22 May 2013

I *heart* Ryan GOING UNDER Blog Tour: Guestpost + Giveaway + AND A BIRTHDAY VISIT!

Going Under 
by S.Walden
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Createspace (paperback) | Kobo
Brooke Wright has only two goals her senior year at Charity Run High School: stay out of trouble and learn to forgive herself for the past. Forgiveness proves elusive, and trouble finds her anyway when she discovers a secret club at school connected to the death of her best friend. She learns that swim team members participate in a “Fantasy Slut League,” scoring points for their sexual acts with unsuspecting girls.

Brooke, wracked with guilt over her friend’s death, decides to infiltrate the league by becoming one of the “unsuspecting girls,” and exact revenge on the boys who stole away her best friend. An unexpected romance complicates her plans, and her dogged pursuit of justice turns her reckless as she underestimates just how far the boys will go to keep their sex club a secret.

"I Did Not Get Lucky"

Try asking someone how they made it to where they are.
“What’s your secret? How did it happen? What can you share with others in your field?”
The answer usually? “Oh, I just got lucky.”

Hmm. Really? I mean, really? Well, I truly am happy for those people, but my story hasn’t gone that way at all.

Here’s the deal. I’m working my ass off. I’ll be the first one to say it. I am working really, really hard, and very little of this journey has been easy. I understand more about marketing now than I did six months ago, but it’s still a learning process, and I’ve yet to get to a point in my writing career where I can say, “Oh, happy day! I know all there is to know about marketing and promoting!” I don’t think I’ll ever get there. I’m very much on the outside trying to bulldoze my way in, or scale the wall. However you want to look at it. It’s a tough climb. I’m clawing. I’m reaching. My back hurts. My mascara’s running. There’s nothing “lucky” about it. So it’s hard for me to believe when other people talk about overnight success. Hmm. I think there’s a back story there we aren’t allowed to know. J

I am nowhere near awesome, over-the-top success, but Going Under is by far the first novel I’ve written that’s gone anywhere. I squealed when I saw that it was selling well in the UK. Really? Okay. That’s rockin’. And I squealed, too, when I started hearing from bloggers who wanted to promote me. Me? Get out of town! And I squeal every time someone “friends” me on goodreads or “likes” my Facebook page. All good things, but they haven’t come easily. And so I want to take a moment to share the promotional bits I’ve been doing that have allowed me to see success with Going Under. Have I shot to the top of the Kindle lists overnight? Hell no. I’m not even there, but like I said, I’m slowly climbing. Slipping up. Falling back some. Making a gain or two. Falling again. One step forward. It’s work, people. Hard. Work.

So that this isn’t a long, drawn-out post, I’ll just list the things I’ve found to be most successful in promoting Going Under (this list is for my curious fans and fellow indie writers who may need some tips):

1. Cover reveal (Do this several weeks before publication)
2. Release day book blitz (I did it over the course of three days)
3. Giveaways for signed ARCs on goodreads (Holla! Goodreads is your gold mine. These chicks love them some books, and they love to promote them)
4. Discounted price during special events (You’ve gotta if you want to see a climb)
5. Book tours (I did a two-week blitz in April, and I have book tours scheduled for June and August)
6. Replying PROMPTLY to bloggers interested in promoting you (You wanna be featured? Then respond!)
7. Giveaways for e-books, signed paperback copies, and an ultimate grand prize (Who in the world doesn’t like free stuff?)
8. FB, blog, and Twitter posts (Keep everyone informed)

So there you have it. No secrets over here. Those are the things I’ve been doing to promote Going Under. And I don’t mind sharing because I want to see other indie authors succeed. Again, I’m not sharing this post as some know-it-all author who’s mastered the art of PR. I’m sharing as an author who has been receiving messages from FB fans and bloggers telling me my book is creating buzz. So the word is spreading, and I have incredible fans to thank for their devotion to hardcore promoting. THANK. YOU. I feel those two words don’t go far enough, but it’s the best I can do. ♥

 All About Ryan
“Ryan, why are you so gorgeous and strange?”

My sister told me she laughed her butt off at that part in the book—the part where Brooke gets drunk. I
wanted it to be silly and lighthearted to take away from some of the heaviness in the novel. I mean, good grief. If the entire novel were like Chapter 20, who on earth would read it??

But back to gorgeous and strange Ryan. It’s official. The ladies love him, and many of you were a little mad you didn’t get more of him in the book. In my defense, I will say that Going Under was not meant to be primarily a romance. In fact, I purposely wrote the romance as a side item. This did not make for completely happy fans. You were semi-happy, but not all-the-way happy. ☺ So here’s me making it up to you. I’m giving you a little inside information on our leading man that hopefully will allow you to forgive me in some way for not featuring him on every page. xo

Full name: Ryan James Foster
Born: September 27 in Raleigh, North Carolina at WakeMed
Astrological Sign: Libra
Stats: 6’2”: 180 lbs; brown hair; blue eyes
Favorite food: Steak fajitas
Favorite music: The Smashing Pumpkins, specifically their Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness album. (His older cousin turned him on to ‘90s alternative rock.)
Favorite TV show: Game of Thrones
Activities: surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding (he’s really hot when he snowboards), swimming, making out with Brooke
Favorite book: The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Favorite movie: Snatch (Hey, what do you want me to say?)
College degree: B.S. Business Finance
Current job: Finance manager for a chain of local skateboard and skateboard supplies stores in Chapel Hill, NC

Idiotic move in college: Hosted a “hurricane party” at a friend’s place half a mile from the beach. These are popular parties during hurricane season in Wilmington, NC, and they really piss off the local authorities. No one was hurt, but a lot of college students got wasted and then naked. Ryan only got partially naked.

