Tag Archives: teen fiction

THE NEXT BIG THING

Hi guys!

Author Stephanie Judice tagged me to take part in “The Next Big Thing” and answer ten questions about my current work in progress, so away we go …
1. What is the working title of your next book?

See? This is hard already because I’m currently working on three books at once, and yes, I need psychological help. I guess I’d better pick one or this could get really confusing. 🙂

2. Where did the idea come from?

My eldest daughter. We were discussing parallel universes, ancient dragon folklore, medieval knights and well, erm, hot guys. The story unfolded from there.

3. What genre does your book fall under?
Young adult, urban fantasy, paranormal romance. Yeah, I guess that’s it 🙂
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Okay, Renne Castrucci works for my hero.
Hurts don’t it? Too old?  Maybe Marlon Teixeira
Now the heroine?
Quinn Cooper
quinn35_large.jpg
Or Emma Watson
5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Ex-gypsy, Kylie Rivers just wants to stay in one place, but when she accidently rescues a handsome boy from military experimentation, they’re forced to run—together—and life is anything but settled.

6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Good question! First I’ll focus on writing the best dern book that is within my power to write. (I want you to like reading my stuff, guys. I’m working my butt off to bring you something you’ll love) Next, I’ll send the sucker out there and see if I can get a publisher excited. I’ve not self-published before, I know I need more eyes on my work than my own. I admit I’m a bit of a helpless Bambi in this business and need the marketing/editing savvy of someone that is not me!

7. How long did it take you to write the first draught of the manuscript?
Ugh, still writing so I guess I can’t answer yet. The plot is uber complex, so this story has taken me longer to weave than Crux, my debut novel. That one took four months.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within the same genre?
That’s the cool part. I can’t! I’m sure it’s out there, (my writing buddy, Claire Gillian, reminds me there’s nothing brand new, just twists on old ideas and she’s right) but I haven’t read a story exactly like this yet. Hooray! 🙂
9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I’m into mythology, fantasy, fairy tales and legends. I like the idea of twisting them to fit a modern scenario. If most myths are based on an actual event that was exaggerated over time, what was the ititial story and how can I bring that to life today? I love that crap! The more fantastic, the better. If you read Crux, you know I ask my readers to suspend belief, and trust me while I strap them to a bullet and take them for a ride.
10. What else about your book might pique the readers’ interest?
See question 4. Just sit there awhile and stare. 🙂 My interest is piqued, how about yours?

And now, I’m tagging Emi Gayle , J. Keller Ford , Amaleen Ison , Jennifer M. Eaton and Stephanie Lawton to share information on their current works-in-progress. Thanks to Stephanie Judice for including me in her post to begin with! ((hugs))

If you want to check out my debut novel Crux you can find it here:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/crux-julie-reece/1111017373?ean=9781937744069&r=1%2c+1&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10%3a1&

http://www.amazon.com/Crux-ebook/dp/B008HACN50/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1349436752&sr=1-1


Author Interview with Stephanie Judice

Hi everyone! Meet Stephanie …

About this author:

Stephanie Judice calls lush, moss-laden New Iberia, Louisiana, home where the landscape curls into her imagination creating mystical settings for her stories. She shares her small, southern lifestyle with her husband and four children. As a high school teacher of English and Fine Arts, she is immersed in mythology, legends, and art that serve as constant inspiration for her writings. Some of her favorite things are autumn leaves, southern accents, Gothic architecture, Renaissance festivals, family movie nights, and, of course, William Shakespeare. Writing is her haven for self-expression where imagination rules and dreams do come true. RISING is her debut novel in the paranormal, teen series SAGA OF THE SETTI.

Lovely, right? Now meet her new book …

Having waited a millennium to return to the fertile feeding ground of earth, the dark giants break through a portal and storm out into the world in the guise of a massive hurricane—famished and fierce. Across the ocean, seventeen-year-old Gabriel Goddard is being plagued by terrifying nightmares about creatures that singe and burn the flesh then absorb the life energy of humans and devour the ashes. A chance meeting with Clara Dunaway immediately distracts Gabe from bad dreams. He has always had a sort of sixth sense—to feel the emotions of others around him. Clara’s presence numbs his other sense, nearly knocking him into a hypnotic state. Bewildered and fascinated, he is lured in by her. When Clara finally confesses that she has a similar gift to see auras around people, a spark flames between them, ignited by a paranormal force. Fate soon reveals that there is a higher purpose for their attraction. Along with Jeremy, the head-bangin’ metal head; Ben, the air-headed golden boy; Melanie, the kind- hearted Creole; and the old hermit named Homer, they must face this enemy as one. Discovering that they are descended from an ancient clan of Norse warriors, they awaken their dormant powers, preparing for the dark giants’ imminent invasion of their home. A shadow of darkness veils the land. Will the Setti rise to fulfill their long-awaited destiny?

