Book Blitz: The Replacement & The Intended by K.M. Rives

📚 Romance me with Books – Book Blitz 📚

KM Rives is having a sale on the first two books in her A Culling of Blood and Magic series in preparation for the final book release next week!

The Replacement can be found here: https://amzn.to/3InPkEM

The Intended can be found here: https://amzn.to/3MZf1Pd


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Book Blitz: Elijah’s Need by Victoria Blue

📚 Romance me with Books – Book Blitz 📚

Elijah’s Need

By: Victoria Blue / @missvictoriablu

Available: 

–Blurb–

Is their love stronger than their secrets?

Finally coming clean with his best friends and girlfriend, Elijah Banks should feel a huge burden lifted from his conscience. But his persistent ex keeps turning up to threaten his future plans for happiness.

Hannah Farsey is determined to be the captain o f her life’s ship. No more putting others’ needs in front of her own , and no more making decisions out of anxiety and fear . Now that Hannah knows Elijah’s darkest secret, should she follow her head and run for the hills , or follow her heart and stand by he r man?

After a rushed marriage proposal coupled with an impromptu trip to Las Vegas with all their friends, she goes into panic mode.

Are they really ready to make a lifelong commitment , or is he acting out of fear of losing her? How far is the gorgeous, successful businessman willing to go to lock down his beautiful, feisty chef?


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Book Blitz: Marked and Ruined by Ivy Penn

📚 Romance me with Books – Book Blitz 📚

Marked and Ruined

By: Ivy Penn @ivypennauthor

Available Now!

Find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Marked-Ruined-Games-Underworld-Novel-ebook/dp/B0B2ZGH4H1

–Blurb–

How could I have fallen so low?

I was the queen’s shadow, the second highest ranking vampire in clan Disaris. Nothing happened without my knowledge. Kiara was my queen and my twin sister. I would kill for her in an instant.

So when I discovered an assassination attempt by two rival clans, I did what anyone else would for their sister. I took the hit. The assassins missed her but got me. And as I lay bleeding out, I welcomed death, but found life instead.

Spencer Auvrey. The man who found me and got my heart pumping in more ways than one.

Saved by a human. I owe him my life, but letting him join me on my quest for vengeance will ultimately ruin him.

Who knew falling so low could leave me feeling so high?

MARKED AND RUINED is one of fifteen books within the Games of the Underworld shared universe. It is a standalone novel which can be read independently, but to get the full story, it is highly recommended to read all of the books within the series.


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How to Avoid Burnout When Writing: Tips for Incorporating Rest Into Your Process

It’s so easy to forget to take care of your mental health while writing. And many of us are fresh off National Novel Writing Month, and in dire need of a break. Even if you’re not an employee, it can be hard to remember that writing is work, and like any work, it can be mentally draining and even cause burnout if you don’t take care of yourself along the way. While the most obvious answer may seem to be just sleep more, there are other ways you can incorporate rest into your writing process without throwing off your whole schedule. If you want to avoid burnout when writing, try these three tips for incorporating rest into your process.

Understand Why You Need Rest

If you’re not taking care of yourself, your body will start telling you in lots of painful ways. Listen up! As soon as we can, we need to learn how to avoid being burnt out by resting during the writing process. A few reasons are that it will improve your writing (it’s hard to be creative if you’re mentally or physically exhausted), it’ll increase the amount of work you get done because the quality will be higher and thus people will be more inclined to engage with it, and it’ll decrease the amount of time that’s lost if we take breaks. Plus, a recent study has shown that regular breaks increases brain connectivity. It does this by making fresh connections between nerve cells which gets rid of what is called mental fatigue.

Be Realistic With Your Goals

No matter how much you love writing, a day in the life of a writer isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. In fact, being a writer is so often hectic, time-consuming, emotional, demanding. There are many aspects that we need to balance throughout our process that contribute to this sense of exhaustion we sometimes feel and it’s something I think we all need to learn how to avoid being burnt out. It might be worth exploring if there are ways you can work better with your goals or your time–while still keeping in mind that becoming a writer is not easy and needs dedication and perseverance.

One way you might be able to do this is by resting during writing.

