Welcome to the inaugural post of my monthly giveaway series.

A Book & a Bomb

No, not the exploding type of bomb. A Lush bath bomb that does amazing, magical things to your bathtub. Don’t have a tub? Do what I do, and use half in a big bucket for a lovely foot soak.

Bath bomb in action

These bombs are magical, I’m telling you. Lush is anti-animal testing, all-natural, and full of good products for your skin. Even if you don’t like scented body things, bath bombs, when tucked into a drawer of sheets, will make all your linens smell nice. They’re a simple way to add beauty and good smells to your life.

And what goes better with a relaxing soak than an enjoyable read?

Luxurious baths (or foot soaks) are perfect when paired with a lovely read. That’s why my giveaway will feature a copy of a book I love, and a bath bomb inspired by the book!

For this first giveaway, I’ll be pairing the Lush bath bomb “Blue Skies” with Laura Lee Anderson’s debut YA Contemporary Novel, SONG OF SUMMER.

Keep reading for your chance to win!

SONG OF SUMMER: The thirteen qualities of Robin’s Perfect Man range from the mildly important “Handsome” to the all-important “Great taste in music.” After all, Westfield’s best high school folk musician can’t go out with some shmuck who only listens to top 40 crap. When hot Carter Paulson walks in the door of Robin’s diner, it looks like the list may have come to life. It’s not until the end of the meal that she realizes he’s profoundly deaf.

Carter isn’t looking for a girlfriend. Especially not a hearing one. Not that he has anything against hearing girls, they just don’t speak the same language. But when the cute waitress at Grape Country Dairy makes an effort to talk with him, he takes her out on his yellow Ducati motorcycle.

Music, language, and culture sing back-up as love takes the melody, but just how long can a summer song last?4



Amazon info click here. 


Blue Skies (& Fluffy White Clouds)  bath bomb description.

A deep blue bath of bubbles and scents to induce deep relaxation
Calm your body and mind and slip into a peaceful trance in a tubful of bubbles with our largest bubble bar slice. Exotic frankincense oil has a woody, grounding aroma that blends well with earthy patchouli to relax and restore your state of mind. Lay back and feel yourself float through swirly blue skies and fluffy white clouds of bubbles and into a serene garden of a Far Eastern temple, leaving stress and worries far behind you. For an even greater peace of mind, break your bubble bar in half for two relaxing escapes from the every day. Vegan friendly.

From Lush’s website.


To win, enter the Rafflecopter below! This one is open internationally!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Who is reading? Who isn’t?

So, buckle your seatbelts, kids, this post has a chart. But, I, hopefully, will be making that chart, and set of statistics easily understandable. Maybe even useful for writers.

Consider these scenarios:

You might think you’re an average reader. You’re not a rabid book blogger, but you read two, maybe three books a month.

You’re a writer, getting ready for your book launch. You write middle grade novels, so you look at your own family, and imagine them as your target market.

Are either of these accurate? Let’s examine the data and find out!

…hang in there, people. I promise a cute photo of my cat at the end.

Reading snapshot

(Chart from Pew Research, link)

The scary thing. This data is for people who have read AT LEAST ONE book. As in, about 25% of people in the random survey Pew did said they haven’t read a SINGLE book in a year.

On average, the typical American read or listened to 5 books in 2014. The survey did note that “avid readers” who read over 12 books a year were the exception to the rule, and therefore the 5 comes from the median, not the mean, to avoid error. (Math class flashbacks, anyone?)

I’m going to do one take away from each section, and then sum it all up with an overall summary. Remember, keep reading for a cute cat.

1. Gender: Women are reading more than men, in all forms of book distribution. So, if you’re a writer who doesn’t believe in having real, multi-faceted females in your fiction, I challenge you to reconsider, unless you want to cut yourself off from the gender that reads more.

2. Race/ethnicity. We NEED diverse books. It’s that simple. If you try and tell me a race/ethnicity “doesn’t read” I’m going to hit you in the ace with a Statistics textbook

3. Education Level:  College grads are the most likely, by far, to have read an ebook or listened to an audiobook. If you’re targeting that market, those are things to keep in mind.

4.Household income: There is a decent correlation between a greater household income, and the percentage of people who have read an ebook this year. If your book is launching as an ebook first, you may need to tailor your marketing to appeal to that income bracket.

5. Community type: Tied in with the above, we see suburbanites being the most likely to have read an ebook, with urban and rural pretty much tied for having read a print book.

So, what does all this tell us? First of all, the push towards diversity in literature is greatly needed, and long overdue. Second, is that “Five books a year” phrase resonating in your head yet? Often times, I think writers tend to talk books with other writers, and forget the average American doesn’t read as voraciously as they do.  This is why word of mouth is so important for books. You have to get your book in front of those people, who probably don’t follow book blogs, or keep track of the twitter-verse.

And as promised, here’s my cat