Archive for the ‘guest post’ Category

Michelle Falkoff


As both a writer and someone who often teaches fiction-writing classes, I’m often asked about what’s most important in the quest to become a published author. I know lots of people have asked and answered similar questions, and I have no doubt my answers will be similar if not identical to others, but I still think it’s important to reiterate a few key things.

  1. You have to read. More than that, you have to love reading. I remember teaching a class on writing mystery novels to a group of people working on their first books. On the first day we went around and talked about the last book we read that we loved, a question I think is far more important than the “favorite book question” since it often gets at what keeps us reading, not what got us started. Everyone in the room was surprised when one of the participants proudly announced that he doesn’t read fiction. “Why do you want to write it, then?” someone asked. “Because I’ve got a bestselling idea for a novel, and I think it’s going to make me rich,” he replied. As any writer can tell you, a) it’s almost impossible to know whether you’ve got a bestselling idea, and b) it’s even less likely that the idea will make you rich, no matter how fabulous it is.
  1. You have to write. You do not have to love writing, especially not the way you love reading, but you have to actually do it. It’s not enough to want to write or to dream of writing or to have always wanted to write or to plan to write or to contemplate writing over winter break or to be ready to start writing on Monday or when the kids are asleep or when you get up early one day. All these things might be components of getting you to write, but the writing part is what matters. It has to actually happen. That can be incredibly difficult, whether logistically or emotionally, but there’s no getting around this part.
  1. You have to write well. You don’t have to be the greatest writer who ever wrote a sentence, but you also have to be able to communicate with an audience. Both 1 and 2 help with this—reading gives you a sense of what good writing looks like, and writing helps you practice making your writing better. You may not find it surprising that the individual who had a bestselling idea in my mystery novel class was an abysmal writer, and it wasn’t because of a lack of capability—that person had no idea what good writing looked like and had never attempted to write before. It doesn’t come out of nowhere; it takes work.

These are the three most important things at the beginning. All the other things people want to know about—agents, publishers, marketing, etc.—don’t matter until much, much later, and skipping steps is a poor recipe for success. Focusing on reading and writing well matters more than anything else, and let’s be real—they’re the fun part, so why not enjoy it?

Join us for this tour from Nov 3 to Nov 23, 2020!

Book Details:

Book Title:  How to Pack for the End of the World by Michelle Falkoff
Category:  YA Fiction (Ages 13-17),  320 pages
Genre: Literary / Mystery
Publisher:  HarperCollins (HarperTeen)
Release date:   Nov 20, 2020
Format available for review:  Print, NetGalley Download (mobi for kindle, epub, pdf)
Will send print books out:  USA and Canada
Tour dates: Nov 3 to Nov 23, 2020
Content Rating:  PG-13.
Language is clean, no sex on the page but reference to it, dark subject
matter–wasn’t sure the best category based on descriptions.

Book Description:

If you knew the world was going to end tomorrow, what would you do? This is the question that haunts Amina as she watches new and horrible stories of discord and crisis flash across the news every day. But when she starts at prestigious Gardner Academy, Amina finds a group of like-minded peers to join forces with—fast friends who dedicate their year to learning survival skills from each other, before it’s too late. Still, as their prepper knowledge multiplies, so do their regular high school problems, from relationship drama to family issues to friend blow-ups. Juggling the two parts of their lives forces Amina to ask another vital question: Is it worth living in the hypothetical future if it’s at the expense of your actual present?

Pre-Order the Book:
Amazon ~ Audible


Meet the Author:

Michelle Falkoff is the author of Playlist for the Dead, Pushing Perfect, Questions I Want to Ask You, and How to Pack for the End of the World. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently serves as director of communication and legal reasoning at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

Connect with the author:   website  twitter  ~  instagram ~ goodreads

Tour Schedule:

