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Posts Tagged: Travel Log

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Travel Log: Guatemala

Posted by Irish in Travel Log0 Comments

Those who know me know that I love to travel and for the last few years I’ve been trying to see at least one new place every year. This year, I had things pretty well locked with visiting Atlanta, GA in January and then Edinburgh, Rome, Prague and Barcelona later on this year. But then I had to renew my passport and the empty pages were just begging to be filled. Then around the second week of June I stumbled on a great deal from Gate 1 Travel for a 5 day trip to Guatemala which left on 30June. I debated back and forth and then before I could say Guatemala I was booking my flight and counting down the days.

Day 1: Flying into Guatemala City 

My flight into the city was scheduled to arrive a little after 1 pm Guatemala time (2 hours behind Eastern, my local time zone) and by the time I deplaned, got through customs, and arrived at my hotel it was almost 2. It then took until almost 3 for my room to be ready. I was tired from the flight so spent the time in the hotel lobby bar grabbing a drink and reading my book and just relaxing. Initially had some grand plans to go out and explore the city but after checking in I was hungry so grabbed dinner at one of the restaurants in the hotel and by the time I was done it was getting late and I was getting tired so I just called it a night. Lame I know, but some days sleep just wins.

  

In Guatemala City I stayed at the Barcelo Hotel which was pretty nice. The lobby was pretty swank with nice, friendly staff and an ATM where I could pull out some Quetzals (the local currency). My room was on the 10th floor and while the view was nothing super glamorous I did have two balconies and a king sized bed which was pretty nice. I also forgot to take decent photos of the hotel so I grabbed the snaps above from the internet.

Day 2: Antigua

My first full day in Guatemala began bright and early as I had a 7:15 am meet up in the hotel lobby with my Gate 1 guide, Sergio, and to begin the drive to Antigua. Antigua is a UNESCO World heritage site and was founded in the 1500s and originally named Santiago. You can see iconography of this initial name throughout the city which was also the original capital of the Kingdom of Guatemala. Antigua is a city that is prone to earthquakes and much of what was originally built has collapsed and new things built in their place. We did see an old cathedral from the 1600s which is a shell of its former self but still really beautiful even though its barely standing.

   

Antigua is a city that is filled with such amazing history and architecture and I really wish that I had more time to wander around explore it more fully. Its colorful and vibrant and there is something to look at on every building. There are quaint little courtyards in many of the buildings that are open to the public and I could easily have spent a few days there. If I ever make it back to Guatemala I will definitely spend more time in this fabulous place. I highly recommend the city to anyone who goes to Guatemala. There is a reason that its on the UNESCO world heritage site after all.

After having one of the best lunches and discovering a new favorite cerveza (Muy Antigua, a local brew) we headed back to the bus and drove another few hours up into the highlands to our next stop, Chichicastenango.

Day 3: Chichicastenango & Lake Atitlan 

Chichicastenango is a town best known for the market that pops up there twice a week. Its crazy how the town literally transformed overnight and the streets became much narrower as they turned into a literal maze of shop after shop after shop all selling a wide variety of things. There were shops selling fruit, live birds, leather goods, jewlry, toys, tortillas, and pretty much anything that you could think of. It was crowded and chatotic and easy to get lost in the narrow aisles. From every stall people are calling out to you trying to get you to stop and if you do then they really amp up the pressure to buy. Its also expected, and encouraged, to bargain so whatever price the shopkeeper gives you always come back with something lower and eventually you meet in the middle. I liked bargaining but it was also the hardest part as the people in this area are so poor and the items so cheap (1 Quetzal is around 14 cents) that I felt bad at not spending full price on things.

 

In Chichicastenango, I stayed at the Mayan Inn which is a small hotel but also a really unique place to stay. The hotel spans across the street and I had to cross it in a monsoon to get to the bar and dining areas. Each room in the hotel is different and is like a mini-museum and best of all they all come with fireplaces. I wasn’t going to light mine as the temperatures weren’t that cold but in the end I just had to because how often do you get to have a cozy fireplace in a hotel? Another unique thing about this hotel is that each room is assigned a caretaker and this guy not only answers the bell when you ring it (for when you need help lighting said fireplace) but he also cleans the room, handles your luggage, and serves you in the restaurant.

By far though, one of the most interesting things about Chichicastenango was the cemetery which was a short walk from my hotel. It was bright and colorful and just a fun place to explore.

Lake Atitlan 

After spending the morning in the market we drove a few hours to the town of Panajachel which is one of the villages on Lake Atitlan which is the deepest lake in Guatemala. The lake itself is a massive crater of an old volcano and its surrounded by volcanoes. We got lucky on the day we went and while it wasn’t a bright and sunny day the rains held off until after we got to town and got to see the lake. The lake is massive and the views are really pretty and I can only imagine how much prettier it would be on a sunny day.

Day 4: Tikal

My final day in Guatemala was the part of the trip that I was looking forward to most, Tikal. My day started around 4 am (ugh! So early!) but we needed to get to the airport for our flight to Flores. The plane was larger than I thought but also a propeller plane so that was different. What was also nice is that on the plane we got not just beverage service but also a snack box….for a 45 minute flight…along with nice, talkative, friendly flight attendants. The US could remember a thing or two from Guatemala.

Once in Flores we got on a bus and drove another hour or so to Tikal which is in the middle of the jungle. We then spent the next 5 hours hiking through the jungle and up and down ruins and just seeing so many amazing things. Only about 20% of Tikal has been excavated and it really is impressive just how much they let people touch and walk on.

The first view of the Grand Plaza sort of sneaks up on you. Oh, on of the first things you see is the back of Temple 1 but it doesn’t fully prepare you for the overlook at the plaza. Its just so big and open and looks just how you see in pictures and movies but bigger and greener and just more. There are times when you think that you aren’t in a real place because its just so grand and impressive! Walking up to the top of Temple 2 to over look the plaza is break taking and I still can’t believe that I was there. That I was standing in a spot that’s been around since ancient times. Its hard not to wonder what life was like for those living in Tikal or why their civilization collapsed and the people moved on.

After exploring the Grand Plaza there was more hiking and ruins seen until we reached Temple IV. Temple IV is still most unexcavated and rises 212 feet with the top just over the tree line. The sunrise here is supposed to be spectacular but that wasn’t part of our agenda. It was a long climb up and there are times when I thought of turning back but I persisted and it was worth it.

