Category Archives: Guest Post

Rule of Three: Fight for Power Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for
FIGHT FOR POWER by Eric Walters!

Firstly, a big thank you to Macmillan for putting this blog tour together! I’m always so excited to be a part of these tours and so grateful I get to participate!

If you’re not familiar with FIGHT FOR POWER, it’s the second book in the RULE OF THREE trilogy by Eric Walters. Here’s a bit more info on the book itself before we head on over to the blog post:

FIGHT FOR POWERPublishing Info: January 20th 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Genre: Young Adult (Apocalyptic)
Find It Online:  Goodreads // Amazon // B&N

   “The world keeps getting darker in this second reality-based survival adventure in the Rule of Three trilogy 
After sixty-six days of a catastrophic global blackout, life in the suburbs is not what it used to be for Adam and his fortified neighborhood of Eden Mills. Although an explosive clash has minimized one threat from outside the walls, Adam’s battle-hardened mentor, Herb, continues to make decisions in the name of security that are increasingly wrenching and questionable. Like his police chief mom and others, Adam will follow Herb’s lead. But when the next threat comes from an unexpected direction, nobody is ready for it. And someone is going to pay the price—because of Adam’s mistakes and mistaken trust.” — From Goodreads

GUEST POST FROM ERIC WALTERS
So who’s your favorite character that you write?

In the Rule of Three trilogy the story is told first person through the eyes of Adam.  I have certainly embedded a great deal of myself into his actions and thoughts.  It’s strange though how my chief protagonist is often not my ‘favorite character’.   Don’t get me wrong, I like Adam, but the character who most fascinated me is Herb.  Herb is Adam’s retired next-door neighbor.  He’s not the sort of guy who yells at you for being on his lawn.  Mostly he’s just a nice, friendly guy, but occasionally there are flashes, something in his eyes that makes you think you really don’t want to ‘mess’ with this guy.  He’s a retired government employee – he says he was ‘just a paper pusher’ who worked at U.S. embassies around the world.  As the crisis develops it seems that Herb is always a step or two ahead of everybody else.  It turns out that Herb was more than just a paper pusher.  He worked for the C.I.A. in Clandestine Ops – sometimes called Black Ops.  He’s been around the world, has seen things happen and knows what to do.  Even more than that, he’s not afraid to do what needs to be done.

Throughout the novels there is a continuous interaction between Adam and Herb.  Adam is changed by the situations confronting him and tutored by Herb in the steps that need to be taken.  At the same time Herb is transformed by the thoughts and actions of Adam.  He learns not only who he is, but what he really believes in.  He is the character who seems to most have the answers to what is going on around them, but still he continues to evolve internally.  It is that internal journey of Herb that truly made him fascinating for me to write and continues to be fascinating to read.


 A big, big thank you to author Eric Walters for taking the time to write up this guest post for me! I really love that your main protagonist doesn’t necessarily equal favorite character!

GIVEAWAY

Want to win a copy of FIGHT FOR POWER? I’m giving a copy away! Just enter the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win! Sorry, US entries only, please. Book is in ARC format.

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Guest Post from Lauren Smith: “How to Make a Rake Fall in Love With You”

Hi, friends! I just got MARRIED and am now on my honeymoon in Aruba!!! I won’t be able to attend to my blog this week since Shane and I are having fun in the sun and relaxing, but not to worry — I’ve left my blog in good hands. All this week, I have a series of guest post-ers (and they all have some pretty great posts!

Today’s guest post is from author Lauren Smith whose new novel, His Wicked Seduction, was just released on Tuesday, November 11th! She has a great guest post for us today so check it out below!

10 Ways to Make a Rake Fall in Love with You

A little bird recently told me that Brittany is getting MARRIED! How exciting and wonderful! I couldn’t think of a better love story than hers, a bookworm and a man into cars falling in love and tying the knot. That sounds just like the next great romance novel! (Hint hint.) Naturally I wanted to add my congratulations and Horatia Sheridan, the heroine from my latest novel, His Wicked Seduction, wanted to offer some good advice for all those other ladies out there still searching for the own happily ever afters.

  1. Always tuck your nose in a book. He can’t resist a smart woman who has better things to do than try to find a husband.
  2. When he comes over to visit your brother (his best friend), play it cool. He’ll like the challenge of a good seduction.
  3. During your first kiss, be sure to kiss him back at first, and then shove him away. He’ll see your passion and your good sense and want you all the more.
  4. When an old enemy from his past threatens your life, accept the rake’s invitation to go to his home for Christmas. It’s only fair to let him protect you since he wants to be a hero.
  5. Make sure to notice all the mistletoe and kissing boughs his younger brother hung all over the house. Rakes love a good surprise kiss.
  6. If he has brothers, make sure to dance with all of them. He’ll not want to share you with anyone.
  7. When engaged in a snowball fight with his family and friends, make sure you beat him. Rakes have egos but they love spirited, cunning ladies.
  8. Turn to him when you’re hurting because a good rake loves to ease a woman’s sufferings and will want to hold you while you cry.
  9. Don’t let your brother find out you love his friend. They might end up dueling on Christmas Day.
  10. If he runs into a burning cottage to save your injured brother, go in after him. He’ll see how much you love him, and he’ll be brave enough to love you back.

