BLACKPLUME

lover of written words

Quick Catch Up

Happy Friday Everyone!

I just want to write a quick post today as I try to catch up with my blogging and reading. I know I’ve been MIA for more than a month already and truth to be told, I miss blogging and reading so much. But honestly I don’t feel I have something creative or new to share to everyone lately. Plus the fact that I have crazy schedule outside the blogging world just doesn’t give me much room to even go on-line. If you are following me in my other social media accounts, I’m sure you probably notice my silence in the past few weeks. But here I am, trying a baby step to go back on-line by stealing a few minutes out of my busy schedule. Also, I’m hoping that after this I get my writing and reading mojo back soon.

On the side note, I received an early Christmas gifts yesterday from Scholastic Philippines. Thanks so much Ms. Joyce 🙂

scholastic-2016-christmas-gifts

Will try my best to be back again here hopefully before Christmas. I miss talking to everyone here and on twitter and instagram.  Thank you for sticking around.

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Celebrating Debutantes 2016: Spin the Sky by Jill MacKenzie (Author Interview + Playlist + Giveaway)

Celebrating Debutantes 2016 Second Wave

Happy Weekend!

Today I’m thrilled to welcome author Jill MacKenzie to the blog to answer few questions about her upcoming debut novel, Spin The Sky. This contemporary novel incorporate dance in the story and so much more.

Jill also share a fantastic playlist of the book for us to listen too. Have fun reading the interview and listening to the playlist.

And scroll down to learn more about Spin The Sky and the author, Jill MacKenzie. Also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the bottom for a chance to win a copy of of the book.

Interview with Jill MacKenzie

What pushed you to pursue writing as a career? How did you know what story you want to write about?

To be quite honest, I’ve never really felt a push, per se, to pursue writing as a career because I’ve always just…written. It isn’t something I made a conscious decision about—at least, not until I had tried a few other careers first. From the time I was really little, I was making up characters and stories and, when I was ten, I wrote fifty pages of a novel about a girl who runs away from home to go live in the wilderness. Although that work-in-progress was accidentally deleted from my computer, it didn’t stop me. From there I continued to write short stories and poetry. Novels, of course, felt like a natural progression for me. I was excited to do it and was just waiting until I had a bit of time to dedicate to learning my craft. After a lot of reading and a bit of research, I realized that what I wanted to write was YA. After that, I just thought back to a time in my teenage life that really stood out to me. That time was on a beach in Oregon where I fell in love with life and fell in love with falling in love. Also, I grew up dancing so the integration of both experiences and memories felt right to me. And SPIN THE SKY was born!

Spin The Sky deals with a reality TV dance competition. Tell us about the process of creating the settings of the story, did any old or current reality shows influence or inspire the book?

The competition side of this story does, loosely, follow the basis of the reality TV show So You Think You Can Dance. I do poke fun at it (gently) but only because I love the show. Truly, I think SYTYCD has revolutionized the dance industry in that it has singlehandedly inspired a new way to look at dance, and having a career in dance. As a result of the show’s popularity, many young dancers who might have given up dance if they couldn’t see a productive future in it (like moi), now stick with it with hopes of making their dreams come true.

Your bio said you enjoy dancing also like your protagonist, how did your own dancing experiences influence the plot of Spin The Sky? Are there any scenes in the book that tell your own dancing experience?

Oh, definitely. I never got the chance to dance as seriously as Magnolia—never auditioned for any nationally televised competitions—but every dance scene in SPIN THE SKY is, in a sense, me dancing. I still dance all the time, although these days it’s more from the comfort of my own home. But dancing, to me, is more a state of mind that anything else. A release, a way to really be yourself, an escape. All of Magnolia’s big dancing scenes were taken from some moment in my life where I felt this power surge inside of me, a time where I felt like I could do anything. Some people do yoga. I dance.

Spin The Sky has a strong focus on family, especially the relationship between Magnolia and Rose. How much does this reflect your own life?

The sister element is pretty huge for me. I have one sister I know very well and we have a very tumultuous relationship (lots of love and little bit of non-love) and one sister that I don’t know nearly as well as I’d like to. I also have a brother who I’m close to mentally but don’t see often and speak to only a handful of times a year. I’m constantly thinking of family in terms of how the family I grew up in is different to the family I have now. I look at other families and try to decipher what kinds of relationships their families are made up of and why—how they got there and where they came from. The Woodson family is one type of family. They weren’t my family, but I loved the opportunity to explore these sorts of relationships as though they were my own.

If readers could take away one thing from having read Spin The Sky what would you hope it would be?

