Tag Archive | author interview

Bookstagram Interview: Christine Manzari AKA Xenatine

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You have probably seen Christine Manzari or @xenatine ‘s awesome bookstagram account over on Instagram. Today I have an interview with her for you guys!

View More: http://jensnyder.pass.us/manzari

What made you decide to start a bookstagram?

I started my bookstagram by accident. At first I was just interacting with other book lovers to try to connect with YA readers, but then I stumbled upon some amazing bookstagram accounts and decided to join in on photo challenges for fun. When I started gaining larger numbers of followers, I dedicated my account solely to books.

When did you start your bookstagram account?

I don’t know the exact day, but it was in May of 2016 when I started posting solely about books.

Do you take a lot of pictures at once or do you take them each day?

Since I usually post 3-4 times a day, I take lots of photos when I do photo shoots. Most of my photos are taken Monday-Friday in the morning and I’ll take 5-8 photo layouts. I find that if I do an elaborate setup, it’s easy to take a lot of photos with different perspectives and just save those pictures for a rainy day.

What would you consider your style or vibe when it comes to your pictures?

My style is colorful and often geometrical or symmetrical. I was an art major in college and I was a graphic designer for about ten years, so doing bright color combos and detailed compositions are my bread and butter.

What kind of books do you like to feature on your account?

I like to feature the kinds of books I read. That usually means YA fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and sometimes paranormal. I feature NA romance sometimes too, but fantasy and sci-fi are the most common because that’s what I read most often.

Where do you get all your accessories that accompany the books in your pictures?

Some of my props are things I have around my house, but I get most of my things from Michaels craft store or Amazon. Storygramtours has a great post on their website with links to different props that the owners used and I’ve found some fun items on there that I’ve added to my prop collection over the last two years.

Do you have a particular favorite bookstagrammer?

I don’t have one favorite and I don’t like choosing because I have so many dear friends on bookstagram, but here are a few accounts that have inspired me for various reasons.

– @darkfaerietales_ does a nice variety of shots and styles which I admire. She can do cosplay, epic stacks, shelfies, flatlays, etc. I am in awe of the shots she takes.

– I love the bright and colorful feed of @paperfury and her captions are the best ones on bookstagram. I wish she could live with me and just leave me funny notes in varoius places around the house. The only reason I ever go on twitter is to read the posts that @paperfury makes.

– @everlasting.charm has a gorgeous feed that looks so peaceful and perfect. I’m not a girly type of girl, but she makes me want to love pink.

– The pictures by @myfriendsarefiction are so lovely and she does a great job of showing off merchandise. I also love that she reads a lot of ARCs so she does the hard work of reading books ahead of time and letting followers know which ones are worth putting on their TBR.

– I really like the way @eden.hammond uses colors and geometrical layouts. She’s so creative and unique in her setups.

– I wish I could take pictures like @lifeandliterature @ursula_uriate and @lifeinlit Their styles are magazine worthy and I love looking at them. 

You’re also an author, reader, and mother, how do you juggle it all?

It’s all about getting into a routine. I’m a creature of habit so I take bookstagram photos in the morning, do my mom duties during the day, and write and read at night. I try to squeeze in reading at other times of the day by listening to audio books in the car or while I work out. When I’m lucky, I can usually do some writing during the day, too.

As for being an author, can you tell us a little bit about your books and any upcoming releases you may have?

One theme that is prevalent in all of my books is that I like to write strong female characters. They are bold and sassy and clever. So far I have written six books and co-written two others.

The first series I wrote is a YA dystopian trilogy, called The Sophisticates Series, which is about a group of teens who have been genetically modified to be human weapons against terrorism. The Sophisticates Series is great for fans of The Darkest Minds and the X-Men.

I’ve also written a NA romcom trilogy called the Hearts of Stone series. They are all standalone books which are connected by three men who all share the last name Stone. These romcoms are a little bit steamy and a lot snarky and perfect for fans of Helena Hunting and Christina Lauren.

I’ve co-written a NA romance trilogy with Laura Ward called the College Bound Series. We are publishing the third book in that series this summer. The interesting thing about this trilogy is that there are special needs characters in each book who have integral roles in the stories. What I love about this series is that it mixes my snarky sense of humor with Laura’s tender storytelling to create stories that I think fans of Colleen Hoover would enjoy.

Lastly, I’m currently working on a YA fantasy about stolen magic, a fearless warrior girl, and a gladiator tournament. Fantasy has always been my first love so I’m excited to share this story with readers.

Do you have any advice for others interested in bookstagramming and building their fanbase?

