Top Gift Ideas for Readers According to Authors

Looking for some fun gift ideas for the avid readers in your life?

Good news. You’ve come to the right place.

I’ve teamed up with some fellow authors to share our picks for the perfect gifts (in a variety of price ranges!) for readers to cozy up with. The only other thing they’ll need is a great book.

Without further ado, here is our roundup of the top gift ideas for readers:

Please note that these are affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage if you click through and make a purchase – at no additional cost to you!

Huhuhero Fineliner Color Pen Set

These color pens are perfect for bullet journaling, coloring and notetaking in general. At just $6.98, they come in a 10-pack of vivid colors.  They write smoothly and are just plain fun!

Product suggested by L. Danvers, YA Paranormal Romance Author

Literary Candles

Have you ever seen anything so adorable? These bookish candles feature custom scents designed to evoke fond memories of your favorite literary tales – from Sherlock Holmes to Jane Eyre. Sixteen bucks for a gift your loved one will rave about? Yes, please!

Product suggested by Cecelia Mecca, Paranormal Romance Author

Long Distance Friendship Lamp

This gift is on the high end, price wise, but as I have several loved ones who live far away, I love the idea behind it and it seems like a lovely way to touch their heart!

Product suggested by D.M. Marlowe, Paranormal Romance Author

I Love Reading Fleece Luxury Blanket

Know an avid reader who simply wants to snuggle up with a good book and be left alone? Then this blanket is sure to make them smile. (Mental note to self: do not mess with L.G. Castillo when she’s reading.)

Product suggested by L.G. Castillo, Paranormal Romance Author

Mismatched Fingerless Mittens

Keeping your hands warm doesn’t have to be boring. These fingerless gloves are colorful with a bit of whimsy. Perfect for long winter nights.

Product suggested by Beth Caudill, Paranormal Romance Author

Aqua Love Notes Waterproof Notepad

Since I do all my best thinking in the shower…

Product suggested by Shelley Munro, Paranormal Romance Author


We hope you found this list helpful. We’d love to know – are any of these products on your Christmas wish list this year? Let us know in the comments below.


New Releases in Paranormal Romance

I am on a major PNR book kick right now, and I can’t seem to devour paranormal romances fast enough – especially if they involve vampires.

Please note that these are affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage if you click through and make a purchase – at no additional cost to you!

Some of the latest books I’ve enjoyed are The Vampire Wish, V Games and A Shade of Vampire.

If you’re like me, you’re constantly on the prowl for new books in the genre. So I’ve made things easy for you.

Enjoy this roundup of new releases in paranormal romance.

(FYI – these include titles from the broad genre and are not necessarily YA-friendly. Be sure to check the book descriptions for yourself!)

Three Lykos shifters swore to protect Havana.
But who will protect them from her?

You can’t change evil…

The story continues. Who is Taylor really? Will Katrina find out what Gage really is? How will she deal with her feelings for Tony and what kind of danger will the next series of Tarot Readings hold?

With both of them snowed in at the farm, a series of increasingly serious accidents draws Sarah and Casey closer together, but they each harbor secrets that might tear them apart.

You never forget your first wolf.


That rounds out the list of new releases. And if you’re still searching for something to sink your teeth into, you might enjoy my book Curses and Crowns. You can start the series with the free prequel, Blood Heirs, here.

A cut-throat competition.
A romance to die for.

New Release Roundup: YA Paranormal Romance

Love all things paranormal? Then I have a treat for you. This week, there are two new releases in young adult paranormal romance/urban fantasy books that I’d love to share with you.

Please note that these are affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage if you click through and make a purchase – at no additional cost to you!

First up is When Waves Collide by S. McPherson. It’s the fifth book in The Last Elentrice series and looks totally epic!

Next, there’s Enchantress by Anna Santos. A sorceress, a huntress and a vampire all wrapped up in one person? Um, yes please! Be advised, though, that this one is geared toward more mature audiences.

