Excerpt Reveal Tour: True North

Abandoned by her family in Plague-ridden Dominion City, eighteen-year-old Lucy Fox has no choice but to rely upon the kindness of the True Borns, a renegade group of genetically enhanced humans, to save her twin sister, Margot. But Nolan Storm, their mysterious leader, has his own agenda. When Storm backtracks on his promise to rescue Margot, Lucy takes her fate into her own hands and sets off for Russia with her True Born bodyguard and maybe-something-more, the lethal yet beautiful Jared Price. In Russia, there’s been whispered rumors of Plague Cure.

While Lucy fights her magnetic attraction to Jared, anxious that his loyalty to Storm will hurt her chances of finding her sister, they quickly discover that not all is as it appears…and discovering the secrets contained in the Fox sisters’ blood before they wind up dead is just the beginning.??

As they say in Dominion, sometimes it’s not you…it’s your DNA.

I’m very excited to share an excerpt to L.E. Sterling’s upcoming novel, True North, out April 4th:

“Let me finish. I have a job to do. I’m obliged to do the best job I can. Not just because I work for Storm but because that’s who I am. That job is to protect you, Lu.”

I turn my head, unable to bear even another second. I’ve had my fill of Jared’s merc routine. Gentle fingers coax me back again until I’m just inches from Jared’s glittering eyes. They look feral in the moonlight.

“But Lu.” He breathes my name like it’s a full sentence. “It’s a good thing that’s my job, because… Don’t you know I can’t even help myself?” He’s so close it’s as though the boundaries of our flesh have disappeared. And within one breath and the next, his lips are on mine. Soft, warm, molding me to his mouth. Then, hungrier, he pulls me closer, seeking more.

I’m dizzy with the taste of him on my lips, in my mouth. When my strength gives out, I slump onto his chest and he holds me tighter. I can barely react to the blazing warmth of his body full down the length of me, the scratchy feeling of his shirt decal under my fingers. There’s a fire in me, too, and with his sudden nip to my lip, it ignites. I’m feverish for him. Jared’s chest is molten rock under my hands. I’m struck with a desire to run kisses up his neck, to just behind his earlobe, just to hear the quick suck of his breath. I grab his hair and pull him tighter still. My lips sting from trying to get closer, closer, and rubbing too hard up against his teeth. Jared tries to hold them back but I can feel his incisors sharpen, his growl deepen, his eyes flip to a luminescent green in the darkness of the garden as he drinks me in.

And just as suddenly as it started, he takes me by the shoulders and pulls me away. I sway on the patio bench like a rag doll, cold and dazed. The garden hums with some secret life, bugs and frogs, but it’s just Jared and me here.

Touching a finger to my swollen lips, I watch him. He pants as though he’s kicked the living tar out of someone, a glassy expression to his feline eyes. He doesn’t take his hands off me, but he isn’t going to bring me close again, either. And that’s what makes me explode.

“What kind of game are you playing with me, anyhow?” I scream at him, thankful that the garden is empty for my tirade.

What do you think? Add it on Goodreads or order it on Amazon today!

L.E. Sterling had an early obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and romance to which she remained faithful even through an M.A. in Creative Writing and a PhD in English Literature – where she completed a thesis on magical representation. She is the author of two previous novels, the cult hit Y/A novel The Originals (under pen name L.E. Vollick), dubbed “the Catcher in the Rye of a new generation” by one reviewer, and the urban fantasy Pluto’s Gate.

Originally hailing from Parry Sound, Ontario, L.E. spent most of her summers roaming across Canada in a van with her father, a hippie musician, her brothers and an occasional stray mutt – inspiring her writing career. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

Firestorm Blog Tour: Guest Post + GIVEAWAY!

firestormFirestorm by Katie Robison

Book 3 of The Windstorm Series

Release Date: June 7th 2016

Amazon ¦ Goodreads

“Why did I possibly think I could do anything to end this war? I was a fool, and now I have one week to get the twins out of here, or I may never see them again.”

The seven tribal nations are at war, and as a taporo, Kit can finally do something to save her people. But Kit can’t shake the feeling she’s playing a game she doesn’t understand and if she agrees to fight, she’ll lose the ones she loves the most.

Firestorm is the highly anticipated conclusion to the The Windstorm Series, a fast-paced fantasy trilogy that critics are calling a “thrilling head-rush of an adventure” (Kirkus Reviews).

