Tuesday, March 31, 2015

5 Star #bookreview I Heart Robot by Suzanne Van Rooyen @chapterxchapter @Suzanne_Writer @month9books #ya #romance #sciencefiction

Today, I'm reviewing I Heart Robot by Suzanne Van Rooyen as part of the blog tour and there's a giveaway at the bottom. (note - there's a second post today for an absolutely adorable (ah, bear cubs!) romance below this post. Don't forget to check it out, but now, back to I Heart Robot - one of the best books I've this year! First, a bit about the book.

Amazon Blurb:
Sixteen-year-old Tyri wants to be a musician and wants to be with someone who won't belittle her musical aspirations. Q-I-99 aka 'Quinn' lives in a scrap metal sanctuary with other rogue droids. While some use violence to make their voices heard, demanding equal rights for AI enhanced robots, Quinn just wants a moment on stage with his violin to show the humans that androids like him have more to offer than their processing power. Tyri and Quinn's worlds collide when they're accepted by the Baldur Junior Philharmonic Orchestra. As the rift between robots and humans deepens, Tyri and Quinn's love of music brings them closer together, making Tyri question where her loyalties lie and Quinn question his place in the world. With the city on the brink of civil war, Tyri and Quinn make a shocking discovery that turns their world inside out. Will their passion for music be enough to hold them together while everything else crumbles down around them, or will the truth of who they are tear them apart?

Purchase Links:

Link to Goodreads:

Book Trailer Link:

My review:
I knew I wanted to read I Heart Robot from the moment I saw the cover and blurb. The musical connection drew me in further as I played piano as a kid, including mostly classical pieces.

The book didn’t disappoint. I Heart Robot ranks high in the top 5 books I’ve read in the past year and easily garnishes a rare 5 stars from me. Grammar, formatting, and writing skill are equally top-notch.  Ms. Van Rooyen has a lovely, artistic voice without overdoing it, and she weaves the texture of sound through every passage, making music as important to the reader as the main characters.

I Heart Robot is set in a future Scandinavia, and culture and fascinating technology are also woven seamlessly into the story.

Teenage Tyri lives with her mom, a roboticist, and Glitch, her Shiba Inu with a prosthetic leg. She lives for music and wants to play a violin solo for the local youth orchestra, against her mother’s wishes that she find a more “useful” career. Her main competition is Quinn, a beautiful boy who plays with technical precision. He shares her passion for music, but has a slightly different agenda for winning the coveted solo spot. He wants to prove that robots are capable of so much more than servitude as he pretends to be human. Quinn and Tyri both develop feelings for each other as their friends and family pull them in opposite directions.

In fact, the world is set on the verge of robots rebelling against humans in search of the same rights to freedom and safety. Quinn has robot friends who’ve joined the local resistance. Tyri has friends who are determined to destroy any chance of the robots succeeding, even if it means the destruction of all. Pretty sure there’s got to be sparks in that set up – but I’m not spoiling anyone’s fun by sharing!

I highly recommend this book with 5 stars. The world-building is awesome, the relationships tense and beautiful. 

About Suzanne:

Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Sweden and is busy making friends with the ghosts of her Viking ancestors. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When she grows up, she wants to be an elf – until then, she spends her time (when not writing) wall climbing, buying far too many books, and entertaining her shiba inu, Lego.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway Blog tour hosted by Month9Books.

Book release - Raising the Stakes by Karen Rock #romance #adorable

I don't post a lot of romances, usually only the ones with something special in addition to the romance - and this one has SPECIAL and ADORABLE in spades! I might have to read it asap!

Hiding from the world… 

Tucking herself away in the Adirondack woods was supposed to keep Vivienne Harris safe. From dark memories of the Bronx, from danger, from entanglements. But when an orphaned bear cub raids her pantry and conservation officer Liam Walsh appears with news of poachers nearby, her private, peaceful world is turned upside down!

