Awesome Indies: The Vengeful Half by Jaclyn Dolamore

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For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page

Awesome Indies: The Vengeful Half by Jaclyn DolamoreThe Vengeful Half by Jaclyn Dolamore
Published by Catlord Press on March 10th 2016
Pages: 316
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

This novel contains interior comics and art by the author.
Olivia might look human, but she’s grown up with a heavy secret: her mother is a potion-maker from a parallel world, the Hidden Lands.
Alfred is the blind, charismatic young heir to the illegal potions trade. When Mom is kidnapped by the magic dealers with whom she once made a bad bargain, Olivia has no choice but to trust Alfred's offer of help. They travel to a strange new world of bootlegged American pop culture, lifelike doll people, and reincarnation. Alfred finds himself putting his position on the line to defend Olivia against his family’s conniving plans. Maybe he has morals…or maybe he’s just falling in love.
When Olivia escapes from an attack by a curiously familiar sorceress, she learns that potion dealers weren’t the only thing Mom was hiding from. Dark secrets lurk in Olivia’s past, and now Olivia must kill or be killed by the girl with whom she once shared everything...

How long did this book take you to write?

 Almost ten years! I wrote the original draft back in 2006 or so. The book has been through the wringer since; when I got an agent I rewrote it three times in an attempt to get her on board with the story but it just wasn’t her style. I still believed in it, and so did a lot of my encouraging friends, so I decided to go the indie route. Which is probably for the best because I can tell the story the way I really want to tell it. 

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

There are so many parts of this book I loved writing but one scene that was added in the last draft that I really loved is the part where Alfred is having a heartfelt conversation with his fiancee Thessia out by the river. They’re both wrestling so many emotions in this scene.

What were you like in school?

I was hippie homeschooled and I only went to school for one year, which was 2nd grade. I was really naive and weird. I felt like a foreign exchange student. Kids made fun of my lunch because my mom gave me super healthy food, but they all wanted my blue corn chips because at that point no one had ever seen blue corn chips before. I traded them for junk food all the time. 

What writers influenced you the most?

 HEAVILY influenced by L. M. Montgomery. Also Laura Ingalls Wilder and the comic Elfquest by Richard and Wendy Pini. 

What book are you reading now?

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. 

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I am currently working on book 3 of the Hidden Lands, which is too laden with spoilers to share, as well as an adult fantasy romance set in same world 100 years prior, about a doll girl courtesan. Here is a wee snippet:
Every night, many men came simply out of curiosity, to see the famous Fanarlem courtesans. In all the world, most Fanarlem were created as slaves, particularly for working in mines or with dangerous chemicals and dyes; all the jobs that were hazardous to flesh and blood people. Many households also kept a Fanarlem slave to do the most grueling household labor.
It cost far more to make a Fanarlem like Velsa. Fanar lem—it meant, literally, a person made from scraps. An animated rag doll. Velsa was certainly not made from scraps. Her innards were carefully constructed to mimic the muscles of a living woman, and her skin was made from soft yet durable fabrics. Her hair was real and thick, and her face had been shaped by a master craftsman. Spells were woven through every aspect of her body, to make it appear even more real.
Still, she had been reminded all her life that she was still a lesser being, a cursed soul. She must have done some misdeed in her past life, or else her soul would have been too strong to have been called into an artificial body.

How much research do you do?

I’ve written some fantasy novels influenced by history, for which I did LOADS of research. In fact I am trying to avoid research heavy projects at the moment because I can spend so much time on it! I still stumble on tidbits. 

Do you have any pets? (Pictures would be great)

 I have three cats: Betsy, Puru and Oskar. Betsy is my favorite because she always sleeps close to me and she’s also super weird. Here is Betsy (top) and Puru (bottom) nested together. Oskar is a big black cat and super sweet but hard to photograph because he just looks like a black blob with eyes usually.
cat Vengeful Half

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?

The Vengeful Half is the first book in a series, dealing with Alfred’s place within the organized crime families of Atlantis and how all the characters grapple with the question of whether it is worth being violent or immoral for the greater good.

What is your favorite movie?

The Nightmare Before Christmas and Marie Antoinette.

Links

Website: http://jaclyndolamore.com
Blog: http://jaclyndolamore.blogspot.com
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/Jaclyn-Dolamore-197652730288082/
Twitter: @jackiedolamore
Pinterest : https://www.pinterest.com/jackiedolamore/

I am the Reader Giveaway!

I am the Reader Giveaway!The Reader by Traci Chee
Series: Sea of Ink and Gold #1
Published by Putnam on September 13th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 448
Format: Paperback
Source: Free for Review
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.

