Friday, December 19, 2014

Blog tour (excerpt): One Song Away by Molli Moran

  
Book details:

One Song Away by Molli Moran
Publication date: December 1st 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
She needs a fill-in boyfriend. He needs a favor. It’s the perfect, no-strings arrangement until they both realize it’s too real…

Sophie-Claire Wright’s life is like a bad country song on repeat. She keeps running into her cheating ex, her songwriting career isn’t taking off, and her roommate just kicked her out of their apartment. With nothing to lose, she decides to do the one thing she said she’d never do: she moves back home. She left her small Southern town with big dreams, but now she’s going home with empty pockets.

Life moves at a slower pace in Sophie’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hometown, but her well-meaning, matchmaking mama doesn’t have a slow gear. Sophie invents a boyfriend to hold off her mother’s efforts, but she’s out of luck when her mom wants to meet him. Sophie panics until she runs into Jake Cooper. Her high school crush is back in town, too, and when he asks her for a favor, she agrees—on one condition. He says he’ll be her fill-in boyfriend, so it should be simple: introduce him to her family and then “break up” with him after a few weeks.

Sophie is sure she’ll be able to resist Jake this time and that their fake relationship will keep them both away from wagging tongues. Sure, she was in love with him years ago, but that was then. This is now, no matter how great he looks, or how she feels around him. But she didn’t bargain for moments that feel all too genuine. Dates that don’t seem fake. Kisses that leave her shaken and wanting more. And she didn’t count on old feelings resurfacing and complicating their arrangement—which is starting to feel less like acting and more like the real deal.

Soon, Sophie can’t tell which kisses are real or fake, but she knows she’s in deep…and she thinks Jake is, too. When she gets a chance to go back to Nashville and chase her dreams again, she has a choice to make: stay or go? Continue hoping that the life she wants is one song away, or write her own?

Purchase:


A sweet romantic excerpt:



“I think we should kiss.”

I look up so fast that I’m fairly sure I have whiplash. He gives me an innocent look and I glare at him. “What?” I take my hair out of the ponytail and the freed strands float to my shoulders. “Did you say we should kiss?”

Jake nods, but for some reason, he seems fixated on my hair. My eyes stray to his lips, and I frown. I can’t say I haven’t thought about it. Couples are affectionate and steal kisses. If we don’t hold hands or give each other a quick kiss, we won’t sell this couple thing. And I’ll be on a blind date with Mr. Double Major in Accounting and Boring faster than I can blink.

“O-okay.”

“Okay?” Jake shoots me an unreadable look.

“I said okay, didn’t I?” I stand, hands on my hips. “You’re not making this very romantic at all. You’re a horrible fake boyfriend.” I try to sound teasing, but there’s something in my voice I can’t define. I’m curious and I’m afraid. What if I kiss Jake and I don’t like it? What if we don’t have any chemistry?

What if we do?

There’s a reckless smile tugging at his mouth. “That so?” He takes three steps and he’s in front of me. When I breathe in, I smell his cologne. I’m stretched taut enough to snap in two when I face him.

“Yeah.” I smirk at him, moving closer. “That’s so.” I imitate his drawl. “In fact, you’re—”

Jake covers my mouth with his, and my words go as transparent as smoke. One of his arms is around my waist, and he’s cupping my cheek with the other. His fingers press against my skin, and before I can remind myself this is a bad, bad idea, I step into him and open my mouth. It’s not even worth trying to pretend I’m not just as into this kiss as he is. Not when his hand presses into the small of my back, urging me even closer. Not when his lips move against mine as though he’s the only one who’s ever kissed me.

Since I’m already melded against Jake’s chest, I go all in. I wrap my arms around his neck at the same time I touch my tongue to his, and he makes a very male, very appreciative noise. When he eases one thigh between my legs, I let him tangle us together, because I’ve waited too long for this to do anything else.

I’ve kissed more guys than I can count, but the way Jake kisses me is confident, his hand never leaving my face. It’s a complete turn-on. His mouth is hard and then soft on mine, changing by the second, and I can only go with him and try to hold my own. He bites my upper lip gently and I moan into his mouth. When he turns me, I bump into a chair. It scrapes across the floor, and like dreamers jerking awake, we separate.

