Category Archives: interview

BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Play with Me by Piper Shelly

Play with Me

by Piper Shelly

Grover Beach Team, Book One

Book Description

A short, sweet novella.

Ryan Hunter’s parties are legend. And tonight she’s going to be there.

Liza Matthews anticipates the return of her best friend and only love since kindergarten from soccer camp. But when Tony finally shows up, his mind is more focused on another girl. And worse, she’s a soccer player. Fighting for the attention Liza craves, she’s just a hairbreadth away from making a very stupid decision. But when extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, she’s prepared to play ball to get her man.

The tryouts are hell, the first match ends bloody, and the morning after the selection party she wakes up in the worst place possible—in the arms of the captain of the soccer team. The hottest guy in school. Ryan Hunter.

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Hey everyone! Thanks for the invitation to this little chat. It’s a pleasure to be here today.

1. What made you want to become a writer?

My passion for writing and story-telling. There are so many characters in my mind, waiting to come alive in new books, that I can hardly type fast enough to bring them all down onto the page. And what’s the point in writing stories, if you have no one to read and get lost in them? That was my drive for becoming a writer.

2. Who or what gives you inspiration?

Most of all, music. I can listen to the same songs for days and just start dreaming. Each of my books has its own playlist, and when I later listen to those songs again, I’m immediately back in the story. :-)
But also a good film or book can inspire me to write a new story. And of course, many little things from my everyday life.

3. What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

I need silence and warm feet. That’s all, thank you.

4. What are some of your favorite books?

Well, there’s the entire Love At Stake series by Kerrelyn Sparks, Twilight, Harry Potter, Hush Hush, and also Absolute Surrender by Georgia Lyn Hunter. I recently read Fifty Shades of Grey and totally fell for the Christian.

5. Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Well, some of them are, but not all of them. Mostly, the heroines have a lot of myself in them, especially Jona and Liza. Ryan Hunter was actually based on my husband when I got to know him (he was 19 then), and Julian from LOVING YOUR LIES is just how I imagine my guardian angel. ;-)

6. Why do you love writing?

Because it gives me a way to escape this boring world. If you turn on the TV or switch on the radio, all you hear and see is destruction, war, death, people stealing, people suffering, people starving, people hurting other people. I just can’t take any more of that crap.

I need more in my life. More in my world. I need witches, angels, romance, guys who’d do everything for their girls, butterflies in my stomach, a pounding heart because of a simple smile… And since it’s damn hard to find all that in the real world, I decided to just turn it off and create my own.

That’s why I write books. To give myself a way to escape and also my readers, who need a door to disappear through for a little while sometimes.

About the Author

PIPER SHELLY prefers blue to green, spring to winter, and writing to talking. But then she prefers writing to almost everything else. It helps her to escape from a boring world to something with actual adventure and romance in it, she says. Even when she’s not crafting a new story, you’ll see her lounging with a book in some quiet spot. She was 17 when she left Vienna to live in the tranquil countryside of Austria, and from there she loves to plan trips to anywhere in the world. Two of her favorite places? Disneyland and the deep dungeons of her creative mind.

Website/Goodreads/Facebook

Purchase (FREE on Kindle for all of October):

Amazon  |  Barnes and Noble  

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Prize (open internationally):
–A boxed set of PLAY WITH ME and RYAN HUNTER. One book, both stories inside.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

 

Xpresso Book Tours

BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Sidelined by Kendra C. Highley

Sidelined

by Kendra C. Highley

YA Contemporary

Book Description

After being pushed to excel her entire life, high school basketball star Genna Pierce is finally where she wants to be. University scouts are taking notice, her team is on its way to the state tourney, and Jake Butler, the hot boy she’s daydreamed about since ninth grade, is showing somedefinite interest. When he asks her out and their relationship takes off, Genna believes things can’t get better.

Then, it’s over.

A freak accident ends her career before it’s even begun. Her parents are fighting more than ever, her friends don’t understand what she’s going through, and she’s not sure who she is without basketball. And while he tries to be there for her, Genna doesn’t understand how Jake could ever want the broken version of the girl he fell for.

Her life in a tailspin, Genna turns to the only solace that eases her pain: Vicodin.

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1. What made you want to become a writer?

I’ve loved books since I was really little. I’ve also loved to make up stories. Still, it took my mom planting the seed when I was fifteen for me to really get serious about it. Then, it took me another twenty years before I actually wrote my first full-length novel (which will never see the light of day). Once I got started, I knew this is what I’ve always wanted to do.

2. Who or what gives you inspiration?

I get inspiration from lots of different things. Sidelined came out of watching a few friends struggle when they were injured in high school sports, losing out on a scholarship. These guys were so angry, so crushed, it left a huge impression on me and I wondered how a girl would act in that situation. About the time I started drafting the book, I read an article about doctor shopping and prescription drug abuse in teens, which pointed me in the final direction.

3. What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

Dark chocolate M&Ms are a must have, as is a playlist for the book I’m working on. I also have to have my laptop, because I type faster than I write, so writing long-hand hasn’t ever worked for me. I also usually have a spiral notebook for each book, for outlines and stray plot ideas.

4. What are some of your favorite books?

That’s a pretty long list, but here are a few:
Pride and Prejudice (or pretty much anything else Jane Austen has written)
Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
The Two Towers (from LOTR) by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Curse Workers trilogy by Holly Black
The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson
Tracked by Jenny Martin (coming in 2014)

5. Why do you love writing?

Words have so much power. When wielded carelessly, they can wound to the core, but when used well, they can inspire, guide, embolden or celebrate. Writing allows me to explore the stories in my head without having to go through the situations my characters find themselves in. In turn, they teach me all kinds of things about the world. You hear a lot of authors say, “I can’t not write.” It’s something in my blood and in my heart, begging me to put words on the page, and I love the feeling I get when the story works out in ways I never dreamed.

