Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Tour: Pledged by Gwynneth White (Post 4)

I am so EXCITED!
Today I get to share the new trailer for
Pledged (Soul Wars Saga #1) by Gwynneth White!
Here it is...

I also wanted to introduce you to the author,
Gwynneth White.
Here is a bit about her...

BIOGRAPHY
Of
Gwynneth White

I have spent my entire life living in a parallel universe of make-believe characters, only coming back to reality for long enough to check that no one burnt the house down in my absence. A few years ago I decided to commit some of those ‘friends’ and their stories to paper. The Soul Wars Saga is the result of those efforts. Before that I co-authored two non-fiction travel books – The Complete Guide to 4x4 Trails and The Ultimate 4x4 Guide. Both books became instant best-sellers in South Africa where I live. And before that even, I studied a degree in African History and Politics at the University of Stellenbosch. When I’m not writing, I am a wife to Andrew and a mom to Stephanie, Erin, and Kate, our teenage daughters. My family and I live in a small town outside Cape Town with two dogs, a cat, a horse, and some neglected fish. Now that you know a little about me, I would love to get to know you. Please befriend me at:

Twitter: @GwynnethWhite
Email: gwynnethwhite@4xforum.com

Don't forget to watch for my Review on September 1st, 2012 when the book launches!
And you can always enter the Giveaway for an ebook of Pledged HERE! Only 3 days left...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Think Out Loud #7 (Aug 27, 2012)

Welcome to another edition of 
Think Out Loud.
This is a weekly meme used for bloggers
to post something they would normally not post.
So, post whatever YOU want!

I have changed my posting day from Sunday to Monday.
Mainly, because there are some cool meme's available 
on Sunday that I would like to try out!
So, every Monday, I will post with the InLinkz.
You can post anytime during the week,
just don't forget to link up!

Official stuff for Think Out Loud is HERE.
**************************************************
This week, I decided to share some of my
favorite stick people pics.
Why?
Because they crack me up!





Okie dokie!
Another one bites the dust.
Hope you enjoyed.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Giveaway/Review: "The Omega Option: Rise of Draconis" by Rick T. Hodges

Hello all.
I am so EXCITED!
I get to introduce an author to you today,
His first book is 
"The Omega Option: Rise of Draconis"
and you can get it at Amazon!
Just click HERE to buy!
Or you can take your chances and enter the GIVEAWAY below!

SYNOPSIS:


When a soulless, inhuman force descends upon Professor Li Jun Wong’s Antarctic expedition, search and rescue operations discover only his mutilated crew and a cryptic journal left behind.  Confronted with the malevolent force, a covert government agency discovers a sub-oceanic base long abandoned by aquatic aliens in the northwest Pacific.  Someone, or something...is reactivating the alien base, threatening to collapse the earth’s magnetic field, exposing the planet to catastrophic solar effects.

Ex-Special Forces Commander, Joe Dalton, leads the interdiction force...unaware it will exhume old secrets long since buried with Professor Wong’s ill-fated expedition.   Amidst the emerging threat, Dalton reassembles his former Special Operations team; finding each man imperiled among the most remote deathtraps on earth.  

Joe then reunites with his former love interest, Sunjida Wong, heiress to her missing father’s International Institute of Oceanography.  Aided by her scientific genius - and the secrets of an ancient alien sarcophagus in her possession - The Omega Team launches into desperate battle against parahuman forces...in a bold quest to save the human race from impending cosmic destruction.  


Come on, you know you want it!
Here is your chance...

MY REVIEW:
The Omega Option is an action packed thriller! From Sasquatch to Giant Squid to a new race of alien beings, this book covers the bases.

The Omega Option follows Commander Joe Dalton and his trusty team through a trial of impossible obstacles. Well, not impossible for The Omega Team! These guys (and gal) are indestructible when it comes to carrying out their specialties in a mission to save the world.
Either Rick Hodges is the most amazing fiction writer on the planet, or some of this is real. The descriptions that flow throughout the novel are extremely detailed and make it seem as though you are seeing the complete picture painted by the author. The research that must have gone into this novel simply blows my mind. Hodges not only entertains but educates his readers at the same time.

The plot focused on the battle to save the Earth. Of course, there are side plots as well. This gives the book dimension, in my opinion. Most of the side plots are related to the main characters relationships with each other. It was interesting to learn about the sensitive side of these hard-ass warriors.

