Happy Release Day to ASPEN by Rebekah Crane

APSEN Release Launch Banner

We’re thrilled to take part in the release day launch for Rebekah Crane’s sophomore YA novel, ASPEN! Check out the book and excerpt, a short video, and the 2 giveaways below! 

ASPEN coverOne quiet night in Boulder, Colorado, Aspen Yellow-Sunrise Taylor made a mistake.

In the next instant, her life changed forever.

Aspen doesn’t want to remember the devastating car accident that killed Katelyn Ryan, a sleek-haired popular soccer player. But forgetting is hard– because Katelyn may have died — but she didn’t leave. Her ghost is following Aspen around, and heading into senior year, it’s kind of a problem. Especially when Katelyn’s gorgeous former boyfriend Ben appears to be the only person at school with a clue as to how Aspen feels.

Popularity, college, Homecoming Court, hot guys – none of these things ever mattered to Aspen. She’s been busy trying to rein in her giant mass of blonde curls, keep her stoner mother Ninny away from Toaster, her mom’s awful bongo drumming boyfriend, and prevent her best friends Kim and Cass from killing – or kissing – one another. But with Ben sitting next to her in Physics looking all too gorgeous, Katelyn’s spirit dogging her steps, and her obsessive snow-globe collecting therapist begging her to remember all the things she wants to forget, Aspen is thrust into a vivid, challenging world she can’t control … and doesn’t want to.

A darkly funny, emotionally gripping story of opening up, letting go, and moving on, ASPEN is about the best-worst accident of your life … and what comes next.

Goodreads | Amazon

[Read Chapter One]


Video created by Genius House Media. Find them on Facebook and Twitter!

Rebekah CraneAbout Rebekah Crane

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads

Rebekah Crane fell in love with YA literature while studying Secondary English Education at Ohio University. After having two kids, living in six different cities, and finally settling down in the foothills of her beloved Rocky Mountains, her first novel, PLAYING NICE, was published. ASPEN, her second YA novel, set in Boulder, CO, is due to release in summer 2014 from In This Together Media. She now spends her day carpooling kids or tucked behind a laptop at 7,500 ft high in the Rockies, where the altitude only enhances the experience.

Giveaways (2)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ASPEN by Rebekah Crane Reviewer Giveaway

Purchase and review ASPEN on Amazon by June 22, 2014 to enter to win: 2 tie-dye scarves, 1 t-shirt from Moe’s Broadway Bagel in Boulder, Grateful Dead stickers, a signed copy of PLAYING NICE and a signed annotated copy ASPEN, plus $25 Amazon gift card.

To enter to win this epic giveaway, you must 1) purchase a copy of ASPEN, 2) read it, 3) review it on Amazon, and 4) submit your entry by filling out this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1S1jgnrB0YBxpiJwtAcn6acqUL8-kPrZ7623XiElv-0c/viewform

Jen Halligan PR host

LiteraryCO Spotlight: Cara Allen

Hello, everybody! My name is Cara Allen and I am an aspiring novelist. I’ve lived in Colorado for about five years now, before that I lived in Spokane, Washington. I’ve been writing since I was about twelve when I had a dream that had me waking up and putting pen to paper for hours until the words stopped flowing. Have had some poems and short stories published in my high school and college literary publications that have made me just as eager to share my words with others. I write primarily Young Adult of the urban fantasy type and still love getting lost in the worlds that I create.

I have a blog, though it hasn’t been updated in a while, and you can also find me on Twitter.

What is your favorite color?

I think my favorite colors change as the day changes. I’m a mood ring. But my current favorite colors are blue and silver.

If you had one super power what would it be?

If I could have a super power I think it would be the ability to slow down time when I need to do something. Especially when it comes to writing because I always feel like I don’t have enough time to get a good chunk done at a time.

Books open up infinite worlds, what book would you love to live in?

I don’t think I could choose one! I think it would be kind of fun to jump around into all the worlds in the books that I read and experience them all. I especially would love to jump into those worlds where authors just tease you with basic information and leave the rest of it up to your imagination, just so I can see if what I imagined matched what the author was putting out.

What is your favorite part of being involved in the book world? (the signings, the people, the fact you get to write for a living, free books, etc…)

I love the writing world. For a long time writing for me was a private affair and I never really gave myself the chance to experience the world so I am diving into it with arms wide open. I love going to signings, hearing and learning from Q&As that they have during them. I’ve gone to a conference once (due for my second one this year, yay!) and I love workshops and learning more about the craft and the industry. I’ve learned to push myself and take my writing seriously instead of a casual thing just from putting myself in to this world. And the snazzy swag is great, too.