I was so excited when I was approached to be a part of the I Am the Reader campaign to celebrate the launch of this book. First of all, just look at that cover. It’s gorgeous. The blues and the greens. Secondly, the premise is fantastic. Censorship is a hot button issue of mine. The idea of keeping a population illiterate as a  means of control is, frankly, horrifying. So I just can’t wait to read this.

Sefia’s clue to finding her lost family lies in a book.

How have you found a family through books and/or through being a part of the online book community?

I’ve mentioned it before but I never expected that I would find such a wonderful group of ladies when I began book blogging. More than that, it never even occurred to me that I would make friends. When I started book blogging, I wasn’t part of the community. Not even as a lurker. I just knew that I loved books and I wanted to write about them.

Now, I talk with people daily. I look forward to hearing from my friends on twitter. I know about their lives and their new adventures and their struggles and I’m able to share my own. There are so many people that I truly feel like we are friends and I don’t know what I would do without them. I don’t want to leave anyone out. This list is by no means everyone.

MC from Blame it on the Books
Brittany from Brittany’s Book Rambles
Sarah from The YA Book Traveler
Gee from A Book and a Cup of Coffee
The entire ALA Orlando Squad!
The Night Owls
The only published author who’s couch I’ve slept on, S. Usher Evans

I really don’t know what I would do without these ladies. Reading and books have brought us together and I couldn’t be happier.

I hope you find your own family through books!

TraciCheeABOUT THE AUTHOR

Traci Chee is an author of speculative fiction for teens. An all-around word geek, she loves book arts and art books, poetry and paper crafts, though she also dabbles at piano playing, egg painting, and hosting potluck game nights for family and friends. She studied literature and creative writing at UC Santa Cruz and earned a master of arts degree from San Francisco State University. Traci grew up in a small town with more cows than people, and now feels most at home in the mountains, scaling switchbacks and happening upon hidden highland lakes. She lives in California with her fast-fast dog. The Reader is her YA debut. 

LEARN MORE

Visit PenguinTeen.com
Read an excerpt of the first two chapters here!
Follow @TraciChee on Twitter
#TheReader

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

One (1) winner from recieves:

a copy of The Reader
a branded “I Am The Reader” tote bag

Giveaway open to US addresses only.
Prizing and samples provided by Penguin Random House.

9/16 #Bookstagram Challenge Roundup

I’ve been working hard on my Instagram for a few months. I try to take a few pictures every week and be consistent about posting. I like doing it because it’s hard for me! Taking pictures is really a stretch. I do think that I’ve really improved from the beginning.

IG 8-21

www.instagram.com/emilyreadseverything

One thing that makes #bookstagram new and exciting every month is Challenges! Different blogs host challenges that give ideas for what to post every day.  I’ve found a few to show you here.  They are easy to join, follow the prompt and post on the day of the month with the hashtag in the picture.

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Hosted by Commas and Ampersands
@commasandampersands

caa-september1

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Hosted by @reviews_from_a_bookworm/

CqaXJjSUMAAjCPo

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Hosted by @bookiemoji, @acouplereads & @darkfaerietales_

CqbB_aqVYAEMXvI

I’d love to know which challenge you pick! Comment and let me know.

Awesome Indies: Shh! by Stacey Nash

Shh! (Oxley College) by Stacey Nash
Published by Stacey Nash on February 16th 2015
Pages: 348
Goodreads

Nineteen-year-old Olivia Dean has the perfect reputation, the perfect boyfriend, and an increasingly perfect CV. She has it all, until Christian breaks up with her in public, calling her out as a self-gratifying sexoholic: the kind that plays solo. But Olivia doesn’t do any such thing — the only thing she does at night is sleep … right?
Now all the boys on campus seem to want her attention for the absolutely wrong reason — including resident hottie, Logan Hays. He's pulling out his best moves to gain her attention, so resisting his sexy charm is hard work. With rapidly slipping grades, a disturbingly lurid reputation and demanding parents, Olivia must discover the truth behind her rumoured sleeping problem. If she doesn't, the perfect life she's worked so hard for may slip away, including the one person who has Olivia breaking all her rules — Logan.
What do you do when you’re asleep?
***
Shh! is a story about acceptance, learning to trust and in turn love while facing life's unexpected difficulties.
NB: This book is of a mild heat level, and contains no explicit sex scenes.

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For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page

Shh! (Oxley College) by Stacey Nash
Published by Stacey Nash on February 16th 2015
Pages: 348
Goodreads

Nineteen-year-old Olivia Dean has the perfect reputation, the perfect boyfriend, and an increasingly perfect CV. She has it all, until Christian breaks up with her in public, calling her out as a self-gratifying sexoholic: the kind that plays solo. But Olivia doesn’t do any such thing — the only thing she does at night is sleep … right?
Now all the boys on campus seem to want her attention for the absolutely wrong reason — including resident hottie, Logan Hays. He's pulling out his best moves to gain her attention, so resisting his sexy charm is hard work. With rapidly slipping grades, a disturbingly lurid reputation and demanding parents, Olivia must discover the truth behind her rumoured sleeping problem. If she doesn't, the perfect life she's worked so hard for may slip away, including the one person who has Olivia breaking all her rules — Logan.
What do you do when you’re asleep?
***
Shh! is a story about acceptance, learning to trust and in turn love while facing life's unexpected difficulties.
NB: This book is of a mild heat level, and contains no explicit sex scenes.

