Monday, March 20, 2017

Sunrise Author Services Official Launch!

Today is the official launch of Sunrise Author Services, a company by authors for authors!

Sunrise Author Services is something Jessica Tate and I have been planning for well over a year. We wanted to take our personal experiences as authors, designers, and assistants and help other indie authors or aspiring indie authors in their journey to success. We've put our abilities together and created this company.


What services does SAS provide for authors?

SAS currently offers premade covers, teaser graphics, and personal assistant services.

Will you be offering any other services in the future?

Yes! We're going over the possibility of adding more services down the line, but as of right now we're focusing on the covers, graphics, and PA services to start.

What makes SAS stand out from the rest?

We're indie authors and we know the value of good promotion. When you choose SAS, we will do everything we can to promote your book on our blog, newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And our help doesn't stop after the services are finished. We're also more than happy to share future sales and other promotions. All you have to do is send us a message with a link and we'll do the rest.

Will you ever offer any discounts?

Of course! We will periodically be offering discounts (% off or $X off) on our services. Keep reading and you'll find one you can use right now!

What do I do to inquire about a service?

We have two forms: one for the covers and graphics (for me) and one for the personal assistant services (for Jessica). Fill out the form for the service you're interested in and we will contact you within 72 hours via email to go over the details.


Since today is the official launch for Sunrise Author Services, we wanted to offer something special for authors. For the rest of March you can receive 5% off your service of choice with the coupon code GRANDOPENING. Just add it at the bottom of the form and we'll take that off your total.

Want to save more? Sign up for our author newsletter to get a special coupon code just for subscribers.

Are you a blogger? Sign up for our blogger newsletter and we'll give you first dibs on ARC and promo opportunities.

Keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
for the latest news and special offers.

Who's up for a giveaway?

Two lucky winners will receive $5 off any service of their choice. This discount can be used at any time in the future (but not with any other discount). Enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Announcing Sunrise Author Services

After almost a year of working on what we called our 'Secret Project', Jessica Tate and I are excited to announce our new business, Sunrise Author Services!

This is a business for authors created by authors. With several years of self-publishing experience, we know all the work that goes into publishing a novel, and we want to help you. Some of the services we'll be providing including graphic design, author promotion, and personal assistant services. This will also be a great opportunity for book bloggers to discover new authors, read ARCs, and help promote authors who are new to them and maybe even old favourites.

This is where you come in. Jessica and I are looking for people to help spread the word about Sunrise Author Services. If you'd be willing to share a blog post, a tweet, a Facebook post, and/or Instagram post during the week of March 20th when we officially launch, we'd be incredibly grateful. We're a small business with big dreams, and you can help us achieve those dreams by spreading the word!

Sign up here to help us with the launch the week of March 20th. We'll send an email with everything you'll need a few days before the official launch.

If you're an author who's looking for help with promotion or you're in need of some graphics, sign up for our author newsletter, which will include exclusive discounts and promos.

If you're a blogger, sign up for our blogger newsletter, which will include information about ARCs, promo opportunities, and giveaways.

As incentive for signing up, everyone who helps us spread the word will be entered to win a $5 gift card (Amazon or B&N). If enough people sign up, we'll add another $5 gift card for a second lucky person!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #6

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Date. The idea is to share what you've read lately, what you're currently reading, and what you plan to read next. I love seeing what other people are reading and then adding to my never-ending TBR, so I thought this would be a fun meme to participate in each week!

What I Read Last Week:
Let it Shine by Alyssa Cole
How Not to Fall in Love by Deirdre Riordan Hall
Love and Shenanigans by Zara Keane
I'm so behind on writing reviews, but I really enjoyed Let it Shine (set during the Civil Rights Movement and featuring a black heroine and a Jewish hero) and Love and Shenanigans (funny, cute, and set in Ireland which is always a bonus for me). I did review How Not to Fall in Love, though, and I have a guest post from the author up too.

What I'm Currently Reading:
Long Road Home by Marie Meyer ~ I loved Meyer's The Turning Point, and I'm enjoying Long Road Home so far.

What I'm Reading Next:
Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee ~ LGBTQ Middle Grade! I'm so excited to read this one. It comes out March 14th.
Flying by the Seat of my Knickers by Eliza Watson ~ I mentioned week before last that I plan to do another Irish Week the week of St. Patrick's (next week - eep!) so I'm going to try to get to this book in the next few days so I can have it read and reviewed for next week.

This is Read an e-Book Week, and two of my novels are on sale on Smashwords. You can get Blue Sky Days (New Adult Romance) and The Game Changer (Contemporary Women's Fiction) for just $1.50 with the code RAE50.

