Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows Blog Tour - Guest Post & Giveaway

Title: Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows
Series: Elementals #1
Author: Michelle Madow
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  iBooks
When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.

Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.

With this book being about Olympus Gods and Goddesses, I found it only fitting to have a list of both mine and Michelle's favorite Gods and Goddesses. 

Michelle's Top 5 Gods/Goddesses
1) Apollo. He’s the god of music, knowledge, truth and prophecy, healing, poetry, and more. He represents learning and order, and the Apollonian mindset is that of reason and thinking. I’ve always thought that if I went to Camp Half-Blood, I would be in Apollo’s cabin!
2) Athena. Because she’s a strong, smart, independent female.
3) Aphrodite. She derives power from her beauty, which is very different from Athena (who derives power from her brain), but I think it makes her very interesting in stories. 
4) Artemis. Because she strikes me as the most independent, wild, and free of all the gods.

5) Dionysus. Because who doesn’t love a good party now and then? ;) 

Kristie's Top 5 Gods/Goddesses
1) Hades. I have much respect for Hades. While he's given a bad rap because of what he did to Persephone, I feel that we need to acknowledge his important role within the universe. Not everyone can say they oversee the dead on a daily basis.
2) Athena. Like Michelle said, she's a BAMF. What I find most interesting, is that she is the most androgynous looking goddess.
3) Aphrodite. I feel that we all try to live up to her beauty. I think we all need to tell ourselves on a daily basis that we're as beautiful as her. 
4) Hermes. Being the God of boundaries, travel, communication, trade, language, and writing is one of the best jobs out there. If it weren't for him, we'd still be cavemen stuck grunting to each other. I also love the fact that his sacred animal is a tortoise.
5) Persephone. I've always felt a hidden love for her; while she wasn't Hades wife by choice, we have to give her mad respect for sticking around with him. We can't forget to thank her for the ability to have vegetation on earth.

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About the Author

Michelle Madow grew up in Baltimore, graduated Rollins College in Orlando, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida. She wrote her first book in her junior year of college, and has been writing novels since. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.

To get instant updates about Michelle's new books, subscribe to her newsletter and follow her on Amazon!

Connect with Michelle:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads
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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Ascenders Blog Tour - Promo

Ascenders: High School for the Recently Departed
C.L. Gaber
Release Date: April 20th 2015

Walker Callaghan doesn't know what happened to her. One minute she was living her teenage life in suburban Chicago...and the next minute, she was in a strange place and in a brand new school with absolutely no homework, no rules, and no consequences.

Walker Callaghan, 17, is dead.

She doesn't go to heaven or hell. She lands at The Academy, a middle realm where teenagers have one thing in common: They were the morning announcement at their high schools because they died young.

These high school kids are now caught in a strange “in-between” zone where life hasn’t changed very much. In fact, this special teen limbo looks a lot like life in a quaint Michigan town complete with jocks, popular girls and cliques. "There are even cheerleaders in death," Walker observes. It's not a coincidence that the music teacher is a guy named Kurt who "used to have this band." The drama teacher, Heath, is crush worthy because back in his life, he starred in some superhero movie.

Principal King explains the rules -- there are none. Why? You can't die twice.

There is no homework.
No tests.
You're just there to learn because the human brain isn't fully formed until you're 24.

By the way, you can't get hurt physically, so race your Harley off that hillside. But falling in love is the most dangerous thing you can do ...because no one knows how long you'll stay in this realm or what's next.

"Losing someone you love would be like dying twice," Walker says.

* * * * * *
Walker Callaghan has just arrived at the Academy after a tragic car accident. “Is this heaven or is this high school?” she asks.

She finds out her new life is a bit of both as she falls in love with tat-covered, bad boy Daniel Reid who is about to break the only sacred rule of this place. He's looking for a portal to return back to the living realm.

He needs just one hour to retrieve his younger brother who strangely never arrived at The Academy. Bobby is an Earth Bound Spirit, stuck at a plane crash site that took both of their lives as their rich father piloted his private jet nose-first into a cornfield on Christmas Eve.