This book was different to me because the first few chapters are dedicated to introducing the reader to the members of the Omega Team. The novel showcases the characters capabilities by placing them in the most dire situations imaginable. Yet, somehow they prevail. I enjoyed getting to know the characters. I can’t wait until Book 2 to find out what happens to them.

5 STARS to "The Omega Option: Rise of Draconis" for an excellent thrill ride!

***********************************************************
And now, meet the author of this great book!

Rick Hodges is a former Special Forces Medical Sergeant with a Bachelor of Science degree.  After retiring from the U.S. Army in September of 2003, he continued to perform on various Department of Defense & corporate contracts in Southwest Asia until January 2012.  Having spent his life in austere locations amidst hostile environments, Hodges’ writing style reflects his worldwide, cross-cultural, and Special Operations combat experience.  Currently, he resides in Oklahoma where he continues to write “The Omega Option” series.

Contact the author:
E-mail: rick.hodges.writes@gmail.com

Friday, August 24, 2012

Giveaway/Book Tour: Crimson Darkness by Amos Cassidy

Hello all.
Welcome to my stop on the Crimson Darkness Book Tour!
The authors were awesome and gave me an excerpt
from Crimson Darkness to share with you today.
The book releases on September 1, 2012,
but you can be ahead of the crowd by entering
the Crimson Darkness GIVEAWAY!!
Giveaway at bottom of the post.
************************************************
London is in the grip of an unnatural darkness. Rose is in the grasp of an unrelenting power and Raven and Thistle, along with their supernatural allies, are battling to survive and find a way to restore their home city.

For the fey, the song remains the same. They must return the power to Faerie or die. Unfortunately for them, the task has been superseded by an even more important one - help save Earth or perish along with it!

For Rose, the stakes are even higher as she is forced to make a terrible deal that will damn her if she does and damn her if she doesn’t.

Now enemies must work together as allies if they are to save their worlds from an ancient threat…

**********************************
Crimson Darkness Excerpt:
She felt as well as heard the deep rumble vibrating in his chest. His grip on her throat loosened a fraction and his fingers caressed the tender flesh at the base of her throat.
Rose’s blood turned to ice…every woman’s nightmare, and it was going to happen to her!

“Feed.” The word was soft and guttural, the breath hot and moist against the delicate shell of her ear
.
Her mind spun in confusion. What the…maybe he wasn’t going to violate her…she felt a rush of relief until another disturbing thought hit her - oh God! He was going to eat her!

Her body went into full panic mode, the instinct to fight then flee surging up ten fold within her and with it came her Earth Mage power. It latched onto her emotions, her desire for escape and she allowed it to rise, filling her with its molten heat and brilliant light.

The figure, pinning her, shifted and she found herself staring into two bright iridescent amber eyes. Flecks of gold weaved and shifted in those tawny pools and for a moment her power faltered and swayed, entranced.
A warm lethargy, unrelated to her abilities swamped her limbs and her eyes fluttered almost closed.
She gazed rapt at those beautiful orbs of promise.

Despite the heat and lethargy filling her, a ripple flew over her skin leaving tiny goose-bumps in its wake.
Those eyes commanded. Wanted. And she wanted to give. Her lips parted as a soft sigh of pleasure escaped her.

“Mine.” The word was a low rumble, full of wonder and possession.

“Yes…yes.” Rose breathed, and then gasped as heat rushed to her core.

The eyes moved closer.

A sharp crackling sound filled the air, the eyes jerked back followed by a whoosh of air. The chill left behind by the body that no longer tried to possess her blew away the mist clouding her mind, and her thoughts were suddenly sharp and clear.

She struggled to sit up.

What had she been doing? She had to get out of here, wherever this was.

She heard a grunt, a growl, a whistle, the sound of flesh meeting flesh but not in a nice way.

Shit!

Her progress was halted by a number of wires that seemed to be attached to her skin.

Dammit!

She yanked at the wires and winced as they came away with a soft ripping sound.

The sounds of a struggle continued in the shadows away from the circle of green light, which she could now see was cast by a small hospital monitor behind her.

No time to waste.

She needed to scram while her…attacker, seducer, whatever, was busy with whomever had interrupted their little tete-a-tete.

