2.9.14

VISION by Lisa Amowitz

Title: VISION
Author: Lisa Amowitz
Pub. Date: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Pages: 264
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

The light is darker than you think…
High school student Bobby Pendell already has his hands full—he works almost every night to support his disabled-vet father and gifted little brother. Then he meets the beautiful new girl in town, who just happens to be his boss’s daughter. Bobby has rules about that kind of thing. Nothing matters more than keeping his job.
When Bobby starts to get blinding migraines that come with scary, violent hallucinations, his livelihood is on the line. Soon, he must face the stunning possibility that the visions of murder are actually real. With his world going dark, Bobby is set on the trail of the serial killer terrorizing his small town. With everyone else convinced he’s the prime suspect, Bobby realizes that he, or the girl he loves, might be killer's next victim.

I asked Lisa, 'What inspires you as an author?' Here's her response...

A lot of writers, when asked, will say they’d wanted to be a writer their whole life. I, however, would say that as a child it was the furthest thing from my mind. I liked climbing trees, investigating anthills and drawing. Always drawing. Art was my life.
Or so it would seem. However, looking back from the vantage point of adulthood, I can see a pattern that wasn’t quite visible to me at the time. My very earliest influence, the one thing that affected me the most as an artist in my childhood was the Golden Book of Fairy Tales. The delicately rendered scenes of magic and wonder opened a world of imagination for me.
But that was the point. Not only was I intrigued with making images, I was also fascinated with stories and narratives. My mother will tell you of the long, boring hours she endured my retelling of movies and TV shows I’d watched. I have old sketchbooks filled with odd little characters in odd circumstances. I directed the neighborhood children in performances on the front stoop. My cousin and I played the most ridiculously imaginative games that we still marvel over to this day. Stories. Always the story.
I was a strange child, to be sure. And when I got to college, though I majored in art, it was illustration that truly captured my imagination.
The years went by, and I went on to become a graphic designer because it was more lucrative than illustration. I married, started a family and eventually became a professor of graphic design. I always knew I was a decent writer, in the practical sense (other than art, English was my runaway best subject), but it wasn’t until I’d written some supplemental pieces for an exhibition of my drawings that people took notice. I, however, paid them no heed and continued to focus on art and design.
I only became truly bitten by the writing bug after reading the first three Harry Potter books out loud to my daughter in the world’s worst British accent (you can also find a strain toward the dramatic—which was promptly abandoned due to an acute lack of talent). I then went on to read The Dark is Rising out loud as well, with an equally terrible English accent.
I’d always wanted to write a children’s picture book—but only so I’d have something to illustrate. Inspired, at last I’d started planning out this amazing book (which though it did get written will never to see the light of day because it was ABYSMAL), and quickly became obsessed, filling spiral notebooks with my scribblings. The funny thing is, that awful book was nearly as bleak as BREAKING GLASS and VISION and I had to admit it to myself—I was not a picture book writer. I was so much darker than that.
It took me another two years of furtive “closet” writing to admit that I had, indeed, become a writer.
And the rest is—well—the rest kind of wrote itself.

Lisa Amowitz was born in Queens and raised in the wilds of Long Island, New York where she climbed trees, thought small creatures lived under rocks and studied ant hills. And drew. A lot.
Lisa has been a professor of graphic design at Bronx Community College where she has been tormenting and cajoling students for nearly eighteen years. She started writing eight years ago because she wanted something to illustrate, but somehow, instead ended up writing YA. Probably because her mind is too dark and twisted for small children.
BREAKING GLASS which was released July 9, 2013 from Spencer Hill Press, is her first published work. VISION, the first of the Finder series will be released in 2014 along with an unnamed sequel in the following year. LIFE AND BETH will also be released in the near future. So stay tuned because Lisa is very hyper and has to create stuff to stay alive.



To contact Lisa try:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

Giveaway
2 Signed copies of Vision and swag for 2 winners US ONLY.
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Garden of Ashes by Kate Cowan


I absolutely love this cover! Isn't it stunning?

Series: The Legend of Eden #2
Release date: September 1st 2014
Publisher: Anchor Group
Synopsis via Goodreads:

After four years as a prisoner in her parents' attic, hidden away from the Catchers, Eden never dreamt the very people she was hiding from would be the beginning of such impossible things. She's found freedom on the island like she never imagined.
Eden is a sorcerer, with the power of the world in her fingertips. She is determined to never be helpless like she once was, and spends every minute of her spare time training to fight back. As she discovers more of her own power, she and her friends continue to uncover the secrets of the Council. Deadly secrets, hinting at something far larger than the island and the Catchers. Before they can find out exactly what the Council is hiding, Eden's magic begins to spiral out of control, and she loses it for just a second. Just half of a second, and it's enough to change everything.
Suddenly, lives are put at stake, and Eden and her friends must do something no one else has ever dared. They have to escape the island, or they have to die trying.

