fun, Guest Posts & Interviews, Tours & Blitzes

How To Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake Blog Tour | Author Interview + GIVEAWAY!

Hey, y’all! It’s Lila! Today I’m so happy to welcome Ashley Herring Blake to the blog to have a conversation with me on diversity and her sophomore novel, How To Make A Wish! Ms. Blake is also the author of Suffer Love, which was released in 2016! Stick around to read our conversation and you’ll also find a giveaway at the end! So let’s dive in…

Ashley Herring Blake Interview

Hello, Ms. Blake! I’m so happy to welcome you here today on The Bookkeepers’ Secrets and to have a chance to speak with you! Your much anticipated second novel, How To Make A Wish, is released on May 2, 2017 and I’ve seen so much praise for it already! I, myself, along with many of my readers are really anticipating the book! So let’s dive right in!

1. To start off, can you give us the simple elevator pitch for How To Make A Wish?

Oh, I am so awful at these, but I’ll try! A girl must decide if she can break free from her toxic relationship with her mother while navigating friendship and falling in love with another girl. Eh? I don’t know, I told you I was awful at these. ☺

2. Diversity is a big issue in the community at the moment and How To Make A Wish is an incredibly diverse story, as well an #ownvoices book. Why do you write diverse books and why do you think they’re important?

Well, I’m not even sure I’d say I write diverse books—I just try to write books that reflect our world. Diversity is our reality. It’s not a trend or a marketing ploy—it is our world. I want to write inclusively because I want to provide readers with opportunities to find themselves. That being said, some stories are not mine to tell. I very much believe in #ownvoices stories and, as a bi woman, those stories will always be the ones I gravitate toward to tell for my main characters. I often write in first person, and I don’t think that being in the head of a person with whose experience I could not even beging to communicate well is my story to tell. However, I do believe in writing characters that reflect our world, which why, I try very hard to include characters who are not only cishet-white-abeled-neurotypical. And, in doing so, I see that as a vast responsibilty to do no harm and to do the work to create a relatable, multi-layered character.

3. One of the things that has me, a multiracial reader, excited for the book is some snippets I’ve seen concerning a biracial character that I really identified with. I’ve also seen other bi/multiracial readers who received ARCs say that the rep was incredible. In writing a biracial character, you were writing “out of your lane” (writing characters whose identity and/or heritage you don’t share) yet you’ve managed to write the rep so well and in such a way that many of us (bi/multiracial people, that is) can agree and identify with the character. Given this, what is what do you think it is that allowed you to write something that rings true for so many of us that are bi/multiracial, even though that was/is not your experience?

Ha, well, I answered a bit of this in the question above, but honesty, in writing Eva, I had a LOT of help. I had several biracial readers check her, I listened when biracial people talked on social media, and I strived to give her a backstory and a current struggle that felt real and multi-layered. I’m so glad that she resonates for biracial readers—I can’t even express how glad—but I absolutely have to send myriad shout-outs to my first readers, as well as those who are generous enough to share their experiences on social media and blogs.

4. There’s obviously a diversity of experiences within a marginalized group of people. How do you make the story you’re telling such that if people can’t relate to every aspect of it, they can at least empathize with and respect the story you’re telling?

Well, it’s true that one story cannot be all things to all people. However, I think that, as human beings, if I’ve done my job correctly, people should be able to find something, some nugget of truth or detail, to which they can relate, as you said. Specifically writing a bisexual character, I know that Grace’s experiences is not going to be all experiences. Her experience wasn’t even my experience. She knew she was bi at 14! Oh, the envy! It took me almost twenty more years to figure that out for myself. However, the ways in which I did figure it out are very similar to how Grace did. And, again, a lot of that comes from listening to other bisexuals talk about their experience. As you said, no identity is a monolith, and there are problematic views and opinions even among marginalized communities. I had to be on the lookout, personally for internalized biphobia! I had five bisexual readers on this book to double check Grace. But, when it comes down to it, I think writing a character to whom people can relate comes down to two main things: 1) Listen to other people of that identity, even if it’s your own identity. Just shhhhh, and listen. 2) Write a damn good character. By that, I mean, I have to do my job as a writer which means creating multi-faceted characters who feel real. If I do that, I think reader will be able to find something to relate to.