What have you been reading lately? Have you read any of the books I've been reading? I'll be doing the rounds of fellow It's Monday! What Are You Reading? participants, but in case I miss you, be sure to leave a link below so I can visit you! Also, if you did a general weekly recap, feel free to leave a link so I can check it out!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Monthly Recap: February 2017

Happy March, lovelies! I hope 2017 is treating you all well so far. Did you have a good February? Mine was pretty good, although kinda chaotic. I'm having trouble finding balance this year. It feels like all I do is work, but I have so much to do! I'm working hard to get as  much done as I can and still take some down time for self-care.

Here's what my February looked like:

What I Read: 

  • The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro (4 stars)
  • Dirty London by Kelley York (3.5 stars)
  • Let it Shine by Alyssa Cole (5 stars)
  • How Not to Fall in Love by Deirdre Riordan Hall (3.5 stars)
  • Love and Shenanigans by Zara Keane (4 stars)

Blog Highlights:
  • I recapped what I read, watched, and did in January 
  • I did a bookish merch spotlight on NerdyGrlDesigns, who makes beautiful bookmarks, magnetic bookmarks, and stickers. I'm one of Melisa's reps on Instagram, and I shared my discount code in the post, so be sure to check it out!

Bookstagram Highlights:
Follow me on Bookstagram

All the Rest:
  • My friend JK and I went to a Harry Potter event at our local Chapters. There was a really fun scavenger hunt, a costume contest, and a 'photo booth', where we took the pictures below. It was great. We also spent an afternoon later in the month hunting for Funko Pops and CDs.
  • I finally finished writing something! It's a Christmas novella, so it won't be coming out for several months, but it had been over a year since I'd finished writing anything. Last year was such a train wreck, I didn't have as much time for writing and my motivation and creativity were lacking. I started and abandoned several projects, and was thrilled when I actually finished this story. It's super cute and sweet and romantic - pure fun fluff. Now that I'm finished that, I'll be going back to the contemporary romance I was working on before Christmas.

  • My youngest nephew turned 7 in February. It feels like he was just born!
  • I'm still obsessed with Supernatural. I've managed to make it to season 4 in my rewatch. It's slow going because I haven't had much time to watch TV, but I'm hoping to get through another season or two in March. I'll get caught up eventually!
  • Another season of Bookish Bingo has come to an end. I managed to get 2 rows completed. I'm participating again for Spring. Head over to Pretty Deadly Reviews if you'd like to participate!

So, that was my month. How was yours? How many books did you read? Do you have a favourite? Do you have a blog post you wish got more attention in February? Feel free to leave a link in the comments. Also, if you did a wrap-up post, be sure to leave that link too so I can visit you!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Guest Post: Love, Hate, and Why I Write by Deirdre Riordan Hall

I'm thrilled to have Deirdre Riordan Hall on the blog today to talk about why she writes what she writes. Until recently, I was most familiar with her YA books, so I was interested to know why she decided to make the leap to women's contemporary fiction (especially since I've done the same in the span of my own 5-year writing career). Deirdre was kind enough to write a post for my readers, and I love her reasons for wanting to branch out and try her hand at all kinds of stories. 

Love, Hate, and Why I Write
By Deirdre Riordan Hall

I'm nothing if not unconventional. I tend to do things backwards, inside out, sideways… When given the traditional path or something else, guess which way I'll go? I don't know if it's a quirk in my biochemistry or that I prefer to eat my pie from the crust to the middle, but that's how I roll—or bite as the case may be. And it's no different with my writing life.
Years and years ago, I started with screenplays and picture books then dove into young adult fantasy fiction, took a new adult detour, returned to young adult fiction—paranormal, then contemporary, then fantasy, then back to contemporary… In between the writing and publication of YA contemporary my novel Sugar (and then Pearl) I also tried my hand at middle grade and then back to young adult (I always return to my home in YA). To date have written about thirty manuscripts. Do you see a pattern here? 


That's because there isn't one. 

So why do I write what I write? 

I write what I want to read and to answer the inspiration and story ideas given to me. But more concretely, I write because I feel the need to connect the dots between what I'm feeling and the big picture—the universal, the you and me. To bridge the feeling of loneliness with the knowledge that we're linked. To bring a world beyond what is at our doorstep or in our kitchen or on the screen to inky life. To remind myself and everyone else that we're not the sum of who we've been told we are. 

