Friday, 31 October 2014

Read 'Em & Reap Blog Hop: The Reaper's Rite series



I've been invited to join the Read 'Em & Reap Blog Hop by author Lisa Medley. The blog hop takes a look at tons of cool reaper stories, just in time for Halloween. Take a look through the links and meet your next favorite scary book!

For my part of the hop, I'll be answering Lisa's questions about my books. I've also included an excerpt from MY SISTER'S REAPER to pique your interest, in case you haven't had a chance to give my books a look. Leave a comment telling me who your favorite supernatural creature is for your chance to win paperback copies of My Sister's Reaper and My Tethered Soul! There's also a rafflecopter you just can't miss out on!

Lisa: What first piqued your interest in writing about reapers?

Dorothy: All books need a bad guy, right? When I developed the concept of my protagonist, I had to make sure I picked a worthy antagonist. Zadie, in the Reaper's Rite series, is a Vila—half witch/half faery. She can make things happen, like magical willpower. I needed a creature or being that would match her power and challenge her. I figured a grim reaper would be a pretty challenging being.

Lisa: What makes your reaper different?

Dorothy: What sets my reapers apart from others lies within the Reaper's Rite—a contract made between a witch and a Reaper Lord centuries ago. Not only do the reapers in my books take the souls of deceased humans, but they also crave the souls of Vila. Vila have something special in their blood that makes them more appealing to my reapers.

Lisa: Are your reapers Heroes or Villains?

Dorothy: Big time villains, and creepy as heck!

Excerpt from MY SISTER'S REAPER, Book One in the Reaper's Rite series

I almost didn’t see her. The room was still, and I’d turned to head up the stairs. But something by the kitchen island caught my eye. Something that shouldn’t have been there. A shoe. Mara’s leg, sticking out from behind the counter. I circled the island to find out why she was sitting on the floor and came face to face with a large knife.

Mara was in a tank top, running the serrated blade in a slow line near her shoulder. The cut ran just along the surface of her skin, blood oozing from the broken skin and staining her top. I gasped, and Mara looked up at me with a tear-streaked face.

I dropped to my knees and grabbed her hand. “Mara!”

“I have to.” She pulled away, stronger than I thought. “He wants the pain.”

“Stop it! You don’t have to do this!”

She twisted away from me, her eyes wild as she dug the knife into her shoulder. This time deeper. Lines of red ran down her arm. I grabbed her wrist and used all my might to separate the knife from her skin. She screamed, her teeth bared like some kind of untamed animal. My eyes darted around the room, searching for unusually dark shadows.

I felt desperate, my voice pleading when I said, “Mara, I’m trying to help you.”

“I need more time!”

“Just let go of the knife!”

“You don’t know what he wants from me! You have no idea!”



My Sister's Reaper



My Tethered Soul


a Rafflecopter giveaway





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4 for Friday Blitz!

4-for-Friday-Oct-Banner


Welcome to the 4 for Friday Blitz for Predator by Janice Gable Bashman, Into the Fire by Ashelyn Drake, Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman, and The Emissary by Kristal Shaff, presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post.

“Predator is a fast-paced, creepy page-turner! Bashman had me at the opening sentence and she’s still got me. I want more!”
Nancy Holder, New York Times Bestselling Author, The Rules

The hunt is on!
Predator-CoverSixteen-year-old Bree Sunderland must inject herself with an untested version of her father’s gene therapy to become a werewolf in order to stop a corrupt group of mercenaries from creating a team of unstoppable lycanthrope soldiers.
When Bree went with her scientist father to Ireland, she thought it would be a vacation to study bog bodies. She never expected to fall in love with a mysterious young Irishman and certainly never expected to become the kind of monster her father said only existed in nightmares. Dr. Sunderland discovers that lycanthropy was not a supernatural curse but rather a genetic mutation. When they return home, her dad continues his research, but the military wants to turn that research into a bio weapons program and rogue soldiers want to steal the research to turn themselves into unstoppable killing machines.
Bree’s boyfriend Liam surprises her with a visit to the United States, but there are darker surprises in store for both of them. As evil forces hunt those she loves, Bree must become an even more dangerous hunter to save them all.
Predator gives the werewolf legend a couple of new spins by introducing the Benandanti (an actual folkloric belief that certain families of Italy and Livonia were werewolves who fought against evil), as well as a modern scientific approach to mutation and the science of transgenics.
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Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

