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Follower Love International Giveaway



There are many milestones in a blogger's life: First fifty followers, First Blog Award, First Anniversary. Anything can be a milestone, anything can be celebrated. But, one of the most gratifying of milestones would be having Followers--fellow bloggers who take the time to read your posts and comment on them.


For this week's contest, I'm proud to host the 700 Follower Giveaway at From the Shadows. Imagine! 700 hundred followers. Certainly an achievement worth celebrating. This is why a Giveaway has been organized.










In the words of EJ Stevens:


From the Shadows just reached 700 followers and it is my one year Blogoversary!


To celebrate I am having a fabulous Follower Love International Giveaway. This is one of the rare giveaways at From the Shadows that is for followers only. You must be a follower to enter. To make this giveaway international there will be two prize options. You may choose between a $10 Amazon electronic Gift Card or a book of your choice from the Book Depository (anywhere the Book Depository ships) up to $10.


Giveaway ends October 8th midnight EST.


So, what are you waiting for? Click on the picture below to visit the giveaway.


Click Here

Author Interview: Stephen Jay Schwartz


The second installment in dark, personal journey of Hayden Glass, LAPD Robbery and Homicide detective . . . and sex addict

LAPD Robbery-and-Homicide Detective Hayden Glass has always had trouble controlling his urges. Though he's no longer trolling the streets looking for the girls who work them, he's found himself a new obsession--the Internet. Infatuated with a woman he finds on a website, Hayden Glass's addiction drags him to San Francisco and into a web of corruption and crime.

His search for this woman leads him to a massive sex slave trade, run by the Russian mafia, and protected by a group of powerful and corrupt San Francisco cops. Glass gets co-opted by the FBI to aid in their investigation...but his presence is doing much more harm than good.





Author Info:

Before publishing his first novel, the highly acclaimed, Boulevard, Stephen Jay Schwartz spent a number of years as the Director of Development for film director Wolfgang Petersen (whose credits include Das Boot, In the Line of Fire, Air Force One, The Perfect Storm, Troy) where he worked with writers, producers and studio executives to develop screenplays for production.† Among the film projects he helped developed are Air Force One, Outbreak, Red Corner, Bicentennial Man and Mighty Joe Young.†

Robert Crais calls Boulevard “raw, twisted, and so hard-boiled it simmers from beginning to end . . . and Michael Connelly says of Beat, Schwartz’s second novel, “Just as I thought there wasn’t an original take left on the detective novel, along comes Stephen Jay Schwartz and Beat. Fast and slick, this book is a great ride.”

†A filmmaker himself, Stephen has had his work exhibited at the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival, the Directors Guild of America, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.

He also worked as a screenwriter and freelance “script doctor,” developing concepts, treatments and feature films for independent film producers.† His writing credits include Inside the Space Station, narrated by Liam Neeson and produced as a “Watch with the World” special for The Discovery Channel.†

Now a Los Angeles Times Bestselling author, Stephen Jay Schwartz currently lives in Southern California with his wife, two young boys, and one very frumpy-looking labradoodle.





Interview:

1. When did you decide to start writing?

First of all, thank you for having me on your blogspot, Kate. I do appreciate the opportunity to connect with readers and fellow writers.

I think it all started with “Sammy the Dinosaur,” the short story I wrote when I was eight years old. I actually pecked it out on an old IBM Selectric typewriter and drew crude drawings of Sammy, depicting his emergence from the egg to his friendship with a young boy to his eventual journey back to the sea. My mom crossed out misspelled words, wrote the correct spellings in red ink, and sent the story to Readers Digest. It returned weeks later with my first rejection letter.

2. Why thrillers? What drew you to this genre?

I hadn’t intended to write a thriller. I wanted to draw a uniquely flawed character and put him in an impossible situation. A sex-addicted vice cop (now homicide detective) chasing a sexual predator seemed like the right dynamic. And the predicament comes when the detective realizes the murders he’s investigating circle right back to him, to the admissions he’s made at his Twelve Step meetings. He’s stuck – should he reveal to his captain that he’s the connection to the murders, an admission that would surely take him off the case, or should he keep quiet and pursue the killer with even greater vengeance, despite the fact that the lives of innocent people are at stake? I like putting a character in a tight box, where his mettle is tested. The quality of his humanity is examined before our eyes – his flaws will either destroy him or save him.

I also spent a number of years as the Director of Development for filmmaker Wolfgang Petersen, so I read thousands of thriller screenplays. The template for a tight, fast-paced thriller has been stamped into my psyche. When I sat down to write my first novel (Boulevard), the thriller genre just naturally spilled out.

3. Were you worried about the word count of your work?

I don’t really consider word count. I think more about tempo. Both of my novels have come in around the 88,000-word mark. I wrote them up to about 110,000, and then tightened back.

4. Do you have any writing quirks and what are they?

Yeah….yeah. I got quirks. First of all, I can’t write if it’s too quiet. So I spend all my time writing in cafes across Los Angeles. I have my favorites. I’ve been writing at the Novel Café (now called 212 Pier) for over twenty years. It’s a great space, filled with scores of serious writers. It’s a community.
I’m always fiddling with things when I write. I’ll go through a large bag of sunflower seeds and two packets of gum in one sitting. I’ll nibble on whatever is around – carrots, cookies, licorice, pencils. My hands are always moving and my legs are always twitching. What a mess. I’m exhausted by the end of each writing session. I used to write 12-hour days, with three groups of four-hour sessions. I’m getting too old for that.

