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text 2017-12-05 15:07
Mark A. Rayner about his newest novel The Fatness + Giveaway [A guest post]


Many of you already know Mark A. Rayner aka Dilettante (you can follow Mark's blog on BookLikes here). Now it's time to know Mark's story a little bit better. With his new release The Fatness Mark also reveals a look behind the scenes of his newest book!


If you're hungry of great stories, make sure to request The Fatness copy in here. Enjoy and bon appetite



-- a guest post by Mark A. Rayner



The Fatness – a novel of epic portions


Canadian author Mark A. Rayner’s timely new book, The Fatness, is a satirical take on how not to deal with the so-called obesity “epidemic”. The novel posits a world in which the government gives those who are obese a simple choice: relinquish their publicly funded healthcare or go to a special Calorie Reduction Center (CRC) to lose the weight.

Mark is offering three copies as a giveaway here.



Behind the scenes:

why The Fatness was a difficult book to write

by Mark A. Rayner


It was personal.


Writers might say that of any book, true, but this novel was a particular challenge. I’ve struggled with weight issues most of my life, so I found it quite difficult to write a humorous account of what it would be like to be imprisoned for your weight.


Really difficult.


Like many of my novels, the idea for The Fatness first came to me in a dream. I’d been reading The Obesity Myth, by Paul Campos. It’s an eye-opening non-fiction about the bad science surrounding the idea of the obesity “epidemic”. That was sometime in 2005, the year ENC Press published my first book, The Amadeus Net.


In the nightmare, I was imprisoned in a Calorie Reduction Center, a concentration camp for the obese. When I awoke, I thought, so that’s a horrible notion. Terrifying. And strangely compelling. Should I even put this terrible idea out in the world? I wondered. Would readers know it was meant to be a satire?


I’m an optimist, so I wrote four chapters. They were bad. There was nothing funny about the book. It wasn’t biting satire, it was just bitter.


I made several other attempts, all failures. Six years ago I even got as far as completing an outline and a large chunk of a draft. But it wasn’t really what I wanted the book to be. It was strained and really not funny in a way that was compassionate for the inmates of the Calorie Reduction Centers.


Then five years ago I got serious about my own weight issues. I worked with two wonderful personal trainers and got my BMI – my body mass index – down below the dreaded 30 BMI for the first time in years. For some reason, that gave me the ability to write the book. I think I needed to understand the process of losing weight so that I could communicate its challenges properly. Within the course of a year, I wrote a completely new draft of the book.


Ends December 18, 2017



The biggest task, from a writing perspective, was to get the tone right. I didn’t want this to be an exercise in telling fat jokes. That is part of the problem, as far as I see it – we tolerate jokes about somebody’s weight in a way that we wouldn’t allow for other characteristics, such as race or sexuality. So pitching the humor in a compassionate way was important to me.


I think I learned how to do it by reading the work of Kurt Vonnegut, one of my literary heroes. I share his take on humanity. We are flawed, but we’re not worthless. It’s the opposite, really. Our flaws make us different, and our differences make us valuable.


A satire also has to be critical. Another way in which my writing is similar to Vonnegut’s is that we make fun of pretension and large-scale human systems. We’re suspicious of both. Pretension is a symptom of hypocrisy. This pitfall is only possible when we humans start believing our own lies.


The other major target, as far as I can see, has to be the way that humans are terrible at taking good ideas and turning them into governing principles. The human component seems to get lost as soon as we scale things up to the level of large systems.


Obesity is a complicated problem, and it’s not realistic to think we’re going to find simple solutions. There’s a genetic component to obesity – recent studies indicate it may be caused by a single gene. There are societal, financial and emotional components to it as well. Until we understand how all of these things fit together, it’s going to be a difficult issue to address. Blaming people for their weight issues is certainly not going to help.


After I got my own weight problems under control (for a little while) and finished the rough draft of the book, the following year I worked with my editor and produced two more drafts. Then my life got really complicated. My long-term relationship ended, my dog died, and I started a new and extremely challenging work position. (Sounds like a bad country and western song, doesn’t it?) So it took a few more years until I was ready to start the publishing process. Yeah, sometimes it takes that long.


