Saturday, June 23, 2018

This Week on Books Direct - 23 June 2018

This Week on Books Direct -
23 June 2018

Here's a list of some great articles you may have missed this week. Enjoy!

The World’s Most Beautiful Bookstores by Brianne Alphonso for Electric Literature
These bucket-list bookshops are worth planning an international trip around.

The World’s Most Beautiful Bookstores by Brianne Alphonso for Electric Literature

Authors including A. A. Dhand, Steph Cha, and Alex Segura explain how they are broadening the horizons of a traditionally very white genre.

Unusual Suspects: The Writers Diversifying Detective Fiction by David Barnett for The Guardian

5 Things To Include When Building Characters by Anna Simpson for emaginette
Anna Simpson gives us an insight into how she builds her characters.

5 Things To Include When Building Characters by Anna Simpson for emaginette

Goodreads asked avid readers Dan Schwent, Julie Ehlers, Bill Kerwin, and Kathy Habel for advice. These pros have read more than 100 books a year, so of course they asked them for their recommendations as well.

Hot Reading Challenge Tips from Pros Who Read More Than 100 Books a Year by Marie for Goodreads Blog

And this article in response:
It's pretty obvious that slogging through a book you’re not enjoying can be a long, tedious, and obviously boring task that is keeping you from books you will actually enjoy and would probably read much faster. So why do we insist on finishing every book we've started?

The Key To Finishing & Enjoying More Books Is Actually Remarkably Simple by Kerri Jarema for Bustle

Kid Lit Campaign Rallies Against Immigration Horrors by Shannon Maughan for Publishers Weekly
As it has done many times before in the face of injustice, crisis, or tragedy affecting kids and families, the children’s literature community is banding together to rally support for a cause. The newest campaign is called Kid Lit Says No Kids in Cages, a response to the horrifying scenes being depicted in the news of immigrant parents and children being separated at the southern border of the United States.

Kid Lit Campaign Rallies Against Immigration Horrors by Shannon Maughan for Publishers Weekly

From ‘hammajang’ to ‘munted’, lexicographers have issued a worldwide call for regionally distinctive words to define.

Oxford English Dictionary Extends Hunt For Regional Words Around The World by Alison Flood for The Guardian

Vatican Gets Back Stolen Columbus Letter, But Case Remains A Whodunit by Elisabetta Povoledo for The New York Times
A 15th-century copy of a letter written by Christopher Columbus that had been forged and stolen was returned to the Vatican on Thursday.

Vatican Gets Back Stolen Columbus Letter, But Case Remains A Whodunit by Elisabetta Povoledo for The New York Times

Geraldine McCaughrean, accepting the award for Where the World Ends, warned that restricting the language children read risks creating a future underclass who are ‘easy to manipulate’.

Carnegie Medal Winner Slams Children’s Book Publishers For ‘Accessible’ Prose by Alison Flood for The Guardian

The 2017 VIDA Count by Amy Kind and Sarah Clark for VIDA Women in Literary Arts
Each year, volunteers from across the country dedicate thousands of combined hours to tally the gender disparity in major literary publications and book reviews. They break down thirty-nine literary journals and well-respected periodicals, tallying genre, book reviewers, books reviewed, and journalistic bylines to offer an accurate assessment of the publishing world. Here are the latest results.

The 2017 VIDA Count by Amy Kind and Sarah Clark for VIDA Women in Literary Arts

Audiobooks Generated $2.8 Billion In 2017 by Michael Kozlowski for Goodereader
Audiobook sales generated $2.8 billion dollars in the United States in 2017 and this is an increase of up 22.7% over 2016, and with a corresponding 21.5% increase in units. This continues the six-year audiobook trend of double-digit growth year over year.

Audiobooks Generated $2.8 Billion in 2017 by Michael Kozlowski for Goodereader

And more on audiobooks:
UCL study backed by Audible finds unconscious responses to the same book scenes, witnessed in adaptations across different media, are strongest in the auditory format.

Listen And Weep: ‘Audiobooks Outdo Films In Emotional Engagement’ by Alison Flood for The Guardian

12 Famous Authors At Work With Their Dogs by Emily Temple for Literary Hub
Check out these images of the most literary Take Your Dog to Work Day.

