Monday, April 1, 2019

Young Adult Scavenger Hunt (YASH) Spring 2019

Hi! I'm Emily Kazmierski, your hostess for this leg of the Young Adult Scavenger Hunt.


(I didn't plan the fact that I'm on the blue team 
and am wearing a blue shirt in my photo, but there it is!)

Some Fun Facts About  Me:

I am a shameless, lifelong fan of Harrison Ford. If he's in a movie, I am game. 

I set my Goodreads challenge to 80 books for the year, but I've already read 50, so I may need to up my goal. 

When I'm not reading or writing, I can be found in my kitchen experimenting with new recipes for homemade ice cream. Some of my favorite flavors are cookies and cream with a peanut butter swirl, white chocolate buttermint, and dark chocolate raspberry.

****************
You're currently hunting on Team Blue


If you're looking for my bonus content, keep looking! Somewhere on this blog hop you'll find The ORIGINAL opening scene to my Ivory Tower Spies series. Spoilers abound, so watch out! 

But let's get the rules out of the way, shall we?

****************

Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. 

Hint: It's highlighted in blue.

Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the blue team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!). 

Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, April 7th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.


****************

Now that we've gotten all of that out of the way, here's the fun part! For this hunt, I'm thrilled to be hosting Amber Duell. 

About Amber:

Amber R. Duell was born and raised in a small town in Central New York. While it will always be home, she’s constantly moving with her husband and two sons as a military wife. When not reading or writing, she enjoys snowboarding, embroidering, and snuggling with her cat.

She's showcasing her book: 



About the book:

The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He has to be, if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers. But the truth might be more than she bargained for…

Are you ready for bonus material? Here it is!

Author’s note:
This is the beginning of the original 1st draft of DREAM KEEPER. It’s super rough, but you can see the transformation Nora’s first chapter went through. The scene is completely different in the novel now and happens during chapter 2. :)

**

CHAPTER ONE—Nora’s POV—1ST DRAFT VERSION

Twelve thirty-two.
The clock on the dashboard glowed green, the colon blinking in a slow, torturous rhythm. I cursed my mother for telling me to stay out as long as I wanted. Saturday nights were usually reserved for hunkering down in a comfortable pair of pajamas, and binge watching whatever television series looked interesting until I fell asleep. That was what really mattered—the sleeping—because that’s where he was.
The Sandman was my closest friend and my best kept secret. He had to be if I didn’t want to lose him. My mother meant well, but I couldn’t face a lifetime of pill-pushing psychiatrists. One white-haired doctor tossing around words like personality disorder and delusional was enough.
By the time the final doctor deemed the Sandman a simple outlet for me to process my parents’ divorce, the damage was done.
Don’t worry about it, he said.
It will pass, he said.
That was five years ago. The divorce was a distant memory. My father moved across the country and my mother remarried, but the Sandman, real or not, became a permanent fixture. One I never, ever talked about.
Natalie jabbed a button on the dashboard. The radio cut off, silencing the rattling bass, and I tore my eyes away from the clock.
“What do you want to do when I get back from California next week?” she asked.
“Whatever you want to do.”


Next week didn’t matter as much as the next five minutes did. I wrapped my arms around my stomach, and willed the car to go faster. The only reason I was out tonight at all was because this was my last first day of summer vacation. Next year at this time I would be a high school graduate, a legal adult, and college would be a blink away. So, when my friends showed up to drag me to a house party four hours ago, I pulled on a pair of shorts and a tank top, and hopped in Natalie’s car. A decision I’ve since regretted.


You can purchase Dream Keeper here.

Find out more about Amber on her website, or on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.


****************

Don't forget to enter the contest to win a signed paperback of For Your Ears Only, courtesy of me, plus a bunch more!




****************

To win, write down my secret number:

37

and find all the other numbers on TEAM BLUE, add them up, and you’ll have the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

And while you're here, don't forget to enter the KingSumo giveaway I'm hosting.

Two lucky winners will receive a signed paperback copy of For Your Ears Only, the first book in my Ivory Tower Spies series, along with paperback copies of The Prince, the first book in Jillian Dodd's Spy Girl series, and White Knights, the first book in Julie Moffett's YA spy series.


