Monday, October 31, 2011

The Hunter Blog Tour: Interview with Theresa Meyer

Hi! Today Theresa Meyers is here to talk about her western paranormal steampunk romance. (Isn't that an intriguing combination of genres?) I am sorry this post is a day late, but there was an unavoidable delay that meant that I didn't get Ms. Meyers' answers to my questions until today. :)

How would you describe yourself in ten words or less?

The tea-drinking mommy with imaginary people in her head.

What inspired you to write a steampunk western paranormal romance?

Mouthful, isn’t it? I actually had the idea for the three brothers in 1880s Arizona back in 1998 when I was living there. I’d gone on a drive up to Flagstaff and we’d meandered through some of the small mining towns on the way up there, which got me thinking. I knew the brothers were all named after their father’s guns—Winchester, Remington and Colt. I knew the eldest was a law man, the youngest an outlaw and the middle brother an attorney (because he had to of course balance between the other two). What I didn’t know was what kept these seemingly very different men together. Fast forward to 2008 when I was writing paranormal romances for Harlequin. I realized that what held them together was hunting supernaturals. Once that piece fell into place it became a steampunk book (because these hunters needed extraordinary weapons to do what they do) and the inventor character Marley Turlock became their version of James Bond’s Q. I didn’t even realize at the time that steampunk was an active subculture when I began writing this. I was just putting together things I personally have always liked. It was a very pleasant surprise when I attended Steampunk University for a day in Seattle and discovered, hey, there are actually people who are into this stuff like me and it has a real name!

What was the hardest part when writing it? And the easiest?

As silly as this sounds, the hardest part is actually sitting down every day and doing the writing. A lot of people will tell you, “oh, I want to write a book one day, when I have the time.” Guess what? You don’t get extra time. You have to carve it out of the same 24 hours as everyone else and some days that’s a challenge. But it’s the secret of every great writer. You must apply your bottom to the chair and your hands to the keyboard and write. Consistently. The easiest part? Telling myself the story. It unfolds like a movie in my head, only I get smellovision too. I can rewind and replay bits and pieces to see exactly what a character was wearing or to relisten to the tone of voice during a piece of dialog. Honestly, if I wasn’t having to type it as I see it in my head, I would pull up a bowl of popcorn and just watch it unfold.

If you could be any supernatural being for a day, what kind would you be?

Oooo. Good question. I’d have to pick it would be an ancient goddess. I wouldn’t want to be a vampire, because while I like writing them in real life I can’t stand the sight of blood (except my own, which doesn’t seem to creep me out). I wouldn’t want to be a shape shifter, because if I shifted into a bird, I’ve got a bad fear of heights and if I shifted into a furred animal I could get fleas. No thank you. As for a demon, well, you’re really under someone else’s beck and call and you’re the bad guy that makes nasty things happen, and frankly that’s so close to being a mom, that I don’t think there’s that much difference (after all being told to brush your teeth before bed is apparently evil incarnate.)

If you could spend a day with one of your characters, which one would it be and what would you be doing?

If I could spend a day with any of my characters, I’d probably want to hang out with Marley. He’s just so goofy and full of ideas, and I’m a sucker for a British accent so I could listen to him blather on about anything all day and be happy. We might cook up some new weapon or figure out a brilliant way for brewing tea. Since my office probably looks about in the same condition as Marley’s lab, I think I’d feel right at home.

What are some of your favorite stories?

I love to read. Julia Quinn, Yasmine Galenorn, Cherry Adair, James Rollins, are some of my favorite authors. But I also still have copies of the books I really enjoyed as a child, things like A Wrinkle in Time, The Tower of Geburah, and the Chronicles of Narnia. I’m also a rabid fan of the online steampunk comic Girl Genius.

Random Questions:

Plotter or Pantser?

Actually I’m what I call a planter. I like to plot things out using a plotting board, character sheets, spiderweb subplotting, etc., so I have a good solid story and know the motivations of my characters, but when it comes down to actually writing my characters often take a detour here and there in a pantser-style that always make the stories better. I plant the idea with a good steady trellis and feed it. I let it take root and then I leave it free to grow however it wants to. The plot is the trellis that supports the creative free-flow.
Mythology or fairytales?

Oooo. Hard call. I’d have to go with Mythology, because a lot of the fairytales have some kind of mythological base and in terms of characters I can usually pull a lot more fun information out of the mythology from various cultures. In fact one of my favorite research books is The MacMillian Illustrated Encyclopedia of Myths & Legends by Arthur Cotterell.  