What were you like in school?
I was pretty shy at school. One of those bookish girls who smiles nicely at everyone, but won’t start a conversation for fear of stumbling over her own words and looking ridiculous. It’s taken me a good many years and I’m still a huge introvert, but I’ve finally overcome the shyness.

 

What was your favorite subjects in school?

English was my favourite subject by far. I loved analysing stories and poems, even translating Chaucer was fun. I also loved history and went on to study it at university level.
Is any part of the book based on someone you know or events in your own life?

I get asked this a lot, because the Oxley books are set in the same town where I went to university. Although I drew off my time there when writing, the books aren’t based on events that happened.
What book are you reading now?

Right now I’m reading Summer Skins by Kirstie Eagar. It’s a lot like the Oxley College books, as it’s also Aussie NA.
Do you have any pets? (Pictures would be great)
I sure do! We’re cat people in my house and we’ve got two. A sleepy seventeen year old kitty named Az and a naughty two year old puss called Elvis.
Tell us about your book.
Shh! is an Aussie-set new adult romance. It centres around Olivia; college sweetheart, student body president, captain of the hockey team and … sufferer of an unusual sleeping disorder.

 

Was this book inspired by something in particular?
It was! I read a news article a few years back about sexomnia, a parasomnia that affects 1% of the world’s population. The news article was about a man and he was affected in a different way to Olivia. But after a lot of research I discovered the self gratification side to sexomnia and before I realised what I was writing, I’d created Olivia.
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?
(* please provide a link to trailer if you have one)

http://youtu.be/BCGq99ewdEs
What do you like to do in your spare time?
When I manage to wrangle some free time, I love bushwalking or adventuring as my kids call it. Geocaching is also a favourite past time, along with reading.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
I have a newsletter where I keep readers up to date on all my upcoming releases, sales, and exclusive content. To sign up, visit http://www.stacey-nash.com/newsletter/  Or I’m always floating around on social media when I should be writing.
Website: www.stacey-nash.com
Blog: NA
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StaceyLeeNash
Twitter: @staceynash

Instagram: @stace_nash
Lnkedin: NA
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/staceylnash/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Stacey-Nash/e/B00IK6FQHI
Smashwords: NA
Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1rOyW99

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00TXZY8X8

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00TXZY8X8

iBooks: http://apple.co/1sr0h1Q

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1WA1sZj

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1XehoPn

Print Book: http://www.amazon.com/Shh-Oxley-College-Saga-1/dp/0994246617
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27254019-shh

ARC review: Spells & Sorcery by S. Usher Evans

ARC review: Spells & Sorcery by S. Usher EvansSpells and Sorcery by S. Usher Evans
Series: Lexie Carrigan Chronicles #1
Published by Sun's Golden Ray Publishing on October 4th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic
Pages: 386
Format: Paperback
Source: Free for Review
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

You have magic.
One sentence, three words, four syllables. Enough to change my life forever. And I'm not talking about the whole spells and sorcery thing.

Lexie Carrigan thought the weirdest thing about her was she preferred watching documentaries and reading the newspaper to reality TV and Twitter. But on the eve of her fifteenth birthday, her aunt and sisters drop a bomb--she's magical.
Now the girl who never made waves is blowing up her nightstand and trying to keep from wreaking havoc on her school. When a kind stranger shows up with all the answers, Lexie hopes he'll be able to help her control her newfound powers. But Gavon may not be as kind as he seems, and soon Lexie finds out that being magical is the least weird thing about her.
Spells and Sorcery is the first YA fantasy from S. Usher Evans, author of the Razia series, the Madion War Trilogy and Empath.

I read a few reviews (when will I learn?!?) and I talked to a few people. It made me a little concerned. I really wanted to like this book. Now that I’ve read it, I see their concerns. I really do. There are a few issues. This book is a really slow starter. I see that some people have chosen to not finish it and I totally get it. The first 50 pages or so are full of set up and back story but not much happens. However, the end totally makes up for it. Stick with it to the end! It’s worth it.

At first, Lexie’s relationships with her Aunt and her sister’s were difficult for me to understand. I think it’s because it is very rocky. I’ve always had a great relationship with my parents and my sister. However, it would be totally different if I had to move in with an aunt. You can bet it would have been contentious. That realization completely flipped the way I saw Lexie’s interactions with her family.