Stephanie will now take your questions:

Q. Tell us about your book!

RISING  is a paranormal teen romance set in southern Louisiana. Gabe and Clara are being plagued by terrifying nightmares of hellish creatures that singe and burn the flesh then devour the ashes. What they don’t realize is that these nightmares foretell reality. They soon discover that they, as well as four other friends, are descended from Norse warriors with ancient powers to defeat these demons come in to destroy their world. This first book in the series sets the stage for a dystopian series. Book two, RESISTANCE, is due out this October where they continue their journey north to train and battle with other clans.

Q. How did you come up with the idea?

Well, I knew I wanted to create villains that didn’t exist in our folklore, as vampires and werewolves do, but very well could have if we looked hard enough.  I have a fascination with Celtic and Norse mythology which played a big part in developing my characters and their world. I also wanted the heroes in my story to depend upon faith, hope, and each other in order to defeat their enemy rather than the fate of the world falling on one person’s shoulders.

Q. What’s your main character’s greatest strength, biggest flaw?

I have two main characters. Gabe’s greatest strength is his loyalty to those he loves. His greatest weakness is his inability to control his emotions. He’s also very passionate, which plays into his strength and his weakness. Clara’s greatest strength is her tenacious spirit. Her greatest weakness is when her tenacity transforms into stubbornness.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing for you?

Editing. I once worked as an editor for a small publishing company and am now an English teacher, so I completely understand the need for editing. It’s just still a painstaking process. However, that shiny feeling when I’ve polished my work (with the help of amazing editors) is certainly worth all the effort.

Q. What one question do you wish an interviewer would ask you but never has?

Hmmmm… What’s your favorite color? Just kidding! (Green, by the way.) I suppose the question, “Why do you write?” The simple answer is to express my emotions, to tell stories that float around in my head, to share my love of literature. But, delving a layer deeper, I can say that I can’t not write. I believe other writers may agree with me that there is a constant compulsion to create worlds and dynamic characters and have them play out their performance on the page. Like the artist who feels compelled to paint on the canvas or a musician who must play or compose, I feel a similar sense of contentment when I am working on a story. Writing has its own kind of catharsis. I believe that it is often overlooked as a true art form.

Q. What are you working on now? Do you tend to work on multiple projects or one at a time?

I’m currently editing RESISTANCE, book two in the Setti series, which will be released this October. I’m more excited about this book than RISING, if that’s possible. I’ve also started a new novel, a demon hunter paranormal romance, set in New Orleans. I’m looking forward to working on this new novel, because it has a raw, edgy feel with a kick-butt heroine. I just love writing in her voice. I also enjoy angel/demon mythology, so this is a new subgenre of paranormal that will be fun to dive into.

Q. What is your favorite line from this book?

This was a tough question! Here’s one: “It was our ever-increasing spread of fear in this world, our faithless abuse of one brother to another that lured these dark beasts here to feed on the hopeless. The mere thought of what we’d brought on ourselves made me angry at our own ignorance.”

Q. Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes, in some fashion or another. I majored in journalism in college until one professor announced that journalists had no morals and were required to get the story no matter what. After class, I marched myself across the street to the Arts and Sciences department and switched my major to English: Creative Writing.

Q. Was there any part that you struggled with or avoided writing?

Wow. Hmmmm . . . I’d probably say the kissing and intimate scenes. While I absolutely cannot live without romance, in literature and in life, I become angst-ridden when writing these scenes, because I want so much for them to come across as genuine and passionate to the reader rather than hokey and cheesy.

Q. What are you reading right now? Do you read a book at a time or more than one?

The Moon Dwellers by David Estes. I’ve had it on my TBR list for a while now, so I’m glad to finally start reading. I usually don’t read two books at one time. The only exception is when one book doesn’t keep my interest. Then I have to venture away and come back later.