Congratulations Brittany! I hope you’ll post some fabulous wedding pictures for everyone to see!!


His Wicked Seduction by Lauren SmithLauren Smith is an attorney by day, author by night, who pens adventurous and edgy romance stories by the light of her smart phone flashlight app. She’s a native Oklahoman who lives with her three pets, a feisty chinchilla, sophisticated cat and dapper little schnauzer. She’s won multiple awards in several romance subgenres including: Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist and Semi-Finalist Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Award.

Her latest book, His Wicked Seduction, released on November 11, 2014 (Samhain Publishing). Warning: This book contains an intelligent lady who is determined to seduce her brother’s friend, a brooding rake whose toy of choice in bed is a little bit of bondage with a piece of red silk, a loyal band of merry rogues and a Christmas love so scorching you’ll need fresh snow to extinguish it.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | Website | Twitter


Thank you so much for guest posting on my blog today, Lauren!! I think that is VERY sound advice 😉 Such a fun post and I’m so happy to have had you on the blog today!

What do you think, guys? A surefire way to romance? 😀 And be sure to check out Lauren’s latest book from the links above!

Guest Post from author Nikki McCormack: Five Weird and Wacky Wedding Traditions

Hi, friends! I just got MARRIED and am now on my honeymoon in Aruba!!! I won’t be able to attend to my blog this week since Shane and I are having fun in the sun and relaxing, but not to worry — I’ve left my blog in good hands. All this week, I have a series of guest post-ers (and they all have some pretty great posts!

Today’s guest post is from Nikki McCormack, author of The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, and she has a guest post for us today to fit with the wedding theme! Check out the five weird and wacky wedding traditions that she gathered up for everyone today!

Five Weird and Wacky Wedding Traditions

Getting married can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. Promising yourself to another person for life is a substantial commitment. Promising yourself to another person for life with an audience of friends and family looking on, like some kind of Broadway performance, just makes it that much more intimidating. It could be worse though. Count yourself lucky if you don’t have to go through one of these five peculiar wedding traditions while tying the knot.

  1. Blackening – A lovely custom still held in parts of Scotland where the bride or groom (sometimes both) have buckets full of a gross mixture thrown over them (usually the day before the wedding) and are then tied to a tree. After going through this, they can certainly handle the trials of marriage.
  2. Happy Tears – For the Tujia people in China, as an expression of joy, the bride is supposed to cry for one hour every day starting a month before the wedding. Ten days into the month, the mother joins her, and ten days after that her grandmother starts. By the end of the month, every female in the bride’s family is crying with her.
  3. Shoe Fight – In parts of India, the groom is required to take off his shoes while walking to the altar. The groom’s family has to protect the shoe while the bride’s family tries to steal it. Let’s hope the two families get along or this could get ugly.
  4. Blessed by Spit – At a Massai wedding in Kenya the bride’s father may bless his daughter by spitting on her head and breasts before she leaves the village with her new husband.
  5. Picking a date – A bride and groom of the Daur in Chinese Inner Mongolia determine the wedding date by killing a baby chick while holding the knife together. They gut the chick to inspect its liver and the date is decided by the appearance of the liver. If the liver looks bad, they repeat the process until they find a satisfactory liver. Not one for the squeamish.

While blackening sounds like it could be fun, as long as you’re not the one getting married, most of these traditions aren’t that appealing, at least to me. Fortunately for me, all I suffered for my marriage was a money dance after the ceremony. Given other options, I’m calling that a win.

Congratulations, Brittany!


NikkiMcCormackNikki McCormack is the author of The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, the first book in a steampunk YA series from Entangled Teen (September 2014). She started writing her first novel at the age of 12, which she still has tucked in a briefcase in her home office, waiting for the right moment. Despite a successful short story publication with Cricket Magazine in 2007, she continued to treat her writing addiction as a hobby until a drop in the economy presented her with an abundance of free time that she used to focus on making it her career.

Nikki lives in the magnificent Pacific Northwest tending to her husband and three cats suffering varying stages of neurosis. She feeds her imagination by sitting on the ocean in her kayak gazing out across the never-ending water or hanging from a rope in a cave, embraced by darkness and the sound of dripping water. She finds peace through practicing iaido or shooting her longbow.

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The Girl and the Clockwork Cat: Amazon, B&N, Goodreads
Nikki McCormack: Website, Twitter, Facebook


Thanks, Nikki! I have never heard of any of those before so that was so interesting to learn! I think I would agree with you… I’m glad none of those are traditions we have for our weddings! (Although shoe fight? That one could be fun…) They were all incredibly interesting to hear about and I wonder where some of them originated from…

A huge thanks to Nikki McCormack for guest posting on the blog today! What do you think of the five weird and wacky traditions? Have you heard of any of them before? Do any of them sound appealing to you? (Shoe fight, anyone?)
And don’t forget to check out Nikki’s book, The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, on Goodreads!

Fortnight of Fright 2014: Guest Post from Author Bethany Griffin!

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Welcome to our third annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2013

Two years ago, Alyssa (Books Take You Places) and I really bonded over our mutual love of Halloween and came up with the idea for A FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT: a two-week long event celebrating everything Halloween and horror-related! We decided to bring it back again for the third annual Fortnight of Fright event, this time along with Amy (Tripping Over Books), so this event is brought to you by all of the gals from On the Same Page!