This book was so much more than I expected.

For a long time I wasn’t sure where it was going. I could tell that something was building but I honestly had no idea what. This book had a solid ending that made me anxious for the next book.

four-stars

The Harvester’s Guild ⛏⛏⛏

Join the Harvesters Guild….

Or whatever Guild is the best fit for you

i am so excited to tell you about what Elise Kova is hosting to celebrate her new novel, coming out January 10th. She has come up with a really fun and innovative way to build excitement about her new book, earn swag, and, most importantly, bring the community together. For me, the best part about this is how fair it is. Everyone loves to be a part of something. Anyone can join in with Elise’s Guild Games.

The Guild Games

Elise has created 5 different guilds that you can join. Each of the Guilds has a Vicar, someone who is the head of the Guild. The Guild’s work together to unlock physical and digital rewards like information about the world, character cards and bookmarks!

The five guilds are:

Alchemists

Ravens

Rivets

Revolvers

and…

Harvester Banner

I’m most partial of my Harvesters because I’m the Vicar Harvester! You can join the any of the guilds by clicking the Guild Games link above and finding your facebook group.

If you aren’t sure which guild to join, try the quiz.

Find-your-Guild-1024x683

 

I took the quiz and you can see that I ended up right where I belong!

 

5JYNAS8G

 

Whatever guild you enter, I want to hear about it. Every guild is headed by fun people who have plans to make being involved a terrific experience.

Reap and Sow your rewards!

 

Awesome Indies: Fallen Darkness by RB Austin

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For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page

Awesome Indies: Fallen Darkness by RB AustinFallen Darkness by R.B. Austin
Series: Trihune #2
Published by Soul Mate Publishing on September 16th, 2015
Genres: paranormal, Fantasy
Pages: 337
Buy on Amazon

The war between Apollyon and the Trihune has begun.  
Lucas scours the street in need of a fix. He captures his enemy instead of kills. Spins lies instead of truth. Seeks darkness instead of light. So close to the edge with no concern for the fall.  
The map was foretold. Its key long lost.  
Sent on a mission to find the key necessary to defeat Apollyon, Lucas meets Kate. Fiery, powerful, unable-to-touch-any-object Kate. As his feelings for her grow, the addiction inside him wanes. 
Until he learns she is not meant for him.  
Find the key. Find the way and triumph. 
His future with Kate is bleak. The darkness, too hard to control. The key, still lost.  
Can Lucas win the battle raging inside his body in order to win the war rising on the streets?

What were you like in school?

Quite and shy. Hmm, haven’t really changed much since then. Lol. Maybe because I let my fingers do the speaking for me.

What book are you reading now?

I’m re-reading The Ghost bird series by C.L. Stone. Love, love these books. I’m desperately waiting for the next one to come out. Hence, the re-reading.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I’m working on the third novel in my Trihune series. It’ll be out this summer. This one features Sarid. I can’t wait for it to be finished. He, out of all of the Sept One Behns, deserves peace and happiness.

Do you have any pets?

Husband rescued Toto-bird five years ago. Before him, I was strictly a cat person. Somehow the 16 lb. Cairn Terrier wholeheartedly changed my mind. Nothing better than coming home from a long day at work and seeing his cutesy lil’ puppy-dog face greeting me at the door.

Toto-bird

Do you have a set writing schedule that you adhere to?

During the drafting phase, I write at least 1,200 words a day during the week. On the weekend, 2,400 words each day.  Of course, during NaNoWriMo, I hit 1,667 words during the week.

When I’m editing, I use page goals. During the week, thirty pages a day. Weekend, fifty pages.

Tell us about your book.

Fallen Darkness is paranormal romance about two people in the darkest part of their lives. Together they learn that the darkness inside them, the choices they’ve made in the past, doesn’t have to define their future.

When you read, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

I read ebooks most of the time, but I buy paperback editions of my favorite novels.

I like the ease of my Kindle and read it most of the time, but sometimes I just want to feel a book in my hand, know what I mean?

Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?

I did create a trailer for Fallen Darkness. It was my first one. The learning curve was steep, but I think it turned out well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7FK8ny2-IU

How do you relax?

I read.

There’s nothing better than slipping into a book’s world, allowing the characters to take me to a place where love truly conquers all.

What actors/actresses would you cast in your book’s movie?

Lucas, the hero, is Desmond Harrington. It was a dream that spurred the plot of Fallen Darkness. The dream was mostly about my heroine, Kate, but in it Desmond Harrington was Kate’s rescuer. He fit perfectly in the role of Lucas. (Yum! Just look at those eyes.)

Lucas.FallenDarkness

Kate is Emmy Rossum from the TV series Shameless. They have similar characteristics, particularly their stubborn determination to survive. (Kate-slash-Emmy is just naturally gorgeous, don’t you think?)

