Tag Archives: Interview

Avian (Dragonrider Chronicles #2) by Nicole Conway Blog Tour + Giveaway!

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Avian (The Dragonrider Chronicles #2)
Publication date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Nicole Conway

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What kind of power is lurking inside him?

After a year of training to become a dragonrider, Jaevid Broadfeather has been sent home to rest during a three-month interlude. But when he returns to find the king drake has chosen Beckah Derrick as his new rider, Jaevid realizes something big is about to happen. Every fiber of his being is pushed to the breaking point as Jaevid battles through his avian year, preparing for the final graduation test of the battle scenario. But there is more standing in his way than a few pushups and fancy sword moves.

Jaevid must face a new fear as he is tormented by a gruesome nightmare of a mysterious gray elf warrior murdering the royal family of Maldobar. It seems obvious to him that this is some kind of message about how the war started long ago—until Felix assures him the king is very much alive. With his strange powers growing stronger by the day, and that violent dream replaying in his mind every night, Jaevid no longer wonders if he will pass his avian year or not . . . he wonders if he will even survive it.

The truth will soon be set loose.

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About The Author2

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Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.

Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.

She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.

Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

  Website | Twitter | Facebook

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 Winner will be drawn September 26, 2014

        Four (4) winners will receive a digital copy of Avian by Nicole Conway (INT)

       One (1) winner will receive a digital copy of Avian by Nicole Conway AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card or B&N Gift Card – Winner’s Choice (INT)

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Coral & Bone by Tiffany Daune Book Blitz + Giveaway!

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Coral & Bone 
by Tiffany Daune 
Publication date: July 7th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
 

Halen knows the sparks igniting under her fingertips are dangerous. She has spent her entire life trying to quell the tingly feelings that make her destroy things, but now that she is back in Rockaway Beach, where she watched her father drown, the flames have become impossible to tame.Halen is trying to hold on, but when she is thrust into a mysterious new world, the underwater realm of Elosia, she unravels the secrets of her past and can’t help but ignite. As she explores Elosia, she realizes her life has been a lie. And when those who have deceived her come to her for help, Halen must choose—walk away or unleash the magick that could destroy them all.

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Interview

Can you tell me a little bit about your book and what inspired it?

I love mermaids and magick, so I thought why not bring them together. Of course I couldn’t leave out shape shifters and sirens. I love fantasy realms and worlds. Heck my husband says I live in one, so why not write about one. Coral & Bone is set in the Earth realm and the underwater realm of Elosia. Coral & Bone is a meld of all my years of watching Disney movies and thrillers.

 

The Etlins in Coral & Bone are shifters. If you could be a shifter what animal would you want to be and why?

A crow because they are wickedly smart and eerie.

Coral & Bone is filled with magick and spells. If you could cast magick what would your first spell be?

I could have a lot of fun with magick. First, I would make sure no kids ever went to school hungry. So many kids start their day without breakfast because they can’t afford it. I don’t know how they can enjoy the school day with a rumbly tummy. I would cast a feast spell, so whenever they got up in the morning there would always be food on the table.

 

What is one of your favorite quotes?

Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light. ~ Albus Dumbledore

When did you know that you wanted to write professionally and how did you take the leap to get into the business? 

I started writing with the intent of publishing five years ago. I faced a lot of rejection letters, but I kept submitting and writing, until I received my first contract for Surface. Unfortunately, my publisher closed, and I had to start over. So, instead of resubmitting Surface, I wrote Coral & Bone and decided to self-publish.

 

Your first book SURFACE was published with a traditional publisher and CORAL & BONE was self-published, did you enjoy self-publishing and would you do it again?

There are pros and cons to both methods. A lot of writers are choosing a blended method and I think that’s a great way to go. I loved every bit of the process, but it was a lot of work. I was fortunate to have a great team of women working on Coral & Bone. I was blessed to have Alix Reid as an editor. She worked for Harper Collins for 12 years, and then the very talented Nathalia Suellen created the cover. Lastly, Tamara Cribley designed the inside. With this team, I would definitely do it again.

What book is currently on your nightstand? And who are some of your favorite authors?

I have five on my nightstand right now. I’m currently lost in the pages of Cinder by Marissa Meyer.

I could never pick just one, but I a few of my faves are Alyson Noel, Tehereh Mafi, Holly Black, Casandra Clare, John Green, and Kendare Blake.

 

What is next on your to read list?

I want to finish Looking for Alaska by John Green. I was busy with Coral & Bone edits when I started reading it and I had to take it back to the library before I could finish. I may just buy this one.

 

Can you share a little about the current title you are working on?

I’m currently writing book two of the Coral & Bone series. I hadn’t planned on writing a series, but the novel evolved and I found there was so much more I wanted to explore with Halen and Dax’s characters. In book two, I’m taking my main character Halen on one heck of a ride, so she better hang on!

 

What do you do to recharge your batteries?

