There’s a TON of stuff happening, and it’s easier for me to put it all in one post than to write 15,093 spammy posts on Facebook. So, here’s everything that’s going on with me for anyone who gives a shit in the woods …
Giveaways … I haz them. First, I’m trying to reach 10,000 likes on my Facebook author page by April 21. The prize is the winner’s choice of all three signed JUST BREATHE books OR all three signed HARD ROCK HARLOTS books. Details are pinned at the top of the page here. When we hit 9,700 likes, I’ll give away some handmade STRINGS necklaces created by The Captured Word. We still need well over 300 likes to hit our goal. Shares are greatly appreciated!
Also, if you’re a member of the Rockers & Harlots group on Facebook, the HUGE swag giveaway there ends tonight at 6:00 EST. New members are always welcome, but the admins aren’t adding anyone new until after the giveaway as a courtesy to the existing members who’ve been in the group for a while. Thanks for your support!
Sale … I’m attending Pure Textuality Convention as an “Honored Guest” in Minneapolis this October, and I’d LOVE to see you there. If you’re in the area and want to go, they’re offering a 24-hour sale RIGHT EFFING NOW. Four day general admission for only $50! You cannot beat this price. PLEASE jump on this awesome deal while you can and share with friends who might be interested!
New book … Yeah, I’m working on that shit. Not sure when it will be out, but I’m crossing my fingers for early June. I’m looking for bloggers and/or Facebook book-related page owners who might interested in sharing the new cover for HOT-BLOODED, my upcoming erotic suspense thrillery thingie. If you want to join over 130 other badass bloggers who’ve already signed up to pimp on May 13, please fill out this form. Again, shares are HUGELY appreciated!
Other Shit … Well, I found a centipede in my dishwasher this morning. It’s freezing-ass cold outside. Zombie gnomes are planning to take over the world in 2031. I guess that’s about it. :-)
If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know how much I love whales. My first book series, the JUST BREATHE trilogy, is about whales, and I donate all profits from INHALE, EXHALE, and JUST BREATHE to programs that teach people about whales and the challenges they face.
Today the International Court of Justice announced that Japan must end its notorious whale hunt on the grounds that it is NOT scientific research–a line of total BS the Japanese government has hidden behind for years. This is a HUGE win for the whales! Since I was already planning to cut another check to Whale Camp with the next round of JUST BREATHE profits, I thought today would be a fitting day to do it.
This check brings our grand total of donations to Whale Camp to $15,000. Did you read that? FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS! My awesome readers, YOU DID THAT!
Thanks to YOU, a bunch of kids who might not have otherwise had a chance to attend Whale Camp will get to go. Think about how many future marine biologists, scientists, and artists will benefit from this money. It warms my heart!
Today I celebrate my readers and the whales. Thank you for buying my JUST BREATHE books and helping whales and the kids who want to learn more about them. Thank you for supporting my dreams. Thank you for being AMAZING!
For one day only, some of the RockStarLit PR Authors have come together to bring you an awesome sale! Titles from Elle Chardou, Karla Doyle, Emma Grayson, Kendall Grey (<–THAT’S ME!), Sloan Johnson, Kimberly Knight, Emily Minton, Carly Phillips, LB Simmons, and Tara Sivec are all on sale for only 99¢!
The titles and the links are below, so pick up a few great reads for the weekend or for when you need to curl up with a good book! But either way, be sure to grab them at this great price while you can!
Amazon US | Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
I have a TON of signings coming up in 2014, so I thought it might be fun to create a “tour” T-shirt for those who plan to attend my events (or anyone who just likes Killer Buzz Float :-) ). The shirts are available at Teespring, and I have one week to sell 100 shirts. That means if 100 people don’t buy shirts, they don’t get made. All money is handled by Teespring, and they’ll ship the shirt directly to you.
Several different styles are available (women’s relaxed fit, unisex, junior fit, long sleeved, and v-neck) and prices vary depending on the style you choose. The front has the Killer Buzz Float logo and the back has the Howling Mad Press logo (my publishing company) along with all of my 2014 signing dates and places.
