Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Today's Author Alert features an author I have been anticipating her debut for MONTHS. Yes, months! Not only is she a brilliantly creative writer, she is also, well, wicked cool. Marie Lu was born near Shanghai, but settled in Texas until going away to college at the University of Southern California, where she was swept off her feet and ultimately decided to stay. I'll try not to hold that against her. ;)

Now why, you may ask, have I been anxiously anticipating this for months?  Well, I think it best to simply allow Marie's work to speak for itself with the debut of her first novel, LEGEND.  Out in stores TODAY!!! Woot! *fist pumps* 

Now for those of you who haven't read about my "Hook Me Up, B!" book #Giveaway, here's your chance to not only win a copy of LEGEND, but an actual SIGNED copy. YOU HEARD ME! *pauses to catch breath*

Just read!

"What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets."
BONUS book trailer!

And before you ask, yes, I've already got my Kindle copy! *Squeeeeeeeee* I want to send a HUGE congrats to Marie on such a fantastic debuting novel. You're destined to be a literary rockstar!

LEGEND is now available at: Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and IndieBound! GET YOUR COPY TODAY!!!

For more information on Marie Lu you can visit her website! You can also follow her on twitter (@Marie_Lu) and Facebook.

Happy Reading & Happy Writing!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The "Hook Me Up, B!" Giveaway

WELCOME to my 100th blog post! Woot woot! :-)

So yeah, I am definitely calling this one of THE BEST weeks I've had this year. Seriously, it's been fantastic.  And to celebrate (after being poked and prodded) I am finally doing my first ever *International* blog giveaway! YAY!

So instead of rambling on (as I tend to do) I'm gonna try and keep this part nice and short in order to get to the good stuff.  With that being said, in celebration of the reveal of my debuting novel's TITLE & RELEASE DATE (see Lots of (FANTASTIC-CRAZY-EXCITING) Randomness post), I will also be doing a drawing to giveaway a....HOLIDAY BOOK BASKET!!!  Yeppers! And yours truly will be putting it together.  So be warned, I am not the most crafty of people so don't be expecting Martha Stewart like quality, because you may very well end up with a cardboard box full of (GREAT) goodies and a scrappy bow slapped on top of it. LOL! Just kidding...maybe.

So when will this giveaway be? You ask. *ahem* Drum roll please!!!! *brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr*

DECEMBER 14TH, 2011!

That's the date folks! Mark your calendars, set your blackberry's, iPhones, tablets, iPads and whatever other gadgets you have lying around. Dec. 14th!!! Write that down.  

And now for the moment we've all be waiting for, the part where I reveal the goodies I will be giving away.  Well, contestants, take a look behind door number #1!
The winner of this giveaway will receive the following...

A SIGNED copy of EXILED by M.R. Merrick (book one of his trilogy). 

For more information on M. R. Merrick, and book two of his trilogy, SHIFT please visit his BLOG.

SIGNED copies of the complete Daughters of Saraqael Trilogy by Raine Thomas. (Becoming, Central, and Foretold)

 For more information on Raine Thomas and her work please visit her WEBSITE.


A SIGNED copy of SOPHIE & CARTER by Chelsea Fine & a SIGNED copy of her BRAND NEW book ANEW, book one of THE ARCHERS OF AVALON series!

For more information on Chelsea Fine and her books please visit her BLOG.


The entire THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

For more information on Suzanne Collins please visit her WEBSITE.

A copy of LEGEND by Marie Lu.

For more information on Marie Lu please visit her WEBSITE.

Whew! There you have it. A basket seriously full of FANTASTIC holiday reads that would be great for your own personal library or as holiday gifts.

My Giveaway Rules: 

For your chance to win this FABULOUS "Holiday Book Basket"  you must complete 2 of the 4 items listed below. FYI #4 is a MUST!!! 

1. Following my BLOG! :-)

2. (1 of these 2) "Like" my Blaire Kensley Facebook Page or follow me on twitter (@BlaireKensley).

