TheScourge_Button

Welcome to The Cozy Reader’s stop on the Blog Tour for A.G. Henley’s amazing new series, The Scourge (Book 1).

The Scourge (Book 1) by A.G. Henley

Amazon Digital Services, Inc. | January 30, 2012 | 242 pages

$0.99 Amazon Kindle

Procurement

eARC via Kismet Book Touring

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My Grade

Plot: 5

Setting: 5

Writing:  5

Originality: 5

Characters: 5

Romance: 5

Overall: 30/30! A+++

Title/Cover Bonus: 5

Overall

An incredibly unique dystopian centered around a blind girl, Fennel, and her tree top dwelling Keeper, Peree, as they embark on an incredible journey together.

Continue reading…


Disclosure: Amazon.com Associate. If you click on my links and purchase anything a very small percentage of the purchase price will be awarded to The Cozy Reader.

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Regine’s Book by Regine Stokke.

Review turned personal heart melt

I was supposed to read and write a review for this book.

However, I chickened out on the reading part.

I have issues getting myself to read about dying people. I really wish I could have gotten over that fear and read this book because I really did want to. I think.

Let me give you a personal insight to my teen-aged years. When I was in 9th grade there were major issues at home. It was so bad that I moved in with my grandparents that lived about an hour from my parents. I was 13, nearly 14, and an average young adult. It was strange living with my grandparents at first but turned out to be pretty awesome. I never wanted to feel like a burden to them. I did my best to stay out of trouble, got good grades, tried to date decent guys and they were great back to me.

My grandfather, Poppy, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer sometime before I moved in with them. My grandparents dedicated a huge chunk of their time going to and from doctors appointments and chemo treatments. I was only 13 and I wasn’t given specific information on exactly what was happening. I think they did this to protect me. I thank them for this.

I remember watching my grandfather get progressively more fragile as his treatments went on. The side effects from the chemo treatments were the worst. Seeing my grandfather in that light was one of the hardest things I have ever had to face. Since they lived about an hour away we didn’t see them too regularly. Every holiday for sure and sometimes in between. My Poppy was always the patriarch of my mom’s family. Always stood strong, had an amazing mustache and just exuded a fierceness for caring. He was always there when you needed him. The cancer/chemo sucked the life out him and it was heartbreaking.

I eventually moved back in with my parents before my sophomore year. I will never forget that year with them. I am thankful that I was not living with them in his last months. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to be there when he passed. I like to remember him before he got sick. To this day I can’t even try to picture him when he was sick, only when he was my Poppy.

Here’s a picture of him and my cousin.

I am sure the book is amazing. Maybe one day I will build up the courage to read it.

Regine’s Book: A Teen Girl’s Last Words by Regine Stokke

Zest Books | October 23, 2012 | 336 pages

  Summary

Regine’s blog about living with Leukemia gained a huge following, and eventually became this book. She writes openly about emotional and physical aspects of her 15-month struggle to recover, and explains how her disease impacts her life. In the course of her illness, Regine has photography exhibits, goes to concerts, enjoys her friends & family, and advocates for registering as a blood and bone marrow donor. She was a typical teenager with an amazing will to live; and the lessons she learned have relevance for all of us. She died at home on December 3, 2009 with her family and cat by her side. Originally published in Norway, the book was selected by the Norwegian Ministry of Culture for a translation grant. Norwegian sales are as follows: 30,000 copies hardcover (May – Dec 2010); 17,000 copies paperback (Jan – Sept 2011)

Connect with Zest Books


Zest Books is an award-winning publisher of smart and edgy titles that focus on the colorful chaos of teen life. These nonfiction books cover timely topics in creative ways by incorporating solid life advice, practical how-to instruction, and humorous commentary. Zest Books’ catalogue includes 97 Things to Do Before You Finish High School, Where’s My Stuff: The Ultimate Teen Organizing Guide, and Scandalous! 50 Shocking Events You Should Know About So You Can Impress Your Friends. In Fall 2012, Zest Books launches a new line of memoirs and first-person accounts, and Dear Teen Me is the first book in this new line. Zest Books is distributed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Giveaway

One reader will receive the following prize pack:  a copy of Regine’s Book, a bookmark, and Zest Books literacy poster

This will be a comment only giveaway.

To enter

Please just leave a comment, filling out the entire comment form. Do NOT put your email address in the comment block.

Giveaway will end at least by December 11th or until I select the comment winner some time after that date.

Open to US mailing addresses only.