Suddenly two forces are drawing her out—Button, the cub who needs her help, and Liam, the man who's dead set against her rehabilitating the bear. If she can just win Liam's support, Vivie knows she can give Button a good life. And maybe find the courage to embrace a future with Liam…

“What about the cub?”
His gaze swerved to hers. “I’ll have to put it down if I can’t find the mother.”
Vivie clutched the back of a chair, lightheaded and nauseous. “What? No!” How could he say that so casually? 
“I’ve called around and our wildlife rehabilitators are overloaded. Since the cub is too young to fend for itself, the humane thing to do is—”
“Kill it?” she stormed, interrupting. “How is that humane?” The cub’s frightened eyes came to mind and she backed up against the pantry door. Officer or not, he wouldn’t take the bear. Stop her from helping. It’d come to her home. Had sought refuge here.
He pulled off his hat and rubbed his forehead. “Ma’am, I don’t expect you to understand. But you need to trust me and move aside so that I can do my job.”
“Not a chance,” she ground out, wishing her pepper spray wasn’t across the room.
“Please be reasonable.” He raised his eyebrows, looking harmless. His holstered weapon told a different story.
Maybe she could reason with him, though she’d failed before. There had to be a way to save the cub. “How do you become a wildlife rehabilitator?”
He drew in a long breath and crossed his arms over his chest. “Pass a certification test then work under the supervision of a rehabilitator for six months.”
Tests. She hated them. Had only ever done well on presentation-style exams in culinary school. Still, for the baby bear...anything. “And when is the next one?”
“In a week.” He made a vague motion in the air with his hand. “Look. I’d be happy to discuss that with you another time, but the cub might be suffering. Please step aside so that I can take it.”
She raised her voice over her drumming heartbeat. “I’ll pass the test. Get certified.”
He ran a hand through his hair, making the curl-tipped ends stand up. “You’d have to study hundreds of pages of online material. It’s not easy. Trust me. I took it and barely finished my apprenticeship before my academy training started.”
“So you’re a certified wildlife rehabilitator? You could care for it.”
His chin jerked. “I already have a job.”
Her mind shifted into overdrive, churning up possibilities. “Not next week. You said you’re on vacation. You could take her while I study for the test.”
He blew out a long breath. “I don’t have an enclosure—something you’ll need along with someone to supervise you.”
She tried to come across as commanding, though at five-foot-three inches that was always a challenge. “You could help with both.”
He shook his head, his earnest expression replaced with a wash of annoyance. “Out of the question. There are too many ifs in that idea.”
She tried keeping the heat out of her voice. The DEC. Always so difficult. Especially Walsh. “Why? I’m sure you could call in a favor. Ask one of the rehabilitators to find temporary space for the cub. Then I’ll pass the test and, with your help, be approved to care for it. Don’t you want to do the right thing?”
Wasn’t that his job?
“I do. Which is why I’m taking the bear. Now.”
“Not a chance. You’ll have to go through me first.” She hated to sound dramatic, use a cheesy line from bad TV, but there was no other way to say it.
A crease appeared between his brows, his eyes scanning hers. Finally, he released a long breath.
“How about this—I’ll take her to the vet where they’ll check her jaw, give her some food and a safe place to stay, temporarily, while I continue investigating.”
She considered, wishing she could trust him. But after her dealings with him before, her faith was on the short side.
“Let’s try this,” she countered. “I’ll go with you and stay with the bear until you come back. Then we’ll talk about what happens next.”
He settled his hat back on, pinching the indented top. “There’s no reason to get more involved, ma’am.”
She pulled out her cell and tapped in Maggie’s number. Someone could come by and pick up the pies. Another worker would be called in for an extra shift. The Homestead would manage without her today. She wasn’t leaving the cub’s side until she knew it’d be safe—from nature and the DEC.
“It’s much too late for that, Officer Walsh.”
She studied him for a long, heavy moment, then moved aside. If the cub’s mother was dead, then she’d take on the role.
And nothing was more ferocious than a mama bear…

Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary romance author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time writer.  Currently she writes for Harlequin Heartwarming and has published five novels with them. Her first novel for the line, WISH ME TOMORROW, has won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2014 Golden Quill Contest and was a finalist in the Published Maggie Awards. The first novel in her co-authored YA series, CAMP BOYFRIEND, has been a finalist in the Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards.