3. Send a "Friend Request" to my Facebook. (I find this to be a bit more personable.) 

4. ALL ENTRIES MUST leave a comment below (ON THIS POST) stating, "Hook Me Up, B!"  and include your name in order to officially be entered. (No magic words. No name. No entry.)

And that's it!

And NO! I'm not gonna get all crazy and double check behind every single person who enters (which may be no one, LOL!), but will instead trust that you guys will be honest and leave it at that. After all this is all for fun, and the fact that you came on to read my post in the first is a pretty BIG deal for me.

GOOD LUCK to you all!

*FYI - due to the fact that I know some of the most AWESOME authors ever, I will be doing extra drawings for any extra goodies I receive between now and December 14th. So keep checking back for an ADDENDUM!* 

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Snow White and the Huntsman

Not gonna lie, I'm pretty excited about this. LOVE, Charlize Theron! (Total girl crush on her).

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Well, I realize it's been a while (for me at least) since I posted anything, but I think I've finally found something worth posting about. So here's me cranking out a little something for those of you who actually make the effort to pop over and read my blog.  And to help set the mood for today's post I've also included...

My tune of the day:
Dean Martin - "Ain't That A Kick In The Head?'

As the title of today's post suggests, this is more of a random news sort of post rather than anything insightful or deep.  Basically I wanted to fill in a few gaps on what's been going on with me and my writing.  With one particular piece of news being that I have a tentative (but getting more solid everyday) plan to...RELEASE MY DEBUT NOVEL!!! *Squeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!* and say, WHAAAAAAAAA?

Yes, readers, writers, and friends, I am (finally) taking the plunge.  I, Blaire Kensley, am working, plotting and planning very carefully the release of my debut novel, which I haven't officially titled yet, but am working extra hard to make it all come together and hopefully worth the wait.  And being that I am such a nice and wonderful person, I'll try not to keep you all in suspense for too much longer (I hope).  

Now for those of you wondering about my series, THE CREED, I am in fact still making serious re-writes and edits to it at present.  But I wanted to give you all a bit of hope in saying that I have a tentative release date for Book #1 set for Spring of 2012. Hollerrrrrrrr! You read right people, 2012 is gonna be a very big year (and no, it's not only because according to some Amazonian calendar it may very well be the last year EVER).   

Now I realize that is quite a bit to lay on all of you in a measly "lots of randomness" post, but that's sort of the world I live in. So welcome! And stay tuned for more coming information on my current WIP, which I will tell you falls primarily into the YA romantic-comedy genre.  So keep a firm eye out on my new "Writing" page, which is currently under construction for all the FANTASTIC surprises and goodies I plan to share with all of you in the coming future.

So as you can see I am a very busy bee, and December will definitely offer some very interesting surprises and reveals from, YOURS TRULY! Hooray! *throws confetti*  Now I will give you all another lovely hint and tell you that the FIRST reveal will be posted (hopefully, pending my act is still on it and with it) in mid-December. In which I will include an official TITLE & RELEASE DATE for my debut novel as well as a little something else, which I'll get to in a bit.  I know, I know so much mystery.  But I can't help it, this is just so much fun!

I am also crazy uber excited about the fact that...THE HOLIDAY'S ARE (almost officially) HERE!!! It appears that the holidays have well and truly kicked off.  I actually lost count last night of how many Christmas commercials I saw while watching the Kentucky vs. Kansas game. Which by the way, CONGRATS KENTUCKY!!! Wow, talk about an exciting game. But yes, the Christmas commercials and ads were definitely in full effect. *dances and bounces in chair to a holiday tune only heard in my head*

And lastly, I am SOOOOOOOO frackin' excited because as of today I officially hit the 100 BLOG FOLLOWERS mark! Woot woot! Seriously, I can hardly believe it.  But you know what? This only goes to show how truly awesome and amazing all of you are. And proves that your support is a huge part of what keeps me pushing, fighting, and clawing to realize my dreams.  So after a bit of back and forth, and as a way to show my gratitude and appreciation, I have decided to have my first ever blog GIVEAWAY! YAY! (Wow, I am seriously like the Queen of exclamation marks today.) So on the day of my TITLE & RELEASE DATE reveal post (which is scheduled for mid-December) I will also be having my FIRST EVER blog giveaway.  

