Top 10 books of 2015

1) You by Caroline Kepnes This was by far my favorite book of the entire year. Beautifully crafted and clever, You is original and worthy of my top spot.
2) The Submissive by Tara Sue Me Sexy, daring, and totally out of my comfort zone, The Submissive left me hanging on every word and NEEDING more!
3) Echo by E.k. Blair I was lucky enough to read this early, and it literally gave me nightmares. That's a good thing!
4)The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins EXCITING, MYSTERIOUS, THRILLING!
5) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes Ugh. Yeah, this one. But it's soooo good, and yellow and black tights!
6) The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin This is the best YA series I've ever read. I love a book that's outside the box, and Michelle Hodkin's delivered with smart characters and brilliant plot.
7) Dark Places by Gillian Flynn Gillian is my favorite author. Period. To be fair, I listened to the audio book, and it was EPIC!
8) Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn Ditto
9) King by T.m. Frazier This was my first book from TM. She's on fire right now, and I totally understand why.
10) The Kick-Ass Writer: 1001 Ways to Write Great Fiction, Get Published, and Earn Your Audience by Chuck Wending Because every author should read it!

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Merry Humble Christmas, Mary Elizabeth!

Ten and a half years ago, I was too young to have kids. Naturally, that means I got pregnant with twins. My husband also had a child in high school, who I started raising when he was four. We had just moved into our first apartment, with a kindergartner, a dog, and two girls on the way. I worked at a job I hated, and Jason was new at UPS. Everything went okay for a while, but we knew we had to move before the twins were born. So, we got a house we couldn’t afford in the first place, and then my doctor said to me at twelve weeks pregnant, “You’re going on bedrest or the hospital for the remainder of your pregnancy. You choose.”
Fast forward two years later, we live in a bigger house, we have two more dogs, the twins are toddlers … and we had a fourth child. We’re way in over our head. My oldest has behavior problems, I have three kids in diapers, and my husband is still part time. I had a decision to make: go back to work and let other people handle my problem child and 500 diaper changes a day, or stay home.
I stayed home.
Somehow, we scraped by. And by scraping by, I mean we spent entire winters without heat. There were times when my husband and I literally did not eat so the kids could. Other times we had pancakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner because that’s all there was. The electricity was shut off, the phones didn’t work, and we never had cable. My car was repossessed, and Jason’s truck was stolen. We relied on a two seater pickup my husband drove in high school for years until my cousin gave us a car.
Those are the times when you truly discover what kind of person you are. We never asked for handouts. We were never offered much.
Although, I do remember the day after Halloween, 2009. My aunt, who has since passed, found out we didn’t have heat or hot water. She handed me a check and said, “Take care of your family.”
I wouldn’t feel right without mentioning that, because we were blessed with the occasional miracle.
But most of the time, it was my husband and I against the world.
Things went this way for a few years, and only became more trying when I decided to attend beauty school. Following my dream meant more gas money, supply money, and 40 hours a week away from home. All of my kids were in school, but I needed help with them I hadn’t needed since they were newborns, and my mom had moved away.
It took me 18 months instead of 13, but I did it. And a year after I finished beauty school, I took my sister-in-law to State Board and passed the test.
Twelve years since the day my husband and I met, we are finally in a place where we can breathe a little. He’s a fulltime driver at UPS, and I’m a stylist at a top salon in my city. My oldest is almost done with high school, and my three younger ones are growing before my eyes.
Somewhere in-between the chaos of our struggle, I discovered my ability to write. It’s a dream I’m still working toward, but it’s because of where I come from—the lowdown, dirty fight of life—I won’t give up.
But tonight, while my kids we’re decorating the tree, I looked around and couldn’t believe how far we’ve come. My house is warm, the lights are on, we have a fridge full of food, and the pups are fat and happy. It’s also a wonderful feeling to know that we did it ourselves. Jason and I busted our asses to get where we are today, and it was a genuine effort.
I’m taken back to a conversation I had with Jason earlier this month about our Christmas tree. I hate it! It’s 9ft of torture and itch. Every branch needs to be assembled, and it’s not prelit! I wanted a real tree, and smaller, because this one doesn’t fit anywhere.
I tried to make it better by purchasing some new lights and bulbs, and not putting on the old ass tinsel we have. When I was taking this picture, I was drawn back to the year it was given to us. Our tree monster has literally seen 30 Christmases. My in-laws gave it to us after they got a new one. We wouldn’t have had a tree that year if they hadn’t.
This is the same Christmas tree my husband had as a child, and we made the most of it during our struggle days. It leans a little to the left, and smells like dust, but today it reminded me of how far we’ve come. It’s good to be humbled every now and then. I am so incredibly thankful for everything I have, and proud.
I guess I’ll keep the 9ft, monster, dust, leaning, old, branch pull-a-part tree a little longer.
Fucker put me in my place.
Merry Christmas. 
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12 Days of Book Nerdiness

You are all invited to the promotion of the year, 12 Days of Book Nerdiness! A different author and giveaway every day December 7th-18th. Grand Prize giveaway of a Star Wars gift pack. Hope you all can join us!

