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Blog Tour: by Carol Riggs The Body Institute and GIVEAWAY! @Artzicarol

I love the concept of The Body Institute–switching bodies for somebody else to lose weight for you. The Coloradan part of me wants to cheer and root, I’ll be the Reducer for other people!! I’ll help them lose weight!!

But let’s face it. I’m extraordinarily lazy. True story–when I’m at home, I wear stretchy pants so I don’t have to deal with buttons after going to the bathroom. And on the rare occasion I actually have jeans on…I don’t see the point in buttoning since I’m not in public and will only have to unbutton, like, an hour later.

Drives husband nuts.

So…reality…I’d definitely be hiring a Reducer.

If you are a fan of Starters by Lissa Price, then you definitely want to pick this book up. Or if you’re a fan of books with body issue themes set in a sci-fi world–then, yeah. Buy buy buy.

If you only want to test your luck, then enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card here! (you have to scroll down a little on the page) I always think of gift cards in terms of book currency–as in, how many novels can I get with this?

The_Body_IntstituteMeet Morgan Dey, one of the top teen Reducers at The Body Institute.

Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Morgan can temporarily take over another girl’s body, get her in shape, and then return to her own body—leaving her client slimmer, more toned, and feeling great. Only there are a few catches…

For one, Morgan won’t remember what happens in her “Loaner” body. Once she’s done, she won’t recall walks with her new friend Matt, conversations with the super-cute Reducer she’s been text-flirting with, or the uneasy feeling she has that the director of The Body Institute is hiding something. Still, it’s all worth it in the name of science. Until the glitches start…

Suddenly, residual memories from her Loaner are cropping up in Morgan’s mind. She’s feeling less like herself and more like someone else. And when protests from an anti–Body Institute organization threaten her safety, she’ll have to decide if being a Reducer is worth the cost of her body and soul…

Carol was so kind and gave us the top 10 Reasons why we should be a Reducer at THE BODY INSTITUTE, where weight loss needs are met…

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Blog Tour: School of Deaths by Christopher Mannino @CTMannino

school of deaths bannerI love a good school story. Partially because I believe it takes me back to the magical first time I read Harry Potter. Partially because I wish my high school experience could’ve been so ____ (fill in the blank with badass, adventurous, world-saving, ect.) So a school book about a female Death immediately caught my attention. School of Deaths is a YA Paranormal available now. The sequel, Sword of Deaths, will be released in June.

CoverSchoolofDeathsThirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.

Scythes hungry for souls, Deaths who subjugate a race of mysterious magicians, and echoes of an ancient war with Dragons.

As her year progresses, Suzie suspects her presence isn’t an accident. She uncovers a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths. Now she must also discover the reason she’s been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.
BandW.ad.SofDeathsHere’s a short excerpt for you:

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Blog Tour and Guest Post: Holly Hearts Hollywood by Kenley Conrad @kenleyconrad @swoonromance @NereydaG1003

I don’t have a great singing voice, but I love to crank up somebody else’s and be swept away. Three of my siblings sing, one hopes to make music her career. And that’s not even mentioning my extended family. When I heard about a book about a singer in the be-thin-or-else industry, I knew I wanted to be a part of this tour!
HollyHeartsHollywoodSeventeen-year-old Holly Hart wants to be a star. She moves to Los Angeles from the small town of Cedar Junction, only to hear she’s too fat and ugly to be a famous singer.

But when Shell Shocked Records looks past Holly’s plus-size and less-than-graceful-personality to offer her a recording contract, Holly cannot believe her good fortune. On closer inspection, however, the record execs want Holly to do all the singing, and a thinner and more beautiful girl, Lacey, would lip-sync and get all the credit. Holly goes for it because after all, she wanted to sing.

Contractually bound to secrecy, Holly is more than happy to sit backstage while Lacey shimmies in the limelight and basks in the fame. Before she knows it, Holly is friends with Serena, the pop-star daughter of a music-mogul, flirting with an intern, and developing a strange half-friendship with Lacey.

