Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Book Giveaway and Author Interview: All's Fair in Vanities War by Elizabeth Marx

Cover for 'ALL'S FAIR IN VANITIES WAR, Young Adult/Urban Fantasy (Book I The Seer's Seven Deadly Fairy Tales)'
 All's Fair in Vanities War by Elizabeth Marx
By the light of the next blue moon, the ShiningOnes are coming for it. The Order will sacrifice anything or anyone to protect it. If Locke and Keleigh don’t locate it first, the battle brewing between sacred knowledge and modern communication is going to destroy everything--even their love.
About Elizabeth:  Windy city writer, Elizabeth Marx, brings cosmopolitan life alive in her fiction—a blend of romance, fast-paced Chicago living, and a sprinkle of magical realism. Elizabeth resides with her husband, girls, and two cats who’ve spelled everyone into believing they’re really dogs. She grew up in the city, has traveled extensively, and still says there’s no town like Chi town.
You can contact the author at elizabethmarxbooks@gmail.com or visit her website www.elizabethmarxbooks.com

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less. The Order has protected a relic since the dawn of civilization, but the ShiningOnes want it back, and the only thing standing in their way is Locke and Keleigh’s love.

--How did you get the idea for the story? I wanted to write a story about hereditary witches in the modern world and the conflict between their ancient traditions and our technology. I found an Italian line of hereditary witches, but I ended up focusing on a Celtic Druid tradition, which led me to Boston, which led to Salem and then back to the world of witches. It seemed like the perfect place to hide them in plain sight. And it’s creepy in Salem too.
--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with? I would most like to have dinner with Ilithyia, she has a wisdom that calls to me, but at the same time I’d be asking many questions, doing my best to wheedle some answers out of her. Ilithyia has secrets, and as Sister Arianna says, “Secrets, secrets, are no fun, unless they’re shared with everyone.” I’d least like to have dinner with Balor, I mean the guy has dangling shrunken heads hanging off the shoulders of his armor. Who could eat with them screeching?

--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read? I love the classics. I reread most of Jane Austen each year. I also love Jane Eyre, something about the way Bronte crafts the combination of Jane’s strength and vulnerability grabs me every time I read it. I don’t spend as much time as I’d like reading; mostly I read books for research now. But when I travel I read for pleasure, and I go for anything from Evanovich and her zany Stephanie Plum to books like The Time Travelers Wife or Water for Elephants.  
--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates? All’s Fair in Vanities War is Book I in The Seers Seven Deadly Fairy Tales, each book is based on a deadly sin and a fairy tale. Book II will be released sometime in 2012, probably Halloween.
--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why? Wow, if the fairy godmother is going to ensure my safety, then I think I’m going to the arena in the Hunger Games.

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote? I don’t listen to music while I write, but there are songs that inspire me, for example I love Epica ‘Cry For the Moon’, it’s the perfect music for the battle scene in All’s Fair in Vanities War. The lyrics say, “Follow your common sense, you cannot hide yourself, behind your fairy tale, forever and ever.” The lyrics are perfect for that moment, because it’s when Keleigh accepts what she is.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose? I don’t know if it’s a superpower but I’d like to be a time traveler. I’d love to go to other places and times. I guess it could be a superpower if you were able to change the course of history, but kind of a hefty responsibility. I guess that’s what a superpower really is.

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time? Both my daughters are athletes, so I spend time at softball and basketball tournaments. Also, I love to travel (in this time), I have seen most of the U.S., and a lot of Europe, but next I’m thinking Egypt or Istanbul.
--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers? I love to play with narration in my books, sometimes I think we overlook who’s telling us the story, especially when we have so many stories told in first person. All’s Fair in Vanities War is told by a unique narrator, who is part of the story, while still being separate from it. Imagine having to witness the boy you love as he falls in love with another girl, the very girl who your human existence was forfeited for in order to protect hers.
Lightning round: this or that?
Vanilla or chocolate? Chocolate all the way.
Edward or Jacob? Edward books/ Jacob movie.
Hockey or soccer? Softball or Basketball.
Ebook or paper? Ebook.
Salty or sweet? Sweet.
Beach or mountains? Beach.
Phone call or email? Email.
Early bird or night owl? Both.
Dog or cat? Cats: Lord Luxor and Sir Sherbert follow me around like dogs.
Messy or neat? Neat freak.
Ninjas or pirates? Power Rangers vs. Captain Jack? Oh, please, Captain Jack wins every time!

And now for the giveaway:

Book Giveaway and Author Interview: Spirits of Glory by Emily Devenport

Buy Spirits Of Glory About Spirits of Glory:

One morning the people of the North woke up and the people of the South were gone. That's the first thing every child learns on the colony world of Jigsaw. But for one girl, knowing about The Disappearance is not enough. Hawkeye wants to know why.