Janice Gable Bashman is the Bram Stoker nominated author of Wanted Undead or Alive and Predator. She is managing editor of the The Big Thrill (International Thriller Writers’ ezine). Janice lives with her family in the Philadelphia area, where she at work on her next novel. Visit her at janicegablebashman.com.
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman’s life is a perfectly normal one until Logan Schmidt moves to Ashlan Falls. Cara is inexplicably drawn to him, but she’s not exactly complaining. Logan’s like no boy she’s ever met, and he brings out a side of Cara that she isn’t used to. As the two get closer, everything is nearly perfect, and Cara looks forward to the future.
But Cara isn’t a normal girl. She’s a member of a small group of people descended from the mythical phoenix bird, and her time is running out. Rebirth is nearing, which means she’ll forget her life up to this point—she’ll forget Logan and everything they mean to one another.. But that may be the least of Cara’s problems.
A phoenix hunter is on the loose, and he’s determined to put an end to the lives of people like Cara and her family, once and for all.

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Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
Ashelyn Drake is a New Adult and Young Adult romance author. While it’s rare for her
not to have either a book in hand or her fingers flying across a laptop, she also enjoys spending time with her family. She believes you are never too old to enjoy a good swing set and there’s never a bad time for some dark chocolate. She is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.


Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


BoneseekerArabella Holmes was born different and raised different. After it became apparent she wouldn’t fit the role of a proper 1900′s lady, her father, Sherlock, called in some lingering favors, and landed her a position at the Mutter Museum. The museum was Arabella’s dream; she was to become a purveyor of abnormal science. What her father called a BoneSeeker.
Henry Watson arrives at the Mutter Museum with a double assignment–to become a finder of abnormal antiquities and to watch over and keep Arabella Holmes. An easy task, if he could only get her to speak to him instead of throwing knives in his general direction.
But this is no time for child’s play. The two teens are assigned to a most secret exploration, when the hand of a Nephilim is unearthed in upstate New York. Soon, Arabella and Henry are caught in a fight for their lives as scientific debate swirls around them. Are the bones from a Neanderthal … or are they living proof of fallen angels, who supposedly mated with humans according to ancient scrolls?
Sent to recover the skeleton, they discover they are the second team to have been deployed and the entire first team is dead. And now they must trust their instincts and rely on one another in order to survive and uncover the truth.
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Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love—not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society’s downtrodden. In fiction, she’s a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. She also writes non-fiction and lectures on the subjects of autism and sensory integration and is a medical contributor to online journal The Age of Autism.


Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



The-Emissary-Cover
For hundreds of years, dark clouds covered the skies of Adamah, and an ageless king ruled. Those who emerged with one of six extraordinary Shay powers were forced into the king’s army, an unmatched force with inhuman Strength, Speed, Accuracy, Perception, Empathy, and Healing. With the army behind him, the king—a man who wields all six abilities—was invincible and unquestioned in his rule. To most, serving the king was an honor. But for others, it was a fate worse than death.
When seventeen-year-old Nolan Trividar witnesses the transformation of his brother from kind to cruel after entering the king’s army, he vows never to follow the same path.
So when his own power—the Shay of Accuracy—comes upon him at the Tournament of Awakening, Nolan conceals his emergence instead of joining the king’s ranks. For years, he traitorously hides his power, pretending to be only a gifted scribe. But when Nolan comes face -to-face with a deserter, the man discovers his secret.
To evade detection and a death sentence, Nolan escapes with the deserter and flees into a night filled with dark creatures who steal both powers and souls. He joins a resistance, a village hidden deep in the forest, filled with others who secretly wield a Shay. But his peace is short-lived when they discover that the dark clouds, undead creatures, their own decreasing powers, and even the king, are all connected.
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Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author


Kristal ShaffKristal Shaff grew up with books (and used to drive her mom crazy when she wouldn’t leave the library); her first job was even shelving books at the library. She loves anything creative, and you can often find her exploring strange and fantastical worlds in her choices of movies and fantasy fiction. Kristal resides in Iowa with her farmer husband, numerous pets, and 3 awesome kids (plus one more on the way though the journey of adoption). When she isn’t writing, she is a professional face painter who enjoys making children smile.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Interview with Sarah Bromley, Author of A Murder of Magpies!