Kate.FallenDarkness

The antagonist, Henry, aka Serial, is a random guy on the street. Someone you wouldn’t look at twice. For this character, I had to choose Matt Damon from The Informant. There’s nothing freakier than a guy-next-door killer.

Serial.FallenDarkness

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Website: http://www.rbaustin.com
Blog: http://www.1publishedgirl.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rbaustinauthor
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/authorrbaustin
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/authorrbaustin
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/authorrbaustin
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amzn.com/author/rbaustin
Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.) US: http://www.amzn.com/B014V6F90O
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fallen-Darkness-Trihune-Book-2-ebook/dp/B014V6F90O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463876256&sr=8-1&keywords=fallen+darkness+rb+austin
Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/rbaustin

ARC Review: The Wolf Road

ARC Review: The Wolf RoadThe Wolf Road by Beth Lewis
Published by Crown on July 5th 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Young Adult, Dystopian
Pages: 352
Format: hardcover
Source: Free for Review
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

True Grit meets The Road in this postapocalyptic psychological thriller--narrated by a young girl who has just learned that her adopted father may be a serial killer, and that she may be his next victim.
In the remote wilds of a ravaged land, Elka has been raised by a man who isn't her father. Since finding her wandering in the woods when she was seven, he has taught her how to hunt, shoot, set snares and start fires--everything she needs to survive. All she knows of the world outside is gleaned from whispers of a cataclysmic event that turned the clock back on civilization by a hundred and fifty years and reduced governments and technology to shambles, leaving men at the mercy of the elements--and each other. 
Everything changes when Elka learns that the man she has been calling father is harboring a terrible secret. Armed with nothing but her knife and her wiles, she decides to escape his clutches and sets out on a long journey to the frozen north in the hope of finding her long-lost parents. 
But as the trail of blood and bodies grows in her path, Elka realizes that daddy won't be letting his little girl go without a fight. If she's going to survive, she'll have to turn and confront not just him, but the truth about what he's turned her into.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | iBooks | The Book Depository

This book was CRAZY.

I’m trying to figure out some way to talk about it and It’s hard. There is just so much going on. It’s a dystopian. It’s an adventure novel. It’s a 300 page chase scene.  Elka is on the run from her Trapper for the entire book. Slowly, through flashbacks we begin to understand exactly why and what happened.

I loved the dialect that the story is told in. Sometimes, I find dialects in novels really hard to read but I didn’t have any issues with this book. Elka has a very unique voice. Her speech patterns were another element that made her come alive in my mind. She was so interesting. It’s unusual for me to connect with a character that I don’t like all that much. Elka is an incredibly strong character but she’s hard to relate to. She’s had a difficult life, she’s a little mean and antisocial, and she’s hard to like. Even though I didn’t like Elka, I wanted her to win.

There were also some really disturbing undertones. I don’t want to say much about it but it’s not too often that a book bothers me. This one did. It was refreshing to discover that I’m not dead inside after all.

This book is different, exciting and a little scary. Definitely worth reading.

Beth Lewis Cover PhotoABOUT BETH LEWIS:

Beth Lewis was raised in the wilds of Cornwall and split her childhood between books and the beach. She has traveled extensively throughout the world and has had close encounters with black bears, killer whales, and great white sharks. She has been, at turns, a bank cashier, a fire performer, and a juggler, and she is currently a managing editor at Titan Books in London. The Wolf Road is her first novel.

Beth’s website is: www.bethklewis.co.uk

You can follow her @bethklewis

 

Tour Schedule:

Praise for THE WOLF ROAD:

“An unrelenting psychological thriller of wilderness survival wrapped in a terrifying hide-and-seek game of trying to escape an unspeakable past. … Fans of suspense with a touch of horror will be pulled into Elka’s intense struggle to find peace and redemption as the whole truth is finally revealed.”

Booklist on The Wolf Road

“Arresting…[an] odyssey that highlights the striking wilderness landscape and Elka’s grit.”

Publishers Weekly on The Wolf Road

“A white-knuckle trip through a gritty, frightening, and all-too-plausible post-apocalypse. You won’t know whether to root for or be afraid of heroine Elka, and you won’t be able to put the book down.”

Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts

“A remarkable first novel that drew me in from page one. I was reminded of the beautiful savagery of Cormac McCarthy’sThe Road and the elegiac overtones of Dickey’s Deliverance while reading—but Lewis has crafted something completely unique here, carried so powerfully along by the voice of its indelible young narrator.”

Nick Cutter, author of The Troop

“Addictive and compelling…an apocalyptic thriller with a dark, horrible heart. It’s impossible not to root for Elka as she fights her way through a chilling—but disturbingly familiar—wasteland.”