5. Let’s take a break from heavy questions and have a bit of fun! If your characters were transformed into animals reflective of their personalities, what would they be and why?

Great question! Grace would definitely be a cat. She’s a bit prickly at times, but also cuddly when she wants to be. Luca would absolutely be a puppy. Eva, I picture as a cheetah—graceful and lithe.

6. What do you hope readers take away from How To Make A Wish?

That sometimes, being selfish is the only way to survive. By that I mean, sometimes you have to choose yourself before you choose anyone else and, by doing so, tha is loving someone.

About How To Make A Wish

book cover.jpegAuthor: Ashley Herring Blake

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Release Date: May 2, 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, GLTBQIA

Synopsis: All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About Ashley Herring Blake

AshleyAshley Herring Blake is a reader, writer, and mom to two boisterous boys. She holds a Master’s degree in teaching and loves coffee, arranging her books by color, and watching Buffy over and over again on Netflix with her friends. She’s the author of the young adult novels SUFFER LOVE and HOW TO MAKE A WISH.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest

GIVEAWAY! (US ONLY)

  • Win 1 Finished Copy of How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
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April 26

April 27

Becca @ Lost in Lit– Review + Favorite Quotes

April 28

Boricuan Bookworms– Guest Post

April 29

April 30

Afire Pages– Guest Post

May 1

Vicarious Bookworm– Review + Favorite Quotes

May 2

Daffodilsreads– Review + Favorite Quotes
The Book Return– Review
Giveaway, Guest Posts & Interviews, Lila, Tours & Blitzes

Timekeeper Audiobook Blog Tour | Tara Sim Interview + GIVEAWAYS!

Hey, y’all! Lila here and today I’m here to bring you a super exciting treat: and interview with Tara Sim, some sneak peaks of her debut novel, Timekeeper, and not one, but two (!) giveaways! This is all for the tour which the lovely Jess, at The Audiobookworm, has set up, so many thanks to her, the author, and the audiobook narrator, Gary Furlong, for their work! So I won’t keep you log, I know y’all probably want to get straight to it, so let’s jump right in!

Interview With The Author, Tara Sim

Hello and welcome to The Bookkeepers’ Secrets, Ms. Sim! My name is Lila and I’m so, so, soooo excited to have you here today! Your novel, Timekeeper, was one of my most anticipated releases of 2016 and I know many of my readers have been looking forward to it as well! So without any further ado, let’s jump right into the questions!

1. First off, can you tell us what Timekeeper is about in your own words?

Timekeeper takes place in an alternate Victorian world where clock towers control time. If anything happens to the towers, time malfunctions as a result. Enter Danny, a clock mechanic prodigy who’s desperate to free his father from a town trapped in time.

2. What were some of the influences and inspirations for Timekeeper and what was it about those things that made them special or interesting to you?

I was lucky enough to study abroad in London while in college. I often went to the Embankment area, which has a pretty nice view of Big Ben. I was always really fascinated by the tower, and it kind of helped with the homesickness. So a few years later, when I got the initial idea for Timekeeper, I knew that clock towers were going to be in the center of it–including Big Ben.

3. I like to think that everyone has a unique and special story of how they got where they are and became who they are. Can you tell us the story of how you became the writer you are?

I think this story breaks down into several segments, so the tl;dr version is this: when I was younger I really loved making up stories, to the point where I forced my dad to write them down while I dictated (since I couldn’t type then). When I hit high school, though, I started to understand that this was something serious, and it was what I wanted to do more than anything. Of course there were stages of learning how to write–English classes, reading as much as I could, using fanfiction as a learning tool–so when I wrote my first full length novel at 15, I was hooked on that format and knew I had to be an author.

4. What keeps you going on days when you’re discouraged or unmotivated as a writer?

I think the most important thing you can do in this situation is return to stories you love. For me, I like to rewatch certain movies or shows or anime, or reread certain books, or replay certain video games. They remind me what story elements I love and what I want to write about.

5. What is the most magical thing about being an author?

The interaction with readers. The fact that people go out of their way to create fanart or quote graphics blows my mind! But mostly, I love hearing about what the story means to them, and if they’ve found something important in it–whether it’s escapism or reassurance or finding a character they can relate to.