Once on top of the pyramid you learn that safety isn’t a high concern for the Guatemalans as there are no guardrails and not a lot of room to walk around. The view is absolutely breathtaking. Nothing but blue skies and greenery and in the distance the tops of Temples I and II from the Grand Plaza. I could have sat up there for hours just in contemplation. But I was also very hungry and we were all promised food so down I went (much easier than up! lol) and we hiked backed through the jungle to a restaurant in the jungle for one of the best meals I had the entire trip. It was BBQ chicken with vegetables and soup and just so so good! But then again after a long day of hiking I’m not sure my assessment is the most accurate as I really worked up an appetite! lol

After we ate we hiked out of the jungle and then headed back to Flores. We had the opportunity to wander the town but most of us in the group found the nearest restaurant and just sat, drank and waited until it was time to head back to the airport. Needless to say I slept really well that night!!

Going home passed by in a blur, I got upgraded to first class (YAY!) and got to see some fireworks over NYC. It was pretty cool and I was so happy to be home. Not happy to find my car battery dead or the flat tire but very thankful to airport services who were able to get me up and running quickly!

I had a great time in Guatemala and would totally recommend it to anyone filled with Wanderlust and who doesn’t mind hiking through the jungle. I’m not sure that I’ll ever go back to Guatemala but I never say never. I am so glad that I went this truly was a very memorable trip.

See more of my photos on Instagram under the hashtag #gailandtheguatemalatrip.

 

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Blog Tour: The Conspiracy of Us Travel Log

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Post, Travel Log13 Comments

Blog Tour: The Conspiracy of Us Travel Log

Hello Internet!!

Today I am so happy to host Maggie Hall here on Ticket to Anywhere and learn a little bit about why she chose the setting she did for her debut novel, The Conspiracy of Us (13 January 2015, Putnam Juvenile). When I first learned that this book was set in Paris I became so excited for it. I took my first trip to this amazing city in October 2014 and have every intention of returning to it one day. I also spent a little time in the Istanbul airport and while airports aren’t my jam I would one day like to spend time in this fascinating sounding city. The Conpiracy of Us sounds also sounds fascinating and after reading Maggie’s post below I want to read it even more!

irishdarkblue

 

Conspiracy of Us

 

A fast-paced international escapade, laced with adrenaline, glamour, and romance–perfect for fans of Ally Carter

Avery West’s newfound family can shut down Prada when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war. Part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle, they believe Avery is the key to an ancient prophecy. Some want to use her as a pawn. Some want her dead.

To unravel the mystery putting her life in danger, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the monuments of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul with two boys who work for the Circle—beautiful, volatile Stellan and mysterious, magnetic Jack. But as the clues expose a stunning conspiracy that might plunge the world into World War 3, she discovers that both boys are hiding secrets of their own. Now she will have to choose not only between freedom and family–but between the boy who might help her save the world, and the one she’s falling in love with.

 

Conspiracy of Us Guest Post

I knew from the beginning that CONSPIRACY would be set abroad. It makes sense for the story, of course, since the twelve families of the Circle are scattered around the globe, but setting a story in a city unfamiliar to the main character automatically makes it more of an adventure, too. Avery, my heroine, had never been out of the country before the start of this book, so I wanted settings that would be really exciting and striking for a first-time traveler.

eiffel-tower-photo

Source: http://images.mapsofworld.com/travel/eiffel-tower-photo.jpg

Of course, I immediately thought of Paris. Paris is the cliche “best place to travel” for a reason. You can walk down any random street in that city, look up, and you’re looking at a building older than the United States as a country. You’ll follow your nose to a crepe stand, and realize your life hasn’t been complete until you eat a thin sheet of pastry wrapped around a scoop of Nutella and cooked by the side of the road. You’ll almost be run over by a Vespa driven by the most chic older lady you’ve ever seen, and you’ll laugh it off. You’ll eat bread and cheese for dinner, sitting with hundreds of well-dressed French people on the banks of the Seine river, and never want to eat anything but bread and cheese again. And then you’ll look up and see the Eiffel Tower in the distance, and wonder if you’re actually in a movie, because this place isn’t real, is it? That’s Paris. It’s magical.

Istanbul

Source: http://wallsev.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Istanbul-HD-Wallpaper.jpg

And then there’s Istanbul. It’s such an interesting city—it’s on the very edge of Europe, and in some ways, it’s very European. It’s as fashionable as the big European cities, and has a feel much like some of them in ways—but if you look even slightly under the surface, there’s a side to it that no European city has, because it’s also kind of in the Middle East, with the rich traditions, colors, food, and feeling of that culture that is so different to most Western travelers. There are kebab stands on every corner in some neighborhoods. There are ladies in all manner of lovely headscarves, and also ladies in miniskirts. There are breathtakingly beautiful mosques that sound the call to prayer all through the day, and also lovely churches. Istanbul is really a study in contrast, and it makes it such a lively and intriguing city.

To me, travel means seeing the world differently. Seeing how people in other countries and other cultures go about their lives, and realizing that the world is not as small as it sometimes seems to you. Of course, when I travel, I am not usually running for my life like Avery is! But even for someone in a situation like hers, having her story go on in a place that’s as foreign to her as the revelations she’s learning along the way adds an intensity—and a beauty, I think—to her journey.

Check out the other stops on the tour

Effortlessly Reading – 1/13

Two Chicks on Books – 1/14

Ticket to Anywhere – 1/15

Mostly YA Obsessed – 1/16

Reading is My Treasure – 1/17

A Dream Within a Dream – 1/18

The Midnight Garden – 1/19

Seeing Double In Neverland – 1/20

Jessabella Reads – 1/22

The Book Cellar – 1/25

The Books Buzz – 1/29

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Guest Post: Setting of This Summer by Katlyn Duncan

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Post, Travel Log0 Comments

Guest Post: Setting of This Summer by Katlyn Duncan

THIS SUMMER_Cover

 

 

About THIS SUMMER

Release date: July 9, 2014
Publisher: Carina UK
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
ISBN: 9781472096449

Before college, before responsibilities, Hadley Beauman and best friend Lily are determined to have a summer to remember. There will be all the usual dramas – ex-boyfriends who don’t seem to know what ‘ex’ means, pesky younger brothers with unrequited crushes, but what Hadley didn’t anticipate was the out-of-the-blue return of the seriously hot boy-next-door, Will Carson. The boy who broke her heart when he skipped town two years ago.

Will may have shot up a foot and filled out (oh yes), but inside he carries the weight of guilt – for leaving, for coming back… Now he’s just passing through to tie up loose ends but it’s clear the old chemistry still crackles between him and Hadley. Trouble is, it’s built on two years of lies…

This summer might just be the best time of their lives, but is Hadley ready for everything to change – again?

The Guest Post

Great topic! I think setting is very important piece of a great novel and I’d love to discuss mine!

This Summer is mostly set in a small town. As this is a loose version of my summers working for my local Parks Department, I brought in elements of that setting to build up the environment of the book. I wanted this setting because I knew it very well and that’s just where I saw my characters living. I like writing about small towns since I know mine very well. There is a sense of everyone knows each others business which fuels the urgency for Hadley to want to move on with her life. Plus it was fun to have the main characters live so close to everything, I really enjoyed exploring their environment in each scene.