Disclosure: Amazon.com Associate. If you click on my links and purchase anything a very small percentage of the purchase price will be awarded to The Cozy Reader.

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Today I have the pleasure of hosting one of many stops in the Dear Teen Me Blog Tour.

While time does not allow me to draft my own Dear Teen Me letter, I would recommend this book to all teens and adults a like. I didn’t read all of the letters but the ones that I did really touched me. I would have to say that Carrie Jones’ letter was one of the best. It actually really concerned me because my husband just had a case of mono.

Dear Teen Me edited by Miranda Kenneally and E. Kristin Anderson

Zest Books | October 30, 2012 | 192 pages

Summary (Goodreads)

Dear Teen Me includes advice from over 70 YA authors (including Lauren Oliver, Ellen Hopkins, and Nancy Holder, to name a few) to their teenage selves. The letters cover a wide range of topics, including physical abuse, body issues, bullying, friendship, love, and enough insecurities to fill an auditorium. So pick a page, and find out which of your favorite authors had a really bad first kiss? Who found true love at 18? Who wishes he’d had more fun in high school instead of studying so hard? Some authors write diary entries, some write letters, and a few graphic novelists turn their stories into visual art. And whether you hang out with the theater kids, the band geeks, the bad boys, the loners, the class presidents, the delinquents, the jocks, or the nerds, you’ll find friends–and a lot of familiar faces–in the course of Dear Teen Me.

 

Connect with Zest Books

Zest Books is an award-winning publisher of smart and edgy titles that focus on the colorful chaos of teen life. These nonfiction books cover timely topics in creative ways by incorporating solid life advice, practical how-to instruction, and humorous commentary. Zest Books’ catalogue includes 97 Things to Do Before You Finish High SchoolWhere’s My Stuff: The Ultimate Teen Organizing Guide, and Scandalous! 50 Shocking Events You Should Know About So You Can Impress Your Friends. In Fall 2012, Zest Books launches a new line of memoirs and first-person accounts, and Dear Teen Me is the first book in this new line. Zest Books is distributed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Connect with Dear Teen Me

Follow the rest of the blog tour from the Dear Teen Me Blog Tour website. The other stops for today are:

As You Were

Charlee Vale

Royal Reviews

Confessions of a Bookaholic

Falling for YA

Connect with Miranda Kenneally

Miranda Kenneally is the author of the contemporary YA novels Catching Jordan, Stealing Parker (just published), and Things I Can’t Forget(Spring 2013). Miranda is also the co-editor, with E. Kristin Anderson, of Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves (Zest Books), and is co-creator of the Dear Teen Me website.

Connect with E. Kristin Anderson

E. Kristin Anderson, in addition to co-editing Dear Teen Me and co-creating its eponymous website, is a writer and poet who has been published in dozens of literary journals. She is also an assistant editor at Hunger Mountain for their YA and Children’s section.

Giveaway

You have a chance to win a prize pack containing a signed (by 4-5 contributors) copy of Dear Teen Me, postcard and bookmark. Please follow the below Rafflecopter widget to enter. One entry per IP address please.
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Disclosure: Amazon.com Associate. If you click on my links and purchase anything a very small percentage of the purchase price will be awarded to The Cozy Reader.

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Of Blood and Bone (The Minaldi Legacy) by Courtney Cole

Lakehouse Press | September 14, 2012 | 226 pages

Procurement

eARC via Kismet Book Touring

My Grade

Plot: 3

Setting: 5

Writing: 4

Originality: 3

Characters: 4

Romance: 4

Overall: 23/30 76%

Title/Cover Bonus: 3

Overall

A predictable romantic mystery. Left me disappointed because I adored her amazing YA series.

Continue reading…


Disclosure: Amazon.com Associate. If you click on my links and purchase anything a very small percentage of the purchase price will be awarded to The Cozy Reader.

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Please help me welcome Daniel A. Rabuzzi, author of The Indigo Pheasant (Longing for Yount, #2), which was released early last month. The first book of the series, The Choir Boats, published in 2009 by ChiZine Publications.

Daniel has prepared a guest post on the selection of titles for both books as well as the series name. Titles are a topic that interest me very much. If you have followed my other blog tours you probably have noticed that. It was the topic in the previous blog tour hosted on The Cozy Reader.

Continue reading for a chance to win an eBook of the first book or the second if you have already read the first book.