Kelly Braffet, author of Save Yourself

“Stark and soulful, The Wolf Road is a brutal yet poignant journey into the truth of one girl’s origins in a shattered wilderness. It masterfully dances between the savagery of the wild and the raw, blunt humor of frontier logic. A rollicking, striking read.”

Robert Jackson Bennett, author of City of Stairs 

“Dazzling…a literary thriller that weaves lush language and unforgettable characters into a genuine page-turner.”

Scott Hawkins, author of The Library at Mount Char

“An extraordinary novel—dark and funny and full of wild energy. Elka is a brilliant creation—fierce and vulnerable at the same time. Her story and her voice pull you in from the first page and never let you go. Gripping and unforgettable.”

Antonia Hodgson, author of The Devil in the Marshalsea

four-stars

The Flame Never Dies is coming!

The Flame Never Dies is coming!

I’m thrilled that The Flame Never Dies is so close to release! I was lucky to receive an early copy of The Stars Never Rise last year and it was one of the very first reviews that I wrote when I started this blog! If you haven’t started this series, this is a fantastic time to jump in. Book one is going on sale before book two comes out! If you have read The Stars Never Rise, then you know that this series is worth continuing.

I’ve got an interview with Rachel Vincent and her daughter. Make sure you read to the end for a chance to win a signed Hardcover set of both books!

The Flame Never Dies is coming!The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent
Series: The Stars Never Rise #1
Published by Delacorte Press on June 9th 2015
Genres: Dystopian, paranormal, Action & Adventure, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: Free for Review
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Nina Kane should be worrying about her immortal soul, but she's too busy trying to actually survive. Her town's population has been decimated by soul-consuming demons, and souls are in short supply. Watching over her younger sister, Mellie, and scraping together food and money are all that matters. The two of them are a family. They gave up on their deadbeat mom a long time ago.
When Nina discovers that Mellie is keeping a secret that threatens their very existence, she'll do anything to protect her. Because in New Temperance, sins are prosecuted as crimes by the brutal Church and its army of black-robed exorcists. And Mellie's sin has put her in serious trouble.
To keep them both alive, Nina will need to trust Finn, a fugitive with deep green eyes who has already saved her life once and who might just be an exorcist. But what kind of exorcist wears a hoodie?
Wanted by the Church and hunted by dark forces, Nina knows she can't survive on her own. She needs Finn and his group of rogue friends just as much as they need her.

The Flame Never Dies is coming!The Flame Never Dies by Rachel Vincent
Series: The Stars Never Rise #2
Published by Delacorte Press / MIRA Ink on August 16th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, paranormal, Action & Adventure, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Free for Review
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For fans of Cassandra Clare and Richelle Mead comes the unputdownable sequel to The Stars Never Rise, a book Rachel Caine, author of the bestselling Morganville Vampires series, called “haunting, unsettling, and eerily beautiful.”
ONE SPARK WILL RISE. Nina Kane was born to be an exorcist. And since uncovering the horrifying truth—that the war against demons is far from over—seventeen-year-old Nina and her pregnant younger sister, Mellie, have been on the run, incinerating the remains of the demon horde as they go.
In the badlands, Nina, Mellie, and Finn, the fugitive and rogue exorcist who saved her life, find allies in a group of freedom fighters. They also face a new threat: Pandemonia, a city full of demons. But this fresh new hell is the least of Nina’s worries. The well of souls ran dry more than a century ago, drained by the demons secretly living among humans, and without a donor soul, Mellie’s child will die within hours of its birth.
Nina isn’t about to let that happen . . . even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Author Interview

Interview with Rachel by her sixteen-year-old daughter (Codename: Melody), who’s thinking about actually reading her mother’s book.

Melody: So, this is a series is about demons, right?

Rachel: Sort of. Not really. A century ago, Nina’s world was invaded by residents of another reality who can only remain in our world by taking over a human body. People called them demons, because that’s the only association they had for the concept of possession.

Melody: So these “demons” aren’t actually bad?

Rachel: Oh, no, they’re totally bad. They’re entertained by the suffering of humanity. They’re just not the residents of hell most people think of when they hear “demon.” But that’s all I can say without spoiling anything from THE STARS NEVER RISE!

Melody: Okay. But if they’re not religious demons, why is the government in this world run by the Church?

Rachel: Because people assumed that only the Holy could fight the unholy. So a fictional “Church” stepped in to do just that. To fill the power vacuum, when secular government couldn’t protect the people.

Melody: So THE STARS NEVER RISE is a book about faith?

Rachel: No. It’s a book about false faith. About the frailty of untested beliefs. About how accepting everything you hear as the truth can mean living a lie. That’s true with every predatory situation, from abusive relationships to investment scams. I just chose to tell that story on a larger scale, where the entire world has accepted a lie because it was easier to believe a hero has come to save us than to stand up and fight our own battles. Take from that what you will… 😉

Melody: Wow, Mom. That was deep. (Teenage eye roll.)

