Monday, December 31, 2012

Aurora Sky Blog Tour Starts Tomorrow

Thank you to the wonderful Heather at SupaGurl Book Tours. Heather really is Super Woman and I appreciate her flexibility moving my tour from December to January.

Same goes for all the supa hosts. I recognized a couple of blogs that signed up and the rest -so excited- are new to me. Reading, writing, blogging and connecting with the reader/writer community is such a thrill!

Thank you for being such a welcoming and kick ass bunch!

As you all know, no blog tour is complete without giveaways galore - so lets kick this party off early!

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End-of-Year Aurora Calendar Giveaway

I know a lot of people use electronic calendars, but I've always been a paper kind of girl.

To celebrate Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter's first month of release - every day of which it has been on up to three Amazon category best seller lists - I'm giving away a beautiful Aurora 2013 Alaska Photographers' Calender.

I'd like to give this to someone who really wants it, which is why there's a mandatory question - tell me why you want the calendar.

The official Aurora Sky blog tour begins tomorrow with more Alaskan themed prizes. Hope you get a chance to check it out!

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

1st Street Team Giveaway

The first quarterly Spellbound Street Team Giveaway is happening THIS TUESDAY January 1st.
$25 Gift Card at Amazon or another online bookstore
Thank you to the lovely readers/reviewers/bloggers who have helped spread the word about the Spellbound series. I think of you all as fairy godmothers and I am extremely grateful for the warm welcome Entangled has received across the blogosphere. I'm tickled to see Entangled and Duplicity appear on several Top 10 lists for favorite books of 2012 (links at end of this post) and last week Entangled received a national review at thanks to a reviewer who came across it on NetGalley.

Winner's choice of one paperback by Nikki J. Signed, personalized - whatever you want!
I am overwhelmed with gratitude every time a reader emails/messages to say they loved Entangled and asks what they can do to help make readers aware of the series.

Word of mouth and reviews (especially on Amazon) are the two most powerful things a reader can do to help promote a book/series/author they want to support. Taking a moment to rate and write even a couple short sentences enables authors to continue doing what we love best - entertain readers!

Book swag from Rachael Wade, Jenni Merritt, Keary Taylor, and K.A. Last 
For this first giveaway I am including swag I grabbed at my first book signing on Orcas in October with authors Rachael Wade, Keary Taylor, and Jenni Merritt. And up and coming Aussie author K.A. Last who I won two bookmarks from this month. (I like to share.)

If you are an author who would like to contribute swag for the next drawing (April 1), click on the envelope icon at the top right to contact me. This is a great bunch of street team members to get swag out to!

With that, I'd like to wish everyone a new year filled with good health, happiness, love, laughter, and great books!

(As this is an ongoing - quarterly - giveaway, it will never appear as "over." Points carry on so long as there is a street team. New tasks will be added as additional ways to help promote come up.)

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Best of 2012 - Top 10 Lists
* Top 10 Indie Reads (Entangled and Duplicity) Writing on the Sunny Side of the Street
* Beginning of a Series (Entangled) The Hollow Cupboards
I feel like I'm at the Oscars over at Lili Lost in a Book:
* Best Books I've Read (Entangled) Lili Lost in a Book
* Best Covers (Entangled and Duplicity) Lili Lost in a Book
* Best Book Boyfriends (Entangled - Raj McKenna) Lili Lost in a Book
* Top 10 Books I'm Looking Forward to in 2013 (Enchantment) Lili Lost in a Book

Nikki's Top 10 Favorite Reads of 2012
(So hard to pick! This was an awesome year of reading for me - some of the most unique and thoroughly enjoyable titles I've read in a long time. More! More!)

-Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
-This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers
-The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
-Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
-The Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
-The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma
-Divergent by Veronica Roth
-Darkhouse by Karina Halle
-The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
-Fallen by Lauren Kate

And finally, Enchantment (Spellbound #3) is moving along and quite possibly the most fun I've ever had writing a book. I plan to finish up in the next week or two, let the manuscript settle as I outline the second volume of Aurora Sky (Metamorphosis), start self-edits, pass it onto my beta readers, and then bring in the professionals. Looking at an early spring release.