Music or movies?

Now that’s really not fair. I absolutely love movies, but I create a soundtrack for each book I write to and love to dance (which requires music), so how do I choose? Can I pick both on this one?

Thank you so much for stopping by! Don't worry, I won't force you to choose between movies and music. (After all, don't all the best movies have really good music?) Also, I think being an ancient goddess would be much more fun than being a vampire. :)

About the Book:

The Hunter (The Legend Chronicles, #1)They're the Chosen—Winchester, Remington and Colt—brothers trained to hunt down supernatural beings using the latest steam-powered gadgetry. It's a hard legacy to shoulder, and it's about to get a lot more dangerous. . .
A Devil Of A Job
Colt Jackson has gotten his name on many a wanted poster with success in the family business: hunting supernaturals across the frontier. Lately, though, there's a sulfur stink in the wind and the Darkin population is exploding. A rift in the worlds is appearing. To close it, Colt will have to do the unthinkable and work with a demon to pass arcane boundaries no human alone can cross.
Except when he summons his demon, he doesn't get some horned monstrosity: he gets a curvy redheaded succubus named Lilly, who's willing to make a bargain to become human again. He also gets Lilly's secret expertise on the machinations on the dark side of the rift. And her charm and cleverness help to get them out of what his silver-loaded pistol and mechanical horse can't. Of course, when all hell breaks loose, he might have to sacrifice his soul. But what's adventure without a little risk?

To visit all the blogstour and learn more about this book, go here.

                                  Lieder Madchen

Bookie Brunch: Trick or Treat - Classic Horror Films


Bookie Brunch: Trick or Treat

Bookie Brunch is a weekly book chat for book lovers. A new Bookie Brunch posts every Sunday, and you're welcome to join any ongoing discussion whenever you like. In the meantime, let's have some treats for Halloween! Just click on the badges on the end of the post for a new treat!

Trick or Treat: Classic Horror Films

In my house, we don't really "celebrate" Halloween. I have never been trick-or-treating and last year was the first time I ever went to a haunted house. On Halloween night, we carve pumpkins and then sneak downstairs after turning all the lights off to hide from the neighbor kids (not that there are any) and watch a scary (but family friendly) movie while munching on candy. Since there are only so many family friendly scary movies out there, there are a few that we have seen many times. Here are some of my favorites. :)

Not particularly scary by modern standards, this film was terrifying when I was younger. Now, I can truly appreciate the incompetent fleeing and the very silly song.

Whether it be the old black-and-white Boris Karloff version or the newer Brendan Fraser remake, The Mummy is always a hit...except for that one year when my little sister was scared of mummies (also the year we were studying Ancient Egypt in school) and we ended up watching Fly Away Home instead. (A movie about Canadian geese. We have never let her live it down.)

An oldie but a goodie, we have watched Creature from the Black Lagoon for Halloween more times than I can count. :)

And now it is time for the treats! My favorite Halloween treats are pumpkin pie (with lots of whipped cream) toasted pumpkin seeds (sometimes with garlic) and Butterfingers. :)

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Rather Lovely Soirée: Past and Present

A Rather Lovely Soirée
Talk like Jane Austen Day
Event production by
Oct. 30, 2011
Past and Present
Divine Jane: Reflections on Austen
Being a video featurette on Jane Austen's literary influence
Songs and Stories  (@LiederMadchen)

Welcome to A Rather Lovely Soirée, a celebration as part of Talk Like Jane Austen Day. I am very excited to be participating in this event, so I want to give a huge thank you to Sasha Soren for setting it up and inviting me. :) For my post, I am going to share a lovely short documentary about Jane Austen's influence. Each of the participating blogs has been assigned one of Austen's novels to share as well, and I am representing Sanditon! I read this story once (the version completed by A Lady) and really enjoyed it. I hope you do as well. :)

Sanditon (1817) (unfinished)
About: An unfinished novel by Jane Austen; she was already seriously ill when she wrote the opening chapters of  Sanditon and had less than six months to live. Only 11 chapters are extant, and several contemporary writers have tried to complete the novel. The theme of the novel was an exploration of the practical  results of communication, as the thriving town of Sanditon, at the start of the novel, is nothing but a dream - yet.