Today, I am SO excited to welcome author Bethany Griffin to the blog! I asked her to participate in A Fortnight of Fright and she graciously accepted, offering up a guest post for all the readers today! I read her most recent book, THE FALL, as one of my Halloween reads this year so I’m especially excited to read more about it in today’s guest post!


How Setting is Like a Character in THE FALL

I’m going to begin by saying that I hope that most (all?) of my settings are developed enough to be characters within the stories, but in The Fall since the setting is a haunted house, it’s a little easier to consider it a character, and even to give it some personality and a will of its own.

I tend to layer my stories in that I lay out the bare bones of plot and dialogue first, and then add in details and description, and then delete what isn’t necessary, layer in more, delete, etc. until I’m happy with what’s on the page, so I’d say in the Fall, about 25-30% of what’s on the page was original to the story, and the rest was added as I worked back through the story over multiple drafts.

So, in The Fall, the house has intent—it wants the Usher line to continue, though it eventually drives every Usher mad. It wants to control Madeline. At times we believe it enjoys her adoration, at times it seems directly antagonistic towards her, particularly when she doesn’t do as it wants. The house is more parent to Madeline than both of her actual parents combined.

The following scene is from Madeline’s 15th year, when she’s starting to investigate everything, furtively looking for ways to subvert the will of the house.

My feet make no sound as I slip from my bedroom into the corridor. Cassandra follows. I thought I heard Roderick in the corridor, but he is very obviously in his room. Even from here, I can hear the sounds of his breathing. Roderick’s door isn’t fully closed. Though he ignores the power of the house, he knows instinctively not to be trapped inside any of the rooms. I brush my hand against his door as I pass, pulling away quickly so the house can’t urge me to go in.
 The moon shines through the window at the end of the hallway, nebulous and green. Forgetting to be watchful, forgetting fear, I approach…
A black curtain billows in my face. Silk slides against steel as the curtain unravels from the rod, pushing me to the thick carpet that muffled my footsteps moments ago. The cloth molds to my face, pressing into my mouth as I gasp, trying to draw enough air to scream.

 We see the house through Madeline’s eyes, so the reader should get her sense of the house as an entity, and though they may question Madeline’s perceptions, it’s impossible not to see the house as a sort of looming presence.


Another BIG thank you to Bethany Griffin for that great guest post! One of my favorite things about the book was how much the house was really a part of it so it was so great to get a bit more insight on that too! I highly recommend THE FALL for one of your creepy Halloween reads this year too!

If you want to check out my review for THE FALL, you can do that here!
Review: The Fall by Bethany Griffin

The Body in the Woods Blog Tour: April Henry on What Makes a Good Detective

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Welcome to the blog tour for
THE BODY IN THE WOODS by APRIL HENRY!

I am so excited to be on the blog tour for THE BODY IN THE WOODS! I’m a big fan of YA books that a strictly mysteries so I was super excited to be able to be a part of the blog tour and pick author April Henry’s brain on mystery writing! She has a guest post for everyone today on what makes a good detective and even analyzes each of her main characters!

If you’re not familiar with THE BODY IN THE WOODS, it is being released on JUNE 17th — so close! Before we head on over to the blog post, here’s a little bit more about THE BODY IN THE WOODS:

The Body in the WoodsPublishing Info: June 17th 2014 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Genre: Young Adult (Mystery)
POV: First Person (Alexis, Nick, Ruby)
Find It Online:  Goodreads // Amazon // B&N

   “In this new series told from multiple perspectives, teen members of a search and rescue team discover a dead body in the woods.
Alexis, Nick, and Ruby have very different backgrounds: Alexis has spent her life covering for her mom’s mental illness, Nick’s bravado hides his fear of not being good enough, and Ruby just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn’t understand her. When the three teens join Portland County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, they are teamed up to search for a autistic man lost in the woods. What they find instead is a dead body. In a friendship that will be forged in danger, fear, and courage, the three team up to find the girl’s killer—before he can strike one of their own.
This first book in April Henry’s Point Last Seen YA mystery series is full of riveting suspense, putting readers in the middle of harrowing rescues and crime scene investigations
.
” — From Goodreads

GUEST POST FROM APRIL HENRY: WHAT MAKES A GOOD DETECTIVE?

What makes a good detective? What a great question! Even though I’ve written something like 20 books, I’m not sure I’ve ever thought about this consciously. So I worked on this list and only then considered whether the three main characters in The Body in the Woods actually have these traits. I’m relieved to say that they do!

In the book, the three join Portland County Sheriffs Search and Rescue, and eventually they become friends at the same time as they track down a serial killer. They are:

  • Alexis – who has grown up covering for her mom’s mental illness.
  • Nick – whose bravado hides his fear of not being good enough.
  • Ruby – who just wants to pursue her eccentric interests in a world that doesn’t understand her.