This is a tough one, I’m kind of a workaholic because let face it I play all day. I love getting up knowing I’m going to make up a whole new world with new characters and bring them to life. I kind of know how Victor Frankenstein felt, crazy obsessed and thrilled when the story comes ALIVE. So when I do need to recharge, I unplug. I have to get away from the screen and spend time with my family. My family boosts me up and I’m good to go back to my lab, I mean laptop.

Can you see your work on the big screen?

I think most writers would love to see their work on the big screen. I’m a visual person, so when I write I’m already watching the movie play through my head. I’m just recording what I see. Coral & Bone is full of rich imagery. It would be amazing to see the three realms and watch the drama unfold within each.

 

Why mermaids?

You know when someone reads you a story as a child and it sticks with you forever?  Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid was that story for me.  I love the original and I adore the Disney version. But, it wasn’t until I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides did I find my mermaid muse for Coral & Bone.

 

If you could meet one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why?

Halen. Then I could apologize for all the crap I put her through. I’m not done with her yet, so she may need a hug.

A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less?

Believe.

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Tiffany Duanne

I write stories about magick, love and dark creatures lurking in the shadows. When I’m not lost in Edit Land you can find me reading a book from my towering TBR pile or at the movie theater nibbling licorice. I don’t have a lucky number, but my favorite time is 11:11. I completely believe that the fortunes found inside cookies will come true and that you must be careful when wishing on stars. I live on an island, so if you want to visit you’ll need a boat, and if you want to survive the passage, be sure to bring candy for the mermaids.

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Bloomsbury Spark’s Six Month Sparkiversary + Preloaded Kindle Paperwhite Giveaway!

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98b79-scroll-hi1Bloomsbury Spark is a one-of-a-kind, global, digital imprint from Bloomsbury Publishing dedicated to publishing a wide array of exciting fiction eBooks to teen, YA, and new adult readers.

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Bloomsbury Spark has some amazing titles, and today marks the publisher’s six month anniversary. So to celebrate, we’ve got a Q & A with the Bloomsbury Spark authors and a giveaway for a Kindle Paperback preloaded with all twelve Bloomsbury Spark titles.

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One People. One Union. One Future.

Wynne’s entire life is dictated by the Union: the clothes she wears, the books she reads, even the genes she inherited. And like every other girl in the Union, Wynne dreams of being chosen as a Carrier on her 16th birthday—one of the elite selected to carry the future generation within her womb. Wynne and her best friend Odessa are certain they will both make the cut, but when Odessa is chosen and whisked off to a life of privilege, Wynne is left behind to work as an assistant, delivering perfectly planned babies for the Union.

As Odessa slips deeper and deeper into the role of Carrier, Wynne begins to see the Union for what it really is: a society that criminalizes the notion of love, and forbids words like mother and family.

For the first time in her life, Wynne is faced with a choice: submit to the will of the Union, or find a way to escape and save Odessa before she is lost forever.

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The Sound of Us

America’s favorite pop band, Roman Holiday, is done, dead, and so totally last year. For eighteen-year-old rockoholic Junie Baltimore, this is music to her ears. But when she discovers their sexy ex-lead singer hiding out on the boardwalk, her summer vacation becomes the cover story of the year.

She’s willing to keep him a secret, but when a sleazy paparazzo offers her the cash she needs to save the bar her father left behind, could she sell out for the chance to save her future? Who is she kidding? That’s a no-brainer…but she never planned on falling head over heels for the lead singer.

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The Art of Falling

For seventeen-year-old Bria Hale, image is everything. She’s a militant vegan with purple hair, Doc Martens and a permanent scowl. Kissing captain of the football team Ben Harris? Definitely not part of that image.

Now with each secret kiss, she’s falling deeper for the boy every girl at Oceanside High is crushing on. Throw in a few forbidden bacon cheeseburgers and she’s facing one major identity crisis.

Ignoring Ben should be easy, but when a flashy display of artistic spirit lands her in close quarters after hours with the boy she’s too cool to like, she can’t keep pretending those kisses meant nothing. With her reputation and her heart on a collision course, Bria must either be true to herself or to the persona she’s spent all of high school creating.

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Positively Mine

It is four weeks into her freshman year of college, and Laurel’s first test was unexpected. Discovering she’s pregnant isn’t exactly what she had planned for her first semester, and while she intends to tell her emotionally-distant father, being away at school makes it all too easy to hide.

An imperfect heroine plagued by bad choices and isolated during what should be the best time of her life, readers are sure to identify with Laurel as she confronts teen pregnancy, in secret

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Until We End

It’s been nine months since the virus hit, killing almost everyone it touched. Seventeen-year-old Cora and her little brother, Coby, haven’t left home since. Not after the power cut out; not even after sirens faded in the distance and the world outside their backyard fence fell silent. But when a blistering drought forces Cora to go in search of water, she discovers that the post-apocalyptic world isn’t as deserted as she thought when she meets Brooks, a drop-dead sexy army deserter.

