Thursday, 31 July 2014

Blogger interview - Kathryn Grimes from Tsk Tsk What to Read

I'm starting a new tradition on this blog - every once in a while I'll interview a book blogger. Some of my closest friends are bloggers and I know how much hard work they put into their blogs, promoting authors and their work. So it's only fair that we, the authors, return the favour. And besides, they're all such cool, awesome people that it'll be my pleasure to talk to them!
I'll kick things off with my dear friend Kathryn Grimes from Tsk Tsk What to Read. Kat and I go way back - I was a fan of her blog way before I published my first book. When In a Heartbeat came out, I didn't know the first thing about promotion. I contacted Kat to ask if she'd read and review my book, and she wholeheartedly agreed even though she'd never heard of me before. She not only gave me a chance, but she did everything she could to make the book successful without ever wanting anything in return - simply because she loved it. I won't be exaggerating if I say that I'm where I am today because of Kat and her continuous support. Oh, and the fact that she's a huge 30 Seconds to Mars fan made us even closer LOL

  • Teodora Kostova: So, Kat, tell me about your blog Tsk Tsk What to Read and why readers should visit it?

  • Kathryn Grimes: TSK TSK was started over 2 1/2 years ago I began it with a friend, Shelley Bunnell, To share my love of books with others in the community. It opened many doors for me to be able to meet some phenomenal authors and ultimately read some amazing books!! Readers who would like to find recommendations of a variety of books from several genres is a good reason to visit the blog. There are also giveaways and special posts from time to time...
  • TK: I know all that is true, I've been reading your blog for the better part of 2 years and it always manages to add to my (huuuuge) tbr lol

  • KG: HA!!! Yeah... I definitely have a TBR that I will never complete in this lifetime..

  • TK: Do you think anything has changed in the bloggerverse ever since you started blogging, and if so, what?

  • KG: Oh yes!! The community has grown exponentially And with that it has also brought in some good and bad... I feel blog tours aren't as relevant as they used to be... Sure, they get the word out, but when I speak to a lot of readers, many say they don't check out the tour posts unless it's something different. The generic tours of guest posts, spotlights, etc just aren't luring people in. Even reviews aren't being looked at as much b/c people are worried about being spoiled or something else But as a positive, there are still new intriguing things happening and I'm eager to see where things head next.

  • TK: Hm, I haven't thought about it that way - about the blog tours. Do you have any advice for authors how to change things up and get out of the same ol' same ol' rut when promoting their new book?

  • KG: Well I think having a few trusted bloggers as friends is a good thing. They are out there in the community and seeing what is working and what's not. They can then talk strategy with the author. Allowing creative juices to work and build to attain that ultimate goal of success

  • TK: Yes, that's very good advice. I'm lucky to count a few bloggers among my close friends *wink wink* and I can vouch for them always doing everything they can to help me with anything I ask.
  • KG: And having that relationship is vital in this community. I'm embarrassed at some bloggers and how they treat authors sometimes as well as other bloggers.

  • Aren't we all here because we love reading???

  • TK: Exactly!! Absolutely agree!

    What are your biggest challenges as a blogger?

  • KG: Mine would be time... I have a full time job teaching plus a family so devoting time to reading, reviewing, then developing the posts is time consuming...

  • TK: Which brings us to my next question - If you stopped blogging all of a sudden, what would you do with all that free time?
  • KG: Well I would surely continue to read. But I would probably get back in to photography. I really enjoy taking photos and developing that artistically...

  • TK: Did you ever think about giving up?
  • KG: Oh yes... And there are still days now that I want to walk away...

  • TK: If you had to think of a single moment that makes all the hard work worth it what would it be?
  • KG: That's hard... But when I see someone pick up a book that I reviewed and recommended and then turn around and love it... Yeah... That puts a huge smile on my face.... I also have to say the friendships I have gained too... If it wasn't for blogging I wouldn't have probably met some of the most awesome people!!! *wink, wink*

  • TK: You were one of the blog organisers at this year's UTOPYA Con. Tell us a bit more about it - how did it feel to take such an active part in such a big event?
  • KG: I was completely honored!!! Being able to bring UTOPYA information to people via the blog, speak on a panel at the conference, being nominated for best blog... It is all humbling and overwhelming...

