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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Author Interview + {GIVEAWAY!}: Michelle Muto

Michelle Muto

Michelle writes on a Mac and is a true geek at heart. She agrees with her dogs who think cheese and bacon should be in their own food group. But most of all, she believes everyone should trust their imagination, have a kind heart, and should definitely have a sense of humor.
1. What is your favorite genre within YA?

Definitely paranormal. I love anything with a supernatural storyline.

2. Did you have any goals that you set out to meet before your published your novel? Have you met those goals?

My initial goal was to query agents. Since I did that, I suppose I met my goals. Otherwise, my goal is to go over a draft a couple of times before sending it off to beta readers. That’s a goal I always meet.

3. What has been the best moment of your career as an author?

Tough call. It was either the first day my first novel was for sale, or the first time I received fan mail.

4. Is there an author that inspires your work?

Several: Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Dean Koontz, and Jay Asher.

Fun questions!

5. What’s your dream library like? What books does it have in it?

My office is actually our home library, complete with built-in bookshelves and a rolling library ladder. It has all sorts of books with a variety of authors and genres. I’m a diverse reader. You’ll find Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, Rowling, Koontz, King, Marr, Armstrong, and at least three or more dozen other authors. Classics to contemporary, thrillers to paranormal, and even some non-fiction.

6. What would you do if you ruled the world for a day?

Ensure that animals everywhere were safe from neglect and abuse. Okay, so maybe that would take more than a day but I’d do my best.

Michelle's Books


Rules & Guidelines:
  • Open US ONLY!
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Author Guest Post + {GIVEAWAY!}: Ali Cross

Ali Cross

Ali Cross is the sensei of the writer's dojo where she holds a black belt in awesome. She lives in Utah with her kickin' husband, two sparring sons, one ninja cat, two sumo dogs and four zen turtles. Ali is the author of the Desolation series, a young adult paranormal romance about the kick-butt devil’s daughter’s search for a destiny of her own choosing.
My Story/Desi's Story
by Ali Cross

It's both embarrassing and awesome, but it's no secret that authors often write themselves into their stories. I mean, how can they not? The people on the page first come to life in our minds; some of us is bound to rub off on them.

So when I tell you my story, it's Desi's.

And when I tell you Desi's story, I'm telling secrets from my own life.

Desi, the main character in my series, DESOLATION, hates her name. (Would you like to have the name Desolation? Um, probably not.) I didn't like my birth name either, so I changed it.

Desi thinks everything would be better if James would kiss her, hold her . . . anything to help her feel something, or to take all feeling away. I was a girl who didn't feel whole unless I had a steady boyfriend. I was the girl who was willing to do pretty much anything if it meant the boy would stay with me one more day.

But when Desi finds love--real love--she thinks there's no way she's worthy of it. So she does everything she can to push her true love away. I tried to do that too. Except Desi's Michael, and my David, would not be pushed away.

And both Deis and I are so glad they are stronger than we are.

Sure, I'm not the devil's daughter, and Desi's a lot stronger than me--but she is me, and I am her.

Desi's story is mine.

Ali's Books

Rules & Guidelines:
  • Paperback is open US ONLY and e-book INTERNATIONAL!
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

{Blog Tour} Review: The Changelings by Elle Casey

The Changelings by Elle Casey
Pages: 275
Genre: YA Fantasy

Jayne Sparks, a potty-mouthed, rebellious seventeen-year-old and her best friend, shy and bookish Tony Green, have a pretty typical high school existence, until several seemingly unrelated incidents converge, causing a cascade of events that change their lives forever. Jayne and Tony, together with a group of runaway teens, are hijacked and sent into a forest, where nothing and no one are as they seem. Who will emerge triumphant? And what will they be when they do?
The Changelings completely surprised me! Just by looking at the cover, or even reading the description, you would never guess that it was such an adventurous and exciting novel. When I first started it, I wasn't sure exactly where it was going to take me. I knew it was about fey and faeries, but it didn't seem to be heading in that direction. And then, a few chapters in, things got REALLY interesting. All I can say is that you definitely won't expect it.

What I loved was that Elle Casey made what went on in the novel seem so natural. Things started getting progressively fantastical, and it didn't seem weird at all. Even to the characters, they just took everything in stride. I also really liked that the magic came in spurts and didn't all just happen at once. All too often does it happen that fantasy novels just throw all this information at the reader about the magical aspect of the novel, and it's information overload. It also takes the fun out of things, I think. In The Changelings, it's like putting the pieces of the puzzles together, and each chapter holds a new one. You're able to make your own assumptions, some right and some wrong, but there's still some pieces missing and you have to keep reading to find them.

All of the characters are so vivid and fun to read about. Elle writes from the perspective of Jayne, the potty-mouthed spunky protagonist of the novel, so it's safe to say that she's quite a colorful character. I really related to her, because I saw a lot of my own personality in her. She's very brusque and sarcastic, and she has a "fun" vocabulary. Whatever you may feel about The Changelings while reading it, bored is not one of those things.

The ending was fantastic, because it allowed just a bit of closure, but still left off at a great place that makes you want to read the second book immediately. Luckily, the sequel is already available!

For romance lovers, there are hints of romance here and there. Nothing huge, because Jayne is basically fighting for her life the whole novel, but it's there. There are some really yummy guys in this novel, and I really can't wait to see where things go in the romance department.

I give The Changelings 5 of 5 stars!

Buy the Book
Kindle: $0.99
(free for Amazon prime members)
Rules & Guidelines:
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Character Interview: Eren from The Secret of Spruce Knoll

Hey Eren! So glad to have you on my blog today! 
Thanks for having me over. You have a nice place here. There is coffee, right? 

