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Celebrating Debutantes 2017: The Secrets of Islayne by Kari Lynn West (Author Interview and Giveaway)

Happy Friday to all!

Welcome to another stop for Celebrating Debuntantes 2017 blog event. Today I’m featuring new author Kari Lynn West and her debut ya fantasy novel, The Secrets of Islayne. This novel offers fresh concepts, that introduced readers to Luminators – people with an inborn ability to bring back the faded memories of a person in a much more clearer, fresh and vivid way. Isn’t that interesting?

Following the interview with Kari is her author bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to buy copies of The Secrets of Islayne. And if you are in the US and would like the chance to win a copy of the book, Kari is giving away a signed copy below. Just enter the form a bit further down in this post. But before that here’s the interview with Kari. I hope you enjoy.

Interview with Kari Lynn West

Please tell us a bit about your journey with The Secrets of Islayne. Did you know right away that this was your story, or did you discover it as you write? And how was the publication process goes for you?

It’s been quite a long journey! Though the central idea behind the novel has stayed the same, almost everything else has changed between when I started writing it three years ago and now. I’ve changed the main character and ensemble, the setting, and the vast majority of the plot. I wrote the first draft, salvaged about a thousand words of it, and threw the rest away. It wasn’t until the third draft that I felt like I got the heart of the novel right, and even since that draft, there have been quite a few revisions and rewrites—and an embarrassing amount of time spent banging my head against a wall, crying that I would never get the story right. But finally, I now have a novel worth sharing.

The publishing process has also been entirely new to me. I spent months doing research on the different options, but even though I felt like I was making an informed decision going the indie route, it was still more work than I’d anticipated. But I love making connections with new readers and seeing people experience the story for the first time, so it’s been very rewarding!

Did you learn any deep, shocking/interesting truths while working on The Secrets of Islayne, about writing in general, or about yourself?

I learned that every single part of the writing process is difficult and every part is satisfying. I learned that, vocationally speaking, nothing makes me feel more fulfilled than creating stories.

Tell us about the cover of The Secrets of Islayne. How it came about? Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process of any novel?

I used an awesome cover design company called Ebook Launch to design the cover of The Secrets of Islayne. They were fantastic to work—very artistically gifted, responsive to my wishes, and quick to make requested edits. All of that was great because I am very picky about book covers in general, and I had a lot of specific requests for the cover of my novel. I think a book’s cover is vital to the book-buying process. Though it goes against the adage, people can’t help but judge a book based on its cover. I do it all the time. But even more important than impacting a book’s sales, I wanted this cover to reflect the adventure, beauty, and magic inherent in the story itself. I think the cover of The Secrets of Islayne does just that.

Do you have a favorite scene to write in The Secrets of Islayne? What scene are you most proud of, and why?

I really enjoyed writing the first scene where the main character, Ronan, and his three friends are all going on their first “summer adventure”. I love the character dynamics between the four of them, so it was very fun to write the first scene where you see all them interact with each other.

I’m also proud of scene where the luminators’ power is explained and demonstrated. That was a very challenging scene to write in trying to explain the ability in a way that both made sense and was exciting to the reader. I was very happy when I could finally get it right on paper and it was no longer just an idea rumbling around in my head J.

If you can revive someone’s memory, who’s mind would you pick and why?

I know this is going to make me sound incredibly self-focused, but if it were possible I would revive my own! One of the reasons why this power was so fascinating to me was because I have a terrible memory, and I think it would be very cool to have so many of my own memories come back as clearly as those of the luminators’ clients.

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?

She reads a lot…the end. That could be the title, the first line, and the ending J. I was a pretty boring teenager and would not have made for a good protagonist. I liked to make good grades, read a lot of books, and go to bed early.

If you had to pick one sentence, and one sentence only, to entice someone to read your book, The Secrets of Islayne what would it be?

Why would he want to use his hands to shelve books when he could use his mind to give someone back a restored piece of the forgotten past?