12 Famous Authors At Work With Their Dogs by Emily Temple for Literary Hub

If you enjoyed this blog post, please visit the other This Week posts for links to more great articles.

Friday, June 22, 2018

"Love Me, Love Me Not" by S. M. Coz

Love Me, Love Me Not
by S. M. Coz

Love Me, Love Me Not by S. M. Coz

Love Me, Love Me Not by S. M. Coz is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Family, abandonment, and forbidden romance are at the core of S. M. Koz’s powerful and emotionally charged novel about a teen who falls for her foster brother.
When Hailey Brown is removed from her home and put into foster care, all she wants is a safe, comfortable place where she can finish school and move on with her life. It’s not easy adjusting to a new school and a new life, but Mr. and Mrs. Campbell and their teenage son, Brad, welcome Hailey with open arms.
As Hailey begins to adjust to her new life, she and Brad grow closer. For the first time, Hailey feels like she might have a real shot at a future. Soon, however, Hailey realizes her relationship with Brad has crossed the line from friendship into something more. But being with Brad would mean giving up the perfect life that Hailey has waited so long to have.
Can Hailey and Brad resist the feelings that are developing between them - or will they risk it all to be together?
Chosen by readers like you for Macmillan’s young adult imprint Swoon Reads, S. M. Koz delivers a powerful debut about the ups and downs of being a foster child.

“Hailey Marie Brown, what am I going to do with you,” Sherry says, shaking her head. She’s my social worker and was not at all happy about being woken up in the middle of the night to remove me from another foster home.
I stare at the dotted yellow lines in the road as we travel through rural North Carolina, so I don’t have to see any more disappointment on her face. I’ve known Sherry for a couple years and we’ve grown fairly close in that time. She came out to visit me and my mom on her very first day on the job and has been checking up on us regularly. She’s also the one who finally removed me from that home three days ago. For that, I’ll be eternally grateful, which only worsens the guilt I feel for what I’m putting her through.
“Chase is a negative relationship. You need to start building positive relationships,” she says.
“He’s all I have.”
“You have me.”
“It’s not the same.” Chase made me feel loved when no one else did. He came into my life when I needed him most. He’s not perfect, but who is?
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“I loved this book! Growing up as a foster sibling, I understand how skeptical a family can be. Hailey's history is real and true.” ~ LydiaBeach, reader on
“I love how I could feel every emotion through the author’s words. I wouldn’t change anything about the book. It's an amazing book and I would recommend it to anyone!” ~ AnnaBanana, reader on
“I love this book! It was so cute yet full of suspense. There were many heated scenes and oh-my-gosh moment, too!” ~ Tay, reader on
“This book was amazing! I loved reading about Brad and Hailey, it's such a beautiful book with real life problems. I can't wait to read more about them two.” ~ WattPadBai, reader on
"Love this book! Gripping and pulls at the heart strings.” ~ R. Turner, reader on

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
Hailey is sent to a new foster home and has to finish her senior year in a new high school and make new friends. Her new family seems perfect, and her foster brother Brad is hot. But her boyfriend is starting to show his true colors, and they’re not pretty. Will he ruin everything for her? Or will she ruin everything all by herself with the inappropriate feelings she has for Brad?
The story is told in the first person present tense from Hailey’s point-of-view. We get to experience all of the highs and lows of Hailey’s life. We root for her but cringe at some of the decisions she makes. Even though I love Brad, how can any seventeen-year-old be so perfect? The supporting characters are great, too, with Michelle playing the part of the typical mean girl.
A light romance with some serious issues thrown into the mix.
Warnings: coarse language, child abuse, drug references, sex scenes (not graphic).

About the Author
S. M. Koz
S. M. Koz is a medical writer from North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, two sons, and numerous pets. She has a BS in Biology from Duke University and a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from North Carolina State University. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, photographing nature and her family, gardening, travelling, and attempting, usually unsuccessfully, to decorate birthday cakes. Love Me, Love Me Not is her first traditionally published novel.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a print copy of Love Me, Love Me Not by S. M. Coz (US/Canada only).


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Unforgettable Love featuring Delaney Cameron

Meant for Each Other
by Delaney Cameron

Meant for Each Other by Delaney Cameron

During the month of June, we will be featuring 14 fabulous authors who write clean romance. Today we feature Delaney Cameron with Meant for Each Other, FREE to 22 June.

