Thursday, January 19, 2012

[Blog Tour] Fallenwood by Leslie Soule

 Guest Post Character Building
by Leslie D. Soule

Hey there, everyone! Thanks for joining me here today.

So today I’m here to talk about this elusive thing known as “character building”. What is it exactly? How does one go about capturing the ESSENCE of a person’s character? Well when I first started writing, years ago, I used to think that character building was done the way you’d do it in a Dungeon’s & Dragons game, where you’ve got the character figured out as far as their eye color, height, weight, shoe size, mother’s maiden name, social security number, what they ate for breakfast last Tuesday, etc.

Writing stories has taught me that character building doesn’t have to be quite so detail-oriented. What it comes down to is character interaction, but there’s more to it than that – a writer’s got to capture a psychology, a guiding principle, a way of moving and speaking, etc. What I like to do is to think about people I already know, and to think about how I would describe them. Writing a character is much easier if I can visualize that person, or if I can put someone I know into their place. For example, let’s say I create Person X, we shall call her. I don’t have enough detail about Person X to know how they would respond to…seeing me sleeping in past a time I’m supposed to be awake. But I DO know how my twin sister would react – she would threaten to sit on me. I can apply this to Person X if I want, to give them more of a personality.

You don’t have to base a fictional character entirely on someone you know, or their actions entirely on actions you’ve seen one particular person do. You can take from as many sources as you want. In my novel Fallenwood, the character Terces calls Ash “kid” as a term of endearment because one of my co-workers had started calling me “kid” and I thought it was something I’d like to use.

I forget where I heard the line used, but I recall hearing that “Life exists in movement” so that when you think of a scene to paint or to describe in words, you are to act like things are moving and not static. In this way, it seems to me that fictional personalities (since they are created by what is on the page) are made up of so many actions over a course of time. If you have trouble thinking of who you want in your novel, perhaps begin with thinking about what you want in your novel – a sorcerer, a jester, a witch, a talking bunny, etc. and work from there once you’ve created a framework.

I apologize for the ambiguity of this post and thank you for bearing with me. If you’d like to enter the contest to win a gift card to Barnes & Noble, please leave a comment, along with your name and e-mail address.

Fallenwood—a land where magic is the life force, dragons are sages, and wizards good and evil battle for supremacy. When 23-year-old Ash is thrust into the middle of Fallenwood’s power struggles, she is also forced to face her own inner battles. Life on Earth was hard enough on Ash, who is locked in grief for her stepfather. Now, the fate of Fallenwood rests on her shoulders. She must destroy the Great Crystal—the catalyst for all the land’s magic. As the kingdoms prepare for war, Ash must look inside to find the power to save the world, and herself.
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The dragon’s eyes glowed, for a flickering moment, with white light.

“Ash,” the dragon continued, “Welcome to Terra Illumina…or as it is more commonly known, Fallenwood.” Then a fierce roaring laugh erupted from the stone, as though the dragon thought the new name a joke. “A dark, difficult, dangerous path lies before you, Ash Kensington.”  

Ash’s heart grew heavy. In truth, she knew that she was destined to some terrible, dark fate. For so long, her life was filled with sadness and doubt, and one horrible thing after another. What else can I hope for?

 “But Ash, you must not lose hope. Our world needs you..."

Leslie Soule lives in Sacramento, California. Fallenwood is her first fantasy novel. She has received her B.A. in English from Sacramento State University and is currently working on her Master’s degree in English at National University.

Leslie will be giving away a $25 Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour and comment for more chances of winning! See the tour dates here

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

[Blog Tour] Between by Mary Ting


Crossroads was based on your dreams. Did you have a special dream for Between?