Thanks so much Kari!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kari Lynn West writes contemporary YA fantasy—normally while drinking far too much coffee. She likes to create character-driven stories that are set in the real world with a twist, weaving fantastical elements into everyday life. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and two daughters.

 

Find Kari

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


ABOUT THE BOOK

Book Details:

Title: The Secrets of Islayne
Author: Kari Lynn West
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: June 09, 2017
Pages: 220
Format: Paperback, eBook, Audio

A powerful island. A dangerous mystery. An impossible choice.

For centuries, the island of Islayne has given certain residents the ability to revive other people’s memories. These gifted individuals are known as luminators, and sixteen-year-old Ronan Saunders desperately desires to join their illustrious ranks. As he struggles against the prejudice of the old, powerful families who have an iron grip on the trade, Ronan falls under the tutelage of a reclusive luminator, rumored to be insane.

Just when his long-desired future is within reach, Ronan and his three friends discover a deadly secret on the island. As they delve deeper into the mystery, what they find forces them to question their loyalties, doubt long-held beliefs, and wrestle with the dire consequences of revealing the truth. Ronan finds himself torn between everything he loves and the only future he’s ever wanted. The entire fate of the lumination trade hangs in the balance of his decision.

Book Links

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Goodreads | iTunes

Giveaway:

What’s up for Grab?

  • Signed copy of The Secrets of Islayne by Kari Lynn West

The Rules:

  • Open to US residents
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be drawn via Kingsumo by the author
  • Ends August 11th, 2017
  • Prize will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

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Celebrating Debutantes 2017: Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell (Character Interview and Giveaway)

Today I am absolutely thrilled to share to all of you my interview with the main character of Amber Mitchell’s young adult fantasy novel, Garden of Thorns. If you haven’t read the book yet today is your chance to meet the main character, Rose through a short interview. What alike about Rose is in-spite being captive under the gardener, she is still fierce and never loses hope.

Following the character interview is Amber Mitchell’s author bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to buy copies of Garden of Thorns. And if you are in the US and would like the chance to win a copy of the book, Amber is giving away a signed copy below. Just enter the rafflecopter form a bit further down in this post to be enter on the giveaway.

Character Interview with Rose of Garden of Thorns

Hi Rose. Can you please introduce yourself so everyone will know more about you?

If you’re from Delmar, you’ve probably heard of me. I’m the star of a dance troupe known as the Garden, where I’m forced to put my skills as an aerial dancer to use every night in order survive. But I’m ready to break out, to fight back and for revenge against those who oppress us.

What is the most cunning thing you’ve done? Why did you do it?

Though I hate dancing in the Garden, it has allowed me to hone my acrobatic skills and now I’m pretty limber. I’ve been able to use that to my advantage quite often. One time, I needed to figure out what was going on in a town but it was too dangerous to go on foot. Because of my comfort with heights and ability to think fast on my feet, I was able to use the rooftops in order to see what was going on.

If you need to change your values and your personality to survive, would you do it or not? Why?

I would like to believe I would. The most important thing to me is rescuing my fellow dancers from the Garden, and there is almost nothing I wouldn’t trade to succeed in my goal. However, when it comes down to it, there are things I hold too dear to be able to bargain away my values… like loyalty.

What is loyalty for you?

Loyalty is everything. In the Garden, the only way we are able to survive is by relying on our fellow sisters in captivity. Ours is a bond of blood, not so easily broken.

What is the most enlightening thing about being a slave?

The way that people can just ignore it. Most people know the horrific conditions of the Garden…that the owner selects us in pairs, a Flower and a Wilted, and the Flower gets to dance while the Wilted takes our punishments, but they look the other way.

What do you miss the most about being free?

The desert sun on my face in the early morning. There were a lot of other big things at first, but the longer I was trapped, the more those little details left me and the bigger concepts like being in charge of myself began to fade away. Right now, I just long for sunlight.

