Archive for April, 2012

Words & Music Monday with Anya Bast

Posted April 30, 2012 By Jennifer

One of my favorite authors has a new book coming out!!!! This week we get to see what’s happening, musically, inside the head of NYT bestseller Anya Bast! EMBRACE OF THE DAMNED comes out tomorrow… so THANK YOU to Anya for taking some “pre-release” time out for us.

I use music all the time when I write. I’ve said more than once that I think my iPod and iTunes purchases should be a tax deduction because they’re tools I use every day. Music seems to help facilitate the firing of my synapses. It helps me daydream less and get into the mood of a scene. My productivity is higher when I’ve got music on, although I do have to keep the sound pretty low. If the music I’m listening to is too loud, it overwhelms me and breaks my concentration.

Sometimes I make specific playlists for the books I write and sometimes I just use my main playlist. It depends. The type of book I’m writing usually influences the music I buy at any given time. For example, when I was writing my Dark Magick series (dark paranormal faerie romance), I purchased a lot of Angelzoom and Apocalyptica, along with other bands that produce a haunting, darkly fantastical, yet edgy sort of a sound.

I typically go for alternative bands or bands that are lesser known with a grungy rock type of sound, sometimes with a classic sort of feel. I almost never will choose a slow, romantic song or ballad, and I’m really, really picky about the music I buy. I know the sound I like and don’t want to waste my time on anything else. Can I classify the sound I like? I wish, but not really. I know it when I hear it. That said, I have everything from Billie Holliday to Nine Inch Nails on my iPod. My all time favorite song is Three Little Birds (Bob Marley) and I think it always will be.

Here’s a sample of the songs I’m listening to the most these days. Some of these songs have been on my most played list for a long time, but a lot of the music seems to shift around over time:

  1. Abraham’s Daughter – Arcade Fire
  2. Broken – Amy Lee and Seether
  3. Stop a Bullet – Black Light Burns
  4. Icky Thump – The White Stripes
  5. Three Little Birds – Bob Marley
  6. The Anthem – Good Charlotte
  7. Know Your Enemy – Green Day
  8. Fuck You – Lily Allen
  9. A Case of You – Joni Mitchell
  10. Cokkha — Apocalyptica
  11. Bang Pop – Free Energy
  12. You Got Me – Crash Kings
  13. Calling All Angels – Jane Siberry and K.D. Lang

This is a pretty good representation of the kind of music I listened to when I was writing Embraced of the Damned (May 1st). The paranormal romance that I write tends to be pretty action-packed, dark, and have a fast pace.

I think most of the music I listen to helps me to maintain the energy in my stories. If they took away my iPod tomorrow I don’t know what I would do!

Want a shot at winning an autographed copy of Embrace of the Damned? Leave a comment with one of your favorite songs.


17 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Words & Music Monday with Brigid Kemmerer

Posted April 23, 2012 By Jennifer

Hi everyone!!! I had some crazy going on last week, and didn’t get a Words & Music Monday posted, but we’re back on track this week. Debut author Brigid Kemmerer’s YA novel STORM comes out tomorrow, and today she’s starting her blog tour. You can check here for the complete schedule. (We’re not on her official tour, but she was kind enough to make some time for us with all HER crazy going on!) Here’s some musical info to get you ready for tomorrow’s release…

Music is a big part of my writing. If I don’t have headphones plugged in, I can’t write. I’ve tried listening to instrumental songs while writing, and I churned out some of the worst scenes I’ve ever written. I know some people can’t write while listening to songs with lyrics, but maybe I need something to steal the reasoning corner of my brain so I can get the good stuff down on paper. 