About the Author

Kendra C. Highley lives in north Texas with her husband and two children. She also serves as staff to two self-important and high-powered cats. This, according to the cats, is her most critical job. She believes in everyday magic, extraordinary love stories and the restorative powers of dark chocolate.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

PURCHASE:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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PRIZES:

$25 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift card and a women’s collegiate basketball to the first prize winner (US Only)
3– $10 Amazon/Barnes & Noble gift cards for 3 second prize winners (International)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

RockStar Book Tours

BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Left by TR Graves

Left

by TR Graves

Still Standing Series, Book One

Book Description

Your own two feet are all you have when you’ve been left.
A naive Baylee loves Colt, her boyfriend of four years, more than she ever thought possible. After a little snooping, she’s convinced she’s well on her way toward hearing an once-in-a-lifetime proposal and starring in the wedding-of-the-year event. Instead, she’s blindsided by a very public breakup and the crushing news that Colt is marrying someone else… someone more befitting him and the role his father expects him to take in his law firm.
Baylee may have spent years resenting Ariana, her mother, and her suicide, an intolerable show of weakness in Baylee’s opinion, but after Colt leaves her just short of the altar, Baylee sees the world through her mother’s eyes. She sympathizes with Ariana’s actions and realizes that some things—soul-deep aches—can irreparably damage you and make moving on nearly impossible.
At least that’s how she feels until she meets Ryker. With his help, Baylee discovers there is life after Colt, and she prepares to move on by pulling herself up by the bootstraps, holding her head high, and standing on her own two feet. Unfortunately, a new jealous and hateful Colt has his own plans for her, and they are plans no one—especially Baylee—ever saw coming.
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I’d like to thank Carrie @ Sweet Southern Home for the interview and for hosting my book tour and me. It goes without saying that authors – like myself – would be nowhere if it weren’t for the kindness showered upon us by bloggers like Carrie and blogs like Sweet Southern Home. ❤

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m the author of Warrior, Secret, and Still Standing series—currently available—and Moral Dilemma and Underwater series—to be released in 2013/2014.
I live in Texas with my husband, our nineteen-year-old daughter, and nine-year-old son.
I work full-time as a hospital administrator and RN in the third most populous county in the country. To say that I’m passionate about the subject of healthcare is an understatement.

2. What made you want to become a writer?
My father was a man who could tell a story that was so vivid and dramatic that people hung on his every word, flocking to our house morning, noon, and night just to hear them. A few months after he died, story plots and their characters began haunting me. They were so demanding that I had no choice but to write them down… to share them. Before his death, writing a book was not anything I’d ever imagined doing. Since his death, writing books is all I imagine doing. In some ways, I believe that the stories/characters that I’m creating come directly from him. Knowing how strong-willed he was, I suspect he’s found a way to communicate with me and keep his stories alive even in death.

3. Who or what gives you inspiration?
I get inspiration for lots of different things, and it can come from anywhere at any time.
The inspiration behind Left (Still Standing, #1) came after suspecting that several young, beautiful, and intelligent women that I know are living in relationships with men who are abusive. Because I appreciate how special these women are and what amazing qualities they offer to the world, I couldn’t stop asking myself why they were staying with someone who treats them with anything less than respect… with someone who doesn’t shower them with the unconditional love they deserve. From that internal dialogue, Left was born.

4. Tell us about Left.
Left deals with an unspeakable subject, domestic violence, but it’s not preachy or in your face. Instead, it’s full of sweet and tender (and passionate) moments, ones that will help you understand how a woman, Baylee, can fall for a man, Colt, who has a monster buried deep inside. It’s offset by empowering moments where the main character realizes she’s been looking through her rose-colored glasses long enough and that it’s time to admit what she already knows. Enriching the story is the team of people (in the form of amazing back-up characters… most notably Ryker) who support Baylee as she pulls herself up and swears on all that is holy she will stand on her own two feet if it’s the last thing she does. Finally and because no story is complete without an ‘Oh my God! I never saw that coming’ ending, there are some finishing events that are similar to the ones we see played out every day across this country. They are the result of several relatively benign and ignored actions/reactions. I’m convinced that everything about this story will hit home with readers because the progression of events and the characters’ underlying relationships with each other are so natural and real.

5. What’s the hardest part of being a writer?
I can honestly say… lack of time. I wish I could write all the stories that pop into my head, but writing a really good story and developing the characters that go along with them takes lots of time and patience.

6. What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?
Diet Dr. Pepper or Diet Mountain Dew. I must have one of these every day. On top of being a wife and mother, I work full-time. In order to get to my job, I commute 10-12 hours per week. As an indie author, I write, market, and publish my books. On top of all of that and as if I don’t do enough, I am the coordinator of a team of authors who blog about the trials and tribulations of being an indie author. Without caffeine, I would not be able to accomplish most of this.

7. What are some of your favorite books?
I have an eclectic list of favorite series: Mortal Instruments, Shades of Grey, and Tiger’s Curse. I love them because of the visual images painted by these authors as well as the author’s ability to draw me into the story and make me love/hate the characters. Books that make me feel like I’m in the room watching the action or elicit the emotions the characters are having are the ones I label as favorites.

8. Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Allison in Warrior Series is an amazing patient advocate (willing to give her life to heal the dying). The nurse in me identifies with that passion.

Emily in Secrets Series has lived her entire life enslaved by a commune of men who have tried to make her think there are no options. The moment she gets a peek into a world where she can be free to live – and love – anywhere – anyone – she likes, it becomes impossible for her to go back to her life of servitude. The strength it takes for her to fight against that world makes her absolutely endearing.
Baylee in Still Standing Series is naive, happy-go-lucky, and prepared to stand by her man through thick and thin. When he leaves, my heart goes out to her. I love the way we – the readers – stand back and watch her deal with a situation she never thought she’d be in.
The common thread with all of these women is that they are strong… they refuse to compromise their morals/ethics… they love long, hard, and unconditionally… and they refuse to conform no matter how simple their lives would be if they did just that. In some ways, I believe those characteristics embody me and my choices.

