Monday, December 31, 2012

Review: The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell


Twelve princesses suffer from a puzzling (if silly) curse, and anyone who ends it will win a reward. Reveka, a sharp-witted and irreverent apprentice herbalist, wants that reward. But her investigations lead to deeper mysteries and a daunting choice—will she break the curse at the peril of her own soul?

      The Princess Curse is a gem. And yes. This will be a raving post. A perfect book to finish the year on!
          I could go on an on about these characters, but for your sakes I will keep it brief...ish. Reveka is only thirteen, but demonstrates the maturity of those who have dealt primarily with adults their whole lives.. In fact, often times she was more mature than the adults around her, demonstrating her true character by staying true to what she believed and being willing to sacrifice for those she loved. Her age provided a perfect perspective for the plot. There was an interesting dynamic between Reveka and her father, an irritation/adoration type of thing, but his motives were seamless. At first I suspected Minhas (a former cowherd) of being a hero of the story, and in a way he is. But he's not the stereotypical hero type, and he's much better because of that. And Dragos was perfect, as a character. His strengths and flaws gave him a visible depth. His past is incredibly intriguing.
Characters: 5 Stars
         This plot is a remix of Twelve Dancing Princesses and Beauty and the Beast. The Twleve Dancing princesses portion would be fairly standard, except it doesn't take place from the perspective of the princesses. Rather, they are under a curse, shrouded in mystery from which countless have fallen into a comatose state. But breaking this curse is only the half the plot. The rest is even better, but if I tell you, it would be a bit of a spoiler.
Plot: 5 Stars
          I found this book in the library's junior fiction section, but it can easily be enjoyed by all ages. Merrie Haskell does a marvelous job of keeping the fairy tales' classic feel while introducing  her own flair and sense of style. Reveka's engaging matter-of-fact manner mixed with the creative worlds Merrie Haskell paints make this book a definite re-read.
Style: 5 Stars

Rating: 5 Stars
Source: Library
Genre: Fantasy
Junior/YA Fiction

MerrieHaskell.com

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas!
     Or happy, whatever else you celebrate! Unless you kill puppies. 
I am writing from the midst of a winter storm with snow finally here to stay. Merry Christmas! And I have a book suggestion for you.
      Asking me to choose a favorite Christmas book, or indeed, any book, would be like asking me to choose a favorite limb. Nope. Can't be done. But I do have some I prefer.

In the city of the dead,
a dreamer awakens....
      Young Babak has a magnificent gift: He can dream the future. Mitra, his brave older sister, is sworn to protect him. For them to survive living on the streets, she must do whatever is necessary -- including using her brother's talent for profit.
When Babak is asked to dream for a powerful Magus, he receives a mysterious vision of two stars dancing in the night. Determined to solve this prophetic riddle, the Magus takes the boy and his sister on an arduous journey across the desert. What they discover will change the world in a way that no dream could ever predict... 


        But what makes Alphabet of DreamsChristmasy? I enjoyed it because it provided another perspective on the nativity story. The nativity is only a very small part of this book and not the focus. But it follows a young girl as she tries to survive and care for her brother in a largely uncivilized world and shows how the birth of a savior affected everyone. The world did not stand still, but the impact was made in individual lives.
        Here's wishing a happy, hopeful season and a better new year. This is one of my favorite Christmas songs, and the artwork is beautiful. Enjoy~

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Book Review: Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George

Princess of the Silver Woods  is the third and last book in the Twelve Dancing Princesses series by Jessica Day George that began with Princess of the Midnight Ball and Princess of Glass.

      When Petunia, the youngest of King Gregor's twelve dancing daughters, is invited to visit an elderly friend in the neighboring country of Westfalin, she welcomes the change of scenery. But in order to reach Westfalin, Petunia must pass through a forest where strange two-legged wolves are rumored to exist. Wolves intent on redistributing the wealth of the noble citizens who have entered their territory. 
       But the bandit-wolves prove more rakishly handsome than truly dangerous, and it's not until Petunia reaches her destination that she realizes the kindly grandmother she has been summoned to visit is really an enemy bent on restoring an age-old curse. The stories of Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood get a twist as Petunia and her many sisters take on bandits, grannies, and the new King Under Stone to end their family curse once and for all.