She made a note to thank her rescuer at a later date, preferably once the threat had been eliminated.

Turning, she rushed into the darkness away from the noise and ran smack into something hard and cold, her face ricocheting painfully off the surface as she let out a soft “Oof”.

Glass.
The box.

A screech filled the air.

A siren.

Someone grabbed her from behind pressing themselves against her. She knew that heat, that scent.

Her attacker.

“Mine,” he growled. “I need!”

“NO!” A new voice issued the ice cold command.

Red lights flashed filling the box. She turned her head slightly, desperate to see her captor’s face and gasped in shock. It was a face made up of angles made all the more prominent by a hairless scalp. He looked lethal.
But not for long, as a boot attached to a leather clad leg hit him in the face less than a second later.
She flew back, released from his grasp.

“Move creature!” her rescuer commanded, before shoving her unceremoniously out of his way as he barrelled toward his target.

The lights continued to flash. She pressed up against the glass, desperate to escape and equally curious to see this others’ face.

The crash of a door being flung open.

Someone turned on the lights almost blinding her.

Then all hell broke loose.
*************************************************
Hope you enjoyed the excerpt!
Don't forget to enter the Giveaway below.

Places to go to connect/learn more about Amos Cassidy and the Crimson Series:
Authors Blog: http://amoscassidy.wordpress.com/
Crimson Series Blog: http://crimsonseries.wordpress.com/

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Tour: Pledged by Gwynneth White (Post 3)

Banner Design by Gin Speaks!

Welcome to my 3rd Installment for the Pledged Book Tour! This installment will show us a closer look into the relationship of Caleb & Talitha, one of the pairs of soul-mates discussed in Pledged. My first two installments showed the relationships of Seth & Erin and Jared & Sophia. There is also a GIVEAWAY for 5 e-copies of Pledged located HERE!
*************************************
Pledged (Soul Wars Saga #1) by Gwynneth White 

Everyone has a soul mate. But what do you do when your soul mate would rather give his soul to the demons than be with you?

Seventeen-year-old Erin has a problem. Seth has been hers forever, but now an ancient curse is tearing him away. And the demons who invoked it will stop at nothing – even murder – to claim him as their own.

How can she win against a curse so binding that it has damned countless others to this same fate – an eternity alone?

The answer lies in the past. To find it, Erin and Seth must risk all, travelling back in time to a dangerous world where love is forbidden, and life – and death – hang on a pledge.

Follow Erin and Seth as they travel to ancient Shenaya and confront the curse that has plagued their families for millennia. Caught in a war between the Angelic Guardians and the Gefallen, the disembodied dead, they must fight to keep their souls in tact and their love untainted.
*************************************************
Meet Caleb and Talitha:

Erin flicked her hair behind her ear and watched Caleb straighten his clothing. He took a deep breath and entered the hut. They followed right after him, drifting through the closed door as if it didn’t exist. Seth laughed, holding his hand up to Erin for a high-five – until he noticed that Caleb’s Gefallen had also wafted into the cabin with them. Even though he had no idea how to defend Erin from a ghost, he stepped in front of her to protect her. But the wraith ignored them and sailed over to Caleb.

A tall, blonde-haired girl with almond-shaped brown eyes was waiting for Caleb. For Erin, the recognition was instantaneous; it was Talitha. “She’s so beautiful!”

“She’s okay,” Seth replied, looking her over critically. “But I don’t think Caleb’s here for her looks.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You said yourself that Caleb’s a good-looking guy. I bet he could have any girl he wants around here.”

Erin frowned; then she smiled as understanding dawned. “So, in guy-talk, you’re saying he loves her?”

Seth chuckled as he picked up Erin’s hand and put it on his heart. “Tell me what you’re feeling?”

Erin gasped at a disconcerting pulse thrumming in Seth’s chest, over-riding his own heartbeat. “It’s . . . no . . . It’s not possible.”

“I’ll bet it is. It’s Caleb’s heart beating.”

“How do you know it’s him? It could be Talitha.”

“It started the moment I saw him. It’s like it’s there to stop me denying that he and I were once friends. And I was watching Talitha when he walked in. She smiled, and it felt as if someone had just shot a thousand volts through him.”

“It’s amazing you’re so connected that you can feel him.”

Seth wasn’t so sure he agreed; it made being here just a little too real.