I think the biggest piece of advice I can give is to have fun! Interact with people in the community and be genuine. Be you. If you interact with other bookstagrammers by commenting on their photos and chatting with them, you will develop true friendships and discover that this community is more than just pictures of books. It’s about finding your tribe.

As for taking pictures, joining in monthly photo challenges is a great way to find inspiration that will help you discover your style. You can love other accounts without having to take the types of photos they take. Be unique, be you, find the types of photos that you enjoy taking. Show off the books you love in a way that shows your personality too. Bookstagram should be fun so don’t worry about numbers of likes or comments. It takes time for those to come and the more active you are, the more fun you’ll have. And that’s what reading should be about.

The technical advice I can give:

– Take pictures when you have good natural light. I take pictures in my library in the morning.

– I use my iphone so you don’t need special cameras, your smartphone can take great pictures.

– Use monthly photo challenges for inspiration.

– Take photoes of the books YOU love, not what you think others want to see.

– Anything can be a prop. You don’t have to go to the store or Amazon to buy crazy props. I’ve used silverware before and old bridesmaids dresses for splashes of color. Things around your house can create fun textures, places around where you live can be pretty backdrops. Experiment!

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Christine’s Social Media Links:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/xenatine/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Xenatine

Website: http://www.christinemanzari.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChristineManzari/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7218946.Christine_Manzari

 

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Author Interview: Patrick Bowmaster

Cover of Burns book as of 3 8 2018

Summary:

Career convict and con artist Ed Hubbard and his accomplice Willie Roberts, a young and attractive prostitute, set out to play a long game against the farmer Pleas Burns, who owned a spread on the Spring River in Arkansas. But Willie grows tired of waiting and pressures Hubbard to “fix the old man.” Even with a backstory of multiple marriages, extramarital affairs, an incompetent judge, an extremely messy divorce, a death sentence, two jail breaks, incest, a connection to one of the most infamous criminal gangs of the 1930s, three murders, a terrible miscarriage of justice, and two sensational murder trials, the most fascinating part of the story is an amazing and heroic canine.

still from video

Author Interview:

What made you want to be a writer? 
I believe that the ancient Greeks were correct to define happiness as doing what you do best to the best of your abilities.
 
Tell us a little about your book. 
My publisher, Pulpular Media of Hamilton, Ohio, has come up with what I think is a great description of my book: “Career convict and con artist Ed Hubbard and his accomplice Willie Roberts, a young and attractive prostitute, set out to play a long game against the farmer Pleas Burns, who owned a spread on the Spring River in Arkansas. But Willie grows tired of waiting and pressures Hubbard to “fix the old man.” Even with a backstory of multiple marriages, extramarital affairs, an incompetent judge, an extremely messy divorce, a death sentence, two jail breaks, incest, a connection to one of the most infamous criminal gangs of the 1930s, three murders, a terrible miscarriage of justice, and two sensational murder trials, the most fascinating part of the story is an amazing and heroic canine.
 
Who’s your favorite character and why? 
My book is a true crime work and so nonfiction. I can tell you who I enjoyed writing about most. It is Jim the dog. He was one incredible animal and so I think that any person who enjoys true stories about loyal and faithful pets will love my book. I believe the appeal of my text goes beyond fans of true crime.
 
What genre do you write?
I have written history and true crime.
 
What’s your favorite color? 
blue
 
What is your favorite book?
I have listed the same book below cited according to various style manuals.
Coffman, Edward M. The Old Army: A Portrait of the American Army in Peacetime, 1784-1898. Oxford University Press, 1988.
Coffman, Edward M. (1988). The Old Army: A Portrait of the American Army in Peacetime, 1784-1898. Oxford University Press.
Coffman, Edward M. The Old Army: A Portrait of the American Army in Peacetime, 1784-1898. Oxford University Press, 1988.
Coffman, Edward .M., 1988. The Old Army: A Portrait of the American Army in Peacetime, 1784-1898. Oxford University Press.
Coffman Edward M. The Old Army: A Portrait of the American Army in Peacetime, 1784-1898. Oxford University Press; 1988 Dec 8.
 
What inspires your writing? 
I think there is nothing more fascinating than people. I am thrilled by researching and writing on people’s lives.
 
