Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Finds and New Reads

Friday Finds and New Reads

This is where I talk about new books that really stand out to me or sound unique, and what new books I have to read or will be getting soon.

 So first this week we have Enchanted by Althea Kontis:


Summary: It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.
When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises.

The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past—and hers?
 
I chose this one to mention because not only does it have a beautiful cover, but it also reminds me of the fairytales I grew up reading. This caught my attention right off the bat and I definitely can't wait to read more. With prince's and castles and frog's, who wouldn't?
 
Next there's Illuminate by Aimee Agresti:
 
  
Summary: Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.

As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?

Illuminate is an exciting saga of a teen’s first taste of independence, her experience in the lap of luxury, and her discovery she may possess strength greater than she ever knew.

I love the intricate design around Illuminate on the cover, it gives the reader a sense that the story is going to be intricate and beautiful before you even get a chance to begin. And then you get to read the summary and it sounds even more interesting. Can't wait for this one!

Now for some new reads!



Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Eve Blog Tour: Character Interview + Giveaway


I've already posted my review of Eve by Anna Carey (which you can read here) but now it's time for the blog tour. And this week I'm hosting a wonderful character interview by none other than Eve herself. So sit back and enjoy (Oh and don't forget to check out the giveaway at the end).

1. Since you wanted to be an artist, what kind of art would you have focused on?

Before I left School I was painting portraits and landscapes. I tried to render the way the clouds looked, the way the edge of the grass moved in the wind, how the light hit the surface of the lake. I wanted to capture the way Teacher Agnes’s face changed when she was sad. Pip even let me paint her once while she was reading on the lawn. Without cameras, it felt like the only way to stop time.

2. If you could have one book in your possession, what would it be and why? 

We didn’t have a copy of the Bible in the School library. But so many books referenced it. Some of the Teachers kept it in their nightstands. I remember people cradling it in their arms during the plague. I’ve seen it in so many houses in the wild and in every old hotel and motel room. So much of life outside of School has been about surviving, but if I had time to study that one book, line by line, I would. What makes it so special? Why were so many religions based on it? Why do people talk about it more than any other book ever written?

3. Has there been anything you've discovered since leaving school that really shocked or terrified you? 

[laughs] Hmmm…everything? I’m continually confused and fascinated by the world outside the School walls. Everything is new. I loved seeing a movie for the first time. I love how there are books in nearly every house in the wild—most of which I’ve never read before. I remember the first time someone showed me a computer. The Teachers had told us about the system that connected us all, how you could just write a note to someone and seconds later they would have it, no matter where in the world they were. I was expecting that machine to be massive—the size of a house. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one…

4. You've gotten to spend time with Caleb, what is one of your favorite things about him?

He has this crescent shaped scar on the side of his cheek. It’s a tiny thing, barely noticeable, that he got when he was out hunting. He’d been riding through the woods, and a branch whipped his face. It just missed his eye, and left a little slice just beside it. It crinkles whenever he smiles or laughs. It might seem silly, but little things like that make me feel like I know him better than anyone else.

5. In spite of everything you've seen and experienced, do you still believe in love? In true love? 

It’s the only thing I believe in. I can still feel my mother sometimes beside me, or conjure her face in those moments right before I go to sleep. I think about the little things Pip and Ruby did for me all those years at School, the cards they drew for me at Christmas, or the way they would talk to me whenever I was upset until I wasn’t. Every minute I spent with Caleb felt like something real. Those memories kept me afloat when I nothing else could. I don’t know if I believe in true love…isn’t it all true?

Thanks for the interview Eve! I hope you guys enjoyed it. Now for the giveaway.

UP FOR GRABS:
  • A copy of Eve by Anna Carey
  • Open to U.S. entries only
  • Giveaway ends October 3rd at 11:59 CST
  • Please fill out this FORM

Thank you to The Teen Book Scene and HarperTeen!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Friday Finds and New Reads

Friday Finds and New Reads

This is where I talk about new books that really stand out to me or sound unique, and what new books I have to read or will be getting soon.