So what makes a good detective? Someone who:

  • is curious. If she’s not curious, she’s not going to notice the seemingly insignificant clues that the reader is also going to overlook (and then feel amazed and yet satisfied when they turn out to be key to the mystery’s solution). All three characters—Ruby, Alexis and Nick—are naturally curious, but Ruby curiosity about certain things, especially crime, borders on obsession.
  • has a personal stake in the outcome. Your detective needs a reason to keep pursuing the answers, even in the face of danger. It could be his own reputation or life is at risk, but it’s even better if he is fighting to save someone else, especially someone he loves. Over the course of the book, Alexis is worried about her mom as well as a friend she meets. And by the end, all three of my main characters are in danger—and willing to do anything to save the other two.
  • has a flaw. Does she battle an alcohol addiction? Have a fear of heights or babies? Is she constantly shooting off her mouth? While she may solve the mystery, her flaw might always trouble her. I think that’s probably true for Nick, Ruby and Alexis.
  • deeply desires something. Love, respect, friends, revenge, popularity, to find her birth mother. Alexis wants her mother to be normal. Nick wants to live up to his soldier father, who died a hero in Iraq. Ruby wants to have a friend.
  • has a special talent. On the surface, it might not even seem that special. I once read a great mystery where the main character was a librarian, and solved the mystery using his research skills. In William Goldman’s The Marathon Man, the main character, a marathon runner, escapes by running away, despite having been tortured. If your main character is a shoemaker, then the finale should involve her using her shoemaker skills, such as hammering tiny tacks or knowing someone’s shoe size just by looking. Of the three characters, Ruby is probably the one whose talents are best suited for crime fighting. She is very detail oriented, and notices the smallest of changes. She is also fascinated by true crime.
  • who is able to be brave when it’s required. The character doesn’t need to be brave all the time. In fact, he might be more believable if he occasionally wimps out or turns tail. But when the chips are down, when the character’s back is against the wall, then he needs to be draw on a strength he might not even have known he had. And that’s true for all three, but especially Nick.

As it says in the beginning:

For Alexis Frost, Nick Walker, and Ruby McClure, it all started with a phone call and two texts. It ended with fear and courage, love and loathing, screaming and blood. Lots of blood.

The book was inspired by Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, and I have been so impressed with the amazing things these kids do every day. For every sale made in person or online at Powells.com the first week The Body in the Woods is on sale, I will donate $1.69 to MCSO SAR.

Thanks, April!!! I’m always fascinated by authors who write mysteries and how they devise such wonderful characters who perform detective work. It’s so awesome to see each character broken down like that and how their skills really differ from one to the other!

Want to connect with April Henry? Check out her links below!

And be sure to check out the stops on THE BODY IN THE WOODS blog tour too! Another thanks to Macmillan for hosting the tour and putting everything together!
THE BODY IN THE WOODS BLOG TOUR

GIVEAWAY!

Want to win a copy of the book? Macmillan is offering a hardcover copy up for giveaway! One winner will receive a hardcover copy of THE BODY IN THE WOODS plus a book promo whistle! Just enter the rafflecopter form below to enter! Giveaway will be open to entries for one week, US & Canada entries only, please. Good luck!!

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Monument 14: Savage Drift Blog Tour: Emmy Reviews the Fierce Reads Titles!

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Welcome to the blog tour for
MONUMENT 14: SAVAGE DRIFT by EMMY LAYBOURNE

I’m so excited to be on the blog tour for Emmy Laybourne’s final book in the Monument 14 trilogy, Savage Drift! I’ve been a pretty big fan of the series ever since I first saw Emmy on the Fierce Reads tour back in 2012 (my first author event ever!) so the series definitely holds a special place in my heart. I owe a really big thanks to Macmillan and team Fierce Reads for having me be a part of the tour!

Now if you’re not familiar with the books, here’s a bit more about them! I had so much fun with them so if you’re not as familiar with the series yet, hopefully you will be after this!

Title: Monument 14
Author:
Emmy Laybourne
Publication Info: 
June 5th 2012 by Feiwel & Friends
Links: Amazon // B&N // Goodreads 
My Review: Monument 14 (Monument 14 #1) – Emmy Laybourne 

   “Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you launch yourself down the stairs and make a run for the corner.
    Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.
    But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.
Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

    In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.
” — From Goodreads

Title: Monument 14: Sky On Fire
Author:
Emmy Laybourne
Publication Info: 
May 28th 2013 by Feiwel & Friends
Links: Amazon // B&N // Goodreads
My Review: Monument 14: Sky on Fire (Monument 14 #2) – Emmy Laybourne

  “Trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, including a monster hailstorm and terrifying chemical weapons spill, brothers Dean and Alex learned how to survive and worked together with twelve other kids to build a refuge from the chaos. But then strangers appeared, destroying their fragile peace, and bringing both fresh disaster and a glimmer of hope.
Knowing that the chemical weapons saturating the air outside will turn him into a bloodthirsty rage monster, Dean decides to stay in the safety of the store with Astrid and some of the younger kids. But their sanctuary has already been breached once. . . .
Meanwhile, Alex, determined to find their parents, heads out into the darkness and devastation with Niko and some others in a recently repaired school bus. If they can get to Denver International Airport, they might be evacuated to safety. But the outside world is even worse than they expected. . . .
” — From Goodreads

Without further ado, let’s get into the SUPER fun part of the blog tour! Emmy Laybourne herself has complied a vlog for the tour and she’s reviewing some of the Fierce Reads titles! Check out what she has to say below!

Emmy Discusses the new Fierce Reads titles

A big, big, BIG thanks to Emmy for that awesome video and for being on my blog today and another big thank you to Macmillan for having me on the blog tour!