That's why she spent half her life researching The Disappearance. And that's also why eight Neighbors show up on her doorstep, demanding that she accompany them into the Forbidden Cities ruled by the Southern gods to speak with the Spirits of Glory. Everyone thinks Hawkeye is an expert on Neighbors, these almost-humans who move, talk, and think as if they were born inside one of the Time Fractures. But she can't imagine what they want to ask the ghosts of their ancestors, or why they need her to go along. The Southern gods caused every human inhabitant of the Southern cities to disappear overnight; what else might they do?

But the Northern gods say Hawkeye should go and her curiosity won't let her refuse, even though she's going into more danger than she can imagine. Pain and puzzlement wait along the broken interstate, along with scavengers who want to kill them all. Hawkeye's questions only generate more questions as they move farther and farther into the South, right into the heart of the Disappearance, until Hawkeye's questions have all been answered.

Thank you Emily for taking the time to join us and answer some questions!


--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.

One morning, the people in the North woke up and the people in the South were gone. Hawkeye wants to know why. Her curiosity takes her to the Forbidden Cities, even though she's going into more danger than she can imagine.


--How did you get the idea for the story?


I dreamed about this world and these characters.  A lot of my novels take form that way – I have a vivd dream, and I start to think about it, try to figure out why things are happening and what could happen next.  I wrote about this process on my blog: http://www.emsjoiedeweird.com/2011/06/notes-from-dreamed-life.html

--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?

I like the Neighbors a lot, but it could be kind of nerve-wracking to have supper with them.  Hawkeye would be pleasant company, especially with Wolfy and Brat in tow.  But the character I would most like to have a conversation with is one of the side characters, the writer John Davies.  I think he would be really interesting to talk to.

--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?


My mind always goes blank when people ask me to list favorites, but some of My old favorites are Dragonwyck, The Haunting, The Hobbit, Watership Down,  and Poe's Tales Of Terror.  If I listed my favorite authors, the list would be ridiculously long.  I love audio books, because I actually don't have as much time for reading.  I blogged about some of my favorites: http://www.emsjoiedeweird.com/2011/09/how-sarah-vowell-saved-my-sanity.html
I'm a geology student these days, so my eyeballs are getting fried by a huge amount of course work. 

--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?

I always have multiple works in progress.  The two that are the closest to completion are YA fantasies: The Order Of The Dragon and Lord Monkey.  I've got an adult novella ebook coming out in the next month or so titled Pale Lady, and I'm hoping to have one of my backlist titles, Belarus, out in ebook by the end of the year.

--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?


The fairy godmother would have to be extremely patient with me.  First my mind would go blank (the pressure!), then I would worry that my favorite books might actually be really scary places to be.  And then I would worry that if I picked a wonderful place, I would feel really bad when I had to leave it again.  I wish my mind didn't work that way, but it does.

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?


I can't listen to any music with lyrics while I'm actually writing, but songs can inspire me.  At the beginning of Spirits Of Glory, I have a quote from a Patty Griffin song, Useless Desires:  “Goodbye to all the window panes, shining in the sun, like diamonds on a winter's day, goodbye, goodbye to everyone.”  When I heard this it made me think of The Disappearance in my story, when everyone in the North woke up one morning and found out that everyone in the South had vanished off the face of the world.  All of the windowpanes shining in the sun were the empty windows of the Forbidden Cities.
I also felt very inspired by The Lark Ascending, a classical piece by the British composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.  So I named one of the Forbidden Cities Lark.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?


To be able to fly.  I don't want to fight super-villains, I want to be able to visit canyons and mountains, and explore the sheer rock faces and the hard-to-reach spots.

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?


I love to travel in the Southwest U.S.  I love to hike and garden.  I love geology, but right now my classes are really tough chemistry classes, and I'll be really glad when they're done.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?


Publishing is going through some drastic changes these days, and a lot of people hate the idea of reading a book on a device instead of holding a physical copy in their hands.  But there is an up-side to this revolution.  As a reader, you'll have a lot more books to choose from, and you'll have the option to sample them first before you commit your money and time.  Right now, big publishing houses are charging a lot for their ebooks, but eventually you'll see those prices go down – and they're not the only game in town.  Many of your favorite authors will eventually be publishing on their own, at least part (if not all) of the time. 
My philosophy about pricing is simple.  When I was a kid, I used to be able to go into a store and pick up books for $1 to $2 apiece, so I could get lots of them.  I loved it.  That's why I'm charging $.99 for my ebooks – I want readers to be able to afford them.  You shouldn't have to choose between buying books and paying your gas bill.

And now for the giveaway:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Book Giveaway and Author Interview: Notes to Self by Laura Schaefer

Notes to Self
Notes to Self by Laura Schaefer
Two climbed up. Two fell down.