This book blast and giveaway is hosted by I Am A Reader.

Kirsten is thrilled to return to the place where she spent so many summers as a child. Here she can forget the episode that nearly ruined her last year of college. Was it unreasonable to suppose that this far from the scene of her crime she would be safe from meeting the man who knew all about her worst moment?
After six months of nonstop traveling, Trey is happy to trade living on the road for the peace and quiet of Tybee Island. In such surroundings, he should be able to work undisturbed. These plans are interrupted by the appearance of a former student. Running into Kirsten is a disturbance of the worst kind: a reminder of an encounter he hasn’t been able to forget.
Author’s note: This is a revised and expanded version of a novella published years ago under a different title and pen name. It takes place before the events of Dream of Me.

Kirsten finished rearranging the magazines for the third time in the last half hour and slumped down in the chair behind the desk. It didn’t matter what she did. Nothing was going to take away the knot of tension lodged tightly in her chest. And to make matters worse, she still hadn’t figured out what she was going to say. ‘Hey, Professor Dawson. Remember me?’ wasn’t going to get it done.
She was counting paperclips while she recited some possible opening lines when she heard footsteps on the porch. Her glance went to the door. Please don’t be him, she pleaded inside her head. This last ditch effort to avoid her Waterloo failed. The beveled glass door opened and in he came. At first glance, he looked younger and thinner. His casual dress could account for that. He’d always worn suits for his lectures.
“Hey, Lucy. I wondered if I might get breakfast sent to my room each morning.”
Mistaking Kirsten for her sister was understandable given that they both had long, blonde hair and the fact that the desk was situated in the darkest part of the room. It also explained why he was still smiling, something that wasn’t destined to last.
By the time he was standing opposite of where she sat waiting for the proverbial ax to fall, it was apparent he’d realized his error. Before she could inform him that it would be their pleasure to bring breakfast to his room, she saw his eyes narrow and his smile slowly disappear.
“We seem fated to meet with you sitting behind a desk that’s presumably not your own. What are you looking for this time?”
Her veneer of politeness fell away under this direct attack. “I happen to work here.”
“Really? What brought you to Tybee Island? Did Alabama offer too little scope for one with your talents?”
Forgetting for the moment that she needed assistance from the man towering over her, she allowed her pent-up frustration full reign. “For the tenth time, I wasn’t stealing exam questions!”
His brows soared above his blue eyes, but in contrast to her heated reaction, his voice remained level. “At least you’re consistent.”
Kirsten took a moment to remember her surroundings and accordingly lowered her voice. “That’s easy to do when you’re telling the truth. Why would I steal a test for a class I wasn’t in? It doesn’t make sense.”
“Do I really need to answer that?” he asked shortly.
“No, because it’s obvious you’re not going to believe me.”
“With some justification, wouldn’t you agree?”
“If you would take a moment to use some of that banked intelligence you undoubtedly possess…” She got no further.
He held up his hand. “Facts are hard to argue.”
She sighed heavily; she was getting nowhere. Time to try a different tactic. “Can’t we just forget it happened?”
A small smile played around his lips. “So let me get this straight. You want me to conveniently forget that you entered my office without permission and were actually caught with the evidence in your hands. And furthermore, you want me to conceal this knowledge from your present employer.”
When he put it like that, she was asking a lot. But if it were at all possible, she wanted to keep this from Lucy. “Since I can’t convince you what my real purpose was, then yes, I do. If it makes you feel better about it, my sister manages this inn.”
“How is that supposed to make me feel better?”
Kirsten came around the desk. Once again she was staring into his face asking for something she didn’t deserve. If anything, he was even more handsome than she remembered. She wished those same features didn’t also look so forbidding. “I don’t want something stupid I did in the past to cause problems for Lucy. She shouldn’t have to suffer on my account.”
Trey looked at her in silence. As happened previously in his office, he was unable to ignore the appeal in her deep-set amber eyes. The fact that he couldn’t was a source of irritation. He should be above being influenced by a lovely woman, especially one he knew to be deceitful. He laughed inwardly. Maybe he wasn’t as lacking in sentiment as he thought. In any case, her concern for her sister was something in her favor. There was no need to make trouble unnecessarily.