I hope that it’d be inspiration. I hope that someone will read this book and then put it down and say, “you know, if she can follow her dreams against all those odds, what have I got to lose?” I love “rise above” stories, and I’m always telling my girls that a person is nothing without her dreams. I really believe that. I hope my book is a gentle reminder of that to others.

If one of your characters could turn the tables on you and write a story based on your teenage years, what would the title of that book be? What would be the first line?

Ha. I love this question. So many possible titles popped into my mind right now. But I think one that really stands out to me would be taken from a song that, whenever I hear it, I feel really nostalgic for what could have been—maybe even what was–my teenage self The song is called Sweet Disposition, by The Temper Trap. It’s so pretty. And sad. And hurtful too, you know? Anyway, I think Sweet Disposition is a great book title, so I’d happily allow one of my characters to borrow it to name the book of me. And the first line of the book? How about something like, “Staring at the back of his unremarkable brown head, April wondered, not for the first time, why Jordy never seemed to care that everyone outside of Chem and Physics and Math thought he was a loner, a freak, an outcast, a loser and a waste of space, when it would kill April if anyone thought of her like that.” I’m thinking of writing a story along these lines one day. The girl who was popular and had a lot going for her. The girl who always feared that, one day, everyone would find out that she was nothing more than a phony. Nothing more than a freak.

Are you working on any project right now? What we should expect from you after the release of Spin The Sky?

Ah. The tough question. Well, I’m happy to report that I do have a few projects in the works right now. But because I’m a very superstitious person, I don’t really want to say too much about them. So I think I’ll just say that, thankfully, I’m keeping busy and plugging away at this thing I’m forever trying to do!

Spin The Sky Playlist

Thank you so much Jill for answering my questions and for creating the playlist of Spin The Sky for us.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author-jill-mackenzieAlthough my heart will always be on the West Coast, I’ve lived in the heat of Florida for nearly 11 years and am finally getting used to it. Together with my South African husband named Gus and our two gorgeous little daughters (one girly, one not), our lives are pretty much spent on the beach, navigating the clear, warm waters of the South. In addition to being an avid member of SCBWI Florida, I’m currently completing my MFA in Creative Writing through the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. I also *occasionally* work as a freelance writer and substitute teacher because, you know, I’ve got to help bring home the bacon, too. In my free time, (free time? What’s that?) I enjoy dancing, reading, snorkeling, surfing, running and traveling.

Find Jill

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


ABOUT THE BOOK

Book Details:

spin-the-skyTitle: Spin the Sky
Author: Jill MacKenzie
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication Date: November 01, 2016
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover, eBook

Magnolia Woodson wants nothing more than to get her and her sister, Rose, out of the pitifully small, clamming-obsessed Oregon town that hates them—she just doesn’t know how. Forced to put up with the snide comments and hateful looks the townspeople throw at them, Mags thinks she’s destined to pay for the horrible, awful thing her mom did—and that she’s left her and Rose to deal with—until the day she dies.

But when a nationwide televised dance competition posts tryouts in nearby Portland, Mags’s best friend, George, says they have to go and audition. Not only have they spent the past fourteen years of their lives dancing side-by-side, dreaming of a day just like this, but also it could be Mags’s chance of a lifetime—a chance to win the grand-prize money and get her and Rose out of Summerland, a chance to do the thing she loves most with everyone watching, a chance to show the town that she’s not—and has never been—a “no-good Woodson girl,” like her mother. But will the competition prove too steep? And will Mags be able to retain her friendship with George as they go head-to-head in tryouts? Mags will have to learn that following her dreams may mean changing her life forever.

Book Links:

AmazonGoodreads | IndieBound | Publisher

Giveaway:

What’s up for Grab?

  • Copy of Spin the Sky by Jill MacKenzie

The Rules:

  • Open to US / CA residents
  • There will be one (1) lucky winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends October 15th, 2016
  • Prize will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each second wave feature post!

CD2016 Second Wave Collage

 

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Celebrating Debutantes 2016: Second Wave Kick-Off!

Celebrating Debutantes 2016 Second Wave

Celebrating Debutantes 2016 is back!

Early this year Precious and I launched the first wave of Celebrating Debutantes  – a blog event that features debut authors and their novels. Today we are thrilled to open the second wave of #CelebratingDebutantes2016. This second part of the event will run from August 4, 2016 to September 30, 2016. Two months of book love, features, giveaways, and fun. Which means more authors to follow and books to discover. Maybe your next favorite novel is one of them or maybe more.

Below is the list of novels and authors we will feature in the coming days. So watch out and follow the event. Also, don’t forget to check the giveaway below for international & PH readers.