We get to define ourselves. We're bigger and bolder and brighter than we could ever imagine. It's through fiction that I find courage and strength and possibility. I uncover magic and love and light. I discover that it's you and me not us and them. In Sugar, a young adult contemporary novel, I told the story of the heroine who was told she was too much yet not enough. She found her more than enough and set the world alight with her courage. Pearl was dealt a crappy hand, had a grim home life, but was given a way out. Even though she proved human and made mistakes, she forged her own way forward, breaking the abusive and addiction riddled cycles of the past. 

In my new adult series, Follow your Bliss, each of the main characters takes a long look in the mirror and decides to define life on her terms and have fun while doing it. In Love, Hate, and Other Lies We Told, my latest and a romantic comedy, Navy is lost, but finds herself—and love—in books, romantic fiction with book boyfriends to be exact. Her best friend urges her to come out from the pages and live more by daring her to go on a series of dates leading up to Valentine's Day. Navy ultimately goes along with the plan and experiences a series of sexy, unfortunate, exhausting, and bizarre encounters that she documents on her blog. Not the least of which is with her nemesis, Carrick, who she successfully avoided for years. But he's like an itch, one she resists scratching until he reveals the truth about who he is and what he's been doing for the last decade. But Navy has secrets of her own and it's not until she learns to trust again that she lets the people who care most about her into her life and steps out of her box (aka her tiny studio apartment in Manhattan). 

I think the beating heart of this book is that despite the main character feeling betrayed and alone, there's an underpinning of interconnectedness she discovers when she reaches out, stretches past her comfort zone, and turns up the volume on her life. 

This storyline came to me in the form of the main character going on a series of dates that aren't Instagram worthy. Well, Bash's dinners are 😉 but the rest, well, they're certainly blog worthy disasters. I wanted to integrate the dating aspect and the quest for love in a more mature way than I felt I could portray in YA, while leading the story with humor and heart. The best vehicle, one I hadn't yet attempted, was women's romantic comedy. 

I'm a big fan of Alice Clayton, Emily Giffin, and more recently Sally Thorne. The books by these authors have depth, but also feel like a little escape into someone else's drama and reliably have a happy ending, which I'm all for! So I took a chance. More than anything, after the second half of 2016 that I had personally and what we experienced here in the US (where I live), I felt like we could all use some more love in our lives as well as comic relief and an escape, at least for the space of 300-plus pages. 

As a hybrid author, both traditionally published and self-pubbed, I have a list of books I'm hoping to see in print this coming year while I co-write an exciting YA with Cheyanne Young. Available on Valentine's Day is the follow up novella to Love, Hate, and Other Lies We Told following Kat's story: How Not to Fall in Love.

After that, I'll be back at it with young adult contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, and then some middle grade to finish the year. It's a big year! My motto for 2017 is: go big or go back to work. I have a lot of exciting things in store and hope you'll join me for the twisting, turning, plot-twisting ride. 


Thank you so much for being here today, Deirdre! As someone who writes the stories in her heart and mind, regardless of genre or age category, I enjoyed reading about your own writing journey. 

Be sure to check out my reviews for her two latest releases, Love, Hate, and Other Lies We Told and How Not to Fall in Love

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Review: How Not to Fall in Love by Deirdre Riordan Hall

How Not to Fall in Love by Deirdre Riordan Hall
Series: Love, Hate, and Other Lies We Told 1.5
Published: February 14th, 2017
Publisher: Self-published
146 pages (ebook)
Genre: Contemporary women’s fiction
Acquired this book: Gift
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon US || Amazon CAN}

Katya's middle name may be Aphrodite, but she has no interest in relationships. In fact, she has three rules she lives by:

1. Never spend the night.

2. Never sleep with the same guy twice.

3. Never fall in love.

Oh, and number 3.1 is never order the same coffee two days in a row.

That's a lot of nevers, but when she breaks every single one of them, repeatedly (her undoing was a vanilla latte with a heart in the foam, BTW), she begins to wonder…

Actually, it was a batch of chocolate chip cookies that started her downward spiral. Never mind, scratch that, it was Spencer—her neighbor. He's also a banker, a player, and seems to know just what Kat wants, which isn't love.

Until they start to spend a lot of time together…

Until she finds one of his socks at her place...

Until they go to a ski resort for a long weekend…

Until he has a snowboarding injury…

As Kat struggles with the part of her that wants to be strong, single, and on the scene and the mushy, melty, romantic within, she tries desperately not to fall in love. But what's wrong with falling if you have someone with dark tousled hair, refined yet ruggedly handsome features, and chiseled abs to catch you?

Nothing. Nothing at all.

When I read Love, Hate, and Other Lies We Told, I found myself as interested in Katya as I was in Navy. She seemed to lead an interesting life, and she clearly had some issues in her past that caused her to be the way she was. I was happy to hear she was getting her own story with How Not to Fall in Love.