5. If you can describe your novel in one word, what would it be and why?

The word is BEAT.

The book opens with the following quote from Oscar Wilde: “A man’s very highest moment is, I have no doubt at all, when he kneels in the dust, and beats his breast, and tells all the sins of his life.”
Hayden is beat. He’s a beaten man. He continues to be beaten, physically, through the course of the story. And he’s working the beat, with a beat cop, in the city of Beats, San Francisco. And what’s more, he’s a sex-addict, and he spends a considerable amount of time beating off.

6. How did you decide on the title and what does it mean?

The title seems appropriate. I’ll be doing my San Francisco launch of the book on October 13, the night before the Bouchercon writers’ conference, from the Beat Museum in North Beach, 7:00 pm. Everyone in the vicinity is welcome to join me. It’ll be a lot of fun, and there will be a ton of talented authors attending.
Interestingly, BEAT was not the working title for the book. It was originally called “The House of Whispers,” which is what the older cops in the SFPD call their Central Police Station. In the 1970s, there was so much corruption going on in the city that the FBI bugged the Central Police Station and various restaurants around it. It was said that you had to speak in whispers when you worked Central Station. I thought it was a great title, considering my story involves police corruption in present-day San Francisco. But ultimately I felt the title sounded like something from the horror genre. It didn’t sound like a thriller. It took a few weeks for me to settle on BEAT, but now I can’t imagine a better title.

7. What do you hope your readers will get out of reading your novel?

A racing pulse. An intense ride. It’s a very fast-paced book and, in many ways, unrelenting. I don’t pull any punches. But it’s also a psychological journey and the reader should come away shocked by Hayden’s actions, by what he’s gained and what he’s lost. By the end we see there’s hope, which is something missing in Boulevard, because Boulevard is really Act One of his journey, and it ends at a crisis point. Beat takes him into Act Two, and it offers him the chance to change and grow, and evolve. He gets a shot at redemption.

8. Tell us a little about your road to publication.

I was blessed, I have to say that. Very fortunate. It took three and a half years to write Boulevard, in evenings and weekends, balancing my day job and family. When I felt it was ready I spent a few weeks researching agents. I identified the agents who represented the NY Times bestselling authors for the past fifteen years and put them at the top of my list. Then I researched the agents for all the authors I love, or authors who wrote books similar to Boulevard. Then I started submitting. Three weeks later I had my top choice agent, Scott Miller, of Trident Media Group. Three weeks after that I had a two-book deal with Tor-Forge, a Macmillan imprint. And my editor, Eric Raab, is great – he totally got my vision. His notes were awesome from the start, and I loved working with him.

While this sounds like a Cinderella story, Boulevard being the first novel I’ve written, what you don’t see are the ten feature screenplays currently being used to prop up my bookcase. That’s where all my rejection occurred. In Hollywood they have a saying – You’re an overnight success twenty years in the making.

9. What advice can you give other aspiring authors out there?

Write for yourself. Don’t write to try and please an audience or to fit an established genre. Write what moves and inspires you. If you can express your passion through words, you will find others who will share your excitement, and they will want to read your work. Remember that writing is rewriting, and don’t ever think your first draft is ready for print. Don’t even ask someone to read your work until you’ve written your third draft. Hone and tighten and search for new ways to write a sentence. Every sentence should be original, without cliché. Read your work aloud and listen to the tempo, the rhythm, the percussion of the words together, forming the phrase of a sentence, the crescendo of a paragraph. Fall in love with your writing. It is an art and a craft before it is a business. Don’t get lost in the machinations of the publishing world. And, above all, finish the book. Don’t let your life’s work become your lifelong work-in-progress.

Blogger Remarks:

First of all, I would like to thank Babs Chandrasoma from PR by the Book for the blog tour email. Also, thank you for providing the basic info on Beat and Stephen, and for getting the questions to him for this interview. Thank you very much Stephen for answering my questions. My readers certainly appreciate it. For more information on Stephen and his books, you can visit his website by clicking HERE.

Versatile Blogger Award

Please, dear readers, forgive me for being remiss about passing on The Versatile Blogger Award. I had to take the time to actually find fifteen, count that, fifteen bloggers I wanted to pass it on to. It's a difficult task because I didn't want to use this award as a tennis ball and just pass it back and forth between us all. I really thought long and hard about this one. To those who have given me the award, many thanks. To those I'm giving the award to, congratulations.


I got this award from:

 Savannah at Books with Bite



Vicki from Wolf's Den

Jenai from Bookingly Yours


I didn't expect to get this award, let alone get it six times in a row. So, dear readers, check out the blogs of the bloggers above because they are fantastic, and I'm not just saying that. Now, for the stuff you need to do when receiving this award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.

2. Share 7 things about yourself

3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic.

