Tuesday, October 29, 2013

@StrangeChem Author Slambook: Amalie Howard + Giveaway

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Author Bio
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Amalie Howard grew up on a small Caribbean island where she spent most of her childhood with her nose buried in a book or being a tomboy running around barefoot, shimmying up mango trees and dreaming of adventure. 22 countries, surfing with sharks and several tattoos later, she has traded in bungee jumping in China for writing the adventures she imagines instead. She isn¹t entirely convinced which takes more guts. She received a bachelor¹s degree from Colby College in Maine in International Studies and French, and a certificate in French Literature from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, France. She currently resides in New York with her husband and three children.

She is the author of The Aquarathi series from Harlequin TEEN (Waterfell and Oceanborn), The Almost Girl from Strange Chemistry, Alpha Goddess from Sky Pony Press, and Bloodspell from Langdon Street Press. She is represented by the Liza Royce Agency. Visit her at www.amaliehoward.com.
Favorites
1. What is your favorite color? Red
2. Favorite food? Medium-rare filet mignon
3. Favorite movie of all time? The Fifth Element
4. Favorite song? Favorite song of the moment is Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey
5. Favorite book of all time? Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
All about Writing
1. How did your interest in writing originated?
A voracious reader from a young age, I began writing when I started reading on my own, probably around six. I was always scribbling some story or another into a journal. I had my first poem published when I was 12 and I won an award in a global youth writing competition when I was 15. That said, I did take a bit of a circuitous route after college to pursue a successful sales career in global telecommunications for thirteen years, and I got to travel the world during that career, which I loved. But now I’m all about the writing.

2. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I try to write everyday. A word count goal is always useful because if you treat it like something you have to do, then you get into the habit of writing something daily. And when you start to deal with writing deadlines, you’ll be grateful for that habit. That said, when I’m inspired, that can totally change. If I’m on a roll, I just go. It really depends on when those creative juices get going. Lately, with book promotion taking up so much of my time, I’ve had to allocate specific time for working on my WIP. I think structure is important; otherwise I’d be on social media all day long. Admittedly, I have procrastination issues.

3. Do you work with outline or just write?
I am a bit of a pantser by nature (I write by the seat of my pants) and my books tend to be very character driven as a result. I enjoy letting my characters take me on their journey, instead of forcing them on a path that I’ve pre-mapped out for them. I like to be surprised when something happens that I don’t expect. In general, I do write a skeleton-type outline just to keep track of my overall story arc, but I do not write detailed outlines. Unless, of course, I owe a contracted synopsis to my editor, which is an entirely different story.

4. What was the hardest part in writing your book? The easiest?
In The Almost Girl, the hardest was to get the ins and outs of jumping between universes just right. Readers are such savvy creatures, and a loose end or implausible plot-hole can unravel your entire story. Pushing the boundaries of possibility still requires tethering to an explainable reality. The easiest part was the fight scenes. They were so fun to write. Riven in The Almost Girl is so kickass that I get a total adrenaline rush when writing any scene where she takes out the bad guys. She’s fierce. And I haven’t even mentioned the swords …

5. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I read, and I indulge my love for good food. I also enjoy ocean surfing or any outdoor sports, and I’m addicted to movies. I also like spending time with my family.
Finish the sentence
1. The difference between fiction and reality is whatever you want it to be.
2. Research is what I'm doing when I buy twin swords at Comic Con inNew York City just because they look like Riven’s ninjata swords in The Almost Girl.
3. I can write better when I have my headphones in, listening to a rocking playlist.
4. Sleep is an excellent way to dream up more story ideas.
5. A room without a book is definitely not one in my house
Books

Title: The Almost Girl
Genre/s: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Released Date: January 4, 2014
Add to Goodreads TBR List
Pre-order Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Riven is as tough as they come. Coming from a world ravaged by a devastating android war, she has to be. There’s no room for softness, no room for emotion, no room for mistakes. A Legion General, she is the right hand of the young Prince of Neospes, a parallel universe to Earth. In Neospes, she has everything: rank, responsibility and respect. But when Prince Cale sends her away to find his long-lost brother, Caden, who has been spirited back to modern day Earth, Riven finds herself in uncharted territory.

Thrown out of her comfort zone but with the mindset of a soldier, Riven has to learn how to be a girl in a realm that is the opposite of what she knows. Riven isn’t prepared for the beauty of a world that is unlike her own in so many ways. Nor is she prepared to feel something more than indifference for the very target she seeks. Caden is nothing like Cale, but he makes something in her come alive, igniting a spark deep down that goes against every cell in her body. For the first time in her life, Riven isn’t sure about her purpose, about her calling. Torn between duty and desire, she must decide whether Caden is simply a target or whether he is something more.