The Indigo Pheasant (Longing for Yount, #2) by Daniel A. Rabuzzi

ChiZine Publications | September 5, 2012 | 350 pages

Summary (Goodreads)

London 1817. Maggie Collins, born into slavery in Maryland, whose mathematical genius and strength of mind can match those of a goddess, must build the world’s most powerful and sophisticated machine—to free the lost land of Yount from the fallen angel Strix Tender Wurm. Sally, of the merchant house McDoon, who displayed her own powers in challenging the Wurm and finding Yount in The Choir Boats, must choose either to help Maggie or to hinder her. Together—or not—Maggie and Sally drive to conclusion the story started in The Choir Boats—a story of blood-soaked song, family secrets, sins new and old in search of expiation, forbidden love, high policy and acts of state, financial ruin, betrayals intimate and grand, sorcery from the origins of time, and battle in the streets of London and on the arcane seas of Yount.

Daniel A. Rabuzzi Guest Post

Titles:  The Choir Boats and The Indigo Pheasant

Thank you Jess for asking me to be your guest at The Cozy Reader—and hello readers of the blog.   
Jess asked me to talk about how I came up with the titles for my novels:  The Choir Boats (ChiZine Publications/CZP, 2009) and its sequel, The Indigo Pheasant (CZP, 2012).  As other guests at The Cozy Reader have noted, titles need to grab a reader’s attention, offer the promise of a good story, inform the browser of some crucial element in the narrative.  (I will leave it to you who are reading this post to decide whether my titles succeed at doing those things).  For me, a good title is a title that makes me ask “what might this be?” and then open the book to pursue the answer to my question. 
As I have written elsewhere (for instance, “A Picture-Show in the Night-Kitchen,” at Layers of Thought, Sept. 26th, 2012  ), I am an “imagist,” not a “plotter.”  My writing springs from images and words that come to me, at stray and unplanned moments, most often in the middle of the night.  A scene (a man wearing a hat like a layer cake, slouching on a slow horse in the middle of a salt-marsh, for instance, or a woman striding down a spiral staircase, clutching a large leather-bound book under one arm and ringing a small bell with her other hand)… or a phrase, sometimes a single word…swims into my mind, and I wonder what it means, what its story might be.  I ask, “what comes next?” 
So it was with my titles.  They simply came to me and waited patiently for me to discover and explore their stories.  “What might a choir boat be?”  I was already writing about a place called Yount and a merchant family in London in 1812 and a girl who had escaped slavery in Maryland.   I knew that somehow this “choir boat” (whatever it was) had a place in their increasingly entwined stories.  Later, as the tale continued to grow and sprout branches, I found an “indigo pheasant” coursing through the underbrush, and knew at once that it too had a role to play. 

© Deborah A. Mills

Jess, your query has pushed me to delve into the roots of my titles.  I love adjectives and I love compound nouns.  I love pairings of words that are individually commonplace but together form odd or enigmatic meanings.  We know what a “choir” is and equally what a “boat” is, but what is a “choir boat”?  Likewise the “indigo” and the “pheasant.”  I have a notebook full of similar couplings, everyday words yoked together to form something that cannot quite be placed.  All of them are like creatures in a menagerie of hybrids, sleeping under glass, biding their time for the right moment to dash fully awake with their stories pouring forth. 

I had not realized until I wrote this post how many of my favorite titles take the form I describe above.  The Yellow WallpaperThe Golden CompassThe Golden BowlThe Porcelain DoveThe Glass-Bead GameSacred HungerJames and the Giant Peach. 

Not quite the same, but close:  A Clockwork Orange.

I would love to hear from readers at The Cozy Reader what some of their favorite titles are and why.  Are there some among you who also favor the title format that appeals to me?

Connect with Daniel A. Rabuzzi

© Kyle Cassidy, all rights reserved

Daniel A. Rabuzzi studied folklore and mythology in college and graduate school, and keeps one foot firmly in the Other Realm.
 
ChiZine Publications published his first novel, The Choir Boats: Volume One of Longing for Yount, in 2009, and in 2012 brought out the sequel and series conclusion, The Indigo Pheasant: Volume Two of Longing for Yount.
 
Daniel’s short fiction and poetry have appeared in Sybil’s Garage, Shimmer, ChiZine, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Abyss & Apex, Goblin Fruit, Mannequin Envy, Bull Spec, Kaleidotrope, and Scheherezade’s Bequest.  He has presented at Arisia, Readercon, Lunacon, and the Toronto Speculative Fiction Colloquium. He has also had twenty scholarly and professional articles published on subjects ranging from fairy tale to finance.
 