6. What songs would you choose as your characters’ theme songs and why?

Danny – Disloyal Order of Water Buffalos by Fall Out Boy, because he’s a bit of an emo kid

Colton – Maybe YOUTH by Troye Sivan, or Rooftops by lostprophets; they seem the right blend of optimistic and vulnerable

7. How would you describe Timekeeper’s aesthetic?

Gears and cogs, gold, Roman numerals, machine oil, pocket watches, the sound of cars, ticking clocks.

8. Is there any one scene that you particularly enjoyed that ended up being cut from the final product and if you can, can you share the gist of it with us?

Actually, all of my favorite scenes ended up in the final version, although I did have to alter some of them here and there as I revised. One scene I went over quite a lot was towards the end, when they’re inside Big Ben. I loved writing it, hated revising it.

9. What do you hope readers take away from Timekeeper?
I hope that they get a good story, first and foremost. I also that hope it might help them feel a little less alone.

And Now, A Sneak Peak At Timekeeper by Tara Sim

Audiobook Excerpt

About Timekeeper

Timekeeper3D.pngAuthor: Tara Sim

Narrator: Gary Furlong

Length: 8h 50m

Publisher: Forever Young Audiobooks

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release date: Feb. 14, 2017

Synopsis: Two o’clock was missing.
In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.
It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.
And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.
But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

Goodreads | Audible | Amazon

About The Author, Tara Sim

Author Photo_Tara SimTara Sim is the author of Timekeeper (Sky Pony Press) and can typically be found wandering the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not chasing cats or lurking in bookstores, she writes books about magic, clocks, and explosives. Follow her on Twitter at @EachStarAWorld, and check out her website at tarasim.com.

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About The Narrator, Gary Furlong

Timekeeper Narrator PhotoGary Furlong grew up in Wexford, Ireland. Throughout his life he has worn many a hat: He has worked as a teacher in Niigata, Japan; a puppeteer in Prague; an improv artist in Memphis, Tennessee; and as a singer and actor all over Ireland. He started narrating audiobooks in late 2015 and hasn’t looked back.

Gary made his acting debut in the musical Godspell as a student. Since then he has pursued acting both on the amateur and professional circuits. Notable roles include Tom Collins in Bare Cheek’s production of Rent in 2010.

Over the course of his five years in Japan, he was an actor, director, and audio producer. It was during this time that he discovered his interest in audiobooks and voice-over.

He now works full-time as an audiobook narrator and voice actor from his home in Ireland.

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And Now For The Giveaways!

Giveaway #1!

Timekeeper Giveaway #1 

Giveaway #2!

Timekeeper Giveaway #2

Check Out The Other Tour Stops

Mar. 19: The Book Keeper’s Secrets (Review, Spotlight, Audio Excerpt & Interview)

Tales of the Ravenous Reader (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, Guest Post & Giveaway)

Mar. 20: Reading for the Stars and Moon (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, & Giveaway)

Next Page Please (Review & Giveaway)

Mar. 21: Candid Ceillie (Review & Interview)

Gota Love Books (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 22: BookstacksAmber (Review)

Mar. 23: Book Crushin (Review, Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, & Giveaway)

Lilly’s Book World (Review)

Mar. 24: The Desert Bibliophile (Review, Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

BookstacksAmber (Interview)

Mar. 25: Chapter Break (Review, Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, Interview & Giveaway)

Mar. 26: Dab of Darkness (Review)

Blogger Nicole (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 27: The Madhouse (Review & Giveaway)

Mar. 28: Rolo Polo Book Blog (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Mar. 29: Mama Reads (Review & Guest Post)

Mar. 30: Novel Ink (Review)

Mar. 31: Glorious Panic (Review & Giveaway)

Apr. 1: The Broke Book Bank (Review)

A New Look On Books (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, Guest Post & Giveaway)

Apr. 2: Jories Loves A Story (Review & Interview)

Apr. 3: The Hermit Librarian (Review)

Up Til Dawn (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Apr. 4: Here’s to Happy Endings (Review)

My World In Words and Pages (Review & Giveaway)

Apr. 5: Hall Ways (Review & Giveaway)

terriluvsbooks (Review & Interview)

Apr. 6: A Book and A Latte (Review)

