Category: Guest Post

Blog Tour: Spindle Fire [Guest Post & Giveaway]

Posted April 7, 2017 by Stephanie in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post / 7 Comments

Blog Tour: Spindle Fire [Guest Post & Giveaway]Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer
Series: Spindle Fire #1
Published by Harper Teen on April 11 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
Goodreads
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Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king's headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.
And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora's blood--and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.
As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.
Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape . . . or the reason for her to stay.
Spindle Fire is the first book in a duology.

Guest Post

I learned so many interesting things while researching for Spindle Fire! I based the world loosely on France in the early 1300’s, but layered in the rules and history of the faerie world. One of the things I had suspected was that in the early fourteenth century, western Europe did not have spinning wheels! They only used drop spindles (which—fun fact—I’ve actually used before. We had a class in middle school devoted to hand-spinning, dyeing and weaving wool! You have to spin this thing that looks like a top, while literally letting it drop to the floor, with chunks of wool wrapped around the base. The gravity and the spinning pull on the wool and stretch it into yarn, basically. My yarn was always terrible and chunky, though.) Anyway, there were spinning wheels in China for literally hundreds of years prior. The spinning wheel in my book is enchanted and it is something Malfleur and Belcoeur’s parents procured in their world travels. I also had to look up the names of all the different rooms and buildings in medieval convents and castles, and I constantly had blueprints up on my computer while trying to choreograph scenes. I discovered that whale hunting was a huge industry in that time, and also that narwhals in particular were coveted for their tusks, partly because so many people believed in the legends of the unicorns and could be suckered into purchasing the tusks thinking they were unicorn horns. For the sequel, I read about battle strategies, and medieval glass-making, and open-pit sapphire mines (even though the latter ended up getting cut from the draft!) I learned how to light a flint via a Youtube video. I also read about plague masks and hunting rituals and I read a number of essays on how to write action sequences featuring blind narrators—it was important to me to do justice to that and to make a distinction between Isabelle’s often stubborn desire to throw herself into dangerous situations and, on the other hand, the reasonable limitations she would experience. I never wanted her blindness to feel like a gimmick, but a trait that she lives with, sometimes grappling with it but mostly accepting it as part of the fabric of her existence and how she experiences the world. The Binks chapter was a lot of fun. I learned that gambling and card-playing were so rampant that a tax was placed on all card decks and you could be fined for using an illegal deck. I took some liberties with the idea of Romances—back then, the great works of “romance” were stories of heroism and war. The term didn’t really mean what it means today, but even still, there were tales of love woven through and I imagined that those are what Aurora latches onto when she teaches herself to read. That’s another thing I wanted to make very clear—how unusual it would have been for a woman (or anyone) to be able to read at all! They mostly didn’t have paper (that was just coming into circulation although like so many inventions, it had existed for hundreds of years already in the east). And of course they wrote with quills you had to dip into ink pots, so it’s not like writing was particularly convenient or common, either. Aurora’s life would have been a whole lot easier if she could have just jotted down notes for people to read!

About the Author

Lexa Hillyer is the co-founder of Paper Lantern Lit, former YA editor, and author of Proof of Forever. Lexa is also an award-winning poet: Her first collection, Acquainted with the Cold, won the Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize as well as the 2012 Book of the Year Award from ForeWord Reviews. Her poetry has been anthologized in Best New Poets 2012, and has appeared in several journals. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their daughter.

LINKS: Website | Twitter Instagram

Giveaway

3 Finished Copies of SPINDLE FIRE (US Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Week 1:

4/3: Lost In Lit – Bookish Inspirations

4/4: Ex Libris – Review

4/5: The Irish Banana Review – Makeup Inspirations

4/6: Reads All the Books – Review

4/7: In Wonderland – Guest Post

Week 2:

4/10: Book Scents – Review

4/11: The Fake Steph – Q&A

4/12: Swoony Boys Podcast – Review

4/13: The Bookkeeper’s Secret – Mood Board

4/14: The Story Sanctuary – Review

Let’s talk about it!