Want to learn more about MONUMENT 14 and author EMMY LAYBOURNE?
Connect with Emmy below!

Emmy’s Website // Twitter // Facebook

GIVEAWAY!

Because Macmillan and the Fierce Reads team is so awesome, I am able to host this giveaway for the ENTIRE Monument 14 trilogy! I really, REALLY enjoy Emmy’s books and I feel like this series is entirely too underrated so I’m so excited to give all three books away to one lucky winner so they can start the series as well! The giveaway will be open for one week and one lucky US/Canada resident will be able to win all three books! Good luck and enter via Rafflecopter below!!! (And don’t forget to thank Macmillan + Fierce Reads for this awesome giveaway! They’re seriously amazing.)

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Guest Post: Moth and Spark author Anne Leonard + Giveaway!

GUEST POST FROM ANNE LEONARD: PATIENCE

I’m really excited to host a guest post today by MOTH AND SPARK author Anne Leonard! When I first read through it, I was a bit afraid. You see, Anne addresses a concern among readers when first picking up a book — the feeling that it starts off slowly. I actually had a post about my issues with slow starts a few weeks back so I was a bit nervous that the post wouldn’t fit me very well but once I had finished, I felt like my eyes had really been opened to something that I was shutting out. Yes, I do like my books to grab me the instant I begin, but there’s also something wonderful about easing into a fantastic world and marveling as the author gently guides us on a new adventure. One specific example that comes to mind is my experience picking up A Song of Ice and Fire. I fell in love with that series but there are also plenty of times the readers need to be patient with all of the things that the author is setting up.

Anyway, I think the best person to talk to you about this today is Anne Leonard so without further ado, I hope you enjoy her guest post and maybe take something away from it like I had — something you didn’t even know you were missing.

PATIENCE

For this guest blog post, I thought I would do something a little different and talk about a readerly and writerly virtue: patience. In daily life, patience is something that I need to practice more and which seems increasingly hard to do in the face of the flood of information around me. Wait until Wednesday for my UPS package? OK, sure, but I’m going to watch the tracking updates in case it comes early.  Irritated with the point someone is making? I’ll just look at something else on my phone. We’re in a culture which continues to increase in speed, and the more one expects something to come soon, the harder it is to be patient.

One of the comments I’ve seen from early readers of Moth and Spark is that it’s a bit slow at first. My first reaction was “What? There are a dozen dead bodies by the end of the first chapter!” But I do write with a slower, more deliberate pace than many writers. Much of this pacing probably comes from reading nineteenth century novels and from an academic background which values consideration and devalues hastiness.

But since I started thinking about this, I’ve realized that this is also a preference of mine. I’ve read several books recently that rushed by with the protagonist in one danger after another. It seems like the first chapter can’t end without a death, a chase, a knife fight, or so on, and the second chapter has to pick up immediately. Then, after that first frantic breath, it slows down a little.

As a reader, I’m finding myself increasingly dissatisfied with this. Books that start out fast and continue fast and just zip along in the reading leave me feeling unsatisfied at the end. I finish the book, and it’s like coming down from a blood sugar rush. It’s as though I’ve gobbled a package of chocolate chips instead of eating a truffle one small bite at a time, letting the chocolate melt, savoring the tastes. (As an aside, characters who rush headline from one adventure to another can start looking pretty stupid for not thinking through things. And for me, once the protagonist is stupid, the game is over.)

For me, part of the pleasure of reading is the immersion. I don’t want to rush back into my own world. I want to spend some time somewhere else, to linger in this new place where I don’t know what will happen next. I want to explore. Of course I want events and changes in my story as much as anyone else, but I’d rather ease into them than merge onto the freeway at 80 miles an hour on page 5. When I drive fast, I don’t see anything except what’s immediately around me.

It’s really easy for readers to get impatient. Whether it’s anticipating the behaviors of the characters and wanting them to get on with it, flipping to the next chapter to see if the story stops being stalled, or harassing George RR Martin for the next installment of Game of Thrones, readers often lose patience pretty quickly. I do this too. I’m especially aware of that tendency in myself when I pick up a big fat slow book that takes a while to unfold. But as a reader, I am trying to practice patience and take the book on its own terms.

As a writer, I also need to practice patience. Mostly this is patience with my writing process: patience to wait when the well runs dry, patience to think through something before writing a lot of words that will later be cut, patience to finish a scene fully instead of rushing on to the next one. But it’s also patience with my own story. I need to have the patience to let the story take me where it wants to go.

I’m not talking here about plot ideas. I’m fully capable of letting lots of plot ideas take over and ending up with a knot that I can’t untangle. I need to have less patience with some of those. I’m talking about the “aboutness” of the story. It has its currents, and when I try to alter the flow, bad things happen. To continue with the watery metaphors, I get beached or capsized, there’s a flood, or I cause a beautiful waterfall further downstream to dry up. Then I arrive where the waterfall should be, wonder what the hell happened to it, and have to go back to knock down the dam.

I get to choose how to tell the story. But I don’t always get to choose the story that’s being told. Just as I need to allow the story to be told on its own terms when I’m reading, I need to allow it its own terms when I’m writing.