If you plan to attend one of my signings, I’ll be happy to sign the shirt with a silver Sharpie, which should show up pretty well (I don’t think I’ve ever signed a black shirt, so I have no idea!). Even if you’re not hitting any of my signing events, you can still pick up a shirt for fun.
Several Harlots asked about a tank top version. I’m willing to put one of those together in red, but I’d need a good number of people to request it in order to keep the prices low. Let me know if you’re interested.
All orders must be placed no later than Sunday, February 11. Feel free to share the link with your friends who might be interested: http://teespring.com/KillerBuzzFloat. Thanks for your support!
I’m making an effort to read in 2014 since I didn’t finish a single novel in 2013. (Sacrilege. I know.) I’d like to support other authors who write kickass books, so I’m starting a new feature called “Dear Badass” wherein I write a review in the form of a letter to my fellow author, outlining my thoughts about his or her book. A few things to note:
- I will only post 5-star (dirty martini) reviews on this blog. I don’t care if you like that or not. It’s my blog, and I’ll run it how ever I damn well please. I HATE it when other authors write shitty reviews, and I will not be that asshole. If I can’t give the book 5-stars, the review doesn’t go up. Period.
- If I finish a book, but I don’t think it’s worthy of 5 stars, I may contact the author and ask if he/she wants my feedback. If they do, I’ll give them my honest opinion in PRIVATE. (Fair warning to authors: I hate pretty much everything I read, and I’m brutally honest, so accept my feedback at your own risk.) The letters I write to authors are intended to be helpful and not to demean or hurt feelings. Again, I will NOT publicly post anything negative about another author’s book.
- I AM NOT TAKING REVIEW REQUESTS. If you ask me to review your book, it’s a guaranteed NO.
- I purchase all books I review unless otherwise noted.
Let’s kick off the Dear Badass feature with MUST LOVE OTTERS. In the interest of full disclosure, I admit I am personal friends with the female half of Eliza Gordon (aka, Jenn Sommersby Young). She’s not only a friend, but she’s also my Hard Rock Harlots editor. I made a solid effort to be objective with this review.
Hollie Porter is the chairwoman of Generation Disillusioned: at twenty-five years old, she’s saddled with a job she hates, a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her, and a vexing inability to say no. She’s already near her breaking point, so when one caller too many kicks the bucket during Hollie’s 911 shift, she cashes in the Sweethearts’ Spa & Stay gift certificate from her dad and heads to Revelation Cove, British Columbia. One caveat: she’s going solo. Any sweethearts will have to be found on site.
Hollie hopes to find her beloved otters in the wilds of the Great White North, but instead she’s providing comic relief for staff and guests alike. Even Concierge Ryan, a former NHL star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another. Just when Hollie starts to think that a change of venue doesn’t mean a change in circumstances, the island works its charm and she starts to think she might have found the rejuvenation she so desperately desires. But then an uninvited guest crashes the party, forcing her to step out of the discomfort zone where she dwells and save the day … and maybe even herself in the process.
Dear Badass (aka Eliza Gordon):
I’m writing to inform you that your recent novel, MUST LOVE OTTERS, gave me the silly giggles, the booty wiggles, and the ugly cries. For all of these feels, I am eternally grateful, as your book provided a much needed escape from the daily doldrums of my own personal Blah-dom of late.
The opening chapters of the book hooked me from the get-go with witty witticisms such as: “Note to the world: Viagra + scotch + heart condition = dead with a boner,” hilariously impossible scenarios (I’ll never look at a plate of nachos the same way again), and raunchy, unapologetic inner commentary: “I turn and find myself eye level with her camel toe.” Or another gem, “Nothing says romance like taking an explosive shit in some stranger’s bathroom.”
While I thoroughly enjoyed the humorous setup of our heroine Hollie’s rather…unfortunate backstory, as I read the beginning chapters, I initially felt some of the side characters and events you focused on were a bit over-developed and perhaps not integral to the bigger story.