Explain to us what a channeler is. It’s quite unique, something I’ve never heard of before. 
Before last year I hadn't either. Channeler's can channel their energy and use it like a physical force, using it to either fight or heal. We can push things, pull things, manipulate just about anything with our energy. It's kind of cool once you get used to the wierdness of it.  

If you could change one thing your life, what would it be? 
That's easy. I'd wish my parents were still alive. I have a ton of questions for them, like why didn't they tell me what I was, would they have wanted this life for me? That's the toughest thing. 

Describe your relationship with Aiden in two words. ;)
Supportive, perfect. He's amazing, what can I say? 

Aside from your awesome channeler powers, if you could have any other super power in the world, what would it be?
I'd love to be able to turn invisible. Imagine the things you could find out that way! 

What are some things you like to do for fun?
I love to run. I know some people think it's work but to me it's freedom. I also enjoy art. Someday I hope to be a famous painter.  

What do you expect from the future?
You mean besides the doom and gloom my grandfather preaches about? Ha! I hope he's wrong because I expect college, art shows, and maybe even marriage somewhere down the line. Can you imagine, little Aiden's? How cool would that be?

The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle
Pages: 388
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Following the tragic death of her parents, Eren Donovan moves to Spruce Knoll to live with an aunt she’s never met. Little does Eren know the entire town of Spruce Knoll is filled with “channelers”—a magical group of people who immigrated to the small Colorado town when they were driven out of their own lands. Channelers are tied to the fate of the world. As the world slowly dies, so do they—and they alone have the power to stop the destruction of Earth. Soon, Eren learns she not only lives among them, but she is one. When she meets local boy Aiden, his charm convinces her that being a channeler may not be all bad though. As Eren and Aiden’s relationship develops, so too does a mystery in Spruce Knoll. The town holds many secrets—and many dangers. It soon becomes apparent that the untimely death of Eren’s parents was no accident and that her life might be in danger too. Only time will tell if Eren can embrace her unwanted power and protect the only family she has left.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Author Interview + {GIVEAWAY!}: Cindy Hogan

Cindy Hogan

Cindy M Hogan graduated from BYU with a B.A. in education. She is inspired by the unpredictable teenagers she teaches. She loves the outdoors and spending time with her husband and two daughters. Most of all, she loves to laugh.

1. Can you please give the readers a brief synopsis of your book?

*Change. She longs for it. A murder. She will never be the same.*
It takes more than a school trip to Washington DC to change Christy’s life. It takes murder.
A witness to the brutal slaying of a senator’s aide, Christy finds herself watched not only by the killer and the FBI, but also by two hot guys.
She discovers that if she can’t help the FBI, who want to protect her, it will cost her and her new friends their lives.

2. When you come up with your plots, do they come all at once, or bit by bit?

I know the beginning and the end and the middle fills itself in as I go. I actually talk it out while I walk in the mornings and even record my ideas. Then I work it out on the computer after that.

3. How has your process to publication been so far?

Watched made it to the finalist round in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest in 2011. That basically sent my book to publication and it has been such a fun ride. The sequel, Protected, will be released the last week of March. I can’t wait for the launch parties.

4. Why do you like YA literature?

Really, I’m just a kid. I’ve never truly grown up. I live with two amazing teenagers and I work with them every day. They keep me young. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love how unpredictable the are-just like most YA literature. I like quick, fun reads that keep me guessing and that I hate to put down. YA literature does that for me most of the time.

Fun questions!

5. List 3 of your dream jobs, the kind of jobs that you know you’d never actually have, but would love anyway.

I’d love to work for the CIA or FBI. Maybe that’s why I write about it. Living my dream vicariously.
I’d also love to be an archeologist. But just for one day and at a cool dig site. I actually started college with that dream, but the reality set in quick.
I’d also love to be a recreation specialist who guides tours in the rugged wide world.

6. If you could have any super power, what would it be?

That’s easy. I’d love to fly. I have this reoccurring dream that I can fly and it is amazing. Imagine the things I’d see…

Cindy's Book

Rules & Guidelines:
  • Open US ONLY for Paperback and INTERNATIONAL for e-book!
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Author Interview + {GIVEAWAY!}: Sarra Cannon

Sarra Cannon

Sarra Cannon grew up in a small town in Georgia where she learned that being popular always comes at a price. Now, she lives in North Carolina with her amazing husband and her teeny tiny Pomeranian,Snickerdoodle. Books and music are her greatest passions. She has never been a cheerleader, but it's possible she knows a few things about casting spells.
1. What was your inspiration behind the Peachville High Demons series?

I spent a weekend watching a marathon of Veronica Mars on Netflix and suddenly got this idea about a girl who is sent to live at a home for troubled girls. In my original idea, she would use magic to solve crimes at her school. As you can see, the idea went in a completely different direction once I started writing!

2. How would you describe your entire series? Use only 5 words.

Mystery, witches, demons, cheerleaders, romance.

3. What other things do you plan on writing in the future? Do you ever plan to venture outside of paranormal?

My next series is about a group of teen heroes who must come to terms with their new magical abilities while trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. I also have an idea for a series set in a dystopian version of Las Vegas. Everything I write tends to end up paranormal, whether that was my original intention or not, and I think I'll probably write YA paranormal for a very long time to come!

4. Who is your favorite character of yours, and why?

Harper is by far my favorite character. To be honest, it's probably because I've spent so much time in her head, getting to know her as if she were a real friend. She's such a strong and interesting girl. I love how she continues to grow with each new book.

Fun questions!

5. If you would insert yourself in any movie you’ve ever seen, which one would it be?

Ooh, this is such a great question! I probably could think of a million different answers, but the first one that comes to mind is Moulin Rouge. It's one of my all-time favorite movies. Plus, if I could actually do a duet with Ewan McGregor, I would be the happiest girl in the world.