A big thanks to Anne for sharing that with us! I really appreciated the little lesson in patience which is really something that I need more of in my life from time to time! Blogging and reading can lead to a fast-paced attitude with the need to constantly stay on top of reading, blog posts, reviews, and social media, so I really loved this post from Anne Leonard to remind us that patience while reading can really allow us to absorb things that we might not even realize we’re passing by!

MOTH AND SPARK is out now! Check out all the info below for more about the book and author Anne Leonard!

MOTH AND SPARK by Anne Leonard
Genre: Fantasy
Publication Info: February 20th 2014 by Viking Adult
Links: Goodreads || Amazon || B&N
Goodreads Synopsis:A prince with a quest. A commoner with mysterious powers. And dragons that demand to be freed—at any cost.
    Prince Corin has been chosen to free the dragons from their bondage to the Empire, but dragons aren’t big on directions. They have given him some of their power, but none of their knowledge. No one, not the dragons nor their riders, is even sure what keeps the dragons in the Empire’s control.
    Tam, sensible daughter of a well-respected doctor, had no idea before she arrived in the capital that she is a Seer, gifted with visions. When the two run into each other (quite literally) in the library, sparks fly and Corin impulsively asks Tam to dinner. But it’s not all happily ever after. Never mind that the prince isn’t allowed to marry a commoner: war is coming to Caithen.
    Torn between Corin’s quest to free the dragons and his duty to his country, the lovers must both figure out how to master their powers in order to save Caithen. With a little help from a village of secret wizards and a rogue dragonrider, they just might pull it off.

http://anneleonardbooks.com/ • Twitter: @anneleonardauth • https://www.facebook.com/anneleonardbooks

GIVEAWAY!

Want to win a copy of MOTH AND SPARK? Just enter the giveaway below! The winner will receive one finished copy of the book. US entries only, please

Altered Blog Tour: Guest Post from Gennifer Albin

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Welcome to the ALTERED blog tour, hosted by Macmillan and Fierce Reads! I’m so excited to be a tour host today with author Gennifer Albin stopping by for a guest post! Before I start with the tour stop, here’s a little more info about ALTERED and the Crewel World series to get yourself acquainted with the book:

AlteredTitle: Altered (Crewel World #2)
Author: Gennifer Albin
Publishing Info: October 29th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Life. Possibility. Choice.
All taken from Adelice by the Guild—until she took them back.
But amid the splendid ruins of Earth, Adelice discovers how dangerous freedom can be. Hunted by soulless Remnants sent by Cormac Patton and the Guild, Adelice finds a world that’s far from deserted. Although allies are easy to find on Earth, knowing who to trust isn’t. Because everyone has secrets, especially those Adelice loves most. Secrets they would kill to protect. Secrets that will redefine each of them. Torn between two brothers and two worlds, Adelice must choose what to fight for.
In this thrilling sequel to Crewel, Adelice is about to learn how tangled up her past and future really are. Her parents ran to protect her, but nothing can save her from her destiny, and once she uncovers the truth, it will change everything.” — From Goodreads

Become a fan of The Crewel World Trilogy on Facebook || Become a fan of Gennifer Albin on Facebook || Follow Gennifer Albin on Twitter || Check out Gennifer’s author website || Find out more about the #JoinTheAgenda project

Today, Gennifer Albin is sharing a second deleted scene from ALTERED with us and I’m so excited that I’m not even going to make you wait for it. Here we go!

ALTERED DELETED SCENE #2

Note from Gennifer Albin: In the original draft of Altered things went down a bit differently. Cutting some of the scenes and plot lines was hard, but I’m sharing three of them during this blog tour. Don’t forget to follow the tour so you can catch all three. In this scene, Adelice and Erik have been separated from Jost and captured by an evil Sunrunner, something that doesn’t happen in the published version. Adelice convinces Erik to play a game with her while she surreptitiously checks out the other captives at dinner time. The idea for the game from a guy I used to work with at a video store. He always noted every girl who came in and whether or not he would date her. This usually ended in me debating his choices.

“Want to play a game?” I ask.  I’m not ready to bring Erik into this.  Not until I understand what I’m seeing. “Sure,” he says, a note of suspicion in his voice. “Pick someone out to repopulate the planet with.” Erik’s eyes snap to mine and he looks away hurriedly. “Somebody else,” I groan. “In all fairness, you caught me off-guard,” he says. “It’ll be fun,” I promise him, silently adding, and it will give me a reason to be staring at everyone around us. There’s at least seventy other people creeping toward the line, and eventually I get caught up in the surge of the crowd.  I throw a reassuring smile in the direction of Erik, and turn my attention to the food.  If it can be called that. “Picked one out yet?” I ask, sliding onto the bench next to him. “She’s alright,” he says, nodding in the direction of a petite blonde at the table next to ours. “Okay,” I say.  The girl is slender and trim, but from here I can’t see any scars. “You don’t approve,” he says.  “I think she is well-groomed.” “What about her?” I ask, throwing my head toward a dark-skinned girl at the table across from us.  Erik turns to check her out, and I take time to study her arms and her face.  After a moment it dawns on me that her skin, which had looked caramel before is actually washed out, as though someone had drained her of color – stolen the very vibrancy from her. “Her?” He says with a laugh, and I turn to see a woman of at least eighty.  “Your standards are getting a little low, aren’t they?” I tease, trying to keep my voice light despite the shocking stripes of black, marring her ancient skin. “Maybe next time.  There’s something strange about them, isn’t there?” he asks. “You give up too easily.  You’re not even trying to convince me,” I say, ignoring his reference to the scars and marks most of the slaves carry.  I don’t want anyone around to hear us discussing it. “I don’t like this game,” Erik admits. “You seemed to enjoy it.” “Yes, but now it feels so…” “Sexist?” I offer.