To continue the scavenger hunt, visit author Cyn Balog

Good luck!


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Sneak Peek at Spy Your Heart Out

It's launch week, and I'm thrilled with how it's going so far. Have you bought your copy of Spy Your Heart Out yet? If not, what are you waiting for?

I'm loving hearing from readers as they finish it! So get reading!

***

Royal is still pissed at me for crashing the team's mission in St. Petersburg, but if he thinks I'm going to stand down while he takes my crew, my haphazard family, to Palermo to rescue my sister, he's lost his touch. Nothing can stop me from getting Clarity back, not even having to work uncomfortably close to Starling. Not even the growing attraction I feel to him, that usurper. Not even the fear that Clarity has finally found something I can't give her--roots.


Monday, March 4, 2019

Spy Your Heart Out is Out Today!

It's launch day!

If I had a trumpet, I'd be playing it. Spy Your Heart Out is my sixth book, but I'm just as excited as if it were my first (maybe more so, because I get to share it with you!) I truly loved writing this book, and I can't wait to hear from you once you're done reading it! Send me an email. Find me on Facebook. Strike up a conversation in Instagram. I don't care the method you use; I just want to chat with you about it. I try to respond to every single message, so don't hesitate. :)

In the mean time, I'll be celebrating by eating yummy food and dancing around the house like a meerkat in a hula outfit (they're so cute!)

Lastly, I'd like to thank each and every one of you, because without your presence and support, it wouldn't be nearly as much fun to be an author. All of my readers make this absolutely worth it. You rock!



Sunday, March 3, 2019

Spy Your Heart Out Comes Out TOMORROW!!


I can't believe this baby drops tomorrow.

I am itching to release it so all of you fantastic people can read it. There are so many questions! What's happened to Clarity? Will Loveday and Starling finally become friends? How many more secrets is Royal keeping? Hehe. I get excited just thinking about talking it through with you guys.

In the intervening hours (HOURS! Eek!) I wanted to give you another sneak peek.
***
“I could totally sneak into a party,” I say, voice casual. “It wouldn’t be the first time.”
Royal levies his gaze at me. “I know you’re capable, Loveday, but I’d still rather have a valid reason for being there. The last thing I want is for you to be caught crashing a party at a mobster’s house.”
“Who says I would get caught? I haven’t yet,” I fire back.
“I could go with her,” Lotus says. “Keep an eye on her.”
“Says the guy whose been locked in an arts and crafts closet!” I say, deadpan.
Julep snickers at this. “I love that story.”
“It was one time!” Lotus says, laughing. “Can’t a guy live down his only mistake?”
“Not a chance,” I say, grinning.
Starling leans into me. “I need to hear about this closet.”
I smile up at him, bobbing my head. “We—”
“Focus, everyone,” Royal says, his voice raised to be heard over the rest of us.
“Sorry,” I mutter to Starling. “I’ll tell you later.”




Thursday, February 28, 2019

Book Three of the Ivory Tower Spies Series Comes Out in Just Four Days!

Good afternoon!

Can you believe that today is the last day of February? I'm amazed that 2019 is going by so quickly. We're already staring down the barrel of March. Is time flying for you, too?

As I mentioned last time, my parents are visiting this week. They usually bring lots of yummy treats and desserts with them to share with us, but this time they brought something better: gourmet breakfast meats. My dad and a friend went to a famous butcher's shop before he and my mom came to visit, and purchased some delicious bacon and sausage. I'm in heaven. I bet Lotus would be dying of contentment, too, being the foodie that he is.

Spy Your Heart Out comes out in four days! I can't believe that either. I'm hard at work on book four. It's full of action and close calls. Our spy crew get into quite an adventure. :D

In the mean time, here's another sneak peek from Spy Your Heart Out. Enjoy!

