts, of which there were several. But honestly, I wish the whole book had been Anita’s story, with way more actual Friday night knitting and commradarie between these women.

View all my reviews

Cover Reveal: like waves

I am so happy to finally, FINALLY, share the cover for my upcoming poetry book, like waves! I’ve been waiting for months, and I simply cannot wait any longer! Without further ado…

A collection of poetry by Amanda Linsmeier, like waves dives into the author’s complex relationship with her body, told in three sections: before, during, and after/still. The first part centers around her struggle with low self-esteem and depression, the second throws the reader deep into the years of recurrent miscarriage, and the third, with the acceptance of her own imperfections. 

These poems evoke emotion and offer a deeper understanding of not only the author’s experience within her own skin, but her connection to the bodies and minds of others. This book is a labor of love, blood, and tears, the story of one writer’s journey from girlhood to motherhood, from resentment to gratitude.

I am in love with this cover from Harper Skye Design! And though I’m nervous about releasing a book so personal, I am also very excited. So, with that said…

If you’d like to read some of my already published poems, please click this link

And, you can pre-order the e-book here! Prefer print books? Paperbacks will be out on release day! I’m planning a mid-Auguust release, so I’ll be back with more updates, including info on getting yourself an ARC! Until then, support an indie book and pre-order while it’s on sale for just .99! 😉 
Thank you! 

Release Day- Déjà You is here!  

RELEASE DAY: 

DEJA YOU

E-books 99¢ RELEASE DAY SPECIAL
Paperbacks $10.99

deja you jpeg image

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

Amazon | B&N Paperback | Create Space Paperback

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

kellycain200x200Kelly 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 and Connections, a steamy short story exclusively available on Amazon. Visit her on her Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or Tumbler.

authorphotoweb

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.

10254015_492271840927359_9159417025130441003_nAmanda 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.

blogging

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.