And if those new releases aren’t enough to quell your appetite, you might enjoy sinking your teeth into my book Blood Heirs, which you can grab for free here.

Books to Motivate You in the New Year

We all strive to be the best versions of ourselves. We want to find success in whatever we do. The question is… how?

This is something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about lately. Not only do I want to take my author career to the next level…

I want to take my life to the next level.

In recent months, I’ve spent countless hours listening to podcasts and reading up on self-improvement, particularly as it relates to business. And I found the following three books especially inspiring.

I want to share them with you today because I truly believe you will get a lot out of them.

I believe I first heard about High Performance Habits on one of Rachel Hollis’ podcasts. I’m so glad I checked it out.

It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting. I thought it was going to be a to-do list of exactly what habits you need to implement in order to become successful ( like wake up at 5:00 a.m., meditate for 10 minutes a day, etc.).

Instead, it was more of a guide to help you discern your priorities and build your own habits around them.

My favorite part about the book was where Burchard explained the importance of weekly chek-ins. As he put it, “If you aren’t consistently measuring the major areas of your life, then you couldn’t possibly know what the balance you seek is or not.”

His technique is something I have begun implementing, and it definitely is making me more aware of how much attention I’m actually putting toward the things that matter most in life.

Funny enough, I actually worked in real estate for a bit. And Keller Williams was my brokerage. As in Gary Keller – the author of The One Thing. I remember everyone talking about how great this book was, but for whatever reason, I never actually read it.

I’m kicking myself now.

This book is powerful.  Yes, you can probably imagine the gist of it by the title. But believe me when I say that the examples and explanations Gary Keller provides are eye-opening and worth reading for yourself.

It will help you in all areas of your life, not just business.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I get a small amount of money if you click through and make a purchase (at no extra cost to you).

Finally, I thoroughly enjoyed Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success.

I have so much respect for this man. He is one of the hardest working people ever. Steve Harvey does a daytime TV show, Family Feud, his radio show, books, etc. If I remember correctly, I believe in the book he said he starts his day at 3:15 a.m.! I still don’t fully understand how he does it. It’s all I can do to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to write.

Through sharing stories from his own life, Steve Harvey will fill you with motivation to go after your dreams with all your heart. And I especially loved the end of this book where he discussed the importance of using your success to help elevate others.

I hope you’ve found this list helpful. I personally found these books to be incredibly inspiring, and I have no doubt that you will get a lot out of them, too.

Q&A with Author Sheena Cundy

We’ve been in the same author circle for a couple of years now, so I’m really excited to feature you! From past conversations, I know we share similar philosophies when it comes to pursuing our artistic passions. What would you say is the driving force behind why you write?

To share and entertain with words and music is an urge which compels me to keep creating in whatever format I can. Whether it’s the page or the stage, performing your own art is the ultimate buzz…and I feel privileged to be able to do both.

What drives me most now is the need to create a living from my writing after years of doing it for love, and (at last) I’m ready to make room for it to happen.

My lovely husband is close to retiring, has looked after me for the last twenty years and needs a rich woman in his life who can work until she dies.

I’ve signed up for the job.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I get a small amount of money if you click through and make a purchase (at no extra cost to you).

You recently published a short story, Warrior Queen. What was the inspiration behind that book? And is it a lead-in into an upcoming novel?

Warrior Queen is a song from (our band) Morrigans Path’s, latest album, Beyond the Veil. I had an idea to write a short story for each track…and this is the first published piece.

The song was inspired by Boudicca of the Iceni tribe who fought bravely against the Romans not so far from here in Colchester, Essex. She was said to have worshipped the British goddess Andraste, who is an aspect of the Celtic goddess, the Morrigan. So eventually, the historical and the mythical connection weaved their way into quite a dark tale, which I loved writing.

A number of people who’ve read it have said they could see it being a novel so I’m open to that. The idea of playing around with the mind of a sex-crazed, blood hungry shield-maiden is tantalising… and killing all those bastard warriors in the process seems to me like a good use of all those hours spent in solitary confinement.