Any advice for other writers? 
Just about everything in our lives is predicated to some degree on communication. You should write because doing so hones your communication skills. Don’t worry about whether you get published or who reads what you write.
Purchase on Amazon * Barnes & Noble
About the Author:
Bowmaster Author Photo

Patrick Bowmaster is an experienced freelance historian and writer who has written for both scholarly and popular audiences and published widely. His writing has been cited in at least thirty historical works including four books published by university presses, two Ph.D. dissertations, two scholarly bibliographies and one foreign language title. Patrick’s unpublished research and graduate student writing can be found in the collections of several leading research universities and other prominent repositories. He has been mentioned in the acknowledgements of nine historical works. Patrick is a career archivist and records manager who holds both an M.L.I.S. and an M.A. in History. He is a native of New York who now lives with his wife, child and a cat in Massachusetts.”

Find Patrick at these places:

Website: https://patrickbowmaster.wordpress.com/

Twitter: @PBowmaster
Facebook: Facebook profile

For info on my publisher see: https://pulpular.businesscatalyst.com/

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Author Calvin Demmer’s Interview with Author S.J. Budd

 

Book Purchase Links:
Spells and Persuasions: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1520940645
Aphotic Realm’s Banished: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1979474532

Calvin Demmer’s Author Interview with S.J. Budd

What sparked your interest in the horror genre?

I’ve always been fascinated with everything out of the ordinary. I think what really sparked my interest in horror was seeing The Labyrinth movie when I was a young girl. At the time I found it terrifying and instantly loved it! It’s still one of my favorite films!

What’s the best writing advice you’ve received?

I think it’s got to be the simplest bit of advice which is to just keep at it and eventually you will get somewhere. I think the piece of advice I would offer would be to have fun with what you write, because if it’s boring to write it will be boring to read.

You have a story called “I am Witch” in the Banished issue from Aphotic Realm. What inspired the tale?

I was heavily inspired to write “I am Witch” after reading “Of Sorrow and Such” by Angela Slatter which is about witches. I came across it by accident and its now one of my favorite books.  Since then I’d really wanted to write a story about witches and this was my attempt.

You released Spells and Persuasions, a collection of short stories, last year. How would you describe it to those who’ve yet to read it?

This is my first collection of nine short stories that have all been published in various magazines. I’d like to think there’s something in there for everyone who loves horror. The stories within draw on many different elements such as fantasy, sci-fi and horror but are all dark in nature.

Who are some of the female horror authors you believe people should be reading?

There’s some really amazing female horror authors out there. I’m a really big fan of Gwendolyn Kiste whose stories regularly appear in places like Black Static and Shimmer. She’s recently released her first novella, “Pretty Marys all in a Row” which is a great read. Of course there is Angela Slatter who I’ve already mentioned. I’ve just discovered Kristi DeMeester and Damien Angelica Walters who are also superb.

These are the female horror writers who are currently slaying it and you can easily find them gracing the pages of all the top magazines such as Black Static, Nightmare, Shimmer and Apex.

 

Sarah

Sarah’s Bio:
S.J. Budd loves writing short stories exploring dark fictional worlds and its mysterious inhabitants, and is currently working on her first novel. Her day job involves working as journalist for www.findahood.com and she also blogs on her site www.sjbudd.co.uk and her twitter is @sjbuddj.
Her work has appeared in Aphotic RealmSanitarium MagazineSiren’s Call PublicationsDeadman’s TomeInnersinsAphelionBewildering StoriesBlood Moon Rising MagazineShadows at the Door, Danse Macabre MagazineThe Wild HuntMorpheus Tales and Freedom Fiction.
Her debut collection of short stories, Spells and Persuasions, is out now on Amazon.
CalvinDemmer
Calvin’s Bio:
Calvin Demmer is a dark fiction author. His work has appeared in Broadswords and Blasters, Empyreome Magazine, Mad Scientist Journal, Ravenwood Quarterly, Switchblade, and others. When not writing, he is intrigued by that which goes bump in the night and the sciences of our universe. You can find him online at www.calvindemmer.com.
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Natalia Jaster: Author Interview + Giveaway

 

I’m extremely happy to have this interview with Natalia Jaster for you guys to read today. I absolutely adore her books!

Author Interview with Natalia Jaster:

What made you want to become a writer?

Well, my brother used to tell me stories when I was little, and some of the tales had to do with magical worlds, so I think that played a big part in planting the roots—which is why I dedicated Touch to him.

But it wasn’t until university that I realized fiction was my thing. Classes allowed me to explore genres and writing techniques, and that became the place where I searched for the right character voice, the one that I’d click with.

The first time I wrote a short story from an older teen’s point-of-view, I knew. I knew.

What was your inspiration for Touch?

It started out as fanfiction, actually. Before my novels, I was active in the Hunger Games community, writing AU stories (alternative universe). In one of them, I turned Katniss Everdeen into a well-known mythological matchmaker.