Erin felt her own heart and could faintly discern Talitha’s heartbeat; it was nowhere near as strong as the thump in Seth’s chest, but then, she figured, she wasn’t in denial the way he was.

They fell into silence as Caleb opened his arms to embrace Talitha. She draped her arms around his neck, twisting the dark curls tumbling onto his shoulders. He kissed the nape of her throat and ran his lips up her neck, over her chin to her mouth.

“This is awkward,” Erin murmured, looking away.

“You don’t say. All this way just to watch them making out.”
*******************************************************
Hope you enjoyed this excerpt! 
Website: http://todayinshenaya.blogspot.com
Goodreads (Gwynneth White - Author):http://www.goodreads.com/Gwynneth
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GwynnethWhite


And don't forget to check out the other blogs on the Pledged Tour!!
Pledged Blog Tour Participant List: 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blog Hop: Stop E-Piracy (Aug 19-25)








The Stop E-Piracy Blog Hop is brought to us by the wonderful peeps over at 

What is E-Piracy?
E-Piracy is "the illegal uploading of digital copies of copyrighted 
works to a Web site,or the illegal downloading of such material."
That is an actual definition from Dictionary.com.

Pretty straight forward right?
Or, maybe not.

Most people think E-Piracy is EVIL
Basically, because it takes money out of the pockets 
of the authors and publishers.
And without the profits, how are they
supposed to write more books?

However, there are some authors that think
E-Piracy is not evil. In fact, they
think the opposite.
One of these authors is Michael Cargill,
author of Underneath

The following is a guest post by Michael Cargill,
sharing his positive opinion on E-Piracy. 

Literature is something of a latecomer to the digital revolution.  In some ways, this is quite surprising, as it predates other forms of entertainment like computer games, film, and TV by several thousand years.  Mind you, the older generations are often the slowest to get to grips with anything new.  After all, when was the last time you heard your granddad talk about getting an Xbox?

Some of the growing pains for ebooks, have been the same ones that other forms of digital media have gone through, and still are going through.  Piracy is one such pain.
The mere mention of the word ‘piracy’ generates quite an angry response from many people, whether they are a writer, or a reader.

To those people, I say you should perhaps step back, and rethink things a bit.  I’m an indie author, and I know for a fact that my work is available to download from torrent/pirate websites.  I know this to be a fact, as it was me who put them there in the first place.

Before I go any further, I’ll just mention a few things, to provide some context.  Firstly, you won’t see me on any bestseller lists anywhere, not unless that list is based on an otherwise empty shelf.  Yes, woe is me, get out the violin and all that.

Secondly, years ago, I used to be something of a profligate pirate myself.  My hard drive was chock full of computer games, applications, films, and TV shows.  I knew lots of other people who did the same thing as well.

Lastly, I have no formal legal education, or training.  This puts me at around about the same level as that bloke in the pub, who insists that it’s perfectly legal to shoot a Welshman with a crossbow, so long as you do it outside the city walls, on a Wednesday afternoon.

Just to be clear, I have no intention of getting involved with the tedious, semantic differences between copyright infringement, and theft.  I’m also mainly talking about the financial impact of piracy, rather than the copyright side of things.

So then: why did I upload my own work to some torrent sites?  Well, “Why not?”, is my response.  At the moment, practically no-one knows about me.  My ability to market myself is largely limited to blogs, Twitter, and pinning posters up on the trees along my road.  Now that my work is available by torrents, I have added one more avenue for readers to find me.  I created threads on the torrent site forums, informing them all of what I did.  I got a few replies from people thanking me, and wishing me luck.  In the few days following on from this, I had an increase in the number of hits to my blog, from people searching for terms like “Michael Cargill author” on Google.  Prior to doing this, that had never happened before.

Of course, the usual retort to this is “You don’t get money from pirates!”, to which I say is a load of poppycock.

As I mentioned earlier, I was once a profligate pirate myself.  Yet, despite the fact that my hard drives were heaving with illegally downloaded material, my shelves were also teeming with legally purchased material as well.

And the same goes for many people who pirate things.  There are numerous studies that show that the people who illegally download the most music, are also some of the biggest purchasers of music.  This won’t be true for all of them, of course, but it is a fact that cannot be ignored.