Apr. 7: Desert Rose Reviews (Review & Giveaway)

Bound 4 Escape (Review & Giveaway)

Holed Up In A Book (Review & Giveaway)

Apr. 8: Zach’s YA Reviews (Review)

The Autumn Bookshelf (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt & Guest Post)

The Queen Reads (Review)

Guest Posts & Interviews, Tours & Blitzes

INTERVIEW WITH KENDARE BLAKE + GIVEAWAY! | Three Dark Crowns Blog Tour

Hey y’all! Boy oh boy, do I have something special for y’all today! Today, I’m happy to have Ms. Kendare Blake, author of the Anna Dressed in Blood duology, the Antigoddess trilogy, and the upcoming Three Dark Crowns, here on The Bookkeeper’s Secrets! Shall we get rolling?

The Interview

Hello Ms. Blake! My readers and I are so happy and super ecstatic to have you here on The Bookkeeper’s Secrets! I know that, personally, your upcoming book, Three Dark Crowns, is one of my most anticipated releases of the year, so I am very excited to get to talk with you! So without any further ado or fangirling on my part, let’s get this show on the road!

So really quickly, can you tell us what Three Dark Crowns is about?

Sure! Three Dark Crowns is about triplet queens on a magical island. Only one can wear the crown, and in their sixteenth year, two must die so the third can be crowned. Which sister will rule?

What was the inspiration behind the story of Three Dark Crowns?

A swarm of bees, actually. They were in a tree at a book event, and I started talking to a beekeeper. Hey, what’s that ball of bees doing up there anyway? And she said they were protecting their queen, who was snuggled in the middle of the ball as they look for a new hive. I said, What happened to the old hive? And she said that the old queen had probably laid four or five queen eggs, and when the new queen daughters hatched, one would murder the others and take over. I loved that idea. On the drive home, the concept that would become Three Dark Crowns was born.

Did you have a favorite aspect of Three Dark Crowns to write?

I really loved writing the poisons, all the poisoned food, etc. I love to write food! It was also a lot of fun to create the three cities, and the cultures within the three dominant gifts of the island. But my first love is character, and these girls and women managed to surprise me several times, which is always a pleasure.

What do you hope readers take away from Three Dark Crowns?

I hope they have fun with the scheming. All the scheming and the plots. I hope they enjoy the matriarchal aspect. I hope they find a queen (or several) to worry about J

What made you fall in love with writing?

Reading! I was a reader first. I read so much as a kid. Voraciously. Spent hours in bookstores as a teen, and in the library as an elementary schooler. The world of words has always been my second home.

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

Being able to write! To live these stories that find their way through my fingers onto a page. The act of writing feels pretty damned magical, at least when it’s going well. Like channeling. Like I’m along for the ride, Bastian Balthazar Bux trying to keep up with a tale that’s really happening in some other dimension. That probably sounds kind of hokey but what the hell.

What are some of the challenges you face as a writer and how do you face them?

Challenges, let’s see. Well, there’s the dreaded middle of a manuscript. And there’s juggling story vs what you think readers want or expect, and there’s the pressure to stay in the game and continually write better and better…but in the end the story is the story, and you just have to get through that manuscript middle, and you can’t predict reader expectations/desires because they differ with practically every reader (individual tastes, ftw) and pushing yourself should be exhilarating. So…you just have to do what you can do.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Read, read, read, and write, write, write. Learn to finish something. That’s important. Whether it be a short story or a novel, learn to finish.

Now on to the fun portion! First off, can you describe Three Dark Crowns using only song titles?

Shadowboxer, Fiona Apple. Caught a light sneeze, Tori Amos. Breath of life and Ship to wreck, Florence and the Machine.

You come across your main characters at midnight. What are they up to?

Arsinoe is practicing blood magic. Katharine is petting her snake, Sweetheart. Mirabella is running along the cliffs, calling down lightning to illuminate the sea.

If you were to plan a road trip in the world of Three Dark Crowns, what would be your must see stops?

The Breccia Domain, in Innisfuil Valley. The Black Cottage at the base of Mount Horn. The capital city of Indrid Down, with a special tour of the Volroy (the queens’ castle). I would want to buy clothes, jewelry and glassworks from the elemental city of Rolanth. And I would want to have lunch at Wolf Spring market.