      To start with, I loved that Princess Petunia was short. Yay for kickbutt, short heroines! Despite how kick-butt she is, she is only sixteen, and Jessica Day George did a very good job of showing her youth while still keeping her mature enough to deal with the circumstances. I did feel that most of the other sisters blurred together, but it was fun to see them again after getting to know them so well in the other books. Oliver (head of the bandits) didn't seem as much of a romantic hero as he could have been, but I really liked how straight his priorities were.
Characters: 3.5 Stars
      I have such a soft spot for fairy tale retellings, and this book was no exception. Throughout the series there has been one overarching evil that was never quite defeated. The plot only thickened in the Princess of the Silver Woods, as the new King Under Stone returned to haunt the princesses. I must admit that at some points the story felt very repetitive, but overall, the new version of Robin Hood and Little Red Riding Hood kept things interesting.
Plot: 3.5 Stars
      This book was a nice mix between romance and action. Each moved at its own pace, and neither overpowered the other. I appreciated the lack of excessive angst that infects so many romances and enjoyed reading a story where dangerous choices to protect those you love were a part of everyday life.
Style: 4 Stars  

Rating: 3.7 Stars
Source: Amazon
Genre: Fantasy
YA Fiction

Note: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow is my absolute favorite of Jessica Day George's books. Seriously, guys, check it out. So good!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: Amy Joy Lutchen

      Born in Chicago, Illinois, a few days prior to watching her first movie, at a drive-in theater. Yes, drive-in theater. And yes, her mother believed she was possessed by the devil after said first movie.
      Grew up in the Chicagoland area and graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, where she simply became a number, but decided it was a good number.
      Loves cooking (mostly candy-cooking), gardening (putting holes in the ground for perennials, DONE!), designing and constructing jewelry (everything from silversmithing to lampworking), and living with her wonderful husband, two children, black Labrador, and frog—and maybe even the chipmunk family that likes to destroy her aforementioned perennials.
      Also hopes that you enjoy her writings, and won’t criticize her for her aversion of eating things in multiples of three.

Favorite reads? 
      Stephen King and Dr. Seuss. Mad genius I tell ya.

Inspirations for the book? 
      Yes, some really crappy, bad stuff that was happening in my life, and past tragic events that were forcing me into a very dark place. Once I gathered the courage to face all these things and began writing them down, these horrible events morphed into something magical and inspiring: the land of Renhala! It has transformed my life and I am in such a better place right now. I can’t stop!
      Writing is extremely therapeutic and I say to anyone needing an outlet for angst, try WRITING! I say prove me wrong that any literary jam session is not going to help . . . Seriously, write it down! See what happens.

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little? 
      Honestly, nope. Unfortunately while in 3rd grade, I had a very persuasive teacher tell me she thought I would make an excellent accountant. You teachers out there know how influential you are, right? I strived for that for the next fourteen years…but now I’m happy, post Renhala.

Any Pet Peeves?
      When people use a pen/marker then set it down without putting the cap back on!! There are people who can’t afford such luxuries and you’re all letting your writing utensils dry out?

Chocolate or Peanut Butter? 
      What is this you speak of? I don’t understand the “or,” only “and.”

The weirdest thing you've ever done? 
      The weirdest thing I ever did was probably the time I dressed up as an Easter bunny for a 7-Eleven, but the dressing up is not the best part! You see, there was a child—probably about eight—that was hiding with a friend of his down an aisle, flipping me the middle finger.
      So, I had my mother (who was not dressed up as a bunny rabbit) corner them and make them sit on my lap. Let’s just say that our one-sided conversation probably scarred them for life.

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music? 
      When it comes to music, I’m really all over the place. My dad was in a 50’s & 60’s band while I was growing up and I came to love me some oldies. But “Enjoy the Silence” by Depeche Mode is bound to be playing at some point, and oh! The Cure, anything by The Cure. And just simply for theme (karma) Justin Timberlake’s “What Goes Aound Comes Around.”