Fighting their way back home, Cora finds her house ransacked and Coby missing – kidnapped by the military for dangerous medical experiments in the name of finding a cure. Brooks knows exactly where Cora can find her brother, except he says it’s a suicide mission. Cora doesn’t care. But Brooks can’t let her go…

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Pride’s Run

Seventeen year old Pride is a tracker—a werewolf with a hunger for blood. Taught to trick and to lure, she is the perfect killing machine.

Kept leashed in the cellar by a master who is as ruthless as he is powerful, Pride dreams of freedom, of living a normal life, but escape from the compound is near impossible and disobedience comes with a price.

When she learns her master intends to breed her she knows she has to run.

Pride soon learns if she is to survive in the wild, she must trust in the boy who promises her freedom, the same boy she was sent to hunt.

With life and death hanging in the balance the two find themselves on the run from the Paranormal Task Force—officers who shoot first and ask questions later—as well as her master’s handlers.

Can Pride flee the man who has held her captive since birth and find sanctuary in the arms of a boy who has captured her heart? Or will her master find her first?

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Secret of Isobel Key

Lou is in the middle of a quarter-life crisis. Fresh out of college, she’s unemployed and unsure of herself. But when she gets the chance to escape to Scotland with her best friend, it could be the answer to her quest for self-discovery. The trip is not at all what she expected, especially when her tour guide turns out to be the dreamy historian Brian, and together they embark on a hunt for information about Isobel Key, a woman accused of witchcraft in the seventeenth century.

They set out to learn the truth of the condemned witch, but Lou isn’t prepared for the knowledge that awaits her. She must face her own demons if she has any hope of righting the wrongs of the past.

Flashing between seventeenth century Scotland and a contemporary romance, THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY is a mystery that will please readers of all ages.

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Her Secret Inheritance

Five years ago, an impulsive trip to Scotland changed her life. Now Lou is back in the misty, magical country. But this time, she’s not on vacation.

When Brian, her old Highland fling, turns up at the scene of some depressing family business, tension mounts between the former lovers. But dealing with him is only part of the problem; something wicked is stirring in Scotland. Lou must use all her strength to handle the increasingly desperate situation, but will she be strong enough to battle both a vengeful ghost and her heart?

Lou may have thought that she was finished with the witch Isobel Key, but some secrets can’t stay buried forever.

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Road to Somewhere

New! From Bloomsbury Spark, a sunny heartwarming story of discovery and sisterhood.

A road trip. A singing competition. And super-hot cowboys.

What could be better?

For Charlie, a post-high school road trip isn’t just a vacation, it’s life changing. While her parents think she’s helping a friend move, a chance at fame is the real reason to grab her best friends and drive to L.A. But when her super annoying, uber-responsible, younger sister, Lucy, has to tag along, it isn’t quite the summer of fun she imagined.

Add in a detour to her grandparents’ ranch in Texas, and between mucking the stalls, down-home cookin’, and drool worthy ranch hands, this could just turn into the best, and most complicated, summer of their lives.

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Beyond Our Stars

Fleeing a destroyed Earth, seventeen-year-old orphan Hope grew up living in the confines of a spaceship heading to CR-3, a new home planet. She’s been kicking the steel walls for too long and ever since she broke her boyfriend’s heart, touchdown could mean open air and a fresh start. But no one expected the Locals.

Hope’s dreams of freedom turn into nightmares when the Locals trap the humans and mark groups for observation. At any moment she can be called into a holographic observation room for testing. Some days she’s drowning in a strange dark ocean, some days she’s locked up without food, and all with the one boy she can’t seem to forget.

As the Locals study Hope, she studies them. She wants to believe the tall grey creatures could be peaceful, but as the simulations become more dangerous, Hope is about to become the human race’s last chance for survival.

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My Soon-To-Be-Sex Life

Charlie is down to her absolute. Total. Last. Resort.

Despite a thoroughly comprehensive list of potential cherry poppers, er…suitors, and careful plotting, Charlie is three weeks into her devirginization campaign, still untouched, and getting desperate. In the movie of her life, this aspiring screenwriter is giving herself a PG, for please, get some.

Her project goes into freeze frame when her mom checks herself into rehab and packs Charlie off to live with her estranged, or just plain strange, grandfather, Monty. How is she supposed to get a date when she has to go pick up his Depends?

Enter Eric, a hot rehab grad on the road to redemption, and the only one who can make Charlie rethink her strategy. The more she gets to know him, the more convinced she becomes that is the one, and not just another to add to the list of people who will abandon her.

In this hilarious and heartbreaking story of one girl’s detoured road to womanhood, Charlie’s list develops a life of its own – right when she realizes there’s so much more to lose.

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MapMaker’s Daughter

Sharra’s world is a terrifying place. Violent seismic ‘Shifts’ and outbreaks of an all-consuming black fire radically alter landscapes on an increasingly frequent basis. Only the Map Makers can predict where the Shift will fall, and Sharra, daughter to one of the most famous Map Makers, yearns to join their ranks and break a cultural taboo which forbids female cartographers.Sharra’s father, Lord Milton, is one of the few to challenge the current order, but his shadowy past limits his political reach and his second wife, Lady Ivory, is determined to manipulate him to ensure a privileged future for herself and her daughter, Jayne. The main obstacle standing in Ivory’s way is Sharra.