What will I be giving away? Well...that is also a surprise.

But one that I promise you won't be disappointed in, because I definitely love and enjoy being generous to those who (too often) thanklessly support and encourage me day after day.  Now as for those who are actually interested in entering my little giveaway for a chance to win this MYSTERY prize, well...I will be posting all giveaway details in this week's BIG NEWS FEATURE FRIDAY post.  So don't miss it! (Hehe. I know, I'm such a stinker.)

Whew! I think I may have overloaded all of you with all this crazy news. But I hope I've given you all something to chew on for a while, and that it has (some of you) as excited and pumped about the near future as it does me.  So stay tuned, peeps, because this train is about to leave the station and I hope you are ALL aboard!

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day!

Due to the fact that my life has sort of been taken over by the craziness that is NaNoWriMo I've decided to forgo doing a BIG NEWS FEATURE FRIDAY post this week.  Yeah, I know. So lame. I genuinely apologize for being such a blogger slacker, but I'm really trying to put as much focus and time into reaching my 50k goal by the Nov. 30th deadline.  But before I creep off and isolate myself in my writer's cave I wanted to say Happy Veterans Day to all you veterans out there, and wish EVERYONE a very safe and pleasant weekend.  Happy Friday!

Tune of the day:
Oasis - "Wonderwall"

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Be Yourself

Having received such positive feedback on previous posts, I thought I'd go ahead and include (yet another) tune of the day.  And FYI, I'm always open to sharing and exploring new artists, so if you have suggestions (of any kind) shoot them my way.

That being said, if you're NOT interested in the tune (which is perfectly okay), then please feel free to skip down to the post below.

Tune of the day:

Gary Go - "Wonderful"

One of the reasons I really love listening to this song by Gary Go is because it offers a powerful reminder of something I often forget. I am *bleepin'* WONDERFUL! And I don't mean that in a rude, narcissistic, in your face, look-at-me-I'm-so-pretty sort of way. But more in the, "Hi, I'm Blaire! And I'm ready to kick some major LIFE butt and take some names. Are you in?"

Now while this may all come across as a little frou-frou and cookie cutter, believe me when I say there is definitely another half to this.  It's really sort of funny to me because even at the age of twenty-eight I still find myself battling some of the same issues and doubts that I had as a teen. With some of the things I was once (and sometimes still am) awful about doing, are things like being overly harsh, judgmental and critical of myself.  "I wish I had a better body...I wish my thighs were skinnier...Why is my nose so big...I hate my hair, it's disgusting!...I wish I were smarter, prettier, and more talented." 

I mean it just NEVER seemed to end. And when I think about it, all I want to do is yell at that version of myself (both then and now) and simply say...STOP IT! And maybe throw in a good SLAP! for clarity.

And yes, while some of the media may have had a great deal of influence on me back then, I will also tell you that the other hand responsible for tightening the life draining noose around my neck was in many ways my own.  Due to the fact that I wasn't exactly surrounding myself with some of the most positive people out there.  I remember how powerful that feeling of desperation was, of wanting to belong and fit in, to be liked by that special guy.  How there would be moments when I would feel so irrationally driven to make myself known, to be liked, to be found pretty, or to have that special someone notice me that day. And ultimately find myself doing things that I really didn't want to do, but out of the fear of being labeled weird, or worse being an outcast and rejected, did them anyway. It was like I was consumed with this bottomless hunger for acceptance.  And though I wasn't actively pursuing being the school Homecoming Queen or anything like that.  The pressure of it all simply got to me just as I'm sure it got to all the "popular kids" I desperately wanted to be accepted by.  

