What the Giver Gave Me

I’m aware that I’m pretty late to the party, but I just read The Giver. Amaaazing book! Sounds crazy, but it’s been following me all my life. I remember first running into it in elementary school. That particular edition had an orange cover, and I was always curious about the old man with the long beard that stared back at me. It was only now, decades later, that I picked it up, and it moved me in a way no book ever has. It’s a weird thing to know your own religious convictions, then see them illustrated in a book written by another human being. In another post, I had written about balance: how good people suffer because without evil there can be no good, and vice versa. In The Giver, we see what happens when people are all the same. No one knows good or evil because they have no memories, no lives of variance to base those concepts on. One character commits an unspeakable act (that made me sick since I just had a baby….I won’t tell you the details just in case you haven’t read it), but doesn’t even realize it is one since he only knows the way his people live now, and what rules they have to abide by. In their world, all they have are rules: no love, no hate, no emotion of any kind. But emotions themselves are made up of reference points: what’s good, what’s bad. Take away those reference points and you have a compass spinning wildly on its own axis with catastrophic results.

Pick it up. It might change your life.

Performance Anxiety

Catchy headline, right? Now that I have your attention, I’m probably going to disappoint you in that I’m not going to talk about what you thought  I would be talking about. I’m going to be discussing what I’m sure many other writers go through: stage fright. I am about a fourth of the way through the first draft of book 4, and I’ve got to say, I’m feeling a little gun shy. There are a couple of reasons for this:

It’s time to say goodbye: Like all writers, I’ve gotten attached to these people that I’ve created in my head. Cain and Riley have been a part of my life for years, and at least for the near and somewhat far future, we are going to be parting ways so I can work on some other projects that I’m excited about. It’s time to make some new character friends, but you never forget the old.

(THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH CONTAINS SONS OF ANARCHY SPOILERS SO DON’T CONTINUE IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED WATCHING THE SERIES)

…….

These people are real: I bawled like a baby when Jax Teller  (Sons of Anarchy for those who don’t watch the show) died. My husband looked at me like I had two heads. I was a swollen mess of tears. Because for the last several years, Jax Teller had been just as real as any person we’d see on the news. I will never meet those people either, but that doesn’t make them any less real. Writers create real people in our heads, real for all intents and purposes. So when they die, they take a piece of us with them. For book 4, there will be some definite bloodshed, and I don’t think some of my precious friends, who I have spent the last six years with, will make it out of the book alive.

I want to do right by the characters: When you spend that long with someone, as a writer, you want to make sure you do it right. You’ve poured your heart into something and you want to exit with the color and circumstance that it deserves. But rough drafts can make you wonder if you’ll ever get it right. I want the closing act to be the best one yet, and that’s a lot of pressure.

I want to do right by the readers: For every reader that has stuck with me and my books, I want to make you proud. I want you to get to the last page and feel like your journey was worth the trip. And maybe I want to make you remember these peoples’ stories for at least a little while. Maybe you’ll enjoy it so much that you’ll let your children read it when their old enough (and PLEASE wait till they’re old enough). I want to do right by you, and thank you for taking this journey with me.

And maybe, just maybe, you’ll take the next one with me too.

 

 

 

 

Review of Seeker by Amy Reece- 5 Stars!

Reece is a master of voice, something that I cannot praise enough. Ally our heroine is as real as it gets, making us want to shake her insecurities out of her one minute and high-five her the next. Every bit of her makes her believable, and as a reader you can’t help but root for her. A victim of a gift that she’s not sure she wants, she discovers that she has the ability to get psychic visions, and those visions have a way of wriggling into her life at the most inopportune times. I just picked up the second one in the series and am excited to see where Ally goes from here.Seeker-461x732

To purchase: http://www.amazon.com/Seeker-The-Series-Book-ebook/dp/B00W8UEL5K/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

The Extraction List is FREE!

