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Review of Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

 

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About Lies We Tell Ourselves

In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept separate but equal.

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.

My Review

“Other people will always try to decide things for you. They’ll try to tell you who you are. Remember, no matter what they say, you’re the one who really decides.”

Such an amazingly powerful book. I struggled with the amount of hate and anger spewing from the pages. The scenarios and characters felt incredibly real which magnified the reading experience making it even more painful and uncomfortable to read. The two different perspectives provide dimension and great interest both highly educational.

Sarah’s strength and determination left a lasting impression. I supported her from the beginning, hoping she’d overcome the hostility and cruelty. Dealing with segregation and the fact she is a lesbian, no doubt she’s dealing with a lot of heavy issues. Linda initially appears downright ignorant, one of the many haters until family issues are revealed, we understand her more and her personal challenges.

An emotional read leaving you tangled in an array of emotions, evoking. Great read for all with plenty to discuss. Impactful and halting.

About Robin Talley6469490

I live in Washington, D.C., with my wife, our baby daughter, an antisocial cat and a goofy hound dog. Whenever the baby’s sleeping, I’m probably busy writing young adult fiction about queer characters, reading books, and having in-depth conversations with friends and family about things like whether Jasmine’s character motivation was sufficiently established in Aladdin.

Published September 30th 2014 by Harlequin Teen

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Guest Post: Tess Woods, author of Love at First Flight

Unshelfish extends a warm welcome to Tess Woods, author of Love at First Flight

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Guest Post
Tess Woods – 60 BLOG TOPICS FOR AUTHORS

What is it with writing blogs that turns authors into jibbering wrecks? We seem to have no issue writing a one hundred thousand word book, but ask us to write three hundred words for a blog post and our legs give way!

Blogging should be easy. There are no rules for blogging and as long as you’re not malicious or inappropriate (no racist rants!), you can pretty much write about anything. Blogs can be short or long and as personal as you like. You don’t just have to write about topics related to your book either, your readers will love getting to know more about you no matter what you write about.

I hope these blogging ideas help you out for your next book release and make things easier for when you get those dreaded emails from the sites promoting your new book containing those hateful eight words “can you please write us a guest blog?”

10 OBVIOUS BLOG TOPICS

Okeydokey, so let’s start with the no-brainer blog posts. Here are ten ideas to get you started on a blog tour that are so easy to write they could write themselves.

1. What inspired the story?

2. Your journey to publication.

3. How has your experience as a published author been so far?

4. Who would you like to see play the lead roles in the movie version of your book?

5. What was your writing process like and how long did it take to write this book?

6. When did you realise you wanted to be a writer and what made you take the leap to start writing?

7. Are you a plotter or a pantster – was this particular book plotted? Did the story change from how you originally planned it?

8. What tips from your own experience can you share with aspiring writers?

9. Share your best and worst reviews and discuss how much or how little good and bad reviews affect you.

10. What do you want readers to take away from your story?

50 NOT SO OBVIOUS BLOG TOPICS

Once you’ve exhausted the easy options, here’s another fifty ideas to keep you blogging and blogging…

1. List your favourite things and talk about why you love them – food, shows, colours, things to wear, things to do, songs etc.