A former banker, Daniel earned his doctorate in 18th-century history, with a focus on family, gender and commerce in northern Europe. He is now an executive at a national workforce development organization in New York City, where he lives with his wife and soulmate, the artist Deborah A. Mills (who illustrated and provided cover art for both Daniel’s novels), along with the requisite two cats.
 

Blog Tour Schedule

Sept 14 – Civilian Reader
Sept 17 – Fantasy Book Critic
Sept 18 – Bibliophile Stalker
Sept 26 – Layers of Thought   Book & Yount greeting cards giveaway.
Sept 28 – So Many Precious Books, So Little Time   Book giveaway.
Oct 4 –     Charlotte’s Library
Oct 4 –     World in a Satin Bag
Oct 5 –     The Cozy Reader   Book giveaway.

Oct 11 –   Jess Resides Here

TBS –      Disquieting Visions
TBS  –     Grasping for the Wind
 

Giveaway


For a chance to win an eBook of either the first book or the second book please follow the below Rafflecopter.

The blog post comment questions is:

What is your all-time favorite book title and why?

Extra Fine Print
  • One person per IP address. First person to enter from each IP address is eligible to win. All others are not eligible. Sorry.
  • Twitter tweet entries must have at least 25 followers to be eligible.
  • Winners entries are verified in full and will be disqualified for falsifying any entries.

 

 

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Disclosure: Amazon.com Associate. If you click on my links and purchase anything a very small percentage of the purchase price will be awarded to The Cozy Reader.

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Please help me welcome author Katherine Marsh! Her Blog Tour for her upcoming release of Jepp, Who Defied the Stars stops here with a guest post on her books title!

I am currently reading this and really enjoying it! I can’t wait to find out what else happens! Jepp is a memorable character you won’t soon forget.

See below on a chance to win a copy of this truly unique book for yourself.

Jepp, Who Defied the Stars by Katherine Marsh

Hyperion Book | October 9, 2012 | 400 pages

Summary (Gooodreads)

Fate:
Is it written in the stars from the moment we are born?
Or is it a bendable thing that we can shape with our own hands?
Jepp of Astraveld needs to know.
He left his countryside home on the empty promise of a stranger, only to become a captive in a luxurious prison: Coudenberg Palace, the royal court of the Spanish Infanta. Nobody warned Jepp that as a court dwarf, daily injustices would become his seemingly unshakable fate. If the humiliations were his alone, perhaps he could endure them; but it breaks Jepp’s heart to see his friend Lia suffer.
After Jepp and Lia attempt a daring escape from the palace, Jepp is imprisoned again, alone in a cage. Now, spirited across Europe in a kidnapper’s carriage, Jepp fears where his unfortunate stars may lead him. But he can’t even begin to imagine the brilliant and eccentric new master–a man devoted to uncovering the secrets of the stars–who awaits him. Or the girl who will help him mend his heart and unearth the long-buried secrets of his past.
Masterfully written, grippingly paced, and inspired by real histori-cal characters, “Jepp, Who Defied the Stars “is the tale of an extraordinary hero and his inspiring quest to become the master of his own destiny.

 

Katherine Marsh Guest Post

Titles

Greetings, Jess and Cozy Reader Readers!

Jess has asked me to write about titles, how I came up with mine and what factors influence me when I’m devising a title. Jepp, Who Defied the Stars is my third novel for young readers and was probably the hardest to figure out a title for. Partly this is because the story isn’t easy to explain. I can basically guarantee that Jepp is the most unusual book you’ll read all year. It’s a coming-of-age, adventure/ romance story that stars a dwarf and has a supporting cast that includes a giant, a nose-less astronomer, and a beer-drinking moose. And nope, it’s not fantasy either. A majority of the characters were actually real historical figures. Plus the book also attempts to answer—or at least explore—one of the biggest philosophical questions: Are our lives determined by fate and circumstance or can we change them through our own actions?

So back to that title question: How in heck do you come up with 1-7 words that encapsulate all this? It’s not easy. It’s especially not easy when you’re trying to do the job three weeks after having a baby, when only about a quarter of your brain is operational. But that’s just what I had to do. When my daughter was three weeks old, I had to start generating title ideas. This meant sending my preschooler out with dad, turning off Teen Mom reruns, and getting serious.

I always start the title process by devising a long list of all the words and terms that could possibly apply to my book.  Astrology is one of the big themes of the book—at 14, Jepp is taken to the royal court of the Spanish Netherlands to be a court dwarf and receives his first horoscope. So is astronomy—after Jepp is involved in an epic tragedy at court he finds himself pressed into service to the nose-less astronomer mentioned above. The word “stars” seemed to touch both on the science/free will aspect of the story as well as on the astrology/fate part. Jepp is such a huge character–no pun intended, just wait till you get to know him–that even before I came up with a title, I referred to my working draft as simply Jepp.