One woke up.
In the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury, Robin Saunders has to relearn who she is and find out what happened the night everything changed.
About Laura (from her site)


Laura loves to write almost as much as she likes to drink tea. She got her start as a contributor to the University of Wisconsin’s student paper The Daily Cardinal and went on to write regularly for The Princeton Review and Match.com. Laura is the author of The Secret Ingredient (Simon & Schuster 2011), The Teashop Girls (Simon & Schuster 2008), and Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor (Thunder’s Mouth Press, 2005). Writing as Avery Sawyer, Laura recently released the YA novel Notes to Self. She is also the author and publisher of Planet Explorers travel guides for kids. Laura lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her fiance and enormous cat Ramona.

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.

In the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury, Robin Saunders has to relearn who she is & find out what happened the night everything changed

--How did you get the idea for the story?

The book’s first title was 25 THINGS ABOUT ME. It started when my boyfriend, now fiancé (yay!), remarked that the 2009 Facebook meme would make a good novel. My eyes lit up and I began thinking about a reason someone would want to write or revisit a list like this. Almost right away, I landed on the idea that my main character didn’t know who she was anymore, and the concept of a traumatic brain injury grew from that. The interesting thing is, most 15 year olds don’t experience TBIs, but most of them struggle with identity anyway. That’s why I think the book’s concept will resonate. It is essentially about one girl deciding who she is and what really matters.


--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?

Reno. He’s Robin’s oldest friend and a bit of a wise soul. Sometimes, you meet people who seem to have the big stuff figured out, and Reno is that person in my book.



--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?

I read all the time, sometimes as many as three books a week. Here are some recent favs:

OKAY FOR NOW by Gary D. Schmidt
WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead
THE HUNGER GAMES series by Suzanne Collins (I cannot wait for the movie...squeee!)
GIRLS DON’T FLY by Kristen Chandler
BREADCRUMBS by Anne Ursu
THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett
LIESL & PO by Lauren Oliver
AND THEN THINGS FALL APART by Arlaina Tibensky
BOSSYPANTS by Tina Fey



--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?

I am revising a YA novel I wrote a couple years ago called THE HOLLYWOOD SCOOP. It takes place during World War II and it's about a clever cub reporter who falls in love with a mysterious boy. I'm really excited about it! It should be available in early 2012.

I’m also gearing up to begin writing a new novel about a girl exploring her past lives and the epic romance that spans all of them. I’m just starting the research on this one now.



--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which
book would you pick and why?


I’d pick Pride & Prejudice. Don’t we all want to be Elizabeth Bennet after she lands Darcy? Delicious!


--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your
playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?


I usually write in silence, or amidst the quiet chatter of my favorite coffee shop. Sometimes said coffee shop plays Adele or Motown or old-timey jazz, and I dig that. Coffee does indeed help my writing. I’m a full on addict—I’ll go ahead and admit that. I’ve even started drinking Americanos instead of coffee sometimes, which upped my caffeine intake about 100%.


--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

To be invisible. Imagine the interesting things I could see and write about!


--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

I love food, so I like eating out and trying new recipes a lot. I also enjoy visiting art museums, taking walks and reading.


--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?

Thank you for being awesome. Readers allow people like me to make a living writing, and we love them for it.


Lightning round: this or that?

Vanilla or chocolate?  Chocolate
Edward or Jacob?  Jacob
Hockey or soccer?  Soccer
Ebook or paper?  Ebook
Salty or sweet?  Salty
Beach or mountains?  Beach
Phone call or email?  Email
Early bird or night owl?  Night owl
Dog or cat?  Cat
Messy or neat?  Super messy
Ninjas or pirates?  Ninjas

And now for the giveaway:
-Open internationally
-Ebook in preferred format

Book Giveaway and Author Interview: Moon-Linked and Moon-ache by Erin Irvin

Moon-linked by Erin Irvin

Fifteen-year-old March Howe is going through some bizarre bodily changes - the last thing she needs when most people at school already think she's a freak. Little does she know that those changes are leading her into a supernatural world of strange mysteries and terrible danger. March is a werewolf - but not just a werewolf. She's the last known female of the species, and that makes her a rare commodity.

Just when the guy of her dreams asks her out, a pack of werewolves invade her house to take her back to their den, where she must be heralded through her first change or risk certain death. Along the way, she meets the dark and handsome Greyson, her only peer in the pack, and is caught up in the dark intrigue surrounding her new "family" and the strange truth behind her existence. Will she fit in this new, magical world better than she does at school? Will she even survive her first change? Or will the power that's growing inside her destroy her and the entire werewolf bloodline?



In Book One of the Lone March Series, March Howe must choose between mundane and magical, the familiar and the unknown, freedom and responsibility. Will she decide her fate before the last of the werewolves decide it for her?