This twelve-year project, from idea to publication, is the longest gestation period for a book I’ve written. By comparison, my first novel, The Amadeus Net, was a breeze – it only took ten years from start to finish.


But I think The Fatness is the best book I’ve written (so far), and the positive reviews seem to back up that feeling. I’m particularly pleased that readers feel the book is satirical, yet has a big heart that is compassionate for people struggling with obesity.


As the reading and writing process taught me, there are no easy answers.


Mark’s favourite writing space: in the garden.



The Fatness is a metaphor


I hope this is a story that can be read on many levels and enjoyed in different ways. I don’t think this is a spoiler, but it’s fair to say that there is a metaphor at the heart of this book.


If you buy into the notion of duality, you accept the idea that you are a consciousness riding around in a body. I think many fat people experience this every time they look in the mirror. I know I do. I don’t feel overweight, but there’s the proof of it right there in front of me. The idea that you might be physically incarcerated because of your body is a metaphor for how an obese person might feel every day: a thin person looking out at a fat one. That’s a paraphrase of the Cyril Connolly quotation: “Imprisoned in every fat man a thin one is wildly signaling to be let out.”


There’s some truth to it, in the same way that as we get older, we may experience the truth of Terry Pratchett’s observation: “Inside every old person is a young person wondering what the hell happened.”


But the thing is, that thin person, that young person, is a reflection of societal values. If you engage with any media, it’s impossible to avoid the idea that what matters is being thin, being young, being beautiful, being successful, and being famous. We see ourselves that way – we judge ourselves that way – even when these ideas have nothing to do with our worth as human beings.


The Fatness is an attempt to get people to recognize how media can have an impact on how we see ourselves and each other.


So my hope is that readers will be affected by the book. My hope, if they’re fat, is for them to feel less alone, to feel less guilty about their physicality. For the non-obese, I hope they get an understanding that nobody wants to be fat. It’s not a choice. And it’s not just laziness. Many fat people spend their entire lives trying not to be fat. I know that I have.


On a lighter note (pun intended), my goal is to make readers laugh. There are lots of things the book spoofs, and your political affiliations really don’t matter. Every reader will find something to enjoy. It makes fun of socialism. It makes fun of capitalism. And it makes fun of human foibles.


If nothing else, readers should come away with a sense of how absurd our bureaucracies can be, and how even the best intentions can go wildly astray. Even science.



Discovering more about medical science


I learned quite a bit while I was penning this novel. While the facts, myths, and quotes between the chapters – I call them ‘interstitials’ – are meant to be fun, they actually helped me discover more about obesity, body image, and the research process. I learned, for example, that science is very much a human process, prone to error and flaws. What we “know” today could easily turn out to be “wrong” the next. A tragic example of this is what happened in the ’50s and ’60s, when the medical profession decided that dietary fat was the enemy.


Ironically, I think this is one of the major contributing factors to the increase of obesity in society. This is terribly simplistic, but we substituted carbs for fat in our diets – and not just good carbs, like vegetables and fruits. We added in highly processed carbs, which are probably okay for us in limited amounts, but not if they make up the bulk of our diet.


I also learned how the food industry works. (It’s kind of shocking, in some cases.) I certainly didn’t realize that corporations were actively pushing unhealthy food at us to fatten up their bottom line. That probably makes me seem naive, but until I started digging into the subject, I really hadn’t thought about it much.


I learned about the importance of body image – on both sides of the BMI. I learned how damaging it is to shame people for being either too fat or too thin. Even if the intention is to help people become healthier, shame is actually counterproductive when it comes to weight management.


Finally, I discovered that keeping the weight off is just as hard as losing it. But that’s a topic for a sequel. (And maybe a psychotherapist.)


About Mark A. Rayner


Mark A. Rayner. Author. Mustache twirler. Photo by David Redding Photography, 2013.


Human-shaped, simian-obsessed, robot-fighting, pirate-hearted, storytelling junkie Mark A. Rayner is an award-winning writer of satirical and speculative fiction.


By day, Mark teaches his bemused students at the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (at Western University) how to construct social media campaigns and viable information architectures that will not become self-aware and destroy all humans. By night he is a writer of short stories, novels, squibs and other drivel. (Some pure, and some quite tainted with meaning.)


