Friday, March 30, 2012

Review: In Too Deep by Amanda Grace

In Too Deep

In Too Deep by Amanda Grace
From the author of "But I Love Him" comes a haunting novel about what happens to one teenage girl when a rumor of rape goes around her school. A Junior Library Guild Selection.

Published in US: Feb 8th 2012
Source: Flux

My Review:

    This is such a unique idea for a story! Amanda writes with such emotion and her characters are always deep and have characteristics that are so easy to relate to, even if we aren't in their exact situation. She makes it so that the rumor snowballing is so easy to believe and the circumstances leading up to it are a perfect storm. It really is a picture of what can happen when you tell a lie, which I know I did some as a teenager, some of almost as epic proportions to letting people believe that Carter raped Sam, although mine didn't quite have the same repurcusions as letting people believe that a guy raped you when he didn't, no matter what a jerk he might be.
    I guess that I can understand how Sam let it go on, but I just kept crossing my fingers that she would own up and time after time, she didn't. But I really think that she should've seen what would happen to her relationship with Nick if she didn't tell the truth right away but did later.
   Speaking of Nick, I really enjoyed their friendship at the beginning. It seemed so much fun and I like to see that sort of comradery with guys and girls without it being romantic. But I guess I saw it coming because of the way she said she started thinking of him differently. Though I have to say friends to a relationship really can work out beautifully in real life when done right, because that is how me and my husband were.
   I want to applaud Ms. Grace for letting the ending play out the way it did. I think that given the nature of the book that it really couldn't have happened any other way. 
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: Torn by Stephanie Guerra

Torn by Stephanie Guerra
Stella Chavez is your classic good girl: straight As, clean-cut boyfriends, and soccer trophies . You’d never guess that Stella’s dad was a drug addict who walked out when she was a kid. Or that inside, Stella wishes for something more.
New girl Ruby Caroline seems like Stella’s polar opposite: cursing, smoking, and teetering in sky-high heels . But with Ruby, Stella gets a taste of another world—a world in which parents act like roommates, college men are way more interesting than high school boys, and there is nothing that shouldn’t be tried once.
It’s not long before Stella finds herself torn: between the best friend she’s ever had and the friends she’s known forever, between her family and her own independence, between who she was and who she wants to be.
But Ruby has a darker side, a side she doesn’t show anyone—not even Stella. As Stella watches her friend slowly unravel, she will have to search deep inside herself for the strength to be a true friend, even if it means committing the ultimate betrayal.
Publishes in US: April 1st 2012
Source: Netgalley

My Review:
    This was such a realistic and gritty read! I could totally relate with Stella, the good girl from rough circumstances who gets drawn into a friendship that is all encompassing and more edgy than she's used to. We read all the time about boyfriends who influence girls' lives and take over the relationship in ways that are not so positive, but in real life, there are girlfriends that can do that too. (This isn't BLGT by the way. I'm down with that, but that's not what I meant so no one gets wrong idea.)
    It is a nice change to have a book that focuses more on friendship and family, because even though Torn does feature a romantic interest, it is not all consuming. Now, don't get me wrong I love a good romance, but sometimes it's nice to have a change of pace. But, anyways, back to Stella. I really admire how loyal she is, and how brave she is--the things that she does for Ruby in the end really are awesome, and I hope my friends would do the same for me if I were in that situation. I also really think highly of Stella in regards to her family. She is responsible, she complements her mom, and she looks out for her siblings. Stella is also stellar in how she deals with her boyfriend--I can't say a whole lot without spoiling, but I appreciate the writer having the guts to go there, and not keep everything peachy and predictable.
    Ruby is well written too, she's wild and appears carefree. And I love how the layers are peeled from her little by little to show what makes her tick and what led her to be like she is. The way that she learned from her past and dealt with the bullying, well, let me just tip my hat.
    Ms. Guerra's writing was solid, and the pace kept me interested the whole time, I didn't want to put it down, and wanted to know what would happen next.
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 3.28

 Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating

This week, I'm featuring:
Releases July 10 2012
Teen pregnancy is never easy—especially not when extraterrestrials are involved. The first in a new trilogy.
Elvie Nara was doing just fine in the year 2074. She had a great best friend, a dad she adored, and bright future working on the Ares Project on Mars. But then she had to get involved with sweet, gorgeous, dumb-as-a-brick Cole—and now she’s pregnant.
Getting shipped off to the Hanover School for Expecting Teen Mothers was not how Elvie imagined spending her junior year, but she can go with the flow. That is, until a team of hot commandos hijacks the ship—and one of them turns out to be Cole. She hasn’t seen him since she told him she’s pregnant, and now he’s bursting into her new home to tell her that her teachers are aliens and want to use her unborn baby to repopulate their species? Nice try, buddy. You could have just called.
So fine, finding a way off this ship is priority number one, but first Elvie has to figure out how Cole ended up as a commando, work together with her arch-nemesis, and figure out if she even wants to be a mother—assuming they get back to Earth in one piece.
What are you waiting on?

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

IMMB 3.25

 IMMB was started by Kristi at The Story Siren. I use it to showcase books I receive and as a social aspect for the blog. To sign up and find out more here

What I got:

Nevermore (Nevermore, #1)
Source: library
Currently reading
Pure (Covenant, #2)
Source: Spencer Hill 
Review on 4/6 part of the tour

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Interview with Kelan O'Connell author of Delta Legend

Delta Legend by Kelan O'Connell
When 16-year-old Oakland California teenager, Calvin Pierce, makes a bad decision and winds up getting arrested, his mother is quick to take action. Determined not to lose a second son to the drug and gang violence of the inner city, she sends Calvin to spend the summer working for his great uncle in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
There in the predominately-white region of agriculture and recreational boating, Calvin’s a fish out of water with a chip on his shoulder. But when severed body parts start floating to the surface, his summer of proving himself takes on new meaning.
Something deadly is lurking in the deep murky waterways of the Delta. Now the daunting task of containing the living incarnation of a mythical creature falls to Calvin and his ragtag posse of oddball characters.
About Kelan from her site:
Author Kelan O'Connell
As a young adult, Kelan O’Connell spent her summers aboard a family houseboat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Apparently, she still harbors suspicions about those deep murky waters. Though she’s been writing in one form or another since the age of 20, Delta Legend is her debut Young Adult Crossover novel.

Kelan began writing in college, creating character monologues as a way to stand out in auditions while also cranking out sketch comedy. She holds a degree in Theatre Arts from San Francisco State University and has worked in the Entertainment Industry in Northern California and Los Angeles, among her many other day jobs.

She currently lives in Northern California with her partner, Sound Engineer/Producer Tom Size, and the incredibly spoiled pets of Camp Runamuck.

1 copy of Delta Legend from
Open to whomever can use
1 13x9 Poster of cover, US only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Our Interview:

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less. Urban teen Calvin Pierce thought being sent to the Delta for the summer was as bad as it could get—then body parts floated to the surface.
--How did you get the idea for the story? Delta Legend was originally a last-ditch-effort screenplay I wrote while trying to break through as a screenwriter in Hollywood. Teen Horror was all the rage and I was chasing the genre. In order to crank one out, I had to ask myself “What really scares me?” The answer came from my own young adulthood—swimming and waterskiing in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. I was always more than a little freaked out about what might be lurking in those deep murky waters. The story line, characters, and legend all grew out of that one fear and the Delta. Of course, no production company in their right mind would take on a big-budget screenplay by a “baby” writer—especially one involving lots of shooting in and on water with tons of special effects. Thank god I was incredibly naive or I probably wouldn’t have written the screenplay which ultimately became the blueprint for the book. Delta Legend sat on the shelf for over ten years before I finally sat down and began writing the novel.

--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with? In the “Most Likely” category, it would be a toss-up between Tak Cheng and Sergeant Ray Cruz. Tak would make for some interesting dinner conversation because he’s such a history buff. And Ray, well, he’s a sexy Latino sheriff. ‘Nuf said. In the “Least Likely” department: Huestus— especially if he drove and I had to catch a ride home with him.
--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read? Two of my all-time favorite books are The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. Thankfully, now that my own book is out and I haven’t fully launched into the next one, I have a bit more time to read. I’m thrilled to finally be catching up on all the great YA books everyone’s been raving about, like The Hunger Games Trilogy (of course) as well as, Divergent, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and Thirteen Reasons Why—for starters. Loving them all! I plan to get in as much reading as possible before my own writing takes over once more.