The hard part was uniting the “stars” and “Jepp” together. A good title needs a sense of drama and mystery—it’s the story in miniature but it makes you want to know more. My wonderful editor, Abby Ranger, hit on the words defy and defiance. That’s when it clicked: Jepp, Who Defied the Stars. The crux of Jepp’s story is his defiant attempt to change his own fate—a fate seemingly determined by his height, by his family, and by the tragedies and secrets that shape him. How does he do this? How can we all change who we are and escape our past? Not to leave you on a cliffhanger, but you’ll have to read my book to find out.

 

Connect with Katherine Marsh

 I’m the author of the upcoming historical YA novel Jepp, Who Defied the Stars (out October 9th!), the Edgar-award winning The Night Tourist, and a sequel, The Twilight Prisoner (read if you like ghosts, urban exploration and Greek myths)I live in Washington, D.C. with my husband and two kids, spent a decade as a journalist for publications ranging from Good Housekeeping to Rolling Stone, love to cook and hate to clean (my desk was the messiest by far at Good Housekeeping).

Blog Tour Schedule

Date Blog
September 25th  Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
September 26th  YA Love Blog
September 27th  Novel Novice
September 28th  The Book Muncher
October 1st  YA Librarian Tales
October 2nd  In Bed with Books
October 3rd  The Cozy Reader
October 4th  Coffee, Books and Me

Giveaway

 

Thanks to AuthorsOnTheWeb you have a chance to win a copy of this truly unique book.

The blog post comment questions is:

Do you believe in fate?

Open to US/Canada mailing addresses only.

Extra Fine Print
  • One person per IP address. First person to enter from each IP address is eligible to win. All others are not eligible. Sorry.
  • Twitter tweet entries must have at least 25 followers to be eligible.

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Disclosure: Amazon.com Associate. If you click on my links and purchase anything a very small percentage of the purchase price will be awarded to The Cozy Reader.

Welcome to the Alice in Zombieland Blog Tour!

Today you will see Gena’s Top 5 Quotes from Alice In Zombieland as well as information for winning a hardback copy and a chance to win an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite!

Did you see my review for Alice In Zombieland yet? I loved it!

Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles) by Gena Showalter

Harlequin Teen | September 25, 2012 | 416 pages

Summary (Goodreads)

She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….

I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently.
I’d tell my sister no.
I’d never beg my mother to talk to my dad.
I’d zip my lips and swallow those hateful words.
Or, barring all of that, I’d hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time.
I’d tell them I love them.
I wish… Yeah, I wish.

Gena’s Top 5 Quotes from AiZ

“I hope Rina gave you an STD.” (said by Kat Parker)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Cole once ate a pound of rusty nails  and claimed it tasted like unicorn tears mixed with fairy dust.  True story.  I was there.” (said by Kat Parker)

It was like we were on a screen playing the newest reality show—Survivor: Asher High—and they were our trusted viewers. (thought by Alice Bell)

“I’m not going to bite you.  Not tonight anyway.” (said by Cole Holland)

Asher High mascot

“Excuses are merely the cherry topping on an E. coli–infested sundae, Miss Bell.” (said by a teacher at Asher High)

Trailer

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 17th – Harlequin Paranormal Romance blog
Wednesday, September 19th – Bookish Brunette
Friday, September 21th – IB Blogging

Monday, September 24th – Refracted Light Reviews
Tuesday, September 25th Book Birthday – Xpresso Reads
Wednesday, September 26th – The Cozy Reader
Friday, September 28th – Grave Tells

Monday, October – 1st – Parajunkee
Wednesday, October 3rd – Supernatural Snark
Friday, October 5th – The Unread Reader

Connect with Gena Showalter

GENA SHOWALTER is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the Intertwined novels and several other popular YA and adult series. Her stories have been featured on MTV and in Seventeen magazine and have been praised as unputdownable.” Growing up, she always had her nose buried in a book. When it came time to buckle down and get a job, she knew writing was it for her. Gena lives in Oklahoma with her family and three slobbery bulldogs.

Giveaway

Fill out the below Rafflecopter for a chance to win a hardback copy of Alice in Zombieland!