Walker loves Daniel and risks it all to go with him.

Have they learned enough to outsmart dangerous forces while transporting a young child with them? Can their love survive the fragmented evil parts of themselves that are now hunting them down as they try to find a way back to the middle?

At the Academy, you learn the lessons of an after-lifetime. 

Resch Reads:
One word to describe this book is EPIC. Sheer writing brilliance.”
“A new ‘Twilight Zone’ of a world. Speaking of Uncle Stevie, otherwise known as Stephen King, ‘Ascenders’ reads like something he might have written back in the Twilight Zone of his own youth. I love Koontz and King and haven’t been this excited about an author in a long time.” 

 Author Groupies:
“If you’re a fan of dystopian epics, this bring a whole new element to the genre: the afterlife. I loved this book. What an original concept! Constantly changing, riveting and thought-provoking.”

 “The next big book series. Powerful and beautiful. I was so moved by this book that I actually cried, tears streaming down my face. Five minutes later, I was cheering. I felt like I had just seen a movie.” 

Mugglenet, The #1 Harry Potter Site: 
“Ascenders is one of those books that stays on your mind for days after reading it. Though you continue your days, your mind keeps wandering back to the main characters, the overarching theme, and of course, the scenarios of what could possibly happen next. I finished this novel within the span of two days, and I wish that I could start over and read the whole thing again.”

About the Author
C.L. Gaber is the author of the ASCENDERS SAGA and co author of Jex Malone. A well known entertainment journalist, she lives in Nevada with her husband Ron, bonus daughter Sabrina and two unruly dogs. ASCENDERS 2 is due out in early 2016. 

Author Links:

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Thursday, 21 January 2016

Spirituality and LGBT

Let me start off by saying, I've been wanting to write a blog post about this for some time. I didn't know where to start, as it's a slightly overwhelming subject. But after having a conversation with Elliot Wake on Twitter, I finally decided to to write about what's been on my mind. So I think I am going to just break it down into a few blog posts over the next few weeks.

First, I'm going to give a brief history about myself.

Growing up, I went to a Catholic school from grades 1-8, followed by finishing my high school years at a public school. Not only was I transferring my way of schooling, I was also handling fairly newly separeted parents. I was going into new territory that included: people with various beliefs, jocks, theatre kids, and I can't forget the LGBT community. I may have only written four groups, there are many others that are included.

Now, I guess the assumption is that growing up Catholic, that I'd be judgemental about the LGBT community. But that wasn't the case. It's the same thing as being racist, you're conditioned to be racist, you're not born racist. Also, it's not like when anyone introduces themselves for the first time, they're going to go "Hi my name is Joe, and I'm queer. Is that okay?" Same thing goes for people of faith, someone doesn't introduce and openly declare their faith.

It was then in high school, that I discovered more about myself, on a sexuality and spirituality level. While in elementary school, I grew up with the same group of classmates, and so it's safe to say that even though we may have found classmates attractive, nothing went beyond that.

It was in my high school years that I drifted away from the church, partly due to family reasons, but also, I had no one to connect with at church anymore. But after a faith journey, I've managed to find a niche in the Anglican church. Here I've connected with people my age, and I love how they challenge me and support me along my journey, just as much as I support them. I've also involved myself in the church by teaching the kids sunday school and recently joining the church choir.

So the point of all this is that I'm happy to say that I am bisexual and a woman of faith. It's something I've known about myself for a while now. But till not so long ago, has there been a lady that has tickled my fancy. I am happy to say that I am in a same sex relationship and have been since last June. I'm going to save the juicy details about that for another post.

Since the relationship, I have talked about it with friends and some family members. Some of those friends being from church. Now, it 's safe to assume that when I talked about this, I was hesitant as to how they'd react. While everyone is happy for me, some have made it obvious that they don't necessarily agree with it. Which, I more than happy with that. They knew it didn't change me or how they see me, and for htat I was grateful. Some have opened up and are happy and care about how the relationship is going and stuff.