From Wikipedia: The people of 'modern Sanditon,' as Austen calls it, are busily constructing a new world in the form  of a modern seaside commercial town. (The town of Sanditon is probably based on Worthing, where Austen stayed in  late 1805 when the resort was first being developed, or on Eastbourne.) The town is less of an actual reality than it is  an ideal of the inhabitants. These inhabitants have a conception of the town's identity and of the way in which this  identity should be spread to, and appreciated by, the world. However, the founders of Sanditon must create the town within their own circle of intimate acquaintances before it may be spread to the world.

Download this book here.

Here is a full list of all events:

Shadow and Light
Being a video gallery of excellent Austen movie adaptations
Splash of Our Worlds (@SplashOOWorlds)

Silk and Satin
Being a gallery of charming Regency gowns
Elbit Blog (@MeriGreenleaf)

Wit and Wisdom
Being a top 10 list of Jane Austen quotes
Tina's Book Reviews(@BooksAtTinas)

Screens and Pages
Being a video reading from Sense and Sensibility
Video channel: I Love Books (@BookLover_622)
Blog: The Book Addict (@Christina_622)

Worldly and Otherworldy
Jane's GhostBeing a sweet mystery related to that late worthy, the writer Jane Austen
vvb32 Reads (@vvb32reads)

Tea and Sweets
Being a visit to Jane Austen's home
The True Book Addict (@TrueBookAddict)
Note: Music here is auto-play but can be shut off, player is on right sidebar.

Ink and Pixels
Being a video reading of a Jane Austen work (excerpt)
Pre-event: Video Reading from Sense and Sensibility
Video channel: Coffee and a Good Book
Blog: Inky Pages (@InkyPages)

Past and Present
Divine Jane: Reflections on AustenBeing a video featurette on Jane Austen's literary influence
Songs and Stories (@LiederMadchen

Audio and Artistry
Being a collection of audio book treats
Random Magic Tour - The Coven (@RandomMagicTour)

***More Jane!***

WIN this book at Bookie Brunch, offer open through December 15, 2011.

About: When publisher Thomas Cadell declined an unsolicited manuscript offered to him by a Hampshire clergyman in 1797, he made one of the biggest mistakes in publishing history, for the manuscript was an early version of Pride and Prejudice, and the clergyman's daughter was destined to become one of the most recognizable names in literature... (More)
INVITATION to Pemberley Ball, Nov. 14-19, 2011
You're also invited to another charming Jane Austen event, the annual Pemberley Ball, held every November and hosted by vvb32reads (@vvb32reads).

More information on Pemberley Ball
Pre-event reading from Pride and Prejudice: Listen
Last season: The Party Scouts | Gallery of Gowns | Dance Card
RSVP: Reply to RSVP for this year's ball here.

Event production for A Rather Lovely Soirée by Random Magic Tour.
About Random MagicTrailerPrint | Kindle

Friday, October 28, 2011

Blog Tour: Fate Fixed by Bonnie Wheeler Interview + Giveaway!

Today I am very excited to have Bonnie Erina Wheeler visiting as part of the blog tour for her wonderful YA novel, Fate Fixed. Thank you to the Bookish Snob for arranging the tour and to Ms. Wheeler for stopping by and answering my questions. :)

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your book?

Hello Songs and Stories. Thank you so much for having me.

I am a full time college senior at the University of Connecticut and a wife and mom. My novel is a young adult paranormal romance and it is the first in a planned 5 part series. It is the kind of story that is a quick read with a bit of a mystery, a hunky guy(s) and most definitely a fated love. It is my first novel and I wrote it in May and June of this year.

Where did you get your inspiration for Fate Fixed?

My daughter and I have a shared love of reading paranormal young adult novels. In 2010, she became severely ill and almost passed away. For months, she was in the hospital and I stayed with her the majority of the time. At the beginning of 2011, she had to have a serious surgery that would require a long stay. She couldn’t stand any noise from TV’s or music, even talking on the phone, so in the silence, I had a lot of time to think. I wanted to do something for her, so I began to write her a novel. She had always told me I should write because I had mentioned many times I would like to, so it seemed like a good time to start. I decided to write a novel for her that she would love. The majority of Fate Fixed was created at her side while she slept. Once home, it took me about eight more weeks to finish it and when she read it, she begged me to publish it. Author, Elizabeth Lorraine was writing on Facebook a lot about her writing and she inspired me to try. When I mentioned to her on a post that I wanted to do it someday, she told me I absolutely could. I don’t think she realized at that moment that she had given me the “okay” I didn’t realize I was waiting for. I am thankful for her encouragement. 