Celebrating Debutantes 2016 Second Wave participants:

Tokens and Omens by Jeri Baird
The Voyage to Magical North by Claire Fayers
Frayed by Kara Terzis
Lucky Few by Kathryn Ormsbee
The Last Cherry Blossom by Kathleen Burkinshaw
Life Before by Michele Bacon
In the Shadow of the Dragon King by J Keller Ford
100 Days of Cake by Shari Goldhagen
The Distance To Home by Jenn Bishop
Cherry by Lindsey Rosin
Never Ever by Sara Saedi
The Killer in Me by Margot Harrison
Genesis Girl by Jennifer Bardsley
Doreen by Ilana Manaster
How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence
Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy
Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh
The Way to Game the Walk of Shame by Jenn P. Nguyen
The Fray Theory: Resonance by Nelou Keramati
The Crown’s Game by Everlyn Skye
The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
The Art of Holding On and Letting Go by Kristin Bartley Lenz
The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White
Rani Patel in Full Effect by Sonia Patel
Lucky Strikes by Louis Bayard
The Cat King of Havana by Tom Crosshill
Ripple by Heather Smith Meloche
Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West
Resurrecting Sunshine by Lisa A. Koosis
Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland
A Bond Of Venom and Magic by Karen Tomlinson
Girls in the Moon by Janet McNally
Iron Cast by Destiny Soria
A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jesicca Cluess
At First Blush by Beth Ellyn Summer
Bound by Blood and Sand by Becky Allen
Spin the Sky by Jill MacKenzie
Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth
Until I Break by Kara Bietz
If I Fix You by Abigail Johnson
Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

CD2016 Second Wave Collage

Giveaway:

What’s up for Grabs?

  • A book of your choice from the list of Second Wave Celebrating Debutantes 2016 participants (International)
  • Surprise Prize Pack (PH Only)

The Rules:

  • Open Internationally to anywhere Amazon / Book Depository ships / PH Residents
  • For International prize will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
  • For PH giveaway, we will be sending the prize via local courier
  • There will be one (1) winner for International entries and another one (1) for PH entries
  • Winners will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winners will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends on September 30, 2016

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

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Ink Unleashed

ink unleashed

Happy Friday Everyone!

If you all noticed, Friday is usually when I post some of my poetry here on the blog. Though I haven’t written much poems lately, I still managed to throw few lines every now and then. Since they are too short to published in here, I decided to create an instagram account where I can host those short poems or haikus. The intagram account is “inkunleashed”, hence the title of this post.

You may check some of my four liners attempt of poetry, and maybe some haikus soon. Longer poems will still be published in here, since Instagram’s sqaure box is too limited for long writings. I hope you guys check Ink Unleashed on Instagram for more of my writings and random thoughts.

Thanks so much!

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Celebrating Debutantes 2016: First Wave Kick-Off!

Celebrating Debutantes 2016

Celebrating Debutantes 2016 starts today! Precious and I are super thrilled to start the first wave this year.

To those who haven’t yet heard of Celebrating Debutantes, this blog event actually started by Michelle of The Escapist, which aims to put on spotlight new authors of the current year. Now that Michelle finally said goodbye to the blogging world, Precious and I just can’t accept that Celebrating Debutantes will also bid farewell. So we asked Michelle if we can adopt her creation to continue celebrating new talents of the publishing world. Starting this year Celebrating Debutantes have a new homes as we promise to continue its legacy.

And since there are lots of debut authors this year, Precious and I decided to split the event into two parts to accommodate as many debutants as possible. The First Wave will feature January to June debut authors and the Second Wave for July to December debut authors.

We have lots of talented authors on board this year and Precious and I are more than thrilled to feature them and their wonderful works. So to start Celebrating Debutantes 2016, I’ll give you the list of participants and the whole first wave schedule in calendar and written list. And don’t forget to to check the bottom of the post for a little giveaway.

February 2016
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
15
Kick Off Post and Giveaway
16
The Heir and the Spare
17
zero day by jan gangsei
18The Year We Fell Apart 19The Big Rewind 20Arrows
21After the Woods 22 Holding Court 23Sword and Verse 24Magnetic Shift 25Flirting with Fame 26BOUNDERS cover 27The Girl Who Fell
28Bookishly Ever After 29Beyond The Red
March 2016
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1A Study in Charlotte 2Suffer Love 3The Mystery of Hollow Places 4Liars and Losers Like Us 5Crossing the Line
6Save Me, Kurt Cobain 7Fear My Mortality 8Without Borders 9The Way Back to You 10Don't Get Caught 11Stone Field 12The Last Great Adventure of the PB&J
13Curio 14Dig Too Deep 15Consider 16 My Kind of Crazy 17The Star-Touched Queen 18The Art of Not Breathing 19The Way I Used to Be
20Summer of Supernovas 21The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary 22Draw the Line 23Devil and the Bluebird 24Revenge and the Wild 25Ivory and Bone 26Please Don't Tell
27Emerge 28The May Queen Murders 29Love & Gelato 30Mirror in the Sky 31I Woke Up Dead at the Mall

Book photos will be linked to the actual spotlight post as well as the written list below. So don’t forget to come back to check out all these amazing debut authors and their novels. There will be lots of fun and exciting features and of course giveaways.

