Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Journey: Life Long Reader to Teller of Tales.

Suddenly, time sped up and I am finding myself with only 2 weeks (TWO WEEKS *hyperventilates*) Until Finding June comes out for alllllll the world to read.

Since Christmas, things have been cray cray. (I love how people hate this word. It makes me want to use it more). With my last semester of grad school, work, and Finding June type things, I have found my time compacted and filled with busyness. And when it's not? I'm just reading.

But this post is mostly about Finding June. Two Weeks. So today I thought I would give you a little insight into how writing has fit into my life and how Finding June all came about.

See, I've always been a reader. Always. Some kids talk about the sports they played as a kid at different ages or the movies they remember as a kid (I can't. I fail at that) I can talk books. I can talk about elementary school and how I read all the boxcar children books, Nancy Drew, The Giver, Goosebumps (choose your own adventure!! #ftw) and how in middle school I read ALL of V.C. Andrews books, the kid on the milk carton books. How I grew up with Harry Potter and in 8th grade I read the 4th book in one day.  How that trend lasted until the last book by my 19th birthday. I can tell you about how in 2005 I picked up Looking for Alaska by (then unknown) John Green and the book changed my life. How I spent my gas money at the age of 16 and 17 to drive the 45 miles to the public library every two weeks and read every book by Nora Roberts, James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Sarah Dessen, and Janet Evanovich. (Or how I have a senior pic with me reading a book. And I totally owned that pic, damn I wish I had it!!)  I can tell you about how my freshmen year of college I read This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald and it was the only classic book I liked.

See I have always been a reader. In many ways, I have been a writer as well. I wrote poetry in the 8th grade. Short stories in high school no one ever saw. Writing was one of many dreams I hoped one day to fulfill. But life got in the way and it seemed so far away, a goal as difficult to accomplish as the one where I wanted to be a broadway star. (Love me some musicals)

 When you're graduating high school you have a lot of dreams. They tell you that you can do whatever you want. As long as you can support yourself and make money. At that time (in 2006) I didn't know if writing would let me do that. Plus, I felt like I was a crap writer. In high school, I had no outlets for creative writing. At all. My very small high school didn't have creative writing classes or anything remotely close to that. It was all academic writing. And then that trend has continued. Because I have been spending the last seven years writing a crap ton, all of it academic writing. I had to focus on getting a degree, because then all the doors would be open and by now (at the age 25) I would have it all! Everyone made it seem so simple.

I was so damn naive.

I don't regret the journey I've had to get here, even if it wasn't as easy as I thought. Though, I don't want to say I expected it to be easy, I expected things to move a little faster. Sigh.

In 2011 I was able to pick up my love of reading again. I read everything (with the help of my handy kindle) and then I started to see the push for self publishing and ideas starting popping my head.

One year ago I wrote the first scene for Finding June. I had no idea it would be a book or that I would publish it. But I feel the same things as June. The Plan. Must follow the plan. Right? This became an outlet for me.

I learned, in many ways, that the plan sucks and can limit your thinking. Because you think that if the plan isn't working, it's broken and you try to fix it, when instead you need to realize the plan isn't broken. It's just different. And that's okay.

My book in many ways is a story you've heard, but I think it's different too. It's real issues laced with love and humor and embarrassing situations and those moments. Those moments that mean everything.

When I was writing Finding June, this book was all for me. It was all the things in my mind that were tumbling around and I was able to voice them with June and Reece and the rest of the gang.

So in two weeks I hope you pick up Finding June. I hope you join June on her own journey, because I am so proud of her! Yes, I am proud of a fictional character. Even though I am nervous for what people will think of Finding June, it's a true fact that I am proud of her journey and growth in this book. A totally satisfying feeling.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Blog Tour: The Deep End of the Sea by Heather Lyons

Today I''m bringing you my five star review of Heather Lyons new book, The Deep End of the Sea! This is the story of Medusa, but in a way you've never read before!


What if all the legends you’ve learned were wrong?

Brutally attacked by one god and unfairly cursed by another she faithfully served, Medusa has spent the last two thousand years living out her punishment on an enchanted isle in the Aegean Sea. A far cry from the monster legends depict, she’s spent her time educating herself, gardening, and desperately trying to frighten away adventure seekers who occasionally end up, much to her dismay, as statues when they manage to catch her off guard. As time marches on without her, Medusa wishes for nothing more than to be given a second chance at a life stolen away at far too young an age.

But then comes a day when Hermes, one of the few friends she still has and the only deity she trusts, petitions the rest of the gods and goddesses to reverse the curse. Thus begins a journey toward healing and redemption, of reclaiming a life after tragedy, and of just how powerful friendship and love can be—because sometimes, you have to sink in the deep end of the sea before you can rise back up again.

My Review 
This is the tale of Medusa. But it's not the one you're use too. No, this is a spin on Medusa's story that has heart and makes you feel for this poor ol Medusa and the struggle she went through. I will say I wasn't too familiar with her story, so as I started to read this I took a minute to read the original story. To say I was pleasantly surprised with this book would be an understatement, I was ecstatic with this retelling.  

"It out to be noted I have some of the most wretched luck ever to be doled out."

Now, I'm not one to recap the story in my reviews, I feel like it takes away from reading the book so instead I'm going tell you all the wonderful things I loved about it. The first is Medusa herself. This is her story. Yes, there is a romance in it (swoon) but it's more than that. This is a story of redemption and finding you're way back to the living after being shunned for ages. Medusa has a lot to prove but underneath her worries and her fear, she is very strong. Yes, it's scary for her to try all these new things, to open herself up for these emotions she has had to keep hidden, but she does it. She takes the steps necessary to live a life worth living. And I loved watching her on this journey, finding the strength within herself.

"When I look up at him, all I can think is, he won't let me fall."

She has help along the way. Oh heeeyy there Hermes. Hermes was a character that surprised me. He was soft and kind and loving to Medusa. I was expecting that. And I guess since they have known each other for so long, their emotions made sense, how they were already kind of there. What did surprised me was how...alpha male he could get. That, I was not expecting. I mean, he is a God, I guess it makes sense. And I know he was doing it to protect Medusa. Because he does protect her, he does everything within his power for Medusa.

The other part that was real plus in this story is the talent of Heather Lyons to weave the mythology in this book so effortlessly. There is a lot to keep track of and she does so magically! I loved all the Gods and loved how they were portrayed.

"For the first time in two thousand plus years, time stands still. I pray it stays that way, because this moment here? Divine."

The ending. Again it was a way I was not suspecting the story to go but I did enjoy it! I was so proud of Medusa and all of the things she did. She truly become a strong independent female. And one of the last scenes, where everything is coming undone, secrets revealed, it was great. I couldn't put the book down until I found out everything!!

"Love makes every misery, every struggle, every moment of life worth it." 

Medusa's journey in Heather Lyon's book is a tale of love, strength, family, and overcoming the cards that have been dealt to you. I loved this book. I was different and keep you on your toes and had total swoon worthy moments where you just melt into a puddle of awwww. This is a book to pick up!

Purchase The Deep End of the Sea

About the Author

Heather Lyons has always had a thing for words—She’s been writing stories since she was a kid. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. Heather is a rabid music fan, as evidenced by her (mostly) music-centric blog, and she’s married to an even larger music snob. They’re happily raising three kids who are mini music fiends who love to read and be read to.


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