6. Who are your favorite musical artists?

There are so many! I love just about every kind of music there is and actually used to sing Opera in college. But right now, my favorites to listen to are Dave Matthews Band, Alanis Morissette, Maroon 5, and Eminem. A strange collection of artists, right? Like I said, I love just about everything! I definitely go through phases where I'll listen to the same album on repeat for weeks.

Sarra's Books
(They're in chronological order, by the way)

Rules & Guidelines:
  • Open US ONLY!
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Character Interview + {GIVEAWAY!}: Claire from Savor by Megan Duncan

Savor by Megan Duncan
Genre: YA Paranormal
Buy it: Amazon

When Claire Miller turned eighteen all she wanted to do was celebrate her birthday, but after a night on the town with her best friend she awakes to a visitor she never expected. The rulers of her region, a vampire royal family, have chosen her to be turned as their new heir and vampire princess. Claire quickly discovers the royal family is not what they seem and that she has secrets in her past, she never knew existed.

Hello Claire! How are you? So glad to have you on my blog!

1. What was your first thought when you found out you were going to be a vampire princess?

- My first thought was complete shock, and that Fox was pulling some kind of cruel prank. I had a hard time wrapping it around in my brain that I was going to be a part
of something so big. I mean the royal family are like fairy tale characters come to life. Every little girl in the region wishes she would grow up to be a princess. I was actually
being given that chance and it was surreal.

2. How difficult was it to transition lives?

- The transition was incredibly difficult, but also very enticing. On one hand I had my normal life where I had daydreamed about every detail of my future, and then suddenly
I'm being offered a new life with the royal vampire family; an opportunity that I thought would give me things I never dared to dream before. Most importantly, a family and a father figure that I wanted so badly.

3. What has been the best moment of your entire life? Like, a moment that surpasses them all.

- The best moment of my entire life collides with the most painful experience of my entire life. During the night of my transformation I connected with Nyx.
Feeling connected with something so magical and spiritual woke something inside me that I never knew existed. I really started that one person could make
a difference and truly change the world for the better if they wanted to.

4. What are some traits you look for in a guy?

- The most important one would have to be honesty. A lot of secrets have been threatening to tear my new life apart and destroy what I thought was the truth.
A man with the courage to be honest is amazingly sexy. But, a sense of humor and nice body never hurt either.

5. Do you like music? Who are some of your favorite artists or musicians?

- I love music, especially since I love to dance. There is this band called the Red Ribbons that Robin and I had talked about going to see, but never got the chance.
The Red Ribbons have sultry voices and sing a mix of pop/techno. They are the next big thing in the music scene in Noire region.

6. Do you believe that love is the strongest force in the world?

- Most definitely. Sadly, love has limitless power in both ends of the spectrum. Love can create of world of divine peace or utter horror. I, for one, always
like to see love inspiring people to do good and try to follow that path with every decision I make.

Megan's Books

Rules & Guidelines:
  • Open US ONLY!
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

{GIVEAWAY!}: Legend of Witchtrot Road by E.J. Stevens

As part of today's Indie YA feature, author E.J. Stevens has offered two awesome prizes to giveaway!
  1. A Legend of Witchtrot Road prize pack (signed print copy, signed postcard, bookmark, and Spirit Guide series romance trading cards) to one lucky winner in the US/UK/Canada.
  2. For readers outside US/UK/Canada, an ebook copy!
Legend of Witchtrot Road by E.J. Stevens
Pages: 180
Genre: YA Paranormal

Surviving agitated ghosts, irritated witches, angry werewolves, and the horrors of high school has never been so hard.

The night of Samhain may be behind them, but Yuki and her friends have only begun to face the challenges of their paranormal gifts. Tensions are rising--in the pack, at school, and within their tightly knit group of friends.

The tragic death of Wakefield High student Dylan Jacobs has emotions boiling over. The J-Team, Yuki's arch nemesis, have turned the entire football team against her. They claim that Yuki is a witch and blame her for the death of their fellow teammate. Will Yuki be able to solve the mystery of Dylan's death, and the legend of Witchtrot Road, before tempers flare and things turn violent?

Emma is the friend that Yuki turns to when things get tough, but she's been behaving strangely. Emma has been acting distant and seems to be coming down with a mysterious illness. What will Yuki and her friends do if their healer is truly sick?

Calvin has become Alpha and wants the best for his pack. He is a dedicated and compassionate leader willing to do anything for the good of his people, but will Cal be able to hold the pack together when a fiery, young werewolf comes seeking revenge?

Simon may still be a roguish playboy, but he is taking his role as Calvin's second in command deadly serious. Will Simon be able to focus on his pack duties when he is forced to face his dark, emotional past?
Check out E.J. Stevens' other work...

Rules & Guidelines:
  • Prize #1 open US/UK/Can ONLY!
  • Prize #2 open INTERNATIONAL!
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Discussion: When Books Become Too Popular

Lately, there have been a lot of book to movie conversions in the YA genre, and this has gotten me thinking about what happens when books become too popular. This post might come off as a bit pretentious, but I promise I don't mean to be at all. I'm just getting my thoughts out there.

So, I guess you could say that this all started with Twilight. But honestly, I really don't want to talk about Twilight, so I'll just use my Hunger Games example instead.

Okay, so the Hunger Games has gotten really popular, and it seems that if you even mention those words, people's heads will perk up and they'll say "You read the Hunger Games? Me too! I love it!" And long conversations will ensue. Now, I don't have a problem with this at all. I'm so extremely happy for Suzanne Collins, that she's been able to make something so big. She's been added to the list of Great (yes, with a capital "G") authors that have shown the world that children's and young adult fiction isn't just meaningless fluff. I respect her so immensely, and I'm also really grateful for what she's done to help the industry.