Was I going to stop going to church and such now that i've opened up? Not even close. But on the other hand, I don't feel closer to God now that I've done this either. But it does make me happy to be able to express myself even in a house of worship.

I do plan on writing more posts about this, I'm not sure what about yet. But if you have any suggestions or questions, let me know in the comments. I love you all and thank you for making me feel comfortable enough in the blogging world to talk about this.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Birth of an American Gigolo Review & Interview

Title: Birth of an American Gigolo  
Author: Deek Rhew 
Release Date: January 19, 2016 
Review Copy: From author in exchange of honest review

An old party girl turned domestic diva, infuriated by her husband's cheating--and his holier-than-thou, tree-hugging, no-tits and no-hips girlfriend--inflicts her wrath by training a local boy in the fine art of seduction. She and her new boy toy turned love god, start a gigolo business as a distraction for the neglected and mistreated housewives of Alabaster Cove.

Warning for some readers: This isn't a young adult or new adult book. This book has adult content and may not be suitable for everyone.

Everyone wants a hot steamy book every once and a while. But sometimes it's the level of steaminess that can throw a reader such as myself off. Deek's debut book, luckily had the right amount for my taste buds. The story revolves around Lindsey and her newly acquired boy toy, Dios. We're introduced to Lindsey in a time where she's realized her husband is cheating on her. But rather than throwing divorce papers in his face, she decides to have some fun. See, Dios isn't just your average hot gardener that's hired more for eye candy than actual skill. Dios is actually the nephew Stewarts new girlfriend. After realizing who Dios is, Lindsey thinks of a plan, over a drag, that is. The plan she thinks of isn't just for her own pleasure, but for all the ladies who aren't in happy marriages. 

I enjoyed this story. It was a needed break between all the young adult stories I've been reading recently. Deek is an incredible writer, and I found myself almost being able to relate to Lindsey. Seeing that I've never been married, I was expecting to just feel pity for her. If you're expecting more of a romantic book, you've come to the wrong place. This book is all about lust and feeling the high that comes from having fun in bed. 

There was only one blip that I had a problem with. See, the flow started out smoothly, we're able to see from both Lindsey's and Dios' points of view, but then about a third of the way through, we're reading from a different person, someone who wasn't mentioned in the beginning of the story. Which, I didn't mind, but I felt the transition as to why we're here could have been communicated differently. While the last bit nicely wraps up and we're told more about this third person, I felt it would have been nice to know more before the fact, than after.

I loved how Lindsey never lost her confidence throughout the story, despite starting something risque and the chance of getting caught were high. But she had a plan, as most people who would, if you were trying something that wasn't exactly legal. What you can expect from this book is a lot of snark. With Lindsey being a strong, almost independent woman, she's not afraid to pack a punch with her mouth. This factor alone, made me love her.

I give Deek major kudos on his debut, and I look forward to adding more of his books to my shelves. 

For those of you who are new to Deek, and this story of his. You'd be happy to know that his wife also writes. Erin has a young adult fantasy trilogy called The Fulfillment Series out as well. So, I had the opportunity to sit down with both of them and ask them some questions. 

Welcome to the Hufflepuff common room, I mean to my blog Lost in Ever After.
Deek and Erin: Hi, Kristie! Thanks so much for having us on your blog. We can see someone is a serious Potter fan! What a fun, brilliant series.
1.    Let’s start off with an easy question, as I haven’t had all my coffee yet. So please introduce the other person for us, and what Hogwarts house they’re in.

Deek: Okay, so this is tough. I can see Erin in one of two houses.
House Hufflepuff values hard work, dedication, patience, loyalty, and fair play. These are all traits that Erin has in spades! She works so super hard, is very dedicated—you could NEVER have a better friend than her. She’s way patient with those, such as myself, that might stretch her calm cool demeanour. I value her loyalty to us as a couple and to anyone that knows her; and she’s more than fair.
House Ravenclaw values intelligence, knowledge, and wit. Their emblematic animal is the eagle and their colors are blue and black. Not saying Erin’s favorite animal is the eagle, but she does believe in America and that is, of course, our country’s symbol. Also her favorite color is blue so that matches too. She’s WAY wicked smart and I’ve never known anyone that knows more stuff than her. As for wit, my bride keeps me in stitches. She’s totally hilarious.
Hmmmmm decisions…I would say that of the two…Hufflepuff!

