Normally I’m a decaf girl. I don’t like to be be beholden to a beverage in order to wake up my face. I love coffee and I usually drink it most mornings, but if I don’t want to drink it for some reason, I hate having a raging headache. BUT…
Since Christmas, when my hubby was home and it was inconvenient to make back-to-back cups of Joe, I slid into the comfy and warm routine of pre-hubby-made beverage. When John went back to work I was ready to slowly wean myself off the sauce but then we moved. And I was exhausted from packing, unpacking, cleaning, hauling, and all the rest. So I kept drinking the full-test. And since it’s so freaking cold outside, I was really craving hot beverages and well–you can see how this may have gotten out of hand. SO…
Yesterday I started mixing in a little decaf into my regular so I could s-l-o-w-l-y come down off of my artificial high. Usually if I do this in increments every two days I can work myself down pretty painlessly. Unfortunately I think I underestimated the power of those two cappuccinos I had at Sunday brunch. Blurgh–I had a dull, annoying headache all day and woke up with it this morning.
Because I’m lazy (which is what got me into this situation to start with) I’m now drinking the microwaved dregs of yesterdays pot. I tell myself that this is a critical component in keeping caffeine levels consistent. And it is because it’s working. I’ve finished my first morning mug and the tightness in my temples is starting to recede. So obviously it’s a pretty kick-ass plan. Tuesday is looking so much better than Monday already. On Wednesday we may not add quite so much decaf though. *grin*
What’s your relationship with caffeine? And how was your Monday? We haven’t chatted in awhile–lets catch up over coffee LOL!
Tuesday came and went with no blog post from me. Maybe last Thursday too. LOL! I’me in a haze of bleach and card board boxes and I’m only crawling out of my moving hole to do this post/blog tour because I absolutely love this book. #2 in the Nogiku Series. Wait–you didn’t take my advice and read REMOVED? Go back and check it out, fall in love with this quirky, exciting, romantic series and then check out RELEASED.
This is my stop during the blog tour for the Nogiku series by SJ Pajonas. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from January 20 till February 2, you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours: http://lolasblogtours.com/2013/11/21/blog-tour-nogiku-series-by-sj-pajonas/
So far this series contains two book: Removed (Nogiku series #1) and Released (Nogiku series #2).
Released (Nogiku series #2)
by SJ Pajonas
Genre: Science Fiction Romance, Post-apocalyptic
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: December 17, 2013
**Contains spoilers for those who have not read REMOVED (Book 1) Left in the desert to recuperate from her injuries, Sanaa Itami paces the floors and contemplates her mistakes. She trusted too easily, and now people she loved are dead, killed at the hands of men coming to assassinate her. Sanaa feels beaten, but life awaits her at home. While Nishikyo recovers from the earthquake, negotiations for Sanaa’s eventual rule on Yusei continue. New allies must be made, new friendships brokered, new skills acquired — at all costs. Life at the top of the chain is complicated and lonely, though. With relations in Sakai clan rocky and uncertain, Sanaa must learn to trust others again more than she’s willing. Who amongst the clans is left holding a grudge? And will the new family Sanaa has found with Jiro support or betray her? From Nishikyo to Yusei, RELEASED, Book TWO of the Nogiku Series, is the second book in a captivating New Adult post-apocalyptic romance series that harnesses the cultures and traditions of Japan and sweeps them into the future between Earth and a faraway land.
You can find Released on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18674881-released
You can buy Released here:
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HAR43MC/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_wjXRsb18JJ3RK
- Barnes & Noble: www.barnesandnoble.com/w/released-s-j-pajonas/1117673223
- Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/released-4
Kimberly’s Review of RELEASED:
Now that NA (New Adult) has taken off, I find myself listening to lots of people wanting NA but “different.” Different is what the Nogiku series is all about. And I’m saying that in the very best of ways. There is something in it for everyone, but there are also things in this series that I didn’t know I wanted out of a book until I was immersed in it. Unique world building, romance without a frustrating love triangle, action and adventure, interesting science fiction, suspense, friendship, diversity and girl power. And while all of that is fabulous on its own–this book is ALL ABOUT THE ENDING!
I can’t wait for book #3. I have a sneaky suspicion this series has just gotten ready to hit it’s sweet spot. Trust me–get invested in the Nogiku series.
About the Author:
S. J. Pajonas loves all things Asian and has been in love with Japan for as long as she can remember. Writing about Asia and Japan came naturally after studying the culture and language for over fifteen years. She studied film and screenwriting first and eventually segued into fiction once she was no longer working a full-time job.
