Sunday, April 29, 2012

Author Interview Julie Cessar

1) Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

 My background is in fine art and I’ve worked as a graphic designer and freelance painter. I’m a mother of three and for the past ten years I have worked part-time as a legal assistant. In between family stuff, work, painting, photography, scrapbooking, and writing, I recently started running and just completed my first half-marathon in October 2011. I love fancy coffee drinks, ice cream, wine, chocolate, really good pizza and dancing at the local pub. I’m pretty much an all-around goofball, am always wearing my rose-colored glasses, and I really do believe in fairy tales.

 2) Could you tell us a bit about Ruby Blue?

 Ruby Blue is a YA fantasy/romance book about your average ice-cream eating, garden-loving teenager, who is constantly being annoyed by her little brother, is best friends with possibly the only Goth kid in town and she has a big secret… she can see fairies. After possibly the hottest guy she’s ever known finally asks her out, she can barely manage a two-word sentence when bizarre incidents begin to strike their lakeside town. As an ancient myth unfolds, Ruby and her friends must tackle some extraordinary circumstances with her very ordinary abilities in this modern day fairy tale.

 3) What was the inspiration for writing Ruby Blue?

The idea has been with me for so long, that I actually don’t remember exactly how it came to me. I started to really love gardening (like my mom) about 10 years ago and I have always been drawn to the magic of fairies. After my son was born in 2004, I would work in the garden to get some “me time,” and that’s when I began to get the ideas for this story. I always thought it would be a children’s book, but as time went on, I realized that the story I wanted to tell was a bit more mature… and out came Ruby Blue.

 4) Were there any personal experiences that went in to writing Ruby Blue?

YES! Of course, embellishment was involved…Haha… But I definitely used a lot of my own experiences and thoughts that I had as a teenager when I wrote this book. In fact, the scene at the miniature golf place is partly based on a personal experience…

5) Was Ruby's character based on anyone or was she a purely made up character? What is she like?

 Ruby is definitely based in part on me and my quirks. I love gardening, being bare foot and ice cream. I also love my Chuck Taylors, although, I don’t have quite the collection that Ruby does. Several major differences: I don’t have the aversion to dresses she has; I LOVE coffee (she hates it); and I’m the youngest in a huge family of siblings, whereas she is the oldest and has only one brother. But, our personalities are very similar…she’s much cuter than me though.

6) What was your inspiration in the cover art for Ruby Blue?

 It’s funny you ask this… I actually went through about 30 different versions for the cover. Because my background is in design, I’m very particular. I started out with an entirely different concept… a tree-lined path in the woods, etc… Then, after photographing some driftwood on a beach up north, I decided to use one of those pictures and I scrapped the entire first round of covers. I super-imposed the tree bark over the image and did some effects on the photo to give a mystical appearance. I definitely wanted the earthy elements of flowers and trees to be a key concept of the cover, because that is a key element in the book.

7 ) Do you plan to have Ruby Blue as a stand alone novel or part of a series?

 I always intended Ruby Blue to be the first in a series of either four or five books…depending on how long it takes for me to get the story out. I actually have the second book of the series (“Deja Blue”) written and in the final editing stages. I am currently writing book three (“Sky Blue”) but I’ll have to wait and see if I can wrap up the story arc in book four or continue it on with a possible book five.

8) Who is your favorite character in the book? And why?

 Oh gosh! This is a tough one! I actually love all five of the main characters… During this process, they each have earned a special place with me. They all have unique personality traits that I’ve based on people I know and love in my own life… To pick just one is just too hard!

 9) If Ruby Blue was made into a movie, Who would be your dream cast?

Yikes! Talk about the ultimate dream! I actually haven’t given it too much thought, because I’m way too scared to think that far in advance… Hmmm… I was recently made aware of an actor named Matt Dallas, and he is almost exactly what I picture Brennan to look like (in photos where he has shorter/crazier hair). A reader told me that they could picture Bridgit Mendler as Ruby, and I agree that she is a great fit. I think Sterling Knight is the perfect Leo… but I’m at a loss for Jeremy and Nick. I can seem them crystal-clear in my head though!

 10) Do you write to music? If so, what is your favorite?