If you could give one gift to your readers, be it physical or otherwise, what would you give them?

Oh wow, how much power do I have? What can I bestow? And it would depend on the reader, because some gifts could turn some readers evil. I could accidentally make a villain. Like, you wouldn’t want to give just anyone the power to teleport. I can think of certain readers right now who would so abuse it in and out of bank vaults.

But I suppose if I was to give one gift to all readers, it would be one day in Hogsmeade. The real Hogsmeade. Because I’m a genie in this scenario, right?

That’s all! Thank you again Ms. Blake!

 More About Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

unnamed-2Every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions.

But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. And it’s not just a game of win or lose…it’s life or death. The night the sisters turn sixteen, the battle begins. The last queen standing gets the crown.

If only it was that simple. Katharine is unable to tolerate the weakest poison, and Arsinoe, no matter how hard she tries, can’t make even a weed grow. The two queens have been shamefully faking their powers, taking care to keep each other, the island, and their powerful sister Mirabella none the wiser. But with alliances being formed, betrayals taking shape, and ruthless revenge haunting the queens’ every move, one thing is certain: the last queen standing might not be the strongest…but she may be the darkest.

Amazon | B&N

More About Kendare Blake

unnamed-1Kendare Blake is the author of several novels and short stories, most of which you can find information about via the links above. Her work is sort of dark, always violent, and features passages describing food from when she writes while hungry. She was born in July (for those of you doing book reports) in Seoul, South Korea, but doesn’t speak a lick of Korean, as she was packed off at a very early age to her adoptive parents in the United States. That might be just an excuse, though, as she is pretty bad at learning foreign languages. She enjoys the work of Milan Kundera, Caitlin R Kiernan, Bret Easton Ellis, Richard Linklater, and the late, great Michael Jackson, I mean, come on, he gave us Thriller.

She lives and writes in Kent, Washington, with her husband, their two cat sons (Tybalt and Tyrion Cattister) and their red Doberman dog son, Obi Dog Kenobi.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

THE GIVEAWAY!!!

Enter for the chance to win 1 of 3 finished copies of Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake (US ONLY)

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Three Dark Crowns Blog Tour Schedule

fun, Guest Posts & Interviews, Tours & Blitzes

Unplugged Blog Tour | Guest Post + Giveaway

 

Hey guys! Super special post for you today! Today I’m happy to welcome Ms. Donna Freitas, author of the upcoming novel Unplugged, as a guest to this blog! Ms. Freitas is going to be telling us about what inspired the story of Unplugged. I’ll let her take it away now!

What inspired the story of Unplugged?

It was actually a conversation where I was with a group of friends and we were joking

around about the possibility of downloading “updates” to our personality—for example:

eventually maybe I’d become Donna 4.0 and you’d become Lila 5.5. And that idea of some

day being able to actually do this, to download updates to your personality, or even other

things like apps that might enhance your brain or your abilities or even change you

physically started rolling around in my head.

Then, at the same time, I started wondering what it would be like to be able to write a

character who’d never been in her body—who’d never really known what it was like to be

in the body—even as old as 17. I started imagining what conditions might allow for that,

which was when I came up with the worlds of Unplugged and its rules too:

The world has split into two—one real world, one virtual—and in the virtual world (called

the App World) people would plug in their bodies (many of them as early as birth) and in

this world there would be Apps that would function just like I’d imagined above—Apps

that you could download to yourself that would change you in various ways.

And I thought: how fun to think of all the Apps I’d love to be able to download to myself

for a while! And how scary to think of growing up not knowing the real world at all.

Then I developed the rules—that people could not cross the border between worlds (they

couldn’t unplug) until they turned 17. Then they would be able to unplug for a year, at the

end of which they’d have to make a choice: would they stay in the Real World and their

bodies for the rest of their lives, or would they choose to go back to the App Worl and live

for a virtual eternity?

And then I set my protagonist, Skylar, into this set of circumstances. I’ve loved writing her

both in the virtual world and when she wakes up in the Real World for the first time. I

hope your readers like it too!

Thanks for having me!

