Jul 28, 2017

Guest Post: Temple West Talks Inspiration

Hi guys! We have a fun little treat for you guys here on the blog today -- Temple West, author of Velvet and Cashmere, is here to talk inspiration! She's super creative when it comes to both writing and turning pieces from thrift stores into works of art, so we couldn't imagine a better topic for her to come here and talk about. Without further ado, it's time to give the (metaphorical) floor to Temple!

Temple West


There have been many an article written about pantsing versus plotting. Since I fit neatly into neither category, I have created a third category: plontsing. Sometimes I pants, sometimes I plots. (Neither of those words needed an “s” but it sounded way more fun.)

When I was younger, I wrote whenever inspiration struck, which was virtually every day. I had this lovely thing called “free time” on my hands as well as “summer vacation” and “Christmas vacation” and “weekends.” Rent, bills, student loan payments — those were all problems for the future. I was living in blissful adolescence; the golden years where my worst conundrum was wondering how long I could go before the smell of my overflowing hamper forced me to do laundry.

Back then, inspiration was all around. I lived on a greenbelt; a strip of forest surrounded by houses, and its wild greenery offered up endless storylines. When I was even younger, I lived in the desert, where the mountains stuck up out of the cracked terrain like the rusted bones of ancient war-gods. Sunlight slanting through the windows looked like misting gold; rotting two-by-fours in the scum-covered pond like the moldering decks of long-lost ships; maggot-infested possums like the spoils of gruesome battle between feuding rodent clans.

Now I go to work. I put gas in my car, and commute. I pay for health insurance, and car insurance, and my credit card, and my Adobe Creative Suite subscription, and Dropbox subscription, and Vimeo subscription, and Hulu subscription, and Dollar Shave Club subscription, and iPhone storage, and… 

My day is eaten up so quickly now. By the time I’ve taken care of the essentials, I have so little energy left to observe the world, let alone write about it. I don’t notice the light slanting through the windows like misting gold. I drive around the maggot-infested road kill and through the desert mountains on autopilot, trying to get from Point A to Point B. I pay my bills, then worry about paying my bills again the next month (and the next, and the next). No one warns you how quickly you become tired when you grow up.

So now, I have to hunt down inspiration. I have to make the space to find it, or to let it find me. Sometimes this is as simple as snapping awake at the meter while I’m waiting to merge onto the freeway on my way to work, noticing how the green and red lights shimmer through the foggy rain. Sometimes it’s ditching my hair and make up and going to Goodwill in my sweatpants, feasting my eyes on the antique silver butter dishes and massive, gold-framed oil paintings and ornate vintage wedding dresses. Sometimes it’s driving to the cliff in Edmonds and just watching the sea; the light shifting through the clouds in sheets, piercing the water, then retreating.

And sometimes, instead of binge-watching Star Trek: Voyager, I go to bed early so I can wake up early so I can tell stories. And sometimes, in the dark and quiet of the morning, I find the right words to capture the insane beauty of the world.


Once again, we'd just like to thank Temple West for being sweet enough to guest post on our blog! It was so great having her here and we always love working with her, so we couldn't think of a better fit for our first author to do a guest post here with us. :-) I totally agree with everything she said (especially how quickly time slips away from you when you're an adult)

What'd you think of today's post? Have any questions for us or Temple? Leave a comment down below! 

Jul 26, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday: Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read!

Emily's Waiting on:

Title: Jane, Unlimited
Author: Kristin Cashore
Genre: YA fantasy
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books 
Publication Date: Sept. 19th, 2017

Summary: Jane has lived an ordinary life, raised by her aunt Magnolia—an adjunct professor and deep sea photographer. Jane counted on Magnolia to make the world feel expansive and to turn life into an adventure. But Aunt Magnolia was lost a few months ago in Antarctica on one of her expeditions.
Now, with no direction, a year out of high school, and obsessed with making umbrellas that look like her own dreams (but mostly just mourning her aunt), she is easily swept away by Kiran Thrash—a glamorous, capricious acquaintance who shows up and asks Jane to accompany her to a gala at her family's island mansion called Tu Reviens.
Jane remembers her aunt telling her: "If anyone ever invites to you to Tu Reviens, promise me that you'll go." With nothing but a trunkful of umbrella parts to her name, Jane ventures out to the Thrash estate. Then her story takes a turn, or rather, five turns. What Jane doesn't know is that Tu Reviens will offer her choices that can ultimately determine the course of her untethered life. But at Tu Reviens, every choice comes with a reward, or a price.
I received an ARC of this at BookCon and cannot wait to start reading this. I'm excited to find out the events that will unfold at Tu Reviens. I'm also curious about Jane's umbrella making obsession and hoping it leads to something interesting. Be sue to look back soon for my ARC review and after it's published, let us know your opinions!