As a writer, I naturally gravitate toward swapping gender roles and subverting expectations, so I was drawn to the premise of a love deity being clueless about love. A deity who’s forced to pair up the mortal she loves with someone else. There couldn’t be a worse challenge for Eros!

The premise stuck with me long after I’d finished the fic, so I decided to rewrite it into an original novel, pushing the tale even further.

What was your inspiration for Trick?

That book didn’t take off until I decided the hero was going to be a court jester. I’d wanted to write a castle story, and for me, it always begins with figuring out who the main characters are. I struggled at first, but once the idea for a jester landed in my heart, the story bloomed.

Questions piled up: Why is the hero a “trained fool”? Does he like/dislike being one? What does it mean to be a fool, and how it is defined in this story?

That last question inspired the world building and main conflict of Trick.

What was your inspiration for Dare?

A few things. Some readers had mentioned that they wanted to know more about the other season kingdoms, so I began to wonder. I’d written about Spring & Autumn. What about Summer & Winter?

Also, I realized that in order for the world to be grounded, for the mindset of this landscape to be fully explored, we needed to read the POVs of the oppressor and sufferer. The intolerant Royal and the “born fool.”

Plus, I’d been interested in doing a dark reimagining of The Blue Lagoon. When I combined all those things, I knew it would be my next novel, despite how scared I was to write it.

I love all three of your books, which one is your favorite and why?

Thank you! All my books are dear to me, but if I had to pick, it would be Trick. For Poet reasons.

Poet is definitely my favorite character of all time. How did you come up with him?

Ah, I had such a blast creating him. Making a jester alluring, in spite of it being the un-sexiest trade I could have assigned a hero, was such an exciting prospect.

I wanted to subvert the vision people have about jesters—most of what I found on Pinterest was either creepy or ridiculous—while also magnifying their best skills. There’s not much research on jesters, but from what learned, they were popular figures in their time. Clever, sharp-tongued, intelligent, beloved by their sovereigns, and possessing their own degree of power and admirers.

I envisioned someone magnetic. Someone with a tendency toward verse, who wore eye makeup like nobody’s business, who had a flamboyant wardrobe (but not an absurd one), and who’d be widely desired. A vain but selfless character, amusing but passionate, who can work a dance floor and handle a dagger. Also, someone who kept a dangerous secret, and it’s that very secret I’m most proud of.

For anyone interested in reading more about him, I wrote a post on creating Poet’s character. You can find it here on my website, or here on Tumblr.

I loved the setting for Dare, and I especially loved Jeryn (who is my second favorite character you have written). Was he a hard character to write?

YES! I mean, every character is hard to write for different reasons, but the deal with him was, how could I create a villain who starts out vicious but remains intriguing enough that readers to stick with him? And how do I redeem him organically and convincingly—staying true to who he is?

Flawed and complex characters interest me the most because they have the greatest capacity for change. Jeryn is cold and calculating, not only a prince but a scientist; he’s a curator of facts, yet those facts are filtered through a narrow-minded lens. His intolerance stems a lot from his fears, not just his upbringing. I spent months scrutinizing every part of his journey; every single thought and piece of dialogue was carefully considered, interpreted from different angles. Basically, I edited and revised the entire book with a magnifying glass.

That said, Jeryn’s voice came pretty easily. I latched onto it quick, whereas it took some time with Flare. I’d say she was the more difficult of the pair to write.

What are you working on next?

Alas, that’s a secret. I promised my newsletter subscribers they’d be the first to know the details, but I will say that it’s a whole new setting for me.

Do you have any advice for future writers?

There’s endless inspiration in the world. In fiction and nonfiction. Wandering museums and flea markets. Watching a dance performance or a documentary. Hiking a forest trail, strolling through an old village, or visiting a lighthouse. Listening to the hum of a cello, or a favorite song, or a podcast, or a poetry reading.

Inspiration is everywhere. Just keep looking and listening, and then write what you care about. Tell the story that matters to you.

What’s your favorite color and why?

In the spring & summer, it’s green. In the fall & winter, it’s blue. It’s always about nature and the seasons with me, I guess!

 

Dare-Back Cover-Small_preview

Title: Dare

Subtitle: A Dangerous Love Story

Series: Foolish Kingdoms #2

Categories/genres:

Mature young adult, new adult, romance, fantasy romance, dark fantasy romance, fantasy historical, fantasy medieval, historical romance, historical fantasy, historical medieval, royalty romance

One-line description:

Stranded on a mysterious island, a coldhearted prince and his maddened prisoner fight to survive the rainforest—and each other.

