Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday - Lisa Amowitz's Vision + Giveaway!

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly awaiting!

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Title: Vision

Author: Lisa Amowitz

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

Expected Publication Date: September 9, 2014


The light is darker than you think… 

High school student Bobby Pendell already has his hands full—he works almost every night to support his disabled-vet father and gifted little brother. Then he meets the beautiful new girl in town, who just happens to be his boss’s daughter. Bobby has rules about that kind of thing. Nothing matters more than keeping his job.

When Bobby starts to get blinding migraines that come with scary, violent hallucinations, his livelihood is on the line. Soon, he must face the stunning possibility that the visions of murder are actually real. With his world going dark, Bobby is set on the trail of the serial killer terrorizing his small town. With everyone else convinced he’s the prime suspect, Bobby realizes that he, or the girl he loves, might be killer's next victim.

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My young adult novel BREAKING GLASS is available now 

AmazonBNOblong Books 

The light is darker than you think.

Visit me on the web at:

Breaking Glass on GOODREADS 

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Lisa Amowitz was born in Queens and raised in the wilds of Long Island, New York where she climbed trees, thought small creatures lived under rocks and studied ant hills. And drew. A lot.
Lisa has been a professor of graphic design at  Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly eighteen years. She started writing eight years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children.
BREAKING GLASS which was released July 9, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press, is her first published work. VISION, the first of the Finder series will be released in 2014 along with an unnamed sequel in the following year. LIFE AND BETH will also be released in the near future. So stay tuned because Lisa is very hyper and has to create stuff to stay alive.
Facebook Author page

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Michelle Pickett's Finding Willow Cover Reveal!!

I have another great cover reveal to share today. The novella "Finding Willow" by Michelle K. Pickett is a prequel to "Unspeakable." The story is told from Brody's point of view, and did he ever get one rockin', steamy cover...
Finding Willow” is the prequel to “Unspeakable,” the touching romance between Brody and Willow that explores one girl’s quiet strength to survive the unbearable weight of a family secret alone, and the love and resolve of a boy determined to help her.
Brody Victor lives life on the fringes. Moving from school to school with each transfer his mother’s job requires has taught Brody well: If there’s one thing harder than making friends, it’s saying goodbye to them. So he’s learned to close himself off. He’s a loner, and that’s how he likes it.

When his mother accepts a permanent position in Wisconsin, Brody begins to slowly open up. But old habits die hard and, for Brody, making friends doesn’t come easily. That is, until he meets Annabelle. Brody loses himself in her. Their connection runs deep and, for the first time, Brody truly lets someone inside. But life can be cruel. An unexpected job transfer uproots Brody from his home in Wisconsin, and Annabelle.

 Vowing not to get involved with another girl after the heartbreak of losing Annabelle, Brody returns to life on the outside looking in. A loner by choice. Until he finds Willow. Friendly and beautiful, a guy can’t help but notice her, but Brody notices more than her beauty. When she flashes her full smile, a spark is missing from her hazel eyes and for reasons unknown to him, Brody needs to find the reason.

Along the way, he stumbles across a secret bigger than both of them.

Don't forget to check out "Unspeakable" for more of Willow and Brody's story.
Happy Reading!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Cover Reveal! So You Have To Write A Poem Is Finally On Its Way!

I am very pleased to finally show off the cover of my upcoming non-fiction release, So You Have to Write a Poem: A Guide for the Non-Poetic :) This book has been a very long time coming (as it was once part of my essay guidebook, Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers). So I am very, very excited that it will finally be out in the world on Oct 6th! it is :)

At some point, every student must not only learn about different poetic forms, but try their hand at penning a few. It can be daunting, even for those who enjoy poetry.

Following the same plain language, straight forward vein of Ms. McLean’s Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers, So You Have to Write a Poem gives novices an easy-to-read guide with simple step-by-step processes and fun examples while giving more advanced poets a technical guide to the rules behind all their favorite poetic forms.

This volume includes nine forms of poetry, along with overviews on poetry basics like meter and rhyme scheme, detailed, easy-to-understand instructions and “cheat sheets” that outline the rules for each form of poetry, and a section with a detailed explanation of how to analyze a poem.

(The cover was designed by my dear friend, the extremely talented author/illustrator Toni Kerr!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Baby Turns 9 :)

9 years ago today I was 7 months pregnant with my daughter, and was told that she would have to be delivered in order to save both our lives. It was by far the most terrifying day of my life.

Since then, she has far exceeded every expectation I've ever had. She's such a strong, intelligent, independent, beautiful little girl. My heart bursts every time I look at her :)

Happy birthday to our little peanut princess!!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Why I Didn't Name the Songs in Romancing the Rumrunner - But You Can Find Out What They Are Now!