It’s also important to recognise that just because someone illegally downloads a book, or a film, or a song, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the copyright owner has lost a sale.  For a start, pirates will often download stuff that they have no intention of ever using.  They’ll often do it, just because they can.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to download the latest version of AutoCAD if the opportunity is there...?

A quick search on a torrent site reveals that I can download the entire works of Stephen King, in about fifteen minutes.  That’s everything that he has ever published, about sixty five books in total, right there on the Internet.  Ebooks are small in size, so they take no time at all to pirate.  However, to say that anyone who downloads them all has denied Mr King of sixty five books worth of royalty fees, is wrong.

First of all, very few people will ever go out and purchase that many books at once.  Secondly, that pirate simply isn’t going to read all sixty five of those books either.  He or she may read one of them, and enjoy it.  However, they aren’t that likely to immediately read another Stephen King book.  They are more likely to read something from someone else, whether it’s pirated, or legally bought.

The reading habits of a pirate are exactly the same as those of a ‘normal’ reader.  They will talk about it to their friends, and family.  They will join in with the discussions about it on Goodreads.  They leave reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, and their blog.  After illegally sampling an author’s work, they may go on and purchase legitimate copies of their work.  This is something I did when I was a pirate.  It’s what I witnessed other people who pirated media do, as well.  It’s what some of the studies into piracy have shown, as well.
Of course, you don’t have to just take this indie’s word for it.  Bestselling author Neil Garman has taken a similar stance to ebook piracy.  He even made a video on YouTube about it, that is still available to watch, though he is someone who made his name (and fortune) long before ebooks ever existed.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that you can’t actually fight piracy, either.  For every anti-piracy method that is put in place, it is easily defeated.  Companies can spend thousands implementing an anti-piracy scheme, only to see it cracked within hours of its release.

An author could spend a huge amount of time, scouring all corners of the Internet, trying to hunt down those elusive illegal links to their work.  Yet, all that time is wasted.  It took me less than five minutes for me to put my own work up on a torrent site, but it might take days for a furious copyright owner to get something removed from a website.

Many people will say “if everyone pirated books, then authors would starve!”  Now, whilst that might be true, it’s also true that if everyone flushed their toilets at once, the sewer system would collapse.  The fact is, that not everyone will pirate books.  At least part of this is down to the fact that it requires a certain level of technical knowledge to pirate, that many people struggle to get over.  Some Kindle owners simply don’t know how to manually copy ebooks onto their device.

To be honest, I probably have more sympathy for the readers, than I do the authors.  They can be understandably annoyed when they see someone stealing books, and getting them for free, rather than paying for them.

In writing this short article, I’m not expecting to drastically change anyone’s mind.  However, the piracy debate has been raging for a long time now, and it really needs a more level-headed approach.  None of the heavy-handed antics employed so far have put so much as a dent in it.

I think we should embrace it, rather than hate it.


Links included by Michael Cargill : 
Study: Piracy Does Not Deter the Production of Music, Films, Books - http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/study_piracy_does_not_deter_the_production_of_music_books_films.php

Study Shows That BitTorrent Piracy Doesn’t Affect U.S. Box Office Profits - http://www.geekosystem.com/bittorrent-box-office-study/


So, what is YOUR OPINION on E-Piracy?
Let me know in the comments!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Bout of Books 5.0 Wrap-Up


Sadly, Bout of Books 5.0 is finished.
Happily, I met my goals!!
You can view my daily progress HERE.
My goal was to read 2-3 books.
I ended up reading about 2.5!
That is great for me.

I only ended up reading one book 
that was on my actual reading list.
The other two were calling my name though!

I read 
1. City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
2. The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Throne of Glass #0.1) by Sarah J. Maas
3. 50% of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I participated in 2 challenges.
The Candy Challenge by BookSmartie
Book Spine Poetry Haiku by bookgoonie (I was too late to enter the Giveaway but did it anyways!)

I didn't make it on Twitter much. But I did try to visit as many blogs as possible. I found some really great blogs too.

So, how did you do?

I can't wait until Bout of Books 6.0!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Think Out Loud #6 (Aug 19, 2012)

Welcome to another Think Out Loud!
Think Out Loud is a weekly meme started to
get bloggers to post something out of the ordinary.
A pic, video, recipe, rant....
you get the picture.
Do whatever YOU want!
I post every Sunday to get up the new InLinkz,
but you can post anytime during the week.
Be sure to link back to Thinks Books
and add your Post Link to the InLinkz!
Official stuff for Think Out Loud is HERE.