I asked Kate: Are you obsessed with fantasy (like me lol)? And if so, why do you think that is?
This is her answer....I love fantasy. Books, movies, TV shows, all kinds; but specifically, books. I've always been drawn to it, since I was a little kid and I read The Sight, by David-Clement Davies. Technically, it's a kids book, told from the POV of a young wolf, and though it's still one of my all-time favourites, I'm not sure I would classify it as a kids book. I mean(SPOILER WARNING), the main character DIES in the end. It's still an amazing book, but that kind of broke my little ten-year-old-heart.
I never set out to write a fantasy series, much less one that could be categorized as a dystopian for the first two books and an Epic Fantasy meets post-apocalyptic for the remaining books. When I did start writing the series, I never wanted anything specific for it; I was just writing for fun, but I shouldn't have been surprised when it came out the way it did. The reason I read is the same as the reason I write; because reality kind of sucks, and it's kind of boring for the average person. I don't like contemporary books very much, simply because I read to get away from the average world and find a more exciting one, and I don't think I'm alone in that thinking. Fantasy worlds can be so breathtaking! I mean, epic adventures, romances, magic, elves, everything! I don't understand people who don't love fantasy.
One reason I - and so many other people - love fantasy is for the creativity of it. There are no rules; you can make or design anything your little mind can think of. I'm not only an author, but also an artist and a designer. Fantasy in all forms feeds my creativity. A good book makes me want to do something that reminds me of it in an artistic form. Even my own books! I love drawing the characters and putting the scenes down onto paper (usually digital paper ;) ).
The Legend of Eden series is, first and foremost, a fantasy series. I love writing for a lot of reasons, but mostly, because it's a form of escapism. Like most authors, I enjoy creating other worlds where I am the one in charge. I write for me, not for anyone else, and a lot of times I write things I would never publish because of that, and that's okay. But, a lot of times, I do write things good enough for publication, and that's great too. It's a careful balance, but it's one I wouldn't change.


Kate Cowan is an artist, an animation student, a black belt in karate and now, an author. She didn't discover writing until mid-high school, when she began writing an (unintentionally) hilarious novel involving a teenage girl and a magic necklace. Her current novel series, The Legend of Eden, began as a story of Arthurian magic, but quickly transformed into something much different.Kate currently lives in Ontario, Canada, in a zoo of a house. When she isn't writing, she's drawing, cooking, or browsing the Internet for new music.
WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER


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1.9.14

Finding Hope by Beth Fred

Release date: September 1st 2014
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22708851-finding-hope

Synopsis via Goodreads:
When insecure eighteen-year-old Kailee Hill gets caught tagging Iraq war refugee, Abrahem Yohanna's garage, she's not expecting him to act as her designated driver, hold her hair back when she pukes, or offer to be a shoulder to cry on. But she's failing chemistry and her life is falling apart, so she uses the number Abe leaves her and finds herself with a new tutor.
The two quickly find themselves falling hard for each other. Kailee attacks a local grunt when he calls Abe a "sand nigger" and fights with her veteran brother to be with him. When she learns Abe hasn't told his family about her, she's heartbroken and the couple risks losing everything they've worked to build. To make matters worse, Kailee's previous acts make her the prime suspect in a serious crime. With Kailee behind bars and doubting his feelings for her, Abe must find a way to rescue the girl he loves and win back her affection . And to do that he’ll have to catch a crook…

Author Interview

Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
Well, I’ve been working on rewrites for Perfect Harmony for what seems like forever. It’s about a girl whose sister dies in a car crash and the damaged musician who helps her through it.

What inspired you to write it?
If we are talking about Perfect Harmony, I’m not sure what inspired me, but the idea came to me while reading Simone Elkeles’ Leaving Paradise. If we are talking about Finding Hope, I really wanted to spend more time with my Peace characters, and this story is loosely inspired by my relationship with my immigrant husband, who is also from an Eastern culture. Many of my relatives have served in the Army/Marines.

How did you come up with the idea for the cover?
I found a stock photo I liked and my cover artist liked it too. I asked him to use my Marlowe Girl books as an example and this is what we came up with.

If it was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
Wow! This is a hard one. I don’t watch a lot of TVs/movies and I can see these characters in my head, but can’t think of people who look exactly like them.

What is it about this genre that appeals to you so much?
It’s the escape!

What made you want to become an author?
I had went back and forth with the idea for a long time then I watched Twilight a year after it came to dvd. New Moon was still on at the theater so the next day I made my husband take me. I clapped my hands and squealed, “Edward and Bella are getting married!” I went to B&N and bought the rest of the series. I read it over the weekend, then went back and read the first two books followed by the draft of Midnight Sun. I’ve been a romance writer since!