What made you choose to mix Irish, Norse and Balkan folklore and terminology?

In my future novels, I will be going into the backgrounds of these and some of the odd parings will be explained – but, when I originally decided to write about these fascinating creatures, I loved learning that each culture has its own beliefs. I wanted to create a fictional world that had a history of these beings, but I didn’t want to stick to just one area. I love the magic of the little world I built.

In Fate Fixed, your characters listened to 30 Seconds to Mars, Chris Isaak and Duran Duran. Does this reflect your taste in music or not? What are some of your favorite songs?

I am a huge 30 Seconds to Mars fan. I listened to their albums constantly while writing. In fact, Lexie’s reference to Jared Leto and Jordan Catalano were based on the lead singer of the band who she had an innocent crush on for years.  I selected the Duran Duran song, because I thought it would be just like Alik to be singing along with a song like “Hungry Like A Wolf.” After all, he finds himself hugely entertaining. The classic song by Chris Isaak is always good, but I prefer the rockier remakes that have been done, like the one by HIM.  I listened to “Down” by Jason Walker and “Cut” by Plumb when I wanted to write sadder moments in the novel. I love “Think Twice” by Eve6 and listened to them while writing scenes with Maxim. When I wrote through Torin’s eyes, it was anything by 30 Seconds to Mars and sometimes Linkin Park. J

If you could spend an afternoon with one of your characters, which one would it be and what would you be doing?

I would spend the day hanging out with Theo at Big Wally’s. Hopefully the coven would stop by and I could joke around with Torin’s cousins and get them to bring me dirt biking or to the party in the woods.

What are you reading at the moment? Are there any books that you re-read over and over again?

I am presently reading Elita Daniel’s “The Guardian” – a wonderful vampire book! As far as books that I have read more than once, the Sookie Stackhouse novels are a quick read and since I am a fulltime college senior, I enjoy their ease.

Random Questions:

If you could go anywhere for a week, where would it be?

I vacation to Northern California so I could see my friend Leah!

Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate J

Dogs or cats? Both

Thank you so much for coming! I am looking forward to the next Erris Coven novel. :)

About the Author:

Bonnie Wheeler lives in Torrington, Connecticut with her husband and three children.  When she isn’t writing or spending time with her family, she is attending classes at the University of Connecticut.  Bonnie loves cooking, writing, reading, and shopping.  Fate Fixed was released in July and is the first novel in The Erris Coven Series.  She is hoping to release the sequel later this Fall.

About the Book:

When Lexie Anderson’s mother suddenly announces she is marrying a Romanian immigrant, Lexie willingly leaves behind her busy life in Connecticut for her penance in “The Moose Capital of the World.” Small town living is strange enough, now Lexie must cope with her overbearing stepfamily monitoring her every move. They disappear into the woods at night and keep a strange secret locked in their shed. Her once calm mother is now having violent outbursts and Lexie’s little sister is hearing sinister sounds coming from the forest behind their new home. Lexie’s biggest surprise comes when she discovers the boy she has been dreaming about since her accident is living in Maine. Despite Torin’s questionable reputation, Lexie cannot resist the physical and emotional attraction pulsating between them. Animals and people in town are turning up dead and Lexie learns the strange new world she lives in has real life monsters. Just when she decides she wants to be with Torin forever, she must fight to protect her mother and sister from being harmed by a formidable evil.

I have one e-copy of Fate Fixed to give away to one lucky commenter. All you have to do to enter is leave a meaningful comment with your e-mail address. For one extra entry, spread the word and leave a link. Following is not required but it makes me smile.  :)

Follow the tour for more interviews and giveaways as well as guest posts and reviews. At the end of the tour there will be a huge giveaway with three e-copies and one signed copy of Fate Fixed. The next post is tomorrow at Hands and Home. Have fun and good luck!

                              Lieder Madchen

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bog Tour: Thin Air by Lynn Seresin Interview + Scavenger Hunt

Today we have the lovely Lynn Seresin here to answer a few questions about her novel, Thin Air. I want to give a huge thank you to Bree at The Magic Attic for setting this tour up and to Ms. Seresin for answering all of my questions and writing such a lovely story. :)
How would you describe yourself in ten words or less?

Mother. Wife. Writer. Passionate. Determined. Disciplined. Hard-working. Animal lover.

How did you start writing?