“Your secret is safe with me. By the way, what was so important about that envelope you were supposedly trying to find?”
Kirsten’s cheeks turned scarlet with what he took to be embarrassment. “It was something silly. My roommate mailed it to you as a joke.” She stopped for a moment and then went on in a more subdued tone. “I never found it. You came in before I got very far.”
“Something for which I refuse to apologize. It was, after all, my office you were vandalizing.”
“That’s not true,” she quipped through clenched teeth. “I put everything back exactly where I found it.”
Trey couldn’t help smiling at her indignation. “You were a model thief. If I hadn’t caught you myself, I’d never have known you were there.”
“You can laugh about it, but you’ll never understand the state I was in. I was desperate to get that envelope.”
“Why were you so desperate? You claimed it belonged to your roommate.”
“I lied,” she admitted in a low voice. “It was mine.”
Something he’d already figured out himself. “You seem to have a problem telling the truth.”
“I know it must seem that way to you…”
“It doesn’t seem that way. It is that way.”
Kirsten bit her lip. “I suppose it’s useless to deny it.”
Trey felt a stirring of pity. “We’ve agreed to forget about it.” He was almost to the door when she spoke again.
“Professor Dawson?”
He glanced over his shoulder. “Yes?”
“What time did you want breakfast?”
“Eight, and under the circumstances, isn’t it ridiculous to be so formal? Call me Trey.”
Her eyes widened. “I could never do that.”
“I don’t see why not. That’s how you referred to me in your poem.”
She paled so quickly he thought she was going to faint. Why would his remark make her so upset? Then he realized something that hadn’t occurred to him before: Kirsten assumed he never found the envelope. That was probably the only reason she admitted that it was hers. Another twinge of sympathy slid through him. He tried to think of something to say that would make the situation better and couldn’t.
“I’ll let you get back to whatever you were doing.”
She smiled wanly. “Thank you. Enjoy the rest of your evening.”
“You, too,” he said, opening the door.
Back in his room, Trey tried to tell himself that none of this was his fault, but he felt bad anyway. He never could stand to hurt someone even when they’d brought it on themselves.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
“I absolutely loved Kirsten and Trey and their pathway of romance. Their story was very unusual and felt pure and thoughtful, and filled with an underlying depth that could be felt. This is one of those books that I’ll read again.” ~ Cee Reader
“Trey and Kirsten are individually so well written. The reader fully feels all of Kirsten’s emotional upheaval, humiliation, confusion, joy, adoration, and sadness right along with her as she tries to work out how to conduct herself and still falls deeper for Trey. We respect Trey for his desire to protect Kirsten’s feelings while maintaining distance, and when he begins to sort out his own mind and feelings, we feel that, too. Delaney Cameron is great with tension and developing both the characters and storyline in a well paced progression.” ~ weaversgrrrl
“This beautiful story is much, much more than meets the eye. Yes, it is a complicated, modern romance where misunderstanding and pain twist into the relationships and solutions don’t seem possible. Yes, there are 2 men in Kirsten’s life who have different agendas and different styles. Yes, the characters come alive and become your friends as you learn of their inner feelings and deepest desires. Yes, the scenery is deliciously divine—the beach scenes sweep you away to a gorgeous southern island where you want to stay forever and not come back. Yes, the dialogue is real but masterful and often I found myself catching my breath as precious feelings were shared. Yes, it was wonderfully clean. Yes, this book is well-written with a solid storyline but what I discovered within its pages was so much more. This tells the story of true love, pure love, and never-giving-up love, as well as unselfish love and your-needs-are-more-important-than-mine love. The author writes a brilliant journey of true love like I have never read before. Beautiful and soul-searching. Exquisite masterpiece.” ~ Forevermooremom

About the Author
Delaney Cameron
I’m a Georgia girl at heart if not by birth. I love to read, watch college football, and spend time with my husband. I’m a hopeless romantic so there will always be a happily ever after in my stories. I also like to write about second chances because love doesn’t always work out the first time.
My books are sweet romances set in both contemporary and regency settings featuring stories about the journey to love, from that first meeting to the point where two people know their hearts are no longer their own. My characters aren’t perfect. They make mistakes and have faults like the rest of us. They learn the sometimes painful truth that the path to love isn’t always smooth, but it’s a road worth traveling.

Also by the author:

Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.