I am sooo excited about this post ya'll.
It involves one of my fave authors,
Neil Gaiman!
He wrote Coraline, Stardust, American Gods, Sandman comics, etc...

Well, I follow Mr. Gaiman on Twitter @neilhimself.
And he tweeted a great pic made by The Mod Cloth Blog
It is a quote from his Commencement Speech to the
2012 class at the University of the Arts.

It is a brilliant speech.
The YouTube video is below!
I highly recommend it, but be warned!
It is 20 minutes long...

Neil Gaiman's 2012 Commencement Speech


INTERESTING FACT
Neil Gaiman is also married to my fave
musician/singer/songwriter/ukulele slayer/piano thrasher
Amanda Fucking Palmer.
If you don't know who she is, you should go
watch THIS!


Thanks for stopping by, I hope you decide to post or comment!



I selected this post to be featured on Book Review Blogs. Please visit the site and vote for my blog!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cover Reveal: Crimson Darkness by Amos Cassidy

Hello all.
Welcome to my FIRST EVER COVER REVEAL!
And it couldn't be for a couple of better authors than Amos Cassidy.
They have been a real joy to work with
and we aren't finished yet!
Come back on August 24th 
for my stop on the Crimson Darkness Blog Tour.

Without further ado, the cover ...
London is in the grip of an unnatural darkness. Rose is in the grasp of an unrelenting power and Raven and Thistle, along with their supernatural allies, are battling to survive and find a way to restore their home city.

For the fey, the song remains the same. They must return the power to Faerie or die. Unfortunately for them, the task has been superseded by an even more important one - help save Earth or perish along with it!

For Rose, the stakes are even higher as she is forced to make a terrible deal that will damn her if she does and damn her if she doesn’t.

Now enemies must work together as allies if they are to save their worlds from an ancient threat…
***
Places to go to connect/learn more about Amos Cassidy and the Crimson Series:
Authors Blog: http://amoscassidy.wordpress.com/
Crimson Series Blog: http://crimsonseries.wordpress.com/

The Crimson Darkness Book Tour runs from August 20, 2012 to August 30, 2012. Please go to either website listed above to access the list of blogs participating! Crimson Darkness hits "shelves" September 1, 2012.

Book Tour: Pledged by Gwynneth White (Post 2)

Banner Design by Gin Speaks

Hello all.
Welcome to my second installment on the
Pledged Blog Tour!
The first post of mine for Pledged is
It included a GIVEAWAY and an excerpt from Pledged 
focusing on the characters Seth and Erin.

In this post, you will get a glimpse
at the relationship of Jared and Sophia. 
I have also included the cover/synopsis
in case this is your first visit!
I really hope you enjoy
and comment.
Don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY!
***
Everyone has a soul mate. But what do you do when your soul mate would rather give his soul to the demons than be with you?

Seventeen-year-old Erin has a problem. Seth has been hers forever, but now an ancient curse is tearing him away. And the demons who invoked it will stop at nothing – even murder – to claim him as their own.

How can she win against a curse so binding that it has damned countless others to this same fate – an eternity alone?

The answer lies in the past. To find it, Erin and Seth must risk all, travelling back in time to a dangerous world where love is forbidden, and life – and death – hang on a pledge.

Follow Erin and Seth as they travel to ancient Shenaya and confront the curse that has plagued their families for millennia. Caught in a war between the Angelic Guardians and the Gefallen, the disembodied dead, they must fight to keep their souls in tact and their love untainted.
***
And now, for a peek into another soul-mate relationship from Pledged. These two are fiery and I love that!

***
EXCERPT TWO: Meet Jared and Sophia . . . 

Jared nodded at Sophia and Kezeah without any sign of recognition. With two of his Pledged up front and two at their rear, he marched them down the corridor to a flight of stairs. Once at the bottom, he ducked beneath an archway, opening onto to a gloomy, narrow tunnel. Erin, never keen on dark, claustrophobic spaces, took a deep breath and paused.

“C’mon,” Seth said. “The sooner we walk through it, the quicker we get to the other side.”