Moon-ache

Her name is March Greeley Howe. And she’s a were-wolf. After escaping her captor’s den, and being rescued by an unlikely ally, March finds out what’s been happening in Glenbrook since she’s been gone. Life will never be the same since Elliot’s take-over, and the last she-wolf in the world has some tough decisions to make.

In the midst of being forced to master her Lupine form, she is thrown back into her old life, with all the fear and uncertainty that went with it. Besides being torn between Ethyn and Greyson, March fails to make sense of her hesitation in trusting Avery. With both home and school upside-down, she tries to find solace in her friends, but soon learns she stands apart, and the divide only grows with each day of her double life.

In Book Two of the Lone March Series, March Howe meets some new faces and sees old ones in new ways. She grows up fast when she has to make decisions no one else can, and embarks on a mission that will redefine her place in the pack. Will she balance her were and human lives before the last of the were-wolves throw everything into chaos?

Thanks Erin for your time!

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.

The Lone March series is about a teenage girl who finds out she’s the last female werewolf on earth. It’s got romance, humor and action.

--How did you get the idea for the story?

It’s not a very enchanting story, Lone March’s origin.  I saw that vampires were selling and I predicted where the market was going to head next—werewolves.  I actually ignored it for a while, rejected the idea, because I didn’t think I could write werewolves, but I sat down to lunch with my fiancé’s brother (this was the summer of 2009) and he suggested werewolves without knowing anything about the fact that I’d been running away from the idea for weeks.  He convinced me to do it and I credit him with sparking my interest.  Then, my fiancé, a long-time werewolf fan, advised me on the rules of a world with weres and his encouragement made me think I was capable, so from there I began March’s story.

--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?

Most: Ruthie Birch.  I have such a crush on her!  She’s so witty and cultured—and waaay cooler than I am!
Least: Ugh, this is hard because I can only talk about characters from the two books that are out…Um, well, any of the frigids would be completely insipid, but the were-raven, Beatrice Chattingsworth would be worse.  I definitely don’t trust her.

--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?

Oh dear.  This is a dangerous question, but I’ll try and limit it to just a few.  Harry Potter, of course.  The Sandman graphic novel series by Neil Gaiman; Brave New World by Aldous Huxley; A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway; Great Gatsby…I should probably stop now.  I love to read pretty much any genre, any style, fiction, non-fiction, but these days I only get to read about a book a month or less.  Hopefully that’ll change when my work calms down!

--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?

I’ve got several, but I don’t really let myself work on them much—haha!  I try to put my energy into Lone March, but I am working on a middle grade paranormal series and a funny confessional series about a high school girl.  As for release dates, all I can say is that book #3 of Lone March, Moon-Burn, will be out Spring 2012.

--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?


Harry Potter, hands down!  Who wouldn’t want to spend a day at Hogwarts or the Burrow—even Grimmauld Place!  I want my own wand so badly!!

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?

Oh yes.  For me, it’s all about location and the energy around me when I’m working.  It doesn’t matter where as long as I’m in control of the environment.  I can write in public, outdoors, but when I really need to think about a scene (usually in revision) I need a quiet room.  And a cup of coffee is always welcome!  As far as music, I have many writing playlists, many songs that inspire me before writing a scene and ones I use as theme music while I’m writing.  Too many to list.  But I recently put a “Playlist” page on my blog site, so if anyone’s interested, they can check out the specific bands/songs here: http://erinirvinsblog.blogspot.com/

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

Teleportation.  Then I could go to all the places in the world I want to go in the blink of an eye without spending a dime on air-fare!

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

I’m a musician/singer-songwriter.  Music is on equal footing with novel writing for me.  I also draw [poorly].

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?

Just wait, guys, because, oh man, things are going to get crazy in Lone March.  I’m working on book #6 now and it’s some of the most fun I’ve had writing.  Every book is more fun than the last.

Lightning round: this or that?  That
Vanilla or chocolate?  Vanilla
Edward or Jacob?  Edward
Hockey or soccer?  Game: Hockey.  Players: Soccer;)
Ebook or paper?  Paper
Salty or sweet?  Salty
Beach or mountains?  Mountains
Phone call or email?  Depends on who—haha!  But probably phone call
Early bird or night owl?  Both
Dog or cat?  Dog
Messy or neat?  Neat
Ninjas or pirates?  Pirates

And now for the GIVEAWAY!

-One ebook of Moon-Linked, and one of Moon-ache
-US only


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bonus winners of The Moon Coin


The Moon Coin by Richard Due
I've emailed and if I don't hear by 12/10 12 noon EST, new winners will be chosen.

Yto
Laura S.
Theresa D.
and Daniella

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Review: Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed (Matched, #2)
Crossed by Ally Condie

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.
Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

Published in US: Nov 1 2011
Source: library
2nd in Matched series, 3rd out: fall 2012

My Review:

Crossed was more action packed than Matched, although it started out a bit slow to me. I think this is mostly because it's been such seemingly long time since I've read Matched. I should've re-read or at least looked up some spoilers. But even with that, I remembered the characters and the main gist of the story.