Prizes from

Mary Elizabeth


Diane Munier

My Wounded Soldier, Book One: Fight for GloryMy Wounded Soldier, (Book Two: Fight for Love)Leaping
Darnay RoadFinding My ThunderMe and Mom Fall for Spencer

Brooke Williams

Accept This Dandelion

M.B. Fenney
reader's choice of

Right Click, LoveThe One That Got AwayJust Like in the Movies

HonourIt Started in TexasDear Diary (The Exchange Series, #1)

Lisa Bilbery

The Journey Collection

Lorenz Font

Hunted (The Gates Legacy, #1)

T.M. Franklin

How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You

Jeanne McDonald


Michelle Birbeck

Zombie Lottery

Vanessa Skye

The Enemy Inside (The Enemy Inside, #1)

N.J. Cole
reader's choice

LandslideMidnight CallerMidnight Eternal (Midnight, #2)
Second ChancesYes, MistressYes, MasterCaged: Season 1 Episode 1

S.L. Scott

Until I Met You

Lindsey Gray

Not the Same SeasonHoliday Cure for the CursedNerdy Girl Nation (Nerdy Girl Novels #1)

Join us as we celebrate the 12 days here on Lindsey Gray's blog and on our Facebook Event Page.

Don't forget to answer the Star Wars trivia questions every day for a chance to win a Star Wars Gift Pack!

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Low Cover Reveal and Release Day Blitz Signup Forms

It’s hard living on the wrong side of the tracks.
Lowen Seely has a criminal record to prove it. Determined not to follow in his father’s footsteps, he fights instinct and tries honesty. But hunger becomes painful, and bills are due. Forced to choose between what is right and wrong, the boy from the hood learns abiding by the rules is nearly impossible when corruption is in your blood.
Falling for an outlaw has changed everything.
Poesy Ashby is the definition of ride or die, even when it means turning her back on freedom. The girl from the suburbs gives conformity the middle finger. Bonnie and Clyde have nothing on her love story.
On the run with consequences in the rearview mirror, Lowen and Poesy accept the truth: they are the bad guys.
But can they get away with their crimes?
REVEAL: http://ow.ly/VuBMM 

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Beauty and Soul

I have a really good feeling about 2016 and Mary Elizabeth Literature. Low is going to be a great jumping off point for what I have planned. I feel more together and motivated than I have in a couple of years, like I've finally dropped dead weight and am ready to move on--my style, my stories, my way.

True Love Way was important tale to tell and I loved writing every word of it, both as a fan fiction and novel. It was exactly what I needed to keep my mind working and my fingers typing while I took the time to discover exactly what direction I want to go in and construct a concrete plan. It was something I wrote before I ever had the idea for Dusty. Which is the reason I chose TLW as my third self-published book. It was a throwback to a time when things were simple--before writing was lucrative, contractual, or nail-biting--and a reminder that I have the ability to create worlds and put the reader in a spell with storytelling.

True Love Way was me saying, "Here’s a glimpse of what I’m about, a little bit love, a little bit tender, a little bit easy. Enjoy.”

Now, I’m reenergized. My imagination is a loaded weapon, and my fingers are smoking barrels. I’ve dove head first into Low, drowning in this brand new world where what I say goes. Only me, and I’m killing it.

This is me screaming, “Here is the whole thing, wide-open! Take me as I am. Enjoy.”

I will own all 365 days of 2016. I’ll take the talent I’ve been blessed with, the team of people who gift me with their lives and abilities and encouragement, and my integrity, and set this motherfucker on fire one spark at a time.

Gone are the days where I sit back idle, underwhelmed by literary trends and overwhelmed legal terms. From this day forward, I will absolutely write whatever the fuck I want, when I want, even if that puts me a little outside the box. I'm in good company.

It’s about me and a blank document.

THAT is beauty. THAT is soul. 

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