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Q & A With The Bloomsbury Spark Authors!

What has been your best experience since the release of your book?

Ashley Poston: Definitely all the support on Twitter and Facebook! I never thought I’d have so many people out of the blue just tweeting me to tell me how much they loved my story! It means a lot to me. I think every author has one story that’s their “baby” and mine is The Sound of Us. While it’s a very funny, very light-hearted YA/NA crossover (think Fangirl), its tackles some heavy-hitting stuff that’s pretty personal to me. And it’s surreal and wonderful and thrilling to read how much other people enjoyed it!

Caroline Dunford: I loved seeing the face of my heroine Sharra on the beautiful cover. She is just as I imagined her.

Cat Kalen:I am thrilled with reader response. I heard from students who were using my book for their school reports and it thrilled me.

Christine Duval: Really it is more than one moment. It is all the times women have come up to me, written to me, tweeted to me about how Positively Mine reminded them of their own situations. Many are women who were teen moms or who found themselves unexpectedly pregnant in college. I am so moved that something I created has had meaning in another person’s life.

Frankie Brown: Meeting so many wonderful people! The Sparkies are a wonderfully sweet, vivacious group, and the online YA book community is a ton of fun.

Jen McConnel: Listening to the amazing audiobook for the first time! My narrator, Carolyn Bonnyman, has the perfect voice for the story, and I could listen to her all day long. It’s funny, too; when I was revising the sequel, I heard it in her voice. She’s become an integral part of my story, and I’m so glad!

Jenny Kaczorowski: The moment my book popped up in my local library’s eMedia collection! More than any other publishing dream, I’ve always wanted to have something I wrote in libraries. I stumbled across it by accident and nearly screamed.

Jenny Morris: Reading people’s reviews and knowing they totally got our story. It’s still crazy to me that a total stranger is reading something that I wrote and relating to it.

Judith Tewes: My title isn’t out in the world yet (releases in July), but I’ve had a blast supporting my fellow Bloomsbury Spark authors as each new title has launched.

Kate Jarvik Birch: It might sound a little sadistic, but hearing that my book has brought someone to tears is one of the best feelings EVER—it’s also pretty awesome to hear that I’ve made them yell and cheer, but for some reason the tears feel like the biggest payoff.

Kelley Lynn: Fans (Eep! I still can’t believe I have fans…haha) contacting me wanting to talk about the book. I actually had one twelve-year-old girl somehow get a hold of my phone number. She called me and in this really sweet, shaky voice, asked how she could get a signed copy of my book. It was just so flattering and is totally the reason I do this.

Marie Langager: It’s an awesome feeling when you connect with readers. Especially when they’re in a country you’ve never been to!

Theresa DaLayne: Since my book doesn’t release until mid-August of this 2014, I probably haven’t had it yet. THE EDGE OF YOU is my new adult debut, and although Ron and Lilly’s story isn’t full of rainbows and gumdrops, it’s real. I think my favorite part about writing the story was reliving my years spent in Kodiak Island, Alaska, where I grew up. A few characters, like Lori for example, play a small but beautiful role, and are depictions of real people. It was an honor to incorporate part of my life into the story that will be shared with so many others.

What is the best thing about being part of Bloomsbury Spark?

Ashley Poston: Definitely the authors. We’re like one big family. I’m thankful and so very glad to have met every single one of them. They’re all so talented, and they’ve enriched my life more than they know!

Caroline Dunford: Everyone has been so warm and welcoming.

Cat Kalen: The support from Meredith and all the authors. Everyone is so giving, helpful and wonderful, not to mention talented!

Christine Duval: The enthusiasm of everyone involved with it! It has been so amazing watching Spark grow under Meredith’s guidance and I feel I’ve made a bunch of new friends on this journey. I love hearing about everyone’s successes and learning what’s coming next while watching our readership grow.

Frankie Brown: Again: the people. Meredith is incredible, and everyone at Bloomsbury–from the social media team to the cover designers–is passionate about what they do. It’s infectious.

Jen McConnel: It’s so hard to pick one thing, but I’d have to say that the sense of community is amazing. The authors, the team at Bloomsbury, and our fearless leader, editor Meredith Rich, all come together to create a wonderful, enthusiastic literary family.

Jenny Kaczorowski: The support! Meredith is an amazing editor, the cover artist for FALLING is amazing, and the other Spark authors are fantastic! Not only are we publishing siblings, but friends. I love having so many people with me on this journey!

Jenny Morris: The Sparkie Family. Meredith connected all of us together and the other authors really are amazingly supportive, and the best cheerleaders.

Judith Tewes: Bloomsbury Spark is in good hands with our editor, Meredith, and I love how she’s willing to take risks in her selections for this new YA / NA line. Spark titles (and authors) are ones to watch!