Even now it seems kind of weird, and honestly a little embarrassing to admit (especially at my age), that I still sometimes feel like that teenager back in middle school and high school. Wanting to be accepted and liked, wanting to fit in.

Basically the same old problems, just a different playground.

But when it comes to my life, my writing and finding inspiration, because I don't believe inspiration is strictly designated to only the writer in me, I feel I also need to be better about nurturing and inspiring every part of my life, not just the writer side.  Trying to be a person who is more intentional about finding the right mojo for my life, by making decisions that will help push me to fully live out my dreams and potential.  I think its very important that we each find a positive source of energy that we can feed from in our daily lives.  For me that source comes in a variety of forms.  One being music, another is films, and the most important one being, AUTHENTIC people. And for me those are people who are motivated in their lives (which is one of many reasons I love writers), they possess a genuine kindness and desire to share with others, and are people who in their way enhance your life instead of drains it.  

And while I know it's virtually impossible for every person in your life be THIS particular person. I do think it important that everyone has someone (or multiple someones) that they can go to when they need to, someone they can talk to or be around without fear of judgment and rejection.  Persons that KNOW & BELIEVE in you and see just how WONDERFUL you are just because you're YOU.  And I realize this may all sound pretty cheesy pie and corny, but I honestly believe it, so that's why I say it.  

Well, I think I've bored enough of you for the day. So until next time...

Happy Writing & Happy Reading! ;)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sufjan Stevens - "Casimir Pulaski Day"

Feeling pretty mellow today.  I hope everyone had a pleasant weekend and that the start of your week kicks off with a BANG!  Thought I'd share my Monday Morning tune with those of you who are visiting. Such a beautiful and touching song...

Sufjan Stevens - "Casimir Pulaski Day"

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Morning Musings

So for those of you who have only recently started visiting my blog, something you should know about me is the fact that not only am a writer with an almost obsessive love (some would even call it a passion) for both reading and writing. I'm also a HUGE fan of films and music.  And being that it's 4 am on a Sunday morning and my sleep schedule is completely off, I thought why not write a post about one of my favorite things. Music!

My Sunday morning tune:

Maroon 5 - "Sunday Morning"

I've been up most of the night listening to music and reading.  Things are typically pretty quiet around her at night, especially not living in the heavier traffic areas of the Dallas Metro area.  No sounds of police sirens, ambulances, gun fire...just peace and quiet. But while sitting her in the quiet my brain began (of course) wandering. And somehow I started thinking about how much I absolutely love music and creating playlists, and how it's been something I've done since I was a little girl.  And I don't mean just for the stories I write or for working out.

I mean for EVERYTHING!

Commutes to work, while I clean, cook, write, when I was in school it helped while I studied, and even while sitting here musing the night away. It's as if every moment in my life has a track. Sort of like I've made a MY LIFE soundtrack.  For instance, most Sunday mornings a Maroon 5 song comes to mind (yes, the one posted as "My Sunday morning tune") and I typically find myself humming or singing it during my morning shower, or while I putter around in the morning.  And its crazy because almost every major moment in my life I mostly recall only because I've somehow mentally associated/categorized it in my mind with a song that I like (or once liked) and even ones I absolutely couldn't stand but had become stuck in my head like a bad stench anyway.

Now being that I probably possess the WORSE memory ever, for me, music has been a total life saver. Somehow it's become one of the major keys to helping me remember most things I would have otherwise forgotten, being that I associate most memories, feelings, moods, and most creative moments with a song in some form or another.  Which is why I always have my ipod charged, with me, and ready to go most days.  I typically listen to music all day at work and usually whenever I'm writing, unless I have a movie playing in the background, and generally listen to just about everything. I definitely feel lucky to be living in a time where all sorts of diverse styles and eras of music are so readily accessible to me.