His eyes are wide, and in the dim lights left on, the gold and brown in those eyes are battling for dominance. I press a hand to my chest, even though I can already tell my heart is thrumming. I’m out of breath, and I have no idea what to say. I just kissed Coop. And it was…

“That was intense.” His voice breaks slightly on the last syllable. He’s quiet for a few seconds, but then he shakes his head, his face animated. “We’re definitely going to pull off this couple thing.”

Fuck. My. Life. He thought it was all an act? The kiss felt damn real to me. It was intense, like he said. It was hot…and it was all pretend for him. Clearly, I got way too lost in the moment. I’m going to have to find some way of keeping that from happening again.

I nod, quickly gathering my things. “For sure.” I laugh, but it’s an octave higher than normal, and sounds like a needle screeching on a record, to me at least. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Jake.”

Then I run away before he can notice how rattled I am.

So much for keeping my heart out of it.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Molli is a Southern writer who doesn’t consider her day complete if she hasn’t written. She loves coffee and talking fast, things she attributes to being raised by Gilmore Girls. She’s a romantic at heart, and brings that to her books. When not reading or blogging, she can be found obsessing over Doctor Who, cuddling her various pets, or spending time with friends, family, or her girlfriend.

Author links:
Giveaway:

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • $25 Amazon or B&N Gift Card
  • 5 E-copies of ONE SONG AWAY
  • 2 ONE SONG AWAY Swag Packs 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blog Tour (Excerpt): Chandrea by Marlene Wynn


 
Book details:

Chandrea – The Return of the Avatar Queen by Marlene Wynn
Publication date: September 22nd 2014
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

Synopsis:
Chandrea Averill thinks she’s just like any other normal young woman. But, on the day of her 23rd birthday, her life changes forever.
Surrounded by magical creatures, dangerous sorcery, and insidious political intrigue, Chandrea desperately wants to return to Earth and the only life she’s ever known. But, the longer she stays, the more she realizes that she may be the only one with the power – both magical and political – to save the people of Lyrunia. Will she find the courage to remain and fight for her home world?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22605642-chandrea---the-return-of-the-avatar-queen?ac=1
Tour stop special: 
Excerpt:

The assassination changed everything.
On the day Crown Princess Chandrea Averill was born, the entire Kingdom of Averill celebrated. The streets of Cellia, her capital city, were overflowing with people honoring the birth of the new heir. Food and drink were plentiful and the mood of those gathered was joyous. Songs and laughter echoed gaily off the walls of the great stone buildings.
Those in the know speculated on what powers the crown princess would eventually develop, as no female born of the queen’s lineage ever had the same powers as those who came before her. The form and strength of the magic varied from female to female, but – without fail – magic was present in some form.
The merrymaking went on for hours into the night, and all at the Llireva Palace celebrated. Wrinkled old men sat in the corners, smoking their pipes and spinning grand and fanciful tales of the Averill family. Small children gathered at their feet, listening raptly to tales of magic and bravery. Gaily dressed dancers spun and swirled as the eager audience clapped to the rhythm. Jewels glittered and gleamed in the warm candlelight as they moved, dazzling the eye.
As the night eased into the early morning hours, those who should’ve retired long ago still remained. Sleepy-eyed and =yawning, they nevertheless continued with the celebration even as the moon set on the horizon and dawn approached. Drinks were handed out generously, and drunken, happy people roamed the palace. Staggering about, their laughter filled the hallways of the grand palace. Guards became lackadaisical about their duties, laughing and drinking with their friends as they came wandering by.
This made the attack on the Llireva Palace and those inside exceedingly simple.
The assault was ruthlessly calculated and seamless. Having been there for hours, posing as drunken guests, the invaders easily overtook and dispatched the inebriated guards. Thousands of the enemy swarmed over the palace, slaughtering all in sight, whether guest or staff. Swords and knives flashed in the candlelight, and terror-filled screams filled the warm night air.
 Taken completely by surprise, the guests and staff were easily overcome. Some tried to fight back, but were ruthlessly cut down where they stood. Stepping carelessly over the bloodied bodies of the dead, hard-faced officers ordered their men to look for the king, queen, and the newly-born crown princess. The enemy soldiers scattered, each keen to be the one to find the royal family and draw first blood.
One loyal servant – Adelaide – was tasked with caring for the new crown princess while the queen recovered. Like the queen, Adelaide was a powerful sorceress, and served in the capacity of royal advisor and friend to the queen.
After giving birth, the queen had been exhausted and was resting peacefully in her chambers, while the king attended to her. Princess Chandrea was in the nursery, being cared for by Adelaide. So, when the assassination of the king and queen occurred, the princess was nowhere to be found. Enemy soldiers then spread out in search of the newborn.
Unknown to the intruders, in the days prior to her birth, protective spell webs had been cast by Adelaide and the queen in the hallways of the family wing. These spells prevented unauthorized access to the nursery by causing an agonizing death. The magic also alerted the creator of the spells of anyone entering the space. Unfortunately, the queen had been too wearied and depleted from giving birth to act upon the warnings that had been sent by her spells, and thus, she and the king soon perished. But Adelaide was not at such a disadvantage. As the assailants crossed her protective spells, she was alerted immediately by their piercing screams as the magic seared the flesh from their bones.
Adelaide quickly picked up the baby, and with an urgently muttered spell, opened a hidden passageway known only by the royal family and their most trusted advisors. Slipping out of the nursery, she turned and sealed the door with a wave of her hand, eliminating any chance that any marauders lucky enough to have a sorceress strong enough to penetrate the defensive spells could follow.
Rushing down the stairs, holding the princess close to her bosom, she finally reached the bottom. There she entered the back of a large cave. Moving quickly forward to the front, she found herself looking out at the dark expanse of the Averill Bay, named after the royal family who ruled the bordering land. She turned and gently laid the baby in a small depression in the rock, sat beside her, and allowed herself to momentarily succumb to her grief and fear. Adelaide knew that for the invading soldiers to have gotten as far as her protective shields, they would have had to defeat the queen first— and she would have been in no condition to fight them off.
Sitting quietly for a few moments to collect herself and her thoughts, she was able to form a plan of action, and to gather the resolve for what she knew would be required from her.
Taking a deep breath, she stood and faced the now-orphaned crown princess lying on the rocks. Adelaide knew without a doubt that if this tiny child were killed, all hope for Averill, and the surrounding kingdoms and cities that made up Lyrunia, would be lost. The freedom and peace they’d known under the reign of the Averill family and the Triad would make way for a dark and violent time. Above all else, Princess Chandrea must survive not only this night, but also grow safely to adulthood so that she could take her rightful place on the throne.
Raising her hands into the air, Adelaide urgently weaved them back and forth as she cast her spells. Many hours passed as she chanted through the night, knowing that in the palace above her, an intense search for the princess was being conducted, and that she and the baby could be discovered at any time. Her voice grew hoarse and her arms weary, but still she labored on, until, finally, only one more spell needed to be cast.
Sweat-soaked and exhausted, she reached down and picked up Princess Chandrea. Expecting that this would be the last time she held this dear, tiny child, Adelaide cuddled her close for a few moments. Then, looking at the precious little wrinkled face, she gazed directly into the princess’s eyes, and cast her last spell.
Bright, white light blazed forth from the infant, transforming the cave into a dazzling, glittering chamber. Princess Chandrea slowly rose from Adelaide’s hands until she hung suspended in the air. The soft blanket covering her fell unnoticed to the floor. Adelaide’s hands moved in harmony with her voice as she chanted the final spell that would transport the crown princess from Itova—the world into which she’d been born—to another one. The only place that she would truly be safe until she reached adulthood and her powers had fully manifested.
Air swirled madly about the infant and the light grew brighter and stronger. Then, with the sound of a massive thunderclap and a final burst of brilliance, the crown princess vanished.

Purchase:


About the author:
Marlene Wynn is a Utah native – fondly referred to as “Utonian” by a friend.  She transplanted herself in 1992 from the majestic Rocky Mountains to the beachy shores of sunny Virginia Beach, Virginia and has been there ever since.  Though she has worked in the Benefits field for several years, she finally worked up the courage to chase her dream as an author.