Yes, I did. It wasn’t a dream. It was a nightmare! I was sitting in the back seat of a car. Two female friends I didn’t recognize were sitting next to me. I was in the center. We were having a conversation and then all of sudden I started to feel extremely uncomfortable. The one on the right swung over, straddling over my lap, pinned my arms to the back seat. Startled by her sudden action, all I could do was watch her mouth open wide as it covered my face completely. I couldn’t breathe. No air!!! Suffocating. I thought I was dying. Somehow my hands became free. I slid them inside her mouth. It felt cold, slimy and wet…lol!!! I pulled her off me. When I awoke, I took in a deep breath, gasping. As I snuggled closer to my husband, a thought occur. The panic of this nightmare quickly subsided when I decided it would be great to write about it in Between…hehe!!! Now you’ll have to read and find out…lol!!!

by Mary Ting
Publication Date: January 12th, 2012
Published by: White Castle Publishing
Source: Author
As the alkins head back to Crossroads, Claudia leads her normal life; but not for long. Having a special soul, Claudia attracts danger, and she soon finds out who Gamma asked to watch over her. The Twelve, known as Divine Elders on Earth, are very much involved when they find out that Aliah, one of the God’s first angels, escaped from the Abyss when the gates were opened by Aden. Needing Claudia’s soul to escape the only place Aliah can reside–a place between Heaven and Earth–he sends his demons in search of all Claudia Emersons on Earth. Taking her soul will enable him to be released from Between and cross over to Crossroads, which would give him immense power. As more secrets are revealed Claudia learns about the venators—nephilim, demon hunters. Now two opposing forces must work together in order to save Claudia and humanity from the most dangerous angel ever created. But along the way, trust becomes a big issue. Will love be enough to keep Claudia and Michael together? Who will make the ultimate sacrifice? Who will betray them all?
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If you found yourself not getting enough of constantly thinking about Crossroads(my review), then hold on to your seats cause for sure, this book will get you high!

Two thumbs up for Mary Ting for a job well-done for having this book creatively written. The plot is good, and the story line itself would make you want read the book during the wee hours of the night wishing that the novel wouldn’t somehow end. The second book had presented more intensity in the gravity of situation-- the dilemma of keeping our girl protagonist Claudia away from the dark forces, especially now that there are two tribes of Angelsbickering and always following her heelsjust to assure her safety.

The settings the author had described have been persistently breath-taking that even just reading about it could make you think you’ve drifted in it too.

The identities of the characters we all loved from the first novel were even more defined, and the other additions to the bunch have also played a sense of importance in theirinvolvement to the fast-paced events. They are one of the reasons why you would fall in love with this book. The deepness of the connection of the characters to each other could make you feel lots of emotions—like loss, friendship, and love.

Of course the romantic scenes had also rocketed sky-high! The moments between Michael and Claudia are getting a lot sexier, plus a mysterious character that had puzzled our minds in the first novel is now extremely hot on his wings for Claudia. The mockeries between Michael and the other guy could surely make the readers laugh and even make their bets!

I must admit that the latter happenings had shattered my heart into pieces. The book has this effect of getting its readers hooked up with it and it’s just superb!

Between is a very enchanting read that would surely get your head stuck in the clouds!


Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing Crossroads was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother. It was inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl.

Waiting on Wednesday #19

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Summer of No Regrets
by Katherine Grace Bond
Expected Publication: May 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Fire
The day Brigitta accidentally flings herself into the lap of a guy she’s never met, her friend Natalie is convinced he’s Trent Yves, egotistical heartthrob-in-hiding. Brigitta hopes he’ll hide far away from her.

But Trent wouldn’t be the only missing person. Since her grandparents both died, Brigitta has felt lost—especially with her dad refusing to talk about them.

When the boy, who calls himself Luke, is nearly eaten by a cougar, Brigitta finds herself saving his life, being swept into his spectacular embrace and wondering if she wants Natalie’s fantasy to be true. But as she comes to know him, Brigitta realizes she wants more than an idol.

And she may not get to choose.