Give Yourself Permission to Rest

Rest is important not only when you are in the planning stage of a writing project, but also as you are working on it. Many people have a habit of pushing themselves relentlessly. This can lead to burnout and procrastination—and the quality of your work will reflect that. Set aside time where you let yourself rest during the writing process and learn how to avoid being burnt out. When taking breaks while writing, try these tips: -Use our timer app to set an alarm after 30 minutes or an hour. The timer will remind you when it’s time to take a break. If using our timer app isn’t for you, there are many other apps available which do the same thing. Try setting an alarm on your phone or computer to remind yourself when it’s time to take a break from writing.

Maintain a Healthy Environment

A lot of people who are new to writing get wrapped up in trying to publish as much as possible and neglect their rest. It is important that you maintain a healthy environment when it comes to writing. Here are some tips on how you can do this. 

  • Decide when you are going to write and make sure that space has been dedicated for your work. 
  • Commit yourself publicly. Say to others what you’re committing to and why, so that you feel accountable. 
  • Prioritize rest, not just once or twice during the day but every time you need it. · Create habits around rest such as taking breaks after completing certain tasks, getting enough sleep at night, and staying hydrated. 
  • Find out if there is anything that might be disrupting your ability to rest such as an illness or another health condition. 
  • Schedule more restful activities into your week like getting a massage or spending time with friends and family.

Take Breaks Between Longer Sessions

Writing is hard work, and it can be easy to push yourself too hard. To avoid burnout or missing important details in your story, you should try taking rest breaks during your writing process. Maybe get up and stretch your legs after an hour of solid work, or put in a short nap if you’re exhausted and on a roll. This way, when you come back to it later with a fresh mind, all the pieces will still be there! You’ll feel more refreshed, and have a clearer understanding of what needs to happen next.

Take Breaks When Stuck or Bored

Often, when we’re stuck or bored with a task, we try to push through and get it done, but research suggests that taking a break might be the better way. When you stop working on something challenging your brain perceives it as restful and enjoyable—regardless of what you do during that time—which can leave you refreshed and more capable of tackling difficult tasks again. Breaks don’t have to be long; just 10 minutes is enough. Some options include eating, reading, or taking a walk in the fresh air. If you’re not feeling rested after the break, take another one until you feel restored. If possible, schedule this downtime into your writing process by adding breaks at certain points throughout the day or week. There are many other ways to take care of yourself while writing besides breaks; they will help keep you focused on producing quality work instead of burning out over time.


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Mini Book Blitz: Uninvited by Jillian MacGragor

📚 Romance me with Books – Book Blitz 📚

Uninvited 

By: Jillian MacGragor / @jillian_macgregor_author

Available Now!

–Blurb–

Eleanor Roberts is experiencing a mid-life crisis-like event in her late twenties. As the daughter of the current governor, her whole life she has been preparing to marry her childhood friend, Mason Davis, a current candidate for the U.S. Senate. Her life is fundraisers, campaigns, and the press. With her wedding closing in, Eleanor is realizing her life has never been her own.

Enter Len, her secret identity. Len is unpredictable, fun, and works with a band. For the first time in her life, Eleanor is using her alter identity to experience everything sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and she loves it. Especially the sex with the smoking hot band manager, Silas Browning.

Trying to balance two different lives with two completely different personas is getting more complicated as her wedding draws closer. As things heat up with Silas, Eleanor has to choose between the life that was set out for her and the freedom to make her own decisions.


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Mini Book Blitz: Tell Me Why Jannie by Annie Mick

📚 Romance me with Books – Book Blitz 📚

Tell Me Why, Jannie

By: Annie Mick / @anniemick_author

Available Now!

—Blurb—

She was his “Jannie”, the very air that he breathed; his everything. And when he needed her most, she left as if he meant nothing. Why is she here now?

Five years after being abandoned by the love of her life, Jana Cooper is returning home. She’s not arriving alone though. Her travel companion is a spunky four-year-old who is the spitting image of the man who shattered her dreams. The man who left her a note stating, “I wish you the best”.

“Tell Me Why, Jannie” is a heartbreaking romance that takes you from where it all began to the very end, as well as giving you the creamy filling in the middle…a little like an Oreo cookie. Eat the whole package…it’s calorie free.


