Friday, September 19, 2014

Cover Reveal: I Heart Robot by Suzanne van Rooyen and Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals

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Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

I Heart Robot by Suzanne van Rooyen

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

I HEART ROBOT Cover Art from Suzanne van Rooyen
I'm not the most artistically inclined. While I do love art and have been known to bust out the pencils and paints myself, it's not an area where I'd consider myself particularly talented. In short, I knew that cover design was something best left to the professional and I had every confidence in Month9Books.
I am so grateful to Georgia McBride for allowing me to have the amount of input I did when it came to cover creation for I Heart Robot. This is a novel that is as much about a civil rights struggle in a futuristic, post-war city as it is about romance, and we wanted a cover that reflected both elements. Finding the right balance between romance and science fiction was a tall order, but Month9Books delivered in spades by presenting me with two stylistically different covers. I loved elements of both, and by working closely with the cover artist and with Georgia we managed to combine all the best parts of both original covers into what we have today: a cover that reflects the gritty world my characters live in while emphasizing the fact that this is above all, a love story.

I Heart Robot

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?

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Title: I Heart Robot
Publication date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Suzanne van Rooyen

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

SV

Suzanne is a tattooed storyteller from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing, she teaches dance and music to middle schoolers and entertains her shiba inu, Lego. Suzanne is represented by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.

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


Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway

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(Winners will receive their book on release day)


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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Destiny Road by Melissa Wray



What sparked the idea to write Destiny Road?
Recently Melissa Wray was asked this question by Uncommon YA. Here is her very personal response.
 
We moved to North Queensland when I was 14. After a year or so Mum could see that something about Townsville and I did not mix. Strangely enough it was her suggestion to ring my dad and ask if I could move back south.


So I did. Then I packed my bags and moved 3,000km away to live with him. This decision is what sparked the idea for Destiny Road.


Now I never set out to write this story, let alone have it published. It just kind of happened. It came about because one night I was lying in bed and couldn’t sleep. There was an unspoken conversation going on in my mind. It was a conversation that I regret not having and has played on my mind over the years. This particular night it got the better of me so I got up and began to write. It wasn’t until after I read through those mad ramblings a couple of weeks later that I thought hmmm … I could create a story from this. So I began writing. I passed my 10,000 word milestone. Then 20 then 30 then before I knew it 50,000 words had been typed.


You see I think about that one phone call I made all those years ago sometimes. I have often thought about how that decision, that one pivotal moment that is talked about in Destiny Road, really did change the course of my life. I’m sure as you're reading this you can look back over your life, and pinpoint one moment that has shaped it in a big way. I truly believe that Dad saying yes when I asked was a determining factor in how things have turned out for me.


One afternoon I was sitting with him. He got to talking about his philosophy on life and death. Dad had been fighting a battle against cancer for a while at this point and I was kneeling next to him as he sat on his reclining chair. He was holding my hand as he shared these ideas on life and death. He said to me "It’s cool. Whatever happens, it’s cool." My dad used cool a lot when he spoke. He was pretty cool. He was also a big believer in God. So that afternoon he said "It’s cool if I die because I get to meet my maker." ‘Then he said "But it’s cool if I live because I get to be with the ones I love." This was his philosophy. Either way was cool with him.


I remember kneeling there, holding his hand and wishing I could say thankyou to him. Thanks for saying yes all those years ago. Thanks for that pivotal moment in my life. I wanted him to know how much that meant. But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t get those words out.

 
That night he passed away.
 
I never did get to tell him and have regretted that for the past 10 years. So you see once the spark to write Destiny Road was lit, it had to finished. It was my tribute, my thankyou and I am beyond thrilled it was published.

Now I’m not going to bore you with my views on life and death but I can’t help but wonder something, because anyone who knew my dad, Rod Morris, and anyone who knew his sense of humour ... well I can’t help but wonder if there wasn’t a helping hand when Morris Publishing (no relation) chose to publish Destiny Road. I like to think so.

 
It's hard to believe two years has passed since the launch of Destiny Road. To celebrate there is a chance to win 2 x $20 Gift Cards, ENTER NOW!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 
 
To connect with Melissa;
 
 
 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cover Reveal: Where the Staircase Ends by Stacy Stokes and Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals


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Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
Where the Staircase Ends by Stacy Stokes
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!