Quarterly Newsletter:  http://bit.ly/1rcOVJK
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1reobGf

Monday, March 30, 2015

Interview & #giveaway:Jen McConnel author of Gods of Chaos @chapterxchapter @Jen_McConnel @month9books

Please join my stop on the blog tour for an interview with Jen McConnel, author of Gods of Chaos. Read through for a giveaway.


Title: Gods of Chaos (Red Magic #2)
Publication date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Jen McConnel

The gods of chaos cannot be trusted.

Since battling her best friend, Darlena’s grip on Red Magic has been shaky. She heads to Scotland after the Winter Solstice in search of another Red Witch.

On a sightseeing excursion with girls from her hostel, Darlena arrives at The Vaults, a mysterious underground city beneath Edinburgh. But there is something there that make Darlena’s instincts go haywire, as she lets loose a defensive burst of Red Magic, putting everyone around her in danger.

If there was ever a time when Darlena needed the help of another Red witch, it was now. But beware the witch who wields Red Magic.

Link to Goodreads:

Purchase Links:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks |

1. Where/how did you come up with the idea for your story? Did it suddenly pop into your head or were you brainstorming?

I used to teach middle school, and my students and I were using story starters one day. The sentence that sparked what became the Red Magic series? “She was a funny looking old woman, but…” I just started writing like crazy during the first period, and by the end of the day, I realized I’d stumbled into a really fun idea!

2. Did you start with the main character, the world or the overarching concept?

From the first, I knew this story was going to be in first person, and within seconds of starting that story starter, Darlena had introduced herself to me and taken the reins. She’s a really fun character to write!

3. Panster or Plotter? Or in between?

Total pantser on the first draft, but I’ve got pretty methodical approaches to subsequent revisions, where I plan and analyze. But for that first draft, I’m all about Anne Lamott’s advice in BIRD BY BIRD, and I embrace the “shitty first draft”.

4. Are you a fan of writing contests?

I’ve entered a few. I really love the SCBWI Carolinas Art and Writing Contest; it’s a great way to get feedback whether you win or not (and it was also a really big thrill to place second a few years ago with the first pages of another one of my YA manuscripts!)

5. How did you find your agent? How many query letters did you send?

Currently, I’m working without an agent. I had one briefly at the start of my writing career, but she left the business before selling any of my titles, so all the books I’ve got out I’ve queried on my own, directly to the publishers. I’ve lost track of how many agent and publisher queries I’ve sent over the years, but I can tell you that I actively started pursuing publication in 2011, and I’m sure I must have sent hundreds of queries and submissions by now. Persistence is key!

6. What's the best marketing tool you've found so far?

I love participating in book festivals and giving talks at schools, libraries, and conferences. Social media is a ton of fun, but I’m first and foremost a face-to-face person, and there’s nothing quite like meeting readers in person!

7. What do you like best about your mc?

I love that she’s stubborn, and I actually love her tendency to make bad choices…Darlena’s certainly never boring to write!

8. What do you like best about your main antagonist?

The antagonist of the series shifts between the different books, but the goddess Hecate remains the primary force Darlena is up against. I like playing with mythology to create a character who’s insanely powerful and yet, at the same time, limited by the choices of mortals. That’s true of all the gods and goddesses in the Red Magic series, and I’ve loved writing each and every one of them.

Thanks so much for hosting me!!

About the Author:

Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she also holds a MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.  When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.  Her fiction titles include YA and NA, and she also writes nonfiction. Visit http://www.jenmcconnel.com  to learn more.

