Tag Archive | reading

Renee Swindle’s “Shake Down The Stars” – A Review

shake

Not so recently, I was the lucky winner of the latest novel of Renee Swindle, A Pinch of Ooh La La. I was happily surprised by this win as I had tried for it on a whim and had just finished Ms. Swindle’s second novel, Shake Down The Stars. For years and years I waited for another Renee Swindle book as I loved  her first, Please Please Please so very much.

Now, before I begin this review I must tell you that I’m forgetful. Let’s just…put that out there. I say and do things on the fly. I hoard notebooks. I write myself notes on an app on my phone. It’s how I live. I’m saying all that to say that I immediately wrote a review for Shake Down The Stars which I fully intended to post here and upload to Amazon. Who knows how that went awry, but in one of my cleaning frenzies yesterday, I uncovered the abandoned review, and well, better late than never…right?

In this ultimate comeback novel, the main character Piper won me over from page one. You see, hooking and reeling me in the beginning is important as I have the attention span of a… wait… what was I saying?

Oh, right. Piper. What a mess! But quite frankly, I need for my characters to be a bit of a mess, so I know they’re real. Fortunately, Renee Swindle shared my sentiment in this brilliantly crafted and tightly written novel where she presents readers with a character who immediately resonates. Be it Piper’s alcoholism, (whether she acknowledges it or not), family turmoil or unimaginable loss, there is a little part of this character we can all relate to.

It is all these parts of Piper that made me ask the question over and over: Who will love you at your worst?

Though Piper isn’t overtly in search or love, or any one thing in particular, it’s a question she seems to want the answer to herself. While dealing with the unthinkable in the only way she knows how, drinking until she can no longer think nor feel, engaging in reckless and promiscuous behavior and clinging to an unhealthy back and forth relationship with her ex husband, Piper often looks for answers in the stars. Star gazing is a passion of hers, and after hitting rock bottom, the stars, it seems, are all she can hold on to.

It takes the chance meeting of a perfect stranger to bring Piper’s starry gaze into focus and force her to confront her demons and, once and for all, decide who she really is, and if the real Piper is worth loving at all.

Since her breakout novel Please Please Please, I’ve found Renee Swindle to be synonymous with creating shockingly real and relatable characters and terribly realistic stories. Her much anticipated follow up proves consistent in presenting readers with a complex and flawed character that we have all at one point either known, seen or been. 

Filled with detailed descriptions, familiar settings and sharp, snappy dialogue, Shake Down The Stars is an engaging and compelling read that I highly recommend.

Now…on to A Pinch of Ooh La La!
 

On signing books, guest blogging and being called a “Breakout editor…”

I feel like much of my days are spent playing catch up. For a while there, I was on a roll, posting in sync with daily blog tour stops, updating everyone on new events and appearances, etc. And then I took what I didn’t intend to be a break, but turned out to be one, and now here I am, with so much to tell all at once.

First, yesterday’s blog tour stop. It was at author Annabeth Leong’s place and I wrote a guest post about cars and sex, one of the many sub themes in Can’t Get Enough. You can see it here if you missed it yesterday.

We also earned our 6th 5 star Amazon review yesterday. Very flattering. One of the best yet. Here it is.

Secondly, the book signing. It was this past Saturday at a Books-A-Million in Lawrenceville, GA. By that time I had done a one and a half hour reading with a wonderful group of ladies and was less shaky about appearing in public. Plus, I wouldn’t be required to say the words fuck, pussy or cock in a crowded room. All I had to do was sit there, a table with my books stacked in front of me and wait for the customers to come by, pick up a book and have me sign it. Except, for the first hour plus, I didn’t sign anything.

Well, that’s not completely true. Within the first ten minutes a woman approached me excitedly and asked for my autograph (not in a book, but in her little notebook where she collects them, but still…). I happily gave it to her though I’m still getting used to autographing things and am pretty insecure about my penmanship when do so. But anyway, she asked for a hug which I gladly gave. Hugs are easy. Hugs are reassuring, I can do hugs with no problem. I forgot to take her picture though.

In the last thirty minutes a woman came by and bought a book for herself and one for her book club. That made me extremely happy. Then, who I eventually found out was Gary Wit Da Tea from The Rickey Smiley Show came by, bought a book and took a picture with me. He also bought both my signing mates book (it was Lewis Ericson, BTW). My day was made after that, and then it was time for me to go.

tenandgary

Over the weekend an idea had been brewing in my mind re: marketing and I’m thinking and hoping something will happen with that soon. But, the hubs Googled me today and saw this.