If you could be someone in any given time and place, who would you be, when and where would you be?

I would be the girl I was before being trapped into the Garden, but hopefully I’d be able to retain the lesson that took me the longest to learn…never trust someone with a smiling face and their hands behind their back. Usually they are trying to hide a dagger.

What are you thinking of right now?

Revenge. I’m always thinking about revenge. My captors can’t see it, they think they’ve beaten that particular thought out of my head, but they’re wrong. It simmers just underneath every movement I make, always screaming in the back of my mind. One day, I will be free and when that days comes, my revenge will be sweet.

Thanks so much Rose for answering all my questions above. And thank you also to Amber for allowing Rose to do this interview.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amber Mitchell graduated from the University of South Florida with a BA in Creative Writing. She likes crazy hair styles, reading, D&D, k-dramas, good puns and great food.
When she isn’t putting words on paper, she is using cardstock to craft 3D artwork or exploring new places with her husband Brian. They live a small town in Florida with their four cats where she is still waiting for a madman in a blue box to show up on her doorstep.
Garden of Thorns is her debut novel from Entangled Teen.

 

Find Amber

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


ABOUT THE BOOK

Book Details:

Title: Garden of Thorns
Author: Amber Mitchell
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: May 6, 2017
Pages: 370
Format: Paperback, eBook

After seven grueling years of captivity in the Garden—a burlesque troupe of slave girls—sixteen-year-old Rose finds an opportunity to escape during a performance for the emperor. But the hostage she randomly chose from the crowd to aid her isn’t one of the emperor’s men—not anymore. He’s the former heir to the throne, who is now leading a rebellion against it.

Rayce is a wanted man and dangerously charismatic, the worst person for Rose to get involved with, no matter what his smile promises. But he assumes Rose’s attempt to take him hostage is part of a plot to crush the rebellion, so he takes her as his hostage. Now Rose must prove where her loyalties lie, and she offers Rayce a deal—if he helps her rescue the other girls, she’ll tell him all the Garden’s secrets.

Except the one secret she’s kept for seven years that she’ll take to her grave if she must.

Book Links

Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Goodreads | Kobo | Indigo

Giveaway:

What’s up for Grab?

  • Signed paperback copy of Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell

The Rules:

  • Open to US residents only
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced through rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends August 7th, 2017
  • Prize will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

5 Comments »

Celebrating Debutantes 2017: One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (Author Interview and Giveaway)

I’m super excited today to welcome new author Karen McManus to the blog as part of Celebrating Debutantes 2017 blog event. Her debut young adult mystery novel, One of Us is Lying is a thrilling and addicting read. That’s why I am thrilled to have the opportunity to ask the mastermind behind the wonderful book a few questions about writing, influences, and of course the book itself, One of Us is Lying, so I hope you guys enjoy the interview.

Following the interview with Karen is her author bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to buy copies of One Of Us is Lying. And if you’d like the to win a hardcover copy of the US edition of the book just enter the rafflecopter form a bit further down in this post for a chance to win. Open to everyone where book depository ships.

Interview with Karen McManus

One of Us if Lying is your first published novel. Tell us a bit about the pathway you took to get it in print.

I was one of those kids who told everyone I was going to be an author when I grew up. But the older I got, the harder I found it to finish a book. When I graduated high school I started the college-career-family trajectory and mostly forgot about writing.

I got the urge to try again a couple of years ago, and for the first time in ages I actually finished a book. It wasn’t particularly good, but it reminded me how much I loved to write, and it got me plugged into the online writing community. I queried that book to resounding crickets, then shelved it and wrote a second. That book got more agent interest, but things were moving slowly. In fall 2015 I got the idea for One of Us is Lying, and I drafted and revised it by the end of that year. Once I started querying it things happened quickly, and I had a book deal a couple of months later.

So my writing career transformed within a year, but it took three books to get there.

Why did you decide to write mystery, rather than another type of book? And why YA?