The actual camp was fun to build. Pieces of it are from what I remember about those summers working. With so much of the setting in my mind already, it was an interesting experience to just throw my characters in there and see what they did.

There is also small window of time that the characters spend at an overnight camp and that was really fun for me to imagine. I’d never been to one and so it was exciting to build up my own version!

 

Find it at

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BARNES & NOBLE UK | iTUNES | KOBO | MILLS & BOON | GOODREADS

About Katlyn Duncan

Katlyn_Duncan

Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.

Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.

WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM | TUMBLR | YOUTUBE | GOODREADS

The THIS SUMMER Trailer

LINK: http://youtu.be/fJoqD3_bn_w

The Giveaway

The author is offering up for giveaway a $50 Amazon US or UK gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Tour Schedule

The schedule can be found at: http://www.rockstarbooktours.com/2014/07/tour-schedule-this-summer-by-katlyn.html

Week One
July 14th – Fire and Ice – Guest Post
July 14th – Spiced Latte Reads – Review
July 15th – Ramblings From This Chick – Review
July 15th – Contessa – Interview
July 16th – Book Briefs – Review<
July 16th – Swoony Boys Podcast – Interview
July 17th – Falling for YA – Guest Post
July 17th – Ginger-Read Reviews – Review
July 18th – A Book and a Latte
July 18th – Mary Had a Little Book Blog – Review

Week Two
July 21st – Seeing Night Reviews – Review
July 21st – Ticket to Anywhere – Guest Post
July 21st – A Bottomless Book Bag – Review
July 22nd – Library of a Book Witch – Review
July 22nd – Simplistic Reviews – Guest Post
July 23rd – Teen Readers’ Diary – Interview
July 23rd – Rampant Readers – Review<
July 24th – Once Upon a Twilight – Review
July 24th – Fiction Dreams – Interview
July 25th – Burning Impossibly Bright – Guest Post
July 25th – Fiktshun – Guest Post + Review

irishdarkblue

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Guest Post: Writing off the Beaten Path: Fictionalizing Travel Experiences – Diana Renn

Posted by Irish in Guest Post, Misc, Travel Log0 Comments

 LatitudeZero_JK_1P.inddGreetings and Salutations Internet!

Today I have the fabulous Diana Renn on the blog talking about the setting of her new book Latitude Zero which takes place in Ecuador and how she took a real place and adapted it to fiction.

Writing off the Beaten Path: Fictionalizing Travel Experiences

Confession: I’m a travel guide junkie.

Any time I’m in a bookstore, I head for the travel section, even if I only have time to pass by. It’s like a gravitational pull. Of course, now that I’m a parent, the travel books I actually pull off the shelf these days tend to have titles like Kiddie Pools Around the World, or 1,000 Not Entirely Mind-Numbing Things to Do With a Bored Kid on a Road Trip. But still my eye wanders to the books organized by region. I remember places I went to when I felt freer. I lament my trips not taken and dream of trips to come.

I’m an equal fan of advice-filled guides and more interpretative travel essays. I’ll flip to random pages and inhale the words and photos. I might even come away with an odd fact to hang onto, like how to hail a cab in Bolivia, or the best islands to visit in Greece. (Are there kiddie pools in Greece, I wonder?)

My husband is a guidebook-junkie too. He’ll actually buy guidebooks for places we’ve considered going, even though all that information is readily available online. We have several books about China and Norway, for example, though we haven’t quite made it to either country. When we traveled through Japan for our honeymoon, we were armed with four – four – thick guidebooks, which we regularly thumbed through and cross-referenced while shooting through the landscape on the shinkansen.

Probably because I’m such a fan of travel writing, my novels draw on my previous travels, evenecuador though I never went to these places with the intention of writing these novels; the novels emerged months, even years later. Tokyo Heist is largely set in Japan, where my husband and I traveled for nearly three weeks. Latitude Zero is half set in Ecuador, where I used to live and work, and where I did quite a bit of traveling. And Blue Voyage (coming in 2015) is set entirely in Turkey, where I had the trip of a lifetime a few years ago.

The excitement of writing about places I’ve traveled to comes in reliving those travel experiences. I love poring through the journals I kept, looking back at worn receipts and ticket stubs that rain out of the travel guides I lugged around. My novels are love letters to these places, as I try to recapture the excitement I felt there.

There is an inherent risk in this endeavor, though. I have to remind myself that I’m writing novels, not Frommer’s guides. And my characters need not share my itineraries—in fact, they really should not. I can scour my journals and guidebook notes for key details to bring the setting to life. The taste and texture of higos con queso, figs with cheese, that my host mother made me in Ecuador. Or what it felt like to inhale exhaust fumes and folk music while hanging on a pole for dear life on a local bus rattling down Avenida de Amazonas in a crowded neighborhood in Quito. Or the language store vendors used in Istanbul street markets to urge me to buy things I didn’t need. Or the lace doilies on the head rests in Japanese taxis. Any details I can record on the road are potentially useful, and these are the impressionistic details that I generally won’t find in guidebooks. I pounce on them, gratefully, when I need them in fiction.

La Basilica del Voto Nacional, Quito, Ecuador

But it’s taken me numerous discarded drafts to learn that novels are different kinds of journeys. Plot lines aren’t train lines. The trajectory of a character’s arc does not map neatly to the reality of a person’s day-by-day itinerary.

When I look at my Turkey journal, for example, there are peaks and valleys, but not one continuous arc toward a climactic scene and a quick denouement. There are long stretches of boredom and waiting when connections are missed. Occasional fatigued squabbles with my husband; an ice cream cone flung out a car window at high speed. Moments of wonder at a sunset gilding a river, or a baby owl flapping out of an alcove in a cave hotel. Awe at a church façade or a tower. But my husband and I didn’t embark on that journey with an eye toward a theme, or a plot quest, or our character growth; we had two weeks off and wanted to see Turkey.

There’s also the risk of wanting to include every amazing sight and experience in a novel, which can force the plot into blind alleys and dead ends and even a road to nowhere. When I was drafting Tokyo Heist, I spent months agonizing over how to get Violet to this amazing cluster of thatch-roof houses in the mountains where silkworms were farmed long ago. This effort resulted in a forty-page detour and flagging pace and threatened to derail the whole book. I eventually ditched the section, the whole venue. There was no need to have Violet go there just because I loved that place; everything she needed to accomplish, narratively, she could do in Tokyo and Kyoto. And believe me, we didn’t need a five page digression on the history of silkworm farms.  In another scene, I even routed her to another area of Japan where I’d never been in real life because that made more sense for the story.