Okay, so this week I think I have a couple of good picks for you guys. Up first we have The Pearl Wars by Nick James:



Summary: A devastated Earth's last hope is found in Pearls: small, mysterious orbs that fall from space and are capable of supplying enough energy to power entire cities. Battling to control the Pearls are the Skyship dwellers—political dissidents who live in massive ships in the Earth's stratosphere—and the corrupt Surface government.

Jesse Fisher, a Skyship slacker, and Cassius Stevenson, a young Surface operative, cross paths when they both venture into forbidden territory in pursuit of Pearls. Their chance encounter triggers an unexpected reaction, endowing each boy with remarkable—and dangerous—abilities that their respective governments would stop at nothing to possess.

Enemies thrust together with a common goal, Jesse and Cassius make their way to the ruins of Seattle to uncover the truth about their new powers, the past they didn't know they shared, and a shocking secret about the Pearls.

I'm finding that I really enjoy sci-fi type stories, and combining that with a dystopian plot makes it sound even better. This one drew me on not only with it's fascinating cover, but the summary as well. I can't wait to check it out!

And next we have Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor:





Summary: Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


I've heard a lot of great things about this book, but hadn't checked it out for myself until recently. It sounds absolutely fascinating and mysterious. And what's even better is that the summary only gives you part of the story, the rest you don't really know. There's something that I really love about that.

Now for some new reads that I've gotten in:


 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Elemental Reality by Cesya Cuono

Elemental Reality
Elemental 1
Author: Cesya MaRae Cuono
Pages: 251 pgs
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: August 21st 2011
Review Source: Revolution Publishing

This was an absolutely fabulous debut novel by Cesya Cuono. One that brings readers on a journey of whit, magic, fantasy, and war that you haven't yet seen.

Callie Pierce has been struggling with the disappearance of her mother for the past twelve years. And every birthday is just another reminder. This year, though, things are different. She can sense the elements around her and two guys enter her life that invoke strong, but different feelings from her.

When Callie and sister learn the secret their parents have kept from them for years, it'll take them on a journey that's nearly unbelievable. They are faeries, and Callie and her sister are the most powerful faeries they've seen. But is their power enough to save their mom? Or to stop the threat against them all?

From the very start I loved Cesya's writing and her main character Callie. It was fun and snarky and exciting. Everything from the storyline to the descriptions was very well presented and I found it almost impossible to put down.

And after reading Cesya's guest post about the legends she used in the story, I found the background even more interesting. The world that was created was imaginative and beautiful. I haven't been too into faerie stories, but this one was unique and fresh with the elemental aspect as well.

After reading that ending, though, I'm even more anxious for the next book in this amazing trilogy, Battlescars. Cesya leaves her readers on such an amazing cliffhanger, you'll be ready to camp outside her place demanding to know what happens next.

Elemental Reality was a fun read and a new series that I'm so glad that I found. If you'd like to keep up to date with the author you can check out her blog http://www.cesyacuonobooks.blogspot.com/ or follow her on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/CherryBomb_xox.

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

Spellbound
Spellbound 1
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Pages: 324 pgs
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Release Date: June 28th 2011
Review Source: Netgalley

I heard a lot of good things about this book and was so excited to get an egalley of it. Cara's debut novel is bound to grab your attention.

Emma decides to make a fresh start and moves to New York to live with her aunt. Life before wasn't easy and Emma just wants to put that behind her, and she does... at least until she meets Brendan Salinger.

He's beautiful and smart and the guy every girl wants but can't have, even Emma. They have an instant connection and Emma feels safe with him. But when he starts giving her the cold shoulder, she isn't really sure how to handle that. More than that though, Emma discovers a story that could have a potentially terrifying ending, for her and Brendan. There are consequences to their love than either of them could have imagined, deadly consequences.

I enjoyed this story from the very start. Emma was such a fun character that was thrust into a world she didn't understand or want to know. Even though she'd experienced some bad things, she didn't let that change her and I really appreciated that. Going from the simple life she'd had with her mom to the Upper East Side of Manhattan was a big enough change, and I loved reading how she dealt with it all.

The relationship between Emma and Brendan was also one of the best parts for me. Yes they had an instant draw to each other, but they didn't just fall into each others arms and ride off into the sunset either. Cara built up to them getting to know each other and figuring out what was attracting them to one another. The story of their past was amazingly put together.