Rachel: (shrugs) There’s also lots of fighting, kissing, and setting demons on fire.

THE STARS NEVER RISE is on sale!

In anticipation of the upcoming release of THE FLAME NEVER DIES, the publisher is dropping the price for the eBook version of the first book in the series – THE STARS NEVER RISE! So if you haven’t yet discovered this series, now is the perfect time!

Just head over to your favorite online e-tailer to look for THE STARS NEVER RISE with its newly lowered price or visit one of these online stores –
AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | iTUNES | GOOGLE PLAY | KOBO.

About the Author

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Rachel Vincent is a former English teacher and an eager champion of the Oxford comma. She shares her home in Oklahoma with two cats, two teenagers, and her husband, who’s been her # 1 fan from the start.

Rachel is older than she looks and younger than she feels, and she remains convinced that writing about the things that scare her is the cheapest form of therapy—but social media is a close second.

Giveaway

ONE (1) winner will receive a SIGNED hardback set of THE STARS NEVER RISE + THE FLAME NEVER DIES

Giveaway is US only. Must be 13 or older to enter. Giveaway ends on August 14th at 11:59 PM Pacific.

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Awesome Indies: Flight of the Wren by Atthys J. Gage

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Awesome Indies: Flight of the Wren by Atthys J. GageFlight of the Wren by Atthys J. Gage
Published by Feckless Muse on August 8th 2015
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 280
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“The Arcane Order of Carpet Flyers! The Sublime Society of Scudders! Didn’t you read the contract I sent you, Miss Drake?”Sure, Renny had read it. Obviously it was some kind of joke. And this guy with the flakes of pie crust in his beard, he is obviously some kind of whacko. But no. Parnell Florian is no whacko – and Maysa, the ancient silk-brocade carpet now rolled up under her bed, is no joke. It really can fly, and Renny’s life just got a whole lot more interesting. And when she meets the other members of the Order – her flock – life gets more interesting still. Most interesting of all is the boy called Stonechat, who seems to find her pretty interesting as well. But when a vengeful rug-rider called Mistral kidnaps Parnell and steals the all-important Orb of Descrying, Renny and the ragtag flock of misfits must ride to the rescue – or else face an adversary who can control their very dreams. One by one, all the people Renny has come to care about fall into Mistral’s hands, and she must find courage and ingenuity she never knew she had.A modern day fantasy that Publisher’s Weekly called: “A great combination of fantasy, adventure, and romance...an engaging and enjoyable read,” The Flight of the Wren is, at its core, a story of family. Estranged from her mentally-ill mother, bounced from one foster home to another, Renny feels no connection to anyone in her life. In her darkest moments she fears that she will never really care about anyone...only to find out that having someone you really care about can be the scariest thing of all.And that sometimes the hardest part about flying is just learning to hang on.

Tell us about your book

Flight of the Wren is the story of a seventeen-year-old girl who is given a flying carpet. Yeah, thatÂ’s the nutshell version. My formal pitch is a lot more exciting than that, but ultimately I think I lose a lot of readers with the words ‘flying carpet.Â’ Probably they are expecting something like a Magic Treehouse adventure and a lot of mucking around with Aladdin and his monkey, but of course, it isn’t any such thing. The protagonist is painfully ordinary—disaffected, disconnected, utterly disinterested in school, family, even friends. She is, in short, a typical teenage mess. She has no special powers, no special insights, not even a belief in herself. Because I am a benevolent (if inscrutable) god, I toss her a lifeline: a gift. An impossible gift—a flying carpet. But there are strings attached. With it comes both a community (other members of her flock) and a purpose, a mission.
Love, of course, also waits in the wind. Love is what drives everything that happens in the second half of the book. A flying carpet, once you get past the absurdity, really is a heck of a gift. It represents two extremely valuable things for a young person: freedom and independence. For Renny, it also comes to represent two things she thought she didnÂ’t want but which turn out to be a lot more important than flying: connection and responsibility. In other words, people she cares about.

Was this book inspired by something in particular?

A few years ago, a writer friend of mine sent me a sort of middle-grade magazine article she was working on called “Your Flying Carpet: An Owner’s Guide.” I liked it, and suggested she should write a novel about kids on flying carpets. She had no interest, but I sure did! I couldn’t let it go. I started in on it immediately.

How long did this book take you to write?

I probably finished the first draft in about three months, but the revisions were endless. It began as a third person/past tense narrative. Only much later did I go back and change the whole thing to first person/present, which I think better reflects the sort of nihilistic, no-future attitude Renny brings to the book when we first meet her. I probably wrote five distinctly different first chapters before I found the keeper.

Tell us how you write.