Do you need anything to write?
       Starbucks Earl Gray Tea lattes, and my endless supply of post-it notes and little tiny notebooks (especially if they have glitter on them).

How long do you write on any average day?
      I don’t measure in units of time. I measure in Starbucks Earl Gray tea lattes. Let me say I am of super-titanium-kryptonite member status.

Give us the number one reason to read your book.
      I triple-dog dare you to! In seriousness, it is like no other book you’ve read. I like to think it is unique, making it very memorable, for who else has deadly, white bunny rabbits with talons in their books?

Author Info:


      Kailey Rooke, timid accountant, dedicated to philanthropic work, finds herself spiraling into a deep depression after she suffers a horrifyingly odd and humiliating assault, to only discover more of these freakish assaults occurring across the globe.
      A chance discovery leads Kailey to a meeting with elderly Gunthreon, actual master of persuasion. Gunthreon, who seems to know too much of Kailey's history for her liking, opens Kailey's eyes to a coexisting realm she never knew existed: Renhala, while entrusting her with the knowledge of her newfound power as karmelean, serving as a beacon for karma from the Higher Ones. Kailey slowly starts revealing new talents, and Gunthreon is fascinated with what she starts achieving.
      She soon discovers that Renhala is in danger, and this danger has been leaking into her own realm. As she uncovers secrets within herself, and toughens up, she fuses with an unlikely band of fellow travelers (including a dragon, woodsprite, six-hundred-pound greble, her faithful female canine companion, and a "giver"), balances the egos of two very strong males, deals with her sexy and flirtatious best friend’s “issues,” and finds the courage to master a new deadly weapon.
      On her mission to save Renhala, Kailey will find herself running from life-threatening disasters, such as greble Tartarin, who likes to remind Kailey that when he catches her, he plans on eating her brains with ice cream; she'll run from the deadly meeples: small cute bunnies with talons and an undeniable thirst for imposing self-destruction on others. Kailey will also run into the possibility that a centuries-old Renhalan rumor is true, that advanced technology existing in Kailey's realm shortens all life spans.
      As blood is shed and puzzles near completion, Kailey pulls from deep within herself, conjuring up mystical qualities that enable her to astonish as once predicted at her birth, but despite the newfound strength, Kailey will discover that monsters not only come in ugly packages, but can be easily disguised as those she has come to love and trust.

*Giveaway*
(Ends 1/19)
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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: N. R. Allen

    I grew up in a small town called Dooms, VA. I typically don't post pictures of myself. Instead, I usually use a picture of a mountain range in South Dakota, at twilight, when the sky's turning colors and the moon is just starting to glow.

Favorite reads? 
   Watchers by Dean R. Koontz and The Stand by Stephen King

Inspirations for the book? 
   My writing process is a little strange. I usually get an image in my head and I build the book around it. For this, my young son put on a sentimental necklace and the story grew from there.

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little? 
   Ever since I learned to put words together, I wanted to be a writer.

Pet Peeves?
   I'm fairly easy-going. But I hate the sound of nails on chalkboard.

Chocolate or Peanut Butter? 
   Both, preferably with ice cream

The weirdest thing you've ever done? 
   Can't actually write that one, but it involved a mailbox, a college friend, and the police. Theft wasn't involved and neither was vandalism.

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music? 
   Cruxshadows for the beginning and Muse for the end.

Do you need anything to write? 
   Music. When I zone out and can no longer hear the music, I know I've gotten into the story.

How long do you write on any average day? 
   Several hours.

Give us the number one reason to read your book. 
   It's different and it's about being different.

Author Info:
 My website can be found here.


   Something strange is happening in Returning City, something dangerous. 
Gabriel has never questioned things before. He knows that because he is a revenant like everyone else, he has to fight the not-family and hurt them to keep his own family safe. He has never questioned that the sky is always dark or that hungry things watch him from the forest.

But in Returning City, everyone has secrets.