Biggest regret about Brooke: Not getting out of the car. He drove to NC State to see Brooke her freshmen year. He sat in the car in front of her dorm. He waited for hours and finally saw her walking towards the dorm entrance. And he wanted to go to her, but he was afraid. So he watched her swipe her key card, open the door, and disappear from view. He wouldn’t see her again for two years.

Sweetest Moment: Marrying Brooke. Simple. No fuss. A courthouse. The important people. A beautiful woman in a little white dress. Saying “I do.” And the next installment in their great big adventure.

Random Stuff:
~Broke his arm three times when he was in elementary school and middle school.
~Had braces twice: once in fourth grade and then again in seventh because he never wore his retainer.
~Played center forward in soccer until he messed up his knee.
~Pledged a fraternity in college and then quit.
~Turned down a make-out session with a girl in his freshmen composition class. Told her he was already committed to someone else.
~Became inseparable friends with Alyssa from philosophy. She was the only one who could stomach his incessant talk about Brooke.
~Wears one contact in his right eye to give him monovision (one eye sees distance and one eye reads up close).
~Does pushups every day.
~Tried vegetarianism for a week at the insistence of his friend, Charlie. Missed his steak fajitas too much to commit for life.
~Wants to give Brooke babies as soon as possible.

Check out what went down yesterday and what'll go down tomorrow on the blog tour:
May 21
A Love Affair with Books – Author Interview
Reading Is My Breathing – Promo/Excerpt
May 22
Sab The Book Eater – Guest Post
Sugar and Spice Book Reviews – Review
May 23
Up All Night Book Blog – Review
Nose Graze - Promo/Excerpt

About the author

S. Walden used to teach English before making the best decision of her life by becoming a full-time writer. She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who prefers physics textbooks over fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has a Westie instead. Her dreams include raising chickens and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast (chickens included). When she's not writing, she's thinking about it.

She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at swaldenauthor@hotmail.com and follow her blog at http://swaldenauthor.blogspot.com where you can get up-to-date information on her current projects.



I *heart* Ryan Giveaway 
1. signed paperback copy of Going Under
2. $20 Game Stop gift card
3. Lana Del Rey’s single “Video Games”
4. Playstation 4 decals
5. Skateboard stickers
6. “Gamers Embrace” T-shirt
7. Ryan’s love letter to Brooke

Yup, I turn 21 years old today! I think it's super cool that my stop on the I *heart* Ryan GOING UNDER Blog Tour falls on the day I turn a year older. And um.... well, I have a special guest on the blog today and I am flailing like crazy. Everyone, the guy the blog tour is named after, Ryan...

Isabel, I hope you don’t mind that I dropped by today. Summer told me it was your birthday. Pretty sweet! This is my friend, Charlie. *Charlie salutes Isabel* He’s gonna help me sing for you. He’s tone deaf—yeah, I realize he plays the guitar . . . still tone deaf—and I’m not so hot with singing either, but we’ll do the best we can. Hey, it’s the sentiment that counts, right?

Right..... *stares, still stunned by the sheer hotness in front of me*

*Helps Charlie set up his amp. Lots of squealing and high pitched noises.*

We’ll get it together. One sec . . .

*Charlie strums his guitar a few times. Working out the kinks.*

We’re set. Now Isabel, I hope you don’t mind, but we thought it’d be a lot more fun to sing a nontraditional “Happy Birthday” song for you. Beatles style. I’m sure you’ve heard it. Charlie, are you ready?

*He nods. He’s not much of a talker.*

One, two, three, four . . .

*Charlie practically beats the first measure of the song out of his guitar. It’s. Really. Loud.*

‘You say it’s your birthday!’

*They’re screaming more than singing. But it works.*

‘It’s my birthday, too, yeah! They say it’s your birthday! We’re gonna have a good time! I’m glad it’s your birthday. Happy birthday to you, yeah!’

*Awesome guitar solo that’s accompanied by . . . O. M. G. A birthday kiss! A BIRTHDAY KISS ON THE CHEEK!! Charlie takes one last whack at his guitar before dipping low in a deep bow. No one’s paying attention to him, though. A birthday kiss just took place, people.*

I hope you get everything you want for your birthday, Isabel.

OH I DID!!! *clears throat* I mean yeah, thanks, Ryan. *smiles shyly*

*Ryan winks. It’s hot. He grabs the amp.*

Oh, and totally cool blog, by the way.


*Charlie nods. They wave goodbye and head out the door.*



  1. Happy birthday, Isabel!! I hope your day is spectacular. Go pamper yourself :)

    xo Summer

    1. Thanks, Summer! <3 And I did pamper myself....with food. Lots and lots.

  2. Yea this looks like a good beach read!

  3. Happy birthday :)

    Already have the book, just need to graduate so I have time to read something other than textbooks. But its the first one Im going to pick up :)

  4. Happy Birthday Isabel! Hope you have a great day! Looks like it started out perfect. What girl doesn't want to be serenaded? But kissed as well? And by Ryan of all people!!!

    Going Under is one amazing book. A book on my faves for 2013. Pretty sure it will stay #1 for me for a long time.

  5. He has a friend named Charlie and we have the same birthday. This guy.. Oh my.

  6. Belated happy birthday! I saw Going Under in goodreads and it has goo reviews. It's probably something I would read since I'm a sucker for romance.