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Cancel Culture in the Writing Industry: Who’s Really Being Held Accountable?

Cancel culture has been the topic of conversation in the writing industry for some time now, and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. However, there are several things about this culture that remain unclear to those who aren’t familiar with it. In particular, many people wonder about whether or not writers who offend or harm others in their work should be held accountable through cancel culture as well. After all, one might argue that writers don’t deserve to have their lives ruined just because they wrote something offensive in the past—no matter how big or small the offense may be.

What is Cancel Culture?

There’s been a lot of talk about cancel culture lately, but what is it, really? Cancel culture is the practice of withdrawing support for (or cancelling) public figures or organizations after they have done something that is perceived as offensive or objectionable. This can include boycotting their work, refusing to buy their products, and speaking out against them on social media. The phrase cancel culture was first used by journalist Taylor Lorenz to describe the backlash against Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn following allegations of sexual harassment involving old tweets he had written. Lorenz’s use of this term gained widespread recognition when people began referring to Gunn as the latest victim of Hollywood cancel culture.

What is the difference between Cancel Culture, and Accountability?

There is a lot of discussion these days about cancel culture and accountability, especially in the writing industry. But what is the difference between the two? Cancel culture is an ideology that rejects people for supporting problematic content. It goes beyond the person’s words or actions to demonize them as an individual because they have wronged others, even if their transgressions are unintentional or comparatively minor. Accountability means accepting responsibility for your own behavior and how it impacts others — even if you did not intend to do harm or were unaware of how your actions might affect someone else. The reality is that we can never be 100% accountable for other people’s reactions to our words or actions — but we should try to hold ourselves accountable when we realize that our behavior has hurt someone else.

When is Cancel Culture appropriate?

There’s no denying that cancel culture has become a popular way to hold people accountable for their actions, but is it always appropriate? In the writing industry, where there is already so much competition, it can be easy to jump on the bandwagon and cancel someone for what they did wrong. But is that really fair? Is it fair to judge someone based on one mistake when they may have done a lot of good? It’s important to weigh all factors before making a decision.

Cancel culture can be tricky, but ultimately it’s up to each individual to decide whether or not it’s appropriate in a given situation. If you’re thinking about cancelling someone, ask yourself if you would be willing to give them a second chance.

What is the role of authors and writing in Cancel Culture?

Authors and writing play a role in Cancel Culture in a few ways. First, authors can be canceled for their views or for something they’ve written. Second, people who write about Cancel Culture can be held accountable for their coverage. And finally, the writing industry itself can be complicit in cancel culture by promoting certain voices over others. In all of these cases, it seems like power is being used to cancel other people. In other words, how we use our voice matters as much as what we say when it comes to accountability and responsibility.

When does Cancel Culture become Censorship?

Cancel culture has been a hot topic as of late, with many people debating when it becomes censorship. In the writing industry, we’ve seen a number of high-profile cases where an author has been cancelled for their words or actions. But is cancel culture really about accountability, or has it become a form of censorship? There are a lot of factors to consider here, including what kind of cancel culture we’re talking about and who decides to cancel. The idea that if you don’t like something someone says you can just get them cancelled by throwing out some angry tweets sounds like censorship to me. We also have to remember that there are powerful groups involved in this discussion, who want only one side of the story to be told while they’re trying to hold others accountable (more on this below). Cancelling someone might seem like an act that encourages them to change their ways, but what happens if they never do? 

Where Writers Should Stand On This Issue

Writers should be accountable for the things they say and do, as well as looking out for their readers and fellow writers. We must do our research and always have the other person’s best interest at heart. If we make a mistake, we shouldn’t jump on the trend bandwagon because cancel culture is a personal choice- what makes one person feel empowered can be used against another person to harass them. Be accountable to your work, but also be willing to accept accountability from others when you’ve made mistakes. Make sure you’re doing your research, reaching out to people who are diverse in backgrounds or perspectives if necessary. Don’t forget that not everyone has the same access to resources or ability to self advocate.


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Book Review: Book of Night by Holly Black

When I say I was excited about this book, that word doesn’t really do it justice. A New Adult novel by Holly Black that was urban fantasy, and had romance? I was here for it all the way.