I’ve been writing all my life. I began writing professionally when I was a children’s book editor at Simon
& Schuster a number of years ago. Editors on staff frequently wrote manuscripts for shorter formats like
board books rather than farming them out to authors as a way to cut cost. After the birth of my first child,
I began writing children’s books on a freelance basis since I could basically do it anywhere, at any time
of the day or night. I can’t tell you how many books I wrote in the lounge of my daughter’s preschool. I
continued freelancing until a year or so after my son was born. Things started to get hectic and I wanted
to devote more time to my family.

At the beginning of Thin Air there are several parallels as well as a reference to The Little
Mermaid. What is it that drew you to that particular fairytale? And what are some others
that you enjoy?

I’ve always been a huge fan of fairytales. I think they address very basic, deep-seated fears, anxieties,
hopes, and dreams within us all, which is probably why they’ve lasted all these years and continue to
appeal to each new generation of readers. The Little Mermaid was always a favorite. I suspect I was
drawn to the romance at the heart of the story. I think we can all identify with the little mermaid’s longing,
and her undying optimism even when faced with very long odds. Of course, the original fairytale doesn’t
have the happy ending we would all hope for; the mermaid doesn’t get her prince. In fact, she turns into
an air spirit, though I don’t believe she’s actually referred to as a sylphid. So, THIN AIR takes us full-circle,
in a sense.

If you could be an elemental spirit, what kind would you like to be?

Without a doubt, a sylphid. Beauty, grace, and the power of flight—what could be better?

If you could spend a day with any one of your characters, who would it be?

I’d definitely hang out with Dante. I’d love to go shopping with him and then check out one of his
performances at Delirium.

Aeris/Alice is an incredibly innocent heroine with little knowledge of the world. Was it
difficult to write her because of that? Or did it make it easier?

That’s hard to answer. I definitely had to try to get into her skin and see the world through uninformed
eyes, which was challenging. In the end, I found it a sort of balancing act; if I described everything she
encountered as unfamiliar, readers would find it tedious. So, I tried to isolate details in her environment
that would be new to someone only familiar with the natural world—large things like buildings and
statues, and smaller things like mannequins in store windows, hot dog vendors, and traffic lights.
Random Questions:

What is your favorite color?

I like different colors for different things. I’m probably most fond of earth tones, but I also love the color
purple. There’s something magical about it.

Favorite drink?

That’s easy—Coca Cola. It happens to also be Alice’s first drink as a human (and her favorite, too).

Favorite word?

I love words! In fact, “Hanging with Friends” is my favorite app. I’m addicted to the game! I’d have to
say, at this time, my favorite word is “sylph”. I love the sound of it. I also think it’s one of those words that
conjures up what it describes pretty nicely. When I hear the word, I think of something (or someone) light,
airy, silvery, sparkly, diaphanous.
About the Book:
Alice Ayre is no ordinary teenager. She took her first name from a statue in Central Park, pulled her last name out of the air (literally), and she’s actually almost a thousand years old. In fact, the only “ordinary” thing about Alice is that she’s in love.

Alice was a sylphid—a winged air spirit—when she spotted Daniel Field camping in the Adirondacks and lost her heart to the handsome NYU student. Intangible to the human senses, her only hope of winning his heart resides in becoming mortal, even though transmutation is forbidden by Paralda, ruler of the air. Risking punishment, however, seems a small price to pay for a chance at true happiness.

Tracking down Daniel in New York City ends up being surprisingly easy. Getting noticed by him for all the right reasons is another story, especially when the human world keeps tossing challenges in Alice’s path. Just when she’s mastered zippers and buttons, she catches herself dropping a sugar packet into her coffee and mistaking a photo of John Lennon for one of Daniel’s relatives.

Her eccentricities raise the occasional eyebrow with Daniel and his friends, but her quirky charm, sweetness, and sincerity win out. Before long, she lands a job, begins a relationship with Daniel, and starts settling into her new life—until her past comes after her.

You can find Thin Air on: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Goodreads

****Scavenger Hunt!****

Scattered through the tour are letters that make a secret phrase. If you collect all the letters and unscramble the phrase, you can be entered to win a signed copy of Thin Air and an earring similar to the kind Alice would wear. These letters can be found high-lighted in red. Read this post carefully to find one. :) Once you figure it out, enter your answer in this FORM. Good Luck!

The next post is at Bittersweet Enchantment where you can read a review! You can see the full list of posts and participating blogs here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blog Tour: Whirl by Emma Raveling Interview + Giveaway!