But these days, it seems like everybody is the Hunger Game's #1 fan. I read the first book literally right after it was published. I read it in December of 2008, I will never forget that, because I picked it out as one of the presents I wanted for Christmas. And now when I see people freaking out over the books, I can't help but think, "Where were you guys 4 years ago?" I know, that is so disgustingly elitist, but I don't mean it that way. I just mean, are you reading the books because of all the hype around the movie, or are you reading them because you actually just love the books? I find it so funny, and this happened with Twilight too, when people classify themselves as avid readers of the YA genre when the only books they've read were The Hunger Games trilogy. That's like saying I'm a Shakespeare aficionado but I've only read Romeo & Juliet.

And these same people look down on me when I say I haven't read Catching Fire or Mockingjay. They gasp and say what a terrible reader I am, and I how I'm really not a fan of the series. And this really just pisses me off. This, coming from people that have probably read a total of 20 books in their entire life, and half of those because they were forced to for school. And while there's nothing wrong with that, I do have a problem when these people look down their nose at me and act all superior. I've read, as of now, 351 novels. I honestly don't think those people are in a position to judge how "good of a reader" I am, or how much of a fan I am. I tried reading Catching Fire several times, but my review pile always got in the way, and I give my review pile preference over anything else.

Obviously, it's every author's goal to have their novel become That Novel which blows up the bestsellers lists and is made into movies with merchandise and all that jazz. But I really just don't like all the fair-weather fans that come with it. Is that snobby of me? I have no problem with people reading--I love it! Everyone should read! EVERYONE. But I don't understand how everyone can fangirl over one book series, and then never pick up another series. Shouldn't your love of one lead you to different paths? Open doors? Open minds? That's what reading does for me.

This was just a bit of a rant for some recent experiences I had with some people. Let me know what you think in the comments.

Author Guest Post + {GIVEAWAY!}: RJ Gonzales

RJ Gonzales

Hi, I’m RJ. I love to read (who doesn’t) and review books. I like long walks on the beach and—(wait, wrong website! * looks dubiously to the side*)

I’m a guy that isn’t ashamed or afraid to admit that I love romance in novels. There’s only a few of us out there that are brave enough to admit it. I’m one of them. I know, it’s basically like seeing a unicorn in the wild. haha.

I can usually be found nose-deep in a pile of various YA or Middle-Grade books, or behind a screen writing some, but I do also enjoy some Adult-fiction from time to time.

Aside from Middle-Grade, YA, Adult-Fiction, and some non-fiction books, I do also review new movies since Film is another passion of mine. Feel free to roam about my site using the tabs above and read my reviews on books or movies that I’ve reviewed since starting reviewing for real (in writing/blogging) and not just a personal opinion that I would voice to family/friends or keep to myself.
Why does YA appeal to such a broad range of ages?
by RJ Gonzales

I think YA appeals to such a broad range of ages because we have all at one time been, or will at one time be, a young-adult. Therefore we can all reminisce of our High School days, or relate to those "Teen Angst" moments. Middle-grade is sometimes too light for readers taste, just like some adult-fiction may come off a little too strong. But YA is just right. (Goldilocks reference, YAY!) It's in the middle and provides such a diverse range of genres in one novel. Romance, Action, Mystery, Suspense, Horror...etc. It is all wrapped up into one—most of the time. YA offers something for everyone and that is the reason it attracts readers from different ages.

My novel, MUNDAHLIA, may feature older than usual (18-22) YA characters dealing with: a pretty steamy romance, legendary hybrid beings, a power-hungry king and his many children, one in particular who will do anything to be the next in line for the throne, and other fascinating creatures such as floral faery assassins, and special "angelic" beings known as Enthiduans—but it is classified as New Adult/Upper YA. The genre being Supernatural/Urban Fantasy. (This would probably be a good time to say, "Be sure to enter the giveaway for a signed copy below!")

New Adult/Upper YA means it's a little edgier than traditional YA, features main characters between the ages of 17-24, like seniors in high school or college students, and may contain strong language and, if the case be, gore or other strong content. I am personally loving the New Adult/Upper YA genre right now, though there are only few titles in this field, and hope to see more authors dip into this evolved area. It's essentially everything in YA, just bolder and more gritty. When the characters are 18 and over, you can have a little more fun with the story...but still have that broad audience range. My recent favorite New Adult/Upper YA read has to be WARD AGAINST DEATH by Melanie Card. Such an interesting book!

Thank you so much for reading this guest post and I wish you all the absolute best!


Mundahlia by RJ Gonzales
Genre: YA Paranormal
BUY IT: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

When our era ends, theirs begins.

Rini thought going to live with her cousins in the city of Austin, Texas while her parents rekindled their marriage on a four month long cruise, was a step in the right direction. When she makes a new quirky friend, and stumbles upon a handsome young man named Jett in the enveloping forest surrounding her cabin, she thought she was only moving forward. Well, she was wrong.

Jett and his clan appear human, just like anyone else. But take a closer look, and you will see that they are indeed Mundahlians. Legendary hybrid beings with both human and animal qualities that have been kept a heavily guarded secret throughout time—until now. They are taking refuge in our world, fleeing from their hidden homeland of Mundahlia and its aging power-hungry King, who has set up a game between his many children. Whoever can bring them back to their world so they can be tried and executed shall receive the crown once he passes.