9. What, if anything, are you working on right now?
I’m finishing up Underground (Secrets, #2). It’s the second book in the Secrets series, Grave Bound being the first.

Summary:
Betrayal and loss have changed Emily Riddle in ways she never thought would have been possible. With a death wish guiding her every move, she’s willing to compromise her morals, ethics, and instincts to bring the men who’ve broken her heart to justice… even if that means living a life underground, being someone she’s not, and pretending to respect the very men she’s positioning herself to take down.
As soon as she teams up with the district attorney, Tope Bryson, and agrees to be a member of his covert operation, she returns to the commune and convinces the patriarchal leaders she is the most qualified person to take on roles traditionally assigned to men. Desperate and without options, Owen, the commune’s leader and Emily’s father, agrees to a temporary change.

Emily takes full advantage of the opportunity and quickly proves to him – much to her brothers’ dismay – that he can’t live without having her in those critical roles and that she may be the best candidate for his ‘next in command’.

She and Tope quickly realize that the men of the commune consider a woman who threatens the good ole boy system that’s been in place for decades public enemy number one. Determined to protect Emily from her brothers, Tope plants an undercover officer and charismatic law student, Noah Babineaux, in the commune. Neither Tope nor Emily is prepared for the attention Noah pays Emily.

With a nothing else matters attitude, Emily focuses on her underground mission and pushes her hate, anger, grief, and… blossoming feelings down until they threaten to explode from the inside and tear her apart. It’s a race against the clock to get the evidence necessary (and ultimately the retaliation Emily craves) before a life of submissive brutality – or sibling jealousy – kills her.

10. Why do you love writing?
As a regular human being without any special powers, I have absolutely no control over the real world. As an author, I become judge and jury… have the power to make a character loved or hated… determine where the characters are going, when they’re going, how they’re going, and what challenges they’ll meet along the way. Something about that is exciting.

About the Author

T. R. Graves, the author of The Warrior Series and The Secrets Series and The Underwater Series, is a 2012 NaNoWriMo Winner.
She lives along the Texas coast with her husband. Together, they raise T. R.’s beta reading daughter and their football-loving son. Besides being blessed with a supportive family, she counts her career as a registered nurse in not-for-profit hospitals high on her list of fulfilling accomplishments.

Purchase: Amazon

 

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There will be a tour wide giveaway of a finished paperback copy, 2 ecopies, and a giveaway to win an Amazon Kindle Fire along with all of the book-related Hidden Object books created by Phatpuppy (Claudia McKinney) if you purchase the ebook during the tour. Please email your receipts to shanereads (at) yahoo (dot) com for proof.

 

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

AUTHORS ARE ROCKSTARS: A.R. Kahler

Authors Are Rockstars

Hey yall, welcome to Sweet Southern Home!  I’m happy to be a part of this year’s Authors are Rock Stars tour.

Today I’m featuring the rocking A.R. Kahler!

So why does A.R. (AKA Alex) rock?  Well, in addition to being the author of  The Immortal Circus series, which is sexy and original, he’s also traipsed all around Europe…teaching circus!  Yeah, he’s been to Spain and Scotland and the Netherlands doing stuff like this:

So that’s pretty sweet.

But to me, he’s a pretty great writer!  I reviewed Part One of The Immortal Circus back in February and gave it 4 stars!

Part Two has since been published and I’m hoping to fit it into my schedule soon.

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I was able to ask Alex a few questions in conjunction with my Authors Are Rockstars tour stop.

1. What made you want to become a writer?

Reading, honestly. When I was younger I devoured everything I could get my hands on. Books helped me cope with many things, and I think as I grew older I slowly transitioned to creating my own worlds to escape in. I guess it was only a matter of time before I wanted to start sharing those with others. Now, my biggest drive is to get the reader to dream of something different—I want to create places readers can live and love and explore. Even if those places aren’t always the most welcoming.

2. Who or what gives you inspiration?

Everything. Inspiration comes at the worst of times in the strangest of places. An entire trilogy was inspired by a line that popped into my head at three in the morning while fighting insomnia. Conversations, Wikipedia snippets, overheard songs or the way a tree arches over the sidewalk…I’m always open to ideas. Because of that, I’m grateful for finally owning a smartphone—now, I can take notes in that, rather than all over my arm.

3. What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

Hmm…I move around a lot, so there’s not much I really need. A computer is handy. Coffee is grand. I suppose I almost always have music in the background to turn certain parts of my brain off. Notebooks for drawing out story lines are helpful. Also, I usually live in cold places, so fingerless gloves are a mainstay.

4. What are some of your favorite books?

Oh, hard to say. ‘Harry Potter’ is a lifelong friend. I’m also really into ‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt, ‘American Gods’ by Neil Gaiman, and—my new love—the ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ series by Laini Taylor (now I really want to go to Prague).

5. Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Nope. Some might have snippets of personality, or I may re-imagine quotations, but for the most part I don’t base my characters off anyone. They tend to generate a life and personality of their own, and probably wouldn’t appreciate me trying to fit them into a different mold.

6. Why do you love writing?

Fan reactions. Writing is, for the most part, incredibly solitary. So I’m touched beyond measure when fans reach out and tell me they loved a character or a book, or start hypothesizing what will happen next. That why I really dig the power of social media and discussion boards—it lets me know my words are getting out there. Like I said earlier, I started writing because I wanted to sweep readers away. When I hear that it’s successful, I feel like I’m part of an even bigger cycle of storytelling.

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A.R. Kahler’s Books

THE IMMORTAL CIRCUS
Murdered contortionists aren’t exactly what Vivienne signed up for when she ran away to join the circus. But like most things under the big top, nothing is what it seems. With a past she can’t quite remember, Vivienne finds that running away forever might not be as appealing as it once sounded—especially not when she realizes the devilishly attractive ringleader Mab is the Faerie Queen of legend…and that she and the rest of the troupe are locked in an age-old rivalry between the otherworldly Courts.