Good morning! It's the day before Halloween! Oooooooo! What better way to prepare for the spookiest holiday of the year than to hear about an awesome book? Today, we are lucky to have Sarah Bromley here to answer a few questions about her new book, A Murder of Magpies!


Winter in Black Orchard, Wisconsin, is long and dark, and sixteen-year-old Vayda Silver prays the snow will keep the truth and secrecy of the last two years buried. Hiding from the past with her father and twin brother, Vayda knows the rules: never return to the town of her mother’s murder, and never work a Mind Game where someone might see.

No one can know the toll emotions take on Vayda, how emotion becomes energy in her hands, or how she can’t control the destruction she causes. But it’s not long before her powers can no longer be contained. The truth is dangerously close to being exposed, placing Vayda and her family at risk.

Until someone quiets the chaos inside her.

Unwanted. That’s all Ward Ravenscroft has ever been. To cope, he numbs the pain of rejection by denying himself emotions of any kind. Yet Vayda stirs something in him. He can’t explain the hold she has on him–inspiring him with both hope and fear. He claims not to scare easily, except he doesn’t know what her powers can do. Yet.

Just as Vadya and Ward draw closer, she finds the past isn’t so easily buried. And when it follows the Silvers to Black Orchard, it has murder in mind.


          
          

Hi, Sarah! Welcome to We Do Write. Tell us a bit about yourself. 

I’m a displaced northerner living near St. Louis with my husband, our three children, and my three dogs. There are woods and water by our house. I’m good with a paintbrush and am too short to reach anything above the second shelf without a stepstool.

Tell our readers a bit about A MURDER OF MAGPIES.

It’s a dark, little book about a girl, Vayda, and her twin brother who have far too much psychic power for their age, and the catchall name they have for their powers is Mind Games. There are old family secrets, murder, birds trapped in an attic, and a very cold Wisconsin winter, and through it all, Vayda finds herself deciding how many of her secrets she is willing to share with Ward, the boy next door who sometimes sits on his roof and watches the Aurora Borealis. All secrets come with a price.

Wow! So excited to read this one! How did the idea of the story come to you?

There’s Romani on my mother’s side of the family, and she was pretty superstitious. As am I, so a lot of that played into the development of Vayda’s family. There’s also a strong line of intuition and just “knowing” that follows the women in my family, and I played a little with that as well. Vayda came to me as a scream, a girl waking up screaming, and I had to find out why.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m a plotster. I pants the first fifty pages or so of a project so that I know its rhythm and voice uninterrupted. Then I sit back and look at all the threads I’ve made and figure out how to braid them together.

What’s the hardest part of writing for you?

I hate drafting. Hate it. I have it all right here in my head and wish I could just dump out my brain box in one go instead of it, you know, taking time to type out.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

A cup of coffee and one of my three dogs either in my lap or warming my feet.

What are you reading right now?

I’ve just recently read BETWEEN THE SPARK AND THE BURN by April Genevieve Tucholke, and I’m due to crack into THE CURE FOR DREAMING by Cat Winters any day now. Both Cat and April are amazing authors, and I love their work. They could write graffiti, and I’d find it stunning.

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Hmm, I think I’d go with the power to heal. I think there’s a lot of good that could be done with such a gift.

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

As someone who writes horror and rather dark books with murder, I’ve had to Google a lot of ways that people can die, either by misadventure or by others’ hands. For a recent project, I was looking up both farming accidents and toxic plants native to Missouri.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ... 

…herding three small children or volunteering at the stable for disabled riders.

Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.

I’m extremely grateful to my husband and kids who’ve tolerated a lot of, “Just let me finish writing this scene …” and my agent who plucked me out of the slush pile and remains solidly in my corner. The YA Scream Queens, SS Sisters, and the BookYArd have helped navigate me along this journey, and I would be lost without them. My real-life sister and mother-in-law are my break from the writer world, and I’m also really grateful to my editor, Courtney Koschel, who championed this book.
Thank you so much for having me!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Sarah Bromley lives near St. Louis with her husband, three children, and two dogs. She likes the quiet hours of morning when she can drink coffee in peace, stare into the woods behind her house, and wonder what monsters live there. When she’s not writing or wrangling small children, she can be found volunteering at a stable for disabled riders.