 

Summary:

A Hotheaded Prisoner

They say she’s mad—made of madness, made of fire. In a cage by the sea, Flare dreams of escape. She yearns for the day when she’ll flee to a place only she knows, a hidden world of mystical waters and gilded sands.

The island is calling to her. And she won’t let anyone keep her from it.

Especially not him.

A Coldhearted Prince

They say he’s cruel—crowned of cruelty, as cold as ice. A prince whose gaze cuts like the incisions he administers within his lab. Jeryn has sailed beyond his kingdom for the Trade, to bargain for those wild, imprisoned fools that make his skin crawl.

By law, they’re subjects meant for experimentation. And easy to despise.

One in particular. A girl seething at him from behind bars, with burning eyes and ready fists.

A Mythical Shipwreck

But on the cusp of transport, the tide rages. That uncharted island awaits, a dark tangle of foliage where creatures slither in the mist and poisons lurk in the flora.

Stranded, the prince and prisoner must fight to survive. In this mysterious rainforest, they must band together…if they don’t slay one another first. Or become something more to each other.

Something just as dangerous.

*Foolish Kingdoms, Book #2. Can also be read as a standalone, though it’s recommended to read “Trick” first.*

*Mature young adult/new adult: sexual content and language. For readers 17 and older.*

 

Book quotes:

The evil world expected me to curl up in the corner like a seashell—silent and small and breakable—forgetting that a seashell held the roar of an entire ocean inside it.

I’d rather be wild in a forest than mad in a castle.

In the daylight, you’re bold. By the firelight, you’re brilliant. Under the night light, you’re enduring. Always, you’re lasting.

Links:

Amazon Links:

 

Trick Cover_preview

 

 

 

 

Title: Trick

Subtitle: A Foolish Love Story

Series: Foolish Kingdoms #1

Categories/genres:

Mature young adult, new adult, romance, fantasy romance, fantasy historical, fantasy medieval, historical romance, historical fantasy, historical medieval, royalty romance

One-line description:

The forbidden love between a righteous princess and a rakish court jester.

 

Summary:

There is a rule amongst his kind: A jester doesn’t lie.

In the kingdom of Whimtany, Poet is renowned. He’s young and pretty, a lover of men and women. He performs for the court, kisses like a scoundrel, and mocks with a silver tongue.

Yet allow him this: It’s only the most cunning, most manipulative soul who can play the fool. For Poet guards a secret. One the Crown would shackle him for. One that he’ll risk everything to protect.

Alas, it will take more than clever words to deceive Princess Briar. Convinced that he’s juggling lies as well as verse, this righteous nuisance of a girl is determined to expose him.

But not all falsehoods are fiendish. Poet’s secret is delicate, binding the jester to the princess in an unlikely alliance—and kindling a breathless attraction, as alluring as it is forbidden.

*Foolish Kingdoms, Book #1. Can also be read as a standalone.*

*Mature young adult/new adult: sexual content and language. For readers 17 and older.*

Book quotes:

“Broken hearts made faults and fools of us all.”

“A fool is a man who believes glory can be found at the tip of a sword instead of on the tip of his tongue. That is life’s cruel trick.”

“The greatest courage a person can have is to love another, for there are only two outcomes. Either the love lasts, and our lives are compromised, or it doesn’t, and our lives are emptied. Either way, we suffer more than we celebrate. I’ve enjoyed suffering with you. We are a tale for campfires. That is all. That is everything.”

Links:

Amazon Links:

 

Touch Cover_preview

 

Title: Touch

Categories/genres:

Mature young adult, new adult, romance, fantasy romance, mythology romance, mythology retellings

One-line description:

A female Eros named Love, who’s destined to match the mortal boy she loves with another mortal girl.

On the cover: She’s a myth. He’s a mortal. Fate is tempted.

Summary:

The myth of Eros isn’t the truth. Her story is the truth…

Love is an immortal bad girl. With a strike of her arrow and a smirk on her face, she pins human hearts together against their will. It’s for their own good, of course—silly, clueless creatures that they are.

But Love has never loved. Not until the Fates parcel her off to a small, frostbitten town littered with needy souls. Not until she crosses paths with Andrew, a boy whose gaze locks onto hers. Yet how can this be? Mortals don’t have the power to see deities.

The longer they’re friends, the more Love wishes she could touch Andrew. In gentle ways. In other tempting and reckless ways as well.

It’s impossible. She isn’t a true part of his world. She’s an outsider whose fingers will only ever sweep through him. A mischievous, invisible goddess who’s destined to be alone. And he’s destined for someone else. By order of the Fates, it’s Love’s duty to betray his trust. To seal his heart while ignoring the gash in her own.

Or she could become human. For there is one very tricky, very dangerous way to do so.