Roasted Cacao BeansSimilarly, in Latitude Zero, I couldn’t wait to write some jungle scenes. I wanted my heroine, Tessa, to eat cacao from a pod freshly hacked off a tree with a machete, as I had. I wanted her to hear the monkeys chatter and find a gorgeous blue butterfly. Then I wanted her to go to the Galapagos and swim with seals, because everyone should have that experience, right?

Tessa never makes it to the jungle. By the time the book takes her to Ecuador, she’s on a mission, and running for her life, and there’s no time for leisurely sightseeing. Everything she needs to accomplish can happen, and does happen, in the capital city of Quito, high in the Andes mountains. I’ll have to save the jungle, the cacao pods, the seals, for another book.

So if you love to travel and love to write fiction, by all means take good notes. Save all the little scraps from your voyage. You never know what will become the seed of a larger project. Review your annotated guidebooks and notes and journals and relive your trip. Then toss everything aside and go off the beaten path. Let your characters and your storyline guide you. Trust me, it’s a lot more fun, and you never know where you’ll end up.

irishdarkblue

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Guest Post: Ready for You by JL Berg

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Excerpt, Guest Post, Travel Log0 Comments

Guest Post: Ready for You by JL Berg

RFY Amazon GR SW

 

 

Title: Ready For You
Series: Ready #3
Author: JL Berg
Publication Date: May 26, 2014
Summary: A second chance at first love.

Eight years ago, Garrett Finnegan’s world shattered the day Mia vanished from his life. He’s been struggling to pick up the pieces ever since. Haunted by memories and ghosts of the past, he chooses a solitary existence rather than risk his heart again.

Mia Emerson has made one wrong decision after another but none worse than walking away from the boy who stole her heart so long ago. When her new life is turned upside down, she finds herself returning to her roots and the hometown she left behind. Maybe now she can find a way to heal from the devastating mistakes of her past.

When a chance encounter brings these former lovers together, passion reignites in a way neither is prepared for. Can Garrett move beyond his anger and find a way to forgive? Will Mia’s insecurities and fears cause her to once again flee the life she’s destined to live?

Garrett and Mia will soon discover that they must journey into the past to find their way home.

Ready for You – The Setting

When I was picking a setting for the Ready series, I decided to go with my home—Richmond, VA.  Many know I’m originally from California, but over the years I’ve adopted Virginia as my new home.  I love watching the seasons change and I do enjoy a hush puppy or two.

I do this sneaky thing in my books where I will have a character or characters go to a location.  It is a real location—it exists in Richmond, but I won’t name it.  I’ll describe it in detail but won’t actually say where they are

It’s fun.

Locals love guessing what these vague locations really are.  Over the course of the series, my sharp readers have figured out that Clare and Logan live in Hanover, a small little county outside of Richmond, and some even guessed Logan’s historic home is located in Ashland.  Correct!

The cemetery Declan and Leah walk through is indeed the Hollywood cemetery and Clare and Logan’s date to the theater was at the Carpenter Center. (which is now Center Stage)

Now, for Garrett and Mia.

They are younger than any of my previous characters.  I didn’t see them living in a quiet neighborhood or even an apartment building outside of town.

I put both of them in Carytown.  Carytown is young and vibrant; full of old homes and fun, quaint shops and restaurants.

Mia’s house is crucial to the storyline and serves as a backdrop for most of the story’s setting.  It is what brings Garrett and Mia together and ultimately keeps them coming back for more.  I mention the door on multiple occasions—Garrett finding himself at that damn door more times than he can count.  They even, ahem, do intimate things against that door.  It’s not an accident.  The house is significant and I wanted to make sure readers knew just how important it was.

Creating the setting for the Ready series has been fun.  I enjoyed bringing my adopted home into my writing and it allowed me as a new writer to create in an environment I was comfortable in, which only helped me grow and expand my craft.

 

Links:

Goodreads //  Amazon // B&N // iTunes // Kobo

Excerpt

 

With our bags loaded, we started to make our way back to the car, weaving through the crowd and enjoying the sounds of people talking and soft music playing. I smiled when I heard a child laughing.  I turned to see a child being thrown over his father’s shoulder.

“Garrett! Stop it! I’m too old to be carried!” The child laughed.

“You’re never too old to be tackled, Connor! We’ve got to get you ready for football!”

That voice—even after eight years, I would recognize it anywhere. My stomach fell to the concrete, and my feet cemented to the ground. I was frozen, completely frozen. Everything slowed. The street noise melted away, and each and every shopper disappeared until I saw him. He had the boy slung over his shoulder. They were both laughing and breathless from their horseplay. He looked older, but it was still him. He still had the same jet-black hair, emerald eyes, and dazzling smile. A beautiful blonde woman was smiling at the two of them as they joked around.

My heart finally caught up to my brain, and it felt like a jackhammer was beating hard and fast in my chest. My hands shook, and my knees suddenly felt weak and wobbly. I had no idea how much time had passed since I saw him.

Minutes? Hours? 

I didn’t know, but it couldn’t have been long since Liv was just now noticing my crazy behavior.

“Amelia, are you okay? You look like you just saw a ghost,” she said.

When I didn’t respond, she must have glanced up because I heard her gasp. She’d seen him, too.

“I-I need to get out of here—now,” I gritted through my teeth.

“Are you sure?”

I just nodded and started to turn. I couldn’t face him. He probably hated me.

He had a kid. That hurt. My hand went to my chest, trying to rub out the pain settling there. He had a child. That meant the blonde standing next to him was probably his wife. Garrett was married. It had been eight years. Of course he would be married. I didn’t know why I was surprised, but he wasn’t supposed to be here. He had moved away. He was supposed to stay away. I couldn’t be here if he was still here. I couldn’t breathe if he was still here.

“Come on, sweetheart, let’s get to the car,” Liv said gently, grabbing my arm and guiding me toward the car.

I just gave a brief nod as I let her lead me.

We hadn’t made it three steps before I heard the words that made my heart come to a screeching halt.

“Mia? Mia, is that you?”

 

Author Bio

J.L. Berg is the USA Today bestselling author of the Ready Series. She is a California native living in the beautiful state of historic Virginia. Married to her high school sweetheart, they have two beautiful girls that drive them batty on a daily basis. When she’s not writing, you will find her with her nose stuck in a romance novel, in a yoga studio or devouring anything chocolate. J.L. Berg is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency, LLC.