--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?
The next Legend is percolating in my brain and I’ve jotted down a few rough scenes. I think I’m going to step away and let Calvin and the gang live their lives for a bit—especially since the creature is out of the bag. I really don’t want to turn Calvin, Mei Li, and Jess into “mythical creature hunters” ala Hollywood. I PROMISE, however, to re-visit them, maybe after I crank out a couple more “Legends”—each with different characters, yet similar in style and formula to Delta Legend. You know, a main character who gets thrown into a completely foreign environment, a mythical creature linked to historical fiction, a sprinkling of romance, action, and carnage. And of course, plenty of laughs with more whacko characters and unlikely heroes of various ages and races.
--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 and the Philosopher’s Stone because everything about Hogwart’s and that world was brand new and so exciting—the possibilities were endless. 
--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? Aside from the above mentioned coffee in the morning, I need solitude, a decent view from a window, and quiet space in order to write. Since my partner is a sound engineer and his studio is attached to our house, I have a small office away from home in an office building. I really like it. And yes, there are several songs that inspired me while writing the book. Though I don’t play music while I’m writing, I did listen to my Delta Legend playlist over and over again while out hiking or walking around the marina near my office. According to my iPod, these four are the most over-played:

“No Air” by Jordan Sparks and Chris Brown (can you guess which chapter?)
“Take Me To The River” by The Talking Heads
“Say Hey, I Love You” by Michael Franti & Spearhead
“Where Is The Love?”by The Black Eyed Peas.
--If you could have any superpower what would you choose? To breathe underwater. I’d spend a lot of time at the bottom of the sea exploring shipwrecks in the Caribbean. It would also be good if my head didn’t explode from the pressure, but I guess that would be two superpowers, huh?
--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time? I love to hike in beautiful places, cook, travel (though I haven’t done all that much and hope to do way more) go wine tasting with friends, and while I haven’t gotten to do it in a while, I love to make Cartoneria (Mexican paper mache art) mainly Day of the Dead figures.
--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers? Just a huge “thank you” to everyone who’s embraced Delta Legend. The people who are blogging, tweeting, talking, and texting about the book are the grassroots movement behind its growing audience and I truly can’t say thank you enough. 

Lightning round: this or that? THAT! (Oh sorry, I got excited.)

Vanilla or chocolate? Vanilla
Edward or Jacob? Jacob (I like my men to have at least a little color.)
Hockey or soccer? Hockey. Sharks, baby!
Ebook or paper? Both
Salty or sweet? Salty
Beach or mountains? Beach
Phone call or email? email
Early bird or night owl? Night owl
Dog or cat? Cat(s)
Messy or neat? Messy
Ninjas or pirates? Pirates (see Caribbean shipwreck fantasy above.)

My other giveaways are listed on top right sidebar and
Check out the other giveaways on the hop

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Every Other Day
Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Every other day, Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She's human.
And then every day in between . . .She's something else entirely.
Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.
When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her and, unfortunately, she'll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive. . .and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.
Published in US: Dec 2011
Not sure if there'll be a sequel, but I wouldn't mind one
Source: Netgalley

My Review:
   This is my first book by Jennifer Barnes, and I was really drawn in by her writing style. This is a refreshing idea--being fully human one day and then paranormal the next! She executed this idea very well, and I also liked that in an parallel universe where paranormal creatures were discovered by Darwin, it is even more strange to not know what exactly she is.
    The main character is strong, and selfless, so much its admiral and painful all at the same time. She'd distanced herself from people for so long, but when she tries to save a classmate and gets stuck along the ride with her, along with letting in a social pariah of the school, she realizes just how much she can lose. I enjoyed watching these relationships develop, and I think I was in almost as much pain as Kali at an unfortunate turn that broke my heart.
     Skylar is a great secondary character and she made me think of Luna in the Harry Potter series. This innocence and wisdom you can't help but love. And oh her brothers, lol. They appear from everywhere and it was fun how they advanced the plot.
    I was very suprised about some of the plot twists, including Zev, Kali's mother, and the story behind her father. The writing is suspenseful and I loved where the story took me.
    The ending tied up things pretty well, but I'd still love to read a sequel and find out more about what happens to Kali.