Author links:

Giveaway:


Tour-wide giveaway (US and Canada) - Image attached
  • A print copy of Chandrea – The Return of the Avatar Queen, 
  • A handmade fairy, 
  • A set of character trading cards.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 15, 2014

Blog Tour (Book review): The Truth About Air and Water by katherine Owen

http://xpressobooktours.com/2014/09/26/tour-sign-up-the-truth-about-air-water-by-katherine-owen/)


Book details:

The Truth About Air & Water by Katherine Owen
(Truth in Lies #2)
Publication date: August 25th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Synopsis:
The Truth In Lies Series. READ This Much Is True, book 1 first, although it’s been written as a standalone. Readers say, don’t do that.
“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” -Ernest Hemingway ~ A Farewell To Arms
They share an epic love but one moment changes everything. A life together that seemed certain is shattered. One learns you never love the same way twice; the other learns what it means to come home. You only think you know how this love story goes, but do you really know how an epic love can end?
“There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald
She is living color, and I’ve been in a black-and-white world for far too long without her.
Powerful stuff. It surrounds me. I’ve felt it since I first arrived. The forcefield of her. The magnetism of her. The power she wields over me. I’m alive again because of her, like a dying plant that finally gets some water. I’ve got it bad for this girl.
Reality dawns.
The light comes through the darkness and shines on me.
She’s my water.

-Lincoln Presley
The truth is I breathe with him. He is my air. Raison d’etre.
-Tally Landon
Author’s note: This novel is part of the Truth In Lies series. It can be read as standalone, however, fans of my fiction already are highly recommending that those new to my work, READ This Much Is True book 1 FIRST.
As Lincoln Presley would say, “do as you must, Princess.”

Purchase:

Purchase book 1, This Much Is True:
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/this-much-is-true-katherine-owen/1116395071?ean=9780983570769


My review:

NOTE: I received this book as a part of the blog tour organized by Xpresso Book Tours.

To be quite honest, I dreaded picking up The Truth. Why? Well, I read and loved the prequel. It was amazing. So, just like any sane reader, I feared that The Truth could turn out to be inferior. Meet my surprised face when I devoured the book in equal doses of tears and laughter, with a pinch of mouth hanging open.
I am more than happy to say that unlike other series' sequels, The Truth actually made sense. Sure, we didn't have to know how Linc and Tally's story continued, but I was all too happy to read it anyway. Their world made so much sense, it was scary at times.

Writing style:
I like Ms. Owen's way with words. She knows how to dip them in just enough sauce so they're not soaked through, but perfectly blended with the overall taste of the story.

Story line:
With much effort not to spoil anything for y'all, I'll say that this story's development was both unnecessary and crucial at the same time. Unnecessary, because This Much Is True could've been left as a stand alone. Crucial because so much was explained and developed in The Truth, that now that I've read it, I'm beginning to think that it was actually a much needed conclusion.

Themes:
-circumstances - do you give in to them or do you fight for yourself and the ones you love
-love - does it really last or could you throw it away when the next hardship comes around
-trust - it's difficult to build, but even more difficult to keep.
-children need their parents.

Characters:
Needless to say, the main twosome here, Tally and Lincoln, will be my main focus.

What I can say about Tally is that she was very unsure of herself and of Linc. Sure they loved each other. Sure they went to hell together and came back. But something wasn't quite right in their love nest. Tally wasn't happy with Linc's constant absences, with his father's constant meddling in their wedding plans, with her own body's betrayal and with a bunch of other things that she couldn't find a way to control. She wanted to give her love to Lincoln, but in the process she sort of gave up on her own dreams and desires.
Tally complained a lot, which at one point made me want to shake her thoroughly and put her back where she belonged. Then there was that accident and I just saw her giving up on that super powerful love that not many people find in life. At that point, I wanted to slap her and pour some sense in her mind.
But, even with all that, by the end of the story Tally actually grew up. She really grew up to be a woman to be proud of. She fought for what she wanted and she was graceful about it.

Now Linc... was a selfish bastard in the beginning. He didn't seem to care about Tally's wishes at all. There seemed to be only baseball, and to hell with everything else, even his family. I sort of despised him for that behavior.
I didn't wish him much good, but I had no idea he'd get what he deserved. To a point. When he was miserable, I just wanted to hug him. When he messed up, there was nothing else I wanted to do but strangle him.
Yet, I was proud of how much he grew and developed into the role of a father and caring fiance/husband. What I loved more was that after everything, Link was actually able to figure out exactly what was most important to him.