Many cheeseburgers were harmed in the making of this novel.


Mark A. Rayner's books:


The Fatness - Mark A. Rayner The Amadeus Net - Mark A. Rayner The Fridgularity - Mark A. Rayner

Marvellous Hairy - Mark A. Rayner Pirate Therapy and Other Cures - Mark A. Rayner The Meanderings of the Emily Chesley Reading Circle - Mark A. Rayner 



Follow Mark's blog on BookLikes

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text 2017-10-19 13:32
Exclusive excerpt and a book discount: Jet Set Jeff: The Science Defender by Kenneth Harris


We're happy to introduce Ken Harris, a comic fan and a YA author whose recent book Jet Set Jeff: The Science Defender intrigued us so much that we couldn't resit and invited Ken to share the book details. Read the exclusive excerpt below and immerse in this amazing story. Enjoy!


P.S. Ken prepared a surprise for BookLikes readers. Use the links below to find the book at the special reduced prices.


Happy Birthday, Ken!



-- An author guest post by Kenneth Harris


Jet Set Jeff: The Science Defender - Kenneth Harris,Aaron Harris Hello! My name is Kenneth Harris. I am a children’s book author excited for the opportunity here on BookLikes to interact with readers like you. Please visit my blog at http://JETSETJEFF.BOOKLIKES.COM.

I am a fan of the history of old-school comic strips, comic book heroes, and their creators. I have started a FREE monthly newsletter dedicated to this art medium that emerged during the Great Depression and reached its peak during the 1980s. You can subscribe to my newsletter at http://kforpartnership.wixsite.com/educ.  

In my latest book, a 10-year-old boy secretly creates a malfunctioning Gadget suit to protect his first responder parents.


From October 19th to October 31st I am offering a discount for this Amazon chapter-book, Jet Set Jeff: The Science Defender. Regular price for the paperback is $5.99 and the EBook is $3.99.  For the remainder of this month, the hardcopy has been reduced to $3.60 and the digital at $2.99. Click here. You and the children in your life will like this action-packed humorous story. You can learn more about me and my other titles here. Thank you!




Chapter 1



     Residents in Springdale City were afraid of the rising crime problem. Police and firefighters were risking their lives to keep residents safe from thieves and burning buildings. Innocent people were afraid to walk the streets.

     A ten-year-old boy had an idea to ease his own anxiety. Inside his tree house up in a shady oak tree, his weird experiment was underway.

     Outside a corner guarded by drapes, Ike Jones let out a loud sigh. His round face was twisted with boredom. He was a short, pudgy kid. Ice cream preyed on his mind, like usual.

     “Jeff, how much longer is this going to take?” Ike pleaded. “I’m so hungry; I could swallow one hundred snow cones.”

     “Preparation requires patience,” said Jeff behind the curtains. “Soon, you will witness the greatest experiment in the world.”

     Suddenly, Jeff Morgan leaped out, smiling excitedly. He was thin and wore prism glasses over his small eyes. He had on a weird spandex suit with a utility belt. Thrusters, host to little rockets, were strapped to his back. As the machine hummed and crackled, its loose bolts pelted the floor.

     Ting! Ting! Ting!

     “Finally,” continued Jeff as he stood proudly on a chair. “My jetpack is perfected.”



     Unimpressed, Ike’s eyes narrowed to the size of toothpicks. “What is that junk on your back really? It looks like an air-conditioner.”

     Jeff brushed off his friend’s ridicule and pointed up. “The time has come at last to demonstrate the flight of my latest gadget.”

     “Did you go to the city landfill again to dig up worthless parts?”

     “If there’s nothing more to be said, I shall fly. Stand aside, if you please.”

     Jeff took off running to the open door. When he reached the edge, he leaped and cried out like Tarzan. In slow motion, he drifted about in the air, amazed at the scenery of the grassland stretching in all directions.

     Then, the realization of trouble burst upon his worried face. He wasn’t flying. He was falling like a shooting star. He nervously fumbled away at the dozens of buttons on his special utility belt.