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so we can stop back!

Jul 24, 2017

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Hunted Fate by Jennifer Derrick

Hunted Fate
Jennifer Derrick
(Threads of the Moirae, #3)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: July 24th 2017
Genres: Mythology, Romance, Young Adult

Alex and Atropos have taken refuge at an abandoned mountain resort compound. Atropos is a wanted woman in hiding, and the downtime with her soul mate is a nice change of pace. But the peace will be short-lived. The authorities are after her for her role in the attack on the city of Charlotte. Zeus has put a bounty on her head. There’s also a war to prepare for—and if she wins, the gods will be deposed once and for all. But first she needs to track down Gaia, and even that won’t be simple. Gaia resides at the bottom of the ocean, and the humans and gods are already hot on Atropos’ trail…
A heart-pounding romantic adventure where Greek mythology and modern-day life collide, Hunted Fate is the third book in the epic Threads of the Moirae series by Jennifer Derrick.
Previous books in the series:

Grab book 1 – Broken Fate – for FREE!
“We need whoever provides security around here. Or Hades. They’re bound to be the ones who can open this. If we can find them, we can drag them down here and slap their hand on this thing to get it open,” Alex says.
“We need another way,” Sara says, shaking her head. “We haven’t seen a single person since we got here. It’s too time consuming to track them down. And we’ll never get Hades.”
“Anyone know of any other ways to crack a palm plate?” I ask.
“Short of finding a valid fingerprint and going through an awful lot of steps to create a fake finger, the only other way is to break down the software controlling it,” Alex says.
“Are any of you hackers?”
Alex raises his hand.
“You can hack this?” I ask. “I didn’t know you were a hacker.”
“I’m not. But there isn’t a lot to do when you’re stuck at home with a terminal disease or trapped in a crappy boarding school. I taught myself a few things, made a few online friends who were a little shady. Depending on how sophisticated the software is, I might be able to crack it.”
“Would it be controlled from the computer out front?”
“It might be. Or it might be controlled from a central server that’s who knows where. No way to know without looking,” he says.
“That computer is password protected. If you try to force it, you may set off alarms.”
“Then I’ll have to be careful,” he says, heading back to the lobby.
We follow and gather around the desk while he works. The keys clack under his fingers as he mutters instructions to himself.
“Okay, I’m in the system,” he says. “While I’m here, I’m going to shut down those security cameras. No need for everyone to know where we are.”
The TV feed blinks and is gone.
He keeps typing and clicking and muttering. The rest of us sit down on the floor and wait. There’s nothing we can do.
“Huh. That could be tricky,” he says.
“What?” I ask, getting up and going around the desk so I can see his screen. Not that the gibberish there means squat to me.
“The system that controls the fingerprint scanners also controls the card locks. Worse, it’s not separated by floor. I’m not good enough to bring down only one piece of the system. It’s all or nothing.”
“What’s the problem?” I ask.
“It means that the only thing standing between us and whatever is behind those cell doors is the hope that none of them try the doors. If the inmates figure out the doors are open, then security will be the least of our problems. All of them could walk right out of here.”
“Do it,” I tell him. “It’s not like we’ll be broadcasting the locks are down. No one will notice. Hopefully.”
“Okay,” he says and goes back to pounding on the keys.
After a few minutes, the computer beeps and Alex pushes away from it.
“Done,” he says.
The words are barely out of his mouth when a series of small pops echoes around the room. They sound like they’re both surrounding us and simultaneously heading away from us.
“Aw, shit,” I say. “The locks. We forgot they make noise! We are idiots. Come on,” I say, racing for the doors on the right.
We slam through the doors and pull up in front of door number four. No one is coming into the hall yet. I’m hoping the inmates think it’s a trap and are too intimidated to try their doors. Either that or they didn’t hear the locks release. Please, just let me get out of here before hell literally opens, I think.

Author Bio:
Jennifer is a freelance writer and novelist. As a freelancer, she writes everything from technical manuals to articles on personal finance and European-style board games. Her interest in storytelling began when she was six and her parents gave her a typewriter for Christmas and agreed to pay her $.01 per page for any stories she churned out. Such a loose payment system naturally led to a lot of story padding. Broken Fate, her first novel, earned her $2.80 from her parents.
Jennifer lives in North Carolina and, when not writing, can often be found reading, trawling the shelves at the library, playing board games, watching sports, camping, running marathons, and playing with her dog. You can visit her at her official website:www.JenniferDerrick.com.

We'd like to thank the lovely team over at Xpresso for allowing us to be a part of this book tour! This giveaway and this book both seem super awesome and intriguing, and we can't wait to add this book to our TBR. Not to mention the fact that the excerpt is super captivating!