If only Andrew felt the same about her, it might be worth the risk.

*Mature young adult/new adult: sexual content and language. For readers 17 and older.*

Book quotes:

“Who are you?” he whispers.

The glossy darkness surrounds them, snow collects on their shoulders, and the far-from-innocent question hangs by a thread in the air.

Don’t tell him, she warns herself. Then she does the opposite.

Pulling her hand away from his, she gives a mocking bow and flashes a devious grin. “My name is Love.”

 

She watches him for hours. She wants to be the sheets that cover his toes. She wants to be the ceiling separating him from the sky: above him, the first thing he sees before and after dreams. She wants to be the open window letting in the light for him.

If she could explore and heal his injuries with her fingers, it would be another type of magic, her skin making contact with his. Putting her mind to it, Love would become familiar with his body. She would know him from top to bottom, from beginning to end. 

Touching this boy would be the death, and life, of her.

She falls into his lips, thinking that maybe kisses have a bottom. Maybe she can find it, and if she does, that’s where she will hide.

 

Links:

Amazon Links:

 

Natalia-Author Pic_preview

Natalia Jaster

andshewaits@gmail.com

Bio:

My kindergarten teacher told my mom that I stared out the window too much, daydreaming instead of paying attention in class. It’s true. Eventually I learned to focus more in school (and to love it), but the daydreaming never stopped. So after earning my master’s in creative writing and spending a bunch of fun years as a magazine editor, I became a storyteller.

I’m really into opposites attracting and romances between characters from different worlds. I like to dream up settings that are real yet mystical. I love when raw angst collides with lyrical beauty, sweetness escalates to hotness. And I definitely love treading the line between YA and NA.

I’m also a total fool for first-kiss scenes, fanfiction, libraries, and starry nights.

Social:

Website: www.nataliajaster.com

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/nataliajaster

Instagram: www.instagram.com/nataliajaster

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NataliaJasterAuthor

Tumblr: www.andshewaits.tumblr.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/andshewaits

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Natalia-Jaster/e/B00OEZHIQ6

 

Giveaway!

Natalia will be doing a giveaway on her Instagram, (10/27 – 10/30), to celebrate Touch’s book birthday. https://www.instagram.com/nataliajaster/

 

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The Divinity Bureau: Author Interview + Excerpt

Title: The Divinity Bureau

Author: Tessa Clare

Date of Publication: September 21st, 2017

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Summary:

The Hunger Games meets Romeo and Juliet in a stunning debut about a forbidden romance between a young activist and a government employee for a corrupt bureau that controls the population by deciding who lives and who dies.

Roman Irvine is a disgruntled IT Technician for the Divinity Bureau, a government agency that uses random selection to decide who lives and who dies. In a world where overpopulation has lead to pollution, a crippled economy, and a world in crisis, he’s accepted the bureau’s activities as a necessity… until he meets April McIntyre.

April has every reason to be suspicious of Roman. He works for the Divinity Bureau, which sent her father to an early grave. But he’s also sweet and loyal, and unbeknownst to her, he saved her life. As Roman and April fall deeper in love, the deeper they’re thrust into the politics of deciding who lives and who dies. Someone wants April dead. And the bureau’s process of random selection may not be so random after all…

 

THE DIVINITY BUREAU – Excerpt

I take the elevator to the third floor, where April’s bedroom is. There are only two rooms on that floor, and April’s room is the one with a door that’s been slammed shut. I give it a knock. “April?”

No answer. I try again.

“April, it’s Roman.”

My only response is silence.

“Listen, I know you’re upset. I know you probably don’t want to talk about it right now…” I pause, listening for a sound from the other side of the door. “But I was hoping that I could change your mind. Or at least get you to talk to me.”

I wait for a response, but none comes.

“Could you at least open the door?”

The door doesn’t bulge. I sigh and slide to the floor. I’m ready to give up when I hear a voice from the other side of the door: “Can you answer one question for me?”

I press my ears against the door, afraid that I might miss something if I stop paying attention for a split second. “Of course,” I answer softly.

April’s voice is so soft that it sounds like a whisper. “Why didn’t you do anything to stop it?”

My mouth falls open. “What?”

“You heard me,” April says, her voice growing louder with newfound determination. “Why didn’t you stop my mother from being elected?”

I press my forehead against the door, wincing at her words.

“You work for The Divinity Bureau,” April continues on. “You have a part in deciding who lives and who dies.”

“April, there wasn’t anything that I could do to stop it.”

“You could have tried,” she hisses.