Released is S. J. Pajonas’s second work, book two of four in the Nogiku Series. The first book in the series, Removed, is described as “a wonderful story” with “engaging characters, seamless world building, and an action packed plot.” It’s an “up-til-3am-because-I-read-it-in-one-sitting book.” She also writes contemporary romance and her upcoming first book in the Love in the Digital Age series will be published in 2014.
S. J. lives with her husband and two children just outside of New York City. She loves reading, writing, film, J- and K-dramas, knitting, and astrology. Her favorite author is Haruki Murakami and favorite book is The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.
You can find and contact her here:
- Website: http://www.spajonas.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SJPajonas
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/spajonas
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7233209.S_J_Pajonas
- Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/spajonas/
- Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gleek/
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/spajonas#
- Tumblr: http://spajonas.tumblr.com/
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of the Nogiku series. These are the prizes you can win: Amazon Gift Cards, copies of REMOVED, and eBook copies of two fantastic Japanese books: JAPANESE SOUL COOKING and THE SAKE HANDBOOK. Both will be gifted through either Amazon (kindle) or Barnes&Noble (nook).
Here are the links to both books on Amazon:
Sake Handbook on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sake-Handbook-John-Gauntner-ebook/dp/B007H9GVMI/
Japanese Soul Cooking: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BVJG5GC/
Here is the link to the rafflecopter giveaway:
<a id=”rc-7238ac5″ href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7238ac5/” rel=”nofollow”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
Want to check out what the other Bookanistas are reading? Here you go…
What novels have you read and loved that fall outside the typical books in a genre? What’s you’re favorite OMG! ending to a book you’ve read?
Want more info about REMOVED–Book #1…
You can find Removed on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18366156-removed
Want to view some inspirational images for Removed, visit the Removed inspirational Pinterest board: http://pinterest.com/spajonas/removed-nogiku-series-1-inspiration/
You can buy Removed here:
- Amazon (Paperback): http://amzn.com/1940599032
- Amazon (Kindle): http://amzn.com/B00F4IE978
- Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/2940148646532\
- iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id737065984
- Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/removed
- Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/story/9758834-removed
You can watch the trailer for Removed on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPzShpFemIg
I’m not a die-hard fan of Eminem, but there are quite a few of his songs I love to listen to. I’ve used one on THE OPPOSITE OF GRAVITY playlist and there are some on my running playlist. Some I just find captivating for their transparency and honesty.
Usually when I’m calling out my writing heroes, you’ll hear names like Laurie Halse Anderson, Lois Lowry, K.L. Going, John Green and A.S. King, but Eminem has snuck onto my list of people I’m a fan-girl of.
I LOVE his poetic ability to play with word and phrase. I think he has moments of utter brilliance and I am constantly trying to make unique thought and word connections the way he does.
“Now you get to watch her leave out the window
I guess that’s why they call it window pain.”
“Cause all I wanted to do is be the Bruce Lee of loose leaf.”
“Ironic ’cause I think I’m getting so huge I need a shrink.”
Seriously, the word play makes me swoon. But there’s more. This song in particular makes me think about being a writer–an artistic person with voices inside of her head. There have been so many times when I’ve loved yet hated the art in my soul and all that comes along with it. At the end of the day…
“I’m just relaying what the voice in my head’s saying
Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just friends with the monster that’s under my bed…”
Now you’ve got me curious–where do you get your unexpected inspiration?
This was a blog heavy week for me AND a box heavy week. I’m still purging, organizing and packing away my boxed belongings like a squirrel hoarding nuts.
So I’m tossing this one to the John Green…
What’s your favorite kind of nut? I’m a big fan of walnuts on my chocolate sundaes. *grin*
In typical fashion, the new year kicks off conversations about goals and fears–particularly the fear of not achieving said goals. I imagine this to be true for the majority of folks that breath, but I KNOW its a hot topic for writers. Writing and selling books is like asking people to expose their soft spots to the world and then letting everyone take pot shots at them. Sometimes you get high fives, but mostly you get snickers and frowns. Sometimes you get worse. Even when everything is handled professionally, being critiqued can cause a bucket load of insecurities to rise to the surface.
In a recent conversation with some of my closest writing buds, I reminded everyone that we had to go into 2014 with the right attitude. Some people may think it’s hokey, but I believe there is a difference between saying…
a) I want an agent.
b) I will get an agent when my writing and my understanding of the publication process is good enough.