 Aided by her friends Kingston—a feisty stage magician whose magic is quickly stealing her heart—and his smart-ass assistant Melody, Vivienne finds herself racing against the clock to discover the culprit behind a series of deaths that should be impossible. However, the answer she seeks might reveal more about her own bloody past—and future—than she bargains for.

The show’s just beginning.

Step right up…

THE IMMORTAL CIRCUS: ACT TWO

Vivienne is almost content with her new life in the Cirque des Immortels. She has moved up from selling cotton candy to telling fortunes, she has a gorgeous, magical boyfriend, Kingston…and no one has been murdered since the clash between the otherworldly Courts. Her life under the faerie big top would be perfect, in fact, if not for the nightmares and visions that compel her to seek and confront her half-remembered past. But for Viv, not knowing her past may well be a blessing. There’s a reason she ran away. But can she truly escape herself?

The second act of the fantastically evocative Cirque des Immortels series, The Immortal Circus: Act Two draws readers further into a world that’s at once wonderful, seductive…and deadly.

Step right up…

MARTYR, the first book in his post-apocalyptic YA fantasy series, THE HUNTED, will be published 10/14 by Spencer Hill Press.


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BOOK SPOTLIGHT & AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Intrepid Series by Chris Allen

Today I’m happy to welcome Australian author Chris Allen to the blog!  I’ll be interviewing him down below, but first a bit about his books.

Defender

by Chris Allen

Intrepid Series, Book One

Book Description

Part Jason Bourne and part James Bond, Alex Morgan is an agent of Interpol’s Intelligence, Recovery, Protection and Infiltration Division – Intrepid. Policeman, soldier and spy, Morgan and his fellow operatives are the faceless strangers who serve the greater good – the means to justify the end.

When an intelligence agent is brutally murdered and the president of a small African country is put in danger, Morgan is sent in on his first solo mission.

His cover is to evacuate a group of aid workers, with the help of the beautiful but distant Arena Halls, before the country is swept by civil war. But his true mission is much darker. A spy has gone rogue – and there’s more at stake than the guy’s career in the SIS.

A heart-pounding, no-holds-barred chase from the dark heart of Africa to the crystalline waters of Sydney culminates in a fight to the death to stop a vicious renegade intelligence officer and uncover the shadowy conspiracy behind him.

Can Morgan stay alive long enough to save the girl, save himself and bring them all to justice?

 

Hunter

by Chris Allen

Intrepid Series, Book Two

Book Description

His orders are simple: ‘The safety catch is off. Return that girl to her family and drag those bastards back to justice. Dead or alive. It makes no difference to me.’

Alex Morgan – policeman, soldier and spy for INTREPID, the black ops division of INTERPOL – is on the hunt for Serbian war criminals. But these guys were never going to let it be that simple. An assassination attempt is made on the presiding judge of the international tribunal. Days later, the judge’s daughter, the famous and beautiful classical pianist Charlotte Rose, vanishes in mysterious circumstances.

The girl is not just a pretty face and the daughter of a judge, however. She’s also the goddaughter of INTREPID’s veteran commander, General Davenport. It’s up to Morgan and the INTREPID team to track the kidnappers and the missing woman before the very fabric of international justice is picked apart at its fraying edges.

Part James Bond and part Jason Bourne, this time Alex Morgan must walk the line between doing the right thing and getting the job done.

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1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a former Australian army officer and paratrooper and I’ve spent my post-military career in law enforcement. These days I write action thrillers.

2.  What made you want to become a writer?

Well, I grew up reading and re-reading action books by some of my favourite writers like Ian Fleming, Alastair Maclean and the great American writer Clive Cussler. They were such masters of their trade that I thought: one day, that’s what I’d like to do.

3.  Who or what gives you inspiration?

I guess it was me wanting to stories that would hopefully emulate some of the great stories and storytellers I mentioned above, but giving them my own modern edge. A good story has the power to transport readers across the world with the flick of a page. That’s my vision and it fuels my passion for writing.

4.  Tell us about Hunter.

Hunter is Alex Morgan’s second mission as star agent for Intrepid (the ultra-secret, black-ops division of Interpol). This time, he’s got a lot to prove following the success of his first mission bringing down a rogue agent. This mission will cement his position as Intrepid’s #1 man. He’s tracking fugitive war criminals, protecting judges of the international court and rescuing a world-famous classical pianist who also happens to be the niece of Intrepid’s legendary chief General Davenport. All in a day’s work for Alex Morgan.

5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

Making sure that each story stands on its own right as an epic tale, while still maintaining the overarching themes of the series.

6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

Scotch, failing that Guinness, or more likely an abundance of tea and coffee! In fact, my writing mancave is full of memorabilia from my military and law enforcement days as well as books that I’ve treasured since childhood. I find having these special items in the one room gives a sense of my history and ultimate objective to be a successful writer.

7.  What are some of your favorite books?

My favorite books are in no particular order: Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming; Sahara by Clive Cussler; Where Eagles Dare by Alastair Maclean; and my number one, top of the tree, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

8.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Yes. Alex Morgan is loosely based on me, but I’ve made him a lot more interesting by adding characteristics and traits from other great friends that I’ve made throughout my career. There’s also a bit of the older me in General Davenport, though he’s a better dresser and much wiser than I! In terms of the other characters, I’ve drawn on a tight network of my closest friends to inspire a number of the principle characters. These are all guys I’ve served with. Finally, some small-minded types who I find particularly loathsome may end up with an unexpected cameo as an annoying character in one of my books!

9.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

Avenger, the third in the series. Morgan is taking on the world’s shadiest and most despicable characters – human traffickers. He’s also showing the first female agent at Intrepid the ropes but she will put Morgan through his paces too.

10.  Why do you love writing?

I love the escape of writing, the ability to sit quietly in a room, and in my mind create different situations, people and worlds – hopefully putting them into a type of construct that people enjoy reading. When I hear that people have missed a train or bus stop, or stayed up all night devouring one of my stories, I know I’ve done my job.