  • TK: You've met so many authors in person, haven't you? Who has left the biggest impression and why?
  • KG: Wow!!! This is definitely a hard question... Can I name more than one?

  • TK: Of course you can

  • KG: I have been in the reading world for a while... I have a mile long list of favorite books and stuff... I have four that I can narrow it down to... In no order... 1)Samantha Young--she is such an amazing author..and an absolute pleasure to talk to. Meeting her last year has truly been one of the highlights of my life. 2) Michelle Leighton -- Michelle is such brilliant author and this lady has such a heart of gold. She has a light inside her that shines so bright that when you are in the same room as her, you can't help but feel the beautiful soul that she is... 3) Jeaniene Frost -- When I got to meet her last year, absolute fangirl moment. she wrote my favorite series, the Night Huntress series,and being in her presence I was just giddy... Seeing someone that writes your all time favorite books and seeing how genuinely awesome they are really just makes your day. 4) Rachel Caine -- I just got to see her this year at RT and if I left after seeing her without seeing anyone else, I would have been just fine. Author of the Morganville Vampire series, she is truly one of my favorite authors... I know I can mention more. There are some phenomenal authors that I get to talk to and meet ***I am still waiting to meet you...then I know I can add you to this list***

  • TK: I'm so jealous of that list! And us meeting will be EPIC! I know it'll happen soon ;)

    Do you have any advice to bloggers just starting out?
  • KG: Just take your what you love, blog what you love... Find other bloggers to connect with and build strong true friendships... When you have all that, blogging will be fun and less of a job.
  • TK: Do your friends, family and co-workers know about your blog? What do they think about it?
  • KG: They do....I have a couple that actually follow and stuff.. Family too....they'll ask me about it when they see me.. The hubs gets annoyed at times since it is time consuming....but he knows I love my books!!! LOL

  • TK: OK, let's have a flash round! I love those!

    Backstreet Boys or Nsync

  • KG: Nsync

  • TK: *glares at you* Batman or Superman

  • KG: SUPERMAN!!!!!!
  • TK: Morning or night
  • KG: sooooo not a morning person
  • TK: True Blood or Vampire Diaries
  • KG: Vampire Diaries

  • TK: *continues to glare*
  • KG: I don't watch either really. But I read Vampire Diaries
  • TK: Books or audio books
  • KG: Books

  • TK: Disney or Dreamworks
  • KG: Oh man... that is a hard one... Can I say both?

  • TK: No
  • KG: Damn. Ok...Disney
  • TK: Sushi or pizza
  • KG: Pizza
  • TK: Rock or pop
  • KG: ROCK!!!

  • TK: Yeah, baby!!! TV series or movies
  • KG: Movies

  • TK: That's about all have lol Thank you so much for being such an awesome interviewee! It was great talking to you!!
  • KG: That was tough...I was sweating through some of those.

  • TK: Hahaha, come on, it was fun
  • KG: Absolutely my pleasure!!! And was fun!!!

Contact links:

Friday, 25 July 2014

Friday Hottie - Ryan Kwanten

You must already be in the loop about two things by now - 1. I love True Blood. 2. All this month I'm posting True Blood hotties as the Friday Hottie. So without any more explanation, because, really, who needs to read words when they can look at hot guys, I present to you Ryan Kwanten a.k.a. Jason Stackhouse.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Throwback Thursday

I kinda miss Stella and Max. I miss the time when I wrote about them; the atmosphere; the music; the photos that inspired me. So, for today's Throwback Thursday, I'm going to go back to that time, for a little while, and remember what it was that inspired me to write In a Heartbeat.