Upon finding their hide out, Bane, one of the King's sons, and on a hunt to win the crown, sees an opportunity to shatter the blossoming relationship, lure the family back to Mundahlia, and frame Rini for the murder of a Mundahlian—thus, breaking the pact signed long ago with the humans, and reigniting an ancient war for the majority of land and control. A triple deed that will surely earn him the power he craves.
Rules & Guidelines:
  • Open US ONLY!
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Author Interview + {GIVEAWAY!}: Addison Moore

Addison Moore

Paranormal YA writer of the Celestra book series. Often fueled by Dr. Pepper.

First, thank you SO much for hosting me!!!

1. Okay, so first things first. Can you tell the readers a bit about yourself?

OK, but try not to fall asleep. I have four kids, three boys and a girl. I have a wonderful husband who is an amazing support in all I do. Plus, we’re insanely busy. The kids see to that. And have I mentioned I write, a lot??

2. How did you get started in writing? What was the publishing process like for you?

I’ve always written. It’s just been my go-to relaxation method, that, and reading. I think if I had my way I’d do nothing but read and write and of course eat chocolate. It’s not that I mind reality, it’s just that I prefer fantasy about 90% of the time. (I jest. A little.)

3. Celestra has been optioned for a film by 20th Century Fox! What’s that like? How did you feel when you first got the news?

Oh, hearing the news was amazing! It was really strange because it just came out of left field. It was a normal summer day and I had just finished running around with the kids and I got the call from my literary agent. The entire phone call was a blur. I didn’t get to announce it for another 6 months! (And yes, even though I’m an indie I still keep ties with my agent. I love her.)

4. There are quite a few books out in the Celestra series now, but, looking ahead, what other things do you have planned?

I have a ton of new series planned. I have The Countenance which will debut in just a few short weeks on the heels of EXPEL (Celestra Book 6) and two more series that I plan to reveal this year. I really wish I had the super power of writing and editing faster!

Fun questions!

5. Imagine you’re in a hot tub with 5 of the most delicious YA hotties you can think of. Who are they?

Gah! Don’t tell my husband!! Of course I need Logan, Gage and Marshall, and besides them I’d chose Patch and Gale. ;) OK, maybe Peeta, too.

6. If you could pick someone to play Skyla in the movie, who would it be?

Honestly I have such a specific face in mind when I see her that no one comes close. Maybe Blake Lively?

Thank you so much for the super fun interview!! I hope you’ll let me stop by again. :)

Addison's Books


Rules & Guidelines:
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Author Interview + {GIVEAWAY!}: Karen Amanda Hooper

Karen Amanda Hooper

Author of YA paranormal and fantasy. My merfolk/selkie novel, TANGLED TIDES, was released November 2011 by Rhemalda Publishing.

I was born and bred in Baltimore, frolicked and froze in Colorado for a couple of years and I'm currently sunning and splashing around Florida with my two sweet and adorable dogs. I'm addicted to coffee, chocolate and complicated happily-ever-afters.

1. I love mermaids! They’re my absolute favorite creatures to read about. Can you tell us a bit about your kind of mermaid? Are they any different than what we’re used to?

  Yay! I love meeting fellow mermaid lovers. My merfolk are similar to Madison in SPLASH--mer in the water, human on land. But I gave my merfolk the ability to control if they have legs or a tail. They're also ranked by a color system, so some have green hair and tail, violet, blue, orange, etc. They also have really cool markings on their skin that I call hallmarks (similar to tattoos) but they move and change color when their emotions are strong. They have some other cool traits and abilities but you'll have to read the book to learn more.

2. What inspired you to write about mermaids and selkies, of all things?

I've loved mermaids and sea creatures since as far back as I can remember. Even at 2-3 years old I was playing with Sea Wee dolls. They were different colored mermaids and each came with a pet sea creature like a penguin or seal. Combine that lifelong love with my fascination with the ocean and I had to write a story about who and what might be lurking beneath he surface.

3.  What is your writing process like?

Creative chaos. I'm not a plotter and I don't follow a schedule. However, a coup of flavored coffee  always seems to get my words flowing.

4. Describe your novel in 5 or less words.

Romantic and magical underwater mayhem. 

Fun questions!

5. If you could have lunch with any character from any book in the world, who would it be?

  Oh, man. Such a tough choice. For now, I'm gonna say Seth from Wicked Lovely. YUM. Ask me again tomorrow and I'll probably name someone different.

6. Re-title your novel, so that it literally reflects what goes on in the story. For instance, if we’re talking about Little Red Riding Hood, it would be, The Girl Who Foolishly Walked into the Forest While Wearing a Long Red Cloak, and who Gets Mauled by a Wolf. Or some such thing like that. :)

Human Girl Turned Mermaid Who Must Save a World of Sea Creatures

Thanks so much for inviting me to this Indie party! It's been so much fun.

Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper
Pages: 328
Publisher: Rhemelda Publishing
Genre: YA Fantasy
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters—until she becomes one.

When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious.

Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people—until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process—or she might open the gateway to a love that’s deeper than the oceans.


Rules & Guidelines:
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Author Guest Post + {GIVEAWAY!}: Elle Casey

Wrecked by Elle Casey
Pages: 297
Genre: YA Contemporary
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

If you liked The Breakfast Club and The Swiss Family Robinson, you'll love WRECKED!

An ill-fated Caribbean cruise and four teenagers: a nerd, a jock, a mouse, and a beauty queen…an island, a treehouse, some nefarious interlopers…life and death…fear and loathing…love and laughter.

Follow Jonathan, Kevin, Candi and Sarah as they find their typical high school lives and their worlds totally WRECKED.