BOY, was I WRONG. All that setup you did in the first few chapters was brilliant fodder for perfectly executed (and deeply moving) callbacks in the last quarter of the book. Those were the very same callbacks that had my eyeballs leaking a seemingly endless stream of emotive fluid and leaving snot trails across my Kindle’s screen. Well played, Ms./Mr. Gordon, you bitch/bastard!
Let’s talk about Hollie. She’s sharp, smart, a little directionless, and very much a walking disaster. Trouble follows her everywhere she goes, and she handles it with great aplomb. I love how even though she finds herself in some seriously compromising predicaments, she makes fun of herself, and rambles on headfirst into the next patch of insanity. Whenever a scene starts into more serious territory, she whips out her verbal stun gun and rips all in her path with snark-laden bullets guaranteed to bust guts on impact.
One of my favorite things about this book is how you transformed Hollie from a bit of a self-centered, “safe” player who spends a chunk of time at the beginning of the book feeling sorry for herself (with good reason) into the empowered heroine we all wish we could be. Hollie comes into her own in the chapter entitled “Enhydra lutris.” That’s the point where she really blossoms to LIFE, and I felt every waking heartbeat right alongside her. Perfect execution. That entire chapter was literary beauty on every level. I bow to your greatness.
Which brings me to Concierge Ryan. Thanks to him, I’ll be on the lookout for out my own personal concierge the next time I visit a resort in British Columbia. Though, somehow, I doubt anyone else would remotely compare to his hotness. Ryan’s what I think of as a static character. He doesn’t really change from the start to the end of the book, and that’s not a bad thing. He’s the straight man to Hollie’s dynamic, slapstick klutz. Helpful, kind, non-judgmental, and always there to lend a hand when Hollie ends up naked and crawling down the resort’s wall, when she damages a body part, or simply gives him a good old fashioned drunk-dial from another country. He’s the quintessential Everyman for every woman. Quite frankly, I’m jealous as hell of Hollie.
I’m not ashamed to say that the last 25% or so of MUST LOVE OTTERS had my cheeks slathered in a steady stream of tears—some of them fueled by happiness that Hollie finally got what she wanted and needed, and some of them spurred by the unexpected, intense drama that unfolded. One thing is certain. You made me feel. LOTS. I’m pretty sure it’s because you’re a phenomenal writer with a unique, fresh way with words that’s so hard to find in books these days. My Kindle is covered up in yellow highlighted testaments to your awesomeness, but this bit was probably my favorite:
“When he looks over his shoulder and catches me ogling him, his smile is like a hug. I want to wrap in it, feel its warmth ensconce me, explore its soft edges until the moon tells me I have to go home.”
^^^ That right there is the way books should be written. You paint vivid mind pictures instead of filling my mouth with pre-digested, flavorless gruel that spells out every last detail. You challenge me to think and to see things from different perspectives without pounding me over the head with obvious, “telling” descriptions. That’s the sign of true talent.
MUST LOVE OTTERS isn’t just a romantic comedy. It’s a story with deep soul and big heart. It’s a story about growing up and letting go. Most importantly, it’s a story about chasing (and catching) dreams. The world needs more clever books like this. Thank you for the gift of your brilliant words.
Eliza Gordon is a forgetful girl who relies on Post-It notes and cellphone alarms to get her through the day. An avid eater of cookies, she can be found with her hand in the jar when not in her cubicle. A purveyor of fictions, Eliza is confident that the life she lives is merely the imaginings of someone else’s hand, poured from a dull pencil on cafe napkins, and that she is simply an understudy, waiting for her turn to take the stage. She has excellent taste in books, shoes, and friends, and questionable sanity in the realm of love. Best leave that one alone.
In real life, she’s a husband-and-wife team of controlled chaos who writes stories to help you believe in the Happily Ever After.
My good friend Rachel Firasek is at it again. Not only do we get to celebrate her birthday today (Say it with me now: “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RACHEL!”), but she also has a new book coming out soon, and therefore, a new AMAZING cover and blurb to share. Here you go:
Gabe James never thought he’d suffer from a broken heart. He never thought he’d have to work for a living. And he sure as hell never thought he’d fall for a woman that carries a torch for the man that is trying to ruin his life.