   What did you think of this book and/or my review?
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Character this or that with Andy from Someone Else's Life by Katie Dale

Someone Else's Life

When seventeen-year-old Rosie’s mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington’s Disease, her pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a fifty-per-cent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself. Only when she tells her mum’s best friend, ‘Aunt Sarah’ that she is going to test for the disease does Sarah, a midwife, reveal that Trudie was not her biological mother after all... Devastated, Rosie decides to trace her real mother, hitching along on her ex-boyfriend’s GAP year to follow her to Los Angeles. But all does not go to plan, and as Rosie discovers yet more of her family's deeply-buried secrets and lies, she is left with an agonising decision of her own - one which will be the most heart-breaking and far-reaching of all...
Andy is a character in the book, and he is here today to answer a few questions for us, giving us a better sense of who he is. Thank you Andy, and thank you Katie for letting us borrow him. We'll give him back unharmed. 

Vanilla or chocolate?          Chocolate. Always.
Edward or Jacob?                Who cares?
Hockey or soccer?               Football, mate. (Or soccer to you).
Ebook or paper?                  Paper.
Salty or sweet?                     Salty. Especially crisps. Especially Salt & Vinegar.
Beach or mountains?         Mountain – it’s more of an adventure.
Phone call or email?            Phone call – it’s more direct.
Early bird or night owl?      Night owl – I hate struggling out of bed in the morning!
Dog or cat?                           Dog, definitely. Cats can be right divas.
Messy or neat?                     Messy. Somehow things just never stay neat, and it takes  too long to keep tidying up!
Ninjas or pirates?                 Pirates!

Katie Dale
Author of Someone Else’s Life
Published by Delacorte Young Readers February 2012
Twitter: @katiedaleuk

Waiting on Wednesday 3.21

 Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating

This week, I'm featuring:
Breaking Beautiful
Allie is overwhelmed after her boyfriend, Trip, dies in a car accident, leaving her scarred and unable to recall what happened that night. But she feels she must uncover the truth, even if it could hurt the people who tried to save her from Trip's abuse.
What are you waiting on?

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Read Bridger Free in Celebration of Traitor release!

Here is the Bridger info, and my review can be found HERE

Bridger by Megan Curd
Ashlyn McVean doesn’t believe in fairy tales. That is, until Ashlyn is thrown into the crosshairs of grudges her grandmother created long ago. After finding out she is one of two people able to cross between faerie realms, Ashlyn is faced with trying to understand her abilities, along with navigating a new relationship with her boyfriend, Liam. As if being on a centuries old hit list and dealing with crazed pixies isn’t enough, her new abilities mean trouble for Liam. Knowing her new life puts everyone she loves in danger, Ashlyn must decide what’s most important in her life between friends, family, love, and ultimately, realms.
Here is info on Traitor! I am SO buying it after writing this post!
Traitor (Bridger)
Ashlyn never believed in fairy tales until she was in one.
They say ignorance is bliss, but not when you're on a centuries old hit list...and there's a traitor in your midst.
Ashlyn must decide what's most important: trusting the allies she has, or siding with those she thought were enemies. Ashlyn knows old friends can turn on her, and unlikely allies may be the best chance she has to piece her family back together. No matter what her choice, she could lose someone she loves.
And when you don't know who to trust, believe one thing: You can never trust a faerie.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review: Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test, #2)
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
Kate Winters has won immortality. But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, she'll have to fight for it.Becoming immortal wasn't supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she's as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he's becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate's coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.Henry's first wife, Persephone.
Publishes in US: Mar 27th 2012
2nd in series, The Goddess Test is 1st, and the 3rd The Goddess Inheritance releases Oct 2012
Source: Netgalley