***

     Royal’s head dips. His eyes skim the ground before rising to meet mine. “It’s been a long time since I was a teenager, but I still remember wanting to be close to someone. I know you must feel that—”
     “Dad! It’s not about that. It was just a kiss. Nothing more.”
     His expression softens, and my heart warms. “I’m trying to protect you,” he says, his voice soft. “Sometimes I forget that you’re still so young. That all of this, it’s not normal for people your age.” His voice hitches in his throat. “Do you even want this life? Because you can get out. Go to college. Get a regular job. Do normal adult things.”
     I shake my head, smiling. “You’re forgetting that I’m the one who forced you to let me in. Remember? Two eleven-year-olds scooping your bump and grab from right under your nose?”
     He smiles at this. “I was so proud of both of you, I couldn’t see straight.”
     It’s been a long while since I’ve heard those words from him. “Thanks, Dad.”
     He puts an arm around me and squeezes gently. “Let’s go back, shall we?”
     “Yeah.”
     We turn and meander in the direction we came.
     I lean into him. “Dad?”
     “Yes?”
     “We’re getting Clarity back from those brainless toads.”
     A half-smile cracks his serious features. “Yes, we are.”






Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Spy Your Heart Out Releases in Just Six Days!


My parents are here visiting this week, and it's so nice! My girls love their Gran and Grandpa, and my hubby and I tend to get lots of household tasks done when they're here. They're super handy, so we learn a lot!

I'm also making the final touches on book three of Loveday's story, which comes out soon. I can't believe it. I had to pinch myself just now to make sure this is really happening. If someone had told me five years ago that I would write a five book series about teenage spies, I wouldn't have believed them. I've loved spies since I saw Harriet the Spy in elementary school, so writing a series about them is way too much fun.

I'm really proud of book three, and I hope you'll love it too!



***


Completing this mission will push her to the limits.
Loveday is on thin ice with the team after crashing their operation. But when her sister is kidnapped, Loveday insists on being included in the rescue. Finding the balance between being a good sister and a good spy has never been harder.
The situation becomes even more complicated when Loveday is paired with Starling for an undercover job that pulls them closer than ever. Sparks fly, leaving Loveday torn between letting her mind rule, and giving in to her heart.
Loveday will do whatever is required to get her sister back, but she may lose her heart in the process.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

It's Giveaway Time - Win an Ebook Copy of Julie Moffett's White Knights

Good morning!

It's been quite a while since I did a giveaway, so I figured it was time. I like to keep you lovely people happy. :)

Enter here to win a copy of the first book in Julie Moffett's White Knights series:

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/1fd029471632578d


Thursday, January 10, 2019

LivePortraits of the Ivory Tower Spies, Loveday, Clarity, Julep, Lotus, Vale, Starling, and Haru

An author friend of mine (Ginna Moran) told me about the LivePortrait app, so of course I stayed up way too late making portraits for most of the Ivory Tower Spies. I haven't done Royal or Darnay yet, but here are the rest of the team members. :)
Brash, fearless, Loveday
Disguise whizz and gentle soul, Clarity
Driving expert and jokester, Lotus

Comms expert and budding field agent, Vale

Sassy and bold, Julep

Confident, cool, Starling

Perky hacker, Haru


**Don't forget: if you buy the book between now and January 14th, send the receipt to ivorytowerspies@gmail.com and get bonus launch goodies, including confidential CIA files for each of the Ivory Tower Spies, and the very first scene I ever wrote for the series. It's not included in the books, so you can't get it anywhere else!

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Eyes of Spies is Out Today - Get Your Copy on Amazon!

The Eyes of Spies is out in the world!

Book two of the Ivory Tower Spies series is ready to be read! One of my early reviewers sent me this message, and it sure made me grin:

"Finished your book last night. It was really good! More of a cliffhanger this time, and now I have to wait for book 3. :( "

She's right! There is a cliffhanger at the end of book two, but the story is so gripping I know you won't mind. Plus, I've included the first two chapters of book three as a sneak peek at the end of book two, which will help the time go faster until you can read book three.