I don’t know what to say.‘She’s hurting,’ I tell myself. People say awful things when they’re upset. Still, my reasoning doesn’t heal the sting from her words.

“Trust me,” I say, pressing my brows together. “I never wanted this to happen. The last thing I ever wanted was for you – or your family – to get hurt.”

“It’s not just about my family.”

“Then what is this about?” I ask, my voice growing desperate. “Please – tell me, what do I need to do to make this better?”

“How many people have died since you started working for the bureau?”

I’m taken aback by her question. “I…”

I don’t know what to say.

Unfortunately, my silence is the only answer that April needs. “I knew it.”

“Knew what?”

“You sit behind a computer all day,” April says bitterly. “You see a name on your screen – not realizing that this is a person with a life, a family, hopes, and dreams. Then you destroy that life by electing them to die!”

Her words hurt. I wish she’d open the damn door so that she could see.

“I get it,” she continues. “There’s only so much you can do. But once the day is over, you go home, collect a paycheck, and forget about it. That’s what I can’t seem to understand.”

I slam a fist against the door. “It’s not like that! Trust me, April, there is so much that you don’t know – things that I want to tell you…”

I want to tell her everything: the election report, seeing her name on the list, coming to her work, the ruined hack job on her father’s computer, and the research that I had done on her family. I let out a breath. “I’ll tell you everything if you’ll please open the door.”

I press an ear against the door, not caring if I fall over. But I never do.

The last thing I hear from April is a solid, “No.”

 

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Author Interview:

What inspired you to write The Divinity Bureau?

It’s a crazy story! When I was nineteen years old, I was in an unfortunate situation where I was homeless and living in my car. I remember thinking, “There’s no room for me in this world” and just blaming everything I could for my situation, including overpopulation.

During that time, I was also spending a lot of time in the library. The place was the perfect place to be during that period in my life. It was open late, it had heat, but most importantly, it had books to keep me entertained. I was reading a lot of dystopian books. I had also just watched An Inconvenient Truth. On top of that, I’m a hopeless romantic at heart. All of those elements came together to form The Divinity Bureau.

Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

My favorite character is April. Interestingly enough, I had a tough time connecting with her at first. When I started writing The Divinity Bureau, I would skim over writing her parts. She’s the daughter of a wealthy politician, so she’s a brat at times. I also couldn’t relate to some of the problems that she faces throughout the novel.

To make her more relatable to me, I created the storyline of her being cut off from her trust fund. I also gave her a job as a barista, because that’s the job that I was working at the time. And as I started writing more of her scenes, I began to see more of myself in her – from her stubbornness to her innate desire to make an impact on the world. So far, the feedback I’ve gotten is that people like Roman more; but April will always have a special spot in my heart.

What made you want to become a writer?

I started writing when I was seven. I think it’s just something that I was born with. I even attempted to write my first chapter book when I was nine! (I made it to three chapters)

I think I was just born with an expressive personality, and writing is my way of making sense of the world.

What book are you currently reading?

Your book, actually! Just started reading The Bride of Glass!

How many books do you plan to have in this series?

Roman and April’s story is going to be a trilogy, but I’ve had a couple of ideas swirling around for prequels. The world of The Divinity Bureau has so much history, and I’d love to explore the stories behind them.

Do you have a favorite scene in the book?

My favorite scene is Roman and April’s first fight as a couple. I don’t want to spoil it by giving away the reason for it, but April asks Roman how many people have died since he started working for the bureau. At first, he’s flabbergasted. He doesn’t know because he’s never thought about it. To him, it’s a job. He does his work and collects a paycheck at the end of the day, not thinking about the implications of his work. But people die under his watch. And you can see his mindset shift in that moment and throughout the rest of the story.

What challenges do you face while writing?

I think the biggest challenge is not letting life get in the way of my dreams. I mentioned earlier that I was living in my car when I started writing this story, but I soon began to move up in my career. By the time I was 23, I was promoted to a corporate manager. But I always came back to writing – it was my dream since I was a kid to write a novel, and I didn’t want to leave that behind.

Still, it was challenging when I’d watch people my age spend their weekends at the bar while I was holed up in my apartment working on this book. They’d come back and tell me these crazy stories that I missed out on, and I felt like I was missing out. When the book was done and I finally had time to come out with them, I started to realize that those nights, while fun, didn’t compare to the feeling of accomplishment after a period of hard work.

Favorite color.

Black. Half of my closet is black. If I could, I’d probably even make my book covers black!

What advice do you have for future writers?