The city

The food

The game

The guy

The girl

The friends

The music

The lifeguards

Monday, 21 July 2014

Music Monday

Those of you who have read my books, especially In a Heartbeat, know that I'm a huge Framing Hanley fan. I was so bummed when they were dropped from their record company and had to fund their latest album via Kickstarter. But their fans came through and the band not only recorded an amazing album, but managed to find another record company. Now, they're touring the USA and Europe and the first single from their new album The Sum of Who We Are called Criminal is a massive hit, played on Kerrang and MTV all the time.
I'm beyond happy for these young, talented guys! If you haven't listened to anything by them, please do. You won't be disappointed!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Friday Hottie - Alexander Skarsgard

That time of the week, eh? As promised, in honour of True Blood's last ever season *sniff*, I'm going to post pics of True Blood Hotties all month. Last week it was my favourite Joe Manganiello, this week I'm going for Alexander Skarsgard. 
Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Teaser Thursday

Here's a little snippet from the book I'm currently working on. It's called Mask and it's a spin-off from Dance

The door bell rang and Adam hurried to open the door. Charlie had called about an hour ago to say he’d come by and bring a bottle of champagne – apparently, he had some big news and wanted to celebrate. All Adam wanted to do was have Charlie in his arms and not let go until morning.
Of course he knew Charlie wouldn’t stay the night. They’d been dating for almost a year and he’d never stayed. He’d never invited Adam to his own flat either. It was like Charlie was unable to lower his defences, even a little bit.
Hell, Adam wasn’t even sure if Charlie was fucking someone else or not. They’d never promised each other anything.
“Hey,” Adam said as he swung the door open and let Charlie in.
“Hey, yourself,” Charlie beamed at him, kissed him, and then headed towards the kitchen. He was carrying two shopping bags which he put on the counter and started taking things out.
“So what’s this great news of yours?” Adam asked as he followed Charlie into the kitchen.
“Remember I told you we had a meeting with our manager the other day?” Charlie asked. Adam nodded and leaned back against the counter, folding his arms over his chest. “He’d managed to get a record company scout interested in the band and he came to see us play last night,” Charlie continued happily. “After the show he offered us a contract on the spot. He said we were exactly what (label name) was looking for!” Charlie finished triumphantly. His gorgeous gray eyes were alight with enthusiasm, hope and dreams. Adam wanted nothing more than to pull him in his arms and kiss him until he became the reason Charlie was so happy. It was selfish and it was desperate, but Adam could just feel Charlie slipping through his fingers.
“That’s great,” Adam said, and even managed a smile. “Congratulations, sweets! Let’s pop this baby open and celebrate.” Adam knew he sounded too cheerful, but there was nothing he could do about it. He wanted to be happy for Charlie, but something inside of him, something big and black and horrible, was raising its head. It was whispering to him, telling him that this was the last time he’d ever see Charlie, that Adam was not worth staying.
Charlie took out the champagne glasses while Adam busied himself with opening the bottle. He poured the bubbly liquid into the glasses and toasted Charlie’s success with a loud ‘cheers’ before he gulped the whole glass down.
“So when are you leaving?” Adam asked, placing his glass back on the counter with a thump, and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.
“How did you...” Charlie began, but Adam interrupted him sharply.
“When are you leaving?” he asked again, growling the words out. Charlie squared his shoulders and narrowed his eyes in that typical way of his when he was preparing for a fight.
“In three days. They want us in L.A. to sign all the contracts and start working on the album immediately,” he said calmly, but Adam knew that voice. It was Charlie's you’re-not-allowed-in voice.
“Great. That’s fucking great.”
Adam stalked off to the living room, sat on the sofa and ran his hands over his face. He needed to get a grip. He didn't want to be that guy. He hated that guy. He didn't want to care that Charlie was leaving – it hurt too fucking much.
“Adam...” Charlie said from behind him, startling him. His voice was soft, and yet there was the undeniable determined undertone. The same fucking voice Charlie always used when Adam tried to get him to stay the night or go somewhere for the weekend. Or allow him to say how he really felt.
Fuck this shit. Adam was done with tiptoeing around Charlie. He was not that guy.
“How dare you?” Adam said, standing up and turning to face Charlie. “How dare you come to my home, and expect me to celebrate that you’re leaving?”
“You knew how much I wanted this, how much my career, my band means to me...” Charlie started, but Adam's humourless laughter made him pause.
“I fucking love you, you selfish bastard! We’ve been dating for a year and I could never say that because you’re such a fucking coward that you’d rather freeze your ass off waiting for a cab at 2:00 am than sleep with me all night!” Adam shouted, leaning forward across the sofa and putting his hands on the back. Charlie didn't move. He didn't say anything, but his eyes grew cold.
Adam laughed again, shaking his head. He knew that look, too.
“I don’t know what you want me to say,” Charlie said bitterly. He was gearing up for a fight, but Adam had no desire for that. It was pointless.
“I know you’d never stay for me,” Adam said quietly, folding his arms. He hated how he couldn't control the storm building up inside him, making his hands shake and his eyes fill with tears. “But I at least expected you to be a little sad. A little bit disappointed that you probably won’t see me ever again. I expected you to make an effort to say goodbye properly, to tell me that this past year has meant something to you.” His voice broke and he bit his lip to stop it from trembling.
“It did mean something to me, Adam,” Charlie said and took the small distance separating them until he was an arm’s length from Adam.
“Don’t,” Adam said sharply, cutting off anything else Charlie wanted to say or do. He didn't want to deal with this shit anymore. “Just go.”
“Go.” Adam tried to sound firm, angry, commanding. But the word came out as a desperate plea. He was about to break down and he didn’t want Charlie to witness it.
Charlie took the last step separating them and wrapped his hands around Adam's neck. Rising up on his toes, Charlie's lips ghosted over Adam's ear and he whispered, “It did mean something to me.”
His warm breath made Adam shiver. The kiss he placed on his neck made Adam's last resolve melt away. Unfolding his arms, Adam pulled Charlie closer, clutching at his t-shirt like a lifeline.
“Take me to bed,” Charlie whispered.
Adam did. He’d asked for a proper goodbye and he got it.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Tuesday Ten - all time favourite book series