Chris_Allen

About the Author
Before penning his Alex Morgan espionage series, Chris saw the world from under a parachute; made a difference in East Timor; protected Sydney’s iconic Opera House sails post 9/11; and most recently as Sheriff of New South Wales, held one of the most historic offices in Australia. Since self-publishing and being signed by Pan Macmillan Australia’s digital imprint Momentum for a two-book deal, Defender and Hunter wowed readers worldwide, with Avenger due out end-2013 and a film / TV franchise underway.
Chris blogs about all things thriller as well as indulging his love of cult TV shows and movies from his youth at www.intrepidallen.com/blog.

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Buy Defender on Amazon.com: http://buff.ly/19PLO2Y
Buy Hunter on Amazon.com: http://buff.ly/11KCyUO

BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Guys Are Props Club by Ingrid Seymour

The Guys Are Props Club

by Ingrid Seymour

New Adult Contemporary

Book Description

On her senior year in high school, Maddie Burch promised herself not to ever fall for a cute guy – or any guy – again. Cute guys are players and not to be trusted, a fact she learned the hard way when her first boyfriend ran her heart through a paper shredder. Two years later, her promise is still intact, and she’s determined to make it through college without falling victim to another creep. She has her job, school and The Guys Are Props Club to keep her mind and hormones in check.
The club was founded by Jessica, Maddie’s best friend. It is a sisterhood of girls who have fallen prey to heartless jerks and who have vowed to turn the tables. Once a semester, Jessica requires members to “do onto others as they’ve done unto you.” Setting the example, Jessica’s next play is Sebastian Capello, a theater major with heartthrob looks and a flair for Latin dance, whose heart she plans to break the way hers was once broken.
What the friends don’t know is that Sebastian is different. Despite his perfect looks and popularity, he’s not a jerk. He doesn’t play games to get his way. Instead, he keeps it real and goes after what he wants with honest intentions. And what he wants is not a bombshell like Jessica, but a down-to-earth girl like Maddie – even if it causes a riff in the girl’s friendship. Even if it means getting Maddie to break her personal vow.
*** Due to language and sexual situations this book is recommended for ages 17 and older.

 

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1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a computer programmer during office hours and a young and new adult author the rest of the time. I love, love, love to write, and dream of the day when I can become a full-time author. For me, it isn’t about fame or money; it is simply about being able to make a living doing what I love most. I hope hard work will get me there someday. I also love reading, movies, music, sushi, pizza, my family, and did I mention writing? ;)

 

2.  What made you want to become a writer?

I don’t think there is one sole reason that can explain this; I’m not even sure I can say what drove me to do it. It’s just something that has kept coming back to me again and again since my teenage years. My dad had this old Remington typewriter when I was in high school. It was an antique in very good shape, and, for some reason, I found myself sitting in front of it many times, rolling a blank piece of paper into it and typing so fast the keys got stuck. I started many stories but never quite finish any of them. But it was an itch I had to scratch. It was inevitable, and now here I am.

 

3.  Who or what gives you inspiration?

I draw inspiration from almost everything. Movies, music, other books, but mainly my own life and experiences. My brain is constantly churning, thinking of “what if” scenarios. What if I could stick my hand through the window and clean the outside? What if that weird guy two cubicles down is a mutant (he sure looks like one)? What if girls went around breaking guys’ hearts on purpose? It is when one of these make-believe scenarios strikes me hard, that I decide it needs to be a book. Or a lot of times, it is the idea that takes hold of me and doesn’t let me go until lay it down on paper.

 

4.  Tell us about The Guys Are Props Club.

The Guys Are Props Club was one of those ideas that grabbed me and totally kidnapped me. This light bulb flash inside my head didn’t dim until I finished the book. The writing process forThe G.A.P. Club was extremely intense. I finished the novel in record time, and the plot and characters came out exactly the way you read them on the published book now. There were no hiccups, no multiple revisions, nothing like that. This story knew what it wanted to be from day one. It really took me by surprise.

 

5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

For me it is knowing that I have to accommodate my passion into reality. I have a day job and that takes up most of my time during the week, time that I want to spend with my characters and my ideas, but I can’t. One day I hope everything else has to try to fit in into my writing schedule instead.

 

6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

I really don’t need much. The main thing is a space where no one will interrupt me. Most of the time I write in the quiet of my office at home and at night, when everyone is in bed. But I can write almost anywhere. I can tune out the world . . . the only requirement is that no one interrupts. So talking to me if off limits ;)

 

7.  What are some of your favorite books?

The Green Mile

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Ender’s Game

And many, many more . . .

 

8.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Not in The Guys Are Props Club and not in most of my books, but I do had a couple of characters that, on the physical level, resemble someone I know. As far as personalities, no . . .  none of my characters’ behavior is based on real-life people.

 

9.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

I’m working on the next book in the The Guys Are Props Club series. I’m also trying to find a traditional venue for a paranormal romance I’ve been working on. There are a couple of major publishers interested in it. Hopefully that will work out.

 

10.  Why do you love writing?

I would say because I like putting my imagination to good use. Ideas are always popping into my head, and I feel it would be a waste if I didn’t give them a chance to come to life inside the pages of a novel. I love to read and I’m grateful for all those authors who allowed their ideas to become something that could take me into other worlds or situations. I hope I can do the same for others.

 

About the Author

Ingrid Seymour loves, loves, loves to write. Her favorite genres are Young Adult and New Adult fiction.  Her debut novel “The Guys Are Props Club” is an NA contemporary romance which she immensely enjoyed writing.  Her favorite outings involve a trip to the library or bookstore where she immediately gravitates toward the YA section. She’s an avid reader and fangirl of many amazing books. She’s sure that one day she’ll see one of her books made into a movie. She likes to dream big ;)
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Second Prize: signed paperback (INTL)

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BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: A Stiff Kiss by Avery Olive

A Stiff Kiss

by Avery Olive

YA Paranormal Romance

Book Description

Who knew kissing a corpse would change everything? Death always hits Xylia Morana too close to home, but she likes it that way. She hangs out with the terminally ill, attends random funerals, and every so often, when the weather is right, she sleeps in open graves. But after Landon Phoenix, the high school hottie, dies in Xylia’s hands, she sneaks into the morgue to say goodbye. How could she know stealing a kiss from his corpse would wake him up? With Landon returned to the living and suddenly interested in Xylia, life has new meaning. But what Xylia doesn’t realize is that by kissing Landon back to life, she’s thrown Life and Death off balance. The underworld demands a body, and it might just have to be Xylia’s this time.