Connect With Jen

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Blog tour hosted by:

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Best in Blogs March 22-27 #amwriting #amreading

Here's this week's look at the best blogs regarding writing and reading in my wanderings. And continue below - there's a spotlight post of Legal Obstruction by Sylvie Grayson

Writer Unboxed
About the craft and business of writing - a blog I make sure to read regularly
"A Trove of Trivial One Liners...
ADDICTION CONDITION. A mental state where “have more” equals “need more.”  For writers, success is often an addiction condition.
APOSTROPHE CATASTROPHE. Any spelling or punctuation or usage error about which a sensible writer should know better.
BACKPREDICT. 1. To write a synopsis or outline of a successful movie or book in order to deepen understanding of its structure. 2. Derive early story elements from later events."

Operation Awesome
Great blog to watch for writing advice, contests, and agent info
"More on Contests, April Mystery Agent Lottery, and Nestpitch
I really enjoyed Aimee's post yesterday about contests--and I agree that they're a great opportunity for writers to get their work in front of agents and editors."

Project Mayhem
The Manic Mind of Middle Grade Writers
"Must Read Mid-Grade for 2015: March and April Edition by Caroline Starr RoseThere are so many incredible middle-grade titles releasing this year, I decided to dedicate my posts these next months to sharing as many as I can with you."

Adventures in YA Publishing
Awesome writer info and the BEST giveaways
"Now that Spring is officially here, we hope it's starting to warm up in your area so you can enjoy reading outside. There are a lot of great books releasing this week. Which one would you like to read while soaking up some sun?"

and check out this post too...
"Free First Five Pages Workshop Opens on April 4!"

Okay, gotta have some fun now and then!
"Why Pixar Movies Are All Secretly About the Apocalypse"

Michelle4Laughs - scroll to March 23 posts to see all the entries
Agent interview, contests and more - check this posts if you're a PB writer
"...Commenting on entries is for agents only. If you'd like to cheer or rave about a favorite, please hop over to twitter at the hashtag #PBParty. The party continues there as we celebrate and support our fellow writers.

Thanks to everyone who entered. I hope to have another PB contest this summer. Stay tuned to the blog for future news."

Project Mayhem
Middlegrade writers - reflecting on a sad event
"The world is simply that much lighter now. Losing Terry Pratchett is no small thing, in this world- the world of words."

What was your favorite blog post this week? Give it a shout out in the comments - even if it's yours!

Spotlight Legal Obstruction by Sylvie Grayson #suspense #romance

Looking for a little romance in your thriller? Today we're spotlighting  Legal Obstruction by Sylvie Grayson.

When Emily Drury takes a job as legal counsel for an import-export company, she doesn't make the decision lightly. She needs to get away to someplace safe.
Joe Tanner counts himself lucky. He’s charmed a successful big city lawyer into heading up the legal department of his rapidly expanding business. But why would a beautiful woman who could easily make partner in the high profile legal firm where she works, give it all up to come to a place like Bonnie?
A mystery surrounds her arrival that wraps them both in ever tightening tentacles. As Joe realizes she has become essential to his happiness, his first reaction is to protect her. But he doesn't know the whole story.

Can Emily trust him enough to divulge her secret? Will he learn what he needs to know in time to stop the avalanche that's gaining speed as it races down the hill toward her?

Purchase at Amazon 


Sylvie Grayson loves to write about suspense, romance and attempted murder, in both contemporary and science fiction/fantasy. She has lived most of her life in British Columbia, Canada in spots ranging from Vancouver Island on the west coast to the North Peace River country and the Kootenays in the beautiful interior. She spent a one year sojourn in Tokyo Japan.
She has been an English language instructor, a nightclub manager, an auto shop bookkeeper and a lawyer. Now she works part time as the owner of a small company, and writes when she finds the space and energy.
She is a wife and mother and still loves to travel, having recently completed a trip to Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam and Hong Kong. She lives on the coast of the Pacific Ocean with her husband on a small patch of land near the sea that they call home.

If you enjoyed this book, please consider giving a review.