I'm planning a one day only 99 cent special thank you to fans. If you're a street team member I'll let you know the date. Otherwise, sign up here to receive an email alert.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Harvesters Giveaway!

Here's Ashley Hill from Paranormal Sisters with a giveaway of her creepy, cool sounding short story: The Harvesters.

When she finds her boyfriend shackled to a white metal table Ashley feared for the worse.

On a small trip of dropping off a package for Jason’s father, the young couple never thought they would be running for their lives. Running away from supposedly friends whom in turned to be a family of harvesters.

Human harvesters and they are looking for something specific. And Ashley just might be the perfect match for that something.

Now let’s have a bloody good time, shall we!
A short horror story full of blood dripping walls, a family looking for some organs, and an action packed couple which are in for a surprise of their life!
One winner will receive a copy of The Harvesters and I’ll have their name so I can send them a copy of The Gatherers.
So in short, a kindle copy of 29 pages of my fiction telling and the prequel when it is ready for publish!
So who’s ready to become a part of this white metal, dark basement, and two very maniac men wielding weapons kind of world?
If so, enter away!
Bloody good luck to you all!
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Giveaways and Promos Ending This Month

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Download this steal of a deal at Amazon before the New Release offer melts away! (Dec. 24 note: I might keep Aurora Sky at 99 cents during my January blog tour. So far it's been on at least one category bestseller list at Amazon every single day since release and I'm hesitant to ruin a good thing.)

The Aurora Sky review request sign-up form closes at the end of this year.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Review of Aurora Sky By Author Rachael Wade

I want to share this killer review from bestselling author Rachael Wade.

When I first read it I was speechless, humbled, and honored that a writer of her talent would not only take the time to read and write a review of Aurora Sky, but go to so much depth.

I met Rachael online last spring. I was really excited when I read that she wanted to relocate to the San Juan Islands - where I live! I was further delighted by her Lights On outreach program donating and bringing awareness to local and global humanitarian and environmental efforts.

I lucked out further getting to meet her in person in October for a book signing on Orcas Island (check out her husband's video of the event). We got a chance to grab lunch and dinner and take a 4-mile hike around Mountain Lake together and talk books and writing. One of the highlights of my whole year.

Rachael Wade is amazing. Check her out if you haven't already!

And enter the Bloody Christmas Giveaway if you haven't. I'll be gifting one of her books to the winner, along with books from Thomas Winship and Ada Adams. Score!

's review
Dec 14, 12

5 of 5 stars false
bookshelves: favorites
Read from December 01 to 13, 2012

"On the way home from school, I stared out the bus window dreamily. The world outside no longer existed. I lived in my own world and I liked it there."

That's my favorite line in the book. It pretty much sums up Aurora's character, in my opinion. And as a writer, I can relate to it.

So, where to begin...

This is officially my new favorite YA paranormal series, and I really don’t like a lot of paranormal YA with the exception of Jennifer Armentrout’s Lux and Covenant series. I guess when I say “not much paranormal YA”, I really just mean vampires.

I’m a Twilight fan.
I wrote my own vampire series.
I love vampire films.

So, yeah. I’m tired of vamps at the moment, no matter how much I love these classic monsters and the million different ways they can be re-created.

Which is why this book was completely refreshing!

It was all the mystery and romance found in Twilight, except it was MUCH sexier, and all around...better. Way better. On top of that, it’s a slayer series, so if you are a geek like me who loved shows like Buffy, then this will be right up your alley. There's action, blood, and violence, oh my.

Okay, back to the reasons this series rocks...