Why should you buy book two now? Because if you do, I'll send you the bonus launch goodies I've been talking about. What are they again? Exclusive, confidential case files on Loveday and her crew, including a psych eval, strengths, weaknesses, and more. Plus, you'll get a bonus that isn't included in the books: the very first scene I ever wrote in the Ivory Tower Spies world. All you have to do to get these launch goodies is purchase the book on Amazon and send me the receipt at ivorytowerspies@gmail.com between now and January 14th. I'll make sure you get your extras!

Happy reading!

- Emily

Thursday, January 3, 2019

For Your Ears Only Sale (Limited Time!) and Book Two Launch Goodies!

Hi friends!

When I got my editor's notes on The Eyes of Spies, I was thrilled. Why? Because she said it was EVEN BETTER than the first book. Those words were music to my ears. I was absolutely ecstatic!

And last night I got the first review on book two from an Advance reader, and here's what he said:


I was so excited I may have danced won my hallway! (Ask my husband. It's the truth.)

I'm celebrating launching book two (in four days!) by putting book one, For Your Ears Only, on sale for only 99 pennies for this week only. If you haven't gotten a copy yet, now is the time to do it.


Okay, and now for the bonus goodies! For next week only, from January 7 to January 14, if you send me a receipt for The Eyes of Spies, I'll send you confidential personnel files for Royal, Loveday, and the rest of their team. You'll find insights into each character, strengths, weaknesses, and more. I'll also send you an exclusive look at the very first scene I wrote for the Ivory Tower Spies series (and let me tell you, there are spoilers in there!)

All you have to do is forward your receipt to ivorytowerspies@gmail.com, and I'll make sure you get your bonus goodies.

Four more days to wait, readers, and then you can jump back into Loveday's story!

Happy reading,

- Emily

Monday, December 31, 2018

The Eyes of Spies Cover Reveal

It's cover reveal time!





In two weeks, you'll be able to start reading!
I'm am so excited to tell you that book two in the Ivory Tower Spies series is being released on January 7th, 2019. It's perfect for fans of Ally Carter's Heist Society series, Karen M. McManus's novel One of Us is Lying, or Brittany Cavallaro's Charlotte Holmes series.

What's the book about, you ask? Here's the synopsis:

Spying just got more complicated.

After her first mission ends in a spectacular disaster, Loveday finds herself reassigned to a mundane hotel job outside the Ivory Tower. She and Royal are so frustrated with each other they're barely speaking. AS if that wasn't punishment enough, her boss adds a new member to the team--Starling, an attractive, highly-trained operative whose skills might just make Loveday obsolete.

When classified government software is stolen by a dangerous hacker, Loveday and Starling must work together to stop the program from falling into the wrong hands. But in the world of intrigue, nothing is as it seems--and not all ghosts of her past stay dead.


Friends, I loved writing this book, and I know you're going to love reading it!

Stay tuned. In a couple of days I'll email you with details of a special launch-week sale I'm doing, as well as how you can get behind-the-scenes goodies.

Happy reading,

- Emily

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Coming Cyber Monday - The Walk-in Agent

Coming out Cyber Monday, November 26th!

Hi Ivory Tower spies fans! I've heard from quite a few readers who love Julep, and I have great news. The Walk-in Agent, a short story told from Julep's point of view, comes out this Monday. It'll tide you over until book two in the Ivory Tower Spies series drops on January 7, 2019.

And as a special treat, I'm including the first scene below.

Caution: If you haven't finished reading For Your Ears Only, do not read this sneak peek. There are spoilers here!