In conclusion:
The Truth is a story of love and hate and memories. It's beautiful and heart-breaking and heart-mending. It's like a sweet and sour sauce. You can't not love it.

My rating is:


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Katherine Owen writes contemporary edgy fiction, which translates to: she writes love stories that are contemporary in setting and both edgy and dark. Some readers term her books emotional roller coasters. With her writing, Owen admits she has a fondness for angst, likes to play with a little drama, and essentially toys around with the unintentional complications of love. She contends this began early on when she won a poetry contest at the age of fourteen and appears to be without end. Owen has an avid love of coffee, books, and writing, but not necessarily in that order. She writes both Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction which includes her bestselling TRUTH IN LIES Series (a series despite despising 'series') beginning with This Much Is True and her latest release, The Truth About Air & Water. The TRUTH IN LIES series is fan-driven. So. There will be a third book about Linc and Tally released in 2015 titled Tell Me Something True.

About Owen's fiction...This is NOT the light trope stuff. She travels a unique, writerly path and enjoys writing dark and angsty (a "non-word" she is fond of) emotional love stories. She often warns readers to be prepared with: time, tissues, wine, Advil or your drug of choice. And, as her most favored character, Lincoln Presley, would say, "do what you must, Princess."




Tour-wide giveaway (INTL) 4 winners:
  • Signed copies of This Much Is True and The Truth About Air & Water 
  • Signed copy of This Much Is True
  • Signed copy of The Truth About Air & Water
  • $25 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Book review: Accidents & Incidents by Riley Graham

Summary from Goodreads:
 
Sometimes finding love means taking the scenic route ... Living with her faultfinding mother has taught Leslie not to ask for much. Just watch your step, stay on the sidelines, and take what you can get. But she wants a mom who thanks her for cleaning the kitchen instead of yelling at her for missing a spot, and a boyfriend who does more than score her a seat at the popular table-someone who actually notices her sitting there. So when Cain, the school heartbreaker, turns his Carolina blue eyes her way, Leslie can't help but be tempted, even if he's her boyfriend's best friend. Things get even more complicated when Leslie strikes up unlikely friendships with Meredith, Cain's girlfriend, and Dennis, a boy addicted to cigarettes and solitude. Despite his tough exterior, Dennis seems to understand Leslie in a way that no one ever has, and to need her as much as she needs him. For the first time in her life, Leslie feels like she could belong. She's just not sure where.
 
NOTE: I received this title via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

I'm not sure I expected anything at all from this novel. I wanted it to be good, of course, but I didn't start up with any inner feeling in mind. I'm glad it was so, because at least I wasn't disappointed.

I didn't see how the title had anything to do with this no-action story. It implied that something was to happen, but well... nothing did and that - combined with the slow development of events - completely lost my interest. It's actually a miracle I didn't put it down half-way through.

Writing style:
It was pretty fluent and clean and I could tell the author was well versed.

Story line:
In my opinion, that's where the major weakness was. Several times I felt compelled to just not finish because it really lead nowhere. It was excruciatingly slow to develop and quite painful to follow. No twists and turns, no action, no sweet romance. It was just some story.

Themes:
-parental neglect in different stages
-dealing with loss
-teenage romance - fleeting or true?

Characters:
Dennis was the new guy with the secrets, who never ever took the initiative to show his 'obvious' feelings to Leslie. To be honest, I'm not sure why anyone thought Dennis even had any feelings for her. He merely swapped a couple of sentences with her every now and then.

Keith was a non-consequential character. Leslie's ex-boyfriend, who kind of cheated on her. I'm not sure why so much attention was paid to him or why Leslie was with him to begin with. The only thing they did was fight.

Cain was the resident flirt. Bad boy to the core, it was outside of my understanding why all the girls wanted to be in a relationship with him when it was obvious he was not going to be faithful.

Leslie was the most insecure character I've ever met. She could never ask for something she wanted, but then she was always complaining how things didn't work out the way she wanted. Well, grow a backbone and start doing your own thing, geez!

Meredith was one more girl who didn't give herself enough credit. Being Cain's girlfriend must've been tough. Yet she endured, for whatever reason. I didn't understand why she'd make herself miserable like that. Perhaps she liked being hurt?

In Conclusion:
I don't know who to recommend this book to since I didn't enjoy it at all. Perhaps readers who don't crave for action and twists? I don't know. 
 