When Grayson Frost, the biggest country star in America, and coincidentally, a former school bully begins dating Lacey, Holly hopes that he won’t recognize or torment her.

Through a series of embarrassing and weird events, Holly gets to know Grayson and learns that he is much nicer and more mature than he was four years ago. Holly is horrified when she starts falling for him. When Grayson admits he fell for Lacey’s voice, what is a girl to do when she can’t legally tell the truth at the moment when the truth matters the most?

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens are some of Julie Andrews’ favorite things, but what about the cast of characters in Holly Hearts Hollywood? Author Kenley Conrad was kind enough to stop by to tell us!

1. Favorite TV Show?

Holly—I’ve seen every episode of Criminal Minds there is. Twice.

Grayson—Have you seen The Walking Dead? Man, that show’s the best!

Lacey—Project Runway is my go-to show if I have some free time.

Serena—Oh jeez, that’s a hard question. It’s an even tie for me between The X-Files and Twin Peaks. I obviously love 90’s television.

2. Favorite color?

Holly—I guess pink. I mean, it seems like a clichéd answer but it is such a cute color. Everything looks good in pink.

Grayson—Have you seen my Escalade? It’s parked right outside. Yeah, that pearl white paint job is my favorite color.

Lacey—I prefer scarlet reds or corals since they don’t wash me out.

Serena—Wow, that’s an uninspired question. I guess I’d have to go with tangerine orange or maybe vermillion.

3. Favorite fashion designer?

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The Makings of a Book Cover: The Undead: Playing for Keeps Blog Tour by Elsie Elmore

Want a FREE copy? Not only can you enter the Goodreads GIVEAWAY here, enter the RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY here. Or–leave a comment below to win a ereader copy (courtesy of Xpresso Book Tours). I will use a random number generator next Sunday at 11:59 EST to select this winner.

You can also buy the book on Amazon and at Barns and Nobles.
The_Undead_tourThe_UndeadI’m excited to be here on Abby J. Reed’s blog to talk about my new release,

The Undead: Playing for Keeps. I’ve known Abby for two years, but it seems much longer. We started as classmates in an online class, then became CPs. She’s an awesome writer and artist, which makes her blog the perfect places to share the journey to make my cover.

Step 1 : Complete the info sheet

Curiosity Quills, my publisher, has created an awesome information sheet for their authors. The goal is to think about the cover in a visceral way: what colors should be present? What emotions should the image evoke? What feeling should resonate with the reader? Bottom line.. What gut reaction do you want? The immediate answer has “buy me” somewhere buried in there, but that is not the focus. Your cover needs to reflect some element of the story.

I turned to my CP’s and beta readers to poll their thoughts as well. This worksheet was first completed in December, less than a month after I signed the contract with CQ, and then again in March. Looking back, my December ideas were a little vague. But after working with an editor for a few months, my cover ideas became more clear and better represented the story the second time around.

Colors and feelings were two components I needed to address during this process. For colors, I thought of reds and blacks (this probably had a lot to do with the fact that red is my favorite color.) And feelings… I wanted the reader to feel a sense of mystery and maybe a touch of foreboding when they looked at the cover.

Step 2 : Sketch out a few ideas.

The Undead is told through two different POVs (thanks to the editing process). Part of the story comes from Eric, a grim reaper. Since there were so many YA books with pictures of girls on the front, I decided I’d rather focus on Eric than Lyla. I sketched out a few ideas that might represent the story line. Eric’s music was always a key element I wanted to highlight.Undead1

Step 3 : Meet the artist

I was introduced to Alexandria Thompson from GothicFate.com in the beginning of April. She was the graphic artist I was assigned by CQ. (Go now, check out her work here and see why I was thrilled with the match-up.)

But a few days before we made contact, a new idea came to me… a male hand holding a set of keys. I can’t deny that the idea felt brilliant. Especially if the tokens on the key chain represented different facets of the story. So when Alexandria and I started exchanging emails, I shared my thoughts.Undead2

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