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Whew! Hope you enjoyed the deleted scene from ALTERED! I’ve already finished and personally, I’m enjoying all of the new scenes with Adelice and Erik so this was super exciting to see!  The ALTERED blog tour is started on 10/21 and is running through the end of this week, 11/1! If you’ve missed a stop or want to keep following the tour, be sure to check out the ALTERED blog tour page on Macmillan’s website for all of the tour hosts! The Cypress Project is a prequel short story written by Gennifer Albin, being excerpted exclusively on Wattpad. Start reading now and be sure to check back on the following dates to read more of the story!

      • Monday, October 14: Part 1

 

  • Wednesday, October 16: Part 2

 

 

  • Friday, October 18: Part 3

 

 

  • Monday, October 21: Part 4

 

 

  • Wednesday, October 23: Part 5

 

 

  • Friday, October 25: Part 6

 

 

  • Monday, October 28: Part 7

 

 

And lastly, Gennifer Albin will also be on the FIERCE READS TOUR this fall with Leigh Bardugo, Jessica Brody, and Ann Aguirre! You can check out the full tour schedule at the link above but especially let me know if you will be at the stop at Anderson’s Bookshop on November 4th because I will be there!! If you aren’t in the Chicagoland area or able to make it to Anderson’s, I will be live tweeting the event so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for that! Also check back at The Book Addict’s Guide because I will have an exclusive interview with the authors, and event recap, and a giveaway for books from ALL FOUR of the Fierce Reads authors on tour!

GIVEAWAY!

Macmillan is also giving away offering a giveaway!!! The winner will receive one paperback copy of CREWEL and one hardcover copy of ALTERED! US & Canada residents only. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to email notification before the prize is forfeited to the next person.                                    a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fortnight of Fright: Guest Post from Author Jessica Spotswood!

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Welcome to our second annual FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT event!
October 17th – October 31st, 2013

Last year, Alyssa (Books Take You Places) and I really bonded over our mutual love of Halloween and came up with the idea for A FORTNIGHT OF FRIGHT: a two-week long event celebrating everything Halloween and horror-related! We decided to bring it back again this year and we have a TON of fun Halloween things planned for you!

Today I am SO excited to host author Jessica Spotswood whom you may know from her books BORN WICKED and STARCURSED (and book three SISTER’S FATE is out August 2014)! She’s sharing with us her mom’s recipe for Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins (which sound FABULOUS) and of course, her favorite witches of all time! Take it away, Jessica!

In honor of Halloween, here’s one of my favorite recipes: my mom’s recipe for chocolate chip pumpkin muffins.  

3c. flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
1.5 cups vegetable oil or applesauce
16 oz can pumpkin
2 cups chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in eggs, vegetable oil/applesauce, and pumpkin. Mix until everything’s incorporated but be careful not to overmix. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into greased muffin tins and bake 16-20 minutes at 400 degrees. (Makes about 36 depending on muffin size)

And here’s a list of my top 7 (seems a good witchy number) favorite witches — the Cahill sisters not included, of course! 

  1. Hermione Granger  (Harry Potter series)
  2. Luna Lovegood (ditto)
  3. Willow (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
  4. Samantha Stevens (Bewitched – I loved watching reruns of that show when I was little!)
  5. The three witches from Macbeth
  6. The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz
  7. Kat Stephenson from Stephanie Burgis’s Kat, Incorrigible series 

Honorable mention: the New Orleans witches from the new show The Originals (the Vampire Diaries spinoff) seem to have potential! 

We also had Jessica answer some quick and fun Halloween Q&A! We like getting to know authors a little bit more, especially when it has to do with their Halloween preferences 🙂

HALLOWEEN Q&A

Why do you love Halloween? It’s a good excuse to dress up, eat candy, and have a party!

Do you have any fun Halloween memories?  Yes! We used to go up to my grandparents’ cabin in the woods and carve pumpkins and walk down to the lake, where people would gather to set the pumpkins afloat on a giant raft as an offering to the Hairy Hand of Fuller Lake (a local ghost story).

What was the best costume you ever had? (Or if you don’t have one, someone else’s): I like this picture (see attached) of me and my sisters from 1990. I’m the genie (with blue eyeshadow?), my sister S is the pumpkin, and A is the witch. 

Sisters Hween 90

Do you prefer mild scares or hair raising horror? Mild scares — more psychological horror than gross-out stuff. My favorite recent scary book was April Genevieve Tucholke’s Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. There’s this scene with spooky children in a graveyard that totally creeped me out!

FAVORITES

Halloween Candy? Reese’s peanut butter cups

Paranormal creature? (ghouls, gobilins, vampires, witches, etc) Witches, of course!

Halloween Movie? Scream is probably my favorite scary movie.