Faced with hideous reanimated Vector soldiers from her own world with agendas of their own, as well as an unexpected reunion with a sister who despises her, it is a race against time to bring Caden back to Neospes. But things aren’t always as they seem, and Riven will have to search for truth. Family betrayals and royal coups are only the tip of the iceberg. Will Riven be able to find the strength to defy her very nature? Or will she become the monstrous soldier she was designed to be?
Giveaway !!!
The Rules:
  • Open Internationally 
  • Must be 13+ to enter
  • Winners will be notified via email
  • A new winner will be chosen if a response is not received within 48 hours
  • Use the Rafflecopter to enter. I'm going to check the entries so please follow the directions correctly.
  • Contest ends January 4, 2014 (Release Date)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 28, 2013

Winners of Author's Month Giveaways: Fourth Week

Monday, October 28, 2013

Before I announced the winners to this giveaway, I'm going to thank, first and foremost, our awesome authors for donating their books to this event. Thank you Erin Richards and Elizabeth May  for being so generous.

And lastly, I would like to thank everyone who participated in this giveaway. :)

Okay, let's get down to business. These are the winners in our giveaways.

Vigilante Nights Giveaway
Vanessa R. Silva-Netto

The Falconers Giveaway
Johnnie-Marie Howard


To all the winners, check your email or spam. You only have 48 hours to email me your mailing address. Or else I will have to pick a new winner.

If you didn't win today, don't worry, there's still plenty of open giveaways you can join. Try and try until you succeed. :)

@StrangeChem Author Slambook: Miche Sipes + Giveaway


Author Bio
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Miche Sipes wrote her first play at the age of six and has been writing creatively ever since. Well, if you don’t count the occasional decade-long lapse. Though she has worked as a technical writer and instructional designer, she always gravitates back to her first and true love—telling stories.

Miche has lived in Maryland and Florida, but now resides in Colorado. Whenever she’s not writing—or finding ingenious ways to procrastinate like flossing her cat’s teeth—she can be found hiking in the mountains with her husband.
Favorites
1. What is your favorite color? Violet
2. Favorite food? Chocolate
3. Favorite movie of all time? Toughie, but I love anything that makes me laugh out loud and one of my all-time favorite comedies is "Death At A Funeral" (the original version, of course)
4. Favorite song? At the moment, almost anything by Mumford & Sons
5. Favorite book of all time? Impossible to choose, but I can say that the book I've reread more than any other is Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice"
All about Writing
1. How did your interest in writing originate?
I think I was born a writer. I've always written in one form or another. But only in the last few years did I decide to try writing novel-length fiction.

2. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I tend to write in the late morning through early afternoon. I set a fairly easy word count and hope I exceed it.

3. Do you work with outline or just write?
I start with an idea for a novel and just write. I might have a couple of key plot points at the beginning, but that's all. As I write, more of the story comes into focus and I jot down scenes or bits of dialogue that reveal themselves. So at that point I guess I'm doing an informal outline as I go.

4. What was the hardest part in writing your book? The easiest?
The hardest part is overcoming self-doubt and believing that writing is a worthwhile thing to do. The easiest part is trusting in the narrative and letting the story tell itself.

5. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Hike in the mountains. I recently moved to Colorado and am still in awe.

Finish the sentence
1. The difference between fiction and reality is --wait, there's a difference?
2. Research is what I'm doing when I'm surfing the web. I swear, I'm not just looking at cat videos.
3. I can write better when I pull the Internet cable from my computer.
4. Sleep is an excellent way to dream.
5. A room without a book is lonely.
Books
Title: An Angel Torched My Homework and Other Lies
Genre/s: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance
Release Date: June 3, 2014 

Synopsis:

Imagine if vampires, werewolves, angels and zombies were merely humans with a genetic mutation . . . could Norms and Differents ever get along?

Carrie Philips just wants her junior year at Clement Academy to go smoothly. Sure, it’s the first high school in the nation to integrate Norms like her with the Differents. But the Diffs are just typical teenagers with teeny-tiny genetic anomalies. They’re certainly not dangerous or anything. At least that’s what Carrie has always believed.

But when several of her fellow students are mysteriously assaulted, cracks form in Carrie’s worldview. Cracks she tries to ignore while defending her friends from anti-Diff backlash and solving the mystery of who’s really behind the attacks.