The Waiting Sky
by Lara Zielin
Expected Publication: August 2nd 2012 by Putnam Juvenile
Seventeen-year-old Jane can’t quite face her mother’s alcoholism even though it sucks to spend all her time and energy keeping them afloat—making sure her mom gets to work, that the bills are paid when there’s money to pay them, and that no one knows her mom is so messed up. But when Jane’s mom drives drunk almost killing both them and Jane’s best friend, Jane can no longer deny her mom is spiraling out of control. Jane has only one place to turn: her older brother Ethan, who left years ago to go to college. A summer away with him and his tornado chasing buddies may just provide the time and space she needs to figure out whether her life still includes her mother.

by Elizabeth Scott
Expected Publication: June 5th 2012 by Simon Pulse
I sat there and wondered again why I'd lived…

Megan is a miracle. At least, that’s what everyone says. Having survived a plane crash that killed everyone else on board, Megan knows she should be grateful just to be alive. The truth is, she
doesn’t feel like a miracle. In fact, she doesn’t feel anything at all. Then memories from the crash start coming back. Scared and alone, Megan doesn’t know who to turn to. Her entire community
seems unable—or maybe unwilling—to see her as anything but Miracle Megan. Except for Joe, the beautiful boy next door with a tragic past and secrets of his own... All Megan wants is for her life to get back to normal, but the harder she tries to live up to everyone’s expectations, the worse she feels. This time, she may be falling too fast to be saved…

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - Books I'd Recommend To Someone Who Doesn't Read Paranormal YA

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

As cliche as it may look I recommend this book to everyone who doesn't read Paranormal Romance. Need I to say more?! This has got to be one of the most talked about, love-hate book there is out there... that is in my opinion. I think this book started it all, the hype on the movie and the books paved the way. If  you haven't read it, it's not too late!

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
This book is actually Urban Fantasy... but I think it's safe to say that it has Paranormal and Romance in it so I think it's very much in the category. But then I recommend you to read this book since this book started it all for me. I know I said Twilight did start it all but I think this book definitely did it for me! If you haven't read it, all I can say is WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? END OF THE WORLD?! lol

Die for Me by Amy Plum

Die for Me is a must read and I recommend it! It has a the right mix of Paranormal Romance that I think everyone will love. If you are looking for something to start reading I think this book will suit your taste, well it did for me! See my review

Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
This book has been a great surprise for me, I recently finished this book and man this is an awesome book! haven't got a chance to review it but I recommend this book if you don't usually read Paranormal Romance. If you watched Dorian Gray you will find the similarities though the twist is just amazing! Read it!

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Whats your Top 10 Books you recommend?
Happy Tuesday and Happy Reading! :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

[Author Interview] J.J. Bonds author of Crossroads

Crossroads – J.J. Bonds’ Interview – We Fancy Books

Thanks so much for allowing me stop by We Fancy Books as part of the Crossroads blog tour! I’m thrilled to be here and to share a little about Crossroads and my writing with the blogger community!

1. Who inspired you to write Crossroads?

Lol.The long answer or the short answer? The truth is that I’ve always loved writing and have dreamed of being a published author since I began tearing through the works of Christopher Pike in middle school. It’s a dream that’s always stayed with me although it sometimes felt unattainable due to the competitive nature of the industry. When my father was diagnosed with cancer last winter, it really put things in perspective. I decided it was time to take a chance and finish a manuscript that I’d been working on for some time. I didn’t want to look back and have any regrets or doubts and I figured that if my father could attack his prognosis with complete gusto, that I could do the same with my writing. He’s been one of my biggest supporters throughout the process and it’s his encouragement that has given me the confidence to chase my dream.

2. What was the book that most influenced your life — and why?

If I have to choose a single book, I’m going to have to say Twilight. I’ve read a lot of wonderful books – books that are more intellectually stimulating and even those that have better writing – but it was finding Twilight on my little sisters’ bookshelf that brought me back to the YA genre (which I’d so happily left behind when I got to college, instead electing to read what I thought were more age appropriate books) and reignited my love for all things paranormal. Twilight reminded me how much I loved YA literature and how heavily it influenced me growing up. It was also a welcome reminder that YA books weren’t just for teens!

3. Is there a particular character that you see yourself into?

This is a tough one for me. I can’t say that Katia is modeled after me, but it’s fair to say that I strive to be as strong and independent as I’ve written her. I have always favored strong heroines personally and if any character I create might be a role model for an adolescent, I’d certainly want the character to be worthy, although admittedly flawed. After all, we all have flaws don’t we? Its part of what makes us human and ultimately the characters we love so endearing.