     “Not good!” Jeff shouted.

     “Jeff!” cried Ike.

     Jeff hurtled downward at terrific speed. He landed face down on a pile of neatly stacked leaves.


     Ike climbed aboard an upright barrel. He grasped a rope above and pulled it. The barrel dropped to the surface like an elevator.

     Jeff, slightly dazed, got to his feet as Ike made his way over to him.

     “Don’t tell me you weren’t expecting to fall on your face,” Ike taunted.

     “This is no problem,” Jeff stammered. “I can rectify this malfunction.”

     The loud racket from his jetpack intensified. Surely, there was a big problem with his latest device. Jeff tapped a few switches on his belt in hopes of turning it off.  Despite his efforts, it continued to crackle and pop loudly.

     Ike kindly slapped Jeff on the shoulder. “Why don’t you find another hobby? Chasing after an ice cream truck is more fun-licious.”

     “After I repair my jetpack, no ice cream truck will outrun us,” Jeff snarled.

      “I commend your latest effort, but I have to be home for dessert.”

     Jeff gasped, “Ike, you said you already ate dessert. Don’t let sweets distract you from this secret mission. After all, you agreed to be my assistant.”

     “That was twenty experiments ago,” Ike said as he backed away to the surrounding bushes. “Nothing you build ever works right. I quit.”

     “But we’re so close.”


    Ike ran off through a break in the bushes. He was unaware of his friend’s disappointment in his departure.



     Jeff took off his whirring jetpack. He studied it closely. He promised himself he wouldn’t give up on fixing it. In order to protect his mom and dad, he knew he had to succeed. They worked dangerous jobs that always made him nervous.

     He heard a twig snapped.  Somebody was coming. He quickly hid the jetpack behind a tree. He also removed his gadget suit and tossed it over his humming device.

     “Jeff!?” a woman’s frustrated voice hailed.

     Ms. Fisher emerged from the woods with his one-year-old brother Wade in her arms. The wrinkled-faced babysitter was angry. She disliked long walks from the house.

     Jeff couldn’t help but smile merrily at them. A pacifier dangled from Wade’s mouth.

     Luckily, the noise from the jet thruster lowered to a faint squawking. Jeff hoped Ms. Fisher wouldn’t hear it.

     “Yes, Ms. Fisher?”

     “Jeffrey Morgan! You know I’m not fond of straying from the house in the evening.”

     “Sorry, I forgot.”

     “Dinner will be ready in fifteen minutes. Be sure to wash your hands before you eat.”

     “I copy that radio transmission, Sargent Fisher,” Jeff joked.

     The raising of her eyebrow meant she didn’t take kindly to his mockery. Jeff bit his tongue. The last thing he wanted was his parents to find out about his bad behavior. Ms. Fisher was a cranky old woman with no sense of humor.

     “That will be enough out of you,” she countered. “Be at the dinner table and don’t have me come looking for you.”

     Ms. Fisher stomped away with Wade back to the house.

     Jeff had spent many months working on his experiment. He wasn’t ready to give up easily. He slipped on his costume once again. Jeff fastened the jetpack over his back and jumped into the barrel. He pulled the rope with both hands. The barrel shot up to a port beneath the tree house.

     There Jeff figured out the answer to the problem.

     His hand caught a lever on the side of his pack. He dragged the handle down. Spitting flames radiated brightly from the rims of his rockets. He felt himself being slowly lifted into the air.

     “I’m flying!” Jeff cried excitedly. “I’m flying!”


 Chapter 2



     Jeff hurriedly squeezed his feet into ski boots. His hand snatched a mask-like helmet from a table. When he placed it over his head, he looked like an astronaut who crawled out of a trash compactor.

     He flew out the window like a soaring bird.


     Jeff blazed upward like a fast launching jet. The bird’s eye view of the green land formations was quite clear. Eventually, the sight of the city loomed largely. His flight was a success.

     Jeff swirled and twisted playfully as he hung in mid-air. His fun was cut short when a distant disturbance below caught his eye.

     A thick wisp of smoke was rising from a fiery midtown apartment building. Jeff knew his father, who was a firefighter, would be at that scene. Jeff believed he had a duty to protect him.