I don't want to give too much away, because it's just so much better if you read it for yourself, but I was definitely captured by this story. I loved Cara Lynn's writing style and the characters she created. It'll be a long wait for the second book in this series, Spellcaster, but I'll definitely be excited to get my hands on it.

So for more updates from the author you can check out her blog http://caralynnshultz.wordpress.com/ or follow her on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/CaraLynnShultz.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Passion by Lauren Kate



Passion
Fallen 3
Author: Lauren Kate
Pages: 420 pgs
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: June 14th 2011
Review Source: Purchased

This review might contain spoilers if you have not read the first two books in the Fallen Series. Please proceed with caution.

I was so excited for this book to come out in the Fallen series. The world and story Lauren Kate created is wonderful and the third installment did not disappoint.

Luce goes on a journey through the Announcers to better understand her relationship with Daniel. They've been in love through the ages, and she's desperate to make things work in the present. But she needs help. So what better way to figure it out than to witness it herself.

While Luce is traveling further and further back, those she left behind are anxious to bring her home. Including Daniel. And with trouble brewing that none of them could fathom, it might already be too late. Will Luce and Daniel, with the help of the other Fallen and Nephilim on their side, be able to prevent the worst danger yet?

I've been in love with the series from the very beginning. Even though some may be annoyed by the slow pace, I've enjoyed the suspense. Lauren has done a phenomenal job of building things up to this point, and I can only hope we'll get all our answers soon.

This most recent book definitely answered a lot of questions (not all, but quite a few) and has set the stage for the finale. Learning more about Daniel was the highlight for me, though. Being able to witness his love and devotion to Luce throughout the centuries through not only her eyes, but Daniel's as well made me like him a lot more. Because up until this point we saw Daniel tell her of their past, but he kept so many things from her. He was more of a frustrating character than anything else.

Luce and Daniel's struggle has been great and I loved seeing the different times and ways they came together in history. The research along that Lauren must of have done for this must have taken so much time. Thank you for doing that and giving us the wonderful sneak peeks into Luce and Daniel's romance Lauren!

And now I will sit and wait as patiently as I can for Rapture, the final book in the Fallen series *twiddles thumbs and whistles* Okay, not so patiently. And to keep up with more from the author you can check out her website http://laurenkatebooks.net/ or follow her on Twitter http://twitter.com/laurenkatebooks.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Finds and New Reads

Friday Finds and New Reads


This is where I talk about new books that really stand out to me or sound unique, and what new books I have to read or will be getting soon.

It's been awhile since I've posted anything for this, and I'm sorry about that. But I've got a few interesting finds and some new reads that I hope you guys will enjoy.

First off we have Struck by Jennifer Bosworth:


Summary: Mia Price is a lightning addict.
She’s been struck so many times she’s lost count. She can’t sleep, she’s covered in veiny red “lightning scars,” and repeated strikes have even stopped her heart on occasion. Still, Mia can’t resist a storm.

That's why Los Angeles, where it never rains, is the perfect place for her to find peace . . . until a massive earthquake devastates the city.

Now Mia finds herself struggling to hold her family together in a strange and terrifying new version of Los Angeles. The beaches have become massive tent cities populated by millions of homeless. Downtown is a wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the attendees drawn to the destruction by a magnetic force they cannot deny.

The blind prophet of a doomsday cult called the Church of Light, who predicted the earthquake with frightening accuracy, says a storm is coming to usher in the end of days, and only his Followers will be saved. Mia’s traumatized mom has become obsessed with the Church of Light, while her younger brother Parker is desperate to join a second doomsday cult called the Seekers. But Mia is the one both cults need.

The Seekers are recruiting people with an energy-based power they call the “Spark,” and Mia has it stronger than most. They claim the false prophet of the Church of Light will bring about the end of the world, and they are the only ones who can stand against him.

But without Mia on their side, they will fail.

Mia’s lightning addiction is both the key to saving the world . . . and destroying it.
I am completely intrigued by this book. I can't really explain why, but I think this summary just says it all. And the cover is amazing, too.