How do you come up with character names?
They often just come to me. But for the Peace books, I did some research to make sure these were names you would hear in Iraq. Also, in parts of the East your religion greatly affects your name, so with these characters it was important to have names from that area that weren’t strictly Mulsim.

Name one of your all-time favourite books?
Twilight.

Who, or what, inspires you?
Lots of things. Books, news stories, movies, my dreams.

Where is your favourite place to write?
I wish wish wish I had an office. But for now I write wherever I can put my laptop often with a screaming toddler. I wrote Finding Hope from my kitchen table while my baby played in front of me.

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?
Again Twilight!

Name two of your favourite authors.
Tahra Mafi and Stephenie Meyer

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
Kelly Hashway, Ashley Maker, Charity Bradford, Medeia Sharif, Lexa Cain, and Catherine Stein. As far as I know, none of us are bestsellers. But these are my friends.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I was once a reluctant reader!

Who would play you in the movie about your life?
Renee Zellweger

Tell us an interesting fact about where you live.
There is a beautiful little chapel on Crystal Hill Lane that is a free place for small weddings. But Austin, Texas is otherwise the most awesome place in the world with the best food!

What are your (writing) plans for the future?
I’m still working on rewrites like I mentioned. I’m also creating a fiction workbook. There will be one more book in the Marlowe Girl series and I’m considering writing an easy reader series.

Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.
Going to Europe, which I hope happens sooner rather than later because I would love to make a visit to Rome for book research.

Favourite myth / fairytale?
Cinderella

Who did you want to be when you were a kid?President.

Meet Beth Fred! That's me! I'm a full time ELF keeper and part time writer/blogger/writing instructor. I'm represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. I like my tea hot, my romance sweet, and my guys chivalrous. Real men hold open doors, refer to you as ma'am, make promises they keep, and aren't afraid to profess their undying love. It's not breakfast if there aren't carbs(at least, not in the South). Fajitas, carnitas, and churros are just few of my favorite things. Bet you can't guess where I'm from ;)
http://bethfred.blogspot.com/ | https://www.facebook.com/bethfred08

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29.8.14

Interview with author Julie Gilbert

 
Hi Julie! Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
The book in question, Ashlynn’s Dreams, is about two girls reflecting upon the shared experience of their kidnapping. Jillian can shape dreams, so the scientists who altered her genetic code to make that possible snatch her to train her. Danielle, a high school junior, gets taken to force Jillian to cooperate with the dream shaper training. My latest book is actually the fourth in the series kicked off by Ashlynn’s Dreams.

What inspired you to write it?
Every summer I try to pick a new project to work on. Over the years, many of these summer projects have either been science fiction or Christian mysteries. A few summers ago I wanted to write something “normal” that still featured a kidnapping. What I got was Ashlynn’s Dreams. I think it sort of hits both the science fiction and mystery threads. The sequel, Nadia’s Tears, was meant to continue talking about Jillian and Danielle’s post-kidnapping life, but human trafficking became a central theme because by that time one of my students mentioned that human trafficking still exists. The third book in the series, Malia’s Miracles, was inspired by the desire to pit these characters against the problem of cancer.
I knew I wanted to include Jillian as a character because I’ve loved her attitude and voice since her time as a short story star in a series of writing exercises I did in college.

How did you come up with the idea for the cover?
Audiobook cover
The cover has undergone several permutations. The original cover was based off of a description I gave the publisher. The current cover was inspired by a bookmark my friend Tim and I had designed earlier for the series. We wanted something unique, fun, and pretty. My friend did all the hard work, but we tossed about a dozen thumbnail ideas back and forth before choosing the first, large face in background, smaller figure out front. Tim’s a comic book artist, so what we got in terms of a cover is something suitable for that medium. I’ve received comments that go both directions, some people love them and some think they’re misleading.

If it was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
I always struggle with this question. I think current google research indicates thatRachel Hurd-Wood would make a decent Jillian. Somebody like Teresa Palmer orDianna Agron would suffice for Danielle. I mostly use google images to get a feel for hair style or eye color. Sometimes that all comes together to give me a decent picture that matches my mental snapshot.

What is it about this genre that appeals to you so much?
Young Adult is a wide-open genre and science fiction in its truest sense is about testing and redefining boundaries. There’s incredible freedom in writing YA sci-fi. I enjoy setting things in the real world because it saves me the time of describing every object. At the same time, it’s fun to let the imagination take over and run with any idea. The mental test then becomes, can you make the incredible seem believable?

What made you want to become an author?