Website // Facebook // Twitter // Goodreads

 

Contest

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Schedule:


May 27

http://tammyandkimreviews.blogspot.com/ [Review]

May 28
May 29
May 30
May 31
June 1
June 2
June 3
June 4
June 5
June 6
June 7
June 8
June 9
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Guest Post: Jenny Morris Talks about Road to Somewhere’s Setting

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Post, Travel Log2 Comments

Guest Post: Jenny Morris Talks about Road to Somewhere’s Setting

Guest Post: Jenny Morris Talks about Road to Somewhere’s Setting
New! From Bloomsbury Spark, a sunny heartwarming story of discovery and sisterhood. 
A road trip. A singing competition. And super-hot cowboys. 
What could be better? 
For Charlie, a post-high school road trip isn't just a vacation, it's life changing. While her parents think she's helping a friend move, a chance at fame is the real reason to grab her best friends and drive to L.A. But when her super annoying, uber-responsible, younger sister, Lucy, has to tag along, it isn't quite the summer of fun she imagined. 
Add in a detour to her grandparents' ranch in Texas, and between mucking the stalls, down-home cookin’, and drool worthy ranch hands, this could just turn into the best, and most complicated, summer of their lives.

Greetings and Salutations Internet!

Today I am happy to be a part of the Road to Summer blog tour hosted by Itching for Books. Road to Summer is written by Jenny Morris and Kelley Lynn and was released by Bloomsbury Spark on 11 March 2014. I’m happy to have Jenny here at Ticket to Anywhere to talk about the setting of Road to Summer which deals with one of my favorite topics in books, a road trip! So without further ado here is Jenny:

 

*****************

 

Thank you, Gail, for having me on your blog today! And for participating in our blog tour.

Gail wanted me to talk about the setting of Road to Somewhere. This is such a perfect topic for this book, since the sisters embark on a road trip.

When Kelley Lynn and I sat down to write we originally planned for them to drive along Route 66. But then I think I threw out a random comment about always wanting a cowboy as a love interest, and that’s when we thought of having them stop in Sherman, Texas. Why Sherman? Well, my sister lives there. J Neither Kelley or I have ever visited Sherman, but I grew up in Arkansas and have been through Texas many times. So we pulled from that knowledge.

Then we needed a starting point and Chicago seemed like a good choice, because Kelley lives close to there. They really aren’t in the Chicago area that much, but that setting plays a big part in who Charlie and Lucy are. I’ve lived in five states and every place I’ve lived has its own quirks. Like do you say pop or soda? Or if you’re in Texas then everything’s a coke even if it’s actually made by Pepsi. J Chicago is always one of those places I’d love to visit. And hopefully one day soon I’ll be able to meet Kelley there and we can explore all the places Charlie and Lucy love to go.

 

(Source: http://www.city-data.com/picfilesc/picc36333.php)

 

Last we had to pick an ending location for our trip and LA seemed the perfect choice since Charlie and her friends are in a singing competition. Plus, both Kelley and I have been there before. They really aren’t in LA very long either but a ton of important things transpires during their stay. One of our favorite scenes happens at the beach near the Santa Monica Pier. It’s was really cool because while they’re in Texas they go the county fair and then in LA the pier has rides too, but the contrast between the two places was nice to see.

 

(source: http://www.hotels.com/ho153464/hotel-casa-del-mar-santa-monica-united-states/)

 

Sherman is where a huge chunk of the book takes place. The ranch and the people that fill it are the heart of the book.

 

(Source: http://www.city-data.com/album/album-Sherman-Texas.html)

 

My mom grew up on a ranch in Nebraska, and my dad grew up on a farm in Louisiana. Life is different in that type of environment. There’s lots of hard work to be done, but during the summer there’s also this wonderful lazy feeling, too. Sipping tea on the porch swing while listening to the bug zapper do its job. J Or going for a late night dip in the pond. In Chicago Charlie feels pinned in, like she has no choices. The walls of the high society she grew up in fall away and she’s able to just be Charlie Bob, the girl who loves horses and is good at riding. We kind of made Texas the girl’s oasis.

 

(Source: http://www.city-data.com/album/album-Sherman-Texas.html)

 

I love when a book pulls me into the character’s world and makes me feel like I went on a vacation. I hope with Road to Somewhere we were able to make you feel that way.

Thank you again for having me on your blog and for participating in the tour. It was a ton of fun to visit all the places that Charlie and Lucy did on their summer road trip.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

kelleylynnKelley Lynn was born and raised a Midwestern girl. She’s not afraid to sweat and fills her free time with softball, soccer and volleyball. (Though you probably don’t want her on your volleyball team.) She occasionally makes guest appearances as a female vocalist for area bands. Music plays a large role in her writing process as well as the characters and plot lines within her stories.

Jenny S. Morris is a YA author who loves all things geek, may have a Kdrama addiction, jennysmorrisand prefers the rainy NW to any place she’s ever lived. Road to Somewhere is her debut novel.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Guest Post + Contest: Rachel Harris Talks About the Setting for Taste the Heat

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Guest Post, Travel Log8 Comments

Greetings and Salutations lovely people of the interwebs!!

How are you on this fine Wednesday? I am well and trying to get back into the swing of this blogging thing after a heat wave (and busy life) sucked out my will to blog. I was going over my calendar over the weekend and realized that during my unexpected hiatus that I missed a blog tour post – totally my fault too. I really should schedule these things when I get the info from the publicist. But hindsight is 20/20 and my guilt meter is on high. I also didn’t want this fabulous post to go to waste since Rachel spent a lot of time writing it and I think that what she says about the setting of her book really embodies what I love about reading. That transportation through the page to a whole other world. Here is what she has to say about it:

Setting. Y’all, I have to admit as an author and as a proud bookaholic, setting makes all the difference for me when it comes to books. I love losing myself in a different place. I love picturing it, being able to imagine what it sounds like, smells like, looks like, and my favorite, tastes like. I try to bring the setting to life in every book I write, and I have to admit one of my favorite compliments readers give me is that they want to visit the places my stories take place.

Taste the Heat, setting is not only an important part of the story, and one of my favorites…the setting is almost its own character.

Magnolia Springs is a fictional small town on the outskirts of New Orleans. I grew up in Marrero, a factual suburb of New Orleans, and I’ve always wanted to write a book set in my hometown. A place that has so much life and culture and history…and a place so often misrepresented by mass media.

(Our accents? We don’t sound like southern belles, y’all. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had my Yankee friends in hysterics when I “axe” them something.)

New Orleans, or Nawlins as I call it, is about family. It’s about food. And it’s about laughter. We tease, we love, and we eat. That’s us in a nutshell. We love our Saints, we love our seafood, and we love our superstitions. We find it completely acceptable behavior to beg and fight over cheap plastic beads under certain conditions, and we love our breakfast treats caked in powdered sugar. But there’s also a heart and a determination and a deep faith that I haven’t found anywhere else. And that’s what I want people to know.

