Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cover Reveal Feature: Broken by CJ Lyons

Sourcebooks Fire has a book coming up this fall that I am stoked about, so in case you somehow haven't yet heard about it, I've got the cover and a quick Q&A with the author for you guys to get you as excited as me!

For Scarlet Killian, every day is a game of Russian roulette—she has a 1 in 5 chance of dying…

New York Times bestselling author CJ Lyons makes her YA debut with a fast-paced thriller sure to keep readers guessing to the very last page.

Fifteen-year-old Scarlet Killian has one chance for a normal life. Only problem? It just might kill her. Diagnosed with a rare and untreatable heart condition, Scarlet has never taken the school bus. Or giggled with friends during lunch. Or spied on a crush out of the corner of her eye. Scarlet has come to terms with the fact that despite the best efforts of her doctors and parents, she's going to die. Literally of a broken heart. So when her parents offer her a week to prove she can survive high school, Scarlet knows her time is now... or never.

Scarlet can feel her heart beating out of control with every slammed locker and every sideways glance in the hallway. But for the first time in her life she makes real friends. She also makes new discoveries about the truth behind her illness... a truth that might just kill her before her heart does.

Q: Is Long QT a real disease?

CJ: Yes. As a pediatrician I diagnosed my niece with Long QT Syndrome when she was born. Her heart specialists believe she's the youngest person in the world diagnosed with Long QT. She's had to take medicine every day of her life and can't ever skip a day. So far that's added up to over ten thousand pills taken.

You know that feeling you get when you've run as hard and fast as you can and you stop but your heart keeps galloping along? And you wonder for a second if maybe it's not going to stop, but will keep galloping out of control? But then of course it settles back down. For people with Long QT, their heart doesn't change gears well, going from regular to galloping and back again. So they have to avoid anything that would make their heart race.

No sports or aerobic exercise. No horror films. No roller coaster rides. No jumping into cold water on a hot summer's day.

But that doesn't have to stop someone with Long QT like my niece from having a great life. Today she is a brilliant, active fourteen-year-old who gets straight A's, enjoys riding horses, archery, reading, breeding Rottweilers, and who wants to grow up to be either a fashion designer or President of the United States. Her main fashion accessory is her portable defibrillator, Phil, who goes with her everywhere, including camping, to the beach, and recently to her first Broadway show.

BROKEN is dedicated to her fearless approach to life where outwitting Death is simply part of her daily routine.

Q: What was it like working in an ER? Is it like on TV?

CJ: Definitely nothing like Grey's Anatomy, but the first few seasons of ER get it right. Working in the ER is basically about learning how to control (and live with) chaos, the art of listening, and how to quickly decide what's the most important thing you need to tackle next.

I worked three jobs to put myself through medical school and one of them was waitressing at a very busy family restaurant. Honestly, that was the best preparation I ever could have had for life in the ER.

Q: Why did you leave medicine to write books?

CJ: I've been a storyteller all my life—a fact that used to get me placed in time-out a lot as a kid. But writing stories has always been my way of making sense of the chaos that goes on in the world around us. I wrote my first novel in college and wrote two more science fiction novels in medical school.

Then, while I was an intern at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, one of my close friends was murdered. Dealing with that grief and trauma while still working seventy hours a week and trying to save lives—I wasn't prepared for that. So I turned to my writing and that's when I wrote my first thriller. I never thought about actually making a career of it until years later when friends who were published authors encouraged me to enter a national writing contest and I was a finalist. This led to several publishing contracts and I realized that as much as I loved being a doctor, here was a chance for a second dream come true: being a full time writer.

It was a huge leap of faith leaving my job (and my patients—I missed them, a lot!) but I've always believed that if you're going to dream, you should dream big, so I went for it. Since then I've published twenty books, hit #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, won awards for my writing, and most importantly, have had the chance to impact millions of people through my novels. Talk about a dream come true!

Q: What's your best advice for someone who wants to be a writer?