Kate Jarvik Birch: Being part of the Spark family has introduced me to a tight knit group of fantastic writers, all of whom support and buoy one another. Plus, it’s given me a chance to read some pretty stellar books by my fellow authors.

Kelley Lynn: Can I say everything? Everyone on the Bloomsbury Spark team is so wonderful. Meredith, and her supporting cast are the best. And the other authors in this family are so talented and nice. It’s just such a wonderful community to be a part of.

 

Marie Langager: I feel so lucky to be a part of this group of fantastic authors. So much support and so much fun. You really get to be a part of something special and make friends along the way!

Theresa DaLayne: My publishing career has had its peaks and valleys, but being a part of Bloomsbury Spark is most definitely a peak. My editor, Meredith, and the talented cover art department have worked hard to ensure I love the cover to my book. That’s something invaluable. And my fellow Sparkies are just about the best group of young adult and new adult authors I’ve had the honor of working with. With only six months under Spark’s belt, the future of our growing family is bright!

What are you working on now?

 

Ashley Poston: The sequels to THE SOUND OF US, actually! WE OWN THE NIGHT follows Ingrid, who hosts a late-night radio show to escape the reality of her small-town life, and finds herself drawn to a regular caller who is trying to escape his own life, too. It’s like Sleepless in Seattle if the main character was Rebel Wilson. YOU BURY ME is about two ex-best friends who find themselves on a road trip to complete a bucket list their late friend left behind. I’m really excited for both of them, and I hope you are, too! While they’re not direct sequels to Junie and Roman’s adventures in love, JuRo definitely make appearances (and maybe some other lovely secondary characters, too?)

Caroline Dunford: I have stories I’m working on, but I don’t tend to reveal anything until the time is right!

Cat Kalen:I’m working on Pride Unleashed and Pride’s Pursuit the follow up books to Pride’s Run.

Christine Duval: The sequel to POSITIVELY MINE! The first draft is done, I am happy to say, and I am getting ready to send the detailed synopsis off to Bloomsbury!

Frankie Brown: A lot of different things! Stay tuned…

Jen McConnel: I’m shifting gears out of NA mode for awhile, and focusing on revising the second book in my YA fantasy series from Month9Books. It’s fun to flip flop between contemporary with a touch of paranormal and full-on fantasy, with witches and gods and goddesses popping up like whack-a-mole. GODS OF CHAOS, the sequel to DAUGHTER OF CHAOS, is due out next March…squee! There’s always another story to be told, and I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Jenny Kaczorowski: I am working on two follow-ups to THE ART OF FALLING, set in the same high school but following different characters. THE TRICK TO LANDING is about Summer, a semi-pro skateboarder trying to build a new life after a DUI. After moving to Oceanside, she meets Bastian, a brilliant photographer fighting for a future beyond the bleeding disorder that defines his life. Their romance is messy and painful, but very sweet. THE RHYTHM OF BREATHING follows Abby, Bria’s best friend in FALLING. When she kisses Jackie, the drummer in a metal band, on New Year’s Eve, she expects it to be a one-time fling. Instead, she finds herself head over heals for a boy with a dark past, deep scars and exactly what she needs to confront her own issues.

Jenny Morris: I am working on a story outline for a follow-up to ROAD TO SOMEWHERE. It follows Charlie to college and Lucy in her last few months of high school. Kelly Lynn and I are excited about the possibility of continuing the sisters’ story. I’m also working on another collaboration called REMEMBER. It’s Romeo and Juliette meets Total Recall.

 

Judith Tewes: I’m gearing up for the release of MY SOON-TO-BE SEX LIFE, can’t wait for the blog tour madness to begin.

 

Kate Jarvik Birch: What am I NOT working on now? I’m just finishing up co-writing a middle grade novel about unlikely friends navigating middle school while trying to discover whether magic is real. I’ve got another YA novel, PERFECTED, coming out July 1st from Entangled Teen and I’m busy writing the sequel, which is due out next year. I’ve got some picture book projects in the works and still need to find the time to write the screenplay I’ve been marinating for years. Phew, I’m exhausted just thinking about it!

Kelley Lynn: Jenny S. Morris and I are working on the sequel to ROAD TO SOMEWHERE. We just love being back in Charlie and Lucy’s world! I’m working on the final edits for another edition to the Bloomsbury Spark family, ONE WISH AWAY, which is a science fiction twist on the ‘when you wish upon a star’ theme. I’m also negotiating a contract for another YA Contemporary and my super duper agent, Jamie Bodnar Drowley, and I are putting the finishing touches on a YA Thriller so we can start submitting that soon. Busy, busy, busy J

Marie Langager: I’m finishing up a project that has been a long time in the making. Imagine a protagonist who’s a little bit like Jo March but hears voices and is very, very angry. She’s viewed by many as odd and unfixable. In this character’s world the Archbishop teaches her to stay away from the lying peddlers of magic. This book is madness, magic, darkness, and lots of cool new magical weapons!