When I sat down to write Taste the Heat, I decided to write more than a love story between two people. I wanted it to show the deep loving family connections that are so vital to our community. I wanted to honor the people that raised me, the culture that made me the woman I am today.

Taste the Heat is not just Colby and Jason’s story. It’s a love letter to the people of New Orleans.

So, dear fantabulous reader, it’s my hope that as you read this fun and sexy romance, you fall in love with Jason Landry. That you laugh out loud and swoon like crazy. That you find yourself craving Cajun food. And if at the end you find that you’ve also learned a little more about my hometown, I’ll call it a success.

TASTE THE HEAT Synopsis:


One sexy fire captain. One Cajun chef. One combustible kitchen…

When chef Colby Robicheaux returned home to New Orleans to save her family restaurant, the last person she expected to reconnect with was her brother’s best friend and her childhood crush. As tempting as a sugar-coated beignet, Jason is one dish she can’t afford to taste. Colby can’t wait to leave the place where her distrust of love and commitment originated and go back to Vegas.

Fire captain Jason Landry isn’t looking for love, either. Disillusioned by his past, he knows he should be focusing on finding the perfect mother for his daughter. But when he first sees Colby, all grown up and gorgeous, he can’t help but be drawn to her. And when she suggests a no-strings-attached fling, Jason can’t say no.

As their relationship grows more intense, Colby finds that Jason isn’t as easy to leave behind as she thought. Could turning up the heat on something real be worth the possibility of getting burned?

Rachel Harris Bio:

Rachel Harris grew up in New Orleans, where she watched soap operas with her

grandmother and stayed up late sneak reading her mama’s favorite romance novels. Now a Cajun cowgirl living in Houston, she still stays up way too late reading her favorite romances, only now, she can do so openly. She firmly believes life’s problems can be solved with a hot, powdered-sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations.

When not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, she homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches reality television with her amazing husband. Taste The Heat is her adult romance debut. She’s the author of MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY and A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES. She loves hearing from readers! Find her at www.RachelHarrisWrites.com.

Links:
Website
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads Author
TASTE THE HEAT Goodreads
Entangled Website
Barnes & Noble
Amazon 

To make it up to Rachel for being late with this post, I will be giving away an ebook copy of not just her newest release, Taste the Heat, but also her other two books My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century and A Tale of Two Centuries. Just fill out the rafflecopter below and good luck to all who enter!

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Be sure to check out these other fabulous stops on the Tour

July 7th
Between Fantasy & Reality
Fantasy Fairy

July 8th
All Romance Reviews

July 9th
Mostly YA Book Obsessed
Starbucks & Books Obsession

July 10th
A Book Lovers Review
Unforgettable Books

July 11th
Romancing Rakes
Every Free Chance Reader

July 12th
Always YA at Heart
Oops! I Read Again

July 13th
A Bookish Escape
Comfort Books

July 14th
Pink Fluffy Hearts
Brianna Lee Reviews

July 15th
Dazzled by Books
Library of a Book Witch

July 16th
ReaderGirls
Books Mystify

July 17th
Ticket to Anywhere
Tangled Up in Books

July 18th
Stuck in Books
The Cover Contessa

July 19th
Books, Coffee, & Wine
Refreshingly Riki

July 20th
Book Bitches Blog
Harlie’s Books

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Guest Post: Lyla Payne Talks About the Setting of By Referral Only

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Guest Post1 Comment

Hello internet!

Today I have another wonderful guest for you, this time from Lyla Payne. She’s here to talk about the setting of her Whitman University series, Broken at Love (my review) and most recently By Referral Only. Now I had some issues with Broken at Love but I enjoyed the setting and I liked the character of Ruby and its Ruby’s story that’s told here so I am looking forward to it. Though for some reason I thought she was African American, but if the cover is anything to go by I was totally wrong. But even if she’s a blond, Ruby is a feisty character and I hope to read about her college adventures soon.

As always, I’m a bit fascinated with the setting of a book and I loved hearing about why Lyla Payne set her book on a college campus and I hope that you do as well.

People often ask me whether I enjoy writing the Whitman U books, and I always grin and immediately respond HECK YES. Why? Who didn’t love college? Who doesn’t want to go back to those carefree years, where we lived on our own but still on our parent’s dimes, when the future seemed exciting and full of possibilities, and we were all pretty sure of our ability to change the effing world.

I went to a University pretty similar to Whitman, and slipping back into that world is like putting on pajamas after a long day in a killer pair of heels. For kids in college, it must be nice to read about people going through some of the (sort of) similar issues/life decisions/events you are, and if you’re reading NA in high school, maybe it gives you the courage to believe that things get better, more exciting. Certainly more free.

There are a million stories that take place at Universities, because there are million different kinds of people who go to college. Every sexual orientation, social background, economic strata, academic inclination—we all converge into a relatively small amount of square footage for four years of our lives. People meet who might never meet again, once we all slip into our chosen professions in different cities. They fall in love, they break each other’s hearts, and during those four years, we all do a lot more than grow up—we grow into the people we’re supposed to be. Hopefully the people we want to be, although the stories that go the opposite direction are interesting, too.

Those are the years we make friends we never say goodbye to, when we figure out whether we’re going to opt for security or passion (the rare few find both), and when many people find their (first 🙂 spouse. We decide whether we’re going to let our pasts shape the future, or whether we have the strength to step from behind the shadow (or bright light) of our families to make our own ways. Whether we’re the kind of people who fight or fold in the face of adversity.

It’s an atmosphere ripe for the picking, one that’s impossible to replicate once it’s over, and the years we change the most. It’s fun, and nostalgic, to return there from the safe exterior of the page, where we can revel in the triumphs of characters, swoon over their first real loves, and to cry over their heartaches. We get to step back into those experiences without having to suffer the growing pains, and maybe, for the space of two hundred pages, keep our rose colored glasses firmly in place.

That’s why I love living in these stories for weeks at a time, but what about you? If you love New Adult, especially those stories centered around a campus, what do YOU love about it?

BY REFERRAL ONLY Synopsis:

After being unceremoniously dumped freshman year because of her family’s “new money” status, Ruby Cotton has taken care not to put her heart on the line. No matter how enticing Emilie and Quinn make it look, relationships are scary and hard—while a string of flings is easy and fun. That’s what Ruby wants. Easy and fun. The only problem is, when it comes to satisfaction in the sack, most of the boys at Whitman are nothing but pretty window dressing and false advertising.

Ruby takes it upon herself to make campus life more fulfilling, creating a referral database that allows female students to rate their sexual experiences, thereby informing girls of what they’re getting into before agreeing to a date.

When her acting partner, Liam Greene, finally shows some interest, Ruby figures she won’t need to utilize the helpful gossip. He’s handsome, fun, and most importantly, not a guy she’d ever fall for hard enough to let him break her heart.