What is your movie/book/TV guilty pleasure?

What books are my guilty pleasures? Hmm I think the ones that I can read and reread, ones that give me comfort to go back in to, are any of the Anita Blake books by Laurell K. Hamilton, any books by Nora Roberts/JD Robb if I need an easy romance or mystery read. As for TV, I love DIY shows especially since we just bought a house (Yay!) and have been taking on projects. I could go on and on about movies, so I think I’ll put a button on that.

Take a hike, see a Broncos game or chill out by a mountain lake?

I would definitely pick the chilling out by a mountain lake, especially if I can have a pen and paper with me. I’m not much of a sportsy or outdoorsy person but relaxing by a lake and writing sounds like heaven to me.

What online guilty pleasure causes you the most procrastination? (ie, pinterest)

Pinterest is up there on the list of procrastination causers. Also Facebook games, because I’m a dork to the core.

LiteraryCO Spotlight: Stuck in Books

Stuck in Books

Valerie runs the book blog, StuckInBooks.com. You can find her on TwitterFacebookGoogle +, and Goodreads.

 

If you had one super power what would it be?

I’ve always thought I like to read thoughts.  Could be a tough one but I think I’d like it.

Do you have any non-book related hobbies?

Are there non-book related hobbies?  Really. Interesting.  No, I’m a techy girl.  Love the computer…stuff.

Ski condo, mountain cabin or downtown loft?

Mountain cabin

What book had the most effect on your life, whether as a writer or in general?

Harry Potter.  I don’t remember ever following a series before that one.  Now it seems to much a part of things.

What is your favorite part of being involved in the book world? (the signings, the people, the fact you get to write for a living, free books, etc…)

The people that share my passion for sure.  I love talking about books and it’s so nice to talk to peeps that get that.

What kind of books do you wish there were more of (ie, books with love triangles, social commentary, zombies, etc…)? And conversely, what type of books do you wish were just done?

I love all the paranormal stuff.  Give me more urban fantasy with some romance on the side.  I’m over the love triangles and dystopia.

Take a hike, see a Broncos game or chill out by a mountain lake?

Love them all but Broncos game tips it.

What online guilty pleasure causes you the most procrastination? (ie, Pinterest)

Twitter

What is next on your reading list?

Crash/Clash by Nicole Williams

B.L.A.S.T. Mentoring with Shannon Ethridge

Please welcome Leah Apineru of Impact Author Services, and Shannon Ethridge, our guests today:

BLASTOver 80% of the population believe they have a book inside them, yet less than 1% ever sit down to write it.  Why?  Because most don’t have a clue how to get started, and there’s no existing roadmap to guide someone on such an adventure.

If you’re one of those 80% that believe you have a story to share with the world, imagine receiving three hours of inspirational wisdom and practical guidance each month for an entire year from one of the most successful author/speakers of the past decade… having the opportunity to schedule one-on-one coaching sessions with that experienced professional… getting the inside scoop on the best books for aspiring writers and speakers to read… being partnered with a small group of like-minded individuals with similar ministry goals who can cheer you on… having the opportunity to submit speaking samples and a polished bio for professional critique and feedback, etc.

Where can you find all of these things?  Through B.L.A.S.T. (Building Leaders, Authors, Speakers & Teachers), Shannon Ethridge’s online mentorship program for those looking to launch (or strengthen) their writing and speaking platform.  I talked with Shannon recently about how the program was started and what kind of encouraging words she could share with my readers…

Interview with Shannon Ethridge

1.     You seem to have so much going on with your own writing and speaking, so what motivated you to launch the B.L.A.S.T. program?

Wherever I speak, one of the most common questions men and women ask is, “How can I do what you do?”  There is no “two-minute answer” to that question, and there’s no college class or training program where I could refer people seeking to become an author or speaker.  For years I didn’t know how to respond except to point them in the direction of the Sally Stuart Christian Writer’s Marketing Guide and offering a prayer.