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s stop of the Firestorm Blog Tour! I am so honored to be a part of this tour and would like to thank the author- Katie Robison for including me. For this stop Katie will be guest posting and sharing her advice on how to balance school/work with writing. If you didn’t know, Katie wrote this series while she was in grad school- which is so amazing to me, so she definitely has some great advice. Alright I’m going to let Katie introduce herself and share her tips! Be sure to stick until the end for an AMAZING giveaway that Katie is sponsoring.

Katie Robison has a Ph.D. in medieval literature from the University of Minnesota andkatie robison is a registered member of the Ngai Tahu Maori tribe in New Zealand. She currently lives on a lake outside Salt Lake City with her husband, daughter, and Siberian Husky. Learn more at katierobison.com

If you’re a first-time writer, odds are you won’t be getting paid to write your book. (Maybe if you’re writing non-fiction, but probably not if you’re writing fiction. The payoff comes after the book is done.) This means that unless you’re being supported by your parents or your partner or a surprise inheritance you’ll have to eek out whatever time you can to write while also working a day job, or maybe even going to school. This makes writing your first book difficult. But it’s not impossible! Take it from me: I wrote three novels while earning a Ph.D. (During this time, I also had a baby and moved internationally—twice!) If I can do it, you can too! Here’s what worked for me:

  1.  Make writing a priority.

Even when we’re busy, we make time for the things that matter to us, and sometimes for the things that don’t. So make writing matter! Instead of watching a movie or checking Facebook, sit down and pound out a few words. I love to read, but I had to give up a lot of reading time in order to get my books done. Obviously, you need to be a reader in order to be a good writer, but if you’re spending a great deal of time reading—schoolwork is an exception—perhaps some of that time could be applied toward writing. This doesn’t mean you can’t still do fun things. Just do your writing first. 🙂 (This is how I wrote an undergraduate thesis in college. I had to sacrifice a lot of weekend time, but I managed to get it done while still taking a full load of classes, working several part-time jobs, and being involved in some demanding extracurriculars.)

  1.  Write in blocks.

Full disclosure: when I’m working on a project, I’m not very balanced in other areas of my life, which means my house is a mess and we eat a lot of frozen pizza. But I work best when I can give something my full attention. That’s why I find it helps to organize my time into blocks. During a writing block (not to be confused with writer’s block!), I focus almost exclusively on my book; once I reach a specified milestone, I take a break. This worked well for me in grad school. Rather than try to do creative and academic writing at the same time, I alternated between the two. During the school year, I focused on my classes and research; during the summer, I worked on my novels. After my coursework was done and I started my doctoral dissertation, I continued to block my time: I’d work on a chapter of my dissertation, and once it was drafted, I would work on a section of my book. This was helpful, because when I changed blocks, it forced me to let my work sit. Then when I came back to a draft, I could look at it with fresh eyes.

This technique is useful even if you’re not writing a dissertation. Divide the writing process into segments and take a break between each piece. So after your draft is written, set it aside and do something else. Clean the house. Tackle your to do list. Watch the TV show or read the book series you’ve been missing out on. After a few weeks, go back and revise. Then let it sit again. Then go back for more editing. The idea is that when you’re writing in your “block,” it should be your number one priority, which means non-essentials will have to be put on hold. Then, during your break period, you can catch up on all the stuff that you let slide. (It helps to take a break between books too!)

  1. Make time work for you.

I like to write first thing in the morning. It makes it more likely that I’ll get it done (and it’s easier with a toddler in the house). Plus, if I hit my word count and the day is young, I can keep going. But no matter how you do it, make sure you write something every day. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Even if you only write 500 words (you can do that in an hour easily), at the end of four months, you’ll have 60,000 words. Make time work for you, not against you.

When all is said and done, you have to do what works for YOU. You may not like how I do things, so find something that matches your rhythm and that fits into your life. And remember: writing is hard work, but it’s also supposed to be fun! When I’m working on a book, it’s what makes me want to get out of bed in the morning. If you’re not enjoying the process, take a step back and figure out why. Maybe give yourself a break to brainstorm and daydream. Then come back when you feel more energized. If writing matters to you and you carve out the time, you can make it happen. Good luck!

Seriously some amazing advice! I know that I will be waking up earlier this upcoming semester to work on my writing. Thanks so much Katie!

Okay so now for the giveaway, Katie has put together an amazing giveaway for this stop! It includes: signed copies of the trilogy, a necklace, a bookmark, and a journal. Honestly, I am beyond jealous of whoever wins, this prize looks amazing! This giveaway is only open for the US & Canada BUT Katie is holding a separate giveaway for any international peeps that want to take a shot. Click here to see the international giveaway!

firestorm giveaway

To enter you must follow me and Katie on Twitter (yes, I will be checking!) and tweet us that you are entering the giveaway using the hashtag #FirestormTour2016.