   Gabriel grew up believing that he was the same as everyone else. But now, things are changing. He begins to see strange, monstrous creatures instead of the people he has always known. Struggling to protect his family, Gabriel must turn to a mysterious stranger, but is she only helping him for her own dark purposes?

   In order to survive, Gabriel has to become more than he has ever been, and he will have to go against all he has ever known. Soon Gabriel will realize that something dangerous waits for him—his past—and that past holds a secret deadlier than anything he could ever imagine.

*Giveaway*
(Ends 1/18)
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Monday, December 10, 2012

Gift Card Giveaway Hop


Merry Christmas!!!!
*Twinkle* *Twinkle**Twinkle*
Happy Holidays!
Sorry for the long period of MIA over November. NaNoWriMo swamped all of my time, but hopefully I should be back with regular posting now.

         On a completely different note: it's December! And that means happiness and gift-giving and scrounging the house for spare change to assist with the gift-giving! Yay!
         I know how nasty it can be to pull dust bunnies off of couch-cushion quarters, so as part of the Gift Card Giveaway hop I will be giving away a $10 Amazon gift-card (alternately, if you live somewhere where Amazon isn't- Gasp!- you can choose a book of up to $10 from the Book Depository).
*Giveaway*
$10 Amazon Gift Card


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the rest of the giveaways!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: Dario Giardi



   I was born in Rome in 1977, I work as a researcher in the fields of environment and energy, although my true passion is writing.
  I have written the tourist guides Bretagna: natura, arte, poesia e mistero tra oceano e cielo and Roma: misteri ed itinerari insoliti, published by Polaris (www.polaris-ed.it/). Adudan is my debut Novel. I have decided to take a gamble with self-publishing on the Amazon platform.

   America is the land of opportunity. Self-publishing has made many dreams come true. I'm sure it's a positive sign of changing times and of the direct power that new technologies give readers, bypassing the old, traditional publishing system to give a voice to what for me is the only criterion for publishing success: the public.

Favorite reads?
   Urban fantasy and paranormal romance

Inspirations for the book?
   Everything comes in dreams. 
Adudan comes from my dream journeys. Many call them astral travel. This is all my writing is something that goes beyond the pages.

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
   No

Any Pet Peeves?
   Hypocrisy, Emotionless

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
   Chocolate

The weirdest thing you've ever done?
   sleep in a lighthouse during a storm

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
   the song Promise by Cecilia Luce, a young italian artist friend of mine. It is the song that you can listen in the booktrailer

Do you need anything to write?
   Simply emotions. 

How long do you write on any average day?
    there isn't a definite time. The creative drive always starts with an image. I wake up I take notes on the images that my imagination has produced ... everything comes from them. If there is a strong emotion behind that image do not take it into account. In what I write, there is always a profound message I like to convey and I think that in this sense Adudan it conceals many. This is all my writing is something that goes beyond the pages.

Give us the number one reason to read your book.
   Adudan is an urban fantasy which I think is very innovative and special for the message it contains, but I'll leave you to judge for yourselves.
   The story comes to life during sleep and in the dreams of Marcel Guivarch, a Breton writer who is able to immerse himself in the memory of an ancestral past. In this land which lies between dreams and reality, the protagonist starts to become fully aware of his true identity and of his mission. Through the visions that a mysterious civilization manages to send him, he traces his life backwards until he discovers that he was Railen, a guardian chosen by princess Adudan, the only sovereign left to rule the planet Atlas after the death of her father.  For Marcel, these visions are the first pieces of a story that traces its roots back into time.

Author Info:


   “Only when you no longer fear death will you be able to write your own destiny”
Marcel lives on a small island off the coast of Brittany. He dreams of becoming a famous writer but in his dreams he discovers his destiny and his true identity. A dream journey that takes him to the magical world of Atlas. There he finds out that he was Railen, the elite guard of princess Adudan.
   For Marcel those visions are the first piece of a story whose roots go back to the
dawn of time. Memory by memory, he begins to piece together his past, narrating to us the
events that forced him to part with his beloved Adudan.
   Dogged and constantly threatened by the Draconians, a cruel alien civilization, the two lovers must separate in order to protect the Crystal of Atlas. But they can’t run forever, the day will come when the Draconians manage to track down the Crystal; and when that day comes mankind will have to be ready and trained to defend itself and write its own 
destiny.