Q. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

A main pastime at our house is family movie nights with my husband and four children.  (My husband makes amazing, super-buttery home-popped popcorn.) I definitely enjoy reading and hanging out on Goodreads, where I’ve met some fabulous people in the book-world (including Julie Reece). I spend a great deal of time at my two sons’ football games on the weekends. Of course, I enjoy reading—mostly paranormal and YA. And, I love, love, love quiet nights at home with my husband and a good glass of wine. (This is hard to come by during football season.)

Q. What was your favorite book/who was your favorite writer as a teen?

Okay, total book nerd that I am, I discovered Charlotte Bronte when I was sixteen, and her novel Jane Eyre has been my favorite ever since. This tantalizing tale of Gothic romance in the haunting countryside of the English moors has been my muse for a long, long time. Jane is a strong, unassuming heroine who ignores class barriers and Victorian society to follow her heart. The happily-ever-after is wonderfully surprising after all she endures, and I love a tough heroine who beats the odds. I’m a sucker for the underdog.

 Q. Who is your favorite writer now?

How could you possibly ask me this question? It’s so hard to choose! There are so many books that I love, but if I would go with style and storytelling, I’d have to choose Juliet Marillier. She tells beautifully written tales with Celtic folklore and magic twisted into realistic, old-world settings. Her characters are diverse and definitely heroines that you want to root for. Her Sevenwaters series is worth reading over and over again.

 Q. What is the best young adult book you’ve read so far in 2012?

Well, I expect it to be Crux (which is at the top of my TBR list now), but I’ve actually not read very many YAs recently. I’ve been stuck on paranormal romance in the adult genre for some reason—friend recommendations. But, I suppose I’d have to say Blood Warriors by H.D. Gordon.

Q. What do you see emerging as the next big trend in young adult literature?

Interestingly, I’ve noticed an emerging genre that has formed due to a lapse in categories in between YA and Adult. New Adult or NA is a category targeting readers in between high school and their late twenties, before they’ve established a career, family, and the like. My new demon hunter novel will be categorized in this genre as my heroine is a 20-year-old college student.

Q. Have you ever wanted to quit writing? Why? What made you keep going?

Yes. Why? Complete and utter frustration that I would be the only one to ever read my stories besides a handful of friends. I suppose you could say I was pouting for a few months. After writing RISING (I’d already written three other novels that I’d shelved as not-my-genre), I felt so much that it was worthy of publication. After dozens of rejections from agents, I put the book away and just stopped writing for a bit, unsure what to do next. Then an old friend of mine, now my editor, contacted me out of the blue about my writing. (Can you say, divine intervention?) With her knowledge of marketing and the new, growing industry of independent publishing, doors opened for my first-published novel. With new vigor, I launched back into my story of Gabe and Clara. I have forever been an optimist, and can happily say I will never let those doubts creep in on me again.

Q. If you could have a career besides being an author, what would it be?

I’d love to be a literary agent where I’d be immersed in the book-world, helping other authors launch their career, meeting cool people, going to writers’ conferences, etc. I suppose I just can’t imagine any other job that doesn’t include books and stories. Oh, if I had any sort of brain for business, I’d open a little book store/coffee shop. I wouldn’t make a dime with my lack of business sense, but man, would it be a cool place to hang out every day! And, of course, I’d have author readings/signings ALL the time.

Q. We love animals! Do you have any pets? Can you tell us a bit about them?

I’m attaching pics of our two cats London and Petie. Funny story about Petie. First, London is a boy, which we learned after we named him. And we took Petie home after my kids found her in the bushes at our church, St. Peter’s (hence the name). Petie, we’ve discovered, is very much a girl. She’s quite pregnant at the moment. You can tell she’s big in the belly in this pic. Before getting herself “with litter” she was very tiny.

With the drop in barometric pressure because of Hurricane Isaac, I keep waiting for her to go into labor. She’s acting very skittish today.  Oh, we’re pretty sure that London is the doting father. He looks pretty smug and proud of himself in the pic I sent (even though that was last Christmas). 😉

Thanks so much for joining us here today! We had a blast having you visit, come back anytime!!

I just want to say thank you to the lovely Julie Reece, who is a southern kindred spirit. Knowing she is a highly acclaimed author and just downright terrific person, I am honored she asked me to visit her blog and share thoughts with her wonderful readers.

(I paid her to say that stuff about me) Just kidding.