Jade McKenzie has danced with demons most of her life, and just when she feels like the dark clouds have lifted, a pointless fight with an ex-boyfriend leaves her with a scarred face and ends her ballet career. Now she dances on a stage where the sway of her hips trumps the pirouettes of her past, a mask concealing her marred beauty. But nothing will stop the pain of shattered dreams.
With Gabe’s career on the line and the threat of financial ruin blazing on the horizon, he’s guarded against a woman threatening to distract him even further when he needs his focus most. Jade can’t escape the memories of her past or Gabe’s heated glances—even if he swears that it’s her enthralling him. The two together are like kerosene and matches waiting for a spark. For a woman with no future and a man on the verge of losing hope, the only things left to cling to are their determined wills and the promise of a burning love.
To add Burning to your Goodreads TBR, click here.
And for a limited time, DROWNING, the first book in the Tears of Sin Series, is on sale for only $.99! Grab it here.
Rachel Firasek spends her days daydreaming of stories and her nights putting the ideas to ink. She has spent a dull life following the rules, meeting deadlines, and toeing the line, but in her made up worlds, she can let the wild side loose. Her wonderful husband and three children support her love of the written word and only ask for the occasional The Voice and Best in Ink quality hour.
She has a philosophy about love. It must devastate or it isn’t truly worth loving. She hopes that you all find your devastating love and cling to it with all your heart! Oh, and don’t forget to live on the edge—that’s the only way to experience romance…
Stalk Rachel’s hot self:
Enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card here:
No-goddamn-body asked me anything. But that’s never stopped me from spouting off before.
Since I spend a lot of time staring off into space and daydreaming, I thought I’d share some totally random musings about things no one cares about. Because I know you’re dying to know my opinions. <–That was pure Sarcasm, for those of you who don’t speak the language.
- Some of us waste our whole lives trying to please others by fitting into perfect little boxes (coffins, more like). All it gets you is a nasty case of cramps and stunted growth. When you’re dead and gone, you can’t take any of your precious junque with you. But you can leave behind lasting footprints. Be fucking REAL. Make every moment count. #DeepThoughtsWithKendallGrey
- I want to be Courtney Love when I grow up. *FYI, there are naked boobies in this montage. Don’t watch it if you don’t like naked boobies.
- Very few people who come into your life stay forever. Friendships and relationships are like a revolving door. Hop in. Hop out. Maybe hop back in to say hello, then disappear indefinitely. Sometimes you gotta tell bitches to fuck off for good. But the few who stick with you to the end? Worth more than cum-drizzled ice cream with a squirt spritzer.
- Rockers and Harlots rock.
- People can change. People do change. People are allowed to change.
- Just because you want it, doesn’t mean you can have it.
- A lot of folks are fucking stupid and highly allergic to the truth. In order to protect yourself from the madness of crowds, you may be forced to bite your tongue, nod, and smile vacantly. Think of it as a vaccination against idiocy.
- Lovers gotta love. Be a lover. Or a squirter.
- Some people simply aren’t worth your click. Choose your links wisely.
- I’d rather be surrounded by a small group of hardcore, supportive reader-friends than a million people who forget me the moment they close my book.
- Awards and bestseller lists are popularity contests.
- I’ll never be popular. <–I’m mostly okay with that.
- Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
- Google is great. Google is good. Let us thank It for our food. Amen.
- Whether you like it or not, you’re only as good as your last book.
- I stand by everything I said in 2013. If my brand of truth tastes bad to you, go fuck yourself with Shades’s used dildo and wash your mouth out with Letty’s squirt juice. (You’re entitled to your opinion, of course, even if you’re in denial.)
- One person’s opinion–no matter how much or little you value it–is one person’s opinion. Fun fact: there are well over 7 billion people living on Earth today.
- Tangential to #16 and #17, if you don’t have anything nice to say about me or my books, your opinion is irrelevant to me. I don’t have time to waste on haters. I’m too busy writing more books for you to trash.