The Look for the White Rabbit Question is down below!
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Grand Prize Scavenger Hunt

Look for the White Rabbit Contest:

Each Day, the white Rabbit will appear on one site and stay there for 48 hours. Once you have found the Rabbit, click on it and you will be directed to a Rafflecopter entry form for the Grand Prize Giveaway! To enter, you must answer the daily question found at the Tour Stop!!!

You could win:

A brand new Kindle Paperwhite, with the gorgeous Alice in Zombieland Cover Art signed to the winner by Gena Showalter! (Yes, Gena will sign your prize!!) Also, the winner will get a personalized signed copy of Alice in Zombieland!

Where could the Rabbit appear? 

The rabbit could appear on any one of the Tour Hosts pages, as well as: The White Rabbit Chronicles WebsiteGena Showalters Facebook & HarlequinTEEN Facebook!

 Look for the White Rabbit Question

If you could only pick ONE item from the Zombie survival kit, what would your MUST HAVE be?


Disclosure: Amazon.com Associate. If you click on my links and purchase anything a very small percentage of the purchase price will be awarded to The Cozy Reader.

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Please help me welcome another awesome blog tour author guest post by Kristie Cook, author of the Soul Savers series. Her newest release, Power, is the forth book of her series.

Kristie Cook Guest Post

If I Weren’t a Writer

If I weren’t a writer, I would…

Work a normal job with normal hours, coming home at a normal time and having a normal evening with the family.

Sleep more hours, more often and not be kept awake by the voices in my head.

Watch more TV and know what the heck everyone is talking about. I’d know what a Tardis is and why it’s supposed to be so awesome. I’d know who Dexter and Jax are and what Grimm is all about and if Once Upon a Time is better. I’d know who needed to be voted out of the house or off the island or into a music contract.

Probably be thinner. At least, my writer’s butt wouldn’t be called that and wouldn’t be so big because I’d be doing more than sitting in front of a computer 16 hours a day. At least, I’d have more time to workout regularly instead of a day here and another day two weeks later.

Probably be healthier overall, too, since coffee and chocolate wouldn’t be such a big portion of my diet. Oh, who am I kidding? They still would be.

Actually have a social life. I’d spend more time with family and friends, at the beach, on the motorcycle, traveling and just hanging out. I would even – gasp! – host parties at my own house because I’d…

Have a clean house! Well, maybe. I’ve never been a Susie Homemaker who loves to clean. In fact, cleaning is my arch-nemesis. But I know my house would at least be cleaner than it is now.

Read more and only for fun. I’d probably get through more of my TBR list because I wouldn’t be compelled to read every book twice (once for fun and once to analyze what worked and what didn’t). But if I wanted to read something twice or more, I could without feeling guilty that I was too obsessed with someone else’s world when I should be working in my own.

But I also know that if I weren’t a writer, I would…

Be unhappy. I would probably have a normal life with normal activities and normal routines. But I’ve been there before and I never want to go back. I love being a writer. I love the voices in my head, even when they keep me awake at night or distract me from other work during the day. I love creating my own world and spending time in it with characters I adore nearly as much as the real people in my life.

And I love readers! I love how they become just as vested in my characters’ lives as I am. I love when they write to tell me how they’ve made it through a tough time in their lives because of my books. I love when they chat with me on Facebook and Twitter.

I’m glad I’m a writer. I wouldn’t change it for anything.

 

Power, the next installment of the Soul Savers Series, takes you on a hot and edgy ride with twists and turns you’ll never see coming, leaving you breathless and once again begging for more.


Power (Soul Savers, #4) by Kristie Cook

Ang’dora Productions, LLC | August 21, 2012 | 317 pages (est)

Summary (provided by author) (Goodreads)

As the stakes rise, can she find her true power?

As the Amadis prepare for war, Alexis returns to Florida with orders to relax, regenerate and replenish her depleted power. But her task list quickly grows—establish a new safe house, learn the art of conversion, find her AWOL protector, help a desperate fan, and protect her son. Oh, and figure out what’s going on with her husband, whose peculiar behavior just might get them killed.

But most important of all, her primary mission: recover her stolen pendant.

The stone in the pendant not only promises hope for the Amadis future, but its unknown qualities make it a possible weapon in the wrong hands. With guidance and power from an improbable source and an unlikely ally by her side, Alexis sets out to retrieve the stone before the enemy discovers its potential for mass destruction. But when she finds herself in the Daemoni’s lair fighting for her life, all hope seems lost. Will she discover the true power she holds in time? And is it enough to save herself, her family and the Amadis?

