Thursday, September 19, 2013

Author Interview: Connie L. Smith

I'm so excited to have author and fellow Kentuckian Connie L. Smith on the blog today! Her debut novel, Essenced just hit the shelves this summer and is quickly gaining momentum. Here's a little more about this YA Urban Fantasy with a hint of Paranormal Romance:

Essenced (The Division Chronicles: Book One)

Years ago, demons were forced out of the earth’s realm by a band of supernatural fighters, banished from the place and its people in the aftermath of a horrific war. It should’ve ended there – would’ve – if not for the final demon’s claw snagging on the open portal. What felt like victory became only a reprieve, the winning warriors understanding that the tear would spread, and the demons eventually would escape exile. It was only a matter of time, and a need for future defense – a question of genetics and essences, magic and power.

Now centuries later, a new army must bind together – one of teenagers with inhuman potentials and abilities…

Sounds fabulous, right?! Here's more about the brilliant mind behind the magic!

* What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
I read a lot, bake, sew, and listen to a bunch of music that’s outdated.

* What was the inspiration behind Essenced?
I don’t know that there was an actual inspiration behind it. I mentally add characters when I’m watching TV or movies (or reading books), and sometimes those characters develop a story all their own. That’s pretty much what happened with AJ and the beginnings of this story.

* How many books are in the series, and what can we expect in book 2?
There are three books in the actual trilogy, but I’ve already written a prequel novella, and you can probably expect at least one spin-off book. Once you finish book one, it’ll be obvious where book two starts off. I think of Essenced as more of the building blocks for the rest of the series. You’re getting to know the characters, and the characters are changing from average high school/college students to warriors. There’s action involved, but Emblazed (book two) has more in the way of physical altercation and battles. Though, as I mentioned, Essenced isn’t without those things. It’s more intense, and it’ll get even more intense into book three, physically and emotionally. I don’t want to give out too many spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read Essenced, so I’ll just leave it there.

* What made you pick YA?
I’ve really gotten addicted to it, to be honest! A good amount of what I buy and read these days is YA/NA. With this plot, and the transition that these characters have to go through, it seemed more interesting to have them be in high school or early college. They’re not even finished growing into human adults, and now they have to change into something entirely different. Not to mention high school can be a pretty dull place. It’s good to pretend fictional characters can lead more exciting lives than I had back then. Or now, really…

* What authors inspire you and why?
R.A. Salvatore is the author that got me into reading. I fell in love with his Legend of Drizzt series, and have been hooked on reading and fantasy since. He has a way of telling a story that’s just so fluid. I also like Terry Pratchett, and the humor in his books. Becca Fitzpatrick is a newer one that I like, along with some other contemporary authors. I like writers that can pull me into a story, and who create characters that I still think about after I close the book. I’d like to think that all of those different influences show up in my books, but I guess every reader will have to make that call.

* Some authors gear up with their favorite tunes or choke down large quantities of caffeine before tackling a writing session. What, if anything, does your ritual consist of?
Mine’s actually really boring. My ideal writing time tends to be around 1-3 in the afternoon. I’m an aunt, and my nieces and nephew could come barreling in after school any time after that :) I turn on a fan to block out any noise away from my room, and I start typing. I do have a Diet Dr. Pepper or a bottle of water somewhere near. Thirst is no fun. I multi-task though, so don’t be surprised if you see a tweet pop up when I should be writing.

Rapid fire questions: 

* Favorite book character – Of all time? Wow… Probably either Patch from Hush, Hush or Durzo Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks. At least those are the ones that come to mind. I might decide differently later!
from the

* Plotter or Pantser – More of a plotter, though I didn’t have an outline for this novella I recently finished. And I tend to veer away from the outline from time to time.

* Choice of superpower – Jedi!!!

* Your life's theme song – Currently “Too Much Month at the End of the Money” by Billy Hill.

* Top 5 favorite reads this year –
A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang was good, though I haven’t had a chance to read the second book.
Abel by Elizabeth Reyes, but I could’ve easily said Hector. I’ve been addicted to Elizabeth’s books since I read Forever Mine.
Boundless by Cynthia Hand. I loved this trilogy, and the ending (mostly) was pleasing. I won’t go into my Christian Prescott ramblings on this blog :)
The Last Threshold by R.A. Salvatore. I’ve been a little iffy about the last few of his books based on Drizzt, but I thought this one was much better than some of the others over the last few years. Plus it sets the readers up for such good things!
Ripple by Mandy Hubbard. I can’t guarantee that I read this one in 2013 – it might have been late 2012 – but I liked this book. A siren in love? Yes, please.

I feel like I should give you honorable mentions! So many were left out!