              

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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Interview With Author Kelly Hashway



Today we are so happy to welcome pub sister and all around awesome person, Kelly Hashway! Kelly's newest book, a Middle Grade Adventure entitled CURSE OF THE GRANVILLE FORTUNE, just released and she is here to answer a few questions.

Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets.


               

Howdy, Kelly! Welcome back to We Do Write! Tell us about CURSE OF THE GRANVILLE FORTUNE.

Find the fortune, break the curse!

The hunt is on for an ancient treasure tied to nine-year-old J.B.'s family history. He's been having visions that make him sweaty, lightheaded, and certain he’s turning into some kind of freak—or worse, going insane. But things are worse than he imagined. The visions stem from a family curse. An ancient ancestor was accused of stealing the massive Granville fortune, and now J.B.’s entire family will suffer.

To break the curse, J.B. must find and return the Granville’s stolen property. But he's not the only one searching for the treasure. As he sets out on his journey through a dark and foreboding forest, he'll battle his worst fears and fight terrifying creatures along the way. And when he meets two others who share the missing pieces of his visions and suffer from the same curse, the three soon realize they need to work together to break the curse before it's too late.



          
               


So fun! In CURSE OF THE GRANVILLE FORTUNE, your main character is a middle-school aged boy. Did you have any trouble identifying with him?

Oddly enough, no. Even though J.B. is a boy, I really identified with him. Like a lot of kids his age, he worries that he’s different, a freak even. I think we all have felt that way at some time or another. J.B. struggles to find himself and protect the people he cares about, and the fact that he has mind-numbing visions makes everything that much more difficult. While I’ve never had visions, I do believe in ESP and think kids are more in tune with it than adults.

What challenges did you face writing this story?

This was the first book I didn’t write linearly. I wrote the final chapter first, and then went back to the climax, and then to the beginning. I was all over the place because there were key scenes I needed to get down in order to tie all the pieces of the puzzle together. Once I had them drafted, the rest of the story came much more easily, but it was definitely a challenge to break free from my usual pattern of starting from chapter one and writing to the end.

I also write linearly and would probably feel the same way, if I had to break that mold. Who would you say your biggest influences have been?

I feel like I talk about Rick Riordan a lot, but he was a huge inspiration for this book. The Percy Jackson series was by my side while I wrote Curse of the Granville Fortune. I was constantly rereading my favorite parts of those books to make sure I had the voice and pacing right for middle grade readers. I owe Riordan a big thanks for mentoring me through his novels, so to speak.

Tell us something most people don’t know about you? Any unusual hobbies, interests, talents?

I’m such an open book I’m not sure what I haven’t shared online. I can recite the alphabet backwards, I can run a 5K race in 18 minutes, my fingernails grow insanely fast, and I was 34 before I ever dyed my hair. How’s that?

I know you have quite a few published books under your belt, but think back to the beginning and tell us a bit about your journey to publication. What was your experience?

Curse of the Granville Fortune was actually the book I queried agents with. It wasn’t the first book picked up by a publisher though because I ended up going out on submission with my YA novels first. But CotGF did land me my first agent after years of rewriting the book. It went from an adventure story to a fantasy and saw a tense and POV change. Basically, I rewrote EVERYTHING. But it was worth it in the end.

Plotter, or pantser?
Plotter, but the extent to which I plot depends on the book. I have to know the beginning and the end at the very least. Sometimes I’m good with just that. Other times I need pages and pages of notes before I start drafting.

E-books, or hard copies?

Both. I’m always reading two books, one on my Kindle and one paperback or hard cover. I love both formats.

White chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or no chocolate?

Dark chocolate! LOVE it.

I'm with you on that one! Is there anyone you would like to thank for supporting you in you journey?

Oh wow, so many people. My family, critique partners, friends, agent, publishing team, my street team, the bloggers who are helping to spread the word about my books, and of course my readers.

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