Stephanie
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Blog Tour: Pretty Fierce [Guest Post & Giveaway]

Posted April 3, 2017 by Stephanie in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post / 0 Comments

Blog Tour: Pretty Fierce [Guest Post & Giveaway]Pretty Fierce by Kieran Scott
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on April 4th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 320
Goodreads
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Kaia has been on the run her whole life. The daughter of professional assassins, she knows true danger—and she’ll do anything to survive. After her parents vanished during a job gone bad, Kaia’s spent the last year in hiding, trying to blend in as an ordinary teenager, and there’s no one who makes her feel more normal or more special than her boyfriend, Oliver.
But when she’s jumped by a hit man, and Oliver catches her fighting back, Kaia’s secret is exposed. In a split-second decision, she flees the small town, taking Oliver with her. With professional killers stalking their every move, can Oliver and Kaia protect each other long enough to uncover the mysteries of her past?

Guest Post: Kieran’s Writing Must Haves

A lot of people need the optimum situation in order to be able to sit down and write effectively. They need to be in their office or at a specific table at Starbucks or have a certain album on or be cuddled in their cozy chair. As a mom of two young boys who has been writing for many years and lived in many different homes and had many different day jobs, I’ve learned to adjust. Noise doesn’t bother me—unless it’s super repetitive or a jackhammer—and I can write pretty much any time of day as long as I don’t have what I call “the fog”—that thing where the back of your head actually feels like it’s filled by a thick, gray cloud. I revised my last book almost exclusively during Tae Kwon Do classes (not mine—my nine-year-old’s), looking up whenever he volunteered to try a new sort of flying roundhouse kick thingie for which I’d cheer before going back to typing. All that being said, there are some things I prefer to have handy, if at all possible.

  1. Coffee. It’s not original, but it’s true. I can’t seem to get going unless I have a nice cup of Joe with lots of milk handy. If I’m writing at night, I make decaf, and my stupid brain thinks it’s getting jolted anyway. Not that I’m judging my brain or anything.
  2. M&Ms. If I’m having a bad day and I really don’t want to write , I use them as rewards. I get a handful whenever I complete a scene. Chocolate is my jam.
  3. The Felicity Soundtrack – I wrote my first book with this on in the background and now whenever I turn it on, my creative juices start flowing. Also good for this are The Veronicas and No Doubt. I don’t know why, but the ideas start flowing when these ladies start singing.
  4. Although I can write at night, I prefer to write during the day, and preferably on a sunny day. When it’s gray out, my creativity is sooooo much harder to wake up. As is my husband. True story.
  5. My mom. Ok, my mom’s not with us anymore, but this isn’t morbid—hear me out. When I was writing my first couple of novels I was still living at home and whenever I got stuck, I’d yell out to my mom, “How do I start this scene?” and she’d shout some random line like “How can I help you today?” and that was how I’d start the scene. She always made it seem so simple, and she was always my biggest fan. So now, when I get stuck, I think of my mom cheering me on and get myself unstuck—and sometimes I have the kids feed me lines instead, which keeps her alive in a cool way, and also leads to some pretty bizarre openers.

About the Author

KIERAN SCOTT is the author of several acclaimed young adult novels, including the Non-Blonde Cheerleader trilogy, the He’s So/She’s So trilogy, and Geek Magnet. She also wrote the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Private and Privilege series under the pen name Kate Brian. She is a senior editor at Disney/Hyperion and resides in New Jersey with her family. Visit kieranscott.net.

Giveaway

2 Copies of PRETTY FIERCE (US Only!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Let’s talk about it!

Stephanie
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Blog Tour: Shutter [Top 10 & Giveaway]

Blog Tour: Shutter [Top 10 & Giveaway]

Posted October 20, 2016 by Stephanie in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post / 6 Comments

Top Ten Things Needed In Order To Write (can be anything from physical objects, moods, foods/drinks, music, etc.) My laptop Black coffee with a sprinkle of cinnamon Dark chocolate Popcorn with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and a drizzle of Earth Balance “butter” Flavored seltzer water A really good pen that glides across the page A […]

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