“What happens if what’s on the other side is even worse?”

“Then you’ll know for sure that the dead guys are leading this expedition,” Seth said, wanting to deny the painful burning in his heart that reconnected him with a cursed Jared. He grabbed Erin’s arm and pulled her into the passage.

They’d taken no more than two tentative steps along the uneven floor when Sophia stopped. “Commander, I am not walking through this snake-hole!”

Jared turned back to look at her. With none of the fear or diffidence Erin and Seth expected from a boy with limited to exposure to girls – especially beautiful ones – he answered, “Of course, my lady. You’re from Norin, where I understand you live in grass huts.” He gave a sardonic smile. “But don’t despair, you’ll soon get used to bricks. Even our own Outcasts have learnt not to flinch at the sight of them.” He continued down the passage.

Seth’s mouth dropped at Jared’s rudeness; this was so foreign to the Jared he had seen just moments ago in his vision. It just added to his anger at Reuel’s Curse.

The Pledged at Sophia’s rear prodded her back; she gave him a fierce look and started walking.

For Seth and Sophia, both taller than Erin and Kezeah, negotiating the tortuous twists and turns of the tunnel was no easy matter. Stooping, cursing each time they bumped their heads on the rough ceiling, they struggled after Jared, but he kept up the merciless pace until they reached a dark staircase.

Her temper now as short as her breath, Sophia stopped walking and locked her arms across her chest.

“Having just cracked my skull open, you now expect me to scramble up those treacherous stairs too. No doubt hoping I’ll fall and break my neck. Well, forget it. I’m not moving.”

“Sophia!” Kezeah whispered, jabbing her in the ribs as she stepped gingerly onto the first narrow step.

Sophia ignored her. “Only savages and rats live in places like this.”

Jared’s eyes narrowed. “Savages and rats, you say, my lady?”

Sophia set her face into a cold stare, locking her hypnotic blue eyes on his.

He surprised her by holding her gaze. “I hate to disappoint you, my lady, but Lord Rustus, Lord of the Household, under the direction of the Overlord himself, has chosen your apartment. Surely you don’t question their judgment in this matter?”

“As a matter of fact, I do.”

“In that case, I’ll gladly pass on your concerns. If that’s what you really want.”

“Enough, Sophia. This isn’t a fight you can win.” Sophia’s Guardian had joined them.


***
Goodreads (Gwynneth White - Author): http://www.goodreads.com/Gwynneth 

And don't forget to check out the other blogs on the Pledged Tour!!
Pledged Blog Tour Participant List: 


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Interview: Abby Slovin - Letters In Cardboard Boxes

Hello all.
Welcome to my very first Author Interview!
And I am so happy to announce the wonderful
Abby Slovin as my first experiment.
Oops, I meant participant. J
In this interview we chat about
Slovin’s debut novel, 
Letters In Cardboard Boxes.
We also discuss writers block
and Abby’s NEW PROJECTS!
Enter Giveaway HERE!!


Winner of the First Horizon Award for superior work by a debut writer, Letters In Cardboard Boxes tells the story of an eccentric grandmother and her granddaughter alongside a series of fantastical letters they once exchanged. Their letters once traversed the East River to help Parker escape the loneliness of a childhood without her globe-trekking parents and communicate during her turbulent teenage years. Now, nearly a decade later, Parker begins to rediscover the evidence of this letter writing tradition, as well as the family’s untold stories and, unexpectedly, letters from her grandmother’s own youth that paint a very different portrait of the woman who raised her.

Letters carries us through the universally-shared experience of loss and the process of coping with life’s unexpected twists and turns. Through unusual and bold characters, the story moves through some of its heavier themes with honesty and humor.




Abby Slovin was born in the summer of 1983 and lived in the same house on Long Island until attending the University of Michigan. She has a deep love for New York City, Brooklyn especially, where much of her family has its roots. She loves to spend time outdoors, travel, research family genealogy, and relax at home in Jersey City with her husband, Dominick and dog, Grumpy.


Ok, I am going to give this first question a shot. If you have been asked this before or just want to pass to next question, just let me know. Thanks so much again!


INTERVIEW

Q: Is "Letters in Cardboard Boxes" inspired by any of your own life experiences? If so, please explain.
          