The Elemental Series Playlist

  • Something Beautiful by NeedToBreatheThis song is the theme song for The Elemental Series. Any time I need inspiration for a book, I start with this song. Not only does it name all the elements (water, earth, air, fire), but it’s a song about finding your place in this world and finding someone to share it with.
  • Stereo Hearts by Gym Class Heroes featuring Adam LevineThis is one of the sweetest songs I’ve ever heard. It’s fun, and funky, and perfectly suits the Merrick brothers. I’m a big fan of clever lyrics and songs that make me giddy, and this fits the bill for both.
  • Good Feeling by Flo RidaThis song just makes me want to dance and gets my pulse going. Great backdrop for the action scenes.
  • Without You by David Guetta featuring UsherAnother romantic song that makes me swoon. It’s intense and sensual with a heart pounding beat. If I’m having trouble starting a scene, this is one of my go-to songs.
  • Love Bites by Def LeppardThis is one of my favorite songs of all time, because it perfectly captures the pain of first love. The angst is palpable.
  • Your Guardian Angel by The Red Jumpsuit ApparatusThis song is a power ballad (I’m a sucker for power ballads). And the guy who sings it is hot. (Hey, don’t judge. I might be married, but I have eyes.)
  • Mean by Taylor SwiftThis song is all about standing up to bullies—and I must have listened to it on repeat about a hundred times while writing Storm.
  • You’re Gonna Go Far Kid by The OffspringThis song is angry and intense and challenging and is exactly the kind of thing I’d expect the Merrick brothers to listen to.

There are hundreds (thousands) of other songs in my iTunes queue, but these are some of my all time favorites.  Did I leave anything out? I’d love to hear from your blog readers if they have any suggestions for me. I obviously have eclectic taste, and I’ll listen to just about anything.

Brigid Kemmerer is the author of Storm: Book 1 of The Elemental Series, available April 24 from K Teen, an imprint of Kensington Books. You can visit her website at

If you want to check out how the Elemental Series begins before STORM releases tomorrow, you can download the prequel novella ELEMENTAL for FREE, for a limited time, from Barnes & Noble and other online retailers

To add STORM to your “To Read” list on, just click the cover to go to it’s page there.

BIG thanks to Brigid for sharing her playlist with us today. So… who wants to win a copy of STORM?? Comment below with your thoughts on the STORM playlist… how excited you are for the book… or just to say HI and “welome to the YA book world” to Brigid. She’ll be peeking in from time to time to respond and answer any questions you may have. Each commenter will be entered to win a copy of STORM. Winner will be chosen at random at midnight pacific time, tonight. Winner will be notified by email and will have 7 days to respond. GOOD LUCK everyone!!

13 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Words & Music Monday with Mandy M Roth

Posted April 9, 2012 By Jennifer

Today’s post is coming from an author that I’ve been peeking at from a distance for quite a while now. Mandy M Roth has quite a list of books in wide variety of genres. With a TBR pile ready to topple and crush me any day now, I haven’t made it to her books yet, but I’d love to hear from those of you you HAVE. I need a suggestion for the first book from Mandy I should read 🙂 [I prefer paranormals, but some contemporary is ok from time to time. I like good action, sweet & smexy romance, humor, and MUST have a HEA :-)]

While you’re mulling that over… here’s a bit about Mandy and music 🙂

Music has always been a huge part of my life. When I was little my father played bass guitar in a classic rock cover band and you’d have been hard pressed to be in our home and not hear music playing. My father passed away suddenly two years ago at the young age of 56.When we went in to the church to select readings for his service I found myself drawn straight to Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. No judging, but it’s because I could remember my father playing The Byrds record over and over again and the song Turn, Turn, Turn which actually takes from the bible. I wondered if my extremely Catholic Italian grandmother was going to go along with this. She teared up, patted my leg and said “I remember making him turn that down when he was younger”. This is just one example of how music is deeply imprinted on me.

On a much lighter note, I can vividly remember the day MTV launched. It changed my life. I was totally and completely addicted even though at that tender age I should have been watching Sesame Street, not MTV. Growing up I lost myself in songs, no matter the genre. I loved them all. I still do. I can’t write unless music is playing. I have over sixty playlists each containing over one thousand different songs. I am the proud owner of over 100 gigs of music and I often run contests where I will giveaway iTunes gift cards and Amazon gift cards in hopes readers will get music they love.

