Friday, May 23, 2014

THE SECRET DIAMOND SISTERS

Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

"Sexy and electrifying ... Gossip Girl meets The Princess Diaries in a city that never sleeps!" --Booklist

"This quick and entertaining read is filled with glitz and glamour ... get ready for one crazy and fabulous ride!" --RT Book Reviews

PURCHASE: [ Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Book Depository | iBookstore ]


DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH

All-access doesn't mean no problems.

The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah's YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganza—with complimentary enemies on the side. Dangerous flirtations don't keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters' archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusion—and turn their lives upside down all over again.

Coming October 28, 2014!

PRE-ORDER: [ Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Book Depository | iBookstore ]





ALSO BY MICHELLE MADOW

THE TRANSCEND TIME SAGA



Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from 1815, England ... but she doesn't realize it until she meets her soul mate from the past and he triggers her memories to gradually return.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Giving away a box of SEVEN YA novels!!!

I'm clearing my shelf in preparation of BEA (Book Expo America) this month, which means it's time for a GIVEAWAY! The first giveaway I'm doing is for these seven YA novels:



Because this is going to be a large box to ship, I unfortunately have to limit it to those living in the USA only. ONE PERSON will win all seven books.

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

How I Personally Relate to the Diamond Sisters

I don’t usually write personal blog posts about what I was like in high school. But the ways that each of the girls behave is drawn off personal experience, along with first hand things I witnessed from my friends when I was that age, and I thought you all might be interested in reading about this. So, I’m going to tell you a little bit about each of the four characters, and how they relate to me personally. Hope you enjoy!


SAVANNAH DIAMOND
Savannah is very similar to the way that I, and many of my friends, behaved while we were fifteen years old—sophomores in high school. I was always in that “middle crowd,” in high school—the normal people. Not “cool,” but not a “nerd,” either. But at that point in my life, I wanted more than anything to be accepted by the “popular kids.” Looking back, it seems so trivial, but it was important to me then, just as it’s important to Savannah. A lot of fifteen year olds want to be accepted. They want to be invited to the coolest parties, and have the hottest guys in school that they crush on from afar notice them. Many times (and I know this because my friends and I went through it), at that age you will care about getting noticed by the hot, popular guys. I got my heart broken many times because of it. Like *many* teens, I was guilty of giving into peer pressure. It’s unfortunate, but it’s REAL, and it happens. Eventually most of us grow up from this mindset (I definitely did), but many people—like Savannah—need to make those mistakes to do so. She’s only fifteen, and she will grow up eventually, but she needs time. I wish I had been more confident at fifteen, and not cared about those things as much, but I wasn't like that, and while not all fifteen year olds are like that, there are definitely some that are. So if you're fifteen, and are already confident and know your place in the world, then congrats. You're lucky. And I hope you realize how great that maturity is! (If I'd had it, I might have had a much easier time in high school).


COURTNEY DIAMOND
I see Courtney as the “typical YA literary heroine that many people are accustomed to reading about.” She acts like she’s in her mid/upper 20s, not like she’s sixteen (or at least not how I EVER acted at sixteen). I included a character like this because it fit with her background of being responsible, and I know there are people out there who DID act this way in high school. They were confident, knew what they wanted, and had their act together. BUT I do not think this is the “norm” for high school students (or at least it didn’t seem to be when I was in high school), which is why Courtney is the only one of the four who acts in this way. Courtney is actually very representative of my personality now, in my 20s. At age 21, when I realized my goal in life was to write books and hopefully get them published, my entire mindset changed. I became confident like Courtney, and no longer sought out to impress others—I focused only on doing everything I could to make my dream come true. I’m still like that. But was I like that as a teen? Maybe some of you were, and that’s great, but I certainly wasn’t. I wish I could tell my teenage self to get my act together, stop caring so much about what others thought, and start writing books already!


PEYTON DIAMOND
Out of the four main characters, Peyton is the least like I ever was, or currently am. A lot of her personality is based off a girl I was close with in high school, who I respected very much (and still do respect very much.) She was rebellious, she was confident, she did what she wanted, but she also had her heart broken a lot and didn’t let people in easily. She grew up fast, and oftentimes resented when her parents tried to get involved in her life and tell her what to do. She could handle herself in ANY situation. But my favorite thing about her, and a huge reason why we were friends, was because if she was truly friends with someone, she would always be there for them. In the book, Peyton doesn’t have many close friends, but she’s always there for her sisters, just as this friend of mine in high school was always there for her close friends. She’s tough, but she’s trustworthy to those who have broken down her walls. She’s the one who if you got stuck anywhere, you could call and know she would figure out a way to help out.