Then, Carrie stumbles on a bombshell that could forever change how Norms and Diffs see each other. So much for a quiet school year.
Giveaway !!!
The Rules:
  • Open Internationally 
  • Must be 13+ to enter
  • Winners will be notified via email
  • A new winner will be chosen if a response is not received within 48 hours
  • Use the Rafflecopter to enter. I'm going to check the entries so please follow the directions correctly.
  • Contest ends June 3, 2014 (Release Date)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #8/ GWIMM #23

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual.

I received two books this week from the author(Thanks, Mr Whibley!). My sister read both of this book already in just two days so it's pretty obvious that it was fast-paced. So without further ado, here's my haul!



What did you get this week? Leave your links here! I'd love to see them too.

Friday, October 25, 2013

ARC Review: The Brokenhearted

Friday, October 25, 2013
Title: The Brokenhearted
Author: Amelia Kahaney
Genre/s: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Released Date: October 8, 2013
Add to Goodreads TBR List
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:


A teenage girl is transformed into a reluctant superhero and must balance her old life with the dark secret of who she has become.


Prima ballerina Anthem Fleet is closely guarded by her parents in their penthouse apartment. But when she meets the handsome Gavin at a party on the wrong side of town, she is immediately drawn into his dangerous world. Then, in a tragic accident, Anthem falls to her death. She awakes in an underground lab, with a bionic heart ticking in her chest. As she navigates her new life, she uncovers the sinister truth behind those she trusted the most, and the chilling secret of her family lineage…and her duty to uphold it.

The Dark Knight meets Cinder in this gripping and cinematic story of heartbreak and revenge. From Alloy Entertainment, this inventive new superhero story is sure to captivate any reader.

@StrangeChem Author Slambook: Lisa O'Kane + Giveaway


Author Bio
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Lisa Ann O’Kane is a young adult author and former vagabond who once camped out in Yosemite National Park for an entire summer, an experience that inspired her debut novel Essence (June 2014).

Her background is in zookeeping and environmental education, and she has been kicked, cornered, bitten and chased by nearly every animal she has ever loved. She currently resides in Florida, and she is now a huge fan of shooting stars, indoor plumbing and keeping both her feet planted firmly on the trail.
Favorites
1. What is your favorite color? Spring green
2. Favorite food? Macaroni & cheese. Obviously.
3. Favorite movie of all time? Up
4. Favorite song? "Fool in the Rain" by Led Zeppelin
5. Favorite book of all time? The Missing Piece Meets the Big O by Shel Silverstein
All about Writing
1. How did your interest in writing originate?
On some level, I always knew I wanted to be a writer. My mother will tell you I was "writing" long before I could spell: scrawling complicated picture books and reciting them verbatim to anyone and everyone who would listen.

2. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I am definitely the hare, not the tortoise, so I will often have a 2,000 to 4,000 word day followed by several weeks of silence. It's a pain, but I have gotten used to it.

3. Do you work with outline or just write?
I tend to give myself a very basic outline, and then I veer wildly from my plans.

4. What was the hardest part in writing your book? The easiest?
I attempted to pigeonhole one particular character in ESSENCE, and the plot fought back until I finally gave up the reins and let the story do what it wanted to do. This was simultaneously the most terrifying and the most liberating thing I have ever done while writing.

5. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I take my stand-up paddleboard out several times a week, and I also spend quite a lot of time outdoors with my German Shepherd mix Lexi. I am incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by so many friends and family members in the Tampa Bay area, and we often enjoy live music, microbrews and adventures together.
Finish the sentence
1. The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction sees reality through a lens.
2. Research is what I'm doing when I'm up to no good.
3. I can write better when I stop worrying and just write.
4. Sleep is an excellent way to recharge and discover new ideas for the morning.
5. A room without a book is not my kind of room!
Books
Title: Essence (Essence #1)
Genre/s: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Add to Goodreads TBR List
Buy on Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository
Synopsis:

Neutrality is the key to longevity.

This motto has governed 17-year-old Autumn’s life in the mid-21st-century Centrist cult, which believes that expressing emotions leads to Essence drain and premature death.

But Autumn’s younger brother’s death casts her faith into question. While sprinting through a park in violation of Centrist teachings, she encounters Ryder Stone, an Outsider who claims Essence drain is nothing more than a Centrist scare tactic. She agrees to join his Community, a utopia of adrenaline junkies living in the abandoned remains of Yosemite National Park.