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An Interview with the Author, Avery Olive

1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

Hmmm. There isn’t much to tell. I’m a stay at home mom, in my free time I write… The usual. I’m horrible when it comes to grammar and since I’m Canadian, I believe most words require a U in them.

2.  What made you want to become a writer?

I’m not sure anything specifically made me want to become a writer per say. To be honest, it just sort of happened. I’d broken my leg awhile back, and was laid up, on strict bed rest. I devoured books, reading at least one a day. It was becoming a problem and a financial burden because I have to own books. I can’t just borrow them from the library. Anyway, I thought, okay, let’s stop reading books and try my hand a writing one.

3.  Who or what gives you inspiration?

I think inspiration comes from all sorts of places and it depends on the story. My first novels inspiration came from a movie I’d watched. One after that, I think it was commercial on TV…. A Stiff Kiss came from a dream. Another novel came from a conversation I had with a friend. I’m not sure, though, if people have inspired me… Not yet, at least.

4.  Tell us about A Stiff Kiss.

A Stiff Kiss, in my opinion, is a sort of a slightly dark twist on Sleeping Beauty, in reverse. The main character, Xylia, has been through a lot. She’s a little morbid and a little sad. And it takes an extreme change in her life to realize some of her potential. Landon, the secondary character, thought life was merely perfect, but when things change, and that life almost get’s taken away from him, he starts to realize there are a ton of things more important than life then he’d originally thought. Naturally, it takes Landon and Xylia’s paths to cross.

5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

Finding the time to write. I may not have a job I go to every day, but parenting takes just as many hours and sometimes just as much concentration. I find I have to juggle life, make a few sacrifices and hope everything works out for the best.

The other thing is putting yourself out there and understanding that there will be people who love you and people who hate you. You really need to develop a thick skin and realize this entire industry is subjective and a lot of it boils down to personal taste.

6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

Gum is a big one for me. I have a nasty habit that I’m trying to quit, so I need gum to curve the cravings I get. I also love me some Dr. Pepper. I don’t much drink coffee (at least not in the summer) but when I’m pulling late nights and running on little sleep, I need that pick me up.

7.  What are some of your favorite books?

Oh, gosh. This is a tough one! I’ve probably got too many to least and I’d hate to play favourites and single books or authors out. I love all my books equally ;)
But seriously, um…
I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed Twilight. I know. It’s got some good and bad.
I love all things Cassandra Clare. I wish I could be a Shadowhunter!
Princess Bride holds a huge part of my heart. I think it was the first book I ever read for fun and enjoyed it.
I can also through in quite a few classics… The Outsiders is one.
Though not a novel, I do love Edgar Allen Poe.
8.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?

No. Not usually. Sometimes I’ll throw in a name, but never base personality on anyone I know. I’m also afraid I’ll offend someone.

9.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

Working on a few things. I have a novel coming out in October, Won’t Let Go, which is a twist on a ghost story. I’ve been working hard on edits.
And then rest… I can’t tell you about. I’m always afraid I’ll jinx myself, or worse, I’ll tell someone about a novel, they’ll fall in love with the idea of it, and nothing will come of it. Since the industry is full of lots of highs and lows, and not everything a writer writes will get published, I like to keep pretty quiet until things are solid.

10.  Why do you love writing?

It’s funny, I don’t think anyone has ever ask me that straight up. Which is surprising. At any rate, I love writing because I love diving into a characters head and creating a story. I write YA so I also feel like it’s an acceptable way to live vicariously through my characters and relieve some of the great moments that teenagers get to experience. I also love that something I write lands in the hands of other people, it’s scary and nerve wracking but comes with a ton of satisfaction knowing I’ve entertained someone–made them laugh or cry, or I’ve written something they hate, but if the criticism is constructive I’m always out to improve my craft.

 

About the Author

Avery Olive is Canadian. She is married and has one child. When she’s not helping raise her very energetic and inquisitive son, she can be found working on her latest novel–where she devilishly adds U’s into every word she can.
When she is looking for a break Avery enjoys cake decorating, losing herself in a good book, or heading out to the lake to go camping.
The release of Avery’s first novel proves to her it won’t be the last. As long as her family continues to be supportive, she can find the time, and people want to read, Avery vows to keep on writing.

averyolive.blogspot.com | twitter.com/AveryOlive

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BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Identified by Faith Rice-Mills

Identified

by Faith A. Rice-Mills

The Maya Price Story, Book One

Book Description

Maya Price is a typical eighteen-year-old girl without much going on in her life. Her biggest problems include getting ready to leave her hometown for college, figuring out how to avoid her ever-so-strange stepmother, and trying to muddle through her feelings for her best friend, Pete. Yet, on one of her last nights in her hometown, she and Pete are in a car accident. A stranger pulls Maya from the accident, leaving Pete behind, and takes her out of this world and into another dimension.

Maya soon discovers that she has been taken to a dimension called Leets by a group of people that call themselves shifters. Shifters are of mixed human and onyx blood and have various abilities.  These shifters are able to travel between dimensions and control the four elements (fire, earth, wind, water) and the five senses (sight, sound, smell, touch and taste). Their leader, Victoria, informs Maya that she, too, is a shifter and that she must choose to join them or risk being sought out by their greatest enemy, a shifter named Leonas.