That’s all! If you want to be safe you can leave a link of your tweet down in the comments but it isn’t required. The giveaway will end on July 15th, 11:59PM. The winner will be notified via Twitter and will have 48 hours to reply or else another person will be chosen. Good luck everyone!

Guest Post: Alex Sees Sarah J. Maas!

I am thrilled to present an extremely exciting guest post courtesy of my friend and neighbor Alex! A couple of weeks ago Sarah J Maas (author of the Throne of Glass series and ACOTR) had a tour stop in Miami to promote her latest release: A Court of Mist and Fury! Unfortunately I was unable to go but Alex went with a friend and agreed to share his experience with us. So without further adieu, here’s Alex!

Hello my name is Alex and this is my very first attempt to blog. I knew I was hooked when I read Heir of Fire and from there, Throne of Glass is a favorite.  ACOTAR is the beginning of another great series by Sarah J. Maas. Thank you Sarah, your dedicated team, and publisher for giving the fans the opportunity to meet with you.

When I learned of the event coming to Coral Gables I knew it was a must go. Not the easiest place to travel to from my area due to day of week and time of event. Let the journey begin. From the time I learned of the event, six long weeks had to pass. Ugh!  Thankfully my friend Tammy, a huge fan of Sarah as well, agreed to go under the condition that I drive. The day of the event arrived and we were on our way. It’s a 50 mile journey and we were about half way there when I check the GPS.  In that most familiar electronic voice, we hear the route is clear and that we will arrive on time. We both stared in amazement at each other as the road ahead of us is now a log jam of traffic. Siri was wrong. Blinkers and horns blazing I decide to make move, I have no intention of being late to this event. I abandoned the GPS route and decide I can make it on my own. We get off the intestate and we are at an inter

alex at actors plathousesection with 23 traffic signals of which half are not work. We immediately burst out laughing. I asked Tammy, “What time did you tell hubby we would be home?” I’m totally lost at this point.

We get back on the interstate and dealt with the traffic. We are on a mission and nothing is going to stop us. A few more traffic jams, express lane only and viola we were there.  Now for the second part of the mission. Find parking. After a few more wrong turns the car is parked and we are at Artist Playhouse.
I was so happy to be there.  Just give me my ticket and show me the book! My freshly printed, 1st edition, soon to be signed by New York Times bestselling author, Sarah J Maas!  Woohoo!  When we arrived we had an hour to spare, there was less than 25 people milling around the lobby. That didn’t last long- before we knew it, the lobby was teeming with fans. The line at Will Call was out the door and spilling out onto the sidewalk.  Everyone always wants to be the first in line, sit closest to the stage, and have the best view. Why not? I did too.
will call
Suddenly the doors open and like the vacuum of space, the crowd is hurtled into the theater. Whoosh!  My friend and I decide to hang back and sit towards the back thinking this will allow us to be one of the first to be signed.  More and more fans are filling the seats and you can feel the excitement in the air. It was electric. Suddenly, I saw a tall, slender fan dressed all in black walk by.  She wore a long red cape that flowed behind her as she walked down the aisle. She walked back up the aisle and entered a row near me. I said “Nice cape,” and she turned and smiled. In my mind, I heard, “Yes my Lord, Rifthold offers only the finest.” [A reference to the Throne of Glass series] Lol. Now I know I’m dreaming.
Two minutes later Sarah is on stage and the theater roars with excitement. Tammy and I are giddy with laughter and anticipation. We both had long hard weeks filled with stress and this wass just what we needed to ground us. I must admit, she is truly awesome, very receptive to the fans and questions as well as the moderator, Ursula. The two paired up complemented each other. Ursula presented the formatted questions and the dialogue that followed left us only wanting more. Next thing I know we are at the Q&A part of the evening. I assure you I’m not totally shy and in this type of situation I am usually like the clam. My mind is racing with the idea that I’m going to do it. I’m going to ask a question. I have no idea what to ask and am just going to wing it. Yeah right, not me. I poke Tammy and tell her do it. Do it now. She balls up in her seat and looks at me, “Are you crazy? I can’t do that , you do it.”  Next thing I know the mic is in my hand and I am asking about the Bogge, Puca and Suriel and how important the mystical creatures are to the story and what can we expect in ACOMAF ? No spoiler here. alex and sarahRead on my friends and let’s see where this journey ends.
Booking signing time!
Looks like our strategy paid off. We were one of the first ten to get our books signed and I got a few pics of Sarah signing my book. What a blast. I’m glad I went and hope to attend future events.  As an added bonus Sarah gave us the opportunity to sign her copy of Heir of Fire. How cool is that?
Thank you so much Alex for sharing your experience of the Sarah J. Maas event with us! And thank you also for being awesome enough to get me a signed copy of A Court of Mist and Fury! You’re the best (:

NaNoWriMo Day 5 + Tips for College WriMos!