My Review:
    I tore through this one, and really enjoyed it. There are great action scenes and even though Kate seems weaker in some ways, the same girl I admired from the first series is still there. She is still as loyal and self-sacrificing as in the first, putting those she loves before herself and not even thinking of her safety.
    The relationship between Kate and Henry is agonizing in this one. I wanted to smack both of them over the head once I finally got to the bottom of their issues. This is where Kate seemed weaker when it came to her confidence towards Henry. I can totally understand where her insecurities come from, but it was still hard to read at times (with the heartbreak, not bad writing.)
    I really like James in this one, and I appreciate how he really looks out for Kate. I kinda want a piece of him for myself ;)    Ava was awesome as ever too. But Persephone was also frustrating in that wonderfully written character you wanna hate kind of way.
    I can't wait for the third one and find out how their stories conclude.
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Giveaway: Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)

Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
In the dark days since the insidious Red Lung virus decimated the human population, vampires have risen to rule the crumbling cities and suburbs. Uncontested Princes hold sway over diminished ranks of humans: their "pets." In exchange for their labor, loyalty and of course, their blood, these pets are registered, given food and shelter, permitted to survive.
Unregistered humans cling to fringes, scavenging for survival. Allison Sekemoto and her fellow Unregistereds are hunted, not only by vampires, but by rabids, the unholy result of Red Lung-infected vampires feeding on unwary humans. One night, Allie is attacked by a pack of rabids, saved by an unlikely hero...and turned vampire.
Uncomfortable in her undead skin, Allie falls in with a ragtag crew of humans seeking a cure, or cures: for Rabidism and for Vampirism. She's passing for human...for now. But the hunger is growing and will not be denied. Not for friendship—not even for love.
Giveaway details
-Fill out rafflecopter
-Open to US and Canada only
-Copy provided by Harlequin

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check out my interview.
Purchase book here:

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Immb 3.18

 IMMB was started by Kristi at The Story Siren. I use it to showcase books I receive and as a social aspect for the blog. To sign up and find out more here

What I got:

Starters (Starters, #1)
Review HERE
Angelina's Secret
Source: Spencer Hill
Review HERE
Sisterhood Everlasting (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, #5)
Source: netgalley
Review HERE
Someone Else's Life
Source: Teen Book Scene
Review HERE

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Review: Starters (Starters #1) by Lissa Price

Starters (Starters, #1)
Starters (Starters #1) by Lissa Price

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.
He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . .
Published in US: March 13 2012
Source: Netgalley
1st in Starters series, 2nd named Enders releases Dec. 12th 2012, the novella Portrait of a Starter: An Unhidden Story (Starters, #0.5) released Feb 14th, The 2nd Unhidden Story (Starters #1.25) releases July 14th, The 3rd Unhidden Story (Starters #1.5) releases Oct 9th.

My Review:
     This is such a creepy and delicious idea for a dystopia! The idea of renting out your body and not knowing what the renter does is so hard to imagine, and just reading the description makes you wonder why you would want to do that. We quickly see with Callie her heart and determination--she does it for her brother. The family bond there is so sweet and I love how that is woven into the story. Fighting for her only surviving family is a motivation that I can totally understand and makes her actions believable and commendable.
    The idea of the Enders is kinda creepy too... not knowing who is a real teen, and if you are seeing the same person inside a body every time. I liked some of the Enders that we met, and you can understand their motivations too.
    I really enjoyed the romance and how twisted the relationships really are. I hope that they are explored fully in the next books in the series because there is so much potential and I want to know what happens next.
    There is a lot of action and I was constantly engaged, wondering what would happen next and what would throw me for a loop.
   Essentially, I loved it and can't wait for the next. Strong characters and refreshing idea.
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Friday, March 16, 2012

Interview with Laura Hart author of The Toy Sorcerer

Cover for 'The Toy Sorcerer'
The Toy Sorcerer by Laura Hart
Trapped as a mortal in a dimension where human dreams become reality, Alice Towers endures a journey of unmerciful persecution and excruciating self-discovery. Guided by an extraordinary realm creature named Shammerwack, she must find Magog; a boy imprisoned for over three centuries who holds the key to her release.
10 ebooks (international) AND
2 print copies (US or UK only please)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you Laura for the interview

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.
 Alice’s Wonderland hails Armageddon as the Final Prophesy dawns in the New Age.