In one sentence, the universe hears you say want and you get WANT, which wasn’t really what you were after with that statement. In the other sentence the universe hears WILL and that is a whole different animal. You’ve planted a seed. Now you have to give it time to grow roots. I’m a big fan of deadlines, they motivate me to stop procrastinating and get things done, but I’ve learned to never attach deadlines to the aspects of my success I’m unable to control. There is a difference between saying…
a) I will sell a new book every year.
b) I will continue to sell books. I won’t stop writing and I won’t stop trying. Good books will sell, so I need to write good books.
One of those sentences is a lot more attainable than the other.
I also try to remember that the next new thing is always a freaking weird thing first. What the heck am I talking about? Hindsight is not so easy to spot the first time around. All the GREAT new books and authors–the break-out stars, whether they were overnight successes or years and years in the making–came from an uncomfortable uniqueness that most people anticipated would be a big pit of failure. The very same weird thing that makes writers impossible to see coming, is what also makes them visionary. Everyone is looking for the next NEW thing. New is the operative word.
There is a big difference between saying…
a) I’m going to be the next Laurie Halse Anderson
b) My name is Kimberly Sabatini and there is not another person out there that can write the books in my heart and my head. My goal is to have a long and successful career, like Laurie Halse Anderson, where I write award winning books and where I’m an advocate and role model for teens, librarians, teachers and my fellow writers. I
want to WILL help Laurie disturb the universe. <3
That’s MY story and I’m sticking to it. I know it works because it’s gotten me here so far. Take a moment and think about your goals for the future and if you haven’t already been doing it…
*phrase them in the positive.
*take off all the crazy deadlines that run the risk of making you think you’re a failure. If you have big plans–give them room to unfold.
*know your role models and separate who they are from what the do.
*understand what it is that makes you freaking weird and then then ride that pony to the finish line. No one else has YOUR voice. Use it to disturb the universe.
You’ve got this!
It’s a brand new year and I’ve got more great books that you might be missing. Time to kick of 2014 with something to keep your pulse racing.
Here’s a little bit about BREAKING GLASS by Lisa Amowitz…
by Lisa Amowitz
On the night seventeen-year-old Jeremy Glass winds up in the hospital with a broken leg and a blood alcohol level well above the legal limit, his secret crush, Susannah, disappears.
When he begins receiving messages from her from beyond the grave, he’s not sure whether they’re real or if he’s losing his grip on reality. Clue by clue, he gets closer to unraveling the mystery, and soon realizes he must discover the truth or become the next victim himself.
Kimberly’s Review of BREAKING GLASS:
There is so much to love about this book!!! It was a thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat from cover to cover. I was trying to guess plot right up until the end, but it was hard because there were tons of twists and turns to keep me on my toes. But even though there was lots of nail biting and adrenaline flowing through BREAKING GLASS, there was also a wonderful sense of balance because of the romance. Interesting relationships occurred in more than one thread of the story and while the “best” relationships were fabulous, some were dysfunctional, but in a great way. I also really enjoyed Jeremy Glass’ voice. I think Amowitz has a natural talent for writing teenage boy. There were multiple times through out the book where I muttered “stupid boy” under my breath, while acknowledging how spot-on my aggravation with Jeremy was. Additionally, I really loved the small town dynamics that were at play during the entire novel. While not every small town has all the politics, social hierarchy issues and corruption that Jeremy’s town does, I certainly could see more than a few truths about human nature breaking through.
And when you rush right out to pick up your copy of Amowitz’s debut novel, don’t forget to ogle and admire the fabulous cover for BREAKING GLASS, designed by the author herself. You can check out more of her fabulous design work HERE.
The BREAKING GLASS Book Trailer
BREAKING GLASS is available here…
* Barnes & Noble
Lisa Amowitz was born in Queens and raised in the wilds of Long Island, New York where she climbed trees, thought small creatures lived under rocks and studied ant hills. And drew. A lot. She is a professor of Graphic Design at her beloved Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly seventeen years. She started writing eight years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children. Lisa is represented by Shannon Hassan of Marsal-Lyon Literary Agency. email@example.com
You can find out more about Lisa Amowitz and BREAKING GLASS here…
Looking for more Bookanistas reviews to kick off 2014? I’ve got them right here for you…
Today it’s 9 years since my dad died. Every New Year’s Eve, after watching the ball drop, I sit down and write a post for him. This year I knew I wanted to include a certain song in the post, so I toyed for weeks with the idea of writing it down ahead of time. No matter what I did, I couldn’t quite make the words come together the way I wanted them to. I didn’t know exactly what I was supposed to say–until I went to the movies tonight and saw The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It was amazing. And it brought it all together for me.