Aurora Sky. First, that name says it all—how badass is that name? Even better than the heroine’s name is her character. She’s strong, believable, and not at all wishy washy or “I’m so cool, and I know it.” One minute, I really believed she was this scared teenager who is thrust into this situation that she totally doesn’t want any part of, and the next she’s trying to blend in and just be a normal teen at school. Then she’s believable when her feelings are hurt because she’s lonely, her so called “friends” start treating her like crap, and she can't quite seem to fit in anymore. So she starts to do what most teenagers do when they feel singled out...she rebels. No one really takes the time to even stop and consider how she feels about the traumatic event she went through. So she gives Aurora a makeover, which involves a little something like this:

Kill first vampire
Get drunk
Kiss a boy
Lose virginity

Obviously, these things don't change much for Aurora. They don't make her feel alive again or make the pain go away.

But enter the next reason this book rocks, and Aurora starts to come to life again...

Fane. When Aurora starts to rebel a bit, she flings herself straight into Fane Donado’s arms. Oh, my my my. Where do I begin with Fane? He had me at this description:

He had one of those disastrous looks that captured my attention--like Edward Scissorhands. (This is only my favorite movie and character of all time, so I'm a bit biased here.)

And then these lines:

"Don't worry, Aurora Sky. You don't have to invite me home." His teeth flashed when he grinned. "Yet." 

Fane lowered the cigarette and pointed it at me. "I do like your legs." Despite the cold, my cheeks heated and were quite possibly the only warm part of my body. The cold had officially gone to my brain.
"These pasty things?"
"Pale. Ivory. Silk." Each word was like a caress. "Your skin is a thing of beauty."
Fane was not Scott. He'd eat me alive.

The setting. How often do we see vampire hunter stories take place in the beautiful, cold, dark, and snowy wilderness of Alaska? Yeah, not often. And the way it’s written, it’s completely entrancing. I felt like I was there, and so removed from the world. The descriptions were fabulous. The setting was perfect for Aurora’s character. As she finds out what’s happened to her and what she has to do, her surroundings mimic her mental state—they are numb, desolate, and stark. Yet there’s this cold, still beauty all around her. She even compares it at one point to "walking on the moon", and I could feel that myself, could visualize it all. I just loved the contrast and parallels there. Awesome stuff. I admit I am also a bit biased when it comes to the setting because I love that region of the world and think it’s gorgeous. Oh, and I used to work at the Arctic exhibit at Sea World haha. So...I have a fascination with the terrain, wildlife, aurora borealis, and just that environment in general.

Before I go all fangirl (too late, I know) and ramble on some more, I'll just this book! Fane is no Edward Cullen, and Aurora is no Bella. I'm already dying for the second book. Unfortunately it looks like I'll have to wait a while for book 2 to come out, but I'll be first in line when it releases.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Aurora Sky - The Paperback Now Available

The proof arrived almost a week early and is GORGEOUS!
My husband is so cute. When the box arrived I was flipping out with excitement. Then he pulled it out of my hands and started opening it. I was like, "What the hell?" He said, "Well, this is my work, too." (He's graciously given up many a weekend formatting ARCs, ebooks, and print copies of all my books - and redoing them when a mistake slips through that I want correcting IMMEDIATELY.)

What was so cute was how excited he was so I was nice, for once, and let him open the box. We passed the paperback back and forth "oohing and aahing" at how beautifully it turned out.

It is now LIVE on Amazon. I manged to get it down to $9.99. (CreateSpace sets a price minimum based on page count.) I also paid extra for expanded distribution so it will appear in the coming weeks on sites like Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, etc.

In addition to my husband, I would like to thank my fantastic cover designer Najla Qamber who also lives on an Bahrain! Naj is a joy to work with.

And to the following bloggers for giving me permission to quote them on page one of the paperback:

Danielle Young at Consuming Worlds

Janina Hicks at Synchronized Reading

Tracy Kiser at The Coffee Pot

Kiki Deister at The Caffeinated Diva

Justine Brooks at Appraising Pages

Cover Reveal: Interred by Marilyn Almodovar

Time has never been an issue for Baxter Jacobs, but then she never knew she had the ability to Bend it.