4. Would you like to be a Vampire if given a chance?

I don’t think so. Sure it would be great to have the longevity, strength and speed of a vampire, but I’m a pretty picky eater so I’m not sure I could stomach the liquid diet. It’s entirely possible I’d starve which doesn’t exactly sound like an awesome way to go.

5. How do you handle criticism?

I wear my heart (and my emotions) on my sleeve, but criticism is part of the learning process and I like to think I can handle feedback even when it’s less than glowing. It probably sounds a little trite, but I have to look at it as an opportunity. I have a couple of great critics who are close to me, but nothing beats the feedback of an unbiased reader who’s not worried about hurting my feelings and who’s opinion will ultimately make me a stronger writer.

6. Do you have a specific writing style?

Truth be told, I suspect my writing style could probably use a bit more discipline. Today, it goes something like this: Daydream, fantasize, let my imagination run rampant. Outline, outline, outline. Create character profiles. Make notes (any place is good – a napkin, my phone, the back of a receipt, whatever is handy). Research.Outline some more. Make more notes. Write, revise, edit, Write, revise, edit. Edit. Edit. Edit.

In case you can’t tell, I put a great deal of emphasis on editing and revisions. In addition to partnering with a professional editor, I have three amazing critics who were happy to comb through each draft of the manuscript and provide feedback on the characters, the plot, and well, pretty much anything they loved, hated or couldn’t wait to read more about!

7. How did you come up with the title?

The title Crossroads actually came quite easily as it’s the name of Katia’s school and the geographic area where it’s located. The story is set at CrossroadsAcademy in the Green Mountains, which is actually known as the Crossroads of Vermont to locals. It was a natural fit given the location and the deeper symbolism within the story line. Recently another book was released with the same title and I actually flirted briefly with the idea of changing it, but in the end I was too attached and decided to stand firm with my original choice.

8. Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I am actually working on the second book of the CrossroadsAcademyseries and while I think fans of Crossroads will be pleased with the latest installation in the trilogy, I’m not ready to give any spoilers yet! I hope to have the book published summer 2012 though so the good news is that you won’t have to wait long to get your hands on a copy!

9. When and why did you begin writing?

Believe it or not, I actually wrote my first book in 7th grade. It was a children’s book inspired by Earth Day and a very ambitious teacher who wanted each of her students to craft an environmentally driven tale. Mine was about sea turtles, which I’ve always loved, and while my teacher raved about it and researched publication, the book is safely tucked away in storage now. It was her encouragement that actually got me thinking about writing as a career. I was already an avid reader (some might say bookworm), but I hadn’t considered yet that I might actually someday write my own young adult novels. So, although the sea turtles didn’t catch the eye of the publishing world, they definitely sparked my love of writing. As I got older the stories I wrote fell more in line with the works of R.L. Stine, Christopher Pike and L.J. Smith as they were my authors of choice throughout high school.

10. Is there a special research you did to write the novel? Mind telling us about it?

Although I’ve always been a fan of horror movies and paranormal literature, I still felt it was important to do my homework before writing Crossroads. I researched vampire lore extensively, which quite frankly is overwhelming, but I also had to do considerable research on the setting since I’ve never actually been to Vermont. I knew the school had to be hidden away somewhere rural and while Vermont seemed ideal, I really didn’t know much about the geography or anything else aside from the fact that it boasts excellent skiing. So I started with maps in order to identify the right location and moved onto researching individual towns like Rutland to get a better understanding of local culture. As it turns out, Rutland has quite a bit to offer, which I hope I’ve captured in the story. Every place and event in Crossroads was actually inspired by the town itself which has quite a rich history.
by J.J. Bonds
When Katia enrolled at Crossroads Academy she knew things weren’t exactly going to be easy. The sole heir to the worlds’ most powerful vampire, her presence was bound to cause a stir. But nothing could have prepared her for this. Whispers follow everywhere she goes. So does trouble.

But Katia will do her time at Crossroads. After all, she’s only enrolled at the prestigious school for pure blood vampires to fulfill a promise to her Great Uncle Aldo. Tucked away in the Green Mountains of Vermont, Katia hopes to shed the demons of her past and focus on her education. Raised blissfully unaware of the entire vamp world, she’s got a lot of catching up to do.

