Category: doing what you love

A Nice Surprise

Okay, so I just got back from a short (but awesome) trip to California!  Los Angeles to be exact.  And I come home to find this on my doorstep…

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It was in a bag with a note from one of my former students who moved away.  The note said since I’d shared a few books with her, she wanted to share a few of her favorites with me <333.  Seriously, it was such a nice surprise.  (Thank you, Jaida!!!)  There’s only one book in there that I’ve already read and own (The Westing Game), AND she is the same student who let me read her copy of Kasie West’s P.S. I Like You, my first book by West and one that I enjoyed immensely!

Anyway, ahhh like I said, it was so thoughtful.

I’m very fortunate to teach several thoughtful young adults who are smart, talented and just wonderful.  The readers in this age group are fantastic as well and make me want to write the best books that I can for them.  I actually had one reader leave a great comment on my last post.  She’d read ADORKABLE, like it a lot, and was wondering when NINJA GIRL would be available in paperback because she loves reading real, tangible books.  I loved that comment because to be honest I’m not sure if/when I’ll be publishing NINJA GIRL as a paperback.  I mean, I would love to add it to my bookshelf.  But I honestly haven’t had time to get it together and wasn’t sure if anyone (besides me) would want NINJA GIRL as a real, live book anyway.  But I guess they do :).

And that…is so awesome!

Another nice surprise, and I am very thankful for her comment, those great books and all of my wonderful students.  Next week, I’ll post more about my trip to L.A., and a super-secret assignment, something fun my readers may be able to help me with ;).

Have a great weekend, and I really hope some nice surprises happen for you as well!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

5000+ ADORKABLE Readers!!!

This post could’ve also been called: OMG, when did that happen?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

But I figured it was too many question marks :).  As you can see, book baby #1 finally did it.  ADORKABLE reached 5000+ readers on Goodreads!  When I first started this journey into self-publishing, I honestly never thought this would happen.  I mean, I thought I’d be lucky to have five to 10 readers let alone this many.  I am truly floored and humbled by how many people have read ADORKABLE, and I cannot thank you all enough for the support.  Sally and Becks are out there, making their way into people’s hearts, and I am so grateful for that.

On a side note, book baby #2 isn’t doing too shabby either.  500+ people have read and rated NINJA GIRL on Goodreads which is crazy amazing.  Also, I noticed a little while ago that, although the book is actually rated 4.8 stars on Amazon (which is fan-freaking-tastic), it looks like 5 stars on the site.  Definitely not complaining about that lol!

To thank you awesome ADORKABLE and NINJA GIRL readers…it’s time for a giveaway!!!

There are several ways to enter, and the giveaway will run until August 31, 2017.  One winner will be randomly chosen, and the prize is a $25 Amazon Gift Card.  You can enter using the rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Once more with feeling: THANK YOU SO MUCH, readers!  Thank you for reading the book in the first place.  Thank you for recommending it to your friends.  Thank you for being the adorkable ninja girl and guy bookworms that you are!  ADORKABLE and NINJA GIRL readers really are the best, and I appreciate you more than I can say <3.

I hope you have a wonderful week, and good luck!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

Be Water

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I last posted!  Two freakin’ weeks…how did that even happen? 0__0

Well, I’m back readers, and I sincerely hope you are still with me!  Today, I wanted to share a video I found a long time ago when I was doing research for NINJA GIRL.  It’s totally awesome imo, and it’s Bruce Lee in a nutshell–so of course, Snow would love it :).  I do, too, and I hope you will as well.

While I’ve been editing my next book to be released and writing a new book, feeling all of the feels, doubting myself at every turn, I can honestly say I wish I was more like Bruce, more like Snow.  I try to be water.  Whenever new situations or challenges present themselves, I try to go with the flow, roll with the punches.  I don’t always succeed…but that doesn’t stop me from trying.

My next YA book will be different than my first two releases–completely new characters, not as fluffy (though still lots of laughs)–and I’m very nervous (see: terrified) about that.  And I actually wrote it before ADORKABLE, though it’s been through huge revisions since then.  Note to self: The writer-ly fears do not go away after you release a book.  They remain, hang around and sneak up on you when you least expect it.  I’m also organizing an event for a very good cause, a cause that I care deeply about, and so far?  I’ve only gotten one response.  Ugggggh…

And yet!  I refuse to give up.  I’m going to be water, my friends.  And it is my hope, no matter what you’re dealing with in your life, that you can be, too <3.

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

Top of the Mornin’ to Ya!

You guys, I actually had someone say that to me :).  It was so cool.  ADORKABLE and NINJA GIRL have been doing well, and I haven’t had a chance to post as much because I’m actually  traveling–which I hardly ever do!  And I am in a beautiful place at the moment; the only drawback is sketchy internet service.  So while I have a good connection: Hello from Ireland, readers!!!  Here’s a picture of me with my current read (which I got from the library here), gorgeous landscape and of course, the O’Gorman family crest.