Sylvie loves to hear from her readers, you can email her at sylviegraysonauthor@gmail.com. You can visit her at her website – www.sylviegrayson.com or find her on facebook.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Chapter reveal: Hunted by Abi Ketner, Missy Kalicicki #M9BFridayReveals #giveaway #ya

Welcome to this week’s M9B Friday Reveal!
This week, we are revealing Chapter 3 of
Hunted (Sinners #2) by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki
presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
HUNTED is the electrifying sequel to the bestselling debut BRANDED, A Sinners Series, by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki.
It’s been three months since the revolt against the Commander’s fifty-year-old regime failed.
Under a new ruler, things were supposed to change. Get better.
But can anyone really be trusted?
Lexi and Cole soon find out, as life takes an unexpected turn for the worse.
In this ever-changing world, you must hunt or be hunted.
Lives will be lost.
Dreams will be crushed.
Fears will be realized.
Secrets will be exposed.
When Cole is once again faced with losing Lexi at the hands of a monster, one encounter will change everything.
Connect with BRANDED fans on Instagram at:
add to goodreadsTitle: Hunted (Sinners #2)
Publication date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki
Available for Pre-order:
You can read Chapter Three HERE!
Happy Reading and Enjoy!
Abi and Missy 2
Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumbler
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!


Thursday, March 26, 2015

#T4T Book Blitz & #giveaway The Dragonrider Chronicles by Nicole Conway

Hello and welcome to this week’s Two for Thursday Book Blitz #T4T
presented by Month9books/Tantrum Books!
Today, we will be showcasing two titles that may tickle your fancy,
and we’ll share what readers have to say about these titles!
You just might find your next read!
This week, #T4T presents to you:
Fledgling (The Dragonrider Chronicles, #1) by Nicole Conway
Avian (The Dragonrider Chronicles, #2) by Nicole Conway
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Can one boy stand between two kingdoms at war?
Jaevid Broadfeather has grown up as a wartime refugee, hiding from the world because of his mixed racial heritage. He feels his future is hopeless, until a chance encounter with a wild dragon lands him in Blybrig Academy—a place usually forbidden to anyone but the rich and royal. But Jaevid’s case is special; no dragon has voluntarily chosen a rider in decades, so the proud riders of Blybrig must begrudgingly let him join their brotherhood despite his bloodline. Lieutenant Sile Derrick, a sternly tempered man with a mysterious past, becomes his instructor and immediately takes a peculiar interest in Jaevid’s future.
While struggling through the rigorous physical demands of training, things begin to go awry. Jaevid witnesses the king’s private guards kidnapping Sile in the dead of night. When none of the elder riders are willing to help him, Jaevid begins a dangerous adventure to save his instructor.
Everything Jaevid learned at the academy will now be put to the ultimate test.
add to goodreads

Available for Purchase:

amazon B&N

What Readers are Saying:

“The author has taken the dragon concept putting her own unique spin and creating a captivating new series that spark the imagination.”Mandy, The Reading Diaries

Nicole Conway does a fantastic job creating her world and describing it in a way that the images fill my head while reading.”
Cassandra – Lost in Books

“It was a nice, fast read and I'm really hoping that we learn more about the Grey Elves, the war and the Dragons in future books because this series has the potential to be really great.”
Natalie – Book Lovers Life

What kind of power is lurking inside him? After a year of training to become a dragonrider, Jaevid Broadfeather has been sent home to rest during a three-month interlude. But when he returns to find the king drake has chosen Beckah Derrick as his new rider, Jaevid realizes something big is about to happen. Every fiber of his being is pushed to the breaking point as Jaevid battles through his avian year, preparing for the final graduation test of the battle scenario. But there is more standing in his way than a few pushups and fancy sword moves. Jaevid must face a new fear as he is tormented by a gruesome nightmare of a mysterious gray elf warrior murdering the royal family of Maldobar. It seems obvious to him that this is some kind of message about how the war started long ago—until Felix assures him the king is very much alive. With his strange powers growing stronger by the day, and that violent dream replaying in his mind every night, Jaevid no longer wonders if he will pass his avian year or not—he wonders if he will even survive it. The truth will soon be set loose.
add to goodreads
Available for Purchase:
amazon B&N