Theresa DaLayne: I’m working on a few projects at the moment. One is a new adult story about a nineteen-year-old California socialite with a kleptomaniac habit that gets her in big trouble. It started out as a fun, rich-girl-gets-forced-into-being-a-maid kind of story, but when my main character meets a kind-hearted guy with a humanitarian streak, her eyes are opened to a whole new world. That’s where the real life change happens, and I can’t wait to see where my agent puts it! I’m also working on the first of a new adult thriller series, tentatively titled, GLACIER PEAK. It’s totally different than anything I’ve ever written in the sense that most times, my heroine grows into her role as a leader. In this story, my main character struts into the story with a snarky attitude, the mouth of a sailor and a hair trigger temper. When her father goes missing, she sets out on an epic five-day hike through the wilderness to find him. And when she meets a guy covered in tats with a hidden agenda, the temperature in the tent goes from zero to smoldering. It’s all set in the rural mountains of Washington State, where the weather is unpredictable, the wild animals are hungry, and the romance is ice-melting.

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Interview with Fire of the Sea author Lyndsay Johnson!

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Fire of the Sea
By Lyndsay Johnson
Published: March 24, 2014
Publisher: 48fourteen Publishing
Pages: 379

Sharp, sleek, and golden. Like the dagger she has worn since childhood, eighteen-year-old Aeva is all three of these things. But there is something else that this mermaid and her prized weapon share – they are both hunted.

Hidden within the caves off Iceland’s dark shore, Aeva waits to take her place as the next ruler of the Meriads. But when Aeva uses her potent and alluring song to save a drowning human, she disrupts a delicate balance. Realizing she has unexpectedly bound herself to Gunnar, Aeva is torn between duty and love.

Aeva severs one life to begin another, and soon finds herself not only rejected by the sea, but also stalked by an old enemy. As the worlds of myth and man intertwine, Aeva will challenge fate to protect her own sacred relic and the man she loves.

But legends and lies cast an intricate net. With time and safety quickly unraveling for Aeva and Gunnar, there is only one clear course: Find and defeat Delphine before she can shift again.

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Fire of the Sea by Lyndsay Johnson (Book Trailer) from Lyndsay Johnson on Vimeo.

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About the Author:

Lyndsay grew up in the wide expanses of Texas, where the only thing stronger than the accents was the state pride. An over-active imagination, tale-telling father, and encouraging librarian mother lead to her love of all things creative.

When it comes to books on her bedside table, young adult lit has always been a favorite (Blue Balliett, Libba Bray, and Stephenie Meyer, to name a few.) But it was actually an old, yellowing copy of Scandinavian Folk and Fairy Tales that planted a particularly relentless seed. Shapeshifters and sea nymphs began forming the seed of an idea that would eventually grow into Lyndsay’s debut novel, Fire of the Sea.

When she is not writing, you can find Lyndsay spending time with her family in the Rocky Mountains of Utah. She enjoys sitting in dark theaters, trying new gluten-free recipes, watching breaking storms over the peaks out her window, and secret naps.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Now for my interview with the author!

1.) Your book is jam-packed with mythology. How much of that is adapted from existing legend and how much did you invent yourself? What was it like melding them together?

The mythology in Fire of the Sea is so intertwined, that it might be hard to pull it apart and distinguish between existing myth, and my own spin on things. I drew on Norse and Greek mythology, as well as Scandinavian folklore and the Icelandic Sagas (and other Norse texts). There are so many small details that are inspired by those sources. It took me over a year of researching myths and legends, before the story started to take shape. But I took it a step further by creating new connections between the Greek and Norse gods. It was fun to create my own class of mermaids, as well. I enjoyed finding ways to make them seem like they could actually exist (they are marine mammals, for example, and their skin functions a lot like a wetsuit).

2.) Iceland is a fantastic, unusual setting. Have you been there yourself? What was the setting research like? Any interesting facts that didn’t make it into the book?

I actually have never been to Iceland. But my husband (a filmmaker and photographer) is passionate about Scandinavia and especially Iceland. He shoots there multiple times a year, and comes home with amazing stories about the people and culture. The photos always blow me away. When I was trying to create a new world for mermaids that hadn’t been done before, Iceland jumped out as the perfect wild and wonderful setting for the story. Iceland is just being born compared to the rest of the Earth. So to have Aeva’s first encounter with the Earth as a human happen in Iceland really worked for me.

With three small children, international travel isn’t always feasible for me at this stage in my life. But setting the story in Iceland gave me a great excuse to do all kinds of research and experience the landscape—even if it was only virtually. Scandinavian culture is something we focus on a lot in our home (my husband’s side of the family has Danish heritage). It was very much a team effort between the two of us when it came to the research side of things. And I was able to learn so much more about a place that is so important to him.

My husband was able to actually shoot the footage for the trailer while on business in Iceland, so be sure to check that out, as well.