YES! I love listening to music when I write. In fact, I often repeat the same two or three songs over and over, if I’m writing a particular chapter/scene. It depends on the scene I’m writing as to what music I listen to. With “Ruby Blue,” I listened to a lot of Joshua Radin. Train, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” played quite a bit too.

 11) What do you plan on doing in the future?

 Well, the immediate future holds me finishing the Ruby Blue series. I’ve had the ideas in my head for so long and I just need to get them out. I have an idea for another series involving angels swirling around in my head, but I won’t start writing it until I get Ruby all out on paper. I also plan to keep painting and taking photographs, so hopefully I’ll be promoting that too.

 12) What are you reading right now?

 I have a huge stack of books on my nightstand in the line-up. I’m currently reading a paranormal romance by Rose Pressey, and next in line is the latest Sookie Stackhouse book by Charlaine Harris, the new Betsy book by MaryJanice Davidson, and the latest House Of Night book by P.C Cast and Kristen Cast. The Hunger Games Series is in that stack too (I know…shame on me for not reading them yet!) And, a friend just gave me all of the Vampire Academy books to read…I just finished “Asylum Lake,” by R.A .Evans…that was a great horror/suspense read.

 13) Who are a few of your favorite authors? Oh mannn…There are too many to name! Brent Crawford, Stephanie Meyer, MaryJanice Davidson, PC Cast, JK Rowling, Charlaine Harris, Rose Pressey…Honestly, I love so many. I rarely read a book that I don’t like. If I don’t like a book, I stop reading it and don’t bother to finish.

 14) Anything you would like to add?

 First, I’d like to thank you for reviewing my book, and for the interview opportunity. I hope everyone takes a chance on “Ruby Blue” and can find the magic in it. It truly was a labor of love that was cultivated over a really long time… I look forward to reader feedback and am flattered to be featured on this site! If you love my story, I’d be honored if you shared it with fellow readers.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Author Spotlight: Rhiannon Paille

Interview with Rhiannon Paille Author of Flame of Surrender! 

1) Could you tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm a hopeless romantic. I also write books and I've been a professional psychic reader for seven years.

2) Could you tell us a bit about Flame of Surrender?

It's a story about love, the mistakes we make because of love and the dire consequences.

3) What was the inspiration for writing Flame of Surrender?

I've been trying to write an epic romance since I was 12. Ideas for FoS have been with me for about 14 years now and 6 years ago I decided to try to write it. It was really bad, but three drafts later and a lot of determination I think I got it right.

4) Were there any personal experiences that went in to writing  Flame of Surrender?

I don't think anyone would believe me if I told them what was true about this story and what wasn't.

5) Were  Krishani and Kaliel's characters based on anyone or were they purely made up? What are they like?

Kaliel and Krishani were based on the violet flame from eastern mythology and the ferryman from Greek mythology. Admittedly, there isn't a lot that can be discerned from what's been written about them, but they had their own story to tell.

Kaliel is innocent, shy, naive, brave, and passionate.

Krishani is withdrawn, private, passionate, strong, tortured, and rebellious.

6) What was your inspiration in the cover art for  Flame of Surrender?

I chose Kaliel for the cover because she's the focus of FoS. The photo used shows her relationship with the land, the fact that she talks to trees.

7) How many books do you plan to have in the Ferryman and the Flame series?

There are 6 and a half planned. Basically two trilogies and a novella.

8) Who is your favorite character in the book? And why?
 For me it's balanced between Kaliel and Krishani but I can't help but like Pux as well.

 9) If  Flame of Surrender  was made into a movie, Who would be your dream cast?
Ahh I've thought of this...

Dylan Minnette would make a great Krishani

Chloe Morentz or Elle Fanning would make a great Kaliel

Evanna Lynch would be a fabulous Shimma

James McAvoy would make an awesome Pux.

10) Do you write to music? If so, what is your favorite?

I used to write music, but it was never any good in my opinion. I have very eclectic tastes these days from Victoria Duffield and Nicki Minaj to Adele, Florence and the Machine, to Three Days Grace and Rise Against. I like a little bit of everything.

11) What do you plan on doing in the future?

I'm going to take over the world. No, I'm joking, I really have no idea. I suppose I'll continue reading minds and writing books until someone says I can't.

12) What are you reading right now?