What Readers are Saying:

“I highly recommend this series to fans of Eragon and Lord of the Rings because those movies jump to mind a lot when I’m reading this series.”Cassandra – Lost in Books

“This was a very exciting book two that kept me turning the pages as fast as I could to see what would happen next.”
Jasmyn – Bitten by Romance

“This is a sequel of pure perfection!” – Nay – Nay’s Pink Bookshelf
Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.
Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.
She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.
Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Complete the Rafflecopter for a chance to win!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Blog Tour & #Giveaway - The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl by Leigh Statham @chapterxchapter @LeighStatham @month9books


Publication date: March 17, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Leigh Statham

Lady Marguerite lives a life most 17th century French girls can only dream of: Money, designer dresses, suitors and a secure future. Except, she suspects her heart may be falling for her best friend Claude, a common smithie in the family’s steam forge. When Claude leaves for New France in search of a better life, Marguerite decides to follow him and test her suspicions of love. Only the trip proves to be more harrowing than she anticipated. Love, adventure and restitution await her, if she can survive the voyage.


Purchase Links:


Leigh Statham was raised in the wilds of rural Idaho, but found her heart in New York City. She worked as a waitress, maid, artist, math teacher, nurse, web designer, art director, thirty-foot inflatable pig and mule wrangler before she settled down in the semi-quiet role of wife, mother and writer. She resides in North Carolina with her husband, four children, five chickens and two suspected serial killer cats. If the air is cool and the sun is just coming up over the horizon, you can find her running the streets of her small town, plotting her next novel with the sort of intensity that will one day get her hit by a car.

Connect with the Author: Website |Twitter Facebook | Goodreads

Monday, March 23, 2015

Blog tour - Interview: Shadows Have Gone by Lissa Bryan #dystopian #romance #giveaway

Welcome to today's blog tour. Read through to the bottom for a giveaway

Shadows Have Gone

Book 3 of End of All Things Series
by Lissa Bryan
Release Date: March 26 , 2015
Genre: FICTION / Dystopian/ Romance / General  ISBN e-book:    978-1-61213-375-1
Available from: Amazon, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and TWCS PH

Carly Daniels knows what it is to suffer loss. She knows what it is to sacrifice. In the two years since a pandemic virus—known only as the Infection—decimated humanity, she’s made choices she never could have imagined. She’s condoned violence in the name of peace and done the unthinkable in the name of mercy. But with Justin at her side, she’s also learned there’s nothing she can’t face and nothing she wouldn’t do to protect those she loves.
But now another threat has arrived in the form of a uniformed man driving an army truck, claiming to represent the remnant of the United States military. Someone has set their sights on their community . . . and on Justin. The struggle to defend their little homeland is far from over, and the visitors may have brought more danger with them than just their weapons.
The shadows are closing in. Carly has to find out whether she has the strength to stand on her own when all of her support has fallen away. What remains when the shadows have gone?

1.                Where/how did you come up with the idea for your story? Did it suddenly pop into your head or were you brainstorming?
Ive always loved post-apocalyptic stories, but the lack of realism in some of them irritates me. Like in The Walking Dead – its been over a year since the disaster and every car the characters come upon still works (and is surprisingly dust-free). When I find something like that in a story, it fires my imagination and I start re-thinking it as it would be if those details were correct. Over the years I “wrote” a lot of books in my head this way, inspired by stories I read or watched, but changed around to be the way I wanted them.
This book owes a lot to Stephen Kings The Stand. He also wrote about a pandemic virus, and that fired my imagination. I dont have the paranormal aspects in my novel, but the idea of a journey to a new home and re-forming society germinated from some of the things King made me think about.

[MM] I loved The Stand and I agree with getting those details right!

2.                Did you start with the main character, the world or the overarching concept?
In this case, I started with the main character — Carly. I wondered what an ordinary girl would be like in that situation. She starts off in shock and denial, but she slowly grows into her own strengths and finds talents she never knew she had.
3.                Panster or Plotter? Or in between?