Maya joins Victoria and her ragtag group of rebel shifters in Leets, where she is teamed up with a group of seven other shifters. Her new “teammates” include a street-smart girl named Luz, who is especially adept at controlling fire, her twin sister Espy, and a nervous boy named Lamar, who can manipulate sound better than any other shifter. Together, Maya’s team trains for the battle that will soon be inevitable.

However, Maya soon learns that her purpose is not to just move the earth or send water flying into the air. There are rumors of a hidden prophecy and that the prophecy mentions Maya by name. Supposedly, the prophecy says that Maya will one day have to choose a side and will be essential in bringing her chosen ally to power…

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An Interview with the Author, Faith Rice-Mills

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

Ten things you should know about me:

My husband and I have known each other since we were teenagers. We were best friends, turned novios, turned spouses. We have been married eight years and he is the best. And, he looks like Michael Phelps. This is not a lie. A few young teenage girls wanted his autograph once.
I am a mom. My daughter, Annabeth, is two and keeps me very busy. Though she is not named for the character, her name is taken from Annabeth Chase in the Percy Jackson series.
I speak Spanish fluently, but I am not a native Spanish speaker.
I am from a small town in southeast Texas. If you watch the movie Varsity Blues, you pretty much get the idea where I grew up. I still live in Texas and, yes, I speak with a southern accent.
I do lots of yoga. I used to teach it.
I get kind of stressed out if I don’t have something to read.
I was extremely pregnant when the first installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out in theaters. Thus, I made a t-shirt that said “Future Gryffindor” and had an arrow pointing to my swollen belly.
When I was four, my great-great-grandfather’s tombstone fell on me and broke the femur bone in my leg. I was on my back with my leg in traction for three weeks and in a body cast for three months. It was the day before Halloween.
I hate cotton balls. I cannot stand touching them. I cannot even stand writing this because it makes me think about them.
I dress like the stereotype of a conservative librarian, but also listen to rap music very loudly in my awesome Toyota Camry. I love a good bass line.
2. What made you want to become a writer?

I don’t know that anything made me want to be a writer. I just know that I have always wanted to be a writer.
3. Who or what gives you inspiration?

My family inspires me. They have always believed in and supported me. My daughter also inspires me because I want her to accomplish her goals and follow her dreams. Sounds cheesy, right? But it’s true. I don’t want her to see her mom working just for the sake of working and then follow in those footsteps.

4. Tell us about Identified.

IDENTIFIED tells the story of Maya Price, an eighteen-year-old girl from a small town in Texas.  She finds out that she is shifter, a half-human, half-onyx that can travel between dimensions.  As a shifter, Maya has the ability to manipulate the five senses and control the four elements. Supposedly, there is a prophecy that mentions Maya by name. The prophecy says that Maya will choose a side and will either help Leonas, a shifter turned evil, maintain the power he holds or to bring him down.
5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

Revisions! It is so hard to revise that first draft a second, third, fourth, etc. time. I would also say publicity is pretty hard. I don’t like to push my book on people, but I kind of have to if I want them to read it. So, read my book! ;)

6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

I really just need my computer, a bottle of water, some coffee and some good music.

7.  What are some of your favorite books?

(I have a lot of favorites, but these are some)

Favorite series (overall): Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Favorite en español (yes, I can read Spanish) : Cronica de una muerte anunciada (Chronicle of a Death Foretold) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Favorite classic: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Favorite dystopian: 1984 by George Orwell
Favorite picture book: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Favorite YA book (series): The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
Favorite Middle-Grade book: Holes by Louis Sachar
Favorite non-fiction book: Genome by Matt Ridley

8.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?

The only character in Identified based on a real person is Maya’s brother, Carl, who is based on a childhood friend of mine also named Carl. My friend Carl also liked to listen to obscure music, played the guitar, and was very good-natured. The vehicle he drove when we were in high school was an old hearse that he had painted purple flames down the side. Almost twelve years ago, Carl passed away as a result of a car accident, for which he was not at fault. Though it has been over a decade, I still miss him.

 9.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

I am working on the second installment in the series, Burdened: The Maya Price Story. You can read excerpts on my author Facebook page!

10.  Why do you love writing?

Because the rules of normal, every day life do not apply to those things that you create.

About the Author

Faith A. Rice-Mills is the author of Identified: The Maya Price Story and a handful of short stories.  She moonlights as a Spanish teacher,  but has wanted to be a writer since she wrote the poem “The Jackowhipp’s Wail” as an eight-year-old.  Her writer’s spirit resides somewhere between Narnia and Mount Doom, but her physical body lives in Texas with her family.  Besides writing, she loves reading (and will take recommendations!), yoga, coloring with her daughter, and watching Parks and Recreation with her husband.  She dislikes snakes, the word “literally,” and teaching double object pronouns in Spanish.  She is currently working on Burdened, the second book in The Maya Price Story series and is writing whatever short story she has to get out of her brain.
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BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW: Carry Your Heart by Audrey Bell

 

Carry Your Heart

by Audrey Bell

New Adult Contemporary

Book Description

Champion skier Pippa Baker lost everything in the avalanche: her boyfriend, his best friend, and her will to win. After a year of grief, she returns to competition.
She finds more than buried memories and steep slopes in Utah. She finds Hunter Dawson, a heartbreaking daredevil with the gold medals to prove it. And she finds that his reputation doesn’t stop her from falling hard, and that her heart might not be as broken as she once believed.
But, Hunter has scars and memories too—scars that make him believe falling in love might hurt too much, scars that make him run.
Pippa knows how much love hurts when it’s gone. Will she stop herself before she’s in too deep? Or will she let herself fall?
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1.  Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m 24, I live in New York, and I’m afraid of the subway. Basically, I’m the worst New Yorker you’ve ever heard of.

2.  What made you want to become a writer?
There are so many books and writers that have really changed the way I feel or think, or just taken me out of my boring life and into this exciting other world. Those other worlds are why I write. They’re not real, but they are so much more fun! I’ve always felt like I’ve lived more of my life in books and in writing than in the real world.