Thanks again, Steve Jobs.

So there you have it. Just a little more of me that I wanted to share with all of you.

Now it's your turn! What are some odd quirky things that have overtime become part of your life, daily routine or part of your creative process?

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

Friday, November 4, 2011


It's official folks! The holiday season is now in full swing and (as usual) quite a few people are ALREADY sick of the Christmas decorations and ready for the New Year. *sigh* It's one of the many ways I've come to recognize when the holiday season has officially kicked off. Hearing the telling sounds of swears and curses mixed with the youthful squeals of joy as I walk through the swishing doors of the local Walmart and find myself greeted by a twinkling Christmas tree and sweet old Betty-Sue. I simply know.

Welcome to November! Because as some of you may know from previous posts (25 Random Things About Me) I love, love, love, love, love this time of year! Total holiday addict.  No, seriously. I'm someone who thoroughly enjoys the gradual transition of season and weather this time of year brings, along with the holidays, the food, festivals, parties, movies, music, and (of course) all the BOOKS!

Which is why I also LOVE doing BIG NEWS FEATURE FRIDAY (which has officially returned after a very brief week off).  But much has already happened for me in November.  Week one has definitely been a busy one, with one very important something being...NaNoWriMo!!! Woot woot! Yes, that's right people, this is my first year participating in the insanity that is NaNo and I am having a BLAST! 

So this holiday season has already started off with an all mighty BOOM for me! And looks like it will only get better as we move toward the end of the year with some pretty spectacular book releases and movies on the horizon.  But here are a couple of authors that have particularly caught my eye.


Today's first #BNFF is the witty and wickedly funny romantic comedy author, Tawna Fenske.  When not blogging, or writing the most laugh out loud books that I have ever read, Tawna can usually be found satisfying her lust for world travel or tending to a menagerie of beloved (albeit, ill-behaved) household pets.

While this up and coming romantic comedy author currently resides in Bend, Oregon, and may appear to lead just a simple humble existence, this rising star author has recently been nominated for "best contemporary romance" in the RT Book Reviews 2011 Reviewers' Choice Awards for her debuting novel MAKING WAVES! Congratulations Tawna, you've definitely earned your place among the greats in my opinion.

 "Making Waves"
"There are normal ways to cope with job loss, and most don’t involve plotting a revenge-fueled diamond heist in the Caribbean with a crew more suited to the boardroom than the poop deck.

But Alex Bradshaw isn’t feeling very normal when his unscrupulous boss kicks him to the curb after 20 faithful years as an executive with the world’s largest shipping company. Alex wants payback, and maybe a chance to reclaim his dignity and his pension while he’s at it. Assembling a team of fellow corporate castoffs, he sails to the Caribbean to intercept the boss's illegal diamond shipment. None of them counted on a quirky blonde stowaway with a perplexing array of talents, a few big secrets, and an intoxicating romantic chemistry with Alex.

And while Juli Flynn certainly didn’t plan to be a part of the most dysfunctional high seas caper in history, it’s a rare chance for her to feel like she belongs. She’s spent a lifetime being “different” from everyone else, though the reasons for that are something she’d prefer not to share with her newfound shipmates. Juli just wants to be normal for a change, but as she finds her place with the misfit crew – and in Alex’s heart – she discovers normal isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And sometimes, being weird can be wonderful."
Want more then check out this EXCERPT!

I give Tawna's book the BK 5-star rating, and HIGHLY recommend MAKING WAVES to anyone who enjoys taking down their romance with a healthy dose of quirk and humor. 

MAKING WAVES is available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell's Book.

For more information on Tawna please visit her website! For a daily dose of great writing and various other naughty shenanigans you can also stalk *ahem* I mean follow this fantastic author on her blog, twitter (@TawnaFenske) and/or Facebook!