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I hope you are all well and reading fantastic books (hopefully ones with Irish heroes who say “Top of the mornin’ to ya” in that lovely Irish brogue ;)).

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

NINJA GIRL Book Playlist

First, I want to give a huge thank you to YA Bound Book Tours and to everyone who participated in the NINJA GIRL Book Blitz!  You are awesome, and I appreciate you so much for helping me spread the word.  I’ve mentioned that one of my biggest fears as a writer is that my books won’t find their audience, and that remains true today.  Every recommendation to a friend, every review/post/tweet truly helps.  So again, thank you!!!

Second, I wanted to share my book playlist for NINJA GIRL!  You may have already seen it, but I wanted it for my website as well lol.  Also, on Goodreads, a reader created her own book playlists for both ADORKABLE and NINJA GIRL, and I thought that was so cool!

If you’ve read NINJA GIRL, you’ll see several of the songs mentioned in the book–but others may be a surprise :).  The full playlist will be at the end of the post.  Alright, let’s get to it:

“Ho Hey” by The Lumineers–or “Snow Hey” if we’re talking about the swoon worthy rendition done by the one and only Ash Stryker–absolutely represents how Ash feels about Snow.  *sigh*  When he sang to our ninja girl, she definitely got the message.  And I mean, seriously, what girl wouldn’t love a guy putting her name into a song like this? <3

“I Am the Best” by 2NE1 represents Snow’s confidence in martial arts, self-defense and just taking on anyone who challenges her.  She may be insecure when it comes to boys and her own femininity, but when it comes to kicking butt?  Snow is a true badass!

When Nicki Minaj comes in and goes off on this track, it is Snow all day, every day lol!  But  “My Chick Bad” is the perfect song to express how Ash feels about Snow’s strength.  He’s impressed by it, finds it attractive; basically, he’s got it bad for our ninja girl–and even though he’s a country fan, I think Ash would totally agree with this choice (minus the 2nd verse bc Ash is a Southern gentleman :)).

Ah, that voice <33333.  Patsy Cline is timeless and truly one of the greats, and her songs are so so incredibly perfect for this little YA romance.  Snow’s tough on the outside.  Ash is confident/cocky.  But they both have their insecurities, and Patsy exposes them all.  The car scene where Ash and Snow have a Patsy Cline battle, speaking to each other through their song choices, too afraid to voice their feelings, is one of my absolute favorite scenes.

Okay, I LOVE this song.  It is so innocent and lovely.  I think the chorus is like what Ash was trying to convince Snow of all along: I’ll be yours, if you’ll just be mine.  Then the part near the end where she sings by herself, and it’s so exposed and real…that’s Snow finally admitting her feelings and how much she cares for him.  Snow and Ash, the honesty, the pure loveliness of this is what YA and romance is all about.

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

NINJA GIRL Book Playlist

  1. “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers
  2. “I Am the Best” by 2NE1
  3. “Sparks Fly” by Taylor Swift
  4. “Fans” by Kings of Leon
  5. “My Chick Bad” by Ludacris & Nicki Minaj
  6. “In For The Kill” (Skrillex Remix) by La Roux
  7. “Lies” by BIGBANG
  8. “Someone Like You” by Adele
  9. “Miss Atomic Bomb” by The Killers
  10. “Crazy” by Patsy Cline
  11. “I Fall to Pieces” by Patsy Cline
  12. “Call Your Girlfriend” (live) by Lennon and Maisy Stella
  13. “Marry You” by Bruno Mars
  14. “Come By Fire” by Sara Jackson-Holman
  15. “Little Bit” by Lykke Li
  16. “Emmylou” by First Aid Kit

5 Things: I’m reading right now

Okay, this is a bit of a cheat because what I’m loving right now is actually a series–but there are 5 books in the series, so it works ;).

About two weeks ago, I finally picked up the first book in The Selection series.  I know, I know, I am so behind!  One of my students (a girl who is always reading YA :)) recommended it to me…well, she said it was SO good and that I should read it, and she had that look in her eye that I get when I find a book I really love.

So, I got the first book, and Kiera Cass drew me in right away!  I sped through book 1 and immediately got the next 3 books!!!  I was semi-upset (I was very upset)  that they didn’t have the 5th and final book, The Crown.  Literally, I stood there for about 5 minutes staring at the bookstore shelf, hoping it would magically appear lol.  It didn’t :(.  And of course, I read through the next three books like wildfire, and book 4 actually did leave me hanging.  Thank goodness the final book was available as an ebook.