First the song…
It’s a Miracle by Barry Manilow
I keep this song on my run list and whenever it comes up I yell “Hey Daddy” at the top of my lungs and point to the sky. I’m embarrassingly loud but not really embarrassed at all. Of course, when I’m at the gym I give it up with a whisper, but he still gets a fist pump. It just feels right.
But why does this song remind me of him so much? Why does it pump me up every time I hear it? I think it’s because I’ve always thought of my Dad as having a secret life like Walter Mitty.
My dad was a gentle, complex and wonderful man who had all these crazy wants and dreams tucked away at his core, but he buried those wants and dreams because he didn’t know how to balance them with being a good husband or a good father. He was responsible and obligated. He just did his jobs. He led his life the best way he knew how. Sometimes he zoned out.
Just like Walter Mitty, my dad was a “ghost cat.”
(I won’t spoil it for you with an explanation of what that means–go see the movie.)
My world was a really good place because of all the choices my dad made and all the things he did for me, but I often wonder what he would have been like if he would have allowed himself more of the real life magic while he was here. But despite that, I’ve stopped thinking of him as having missed out. Now when I hear that song, I always get the strangest feeling he’s off having adventures and he doesn’t have to zone out to do it. I have an overwhelming sense he’s now joyful and he’s doing all the things he never did before. He’s going to the most amazing places. This is how I picture him when we’re running together.
When I hear that song, I know he HAS found his way home and I am always thankful that it’s still right next to me.
Happy 9th Anniversary Daddy. I heard you tonight…
“But the message here was plain to see
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind ?
Lots to learn and fondly remember about those days gone by.
Let’s not dwell on it people. We’ve got a new year full of promise just waiting in the wings. So incredibly exciting. I love bringing new goals into focus.
Here’s some of the things I’m setting my sights on in 2014…
New Year’s Resolutions
*MOVING! I can not wait for this for a multitude of reasons. I’m super excited about our new home!!! I LOVE it and I’ll be sharing more of that with you as it happens. But I’m also stoked for the arrival of the day when I’m NOT MOVING ANYMORE! This process has officially eaten up most of 2013 and I’m ready to be done with it. Settled. Focusing on my other goals.
*Writing goals aplenty this year. I’m planning on selling book two, finishing book three and brainstorming book four. I’ve also got a little project that I’m dabbling with that I’d love to make more headway on. Getting all tingly for this writing year. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) showed me what I’m made of and I can’t wait to broaden my own horizons.
*I want to keep running. Last month I logged 49 miles of running and today I should break that number for the month of Dec. I’m pretty excited to be running more regularly. By doing that, I’m seeing my running improve and if I can run like that after the holiday season of gluttony is over, perhaps there will be a little less of my in 2014 LOL!
*Back to Workshop in 2014. This is my dance class and it’s way more than dancing, although we do plenty of that. My Tuesday nights are the BEST and I can’t wait to get back to our regular routine. I love my Yanni girls. <3 But why this gets a resolution shout-out is that, for the moment, the inflammation in my hamstrings isn’t bothering me as much as it has the last year, so perhaps I can get some of that lost flexibility back. *crosses fingers*
*I talked about the move, but deep within the move, is the opportunity for me to do a wee bit of clutter purging. As every year kicks off, I always clean and organize, but I am REALLY trying my best to straighten up, fly right and take advantage of this opportunity. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about this in the future too. Such a personal struggle. I blame my father for passing down his unorganized genes. *points accusing finger skyward*
*And lastly, I want to continue my journey of doing things that scare and challenge me. I’ve found that I LOVE what’s on the other side of the hard things I’ve faced. I am a happier and better person for tackling my fears. The only regrets I have are for the things I’m still too afraid to do. So, in 2014 I’ll continue to challenge myself to be brave and we shall see how that’s working for me a year from now.
Your turn. Tell me what you’re focusing on in 2014.
Happy New Year my friends <3
If you’re a runner, you’re probably well aware of the debate about running while listening to music. In truth, I think there are good arguments on both sides of the line. Sometimes it’s good to be alone in my head while watching the world around me. If I’m not listening to other things, I can be paying attention to my body as runners and my thoughts. But since I tend to only run without music or an audiobook about 1 out of every 25 runs, I obviously have a preference. I find the pacing of music to be very helpful, it feels like an extension of dance for me. And at the end of the day, I find certain songs to be very motivating. They make me keep running on those occasions where my head gives up long before my body actually does. It’s a tool I use to dig deep.