A:  Letters In Cardboard Boxes is a completely fictional story, but was partially inspired by a personal moment in my own life. While I was cleaning out some of my grandmother’s possessions after she had passed away, I found letters she had exchanged with my grandfather during their courtship and was hit with a lot of emotion. In particular, guilt at not having known this part of her life, sadness for not being able to talk to her about it, but also a lot of happiness that these letters breathed life into someone I loved who was no longer around, and happiness that she had such joy in her life. I started imagining a story with this idea at its center — of finding remnants of a person’s life after they’ve passed — and organized a fictional story around it. I named the main characters after my grandparents simply because it felt good to hear their names spoken out loud again.
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        Q: I'd like to know more about Tanya. She turned into such a support system for Parker and she is just a teenager. Did you know when you put her into the book that she would be so essential to Parker, or did the relationship grow as the writing progressed for you?

         A: I'm pleased to hear that Tanya resonated with you. She's one of my favorite characters in the story, and definitely one of the most fun to write. As the basic structure for the story was developing, I knew I wanted Tanya to have an essential role in Parker's coping process, but as my writing progressed, this relationship also grew beyond what I had anticipated. I wanted to have Tanya portrayed as a person with solid character, a rock almost, like Dotty. And I wanted her to appear as an old soul despite her age (and I wanted that juxtaposition of her age versus her maturity to be clear). But, characters also have a way of taking on a life of their own as you write them. And I think the substance of Tanya, the real depth of her character and her importance to Parker, was something that I did not fully anticipate until the novel had wrapped up and I reread what I had written. Sometimes you can't anticipate what your characters will teach you until you read them in action with the story fully intact.
  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Q: I know this is a common question, but do you ever get "writer's block"? If so, how do you overcome?

A: Of course. Writers block has always been a part of my process. The truth is, there are times when I just can't write. The inspiration just isn't there and everything I try to write sounds forced or overdone. When this happens, I step away. Give myself a little break from whatever pressures I'm feeling at the moment. I usually find that when I give myself some space, the block comes and goes. Sometimes it takes a few weeks or sometimes only a few hours, but I've found its important to let writers block take its course and try not to force the writing process. During that time, I like to listen to music or read a little more because typically the presence of either of these things will inspire me back into writing. No matter what, I think the most important thing is to not force the writing when writers block hits. Let it be, and have a little patience and the inspiration will come back.
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Q: What are you working on now or have planned for the future?

A. Right now, I'm moving forward with two new projects. The first, being released monthly on the Dunce Academy blog, is a humorous story about a recent college graduate searching for work (http://www.abbyslovin.com/jack-and-the-brick-wall/about-jack/ ). The other will be my next novel, called 10:15 on a Tuesday, tells the story of an unlikely friendship that develops between an upper-middle class widower and a psychic (http://www.abbyslovin.com/other-work/what-should-i-write-next/1015-on-a-tuesday/ ).
 -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Q: What was the last book you read and how would you review/rate it?

A: The last book I read was The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. I thought it was well-paced and interesting. Very plot-driven, in a good way. I love a good thriller every now and then. Something that keeps me turning the page. Overall, I thought it was a very good book.
*************************************
Thanks so much Abby for allowing me to interview you. You made my first interview fairly painless. :) 

Think Out Loud #5


Welcome to Think Out Loud,
a weekly meme where you can post something 
different on your blog!
For official Think Out Loud info,
 click HERE

Time to Think Out Loud.
Let's do this!
This week I have a few questions.
It would make me uber happy
if you would post some answers in the comments! 
Also, always feel free to e-mail me.
think.think.80 (at) gmail (dot) com

#1. How do you keep up with all the blogs you follow?
I have so many blogs in Google Reader now 
that I am feeling overwhelmed.
Is there some sort of system to keeping current on blogs?

#2. What do you think of my blog design?
I am constantly trying to improve,
so any suggestions or helpful hints
are greatly appreciated!

#3. How often do you network with other bloggers/authors?
I have wondered if perhaps I have missed
wonderful opportunities for interviews, blog tours, etc...
just because I didn't have the proper network. 
Or perhaps it is that no human being can
possibly keep up with all of this!
LoL
Oh well, it sure is fun trying.

Okie dokie. 
Hope to see your Think Out Loud
post on the InLinkz at the bottom of the page.
And hope to see lots of great comments too!

Have a great day ya'll...



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