Today I am really excited to have Emma Raveling here to talk about her novel Whirl. I loved this wonderful fantasy novel (review coming soon) and I really enjoyed coming up with things to quiz Emma on. :)

Hello! It is wonderful to have you visiting Songs and Stories, I absolutely loved Whirl!  I read it in just a couple hours without stopping. J

Hi, Natalie! Thank you so much for having me here today. And I’m so glad you enjoyed Whirl!

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a thirty-something year old fantasy writer and frequent traveler. My husband and charming German Shepherd are the great loves of my life. I’m hopelessly addicted to coffee and diet coke, and am a dedicated practitioner of vipassana meditation. Whirl is my debut novel.  

What made you choose ondines to write about?

The inspiration for the Ondine Quartet series came from classical music. One of the masterpieces by the French composer Maurice Ravel is a work for solo piano called Gaspard de la Nuit. Fiendishly difficult, it is one of the monumental works ever written for the instrument. Ravel composed the three-movement piece based upon a series of poems by Aloysius Bertrand.

The first movement is entitled Ondine and is based upon the poem of the same name by Bertrand. I included this poem as the epigraph for Whirl because it is the inspiration behind the entire Ondine Quartet series. Based upon an old French myth, the poem tells the story of Ondine, a water nymph who sings to a mortal man, attempting to lure him to her. In love with a mortal woman, he rejects her love and pleas to join her in ruling the water world. Heartbroken, Ondine fades away and disappears beneath the waves.

I highly recommend readers of Whirl to listen to Ravel’s Ondine of they get a chance. The intricate, impressionist music immediately conjures the haunting, yet darkly romantic image of Ondine as she descends beneath the waves.

(I listened to Gaspard de la Nuit while putting this post together and it truly is a lovely piece of music. :)

If you lived inside your novel, what would you want to be? Ondine? Selkie? Dessondine?

Although dessondines are powerful magical beings, I would not want to be one because I wouldn’t want to live an immortal life as an underwater creature. Plus, they’re kind of creepy looking. : )

It would be impossible to choose between ondine and selkie. I’d love to be an ondine with a Virtue (a special magic power), probably the Virtue of Healing. But then again, it’d also be really cool to be a shapeshifting selkie warrior with superhuman physical abilities.

How did you come up with the names of your characters?

Character names are very important to me as a writer. They can work to reinforce the world and structure you’ve created within your story. Before I started writing Whirl, I spent a great deal of time studying French etymology. Most of the names used in the Ondine Quartet world (such as race names, location names, special terms, etc) were constructed out of specific meanings, and the combination of various word roots.

Most of the character names for ondines, dessondines, and demillirs come from the French. For example, my protagonist is Kendra Irisavie. Kendra is a name of French origin and has the meaning “water baby” or “child of the water”. Her last name, Irisavie, comes from the French phrase, iris de la vie, or Iris of Life. Her name itself is a reflection of several deeper themes that are woven throughout the story.

The selkies in the series have a combination of Welsh first names with French last names. (an example is the main male character, Tristan Belicoux). The name Tristan means “tumult”, which defines his journey throughout the series. I created selkie names in this way because of the Anglo-Norman historical connection. The language the selkies speak is actually Old Norman, which is an archaic form of French.

What are your favorite kinds of scenes to write?

It depends on my mood. There are times when I love to write intimate scenes and dialogues between characters. It gives me a sense of space and allows me to really explore who each of my characters are as people. Sometimes, I’m amazed or surprised at the stuff they end up saying because I don’t always know where it comes from. When I write these scenes, it feels as though my characters truly exist and I’m just a conduit through which they transmit their thoughts or emotions.

But there are also times when I need a good kickass fight scene, and I must admit that I do enjoy writing them! There’s a different tempo and feel to it that’s quite thrilling. Just as it’s important to mix things up to achieve balance in life, I enjoy mixing up and balancing my stories with a combination of both introspective scenes and extroverted energy.

What are some of your favorite stories?

I love stories where there is some type of powerful internal journey involved for the main character. Change is very important to me - how a character grows and transforms over the arc of a story.

Some of my favorite books of all time, including Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, and Toni Morrison’s Beloved, have this type of strong character themes.

For YA or MG books, some of my favorites include Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, the Hunger Games, and the Harry Potter series. 

If you could go to dinner with three authors, living or dead, which three would they be?

I would choose Shakespeare, Dante, and JK Rowling. Shakespeare and Dante because their works had a profound influence on me when I first discovered them. It would be marvelous to have the opportunity to sit and talk with such geniuses!