4. Contact the bloggers you’ve picked and let them know about the award.

So, seven things about me:

1. I like shoes. Yes, I'm one of those girls. I see the shoe, I want the shoe, I buy the shoe. 
2. I bake...a lot
3. I love watching movies. Not a weekend goes by that I don't watch one in the cinemas. 
4. I love to drive...fast. Dreamed of being a race car driver once.
5. My favorite month is October.
6. I love to laugh, especially about silly things.
7. I can't watch people embarrass themselves in public because I end up getting so embarrassed myself. 

The Chosen Ones:


Wipes back of hand over sweaty forehead. Man, that was a lot to do. Anyway, beloved bloggers that I have passed this award to, you don't need to pass it on to me. Find fifteen more other than me. 

Thank you so much for joining me again this week, dear readers. Let's get the party started.

Blogger Interview: The Book Buff

The Book Buff


About the Blogger:

I first read Pride and Prejudice as a kid and fell in love with Mr. Darcy. I wanted to marry him more than anything! Fast forward to my 18th year and low and behold I find my own personal Mr. Darcy. Long story short, I got to marry my Darcy and now we have a hilarious little red head toddler who is shaping up to be a bookworm just like her mom. I have always been crazy about books and compared everything in my life to them. To me, my dad is Atticus Finch and my mom is Mrs. Weasley. My husband is Mr Darcy and my daughter is Ramona Quimby (a 3 year old version anyway). I have a running 3rd person literary narration going on in my head (...she considered removing this tidbit, as divulging such embarrasing information could make her look a little ridiculous, and therefore ruin her bio...) and overall I am a quirky person just like every other book worm out there. Thank heavens I found a husband that finds my eccentricities endearing, rather than absurd.

About the Blog:


My whole life I have been a crazy bookworm, and every time I read a book, I'd have to tell everyone I knew about it. Since I read several books a week, you can imagine my family and frineds getting a little sick of it so I started my blog as an outlet for my excess book energy. I never enjoyed reading a lot of book reviews in magazines and newspapers, because it felt like the reviewers were just using it as a platform to show off how intelligent they thought they were. With this in mind, I turned to the blog world for a platform to share regular book reviews with regular people just like me. I love to read and I want to get other people excited about reading too. I've always thought that every person loves to read, they just might not have found the right book yet. So hopefully with the wide variety of books on The Book Buff, I can help people find that book.



Interview:

How long have you been blogging?

I started my personal blog a few years ago to keep in touch with out of town siblings, but I have only had The Book Buff for about a year. Keeping a personal blog updated is soooo different than trying to market and effectively run something like a book blog, where authors are depending on you and you have crazy deadlines!

Why did you decide to blog?

When I had my daughter 3 years ago, I decided to be a stay at home mom. I wanted to have a ton of kids, possibly home-school, or at least be president of the PTA, you know, be the perfect supermom. Soon after my daughter was born, my husband got sick and we had to switch roles. He is a stay at home daddy and I work. I wanted to be able to stay home so badly, so I did a lot of research about home based businesses and I read that with a TON of work, a blog could be successful. I tried a few different types of blogs, political, humor, etc. but I just didn't have the passion it takes to keep up and make them successful. My whole life I've been an insane bookworm but hated reading about books from reviewers because I felt like they were pompous and didn't know a thing about the common person. Thus, The Book Buff: Book Reviews for Regular People was born.

What books do you blog about and why?

I review any book that strikes my fancy, and even some that don't. I don't think you can truly call yourself a bookworm until you are willing to step outside of your literary comfort zone. I try to make The Book Buff a one stop shop to find any genre. Of course, I do have my favorite genres ( I LOVE Historical Fiction romance a la The Other Boleyn Girl) but I really try to have a wide variety. I've got everything from the classics such as (my personal favorite book EVER) Pride and Prejudice, all the way to new releases of James Patterson.

What memes can be found on your blog?

I don't really do memes. I think they are totally fun to read about on other blogs, but on The Book Buff my posts are uniform, one post = one review. I'm not sure if I do this because I like to keep things simple and user friendly, or (more likely) because I am OCD and like to have everything just so :) While my posts are uniform, I do have some things to make up for the lack of memes, such as great giveaways and reading challenges.

What is your review style like?

Totally honest without being outright cruel and a healthy dose of humor. I don't want The Book Buff to be a puppet of the publishers. If I hated a book, I will nicely point out why. I think it is important for a reviewer to say specifically why they did or didn't like a book so that the readers can decide for themselves. My goal isn't to tell people what they should and shouldn't read, but rather give them a heads up as to whether or not this book would be their cup of tea. It is also very important for me to write a review that regular people can relate to.

If you can describe your blog in one word, what would it be and why?

Anomalous, which is just a cool way of saying one of a kind. My blog is very different than most. It is clean, uncluttered, and straight to the point on everything. I strive to find ways of setting my book blog apart from the others. I am constantly scouring the blogosphere for new ideas and always looking for creative ways to develop and market The Book Buff.

What advice can you give other bloggers about blogging?

Blog about what you love and have a passion for. If you have a hum ho attitude about the things you write, people will see through it in a second. I really think it is the passion behind your words that will set your blog apart from the millions being created every single day!

What kind of promotion techniques do you use to get followers?