*Giveaway*

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: M. Beth Bloom


Happy Halloween! 
I hope you are all reading something appropriately chilling.  



    Bloom's first short story “Love And Other Catastrophes: A Mix Tape” was featured in Story Quarterly and selected by Dave Eggers for inclusion in The Best American Nonrequired Reading: 2003 (Houghton-Mifflin), which he curates annually. Bloom is the founder of underground dance label 100% Silk (profiled here in LA WeeklyAND the producer/lead singer of the band LA Vampires (written up in The Guardian as well as Pitchfork and Fader). Her next book will be published through HarperTeen.
    M. Beth lives on the east side of L.A. where she indulges in raw fooding, magazine subscribing, thrift shopping, Sunday matinee'ing, and ladies book clubbing.

Favorite reads?
   The Secret History by Donna Tartt, Girl by Blake Nelson, Anagrams by Lorrie Moore, Sense Of An Ending by Julian Barnes, Karoo by Steve Tesich, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis.

Inspirations for the book?
   Great ‘80s and ‘90s campy vampire flicks like Lost Boys, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Near Dark, and Interview With The Vampire, as well as ‘90s feminist icons like Daria, Clarissa Darling, Kennedy from MTV, Six from Blossom, and Ms. Musso from Parker Lewis Can’t Lose.

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
   Yes!

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
   Cacao and Almond Butter

The weirdest thing you've ever done?
   Open up for Sonic Youth on their Don’t Look Back tour. TrĂ©s Weird.

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
   ’94 awesomeness – Ice Cube, Nas, Tribe Called Quest, Hole, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Notorious B.I.G., Sonic Youth, En Vogue, Digable Planets, Bjork, Crystal Waters, Smashing Pumpkins.

Do you need anything to write?
   Kale chips, Kombucha, silk kimono, space heater, and silence.

How long do you write on any average day?
   On a good day as long as five hours. On a bad day I’m lucky if I write my name on a store receipt.

Give us the number one reason to read your book.
   It’s not at all what you’re expecting…

Author Info:
Twitter: @QuinlanLacey
Facebook: Facebook.com/MBethBloom AND Facebook.com/DrainYouByMBethBloom


Summer. The 90s. The rich, sun-bleached neighborhoods of the Los Angeles canyons. Enter Quinlan Lacey, a cool, bored, sarcastic, sexy 17-year old with a dull part-time video store job and a mild case of teen ennui. That is, until she meets the alluring, River Phoenix-esque James, and realizes the hills are alive with the undead. Inspired more by the early, dry L.A. short stories of Bret Easton Ellis than the current crop of serialized vampire fiction, the supernatural grunge romance, Drain You, narrates the headaches and heartbreaks Quinn undergoes in her quest to stay sane and cool and in love and alive.

   Check out Publisher's Weekly review -"Bloom debuts with a languid, stylish novel that reads like a love letter to cult vampire flicks like The Lost Boys, the work of Francesca Lia Block, and Southern California in the 1990s." 

Or you can check out Amazon and Barnes & Noble for more info!

*Giveaway*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: Julie Grasso

   With a background in paediatric nursing, Julie Anne Grasso spent many years literally wrapping children in cotton wool. Every day she witnessed great courage and resilience from the tiny people she cared for, which inspired her to write stories about a little girl elf just like them. She lives in Melbourne Australia with her husband Danny and their little elf Giselle

Favorite reads?
   Anne McCaffrey, Douglas Adams, Kathy Reichs, Patricia Cornwall and JK Rowling of course.

Inspirations for the book?
   Take a nerdy science fiction addiction + love of all things Caramel = a book about telepathic elves who are obsessed with chocolate cake with caramel sauce, that swing through rainforests on vines, have special healing powers, as well as doing battle with evil clones that aim to take over the universe.

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
   Not when I was little. I got my inspiration after I became a pediatric nurse.

Any Pet Peeves?
   I hate pairing socks, I flatly refuse to do it. 