When I started writing again, it was partly because I was inspired by reading the Hunger Games trilogy. The voice and the energy of that series really drew me in, and I decided to try my hand at YA. It was a natural fit so I’ve kept with it. As for mystery, it’s more like the genre chose me when I got the book idea. Neither of the other books I’d written had any mystery elements.

Have other mystery writers influenced you and, if so, how have they influenced you?

I read a lot of Agatha Christie as a kid, and that was a definite influence—both generally, with elements like the locked-room vibe, and specifically, because the notion of a crime where everyone has a motive was partly inspired by “Murder on the Orient Express.”

One of Us is Lying is written in multiple perspectives, giving readers a much-appreciated peek of each characters. What kind of preparation did you go putting yourself in the mindset of different characters? Which of them is easier to write and why? Do you have a favorite?

I had a playlist for each character, and I used that to switch headspaces. I also did very in-depth character worksheets and I’d occasionally go over those to see if there were any aspects I hadn’t fully fleshed out yet.

I don’t have a favorite (it would be like picking a favorite child!) but Nate was by far the easiest to write. His voice was always very clear to me, and his scenes flowed quickly with almost no need for revision.

One of Us is Lying is an intricate novel with all its mystery and lies. How much of a challenge was it to write the book? How did you figure out all the details for the plot or when to insert the big reveal?

I’d never used an outline before One of Us Is Lying, but the plot was complicated enough that I knew I had to. I had a spreadsheet that listed out the major plot points that needed to happen, along with key character development moments, and clues/hints that had to be dropped. But there was still a lot of room for improvisation, which for me is the fun part of writing.

Are you working on any project right now? What we should expect from you in the near future?

I’m working on my second book for Delacorte Press, which is another standalone YA in the suspense/thriller vein. It’s scheduled to be published in 2018.

Thanks so much Karen!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Karen M. McManus earned her BA in English from the College of the Holy Cross and her MA in journalism from Northeastern University. Her debut young adult novel, ONE OF US IS LYING, will be released from Delacorte Press/Random House in May 2017 and published internationally in 18 territories. Karen’s work is represented by Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio. To learn more visit http://www.karenmcmanus.com, or follow @writerkmc on Twitter.

 

Find Karen

WebsiteTwitter | Instagram | Goodreads


ABOUT THE BOOK

Book Details:

Title: One of Us is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Delacorte Press/Random House
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audio

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.

“An addictive, devour-in-one-sitting thriller with so many twists and turns you’ll be wondering until the very end: Who really killed Simon?”—Kara Thomas, author of The Darkest Corners and Little Monsters

“This fast-paced blend of Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and classic John Hughes will leave readers racing to the finish as the try to unravel the mystery on their own.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A smart, twisted, and unpredictable YA mystery that will have readers guessing until the very end.”—SLJ

Book Links

Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Goodreads | IndieBound | Target

Giveaway:

What’s up for Grab?

  • Hardcover copy of the US edition of One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

The Rules:

  • Open to international where book depository ships
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced through rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends July 30th, 2017
  • Prize will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

9 Comments »

Celebrating Debutantes 2017: The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson (Author Interview and Giveaway)

Happy Friday!

I’m super thrilled to have debut author Lisa Thompson here on the blog today to answer few questions about her middle-grade contemporary novel, The Goldfish Boy. This special book not only offers intriguing mystery but also a wonderful character that will stay to readers for a long time. Matthew Corbin is a special kid not because he suffers a mental health condition called OCD but because he is very brave and he has a big heart.

Following the interview with Lisa is her author bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to buy copies of The Goldfish Boy. And if you are in the United States or Canada and you’d like to win a signed hardcover copy of the book just enter the rafflecopter form a bit further down in this post for a chance to win.

Here’s my interview with Lisa. Enjoy reading!

Interview with Lisa Thompson

First off, congrats on The Goldfish Boy. Can you tell us a bit about your journey in writing and publishing the book? What were the timescales involved between the first draft and the novel being accepted for publication?