Erin: I can see Deek in two houses as well. But that's mostly because there's the house he's actually in and the one he fancies himself to be in. ;)

So, I'll start with the one he thinks he's in: Slytherin. He loves the bad guy in almost all the books he reads and movies he watches. And, people, he has created one of the creepiest bad guys ever in his novel 122 Rules. I mean, stay-up-under-the-covers-with-a-flashlight kind of scary! Though he does look after his own like Slytherin, he's not cunning. He prefers openness and honesty to sneaking around.

But really, he's a Hufflepuff through and through (though he definitely possesses the Ravenclaw wit). He's the hardest worker I know. When most people shy away from doing something because it's hard or will take a long time, Deek rolls up his sleeves and dives in. He's dedicated and loyal beyond belief, and he makes sure the people he cares about know it. He's all about family and relationships, and he makes me feel cherished each and every day. And the man has the patience of a saint. He claims I have patience, but mine pales in comparison to his. Trust me. It does. ;) 

2.    Now I wouldn’t know about you if it wasn’t for your books. Erin, you have a young adult series out, and Deek is just coming out with his first book. Congrats Deek! Now, can you explain your books in haiku format? I’m only kidding, but if you’re up to the challenge, you’re more than welcome to.

Deek: Thank you, Kristie! It has been a seriously long road and I’m over the moon excited! Since “Birth of an American Gigolo” is coming out in January 2016, I’ll do that one.
Domestic Diva
Has a new boy toy
Gigolo for all!

I also have my full-length novel, 122 Rules, coming out in 2016 with Pandamoon Publishing.

Erin: OMG, that's awesome! I so knew he'd do the haiku too! Hahaha! My trilogy is a young adult high fantasy series:

Kingdoms are at war
Families are torn apart
Can she save them all?

All three books in my series are out: The Prophecy, The Outlanders, and The Fulfillment.

Deek: Yes! That is awesome! I’m thinking we put this up on the web because it is just so perfect.

3.    What do you guys like about the other persons main character?

Deek: Oh, wow. I think this one is probably the toughest question of your set. Erin has created some brilliantly amazing characters. Wil, Layla, and Nash are all complex, real, and totally human. As I shared their adventures, I also experienced their pain, suffering, triumphs, failures, and joys. These books take you through a whirlwind of emotions.  

So I’m going to take a little artist privilege, because my absolute favorite character of hers is Samson. Technically you could say he’s a secondary character, but really, he’s so prominent in the story, and so much of everyone’s fate hinges on his actions, I think I could argue for him being a main character too. J

Samson, where to begin? Well, he’s funny. He has a bit of Erin’s sharp wit that I love so much. There is a line in The Fulfillment that cracks me up every single time I read it. He’s impulsive and follows his heart without always engaging his brain. This gets him into trouble more often than not, but also leads him into adventure after adventure. It is also his ultimate undoing—though I won’t divulge deets to keep from spoiling the ending for your readers. He’s also a bit oblivious. Stuff that strikes other people as dangerous/odd/wrong just sails right past Samson’s radar. I think he goes around half in his own world, half in the real one…or maybe 2/3 and 1/3. Perhaps this is why I like him so much. I can completely relate! ;-)

Erin: I don't know why Deek keeps saying I'm funny because he's WAY funnier. And that's what I love about his writing style and his characters. They're in the middle of this crazy situation, and they come out with these totally hysterical lines.