Here’s more info on todays author:

Blog:  http://stephaniejudice.blogspot.com/

Goodreads fan site: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/77113-stephanie-judice-s-fan-site

FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Saga-of-the-Setti/203566846334918

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Rising-Saga-Setti-ebook/dp/B004YXL72O/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1346267460&sr=8-2&keywords=stephanie+judice

Okay guys, that’s our show for today. Thanks so much for stopping by. I love you people, by the way. Oh and Stephanie’s was pretty great, too. I really like this girl, must be that we both love Jane Eyre and the color green 🙂 Not to mention she’s just plain nice.  She was a really good sport putting up with all my crazy questions … wouldn’t you agree?

UPDATE!

The babies are here!

Stepahine says:

They’re so cute how they sleep in a big ball. There are two silver tabbies like her and two calicos. Though the calicos look all black they have little spots of white and orange. We’re calling one Patch bc he has a spot right over his eye. 🙂 

Oh my gosh, I want one, don’t you?


Young Adult Giveaway Hop August 8th to 14th

It’s finally here!

August 8th to 14th

*** Thanks for entering! This contest is now closed. Winners announced soon!!

Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Reading Teen

First a blog shout out to the people who organized this great hop!

And …

Very nice.  Thanks you guys!

Now on to the free stuff.    So …

I’m giving away two books one book picked wily-nilly to two different entrants. Make sense? Awesome.

Here’s how to play …

Do one of the following: (though if you’d like to do all four that’s be skippy!)

Go here and like my author page http://www.facebook.com/author.julieareece?ref=tn_tnmn or go here and check out my debut novel, click to add it to your to-be-read list. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13265572-crux or go here and follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/JulieAReece or follow my blog 🙂

Pick one or more. That’s it. Easy Breezy! 🙂

And here are the titles I’m giving away:

Insurgent

Here’s the blurb:

One choice can transform you–or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves–and herself–while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable–and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

Crux

Here’s the blurb:

She should have run. Now, she’ll have to fight.

Eighteen year old Birdie may be homeless, but she’s surviving, that is until a mysterious guy throws money in the air like a crazy game show host, and she grabs some with the idea she’ll be able to buy dinner that night.

In that singular moment, unassuming Birdie becomes the girl in everyone’s viewfinder. Thugs want to kill her. Money-guy wants to recruit her. The very hot, very rich, and very out of her league Grey Mathews wants to save her.

Birdie, though, wants nothing to do with any of them, until she realizes fate didn’t bring them all together.

Her heritage did.

Now, with only twenty-one days left, she’s got to decide whether to follow in the footsteps of those before her or risk her life for people she’s only just met.

Here’s what people are saying about Crux:

“Crux was amazing! That’s as straightforward as it gets. Julie Reece has written a captivating story that will draw you in, and will keep you trying to put the pieces all together.” — Burning Impossibly Bright

“ I found myself truly engrossed, emotionally, within the story – tears threatening to fall, as well as smiles breaking out.   I cannot wait to read more work by Julie Reece!” — Romancing The Book

“Crux is completely original and addictive. Birdie’s voice is young and cool giving Crux a fresh tone that will appeal to all ages. A fun romance and adventurous read, Crux will stay with readers long after the last page is read!” — Lovey Dovey Books

“The story line is flawless. Reece escorts you through her book with what seems like effortless prose. She reveals just the right amount of information at just the right time, building a story that is completing intriguing.” — BrookeD (Reader)

“Reece pulls off some twists and turns that I didn’t see coming even though the clues were there all along. Thank you, Ms. Reece, for making sure I was so invested in Birdie and her mission I didn’t see the signs until she did.” — J. Keller Ford – Author, Amulet of Ormisez

“Crux is a smart, heart-rending and empowering addition to YA urban fantasy that will appeal to Cassandra Clare fans, lore fans and really, anyone who appreciates tough characters that know how to tug readers’ heartstrings.” — Stephanie Lawton — Author, Want

“Julie Reece has a gift for conveying deep emotions with her writing.  I felt Birdie’s regret, distrust, apprehension, excitement and joy.  And I love the characters – small and large!!!” — Known To Read

“I have to say that Ms. Reece has to be one of the most talented authors on the planet. I know I’m gushing right now, but I loved this book that much.” — ChristieR (Reader)

“Action-packed with a memorable cast of characters, Crux will easily appeal to teen and adult readers, whether or not they love urban fantasy.” — Mrs. ReaderPants

“Julie Reece’s CRUX is a refreshing and gritty young adult novel with glimmers of the paranormal, glimpses of the historical, and more than a dash of romance and mystery.” — Surrounded by Books Reviews

Check out all the other great blog giveaways here!

http://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=154086

Good luck everyone! Thanks for stopping by. Leave a comment and tell me what you think of the hop!!! 🙂


Amaleen Ison lets her hair down

Hi everybody!