As Katia learns more about this dark society and her own legacy, protecting her past becomes increasingly difficult. Bodies start turning up in nearby Rutland and Katia is sucked into a twisted web of danger and deceit. Haunted by nightmares she can’t explain and a thirst for blood that is never sated, Katia will do whatever it takes to keep her past buried. What choice does she have? Exposure will shake the Elder’s Council to its core and likely result in a death sentence at the hands of the Linkuri.

Nothing at Crossroads is what it seems and Katia’s secrets may be the darkest of them all.

J.J. Bonds is an independent author who writes young adult and speculative fiction. Her debut novel, Crossroads, was released in fall of 2011. It is the first in the Crossroads Academy series. J.J. lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania where her love of all things paranormal keeps life interesting. She lives with her husband and two rambunctious dogs and is expecting a new addition to the family in March.

 Crossroads by JJ Bonds

1. Comment to win!
2. One random comment will be selected to win a digital copy of JJ Bonds Crossroads
3. All comments will be counted to win a KINDLE FIRE with a Crossroads Gel Cover
4. Collect Clues along the tour for a chance to win
5. Comment at each tour stop for extra chances to win
6. Tweet and use #crossroadsbooktour for extra chances to win along with random drawings to win digital copies of the book
6. Collect clues to find the final entry to win the Kindle Fire
7. Winners will be selected January 31st

Looking for a clue? here it is!


Thursday, January 12, 2012

[Review] Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication Date: December 6th 2011
Published by: Entangled Publishing
Source: Net Galley

Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.
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I read Obsidian because my really good friend and co-blogger said it sounds really good. And I really trust her tastes so I did. I was glad that it was about aliens honestly. I mean for it not to be another vampire-wizards-werewolves-fairfolks and all those paranormal stuffs is already enough actually. Not that I have anything against those things but I mean I just had enough of it. Not that I’m never going to read anything like it again, but I need a break. Although I might actually consider reading something like it right now if the plot is amusing, but I doubt I’d have it anytime soon.

Sci-fi is still a great deal to me. It never fails to amaze me actually. And even it may sound crazy but I’m still really up to it. So Obsidian made me really excited.

What’s really nice about it is that I can so relate with Katy. She and I have this thing of loving books. She is a book blogger as well. Not that it’s really a big deal. Because the big deal is actually her twin neighbours who are gorgeous in every meaning of the word. The girl twin, Dee, loves Katy while the boy twin, Daemon, feels exactly the opposite. Really I love how Daemon is being such a jerk to Katy. Because he seemed really good at it. Not the usual guy-pretending-to-be-pissed-at-the-girl-but-loves-her-dearly-deep-inside-him kind of thing that usually gets me annoyed or something. Daemon Black has his own thing going and I think he’s really awesome. And then there’s also this guy called Andrew Thompson who is one of the Thompson triplets that is a family friend of the Blacks. He also is an ass but really the way he is with Katy is pretty awesome. I love how he is being so straightforward and says whatever it is he thinks without caring in the world of the outcome. And may I just say that with the way Katy and Andrew bicker on each other, I think they might really become the best of friends. I think it would even be more awesome if Andrew and Katy hook up to you know make our sexy Daemon jealous. He seemed like a really cute hot stuff when he’s jealous.

I pretty much like the plot and the whole alien thing. Really I think all the light stuff they have going on is really cool. And all the aliens being all beautiful is only obviously icing on the cake. They kind of have a whole village of them on which when I think of it, is pretty amazing how they are on Earth thriving.

The thing is it wasn’t exactly a page turner. Yes I like the book but I think it could do better. Honestly, I was reading it for the sake of finishing it. It wasn’t boring exactly, I didn’t think of not finishing it. But I did not have this feeling when you know you really wanted to finish it at the instant. Like it’s okay and it could wait. But I have really high hopes of the next book, Onyx. I think it would really be awesome. The ending of Obsidian gave me that kind of feeling. The challenge between Daemon and Katy made me look forward to Onyx. And aside from that fact, I can’t wait to read Andrew again. 


Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia.

All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true.

Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.

Half-Blood, book 1 in The Covenant Series, is due September 2011.

I received this book free of charge from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

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