Celebrating Debutantes 2016 First Wave participants:

February 16, 2016 – The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright
February 17, 2016 – Zero Day by Jan Gangsei
February 18, 2016 – The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin
February 19, 2016 – The Big Rewind by Libby Cudmore
February 20, 2016 – Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk
February 21, 2016 – After the Woods by Kim Savage
February 22, 2016 – Holding Court by KC Held
February 23, 2016 – Sword and Verse by Kathy MacMillan
February 24, 2016 – Magnetic Shift by Lucy Briand
February 25, 2016 – Flirting with Fame by Samantha Joyce
February 26, 2016 – Bounders by Monica Tesler
February 27, 2016 – The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker
February 28, 2016 – Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira
February 29, 2016 – Beyond the Red by Ava Jae
March 01, 2016 – A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
March 02, 2016 – Suffer Love by Ashley Herring Blake
March 02, 2016 – The Mystery of Hollow Places by Rebecca Podos
March 03, 2016 – The Marked Girl by Lidsey Klingele
March 04, 2016 – Liars and Losers Like Us by Ami Allen-Vath
March 05, 2016 – Crossing the Line by Meghan Rogers
March 06, 2016 – Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer
March 07, 2016 – Fear My Mortality by Everly Frost
March 08, 2016 – Without Borders by Amanda Heger
March 09, 2016 – The Way Back to You by Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott
March 10, 2016 – Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan
March 11, 2016 – Stone Field by Christy Lenzi
March 12, 2016 – The Last Great Adventure of the PB&J Society by Janet Johnson
March 13, 2016 – Curio by Evangeline Denmark
March 14, 2016 – Dig Too Deep by Amy Allgeyer
March 15, 2016 – Consider by Kristy Acevedo
March 16, 2016 – My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul
March 17, 2016 – The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
March 18, 2016 – The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander
March 19, 2016 – The Way I Used to Be by Amber Smith
March 20, 2016 – Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods
March 21, 2016 – The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by Laura Shovan
March 22, 2016 – Draw the Line by Laurent Linn
March 23, 2016 – Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black
March 24, 2016 – Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto
March 25, 2016 – Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh
March 26, 2016 – Please Don’t Tell by Laura Tims
March 27, 2016 – Emerge by Tobie Easton
March 28, 2016 – The May Queen of Murders by Sarah Jude
March 29, 2016 – Love & Gelato by Jenna Welch
March 30, 2016 – Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorona
March 31, 2016 – I Woke Up Dead at the Mall by Judy Sheehan

Giveaway:

What’s up for Grabs?

  • A book of your choice from the list of Celebrating Debutantes 2016 participants

The Rules:

  • Open Internationally to anywhere Amazon / Book Depository ships
  • Prize will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location
  • There will be one (1) winner only
  • Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends on April 1st, 2016

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

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2016 Reading & Blogging Goals

I’m back and hopefully more appearance than the past few months! Sorry for being MIA, there are just so many things that happened before 2015 ends like the wedding of one of my best friend which makes me super busy being a Maid of Honor, then there’s also the holidays and other life’s obligations. But now that I’m back I’m very much excited to share to all of you my 2016 reading and blogging plans.

Unlike last year where my reading and blogging plans was more “go with the flow” this year I’m actually lay-outing a more detailed plans with the push of my closest reading buddy Precious of Fragments of Life. Together we are organizing a blog event called “Celebrating Debutantes 2016”, wherein we are featuring debut authors of 2016 and their works. Since I love meeting new authors and discovering great talents I am actually excited to host this event with Precious.

Precious and I also targeting literary titles as part of our monthly reads this 2016. With a goal to try different genre than our usual YA fantasy or contemporary read we are trying a more mature/serious tone of reads. We already picked our target tiles for each month so watch out for our reviews.

As for my goodreads reading challenge this year, I’m back to 100 books to read. Last year I tried to cut it down to 50 books expecting for a more lay low reading in 2015, then eventually changed it to 100 since I am reading more than I targeted. I’m happy to report that I did finished the 100 books goals for 2015. Let’s see how I will perform for this year.

That’s all for now, will have to layout other plans too beside reading and blogging for 2016.

I hope everyone’s 2016 is getting off to a great start! Happy New Year to all!!!

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