NaNoWriMo

Day 5; 26 days remaining

Total word count: 8989

Today’s goal: 10k?!

Hello my fellow NaNo-ers and welcome to another update post! Yesterday was a pretty hectic day and since I wanted to hit my word count I didn’t do my update post, so I’ll discuss my progress for both yesterday and today now (: Also, towards the end of this post I’ll be discussing my experience on NaNo so far as a college student so stay tuned for that!

Yesterday was a full day of classes (from 9am to 8 pm) and although I had breaks, it was difficult to get my word count in since I kept running into people I knew. I wrote in my ‘dream notebook’ (a story for another day :P) whenever I had an idea for a scene during my classes and when my three hour break came up I transferred the scene onto Scrivener and continued with my writing. I was about to do my first #1k30min sprint when one of my sister’s friends came and sat with me, so I had to skip it :/ On the bright side my 6-8 class was released an hour early so I was able to sprint for 25 min with some two lovely (and Australian!!) ladies, which was really fun- I love word sprints. When I finally got home I finished up my writing and ended the day with 1,937 words bringing my total word count to 7,036 (:

Today I only have one class at 12:30, but since I want to practice driving (don’t judge) I woke up early and drove to the train station and got to school around 7:40. I went on the interwebs until 8 and then participated in a few word sprints and- here’s the exciting part, participated in my first #1k30min sprint! I ended up only getting 816 words instead of 1,000 but I’m still proud of myself. My story is really coming along and I’m still in the honeymoon phase ❤ I did one more sprint after that and around 9:30 I decided to break from my story to do an update post and to do some homework.

The best part of all the sprints is that I already completed today’s word count! I wrote 1,953 words bringing my total word count to 8989 (as you probably saw at the beginning of this post). I am going to another write-in today and I still have time before my class so I’m hoping to reach 10k words today; if I do I’ll be so happy because a) that’s a huge milestone and b) papers and tests are coming up so I’m going to need as much of a head start as possible.


Okay so I wanted discuss how NaNoWriMo has effected me as a college student because frankly, I don’t see too many people discussing this and a few weeks ago I thought it was impossible. Please note that this is my first real try at NaNoWriMo and that I’m an English/nursing major so my experiences will not be identical to yours or any other student. I am in no way an expert, I just want to record my experience so far and share what’s been helping me.

November is crunch time in the world of college, the semester is coming to an end, teachers are assigning final projects and papers, students begin to study for finals, and the pressure is HIGH. Throw in the fact that you want to write a 50k book and the month seems even more unbearable. When I was debating whether or not to join NaNo I looked online for help and to be honest I was not happy with what I saw. The top two answers I saw were:

♦ Yes, but expect your grades to drop

♦ You can try, but you’ll most likely ‘lose’

I found these answers ridiculous because I know that there is a way to do it without your grades suffering, so I decided that from now on I will update how much time I spend writing for NaNo as well as studying and doing homework. I think it’s important that students don’t get discourage before they try something, so hopefully my updates will encourage them.

Since it’s only day 5, there isn’t much that I could report but I think it’s important to note that NaNo has actually improved how I organize my time. Before NaNo, I would wait to do my homework until the day before and I would waste countless hours a week watching The Walking Dead (however I don’t really regret that) at the train station or between classes. Since November started, I haven’t watched a complete episode of TWD and I’ve been doing my homework ahead of time. Just yesterday I used the time before my first class to start to do a discussion post for class and my lab reports so I could use my two hour break to write.

For the remainder of November I have three exams, one presentation, two 5+ page papers, and a final. Not including an 8+ page paper that is due early in December and the finals that take place the first two weeks of December. I also want to blog at least 4 times a week and continue to read. I’ll be honest, I’m overwhelmed and scared but I’m going to give it my all, even if I have to have some late nights and early mornings. But I have a plan of how I’m going to balance everything and we’ll find out soon if it works. As of now I have A’s and B’s in all of my classes and I know that if I work my butt off I can get all A’s- which is the goal. Even though it’s only been 5 days, I haven’t been falling behind and I think the reason is because I set a time to do my writing.