I have a general rule to never respond to reviews, good or bad. Reviews are for readers, not the authors, so I don't feel it's ever my place to respond to or comment on them. However, I've had several reviews that have mentioned the wish that I'd included the names of the songs my heroine Jessie sings in Romancing the Rumrunner. And I totally understand. If I was a reader, it would bug me too. Which made making the decision to leave the song titles out of the book very difficult. But I promise I had a good reason :-)

So for the sake of those who are curious, I'd like to explain my reasoning behind leaving the titles out, and reveal what the songs are that Jessie sings :-)

The book is set in 1928. I spent many, many hours researching, making sure that every detail I included in the book - from the language to the camera Tony uses to the prices Jessie charges for her meat in her butcher shop - were details that are historically accurate for 1928 Chicago.

And then it came time to choose the songs Jessie sings. The song I originally envisioned was that sexy little jazz number Fever...or Why Don't You Do Right, the song that Jessica Rabbit sings :-) Unfortunately, both of those were recorded well after Rumrunner takes place. But that vibe is what I was looking for. And then I started listening to songs actually from 1928. While some of the lyrics are, shall we say, risque, none had that Jessica Rabbit feel.

Finally, after listening to dozens of songs from that era, specifically from 1928 or earlier, I found two in particular that I just HAD to include in the story. The lyrics, the way I saw her singing - they were just too perfect. The original recordings are campy, peppy, not at all sex-kittenish (at least by today's standards). But my Jessie changes them up ;-) So if you listen to these songs, just picture Jessie up on the stage, the tempo slowed down, swaying to the beat :-)

The first song she sings is I Wanna Be Loved By You sung by Helen Kane. This one presented no problems for me. It was recorded in 1928 and is therefore a song that Jessie could have sung in her speakeasy.

I wasn't so fortunate with the second song, I Want To Be Bad, sung by Annette Henshaw. Upon researching this one, I found that it wasn't recorded until 1929. This was a huge problem for me. Yes, it's just a few months off and I'm probably the only one who would have known that. And I never specifically mention that the book is set in 1928, so I probably could have gotten away with it. But I knew it and just couldn't bring myself to include it in the story knowing it was a historical inaccuracy.

So I searched for other songs, and I found a few, but they just weren't as perfect as I Want To Be Bad. That song is Jessie to a T, and the way she sings it, directing it right at Tony *sigh* I just couldn't stick another song in there. So my editor and I made the decision to remove the song titles from the story, make them a little more vague. It allowed me to keep the song in there without compromising the historical accuracy of the story.

I did leave some hints, though I suppose only someone familiar with the songs of that time might get them. My apologies on that :-) The "boop-boop-a-doops" were a signature of Helen Kane's singing style, the most well-known song being I Wanna Be Loved By You (a la Betty Boop). In fact, when I hear that, this song always pops into my head so I hoped if I mentioned it (though I made sure to include that Jessie changed that signature sound for one of her own) that this song might pop into my readers' heads.

And for the second song, I Want To Be Bad, I got a little more specific, trying to include some of the lyrics in a round about way. "She swayed her shoulders and shook her hips as the song dictated" and "When she sang the line about letting someone take a kiss, Tony’s teeth scraped along his lower lip" are direct references to the lyrics in that song. Again, I realize this is vague, but I hoped it would help a bit. With copyright laws and public domain issues (as copyrights can be extended and because these songs have been re-recorded several times making their public availability even more murky), I wasn't sure about their public domain state, so I found it safer to not directly list them.

During one of my interviews recently, I was asked if there was anything I'd change about this story if I could go back. I answered no. But I would like to go back and add the song titles, or at least add some more lyrics, make the clues a little less vague :-) Of course, I'd probably need to change the year the book was set or choose a different song or.....well, I would have made it work ;-)

In any case, for those who wanted to know, you now know the songs that Jessie sang :-) And for a little extra fun, I'll also list my top 5 favorite songs from 1928 along with their youtube videos so you can hear them to! :-)

My Top 5 Favorite Songs from Romancing the Rumrunner’s Era - 1928

These are all songs Jessie would have been sure to have on her playlist. And they are surprisingly naughty…I’m not sure what I expected songs from the 20’s to be about, but you don’t even need to read between the lines on some of these! ;-) Sound-wise I much prefer Bessie Smith, but the lyrics of all of these are pretty great :-) Enjoy!

1. I Wanna Be Loved By You – Helen Kane

2. I Want To Be Bad – Annette Henshaw (This one is actually from 1929, but it’s fabulous!)

3. Let’s Misbehave – Ben Bernie

4. Empty Bed Blues – Bessie Smith

5. That’s My Weakness Now – Helen Kane