Halloween TV episodes or TV Shows? My fave scary shows are The Vampire Diaries and its spin-off, The Originals! I don’t know if they are truly “scary” so much as “excuses to watch cute guys” though.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SC cover2Jessica Spotswood is the author of the Cahill Witch Chronicles: BORN WICKED (2012), STAR CURSED (2013), and SISTERS’ FATE (August 2014). She grew up in a tiny, one-stoplight town in Pennsylvania, where she could be found swimming, playing clarinet, memorizing lines for the school play, or – most often – with her nose in a book. Now Jess lives in Washington, DC with her playwright husband and a cuddly cat named Monkey. She can be found doing yoga, teaching writing workshops for teens, or – most often – with her nose in a book. Some things never change.

Find Jess online!
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Cahill Witch Inspiration Pinboard

Another BIG BIG thank you to Jessica Spotswood! It was such a pleasure to have her fun thoughts on Halloween and share a delicious recipe with us (which I most certainly am trying!!) — If you haven’t read her books yet, I highly recommend them! They’re absolutely wonderful!

Antigoddess Blog Tour: Guest Post from Kendare Blake

Welcome to the blog tour for ANTIGODDESS by KENDARE BLAKE!

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A huge thanks to Book Nerd Tours and Kendare Blake for making this blog tour happen!
And don’t miss the other stops of the Antigoddess Blog Tour!

Welcome to the ANTIGODDESS blog tour! I’m so excited to be a tour host today with author Kendare Blake stopping by for a guest post! Before I start with the tour stop, here’s a little more info about ANTIGODDESS to get yourself acquainted with the book:

AntigoddessTitle: Antigoddess (The Goddess Wars #1)
Author: Kendare Blake
Released: September 10, 2013
Publisher: Tor Teen

Old Gods never die…
Or so Athena thought. But then the feathers started sprouting beneath her skin, invading her lungs like a strange cancer, and Hermes showed up with a fever eating away his flesh. So much for living a quiet eternity in perpetual health.
Desperately seeking the cause of their slow, miserable deaths, Athena and Hermes travel the world, gathering allies and discovering enemies both new and old. Their search leads them to Cassandra—an ordinary girl who was once an extraordinary prophetess, protected and loved by a god. 
These days, Cassandra doesn’t involve herself in the business of gods—in fact, she doesn’t even know they exist. But she could be the key in a war that is only just beginning. 
Because Hera, the queen of the gods, has aligned herself with other of the ancient Olympians, who are killing off rivals in an attempt to prolong their own lives. But these anti-gods have become corrupted in their desperation to survive, horrific caricatures of their former glory. Athena will need every advantage she can get, because immortals don’t just flicker out. 
Every one of them dies in their own way. Some choke on feathers. Others become monsters. All of them rage against their last breath.
The Goddess War is about to begin.” — From Goodreads

        

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

kbKendare Blake is an import from South Korea who was raised in the United States by caucasian parents. You know, that old chestnut. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Ithaca College and a Master’s degree in Writing from Middlesex University in London. She brakes for animals, the largest of which was a deer, which sadly didn’t make it, and the smallest of which was a mouse, which did, but it took forever. Amongst her likes are Greek Mythology, rare red meat and veganism. She also enjoys girls who can think with the boys like Ayn Rand, and boys who scare the morality into people, like Bret Easton Ellis.

Twitter || Facebook || Goodreads

GUEST POST FROM KENDARE BLAKE

I’m so excited to be hosting author Kendare Blake for a guest post as my stop on the ANTIGODDESS blog tour! Today, Kendare is talking about “The Importance of Being Humorous”!

The Importance of Being Humorous: I love that you have a lot of humor and sarcasm in your books! I love laughing out loud and really loving a character’s humorous side. Is that something that comes naturally with a character? Do you plan the amount of humor to include in a book? Do you ever cut some humor to keep a darker tone overall? 

Kendare: It absolutely comes naturally. I didn’t think there would be much humor at all in Antigoddess, except perhaps the ironic kind. But then Hermes showed up. Irrepressible Hermes. And he managed to sneak it in, even in the most dire of situations. I don’t think this sort of thing can be planned, or forced. The character has to show up and speak naturally. Not all of them are going to be funny. Not everyone is funny. Everyone is funny sometimes, and to varying degrees, and so it goes with characters.

I’ve never written a scene and thought, “whoa, I need to lighten this up.” In fact, the scenes that are dialogue heavy are almost never changed. Because how can I change them? That’s what the characters said. It feels like rewriting history if I take the words out of their mouths and turn them around.

This sounds hokey I know, but characters are real people. They have their own histories and motivations, so when they speak, I never have to put the words in their mouths. This made it particularly difficult for ANTIGODDESS, being aware of the characters’ histories and motivations and knowing that many readers wouldn’t be. It was tough to walk that line, let them do their thing, and then keep it understandable through exposition and inference. But I hope I did okay!

A BIG BIG BIG thanks to Kendare Blake!! I am so pleased to have had her stop by for a guest post! The humor and sarcasm in ANTIGODDESS were honestly some of my favorite things. I’m so happy to hear Kendare talk about it because how she explains it is exactly how it feels — these characters FEEL like real people and their dialogue really makes it that way.

Keep a lookout for my review of ANTIGODDESS, coming soon! I really enjoyed it and I’m doubly pleased to be on the ANTIGODDESS blog tour!

And before you go, don’t forget to enter the giveaway!! Enter for your chance to win a copy of the book!

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