My rating is:
 
 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Excerpt + Interview: The Soul Thief by Majanka Verstraete

9781620155585_frontBook details:

Title: The Soul Thief (The Angel of Death Series #1)
Author: Majanka Verstraete
Publisher: Booktrope Publishing
Published: November 11, 2014
Genre: YA, Paranormal

Synopsis:
  
When sixteen-year-old Riley is injured in a car crash and sees a girl stealing a boy’s soul, she’s convinced she’s hallucinating. But when she sees the same girl at the hospital later, she knows she wasn’t dreaming. That’s when Riley learns her secret heritage and who she really is: a halfling Angel of Death. Riley must come to terms with her new reality and supernatural abilities, but before she can do this, girls her age start dying in mysterious circumstances. It’s up to Riley to figure out why, what the innocent victims have in common, and what she can do to stop them.

 

Excerpt

THE WORLD EXPLODED IN a chaos of fire, debris, and noise. Sirens screamed and low voices mumbled in the background. I lifted up my head and groaned. My head weighed about a thousand pounds and throbbed as if someone had hit me with a hammer. The interior of the car swayed from left to right.
A dark fog rose up in front of the car. Vague specters moved back and forth in the mist. I squinted and the specters turned into paramedics dressed in white clothes with stains all over them, who ran from one patient to another. Four or more cars had collided and mine was the last in line. Two cars burned with tall, flickering flames. A woman crawled out of one of the burning cars, half of her face blackened.
My stomach twisted and bile rose up in my throat. I searched for the door handle without turning away from the apocalypse happening in front of me.
The woman with the burnt face started screaming. The sound shattered my eardrums. A paramedic rushed toward her and pulled her away from the searing car wreck.
My fingers found the door handle and I pushed the car door open. A gush of fresh air entered the car and I took a deep breath. The air filled my lungs, and even though my surroundings still swirled around as if on a carousel, they started to slow down. I fiddled with the lock of my seatbelt, trembling like a leaf. Eventually the lock clicked and I tumbled out of the car. I gripped the door handle so hard my knuckles turned white while I pulled myself up, leaning on the car.
“Are you okay?” Someone grabbed my arm and helped me to stand up.
My savior was a forty-something woman with a round face, large eyes, and a red flush on her cheeks as if she’d just run a mile. She was tall and chubby, and while she appeared friendly enough, she stared at me wide-eyed, the chaos of burning car wrecks and wounded people reflected in her irises.
“I don’t know,” I said. “My head hurts and the world is spinning.” She nodded and helped me to the nearest ambulance. “Sit down.” She waited until I’d sat down and then looked at my injuries. She dabbed a wet cloth on my forehead and when she pulled it back the cloth was stained red.
My gaze fixed on the scene unfolding behind her. Two paramedics took turns performing heart massage on a young boy, whose broken body was spread out on the ground. His skin was the color of a bridal gown and his lips had turned a faint blue. He couldn’t be older than eight or nine. Broken glasses lay next to his body.
Right when the paramedics switched places, a girl appeared behind them. She popped up out of nowhere. One second there was no trace of her, the next she stood there, as if she’d been there all along.
My heart raced in my chest. I wanted to say something but the words got stuck in my throat.
The girl’s red hair with black extensions reached to her shoulders. She wore a short checkered skirt, black combat boots, a venom-green tank top, and black stockings. A chain dangled from her skirt. She chewed bubblegum with her mouth open. Everything about her screamed wrong; from the way she’d suddenly appeared to how she carried herself, as if she was strolling around in the park on a summer’s day, not standing at the scene of a gruesome accident in the middle of autumn. Even her clothes didn’t match the weather.
She knelt down and put her hand on the chest of the injured boy. For a while, nothing happened. But then a see-through, shiny form rose above the boy’s body. The specter looked exactly like the boy — same age, same height, same clothes, but it shone like a diamond.