Write-ins are a HUGE help because I am in a different environment so all I focus on is writing, but if you can’t go to one I recommend getting out of your house/favorite spot and sit somewhere that you can focus on writing. I also recommend writing sprints which is when you write as much as you can in a certain amount of time, those are really fun to do and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll get done after an hour of sprints! There is a twitter account dedicated to giving sprints all day so if you’re interested definitely give it a follow. What I do is turn on my twitter notifications for the account so when I’m writing I’ll get the notification on my phone when it’s time to start/stop a sprint without being on the app (:

I hope that this post was somewhat helpful! As always, let me know if you’re participating this year and how you’re doing so far.

Author Discussion of Mary: The Summoning

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Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan

Goodreads¦ Amazon

Rating: Four out of five stars

Synopsis:

There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.
Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them–Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna–must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.
A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: “Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY.” A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.
Once is not enough, though–at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary’s wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.
A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary–and Jess–before it’s too late?

Review:

I actually was asked by Leydy from Once Upon a Twilight to review this book! You can find my review by clicking here! Overall I really loved this book, it kept me up at night and is the PERFECT Halloween read.

Discussion:

Before jumping into this discussion, I would like to thank Hillary Monahan for taking the time to answer these questions! I really do appreciate it. If you guys want to learn more about Hillary and her books (which you should totally do!) check out her website. You can also follow her on twitter, she’s very sweet and tweets fans back! Okay, now it’s time for the discussion:

Before writing Mary: The Summoning, did you know the details to Bloody Mary’s history or did you start researching her when you came up with the idea? What information did you find most interesting?

I didn’t know much about Bloody Mary except for my own childhood experiences.  I hadn’t even seen the Supernatural episode about her yet (which I get asked a lot—I SWEAR, GUYS, I SAW IT ABOUT A MONTH AFTER I SUBMITTED DRAFT ONE OF MARY TO MY AGENT IN 2011 AND PROMPTLY FREAKED OUT THAT I WAS A DERIVATIVE JERK.  Fortunately my first draft was a full historical and had nothing to do with the Mary in Supernatural.)  At any rate, I was traumatized by the legend as an early teen, or my town’s variation therein, so it was perfect fodder for a book.

Researching her didn’t get me very far, frankly.  Bloody Mary became a THING in the States in the 1960s.  Beyond that, it was girls in a bathroom—sometimes alone, sometimes not—a candle, and the name said three times.  From there, the details all sort of wandered.  Even the name of the ghost was different in different places.  I didn’t get my hands on the English toilet bogey variant (based on Bloody Mary the queen) until after I’d completed the book.

Have you ever tried to summon Bloody Mary? If so what was your experience like?

Funny story.  I was supposed to do the ritual, went into the bathroom at the school (as that’s where this urban legend popped up) and . . . chickened out.  But because I was afraid people would make fun of me, I ran outside swearing I saw something in the mirror.

Which I think is how this urban legend lives on.  Girls like me.  Being really dumb.

I noticed that you love the horror genre, what is your favorite horror movie, book, and/or TV show of all time?

I could go on and on about this for a while.  My favorite horror books are probably THE SHINING, THE WITCHING HOUR, SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK, and a new favorite is Emily Carroll’s THROUGH THE WOODS.

Movies?  Shaun of the dead. The Exorcist. Kubrick’s The Shining even though it has almost nothing to do with the book.  Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon and Tucker and Dale Versus Evil delight me.  So do a lot of Burton movies.  I love Nightmare Before Christmas so much, I have the merchandise everywhere.  I also adore the heck out of his version of Sleepy Hollow and Sweeney Todd (to be fair I liked Sweeney Todd as a musical far before Burton came along.)

TV shows?  I did a whole blog post about this recently, but I’m a big fan of some of the early X-Files episodes.  Buffy, American Horror Story, Supernatural though I came to fandom late.  I’m also loving the HECK out of Hannibal for a psychological trauma show.

Were there any scenes in the book that terrified you?

Not scenes so much, though I think the church scene is one of the scarier ones simply because of where Mary comes from.  I also don’t dig bugs, so anything that had the beetles made me shiver.  Why I put so many bugs in the book, I do not know.  I think I hate myself and all my readers a little.

What are your top three favorite urban legends? If you had to ever choose, which of those three would you prefer to haunt you?

The Boogie Man, Bloody Mary, and the Hook Hand.  Honestly, none of them are invited to my tea parties, but I guess if I had to pick one, it’d be the Boogie Man as he’s based on fairy lore and I can get my hands on some iron and horseshoes to keep him off my doorstep.  Or locked in the closet indefinitely.