I’m sure there are words sufficient enough to describe how unbelievable happy and proud this makes me, but right now, I just don’t have them. All I have is this feeling of shock and awe. Oh, and nerves out of this world.

Meet me tonight…

Is the invitation as sexy as it sounds? Why, yes, yes it is. Tonight’s reading, my very first reading ever after writing and publishing erotica for over ten years, is at Charis Books in Atlanta, Georgia. If you live in the area, just passing through, want to take an impromptu flight out or whatever, the reading is from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The address is:

1189 Euclid Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30307

I waited until, oh, about three a.m. to get nervous about it. Sat straight up in the bed like I was late for something. But, every one in the house was sleeping soundly, and because I’m so polite I was very quiet with my freak out.

And to add to it, I checked my Twitter feed (because everyone does at 3 a.m.) and saw that Rubicon Reader (my absolute favorite reviewer and Jeep lover) had congratulated me on a literary award nomination. Now, I tend to question not only my sight, but my sanity at 3 in the morning so it took a minute for it to register. Then I followed the link and saw this.

To say that I’m not only surprised, but extremely honored doesn’t even begin to describe this feeling. However this happened, I am grateful, and thank you.

I also thank you all for every review, retweet and favorite when it comes to my incessant tweeting and talking about Can’t Get Enough.

Love you guys, but must go and vomit now.

Announcing Me, Kink Your Kindle Today and more Blog Tour!

First of all, this:

news

It was just a little old mention in the literary events section (of the Atlanta Journal Constitution er hm), but I was in company with Reshonda Tate Billingsley and others! It felt good.

Also, today Can’t Get Enough is available for download on Kindle. Violet Blue already suggested you Kink Your Kindle with it, and who am I to argue with that?

Speaking of Blue, Day 7 of the Can’t Get Enough blog tour (I think I’m starting to say this phrase in my sleep) brings us over to Karen Blue’s place where she wrote an outstanding and very flattering review of the anthology.

What are you waiting for, get on over there and enjoy!

An interview with me and a Can’t Get Enough excerpt on Day 3 of the blog tour!

Today finds me over at Quixotic Orchid’s blog where she interviews me and excerpts JoAnne Kenrick’s super hot story, Craving the Best Man. She also tells you how you, yes you, can win your very own copy of the book. I suggest you get over there and fast.

Can’t Get Enough Blog Tour Kicks Off Today!

…and I’m so excited! Below is the schedule for the blog tour and links to which blogs will be hosting myself and “Can’t Get Enough” contributors. There will be guests posts, excerpts, interviews, oh my! Aren’t you excited, too?

July 10: Me -Hi!
July 11: Erotica For All
July 14: Quixotic Orchid
July 15: Kinkly
July 16: Sex in Words
July 17: Cara Sutra
July 18: Malin James
July 21: Kissin’ Karen Blue
July 22: Conversations LIVE radio
July 23: Yolanda Shoshana
July 24: Monica Corwin
July 25: Johnny Lemuria
July 28: Robot Lovers Prey on the Lonely
July 29: Night Owl Reviews
July 30: Tamsin Flowers
July 31: Rose Caraway
Aug 1: Ali’s Addiction
Aug 4: Erzabet Bishop
Aug 5: Naked All the Time
Aug 6: Leatherati
Aug 7: Geeky Nymph
Aug 8: Harper Bliss
Aug 9: Alison Tyler
This list will be updated as more stops are added along the way. See you there!

Book Clubs Black Expressions and Divas Read 2 are excited, and so am I!

As the release of #CantGetEnough nears, I can’t help but occasionally type the words in my favorite search engine and see what pops up. Is there a new review? Are more online book stores stocking the book? Well, this afternoon I found something even better, a new to me online book club, Divas Read 2, listed my little old book as a book to watch for!

I put this right up there with my excitement when I found out a little while ago that Black Expressions Book Club had taken on the book as a featured read.

I am honored. I am surprised. I am speechless (but you could tell that by my postless blog, right?).

I am ever so thankful for this opportunity and am so excited about where this will take me. Stay tuned as I will be updating more with meet and greet dates, times and places in the Atlanta area!