I am heavily involved in Ning netowrks. I belong to 30 something of them and I introduce my blog to every single person that joins these networks. I offer my help people navigate the Nings and the blogosphere and actually follow through with the offer. My integrity is very important to me, if I tell a newbie that they can ask me any questions, I'm going to answer them! I also host giveaways, but to be perfectly honest, hosting them for followers is secondary to me. I honestly just love to read and love giving out free books! I remember how excited I was when I won an audio book giveaway before I started doing them on my blog and I just want people to have that little bit of excitement too. This is why I don't require someone to be a follower to win a giveaway. I also host reading challenges with linkups (Jane Austen is My Homegirl) to encourage other book bloggers to participate.

If there was something you’d want your readers to take away from reading your blog, what would it be?

It is very simple, I just want to get people reading!!!

What can readers look forward to from your blog in the future?

I am always looking to improve my blog, so I am open to any feedback from my readers as to what they would like to see. You'll be seeing more of the stuff that works, i.e. my fun reviews, easy to enter giveaways, and great author interviews. But to avoid being stagnant I will continually update things like my reading challenges and the look of the blog. Also the more contacts I acquire in the publishing world, the cooler my giveaways and other offers become!

Blogger Remarks:

Thank you so much Kate for giving me the chance to interview you for this series. It was such a pleasure. And you, by far, have the cutest blogger picture. We're feeling the love! For more on The Book Buff, click on the blog button featured on top of this post. Next week, I'm pleased to have Haley from The Life (and lies) of an inanimate flying object.

Savy's Birthday Bash Giveaway!



We all love contest day, and I have a good one for you, dear readers. Savy at Books with Bite is having her very first birthday bash giveaway! It's only for US residents, but I'm not one to hold that against her. I still want to spread the word. So, what do you stand a chance to win? Here are the AWESOME prizes:

Finished Copy of Kiss Me Deadly YA Anthology


ARC of Mieradome by Kate O'Hegarty


ARC of The Posion  Diaires by Maryrose Wood


ARC of Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James

ARC of Dead Beautiful by Yvonne Woon

ARC of The Candidates by Inara Scott


And
A Valdimir Tod Vampire Smiley T-shirt (Purple Large)


There will be ONE Winner!
This will be for US RESDENTS ONLY!

The contest ends on October 7, her birthday. So, enter now by clicking on her blog button on my sidebar or HERE. So, what are you waiting for, oh lucky US Resident?

Author Interview: Ronnell Porter


Twenty-four year-old Charlotte Roote is publicly a clerk by day, and an upstanding citizen of her charming little hero township. She lives with her younger brother, Nate, a couch bum who goes through jobs like M&M's. But secretly she's a Hoodoo Woman's apprentice, learning from the same woman that taught Charlotte's mother everything she knew about conjures and rituals before her mother was tragically killed in a car accident.

On the eve of Charlotte's first test she is to successfully raise a corpse from the grave to conjure a mindless zombie slave. But things go awry; the grave had already been fixed by another hoodoo conjurer and Charlotte ends up creating something else entirely; something that the four hoodoo queens of Louisiana have outlawed.
Someone set Charlotte up, and it's up to her to find out who. But while she's left to babysit and tame her creation there isn't much time for anything else. That is, until, a string of murders pops up on her doorstep.

NoHeart is a dark and charming romance between two unlikely people. It's a story full of murder, mystery and sexy mayhem as Charlotte discovers who she is and raises the past from its grave.




Author Info:

Ronnell D. Porter was raised in southern United States and grew up listening to the customs and tales of voodoo and hoodoo from his family. He has two cats named Medea and Jason and spends his time at his keyboard like a dedicated pianist, thinking of faraway places that will fit into his next story.

Interview:

1. When did you decide to start writing?

I attempted to start writing a novel when I was thirteen-years-old on an ancient notebook (the kind that still had the little red rubber nub smack-dab in the middle of the keyboard) but lost that project due to a faulty hard drive. After that I hadn’t really attempted anything again until I was eighteen, and I began my firsty YA Urban Fantasy, The Pocket Watch. I finished the very first draft with an amateur 287,000 word-count. As I had absolutely no clue what a word count was, it came as no surprise to later find out just why I’d received so many rejection letters when I said just how many words there were in my query letters!
But after that, the next idea popped into my head and I immediately went back to writing and I haven’t stopped since.

2. What is your genre and why did you decide to write a novel in it?

My genre is always Fiction, usually paranormal or fantasy in nature. I love writing fantasy fiction because I can flesh out concepts that I simply couldn’t share in most other genres. Plus I wouldn’t know the first thing about writing Historical-Fiction, and I would never be able to get through a Non-Fiction novel without turning it into something bizarre by the last chapter.

3. Were you worried about the word count of your work?

Well word-count is always in the front of my mind when I write now; I had absolutely no clue how important it was when I first started writing. I usually measure out a story beforehand with a word-count goal and then dividing that by how many chapters I’d like to write and how many words should be in each. NoHeart, my golden goose egg at the moment, is a 65,000 word novel and is my best work by far because word-count was taken into deep consideration throughout the entire project.

4. Do you have any writing quirks and what are they?

The first drafts of my projects are almost always riddled with about ten-times more was’s and were’s than any book should have, and that’s when I go back through and rewrite each sentence so that it shines and shows rather than tell.