Hmmmm...I think my favorite character in "Birth" is Lindsey (although you do get a sneak peek of my favorite character from 122 Rules, Angel, but she hasn't grown into her kick-butt self yet in "Birth"). Where to start with Lindsey...first of all, her humor. Nearly everything she thinks to herself makes me laugh because it's full of vinegar and snark. I also appreciate her willingness to take the bull by the horns and just deal with stuff. While I might not agree with the method she chose, I give applause to the hootspa! She's not one of those women who sits around and lets stuff happen. She reacts and takes charge. Despite the fact that some of her choices make me cringe, I still have to grin because she's taking the proverbial lemon and making some spiked lemonade. ;)

4.    When you guys were in the writing process, what’s something that the other person did or say that stuck out?

Deek: There’s just so much! Erin and I started out as critique partners and then after I found out how smart she is and how good she is at grammar, I asked her to edit “Birth.” Here are a few notes from the margins of my documents that Erin has made:
·       This what – I’ve *mostly* broken the habit of saying “This” something something in a sentence without a proper subject, but she used to call me on it all the time.
·       Passive – Gawd, how many times do I still see this note in my document.
·       Talking Heads – This is a relatively new one that we learned from my editor. But Erin still catches me on it.
·       Give me more / give me a Deekism –A lot of the time she’ll ask for “more” in a mundane section. After I’ve given her “more,” those parts usually turn out to be among my favorite of passages. Often she’s after a good simile or something funny or more details.
These are just a few examples. Really anytime that Erin touches my MS, it is ALWAYS better for it. She pushes me to be more than I am, to expand my boundaries. There is zero chance I’d be anywhere near where I am today if it weren’t for her.

Erin—As always, Deek gives me wayyyyy too much credit. He's a brilliant writer without any help from me! Hmmmm...let's see. Deek likes to refer to me as Lady Shakespeare because he says my writing is very smart and regal. However, that sometimes leads to sounding too formal. Thankfully, he's always there to point out that regular people don't talk like that. It's good I write about kings and queens because that affords me a little more formality. But I struggle with it more when I'm writing my futuristic thriller. In addition, he likes to ask for more Erinisms. I think Erinisms and Deekisms are different in that I'm asking for more humor and wit from him, and he's asking for more depth and introspection from me. There are sections in my novel where Deek added some ideas, and I ended up going with his suggestions. Those are some of my favorite parts of the book...except "snicked." "Snicked" makes me cringe. You can read more about that here:

Deek: The whole “snicked” controversy was just hilarious. Yes, Lady Shakespeare is perfectly apt. When I was still playing music, I could get “into” a song, feeling and hearing its different layers and how all the pieces fit together. Notes forming chords. Beats forming cadence. Melody blending or conflicting with harmony, built on the structure of the underlying rhythm and root notes. The interesting pieces of the tune, where the writer chose to sprinkle dissonance to be resolved in the next measure; leading or dragging the tempo until you think they are going to be out of time…only they aren’t, they’re just at the back of the beat. This is what Erin’s stories remind me of. Layers upon intricate layers of complex story. Beautifully interwoven to create a tale that touches your spirit, challenges your mind, and makes your blood pump all at the same time. It’s an amazing balance.

5.    What’s your ideal writing space? Doesn’t have to be how your writing space is now.

Deek: LOL! I can already tell you what Erin’s going to say, but I’ll refrain. I like writing in our bed, with fat cat, Trinna, keeping my legs warm, and a good strong cup of coffee on my nightstand. Trinna is, right now as I type this, keeping me company.
Erin and I have also talked about writing in the car during a rain storm. She’s done that, and ironically, this PNWer has not. Well, the rainy season is coming so we’ll have to give it a try.

Erin: I like writing in my bed with Deek beside me and our fat cat, Trinna, to keep us company. I need some coffee or Coke Zero and quiet...that last part is harder to find that you'd think. Like Deek said, I also like writing in the back of my car during a thunderstorm. Where I'm from, we have epic thunderstorms—torrential rain, house rattling thunder, and blinding lightning. It can be very inspiring to write under those circumstances. I'd also love to write with an ocean view, as long as the weather outside is warm. Warm beaches...yes...