I usually try to do a thorough outline—not so much motivations and character profiles or any thing like that, but I block out each chapter or scene so I know exactly what happens next. Then I write the whole rough draft out longhand in ordinary old spiral bound notebooks, which I buy for cheap when I see them on sale. I definitely don’t fetishize the writing process. If I’m in the groove, I can write anywhere, anytime. If I’m not, then it doesn’t really matter. After the rough is done, I transcribe the whole thing into the word processor, editing as I go. That draft can take a while, but it’s usually pretty solid.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

Well, it’s going to sound horribly geeky but my favorite bit is where Parnell, the carpet steward, explains flying carpet lore and history to Renny. It probably comes across as pointless exposition to some readers, but it’s such fascinating stuff. The details all come from actual ancient flying carpet lore—Solomon and Sheba, the great library at Alexandria. Plus the details about silkworms is real, too. I don’t necessarily expect readers to love that part the best, but for me it’s delightful. Sometimes when you’re researching, which is often a fairly random process, you stumble on something that is so perfect, such a great fit, it seems like kismet. There’s a character in the book, an Irish woman named Maude Byrne, who’s flock nickname is Raven. I didn’t even know it at the time but the name Byrne means ‘raven’ in Irish. That was entirely unintentional.

How much research do you do?

Way, way too much. I love scouting out locations on the web or digging about in history. Problem is, it’s way too much fun, and usually degenerates into plain old web surfing, everybody’s favorite form of procrastination.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I’m sure everybody says this, but there are far too many to single out just one. A lot of the old-timers of course—Melville, Nabokov, Borges—but they can come from any time period: Samuel Delany, Markus Zusak, Ann Patchett, Barbara Kingsolver. What all of these diverse writers share is an ability to play with words, and I use that word very specifically. Story and character are important, of course, but I want the words themselves to delight me, surprise me, chill me—sometimes for reasons that have very little to do with what’s happening on the surface. That requires an inventive, playful mind—and the precise eye of a diamond cutter.

 

What book are you reading now?

Strangely enough, after that highbrow build-up, I’m currently reading I am the Cheese by Robert Cormier, who also wrote the better-known The Chocolate War. I became interested in his work when I was researching the history of young adult literature for an essay I recently posted on Amazon. (Why YA? And What is it Anyway?) Cormier was one of the earliest writers of serious fiction for teen-aged readers, and one of the darkest. Way back in the seventies, he was writing books about terrorists holding a busload of schoolchildren hostage, or a hospital where experimental drugs are tested on kids with terminal illnesses. It’s pretty grim stuff, but his style is understated and easy to read. So naturally, I had to go out a buy a bunch of his books.

For what it’s worth I don’t really think of my books as Young Adult, but because they have young protagonists, the label is unavoidable. I don’t object. I have some younger fans, but I wasn’t writing specifically for teenagers. However I might have conceptualized the books at first, the process of writing determines what they become, and I didn’t have any particular audience in mind. I never do.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?

I think the things we learn from books or art in general are indescribable, and it’s probably better that way. It’s like trying to explain why music or an abstract painting can move us—it isn’t really possible. There’s no literal meaning to a work of music, but since writers use words, people assume there must be some literal message or meaning embedded in the text—some underlying ‘truth’ that we can tease out and put into other words. But when you really hunker down and peer through the text trying to find that truth, we often find that it seems to be less than the sum of its parts. Better to leave it as it it—a coherent (if ineffable), elusive, allusive whole.

10. How can readers discover more about you and you work?

I’m always blogging at my own website, Speak More Light. And I’m on Facebook. I try to keep a presence on Twitter but I can go weeks without remembering it’s there. Also, I’m one of the bloggers at a new site called the Writer’s Co-op. We converse on many writerly topics, but our central focus is on book marketing and promotion, trying to learn what works and what doesn’t. I urge other writers to check it out. Together, we may just figure out this odd business of writing.

Blog:  www.atthysgage.com

Writer’s Co-op:  www.writersco-op.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/AtthysGageBooks/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Twitter:  twitter.com/AtthysGage

Amazon.com Author Page:  www.amazon.com/Atthys-J.-Gage/e/B00RYJWHGK/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Goodreads :  www.goodreads.com/author/show/11035265.Atthys_J_Gage

Book Links:

Flight of the Wren:  www.amazon.com/Flight-Wren-Atthys-J-Gage-ebook/dp/B013NRFSLW?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

Spark:  www.amazon.com/Spark-Atthys-J-Gage-ebook/dp/B00XNS8AGW?ie=UTF8&keywords=atthys&qid=1463508427&ref_=sr_1_3&sr=8-3

Why YA? (And What Is It, Anyway?)               www.amazon.com/Why-YA-Anyway-Atthys-Gage-ebook/dp/B01F8BN1M4?ie=UTF8&ref_=zg_bs_7588822011_5