Once I was back into Cassia's head, and the flow of the story, I didn't want to put it down. I just had to know what would happen next, and what trials she'd face next. Another thing that I liked about Crossed is that we get more into the head of Ky. He is still a pretty big mystery to me, because even though we were in his thoughts, they still seemed veiled or guarded. I did learn a lot more about him though, and I think that it helped the pacing to have him in the story.

Quite a few things surprised me in the story... how much I was able to care about some of the secondary characters that were new to the story for one. Xander also surprised me... I can't really say why, but he did something in the story and then something about his character from previous book that I didn't know and never would've guessed.

This is a great second book, and I can't wait for the conclusion!

I'd love to hear what you think of the book and/or my review.

Book Giveaway and Author Interview: Surfacing by Shana Norris

Sixteen-year-old Mara Westray has just lost her mother, and now, being shipped off to live with the father she doesn’t know is not how she imagined grieving. She’s already counting down the days until she turns eighteen and can leave the tiny island of Swans Landing.

But from the moment she steps off the ferry, nothing is as ordinary as it looks. Whispers of a haunting song on the wind make her see impossible things, and she isn’t sure she can trust her judgment about what is real and what isn’t anymore. Maybe she can’t even trust her judgment about quiet Josh Canavan, whose way of speaking in riddles and half-truths only confuses her more, luring her deeper into the secrets hidden beneath the ocean’s surface.

As she tries to unravel the events that led to her mom fleeing the island sixteen years ago, Mara finds that the biggest secret of all is only the beginning.




About Shana (from her site)

I was born August 19, on my parents’ first wedding anniversary, in a small town in eastern North Carolina. I’m the oldest of four children. I’m a leo, which means I’m supposed to be bossy, interfering, and intolerant. But I’m also supposed to be broad-minded, warm-hearted, and creative, so maybe it all evens out.

I’ve always loved books. My parents would read my favorite books to me so often that I’d memorize them before I had learned how to read. Some of my favorite memories as a kid are of my mom taking my siblings and me to the public library. I’d always check out a big stack of books and then have them all read within a week. The first time I can remember writing a story that wasn’t for school, but simply because I wanted to write, was when I was eight years old. I wrote and illustrated a book called The Lonely Rectangle. It was a story about a rectangle that had been thrown in the trash and felt unloved until someone found it and took it home to use as a table. No, it was not a box or anything like that, it was just a plain rectangle. I have no clue why I decided to write about a geometric shape. It wasn’t like I was particularly fond of math or anything.

I spent my junior year of high school and part of my senior year living just outside of West Palm Beach, Florida, where my family moved to the summer I turned sixteen. I had a hard time making friends, but the good thing that came out of it was that I started to spend a lot of time online since I had no one to hang out with after school. That was when I discovered online journals written by teen girls and even started my own, which I wrote under a pen name. It was that experience with online journals in 1996-1997, the predecessor of today’s blogs, that helped inspire Something to Blog About.

I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a writer. Well, actually I wanted to be a ballerina, an archaeologist, a teacher, AND a writer, all at the same time. But after a while I figured out that I’d never taken a ballet lesson in my life, I didn’t particularly like to get dirty, and I hated being in a classroom all day, so that really only left writer as my future job. My family advised me to get a back up plan, which meant, “study something else in school that you can earn a living at while waiting for your books to sell.” So I studied graphic design, tested out of as many classes as I possibly could to avoid sitting in so many classrooms, and got my degree.

I’m still a web designer by day and write my books during my lunch hours and at night. I currently live in North Carolina with my husband and our menagerie of pets: two dogs–Chloe and Zoey–and five cats–Elmo, Bandit, Kit, BC, and Butter.

Thank you so much for being here!

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less. Surfacing is a paranormal YA that takes place on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. There are mermaids involved. And lots of secrets.

--How did you get the idea for the story? The idea originally came from my love of the Outer Banks during the off season. My husband and I visited the islands one year in March, before the tourists had arrived, and it was so quiet and empty. It made me think about all the secrets that could be there that only the year round residents know about. From that, the fictional island and the people started to grow in my head.

--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with? I’d most like to have dinner with Miss Gale because she’s the best cook on the island and she’d insist on making something good rather than letting us go out to eat. But I’d hate to have dinner with Elizabeth Connors. I don’t think I could stand to be around her very long.


--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read? I love Sarah Dessen’s books, especially The Truth About Forever. I’m also a big Meg Cabot fan and have read most of her books.

--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates? Right now, I’m working on a sequel novella to my second published book, Troy High. I hope to have it out in ebook format early next year, but I don’t have a definite release date yet. I’m also working on the sequel to Surfacing, but again, no definite release date right now!