Today I’ve got a treat!

I’m excited to introduce fantastic writer and friend, Amaleen Ison.  I completely and utterly love this story and I’m jealous of  the rich and gorgeous voice she writes with. Follow me and get to know the lovely Ms. Ison better …

Here’s the cover and blub for her story…

Eighteen-year-old Millie Scrubbings must decide if she can stomach her responsibilities as Hell’s new Gatekeeper, or risk the denizens of Hell defiling her home turf.

When eighteen year old Millie Scrubbings moves to new digs on East London’s Nightingale Estate, she believes she’s finally closed the door on a childhood dictated by strangers. But overnight, her peaceful high-rise turns bonkers, and a series of grisly murders leaves Millie frightened and more helpless than ever.

Millie must accept her lead role in rescuing Nightingale from its descent into anarchy, or risk all Hell breaking loose.

Here’s what people had to say who loved it like I did …

♣ Demons, angels, hellhounds, gate keepers and familiars all packed in to one fast, fun story. Goodreads Review

♣ All of the ingrediants of a fantastic read were there–fast pacing, clever writing, high-stakes, and heavy on the occult and paranormal. Plus it doesn’t hurt that this author seems to have a knack for writing descriptions stunning in their originality! Amazon review

♣ Her descriptions are spectacular, writing style smooth and engaging, and her imagination knows no bounds. This tale will have you gripping your e-reader, flipping page after page until you make it to the end. Goodreads Review

♦♦♦

And now on to Amaleen herself  …

Amaleen Ison is a 35 year old married mother of one. She lives with her family in Hertfordshire, England, along with her two cats (Oscar and Winston) and two guinea pigs (Thelma and LouLou). She writes Young Adult fantasy stories that meander into a variety of sub-genres – urban, paranormal, supernatural, preternatural, and horror.

Is that all?

Of course not.

As a child, I lived most of my life in my head. I’d go about my daily routine, but imagine myself in mystical lands populated by the weird and wonderful.

At twelve years of age, I read a fantasy series called The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce. The story follows Alanna of Trebond, a girl of noble birth who switches places with her twin brother to train as a knight. It was the first YA book I’d read, and I gobbled up every word. I couldn’t think of anything else but Alanna’s adventures for months after, and I harassed the school librarian to order the entire quartet. The poor woman grew to hate my daily pestering at the enquiry desk.

Even now, as an adult, I read YA books. The fantasy element is important, but more so the raw emotion of a first experience. Whether it’s first love, first ride on a broomstick, or first battle with a demon, the hodgepodge of emotions that result from each new encounter fuel my passion for reading and writing YA fiction.

Ms Ison will now take your questions …

Q. As an adult, what is your favourite genre to read and write? Why?

I’m never so happy as when I’m reading YA books. Genre isn’t especially important, but I tend to read more fantasy and horror than anything else. I love YA books because the emotion is amplified. You experience everything as if it’s fresh and brand new. Who wouldn’t want to fall in love for the first time over and over again, or share that first kiss a hundred times over?

Q. What books first inspired you as a child/teen?

I could talk for hours about the books I read as a child, because I took something special from each and every one of them.  But the novel that began my love affair with YA books was from a fantasy series called The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce. The protagonist, Alanna, switched places with her twin brother to train as a knight. The subterfuge and romance blew my mind. I couldn’t think of anything else but Alanna’s adventures for months after.

Q. Can you chat briefly about your road to publication?

I’d dreamt of writing a book for years, but never did anything about it until after my daughter was born. The thought of creating a novel she might one day read, love, and cherish ignited something in me.

I’m a tenacious woman once I set my mind to something and set about teaching myself to write by reading mountains of craft books and joining on-line critique groups. The most helpful was a writing community called Scribophile. The site ran all sorts of short-story and flash competitions. My entries to those competitions eventually got published and gave me confidence to submit larger works to new markets. I also benefited from meeting lots of amazing writers like you, Julie. J

Q. What was your inspiration for ‘The Trouble with Nightingale’?

The Trouble with Nightingale developed from an anthology prompt about witches. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the story ran too long and veered from the original premise – as my stories so often do. When I realised I couldn’t sub to the anthology, I looked to other publishing markets and found Musa Publishing. They were prepared to print my novella as a solo publication, and that really appealed (of course J).