CJ: Never surrender, never give up. Writing is hard work, it takes years to master the craft, so you need to stick with it. And read, read, read…pay attention to what makes the books you like work as well as why the books you don't like fail. You never stop learning in this job, but that's also what makes it so much fun.

About CJ Lyons

A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of sixteen novels, former pediatric ER doctor CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge thrillers with heart. CJ has been called a "master within the genre" (Pittsburgh Magazine), and her work has been praised as "breathtakingly fast-paced" and "riveting" (Publishers Weekly) with "characters with beating hearts and three dimensions" (Newsday). The author of thrillers such as the Lucy Guardino FBI series, she has sold over 1 million books in the last year.
When not writing, she can be found walking the beaches near her South Carolina Lowcountry home in Columbia, SC, listening to the voices in her head and plotting new and devious ways to create mayhem for her characters. To learn more about her Thrillers with Heart go to

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Character Interview: Cole from By Referral Only

Today, I'm so excited to bring you guys an interview with Cole, the seriously sexy, kilt-wearing, Scottish hero of Lyla Payne's new release By Referral Only! I loved this book, and totally recommend it. So let's get to the good stuff.

Describe yourself in three words.
Solid, playful, direct

So...your referrals on the site are really not so great. What was your first thought when you found that out?
I felt like a fanny, for sure, and comforting yourself with the truth doesn’t help much in a house with two older brothers. I was alone with my convictions, I suppose. Which was better than nothing.

What's your favorite thing about Ruby?
Her confidence, and that is allows her to ask for what she wants instead of waiting for other people to guess. Also her mouth, for too many reasons to list if I had a week.

How many kilts do you own, and if you could wear them full time, would you?
I own at least four, and one for dress occasions. And I sure would. Pants are horribly constrictive. At least for some of us. wink

What's the biggest difference between Scotland and the USA for you?
It’s so big and diverse! I’m used to a more tight knit world.

What kind of cookie would you describe yourself as?
I’m going to be a bit lame and go with shortbread, since that’s the most common cookie at home. I think it fits me, though, because you may think I’m just an ordinary, pretty vanilla looking confection, but the combination of sweet and crunchy, well…it’s rather surprising. Predictable but never boring.

Whew. I seriously love this boy. And would totally fight Ruby for him. Thanks, Cole, for stopping in!

If you don't know about this book, you're in luck:

After being unceremoniously dumped freshman year because of her family’s “new money” status, Ruby Cotton has taken care not to put her heart on the line. No matter how enticing Emilie and Quinn make it look, relationships are scary and hard—while a string of flings is easy and fun. That’s what Ruby wants. Easy and fun. The only problem is, when it comes to satisfaction in the sack, most of the boys at Whitman are nothing but pretty window dressing and false advertising.

Ruby takes it upon herself to make campus life more fulfilling, creating a referral database that allows female students to rate their sexual experiences, thereby informing girls of what they’re getting into before agreeing to a date.

When her acting partner, Liam Greene, finally shows some interest, Ruby figures she won’t need to utilize the helpful gossip. He’s handsome, fun, and most importantly, not a guy she’d ever fall for hard enough to let him break her heart.

Not only that, but dating Liam gives Ruby the perfect excuse to say no to Cole Stuart.

As a star swimmer and heir to honest-to-God Scottish royalty, Cole sits at the top of Whitman’s A-list—but he’s also the lowest rated referral on Ruby’s website. The ratings make rejecting his repeated requests for a date a no-brainer, but her real reason for avoiding Cole runs deeper than a string of unsatisfied exes.

He’s gorgeous, he oozes sweetness and charm, and the electricity between them could power half of Whitman, but Ruby knows it will only last until his family or friends convince him she’s not good enough.

Before she knows it she’s falling anyway, waiting for the other shoe to drop but clinging to a tentative hope that Cole might be as different as he seems. When the secret behind his low ratings comes to light, that hope is torn apart, and Ruby wonders if she was right to give him her heart…and whether she has the strength to let him keep it.

And don't forget to enter for a chance to win a swag pack/books! And if you don't win, be sure you still go get this one, because, well, it rocks.

a Rafflecopter giveaway