--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why? Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery. I always wanted to be Emily for a little while when I was a kid (I love the Anne of Green Gables books too, but Emily has always been my favorite). I’d probably miss modern conveniences, but 24 hours in Emily’s world would be fun to experience!

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote? I need quiet to write. I can’t have the TV on or people trying to talk to me. I do make playlists for each of my books because songs help influence storylines and characters, but I can’t listen to them while I write. I listen to them during brainstorming sessions when I’m trying to figure out events or character motivations. I have all of the playlists for my books up on my website at www.shananorris.com


--If you could have any superpower what would you choose? The ability to clone myself. Is that a superpower? One of the guys in X-Men 3 could do it, so I’m going with yes. I need to be able to split off into clones any time I want so I can have one clone working, another clone reading all of the books on my huge to read list, and another clone just being completely lazy and doing nothing!

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time? My husband and I just bought kayaks last spring, so we spend a lot of time kayaking during warm weather. We also love to visit historical sites and homes. I’m a big history geek.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers? Thanks so much for the interview! And thank you to all the readers out there for taking the time to check out my books!

Lightning round: this or that?

Vanilla or chocolate? Vanilla.

Edward or Jacob? Neutral!

Hockey or soccer? Soccer.

Ebook or paper? Both!

Salty or sweet? Sweet, but a fruity sweet.

Beach or mountains? Beach.

Phone call or email? Email.

Early bird or night owl? Night owl.

Dog or cat? Both!

Messy or neat? I try to be neat, but honestly, messy.

Ninjas or pirates? Pirates. Arr!

And now for the GIVEAWAY:
-Open internationally
-Ebook format






Winners of The Moon Coin and


The Moon Coin by Richard Due

Cover for 'Alone Among Many'Winner: Courtney W.
I've emailed and if I don't hear by 12/8 12 noon EST, a new winner will be chosen.


Alone Among Many by Spargo Postle
Jinky
Smittenskitten
Adreamy
Sweety
Angela
Yuko86
Spandana
Oriana
Isolabella
thegirlonfire27

If you didn't win make sure to check out my other contests!



Thursday, December 1, 2011

Review: Touch of Power (Healer #1) by Maria V. Snyder

Touch of Power (Avry of Kazan, #1)
Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.
Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life...
Publishes in US: Dec 20th 2011
Source: Netgalley
1st in Series

My Review:
  Ms. Snyder does it again! I loved the beginning of this newest series as much as the magic series (although my favorite by her is still her study series).
  She nails another set of characters, and appeals to me with a strong heroine. Avry has a great voice, and she draws me into her story. I care about what she's doing, and can empathize with her choices, and situations.
  The secondary cast is also fantastic. Kerrick is wonderfully frustrating, and I want to strangle him often. I can understand his motivations to an extent, but she writes a tough character. I can't believe how far he goes with some of the things he does, but I also can see and love the melty side that is well hidden for quite a while.
  The healing is always an interest to me as a main subject, and I love her use of the lilies in the story, and the twists that she incorporates.
  I was on the edge of my seat, and disappointed any time that I was interrupted and had to put the book down. I'm very happy for the chance to read this one, and I can't wait for the release of the next.
I'd love to hear what you think of the book and/or my review.

Winner of The Secret of the Keepers: Kailmeyra's Strength by Elizabeth Isaacs


The Secret of the Keepers: Kailmeyra's Strength (Kailmeyra, #2)
 The Secret of the Keepers: Kailmeyra's Strength by Elizabeth Isaacs
The Kailmeyra Chronicles: Book Two--
Life for Nora couldn't be better; she has married the man of her dreams and loves living in the pristine land of Kailmeyra.
That is, until the darkness threatens her perfect world.
Now war is upon the land. She and Gavin must strengthen their clan and prepare to fight. But the enemy has an ally—one that not only wields power, but holds knowledge of the ancients' secrets. Secrets that could destroy creation itself.
As the darkness grows, doubt seeps in ... protectiveness hinders progress ... and the unthinkable comes to pass.
Bewildered and alone, Nora shoulders the responsibility of leading an entire race to war. As she struggles with decisions that seem impossible to make, she is haunted by one choice.
"No one has ever doubted that you would die for those you love. The question then becomes ... would you live?"
Winner:
True Random Number Generator  14Gabby @ What's Beyond Forks?If I don't hear back by12/3 at 12pm EST, I will choose a new winner

Monday, November 28, 2011

Winners of Entanglements

Entanglements by P R Mason
 Entanglements by P.R. Mason

Accidentally opening a vortex sucks! Fifteen-year-old KIZZY TAYLOR is just hoping for an evening of fun when she joins her friends in a spelunking expedition through an under-city tunnel. But fun turns bizarre when Kizzy accidentally opens a vortex and her stepsister is swept through to an evil alternate dimension. The only way to rescue her stepsister is to reopen the vortex and go in after her. But will Kizzy be able to return home?