However, as Shannon Ethridge Ministries blossomed more fully than my husband or I ever imagine possible, I felt such an overwhelming debt of gratitude toward the handful of people who’d really taken an interest in my mission and helped me navigate the waters toward getting published.  The only way I could imagine “paying them back” was to “pay it forward” like they had done.  So in 2008 we began brainstorming all of the things I’d learned along the way, especially the things I only wish I’d learned much earlier in my career.  We began visualizing how to pass this plethora of information along to aspiring writers and speakers, and realized we had an entire year’s worth of valuable teachings that we could offer to those who are really serious about launching or strengthening their own writing or speaking platform.

As much as my own platform continues to grow, I’m constantly reminding myself that this is “not about me.”  It’s about helping others grow, and there are plenty of aspiring writers and speakers out there who have similar desires to impact society in a positive way.  The more I can help others “find their voice,” the more positive change we can see in this world.   We’re all on the same team, so I want to help my teammates excel!

2.     What’s been your greatest joy as you’ve watched people progress through the 12-month program?

Of course, it’s always a thrill to hear that someone’s finally completed that book proposal that’s been swimming around in their head for years… or that someone’s proposal is being seriously considered by a full-service publishing house… or that they’ve been invited to speak at a major conference.  But there’s lots of “smaller victories” that bring me just as much joy, such as when a B.L.A.S.T. participant realizes what they’re passionate enough about to commit their whole life to speaking or writing about it… or they gain a crystal clear direction as they develop the foundation for their own platform … or they simply learn to surrender and trust the creative process more fully and completely than they ever have before.  All of these are major steps in the right direction, and I love celebrating the baby steps as much as the giant leaps forward!

3.     Remembering back to your own days of trying to get your first book published, what were your biggest challenges?

When you’ve never published anything before, it feels like a Catch-22 situation.  Publishing houses prefer published authors, but you can’t become a published author until a publishing house takes a chance on you!  And trying to get a full-service publishing house to seriously consider your proposal  — well, it’s easy to feel like a tiny grain of sand on an entire continent of beach.  The idea of someone noticing YOU among all the other voices out there clamoring for attention can be oh-so-discouraging.  I remember sending 13 query letters to 13 different publishers, and within 3 months receiving 13 decline letters.  But I kept trying, and through random circumstances that could never be explained except to say that God orchestrated a major miracle, I just happened to send my manuscript to a literary agent that represented Stephen Arterburn and the Every Man’s Battle book series.  Little did I know that they were searching for a female voice to write the Every Woman’s Battle series.  All that to say, regardless of how many times you hear “no,” you only need ONE “yes!”

4.     How has the publishing industry changed since then?  What challenges will aspiring writers & speakers face now?

It’s no longer just about having a message that will preach.  Publishing houses expect that you are preaching/speaking about it already – not just on a stage, but on social media outlets.  Publishers want you to have your own “following” or “tribe” that you communicate with regularly through your website, blog, facebook page, twitter feed, etc.  Speaking and creating a following before you are published can be challenging, but it actually makes sense.  Testing your material over and over in front of live audiences, getting lots of feedback, and gathering personal stories from audience members are keys to really honing your message.  Some people think you have to publish a book first before becoming a speaker.  That’s absolutely backward.  I spoke for many years before writing a single word, and I believe the words I finally sat down to write were much stronger because of those years of speaking to groups and investing in one-on-one conversations.

5.     Describe how your own ministry has grown over the past 15 years, and to what do you attribute that growth?
 
I started out speaking to youth groups of 20-30 in my own backyard in Dallas, Texas in 1996.  Now I travel as far as Australia and New Zealand to share my story, and recently spoke to an audience of 12,000 for Women of Faith.  Since signing my first contract in 2001, I’ve published 19 books that have collectively sold over 1 million copies – or as I prefer to say “impacted over 1 million lives!”  Some titles have been published in 18 languages, which boggles my mind that through my writings, I get to share with people in countries I’ll probably never set foot in.  But I know that this ministry wasn’t born out of any special gifts or talents that I possess.  Tons of people can write and speak effectively.  I believe it was born out of my own sexual and emotional issues, and my willingness to be honest and vulnerable about those struggles, which I’ve learned are far more common among women than most people realize.