TEL FREE promo pic

Exciting announcement! The Extraction List eBook is now FREE on Amazon! A great way to start the series. Pick it up here (why not? it’s FREE!): http://www.amazon.com/Extraction-List-Renee-N-Meland-ebook/dp/B00V8KADEY/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1437501005&sr=8-1&keywords=the+extraction+list

Author Interview: Iris Blobel

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1) Tell us a little about your book. “Let Me Love You” is the second book in the Australian Sports Stars series. It’s about Oliver, a baseball player from Melbourne who falls in love with his coach’s niece. Tamara, however, has just lost her husband in a burglary gone wrong and is hesitant to succumb Oliver’s charm.

2) What is your favorite part about writing? Least favorite? My favourite part about writing is, to create a story, to create something –hopefully- wonderful other people enjoy. The least favourite part … is the promoting 

3) A director tells you that you have complete control over casting the movie version of your book. Who plays who? When I wrote the story, I had a baseball player called Brian Pruett in mind – but an actor? Alex O’Loughlin comes to mind and Rose Byrne as Tamara.

4) If your house was burning down and you could only save one inanimate object, what would it be (don’t say photo albums, everyone says photo albums)?
My laptop and wallet.

5) If you could choose what one message that a reader takes away from reading your book, what would it be? I’d like readers to finish my books, take a big sigh, not wanting to return to reality and say, “Wow, I’ll miss my friends.”

6) Imagine a world where everyone wears a t-shirt that says something about who they are as a human being, i.e. “Doesn’t play well with others” or “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had coffee.” What would yours say? Hahaha … exactly that … “don’t speak to me before breakfast” …. Or “Alert: humour level is low”

7) Who has been your biggest supporter in your writing? Oh, definitely my family. My husband encouraged me from the very first moment I decided to give it a try and my girls always get excited about another cover … except when I have days when I’m swamped with deadlines (edits or galleys). I have a feeling they curse the writing during those moments.

8) What song is the soundtrack to your life?
“Fragezeichen” (Question mark) by Nena

9) If you had only one book to read for the rest of your life what would it be? “If you could see me now” by Cecelia Ahern

10) Favorite quote about writing, life or otherwise:
If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.

Iris Blobel 2013
INFO:
Book title: LET ME LOVE YOU
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Australian-Sports-Star-Book-ebook/dp/B00RQRKAXM/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/irisblobel
Twitter: @_iris_b
Website: http://www.iris-b.blogspot.com
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4067254.Iris_Blobel
Please attach author photo and book cover when you send back your answers. Thanks!

Author Interview: Mia Hoddell

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I am very excited to introduce Mia Hoddell, author of False Finder, a book with a concept that intrigues me greatly: what if someone had the ability to detect lies? Read on!

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
1) Tell us a little about your book.
False Finder is a standalone, urban fantasy, dystopian thriller aimed at upper young adults and new adults. It’s an action-packed novel about secrets, lies, betrayal, and family ties as a girl with a unique ability fights for survival in a country run by criminals. Here’s the blurb:
Cora has been able to detect lies since she was born, she’s…a False Finder.

However when blackmail, betrayal, and lying are all the population has to protect themselves, it makes her dangerous. It also makes her a target.

Because of Cora’s ability, Rogan Carvelli—London’s biggest criminal leader—has been trying to acquire her for years.

Cora has learned to survive and remain undetected—at least until one careless mistake causes her friends to betray her.

Sold to Carvelli, Cora is only left with the help of a secret organisation to escape. She knows nothing about them, but they have saved her too many times to ignore.

However, the closer she gets, the clearer it becomes…
Their motives are far from innocent.