Why I Write Novels For Teen Readers
by Elle Casey

I just love teen readers! Why? – you might ask. Well, for one thing, they tend to get really connected and attached to the characters and the plots. They put themselves into the story. When you’re a writer, the greatest compliment readers can give you is that they care about your characters, that your characters have become real people for them. I think younger readers are more open to this whole concept. They’re sensitive to and aware of the emotions of the characters on a very personal level. They can relate with the things the characters are going through. Adults have a harder time with that in general, so it’s harder to connect with the adult reader in that way. So for me, there’s a deeper connection with the teen reader than the adult reader.

Teen readers invest a lot of themselves in YA novels. They spend time in between chapters thinking about the book, wondering what life would be like if they were the main character. If it’s a really good book, they keep the love for the story in their hearts forever. It may fade over time, but it never completely goes away if they’ve made that special connection with the author’s work. I still carry bits of Judy Blume stories around with me, and I was also a big fantasy nut, so loved Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman and Tolkien of course. I’m still pretty sure there are dragons somewhere hidden on this planet, thanks to their great storytelling, and that makes me happy. Just knowing – possibly, maybe – fantastic things like that are here, and maybe someday I might discover them... ah, yes. A great book is truly priceless. It delivers us from the mundane, over and over again.

Teens have it so hard sometimes. They struggle. They need other worlds to escape to. Books did that for me when my parents were going through a bad divorce or when I had boyfriend problems or girlfriend drama. They opened my eyes to different kinds of people, exotic places, fantasies of things that could be or might be out there. They inspired me to go places, try different things, to not just dream but to do. They also showed me that everything I was going through was normal; there were others out there like me, so I wasn’t alone. Authors of YA novels did that for me; I’d like to do that for teens too with my stories.

Teens are fun to write for, but they make me work! And that’s a good, a great thing. They’re demanding readers. They want authenticity. They want reality, even in a fantasy world. They don’t let you hold back as an author. The YA readers of today have some fantastic stories to choose from, so YA authors really have to work hard to make them happy. It’s a great challenge to be pushed like this and oh so satisfying when you can make it happen.

Last but not least, teen readers are just the best fans – loyal to the core! They tweet, they use Facebook, many of them blog. I just love how they can share the news about something they like with just the click of a few buttons. It’s an exciting time for independent authors these days. Teen readers can work like big publishers in a way. They can decide who will be a well-known author and who won’t. They are a huge market, and if they like a story, they can really impact the success of it by just talking with their friends. As a teen I could never have done that. I had to read what publishers decided I could read. There was no such thing as an independent author. It’s kind of sad to think how many books I might have liked, but was never given the opportunity to read. Today it’s a different world. Today, teens have power over what’s available and what gets seen and purchased. That’s as it should be! Give the people what they want, right?

I may write a novel for adults some day, but for now, my heart is with the young adults. I hope like heck I can make them happy! My debut novel is WRECKED which is Young Adult action/adventure about four teens who get stuck on a deserted island together. My second novel, coming out in the first two weeks of February is the first book in a 4-book series called WAR OF THE FAE. Book One is THE CHANGELINGS. You can read more about both of these books on my website

Thanks ever so much to What’s Your Story for inviting me to post today. It was a great honor. Happy reading to all of your fans!


Rules & Guidelines:
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

{GIVEAWAY!}: Exiled by RaShelle Workman

We have a very special treat for today's feature! RaShelle Workman is providing 3 copies of her book, Exiled, to giveaway!

Exiled by RaShelle Workman
Pages: 340
Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Worlds divided them. Chance brought them together. Only love will save them.

An alien princess exiled to Earth.
An arrogant boy.
One week to get back to her planet or she'll die.
And, her only chance for survival? She must help the boy find his soul mate.
Piece of cake!

Stubborn, sixteen-year-old Princess Venus of Kelari wants one thing, to become immortal, that is, until someone exiles her to Earth, kills her irrihunter and takes her family.

Now she wants revenge.

First she’s got to get home. But before she can return to Kelari, the Gods have commanded her to help an arrogant boy named Michael find his soul mate.

Only she doesn't know the first thing about love.

Rather quickly, her inexperience with human emotion is obscured by other matters--alien-controlled psychotic teens that are out to kill her, and a government group that is set on capturing and dissecting her.

Worst of all, Venus will suffer a painful death-by-poisoning, thanks to Earth’s atmosphere, if she remains on the planet longer than one week.

Still, Venus is a Princess and she's got a plan. Surely, with her help, Michael will fall in love with a human.

But time is running out and Michael is falling for the wrong girl--her.
Rules & Guidelines:
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Author Interview + {GIVEAWAY!}: Renee Pace

Renee Pace

totally believe in – dragons (in the sea and air), fairies (let’s just say I’ve got some old family history happening there), Sirens and Titans (and no they aren’t mermaids, that’s only what common folks call them but true believers know what they really are and why they walk among us), the power of universal magic and most important on my list is soul love—when you find it, anchor it to your heart and never let it go.

I live my version of paranormal and it’s my reality. I hope you enjoy my worlds that my young adults enter and enjoy the journey of self-discovery many of them make.
1. Your books handle some tough topics. Why did you decide to write ‘nitty gritty’ books, as you title them?
It was a longing to tell a true teen story. I read lots of YA stories but honestly they never seemed to talk about the everyday teen whose life was hard. Maybe I just knew too many teens struggling to get through these tough, growing years. I thought the series name should be nitty gritty because that’s what they are. My teen books aren’t for the faint of heart. I’m brutally honest but some readers love that while others find it too heart wrenching.

2. Do you have any writer quirks? Like, do you have to be in a specific place, with a certain lighting? Or, do you need a certain drink or food to write?
I need to have lots of coffee on hand. I prefer to write at a cafe. I have four children and whenever I start to write at home my kids interrupt my flow – I know, how dare they? I can be found at Starbucks, head down pounding on my laptop. Oh, I always have CBC radio on. I need background noise.