5. If you can describe your novel in one word, what would it be and why?

NoHeart is Racy; an enthralling and frighteningly sexy terror ride that borders on indelicacy and stylish-flare at the same time.

6. How did you decide on the title and what does it mean?

NoHeart’s title was quite literally chosen for the fact that the charming and hunky male lead, Zachary Tomlinson, has no heart. Its meaning becomes much deeper in the last couple of chapters during the climax of the plot, but to remain spoiler-free I’ll have to pass on bringing up that particular moment.

7. What do you hope your readers will get out of reading your novel?

All of my other works tend to have some sort of preachy theme woven into the story, but NoHeart is simply a fun observation on the different shades of humanity for entertainment’s sake. Some characters are the very definition of human kindness, and some are starkly contrasting monsters of the cruelest grade. I just want readers to enjoy Charlotte and Zachary as much as I do.

8. Tell us a little about your road to publication.

The road to publication, whether publishes several times or once, is ever growing, ever changing, and a road that will always be travels so long as writing is one’s career of choice. Recent news, such as Barnes & Noble’s troubles, shows that everyone must be willing to adapt and change with the direction that publication is going, and in many ways that affects just what genre and subject matter I choose to write about; there’s a better chance of being published if you write what you feel will be popular next.

9. What advice can you give other aspiring authors out there?

I think we can agree that reading is a given.
Write. So you’ve finished your first novel; start another one. So you’ve finished that one? Write another one. Even writing only one novel in your entire life can be productive (To Kill a Mockingbird, anyone?) but if writing is your passion and what you want to do with your life then you must constantly write. Not only does it help exercise your brain and strengthen your creativity, you’ll find that your prose and flow will noticeably improve.

Blogger Remarks:

I would like to thank Ronnell for giving us his time. For more information about the featured author for this week, you can visit:

http://www.myspace.com/thepocketwatch

https://www.createspace.com/3406481

http://www.theindiespotlight.com/?p=1583

BOOKS THAT CHANGE LIVES FOR JUST £2




The special post today is very special indeed. It's for a great cause that I hope more people around the world can be a part of. I met Swetha through Book Blogs. She emailed me about my novels, and when she told me about herself, I found out about Book Aid. So, I suggested that she write the special post for today. There were supposed to be pictures with this post, but they wouldn't load properly, so I changed them to videos instead. And, without further ado, I give the blog to Swetha.



In a library in the Mathare slum in Nairobi, Kenya, children pore over donated books. There is no celebration here, just a deep appreciation of the limited books that these kids have to get by.








These are children with no television, music, or computers, and books are all they have. It’s difficult to comprehend this, while I’m sitting in front of my laptop, typing this article and listening to music; all of which are a vital part of my life. For them, the library is a haven, a place to learn, to interact and rise above issues like tribalism; to explore new worlds and to enjoy the simple pleasure of reading.








I am doing my internship with See The Difference, which is a video site where you can literally see the difference you can make to charity projects all around the world. We have more than 145 projects on the site, but this Book Aid project to fill up Mathare Library is one of my favourites… I’m not sure if it’s because of my recent spell at University, and I know from personal experience how vital libraries can be, or if its just the power of the video? Maybe both!








If you have a couple of minutes to spare, please go on to the site and watch the video. If you like it, we hope you’ll share it with all the other book lovers you know! It’s such a great cause, and just £2 for a book, that’s for so much more than just reading, is an amazing gift.


Here’s the link: http://www.seethedifference.org/charities/book-aid-international/books-for-kenyan-slum-libraries


Thanks very much to Kate, who kindly agreed to publish this guest post for me.


Swetha
See The Difference

Book Budget No. 12


Seventeen-year-old Vanessa Sands is afraid of everything—the dark, heights, the ocean—but her fearless older sister, Justine, has always been there to coach her through every challenge. That is, until Justine goes cliff-diving one night near the family’s vacation house in Maine, and her lifeless body washes up on shore the next day.

Though her parents hope that they’ll be able to find closure back in Boston, Vanessa can’t help feeling that her sister’s death wasn’t an accident. After discovering that Justine was keeping a lot of secrets, Vanessa returns to Winter Harbor, hoping that Justine’s boyfriend might know more. But Caleb has been missing since Justine’s death.

Soon, it’s not just Vanessa who’s afraid. All of Winter Harbor is abuzz with anxiety when another body washes ashore, and panic sets in when the small town becomes host to a string of fatal, water-related accidents in which all the victims are found, horrifically, grinning from ear to ear.

Vanessa turns to Caleb’s brother, Simon, for help, and begins to find herself drawn to him. As the pair try to understand the sudden rash of creepy drownings, Vanessa uncovers a secret that threatens her new romance—and will change her life forever.

A seductive paranormal romance full of unexpected twists, Siren is certain to make a big summer splash.


Blogger Interview: More Than Just a Book



About the Blogger:

I am a 15-year old book-obsessed teen who reads YA fiction books and stalks-I mean- talks about her favorite authors and their books on a blog. I post my honest opinion(otherwise known as reviews)on the books I read and I love getting the word out about a good book and great new authors!