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The Selection, The Elite, The One, The Heir, & The Crown

It took me about 5 days–5 freaking days!–to read these books.  I couldn’t help myself.  The endings weren’t really cliffhangers, especially in the first 3 books, but I devoured the pages.  It was so addictive!  There was some type of magic in there, too, because I did not start out loving the main heroine *gasp*.  But she totally grew on me.  And I actually loved several of the main guys!  My favorite books were 3, 4 and 5; the first trio of books ended just right, and I loved how we got to see what happened to the characters we loved in the next two books as well as meet a whole new, awesome cast.

If I had to give one reason to read, I would say: Maxxon!!!! <333  I totally get it, fellow Selection readers.  I really do.  A few more would be: America, May, Marlee, Kile (he was my personal favorite!), Henri and Erik.

There are mixed opinions about this series, but for me, it was very enjoyable.  Loved it!

If you’re wondering what I have coming up, there will be a book blitz for NINJA GIRL the week of June 12th, which I think will be a ton of fun!  ADORKABLE hit #1 several times in the last few weeks, huzzah!!!  Also, I’m editing the book I think will be my next release and working hard on the rough draft of another YA book :).  I hope your week is going well!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

Oh My Ash! <3

It’s a fact: Readers love book boyfriends.

Actually, a lot of us collect book boyfriends.  No really, it’s a thing!  And I know for a fact that I’m not the only one because I’ve seen other blog posts, discussions and articles about this.  Different readers look for different things in their favorite male leads, but the common trait that all of them share is this.

A great book boyfriend will make fangirl bookworms everywhere swoon and fall hard for him.

This post will focus on Ash Stryker, one of my personal favorites, first introduced in ADORKABLE and most recently featured in NINJA GIRL. :)

Here is what I think makes Ash book boyfriend material:

  • He kisses back. If you’ve read NINJA GIRL, you know what I mean.  If not, I’ll just say Ash goes with the flow and gives Snow an amazing/unforgettable first kiss (…and second…and third…).
  • He knows what he wants and goes after it.
  • He’s protective (but not in an overbearing a-hole kind of way). Yeah, he’s got a hero complex, but he makes it look good.  Just picture a young Chris Evans/Captain America with a bit of a pottymouth, and you basically have our Ash.
  • He likes smart girls who can kick his ass. He’s encouraging and loves Snow’s strength and intelligence.
  • He tells it like it is and never gives up—especially when it matters.
  • He listens to country and K-Pop.
  • He’s multi-lingual—which means he can sweet talk you in a whole bunch of languages.
  • He’s athletic, talented and yes, fit. Soccer is his passion, and he’s darn good at it.  The green eyes, dirty blond hair and lean body don’t hurt either ;).
  • He’s swoonworthy. In NINJA GIRL, Ash is willing to make a fool of himself for his girl (aka the singing), and he’s also thoughtful (the Bruce Lee marathon with Snow).  *Sigh*
  • He’s smart, confident, a little cocky and a lot comfortable-in-his-own-skin. He’s a straightforward smooth-talker with charm to spare.  He can also be jealous, incorrigible and a smartass.  All in all, Ash is imperfect and real—which may be what I like best about him.

For all these reasons and more, I love my main man from NINJA GIRL.

Oh my Ash! <3

Btw huge thanks to Tija for inventing the phrase “Oh my Ash;” I love it lol!  Basically, as Koi says in the book, Ash Stryker is a BAMF.  He’s also a great book boyfriend imo.  Feel free to add him and NINJA GIRL to your shelf if you’re looking for a sweet YA romance with a kickass heroine and a swoonworthy hero. :)

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

 

Snow’s Top 10 Ninja Tips

The idea for this post was inspired by Snow from my YA romance NINJA GIRL (of course!) and Tressa over at Wishful Endings.  (You can read the original here.)

One of my favorite things about writing is really getting into the heads of my characters.  My MCs are people that I admire, that I could see myself being friends with, and Snow is a ninja girl after my own heart. :)  She’s tough yet vulnerable, strong yet soft on the inside, smart and incredibly loyal.  In short, she is one tough cookie, and I love her for it.  So without further ado…

Snow’s Top 10 Ninja Tips:

  1. Embrace your inner ninja (aka love yourself and everything that makes you YOU).
  2. Watch out for mean girls. Even ninjas have feelings, and mean girls always go for the weak spots.
  3. Be stealth–especially when it comes to stealing a kiss from a stranger in a theater. Who said you have to wait for that first kiss?
  4. Adhere to the ninja way, and always stick up for your friends (even when they keep secrets and drag you to Girls Night…ugh).
  5. Say “no” to karaoke. Just because you kick ass does not mean you have ninja singing skills.
  6. Work out every day–especially if you’ve eaten marshmallow fluff the night before.
  7. Keep it professional (aka stop accidentally kissing the guy whose body you’re supposed to be guarding).
  8. Some ninjas like chick flicks…or have a collection of every romantic comedy ever.
  9. Be fearless if you can. If you’re scared, be brave and do it anyway.
  10. If someone loves you for the ninja that you are, don’t be afraid to love them right back <3.