Nothing, well I have a lot on the list but I'm just reading FoS for the umpteenth time.

13) Who are a few of your favorite authors?

Cassandra Clare
Erin Morgenstern
Lauren Oliver
Ruth Warburton
Julie Kagawa
Stephanie Perkins

 14) Anything you would like to add?

I'm also releasing a mini series called Last City on Earth, featuring a girl named Fable who found the Fountain of Youth and ended up immortal. Unfortunately she was the only one. She lives in Temperance, a city underneath the permafrost on Antarctica. Every year on Temperance Day the people try to kill her.

The first two parts of the series are up on kindle for 0.99 cents.

Thanks for having me on your blog Stephanie! I hope your readers take a chance on an Indie Author. :)


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Monday, April 9, 2012

Review: ReVamped by Ada Adams

Ada Adams
Paperback, 300 pages
February 20, 2012

I was falling for the one guy in the world I had never 
expected to fall for... And I was falling hard.

A simple mission turned deadly. 

Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue. 

When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same.
ReVamped is a new and fresh take on the world of Vampires... I loved it!

Adams created a wonderful world of  Vampires that have come out of the coffin. They are now famous and treated like celebrities. ReVamped reminded me a bit of the Sookie Stackhouse books, but for Young Adults! It was a very light read. I was able to finish it in one sitting. The idea that Dawn ( The main character) must go to the small town of Angel Creek to "ReVamp" The new Vampire protectors of the town is a very fun and original idea. I really enjoyed the way Dawn had to take a bunch of Vampires that were lacking in skill and turn them into protectors. She really had a tough time getting them to work together and it was quite humorous.

The Characters in ReVamped were all very different. I really enjoyed reading from Dawn's POV. She was a strong Vampire who could kick some major butt, but was also very sheltered and naive in the way of the world... and boys. I also really likes Sebastian and Ethan, Dawn's two love interests. They both seen to be genuine characters and I look forward to reading more about them both. The 4 new Vampire recruits were a bit less likable. I do wish they had a bit more character building in the book but I did enjoy the way they grew in the story. Except for Brooke, I didn't like her. She seemed too fake and her character was a bit overdone in the stereotypical scene. 

Overall I give ReVamped 4 Hoots! I really enjoyed Dawn's story. I wish there was a bit more details added in and at times the book seemed a bit ruched especially during the climax of the story. All in all ReVamped was a great debut book and I look forward to the next book in the Angel Creek series! 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Interview with CC Hunter + Giveaway of Taken at Dusk

Step into Shadow Falls, a camp for teens with supernatural powers.  Here friendship thrives, love takes you by surprise, and our hearts possess the greatest magic of all.
Kylie Galen wants the truth so badly she can taste it. The truth about who her real family is, the truth about which boy she’s meant to be with—and the truth about what her emerging powers mean.  But she’s about to discover that some secrets can change your life forever…and not always for the better.
    Just when she and Lucas are finally getting close, she learns that his pack has forbidden them from being together.  Was it a mistake to pick him over Derek? And it’s not just romance troubling Kylie. An amnesia-stricken ghost is haunting her, delivering the frightful warning, someone lives and someone dies. As Kylie races to unravel the mystery and protect those she loves, she finally unlocks the truth about her supernatural identity, which is far different—and more astonishing—than she ever could have imagined. 

Thirteen Things You’ll Learn From Taken at Dusk

1.    The only thing worse than trying to help a woman with amnesia remember her name and life is trying to help a dead woman with amnesia remember hers.

2.    Be careful what you wish for—you might just get it . . . and the reality will probably not be anything like the fantasy.

3.    The person you think is your enemy could just turn into a friend who'll do anything to save you.

4.    The scariest thing in the world isn't ghosts or rogue vampires bent on murder—it's falling in love.

5.    Explaining why you have a skunk curled up in your arms to your mom and your old best friend is as easy as eating a brownie while brushing your teeth.

6.    We all make mistakes, which is why it's so important to practice forgiveness.

7.    The only thing worse than a pissed-off shapeshifter is a pissed-off shapeshifter in love.

8.    Sometimes the earth really does have to open up and swallow you whole before you can accept the truth that's right in front of you.