    He sped towards the leaping flames.

    Fire and smoke poured out of the open windows of the apartment building. Panicking firefighters were manning the hoses. Others were on ladders pulling choking residents out of the burning building. From the safety of the sidewalk, tenants watched with wearied eyes.

     “A firefighter is still in that building!” cried a woman.

     “No one can save him in time,” said a distraught man. “The fire is too much!”

     “Stand aside!” Jeff commanded in a firm tone.

     The man and woman looked up and saw Jeff flying sternly over them.

     “What in the blazes is that?” asked the woman.

     Jeff twisted a dial on his utility belt to activate the landing gear in his boots.

     It didn’t work.

     “Oh my goodness!” he gasped.

     He crashed through the fourth-floor window. Inside the dark smoke, he collided with a wall and fell face down. Jeff quickly got to his feet. He flicked a switch on his belt to turn on emergency lights installed in his helmet. The broken blinkers flashed on and off repeatedly.

     Jeff realized he was on the top floor balcony, and the fire was all around him. He heard a man coughing. He looked down over the railing and saw his father on the floor beneath him.

     Surprisingly, he didn’t have his mask on.

     “Dad!” Jeff cried.

     His father didn’t hear him because he was on his knees choking from the cloud of smoke. He had his hand around his neck. The floor where he was located was on the verge of collapsing.

     Jeff knew he had to think of a way to save him fast.

     The third level shattered. His father fell with the debris of what was once was a floor. Jeff pointed a wrist device at him. A handcuff, attach to a long cable, swept down. Its jaws draped over his father’s flailing wrist.

     “Got you!” Jeff said excitedly.

     His father dangled in the air below, leaping flames engulfing the lobby. He looked up to see who saved him. He nearly fainted. “What are you?” he asked.

     “Just a good astronaut…I mean Samaritan,” answered Jeff. “I have to get you out of here, Dad.”

     Mr. Morgan was greatly startled. “What did you call me!?”

     Jeff realized his mistake and blushed. “I said drag! It’s sure a drag getting you out of here.”

     Jeff flew over the fire as his father dangled in disbelief. Jeff guided him out of the smashed window through which he came. The burning ceiling came down just as they escaped.

     Once outside, Jeff swung his father into the arms of grateful firefighters.

     “That little guy saved my life,” said Mr. Morgan.

     “Who are you?” asked a curious firefighter.



     Jeff thought about that as he floated. Loose bolts hurtled from his noisy gadget suit.

     “I haven’t given that much thought,” he replied.

     Another excited firefighter drew closer. “That strange suit of yours is a success. With your help, we can save many lives.”

     “Sorry, but I am not a super-hero.”

     A panicking police captain pushed through the crowd with a radio in his hand. “There’s been a report of a bank robbery,” he said.  “It’s the National Bank on the other side of town. We won’t get there in time.”

     Jeff knew his mother, who was a police officer, was assigned to work in that sector of the city. He knew she would be there. He also knew he must protect her too.

     A succession of rocket blasts sent him up and away. The crowd cheered their hero on.


Chapter 3




     “Hurry up, you idling fool!” demanded Glue Dude as he eyed the nervous bank teller. “I want that bag filled with all the money!”  He was aiming his long glue soaker gun. “And don’t forget to add in a lollypop!”

     The shivering manager passed from cage to cage, gathering the cash, and stuffing it into a satchel.

     A wicked laugh burst from the mask of the evil scientist. “With the apartment fire I started downtown, the other cops will be very busy. They won’t get here in time to catch me. I fooled them all.”

     The bank customers, including Mrs. Morgan who was on-duty as a police officer, were face down on the floor. Their trembling hands covered the backs of their heads. She lifted her eyes to the greedy robber.

     “Glue Dude, you won’t get away with this,” Mrs. Morgan said.

     “Don’t bet on that, Copper,” he said. Glue Dude brandished his weapon. “This glue soaker is my most valuable invention. One day, I will have enough money to build the most destructive weapon in the world. I shall finally be respected as the greatest scientist of them all!”

     “Keep dreaming, Paste Face!” said Jeff as he skated into the lobby.  Smoke billowed from his defected blazing jet skates.