Read An Excerpt of Unplugged

More About Unplugged

5f0ff408-001f-4adf-8e14-40d79031a246The first book in a provocative new series from acclaimed author Donna Freitas—Feed for a new generation.
Humanity is split into the App World and the Real World—an extravagant virtual world for the wealthy and a dying physical world for the poor. Years ago, Skylar Cruz’s family sent her to the App World for a chance at a better life.
Now Skye is a nobody, a virtual sixteen-year-old girl without any glamorous effects or expensive downloads to make her stand out in the App World. Yet none of that matters to Skye. All she wants is a chance to unplug and see her mother and sister again.
But when the borders between worlds suddenly close, Skye loses that chance. Desperate to reach her family, Skye risks everything to get back to the physical world. Once she arrives, however, she discovers a much larger, darker reality than the one she remembers.
In the tradition of M. T. Anderson’s Feed and Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies, Unplugged kicks off a thrilling and timely sci-fi series for teens from an award-winning writer.

About Donna Freitas

30c754d6-7705-4859-b892-602c2adb6e05Donna Freitas is an author of fiction, nonfiction, and articles that appear in newspapers, magazines, and on blogs. Born in Rhode Island, Donna now splits her time between New York City and Barcelona.

 

 

Giveaway!

In addition, I have a giveaway for you! The giveaway is for 1 of 3 copies of Unplugged and is US Only.
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fun, Tours & Blitzes

Blog Tour | Lies I Live By by Lauren Sabel | Art + GIVEAWAY!!!

Hey y’all! I have something super fun for you today! I’ve made some art for Lies I Live By by Lauren Sabel! Lies I Live By is a super awesome book about a psychic spy! I highly suggest you read it as soon as you can get it into your hands! Want to know more? (Come on. Of course you want to know more.)

About Lies I Live By

b3259891-0448-4ef0-9a45-fd8239a5cd24Romance, intrigue, and action collide in this psychic twist on the classic spy novel.

Callie Sinclair is literally out of her mind; as the government’s youngest psychic spy, she finds valuable information for top-secret missions. Her work keeps her headaches at bay, but it means she must lie to everyone she loves, including her longtime boyfriend, Charlie.

When a new psychic arrives at the office, Callie can’t help but flirt; Jasper already knows her in a way Charlie never will.

But as her love life gets more complicated, so do her visions. People halfway around the world seem to be in danger…and people in her own backyard, too. If Callie can’t find a way to alter future events, she could lose the people she loves—and her mind. Literally.

Lauren Sabel’s enthralling, romantic novel captures the thrill of exploring a unique power in a dangerous world.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

About Lauren Sabel

aa16a836-8805-48ec-aa8a-0b5a1d962deeOriginally from the Rocky Mountains, Lauren Sabel has returned to the cool mountain air of Boulder, Colorado after living in several wonderful cities that she will always love and continue to visit year after year.

Lauren loves her husband, her family, her friends, and stories that end happily. (Unfortunately, hers never do.) She also loves digging into her mind and revealing tiny gems she didn’t know were there.

Lauren learned to mind dig while getting her MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa, a Buddhist college in Boulder, Colorado. Before Naropa, Lauren studied film in Rome, where she developed her love of crypts and other beautiful creepy things. She also worked in the film industry in New York and San Francisco, focusing mainly on film festivals, as she can never pass up a good party. In San Francisco she worked for Chronicle Books, where she was inducted into the fascinating world of book publishing.

For the past eight years, Lauren has been teaching college students the joys of creative writing, whether they like it or not.

In 2008, Lauren was published in Undiscovered Voices, an anthology of the best new writers for children in the U.K., where she was living at the time. Then life got very exciting very quickly. She signed with Jodi Reamer Esq. at The Writer’s House Agency in New York, and they made magic happen, and that magic is named Katherine Tegen. (aka: Katherine Tegen Publishing, Harper Collins).

Lauren’s first book, Vivian Divine is Dead was published June 3 2014. She’s currently working on her next book, which she can’t wait to tell you about (but has to wait just a little while anyway).

Lauren believes that being a teenager is an act of courage, and is proud of anyone who manages to stick through it, despite the pain. 🙂
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My Art For Lies I Live By!

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And Now…For The Giveaway!