 

Author Interview

 
  • What is your favorite genre to write?
I write a mix of genres – children’s books, middle grade, young adult, and sometimes even horror or paranormal books for adults. My favorite genre however is young adult paranormal. There’s that great mix of young adult protagonists and a paranormal threat lingering above their heads.
  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?
I’d like to try out epic fantasy. I got my love for reading from reading epic fantasy series like the books by Robin Hobb, Raymond E. Feist, and the Lord of the Rings series. Nowadays I’m totally addicted to the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. So I’d love to give epic fantasy a try.
  • Please tell us about your book.
In The Soul Thief, we meet sixteen-year-old Riley, who witnessed a girl her age stealing a younger boy’s soul at the scene of an accident. Of course she thinks she’s hallucinating, but once she wakes up at the hospital and sees the girl again, she realizes she wasn’t dreaming. So she chases the girl, who reveals she’s an Angel of Death, and the only reason why Riley can see her, is because she’s an Angel of Death as well. Riley must then come to terms with her new life, with belonging to the world of angels and the rules she must obey now. But while she’s trying to control her brand new abilities, girls her age start dying in mysterious circumstances and Riley has to figure out who is behind it, and stop them before any more girls get hurt.
  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?
Riley would be my favorite character. I love her – everything about her. She’s the kind of heroine I’ve always wanted to read about. She’s independent and strong, would do anything for her friends, and she’s not afraid to stand up for things she believes in. Of course she has flaws too, but I’d love to be her friend, and I love writing about her. My least favorite character, that’s a difficult question though. All of the characters are quite likeable, and even if they’re not, they tend to have their reasons. At this point, it would be Seraphyn, one of the minor characters.
  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?
Trying to balance the romance. At first, I didn’t want to include any romance at all, not even a hint of attraction between any of the characters. But then I decided to add some of it anyway, but I didn’t want the focus to be on the romance. I wanted the book to focus on the characters, on Riley and her friends in particular.
  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?
I usually write on the train, so I don’t need anything but my laptop. I try to write regularly, about 2,000 words a day, and when I have a train ride to and from university (which is about four hours) then I tend to go above and beyond that goal. But some days I’m at home, and then it’s trickier to read my word count goal.
  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?
I wrote a first draft for The Soul Thief in 2012. Then I planned more books in the series, read a lot more YA books, worked on improving my craft, reworked the plot and characters, and wrote a second but completely different draft in January of 2014. Then I didn’t look at it again until during the summer holidays, when I edited the book, and then I submitted it to a publisher. So, if you look at the general timeline, it took over two years. But in terms of actual writing time, when I was actually focusing on this manuscript, three to four months.
  • Can you tell us about your editing process?
I’ve worked with a few editors before who edited my books, so I’m starting to grasp what I need to look for when editing. I work on my manuscript, typically one or two chapters a day depending on the chapter length. My first drafts tend to be pretty clean, so I only need one or two rounds of edits tops before the book is ready for beta readers.
  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?
The Soul Thief is the first book in the Angel of Death series. At the moment, I have six installments planned, but the world of this book continues expanding, so there might be more. But those six books I’m quite certain of – they’re planned and outlined, so now all I have to do is write them.
  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?
I’m working on a new adult paranormal romance “Ghostslayer”, which is my NaNoWriMo project for this year. I’m at 32k words, and I estimate the final project will be 70-75k words. At the same time, I’m working on edits for the first part in the Allegro Academy series, a novel I wrote back in 2012 as well, but I never got around to editing it. At this point, it’s more of a rewrite than actual editing. Then I’m also waiting to hear back on edits for two of my chapter books, which should be this month, and on the edits for another one of my young adult novels, “Reflected”. That book releases in summer 2015, and I should get the edits about now. Of course, I’m also working on the sequel to The Soul Thief, “Demonic Pact”. I’m still working on tightening the outline before I can start writing, but once I finish my NaNoWriMo project, this is next on my list.

About the Author

majanka

Majanka Verstraete begged her Mom to teach her how to read while she was still in kindergarten. By the time she finished fifth grade, she had read through the entire children’s section of her hometown library. 
She wrote her first story when she was seven years old, and hasn’t stopped writing since. With an imagination that never sleeps, and hundreds of possible book characters screaming for her attention, writing is more than a passion for her. 
She writes about all things supernatural for children of all ages. She’s tried to write contemporary novels before, but something paranormal always manages to crawl in.
Majanka is currently studying for her Master of Laws degree, and hopes one day to be able to combine her passions for law and writing. When she’s not writing, reading or studying, she likes watching “The Vampire Diaries” and “Game of Thrones,” spending time with her friends, or playing “World of Warcraft.”