     “How dare you interrupt my plans!” said Glue Dude.

     Mrs. Morgan was star-struck like the rest of the smiling patrons. “Who are you?” she asked. “A super-hero?”

     Jeff blushed again. “Not exactly, Mom…I mean Ma’am!”

     “You little rascal,” said Glue Dude. “One blast from my glue gun will leave you stuck and hopeless.”

     “The only thing stuck and hopeless is your getaway.” Jeff taunted. “Make it easy on yourself and give up gluey brain!”

     Glue Dude raised his glue gun. Thinking fast, Jeff removed his electronic boomerang from his utility belt. He threw it. Instantly, his jet rang traveled backward. Jeff looked confused. It sailed out the entrance door of the bank.

     Jeff looked back at Glue Dude and stomped his feet “That wasn’t supposed to happen.”

     Glue Dude shrugged. “It looks like it has an electrical problem.”

     The jet rang came swirling back into the bank.

     “Look out, Super-Hero!” cried Mrs. Morgan.

     “Please, I am not a super-hero,” countered Jeff. “Just call me…”

     The swirling boomerang rang against the back of Jeff’s head.


     Jeff saw stars circling around him. He forgot what planet he was on. He slumped to the floor.

     Glue Dude laughed merrily. Jeff struggled to get to his knees.

     “You are a clumsy super-hero,” mocked Glue Dude. “Prepare to be swarm with paste.”

     Glue Dude activated his glue gun. Hoping to fly up, Jeff turned a dial on his utility belt. A long wire shot out from his wrist device. The jawing handcuff seized Glue Dude by his wrist.

     “Hey!” Glue Dude protested.

     "Oops…" Jeff said.  "That was supposed to activate my jet rockets."

     The powerful tentacle pulled Glue Dude off his feet. Both Jeff and Glue Dude spun clockwise at high-speed. Glue Dude circled around like a blind fly.  Jeff felt like he was spinning on a merry-go-round.

     “My brain is becoming scrambled eggs,” cried Glue Dude. “I give up. Please release me.”

     “I left the instruction manual at home,” Jeff joked. “I don’t how to turn it off.”

     “Find the off switch before I vomit, you pile of rubble!” Glue Dude hissed.

     “Oh,” prompted Jeff, “I think I created that button.”

     The instant Jeff flicked a switch on his belt, the handcuff released Glue Dude. His swirling body crashed through a window.


     Jeff paced toward the shattered window. Outside, across the street, he spotted Glue Dude running off into an ally.

     “You’ll never get me,” said Glue Dude. “I assure you, this isn’t the last of Glue Dude.”

     “Don’t come back!” warned Jeff.

      A delighted Mrs. Morgan and the customers eagerly approached Jeff.

     “Who are you?” Mrs. Morgan asked.



     Jeff eyed his mother for a moment, thinking, and then continued. “For now, call me Jet Set, the Science Defender. Until next time, stay indoors and stay safe Springdale residents.”

     Jeff saluted them. Afterward, he fired his rockets and began flying away. Loose screws from his humming suit rained down over the impressed spectators. They pushed and shoved to get at the screws they wanted to claim for souvenirs. Poor Officer Morgan had her hands full.

     Back at his tree house, Jeff slipped off his gadget suit. On the ground level, he ran through the woods, out across the lawn and up the side steps to his rural home. He pushed open the side door that leads into the dining room.

     Immediately, he found Ms. Fisher sizing him up. Her face was firm and her arms crossed. Jeff was startled.





Sooooo. How did you like the story? We'd love to hear your feedback!

Share your opinions in the comment section below.