Print copy: Lori Strongin with email starting serena423

Ebook winner: Sweety with email starting sweety225

Didn't win? Check out my other contests!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Book Giveaway and Author Interview: Darkride by Laura Bradley Rede

Darkride by Laura Bradley Rede

Ander McNair used to be the favorite son of a great monster-hunting family – until he was bitten by a werewolf and the hunter became the hunted. Now anything that makes his pulse race, even a kiss from his girlfriend Cicely, is enough to turn him into a monster. When he finally gets a chance to earn his cure by killing a vampire prince, he finds he has to choose between his own past and the future of the girl he loves. Can a guy who’s not even human learn what it means to be a man?
Luke Marianez used to be an immortal vampire prince – until the witch he loved betrayed him and cursed him with the ability to die. Now he lives in the world of vampire blood bars, where the waitresses are the drinks, and dreams about killing the last of the witch’s line so he can live forever. But revenge doesn’t just mean breaking the curse. He wants to break the girl’s heart, too. Can Luke seduce Cicely without falling in love himself?
Cicely Watson doesn’t believe in werewolves or vampires. She’s not even sure she believes in true love. But she’s about to discover what all werewolves know:
People change. About Laura: 
My PhotoI grew up the oldest of nine kids in a cluttered Victorian house in a small town on the coast of Maine. The house was so close to the ocean that when we wanted to go sledding on our steep back hill we had to wait for low tide or we might wind up "in the drink." I spent half my childhood daydreaming and the other half desperately trying to get attention - which turns out to be the ideal training for writing and trying to get published! At eighteen I left Maine for Minnesota to attend Macalester College in St Paul where I earned my degree in Women's Studies and met the love of my life, my partner Marcy. Now she and I live in a little hippy-punk neighborhood of Minneapolis with our three astonishing children, one gentle great dane, one blind geriatric dachshund, one self-absorbed diva cat and four city chickens in a coop in the back yard. I'm a member of the Glitter Glam Rainbow Bunny Death Pixies critique group (It's pronounced "Death Pixies." The "Glitter Glam Rainbow Bunny" is silent) and a winner of a Writers of the Future award for fantasy and science fiction. When I'm not writing or cleaning up after someone I can usually be found reading paranormal YA, dancing to bad pop music with my kids or combing thrift stores for another pair of vintage Doc Martens. I love outsider art, good tattoos, costume parties, horseback riding, giant puppets and steampunk anything. A note on my bathroom mirror says "Try to relax and enjoy the crisis," and generally I do. Enjoy it, that is. I almost never relax.

Thanks for your time Laura!
--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.  “Ander used to be a great monster hunter – until he was bitten by a werewolf. Now he has the chance to earn a cure, but will it cost him the girl he loves?”
-- How did you get the idea for the story?  I have been in love with vampires and werewolves since the fifth grade, so I have always wanted to write a paranormal romance. I love the way monster stories are free to explore the big questions in life – what does it mean to be human? What makes a person good? What would it be like to live forever? – while still being sexy and funny and scary. This book grew out of improvised stories that my partner Marcy and I would tell each other whenever we got bored, about the vampire blood-bar The Nightlife, “where the waitresses are the drinks.”
--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with? I would love to have dinner with Luke, even though he is a vampire and I know there is a chance I could wind up on the menu. I love all things Victorian, from steampunk to Goth Lolita, and having been around for two centuries now, Luke could certainly give me a history lesson or two – and a dose of that old-school charm.
--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read? I never have as much reading times as I’d like, but I make the most of what I’ve got! The best books I’ve read recently are Laini Tayor’s “The Daughter of Smoke and Bone,” and Holly Black’s “White Cat.” I’m also a huge fan of the Hunger Games trilogy and the Twilight Saga, Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, Daniel Waters’ Generation Dead series and Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s  Caster Chronicles.
--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates? I’m loving working on “Crossfire,” the second book in the Darkride Chronicles, which I hope to have out sometime in 2012. I’m also working on a YA novel that takes place in a high school for kids who are cursed, and I have new short stories coming out soon, too. I post links to my published short stories on my website www.laurabradleyrede.com, so you are welcome to read them online for free.
--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why? I couldn’t survive in most of my favorite books for 24 hours! A day in the world of the Hunger Games would definitely do me in. But I’ll admit that I would love to be Alice Cullen for a day, and I would gladly take a day of classes at Hogwarts, especially if I could get a time-turner out of the deal!
--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?  I write late at night, after my three kids are in bed, so my Diet Coke caffeine is a must. I don’t listen to music when I write, though. When the kids are in bed I savor the silence.
--If you could have any superpower what would you choose? Does immortality count as a superpower? Because that’s one thing my vampire characters and I have in common: the desire to live forever. If I had eternity, I might actually have time to read all the books I want  to read – and write all the books I want to write!
 --Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time? I love to read to my kids. It’s so satisfying to share the books I loved when I was there age. I also love hanging out with my pets. We have a Great Dane, an elderly dachshund and four pet chickens. I live for thrift shopping, especially around Halloween when they put out the outrageous stuff, and I collect vintage Doc Marten boots. I’m into the visual arts and I like to do projects like designing my own tarot deck. My partner Marcy and I designed the Darkride cover and we had a fantastic time doing it.
 --Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers? I want to say thank you, honestly. I care deeply about my characters and I don’t feel like they really, fully come alive until I share them with someone else. The folks who read Darkride are supporting my dream, and I hope that kindness comes back to them many times over.
Lightning round: this or that?  That! (Oh, wait, that wasn’t a question, was it.)
Vanilla or chocolate? vanilla
Edward or Jacob? I’m Switzerland. Okay, if I have to choose, Edward.
Hockey or soccer? Soccer.
Ebook or paper? I’m torn! I’ve been a paper girl, but my book is an ebook, so… ebook!
Salty or sweet? Both? Okay, salty.
Beach or mountains? Beach! (I grew up in Maine)
Phone call or email? Email. I’m better in writing. Go figure.
Early bird or night owl? Night owl. I keep vampire hours.
Dog or cat? Dog. (My Great Dane, Zeus)
Messy or neat? Ideally, neat. Actually, messy.
Ninjas or pirates? Pirates are sexier (but “ninja” is so fun to say!)