Most of my books are “written” in my head before I ever sit down at a keyboard. I have to chew it over and try out different things to find out what works. Some of them never work out— I have one story Ive been mentally working on since high school which I really love, but I just cant make work out right. It will probably never see the light of day for that reason. Ive tried sitting down at a keyboard and making it up as I went along … It just doesnt seem to fit me very well, so I have a hard drive with several false starts on it. Ill keep those “book seeds” in my head and see if I can mull them over and make them grow.

4.                Are you a fan of writing contests
Yeah, sure! Whatever gets people creating new stories is something I support. I entered a couple of them with stories I wrote for the occasion. As I mentioned, it was difficult for me because it doesnt really suit my writing style, but Im very glad I tried it and it was a great experience.

5.                How did you find your agent? How many query letters did you send?
I don’t have an agent. I became published in sort of an unusual way. I started out as a fanfiction writer. My publisher discovered me when one of my stories became popular overnight and asked me if Id like to write a novel. Life takes you on strange journeys sometimes, but its been an awesome ride.

6.                What's the best marketing tool you've found so far?
Im still learning to navigate that sea, so I really cant tell you.  For me, its been my other writer friends. We sort of share an audience and do our best to support one another. I do the ordinary social media aspects, but its very difficult for me to self-promote. It all just feels very awkward to me. If I could have one wish in my writing career it would be to have someone to take over that whole mess and say, “Lissa, you just go write, and Ill do the rest.”

7.                What do you like best about your mc?
Carly has an amazing optimism and strength to her. I envy it, really. I have a feeling if I had to go through what she does in the books, youd find me on the floor in a pile saying, “Thats it. Im done.” But she manages to go on, and she has this determination to her thats unshakable.

8.                What do you like best about your main antagonist?
He thinks hes a good guy. He thinks hes doing the right thing, doing his duty, doing what needs to be done. But in reality, hes just as much in denial as Carly was in book one.

[MM] I think that's an important aspect of the bad guy - they think they're doing right!

9.                Anything else you like to share about your journey or your upcoming launch, including links to giveaways or ways people can help spread the word?
More than anything, Id like to thank the readers who came along with me on this journey—from my first book up to this point. You will never know how much your support and kindness have meant to me. Writers and readers have a symbiotic relationship of course, so it goes without saying I couldnt have done it without you, but I truly do have the best readers in the world.
***There is a giveaway below the excerpt and previous book in the series info.

“There’s other news,” Justin said. “We made contact with a man driving an army truck.”
“The army?”
“Someone with the army?”
“There’s an army?”
“Whose army?” Pete’s voice rang above the excited babble.
“That’s the right question,” Justin said. “Whose army? He might have been wearing a uniform and claiming affiliation, but I have my doubts.”
“He claimed to be from the US Army?”
Claimed,” Justin said, stressing the word hard. “And his claim had a few inconsistencies. I was in the Army, and I know. Whatever this guy is a part of, it’s not the army as we knew it.”
“What did he want?”
“Said he was out scouting and saw the smoke. He agreed to leave a message outside of Clayton if his people want to get in contact with us again. And I would imagine they will.”
“Last thing we need is another fight,” Grady said. He took off his hat and wiped the sweat from his forehead. “You think they know where we are?”
“General area. We wouldn’t be that hard to find if someone was really searching for us. If they’re really army, then yes, they know exactly where we are as we speak. But as I said, I have my doubts.”
“Think it will come to a fight?” Pete asked.
Justin scratched his chin. “I really can’t say. What I can say is that we always need to be prepared for it, prepared to defend what is ours.”
“What if they really are the army? Would we be America again?”
“Wait. When did we stop being America?”
“America is dead.” This came from David, his voice as blunt as a dropped stone. “We all saw it die two years ago. I don’t know what we are now, but the Constitution sure ain’t in effect anymore. There’s no government. There’s no social contract holding us together. That’s what America was, you know—a collective agreement of the people. Now we’re just—” He sliced a hand through the air.
“If the army is still active, that would mean there is a government, which would make this still America,” Grady said. “They’d be the government’s representatives, establishing order.”
Justin shook his head. “You’re thinking way too far ahead. Even if they are US Army—and that’s a very big if—they don’t have control of the whole country. There is no centralized government, no law enforcement. They’re not coming to rescue us.”
Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete's foot...though only in her head. Real life isn't so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.
She is the author of four other novels, Ghostwriter, The End of All Things, its sequel, The Land of the Shadows, and Under These Restless Skies.