***Essenced will be free on Amazon September 19-20th, so don't forget to grab your copy!!!

Connect with Connie here:

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blog Tour: A Thousand Perfect Things by Kay Kenyon

Book Blurb:
In an alternate 19th century, there are two warring continents on an reimagined earth: the scientific Anglica (England) and magical Bharata (India). Emboldened by her grandfather�s final whispered secret of a magical lotus, Tori Harding, a young Victorian woman and aspiring botanist, must journey to Bharata, with its magics, intrigues and ghosts, to claim her fate. There she will face a choice between two suitors and two irreconcilable realms.
In a magic-infused world of silver tigers, demon birds and enduring gods, as a great native mutiny sweeps over the continent, Tori will find the thing she most desires, less perfect than she had hoped and stranger than she could have dreamed.

An excerpt from A Thousand Perfect Things

Tori's stomach clenched as she now saw before her a woman in a green sari facing away. Streaming out from the woman's head, her long hair was writhing in an impossible way, as though alive. The sight both sickened and fascinated her. The woman walked slowly away in a disconcerting gliding motion. Afraid yet intrigued, Tori followed the woman to the garden wall.
            "Come, beti," the woman whispered, though the whisper was in Tori's ear, not fifteen yards away.
            Tori approached. The woman's long hair was shot with gray, her face deeply lined.
            They stood regarding one another. Slowly, and to Tori's relief, the long hair came to rest around the woman's shoulders. It seemed to Tori that the frantic hair warned of discontent, and must put Tori on warning that the apparition could do violence. Suddenly, alarming noises issued from behind the zenana wall--squealing almost at the limits of hearing. Filaments of the woman's hair rose again.
            Tori backed up.
            "They cannot hurt you, or even see you, beti." The voice was a breath in Tori's ear, but the woman's lips were not moving.
            "Why are you trying to scare me?" she managed to say, her voice gone pinched and high. The squealing behind the door grew louder. At that, the woman slammed a fist against the wooden door, all but shattering Tori's resolve to stay.
            The noise stopped.
            "They do not wish for me to be long gone." Bits of dust fell off the door.
            Tori looked down to find that the woman's feet were not actually touching the ground. Merciful God. Tori could not move, nor swallow, nor keep from staring.
            The whisper again: "Jai will be showing you where to go. You should be trusting only him, beti."
            The squealing resumed, louder now. The woman placed her hand on the latch of the door, and as she did so, her hair swept in that direction.
            Tori did not want to see what was on the other side of that door.
            She looked desperately behind herself for her companions, but she was alone. As she turned back to locate the woman in green, all that remained of her was a shred of forest-colored sari sliding through a crack in the door.

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Kay Kenyon

Kay Kenyon is the author of eleven science fiction and fantasy novels, including The Entire and the Rose series that was hailed by The Washington Post as �A splendid fantasy quest as compelling as anything by Stephen R. Donaldson, Philip Jose Farmer or yes, J. R. R. Tolkien�. Kay�s newest work �A Thousand Perfect Things� blends the reason of the Victorian Age and the magics of an alternate Earth.

Connect with Kay here:

Tour Schedule

August 28 - Asteria's Blog *Review & Giveaway
August 29 - Behind a Million and One Pages *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 1 Author Jonathan Ryan *excerpt & Giveaway
September 2 - Chirenjenzie  *Favorite Pinterest Pins & Giveaway
September 3 - Dave-Brendon's Fantasy and Sci-Fi Weblog *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 4 - Mindy Ruiz *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 5 - Elizabeth Isaacs' Blog *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 6 -   Hooked in a Book *Review, Excerpt & Giveaway
September 7 - BlKosiner's Book Blog *Interview & Giveaway
September 8 - Delphina reads too much *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 9 - A Dribble of Ink *Featured Article
September 10 -Lilliputian's Journey *Excerpt & Giveaway
September 11 - Mom With A Kindle *Author Interview & Giveaway
September 12 - A Dragon's Love *Review & Giveaway

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Be a Freaking Unicorn!

I'm sure you all have noticed that when you're focused on something for a prolonged period of time, it becomes a mindset. When I've spent several days in a row editing, I can spot a grammar error a mile away. If I've been writing, my imagination goes into overdrive, picturing the most fantastic things in ordinary objects.

I find this is also true with attitudes. When all you hear is complaining and all you see is depressing, you're going to begin spouting the same garbage. Likewise, as irritating as it is at first, that Pollyanna mentality eventually rubs off on you. Suddenly, you're a euphorically happy unicorn who's prancing on a rainbow and laughing at the fools on the ground below.

The moral of the story? Life is too short to complain. Be a freaking unicorn!