As cliché as this might sound, the best advice is to keep writing and to follow your dreams. I listened to Gary Vaynerchuk give a talk about what it means to become an “overnight success.” When he started making it big, he would have friends email him and tell him that he got lucky and became an overnight success. But he spent every weekend from the time he was fifteen until he was thirty honing his craft. And I think writers need to do the same. We hear these stories about new authors debuting on the New York Times Bestseller list and think about how we’ll never get there – but there are two factors here: 1) you don’t need a movie deal and to be on the bestseller list to be a success. I have a friend with an email list of 10,000 subscribers who makes her living writing romance novels. And 2) “overnight success” doesn’t happen overnight. You still have to keep working on your craft, working on your marketing, and learn and grow along the way.

What do you like about dystopian books?

Honestly, the world is constantly evolving. New technology comes out every day. New trends emerge. Cultures shift. All of these things have an impact on the world. What I like about dystopian books is the way authors interpret the things happening today and the impact that they might have in the future – whether it’s the discovery of immortality (as in The Divinity Bureau) or an atomic war (such as in 1984).

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About Tessa:

Tessa Clare is the author of The Divinity Bureau. When she’s not writing, she’s an entrepreneur, an activist, a speaker, and the Managing Director of Asset Creative House.

Born in 1992, she started her early career as a concession stand attendant, a busgirl, a barista, a player’s club representative for a casino, and an administrative assistant. She also spent years working as a corporate manager, where the groundwork for Asset Creative House was inspired.

The Divinity Bureau is Tessa’s debut novel about a forbidden love between a young activist and a government employee working for a corrupt bureau, set in a dystopian world.

Link (including Buy links): www.divinitybureau.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tessaclareofficial/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tessaclareauthor/

 

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How does this book sound to you?

Summerlypse: Author Interview + Excerpt

First off, I really liked the style of writing the author used when I read this book. Second off, the teens felt like actual teens.

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Summary:

After his crush rejects him, seventeen-year-old Colton catches a plane to Mexico, hoping to forget all about girls. But a night out at a dance club crowded with long legs in miniskirts doesn’t help, especially when he meets the club’s beautiful DJ, Alex.

In awe of her mixing skills, Colton finds it hard to believe Alex is deaf. As they bond, she asks him to help her win a DJ contest behind her rich, estranged father’s back.

Colton’s not a wimp or anything, but millionaires with armed bodyguards are not his ideal vacation buddies. The only problem—if he helps her, he may fly back home in a body bag.

Excerpt:
 
“Who’s the other girl?” Martin asks.
“Does it matter?”
He puts a hand on my shoulder. “In the matter of beautiful women it matters.”
I roll my eyes. “Chloe,” I say reluctantly, and he’s like, “The…?” and I’m like, “Yup.” And he draws a guitar-shaped girl in the air. “The one with…?” And I point at the imaginary girl. “That’s the one.” He gives me a WTF look. “No way.” And I’m like, “Sí way.”
He does his eyebrow wiggling thing. “I still think you should connect with them, and I mean connect at the metaphysical level without the meta. And—”
“Stop. Can’t you see Miranda broke my heart?”
“Broke your heart? That’s so lame. Sometimes I think you’re the girliest dude friend I’ve ever had.”
“And sometimes I think you’re…you’re…the Mexicanest friend I’ve ever had.”

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Author Interview: Bailey Ordiway

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Summary for Blackout:

In the future, after the world has succumbed to war. The government we know has collapsed, and the power has been turned off. A new government reigns supreme that wants nothing but control, and to hide the truth. Who will be able to stop us from being held down in a life before freedom or technology? Who will reveal the secrets and get the lights turned back on?

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Summary for Entertainment 100:

Entertainment 100 is a collectors edition. A compilation of posts featured on Baileybee.me

In March of 2015 Bailey had a realization. If he started an entertainment review site than he would be able to write on a daily basis, even when he is having writers block for his next novel… Bailey’s critiques have been described as personable, conversational, and honest. So, open it up and share his taste in Everyday Entertainment.

Actor, Book, Documentary, Game, Movie, Music, Stand-up, Trailer, TV and YouTube reviews. Along with Lists, and Articles.

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Summary for American Holdovers:

Contraband, fraternizing, fight clubs, and a hurricane.

In the military there is a group of people known as holdovers. A holdover is someone that was seen unfit for duty once they arrived for basic training. They then wait around, sometimes months on end doing the dirty work on base till they get to go home. This is the untold story of just a few of them.

Based on a true story.

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Award winning blogger/critic and established self-published author.

Author Interview:

What made you want to become a writer?
I’ve always loved writing, ever since I was a little kid. I have always wanted to see my name on bookshelves though. I wanted to be able to walk in a bookstore and sneakily sign a couple of my books.

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