Not only that, but dating Liam gives Ruby the perfect excuse to say no to Cole Stuart.

As a star swimmer and heir to honest-to-God Scottish royalty, Cole sits at the top of Whitman’s A-list—but he’s also the lowest rated referral on Ruby’s website. The ratings make rejecting his repeated requests for a date a no-brainer, but her real reason for avoiding Cole runs deeper than a string of unsatisfied exes.

He’s gorgeous, he oozes sweetness and charm, and the electricity between them could power half of Whitman, but Ruby knows it will only last until his family or friends convince him she’s not good enough.

Before she knows it she’s falling anyway, waiting for the other shoe to drop but clinging to a tentative hope that Cole might be as different as he seems. When the secret behind his low ratings comes to light, that hope is torn apart, and Ruby wonders if she was right to give him her heart…and whether she has the strength to let him keep it.

Lyla Payne Bio:

I’ve long had a love of stories. A few years ago decided to put them down on the page, and even though I have a degree in film and television, novels were the creative outlet where I found a home. I’ve published Young Adult under a different name, but when I got the idea for Broken at Love (my first New Adult title), I couldn’t wait to try something new – and I’m hooked. In my spare time I watch a ton of tennis (no surprise, there), play a ton of tennis, and dedicate a good portion of brain power to dreaming up the next fictitious bad boy we’d all love to meet in real life.

Links:
Goodreads
By Referral Only on Goodreads
Tumblr
Website
Facebook
Twitter: @lyla_payne

Blog Tour

July 1st
Momma’s Books
Paulette’s Papers

July 3rd
Ticket To Anywhere
Book Blogger Mom

July 4th
Seeing Night Reviews
The Secret Book Brat

July 5th
Fiction Fare
Between Fantasy & Reality

July 6th
Cocktails & Books
Fictionators

July 7th
Behind Closed Covers
Bookworm’s Multiverse

July 8th
BookNerd Anonymous
Bend in the Binding

July 9th
The Book Café
A Good Addiction

July 10th
Tiffany Talks Books
My Secret Romance

July 11th
Stuck in Books
Bound by Books

July 12th
Globug & Hootie Needs a Book
I Heart Big Books

July 13th
Fueled By Fiction
Shh Mom’s Reading

July 14th
I Love Lady Porn
ReaderGirls

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Blog Tour: Alessandra Thomas Talks About the Setting of Subject to Change

Posted by Irish in Blog Tour, Contest, Travel Log1 Comment

Greetings and Salutations Internet!

I have another wonderful guest post lined up for you today, this time its Alessandra Thomas talking about the setting of her new book Subject to Change. As you know I love hearing about why an author set a book and this is what Alessandra will be chatting about today. Her story is set in a real place and that’s something that I have mixed feelings about. On one hand I love learning about somewhere new through books, on the other when its a place I know well and the author gets things wrong…*shudders*. Fortunately, though I’ve never been to Philly and from what Alessandra says below she seems to actually know the place (so many times the errors come because an author doesn’t know the place they set their story and can’t be bothered to use Google – seriously how do you not know that Franklin, MA is not on the tip of Cape Cod – sorry minor rant moving on.) Anywho, I really enjoyed Alessandra’s post and I can’t wait to read this book and I hope that you feel the same.  


Hi Gail!

Thank you so much for inviting me for a blog tour stop for Subject to Change! I’m so excited you asked about the setting for my book (and the first one in the series,) because setting is so important to me when writing! I absolutely love to write books about real places, and Philadelphia is perfect for a couple reasons:

It’s fun for the local readers: In Subject to Change, when I talk about a little bar on Sansom Street, or driving a motorcycle through University City or down the Schuylkill Expressway, or grabbing lunch from a food truck outside 30th Street Station, the readers who live in Philly (woo!) or have a familiarity with it will feel a real sense of authenticity to the story. Even though only a small percentage of my readers live in Philly, maybe when readers visit they’ll remember a little bit about Joey and Hawk’s story, and I love that.

It’s multifaceted, diverse, and has a great history: There are so many little neighborhoods in and around Philly, from Chinatown to high-end shopping to hipster neighborhoods, that I could write literally any story there. It means I have a lot of options for writing more stories in the series, and letting my characters have a wide variety of experiences – they can go to the roller derby, on a gorgeous nature jog, a country concert, or an award-winning sushi restaurant (Morimoto’s, mmmm.) Plus, the obvious…

Philly has a million colleges and universities in a 30 mile radius! Okay, maybe not a million, but think about it: Penn, Temple, Drexel, St. Joseph’s, Bryn Mawr, Peirce, Arcadia, Haverford, Cabrini, Immaculata, Villanova, Swarthmore…each of them very different from the other. It’s endless in terms of opportunities for a New Adult novelist to create interactions between diverse characters and experiences, plan new introductions (even in senior year, and grad school!)

I’m so happy I had the chance to come over and talk about how Subject to Change’s setting affected and inspired its story. I can’t wait to write more stories set in Philly.

Thanks again, Gail! It’s been so much fun!

 



SUBJECT TO CHANGE Synopsis:

Joey made her dad a deathbed promise that she would become a doctor, and dedicate herself to fighting the very cancer that took his life. There’s just one problem -three years into her pre-med classes, she’s struggling to stay on top of the curve, let alone prove she’s dazzling enough to earn a spot in an Ivy League medical school. In a Hail Mary move, she throws a basic Business 101 class into her semester schedule, banking on a perfect score to boost her GPA.

That is, until she’s paired for a final project with Hawk, the bartending, motorbike-riding, gorgeously bedheaded loser who falls asleep in class and communicates in one-word sentences.

Hawk does whatever he wants, whenever he wants, which sets Joey on edge – in every possible way. As they get to know each other, her urge to scream at him is curbed only by her fantasies of tearing his clothes off. Soon those fantasies become reality, and Joey realizes Hawk makes her feel more fully herself than any of the rich boys her mother and sorority sisters approve of.

But the promise to her father hangs over her head, and the harder Joey tries to succeed in her chosen career, the faster everything falls into a hopeless tailspin of bad grades, broken promises and guilt. It doesn’t help to have Hawk sitting like a devil on her shoulder, insisting she should be free to live however she wants to live – like he does.

The only thing Joey knows is that her neatly organized life is crushing her – and Hawk’s bad attitude might be the only thing that can save her.

Author Bio:

Alessandra Thomas is a New Adult writer who swears she was in her twenties yesterday.

Since she’s not, she spends her time looking back on her college years fondly, and writing sexy stories about guys and girls falling in love and really living life for the first time. When she’s not writing, you can find her with a spoonful of ice cream in one hand and the newest New Adult release in the other. 