Thank you! There was a lot of stopping, starting, rewriting the whole thing… giving up with the whole thing… starting all over again etc. I guess the actual writing of the first, main draft took about 12 months. Once I’d found the right agent it only took a fews weeks before I got a book deal. By far the greatest challenges for me were self-doubt. I thought I’d never get published so I put off trying… for years!! But shock news – you definitely won’t get published if you haven’t written a book!

There seems to be a growing trend to write about mental illness in fiction lately. Why do you think it has become an important theme in this genre of literature? And why did you decide to talk about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in particular?

I didn’t intentionally set out to write about mental health. The first bud of an idea was about a boy who was restricted to the ‘safety’ of his bedroom who witnesses something from his window. Around the same time I saw a documentary on TV about OCD and I was stunned at how debilitating it could be. I then found out a friend suffered with the condition and I met with a psychotherapist who is an expert in that field. I’ve been so pleased that The Goldfish Boy has been received so well by OCD sufferers, but I’m also glad it has subtly educated some readers who knew nothing about it.

Matthew is very effecting narrator. I just love the kid. Sometimes I wish I can do something for him. How did you get inside Matthew’s head to show the reader the mental turmoil he was experiencing? Is he a representation of someone you personally know or a byproduct of your imagination?

What a great question! I love him too! He’s completely from my imagination but I’m pretty sure there is a lot of me in there as well (although I don’t have OCD). We have the same sense of humour and I used lots of small memories from my childhood throughout the book – being sick in bed, my dad using a wallpaper steamer, the observations of a scorching, hot summers day etc. I think using your own memories but in a character’s point of view can be a good way to get inside their heads a little.

What kind of research you’ve done for the story and characters to be more authentic? Any surprises you encounter during digging?

As well as talking to friends with OCD and the psychotherapist, I read books and followed public forums on OCD websites for an insight in living with the condition. As for surprises, I really didn’t realise the many different ways OCD can manifest itself (from a fear of germs/obsessive cleanliness, to superstitions, intrusive thoughts, checking and ordering).

What message do you hope to send your readers who recognize themselves in the character of Matthew?

I’d hope that Matthew’s bravery in taking those first small steps to recovery would encourage someone in a similar position to do the same. You can tell that Matthew is scared and that he knows that recovery is not going to be easy, but he makes a start. Starting is the important bit. And the first place to start is by talking to someone.

What’s next for you after Goldfish Boy? Do you think you’ll stick with this type of genre or branch out into something else? Any future project we should look forward to?

I’m currently editing book 2 which is out next year. It’s another standalone novel which is rooted in contemporary fiction, but there is an element of fantasy about it. I’m really excited to see it on the shelves!

Thanks so much Lisa!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lisa Thompson worked as a radio broadcast assistant, first for the BBC and then for an independent production company, making plays and comedy programs. During this time she got to make tea for a lot of famous people. She lives in the countryside in England with her family. The Goldfish Boy is her first novel.

 

Find Lisa

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


ABOUT THE BOOK

Book Details:

Title: The Goldfish Boy
Author: Lisa Thompson
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Matthew Corbin suffers from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. He hasn’t been to school in weeks. His hands are cracked and bleeding from cleaning. He refuses to leave his bedroom. To pass the time, he observes his neighbors from his bedroom window, making mundane notes about their habits as they bustle about the cul-de-sac.

When a toddler staying next door goes missing, it becomes apparent that Matthew was the last person to see him alive. Suddenly, Matthew finds himself at the center of a high-stakes mystery, and every one of his neighbors is a suspect. Matthew is the key to figuring out what happened and potentially saving a child’s life… but is he able to do so if it means exposing his own secrets, and stepping out from the safety of his home?

Book Links

Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Goodreads | Publisher

Giveaway:

What’s up for Grab?