As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Baxter inherits a pendant that will change her life. Connected to the pendant is a dark and mysterious young man named Declan Ashdown. Trapped in a Time loop for the past 122 years, Declan needs Baxter’s help to escape. The only problem is, she has no idea how to do it.

To acquire the power she needs to free him, she’ll become one of the Interred, those whose Magical abilities emerge as they come of age. When she does, she’ll discover that Declan isn’t the only one interested in the fact that she’s a Time Bender.

As the Interment arrives, Baxter knows this will be no Sweet Sixteen. A vengeful relative and the ruthless Council are determined to control her. Declan’s powerful and charming descendant, Jack Ashdown, claims he can save her. She’ll soon have to decide who she can trust, and how to master her new abilities before Time runs out.

Coming January 22, 2013
Add it to your to-read list on Goodreads

Brief author bio:
Marilyn Almodóvar is an American YA Author born in Ft. Huachuca, Arizona. A lover of words with a penchant for Victorian novels as well as the books of Stephen King, Lyn's favorite past-times have always been reading and writing.

It was this love that propelled her to choose Theater and French as majors in University, with a minor in English Victorian Literature. Lyn lived for almost a decade in England followed by three years in France before returning home to the U.S.

A self-confessed citizen of the world, Lyn is fluent in English, French and Spanish, with basic knowledge of the Italian language. Lyn currently lives in Central Florida with her French husband, English-born eldest son, and French-born youngest son. Her debut YA Novel, Interred, will be published by Iambe books on 01/22/2013.

Ways readers can connect with Lyn:

Twitter (
Facebook (óvar/142589622496531)
Goodreads (
Pinterest (
Blog (
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Monday, December 10, 2012

Review Etiquette

This post is part rant, part mission statement, part motivational.

Obviously everyone’s experience is different, but based on mine I would not recommend NetGalley for indie authors. For one thing the listing fee costs a fortune: $480 for six months. For another, I've received an overwhelming number of unprofessional (ie: nasty ass) reviews. I'll get to that in a moment.

I want to start out with the positive and say I have met some truly classy, conscientious reviewers through NetGalley. Please note that I am not referring in the following to any of the numerous, fantastic bloggers out there who approach reading and reviewing with a joy de vivre that is in itself an art form. A book without reviews is like champagne without bubbles. 

You’re fabulous!

Unfortunately, for my title Entangled, I have attracted a great deal of nasties. I don’t normally dwell on negative reviews, but it’s hard when NetGalley sends them to me and I don’t know if they’re good or bad until I open the email. (Starting now I am no longer opening any email NetGalley sends me.)

Let me be clear. I do NOT expect my book to be a good fit for everyone. Hardly!

And I have no issue with honesty or constructive criticism.

I honestly love my 1-star Entangled review at Amazon. Check out the title of the review: “Sorry, not for me.” Great title for a 1-star review! I feel in no way under attack. I respect this reviewer even more for starting out this way: "I saw the reviews for this book and thought it would be good. And it probably is." Then it goes on to say why it didn't work for the reader. (Language. No problem. If you don't like the word "ass" you definitely shouldn't be reading my books.) It's simple. It's respectful. I dig it.

What makes my stomach turn is book bashers who take things to a personal level by attacking authors and their writing style.

I AM my writing style and the essence of that style is to bring laughter and entertainment to peoples’ lives.

One of the best pieces of critiquing advice I've learned from every writing workshop I’ve ever taken is this: Start out with something positive and end with something positive. Refer to the writer as “the author” when saying what you didn’t like so they don’t feel under personal attack by repeating their name as in this case: "Nikki Jefford writes horrendously." (Broke two rules right off the bat and ended with, "I wasn't willing to torture my brain cells by finishing this book.")

The worst reviews I see come from self-dubbed “aspiring authors” or as I think of them, know-it-all egomaniacs who think they’re an expert on the craft of writing. I can spot their reviews instantly because they talk about character development, pacing, and plot as though they were the next Ernest Hemingway.