I have a whole file of notes on my computer that didn’t make it into the story. But that just means I’ll have a few more surprises up my sleeve if I decide to write a sequel!

3.) What was it about this story that made you want to write it? What is the “heart” of your story?

I had a dream that I was a mermaid. I had rescued a pilot who had fallen from his plane (he was being dragged under by his parachute). I was swimming through all of this billowing, white fabric. It was amazing. I woke up and had to type a rough draft of what would eventually become the second chapter in my book. So that was the initial inspiration for Fire of the Sea. But as I started to develop the idea more, I was so excited to write mermaids in a new way. I think the heart of my story revolves around fate and choice, and how the two intertwine. It isn’t easy or clear to choose our paths as teenagers. And I wanted to write a story that explored the idea of making decisions based on the heart and true passion and drive, rather than based on outer expectations.

4.) Would you be a mermaid if given the chance? What do you think it is that makes mermaid stories so compelling and enduring?

I think it would be fun to have the option to be a mermaid. I like the idea of going between land and sea. But I wouldn’t be lying if I said I had never pretended to be a mermaid while swimming in the ocean.

I feel like mermaid stories are so compelling because the world is so close to our own. It feels just out of reach, yet possible on some level. What’s to say they don’t exist? I guarantee each one of us has stared down into the depths of the sea and wondered—almost willed—a mermaid tail to appear. The bridge between our world and that of the ocean has always fascinated mankind. And it’s wonderful to escape into this hidden world.

5.) What draws you to the fantasy genre?

Fantasy lights a fire in me. I love being able to access the feelings I had as a girl when I read or write fantasy: wonder, delight, magic, mystery, suspense, the impossible made possible. I am also especially drawn to fantasy that is somehow rooted in reality. The idea of something enchanting, terrifying, or fantastical being just out of sight really appeals to me.

6.) What are you influences (books or non-books)? What books have made an impact on you and/or your writing?

I draw inspiration from many things—my dreams especially. I also try to observe the way my children interact with the world, the conversations between friends or lovers. Some of my favorite books and series include The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray, anything written by Suzanne Collins or Blue Balliett, The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and of course the Harry Potter series. I also like browsing through Scandinavian folk and fairy tales when I have a spare moment.

7.) Tell us a bit about your journey to publication.

I knew from the moment I started writing Fire of the Sea that this wasn’t a hobby. I had to publish this book. Of course it wasn’t an easy goal. I spent more than three years researching, writing, seeking representation, then ultimately going with an independent publisher. I searched for an agent for about a year. It was grueling, and I learned a lot about myself as a writer. I revised my manuscript more times than I can count. And I had a few close calls! There were agents who showed real interest. But I also received an offer from 48fourteen that just felt right for me at this stage. I like to call it my “Goldilocks” experience. Self-publishing felt too small. An agent and large publishing house started to feel too big. But an indie publisher that offered eBooks and print options felt just right—especially for a debut novel. (To read more about this, I have written a few posts on my author site www.lyndsayjohnsonwrites.com detailing the entire process from conception to publication.)

8.) Any advice for aspiring writers?

Well, I still kind of think of myself as an aspiring writer. Ha! I think the best thing I could say is to take risks when it comes to creativity. Do something that scares you a little (or a lot), and see how it changes your world!

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Fledgling Blog Tour: SCAVENGER HUNT POST #13 – Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway!

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 (click banner to follow the rest of the tour!)

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Title: Fledgling

Publication date: April 29, 2014

Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.

Author: Nicole Conway

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Can one boy stand between two kingdoms at war?

Jaevid Broadfeather has grown up as a wartime refugee, hiding from the world because of his mixed racial heritage. He feels his future is hopeless, until a chance encounter with a wild dragon lands him in Blybrig Academy—a place usually forbidden to anyone but the rich and royal. But Jaevid’s case is special; no dragon has voluntarily chosen a rider in decades, so the proud riders of Blybrig must begrudgingly let him join their brotherhood despite his bloodline. Lieutenant Sile Derrick, a sternly tempered man with a mysterious past, becomes his instructor and immediately takes a peculiar interest in Jaevid’s future.

While struggling through the rigorous physical demands of training, things begin to go awry. Jaevid witnesses the king’s private guards kidnapping Sile in the dead of night. When none of the elder riders are willing to help him, Jaevid begins a dangerous adventure to save his instructor.

Everything Jaevid learned at the academy will now be put to the ultimate test.

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And now for my interview with author Nicole Conway!

1.) You originally self-published this title. Can you tell us a little bit about your journey from self-publication to publication with Month9Books?

My road to publication certainly wasn’t the conventional one! I knew Fledgling was special right from the start. Of everything I had written up to that point, I knew this was the story I wanted to take the plunge into real publication with, so I started querying to agents. Six months and several dozen query letters later, I hadn’t even gotten any interest at all. Most of the time, all I received was a form rejection letter. Naturally, I was a little discouraged. Others had given me plenty of fair warning about how much rejection I was in for, but even they admitted it was strange that I hadn’t even gotten a single bit of interest.