2. What you would take and why if you were stranded on a deserted island?

3. Share your most memorable childhood experience.

4. What was the first grown up novel you ever read and how did it shape you?

5. Which authors have most influenced you and what are the books they’ve written that you love?

6. Write your fantasy dinner party guest list.

7. If you could bring back one person from history to hang out with you for a day who would it be?

8. If you had half an hour with God how would you spend that time?

9. How much is your personality reflected in your star sign?

10. Your wedding day – all the quirky details.

11. Your most memorable holiday and why it was so amazing.

12. The one place you are dying to visit and why.

13. How you juggle writing and work or writing and being a parent.

14. Real life experiences that influenced your fictional story.

15. A list of random/funny facts about you that you haven’t shared publicly before.

16. Alternative book titles you thought about and how you ended up choosing your title.

17. How you named your characters –what process did you use to choose names?

18. How have your family/friends/work mates reacted to your book. Does anybody think it’s about them??

19. Your most embarrassing experience ever.

20. Your most epic fashion fail (include photos)!

21. The best birthday/Christmas present you ever received.

22. Take photos of your writing space, discuss your writing routine and why you like to write there.

23. Take photos of your pets and say anything you like about them – everyone goes gaga at pet photos.

24. What did you do to celebrate finishing writing your book?

25. Your first kiss – who, what, when, where, how old were you, are you still in touch?

26. What do you find the hardest about writing?

27. Share things you know now that you wish you knew before you were published.

28. Describe a typical day in your life.

29. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

30. Write your main character into a famous movie scene.

31. Write an open letter to your thirteen-year-old self.

32. What is your favourite genre to read and why?

33. Do you have another great passion apart from writing? (e.g. are you also a passionate cook?) Write about your other passions.

34. What would you do with five million dollars if you won it?

35. How do you research for your books? Is research something you hate or enjoy?

36. List the five things you love the most about the city you live in.

37. What is the best advice you were ever given both as a writer and as a person?

38. What are the ingredients of a really good story? And what kind of stories turn you off?

39. What do you do when you get writer’s block?

40. If there was to be a movie made about your life, who would play you?

41. Share the back story of how your book cover came to be.

42. Share your favourite recipe or your main character’s favourite recipe.

43. Review five of your all-time favourite movies.

44. Share ten inspirational quotes and say what they mean to you.

45. Who have been the major role models in your life and why (this could range from family members to movie stars to political figures from history).

46. Write about all the different houses you’ve lived in and share the best/worst/funniest memory from each one.

47. If you had one chance to enter a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

48. Write any step-by-step guide for aspiring authors – e.g. how to submit to publishers or how to market your book.

49. Choose five photos from different stages of your life and caption them with a little back story of each one.

50. Do what I just did and write a list about something – anything! People love lists. True story!

tess woodsAbout Tess Woods

Tess Woods is a health professional who lives in Perth, Australia with one husband, two children, one dog and one cat who rules over all of them. Love at First Flight is her first novel for HarperCollins. When she isn’t working or being a personal assistant to her kids, Tess enjoys reading and all kinds of grannyish pleasures like knitting, baking, drinking tea, watching Downton Abbey and tending to the veggie patch.

Find out more about Tess at her website and connect with her on Facebook and  Goodreads.

25058078About Love at First Flight

Looking back on it now, I can see it was instant. The second we locked eyes. Boom. Just like that. The me I had spent a lifetime perfecting began its disintegration from that moment. And despite the carnage it brought to all our lives, I still don’t regret it.

What would you risk to be with the love of your life? And what if your soul mate is the one who will destroy you?

Mel is living the dream. She’s a successful GP, married to a charming anaesthetist and raising a beautiful family in their plush home in Perth. But when she boards a flight to Melbourne, she meets Matt and her picture perfect Stepford life unravels as she falls in love for the first time ever.

What begins as a flirty conversation between strangers quickly develops into a hot and obsessive affair with disastrous consequences neither Mel nor Matt could have ever seen coming. Mel’s dream life turns into her worst nightmare.

Love at First Flight will take everything you believe about what true love is and spin it on its head.

Guest Post: Tess Woods, author of Love at First Flight

Unshelfish extends a warm welcome to Tess Woods, author of Love at First Flight

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Guest Post

Tess Woods – tips for bloggers for interviewing authors

 

Authors love bloggers. We really, really do! Bloggers give us much needed exposure by bringing our names and our books to the attention of all their followers. With every new book release, many of us authors promote it with a blog tour and it often involves author interviews. And that can mean lots and lots and LOTS of interviews! So what do we like to be asked and what gets us all fired up (not in a good way)? Here’s a list of Do’s and Don’ts some of my author mates from HarperCollins and I have come up with.

