All Hallow’s Read Giveaway – 2015 (closed)

Hello gentle reader,

this year again I’ve decided to join the initiative called All Hallow’s Read. The idea? Give someone a scary book for Halloween.

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Fantasy author Neil Gaiman made a lovely (!) video to explain this Halloween tradition:

So I’ve chosen to join this initiative by giving away a copy of SLASHER GIRLS AND MONSTER BOYS, a YA anthology curated by April Genevieve Tucholke.

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From Goodreads:

For fans of Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Lois Duncan, and Daphne Du Maurier comes a powerhouse anthology featuring some of the best writers of YA thrillers and horror.

A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke.

Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.

Fans of TV’s The Walking Dead, True Blood, and American Horror Story will tear through tales by these talented authors: Stefan BachmannLeigh BardugoKendare BlakeA. G. HowardJay KristoffMarie LuJonathan MaberryDanielle PaigeCarrie RyanMegan ShepherdNova Ren SumaMcCormick TemplemanApril Genevieve TucholkeCat Winters.

Giveaway information:

The giveaway is open until Sunday 2d November 2015 at 9am (BST time).

To enter please fill in the contact form below with your name and email. If you follow my blog by email or WordPress, if you are a Twitter follower, if you like my page on Facebook, if you follow me on Pinterest or Tumblr, or if you tweet about the giveaway, this will grant you an extra entry. Mention it below.

Entrants must be at least 13 years of age.

This giveaway is open Internationally, as long as the Book Depository ships to your country.

The Best Of 2012 – Books by Debut Authors

Hello gentle reader,

I hope you had a lovely Christmas!

As the end of the year draws near, I am looking back at 2012… I already mentioned a few TV shows I watched this year in this post. And today I’d like to give you a list of my favourite 2012 debut authors. I have interviewed a few of them on my blog and you can click on their names to read those interviews.

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The Gathering Dark (aka Shadow and Bone) by Leigh Bardugo (YA High Fantasy)

Something-Strange-and-Deadly

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard (YA Steampunk/Horror)

Throne of Glass- UK cover

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (YA High Fantasy)

Skylark

Skylark by Meagan Spooner (YA Dystopia)

Hollow-Pike

Hollow Pike by James Dawson (YA Paranormal)

The-Forsaken-UK

The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse (YA Dystopia)

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Struck by Jennifer Bosworth (YA Paranormal)

Cavendish

The Cavendish Home For Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand (MG Gothic Fantasy)

Black City-Elizabeth Richards

Black City by Elizabeth Richards (YA Dystopia)

What did you read in 2012? Which debut author did you discover? Feel free to leave me a comment below!

The Best Of 2012 – TV Shows

Hello gentle reader,

As the end of the year draws near, it is now time to look back at 2012… Fans of Sci-Fi and Fantasy had many TV shows to choose from this year. Here are a few I watched…

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Game of Thrones (Series 2 – HBO) Epic Fantasy

Merlin Series 5 promo

Merlin (Series 5 (final series) – BBC): Arthurian Fantasy

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Misfits (Series 4 – E4): Science Fiction (Superheroes)

Doctor Who Series 7

Doctor Who (Series 7 – BBC): Science Fiction (Time-travel)

Revolution-Season-1-Promo

Revolution (Series 1 – NBC): Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction

being-human-us-season-2

Being Human US (Series 2 – Syfy): Supernatural Drama

the_walking_dead_season_3_poster

The Walking Dead (Series 3 – AMC): Post-Apocalyptic Horror (Zombies)

TVDS4promo

The Vampire Diaries (Series 4 – CW): Supernatural Drama

promo-teen-wolf-season-2

Teen Wolf (Series 2- MTV): Supernatural Drama

What did you watch this year?

A Writer in the Spotlight – Susan Dennard

Something Strange and Deadly, a YA historical novel with zombies and a steampunk vibe, is out TODAY! And I have the pleasure to interview debut author Susan Dennard about the release and her writing process. As a reminder, the idea behind the “Writer in the Spotlight” feature is that published authors are the best source of advice for us, would-be-published writers.

Author : Susan Dennard

Genre : Young Adult, Fantasy

Location: Germany

Website: http://susandennard.com

Official Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnQuHXPTUP0&feature=youtu.be

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4499623.Susan_Dennard

Twitter: www.twitter.com/stdennard

Books : Something Strange and Deadly series: Something Strange and Deadly (2012), A Darkness Strange and Lovely (2013) from Harper Teen.