- I signed up for way too many author events in 2014. Resident Geek might hire a Sicilian hitman to come after me for this. I’m still going to every one of them. And wearing a bulletproof vest.
- Life still isn’t fair, and it never will be.
- Henceforth all of the money in my advertising and marketing budgets will be spent on my hair and tattoos. It sure as shit ain’t doing me any good otherwise. Maybe now my keratin will look fucking amazing, and my dermis layer will be colorfully attractive.
- Take love wherever you can get it. No matter how big or small the serving size, it’s the jolt of energy our hearts need to keep pumping.
- I’m dead serious about doing a writers’ retreat in either 2014 or early 2015. Now, to find a way to make it happen…
- Write your book, sing your song, dance your dance, or draw your picture as if you’re the only one who’ll ever experience it.
- I have a feeling we haven’t seen the last of Letty, Shades, Jinx, Toombs, Rax, Eve, and Jillian.
Happy New Year! May 2014 bring you peace, love, and happiness.
I attended my first real book signing in early 2013. No one knew who I was. I mean, NO ONE.
(I really shouldn’t have bothered.)
At the time, I was in the middle of writing STRINGS. I hadn’t told anyone about it, so there was no buzz whatsoever. The only books I had to sell were The Ones Nobody Wanted. As I sat alone at my table, totally self-conscious and feeling like an idiot, I watched the woman straight across from me. Let’s call her Tara.
“Oh, Tara is so funny!”
“I love Tara’s books! You absolutely must read them!”
*Kendall sticks finger down throat*
Tara had been looking for some tape during the set-up earlier that morning. I loaned her mine. She thanked me and never gave it back. The bitch.
Okay, I’ll admit it. I was insanely jealous of this Tara harpy.
When the doors finally opened for the signing, Tara’s line of bouncing, giggling, and giddily squealing readers spanned the length of the room. The longer I watched her, the more jealous I became. I may have sold a total of eight books in the three or four hours I sat there. She probably sold that many in the first three or four minutes.
Tara was charming, engaging, funny, and extremely popular with readers. Hell, she even won me over, and I hated her guts for all of her shiny awesomeness. Positively green with envy, I kept thinking, “I want to be just like her. I want a line of readers like that. I want to sell millions of books like she does. I want to giggle and bounce and laugh with readers at signings and be the Queen of the Universe.”
Someday, Kendall. Someday…
That weekend was sobering as hell. I was an A-1 Loser totally eclipsed by the Legion of Badass Writers. The authors in that room intimidated the hell out of me, and I felt lower than dirt when I left. I seriously considered giving up on STRINGS and not even bothering to finish it. STRINGS was sure to become Book Number Four in the Pathetic Author Drowned in Obscurity Series by Kendall Grey, coming NEVER to a bookstore near you.
My stubborn ass finished the damn book despite the self-doubt, and I published it. Enough people ended up liking it that it broke into Amazon’s Top 100. Nowhere near Tara’s Level of Epic, but it was a hell of a lot better than I’d ever done before. Small miracles and all that.
Fast forward to a month or two ago…
I got a friend request from Tara on Facebook. I was surprised, but I figured she was just being nice and friending other authors. Shortly after, she sent me a private message saying (in much dirtier and typically “Tara” terms) that she enjoyed STRINGS. My fucking jaw dropped open, and I may have creamed my pants a little. She had to have read some other book entitled STRINGS because she sure as shit wasn’t talking about mine.
Guess I was wrong.
A couple weeks ago, she ordered signed paperbacks of all three Hard Rock Harlots books.
That a writer as popular, loved, and well-respected as Tara wanted me to sign books to her was one of the biggest compliments I’ve ever received as an author. All I could think about was sitting at that book signing, wishing so hard that I could be like Tara one day, and here she was, making me feel like I was somebody.
Tara, thank you for taking a chance on this nobody from Atlanta, Georgia. You have no idea how much it means to me that you a) even read my book, and b) liked it enough to pick up signed copies of the series.