JK Rowling because the Harry Potter series is one of my favorites, and one of those rare books that made me realize magic has the power to resonate at any age. I would love to ask her more about Hogwarts and the wizarding world she created!

Thank you so much for coming! I am looking forward to reading Billow, sequel to Whirl. :)

About the Author:

Emma Raveling is a fantasy author who leads a slightly eccentric life traveling throughout the world with her accommodating husband and charming, neurotic dog.

Hopelessly addicted to coffee and diet coke, she has a strange love of spreadsheets and organizational tools because they give her the illusion that she is somehow in control of the chaos that is her life. A dedicated practitioner of vipassana meditation, Emma loves to cook and often spends time scouring the Internet for new recipes. She adores beautiful art such as painting and sculpture, classical music, lyrical writing, and great graphic design.

Whirl is her debut book. She is currently busy at work writing Billow, the second installment of the Ondine Quartet series.

About the Book:

Seventeen-year-old Kendra Irisavie is an ondine, a water elemental caught in the middle of an ancient war. The Aquidae are immortal dark demons who will stop at nothing to destroy the fragile balance of the Elemental world. Fierce and independent, Kendra has always played by her own rules. Gifted with the powerful magic of Virtue and trained to be a deadly fighter, she has spent her life breaking hearts and getting into trouble. When her life explodes one violent night in a northern California city, a dark stranger appears, promising answers to her mysterious past. Alone and with no one to trust, she must now navigate through a dangerous new world, face the temptations of a forbidden romance, and remain true to her duty and destiny. All while the Aquidae continue to hunt her down, in the hopes of eliminating her forever… An edgy urban fantasy/paranormal romance, Whirl is recommended for older teens and mature readers due to strong language and mild sexual situations.

You can buy Whirl at: Amazon - Barnes and Noble - Smashwords

Thanks to the Bookish Snob and Emma Raveling, I have an e-copy of Whirl to share with you! To enter, leave a comment saying if you would rather be a selkie, ondine or dessondine along with your e-mail address. For an extra entry, you can spread the word and leave a link. Following is not required but greatly appreciated. Good Luck!

Follow the tour to read more interviews, reviews and guest posts, not to mention more giveaways and the chance to win a copy of Whirl, a poster and a mug at the end of the tour. Tomorrow's stop is being hosted by Good Choice Reading.

Monster Mash & Bash Blog Hop!

monster bash and bash

Hello! This is my first time participating in a blog hop and I am so excited! Because of the Halloween theme, I am giving away my copy of The Dark Glamour by Gabriella Pierce!

Jane Boyle married her prince charming and moved into his upper east side castle—but she didn’t get her fairy-tale ending

It’s hard to live happily ever after when you discover your demanding and controlling mother-in-law is literally a witch, determined to steal the magical powers you didn’t even know you had. Jane narrowly avoided Lynne Doran’s clutches when she escaped on her wedding day, and has been hiding out in New York City. But she can’t hide forever.

When Jane learns of the one thing Lynne wants most, she sets out to provide it, hoping her good turn will persuade her mother-in-law to stop hunting her. Unfortunately, Jane’s daring plan will send her right back into the witches’ den—the Doran clan’s multistory town house on Park Avenue. But thanks to a tricky spell, blond architect Jane will be transformed into Ella, a dark beauty with a whole new look . . . and all of Jane’s budding powers. Though the stakes are life or death, nobody said “Ella” couldn’t have a little fun along the way, too.
There are a lot of blogs to visit so I am going to keep my giveaway very simple. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me what you are planning to dress up as for Halloween as well as your e-mail address. For one extra entry, spread the word and leave a link. Following is not required but hugely appreciated. This giveaway is open until Nov. 1st. Due to the fact that I am a penniless teenager, I am sorry to say that this giveaway is open to the U.S. only. Good luck and Happy Halloween!