2) What is your favorite part about writing? Least favorite?
I love all aspects of writing. However, my favourite part is when the first sentence of a new novel comes to me. That’s the point I get most excited because there are so many possibilities and I can’t wait to get them down on paper. Although, seeing the final book for sale is pretty great too. My least favourite is probably when I’m nearing my final rounds of edits. The first three rounds I enjoy it, but after that I just want to get back to writing my next idea.
3) A director tells you that you have complete control over casting the movie version of your book. Who plays who?
I’ve never liked this question if I’m honest. The problem is I don’t really watch many movies and therefore have no idea who I’d choose. Generally, I base my characters on image I find on stock websites. For my female lead in False Finder, the image on the cover is exactly how I pictured Cora when I created her. I also like for the reader to create their own version of my characters when they read the book rather than give them a celebrity.
4) If your house was burning down and you could save one thing, what would it be (don’t say photo albums, everyone says photo albums)?
It definitely wouldn’t be photo albums. I can’t begin to describe how many pictures of me there are I wish had never been taken! This is probably going to sound bad and unsentimental, but it would be my iPod because I use it for everything, including writing my books. I have all of my notes, plans, vague ideas, chapters, and backups on it and I’d hate to lose all of that work (I may be a workaholic). It does also contain my photos, music, ebooks, videos, and other stuff I’d hate to lose.
5) If you could choose what one message that a reader takes away from reading your book, what would it be?
False Finder is different from all of my other novels. It’s darker and an urban fantasy thriller, whereas most of my other novels are romances. In my romances I like write about characters struggling to find themselves or accept who they are. I’d like readers to take away that it’s never worth compromising who they are to get someone to accept them. In False Finder I’d like people to take away that it’s worth fighting and standing up for what you want.
6) Imagine a world where everyone wears a t-shirt that says something about who they are as a human being, i.e. “Doesn’t play well with others” or “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had coffee.” What would yours say?
Um … either “I love books more than people” or “I like to party and by party I mean stay at home because socialising stresses me out.” Actually, any of the 22 mentioned here work: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/introshirts#.muPRVD286
7) Who has been your biggest supporter in your writing?
My family. Without them none of this would have been possible.
8) What writer do you admire the most and why?
At the moment I admire those who started out as indie authors (Colleen Hoover, Jennifer L. Armentrout, J.A. Redmerski etc.) and are now topping best seller lists or have become traditionally published authors. Because my roots are in self-publishing I look to them as a sort of role model because they’re great with their fans and have made it work.
9) If you had only one book to read for the rest of your life what would it be?
Dragonfly by Julia Golding. It has a little bit of everything: romance, adventure, action, mystery, and a new world. She’s my favourite author and it’s one of the few books that has stuck with me since I discovered my love of reading.
10) Favorite quote about writing, life or otherwise:
It’s kind of cheesy, but I like it anyway. “Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you’ll land among the stars.”
*Also, just a side note. The box set for my #1 Amazon bestselling series, Seasons of Change, is currently on sale for the summer. You can get all 4 books, plus 2 free exclusive stories, and save 40%!

Thank you Mia!

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INFO:
Book title: False Finder
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Mia-Hoddell/e/B0093M18QQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1434537448&sr=8-1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mia-Hoddell-Author/421368247889610
Twitter: http://twitter.com/miahoddell
Website: http://miahoddell.blogspot.com/
Goodreads link: http://goodreads.com/miahoddell
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/GFF_1

Leave Me Lost, Book 3 in The Extraction List Series, is out now!

LeaveMeLostfrontcoverweb

Just wanted to share that Leave Me Lost is now officially available! Get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Leave-Lost-Extraction-List-Book-ebook/dp/B00ZGNE6GU/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1_kin?ie=UTF8&qid=1435267649&sr=8-1&keywords=leave+me+lost

Or, if you need to get caught up on Books 1 and 2, get them here:

The Extraction List: http://www.amazon.com/The-Extraction-List-Renee-Meland-ebook/dp/B00V8KADEY/ref=pd_sim_sbs_351_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1JD026HZRQF2K0WJDBBJ

Burning Doors: http://www.amazon.com/Burning-Doors-Extraction-List-Book-ebook/dp/B00W7GV018/ref=pd_sim_sbs_351_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=1CBM4N2WXTVWGJ4F9QGX