9.    Vampires have no sense of humor . . . especially when they get turned into a kangaroo.

10.  Free will gives us choices, but even making the right choices can't change destiny . . . and learning to accept that can be the most painful lesson of all.

11.  People aren’t always who they say they are, even if you really want them to be.

12.  Sometimes when you try to save someone, they end up saving you instead.

13.  Never get between a dragon and a warlock on the war path.

Q & A with CC Hunter 
W1) What is your favorite quote from Taken at Dusk?

That’s so hard.  Here are two that I like:
A.“There are no guarantees. Not with love or with life.  But we can’t go through life never taking a risk.”
B.   “Mistakes.  People make them.  And most of the time, they have to pay for them.”

2)      2) Who has been your favorite character in the Shadow Falls series? 

That one is impossible.  It’s like asking a mother which of her children is her favorite?  I’m probably closer to Kylie because the book is mostly about her journey.  However, some of my favorite scenes are those with Perry. He’s such a fun character.  He makes me laugh, and he makes want to make sure he gets his own happy ending with Miranda.  I just hope Miranda will be up for it.

3) If you could choose, what type of paranormal creature would you be? 

It would cool to fly like a vampire, but I wouldn’t like the diet.  So I think I would like to be a witch or fae.  Then again, what Kylie turns out to be is probably the best of all possible supernaturals.  And no, I can’t tell you what it is.  LOL.

4)   Whispers at Moonrise is the forth book in the Shadow Falls series, do you plan to take the series further? If so, whats next? 

Yes, there will be a total of five books in the series. My editor and I haven’t talked too much about the title yet, but I think it will have “Sunrise” in it.  I’ve also suggested that for the cover, we do an image of Kylie by the Texas Gulf Coast with the sunrise reflecting off the ocean.  We’ll see if they go with my idea.

In the last book, Kylie’s journey and quest is complete.  She understands who she is, what she is, and finally knows who she is meant to love.  There will a big surprise at the end, too.  One even Kylie wasn’t expecting.

5) When Shadow Falls is finished, do you plan to continue writing?  Any ideas on what you want to write about after? 

Oh, yes, I will definitely continue writing.  That’s almost like asking me if I plan to continue breathing. Writing is really a part of who I am.  I’ve already pitched a new series to my editor ,and she really liked the idea. It will have a paranormal theme, but different in that it won’t be about your typical supernatural characters.  While I’m looking forward to starting it, I’m also a little sad about saying goodbye to all my Shadow Falls characters.   

Where to find CC Hunter:

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Review: Sea Change by Aimee Friedman

Aimee Friedman
Hardcover, 292 pages
Scholastic inc
June 1, 2009

“I watched the land for as long as I could, until it disappeared behind its shawl of mist, and until I had it fixed in my mind - unchanged, mysterious and beautiful” 

Sixteen-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science. . .and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate.
There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship. . .and reality.
Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined?

Sea Change was a light fun read. Full of summer romance and a bit of mystery!

Miranda, an intelligent sixteen year old from New York must go to Selkie Island, a southern island that her mother had summered on as a child. After the death of her grandmother she and her mother must go to get their summer home ready to sell. when Miranda arrives she is met with a mix of southern bells, lush island surroundings and a book that holds a legend to Selkie island that may not be a legend at all. 

Sea Change was a quick read at only 292 pages. It had a quick paced love story and an underlying mythological plot. Miranda's character was likable. She was a very logical thinker and had no time for silly things such as romance and myths. I also liked Leo, He was a sweet guy and seemed very genuine. The others in the book were less likable, Miranda's mother seemed like two different characters. She was different in almost every scene of the book. The other summer residents of Silkie Island were portrayed as shallow and having low character which oddly enough did not take away from the story. They were at times even funny.

Aimee Friedman has a true gift of writing. Her words are beautiful and her descriptions of Silkie Island make me feel like I was there myself. She has a way of transporting the world around you and I truly felt like I was there with Miranda on the beach in the summer air. 

Overall Sea change was likable. It was a quick light read that I did enjoy. Although the book gave little evidence to any myth at all and the ending did not confirm anything, I felt the book was a cute summer love story. I do wish there was a second book that would elaborate on the myths of Silkie Island and of its residents. I give Sea Change 3 Hoots! If you're looking for a quick read to take on the beach, this one is for you! 

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