I just wanted to write stories. To me, the difference between writer and author has been that an author is more of a mind to share the stories. Promoting, while still not my favorite aspect of the field, has given me the huge privilege of getting to know a lot of awesome people.

How do you come up with character names?
Character names depend on what type of writing I’m doing. If I’m working on a set in space sort of science fiction story, then I go with a series of basic rules I have about names. Female names tend to end with an “a” while male names tend to end with an “n.”
In this series, the characters sometimes have two names. The project names have specific meanings, so I spent a fair amount of time on baby name sites looking up meanings. There’s also a certain ring to names in general. If I’m really stuck, I’ll just grab a blank piece of paper and start listing options or open a new word doc and keep playing until the name strikes me as right. Jillian Marie Antel Blairington might be sort of long, but it’s true to who she is since her mother remarried.

Name one of your all-time favourite books.
I only get one? Horrors. Okay, let’s go with The Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill. A princess with a really long awkward name becomes queen at a really young age and has to unite various factions to beat back the evil empire. What’s not to like?

Who, or what, inspires you?
God and students.

Where is your favourite place to write?
I actually only write in the basement because that’s where the computer is located. I’m not patient enough to write on an actual piece of paper, though I will occasionally outline on real paper.

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. Skip all that angsty teen mess in the middle of the long book and just get to the action.

Name two of your favourite authors.

Dee Henderson – Christian suspense. Brandon Sanderson – science fiction and fantasy.

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?

Taylor Stevens. Judging from her emails, she seems very down to earth and is probably hilarious in conversation.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I like Darkside skittles, but in video games, I’m a hopelessly light side/paragon player. I just can’t bring myself to do the mean things you need to for earning dark side/renegade points.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?
I think Grace Park or Qi Shu would do fine playing me, but you’d have to lose the makeup and give them more gray hair.

Tell us an interesting fact about where you live.
I live in a state that looks like a money symbol, what’s not to love about that?

What are your (writing) plans for the future?

Every summer, I plan to write a new novel. The current series I have are on their 4thor 5th books, so I may need to switch to a new genre or a new series some year soon.

Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.

Funny you should ask that because before yesterday I didn’t really have a bucket list. Yesterday, I decided that I want to send either a paperback book or postcards to every state in the Union and as many countries as possible. I’ve sent things to 31 states and 6 foreign countries so far. I’m missing Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.

Favourite myth / fairytale?
Beauty and the Beast. Sadly, my knowledge of fairytales is limited to Disney movies.

Who did you want to be when you were a kid?

I honestly never thought that far ahead. I guess I was always happy enough just being me. I didn’t consider teaching or writing until college and before that, I didn’t give careers much thought. If I had to pick a dream job, I’d say FBI agent. I was also an X-Files fan, so perhaps I just wanted to be Scully.

Julie is a multi-genre writer, a chemistry teacher, an amazon reivewer, and a book addict. Her newest adventures include bringing some of her stories to the audiobook format, finishing book 4 of the Devya's Children series (Ashlynn's Dreams is book 1), revamping a science fiction adventure story, and going into denial over summer's pending end. She enjoys teaching, writing, long walks, hot tea, decaf coffee, and reading while pacing.
email: devyaschildren@gmail.com
Twitter: @authorgilbert
Facebook: Julie C. Gilbert FB page and Ashlynn's Dreams FB page
Radio Interview: interview podcast link

eBook and Paperback Distributors: AD on amazon.com, AD on Barnes and noble
Audiobook Distributors: AD audio on amazon.com, AD audio on audible.com

28.8.14

Release Day Blitz: Shimmer (Breathe #2)


Shimmer (Breathe #2) by Elena Dillon

RELEASE DAY BLITZ

YA Romantic Suspense


Book 2 in the Breathe Series:

Chandler Raines and her “dad” are on the run. Never staying in one place for very long. It’s just not safe. When they arrive in Lafayette, Louisiana, Chandler quickly realizes this is the place she wants to call home. Friends, a cute boy, and competitive cheerleading have her taking dangerous risks to have the life she always wanted. Risks she promised she wouldn’t take.
When her lies catch up to her, a decision has to be made. Stay or run? Will the evil that’s chased them for the last four years catch up to them? When Chandler’s past comes screeching into the present she’ll have to sacrifice everything to keep what she loves safe. But will it be enough?




~*~About the Author~*~


Elena lives and writes in a suburb North of Los Angeles.  She has never lived anywhere besides California which is probably a good thing since she hates being cold and is terrified to drive in the snow. She loves being a wife and a mother to her three kids and three dogs, although really the bulldog is the fourth child who has never matured beyond the toddler stage.

A self-proclaimed nerd, she has been writing since she was a child. She has only recently, however, come out of the closet about this to her family and friends.  They now understand better, but not completely, why she talks about characters in stories as if they are real people.

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