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
   Peanut butter, chocolate gives me a migraine. 

The weirdest thing you've ever done?
   I once burnt down my grandmothers kitchen, quite accidental.

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
   At the moment its Twilight soundtrack, my toddler grooves along as well. 

Do you need anything to write?
   Chai Latte stat.

How long do you write on any average day?
   1-2 hours, depending on the toddler tantrums.

Give us the number one reason to read your book.
   Who wouldn't want to read about telepathic elves and evil clones that have a penchant for rhymes. 

Author Info:
Twitter: @jujuberry37 
Website: www.julieannegrassobooks.com. 
Amazon 
Goodreads


Caramel Cinnamon thought the worst day of her life was the day her grandparents, the King and Queen of the Elves of Cardamom went missing. She was wrong! The day she spills sticky toffee syrup onto her father's computer, that's when her worst nightmare begins. She finds herself marooned on a forbidden planet, sent there by an evil clone with a very sticky secret. Caramel is desperate to escape. If she doesn't she will lose her dreams of returning to Cardamom to become a healer like her Mum. Luckily, she has a secret of her own and the lives of her family and friends depend on it!

*Giveaway*
(Ends 11/14)
3 Paperback OR ebook copies up for grabs
Paperback only option for US/Can
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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cover Reveal: Dark Nebula




Nothing is as it seems anymore.

Leery from the horrifying incident at the end of her first year at Guilder Boarding School, Rae Kerrigan is determined to learn more about her new tattoo. looks Her expectations are high, an easy senior year and a happy reunion with Devon— the boy she’s not supposed to date. All hopes of happiness fade into shattered dreams the moment she steps back on campus.

Lies and secrets are everywhere, and a betrayal cuts Rae deeply. Among her conflicts and enemies, it appears as if her father is reaching out from beyond the grave to ruin her life. With no one to trust, Rae doesn’t know where or who to turn to for help.

Has her destiny been written? Or will she becomes the one thing she hates the most-- her father’s prodigy.


         Dark Nebula is the much-awaited sequel to Rae of Hope by W. J. May. 
GUYS! This book will be FREE on Oct. 15 on Amazon!
* Skips happily around the room hugging herself*


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: Ilana Waters

   Ilana Waters is a freelance writer who lives in New Jersey. When not creating content for websites, she can be found working on novels and short stories—as well as nibbling string cheese. She once pet-sat an electric eel, and enjoys walking in circles around the park for no particular reason.
   Her first book—The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt: Book I of Hartlandia—is a middle-grade fantasy. It is available at Amazon, Barnesandnoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Ilana is currently writing Book II of the Hartlandia trilogy, due out in 2013.


Favorite reads?
   YA and MG fantasy, mostly. Right now I’m working my way through the cannons of Philip Pullman and Roald Dahl.

Inspirations for the book?
   The usual: I dreamed it. Seriously, isn’t there another way we authors can come up with book ideas nowadays? :-D

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
   Definitely—since I was at least six. Then I tried to be someone else for twenty-five years. Thank
goodness that failed—now I can get back to being a writer!

Any Pet Peeves?
   People who complain constantly about their pet peeves. ;-)

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
   Forcing me to make such a decision would be just plain cruel.

The weirdest thing you've ever done?
   Um, can I plead the Fifth on that one?

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
   I listen to what I call “weird New Age music” when I write. It’s enough to fill the silence, but not enough to distract me. Since my novel (The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt: Book I of Hartlandia) contains fairies, there was some fairy music going on as well. Pagan, folk, and medieval tunes, etc. Fairies just love that stuff.

Do you need anything to write?
   A work ethic. But since I sort of lack that, peace and quiet will do.

How long do you write on any average day?
   Oh dear—not nearly as long as I procrastinate!

Give us the number one reason to read your book.
   Well, the water bill is coming due, and I really need to pay that sucker . . . kidding! Because I think it’s a fun and exciting mix-up of periods, themes, characters, and adventures that readers have never seen before!