Nov 3 – Deborah-Zenha Adams – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 3 – Splashes of Joy – audiobook review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 3 – Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 4 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 5 – Gina Rae Mitchell – book review / author interview / giveaway
Nov 5 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review / giveaway
Nov 6 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 9 –Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 10 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 10 – Corinne Rodrigues – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 11 – Pick a Good Book – book review / author interview
Nov 12 – Books, Tea, Healthy Me – book review / author interview / giveaway
Nov 12 – Instagram:. All Booked Up Reviews – book review
Nov 13 – Viviana MacKade – book spotlight / guest post
Nov 16 – She Just Loves Books – book review / giveaway
Nov 17 –Westveil Publishing  – book review / giveaway
Nov 18 – JulzReads – book review
Nov 18 – 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 19 –100 Pages A Day – book review / giveaway
Nov 20 –Books and Zebras @jypsylynn – book review
Nov 20 – Lamon Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 23 – Writer with Wanderlust – book review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 23 – My Fictional Oasis – book review / giveaway
Nov 23 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:

411 on Books Authors and Publishing News Guest Post

If you had to compare this to any book out there, what would you say this like? Or is it a combination of a few books? Or is it like nothing we may have read before?

Hey! Thanks for hosting me today.

It’s so funny you asked this question, as I was recently discussing this very thing with a librarian recently. I was trying to figure out what Outfoxed could be compared to.

We both drew blanks. Well, I drew little hearts all over the sheet of paper I was using, as I couldn’t think of anything, so I doodled. I doodle hearts and roses to make myself feel better when my brain fails to produce a satisfactory answer.

Doodling didn’t help me, as we were discussing comparisons to help me connect with readers who might like this book. The problem is simple: we aren’t aware of anything out quite like it. I came up with one comparative, which is this:

For fans of Twister… with a magical… er… twist. (I’m going to my room now, and I will come out after my assigned hour of punishment is over.)

It’s a genre twister.

I’m going back to my room now.

My comparative is really bad, and I’m sorry.

But seriously, that’s exactly what it is: it’s a genre twister. I take some modern elements of urban fantasy, I toss in the action-adventure of supernatural suspense, and I fling in a hint of slow burn paranormal romance. Then I add in a pissed off Mother Nature, a quadrant named the Alley because it’s predominantly what we know of as Tornado Alley in our society, and a lot of tornados. A lot of them. It has an element of storm chasing to it, but with a magical twist and unreliable meteorology. (You’ll find out more of why it’s unreliable in the book.)

Sprinkle in a villain in the background, a heroine who isn’t sure how the heck she became the heroine of this story (she wants off the ride now, if you please), and a hero with morals almost as twisted as the latest funnel cloud to say hello to Tulsa.

I just can’t think of anything quite like it. Most urban fantasy systems don’t break up the United States, instead doing ‘secret society’ or something similar, where I’ve flat-out integrated the magic system—and doing so early enough in history to change how technology developed as a result. 

I can’t even mish and mash good books from various sub-genres to get something almost like Outfoxed. I read a lot, but… I just haven’t seen anything quite like this, which is part of why I wrote it. I can think of one book that integrates storms really, really well, which is Resenting the Hero by Moira J Moore. It has storms, and it has storms in a really interesting way. It does not have storms in the same way I use them in Outfoxed, but it’s the first (and only) fantasy book I can think of. It’s also hilarious, and I quite enjoyed the story!

I recently found out there were more books in the series than the first one, so I’ll be reading them at a later date to see if they live up to the first one for me. I have my doubts because I loved the first one that much.

But at the end of the day, Outfoxed is for those who want something a lot different in their urban fantasy/supernatural suspense.

I hope you enjoy the read!


R.J. Blain
(The Fox Witch, #1)
Publication date: November 3rd 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Death is a way of life outside of the safety of Inner Tulsa, and Jade means to keep flipping Mother Nature off until old age claims her. With one eye always on the sky, the last thing she needs is a pack of bounty hunters out for her living head. With no idea of why anyone would want her, her wits might keep her free, assuming she can resist the charming lures of Sandro, one of the men out to claim her as his own.

Left with the choice of being the evening snack of a tornado or taking shelter with the bounty hunter, she does what she does best: she lives on the edge.

Striking a bargain with the handsome bounty hunter buys her another day of life, but it also dumps her into the heart of a sinister plot, one meant to enslave the residents of the storm-tossed city—and the others brave and foolish enough to call the Alley home.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Google Play


Author Bio:

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.

Website / Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Goodreads