--How did you get the idea for the story?
Laura Hart - Author of The Toy SorcererI have lived with lucid dreams since childhood; long before the phenomenon had a name. My dream world was inescapable, even when I knew I was dreaming. Being stuck in a nightmare is a terrifying ordeal for a child. Ironically, my favourite story was Alice in Wonderland; possibly because I identified with Alice in so many ways.
I lost my only brother to a car crash when I was fourteen and my entire perspective on life - and death - altered dramatically. I leaped from fourteen to forty in a single leap. I will admit that Alice’s adventures in the Dream Realms are as much a self-healing panacea as they are fun.

--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
Least - Lillian; I might be on the menu.
Most - Merlin; the stories he could tell after a thousand years in the Dream Realms - the place where everything that everyone has ever dreamed becomes real? Makes your hair curl just thinking about it.

--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
As I said, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is still on my desert island list. Other favourites; George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and ‘Animal Farm’, ‘The Hobbit’ and LOR, anything by Terry Pratchett and a little known book called ‘IQ 83’ by Arthur Herzog - fabulously original concept.
I’m reading ‘The Amulet of Samarkand’ - Jonathan Stroud - very funny and original. I read as much as I can - it keeps the brain nicely oiled - but if I’m strapped for time, I write. It’s a matter of priorities.

--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?
I made the typical newbie mistake of publishing prior to marketing The Toy Sorcerer. Ah well, no one has to wait for it now, do they? I am writing the second in the series at the moment, ‘The Final Prophesy’. When I freeze - as do we all - I write short stories on a completely different theme. By the time I’m done, the block has lifted on the novel. Unorthodox M.O probably, but it keeps me writing effectively. I’m going to be publishing some of the shorts on my website fairly soon under the title ‘Planet Strange’; exactly what it sounds like!  I shall also be dropping a few hints and excerpts of The Final Prophecy, as I write.
As for a release date - I hate tempting providence; it doesn’t need any more encouragement.

--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?
Now that’s a really tough one. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that didn’t have a terrific downside for every upside, but then they wouldn’t be any good if they didn’t. Problem is; if I chose Alice, I’d probably be beheaded by the queen; if I chose Animal farm, I’d be Boxer . . . you get my drift?

--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 listen to classical or stuff like Enigma or Tribe, or anything acoustic guitar. I can’t concentrate if I’m hearing song lyrics. If I want to generate a certain atmosphere, I have a list of guaranteed mood swingers; Rodrigo’s adagio section from the Concerto De Aranjuez is perfect when I need tragedy or pain.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
The ability to read minds; I’m dreadful at reading people. If I’d had the power to know what they were thinking, I probably wouldn’t have opened my big mouth and inserted size eights in it so many times!

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
I design and make art and architectural glass pieces. I’m a 3D artist and designer, so I spend much of time staring at two screens - and again when writing - so my time in the studio is precious to me.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
I take my writing seriously and I’m a perfectionist; a dreadfully harsh editor of my own work. I believe that a good story needs to be told well.  I love the English language and despair at the gradual loss of some delicious words through lack of use, so expect to find some! I write from the heart and sometimes the heart can be sad or outraged; my characters are strong, their lives as real as my own. I crave feedback; writing a book is like being in a sealed vacuum until someone reads it and tells you what they think. But, I would never ask a friend for a review of The Toy Sorcerer - it wouldn’t ‘count’. I need totally unbiased honesty in order to grow.

Lightning round: this or that?

Vanilla or chocolate?
Definitely chocolate.

Edward or Jacob?
Edward - don’t ask me why.

Hockey or soccer?

Ebook or paper?

Salty or sweet?

Beach or mountains?

Phone call or email?

Early bird or night owl?
Both - unfortunately.

Dog or cat?
Both - happily.

Messy or neat?