***

Royal’s voice is ragged when I answer my phone. “Loveday isn’t here. Did she tell you where she was going?”
     My brow furrows in surprise. “What? No, I haven’t heard from her.” Granted, I’ve only been back in London for a few hours, which is hardly enough time for Loveday to miss me and reach out.
A soft curse carries through the phone line. Then, Royal continues. “She disappeared during our layover in Hong Kong. I hoped she’d gone back to England to see you, but if she’s not there…”
     “Can’t you use the GPS function in her watch to track her?”
     “She’s turned it off.”
     This admission doesn’t surprise me. Loveday seems like a young woman who, if the desire struck to get off the grid for a few days would know exactly how to do it.
     I look out the window of my hotel room, down onto the square, and my eyes linger over the bright green grass. “I know where she is.” The confidence in my tone surprises me, but I know the words are true the instant they leave my mouth.
     Guilt and anguish. I had seen them in Loveday the moment she came into the hotel lobby, that last day in Malaysia. In my experience, they’re two sides of one coin—the unfathomable pain of losing someone in the line of duty. Only Loveday wore it differently than I had. When Sean died, the pain filled me up, like a rising water line during a torrential downpour, and I let it wash me away. But Loveday, instead of allowing the pain to fill her with despair, chose to get angry. The steely gaze she gave Royal that day had sent a shiver through me. She wasn’t someone to be messed with; she made that abundantly clear when she got out her wireless headphones and put them in her ears, a move which effectively smothered any response Royal may have given her.
     My voice is sure when I say, “She’s in Alabama.”

Monday, October 29, 2018

For Your Ears Only is Out Today!


If you love strong, independent women, sibling relationships, found families, close-knit friend groups, lots of food, car chases, close calls, and a bit of snark, you'll love this book.

Start Reading!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Declassified Profile: Character Profile on Julep

(Sanaa Lathan)

Codename: Julep


Birth Year/Age: 2009, 23 years old

Description: 5’6”, medium brown skin with hair in long box braids, has a penchant for brightly colored skirt suits and high heels, under which she conceals her weapons

Temperament: Julep appears to be demure and business-like when you first meet her, but once she warms up to you she is warm and loud. She is confident in her looks and often uses her pretty exterior as a way of tricking her opponents into underestimating her.


Declassified: Character Profile of Royal

(Viggo Mortensen)
Codename: Royal

Birth Year/Age: 1982, 50 years old

Description: 5’10”, lightly tanned skin, worry lines on forehead, mid-length brown hair that’s graying at the temples, piercing blue eyes

Temperament: Royal has a solemn but not unpleasant demeanor. He enjoys being around the teenagers he considers his children, but often feels the need to remind them of the seriousness of their job. The weight of what they do bothers him, so he spends most of his down time alone in his office. Royal doesn’t talk more than necessary, and almost never loses control of his emotions. Sometimes, he regrets getting his daughters, and later Lotus and Vale, involved in spy work because of how dangerous it can be.


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Declassified: Character Profile on Vale, and His Aesthetic

(Thomas Beaudoin)

Codename: Vale


Birth Year/Age: 2014, 18 years old

Description: 6', dark brunette hair worn long, green eyes, cleft chin

Temperament: Asset is grounded and practical. He has grown and thrived in his role as the team's communications officer, keeping tabs on all agents in the field during missions. However, his goal is to complete training to become a field agent. To that end, he still lacks training it several key areas. Vale is not good at keeping secrets, and instead tends to sulk when he is forced to keep something from a team member. It is doubtful that Vale would be successful at undercover work.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Declassified: Character Profile on Clarity, and Her Aesthetic

(Sophia Loren)

Codename: Clarity


Birth year/Age: 2015, 17 years old

Description: 5'8", olive skin, chin length wavy brunette hair, thick build but flat chested, large, wide-set brown eyes, long nose, thick, dark eyebrows, full lips

Temperament: Asset is graceful, nurturing, and not to be underestimated. While Loveday's strength is overt, Clarity's flows underneath the surface. She often provides a supportive foundation for her team leader, Loveday to stand on, whether that be through a steadying hand or a calm demeanor. 



Monday, October 22, 2018

Declassified: Character Profile of Loveday, and Her Aesthetic




Codename: Loveday


Birth Year/Age: 2015, 17 years old

Description: 5'2", fair skin with freckles, bleached blonde pixie cut, built like a gymnast

Temperament: Asset is strong, independent, and likes to be in control. She prefers to call the shots at all times, and bucks when things don't go her way. She is a natural leader, improved by the training provided by her handler, Royal. Asset loves her family deeply and will do anything for them. This may become a liability.




Sunday, October 21, 2018

Sneak Peek and Preorder Link for For Your Ears Only

Hi lovely readers!