 The giveaway is for 3 finished copies of Lies I Live By by Lauren Sabel. It is US Only
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If You’re Interested In Lies I Live By by Lauren Sabel, Be Sure To Check Out The Other Stops On The Tour

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Cargo Blog Tour | Interview With Jen Castleberry And GIVEAWAY!

I’m so super excited to have to opportunity today to interview Ms. Jen Castleberry, author of Cargo! Definitely check out this awesome book, guys! Let’s jump right in!

Interview

1. Hi Ms. Castleberry! Thanks for stopping by my little patch of internet today! So what were some of the inspirations behind Cargo?

Thank you for having me! Cargo actually began as a fun side project in the midst of another piece I was working on. It was just meant to be something quick and fun, something to reenergize my creativity, but it took on a whole life of its own!
For inspiration, I drew on my own introspective experiences as a teenager. Cass is a character I identify with closely. I think, if I were to face Cass’s world at her age, I would carry a lot of the same insecurities, I would make the same choices she makes and perceive things the way she perceives them. The emotional baggage that accompanies such an abrupt change of pace is something I can relate to. So I pulled a lot of inspiration from my own flaws and my own tendencies, especially those that were identifiers for me when I was a young(er) person.

2. If you had to choose three songs to describe Cargo, what songs would you choose and why?

Your Heart Is an Empty Room, by Death Cab for Cutie. This song makes me think of Cass as a child, the young version of her that we meet in the prologue. In the midst of the assault, all she wants is to abandon the hostility of her household and find a friend. There’s a certain sense of liberation in being chosen for bunker life. She’s disparaged her home for so long, and she’s certain that a better life must await her elsewhere.
When the Morning Comes, by A Great Big World. This song makes me think of Nathan. He’s someone we’ll get to know quite a bit better in book two, but I think we see enough of him in book one to make an estimation of his character. He’s someone who keeps moving forward, no matter what ensnare him. He’s courageous, and he’s a protector, but he’s not someone who will save a person who could just as easily save themselves. In his own subtle way, he insists that Cass be courageous, too.
This song also calls to mind the budding romance between Nathan and Cass, how it’s blossoming in spite of her hang ups about him, and how it’s stunted, too, by the way she thinks he’s mistreated her. She hasn’t got a broad enough perspective, yet, to understand that he’s been giving her opportunities to be brave.
Thistle & Weeds by Mumford & Sons. This song has such a dark tone, and yet, it talks about holding onto hope in the midst of death. For me, it calls to mind Cass’s desperation and her sorrow, wondering what’s happened to Nars wondering if he’s made it out of the desert alive, and knowing that no amount of hope will provide the answers she seeks. She’s living in a world where life and survival are exceptions to the rule. The likelihood that Nars has either been killed by the sun or murdered in the caves is a difficult thing for her to face. The most she can do is hope that he’s okay, or be swallowed up by her suspicions and all of the associated despair.

3. What astrological signs are your characters?

I love this question! It’s a bit tricky to choose, since so many constellations have full-fledged backstories of their own!
For Cass, I chose Europa, a pretty girl stolen from her home and given three gifts by her abductor: a guard to protect her, a dog to feed her, and a weapon to aid her in battle.
For Nathan, I chose Pegasus, a winged horse born of something beautiful and something monstrous, a brave helper who once made his rider feel utterly victorious, and a creature who spends its time fetching the instruments requested by Zeus.
For Adrienne, Callisto, a beautiful nymph whose love for her family nearly destroys her.
And for Nars, Centaurus, a wonderful friend and a terrible coward whose selfish, exclusionary tendencies backfire, leaving him to suffer the endlessness of immortality alone.

4. It’s midnight. What are your characters up to?

Adrienne’s probably searching for someone to snuggle with. She’s eternally one half of a whole. She’s not meant to be alone.
Nars is kicking a wall somewhere. Contentment will never come easy for him.
Cass is creeping through the launch station, and Nathan is watching her.

5. If you could ride Disneyland’s The Whirling Teacups with three of your all-time favorite authors, who would you choose?

Carl Hiasson. I spent a long time trying to mimic his style, before I learned to be proud of my own. He’s so clever and silly. Anyone who can write sixteen different characters and near as many competing and interweaving plot twists and maintain utter clarity is a genius; there’s no debating it.
Jane Austen. She’s a master of the understated romance and of thought-provoking, social-change-enacting humor.
Lauren Oliver. Her characters are so endearing, and her world-building is so vivid, maybe the Whirling Teacups will shake some of her talent into my hand!