Q. What was the most challenging scene you’ve ever written?

I find any scene that requires backstory seamlessly woven into dialogue rather tricky. The conversation always starts off sounding contrived and authorly.

Q. What type of reader does your work appeal to?

Everyone, I hope. J

Q. What advice would you give to aspiring YA novelists?

The key to successful writing is reading (lots), learning craft, and seeking feedback.

Q. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love anything that involves escapism. So reading, watching films, drawing and painting all feature near the top of my favourite things to do list. But, the top spot goes to spending time with my daughter. J

Q. We’re huge animal people here. Can you tell us a bit about your pets and how they came to be in your life?  (If you’re willing, please include any photos of your pets I might post)

It’s been a slow process introducing my husband to pets. He never had any as a child and wasn’t keen to open up his home to them. But …he’ll do anything for our little girl. When she asked for a guinea pig, he couldn’t refuse. He bought her two, Thelma and Lou-lou, who have the run of our back garden (which is fully enclosed) in the summer and an open cage in the house to jump in an out of in the winter (because we don’t believe in caging animals).

Next my daughter asked for a kitten. J Hubby bought her two, because he couldn’t bear to leave the last one (the runt) behind. Yes, my husband is a total softy. One year on, Oscar and Winston are full family members. We wouldn’t be without them.

I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that my five year old doesn’t ask for a pony next. We couldn’t fit a stable in our backyard.

For more on this wonderful author:

http://musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=162

http://www.amazon.com/The-Trouble-with-Nightingale-ebook/dp/B00700EYL4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1341224676&sr=8-1&keywords=the+trouble+with+nightingale

http://www.amaleenison.com

Thanks Amaleen, for letting us get to know you better. It’s been wonderful having you today.

For my readers, doesn’t her story sound fantastic? Give us a shout out and let us know what you think …


Book signing adventure …

I had a ball at my first book signing on Saturday. I admit the whole thing felt surreal, as though I was sitting in someone else’s chair, filling in, until they got back from the bathroom. I am telling you this published author gig just didn’t feel real.

And then it did.

I felt like Clark Kent who went into the phone booth and came out Superman, because the longer I was there, the more I felt at home with that other side of me. The one who can be outgoing, and even bold in a group.

I loved meeting/visiting with new people and answering their questions. It was fun to talk about Crux (a favorite subject of mine) and I met several teens who shared their dreams of being published themselves. I tried to encourage everyone to follow their dreams and not give up, and I did it with a stupid, sappy grin on my face because I’m so happy a dream of mine came true July 9th with the release of my book.

Below are a few shots taken at the signing. I’m giving a big shout out and thank you to Books for Less for being an amazing host and featuring my book on their shelves. Ya’ll rock!

I got to talk with the coolest people today!

A few fans who dropped by around 11:00 🙂

I’ve never been so excited to write my own name!

Isn’t it pretty?

More signing and talking, very cool.

There must be sugar!

My awesome cover, I just love it!

Isn’t she cute? Gorgeous hair like a cover model. 🙂

I was there from eleven to three, sold a lot of books and talked shop with people who share my love of reading and writing. It was a blast, and I’m grateful to everyone who came by! 🙂 Let’s do it again!!!


Crux Unleashed! Today is the Day …

July 9th may be special for a lot of different reasons. Maybe it’s your anniversary, or the day you had a baby or reached a long time goal. I get that, because for me, it feels like all three. This day will be cemented in my brain forever because I’ve been married to an idea for two years, gave birth to a novel, and with that, crossed an unattainable, pipe dream. unreachable important finish line.

I’m excited, nervous and just plain tickled to introduce you to some people I love. Let’s get silly!

Its release day for my debut YA novel Crux! I want to tell you a little bit about the story and characters…

If you’ve done any beta reading for me, you know I write (and adore) young adult paranormal romance complete with purple prose and superfluous description. My favorites include characters that do a lot of longing, gazing deeply into one another’s eyes until someone falls over, brooding, glaring and sighing. Sorry, it’s simply true.

I also like adverbs.

Crux is not that book.