I can't believe it, but For Your Ears Only goes live in only eight days, on October 29th. I started writing it in May, took a break to write something else, but then came back to it because the story was bursting to come out. I've spent hours and hours with these characters, writing their words and actions and getting to know them. Finally, (finally!) it's time to share them with you: Loveday, Clarity, Lotus, Vale, Royal, and Julep.

During this week leading up to the launch on October 29th, I'll be sharing a little bit about each character and an aesthetic of images that reminds me of each character. Come back tomorrow for a profile on the main character in the Ivory Tower Spies series, Loveday.

But for now, enjoy this sneak peek!

***

My pulse quickens as I eye the lack of space around the Lexus. “Guys, I don’t know if I can get into the car.” My eyes study the available space. There’s no way I can get in through any of the car’s doors, but there is a three foot gap between the vehicle’s roof and the ceiling of the shipping container. “Wait. I think I have a way in.” I hop onto the hood of the car and climb onto the roof. I curse under my breath. The sunroof is shut tight.“Loveday?” Royal asks.
“Give me a second.” I take my laser glass cutter out of my belt and start etching the glass in a wide circle, big enough that I can fit through.
“We’ve got company,” Lotus says, his voice sounding stressed. “They’re coming out of the office.”
“How much time do I have?” I ask, still working the glass cutter.
“Maybe a minute.”
I close the circle I’ve etched in the glass, shove the cutter back in my utility belt, and swivel around so my feet are above the glass. I stomp down once, twice, and the glass gives way.
“Loveday, get out of there.” Lotus’s voice is urgent.
I’m on my stomach now, lowering myself into the cabin of the car. “I’m almost there.”
“There’s not enough time. Get out of there. Now!” He’s speaking louder now.
If he doesn’t quiet down, they’ll hear him.
“Loveday!”
“Give me a second.” I take my laser glass cutter out of my belt and start etching the glass in a wide circle, big enough that I can fit through.“We’ve got company,” Lotus says, his voice sounding stressed. “They’re coming out of the office.”“How much time do I have?” I ask, still working the glass cutter.“Maybe a minute.”I close the circle I’ve etched in the glass, shove the cutter back in my utility belt, and swivel around so my feet are above the glass. I stomp down once, twice, and the glass gives way.“Loveday, get out of there.” Lotus’s voice is urgent.I’m on my stomach now, lowering myself into the cabin of the car. “I’m almost there.”“There’s not enough time. Get out of there. Now!” He’s speaking louder now.If he doesn’t quiet down, they’ll hear him.“Loveday!”


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Giveaway for a Signed Advance Reader Copy of For Your Ears Only


Hi everyone! 
My upcoming novel, For Your Ears Only, releases in just 19 days,
so I decided to do a giveaway. Enter to win a signed ARC copy. 

Details:
- Open internationally
- Must be 13+
- Giveaway ends 10/17/2018 and winner will be picked at Noon.

Here's the link:



May the odds be ever in your favor!


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

For Your Ears Only Cover Reveal and Request for ARC Readers

Hi everyone!

I've been hard at work on a new book, called For Your Ears Only. It'll be the first in a series about teen spies, and I'm having a blast writing it!

***


***

Keep your clients close, and your teammates closer.

Loveday’s an international teenager of mystery, or at least she’s about to be. When a private citizen tasks her team with their first international espionage mission, Loveday is thrilled. Her crew is ready. Well, mostly ready.

But when their mission fizzles, Loveday starts tracking another lead: the origins of her adopted sister’s biological family. What they find in Palermo stops them short: one of her teammates has done something they never suspected.

But the real kicker comes when Loveday discovers that he’s not the only one who’s lying, and this time, it puts the lives of her entire team at risk.

Fans of Ally Carter and Pretty Little Liars will love this series!



*Seriously, I will love you forever if you add this book on Goodreads. It's one of the absolute best ways you can help an indie author like me!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Get the First Four Chapters of All-American Liars for Free on Instafreebie

Hi everyone! I hope you've picked up a copy of All-American Liars and are loving it. If not, you can read the first four chapters for free by following this link. Let me know what you think!