MADISON LOCKHART
Ohhh, Madison. The “Queen B” of Las Vegas. There’s a lot of Madison that’s drawn from a combination of my high school self and my current day self. Madison is focused and smart, and she acts confident, but she does have a jealous streak. Which I think is realistic, because who hasn’t been jealous of someone else before? It’s unfortunate, but it happens to the best of us. Madison also has the same taste of clothes, food and drink, and movies that I do. My background growing up is most similar to Madison’s than any of the Diamond sisters’, (although my parents weren’t always at work like hers are) so in a way that oftentimes makes it easier for me to jump into her mind. My best friend actually told me that Madison reminded her of a not-as-nice version of me. I would never be mean to people like Madison is in the book, but other than that, I’m actually pretty similar to her! (Except that she loves science, and I love reading and writing.)
__________

I hope that gives you better insight into why I made each character the way I did. One major goal of mine while writing this book was to make each girl different. As a reader, you'll relate to one the most, and one the least. I've always enjoyed reading about characters who are different from myself. These girls aren't perfect -- they don't always make the right decisions. They mess up. They act on their feelings instead of on logic. They're not always confident. They're not all going to be good little girls who go home and get their homework done every night, and who are confident enough to not care about what others think about them. As the trilogy goes on, they'll learn from their mistakes, but when it all ends, they're still teens. I hope that there will be one of them you relate to, and that you can appreciate the ones who are different from you. And most of all, that you have fun while reading the book!

xoxo,
Michelle

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

FAQ for The Secret Diamond Sisters

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

I visit Las Vegas every year because of a family event, and I was walking through my favorite hotel — The Wynn — when I thought, “What would it be like to live here?” From there, the idea for The Secret Diamond Sisters formed! I love how the city bursts with magic and excitement. Vegas does everything as big as possible, so being there is like entering a fantasyland. My favorite part is definitely all the different hotels. Each one is a different theme, and they all have such distinct personalities. A few of my favorite hotels are mentioned in The Secret Diamond Sisters (Paris, the Venetian, and many implications to the Wynn), so hopefully readers are transported into these magical hotels while they’re reading the book!

What's the difference between Savannah, Courtney and Peyton? Which one would be your favorite Diamond Sister: Savannah, Courtney or Peyton? And why?

There are SO MANY differences between these three girls. Peyton is the oldest, the most stubborn, has taken the brunt of the difficulty of dealing with an irresponsible mother who recently spiraled into alcoholism. She hasn't gotten over a certain heartbreak, and has trouble trusting anyone anymore. Courtney is the responsible, goal-oriented sister, who oftentimes acts as the mediator between Peyton and Savannah, and has put school and work before having friends or a boyfriend. Savannah is the youngest and most naive -- she's been protected by her sisters -- and is very innocent in comparison to them, but it also leads to her being an optimist who always believes the best in everyone. When I was in high school, I related the most to Savannah, but nowadays, I'm definitely the most like Courtney, because of my focus on writing and how I put it before anything else in my life.

What was your favorite part of research for The Secret Diamond Sisters

I got to do a lot of FUN research for this series, because of the awesome Las Vegas setting! Once I realized I was going to write this book, I walked through Vegas seeing it through the eyes of my characters, and being inspired by the different hotels for scenes in the book. My best friend came out to Vegas with me, and we went “exploring” through Vegas to find places that would inspire scenes. We walked through the shops, ate at the restaurants, partied at the clubs, and everything. It was a blast! My favorite part was walking through the Wynn Hotel, which is the hotel that inspired the Diamond.

Here’s a picture of me and my best friend Kaitlin getting Eiffel Tower drinks at the Paris Hotel (these will be familiar to those who have read the book!)


Which of the boys is your favorite - Damien, Brett, Nick, Oliver, or Jackson?

That depends on what you mean by “favorite!” If you’re asking which one I would most like to date, then definitely BRETT. He’s pretty much my dream guy on paper. Smart, goal driven, insightful, and he also plans some pretty romantic dates (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve read the book!) However, my favorite guy to write is Oliver. He gets into so much trouble—you never know what’s coming with him, which makes him a blast to write!

There's been some talk about the drinking and partying in The Secret Diamond Sisters, saying it's unrealistic for a 15-year old to engage in such activities so frequently. Do you believe this is unrealistic? If so, is it okay to suspend reality for the sake of entertainment?

It’s important to remember that The Secret Diamond Sisters takes place in a short time span—one week in July, that begins on the Fourth of July, and ends with the grand opening of the Diamond Hotel. Not only is it summer—when these teens in my book have no responsibility—but it’s one of the biggest party weeks in summer! It’s pretty much like a vacation. (And I don’t know about everyone else, but the vacations I took as a teen could get pretty crazy.) The main characters are 15, 16, and 17, and only one of them is 15, and that 15 year old is spending time with older kids. Not only do I believe that this drinking and partying is realistic, but I know it’s realistic, from personal experience and the experiences of people I know when we were those ages. The lives of these girls may be extremely different from your life, but part of the fun of reading is seeing the world through the eyes of others who have had different experiences from your own. And it’s not only “okay” to suspend reality for the sake of entertainment, but necessary! Most books—even contemporaries—are very different from the reality lived by the person reading it.

What do you hope readers take away from The Secret Diamond Sisters?

Firstly, I want readers to be entertained and have FUN while reading The Secret Diamond Sisters. This is a light read that I hope will leave readers feeling happy when they're finished. Each of the four main characters is very different, so readers will be sure to find one they relate to more than the others (and they will probably find one that is the complete opposite of them, too.) But I would love for readers to keep an open mind to the characters who act differently from the ways they would act. The main characters don't make the best decisions at all times -- they mess up, they act before thinking, they give into peer pressure, and they aren't sure of who they are yet. But this is realistic to what many teens go through (it certainly is realistic to my friends and I when we were teens). Each of the four main characters is going through an internal struggle, and trying to find their place in the world. I hope readers can put aside personal judgments and see the world from each of these four girls' eyes, and maybe even apply this to their own lives and become less judgmental of their peers -- because you never know the struggles that a person is hiding on the inside.

How is writing The Secret Diamond Sisters series different than writing your Transcend Time Saga?

The biggest difference is the point of view. The two full novels in The Transcend Time Saga, Remembrance and Timeless, are told from Lizzie’s point of view. I was in Lizzie’s head 100% of the time, telling the whole story from her voice, which was much easier. The Secret Diamond Sisters rotates point of view between four girls—Savannah, Courtney, Peyton, and Madison. Each girl is very different from one another, and has a distinct voice. I had to work a lot harder on developing the four characters so they come across as different to the reader. It took many rounds of edits to get it to where it is today! 

In terms of the Diamond drama (romance, rumors, power, etc.), what can we expect in the sequel?

In Diamonds in the Rough, major secrets will be uncovered that will change everything. Romances will be brought to new levels. I don’t want to give anything away, but I hope you end up feeling completely differently about certain characters by the end of Diamonds in the Rough than you did at the end of The Secret Diamond Sisters!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Giveaway: Take Me On by Katie McGarry and The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow

This past weekend, I was at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest, where I met some awesome fans and hung out with some amazing authors -- Katie McGarry, Julie Kagawa, Karen Ann Hopkins, Julie Lindsey, and more! I spoke on a panel about writing YA contemporary fiction, and had a blast meeting readers for most of the day :)



I was lucky enough to be seated next to the super nice Katie McGarry, author of Pushing the Limits, Dare You To, and Crash Into You. I've been a fan of Katie's since before I got a publishing deal (I remember waiting in her signing line for Pushing the Limits at BEA in 2012), so I was so happy when I saw I would be next to her at the event! She's super sweet, and it was so great hanging out with her. 

Since Katie and I both write YA contemporary fiction for Harlequin Teen, we're doing a giveaway for a copy of Take Me On, Katie's upcoming novel coming out on May 27th, and The Secret Diamond Sisters! 

Enter to win using the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. The contest is open International!

TAKE ME ON

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

Add On Goodreads

(How amazing does that sound?! And fun fact I learned on the panel -- Katie took martial arts classes in preparation of writing this story!)


THE SECRET DIAMOND SISTERS

Savannah. Courtney. Peyton. 

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

"Sexy and electrifying ... Gossip Girl meets The Princess Diaries in a city that never sleeps." --Booklist

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 18, 2014

Diamonds in the Rough Cover Reveal and HUGE GIVEAWAY!!

Hey, everyone! Yesterday, the Diamonds in the Rough cover was officially revealed! I love it -- it perfectly gets across the vibe of the series: scandal, romance, drama, and secrets in Las Vegas! In celebration, I'm hosting a HUGE INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY! :D Yes, you can enter to win no matter where in the world you live!

Diamonds in the Rough comes out in November 2014 -- make sure to read The Secret Diamond Sisters beforehand so you're ready to jump into Diamonds in the Rough right after it comes out! :)

Without further waiting ... here's the cover and description!

All-access doesn't mean no problems.

The three Diamond sisters survived the summer in style after coming to live with their long-lost billionaire father. But making a place for themselves at their exclusive new Las Vegas private school is throwing them any number of gold-plated curves. Savannah's YouTube stardom turns into a Sweet Sixteen reality show extravaganza—with complimentary enemies on the side. Dangerous flirtations don't keep Peyton from a gamble that will risk far more than she planned to bet. And when Courtney and the sisters' archenemy, Madison, uncover two explosive secrets, it will rock even this town of glittering illusion—and turn their lives upside down all over again.

Add to your Goodreads to-read shelf

PRE-ORDER: [ Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | iBooks ]




THE GIVEAWAY

- Signed paperback of The Secret Diamond Sisters
- The Secret Diamond Sisters signed bookmark
- Sister postcard for the three sisters (Savannah, Courtney, and Peyton)
- Diamond cutout necklace
- Diamond rhinestone sticker

 

 

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Welcome to my Leap into Books giveaway, hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer and Jinky is Reading. Please click HERE to see everyone else participating in the giveaway!

I am giving away a signed paperback of my latest book, The Secret Diamond Sisters, along with a signed bookmark!

"Sexy and often electrifying ... Gossip Girl meets The Princess Diaries in a city that never sleeps." 
--Booklist

"This quick and entertaining read is filled with glitz and glamour ... get ready for one crazy and fabulous ride." 
--RT Book Reviews

Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

Find The Secret Diamond Sisters on:
[ Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | iBookstore ]






Use the Rafflecopter below to enter. This giveaway is for those in the USA only. Good luck!