And we also have Crewel by Gennifer Albin:

Summary: Incapable. Awkward. Artless.
That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.
 
This obviously doesn't have a cover yet, but who cares. The description is more than enough. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this.
And for some of the new reads I've gotten:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Blog Tour: After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven Wedel

After Obsession

Author: Carrie Jones and Steven Wedel
Pages: 320 pgs
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Release Date: September 13th 2011
Review Source: Bloomsbury USA Childrens ARC

After Obsession is a debut collaboration between Carrie Jones and Steven Wedel, but certainly isn't their first work as authors. I was definitely surprised by this story and in the end I think that was a good thing.

Strange things are happening in the small town Aimee Avery lives in and when her best friend's cousin Alan moves in, they become even more difficult to ignore. No one acts like themselves and the only person Aimee can seem to trust is Alan.

They both have secrets they don't want anyone else to know about, secrets that bring the two of them closer together. Secrets that will help them fight the thing that's making everybody crazy, including Aimee's best friend and Alan's cousin, Courtney.

One of the things I really like about this story was that Carrie wrote Aimee's character and Steven wrote Alan's. So, obviously, you could see the differences in how the story was told, but they each brought something great to that character. And the subtlety of how they grew and changed throughout the story was very well done.

Changes around the town are slowly mentioned. People are meaner, fights are happening and school and at work. Things are just different and no one can understand why. It's not heavily focused on, but it's mentioned throughout, adding to the already strange things that Alan and Aimee witness.

This also wasn't a typical possession story, using more of the Navajo teachings to deal with it. I liked that it was different. It's a little dark, a little romantic, a little bit of everything for readers and offers an interesting story. Even the connection that Aimee and Alan have is more than a typical story would offer. The secrets that they carry and the danger around town adding to it.

There's so much more to it than the summary gives you and I don't want to give that away. It wasn't what I was expecting at first, which I'm happy about. Each character had a strong voice and added a little something extra to the story.

Shattered Memories Giveaway


I just wanted to do a quick post about a pretty awesome giveaway. Kayla over at Shattered Memories Reviews is having 100 Followers Giveaway and there are some pretty awesome books to choose from. So click on the image above and check it out!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

A Beautiful Dark
A Beautiful Dark Trilogy 1
Author: Jocelyn Davies
Pages: 320 pgs
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Release Date: September 27th 2011
Review Source: HarperTeen ARC

I was immediately intrigued by this from reading the summary. It didn't give very much away at all and I wanted to know just what this was going to be about. And I'm so glad I got to read an early copy of Jocelyn's debut novel!

On the night of Skye's seventeenth birthday, two very interesting guys are thrust into her life. With her small circle of friends, Skye finds it strange to let the new guys in, especially since they are complete opposites.

Asher and Devin both appeal to Skye in different ways, frustrating and pulling her in closer. But they are both keeping something from her. When she learns the secret they are hiding involves her, everything that she'd thought was true is turned upside down. It all comes down to the choice she makes, a decision with consequences more far reaching than any of them knew.

Skye was definitely a fun character to get to know. Her life had always been pretty easy with great friends, college on the horizon, and skiing, life was pretty easy for her. She never questioned why she could do most things easily, that's just how it was for her. Until Asher and Devin came along.

They were the two characters that I really loved getting to know. While Asher was more of the fun, spontaneous, go with the flow type of guy, Devin was more reserved and quiet. Complete opposites in every way. They also both bring out different sides of Skye, affect her in different ways.

We only get a small portion of the story so far. Skye is introduced to a new world and has to learn what her place will be in it, but there is so much more to the story than we've had a chance to see yet. And I loved that I still got the high school, teenage girl feelings from her amidst the seriousness that her life became.

I don't want to give anything away, but I'll just say that this is definitely one story that you don't want to miss. Jocelyn did an absolutely amazing job with the world she created and the characters. And there's a pretty killer cliffhanger at the end that will guarantee you'll want the second book in her trilogy. I, for one, can't wait to get my hands on it!

A Beautiful Dark has a little bit of everything and a fantastic mythology that I really enjoyed. One of my favorite debuts that I've read so far.