Autumn learns about sex, drugs, and living life to the fullest. But as she discovers dark secrets beneath the Community’s perfect exterior, she realises that this illusion of paradise could be shattered…
Giveaway !!!
The Rules:
  • Open Internationally 
  • Must be 13+ to enter
  • Winners will be notified via email
  • A new winner will be chosen if a response is not received within 48 hours
  • Use the Rafflecopter to enter. I'm going to check the entries so please follow the directions correctly.
  • Contest ends June 3, 2014 (Release Date)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 24, 2013

@StrangeChem Author Slambook: M.G. Buehrlen + Giveaway

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Author Bio
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

When she's not writing, M.G. moonlights as a web designer and social media/creative director. She's the current web ninja lurking behind the hugely popular website YABooksCentral.com, a social network for YA (and kids!) book lovers. If you look hard enough, you might spot M.G. hiding in these places: in her creaky old house nestled in Michigan pines, sipping coffee on her porch, playing in leaf piles, cooking over campfires, and dipping her toes in creek beds.
Favorites
1. What is your favorite color? My childhood self would say Magenta, mostly because it's such a fun word to say. My grownup self would say Autumn. All colors of Autumn.
2. Favorite food? How about an entire food group: Dairy. Slather it on, please and thank you.
3. Favorite movie of all time? The Princess Bride, hands down.
4. Favorite song? Currently? Down in the Valley by The Head and the Heart
5. Favorite book of all time? Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis. Also The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
All about Writing
1. How did your interest in writing originate?
I've always loved stories. My father is a natural story-teller, keeping visitors enraptured long into the night at his dinner table, so I may have caught the bug from him. I didn't have money to buy books, and I lived on a farm too far from the library, so if I wanted stories to read, I had to write them myself. First I scribbled in notebooks, then hammered away on the typewriter, then saved entire chapters on my old Commodore 64. I honestly can't remember a time when I wasn't writing. It's always been a part of me.

2. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I try to carve out full days of writing when I can. Two days a week I go to the YABooksCentral.com office for The Day Job. The rest of the week I commit to writing: from the moment I wake until the moment I crash in bed. My husband is the amazing kind who brings me coffee and meals, and reminds me to take breaks. I prefer marathon writing to little spurts here and there.

3. Do you work with outline or just write?
I always outline in some form or another. I have to know what's coming next or else I lose interest in the story. When I know a particular thrilling or delicious scene is coming soon, it pushes me to keep writing until I get there. Sometimes the outline remains in my head, sometimes I sketch out each act in a notebook. Currently I'm trying a post-it method on my wall, and it's working beautifully.

4. What was the hardest part in writing your book? The easiest?
57 Lives is a time travel story, so the hardest part was building a world that obeyed specific time travel laws. (Time travel might be the absolute hardest genre to write. It'll break your brain more than once.) Also, when Alex travels back in time, there's a lot of research that goes into each historical time period in order to present them accurately. I'm always afraid I'll get some tiny detail completely wrong. The easiest parts were the contemporary scenes when Alex is at home or at school. Alex is a lot like me — a tech geek loner chick — so having her navigate her present day life flowed easily. Even though I love the sci-fi and historical elements of the book, in some ways I love Alex's contemporary scenes the most.

5. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I'm almost always working on YABooksCentral.com, running book giveaways, promoting authors, and creating book haul videos. YABC has been around since 1998 (!!!) so the traffic is huge and managing it is a 24/7 gig. When I'm not working on YABC, you can find me reading, plowing through TV seasons in my jammies, going to movies (I'm addicted to movie-theater popcorn), camping on remote islands, road tripping (cars + travel = WIN), and waxing poetic about all things coffee.

Finish the sentence
1. The difference between fiction and reality is the author gets to decide the outcome. When you write, you get to decide how characters respond to each other and how they react to certain situations. You can tie the ending up in a nice pink bow or you can leave it messy and scarred. In reality, however, you can never know what's going on in someone else's head. You can never know how they'll react to some stupid thing you've said. You'll never be in full control, and you'll never know how things will end. That makes reality infinitely more fascinating and dangerous, but also makes fiction infinitely more fun. You get to build an entire world, then tear it down, then build it back up again. It's a safe place to cause destruction.

2. Research is what I'm doing when I'm learning about a new time period or culture for 57 Lives. In the book, Alex is a reincarnated soul, so she's lived in many historical time periods throughout the years. When she goes back in time to explore those lives, I want those scenes to be real. I want the reader to feel like they've stepped into a speakeasy in 1927 Chicago, or on a steam train in 1876 Missouri, or slid into the driver's seat of a Corvette cruising through Cincinnati in 1961. But when I think about it, I'm always researching. Living your life, getting out there, meeting people, having adventures — that in and of itself is a wealth of research for novels. (I also consider binge TV and film watching very important research.)