Do’s:

  • Give us a choice of questions to choose from so if we really don’t feel like answering something we don’t feel pressured to. Saying “choose any five or choose any ten questions” and providing roughly double the amount of questions you want answered will make us happy – we’ll choose the fifty percent of questions we like the most.
  • Ask us about the book we’re promoting, we want to shout about our new books from the rooftops and we don’t get sick of being asked to tell people about it.
  • Stalk us before you interview us. If you check out our websites and Facebook pages and read the “about the author” section in our books, you’ll discover lots of personal things about us and then your interview can include less generic questions. A great example is that a blogger found out I loved to knit so one of her questions was “what’s the nicest thing you’ve knitted?” and I was able to share a gorgeous photo of a knitted bunny I made for my daughter. The same blogger also asked “what was your most interesting flight experience?” (because my novel is called “Love at First Flight”) and that gave me the opportunity to share a hilarious real life story. Finding out about authors and tailoring your questions to suit us will give you an interview with an edge. If you stick to generic questions, we’ll just copy and paste our answers from the other interviews we’ve done and you won’t get “a scoop”.
  • Ask us about our journey to publication. Everyone’s journey is different and these stories are great inspiration for authors out there who need it. The “I did it so you can too” feel good story has great appeal!
  • Give us a couple of weeks to get back to you. Get in early with your interviews. Most of us have day jobs and lots of us are parents too so between that and our writing, there isn’t much time for interviews (as much as we need and love the exposure from them!) so please give us a bit of time to get our answers back to you.
  • Send us the link and the date that the interview will be live on your site and then remind us again once it is live because then we’ll promote it from our platforms and hopefully you’ll get lots more hits on your pages when our followers come to check out the interview!
  • Keep the interviews relatively short, ten questions should be about the limit.
  • Ask us about our favourite things. Questions like “name your favourite food, movie, holiday destination”. These questions give us something in common with our readers and make us more relatable as people. It also gives a little glimpse into our lives without being too confronting.
  • Ask us who we would cast in the movie versions of our books. We all dream of movie adaptations of our stories (those who say they have never thought of this are telling bigger lies than Pinocchio) and this is a fun question that will help readers instantly relate to our stories when they can picture the movie stars in the leading roles.
  • Ask about what we are working on now. Most authors promoting one book have already started or about to start working on a second project and we are grateful for the opportunity to promote our latest work.

Don’ts:

  • Ask us how much money we’ve made or how many copies we’ve sold. We really, really hate that question. It is something ALL authors hate being asked plus it’s just plain rude. You wouldn’t ask any other professional how much they earn and authors are no different.
  • Ask an eBook author if they would like a print deal because the answer was and always will be YES! Every single author dreams of holding their own book in their hands but it can sometimes be a very touchy subject so it’s best to avoid it.
  • Ask any author whether they prefer eBooks or print books because it puts us in an awkward position. If a print author reads all her books on a Kindle, her publisher will be none too pleased to hear her say so and the same goes with an eBook author saying how much she loves print books.
  • Ask a self-published author if they would like to be traditionally published. This is insults the hard work and professionalism of Indie authors. A way around this could be to ask for pros and cons about self-publishing which would give your readers a great insight without offending the author who has worked so hard to publish her book.
  • Ask authors to name their favourite author or their favourite book. We don’t want to name one and risk offending others. A better way to ask might be, “are there any authors or books that influenced or inspired you?” and leave the question open for several authors who inspired us to be named. Asking “who is your favourite author?” or “what is your favourite book?” can be almost impossible for us to answer.
  • Ask questions that are too personal. We may want to keep our private and public lives separate so asking about relationships and children in an obtrusive way isn’t a great idea.

I hope these tips help you to get the most out of interviewing authors and from all of us to all of you I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to you wonderful people for helping us gain fans and sell books!

tess woodsAbout Tess Woods

Tess Woods is a health professional who lives in Perth, Australia with one husband, two children, one dog and one cat who rules over all of them. Love at First Flight is her first novel for HarperCollins. When she isn’t working or being a personal assistant to her kids, Tess enjoys reading and all kinds of grannyish pleasures like knitting, baking, drinking tea, watching Downton Abbey and tending to the veggie patch.

Find out more about Tess at her website and connect with her on Facebook and  Goodreads.

25058078About Love at First Flight

Looking back on it now, I can see it was instant. The second we locked eyes. Boom. Just like that. The me I had spent a lifetime perfecting began its disintegration from that moment. And despite the carnage it brought to all our lives, I still don’t regret it.

What would you risk to be with the love of your life? And what if your soul mate is the one who will destroy you?