About the Blog:


YA!YA!YA! This blog is all about Young Adult books. Anything that I can find about Young Adult books: both author and book news, new releases,book trailers and anything else about Young Adult Fiction I can find that is interesting: I post it. I also review the books I read: new,old, and not-yet released.I love posting about YA debut authors and their books because I am excited to see what they have to offer. Ocasionally I will talk about my experiences and events as a Teen reader. This blog is dedicated to teen readers and the young at heart! This isn't just my blog: it belongs to the whole Young Adult books reader community.I really hope you enjoy it!



Interview:

How long have you been blogging?

I have been blogging for almost a month now, and loving it!

Why did you decide to blog?

One of the reasons I decided to create a blog knowing close to nothing about blogging and web design, was that I love when people ask me what books I recommend and I have been told I am pretty good at it. Another reason was that I have always loved reading and when I am not reading, I'm the computer. So I decided to mix the both things I loved. And ta-da! More Than Just A Book Was Created.

What books do you blog about and why?

I blog about any Young Adult book that catches my attention(that sounds like a good read) no matter what the genre is(romance,paranormal,fantasy,etc.) as long as its fiction and Young Adult. One reason is because it is my age genre, but I have a feeling that even when I am a 40 year old I will be reading Young Adult books. And because Young Adult books talk about things I can relate to and things that I wish we're real.

What memes can be found on your blog?

Well, since I just started blogging I don't have many memes. But I am going try to keep them original and interesting.But I will also participate in other blog memes since its a fun way to interact with other fellow bloggers. In the Spotlight is one meme I will post, where I pick an upcoming book that I think is going to be a good read or an exciting sequel, post information about them, and talk about them. And the meme is random since I can't wait to post the book I find and so I just post it the day I find it. The other new one I will post is Stuffed Bookshelf where I post about the books I either bought or received. I just bought a bookshelf and with every book I get the bookshelf gets stuffier, hence the name. This meme is also random. But I am looking forward to posting new and interesting memes in the future.

What is your review style like?

First I like to post what the book is about, a quick summary, because others might have not heard of the book.Then, my honest opinion and review, I try to keep it short and to the point. I give the well deserved credit to the author at the end of the post by talking a little bit about him/her. And of course, thank them for writing such a wonderful book! I also like to post a little teaser quote from the book, usually random quote one that doesn't give anything away.If the book contains some content for older readers I will talk about that as well.

If you can describe your blog in one word, what would it be and why?

Spontaneous. One day I can post about books 3 times, other days I will post 1 because I don't find anything interesting to blog about. You never know what you're going to get.Also the way the blog looks changes occasionally.

What advice can you give other bloggers about blogging?

Followers, while very important, shouldn't be the reason for you to quit blogging. Even if you have 5 followers, those 5 followers matter and they began following you for a reason.Post your honest opinion and no one else's. Never get discouraged because you don't know much about web design or you see other peoples blogs have more followers or are more attractive-looking. You will learn about blogging as you go and get followers along the way. And meet great people while doing so!

What kind of promotion techniques do you use to get followers?

I join Ning networks such as Book Blogs and Teen Fire to get the word out about my blog and to make friends online. I also have a Twitter and Goodreads accounts to post my reviews and talk about my recent posts.And It is also a great way to meet and interact with authors, other bloggers, and more importantly followers.Giveaways is something I am also looking forward to having in the near future.

If there was something you’d want your readers to take away from reading your blog, what would it be?

That books are more than just paper with words in them. They tell stories that can make you cry, get excited, and have about every emotion in between.They can take you places and that they are not boring at all. That is how I came up with the blog name. And unlike the blog's look, I am sticking to it.

What can readers look forward to from your blog in the future?

Hopefully giveaways, author interviews, more book news, and reviews. Occasionally you'll see some changes in the blog's look because I just can't seem to make my mind about it! Definitely some changes in the blog's content because I will hopefully get more Ideas for memes, polls, and other fun stuff around the blogosphere.

Blogger Remarks:

Thank you very much for your enthusiastic answers to the questions, Alex. You're off to a pretty great start with your blog. For more on More Than Just a Book, you can click on the blog button featured at the top of this post. Next week, we have the pleasure to reading about Kate from The Book Buff.

The Epic Giveaway to beat all Giveaways!



Dear readers, it's contest day, and I totally want to share with you a giveaway of EPIC proportions. I'm a follower of WriteOnCon.com and they are having so many simultaneous giveaways that your head will spin from its "epicness," as they call it. From signed books to query and chapter critiques from authors, you'd be crazy not to check it out. Just click on their site logo below to visit the Recap of Giveaways so that you can choose which one you want to enter.



Click Here

Author Interview: Thomas Sullivan


When an industry requires a regulation stating that no company “shall be operated from a bar, liquor tent, or phone answering service”, you know your new job teaching teenagers is going to be strange.

Life In The Slow Lane recounts a year the author spent teaching driver education for a cut-rate company in Portland, Oregon. The business playbook for this family-run operation was similar to that of BP -- use something until it breaks, apologize effusively, and then don't change. However, the company became the largest operator in the state primarily because the other companies were worse.

Set in a boomtown suburb being overrun by subdivisions and new Starbucks stores, this story is a microcosm of a mid-decade America shifting from business integrity to growth and profit by any means possible. It is also a darkly comic warning about the pitfalls of privatizing essential community functions in an attempt to save money. Yet, at heart, Life In The Slow Lane is a celebration of the humor and perseverance of kids who manage to forge ahead while the cars they use wither and die.