Music can mold you and shape you the same way reading a great book can. If you’d like to see examples of what music is on what playlist for my titles you can do so by visiting the following blog posts.

Thanks so much for having me and for letting me talk about music.

Sorry this is posting a bit late today… had some technical difficulties (read: I lost Mandy’s email 🙁 ). As a tip of the hat to Mandy’s history of musical giveaways, and a bit of an apology for the late post… I’ll offer a $10 iTunes gift card to one random commenter!! Just post below with one of these three things:

  • YOUR favorite book from Mandy
  • Which of her books you’re adding to YOUR TBR list
  • Which of her books *I* should start with

Giveaway ends tomorrow night (Tues, Apr 10th) at midnight pacific. Winner will be chosen and notified on Wednesday 🙂 Good luck, everyone… and thanks in advance for your recs!

5 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

I love love love getting to share cool new stuff with you guys. Today, I get to do just that… check out the fantastic new cover (and book blurb) for Chloe Jacobs’ November 13th, 2012 release, GRETA AND THE GOBLIN KING!!

Looks pretty awesome, huh?? Here’s the blurb released by Entangled Publishing…

While trying to save her brother four years ago, Greta was thrown into the witch’s fire herself, falling through a portal to a dangerous world where humans are the enemy, and every ogre, goblin, and ghoul has a dark side that comes out with the full moon.

To survive, seventeen-year-old Greta has hidden her humanity and taken the job of bounty hunter—and she’s good at what she does. So good, she’s caught the attention of Mylena’s young Goblin King, the darkly enticing Isaac, who invades her dreams and undermines her determination to escape.

But Greta’s not the only one looking to get out of Mylena. The full moon is mere days away, and an ancient evil knows she’s the key to opening the portal. If Greta fails, she and the lost boys of Mylena will die. If she succeeds, no world will be safe from what follows her back…

If you want to know more about the author, or the book… you can check out these places:

WOWZA!! Ok… so… we’ve got some serious action coming up in November, thanks to Ms. Jacobs!! What do YOU think… something you’re interested in?? The cover is BEAUTIFUL!! Does it look like something to add to YOUR TBR list??

1 Comment. Join the Conversation

1st Contest At MANtastic Fiction!!

Posted April 5, 2012 By Jennifer

People… people… PEOPLE!!! GUESS WHAT!!!

One of our lovely review partners is having her FIRST CONTEST on her own site!! MANtastic Fiction is one of the most in depth sites available for up to date info in the M/M fiction world. It’s listed on MANY authors’ blogrolls, and Books Makes Me Happy is very proud to be associated with it.

I’m also THRILLED that they’re hosting their first contest!! I’m a little late in the game (I’ve been working my arse off lately and totally missed the beginning of the contest O.o) but you’ve still got about 7 hours to enter, at the time of this posting. Go… click… comment to enter!!!

Two winners will be chosen at random, and they’ll each get to choose one of author Marie Sexton’s titles in ebook format!! For those of you who’ve read M/M fiction, you know what an AWESOME prize that is!! If you’re new to the genre, then let me assure you, it’s a prize you WANT to win! Any comment about what you do for reading will get your name in the drawing… comment on MANtastic’s site, not mine 🙂

To help them celebrate their first contest… if you enter MANtastic Fiction’s contest, then come back here with the number of your comment there (say you were comment #12, or whatever) then you’ll be entered in an impromptu contest HERE ON THIS SITE for a $10 gift certificate to the online bookstore of your choice (excluding!!! You don’t have to be the winner of MANtastic Fiction’s contest to win here, just enter that contest, then comment below to let me know you did. It’s like a mini blog hop, you know I love those, lol.

So… people… go forth and enter!! Good luck to everyone!!! Both contests end tonight at midnight, pacific time. Both are open internationally!



4 Comments so far. Join the Conversation