So to learn more about this author and this amazing trilogy you can check out her website http://www.jocelyndavies.com/ or follow her Twitter http://www.twitter.com/jocelyndavies.

Eve by Anna Carey

Eve
The Eve Trilogy 1
Author: Anna Carey
Pages: 322 pgs
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Release Date: October 4th 2011
Review Source: HarperTeen ARC

Eve is the first book in Anna Carey's new dystopian trilogy, one that is sure to pull on your heart strings. And if that isn't enough, just take a look at this beautiful cover.

On the evening before Eve's school graduation, she learns the truth about what's waiting for them beyond the walls. A terrible disease wiped out the population, making the need to repopulate even more pressing. But Eve had no idea what that really meant.

So armed with a bag and the name of an area to go to that will keep her safe, Eve heads out on a terrifying journey. She has to learn how to survive, and to trust the one person she'd been taught to fear. A boy.

The cover and summary of this book were what first intrigued me to read this, and I'm so glad that I did. It isn't that much different from the society we have now or that much farther in the future, but the world Anna created is fascinating.

Eve went from the safe and protected environment to a scary and dangerous world that she knew nothing about. And trusting her well being to a group of men, that she'd been taught to fear, was such a huge step. Her growth and strength throughout the story really add to her character.

I loved watched the relationship between Eve and Caleb grow. Neither of them were looking for the other, but how they viewed things changed once they did. They were very much kids in a world that should have been protecting them.

Until it got closer to the end it didn't feel like a typical dystopian story to me, which I really appreciated it. Now I'm waiting (not so patiently) for the second book in this trilogy to find out what happens next. We only get a small picture of Eve's story and I'm anxious for what's to come. Anna gave her readers a great love story, one that's sure to tug and your heart strings and leave you wanting more.

To learn more about the author and keep up to date on what else she's writing, you can check out her website http://www.annacareybooks.com/ or follow her on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/AnnaCareyBooks.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ember Blog Tour: Author Interview


Today we are going to be joined at A Trail of Books by the fabulous Carol Oates, author of Shades of Atlantis and the newly released Ember. She is an absolute sweetheart and I'm so glad to be hosting her here on the tour.

So without further adieu, let's get started!

So, you've said before that you love Irish folklore and that's part of what inspired your first novel. Is there a particular lore or legend that's your favorite? One that's always stayed with you.

My favorite tends to change depending on my mood. There are a few tales that I always seem to go back to. I find the strong woman in Celtic history particularly inspiring. At a time when woman were treated no better than property elsewhere, Celtic women were queens and warriors. My favorite lady right now is Queen Medb (Maeve).

She was a great warrior with many lovers and eventually married a much younger man, her bodyguard, after he defeated her previous husband in combat. They argued over who had more wealth. It turned out they were pretty even except for one bull Madb couldn’t match, The White Bull. This didn’t suit her at all and she set her sights on the Brown Bull of Ulster, first she requested it. When she was turned down, she invaded Ulster and this led to a battle with the great CĂșchulainn. His men were overtaken by a spell but he fought Madb’s army one at a time. None could defeat him, but he was distracted long enough for her to steal The Brown Bull.  On returning to Connaght, the bulls fought, The Brown Bull killed The White Bull so Madh made her point that no man would best her.

The bull returned to Ulster madden over the loss of the White Bull and died.
CĂșchulainn was a man of seventeen at the time. He was previously known as Setanta. Setanta is another of my favorites in lore. 

The main thing to remember about Irish lore is these stories were told around fires and passed down from generation to generation, so there are often variations depending on who tells them. Images of The Brown Bull can be seen all over Ireland, especially Northern Ireland, and Madb was immortalized on the old £1Punt.

Do you spend a lot of time planning your characters out with character profiles and such, or do you just start writing and see what comes?
I usually start out with a flaw or some behavioural quirk, something unique and individual to that character but also something that will immediately make them less than perfect. For instance, Draven hates wearing shoes. I think perfection doesn’t exist in real life so how can it in books?  Generally the character I begin with in my head is nothing at all like they end up in the finished book. They take on a life of their own during the story and evolve just as a real person would when faced with challenges and choices. 