Author Info:
I can be cyber-stalked at these fine locations:
IlanaWaters.com
Goodreads
Amazon
Amazon.com/uk
Barnesandnoble
Apple
Kobo
Smashwords
Twitter


         Ten-year-old Stanley Delacourt loves his quiet life in the peaceful village of Meadowwood. At least, he does until his best friend is killed. Then the town library—where Stanley lives and works—is burned to the ground. The individuals responsible for both tragedies are a nasty group of soldiers. They work for the kingdom’s new leader: Christopher Siren.
          No one understands the rules Siren’s creating. They don’t know why breaking them means death, or why the leader is so keen to destroy books. And no one can figure out where the former queen and king disappeared to—or if they’ll ever return.
          With the grown-ups too fearful to take action, Stanley vows to confront Siren. He plans to get answers and demand justice. Little does he know that his journey will involve sword-wielding knights, kidnapper fairies, and dark magic.
         Stanley has only two allies back home. One is an intimidated witch named Meredith. The other is a young apothecary called Sophie—who may have enchantment problems of her own. Can they help him discover the reason behind Siren’s crimes and end this terrible reign? Or is Stanley set to become
the next victim in the tyrant’s evil plot?
         If you enjoy the fantasy works of Rick Riordan, Lemony Snicket, or Philip Pullman, then explore the world of Stanley Delacourt today!


*Giveaway*
(Ends 10/30)
5 Ebook Copies

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Interview: S. R. Johannes



   S.R. Johannes is the author of award-winning and Amazon bestselling Untraceable (a teen wilderness thriller) and new tween paranormal, On The Bright Side. She has also published short novelettes as well as a teen romance anthology with 16 other authors titled, In His Eyes.  Uncontrollable, the sequel to Untraceable, is scheduled for September 2012.
   S.R. Johannes is a winner of the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Awards (Young Adult) and was also recently nominated for 2012 Georgia Author of the Year (Young Adult). Untraceable was also recently named a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review's Indie Book of the Year (YA)
   After earning an MBA and working in corporate America, S.R. Johannes traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing.  She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her dog, British-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes- someday- will change the world. 


Favorite reads?
   This changes all the time. Right now it is still Hunger Games. I really think when it comes to pacing, literary writing, and overall concept, it is brilliant.
   As far as fav of all time, Pippy Longstocking is my favorite kids’ books. I love Pippi’s tenacity and how self-assured she was at her age.

Inspirations for the book?
   I wanted to have a fast-paced thriller with an underlying conservation message and a strong girl in today’s world.

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
   No. I have always written but I don’t think I knew being an author was an option. I didn’t start writing seriously until 2004 after I had my daughter. It was only then I realized it was what I needed to do.

Any Pet Peeves?
   Dishonesty
   Whining

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
   Dark chocolate

The weirdest thing you've ever done?
   Well I don’t now about weirdest, but the coolest thing I have ever done is pet Shamu at Sea World. I was chosen from the crowd. It was awesome - though I smelled like fish the rest of the day. Not good in the Florida sun.

Do you need anything to write?
   Peace and quiet! Ice tea or coffee.

How long do you write on any average day?
   Maybe 2 hours

Give us the number one reason to read your book.
   It is a page-turner with some romance and tons of twists. You will cry, get angry, and laugh in only 300 pages.

Connect!
Follow S.R. online on her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest
You can also sign up for her newsletter to keep up on author or book news.


   As 16 year old Grace recovers from tragedy, her science class is chosen by Agent Sweeney at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to help with research on the new "Red Wolf Reintroduction Program". 

   While she’s excited about helping with the conservation of the endangered wolves, Grace knows this means being outdoors in the worst winter recorded, in a place she no longer feels comfortable. It also means working closely with Wyn (her ex) and his annoying girlfriend (Skyler), a girl whose idea of getting close to nature is picking silk plants and growing fake plants. 

   After a couple of wolves show up dead, Grace almost quits. However, when a fellow project team member goes missing, Grace continues the assignment under a renewed suspicion that someone might be sabotaging the conservation program. She quietly begins to hunt for clues. 

   Little does she know, she is being hunted too.