You also run a blog where you interview indie authors. What’s one of the best nuggets of wisdom you’ve picked up from one of them?

All the authors have given some great tips. But what sticks in my mind is Australian author, Andrew Einspruch’s advice: Maths is your friend!

I despised maths with a passion at school and have since convinced myself that I’m allergic to figures. But I quite like tracking my word counts, and am beginning to understand how focusing and recording those brings results… and with Andrew’s words in my head I am hopeful I can transfer that across to sales figures and learn to love numbers.

I want to sell lots of books!

Do you prefer outlining or are you a “pantser” as we like to call it in the industry?

I’ve pantsed my way along so far – and though I recognise the need for a rough outline beforehand – I can see and understand it better after I’ve written the story. I like to know what direction I’m heading in but would bore myself stupid if I planned every step. Where’s the excitement in that?

As long as I have a character and a situation and give the imagination a free rein the story begins to unfold naturally.

Trusting in the process allows the magic to happen!

What project are you currently working on?

I am halfway through the first draft of the third book in my Witch Lit series – The Madness and the Magic. Last week, I got the rights back to the first book, trad-published three years ago and I’m delighted as this means I have total creative freedom with book one in a series which, for an Indie, is a crucial part of the business model.

The noose is off.

I now have to work out the next step, which is to republish book 1 while editing book 2 and finishing book 3. One thing at a time, the husband tells me, who is steadily counting down the days to his retirement while I’m multi-tasking like a maniac.

They say harmony is the balance of opposites.

You’re also a songwriter and vocalist for your band Morrigans Path. (Clearly, you’re a woman of many talents!) Which do you find to be more of a challenge–writing a song or writing a book?

Without a doubt it’s the book writing. I can write a song in a few hours minimum, a few days max.

A book? It took three years from first draft to publication for my debut novel and eighteen months for a first draft of the sequel! The sheer volume of words for a novel is a mountainous feat to me because I am so busy doing ‘other things’ as well.

Apart from domestic and family commitments which I can’t change, I am trying to prune off as many other distractions as I can to allow me to be a more productive writer -that is the real challenge for me! I’m working on the theory that if I keep telling myself how organised I am, then somehow, it has to happen.

Do you listen to music when you write?

No! I have to hear myself think and music is too invasive…unless it’s a song I’m writing.

What is the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?

I finished The Author’s Guide to Cover Design by Stuart Bache today and yes, I did enjoy it but I’ve read about four non-fiction (for self-publishing) books on the trot now and I need to escape into a story. The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor was the last novel I read a couple of weeks ago and I devoured it in a day. What a great book.

What’s next on your TBR list?

Strangers to Superfans by David Gaughran is sitting on my desk at the moment, but I need some fiction so it’s down to inspecting the leaning tower of not yet reads on the bedside table. Don’t tell the husband, he thinks I’m cured.

Thinking about it, I’ve a feeling it will be Candyfloss Guitar by fellow indie author, Stephen R.Marriott who I’m interviewing in the Treehouse next weekend.

I need to do my homework!

What advice would you give to your teenage self?

That’s quite some time ago now..!

But here goes:

Nurture that book addiction.
Explore, experience and embrace life as fully as you can, diversity will enrich your writing.
Listen and learn from others…everyone is your teacher.
Have the confidence to break away from the herd when you need to..
Know that you can absolutely make a good living doing what you love.
Focus on your goals and plan to achieve them.
Visualize, believe and allow success IN.

To subscribe to Sheena Cundy’s mailing list and get a free book, just CLICK HERE.

And if you’d like to connect with her on social media, you can find her here:


And don’t forget to check out her music here.

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Q&A with Author Brittney Joy
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How to Make Your Pinterest Views Explode

In just one month, my Pinterest views exploded. I went from a measly 1.2k monthly views to 12,000+ monthly views!

Want to know how you can increase your visibility on Pinterest, too?

Perfect! You’ve come to the right place.


Like most people, I started out using my Pinterest page just for fun.