My interview (22/07/2012):

On writing

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

I can’t say that I ALWAYS knew. I didn’t start putting my daydreams onto paper until I was around 13 or so. After that, all my dreams of a becoming a marine biologist vanished in my obsession with writing (though I was a TERRIBLE writer). Of course, I was such a snotty teen, though, that I refused to be taught–I didn’t want to learn to write since I thought I was already amazing. Ha! Then, when I went off to school to major in creative writing, I got side-tracked by marine biology. Funny how those things work!

I still love science and the marine world. College and graduate school were amazing experiences. In fact, the only reason I returned to writing was because my husband and I would have to live apart if I pursued my PhD. So–rather than separate–I moved with him to Germany, started writing (and studying the craft of writing) full-time, and the rest is history! 😉

When and where do you write?

I write in my office everyday. Or…I do something writing-related everyday. I’m very strict about this. My rule is that if my husband is working, I ought to be too! So either I’m BICHOK-ing (butt-in-chair, hands-on-keyboard), revising, or working on “administrative stuff” (emails, blogging, self-promotion, etc.).

What do you say to people who want to be writers?

Do it! Sit down and write. That’s the only way to achieve your dreams–but make sure you dream big too! I think success is three-part: aiming high, working hard, and not giving up. It’s so EASY to let dreams slide away when things take a while or don’t work out as you’d hoped. But you CAN’T give up. My mantra before I was published and to this day is: “It’s not a race. You know what you want, Sooz, so just keep on plugging away until you get there.”

I want to share my stories with as many people as possible, and so that’s what I’m trying to do!

On Something Strange and Deadly

To write this book, where did you get your inspiration from? (How did you come up with a historical novel with zombies?!)

Well, the initial premise came from a dream. My brother was missing; I knew I’d do anything to save him; and the only people who could help  mewere a ragtag team of outcasts. I took that idea and fleshed it out. I knew I wanted a paranormal/creepy element, and I settled on ghosts and corpses after rummaging through what scared me most! It sounds so silly, but honestly, I scanned my shelves trying to pick out which books made my skin crawl. If I was scared, then surely I could transfer that fear onto the page–and nothing creeps me out more than ghouls and zombies!

The historical aspect–specifically 1876–came about because I knew I wanted a steampunk vibe (but not 100% steampunk). I adore 19th century literature and history, and after some preliminary research, I discovered the Centennial Exhibition (the first American World’s Fair). I thought, “Whoa! What a great place for walking corpses! What if…what if my team of outcasts are actually zombie-fighters brought in to protect the Exhibition?”

And that, my friends, is how Something Strange and Deadly came to be.

Why did you choose to write for young adults?

I’m not sure I ever consciously set out to write YA…I just knew I wanted to write a book that I would love. And of all the books I’ve read, the ones that stay with me the most are the books I enjoyed growing up and during my teen years. I knew I wanted to write THAT sort of book, and so…I did! 🙂

 What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m writing the third book in the Something Strange and Deadly series (so weird to work on it when book 1 isn’t even out yet!) as well as a novella set before the events in the trilogy. I’m also working on some other projects–Screechers, an epic fantasy in a desert world; an untitled space opera with author Sarah Maas (Throne of Glass, Bloomsbury 2012); and a fluffy, fun contemporary.

You can buy Something Strange and Deadly on Amazon here. And you can enter the Something Strange and Deadly Outbreak giveaway here.

A Writer in the Spotlight – Kendare Blake

This week again I was lucky enough to have a YA author give me an exclusive interview! The idea behind the “Writer in the Spotlight” feature is that published (and bestselling) authors are the best source of advice for us, would-be-published writers. Today’s interview is with the ever awesome Kendare Blake, whose YA ghost story Anna Dressed In Blood is one of my favourite books.

 

Author : Kendare Blake

Genre : Young Adult, Paranormal, Ghost story, Horror

Website : http://kendareblake.com/

Blog: http://kendare-blake.livejournal.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/KendareBlake

Books : The Anna series: Anna Dressed In Blood (2011), Girl of Nightmares (released August 7th, 2012)

                  Sleepwalk Society (2010)

                   Antigoddess (released 2013)

My interview (13/07/2012):

On writing:

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Yes. Though I didn’t think of it as a practical option after I graduated from high school. I still didn’t think it was a practical option when I decided to do it after grad school. But by then I’d come to terms with the idea of being a starving artist.

When and where do you write?