Congratulations on the release! This book promises to be an unmissable sequel.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: J. Bridger

J. Bridger has had an eclectic life. She's worked in the psychiatric ward in a hospital in La Paz, Bolivia, been a veterinary intern giving all sorts of better-left-to-the-imagination exams to dogs and cats, and had her own spate in creating and running a television ad campaign. Currently, in her day job, she is getting her certification as a medical Spanish interpreter in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina.
By night, she's a fledgling author, who has just penned her debut novel, Shifted Perspective; she is currently working on its sequel, the next installment of The Tails of Change Series. J.'s always loved things that go bump (or that howl) in the night and devoured Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Clive Barker starting in middle school. Her favorite shows are no less preternatural and include Big Wolf on CampusBuffy the Vampire Slayer, and Teen Wolf. While she's been writing fiction for eight years and been published in several academic journals for her psychological research, this is her first venture into published original fiction. 
            J. Bridger lives in Raleigh with two Yorkies, a beagle, and a Schnauzer-Yorkie mix (as well as far too many dust bunnies). 


Favorite reads?
   I actually range. I do read a lot of non-fiction about media literacy and feminism, and one of my favorites there is Reality Bites Back by Jennifer L. Pozner about the deception behind reality TV. As far as fiction, it might be trite, but Stephen King is the man. My mom just got 11/22/1963 for her birthday, and I'm already planning to steal it!

Inspirations for the book?
   Well, I have my own “pack” of dogs with my beagle Snoopy (original, I know), my Schnauzer Chloe, and two yorkies named Mellie and Hurley. I've always had dogs growing up and have always wondered what their inner monologues would be like. Similarly, I love all things supernatural but werewolves are my favorite. Being able to meld both dogs and werewolves in one novel was ideal.

Did you know you wanted to be an author when you were little?
   Yes, and I used to think about how my pen name would work. I originally wanted something where the last name and first started with the same letter so looking me up would be easier for the kiddos (I was about eight at the time). As I got older, I assumed I'd just stay published in science, since I had papers published before I left grad school to become an interpreter/author. Still, I knew I'd always be writing something.

Any Pet Peeves?
   People who promise to pay their share but don't. My brother is one of those and drives me nuts with the free loading! 

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
   Can we have a Reese's and just get both?

The weirdest thing you've ever done?
   An ex took me to an authentic Chinese place that served me chicken feet and I ate it. Not bad!

Is there a soundtrack to the book/Favorite music?
   This is a sad secret about me. Since college, I'll only write to three things, whether it be fiction or a crunch time before a paper turn in. These are all musical soundtracks: PippinA Chorus Line, or Broadway's The Lion King. Usually, I'll be writing to Pippin on a loop. Embarrassing but true.

Do you need anything to write? 
   I usually just need a chair and quiet. That's part of the reason I do only use the same three soundtracks because they've become a form of comforting white noise. If there's too much going on with roommates or TV, I just don't go anywhere.

How long do you write on any average day?
   Gosh, it varies. I've had days where in the past I did twelve hours in a row. For this novel, I'd give myself about an hour in the morning before classes and, if I had time, an hour at night after I'd finished my homework. To be honest, doing between 1-2 hours a day, every day, for a month added up to a novel!

Give us the number one reason to read your book.
   Snark. It's a ridiculous situation with a protagonist (Caleb) who knows it's ridiculous but has to deal with it anyway with honesty and humor.  

Author Info:
Blog - http://www.jbridgerwriting.blogspot.com/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/JBridger1313
Tumblr -http://www.tumblr.com/blog/jbridger1313
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/J-Bridger/216174885176369
GoodReads Page for Shifted Perspective: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15922261-shifted-perspective


   Caleb Byrne's life seems to be going well after he's accepted to his dream school for pre-med studies. Going great, sure, until he grows four paws, a tail, and fluffy curls... Now he has to deal with being the world's lamest shape shifter, an estranged family with furry secrets of their own, a prying girlfriend, and a killer werewolf on the loose, and he thought life had been hard before! 

*Giveaway*
Ebook Copy
(Ends 10/22)
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