Kristen Orlando: “Writing Must Haves” + Blog Tour Contest

You guys! It’s our first official blog tour of 2017 – OMG! And today’s blog tour features a super fun new spy thriller from Swoon Reads, You Don’t Know My Name by Kristen Orlando. Today, Kristen stops by with a guest blog about her “writing must-haves” — then keep reading for more about her book AND your chance to win a copy!

I am a creature of habit. I’ll literally eat the exact same thing for breakfast for at least a year. A few years ago, it was maple & brown sugar oatmeal with 10 M&Ms (because I’m a freaking adult and I can do what I want), the year after that it was a Rice Krispie treat with Nutella (not the most nutritious breakfast in the world, but again…the adult thing) and now I’m eating toast with peanut butter and a banana (I’m pregnant…so while I want the junk, trying to be good for this tiny human growing in my stomach). My writing habits and must-haves don’t seem to change either. Call it boring. Call it stuck in a rut. But these are things I must have or do to get any work done.

Comfy Clothes: My husband likes to joke that he sees me in real clothes for about two hours a week. And he’d be 100% accurate. I write from home so when he leaves the house to go to work, I’m in my writing outfit of yoga pants, a t-shirt and sweatshirt. And by the time he arrives home, I’m already in my pajamas. I wear jeans and a sweater (okay let’s get real…probably a sweatshirt) on weekend errand runs and lunches with him. And then as soon as we get home, I march right upstairs and change back into sweats. It’s not that I dislike clothes or don’t appreciate fashion. I get why people love it! I just want to live in a constant state of coziness. I mean…why wear pants if you don’t have to? And with that being said, I cannot write a single word of a book without being in some form of loose fitting, comfortable clothing. If I was forced to write a book in real clothes, you wouldn’t see YOU DON’T KNOW MY NAME on the shelf.

Music: I am a fan of all kinds of music: Top 40, Big Band, Jazz, 90s Alternative, you name it, I probably like it. But if I had to listen to one genre of music for the rest of my life, it would be Classical. I have loved Classical music since I was a kid. On the drives to school, while everyone else was listening to the latest boy band, I was probably listening to Mozart or Debussey. So when I write, I always listen to Classical music and one composer in particular: Ludovico Einaudi. I’m listening to him on Spotify right now as I write out this piece. His music is gorgeous and is perfect for writing because it evokes a lot of different emotions. Some of his music is haunting and crawls under your skin while other pieces are uplifting and hopeful. Go give him a listen. I bet you’ll become a fan.

Writing Spots: I am a writing gypsy. I always write in my house, but never in one spot. There are probably 5 or 6 different places I’ll write and I change them up throughout the day. I usually start out at the kitchen island over breakfast, then I’ll head up to my office (sometimes the desk, sometimes the chair and ottoman). By mid-day, I’ll make my way down to the couch and by the time I’m editing at night, I’m on the recliner in the basement. I wrote 100% of YOU DON’T KNOW MY NAME in some sort of lounging position. Never, ever at a table or desk. I’ve since gotten a proper desk and do write there sometimes, but most of the time, I’m lounging with my feet up and my computer on my lap (are we seeing a pattern here? Comfy and cozy at all time or no work gets done!)

Food: I couldn’t get through a writing day without a little bit of chocolate and candy. Usually come 2:30, it’s sugar high time. I keep the house stocked with M&Ms and other tiny chocolate treats (because sometimes, you just want a handful) and I’m a big fan of gummies. Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids, Gummie Bears…you’re all my best writing friends and I wouldn’t be able to function without you.

Fighter, Faker, Student, Spy.

Seventeen-year-old Reagan Elizabeth Hillis is used to changing identities overnight, lying to every friend she’s ever had, and pushing away anyone who gets too close. Trained in mortal combat and weaponry her entire life, Reagan is expected to follow in her parents’ footsteps and join the ranks of the most powerful top-secret agency in the world, the Black Angels. Falling in love with the boy next door was never part of the plan.

Now Reagan has to decide: Will she use her incredible talents and lead the dangerous life she was born into, or throw it all away to follow her heart and embrace the normal life she’s always wanted? And does she even have a choice at all?

Find out if you are ready to join the Black Angels in the captivating and emotional page-turner, You Don’t Know My Name, from debut novelist Kristen Orlando!

In stores January 10th.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads

Writing is one of the great loves of my life (with bacon mac and cheese, Netflix binges and PJs also in the mix). My childhood in Columbus, Ohio was spent reading every single Baby-Sitter’s Club book ever written and acting out imaginary tragedies in my room (complete with costumes and props) until a really embarrassing age. I started writing plays for my younger cousins as soon as they were all old enough to act (The Spoiled Princess may be a personal favorite) and haven’t stopped writing since. After graduating from Kenyon College with a B.A. in English Literature, I’ve been lucky enough to make writing my career; first as a television producer, then as a marketer and now as a novelist.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

3 winners will receive a signed finished copy of YOU DON’T KNOW MY NAME, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Week One:

Week Two:



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