It makes little sense to me when writers, or aspiring writers, bash other writers. Way to earn good karma points. What kind of reception do they honestly think they’re going to receive after ripping apart other authors?

At the end of the day I crave a bit of entertainment and laughter.

Maybe I like watching Buffy more than Masterpiece Theatre.

Maybe I want to read The Hunger Games rather than Crime and Punishment.

I don’t make a living writing. I don’t even make a profit. (Not yet.)

I write because it’s my passion, my joy, my life’s dream, and it is a true pleasure to entertain readers.

Love, kisses...and Buffy - Kicking butt. That's how I do things around here.

Nikki, out!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The 12 Days of Magic

Thank you to Giselle at Xpresso Book Tours for organizing The 12 Days of Magic, Spellbound Book Blitz and to all the fabulous bloggers who are taking part in the holiday fun.

There will be 130 chances to win signed book swag and a Reading is Sexy sticker at participating blitz stops. Aw, snap!

One grand prize winner will receive a signed Entangled paperback and Polar Bear Smooches chocolate peppermint covered yummies. 12 runner ups will get their choice of ANY Spellbound e-book. Grab a voucher for Enchantment (S3) if you already have the first two books in the series.
Enchantment will now release in Spring of 13. (I'm aiming for sooner, but tired of missing deadlines so lets go with Spring.) Sign up for a a release day alert and chance to buy during a one-shot three-day only promo price for fans. (I'm thinking 75% off the normal cover price.) TBA

If you are a fan of the Spellbound series, I invite you to sign up for the Spellbound Street Team and start earning points towards Reader Rewards. First drawing in 3 weeks!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Boxing Day, Holiday, and Happy New Year!

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Service is Selling Work Training Video goes Viral

The ridiculously goofy musical training video my family's business put together years ago has gone viral in the last couples months. From the UK to NY!

The official upload my brother posted on YouTube is fast approaching 100,000 views. Another person uploaded it and has gotten 131,884 hits.

The New York Daily News just did a story about it on Thursday saying: "Alaska stores' hilariously bad motivational training video that could have come straight from 'The Office.'"

If you watch this video please note that I am 50 lbs lighter than when it was filmed! ;)

Starring my aunt, uncle, cousins, mom (almost falling off a chair), and me! Miss you guys and all the work fun! (Once in a Blue Moose gift shops.)

P.S. I can't sing or dance. This is why I stick to writing!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Street Team Birthday and Epic Swag Giveaway

Not only is Lili my first Spellbound Street Team Birthday member, but today she turned 21!
Lili is celebrating by hosting an epic swag giveaway with 21 winners, wow!, that's right. Check it out and enter to win at Lili Lost in a Book. Happy 21st, Lili! *raises wine glass*

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tis the Season to be Winning

I've always derived more pleasure from giving than receiving. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE gifts - as my husband can attest to. Ha! But it's really fun to sponsor giveaways, especially when winners get excited.

Here's December's first batch of goodies:

ENDING SOON: Kiki at The Caffeinated Diva is very generously giving away Kindle copies of all my books to two winners along with two Aurora Sky door hangers (pictured above). This is a quick giveaway ending in two days. The odds are in your favor! ;) Enter ASAP!

Win four different vampire e-books from four different amazon bestsellers during Bloody Christmas. Giveaways are happening across the blogosphere. You can also enter here.

Lili Lost in a Book is turning 21 on December 6th and hosting an epic swag giveaway, including Entangled bookmarks and the new Aurora Sky door hangers.

There will be more chances to win door hangers from the fantastic (and brave) group of Aurora Sky reviewers who will be receiving these in the mail in the coming week. (And will understand the bat side of the door hanger if they've already read the book. Ha,ha.)

Finally, one more week till the 12 Days of Magic with more killer giveaways. Begins Monday, December 10th. Stay tuned...chocolate's involved. ;)