Connect with Kristie Cook


Kristie Cook is a lifelong writer in various genres, from marketing communications to fantasy fiction. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and riding on the back of a motorcycle. She has lived in ten states, but currently calls Southwest Florida home with her husband, three teenage sons, a beagle and a puggle.

Series

Power (Soul Savers)
 
Kristie would love to offer one of her books via eBook format to one of my readers. Winner’s choice.
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Please join me in welcoming a great author guest post from Gigi Amateau,author of Come August, Come Freedom: The Bellows, The Gallows, and The Black General Gabriel.

I will have a review of her new release soon! Stay tuned.

Fire and Water: The blacksmith and the laundress

How is Gabriel like fire and Nan like water?

I scribbled this question in my journal while revising Come August, Come Freedom, a historical novel inspired by the eighteenth-century Virginia blacksmith, Gabriel, who organized perhaps the largest slave rebellion in American history. Fire and water were the tools of Gabriel’s trade. He put those tools to use for the rebellion, too, making weapons and bullets at his forge. He recruited thousands of enslaved men and readied the countryside for war against Virginia in demand for freedom, but this is not only the story of a fiery plot by men. One woman helped Gabriel set his plan in place. His wife, Nanny.

That Gabriel had a wife named Nanny is recorded in trial testimony. The public historical record hints that theirs was a partnership of depth and trust. Women were present at social gatherings where Gabriel recruited soldiers – at fish frys, funerals, and worship – but recruits were forbidden to share information with their wives, excepting Nanny. During the autumn trials of 1800, an enslaved man named Daniel testified that it was Nanny who revealed to him the details of the plot. She relayed the day, time, and place and informed him of the strategy of setting fire to the city as a diversion.

There, the scant public record on Nanny and Gabriel ends. I drew from my own experience of romantic love to write theirs, believing that it is possible for two people to accept each other fully as equals, that love really is generous and kind, that in love independence can flourish and produce new levels of trust and self-revelation, and that in such love neither partner has to be perfect because – flaws and all – each knows they are loved. This is the love that I aspired to create for Gabriel and Nan.

They most likely lived apart, the Commonwealth didn’t recognize their marriage, and the outcome of their future together resided largely outside of their control. Despite the cruelty of their enslavement, with each draft the fictional Gabriel and Nan took new risks and grew stronger as a couple. Gabriel forging gifts for Nan – a spoon, a necklace, a garden hoe. Nanny sewing Gabriel an extra shirt. She, asking Gabriel to teach her to read. And, he too confessing that he is afraid.

Every blacksmith uses fire to transform iron; every smith reaches for water when the work is done. As I worked on the final revision, my question had changed to: How is Nan Gabriel’s water? I read the book from the beginning and there she was: the young laundress washing clothes in Shockoe Creek, showing Gabriel where to draw water for the forge and falling in the creek because she had set her eyes on him. Nan, there by the river, helping Gabriel set his path and sealing the heat of his vision into something tangible and real. The blacksmith and the laundress, fire and water.

Come August, Come Freedom by Gigi Amateau

Candlewick | September 11, 2012 | 240 pages

Summary (Goodreads)

An 1800 insurrection planned by a literate slave known as “Prosser’s Gabriel” inspires a historical novel following one extraordinary man’s life.

In a time of post-Revolutionary fervor in Richmond, Virginia, an imposing twenty-four-year-old slave named Gabriel, known for his courage and intellect, plotted a rebellion involving thousands of African- American freedom seekers armed with refashioned pitchforks and other implements of Gabriel’s blacksmith trade. The revolt would be thwarted by a confluence of fierce weather and human betrayal, but Gabriel retained his dignity to the end. History knows little of Gabriel’s early life. But here, author Gigi Amateau imagines a childhood shaped by a mother’s devotion, a father’s passion for liberation, and a friendship with a white master’s son who later proved cowardly and cruel. She gives vibrant life to Gabriel’s love for his wife-to-be, Nanny, a slave woman whose freedom he worked tirelessly, and futilely, to buy. Interwoven with original documents, this poignant, illuminating novel gives a personal face to a remarkable moment in history.

 

Connect with Gigi Amateau

Gigi Amateau is the author of Come August, Come Freedom, a work of historical fiction for young adults (Candlewick Press, September 2012), selected by SIBA as a Fall 2012 Okra Pick. She also wrote the young

adult novel, A Certain Strain of Peculiar, a 2010 Bank Street College Best Children’s Books of the Year and Chancey of the Maury River, a William Allen White Masters List title for grades 3-5. Her debut novel, Claiming Georgia Tate was selected as a New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age.