About the Author:

Thomas Sullivan’s writing has appeared in Word Riot, Lost Magazine, and 3AM Magazine, among others. A former resident of Portland, Oregon, Thomas now lives in Seattle and is currently completing a book of humor essays.

To read an excerpt or view more of Thomas Sullivan’s published writing, please visit his author website at www.thomassullivanhumor.com

OTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
editor@uncialpress.com


Interview:

1. When did you decide to start writing?

During the summer I taught drivers education. We had very erratic scheduling, so I would end up with a few hours between lessons and little to do. So I started jotting down notes on funny stories (like the girl who couldn’t practice at home because Mom wrecked the car in a hasty exit from the Starbucks drive-thru). Then I decided to tell the whole story, and the longer book emerged from those chunks of time.

2. What is your genre and why did you decide to write a novel in it?

My book is nonfiction/memoir. I mostly decided to write about teaching drivers ed because it’s something most of us go through as kids but don’t revisit as adults. So I figured both adults and young people who had finished drivers ed a few years earlier would enjoy returning to that world for a while (without the threat of being in a car wreck).

3. Were you worried about the word count of your work?

Not too much. My book came in at 58,000 words, which at 170 pages seems about right for getting a glimpse into a weird, funny world without dragging on for too long.

4. Do you have any writing quirks and what are they?

I have two, both of which are gratefully minor. I have to be in a music-free environment since I’m always drawn to music and it steals my concentration (this old dog will probably never learn the new trick of multi-tasking). And I have to write by hand first, with a specific type of pen. If Bic ever stops making the Precise V series of rolling-ball pens I am toast.

5. If you can describe your novel in one word, what would it be and why?

“Whatever.” Let me explain this strange choice. I think the explosion of YA books like the Twilight series is telling us something. For too long we’ve been focused on helping kids by pushing for high SAT scores, prominent college enrollments, success in sports, and achieve-achieve-achieve. But we haven’t been helping them understand their emotional response to the world or teaching anything about self-esteem in a consistent way. So when you ask a young person something and they respond “What-ever”, it seems like a sign that we’re missing something quite important. I say this because kids in my car would often open up to me in utter confusion about having so much expected of them. Not all the kids, of course, but many. Much of what parents demand of kids is presented as being in their best interest, when in truth it’s driven by parents’ need to feel like they’re being good parents. So hopefully my book cuts through some of the mystery behind the “Whatever” response.

6. How did you decide on the title and what does it mean?

When we taught driving on the interstate (Lesson #5) we usually stayed in the slow lane on the right side of the freeway. We’d be driving the speed limit while cars flew by us on our left (I now know exactly what driving interstates will feel like when I’m 90). Even on regular main roads we were frequently honked at or passed. It’s strange to be moving slow when everyone else is in such a hurry, so in some ways the title is about choosing to move through the world in a less frantic and harried way.

7. What do you hope your readers will get out of reading your novel?

The humor and resiliency of kids is amazing. Whenever cars died or the office screwed up a schedule, the kids were the first to laugh about it and simply move on. So primarily I’d like readers to gain an appreciation of the lighthearted wisdom of kids. Secondly, the company I worked for would have never been needed if parents and school districts just paid a bit of taxes to keep drivers ed as an in-house function overseen by the public. The people I knew who worked for programs run by public schools didn’t experience the cost cutting, understaffing, and resultant chaos that I did with a private company. So, I’d like readers to question what might be lost if their town privatizes drivers ed and hands over control to someone whose interests are primarily those of profit.

8. Tell us a little about your road to publication.

I first published small excerpts of Slow Lane in web-based journals and audio-journals like Word Riot, Prick Of The Spindle, and Soundzine. After gaining some confidence through the positive feedback from these venues, I began submitting the full story to e-book publishers. I connected with Uncial Press (my current publisher, who is based in Oregon) and then with Cool Beat Audio, a small Florida-based company that plans to release an audiobook version of my story later this year. So, I’ve been fortunate to have a winding path to publication that connected me with smaller, alternative publishers.

9. What advice can you give other aspiring authors out there?

1) If editors comment on your work, only listen to those who have something positive to say, and then don’t take their advice too seriously unless a pattern develops. Editors are somewhat like parents – you should only listen to them if they genuinely care about you and your dreams.

2) Embrace the “E” world fully and widely (ie web-journals, e-books, audio magazines, online book bloggers). As a 43 year old quasi-dinosaur I was skeptical at first, but I’ve found that the “E” world is much more excited by newer voices and real stories by regular people than the traditional print world is.

Blogger Remarks:

Thank you so much, Thomas, for such an inspiring interview. I truly appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. Life In The Slow Lane: Surviving A Tour Of Duty In Driver Education is currently available at:

www.diesel-ebooks.com (Microsoft & Adobe editions)
www.mobipocket.com
www.amazon.com (Kindle edition)

Author Interview: ME



You may remember, dear reader, that a few weeks back I had a special post about an Author Focus on me hosted by Jess from The Tales Compendium. In case you don't recall, you can see the post here.