The last author featured in today's #BNFF is Patti Roberts, writer of the dark supernatural/fantasy series, PARADOX.  This Australian author has received rave reviews from readers across the globe for her debuting series, and with so much support behind her Roberts is showing no signs of stopping until the job is done. In her debuting series, Patti effectively captures and pulls her readers into the dark world of the Guardian Angel.

Readers are calling this novella..."so totally different from anything I’ve read recently and I have to say… WOW." and one that "...definitely gives you something to think about."

Book one of her series PARADOX - The Angels Are Here is available at: Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and The Book Depository (free world wide delivery).

"Paradox: The Angels Are Here"
"Nine hundred years ago, I died...

A journey crossing Two Worlds. 
One Ancient - One New.

How do the heartbreaking visions experienced by a little girl fit into this Ancient World of Angels, Myth & Legend? 

Where lives are bound by blood - and nothing is as it seems.  This journey will leave you wanting and have you asking... Who, When, Where?

In a World where there are more questions than answers.

Is your Guardian Angel From Heaven or Hell...?"
For more check out this EXCERPT!

The second book of the PARADOX Series, PROGENY OF INNOCENCE will be available soon.

For more information on Patti you can visit her website! For more updates you can also follow her on twitter (@PattiRoberts7) and Facebook!


This week's book trailer favorite goes to Patti Robers for her Paradox Series. Enjoy!

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

NaNoWriMo participant. Present!

So its seems almost everyone is either blogging, tweeting, and/or facebooking about NaNoWriMo. Apparently, IT'S AN EPIDEMIC! Hehe. Just kidding.

Having only heard about NaNoWriMo a few months ago I have to tell you there is something very exciting, yet totally FREAKING ME OUT about this whole crazy writing process. *sigh* I love it!

Oh, and if you haven't guessed yet, yes, I am a first year participant in NaNoWriMo.

Though by this point I have read TONS of blogs and tweets about how great some have found NaNo to be vs. those who feel very strongly about how awful they find NaNo to be.  And I have to admit there is always something in me that tends to rise up when I feel like someone is attempting to advise me that THEIR WAY is the best way for me to explore MY passions and MY art, by criticizing or bad-mouthing the alternative options.  And my response to that, without trying to give offense to anyone is simply this...STEP OFF!  Honestly, I have nothing against constructive criticism, but I am not a supporter of any form of bad-mouthing or giving bad reviews (friend, family, or other). Even when there have been times when I've VERY much wanted to do just that.

I'm of the opinion, if you don't have something nice to say then say NOTHING.  Of course this is simply a motto I try to live by, especially as a writer (not saying I always succeed, but I try). But I do realize that not all will agree with me on this nor will they find this to be a realistic or an effective philosophy to live by. 

But when it comes to MY writing I've always sort of rolled with the opinion that how I choose to write is MY choice, just how the way you or anyone chooses to write is THEIR choice.  The whole debate of NaNo being some trend or fad, may to some be a relevant opinion...BUT SO WHAT! I could argue that a lot of these arguments sound more like a few traditional mentalities clashing against something that they view as far too fun and a bit chaotic (aka. immature and amateurish) to be "real writing", and therefore believe it can't really offer any credible work to the literary world, so (in their opinion) has no place being associated with it.

I'd of course have to disagree. But hey, that's only my opinion. 

But from what I understand and am experiencing, NaNoWriMo has nothing to do with critics, publishing, profits, shareholders, mergers or best sellers lists or anything that gives or takes credibility from any of these things listed above. For me it's purely about a community of people, writers mostly, who get a chance to participate in something they love to do most with others who feel the same. Writing!  So maybe I'm missing the boat on this one, or I'm just over simplifying it.  But for me, the only objective I have in doing NaNo is simply to do something I love to do. Write.

So with that being said...I'm off to write!!!  Good luck to all my fellow NaNo'ers! May the force be with you.

For more information on NaNoWriMo you can visit the website.

Happy Writing & Happy Reading!