3. I can write better when I have coffee. I don't need to drink it necessarily, I just need a warm mug in my hands, steam rising to my chin. I need quiet, usually, and something pretty to look at out the window. I also need to be alone. I like to work out conversations between my characters aloud, and I feel pretty silly doing that in front of others. I used to do it as a kid, walking around the farm carrying on conversations with people who weren't there, which led to a lot of teasing from my older brother. So... yeah. Alone is preferred.

4. Sleep is an excellent way to recharge those plotting muscles. Sometimes you dive too deep into a story and can't find your way out. Sleep always gives you a fresh perspective in the morning. You get to come up for air.

5. A room without a book is bland. Books make the best decor. Plus, the more books you have on display, the more intelligent you'll seem to others, which equals twelvity-five bonus smarty pants points.

Books
Cover of The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare was first revealed on YABC!
  
Title: The Fifty-Seven Lives of Alex Wayfare (Alex Wayfare #1)
Genre/s: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance
Released Date: March 6, 2014 (UK) | March 4, 2014 (US)
Add to Goodreads TBR List
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

Synopsis:

One girl. Fifty-seven lives. Endless ways to die.

For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that make her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair.

But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can’t explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal’s office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.

It isn’t until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren’t really visions. Alex is a Descender – capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories.

Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn’t want Alex to travel again. Ever.

And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.
Giveaway !!!
The Rules:
  • Open Internationally 
  • Must be 13+ to enter
  • Winners will be notified via email
  • A new winner will be chosen if a response is not received within 48 hours
  • Use the Rafflecopter to enter. I'm going to check the entries so please follow the directions correctly.
  • Contest ends March 6, 2014
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

ARC Review: My Date From Hell (The Blooming Goddess #2)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Title: My Date From Hell (The Blooming Goddess #2)
Author: Tellulah Darling
Genre/s: Young Adult, Mythology, Fantasy, Romance
Released Date: October 31, 2013
Add to Goodreads TBR List
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository (links will be added soon)

Synopsis:

Sophie Bloom’s junior year has been a bit of a train wreck. After the world’s greatest kiss re-awakened Sophie’s true identity as Persephone (Goddess of Spring and Savior of Humanity), she fought her dragon-lady guidance counselor to the death, navigated mean girl Bethany’s bitchy troublemaking, and dealt with the betrayal of her backstabbing ex, Kai (sexy Prince of Darkness). You’d think a girl could catch a break.

Yeah, right.

With Zeus stepping things up, it’s vital that Sophie retrieve Persephone’s memories and discover the location of the ritual to stop Zeus and Hades. So when Aphrodite strikes a deal that can unlock Sophie’s pre-mortal past, what choice does the teen goddess have but to accept?

The mission: stop media mogul Hermes from turning Bethany into a global mega-celebrity. The catch? Aphrodite partners Sophie and Kai to work together … and treat this suicide mission as a date. Which could work out for Sophie’s plan to force Kai to admit his feelings for her–if she doesn’t kill him first.

Add to that the fact that BFF Theo’s love life and other BFF Hannah’s actual life are in Sophie’s hands, and suddenly being a teenager—even a godlike one—seems a bit like … well, hell. Whatever happened to dinner and a movie?

The YA romantic comedy/Greek mythology fireworks continue to fly inMy Date From Hell. Love meets comedy with a whole lot of sass in book two of this teen fantasy romance series. Breaking up is easy; dating is deadly.

@StrangeChem Author Slambook: Danielle Jensen + Giveaway


Author Bio
Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Danielle was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated in 2003 from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in finance. But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous; and in 2010, it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University and to pursue publication. Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination.
Favorites
1. What is your favorite color? Turquoise, which I always spell incorrectly.
2. Favorite food? I hate cooking, so anything someone else makes for me tastes great. I am partial to homemade mac & cheese, though.
3. Favorite movie of all time? The Thomas Crown Affair. I had a copy on VHS, but sadly, I haven’t been able to watch it since VHS players became extinct.
4. Favorite song? Sometime Around Midnight by The Airborne Toxic Event.
5. Favorite book of all time? That’s a tough one. I would say the book I’ve read the most number of times is Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly, but I’m currently enamored with Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle.
All about Writing
1. How did your interest in writing originate?
I’ve always been a big reader, but I never tried my hand at novel writing until a co-worker suggested giving it a go. At first I was terrible at it, but I’ve gotten a bit better after seven years of practice. Writing is the perfect job for me because I am such a daydreamer. I have always loved coming up with elaborate stories in my head, so the hardest part has been learning the craft of getting them on paper.

2. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I try to do a bit of work every day, but writing has to be second priority to my day job. One of my most favourite daydreams is a day in the future when that doesn’t have to be the case :)

3. Do you work with outline or just write?
When I first start a new project, I just write. But once I’m happy with the beginning, I tend to mentally plot the major milestones of the novel, including the ending. However, because Stolen Songbird is the first in a trilogy, I had to provide detailed synopses for the second and third book, which was really hard for me.

4. What was the hardest part in writing your book? The easiest?
I find the middle the most difficult. The beginning is always exciting, because it contains the initial conflict, and the ending is always itching to get out by the time I get to it. But the middle is tough because you need to get a lot of the plot details on the page without it becoming boggy and boring. I’m currently writing the middle of my book 2, and it’s a challenge. Even with a detailed synopsis.

5. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I don’t have a lot of spare time in my days, but I like to read in what free moments I have. I also have a real fondness for celebrity gossip, so I like to indulge myself with reading blogs like Lainey Gossip. It’s my guilty pleasure.

Finish the sentence
1. The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is dominated by the best and the worst of life. The imagination is no place for the mundane.
2. Research is what I'm doing when I realize I’ve been grinning like a crazy person while running on the treadmill, and that everyone in the gym thinks I’m nuts. They might be right.
3. I can write better when I’m alone. I can’t write in the presence of others – I’m too self-conscious of the crazy faces I make.
4. Sleep is an excellent way to spend one’s free time. If one happens to have any.
5. A room without a book is not a room in my house.
Books
Title: Stolen Songbird
Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy,
Released Date: April 1, 2014
Add to Goodreads TBR List
Pre-order Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.
Giveaway !!!
The Rules:
  • Open Internationally 
  • Must be 13+ to enter
  • Winners will be notified via email
  • A new winner will be chosen if a response is not received within 48 hours
  • Use the Rafflecopter to enter. I'm going to check the entries so please follow the directions correctly.
  • Contest ends April 1, 2014 (Released Date)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

@StrangeChem Author Slambook: Rachel Neumeier + Giveaway

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Author Bio
Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Rachel Neumeier started writing fiction to relax when she was a graduate student; her only previous publications appeared in journals such as The American Journal of Botany. Rachel now lives in rural Missouri, where she enjoys planting unusual trees, cooking Indian food, showing Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and reading other peoples' books, especially when she should be revising her own.

Favorites
1. What is your favorite color? blue. Or sometimes purple-and-yellow, the colors of the best-of-breed ribbon at a dog show.
2. Favorite food? the Moroccan chicken I just made with preserved lemon and cracked green olives was pretty amazing.
3. Favorite movie of all time? The Hunt for Red October -- or maybe The Shawshank Redemption -- or possibly The Fugitive
4. Favorite song? At the moment, maybe "The Great Beyond" by REM
5. Favorite book of all time? Now, that's *really* impossible to answer! But The Riddlemaster Trilogy by Patricia McKillip is certainly in my personal top ten.

All about Writing
1. How did your interest in writing originate?
Because I was avoiding writing my thesis in grad school and also annoyed by the book I was reading and thought I could do better. Or maybe before that, as I *always* made up stories in my head when I was bored in class.

2. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I usually work most on late mornings during weekends and late evenings on weekdays --times when the dogs are all napping and I can be uninterrupted.

3. Do you work with an outline or just write?
When I start a new book, I almost always just write. I start to outline when the book is about half done, then continually revise both the outline and the ms till I get to the end.

4. What was the hardest part in writing your book? The easiest?
To me, all books seem easy in retrospect! I have to really think about it to remember what was hard about any of them. While writing, the hardest part is usually getting through the middle, when I am faced with needing to actually work out the whole plot.

5. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Read, of course! Also, hiking with the dogs.
Finish the sentence
1. The difference between fiction and reality is, well, in MY fiction, the good guys always win!
2. Research is what I'm doing when I'm writing a genius character who knows a lot more physics than I do. Or a Mexican character who knows a lot more Spanish than I do. Or a contemporary setting that I have to actually more or less get right.
3. I can write better when I turn the ringers off on the phones and shut out the world.
4. Sleep is an excellent way to work out the next bit of a story while drifting off.
5. A room without a book is unimaginable.
Books
Title: Black Dog
Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy
Released Date: February 6, 2014
Add to Goodreads TBR List
Pre-order on Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Natividad is Pure, one of the rare girls born able to wield magic. Pure magic can protect humans against the supernatural evils they only half-acknowledge – the blood kin or the black dogs. In rare cases – like for Natividad’s father and older brother – Pure magic can help black dogs find the strength to control their dark powers.