Like I said, I love Snow!  I’m really hoping readers will as well.  Next week, I’m planning to do a post about Ash…oh Ash, sigh <333.  Keep a lookout for that if you’d like to fangirl right along with me lol.  Also, if you like winning free stuff, there’s still a few more days to enter the NINJA GIRL Blog Tour Giveaway!  I hoped you enjoyed these ninja tips as much as I did, and I hope you have a great day!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

P.S. NINJA GIRL hit #1 in the U.S. in one of its categories this week!!!  Yayyyyy, whoohoo, and hi-yah!

 

To Readers, With Love

Writers shouldn’t read their reviews.

I know, I know…but it’s just so hard to do in reality!  If there is a secret to this, please let me know.  I actually somewhat agree with the sentiment because if you’re anything like me a bad review can make you question everything.  (To be honest, I question everything anyway…ugh.)  Here’s the thing though: Sometimes what reviewers write isn’t bad.  Sometimes what they write…is wonderful.

And if you don’t read the reviews–or only read the bad ones that stick in your head forever…and ever…and ever and ever and ever–you might miss a kind word that could make your day! :)

I’m not even going to lie.  I read the reviews.  Yes, some of them hurt; that’s something that hasn’t changed since publishing  ADORKABLE.  Some of the harsher comments cut straight to the bone.  But a lot of people had nice things to say, and I wanted to share a bit of that brightness with you!

Here are some of the wonderful things people had to say about NINJA GIRL:

Ninja Girl is such a great young adult read. I fell in love with Snow and Ash.”–Lissa at Boundless Book Reviews

“I love the characters. Not only is Ash everything I hoped for, but Snow is one of my favorite young adult protagonists. Ever. She’s intimidating and unsure all at once and pulls it off in a thoroughly believable way. I adore her loyalty to her mother, her responsibility to her job, and her very vulnerable heart.”–T.H. Hernandez at Adventures in Writing, author of The Union Series

“Cookie O’Gorman follows up the appropriately titled Adorkable with the delightfully entertaining Ninja Girl, an equally fun read featuring a kick-butt, strong and smart female main character and enjoyable plot.”–Jennifer at Never Too Many To Read

“A cute contemporary with kickass fighting, girl power and diversity.”–Kati at To Be Read

“This novel moves at a stellar pace. Honestly, there was never a dull moment! If you weren’t swooning over Ash and Snow together you were watching Snow kick some serious butt or having these great moments of individual character growth. I loved every page.”–Lauren at SERIESous Book Reviews

“Ninja Girl was funny, entertaining and daring at the gender roles swap, but it worked out so well and naturally that we can’t even imagine it any other way.”–Annelise at The Book Adventures of Annelise Lestrange

“A really kick ass romance that will have you swooning and cheering.”–Jessica at Writing Pearls

“This was such a brilliantly fun read. The writing was punchy, the plot packed and twisty, and the underlying themes very contemporary and on-point.”–Christina Philippou at Writing Round the Block, author of Lost In Static

“I loved how much I bought into and believed in the characters and the storyline. Cookie O’Gorman is a great writer. I can’t wait to read more books by her. Ninja Girl was a great read for me.”–Michelle at Book Briefs

“I loved the romance between Ash and Snow. The writing was smooth and easy to read and the pace was even throughout the book. I can’t wait to read more by this author!”–Poulami at Daydreaming Books

I am very thankful to YA Bound Book Tours and to everyone who helped with the NINJA GIRL blog tour.  I titled this one “To Readers, With Love” because I want you to know how much I truly appreciate every read, review and post.  Whether it is for ADORKABLE or NINJA GIRL, if you’re a blogger/reviewer/reader, I wish I could write it across the sky in letters, but I hope you believe me when I say: Thank you so much!  You are awesome!!!

I hope you all have a great week!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman

NINJA GIRL Blog Tour

Yay, it’s time for the NINJA GIRL Blog Tour!

Ninja Girl tour banner

Excitement and nervousness are battling it out, but I’m looking forward to (and also dreading lol) seeing what readers thought of the book.  I can’t believe NINJA GIRL has been out for almost a month!  That’s just crazy.  I really hope people love Snow and Ash and their story.  Oh I so hope that!  No matter what though, I am grateful for every blogger who took the time out to review and/or post about book baby #2 :).  Thank you to YA Bound Book Tours for working with me again, and thank you to every reader who has helped spread the word about NINJA GIRL!  If you’re interested, here is a link to the tour.  Several awesome blogs are involved, and there’s also a giveaway!  I hope your week is off to a great start!

Happy reading,

Cookie O’Gorman