3. Are any of your characters based on people that you know? How do you come up with your characters?
When I wrote Off Leash Jay’s little sister was based on my best friend, Sissy, who died of cancer when she was young. It’s funny when I started writing Off Leash I didn’t think of her but the minute Jay’s character formed in my head I knew I had to put her in the story. For me she balanced Jay’s anger. How do I come up with characters? They really do just pop in my head but I spend time letting them brew up there in my brain before I put them on the page. I usually find my characters start to develop as I write and often when I start my first set of revisions my characters have grown.

4. Can you tell us anything about your future novels? Do you have anything in the works?
I’m currently working on a short, 10,000 word YA which might be the last in my nitty gritty series. I’ve called it Off Kilter and it’s the story of Charlie and Jennifer who are introduced as secondary characters in Off Stroke, my 3rd nitty gritty book which will debut in April on Amazon. I’m getting really excited about this character talking in my head and my gut tells me it’s going to be a contemporary sci-fi with a male POV and a mother’s POV. It might even turn out to be a mystery. Not sure yet as they’ve just started to form in my head. Once they form I’ll start mapping out the plot.

Fun questions!

5. You can only drink one flavor of coffee for the rest of your life. What flavor is it?
Bold. Dark roast. Everything else I hate.

6. If your life was made into a book, what would be the title of it? (It can be as long and weird as you like.)
Oh my god she escaped her fishing village and really is an alien looking to take over the world.

Renee's Books

Rules & Guidelines:
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Friday, March 16, 2012

{GIVEAWAY!}: Remembrance by Michelle Madow

For today's Indie YA feature, Michelle Madow, author of Remembrance, has offered up a *signed* paperback copy of her novel!

Don't know about Remembrance? Here's some info:

Remembrance by Michelle Madow
Pages: 314
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Buy It: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet.

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's high school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can't stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can't she get him out of her mind?

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, fighting fate isn't going to be easy.

Want to get your hands on a copy? Enter the giveaway below!

Rules & Guidelines:
  • Open US ONLY!
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Author Guest Post + {GIVEAWAY!}: Heather Hildenbrand

Heather Hildenbrand

Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. She now lives in coastal VA, a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean, with her military husband and two adorable children. She works from home, part time, as a property manager and when she's not furiously pounding at the keyboard, or staring off into space whilst plotting a new story, she's helping her husband with DIY projects in their home (he woodworks - she paints) or she's lying on the beach, soaking in those delicious, pre-cancerous rays.
What’s your recipe for the perfect YA book?
by Heather Hildenbrand

This is a sensitive question. It might sound easy at first glance. I’m sure some answer popped into your head or onto the tip of your tongue, but that’s just it. Everyone’s answer would be different. The “perfect” recipe is subjective. It depends on each individual reader.

Some need werewolves. They love the “animal” side of the hero… or villain. Some need vampires; the potential for violence coupled with limitless power – or the hero with monster cravings who tries to control it and retain their humanity. Some readers are probably sick of both of those and would answer with something totally different like “fairies” or “anything without a love triangle”. Some WANT a love triangle, some want to expect the unexpected – a character dies just as you’re beginning to like them – some want no romance. (WHO are you people?!)

So answering this question isn’t as easy as it sounds; my answer may not be your answer. But there is one thing I think we can all agree on (and if you disagree with this then you don’t love YA. You’re an imposter. Someone will remove you from the room in 3… 2… 1… BYE!!!!) Okay, now that it’s just us, here’s the thing. The commonality is this: Every successful YA story – and by successful I mean the ones that get their own hash tag on Twitter – is the GUY. (Or if you’re a dude: the girl, I guess???)

Whatever. The ROMANCE.

The leading man. The brooding, love-torn, angsty male hero. You know the one. He has an attitude - with just enough mystery to keep himself interesting and he’s a bad boy - with just enough redeeming qualities to make you believe there’s still good left in him. “He” is in every YA story out there in some shape or form, and “he” is the reason we’re hooked.

But we’re not faithful are we? Maybe you are, but I know I’m not. I get excited about or fall in love with one but then along comes another and I’ve moved on. Just like that. Team Edward. Team Ash. Team Jace. Etc. Etc.

Wait, time out for a second. Here comes a tangent:
If you’re wondering, because most Twi-hards are after that “team” reference, here’s my answer: I can’t decide. Sorry, but it’s true. I can’t ever pick one and stick with it. (Further evidence of my cheating YA tendencies) I try to choose but it’s no use. I’m Team Jacward or something. I read the books like 18 times and then read them again just to make sure I didn’t miss anything. So, yes, I’m a Twi-hard. But I can’t pick a side. It’s ridiculous. On a side note intended to make you jealous, I met the actors that play Angela (Christian Serratos), Demetri (Charlie Bewley), and Paul (Alex Meraz) and had my picture taken with them right after New Moon came out. Alex put his arm around me and I’m pretty sure I didn’t wash my shoulder for about a week.

*tangent over*
What were we talking about again?
Oh yeah, the YA recipe… Okay, so you can’t have a great YA book without that guy. Whether he’s your MC (Exiled by MR Merrick has Chase. He’s a great example of the MC being the hottie) or the MC’s love interest. (example: Wes from Dirty Blood by ‘yours truly’ or even better, Cassandra Clare’s Jace or Richelle Mead’s Dimitri) Either way, he’s essential.

Other ingredients for a winner are:
Throw in all of the obstacles you can think of and then marinate in IMAGINATION.

What do you think? I’m sure you guys all have something to add. Leave your ingredient in the comments!

P.S. If you want to check out my books and see if I’ve used the above recipe, you can visit the blog at for a complete list of titles and pricing. Pick up Dirty Blood for just .99 for Kindle right now! Thanks, Ashley, for having me!