I liked Katya a lot. She was an interesting mixture - on the one hand, she seemed to have it together, but underneath she was damaged by things that happened in her past and was struggling. She seemed happy with her life of no commitments and didn’t have plans to change, but deep down she was a romantic who needed to learn a few lessons about life and love in order to open up her heart. I enjoyed watching her growth and found myself cheering her on. Of course, it didn't hurt that Spencer was hot and swoony and ended up being really good for Katya in a lot of ways. Their romance was believable and enjoyable.

How Not to Fall in Love is a sweet, funny, romantic novella that can be read as a standalone. If you’re looking for a something light and feel-good, be sure to give this one a try!

{My review of Sugar || My review of Pearl
Have you read How Not to Fall in Love or Love, Hate, and Other Lies We Told? What did you think? If you haven't read them, do you plan to? Have you read any women's fiction lately that you'd recommend?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Review: Love, Hate, and Other Lies We Told by Deirdre Riordan Hall

Love, Hate, and Other Lies We Told by Deirdre Riordan Hall
Series: Standalone
Published: January 17th, 2017
Publisher: Self-published
300 pages (eARC)
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Acquired this book: From the author in exchange for honest consideration
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon US || Amazon CAN}

Let go from her job and feeling lost, Navy Carrington takes a position as coffee-girl at a publicity firm. Their newest client is Carrick Kennely, the former love of her life and her fiercest adversary. She thought she'd let go of the past by playing it safe with book boyfriends—and avoiding frustratingly sexy guys like Carrick.

When Navy's roommate finds the Boyfriend Book, a silly relic leftover from Navy's teens, it prompts a dare; Navy is to go on five dates and pick one to be her Valentine. Despite her reservations, she can't say no, especially if it means proving to herself and Carrick that she can move on.

Navy chronicles her brief romantic entanglements with the Hottie in 7G, the Man-Bun-Barista, the Gym Stud, and the Book Boyfriend who turns out to be a toad—not the kind that when kissed turns into a prince—on The Boyfriend Book Blog. She doesn't want to let her readers or herself down, but as Valentine's Day nears, none of the guys comes close to being her one true love.

Except Carrick. He’s infuriating, attractive, confusing, catnip…and it turns out he has a secret.

With a love letter and a plane ticket in hand, Navy leaves her baggage behind and must decide between love, hate, and the lies she told to protect her fragile heart.

Having read and loved Dierdre Riordan Hall’s Young Adult novels Sugar and Pearl, I was excited to read her debut women’s fiction novel, Love, Hate, and Other Lies We Told. For that reason, and because the author is a truly lovely person, I wanted to love the book, hurts my heart to say this...I didn’t. I’ve been reading a lot of women’s fiction lately, and rom-coms are totally my jam, both in book and movie form, so I had high hopes for this one. While the story had good elements and a fun premise, what kept me from ever fully connecting to it was Navy herself. There were things I sympathized with - mostly her feelings of being lost and unsure - but for the most part, I just couldn’t connect with her. She frustrated me from the beginning with how she constantly compared herself to Kat and laid out all the things she wasn’t - beautiful, fun, able to trust, successful, etc. She focused so much on negative things and on the past, and refused to move on. Every time she took one step forward, she ended up taking two or three steps back, and she was constantly going over how she’d been hurt, how she couldn’t trust men, especially Carrick, how she kept herself guarded, etc. I did appreciate her ultimate growth and how she really came into her own, but the journey was rocky.

All that being said, my issues with Navy could totally be ‘me things’ that might not bother other people. There were things I enjoyed about the book, such as Navy and Kat’s friendship. I’m a sucker for strong female friendships that have their ups and down, but where the characters ultimately love each other unconditionally. Navy’s dates were also fun and often had me smiling...and glad I’m not part of the dating scene!

I enjoyed the overall premise of Love, Hate, and Other Lies We Told. Navy was an avid reader and had far more book boyfriends than real boyfriends - both of which I can relate to. I think many of us live inside fictional worlds for various reasons, and sometimes forget there’s a whole real world out there waiting to be discovered and lived in. It was nice to see Navy maintaining her love of books and book boyfriends while realizing she can still have a real and fulfilling life outside the pages.

Despite my issues, Love, Hate, and Other Lies We Told was a book with a fun premise, interesting characters, and a lot of real-life emotion. If you’re a fan of women’s fiction, I’d encourage you to give this one a shot!


{My review of Sugar || My review of Pearl}

Have you read Love, Hate, and Other Lies We Told? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? Have you read any women's fiction lately that you'd recommend?
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