The roundabout moral of this story: Writers, NEVER give up. Though right now you might be struggling with sales, recognition, rankings, ratings, getting noticed, or your own confidence-killing demons, your Tara could be right around the bend. Your success could be buried a couple of inches under Rock Bottom, and all you need to do is dig a tiny bit deeper to find it.
No one knows what the future holds. There will always be ups and downs in this business: devastating defeats, surprising support, crushing blows, or maybe even phenomenal success if you’re really lucky. Regardless of how your books are received, you write because you have a driving need to tell a story lodged in your soul that will murder you if you don’t let it out. So, set that bitch free.
In honor of Tara’s support and as a reminder to readers everywhere, I’ll end with one of my favorite quotes from writer/director/actor Kevin Smith:
“Remember: It costs nothing to encourage an artist, and the potential benefits are staggering. A pat on the back to an artist now could one day result in your favorite film, or the cartoon you love to get stoned watching, or the song that saves your life. Discourage an artist, you get absolutely nothing in return, ever.”
It’s been ten fun days of counting down to winter with some of my favorite author friends! Thanks to everyone who’s entered so far. Today is your last chance to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom of this post (or click here to enter). The grand prize winner of ten signed paperbacks will be announced here on the blog tomorrow.
Our final featured author in the Countdown to Winter signed paperback giveaway is the awesome Melissa Collins…
LET LOVE HEAL by Melissa Collins
Perfection. We all strive for it, but what happens when the desire to be perfect consumes you? What happens when the need to bury your mistakes blinds you?
Melanie Crane has always been the perfect daughter, friend, student – she’s been perfect at everything, in fact. But when she lets her insecurities, the ones that she keeps hidden from everyone, get the best of her, she falters in her pursuit of perfection. Melanie crumples under the pressure and buries her pain. Numbed by sadness and guilt, she is determined never to let anyone find out how broken she really is.
Bryan Mahoney may appear to have everything in order. He’s charming, witty and completely swoon-worthy. In short, Bryan has life all figured out, but appearances can be deceiving. When the landscape of Bryan’s family changes in an instant, he’s left to pick up the pieces.
Not all bruises leave a mark. Now, weary and afraid, Melanie and Bryan must find a way to let love heal their broken and jaded hearts.
If you’d like a shot at winning a signed paperback of LET LOVE HEAL, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Need it NOW, or want to put it on your wish list? You can find LET LOVE HEAL at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.
The multi-talented C.D. Reiss is today’s featured author in the Countdown to Winter signed paperback giveaway. (See the Rafflecopter link at the bottom of this post or click here to enter.)
BEG TEASE SUBMIT by C.D. Reiss
My name is Monica. I’m a singer born and raised in Los Angeles.
I’ve stopped dating. When I cut a record, or win a Grammy, maybe then I’ll be with someone, but every man in my past has done everything he could to make me submit myself to him, and it’s gotten in the way of my career. I won’t do it again.
But there’s Jonathan. He owns the high-rise hotel where I work, and he is gorgeous and charming. I refuse to fall in love with him, even though when he asks me to submit to him, I want nothing more.
When Jonathan was gone I couldn’t stop thinking about him, and the first thing he did when he got back was demand more of me. I’m willing to give him my body and my time, but I find myself giving up pieces of my heart.
My career is on track, and even though I can’t write a thing, I can sing. So I’ll go to the art opening with him, because his ex wife will be there. I feel this need to protect him from hurt, though in bed, his domination brings me to my knees.
This man is going to break me into a million little pieces.
“You’re mine. The minute I told you to spread your legs and you did it, you were mine. When I told you to beg for it and you did, you were mine. When you put your hands behind your back without being told, I owned you. You never had to say a word. You are a natural submissive.”
No. God, no.
My name is Monica, and no matter what Jonathan says, I am not submissive.
****18+ GRAPHIC LANGUAGE, SEX, AND ADULT SITUATIONS****
If you’d like a shot at winning a signed paperback of BEG TEASE SUBMIT, enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Need it NOW, or want to put it on your wish list? You can find BEG TEASE SUBMIT at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo.