Cover Reveal: Fragile Brilliance by Tammy Blackwell


Today is the cover reveal for Fragile Brilliance (Shifters and Seers #1) by Tammy Blackwell!

Fragile Brilliance Cover lr

Maggie McCray has worked her whole life for the opportunity to attend Sanders College. It’s her one chance at becoming a world-renowned artist, and she’s determined nothing will get in her way. But when a murder brings Maggie and her powers to the attention of the Alpha Pack and the tragically handsome Charlie Hagan, her carefully planned future hangs in jeopardy.

Charlie Hagan isn’t happy when the Alpha Female assigns him as Maggie McCray’s personal bodyguard. Just being near the Thaumaturgic threatens to unleash the primal instincts he’s been suppressing for so long. Charlie knows if the coyote is uncaged, then the person he’ll most need to protect Maggie from is himself.

Fragile Brilliance is the first book in the Shifters & Seers series by Tammy Blackwell, bestselling author of the Timber Wolves trilogy.  It releases on Tuesday November 26, 2013.  Add it your want to read list on Goodreads.
About Tammy Blackwell
Tammy Blackwell

Tammy Blackwell is a Young Adult Services Coordinator for a public library system in Kentucky. When she's not reading, writing, cataloging, or talking about books, she's sleeping.

Children's Book Week - Guest Post - Tammy Blackwell

To celebrate Children's Book Week, I asked teachers and librarians to respond to the prompt - "Books can take you anywhere..."  Over the course of the week, I will be sharing their responses.  Up first is Tammy Blackwell.

When I was a kid, I lived in the middle of nowhere. This isn't an exaggeration. Our farm was roughly thirty acres and was surrounded by fields of corn and soy beans and cows. I don't know how close our nearest neighbor was, but it was far, far away. On the upside, my parents were fully onboard with me wandering for hours in the fields, woods, and creeks since it wasn't exactly like someone could wander up and snatch me. On the downside, I wasn't really an outdoorsy kid. Miles of nature didn't appeal to me, which left me feeling more like a trapped loner than a free explorer.

My salvation during those years came from the Bookmobile. My parents both worked, and my aunt who babysat me didn't drive much. She did, however, live in the actual little, tiny, we-have-five-houses-and-a-store town where once a month a big truck filled with books would set up at the Methodist church. I lived for Bookmobile days. While my cousin and her hooligan friends were swinging off grape vines behind the church (and breaking their arms, I should mention), I climbed up those metal steps with my aunt and entered a magical world. In reality, the Bookmobile can't hold many books, but to my tiny eyes it was an endless buffet of one-way tickets out of my country bumpkin life. Thanks to the Bookmobile, I was able to hang out with friends who actually understood me (the Babysitters Club), solve mysteries (Nancy Drew), and live a glamorous life in California (Sweet Valley). I may have been physically stuck in rural Kentucky, but those books took me all over the world.

Now, as a library employee for the same system whose Bookmobile was my salvation all those years ago, I can always spot the kids who are looking for that same escape. It's in their eyes when they walk through the door; it's in the way they caress the spines of the books with reverence, carefully selecting their next destination. Our world changes rapidly, and places that were once empty fields are now the location of overly full subdivisions. Even the farm where I grew up now has visible neighbors. But having people in sight doesn't mean you're not alone and isolated. Books will always be there for those kids, and for that, I'm truly grateful.

Thanks Tammy for sharing your thoughts about how books can take you anywhere!!!

For more information about Tammy:
Tammy Blackwell is the Young Adult Services Coordinator for a public library system in Kentucky. When she's not reading, writing, or cataloging books, she's sleeping. She is the author of the YA Novels Destiny Binds, Time Mends, Fate Succombs, and At First Sight. Her newest book All We See & Seem will be available on May 21, 2013.

You can follow Tammy on twitter: @miss_tammy or check out her website:

Guest Post: What's the Next Big Thing in YA Literature?

What is The Next Big Thing in YA literature? Is it angels? Mermaids? Garden gnomes? In November I spent three days in St. Louis with a gaggle of librarians and authors who tried to answer this very question at the YALSA Literature Symposium. And what did we decide?

No one knows.

Seems like a disappointing end to three days worth of conversations, doesn’t it? But you know what? It isn’t. In fact, it’s some of the best news I’ve heard in a long time.

Since I work both as a librarian and writer, I know what it’s like to feel the pressure to find The Next Big Thing. I’ve spent a million hours worrying whether or not I’ve bought the right books for my collection or if that new story idea will become/still be mainstream once I get it written. I’ve read industry articles and blogs and followed conversations on social media sites in an attempt to spot trends early on. Heck, I drove all the way to St. Louis (a city in which both Mello Yello and sweet tea are scarce) to get ahead of the curve.

Quite frankly, I’m exhausted.

At some point, and I’m not sure when it was, I began obsessing over trends instead of books. I wanted to be the cool librarian who always recommended the hot new book before anyone else. I wanted to become the writer who released a book at just the right time instead of a few years too early or too late. I worried about popularity and numbers instead of what is truly important... the story.

What I took away from St. Louis was that trends are unpredictable. Who knew a year ago that I wouldn’t be able to keep bondage erotica on the shelf at my small town Kentucky library? Small town Kentucky. Bondage erotica. It’s crazy! And it came out of nowhere. Why? How? Because people got so attached to the story, they told their friends. And those friends read it, became attached, and told their friends. It went on and on until you couldn’t turn on a morning talk show without hearing the words “Fifty Shades”. Could anyone have predicted it was going to happen? I don’t think so. Because you can’t predict emotional responses to books, and those are what make The Next Big Thing happen. Writers, editors, and marketing specialists might be able to somewhat steer popular taste, but it takes passionate readers to create a trend-setting phenomenon.

So, what does that mean for those of us whose job it is to be on top of book trends? What are librarians, teachers, and writers supposed to do? I think the answer is simple. Find the passion. Read books that set you on fire, and then tell others about them. Buy books that excite you, and then hand sell them to your patrons and students. Write the stories that are clawing to get out of your brain. Don’t worry about what is supposed to be The Next Big Thing, focus on the thing right now that gets under your skin and won’t let go. Maybe that book you’re telling every person who will listen about will become the next every-human-must-read-it-and-watch-the-blockbuster-movie book, and maybe it won’t. It doesn’t matter. What matters is getting excited about books and spreading that excitement. The rest will work itself out. And if you end up feeling blindsided by that garden gnome trend, don’t worry about it. Most of the rest of us will be scratching our heads and wondering where it came from, too.

Thanks to Miss Tammy for sharing your insights. Tammy Blackwell is the Young Adult Services Coordinator for a public library system in Kentucky. When she's not reading, writing, or cataloging books, she's sleeping. She is the author of the YA Novels -  Destiny Binds, Time Mends, and Fate Succombs .

You can follow Tammy on twitter: @miss_tammy or check out her website:

Tammy has a special treat for fans of her Timber Wolves Trilogy - From January 4th to 6th, At First Sight: A Timber Wolves Companion will be available as a free download for Kindle on Amazon.  It is a wonderful peek into her fabulous characters.

Guest Post: Tammy Blackwell - New Year Resolutions Timber Wolves Style

When Aly first asked me to write a guest post for the first of January to celebrate the release of TimeMends, possibly with a New Years resolution theme, I immediately thought of My So-Called Life.* There is this episode that starts with all the characters sitting around watching a pre-stroke Dick Clark herald in 1995. And as they’re watching, they do voice-overs of all their resolutions. It’s one of my favorite moments of the show because you get this really awesome over-view of each of the characters. Because resolutions, they’re like this really intimate thing, you know?**
            So, inspired by the spirit of Angela Chase,*** I am sharing Scout and company’s spoiler-free resolutions.

Scout: No more messes. No clothes just laying around in piles of clean and unclean and kinda clean. No more accidentally growing science experiments in the bottom drawer of the cabinet in my bathroom. No more screwing up the lives of everyone I love. This year, I’m Talley-izing my life.

Jase: Increase my free throw average to .90. Stop wanting things I can’t have. Be more awesome.

Charlie: I need to learn to accept the things I cannot change, have the courage to change the things I can, and have the wisdom to know the difference. Or, at least, that’s what my therapist says. And me? I think I just need to grow up and move on.

Talley: Try harder. And maybe learn a foreign language.

Angel: I want to: 1. Learn how to use the stove. 2. Read all the Harry Potter books, even the ones that Mom thinks are too scary. 3. Grow taller.

Alex: Follow the rules and quit getting distracted by her.

Liam: Avenge and atone.