Even though I technically had a business page, I used it mainly for pinning inspiration for my books.


But I’ve realized it can be a valuable tool for growing my blog and my author platform. 


After all, it’s free marketing!


Yes, it does take time to create content, images, etc. But pointing pins to your blog posts, especially for evergreen content, is a strategy that can be used to grow your platform for years to come.
So, first things first:


Most people, including myself, refer to Pinterest as a social media platform.

But really, Pinterest is more like a search engine.

This is why images and copy matter so much.


So how does it work?


As a user, I search for all kinds of stuff like recipes, Christmas gift ideas, home decor, etc.


I might find things to pin either by browsing by typing in a phrase in the search bar or by scrolling through my homepage, which shows both pins from people I’m following and pins that Pinterest thinks I will like based on things I’ve been searching for lately.


Because of that, the images you post when uploading (or pinning from an existing webpage) have to be striking enough to pop out at someone who is quickly scrolling through.


I think using Canva is a must.

It has some GREAT templates for Pinterest images (which should be verticle rectangles – they take up more of the screen and therefore people are more likely to notice them).


I took some time to play around and make designs I’m happy with.


Now, whenever I have, say, a new author interview to post, I just pop the new author pic and appropriate author name in there rather than start over from scratch.

You can only upload a pin to your own board – UNLESS you are a collaborator on a group board.


With group boards, multiple people can post to the same board. It’s basically a way to make your pins go viral.


You can use Pingroupie to easily find group boards on Pinterest.


If you haven’t done so already, I recommend setting up a Pinterest business account so that you can see stats.


If you set up a business account, you can also get your page verified (note: for me, this was a MAJOR headache – I had to get my husband to do it, and I still have no idea what exactly he did).

Once it’s verified, you can do something called “enabling Rich Pins,” which increases your pins’ visibility on Pinterest.

In the last month, I’ve gone from 1.2K monthly viewers to 12.1K monthly viewers.


Pinterest is a major source of my website traffic.



Here are four things I’ve done to grow my Pinterest reach based on all of my research on the topic (keep in mind that I am an author, so my Pinterest page reflects this):

  1. Create at least 20 boards titled with phrases I think people might use as search terms (ex: YA Books, Book Club Party Decor, Bookstagram Inspiration, Bookshelf Decor, etc.).These aren’t all filled with my own content.I repin fun things I find to my boards, hoping someone who happens upon something I’ve pinned clicks through to my Pinterest page and thinks, “Hm. She pins all kinds of stuff that I’m interested in. I should follow her.”
  2. Using Canva, I created images for my boards (pins I uploaded that just link to my website because you have to have a link in there) and then set as my covers for those boards.
  3. For each board, I added a board description filled with what I hope to be relevant keywords.Ideally, this helps whatever algorithm Pinterest uses to show my pins to more people.
  4. When pinning my own content (like from my blog), I try to put relevant keywords in my descriptions, too.

Do you know of any other helpful tips and tricks for leveraging Pinterest to grow your audience?

If so, let me know in the comments below!


If you found this post helpful, please consider following me on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram!

And if you are a fan of YA books, then you might enjoy browsing my collection:

Please note that these are affiliate links, which means I get a small percentage if you click through and make a purchase – at no additional cost to you!

Q&A with Author Caroline Peckham

What drew you to writing in the YA genre?

I’ve always loved the young adult genre. I’m a massive fan of half the authors whose books sit along mine, so it was natural for me to write it.

Do you prefer outlining or are you a “pantser” as we like to call it in the industry?

Definitely a pantser. But I do like to write a couple of notes before I start just to get an idea in my head of where the story is going. Generally, I find the book just develops naturally and even I’m surprised at where it goes half the time!

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I get a small amount of money if you click through and make a purchase (at no extra cost to you).

What project are you currently working on?