I know this isn't an easy for me, but what is your favorite book? (either right now or of all time)
I do have a favorite, The Princess Bride. I know people are probably sick of hearing me talk about this book but I just love it so much. I read it over and over. Most people know the book or the movie but not the back-story. The book was published William Goldman as an abridged account of story by S. Morgenstern and Goldman comments throughout. S. Morgenstern doesn’t really exist, yet is presented as a real person. For years, legal difficultly with Morgenstern’s ‘estate’ prevented the sequel, Buttercup’s Baby being published by Goldman. For me it is the ultimate dream within a dream and that’s what we writers are all about.

The mini website, where you can request a scene deleted because of legal issues with Morgenstern. I won’t ruin the surprise by saying what it is.



When you’re writing and get stuck on a scene, what do you use for inspiration?

The inspiration always comes from the characters. It’s a little like sitting in a room with friends and watching how they interact. I am aware of how crazy that sounds. lol. But, these guys and girls do become like real people to me. I have been known to talk about them to other people as if they are. I’ve been known to talk to them and even more worryingly, for them to talk back. Sometimes I will listen to music to keep my motivation going and keep things flowing. I enjoy instrumentals from the likes of Two Steps from Hell and ES Posthumus.

With Ember, did any of the characters really stick out for you? What was one of your favorite scenes to work on?

Now we are getting to the hard stuff. Without giving anything away, Ivy will stay with me for a long time. I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say Ivy was the most unplanned character I have ever written. I had no idea things would turn out as they did for her and it influenced everything afterward. I mean right up to writing the scenes, I had no idea. I think I was probably as shocked as Candra, but it just came out that way. Sadly, there was no hot angel there for me when it did. As a result one of my favorite and hardest scenes was between Sebastian and Candra in the bedroom. He has no frame of reference to help her and her desperation weighed on me for days after, but I love how it turned out. I loved the growth for Sebastian. He stuck it out even though it was difficult for him. I think the fun scenes to write are probably the fight scenes. Draven and Sebastian are fun to write together.   

Have you ever read a book and wished that you could actually be a part of the story, as one of the characters?
Back to The Princess Bride, learning to sword fight from Inigo Montoya. How cool would that be?

Okay, thank you so much for doing this. I have one more question for you. Is there anything you can tell us about what you’re working on now? Any little tidbits to tide us over?

I’m currently working on finishing two projects, the Shades of Atlantis sequel and the Ember sequel. This week I’m in revisions on the Ember sequel before it goes out for critique. In the past I’ve put out a couple of teasers as I write, with the warning they are un-edited and may end up cut or dramatically different. With that in mind, here is an exclusive from the Ember sequel when Sebastian has a clandestine meeting with Ananchel in a dark Alley.


“Why not ask Lofial or Gabriel?”
            “You know why,” he retorted sharply.
            Ananchel hummed thoughtfully, keeping her back to Sebastian. After a moment, her long legs crossed at the ankle and she spun lightly as a ballerina toward him. Her hair lifted and captured the few stray beams of silver moonlight, becoming like flames caught in a draught.
“Silly, silly Sebastian. You really are clueless and you honestly have no idea what’s going on here, do you?”
            Sebastian tilted his head attempting to measure Ananchel’s body language. His fingers became rigid, his joints cracking in the process.
            “About?” he asked uneasily.
            Ananchel smirked. “You better hold on to your petticoat, sweetheart. You are about to go down the mother of all rabbit holes.”

Twitter: @caroloates

Thank you for joining us today, Carol!

Here's the tour schedule to check out the other participating blogs in this tour and for the prizes:



GIVEAWAYS:

Six random blogs on the tour will be giving away an ebook copy of EMBER. Make sure you comment with your email to be entered into the giveaway. RUNNER UP PRIZE: An EMBER canvas tote and print copy of EMBER. GRAND PRIZE: A silver butterfly necklace, an EMBER canvas tote, and an ebook of EMBER. To enter into the GRAND PRIZE and RUNNER UP PRIZE giveaways, you must comment on ALL blog posts with your email during the tour.



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