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text 2015-09-24 21:18
Guest Post and Book Blitz: Em & Em by Linda Budzinski

Sep 22 Em-and-Em Tour Stop Banner


Today brings us a new YA novel, Em & Em by Linda Budzinski. She's been gracious enough to also write up a guest post about why she writes the YA genre. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Why do I write YA fiction? Because E.B. White, C.S. Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and many, many others. As a kid and a teen, those authors taught me so much about life and pain and joy and what it means to be a flawed yet still beautiful human being. Now, as an adult, my favorite books are still YA, written by amazing novelists such as Ruta Sepetys, Laurie Halse Anderson, Gary Schmidt, Rainbow Rowell, and many, many, MANY others. The life themes that most interest me all tend to center around discovering our true selves, understanding and accepting our imperfections, and learning to appreciate others as multi-dimensional people rather than forming snap judgments about them and trying to put them in boxes. What better setting for exploring those ideas than the teen years? Though it’s been—well, let’s just say—a while since I was a teen, I remember the insecurities and also the sense of possibility I felt back then as though it were yesterday. I was kind of awkward, or at least, I felt awkward, and though I had some great friends, I was certainly not part of the “in” crowd, andI was SUPER shy around boys. Basically, I was a YA character waiting to bloom. Writing YA gives me a chance to create characters that navigate their way through all that awkwardness and find ways to bloom.




Em and Em by Linda Budzinski

Publication Date: Sept 15, 2015

Publisher: Swoon Romance

Genre: YA, Contemporary



The last thing sixteen-year-old Emily Slovkowski wants is to move away from her home at the Jersey shore, gorgeous surfer boyfriend Zach, and her entire identity. But that’s kind of how Witness Protection works, and Em must prepare herself for an epic do-over as she starts a new life in the Midwest.


Even as she pines for sandy beaches and the night life of the shore, the newly-named Ember O’Malley finds herself making new friends, taking photos for the high school newspaper, and thinking an awful lot about the paper's editor, an oddly cute cowboy named Charles.


When Em stumbles upon a shady beneath-the-bleachers exchange between one of the school’s football coaches and a student, she refuses to get involved. The last thing she needs is to be witness to another crime or call attention to herself. Besides, she finally has some real friends - well, real except for the fact that they don’t know a single thing about her - and she prefers to keep it that way until the trial. But as her day in court approaches, Em begins piecing together what she saw that day beneath the bleachers. And, as her own past secrets start to catch up with her, Em needs to figure out who she really is - Em or Em.






Purchase it at: Books-A-Million / Amazon / B&N / Chapters / The Book Depository


Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway to win an ebook copy of Em & Em and $10 Amazon Gift Card.



Linda Acorn Budzinski decided in the second grade that she wanted to be a “Paperback Writer,” just like in the Beatles song. She majored in journalism in college and now works in marketing and communications. She spent 18 years at a trade association in the funeral service industry, where she discovered that funeral directors are some of the bravest and most compassionate people on earth. Linda lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, Joe, and their chihuahua, Demitria. She has two step-daughters, Eris and Sarah. THE FUNERAL SINGER is her debut novel. She is represented by Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger Inc.


Connect with her on: Goodreads / FB / Website / Twitter



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text 2013-01-27 07:07
{Author guest post} When I'm not writing by Shannon Dermott

Shannon Dermott is the author of the cambion series that include Beg for Mercy, No Mercy, Waiting for Mercy and the soon to be published Angel of Mercy. Be sure to look her up because she is a very talented author!


We wanted to know what Shannon do when she is not writing so we asked her to write a guest post about it! 



When I'm not writing by Shannon Dermott


When I’m not writing I can be found with my family, shopping or reading. And oh, how I love to read. But I don’t often have the time to.


When I do have a chance to read, I’m reading books by some of my favorite authors.


One of them is Nancy Straight. Both of her “new adult” series Destiny and Touched are two of my favorite. Her stories are innovative and unique. I love the way she weaves romance and action to keep your heart pumping. I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil anything but I will say that they are really worth picking up.


Another favorite author of mine is Charlotte Abel.  She has an edgy young adult series called Channie named after the main character. This series is funny and sexy but still YA.  She also has a “new adult” series that begins with the novel, River’s Recruit. Another world rich series that is so imaginative and interesting, I read through the night.


One more series that I’m dying to read is the final book would be the Significance series by Shelly Crane. The book is Independence.  Oh my goodness, this series is so good. Sweet but on the edge of your seat kind of good. The final book has been released, but I haven’t yet had the time to read it. However, I have it on good authority that it is really good. It tops my list as the next book I will read.


After the holidays and I finish Angel of Mercy, I will be picking up a book.






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