Anyway, I discussed on that post the sheer awesomeness of bloggers. And I would like to use this special post to share with you another act of awesomeness that someone did for me.






As you well know, I am also a writer. And I'm working really hard to get my novels published. To view some samples of my work, you can click here.




Well, one day, I received an email from Sasha from Author Stop and Drop. She said that she read my excerpt of Hunter's Moon and that she would like to do an Author Interview on me. Me! Can you imagine? I was so excited that I was practically grinning from ear to ear. Again, this simple act is a testament to the kindness of the blogger community.


To visit the Author Interview, you can click here.


Take the time to explore Author Stop and Drop, too. It's a great new blog. I think you, dear reader, will find something of interest there.




So, anyway, I would like to take this time to thank Sasha for giving me the opportunity to spread the word about my writing through that interview.


I leave you with this question, dear reader: What act of kindness have you done lately, for a fellow blogger or otherwise?


*note, all the words in red (except for the question) are links. ;-)

Blogger Interview: Angus and Robertson Edwardstown





About the Blogger:

We are a local home owned business who love to find books new homes! We want to bring our great customer service to our loyal fans and we love to hear what our customers need.






About the Blog:

Angus & Robertson Edwardstown is a bookstore in Adelaide, Australia. We have a wide range of books and if we don't have what you want we will try and order it in for you. We want to find our books new homes! Our blog is designed to help us do just that, we want a fresh clean layout that does not confuse readers, but gives them what they want.






Interview:

1) How long have you been blogging?

The straight anwser to this is not very long, proberly about a month and a half. Before this, I set up a Facebook site for the store and that has been going really well. We have had that for nearly a year and we have 283 fans.

2) Why did you decide to blog?

I have NEVER blogged before haha. I don't even have Twitter. The only social media we used was Facebook and now I am addicted to that and our blog! I was getting frustrated with some of the limitations of Facebook in regards to promotions and product displays, so I wanted something like a website. Only I didn't have the knowledge on how to set up a website. Also my newsletters were getting way to long so I wanted to find a better media for our information. One day I was surfing the net and came across an authors blog and thought this is what I want! Something we can update easily and we fell in love with the gadgets/widgets. It is really good because I can now interlink both our Blog and Facebook and update them at the same time.

3) What is your Blog about?

Books! Our blog is about books. We are a bookstore in Australia and we live, sleep and breathe books haha. No seriously it seems that way sometimes. Unlike some other bookstore we actually read too >.< There are four main people who work in the store and two weekend staff, all of us are pretty good readers with a book taste that is different. Take me (Tarran) I love fantasy, adventure, history and metaphysics (New Age) Sonia loves Crime, True Crime, biographies and sport. Tamara loves manga, paranormal, and teen. Jo love travel and fiction. Our Blog is about upcoming releases, reviews, author information, signings, and interesting titles. Everything I couldn't fit into the newsletter haha, but thought people would like to know.

4) What do you usually post about and why?

The things we usually post are books specials, reviews and author interviews at the moment. We are just getting the hang of writing a blog and trying to figure out what people want to read. We do not want to bore them with trival stuff they have no interest in, they come to a book blog to learn about books, not my personal life haha. We had a giveaway promotion the other day with a Star Wars book by Sean Williams, and will be doing more of them in the future.

5) What is your Blogging style like?

I don't really know, hopefully good. I had somebody say they loved the site and frequently lurk looking at all the information!

6) If you can describe your blog in one word, what would it be and why?

Awesome! Thats because I am bias hahaha... No really it is, it is full of pictures, reviews and posts about the best thing in the world; Books! Ands it is only going to get better.

7) What advice can you give other bloggers about blogging?

Read blogging for dummies haha it is a great book! Other than that it is trial by error. Post as much as you can and follow publically. Be seen in the blogging world and don't be afraid to post. Link your blog to your Facebook and Twitter, so when you post on the blog, it gets posted on the other medias at the same time.

8) What kind of promotion techniques do you use to get followers?

We simply state our specials and get them out there into the digital world! We use Facebook and word of mouth. We advertise on our newsletters about the blog and also in our centre there is toilet advertising. You would be suprised about people who have come in and said I see you have so and so for this price simply because they saw our ad in the toilet. We have used this to our advantage and hopefully this will bring us more followers.

9 If there was something you'd want your readers to take away from reading your blog, what would it be?

Satisfaction that we have provided the information they needed to give a book a new home.

10) What can readers look forward to from your blog in the future?

The world is our oyster! Our readers will look forward to hearing about future signings, such as we have Claudia Gray, author of "Evernight" coming in at the end of the month. As I get better mastering the art of the blog, the site will look great and more information will be posted! We also have our monthly newsletters posted up there as well as kick arse reviews, what staff are reading, new releases and whats coming. People should definatly come and have a look and follow us as we are only going to get better!

Blogger Remarks:

I had the pleasure of finding out about Angus and Robertson Edwardstown through Book Blogs. I've met so many interesting people there, and Tarran is one of them. I really wanted to feature her blog. I have a soft spot for bookstores, for obvious reasons. So, thank you so much Tarran for giving us your time. To visit her blog, click on the picture of her store at the top of this page. It's been a pleasure having you here. Next week, watch out for my interview with Alex from More Than Just a Book.
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