3.  Who or what gives you inspiration?
If I really can’t think of where I should go with a story, I’ll just walk around my block until I find someone who looks interesting. And then I’ll make up a whole fake back story for them. And then I’ll usually stick ‘em in my book.

4.  Tell us about CARRY YOUR HEART.
CARRY YOUR HEART is about a competitive skier, Pippa, whose heart was shattered, and a hot professional snowboarder, Hunter, who makes her realize that she can put the pieces together again. And there’s drama in between.

5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?
Believing in your story. It’s easy to imagine a great scene, or a great concept. Sitting down and laying it out is tough. And trusting that it’s worth writing is even tougher.

6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?
Just my computer and an unhealthy amount of caffeine.

7.  What are some of your favorite books?
I just read THE AGE OF MIRACLES, which absolutely killed me. But I love Abbi Glines and Colleen Hoover, and I’m a huge Harry Potter freak.

8.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?
There’s a little bit of a lot of different people in them.

9.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?
I’m working on a book called LOVE SHOW, which is about Hadley, a college newspaper editor whose too busy for a real relationship, and her no-strings-attached fling with Jack Diamond, a frat bro. When they start feeling something more, they both wonder about the implication of falling in love…especially with the unlikely person that they think they’re falling in love with.

10.  Why do you love writing?
It’s exciting! I love creating my own world and my own characters and seeing what happens with them. I put a lot of myself into my writing, and I always end up learning something about myself too.

 

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About the Author

Audrey Bell lives in New York City, where she indulges her SoulCycle addiction and expresses her passionate hatred of the 6 Train. You can find her reading in Central Park, overcaffeinating at Starbucks, or trying to kidnap her neighbors’ Maltese puppy. She loves hearing from readers. Check out her blog at audreybellbooks.blogspot.com.

 bewitching

BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Darkness of Light by Stacey Marie Brown

Darkness of Light

by Stacey Marie Brown

New Adult Paranormal

Book Description

Freak. Witch. Crazy. Schizo.

Ember Brycin has been called them all. She’s always known she’s different. No one has ever called her normal, even under the best circumstances. Bizarre and inexplicable things continually happen to her, and having two different colored eyes, strange hair, and an unusual tattoo only contributes to the gossip about her.

When the latest school explosion lands her in a facility for trouble teens, she meets Eli Dragen, who’s hot as hell and darkly mysterious. Their connection is full of passion, danger, and secrets. Secrets that will not only change her life, but what and who she is—leading her down a path she never imagined possible.

Between Light and Dark, Ember finds a world where truth and knowledge are power and no one can be trusted. But her survival depends on finding out the truth about herself. In her pursuit, she is forced between love and destiny and good and evil, even when the differences between them aren’t always clear. At worst, she will incite a war that could destroy both worlds. At best, she will not only lose her heart but her life and everyone she loves. Once the truth is out, however, there will be no going back. And she’ll definitely wish she could.

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1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

Currently I am living in San Francisco, Ca. But I’ve also lived in Los Angeles, Boston, London, Caribbean, Australia, and New Zealand. I loved living abroad, but deep down I guess I am a Northern California girl at heart. I did some acting, set/interior design, and now split my time between staging homes and being an author. Writing and traveling are my two biggest passions. Other than that I am preparing to be that freaky cat lady down the street. Just need the cats.

2.  Who or what gives you inspiration?

I’ve said this over and over, but it still is the truth. Reading does! Reading helps me so much in not only inspiring me with qualities I want in my stories, but also things I don’t want in my stories. I look at things while reading differently now. If a scene or character really captures me I ask why. If a book/scene/or character really makes me feel “ehhh, who cares?” I also ask why.

3.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

Making an actual living off of it! Also sometimes reading reviews when the reader says something mean or clearly didn’t understand what you were trying to say or took it wrong. You automatically want to defend yourself and the characters decisions, but you have to take a moment, breathe, and understand that not everyone is going to like it. Those readers who really do get it, connect with it, and love it make you forget all the bad anyway. My readers make it all worth it . . . tenfold.

4.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

Besides an IV of caffeine hooked up to my vein? I don’t have any particular item I eat or drink. The only thing, if I need to be serious about writing, is I need to leave the house and go to a café. As much as I love staying in my flannel pj bottoms, there are too many distractions at home. I tend to find “sparkly” things everywhere but in what I should be concentrating on.

5.  What are some of your favorite books?

I am so terrible at these kind of questions only because I am really bad a narrowing things down. I love so many books for so many different reasons, and it could simply be based on my mood at that time. I really enjoy Richelle Mead, Kelley Armstrong, Ilona Andrews, Windy Higgins, S.M. Boyce, and the Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning. Seriously I could go on . . . and on . . . and on . . .

6.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?

I think there is a little of a lot of people I know in them. Some are by name and some by personality. I can’t imagine a writer not writing at least a little off of what they know. I can honestly say there isn’t one of my characters that is fully someone I know. But that could always change. Friends and enemies of writers should always be aware!

7.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

I just finished Book Two of the Darkness Series, Fire in the Darkness. It is being edited right now. Until it comes back to me for changes, I have started working on Book Three. There will be four in the series as of right now. If people really respond to them and want more. Who knows?

8.  Why do you love writing?

Writing is just a part of me. I can’t explain that one thing that makes me love it. I guess I love making worlds and escaping into them. Would a therapist have a field day with me on why that is? Well, that goes without saying. But, in everything I’ve done, acting, designing, writing . . . it has always been about creating worlds and living in them for a time. To me it is magic!

About the Author

Stacey Marie Brown works by day as an Interior/Set Designer and by night a writer of paranormal fantasy, adventure, and literary fiction. When she’s not writing, she’s out hiking, spending time with friends, traveling, listening to music, or designing.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

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There is a giveaway shared across all the stops for 5 eBook copies of DARKNESS OF LIGHT.
There is one required entry to leave a blog post comment (PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG POST) and optional entries to Tweet, Follow the author on Twitter, Like the series on Facebook and Add the book to Goodreads.
The eBook is available in a format of choice. It is an international giveaway.

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