  • Signed hardback of The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

The Rules:

  • Open to US or Canada
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced through rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends July 28th, 2017
  • Prizes will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

3 Comments »

Celebrating Debutantes 2017: If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak (Author Interview and Giveaway)

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Today I’m joined on the blog by new author Carlie Sorosiak for a short interview about her debut contemporary novel, If Birds Fly Back. This fun novel introduced adorable characters, Linny and the nerdy boy Sebastian. As well as offers unique reading experience by adding snippets, quotations and excerpts from Sebastian’s favourite physics book.

Following the interview with Carlie is her author bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to buy copies of If Birds Fly Back. And if you are in the United States and you’d like the chance to win a hardcover copy of the book and bookmark, enter the rafflecopter form a bit further down in this post for a chance to win.

Here’s my interview with Carlie. Enjoy reading!

Interview with Carlie Sorosiak

Congratulations on your debut novel, If Birds Fly Back! My first question is about the extra clippings you add in the story. There are journal excerpts, screenplay excerpts and even quotations from a physics book in If Birds Fly Back. Had you always planned to write the book with those? Is there anything you wanted to accomplish by adding them?

Thank you so much! And actually, no—I hadn’t always planned to write a book that included those excerpts. They didn’t exist in earlier drafts of If Birds Fly Back, and funnily enough, weren’t included until the first round of edits with my publishers! The goal was to give the reader a better sense of the way Linny and Sebastian’s minds work, and I also had a lot of fun writing them.

If Birds Fly Back is written in dual perspectives of both male and female protagonists, giving readers a much-appreciated peek into both narratives. What was your approach to each character? Which was easier to write, Linny or Sebastian? Why?

Linny came first, way before Sebastian. I originally envisioned the story from completely her point of view, but as the narrative progressed, I fell more and more in love with Sebastian’s personality. Linny was much more quietly pensive, while Sebastian thought of everything in Technicolor. In a way, Linny is much more like me, so she was quite natural to write; but overall, I think Sebastian was easier: I wrote his sections so quickly. He seemed to have a mind of his own!

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing If Birds Fly Back?

I learned so much about astrophysics while writing my book, and I loved that! The research greatly expanded my understanding of the universe, and my place within it. I was most surprised to learn about the idea of the fourth dimension—and I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it!

Do you have any advice for writers hoping to get their books published?

Take advice from people you trust, and everyone else’s advice with a bucket of salt. Trusted beta readers are crucial!

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?

That’s such a difficult question—mostly because it takes me months to come up with a good title! It would probably be called Egghead, and the first line might read: “Sometimes being smart really sucks.”

Are you working on any project right now? What can we expect from you in the near future?

Yes! I just finished line edits for my second YA standalone novel, out in summer 2018. You can expect: more love, more family, and a little bit of magic.

Thanks so much Carlie!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carlie Sorosiak grew up in North Carolina and holds two master’s degrees: one in English from Oxford University and another in creative writing and publishing from City University London. Her life goals include traveling to all seven continents and fostering many polydactyl cats. She currently splits her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, hoping to gain an accent like Madonna’s. Visit her online at www.carliesorosiak.com.

 

Find Carlie

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


ABOUT THE BOOK

Book Details:

Title: If Birds Fly
Author: Carlie Sorosiak
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Pages: 448
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

A sparkling debut about love, family, and the mysteries of the universe.

Linny has been fascinated by disappearances, ever since her sister Grace ran away in the middle of the night without saying goodbye.

Sebastian can tell you how many galaxies there are, and knows how much plutonium weighs. But the one thing he can’t figure out is the identity of his birth father.

They’ve never met, but Linny and Sebastian have one thing in common: an obsession with famous novelist and filmmaker Alvaro Herrera, who went missing three years ago and has just reappeared. As they learn more about the mystery of Alvaro, Linny and Sebastian uncover the answers they’ve been searching for.

With humor and heart, debut author Carlie Sorosiak weaves a story of finding people who leave and loving those who stay, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Emery Lord.