Ninjas or pirates?
Check out the other giveaways in the hop:

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Book Giveaway plus coupon and Author Interview: Quest of the Demon and Tallen by Michelle Sawyer

Tallen (Quest of the Demon Aftermath #1)Quest of the Demon

Quest of the Demon by Michelle Sawyer
Darci is a popular sixteen-year-old girl who plays basketball and lives in an ordinary country town. But her life is changed forever when she is accidentally transported to the land of Nahaba by a young apprentice wizard called Taslessian.
Within hours of her unexpected arrival, both teens are thrust into a dangerous journey to the cave of Grisham the Great in the hope that he would be able to send her home.
Upon reaching the cave, however, Darci quickly discovers that there is no such thing as accidents, and that their journey is only just beginning.

Tallen by Michelle Sawyer
Growing up not far from the road to Chinta on the edge of the Jungle Dragon, Tallen is excited to have her two brothers home. Recent times have been hard, Tallen herself barely surviving an attack by a derelict stranger in their very own barn.
The war that never was has relieved them of their duty at Chinta, so much so, that her father, the Sergeant of the Guard, is able to return for a visit, bringing news of a possible suitor for Tallen, given that she is almost of that age.
Tallen is not sure what she wants, and the man her father brings home is not what anyone expected. But at least she knows that her family has her best interests at heart when the pompous, self-interested merchant's son is sent back to Chinta.
The aftermath of the Offworlder's quest remains uncertain, the battle apparently lost. But for a reluctant Tallen, the journey is only just beginning, upon a path from which there may be no return.
Giveaway: Ebook copy of Quest of the Demon and Tallen

a Rafflecopter giveaway

.99 cent Coupon Codes:
Quest of the Demon 
TP99G expires 30/04/2012 

Tallen Quest of the Demon Aftermath 1
HT56V expires 30/04/2012 

Our Interview:

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

Darci gets zapped to Nahaba, where she meets a wizard n after trying to find her way home, finds out from a dragon she is to save the world.

--How did you get the idea for the story?
I originally wrote Quest of the Demon for myself as my own adventure.  It started when I was 14 probably during an accounting class or something similar… What I thought was a short story (like any high school kid would write), ended up being a 100k+ novel.
--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
I’d most like to have dinner with Maledorian as he’d be a lot of fun – if you ever needed someone to party with or back you up in a tavern brawl, he’d be your guy.  I’d least like to have dinner with Domati – he’s a crazy demented wizard who of course, is one of the bad guys.

--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
I don’t have much time to read at the moment but my favorite reads come from Tamora Pierce (The Lioness Rampant series), Isobelle Carmondy (I’m reading ‘The Sending’ at the moment.), David Eddings – the 6 books about Spahawk… there’s many more but I’ll leave it at that.
--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?

Always.  I’m hand writing book 5 at the moment while book 3 Elflings (Quest of the Demon Aftermath 2) is due out in December this year.  Keep your eyes open as I also have some flash fiction work coming out through 

--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 a book from Anne McCaffrey – the dragons of Pern are classic and to ride around with real dragons would be awesome!

--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?
Now that I’m getting older (I turn 30 this year, yikes!) I find that I like a good coffee, but that’s all I need stimulus wise.  To get some good writing done, all I need is a place to sit, some peace and quiet as well as a few good pens and my note book.

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

Ohhh… good one.  I always wondered what kind of X-man like mutant I would be…I always liked Rogue so I think if I could have her powers (in the comic book version, flying, strength and so on – that would be pretty cool).  If it was only one power I get to choose – flight.

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

Free time?  I wonder where all of that went.  Well I work full time in real estate which sucks up most of my time.  But when I get a chance, I like to go camping, fishing, do archer, I play basketball and occasionally play zombie games on the ps3.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
Let your imagination be your guide for it can take you anywhere.
Lightning round: this or that?
Vanilla or chocolate? Chocolate
Edward or Jacob? Jacob
Hockey or soccer? Hockey
Ebook or paper? Ebook
Salty or sweet? Sweet
Beach or mountains? Mountains
Phone call or email? Email
Early bird or night owl? Early bird
Dog or cat? Dog
Messy or neat? Messy
Ninjas or pirates? Ninja

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