“If she couldn’t be responsible or careful or good or loved, if she was doomed to be a lit match, then Charlie might as well go back to finding stuff to burn.” 

― Holly Black, Book of Night

We are first introduced to Charlie who is described as a girl who was “crooked, from the day she was born” and “had fingers made for pick pockets, a tongue for lying, and a shriveled cherry pit for a heart.” Charlie, a recovering thief, is trying to eek out a living as a regular person with a regular boyfriend. That life quickly becomes overturned when she gets sucked back into the world of robbery, and is eventually forced to find the Libre Noctem, and unravel the mystery of a murder, and just what the hell her boyfriend is up to.

The writing in this novel was on point. Even better arguably, than the Folk of Air series. There were a lot of dark themes, and it would have made for a fantastic book for my previous blog, Exploring Dark Themes in Literature.

The pacing of the book was excellent, and there were plenty of times I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what was going on. I found the characters compelling, and I did NOT see the plot twist with Vince coming at all even with all the clues laid out in front of me. I was even in love with that plot twist, and all its implications.

The romance in a novel is something very important to me, so I found the romance in this book to be fairly unique and compelling. They begin as dating, and while there is drama and reasons for them to part it’s not the typical shit of cheating, or thinking of cheating. It’s actually relatable things happening within the plot. The reactions are realistic, which made it all the more heart wrenching. Especially witnessing the aftermath in Charlie. This leads me into the ending of the book. I was all there for it, I was rooting for the win, and then Holly Black turned it right on its head and left me a mess.

I did initially go into this book thinking it was a standalone, which originally made me drop down my rating of this book. Since then, I have researched and found that there is a second book, which is relieving considering the ending. I can accept the ending, as long as it gets dealt with in the next book.


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Penguin Random House on Trial: Will Their Dominance in the Publishing World Come to an End?

When you hear the name Penguin Random House, what comes to mind? For many people, it’s the most powerful book publisher in the world, with control over bestsellers such as The Girl on the Train and Game of Thrones. However, starting this week, Penguin Random House may not have that control anymore. Two independent publishers have filed lawsuits against Penguin Random House, arguing that the company has monopolized the publishing industry and should be forced to divest its assets—including smaller publishers it recently purchased—so as to not hinder competition in the market any further.

What is the Penguin Random House Trial?

The trial of Penguin Random House, one of the big five publishing houses, has begun. The charges against them are antitrust violations. If they are found guilty, it could mean the end of their dominance in the publishing world. For example, they have a 75% share of the US trade book market and a 67% share of UK trade book market. It’s easy to see how those numbers would change if they were no longer able to dominate with their size and reach. And while we can only speculate what this might look like, we’ve seen what happens when companies have been regulated or had limitations placed on them before. In 1996, Microsoft was deemed a monopoly and had limitations placed on its behavior because its power over computers was so vast that it could be harmful for consumers. But just two years later in 1998, Yahoo! created its own search engine and quickly became a rival company that was able to offer some competition for Microsoft’s search engine.

What is Monopsony?

Monopsony is a situation where there is only one buyer in a market. This can lead to lower prices for the good or service being bought, as well as decreased quality. In the case of Penguin Random House, their monopsony power comes from their large size and market share. This has allowed them to control prices and demand for books, as well as dictating terms to authors. With a combined market share of nearly 50% the proposed PRHS&S would be able to offer lower and lower advances and the authors would have no choice but to accept these.

How are the publishers defending the deal?

On the contrary, both Penguin and Simon & Schuster say the merger would allow them to pay authors more and boost competition. by creating a stronger bookselling competitor, the merger will encourage other publishers to compete even harder for consumers’ attention, the publishers argued in their pretrial briefing. As a result of Amazon’s growing dominance in bookselling, publishers would be well advised to consolidate, so they could negotiate terms with the online retailer from a position of strength. In addition, readers, booksellers, and authors would benefit from a larger, more efficient company. In response, publishers criticized the government’s emphasis on anticipated bestselling titles – the 1,200 or so books that are purchased every year for author advances of at least $250,000. At 2%, they represent a small percentage of all books published by commercial companies. Additionally, the publishers say they will be permitted to continue operating independently and bid against each other for books, ensuring competition among the imprints within the conglomerate.