She was born in northeastern Mississippi and raised in Mechanicsville, Virginia, just outside of Richmond. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Urban Studies and Planning, she worked for nearly twenty years in Richmond’s non-profit community. Gigi lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and daughter.


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Today I have the incredible privilege to introduce the amazing author, Sharon Cameron, whose debut novel, The Dark Unwinding, released just days ago on September 1, 2012. She’s taken the time to write a guest post about the amazingly beautiful setting of her novel: Welbeck Abbey. I adored the setting so much. It would be an incredible adventure to visit this Abbey for myself.

Check out my review of The Dark Unwinding if you haven’t already.

*Check out the end of this post for a chance to win a copy of this amazing book, provided directly from The Cozy Reader via The Book Depository for International readers or Amazon for US readers.

The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Scholastic Press | September 1, 2012 | 336 pages

Sharon Cameron Guest Post

Welbeck Abbey –Where History and Imagination Meet

Postcard, c. 1901 | Rusty Russell, 2011

I am a huge fan of using atmosphere to set a story’s tone, and then allowing plot and character to flow naturally from it. So the first time I read about Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, I knew I wanted to use it in a story. The place was bizarre, the product of an eccentric Duke that was obsessed with his own privacy, obsessed to the point of riddling the grounds with tunnels (so he could walk or ride in his carriage unseen) and even building walls around his bed.

But it was the situation of the estate that I found truly fascinating. By the mid-1800s the reclusive Duke was squandering his family fortune on massive building projects, like a ballroom over 160 ft long and underground, a private gasworks, and a stable with a 50 ft. ceiling made entirely of iron and glass. The ancient house was refitted with the most modern plumbing and “conveniences” (one in every room!), all of its walls painted pink, and thousands of gas braziers were installed along the walls of the 22 acre enclosed garden, to ripen fruit out of season. And all these improvements were made by an estimated 1500 workman, men who, along with their families, had been pulled from abject poverty and were now being supported by the Duke. Was the Duke crazy, or perhaps suffering from what we would now call an anxiety disorder, or had a wealthy man simply found a better, if unconventional, use for his money?

History has never really answered that question, and unanswered questions are like a gift dropped right into an author’s lap. It means we get to use our imagination, to pull out the elements that inspire us and create something new with them. Like an underground ballroom used only for roller skating, gaslit carriage tunnels, hundreds of empty, pink rooms, one of which contains a strange (and possibly crazy) man, surrounded by an entire town dependent on that one (possibly crazy) man. Add some moors, odd winds that seem to know more than they are telling, and a child-like, genius inventor at the center of it all, and the strange estate of Welbeck transforms into the even more peculiar Stranwyne Keep, where –like Welbeck– anything goes, and all things seem to flirt on the edge of madness.

As a writer, beginning with the creepy, gothic atmosphere that Welbeck inspired made the characters and plot of The Dark Unwinding happen almost naturally, an organic outflow of the setting. And I believe that such a setting, no matter how imaginative, is all the better for having its basis in a very firm, if slightly fantastic, reality.

Connect with Sharon Cameron

Sharon Cameron was awarded the 2009 Sue Alexander Most Promising New Work Award by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for her debut novel, The Dark Unwinding. When not writing Sharon can be found thumbing dusty tomes, shooting her longbow, or indulging in her lifelong search for secret passages.

Excerpt

Read the first 3 chapters on Scribd!

Blog Tour Stops

Date Blog Feature
8/26 The Book Vortex Guest Post | Introduction
8/27 Book Thoughts by Marielle Interview with Sharon
8/28 Starting the Next Chapter Guest Post | Favorite Real Life Mystery
8/29 Denim Jacket Librarian List | 10 Pieces of Advice
8/30 The Housework Can Wait Interview with Sharon
8/31 The Compulsive Reader Character Interview | Mary
9/1 RELEASE DAY! Video
9/2 Magnet 4 Books’ Reviews Guest Post | Fictional Crushes
9/3 The Ninja Librarian Interview with Sharon
9/4 A Reader of Fictions Character Interview | Mr. Tully
9/5 Wastepaper Prose Guest Post | Magical Science
9/6 Through the Looking Glass Interview with Sharon
9/7 Katie’s Book Blog Character Interview | Lane
9/8 The Cozy Reader Guest Post | Welbeck Abbey
9/9 Missionto Read Interview with Sharon
Giveaway

I enjoyed this book SO much that I want to giveaway a copy to one of my readers!Giveaway

This is open to International readers as long as The Book Depository ships to your country, so please check their site before entering.

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