And now for the giveaway:
-One ebook

Book Giveaway and Author Interview: Rift of Askrah by Benjamin Andrews


Rift of Askrah Book 1: FractureRift of Askrah Book 1: Fracture by Benjamin Andrews
Rift of Askrah is the story of Nihlen Draven, heir to the throne of the nation of Draven. After being kidnapped though, everything changes. A world he thought he understood is now alien to him, as he must cope with the danger that haunts him around every turn. His only chance is to find a way to reclaim his stolen kingdom, understand new found abilities, and save himself and the rest of the world from an even greater danger.
Benjamin AndrewsAbout Ben: (from Goodreads)
Reading and writing have always been passions of mine. There are few things like losing yourself in a good book. I've always loved reading fantasy literature. From novels to manga, and all kinds of other stories in between. It's been a staple of my childhood, and is still an enjoyable part of my life. Writing brings its own similar form of this joy. Creating an entire world from scratch, making it feel as real as possible, no matter how unreal it may be. Making it flow and come to life, there's nothing else quite like it. 

As for some personal information, I was born in Idaho. I grew up in small towns in the south-eastern portion of the state. At 19, I moved to Oregon, where I currently reside. I currently hold an Associate's Degree in Pharmacy Technology, and work for a call center. 
 
Thank you Benjamin for the time, and the interview!


--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.

Rift of Askrah is a story of a kingdom lost, and the struggle to recover it. The heroes will deal with the unknown to save the world.

--How did you get the idea for the story?

It was kind of a sequential event. I had written the outline to another novel, when I had some ideas about another story. I started writing them down, and they eventually developed into the Rift of Askrah series.

--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?

Most would probably be the hero, Nihlen. Least would be Cal, I think he would be an unsavory dinner companion for me.

--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?

I love lots of different kinds of books, including other fantasy novels. Other genres I read are action, thrillers, and some non-fiction when it interests me. I always make time to read every day, no matter how busy I am. Recently I also expanded my blog to include reviews, and have received some book I'll be reviewing soon.

--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?

Book 2: Shatter in the Rift of Askrah series is currently being written. Target release is set for early 2012, so be sure to keep an eye out for it! I'm also toying with a few ideas I've had while writing this series for what I'll be writing after it is completed, so there won't be much of a pause between the end of the Rift of Askrah series and my next relese.

--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?

I think it would have to be something with magic, maybe the Wheel of Time or Lord of the Rings.

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?

I usually write with the television on. I don't like to write in the quiet, and music distracts me when I want to work. Oddly though, I can listen to the television and continue working.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
The ability to fly, no question. Being able to fly anywhere, at anytime, would be beyond amazing.

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy playing video games, going snowboarding when it's in season, and traveling. Of course, simple relaxation is always welcome.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?

I'd like to thank those who check out my book, and Brandi for allowing me the opportunity to have this interview.

Lightning round: this or that?
Vanilla or chocolate? Chocolate
Edward or Jacob? Nope
Hockey or soccer? Soccer
Ebook or paper? Ebook
Salty or sweet? Sweet
Beach or mountains? Mountains
Phone call or email? Email
Early bird or night owl? Night owl
Dog or cat? Cat
Messy or neat? Messy
Ninjas or pirates? Ninjas

And now for the GIVEAWAY:
-1 Ebook, US only
-Ends 1/7/12