I’m finishing the final edit on the sixth book of The Vampire Games series which will be a conclusion to those characters’ story. It’s called Wolf Games: Severed Fates. And it’s going to be action-packed. I’ve also started writing the first book of The Hunter Trials which will be the seventh book in the series and focuses on a new couple who feature in the Wolf Games books. Not to give too much away, but it’s going to involve an inescapable prison for immortals (including vampires, werewolves and sirens) in the Arctic Circle…

How did you come up with the idea for it?

The Hunter Trials came to me after watching a tonne of prison documentaries (I love me some Louis Theroux) then I saw a picture on Pinterest of this huge, black fortress on a mountain surrounded by snow and I was like ‘I need to write this story’. I was really interested in the cliques that form in prisons and how the inmates test each other to gain acceptance and respect. So I scaled this up times a thousand and came up with The Hunter Trials. On arrival, the inmates have to fight for survival to earn a place in one of the four prison clans, and the brutal trials don’t stop there…

What is the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?

I proofread my sister’s dystopia book, so that’s the last thing I read. It’s called Adjusted by Susanne Valenti and is the fourth book in her Tainted Earth Series. I highly recommend these and not just because she’s my sister, we’ve always been the biggest fans of each others books. If you like action-packed romances with a dystopian backdrop, her books will definitely be up your street.

What’s next on your TBR list?

I’ve just started House of Darken by Jaymin Eve – really great so far! She’s an inspiration.

I saw on your website that you are super into binge-watching TV series on Netflix. (I mean… who isn’t? Haha.) What are you currently watching?

Haha absolutely! I’m currently watching Goliath on Amazon Prime. It stars Billy-Bob Thornton who always plays a great off-the-rails character. I loved him in Fargo.

As a fellow vampire-lover, I have to ask – what’s your favorite vampire TV series?

It has to be True Blood. I was totally obsessed with it when it was on. I love the grittiness to it and the way the romances develop. I wasn’t too happy with the way it ended to be honest, but the whole series is too great for that to ruin it for me .

What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Start writing and self-publish on Amazon when they first bring out the Kindle haha. There is so much competition these days and I think a lot of authors – even the most popular – struggle with staying visible amongst the crowd. Because of this, I think it’s really important to always to extend a helping hand to fellow authors. It’s the only way we can all stay afloat together.

To subscribe to Caroline Peckham’s mailing list, just CLICK HERE.

And if you’d like to connect with her on social media, you can find her here:




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Q&A with Author May Freighter

Q&A with Author May Freighter


Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I get a small amount of money if you click through and make a purchase (at no extra cost to you).

What do you love most about the young adult genre?

Probably because it’s a more story-driven genre with a lot of possibilities. It is also interesting to see how my young characters interact and perceive the world. Though, I fear that my cynicism and sarcasm may sometimes bleed into them when I’m not careful.

Do you prefer outlining or are you a “pantser” as we like to call it in the industry?

That depends on the story I’m writing. Some stories take months of thinking and plotting while others have an organic growth and can change events at a moment’s notice. I think it’s mostly to do with the characters. A lot of the time, they are self-sufficient and do as they please. I’m only there as an observer. If I feel the story needs more science/facts, then I have to put in more time into breaking down the possible plot holes.

What project are you currently working on?

I’m currently writing a sci-fi mystery, CASE: 2, which is the final novel in the Annalise Storm Chronicles. This book is slowly torturing my mind. I feel that the characters simply don’t want to leave. They are an opinionated lot with strong personalities. Not only that, there is a lot of loose ends that need to be tied up with care. I hope the readers will enjoy it once it’s out this year.

You can find out more about the series on my website.

How did you come up with the idea for it?

This series was an experiment I’ve always wanted to try out. I love mixing genres and having fun with them. Giving characters impossible tasks and seeing how they cope is exciting. Plus, who doesn’t like a bit of mystery, forbidden love, and a society full of prejudice?

May Freighter shares an exclusive peek at the cover for the latest book in the Annalise Storm Chronicles.


What is the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?