* I’m of the Catalano generation. I almost always immediately think of My So-Called Life. Or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Or maybe even Veronica Mars... You know, there is a chance my own New Years resolution should have been to watch less TV.

** This sentence can be blamed on the fact I turned My So-Called Life on in the background while I typed this. I think I may throw on a flannel and dye my hair red next.

*** Who wanted to not get caught up in her thoughts so much and become less introspective, except that might make her shallow, so she was going to have to think about it some more.

Thanks to Miss Tammy for the helping us to get to know her Timber Wolves Trilogy Characters a little better.  Tammy Blackwell is the Young Adult Services Coordinator for a public library system in Kentucky. When she's not reading, writing, or cataloging books, she's sleeping.  She is the author of the YA Novel Destiny Binds and now Time Mends.  

You can follow Tammy on twitter: @miss_tammy or check out her website:

For more information about her awesome characters, check out the Destiny Binds character interview Tammy did a few months ago, click here.

Book Review - Destiny Binds

Author: Tammy Blackwell
Published: CreateSpace (March 3, 2011)
Audience: Young Adult
Source: Personal Copy
Young Adult * Urban Fantasy

Description from GoodReads:
Scout Donovan is a girl who believes in rules, logic, and her lifelong love of Charlie Hagan. Alex Cole believes in destiny, magic, and Scout. When Alex introduces Scout to the world of Shifters, men who change into wolves or coyotes during the full moon and Seers, women who can see your most private thoughts and emotions with a mere touch, the knowledge changes everything and everyone Scout thought she knew.

How do you review a book that you have watched come into being?  To admit that I am biased and partial would be an understatement.  But I can tell you why I like it just like I would any other book.  

When Tammy shared the manuscript for this book with me two years ago, it really did hook me. And I can be brutally honest.  If it moves too slowly or doesn't hold my attention or I don't care about the characters, I will say so.  Yet, as I read this early version of the manuscript, I got excited.  Also, I have read this story through several revisions and again in it's final format.  Trust me, I won't re-read and re-read something unless I honestly like it.  Destiny Binds has several of the qualities that are important to me in a story and for that reason I can easily recommend this for fans of YA paranormal/urban fantasy/romance.   

First, I loved the characters that Tammy created.  Scout, the female protagonist, is bright and feisty and has a great sense of humor.  I like being in her head.  She is a fun narrator.  Then there is her brother - really her step-brother - Jase.  As you can tell from the character interview from yesterday's blog post, they play-off each other in a fun way.  Of course there is Alex, the hunky new guy, and Charlie, the long-time object of hotness.  

Second, books that use just the right level of humor will keep me reading.  Maybe because I am envious of people who can write humor well and not be annoying in the process.  Tammy has a little Joss Whedon mixed in with some Libba Bray in her style of humor.  She is probably the only person that can use all these cultural references that in some books would date the text but she manages to pull it off.  

Third, I have to admit that prior to Destiny Binds and Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, I really hadn't read any books that centered on shape-shifters or what might be commonly referred to "werewolves".  I admit I am more of a vampire girl. (Yeah, don't hold that against me.)  Thanks to Tammy, I might have found a small place in my literary heart for some really cute shape-shifters. 

Finally, any book that makes me care about the characters and what will happen to them is a winner in my mind.  If Tammy doesn't hurry up and write book two I might throw a fit.  Really, I need more of Scout, Alex, Jase, Charlie, Talley and the rest of the gang.  Heck, I just might need to invite her out to California for a writer's retreat so I can catch glimpses of book 2.  If you want a chance to find read Destiny Binds, scroll down and find out how you can win your own copy.              

Tammy Blackwell is the Young Adult Services Coordinator for a public library system in Kentucky. When she's not reading, writing, or cataloging books, she's sleeping.  She is the author of the YA Novel Destiny Binds.  You can follow her on twitter: @miss_tammy or on facebook:

You can find Destiny Binds on Amazon.  Click here.

Complete the form below for a chance to win a signed copy of Destiny Binds.  Please read contest rules carefully.

Rules for the Contest:

1. Please do not enter any personal information in the comments section (it will be deleted if you do), you must complete the Entry Form to officially enter the contest.
2.  The Contest runs from June 18th to 11:59 Pacific Time on June 26, 2011.
3.  You must be 13 or older to participate in this contest.
4.  If you are selected as a winner, I will notify you by e-mail.  If you do not respond within 48 hours, I will select a new winner.
5.  International participants are welcome to enter the contest.