Crux is … well, it’s an urban story based in modern day Atlanta with a homeless girl playing the lead. I’m going to be really mean to her and send her back in time to face people like him …

Wait, there’s more! My story has this mythology and general hotness sprinkled in …

And if you act now (and before you get all mad at me for picking on my heroine too much) I’ll send some major dude buddy to help her out …

Yeah, he’s a dog. So? Oh, right, you were expecting, maybe, a hot-model-type guy to help? Hold the phone.

If you know me at all, there’s no way I’m going to leave it there, because I still want some romance. Are you with me?

Well, our story begins with our heroine here:

Hmm, it isn’t very pretty, but she gets infused with some of this:

And when she  meets up with some :

… it’s all good.

The above should give you a better idea of what you’re going to experience inside the pages of Crux.

If you’ve read an early copy of this book, God bless you. *bows, places hand over heart* I thank you a thousand times over, and I really hope you enjoyed it. If you plan to read it in the future, I’m just so grateful. I know there are plenty of awesome YA books to choose from right now, and I appreciate, in advance, if you’re taking a chance on mine.

So, where can we buy it my precious?

Patience, my love.

 

My publisher:

http://www.jtaylorpublishing.com/books/13

Barnes and Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/crux-julie-reece/1111017373?ean=9781937744069&r=1&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10%3a1&

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Crux-ebook/dp/B008HACN50/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&qid=1341655969&sr=1-1

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People are saying the nicest things: ( that’s right, and I  ya for saying them, too.)

♦ “Crux is completely original and addictive. Birdie’s voice is young and cool giving Crux a fresh tone that will appeal to all ages. A fun romance and adventurous read, Crux will stay with readers long after the last page is read!” — Lovey Dovey Books

♦ “The story line is flawless. Reece escorts you through her book with what seems like effortless prose. She reveals just the right amount of information at just the right time, building a story that is completing intriguing.” — BrookeD (Reader)

♦ “Reece pulls off some twists and turns that I didn’t see coming even though the clues were there all along. Thank you, Ms. Reece, for making sure I was so invested in Birdie and her mission I didn’t see the signs until she did.” — J. Keller Ford – Author, Amulet of Ormisez

♦ “Crux is a smart, heart-rending and empowering addition to YA urban fantasy that will appeal to Cassandra Clare fans, lore fans and really, anyone who appreciates tough characters that know how to tug readers’ heartstrings.” — Stephanie Lawton — Author, Want

♦ “Julie Reece has a gift for conveying deep emotions with her writing. I felt Birdie’s regret, distrust, apprehension, excitement and joy. And I love the characters – small and large!!!” — Known To Read

♦ “I have to say that Ms. Reece has to be one of the most talented authors on the planet. I know I’m gushing right now, but I loved this book that much.” — ChristieR (Reader)

♦ “Action-packed with a memorable cast of characters, Crux will easily appeal to teen and adult readers, whether or not they love urban fantasy.” — Mrs. ReaderPants

♦ “Julie Reece’s CRUX is a refreshing and gritty young adult novel with glimmers of the paranormal, glimpses of the historical, and more than a dash of romance and mystery.” — Surrounded by Books Reviews

♦ “What a dream to read. I laughed. I cried. I clutched my kindle, wishing I could read faster, frustrated when I couldn’t get to the end fast enough.” — Jocelyn Adams, Author, The Glass Man

♦ “… the author’s writing has an almost lyrical tone to it, a flow to her prose that can lure you along without you even realizing you’ve been captured.” — J.A. Belfield – Author, Darkness & Light

♦ “So, what did I think about Crux? How best to say this … it was awesome!” — Emi Gayle – Author, After Dark

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♣ Talented writer and friend Jennifer Eaton made this video (puppet) for me as a debut gift … isn’t she awesome!!!

I just want to take a second to thank everyone for their enthusiasm and kind support. I love you guys. Sometimes writing is lonely; I’m so grateful you are traveling this journey with me!

 


Author Interview with Stephanie Lawton

….and here she is !

What a gorgeous cover! Makes you want to read, doesn’t it?

Bio:

After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting.

A lover of all things gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles.

On her thirtieth birthday, she mourned (okay bawled) the fact that in no way could she still be considered a “young adult,” so she rebelled by picking up Twilight and promptly fell in love with Young Adult literature.