Book Links

Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Goodreads | Publisher

Giveaway:

What’s up for Grab?

    • Hardcover copy of If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak
    • If Birds Fly Back Bookmark

The Rules:

  • Open to US residents
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced through rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends July 26th, 2017
  • Prizes will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

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Celebrating Debutantes 2017: Wait for Me by Caroline Leech (Author Interview and Giveaway)

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Today I’m joined on the blog by new author Caroline Leech to answer few questions about her debut historical romance novel, Wait for Me. This novel is set during World War II and shows how war affects lives and humanity.

Following the interview with Caroline is her author bio along with places where to find her online. Then there’s also the book description and where to buy copies of Wait for Me. And for a chance to own a personalized signed copy of the book, don’t forget to check the bottom of the post and enter the rafflecopter form for the special giveaway.

Here’s my interview with Caroline. Enjoy reading!

Interview with Caroline Leech

The road to publication for a first-time author is not necessarily a straightforward one – did you have to face rejection before securing a publishing deal? What other frustrations did you have to overcome in writing and publishing Wait For Me?
I was actually very lucky. I’m not one of those authors who received dozens of rejections before they were published, but that was only because I was simply too scared to send my story out to any agents or editors. Instead, I submitted it for critique at Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) conferences, and I entered it into a couple of Romance Writers of America contests. I won the YA categories of both of those, and was so fortunate that one of the contest judges loved my first 20 pages enough to ask for the full manuscript. Once I sent her the full, it moved very fast. She took it to her acquisitions board two weeks later and had sent me a deal offer for two books by the end of that day. It was completely surreal, and still is at times. My editor is fantastic, and we are already most of the way through my second book’s editing process.
Of course, getting my deal through a contest meant that I didn’t have an agent to help me decipher all the complicated figures and jargon in the deal offer. But some kind author friends recommended me to their agents, and they both offered me representation. It was a hard decision between them, but I am still thrilled that I chose to sign with New Leaf Literary and Media in New York. After all, my agent, Joanna Volpe, also looks after amazing authors like Veronica Roth, Leigh Bardugo and Holly Black.
That all might sound easy and quick, but I should say that the deal came almost five years after I first wrote that manuscript, and more than seven years after I first started writing fiction. So it wasn’t exactly an overnight success.

Wait For Me is classified as historical young adult fiction. What drew you to that genre?
Would “I have three teenage children” be a good enough answer? Probably not, but that’s certainly where it began. When my older daughter started in middle school, they were given reading time each day in English class, so I started reading the teen novels that she was borrowing from her teacher’s shelves or the school library. I think SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELLING PANTS was the first one. And then I discovered TWILIGHT. When I read Stephanie Meyer’s story of how she wrote that first book while she watched her kid’s swim lessons, I thought, “I could do that”. So, I tried to carve out a little time each week away from the family to write something, anything. And when I decided to take an online creative writing course, it felt natural that it was one which would teach me how to write for children and young adults. Since then, I’ve read YA almost exclusively. I do read adult fiction if someone recommends a great book to me, but I’m quite happy where I am. Young adult fiction can be about doing something for the very first time, about shunning childhood while still being fearful of becoming an adult. It’s a thrilling balance beam to walk along.