One of my newer songs on my running playlist is…
And as I was running and listening to HALL OF FAME by The Script, I realized that one of the things I love about the lyrics is that it gives so many options for being a winner. Translation–whatever you’re going to do–be good at it. If it’s worthy of your time, give it ALL your effort.
On the walls of the hall of fame
Be truth seekers
Standing in the hall of fame
And the world’s gonna know your name
Cause you burn with the brightest flame
My favorite “BE” is the one that always makes my feet fly a little faster…BE TRUTH SEEKERS. That’s what speaks to me. But whether your calling or your passion is “on” the Hall of Fame song list, YOU KNOW IT’S THERE. The purpose of this song is to remind you to BE SOMETHING.
Now tell me what Hall of Fame you’re standing in at the end of every day. What makes you burn with the brightest flame?
Merry Christmas. See you on the flip side.
Read more: Script – Hall Of Fame Lyrics | MetroLyrics
I LOVE it when I get the opportunity to write a FABULOUS Bookanistas review for a member of Michelle Wolfson’s Wolf Pack. I can’t begin to tell you how amazing it is to be one of Michelle’s pups. Not only are my pack sistahs sweet and fun people, but they are fabulous authors too. Ahwooooooooo…..
SPLIT SECOND — February 11, 2014
Life can change in a split second.
Addie hardly recognizes her life since her parents divorced. Her boyfriend used her. Her best friend betrayed her. She can’t believe this is the future she chose. On top of that, her ability is acting up. She’s always been able to Search the future when presented with a choice. Now she can manipulate and slow down time, too . . . but not without a price.
When Addie’s dad invites her to spend her winter break with him, she jumps at the chance to escape into the Norm world of Dallas, Texas. There she meets the handsome and achingly familiar Trevor. He’s a virtual stranger to her, so why does her heart do a funny flip every time she sees him? But after witnessing secrets that were supposed to stay hidden, Trevor quickly seems more suspicious of Addie than interested in her. And she has an inexplicable desire to change that.
Meanwhile, her best friend, Laila, has a secret of her own: she can restore Addie’s memories . . . once she learns how. But there are powerful people who don’t want to see this happen. Desperate, Laila tries to manipulate Connor, a brooding bad boy from school—but he seems to be the only boy in the Compound immune to her charms. And the only one who can help her.
As Addie and Laila frantically attempt to retrieve the lost memories, Addie must piece together a world she thought she knew before she loses the love she nearly forgot . . . and a future that could change everything.
PRE-ORDER Split Second here…
*Barnes & Noble
*Other online options
Kimberly’s Review of SPLIT SECOND:
Kasie West did everything right! SPLIT SECOND is a fabulous and worthy follow-up to her first book. I really loved PIVOT POINT for it’s thoughtful and exciting creativity. I get really pumped about a well executed book with a great premise–especially if it has characters that really work. I love books that make me think long after I’ve closed the cover. Without a doubt, PIVOT POINT delivered everything I wanted in a debut novel, but not all second books know the secret to taking characters and plot to the next level.
Kasie West has it all figured out. SPLIT SECOND gave me all of the things I loved about PIVOT POINT, but didn’t rest on the familiar. She expanded the plot, extrapolated on earlier characters, brought in new ones and gave me Connor to swoon over. (In my humble opinion, that boy stole the show and I want more of him and Laila ASAP!) Additionally, I was also really impressed with the twists and turns involving Duke. I like my characters a little messy. And then West’s world building makes me want to crawl into her head to see what’s really going on in there. I love the way she thinks. I’m hoping that someone makes a TV series out of PIVOT POINT/SPLIT SECOND so I can see everything come to life on the screen.
While I hated flipping to the last page, at the end of SPLIT SECOND, West left me blissfully satisfied while still wanting more. *sigh* I can’t wait to read what she writes next. If you haven’t read PIVOT POINT, don’t waste a split second because SPLIT SECOND is almost here and it’s a must read!
You can find out more about Kasie West and SPLIT SECOND here…
I love to write–too much. It’s a sickness really. My debut novel, PIVOT POINT, is out now with HarperTeen. (And will be followed by its sequel, Split Second on February 11, 2014.)
THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US, my contemporary YA novel, was published July 2, 2013 (HarperTeen).
Looking for more amazing BOOKANISTAS REVIEWS? Don’t worry, I’ve got them right here…
What’s the best or worst thing that’s happened to you and changed your life in a split second?