I had to check my Kindle app because I tend to forget the names of the books I read a lot. The last book I read was “HALL PASS FOR LIFE” by Dorothea Lynne. It’s a story about a woman reclaiming her independence and individuality after a long, abusive marriage that wasn’t going anywhere. She ends up falling in love with a younger man who is a celebrity. You can guess where this is going. I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone who will want to read the book later on. All I can say is that this romance was a good kind of journey.

What’s next on your TBR list?

A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES by Deborah Harkness.

Do you prefer to read physical books or eBooks?

I used to prefer physical books until I was forced to spend more time reading on my iPad. Now, I don’t have a 100% preference. If forced to choose, I’d say ebooks for convenience and not having to carry extra weight around when travelling.

When reading physical books, do you use bookmarks or do you fold corners?

*Horrified* Folding covers is a sin. Of course, I use bookmarks. If I can’t find one, I use a receipt or any other piece of paper I can find.

What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Don’t hate English grammar as much as you do. You’ll come to be best friends with it one day.

As a fellow vampire-lover, I have to ask – do you have a favorite vampire TV series?

Oh, this is a tough one! I was hooked on TVD for a long time, but I think I gave up around season 5. Not sure why. I do love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. To me, that’s a classic and the music is great. I think I’ve watched 2-3 seasons of The Originals. Again, I gave up. True Blood was fun until the last 3 seasons which fell flat for me. The ending made me a sad panda, too. Blood Ties was awesome, but it got cancelled after 2 seasons.

Are we allowed to mention Korean dramas? If so, Blood and The Scholar Who Walks The Night were fantastic.

To answer the question, I have a lot of favourites.

To sign up for May’s newsletter and get a free book, just CLICK HERE.

And if you’d like to connect with her on social media, you can find her here:




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Q&A with Author Dawn Husted

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I get a small amount of money if you click through and make a purchase (at no extra cost to you).

What drew you to writing in the YA genre?

This is the age when many people try to fit in or stand out, began to realize who they are on the inside, and experience many “firsts.” I love writing about all of those things, and reading it too!

Do you prefer outlining or are you a “pantser” as we like to call it in the industry?

I definitely prefer an outline. If I don’t outline, my plot falls weak and my characters stray from their characterizations. I’m not a fan of writing and ditching loads of work, so for me, I have to outline. I’m using the chapter outline in the back of A Wordy Woman’s Guide to outline my WIP for NaNoWriMo!

What project are you currently working on?

A YA romance. All of my previous YA work has included romantic aspects, but this will be the first book that lacks fantastical and paranormal elements.

How did you come up with the idea for it?

Most of my work contains dark twists, which I absolutely love. But I needed a breather, something to lighten the mood, and I had an idea for a romance. The storyline has been a challenge to create, but I’m looking forward to starting the first draft!

I read on your website that you helped build an orphanage in Malawi? Can you tell us a little bit more about that experience? Do you think that experience has influenced your writing?

Yes. I went to Malawi (and other parts of Africa) during the summer of 2000. I had the opportunity to help build an aids orphanage, and it was the first time I had experienced life in a third-world country. This influenced the rest of my life and set me on a different path of understanding and a deep-rooted passion for all cultures. Most of my books have an underlying theme hidden within the story, themes that dive into the basis of humanity, love, and survival.


I also saw that you are really into camping. Would you ever consider “glamping,” or do you prefer the more traditional camping experience?

I prefer the traditional, no electricity, out-in-the-middle of nowhere type of camping. The connection and peace I feel when I’m completely disconnected from the “world” is something I can’t experience in any other way. I also love kayaking and fishing, but I’m not an expert!

What is the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?

I’m in the middle of reading Imposters by Scott Westerfeld. And I’m enjoying it so far! His books are fabulous.

What’s next on your TBR list?

The Train to Crystal City by Jan Jarboe Russell. It’s not my typical kind of read, but it seems fascinating in a historical sense.

What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Trust your heart and don’t worry about following the society’s “standards.” Standard is overrated and dreams are undervalued.

To join Dawn’s Reader Group and get a free book, just CLICK HERE.

And if you’d like to connect with her, you can find her on social media here:



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