6.    Congrats on just having your first anniversary! Let’s see how much you guys know each other. What’s the other person’s favourite song? Favourite movie? Favourite TV show? Favourite food? Favourite animal?

Deek: Woop! And what an awesome year it has been! So much has happened and I’m beyond thrilled to have gotten to spend it with my bride.  Okay <cracks knuckles>, here you go. Erin’s favs:

Song: She doesn’t have a favorite song per se, but a series of them that she likes. We have our song, which is something I’ve always wanted, and that is romantic. She loves Green Day, Dave Mathews, Pink, Alanis Moressette, Michael Jackson. Our radio is tuned to a top 20 channel, but she’s also a country girl (she is from the south after all!). So there you go. A long-winded, not specific answer. Welcome to Erin’s world with me. J

TV Show: We’ve gotten into the habit of watching an episode of something on Netflix each night. No commercials and all the seasons are available. We’ve watched Bones, Justified, Person of Interest. Her absolute favorite is probably Game of Thrones.

Movie: Alright, this one is easy. She and her dad watched Tombstone in the movie theater together eight times and each and every time they stayed until the end of the credits. They liked to watch the very end where the guys walk down the street. It’s got all the elements of a great flick, but also has Val. She’s an unabashed Val Kilmer fan. In addition to this she’s got a pretty diverse taste in the silver screen. Everything from Star Trek to The Proposal.

Food: Cheese pizza or Panda Express each with a regular plastic bottle of Coke. If we were back east I’d add hush puppies and queso to the list.

Animal: There can only be one animal (besides her husband, I mean) for Erin and that’s our fluffy cat, Trinna.

Erin: This is going to be very difficult because Deek likes different things when he's in different moods.

Song: I don't think I've ever seen a more eclectic playlist than Deek's. I mean, seriously. But he started college as a music major and spent a good portion of his high school years in a band, so I guess it's too be expected. An example of his playlist titles: Darker, Grit and Grime, Roadtrip, Rocker Chicks, Blues, Retro, Feeling Mellow, Country, Fun and Sarcastic. But in terms of songs, there are a few that stand out. Of course, there's our song. He's always wanted to have a song with someone, and we have our special song "It's Your Love" that we played when we got married and that we dance to on our anniversaries. He likes "Simple Man" because he says it describes him. He's not into stuff, success, or making a name for himself. He's into family, fun, and love. And the other one is "Tangled" by Staind. It's the first song he sent me to me to describe how he felt, and it's usually one he'll pick if we're dancing or reminiscing.

TV Show: I think we're kinda into whatever we're watching at the moment. Right now, that's Person of Interest. But he's also enjoyed Bones and Justified. But like me, the one he talks about the most is Game of Thrones.

Movies: Deek's taste in movies is as varied as his taste in songs. But he's always saying he has an inordinate amount of brain space allocated to: Better Off Dead, Airplane, Star Wars, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. He's also hugely into Star Trek, like me...both the old and new.

Food: Deek's favorite "food" is not a food at all. He's 100% a coffee man. If there were no coffee, he would not survive, so I think he values it more than food. LOL! In terms of what he likes to eat, he'll eat anything. Whenever we go to a restaurant, he almost always orders something different from the last time. I love it when he asks the waiter or waitress what they like and then orders that. I don't know anyone else who does that. But if he had his ultimate druthers, I think he'd eat pizza, Panda Express, or popcorn in bed with me on a quiet evening. Oh, and queso. Queso is the best.

Animal: Deek had a cat growing up named Eddie, and he adored that cat. There are so many Eddie stories. But I think our Trinna baby is on par with Eddie in Deek's heart. I actually brought her into the relationship, so she started out as my cat. But Deek has won her heart, as he does with everyone. She's such a Daddy's girl now! But it’s a running joke in our house that Deek likes iguanas. Last year, he even received a stuffed iguana for his birthday because we talk about iguanas so much… LOL!

Deek: Yes! Erin totally nailed it. Without coffee I’m pretty sure my world would come to a grinding halt with a squeal of rusty metal. She’s totally spot on about Trinna and Eddie. These two felines are kindred spirits.