Check out all of the other great blogs and giveaways!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Bloodlines Experience: Double Book Review, Bloodlines + Torment by Lindsey Anne Kendal

First I must give a huge thank you to the lovely people at The Experience Tours for introducing my to this wonderful series! I love meeting evil authors. :)

As part of this tour, I am reviewing both books, Bloodlines and Torment, together. I hope that after reading my reviews you will decide to read these books for yourself. :)

by Lindsey Anne Kendal

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Ages: 15 and up
I received an e-copy of this novel as part of a blog tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Keira Jameson used to lead a normal life, she just had a gift, passed down through the generations of her family. Now, after hearing voices, having strange dreams of others calling out to her, and her grandfather's last words haunting her, she sets out to find other families like hers. Along with her best friend Lily, the only person outside her family to know about her gift, Keira begins a hunt for her ancestors. A chance meeting with a young man, Lucian Turner, sets them on the right track, but their discoveries change the way Keira will see herself for ever more. Fear, superstition and heritage are shaping Keira's future and she must face her enemies, even if this could mean losing her life. She cannot escape her destiny. Part Buffy-style horror, part tender romance, Bloodlines will have fans of the genre on tenterhooks waiting for the next instalment of this gripping and hell-raising tale. Book 1 of the Bloodlines trilogy.

My Thoughts:
I was a little slow getting into this book, but once I had read a few chapters I was caught by the mystery, the magic and, most especially, the characters. Keira is a prickly individual with quite a temper; it is rather entertaining to watch her flinging attackers left and right and into trees. Her best friend Lily, while not nearly as tough, is also no shrinking violet. She is unfailingly loyal and sweet. The contrast and friendship between them is very well done.

As much as I liked watching Keira toss people around, the real fun started when she actually talked to them. Four of them were male, young and handsome. I could immediately see the potential for a good love triangle. Jake and Lily hit it off right away, which left the leader, Lucian, the joker, Tyler, and the one she started out hating, Danny. Since I liked them all (though Danny took some warming up to) I could tell this was going to be good. The interactions between the two new girls in town and the four boys that were as close as brothers was way to much fun to watch. I found myself enjoying the teasing more than the romance.

I thought that the historical aspect of the story was interesting, with the guys and Keira descendants of five people involved in the Salem witchcraft trials. It added a nice depth to the tale.

The twists and turns in this book lead to fights and mysterious visitations and culminate in a shocking attack and an ending that truly earns Ms. Kendal a place on my list of Evil Authors who write cliffhangers designed to leave you begging for more....oh yes, I liked this book. You should read it for yourself. :)

by Lindsey Anne Kendal

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Ages: 16 and up
Sequel to Bloodlines
I received an e-copy of this novel as part of a blog tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.


Keira has been through Hell, literally..... But now she’s back, and stronger than ever!
In this second gripping instalment of the Bloodlines trilogy Keira and her friends – Lily, Lucian, Tyler, Jake and Danny – continue to try and understand their elemental powers, and protect themselves from their enemies, whose ultimate goal is to destroy them. This time, the stakes are higher – what seems to be a demon rebellion has broken out in hell and the Earth is plunged into chaos. Their problem is, no one – not even Lucifer himself – knows who the rebel leader is. It seems only Keira, her frightened but determined friends, and a new ally – a demon named Eligos - can find out who this person or thing is, why they are suddenly causing so much bloodshed, pain and upset for everyone, and destroy them. Bloody awesome battles, amazing feats of magic, and a stronger-than-death passion, make for an intoxicating, unforgettable read in this powerfully imagined fantasy. Book 2 in the Bloodlines trilogy.

My Thoughts:

After the end of Bloodlines, I had so many questions when starting this book. It is a little darker, a little more violent, and much more romantic. When Keira comes back from Hell things become very complicated. Especially when she doesn't come back alone.

Eligos, a character met only briefly in the first novel, comes to the forefront in this one, which causes all kinds of jealousy in the young man who has fallen in love with Keira. (And no, I am not telling you which young man that is. That would spoil the first book.) Eligos and Keira have wonderful chemistry. They argue and make up all the time because they are both so stubborn. Eligos, despite his crazy fighting and magic skills, is also very vulnerable. He has a secret that he fears will stop Keira from loving him.

The level of magic and adventure in this book is much higher than the first. Their powers gain strength (due to a bit of help) and even more enemies are after them. Keira has mom troubles (with both of her mothers), Lily gets to join the fun and a few more girls (some more supernatural than others) come into town. The only thing I disliked about this book is that the next one isn't out yet.

1 (mild) through 10 (extreme).

I give it a 5.10 for mostly mid-level swearing as well as a couple of instances where the characters used half of the f-word.

I rate it a 4.10 for a couple of fadeaways in the second book as well as vague references to a rape.

I rate it a 7.10 for torture, death and some brutality.

You can see the full list of tour stops here to read more reviews and guest posts. Tomorrow there is a guest post and a giveaway over at After the Book... I hope to see you there!

                                         Lieder Madchen