I write when I have spare time. And after I’ve done everything else that could possibly need doing. (Master procrastinator!) My office is in my apartment and consists of a kitchen table, a printer, my laptop, stacks of books and sheafs of paper.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

No! And now I must go find wood and knock on it, and pet my black cat backwards.

What do you say to people who want to be writers?

Excellent! Books books and more books. The world needs ’em.

Can you tell us a little bit about your publishing journey? (the different steps and how long it took you to be published)

I’ll tell you Anna’s story. Which was not the first book I wrote, or the first book I sold. The first book I wrote (seriously wrote, not wrote during childhood) was the first book I sold, but it took forever.

I wrote Anna in about eight months. Queried agents for about two months. Got a few requests for fulls, and some rejections. Ended up with two offers of representation, both from amazing agents. One a smaller more boutique agent, and another with the backing of a big agency. Talked with both of them. Ended up going with the smaller agency. Anna went out on submission and was out for about three months. I think. We started getting nibbles around the month and a half mark. Some rejections. Went to a few editorial boards. Wound up with two offers, so I guess you’d call that a mini-auction. I went with Mel Frain, at Tor Teen, and she’s excellent and bodacious. Anna sold in April, 2010 and pubbed in August 2011.

 

On “Anna Dressed In Blood”:

What made you choose to write a ghost/horror story?

I wanted to play Silent Hill but was too scared. And I missed reading Stephen King and Anne Rice. When I was in London, I’d rekindled my love of the fantastic, with Joe Hill and Angela Carter.

What is striking about your book is its voice. Did you work a lot on that or did it come to you naturally when you started writing the book?

Cas’ voice came naturally. I can’t imagine how hard it would have been if it hadn’t. He was real from the moment he hit the page. If he hadn’t been, I probably would’ve stopped.

To write this book, where did you get your inspiration from?

No idea. Anna’s name came to me first. Anna Dressed in Blood. And I thought, who’s that? Oh of course. She’s a dead girl who kills people. Hmm. Someone ought to kill her.

Cas is awesome. Anna is amazing. How did you come up with those characters?!

They sort of came up with themselves. I knew what Anna was, but not exactly who. She was a murderous ghost. A real badass. That side was easy. Her human part didn’t reveal until later. I knew Cas was a ghost hunter, with a knife. I knew he’d go after her, and that he was a loner. That’s about it.

What type of music did you listen to when you wrote this book?

I didn’t! I can’t write and listen to music that often. I usually end up just jamming, and nothing gets done.

What are you working on now?

Right now is that wonderful phase of juggle city! I’m halfway through the second book in my new series and the first one comes back ready for edits. So I’m putting aside the second this week to polish up the first.

The new series kicks off with ANTIGODDESS next August. It’s Greek gods in the modern world. Athena and Hermes and Odysseus and Cassandra. Dying gods at war and the teens who get caught in their mess. Very, Terminator. Or Terminator 2. Maybe just very Sarah Connor.

 

Reading advice:

Which authors inspire you now? Any YA books you would recommend?

Right now I’m halfway through WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE by Shirley Jackson. Not YA exactly but holy shit. How have I not read this before? It’s a flipping masterpiece. Ominous and so beautiful. On the YA side I’m consistently inspired by the short stories of Holly Black, and by loads of others. I’d recommend reading her collection THE POISON EATERS and also…well, it depends what you’re in the mood for. Suzanne Young’s A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL is amazing. The sequel, A WANT SO WICKED is out now. Kristen Simmons’ ARTICLE 5 is harrowing. Deb Caletti’s STAY from last year…so many more!

Thanks for the interview Kendare!

Thank you for having me by the blog! And for the fun interview questions 🙂

Girl of Nightmares will be out on August 7th, 2012. Buy it on Amazon here.

Friday Film – Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

This week I’m excited about today’s release of Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.

Why do I want to see it? Watch this trailer:

So, I haven’t read the book by Seth Grahame-Smith but I really want to watch the movie, as it includes:

a) vampires

b) Abraham Lincoln

c) Tim Burton as a producer

d) Rufus Sewell

I mean, what more can you ask for?!

What are you going to watch this week?

Waiting On Wednesday – 7

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by book blogger Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Today I have chosen Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard (Expected publication: July 24th 2012 by HarperTeen). It is a 2012 debut and a YA/historical/steampunk novel with zombies. Doesn’t it sound awesome?

From Goodreads:

“The years is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.”

Visit Susan’s website here.

What are you waiting for this week?