Praise for Shadows Have Gone
"I laughed, I cried, I was gently amused, but what could I expect? Times are tough, no one is trustworthy and yet there is a sweet innocence about some characters that hit you right between the eyes; they are always so positive and wanting to see the best in others. Once again, Lissa Bryan has taken the handoff from a previous book and run with it at breakneck speeds with barely a misstep in sight!"  - Dianne
After a terrible virus ravages the planet, Carly Daniels, one of the few survivors, hides in her apartment in Juneau trying to survive the best she can with only occasional forays to gather food. With her is Sam, a wolf puppy she found starving on the streets. He becomes her companion and a reason to continue when giving up sometimes seems like the more attractive option. Still dazed with shock and grief, she hopes for the world to go back to normal soon.
She is discovered by Justin, an ex-soldier who is intent on making his way to Florida before the winter sets in. Justin coaxes her out of her hiding place and convinces her to join him on his journey, because a warmer climate will be their best chance against the extremes of Mother Nature.
Together, they begin a perilous journey through a nation laid to waste by the disaster. Challenges abound along the way. The weather, injury, and shortage of supplies all help to slow them down. In time, they discover that they aren’t the only survivors. Some are friendly but some have had their minds destroyed by the high fever. Then there are those who simply take what they want, leaving Carly and Justin with no choice but to defend what is theirs.
But their journey is not without joy and love. Together, they face every struggle, including an unplanned pregnancy. Despite the perils of bringing a child into a world of chaos, their baby is a new beginning for themselves and a symbol of hope for the other survivors they find along the way.
This is the story of their journey to find a place to begin a new life, and a home in each other.
Tales from the End Book 1.5

The Horsemen

L.A.'s mayor has declared quarantine to try to halt the spread of the Infection. Pearl sets off across the city to buy supplies, but already the world is changing. Something strange is in the air. The Horsemen are coming ...Veronica
When Veronica's mother doesn't come home from work and no one answers the phone when she calls for help, a nine-year-old girl is thrown into the chaos of a world coming to an end. Veronica decides it's up to her to find her family. "Veronica" is the story of a little girl's courage in the face of the end of all things."I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud"
They called her Shadowfax-- the mare Carly and Justin found on their travels. But before she was found by Carly, the retired dressage horse was known as Cloud. An unusual tale of the end, told through the eyes of a confused and lonely horse, left in her pasture.Birthday
(A previously-published bonus story.) Carly knows Justin has never celebrated his birthday, and after society crumbled, no one knows what date it is, anyway. But she wants to do something special for him. Celebrating the little things helps them keep hope alive, and as a blizzard rages outside, a small gesture of love warms their home.
Tales of courage, tales of survival... Tales from the End.
The Land of The Shadow Book 2
After surviving the Infection and a perilous journey through the wasteland that was once the United States, Carly and Justin have found a safe home in the isolated town of Colby.Even so, balancing the duties of survival and a growing family isn’t easy. As they emerge as leaders, they face difficult questions about justice in a lawless land, basic human rights, and freedom in a world where strength defines worth. More than ever, they have to rely on one another for strength and support during the darkest of times.
The Crisis is far from over. Their fences won’t keep the world out forever, and a new threat is emerging—a gang of predators who see the town as easy pickings. When danger looms over Colby, Carly must decide how far she’ll go to protect those she loves.
It’s a journey down the long and broken road through The Land of the Shadow.

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