Why 1945? And what kind of research you’ve done for the story and characters to be more authentic on the period?
The main reason I wanted to write a story set in World War Two is that I’ve grown up with stories about the war told to me by my parents, aunts and uncles who lived through it. My mother was a child evacuee from London, sent with her younger sister to a farm in the countryside on the day that war broke out. My father was also an evacuee from Edinburgh, but in 1944, he was old enough to join the army at age 18, and he served during the last year of the war and for several years after. His four older brothers had already gone off to fight. Two went to North Africa and fought in the desert campaign, and two went over in the D-Day invasion of northern France. Of course, there have been hundreds of books written about WW2, about the military strategy, the major battles, and of course the horrendous events of the Holocaust, but those stories feel like they’re not mine to tell. Being Scottish, I was drawn to find and share voices from my own country, from individuals—and particularly young women—far from the battlefields, who were still dealing with how the war was changing their lives, their loves, their education and their families.
And why 1945 particularly? I was fascinated by the idea that while we know now that the war was almost over by February of that year, the people alive at the time had no way of knowing that. As far as they were concerned, the war might still have years left to run, so they had to carry on making do with what they had. So, I decided to focus on a small story, something happening within a tiny village, but where the effects of the war were still profound.
For authenticity and background, as well as facts, authors like me researching modern historical periods are very fortunate not only to have books, but also to have such a wealth of memories available on the internet. For example, the BBC did a project a few years ago, called WW2 People’s War, where anyone could get in touch with their local BBC station and share their memories, whether they were serving in the military or on the home front. It all makes fascinating and distracting reading, even if many of the stories I read had nothing directly to do with the subject of the book I was supposed to be researching.

What do you hope readers will come away with from Wait For Me?
I hope they will come away with a smile, but also, with some sort of understanding that it is very easy to judge and hate another person because of their nationality, their race or their religion, especially when you are told by your country’s government that they are your enemy. But once you get to know them as individuals, perhaps they might not be very different from you. This story might be about the Second World War, but keeping hold of this understanding is just as important for us right now as it was then.

If Lorna 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?
Oh, I don’t think Lorna would be the slightest bit interested in writing about my life. She’d probably think I was very boring, and also very spoiled. Any child of a farmer grows up with a list of chores to do around the farm each day, even before going to school. But I was brought up a city girl, and I only had to be awake enough to eat breakfast and get into my school uniform, not feed the chickens, milk the cows, and make the porridge as she would have had to do. I also didn’t have to deal with the rationing of food, clothing and fuel, and I didn’t ever jump when the postman knocked, in case he carried a much-dreaded telegram with news of a soldier brother. I grew up with a very easy life in comparison.

Where do you see your writing will go after Wait For Me? Do you think you’ll stick with this type of genre or branch out into something else?
I have a second book coming out next year with Harper Teen. It’s another World War Two book, also set in Scotland, though it’s not a sequel to WAIT FOR ME. It’s about another girl trying to work out how to make her own contribution to the war effort. I’ll be announcing more details of the title and the storyline quite soon in my newsletter, so I’d love your readers to visit my website at http://www.carolineleech.com and sign up to receive all the news as soon as it’s announced!

Thanks so much Caroline!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caroline Leech is a Scottish writer now living in Texas. She writes YA historical fiction, and her first novel, WAIT FOR ME, won SCBWI’s Joan Lowery Nixon Award in 2014, as well as the YA categories of both the RWA Emily and Lone Star contests, and was published by Harper Teen in early 2017. Her second novel will be published in May 2018. During Caroline’s previous career in performing arts public relations in the UK, she edited a glossy photographic book, Welsh National Opera – the first sixty years. Caroline lives in in Houston with her husband and three teenage children. You can find her online at http://www.carolineleech.com

Find Caroline

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ABOUT THE BOOK

Book Details:

Title: Wait for Me
Author: Caroline Leech
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: January 31, 2017
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audio

The perfect blend of sweet romance and historical flavor, Wait for Me, from debut author Caroline Leech, brings a fresh new voice to a much-loved genre.

It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country?

But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him—from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany—the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she’s always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate.

Book Links

Amazon | B&N | BAM | BookDepoGoodreads | Publisher

Giveaway:

What’s up for Grab?

    • Personalized US hardback edition of Wait for Me by Caroline Leech

The Rules:

  • Open to US residents
  • There will be one (1) winner
  • Winner will be chosen and announced through rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends July 18th, 2017
  • Prize will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2017 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post or check out twitter and facebook using #CelebratingDebutantes2017.

2 Comments »