I know I've been ignoring the blog for such a long time... I'm going to be better at this blogging thing from now on, I promise *crosses heart and twirls anticlockwise three times*
In an attempt to keep some kind of schedule and not fall back into old habits, I'll have themes for each day of the week. Today, for example, is Tuesday Ten.
I have to kick this new theme off with a book related subject, so here it goes:

All time favourite book series

1. In the Company of Shadows - Santino Hassel and Ais
2. Cut and Run - Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban
3. Adrien English - Josh Lanyon
4. The Wolves of Mercy Falls - Maggie Stiefvater
5. The Infernal Devices - Cassandra Claire
6. Black Dagger Brotherhood - J.R.Ward
7. Vivaldi in the Dark - Matthew J. Metzger
8. Captive Prince - S.U.Pacat
9. Promises - Amy Lane
10. Conquest - S.J.Frost

What are your favourite book series? 

Friday, 11 July 2014

Friday Hottie - Joe Manganiello

True Blood is in its final season and I'm crushed that it's almost over... I've been savouring each episode as if it's the last drop of water in the desert. So, for the next few weeks, the Friday Hottie will be a member of the True Blood cast! Man, do I have a lot of hunks to choose from!
Let's kick this off with my all time favourite celebrity crush Joe Manganiello. Let's pretend I need a reason to post hot pictures of Joe *snorts*
Anyway, here it goes.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The 'Sinner' is here!!!

Lookie, lookie what I've got! 
I've been waiting very patiently *ahem* for this book and was so excited to see on Instagram that Maggie Stiefvater is giving away signed bookplates with every UK order from Seven Stories! Such a nice thing to do for this amazing charity! I ordered my book and got it on release day as promised. The bookplate is just beautiful - Maggie drew the picture herself! 
The Wolves of Mercy Falls is one of my favourite YA series, ever, and a spin off about Cole is a very nice addition to the series. I haven't started it yet because I was travelling and it's a huge, hardback book that took too much space to take in my suitcase, but I'll keep you posted ;) I'm sure it's going to be as amazing as the rest of the series.