She has a love/hate relationship with Mardi Gras–where does all that money come from?–and can sneeze 18 times in a row. 🙂

Ms. Lawton will now take your questions …

Q.   When did you first realize you wanted to write?

Not until a few years ago when we moved from northeast Ohio to Mobile, Alabama. I’ve always been a voracious reader and I earned two English degrees, but I focused on nonfiction writing — academic, TV news, and copy editing, etc. I think fiction was a way of working through culture shock!

 

Q.       What books inspired you as a teen? Who are your favorite authors now? 

I was a total nerd, so I stuck to the pieces my teachers had me read. If I liked a certain author, I’d go find more stuff by him or her. I read a lot of Shakespeare, Poe and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Now I read as much YA as I possibly can. My absolute favorite YA author is Cassie Clare, but I also adore Michelle Hodkin, Myra McEntire, Kelly Keaton and Maggie Stiefvater. I’m also a fan of fellow Alabama YA author R.A. Nelson. There’s even a little nod to him and his first novel, Teach Me, in my book.

Q.       How did you meet your husband? Was it love at first site, or did you make him chase you around first?

Oh, jeez, this isn’t a good story. (Sorry, honey!) I was dating his friend, who called me up one evening and dumped me over the phone. (It was the first and last time I’d ever been dumped!) It was totally out of the blue and I was really, REALLY upset about it. So I called his friend and asked him if he knew what the deal was. He said he didn’t and was just as shocked. There was an off-campus party the next night, so I invited him up so we could talk about the situation. Well … I was really low, and there may have been some drinking involved. I kissed him, but decided I just wanted to be friends, so we hung out for a couple months and everybody kept asking me why I wasn’t dating him. Yadda, yadda, he was patient and persistent, my family and friends fell in love with him, so I gave him a chance, and now we’ve been married ten years and have two adorable kids. He’s my best friend. 🙂

Q.       Where do the inspirations for your stories come from? Do you have a muse?

Ideas don’t just hit me — they have to marinate for a while. Want was inspired by a snotty lady at a Mardi Gras parade and the culture shock I was experiencing. My second manuscript was partially inspired by two TV shows and some Mobile history. The story I’m starting now is a result of a little homesickness for rural Ohio, along with another TV show.

Q.       What does an average day look like for you? Can you take us through your routine?

“Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head … ” Beatles? Anyone? *sigh* I’m up early to get the kids fed, dressed and out the door to drive my son to school. That’s followed by grocery shopping or errands, and then home to check email, Facebook, etc. After about ten minutes of that, my daughter usually jumps on me and we spend the day together. Then we pick up my son, I make dinner, my husband comes home, and I get an hour to myself (to shower, write, read, whatever) with the bedroom door locked. We get the kids ready for bed, read stories, say prayers, and then I have about two hours to write. Glamorous, eh?

Q.       What speaks to you and why, Scottish castle, New York penthouse, or rustic, California beach house?

All of them and none of them. The history nerd in me would love to explore the Scottish castle; the adventurer in me would love a posh New York pad; and I can’t live without being near the water, so a beach house is appealing, too. And yet–this is going to sound weird–I don’t like to travel. Someday, though, I’d love to have a beach house on Dauphin Island, Alabama, right on the Gulf of Mexico.

Q.       What do you see as the next big trend in YA?

That’s a tough one. We’ve seen vampires, zombies, werewolves, angels (fallen and otherwise), dystopians … I think we’re going to see a lot of genre-bending and blending. I’d love to see more well-written YA horror.

Q.       What are you working on now?

I’m currently querying a fast-paced Southern ghost story, but it also could be magical realism, soft horror, paranormal, with a small thread of LGBT. It’s a total mutt. And I’m starting a contemporary story that blends in some semi-apocalyptic stuff, basically boy v. nature. I don’t want to give away any more. 🙂

Q.       Do you have any pets? Can you tell us how they joined your family and what they mean to you?

Sadly, we only have one cat now. We had two — Romeo and Juliet — but Romeo is now scratching in the litter box in the sky. Oddly, Juliet seems happier without her Romeo. We also had a Newfoundland mix, but she too is barking at birds in heaven. We have a few fish that no one pays attention to, and I’m considering naming our dust bunnies. 🙂

Thanks so much for joining us today, Stephanie. It was great having you.

For more information on Want or Stepanie Lawton, please see below:

Blog: www.StephanieLawton.com
Website: www.WantTheNovel.com
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13432648-want
http://www.facebook.com/#!/StephanieLawtonWriter