Mel is living the dream. She’s a successful GP, married to a charming anaesthetist and raising a beautiful family in their plush home in Perth. But when she boards a flight to Melbourne, she meets Matt and her picture perfect Stepford life unravels as she falls in love for the first time ever.

What begins as a flirty conversation between strangers quickly develops into a hot and obsessive affair with disastrous consequences neither Mel nor Matt could have ever seen coming. Mel’s dream life turns into her worst nightmare.

Love at First Flight will take everything you believe about what true love is and spin it on its head.

Review & Giveaway: Love at First Flight by Tess Woods

25058078

What begins as a flirty conversation between strangers quickly develops into a hot and obsessive affair with disastrous consequences neither Mel nor Matt could have ever seen coming. Mel’s dream life turns into her worst nightmare.

I was blown away with the story!!

“The verb love is what counts, not the feeling of love. When you feel love, it’s selfish, it’s just for you and it affects nobody but you. But when you act love, you are committing the act of loving somebody.”

A powerful painful story of infidelity. Choices, actions, reactions. The ravages of the aftermath, consequences, and the cutting impact. This story left me lost deep in thought in both subject matter and characters regaling under my skin for days. Filled with emotion you will find yourself fully invested in the story. The intricacies and complexities of relationships explored thoroughly. Heartbreaking, excruciating yarn of one woman torn.

Tess Woods is on my radar, unbelievable debut effort. Unforgettable compelling read. I found myself immersed in the characters world, I was left depleted and exhausted, breathless and at times speechless. A rollercoaster ride of every feeling and emotion imaginable, charged, frustrated, eyes brimming with tears.

tess woodsAbout Tess Woods

Tess Woods is a health professional who lives in Perth, Australiawith one husband, two children, one dog and one cat who rules over all of them. Love at First Flight is her first novel for HarperCollins. When she isn’t working or being a personal assistant to her kids, Tess enjoys reading and all kinds of grannyish pleasures like knitting, baking, drinking tea, watching Downton Abbey and tending to the veggie patch.

Find out more about Tess at her website and connect with her on Facebook and  Goodreads.

Giveaway

Enter to win a iBook voucher for Love at First Flight (MUST be redeemed by June 25) by completing the giveaway form below. Open Internationally. Ends 6/22/15
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Review: Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani w/ Giveaway

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•Paperback: 378 Pages
•Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (May 1, 2015)

Trail of Broken Wings reveals the burden of shame and secrets, the toxicity of cruelty and aggression, and the exquisite, liberating power of speaking and owning truth.

I found myself lost in this book for a number of reasons, you will as well with all certainty.

A convoluted story of harbored dark secrets tucked away forever plaguing a family and each individual member. Healing is examined in an intricate and involved manner accompanied with high emotions and stress. Unearthing buried secrets takes its toll as we discover in this broken family. The ravages of abuse, its aftermath expertly depicted.

“What he did to you can never be undone. But don’t let it color your life. Don’t let his actions or his way of living become your truth.”

A disturbing story, incandescent, engrossing. A combination of strong characterization, a well crafted narrative complete with a somewhat jaw dropper ending causing an audible gasp makes for an enthralling painful read. As a survivor of abuse I was greatly affected by this story as well as its cast.

“Everyone must reach a point in their life when they stop running. When it is easier to stand still than to keep being chased, even if the person chasing you is only in your head.”

Trust, heavy questions, vague answers, strength, forgiveness, healing, will leave you lost in thought. A stirring memorable read.

“I wait for the pity, the disgust, all the things that come with someone knowing you are damaged. The acceptance that the scars that cover your body and soul have shriveled you to nothing but a fragment of what you once were.”

About Sejal BadaniSejal-Badani_120dpi-216x300

Sejal Badani is a former attorney. She currently lives on the West Coast with her family and their two dogs.

Giveaway

To enter to win a copy of Trail of Broken Wings please complete the giveaway form below. Open to US/CA residents only. Ends 5/28/15
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Excited to be included in the tour for Sejal Badani’s Trail of Broken Wings. Be sure to click on the TLC banner to check out the entire tour schedule. Thank you TLC!

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