 
Blog Tour:  

June 24th 

Ticket to Anywhere

June 25th 
Babbling of a Bookaholic
Shawna’s Survey

RELEASE LAUNCH DAY (See below for more information)

June 26th
TalkSupe
Rotten Apple Reads

June 27th
BookBriefs
The Secret Book Brat

June 28th
A Life Bound By Books
Lovin Los Libros

June 29th
BookNerds Anonymous
BookSessions

June 30th
Diary of a Book Addict
Whirlwind Books

July 1st
Into the Hall of Books
TarHeel Bibliobabe

July 2nd
All Romance Reviews
#BookNerd

July 3rd
In Between
Always YA at Heart

July 4th
A Novel Affair
Waves of Fiction

July 5th
I Heart Big Books
Stuck in Books

July 6th
Shh Mom’s Reading
Cocktails & Books

July 7th
Book Bitches Blog
My Crazy Book Obsession

Blogs Taking Part in the Release Day Launch

Into the Hall of Books
StuckInBooks
Cocktails and Books
Starbucks & Books Obsession
A Diary Of A Book Addict
Romancing Rakes For The Love of Romance
Book Reader Chronicles
Talk Supe
The YA Bookshelf
Stuck In YA Books
Refreshingly Riki
BookSessions
Brianna Lee Book Reviews
I Heart YA Books
The Book Life
Liezel’s Book Blog
Tiffany Talks Books
Hesperia Loves Books
Fic Talk
All Romance Reviews
Tyhada Reads
A Life Bound By Books
Book Nerds Anonymous
globug and hootie need a book
Oops! I Read A Book Again
A Novel Affair 
Contest:
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Blog Tour + Contest: Adam Kunz Talks About the Setting of One Tiny Secret

Posted by Irish in Contest, Guest Post, Travel Log1 Comment

Greetings and Salutations Internet!

Once again I am happy to work with InkSlinger PR and bring you a fabulous guest post from a new author with a book that sounds pretty darn good if you ask me. As always, when asked about hosting a guest post I love to hear about a books setting. Why did an author chose to set a book in small town America when they could have chosen Eastern Mongolia or the restaurant at the end of the universe? Authors have so many options in front of them when they sit down in front of a blank computer screen. Hopefully, you like hearing all these stories as much as I do. 


How did you choose your setting for One Tiny Secret and why?


Well, I’ve always been slightly obsessed with small towns, suburbs, and college towns that are located in the North-East. I especially love these areas during the fall (hands down my favorite season) because the leaves change color, the temperature actually drops (unlike in Florida, where I live), and the decorations are out of control. Halloween is actually my favorite holiday, which is the very one that One Tiny Secret’s story revolves around.

I’ve always envied people who get to experience the fall up North. When I was finally able to visit some Northern states two years ago in October, I fell in love with fall even more than I could have ever imagined. So, when I started to write One Tiny Secret I knew I wanted to not only have it take place during this season (particularly during Halloween), but I also wanted the setting to be a small town like I just mentioned above. I did go back and forth on whether or not to make the story take place in an actual locale/town or to make one up, but I ultimately decided to go with the latter. Creating a place from scratch, but have it still grounded in reality by making it resemble many of the small college towns in North America, was a lot of fun. This allowed me to mold Holden Ridge into whatever kind of place that I wanted it to be, instead of operating within the confines of a “real” town that already exists.

Since One Tiny Secret is a mystery/thriller, I knew immediately that a small college town would be the perfect setting for the story. I love the idea of taking a place that might normally be viewed as “safe” and “secluded” from danger, but then introduce a crazy murder mystery scenario and see how everything plays out. Also, having a sheriff’s department that hasn’t dealt with crime on a scale that the town of Holden Ridge sees was fun to play around with.

I also decided to have some of the characters attend the local college, Blackburn University, and to have some of the characters be seniors at the high school. My intention with this book was to write a YA/NA cross-over novel, and by having characters that represent both genres in the story, I feel I’ve achieved this goal. I really enjoyed going back and forth between the high school, Dani’s house, her job at the town’s bookstore (which would all be considered young adult genre territory), and the college housing, along with a couple of local bars (which would be considered more new adult genre territory).

The setting of a book is always very important to me. It’s actually so important to me, that I treat it like a main character in the novel. I try to write what I know, or what I know I love, and I LOVE everything about One Tiny Secret (I may be a little partial about this though). This book represents my love of many things, but in terms of setting, that means small towns like Holden Ridge, the fall, and the North-East.  



ONE TINY SECRET Synopsis:

**Mature Content Warning** Recommended for 17+ due to language, violence, and sexual content.  
 
Just one tiny secret has the potential to ruin everything.  
 
Being the daughter of the sheriff in a small town like Holden Ridge means that eighteen-year-old Danielle “Dani” Marks’ life is under constant surveillance. She’s made a habit of staying under the radar by being a floater among social circles at school, which has kept her out of trouble—until now.  
 
After a missing persons case stirs up the entire town, Dani finds herself caught right in the middle of the scandal. When she’s labeled a possible suspect, things quickly go from bad to worse. The sudden return of her old flame, Parker Reed, manages to make her whole situation even more complicated.  
 
When an elusive unknown person begins to blackmail Dani by threatening to reveal her deepest secrets, Dani refuses to play along. That is, until the person’s actions take a violent turn. Holden Ridge loses its sense of quaint town security, and Dani is caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse.  
 
Who can she trust when anyone around her could be a suspect?  
 
One thing’s for certain though: Never underestimate the power of one tiny secret.

Adam Kunz Bio:

Adam Kunz is the A part of the mother and son author duo C.A. Kunz. Growing up, he always

had a fondness for R.L. Stine’s Fear Street series. So, it was a no brainer when he decided to write his own novel that it’d be a thrilling mystery with a dash of horror, and some romance thrown in for good measure. When he’s not busy writing, Adam enjoys his job at a theme park in Orlando, Florida as a décor consultant. This job brings him face to face with all sorts of nightmarish creatures, especially when he decorates the haunted houses for the park’s annual Halloween event. It’s been said by many that his addiction to Starbucks coffee will most likely be his downfall later in life.

Book and Links:

Amazon Buy Link
Barnes and Noble Buy Link
Author Website
Author Facebook
Twitter
Novel Goodreads
Author Goodreads

Blog Tour Schedule:

June 16: I Love Indie Books AND Happily Ever Hungover
June 17: Shhh Mom’s Reading AND Confessions from Romaholics
June 18: A Good Addiction AND Wine, Relaxation & My Kindle
June 19: My Secret Romance AND Ticket to Anywhere
June 20: Bound By Books AND Narratively Speaking
June 21: Whirlwind Books AND Books Books Books
June 22: Lori’s Book Blog AND BookCrush



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