No one in the business, publisher or agent, was willing to give me the time of day. So I took a leap of faith and self-published the book. I knew I had a sellable product. I just have to prove it.

Three months and 30 thousand sold copies later, I got my first contact from a publisher interested in the rights to my book. But even that wasn’t what surprised me the most. I was absolutely blown away and humbled by the response from fans who loved Jaevid and Mavrik as much as I did. They left reviews and praise for my work. I got fan mail every day from readers begging for more. It was the most validating thing in the world to know that other people believed in the book as much as I did.

I met my agent, Jennifer Mishler, through a mutual friend. She was eager to get started submitting the book right away, and I was relieved to finally have someone in my corner who knew the business end of things. Jennifer submitted my work to Month9Books, and within a week or two I was signing a contract for the Dragonrider Chronicles. It absolutely was a childhood dream come true. My path to publication was a little bizarre, but it taught me a lot about having patience and faith. Sometimes, you have to believe in yourself even when no one else does.

2.) What draws you to the fantasy genre?

There’s so much in the fantasy genre that captures my imagination. Ever since I was a little girl, my favorite books revolved around stories of fantasy kingdoms, dragons, elves, and knights. I really don’t think I ever grew up pasting wanting a pet dragon of my own, or imagining myself as a knight on a quest. There’s so much freedom in inventing your own world and populating it with creatures and people of your own design. It’s an addiction I’ll never get over, and I’m perfectly fine with that.

3.) What are your influences? What books have inspired you?

My husband influences me a lot, mostly because I consider him to be a modern-day knight. He’s chivalrous, honest, brave beyond comprehension, and so noble in his morality. I’m incredibly blessed to be sharing my life with him. As far as books go, there are so many that have inspired me over the years. It’s really difficult to narrow it down. But to name just a few. . .

I would have to say that Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville is what made me fall in love with the idea of dragons. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones captivated me with the concept of whimsical magic. The Changeling Sea by Patricia McKillip opened my eyes to the unconventional love story. The Dark Elf Trilogy by R. A. Salvatore taught me how powerful a narrator can be when drawing you into a story. Of course, there are plenty of others, but these come to mind immediately when I think about books that have been as instructional as they were inspiring to me.

4.) What was it about this story that compelled you to write and publish it? What is the “heart” of your story?

From the very beginning, Jaevid captured my heart. He was unlike any other character I had made before. He was an unlikely hero with a soft heart, who had faced the horrible brutality of war and managed to retain his sense of compassion in spite of it. I knew he could not only carry a story, but he could also tell it in a way that would be enjoyable and relatable to others.

Without giving too much away, one of my favorite quotes comes from Fledgling’s sequel, which is titled Avian. The quote is actually the very heart and soul of the entire series. The essence of it is that “it takes great darkness to reveal great light,” meaning the times when circumstances are at their worst are the best opportunities for those who can stand strong to become beacons of hope to others. As human beings, we are given a special gift to rise up and overcome the most impossible obstacles. Those are the moments when real heroes are born, even in the smallest everyday situations.

5.) What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

My advice for an aspiring writer is simple: Don’t. Stop. Writing. The more you write, the better you will become. Keep your mind open to every possibility, and don’t give in to discouragement and frustration. There will always be people who are more than happy to tell you that you can’t do something. But you choose your own level of success. People who achieve their dreams aren’t the ones who just sit on the sidelines and hope. You have to work hard, you have to be relentless, and you have to be willing to take criticism with poise and grace. Believe me, in the end, it will make success taste even sweeter.

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Excerpt (and secret word for stop #13):

The Crookin’s house was not as big as ours, but it felt more like a home instead of the prison I lived in. Smoke came out of the chimney in the house, and out of the stack for the bellows in Mr. Crookin’s forge. Mr. Crookin didn’t really like me. That’s not to say he hated me as much as Serah did, but he didn’t like me coming around his house too often. He hadn’t minded it so much when I was younger, but now that I was fifteen, I could tell he was on the verge of telling me not to come back anymore. He didn’t talk much, and he had a face that was mostly hidden behind a thick, wiry beard. He wore his long black smithing apron every day, and his face and arms were almost always smeared with soot.

Mrs. Crookin, on the other hand, was one of the few people who didn’t make me feel unwanted. She smiled at me when we came inside, wiping her hands on her apron before she pulled me in immediately to kiss my forehead and ruffle my hair. She always hugged me until I couldn’t breathe, and asked me if I was getting enough to eat.

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Author Bio:

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Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.

Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.

 She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.

Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

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Finally, to celebrate, a giveaway!

Winner will be drawn May 31, 2014

·         Four (4) winners will receive an ebook copy of Fledgling by Nicole Conway (INT)

·         Five (5) winners will receive a paperback copy of Fledgling by Nicole Conway (US/Canada)

·         One (1) winner will receive an ebook copy of Fledgling by Nicole Conway AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card or B&N Gift Card – Winner’s Choice (INT)

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