7.    I’m not sure what your weather is like around this time of year, but here in Manitoba, we have snow. Lots and lots of snow. If you guys were snowed in for a day, what would you guys do together?

Deek: Our seasons are really mild here in the PNW. Sun in the summer, rain the rest of the time. Erin thought I was exaggerating about the rain, because the first year she was here was unusually dry and warm. But old Oregon is showing her cranky side this year and we’ve been caught in a constant drizzle.

Back to your question: If we were snowed in. Well, if we were in the South we’d be hitting the market for bread, eggs, and milk. Oddly it’s a tradition to make French toast there when it snows. But here if we were snowed in, I’d say we would hang out on the warm side of the window, watching the snow. We’d drink coffee, eat pizza (if we could get it beforehand), watch a movie, write, and just hanging out. Actually, that sounds like a perfect afternoon to me!

Erin:  I'm going to be honest. I hate snow. Hate it. I abhor being cold and am a total sunshine and warmth girl. So, if it were snowing, there would have to be some mechanism in the house to keep me toasty warm. I'd need coffee, yummy food, cozy blankets, and Deek. I'd watch TV and movies, write, and spend time talking and laughing with my best friend. :) But...I'd rather do all that with a beach view instead of a snow view. LOL!

Deek: I always felt bad for dragging my bride across the country to live in a land surrounded by mountains. It’s really pretty but it snows in dem dar hills…a lot. We might get up to go tubing this winter, then Erin can say she did it, but if we do it’ll only be once and because she’s kind enough to humor me…even while she shivers. The view of the mountains is gorgeous and there’s something serene about new-fallen snow surrounded by pine trees, but if I had my choice we’d go someplace warm and sunny.  See my reply about the ideal vacation.

8.    When you’re not busy adulting, what would you guys do on a free evening?

Deek: There are so many danged responsibilities to adulting! During the week, we work out, walk to the grocery store while chatting about everything and nothing, and watch a little TV. I’m a really simple person. Fortunately for me, Erin rolls with my simpletoness.

Erin: What is this free evening of which you speak?? We work out, watch one show a night, write, and spend time lying in bed talking about life. Of all the things we do, that time spent face-to-face chatting about everything and nothing is the one "must do." PS. Deek is so NOT a simpleton. Silly man! We are simple people though, in that we enjoy the things in life that have true value—love, family, friends, connection.

Deek: This is just hypothetical, right? This free night thing doesn’t actually exist…does it?

    9.  What would be an ideal vacation for you guys?

Deek: Someplace warm!!! Some day we want to go to an island where you can swim in the pond of a waterfall. We want to lie in hammocks, get massages, and drink exotic fruity drinks with umbrellas in them. We like to balance chillaxin’ with doing stuff. For our May wedding, we honeymooned at Carolina Beach which was just amazing. We slept and caroused and played and hung out for hours talking and enjoying each other’s company.

Erin: I want to go the Caribbean so badly! Warm beaches, hot sunshine, hammocks, massages. Check, check, and check. Like Deek said, we spent time in Carolina Beach for our honeymoon, and it was one of the BEST times of my life. I'd love to go anywhere as long as Deek came with me!

10. If you guys were to have an exotic animal, what would it be and what would you name it?

Deek: Well, I’ve not made it a secret that I’ve always wanted to be able to fly. So if I got to choose my flying animal form, I’d get a griffin! Hmmmm a name for my griffin? I don’t think I’d have a choice but to call him Merv! J

Erin: I tried to convince my friend Angela to bring to me a koala when she came to visit the US from Australia. Sadly, there's a customs problem with that. But I'd love to have a koala to look at me with those precious big eyes and its fluffy little ears. Angela told me koalas are mean, but I'm going to keep pretending their sweet little fluffy teddy bears and ignore evidence to the contrary. ;) And I'd name him Iggy for no reason at all. I really adore manatees, but I couldn’t think of a way to actually have a manatee. Although, it would be super cool to have a Star Trek 4 moment and say to Deek, “Captain, there be manatees here.” If I had a manatee, I’d name her Barbara so I could sing the Veggie Tales “Barbara Manatee” song to her. I’m a dork. I know it. ;)