6.     How can someone really discern what they are to speak or write about?

That’s one of the first items on the B.L.A.S.T. agenda – helping people discern their calling, crystalize their message, and develop their own voice in sharing that message.  My best advice is that we need to look at our own lives.  We rarely feel called to speak about something that we haven’t experienced personally.  We don’t want to just “theoretically teach” about some random issue.  We want to show the world what we’ve managed to learn for ourselves and how deeply that knowledge has impacted our lives.   That’s how I knew I was to speak on sex and love addiction.  That was my greatest misery, but became my greatest ministry.  Not everyone’s message will be as “messy” as mine, but it’s got to be something you’re passionate about – something that has impacted you on a deep and personal level.  Doing a “life mapping” exercise where you chart the highs and lows of your life is a good place to start.

7.     To the person questioning, “Can I really do this – can I really be a speaker or writer?” what do you say?

I’d say you’re asking the wrong question.  Why can’t you be a speaker or writer?  Writing or speaking is something that most people have the ability to do.  The better question to ask is, “Do I have something that needs to be said?”  After all, it’s not about the messenger.  It’s about the message.

8.     Writing and speaking can feel very discouraging to those who have big dreams and their writing and speaking platforms seem to be going nowhere. What would you say to those seasoned writers and speakers who get good feedback, but still their platforms seem small?

I don’t think we can ever measure success in terms of numbers.  I remember showing up to speak at a youth retreat and only five teenagers were there, but it was one of the most powerful experiences having that intimate of a setting and spending more one-on-one time with each student than usual.  Our only job is to be faithful and “show up prepared.”  It’s all about being faithful to what’s been entrusted to us, regardless of how great or small.
And remember, the game of life isn’t over yet!  Just because you’re not seeing tons of growth today doesn’t mean that it won’t be growing by leaps and bounds tomorrow!   Or that it’s not growing like crazy deep inside people’s hearts where you can’t see it, but they can feel the difference your message has made in their life.

Shannon EthridgeShannon Ethridge, M.A. is an AACC-certified life coach, best-selling author, and international speaker.   Her ministry focuses on her three passions:   sexual integrity, sexual intimacy in marriage, and spiritual intimacy with Christ.  Although grateful for the opportunity to impact others through her writing and speaking, she’s most passionate about being a cheerleader to her husband of 23 years, Greg, and their two children, Erin (21) and Matthew (18).  Learn more about her books and ministry resources at www.shannonethridge.com.

B.L.A.S.T. Mentoring website: http://www.blastmentoring.com/
B.L.A.S.T. on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BLASTmentoring
Shannon on Twitter: https://twitter.com/shannonethridge

The next B.L.A.S.T. session starts April 1st.  The application deadline is this Friday, March 15th.  However for the LiteraryCO followers, we are extending the deadline to Sunday, March 24th. 

LiteraryCO Spotlight: Love N. Books

Love N. Books

Love N. Books is a blog that specializes in reviews, teasers, excerpts, cover reveals, and giveaways. We pride ourselves on trying to make it fun and – hopefully – amusing to the readers. No topic is off limits. Our job is well done if we get a giggle at the end of the day.

Do you have any non-book related hobbies?
I collect Juicy Couture charms… silly hobby, but I love those darn things.

What is your favorite part of being involved in the book world? (the signings, the people, the fact you get to write for a living, free books, etc…)
I absolutely love meeting the authors and the other readers. The book world is absolutely magical and I’m just happy to be in it in some form or another.

What is your movie/book/TV guilty pleasure?
The Vampire Diaries. I’m such a sucker for Ian Somerhalder.

What author do you wish you could write more like or who inspires your writing the most?
Tara Sivec

Take a hike, see a Broncos game or chill out by a mountain lake?
Chill out by a mountain lake. Yeah, I’m a little lazy. I actually love to just slow it down when I have the time.

What online guilty pleasure causes you the most procrastination? (ie, pinterest)
TWITTER

Do you have any writing quirks, whether it’s a book or a review?
I don’t have a whole lot of filters, so I tend to write whatever is on my mind whether it is appropriate or not.

What is next on your reading list?
The better question is what is NOT on my reading list! I would list my next read, but I have so many deadlines that I will probably be done with my next read by the time we get to this interview!

Sign up for CO Book Month!

Colorado Book Month 2013

It’s almost that time… Colorado Book Month is in March, and it’s coming up fast! We’re excited, and hope you are too. Here are some activities we have planned: Interviews (author, writer, blogger); Features/guest posts; Memes; Twitter parties; Meet ups; and more!

SIGN UP HERE!

We look forward to hanging out with all of you in March — online and in person! Be sure to use the hashtag #COBookMonth to join the conversation on Twitter.

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