But before Natividad’s mother can finish teaching her magic their enemies find them. Their entire village in the remote hills of Mexico is slaughtered by black dogs. Their parents die protecting them. Natividad and her brothers must flee across a strange country to the only possible shelter: the infamous black dogs of Dimilioc, who have sworn to protect the Pure.

In the snowy forests of Vermont they are discovered by Ezekiel Korte, despite his youth the strongest black dog at Dimilioc and the appointed pack executioner. Intrigued by Natividad he takes them to Dimilioc instead of killing them.

Now they must pass the tests of the Dimilioc Master. Alejandro must prove he can learn loyalty and control even without his sister’s Pure magic. Natividad’s twin Miguel must prove that an ordinary human can be more than a burden to be protected. And even at Dimilioc a Pure girl like Natividad cannot remain unclaimed to cause fighting and distraction. If she is to stay she must choose a black dog mate.

But, first, they must all survive the looming battle.
Giveaway !!!
The Rules:
  • Open Internationally 
  • Must be 13+ to enter
  • Winners will be notified via email
  • A new winner will be chosen if a response is not received within 48 hours
  • Use the Rafflecopter to enter. I'm going to check the entries so please follow the directions correctly.
  • Contest ends February 6, 2014 (Released Date)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 21, 2013

Winners of Author's Month Giveaways: Third Week

Monday, October 21, 2013

Before I announced the winners to this giveaway, I'm going to thank, first and foremost, our awesome authors for donating their books to this event. Thank you Em Garner, Dawn Metcalf, Carly Anne West, Jay Kristoff and Ms. Cassandra Gallante  for being so generous.

And lastly, I would like to thank everyone who participated in this giveaway. :)

Okay, let's get down to business. These are the winners in our giveaways.

Contaminated Giveaway
Rochelle Andasan

The Last Stormdancer Novella Giveaway
Christina T.

The Murmuring Giveaway
Tiffany Mahaffy

Indelible Giveaway
Meghan Stith

To all the winners, check your email or spam. You only have 48 hours to email me your mailing address. Or else I will have to pick a new winner.

If you didn't win today, don't worry, there's still plenty of open giveaways you can join. Try and try until you succeed. :)

ARC Review: Skulk by Rosie Best

Title: Skulk
Author: Rosie Best
Genre/s: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Released Date: October 1, 2013
Add to Goodreads TBR List
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

When Meg witnesses the dying moments of a shapeshifting fox and is given a beautiful and powerful stone, her life changes forever. She is plunged into the dark world of the Skulk, a group of shapeshifting foxes.

As she learns about the other groups of shapeshifters that lurk around London – the Rabble, the Horde, the Cluster and the Conspiracy – she becomes aware of a deadly threat against all the shapeshifters. They must put aside all their enmity and hostility and fight together to defeat it.

Strange Chemistry: Bryony Pearce + Giveaway


Author Bio
Website | Twitter | Goodreads

Bryony Pearce is a chocolate-loving vegetarian, who lives in a village on the edge of the Peak District with her husband, two small children and cat. She writes books which are much darker than she initially appears and since publication her friends have started looking at her as if she is going to start serial killing any minute. She is unlikely to do so. Her first book, Angel's Fury was published by Egmont in 2011 and won the Leeds Book Award and Cheshire Schools Book Award. Her second novel, The Weight of Souls was published in August 2013. She has a head full of stories and won't stop writing them down any time soon.
Favorites
1. What is your favorite color? Dark red
2. Favorite food? Thai red curry with Tofu. Anything chocolate.
3. Favorite movie of all time? The Princess Bride, The Matrix
4. Favorite song? Shake it Up, Florence and the Machine (at least today)
5. Favorite book of all time? Anything by Terry Pratchett, I love his work. Also Tom Pollock City's Son, Shakespeare's King Lear, Anne Macaffrey's Ship Who Sang . sorry I went on a bit far there.

All about Writing
1. How did your interest in writing originate?
In a love of books that has existed since I was old enough to listen to my mum reading them to me.

2. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I fit it in whenever I can. With two small children my life is not very organised. Riley started school just a week ago, so I'm trying to be more organised now. I think it'll take me another week to get properly sorted out into set times though.

3. Do you work with outline or just write?
I work with an outline. I am a very serious pro-plotter!

4. What was the hardest part in writing your book? The easiest?
The hardest part is when you are between exciting scenes and you feel a bit like you are dragging the storyline forwards. Occasionally I've been stuck for a couple of months between 'good bits'. I also find the waiting for edits really hard. I'm a very impatient person. The easiest part is when it all flows well and you get a great day's worth of writing in. I love that feeling.

5. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I look after the children, I like to watch films, I read, I do karate. My current aim in life is to get a black belt (and another book deal of course!)
Finish the sentence
1. The difference between fiction and reality is words on a page
2. Research is what I'm doing when I really want my book to ring true
3. I can write better when I am not distracted
4. Sleep is an excellent way to organise my brain full of ideas
5. A room without a book is a pencil without a lead -pointless.
Book
Title: The Weight of Souls
Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Released Date: August 6, 2013
Add to Goodreads TBR List
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Sixteen year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them – letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn’t make it in time? The Darkness will come for her…

She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she’s bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she’s not going crazy.

But then Justin is murdered and everything gets a whole lot worse. Justin doesn’t know who killed him, so there’s no obvious person for Taylor to go after. The clues she has lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret society at her school where no one is allowed to leave… and where Justin was dared to do the stunt which led to his death.

Can she find out who was responsible for his murder before the Darkness comes for her? Can she put aside her hatred for her former bully to truly help him?

And what happens if she starts to fall for him?
Giveaway !!!
The Rules:
  • Open Internationally 
  • Must be 13+ to enter
  • Winners will be notified via email
  • A new winner will be chosen if a response is not received within 48 hours
  • Use the Rafflecopter to enter. I'm going to check the entries so please follow the directions correctly.
  • Contest ends November 21, 2013
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Stacking the Shelves #7/ GWIMM #22

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Stacking the Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual.

I received an unexpected package that totally brightened my dark and gloomy week. Here they are:

For Review


I'd like to give a GINORMOUS THANKS to Sarah and Megan of HarperCollins for this pretties. 

What did you get this week? Leave your links here! I'd love to see them too.

Friday, October 18, 2013

@StrangeChem Author Slambook: Laura Lam + Giveaway

Friday, October 18, 2013

Author Bio
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Laura Lam was raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies. Both of them encouraged her to finger-paint to her heart’s desire, colour outside of the lines, and consider the library a second home. This led to an overabundance of daydreams.

She relocated to Scotland to be with her husband, whom she met on the internet when he insulted her taste in books. She almost blocked him but is glad she didn’t. At times she misses the sunshine.
Favorites
1. What is your favorite color? Teal
2. Favorite food? Peanut butter
3. Favorite movie of all time? Before Sunrise
4. Favorite song? At the moment “Lose It” by Austra, but it changes. Also the whole new Goldfrapp album is lovely.
5. Favorite book of all time? Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
All about Writing
1. How did your interest in writing originated?
A love of reading.

2. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Most often, I write at the café or at home after work.

3. Do you work with outline or just write?
I use fairly detailed outlines but let myself go in a different direction if it seems like a better idea.

4. What was the hardest part in writing your book? The easiest?
Hardest part of Pantomime – the titular chapter with the pantomime, because it was difficult to balance both the events of the play and the thoughts and feelings of the actors playing them. The easiest scene was when Micah and Aenea go to the Museum of Mechanical Antiquities.

5. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Reading, exercising, watching TV, seeing friends, traveling. The usual stuff.
Finish the sentence
1. The difference between fiction and reality is less magic.
2. Research is what I'm doing when I should be writing.
3. I can write better when I turn off the internet.
4. Sleep is an excellent way to dream.
5. A room without a book is sad.
Books
Title: Pantomime (Pantomime #1)
Genre/s: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Released Date: February 5, 2013
Add to Goodreads TBR List
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

Title: Shadowplay (Pantomime #2)
Genre/s: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Released Date: January 4, 2014
Add to Goodreads TBR List
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

The circus lies behind Micah Grey in dust and ashes.

He and the white clown, Drystan, take refuge with the once-great
magician, Jasper Maske. When Maske agrees to teach them his trade, his embittered rival challenges them to a duel which could decide all of their fates. People also hunt both Micah and the person he was before the circus--the runaway daughter of a noble family. And Micah discovers there is magic and power in the world, far beyond the card tricks and illusions he's perfecting...

A tale of phantom wings, a clockwork hand, and the delicate unfurling of new love, Shadowplay continues Micah Grey’s extraordinary journey.
Giveaway !!!
The Rules:
  • Open Internationally 
  • Must be 13+ to enter
  • Winners will be notified via email
  • A new winner will be chosen if a response is not received within 48 hours
  • Use the Rafflecopter to enter. I'm going to check the entries so please follow the directions correctly.
  • Contest ends November 18, 2013
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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