6. What do you hope readers take away from Cargo? Any particular message or experience?

The Reservation Trilogy, as a whole, takes on a profoundly familial theme. We’ll see it repeated in new ways over the course of the next two installments. In book one, we get to experience the bond that Adrienne and Cass share, and that was a very special relationship for me to write, having two sisters of my own. I hope readers turn the last page on Cargo with a sense of just how impactful a friendship can be, whether it’s the friendship shared by siblings or spouses or schoolmates. Friendship is such a powerful force in the midst of self-discovery . It shapes us, but we shape ourselves, too, and I hope readers see that in Cass. She’s figuring out who she is, and who she wants to be, and she looks to Adrienne for courage and inspiration even though circumstances have separated them.

 

Thanks again to Ms. Castleberry for stopping by! If Cargo sounds like something you’re interested in, read more about it below and stick around for the giveaway at the bottom!

 

About Cargo (The Reservation Trilogy #1)

0342958f-1b77-4df0-85e3-66528ee0b28dThe earth has been reduced to a singular continent, governed by extra-terrestrials, collapsed by nuclear weapons residue and wracked with radiation sickness. Only one viable territory remains, and access there is restricted by a mysterious selection process. Everyone hopes to be chosen for transport. Everyone but Cass.
Seventeen year old Cassidy Hartinger has spent the past eleven years living in a government-maintained bunker. She should be thrilled when a handsome transporter arrives to take her to the Reservation. So why does she feel like he’s dragging her, kicking and screaming, straight into the anti-paradise?
Faced with gun-wielding survivalists and elemental catastrophes, will Cass make it more than two steps out of the bunker? Will her journey to peace and safety in the Reservation turn out to be the most perilous thing she’s encountered so far?
Fast-paced action and a tumultuous teenage romance will keep readers begging for more installments of The Reservation Trilogy!

About Jen Castleberry

dd70ebbd-2901-4e8a-a593-532713935bc8When she’s not writing, Castleberry works full-time as a Veterinary Assistant at a local animal shelter.
Her affection for all critters, large and small, comes home with her at the end of each day. She frequently lends her house and heart to homeless animals in need of foster.
Her own clan of silly creatures include an Akita, a Basset Hound, a Maine Coon, and of course, her active-duty husband.
At twenty-seven, Castleberry hopes to soon realize a life-long dream of writing professionally.
The first installment of her YA debut series premiered in January of 2016.

HOORAY! A GIVEAWAY!

This giveaway is US ONLY. Enter to win a copy of Cargo and some fun swag as well!

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Sunday Street Team | Word Search And Giveaway | Genius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout

Hey guys!

I’ve got something super special for you today! A SUNDAY STREET TEAM WORD SEARCH AND GIVEAWAY FOR Genius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout!

This book is awesome! It begins with a person’s disappearance, leaving their little brother aching and curious and goes from there onto a great adventure! I think y’all would love the story!

So let’s get to a bit more about the book:

Synopsis

Trust no one. Every camera is an eye. Every microphone an ear. Find me and we can stop him together.

The Game: Get ready for Zero Hour as 200 geniuses from around the world go head to head in a competition hand-devised by India’s youngest CEO and visionary.

The Players:

Rex– One of the best programmers/hackers in the world, this 16-year-old Mexican-American is determined to find his missing brother.

Tunde-This14-year-old self-taught engineering genius has drawn the attention of a ruthless military warlord by single-handedly bringing electricity and internet to his small Nigerian village.

Painted Wolf-One of China’s most respected activist bloggers, this mysterious 16-year-old is being pulled into the spotlight by her father’s new deal with a corrupt Chinese official.
The Stakes: Are higher than you can imagine. Like life and death. Welcome to the revolution. And get ready to run.

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About The Author

Leopoldo Gout is the producer behind many films including Days of Grace, which A.O. Scott of the New York Times called “a potent and vigorous film.” He is also a writer, artist, and filmmaker. Leopoldo is currently involved in various film and television projects including major adaptations of the Alex Cross series, with the author James Patterson and the upcoming film adaption of Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life.

Word Search

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