What the Penguin Random House/Simon & Schuster Merger Means for Libraries

The recent Penguin Random House/Simon & Schuster merger has many in the library world worried about the impact it will have on prices and competition. While Penguin Random House is not the only publishing house, it is by far the largest, and this merger will only solidify their dominance. This could lead to higher prices for libraries, as well as less competition and fewer choices when it comes to titles. As the overwhelming majority of U.S. trade publications are owned by one major corporation, librarians will have even less ability to negotiate favorable terms of purchase, despite being the dominant market player. Publishers are able to exploit public institutions, such as libraries, with unfair pricing and licensing terms which have no bearing on the needs of libraries.

What will happen if they win this case?

If Penguin Random House wins this case, it could mean big changes for the publishing world. For one, it would cement their dominance in the industry. This could lead to higher prices for books and less competition from other publishers. Additionally, it could mean less choice for readers, as Penguin Random House would have even more control over what books are published. The company may also be able to make deals with distributors that result in lower sales prices. Publishers may also feel free to set any price for a book because there will not be a fixed minimum price established by law.

Signs the Times Are Changing: Barnes & Noble Middle School Hardcovers

In a sign that the times may be changing, Barnes & Noble has announced a new policy to limit its stock of hardcover fiction. The change occurred in 2019 as the bookseller is increasingly threatened by online retailers and e-book providers. A lot of people say that this disproportionately affects debut writers and people of marginalized identities. Because of this policy, hardcover editions won’t be stocked at the country’s largest book retailer unless they are the publisher’s top two bestsellers. This policy is more problematic for writers of color because they may not get the same institutional and marketing support that white writers do, and because of this, their visibility and book sales are affected. In an emailed statement, CEO James Daunt said the policy allows Barnes & Noble “to exercise taste in the selection of new titles … and to send lower initial quantities into stores.” Many authors, however, don’t see the changes as positive, and highlights the currently existing issue of the market being bottlenecked, in conjunction of the Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster merger.

On August 22, the end of oral arguments in the trial that the Department of Justice launched to block the merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster came. The judgment of the trial, which is expected to be handed down this fall, will have a decisive effect on both the huge book publishing industry and on how the government handles consolidations of this nature.


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Book Review: The Plated Prisoner Series by Raven Kennedy

This review covers Gild, Glint, Gleam, and Glow by Raven Kennedy.

When I first started this series, I had just won a six month subscription to Kindle Unlimited, and the covers of the series ended up drawing me in. Whomever said to not judge a book by its cover CLEARLY did not understand marketing. The beginning of Gild had me wondering if I would end up DNFing the book and the series overall. But I kept reading and was ultimately swept away into this wonderful retelling of King Midas and his golden touch.

“You’re not the villain in my story.”

“I am,” he says without remorse, his sharp jaw tight with tension. “But I’ll be the villain for you. Not to you.” 

― Raven Kennedy, Gleam

Admittedly, the book’s opening was one that I may not have gone with personally, though it certainly drew attention and clearly spelled out the sort of characters we were dealing with.

This is a dark adult fantasy series chock full of plot-twists, and a slow-burn enemies to lovers romance. It also features a realistic, strong female lead who grows from her time in Gild, to the fierce and ferocious Goldfinch in Gleam.

King Midas isn’t a myth that I feel drawn to, but this series took the old legend and turned it on its head, while still retaining the important elements that make it the King Midas Myth. I’ve seen a lot of backlash for the type of character that Auren is. Yet, it’s important to remember that characters do not start out as amazing, infallible and fierce. Development is needed, and Raven Kennedy took this shielded, Stockholm-esque type character and developed her throughout several books into a heroine worth rooting for.

We’re initially introduced to one love interest, and we are quickly able to gather his true role in the same journey that Auren takes. We also come to find Rip and Slade, and that amazing plot line. I can’t say enough about them, but the more I say, the more I risk giving everything away.

Political intrigue, faeries, a main MC that develops over the course of the series, a morally grey (arguably villain to some people) love interest and found family? I’m there for it. And can I just take a second to scream over the ending of Glow? I desperately need the next book.

Raven Kennedy has quickly become one of my favorite authors of the year, and I am excited for anything that she writes!


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