Deek: See? This is what I’m talking about. She gives me way too much credit, because Erin is hilarious!
About Deek Rhew 

Deek lives in a rainy pocket in the Pacific Northwest with his stunning YA author bride, Erin Rhew, and their writing assistant, a fat tabby named Trinity. They enjoy lingering in the mornings, and often late into the night, caught up Erin’s fantastic fantasy worlds of noble princes and knights and entwined in Deek’s dark underworld of the FBI and drug lords. His first full-lengthed novel 122 Rules releases with Pandamoon Publishing in 2016. 
Deek and Erin enjoy spending time with friends, running, boxing, lifting weights, eating popcorn, drinking Coke Zero, and living life to the fullest.

You can find Deek online:

Monday, 18 January 2016

Firsts Blog Tour - Laurie's Top 10 List of Firsts

Title: Firsts
Author: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.

Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.

When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.

Laurie's Top 10 List of Firsts

1)  First pet: We had gerbils when I was a little kid (Leaper and Jumper!)  then we got a  dog named Joey. He was a Maltese-Poodle mix and was very  dearly loved. I still remember the first day we brought him home, how soft and tiny he was. That day-- and the relationship that followed--  solidified my lifelong love of dogs!

2) First dance: I hated my first grade school dance because nobody asked me... so I stood there, swaying awkwardly on the sidelines, pretending I didn't care.

3) First celebrity crush: I had a huge crush on Kevin Costner after seeing Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves (fun fact: I have that entire movie memorized). I didn't seem to care at the time that he was old enough to be my parent. (FYI,  I still have a crush on him

4) First day of high school: I wore running shoes, shiny blue tear-away pants, and an oversized T-shirt that said "Nike Running" on the front. My braces were blue and orange and they matched my outfit (that was intentional). I was terrified to get out of my mom's car that day.

5) First party: I threw a party in my parents' basement. It was not exactly a roaring success. Apparently it was downright boring, and people snuck away to smoke in the walkway near my house. Somehow, cake ended up ground into the basement carpet. I think blue icing is still there today.

6) First kiss: Also happened in my parents' basement, right in front of the dollhouse I was obsessed with as a kid. I was sixteen and  still had braces, but I had stopped colour-coordinating them with my outfits by then.

7) First job: I was a pony handler for pony rides at a local park when I was a preteen, then I got a job as a cashier at the grocery store when I was in high school. I secretly loved reading all the celebrity gossip magazines when it wasn't busy.

8) First move: I moved away from home in my second year of university to Victoria, British Columbia. I lived in residence there. It's such a beautiful city and I loved the campus. (There are bunnies everywhere!) 

9) First apartment: Aside from residence, I lived in twelve different apartments  before my husband and I bought our house. The first one was in downtown Toronto when I was
modeling-- I shared a tiny bathroom with several other models. (Not a good experience!) 

10) First road trip: I was late to this one! In fact, it just happened last summer. My husband and I toured British Columbia, Alberta, the Yukon, and Alaska, with a brief stop in the Northwest Territories, all in our trusty van.

About the Author
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn writes contemporary fiction for young adults. Her debut, FIRSTS, will be published by Thomas Dunne Books/St Martin’s Press in 2016.

Laurie went to school for Journalism, where the most important thing she learned was that she would rather write made-up stories than report the news. She also worked as a model, a job that took her overseas to Tokyo, Athens, and Paris.

Laurie now lives in London, Ontario with her husband Steve, who is very understanding when she would rather spend time with the people in her head. Laurie can mostly be found writing happily at her desk, with the world’s most spoiled Chihuahua on her lap. Laurie drinks way too much coffee, snorts when she laughs, and times herself when she does crossword puzzles.
Links: Website - Twitter - Goodreads
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