Heather's Books

Rules & Guidelines:
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Author Interview + {GIVEAWAY!}: Chelsea Fine

Chelsea Fine

I write, I paint, I drink coffee and I love superheroes. I suck at cooking and putting laundry away and my goal is to write books readers can fall in love with and get lost in. :) Friend me!
Hello Chelsea! Welcome to my blog! I’m so excited to be interviewing you today!

1. I see that you’ve written both paranormal and contemporary YA. Do you prefer one of the genres over the other? Why?

Good question! Hmm...I think I prefer paranormal (at least at this point) because the drama, or the main conflict in the story, is usually due to something unreal. So, the story isn't as sad or heart-wrenching, you know? The story is fantastic and the villain is usually some paranormal creature that you can smote. (As opposed to villains in contemporary YA, who are real people and--regardless of how evil they are--you can't kill them. Because that's illegal. :)
2. Were there any pre-conceived notions you had about being an author that you found out were totally wrong once you got some experience? 

Haha, tons! I think I always thought authors published a book, and then went back into hiding until their next book was finished. But I find myself spending 4-6 hours a day online talking to readers and reviewers...and I love it! I never expected readers to actually email me or message me with their thoughts and feelings about my books and characters. It's incredible! It makes me want to write that much more because I know people are feeling my stories, you know? :)

3.  Where do you get your ideas?

Mostly from conversations with my sisters. My sisters and I talk about everything ( and I guess I sorta pull ideas from all of our experiences.  

4. Which one of your characters do you most identify with, and why?

In my newest book, Anew, there is an obnoxious character named Heather who I see a lot of myself in. Heather is happy and bubbly and protective and optimistic. (She's also annoying and nosy and superficial...but I try not to identify with those traits, haha.) But Heather knows how to love someone fiercely and unabashedly. And I'd like to think I'm similiar to her in that way. 

Fun questions!

5. Look to your left, name the first thing you see, and then add ‘woman’ to the end of the name of the item. That is now your superhero name. What is the name, and what are the powers associated with it?

Kleenex Woman! I have the power to pull boogers from the noses of the sick and dry the tears of the sad. Haha!

6. Imagine you’re part of a circus. What is your act or special talent?

I have a double-jointed elbow! So I can turn my whole arm around without moving my shoulder! It's so gross...but it's also kinda fascinating, haha.

Chelsea's Books


Rules & Guidelines:
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Author Interview + {GIVEAWAY!}: A.M. Hargrove

A.M. Hargrove

A.M. Hargrove lives in South Carolina with her husband and family. Her husband often accuses her of spending too much time with her nose in her books, but she usually doesn't pay him much attention! She loves nothing more than sitting at her Mac conjuring up characters and scenes for her novels.
Hello Anne! Welcome to my blog!

1. For those who haven’t read your novel, tell us what it’s about. Who are the main characters? What is their story?

Survival’s main characters are Maddie and Rayn. While Maddie is on a packpacking trip in the Smokey Mountain National Park, she is abducted by a serial killer. In her attempt to escape, she falls off a cliff and sustains serious injuries. A mysterious (and of course incredibly good looking) stranger—Rayn-- is called in to rescue her and their relationship takes off from this point. Maddie is carrying a bit of baggage as she has lost both of her parents at an early age. Rayn also comes with issues as he is not human and a relationship with a human is strictly forbidden by his culture. The conflict begins and escalates throughout the book.

2. What gave you the inspiration to write Survival?

I’ve always been a fan of the paranormal romance genre and I also love fantasy/sci-fi so I wanted to write a story that merged elements of both. My husband encouraged me to pursue this and eventually Survival was born.

3. If you could only describe your main character, Maddie, using song titles, what songs would you choose?

Well, if you’ve read the book, you’ll know that Maddie is a horrific dancer. One of her favorite songs is “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston. When she hears this song, she starts dancing but to everyone else it appears she is having convulsions! I also think of both Maddie and Rayn when I hear Cold’s “A Different Kind of Pain,” Script’s “You Won’t Feel a Thing,” and Linkin Park’s “From the Inside.”

4. Has your experience being an author lived up to what you thought it would be when you first started?

It’s been so much more than I ever dreamed. I am completely amazed by the awesome people out there who are so generous with their time in their support of indie authors. I can’t tell you how much fun it has been getting to know them...kind of like discovering a whole new world. And that’s just one part of it. The other part is how great it has been to connect with readers that love Survival (and now, Resurrection). They have been wonderful. It has been such an adventure!

Fun questions!

5. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, which book would it be and why?

I would have to say Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I have always loved this story and the way all the characters develop and interact. (Jane Austen was amazing; she was such a brilliant storyteller.) Her writing is so rich and beautiful that I could honestly read it over and over!

6. Would you rather have a billion dollars, or 10 New York Time’s best-selling novels?

Well, my first reaction would be the billion dollars because then I could buy hundreds and hundreds of not only best sellers, but also all kinds of books ☺! And, if I had the money, I would like to set up some kind of foundation to assist indie authors getting their names out somehow. A billion dollars would go a long way toward that end. But honestly, I couldn’t exist very happily if I didn’t have books to read.

Survival, the first book in the Guardians of Vesturon Series, is FREE for all e-readers! If you'd like to download your copy, here are the links to every available retailer:

Amazon Kindle
Barnes & Noble Nook
Apple iBooks
Sony Reader
Smashwords (for any other file format needed)

Today, I'll be giving away a copy of Resurrection, the second book in Guardians of Vesturon series!

Rules & Guidelines:
  • Must be 13 or older to enter.
  • Winner will be chosen at random and emailed, and will have 48 hours to reply back, or a new winner will be chosen.


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