Where the Staircase Ends

After her best friend orchestrates the lie that destroys her reputation, Taylor wants more than anything to disappear from her life. But when an accident turns this unspoken wish into reality, instead of an angel-filled afterlife, Taylor must climb a seemingly endless staircase into the sky.
Instead of going up, the journey plunges her into the past. As she unravels the mystery behind her friend’s betrayal, she must face the truth about life and find the strength to forgive the unforgivable -- unless the staircase breaks her first.

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Title: Where the Staircase Ends
Publication date: April 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Stacy Stokes

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
Stacy-stokes-300x200

Stacy Stokes attended the University of Texas at Austin and The Wharton School of Business. She grew up in Dallas, TX, and currently lives in San Francisco with her husband. WHERE THE STAIRCASE ENDS is her first novel.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
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(Winners will receive their book on release day)


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Monday, September 8, 2014

I truly believe #LifeisGood :)



I didn't personally know Tina, but I do believe in her motto #LifeisGood and I love sunflowers too, so I'm joining the Sunflower Blogfest in her honor. This bad boy is standing out in my garden right now, probably twelve feet tall. We may not know how much time we have in this world, but I hope we can all find time to savor the little joys that find us each day.

Like a nice bath..

 
Or a nice writing buddy...
 
 
~Wishing you Peace and Sunflowers my friends ~ this day and always~
 


Monday, September 1, 2014

Creating Suspense~


A friend called me the other day and said she was reading my book, but she needed to know if the ending was sad. She was worried it would make her cry. That’s when I knew I had her in suspense, that deliciously awful feeling you get when you don’t know what will happen, but you know it could be really bad.

How did I do it? I don’t know exactly. Foreshadowing, maybe? But you know what I think it all comes down to? Character.

You can drop all the little hints of impending doom you want, but if nobody cares about your character, then they won’t care if something happens to that character.

I’ve read books where all sorts of disasters befall the hero, but I find the character’s personality so grating, I wasn’t that worried about him. In one instance, I was actually hoping the character would get hurt or die, just for some excitement. There were no stakes. He tackled every problem head on and solved it without the slightest bit of mental anguish and hardly any physical exertion. Everything was easy for him. I had no fear, no suspense, no concern for him whatsoever.

So I guess the rule is simple. 1) Make a character I can sympathize with, someone I can admire, or at least like and then, 2) put that person in the fight of their life. Make it so I can’t even tell who’s gonna make it out alive. Then I’ll be in suspense and you’ll have a great story.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Cover Reveal: The Artisans by Julie Reece and Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals


M9B-Friday-Reveal
Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

The Artisans by Julie Reece

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

The Artisans

They say death can be beautiful. But after the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old RAVEN WEATHERSBY gives up her dream of becoming a fashion designer, barely surviving life in the South Carolina lowlands.
To make ends meet, Raven works after school as a seamstress creating stunning works of fashion that often rival the great names of the day.
Instead of making things easier on the high school senior, her stepdad's drinking leads to a run in with the highly reclusive heir to the Maddox family fortune, Gideon Maddox.
But Raven's stepdad's drying out and in no condition to attend the meeting with Maddox. So Raven volunteers to take his place and offers to repay the debt in order to keep the only father she's ever known out of jail, or worse.
Gideon Maddox agrees, outlining an outrageous demand: Raven must live in his home for a year while she designs for Maddox Industries' clothing line, signing over her creative rights.
Her handsome young captor is arrogant and infuriating to the nth degree, and Raven can't imagine working for him, let alone sharing the same space for more than five minutes.
But nothing is ever as it seems. Is Gideon Maddox the monster the world believes him to be? And can he stand to let the young seamstress see him as he really is?
The Artisans is a delectably rich, layered and dark YA Southern Gothic inspired by Jeanne Marie Leprince de Beaumont's classic Beauty and the Beast.
"The Artisans has all the elements I love - spooky intrigue, strong friendships, and a romantic tension to be savored." ~ Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author of the Sweet Evil trilogy.

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Title: The Artisans
Publication date: May 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Julie Reece

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

Julie Reece

Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.
I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.
Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.
Then I thought I’d write one down…
Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!

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

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
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(Winners will receive their book on release day)


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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Place Ideas Come From~


Hush Puppy started years ago as a correspondence course assignment consisting of just three chapters and an outline. I like to think of that book as an ode to my childhood, growing up in the South with the ever present racial and social divides between people. You’d think these things would be dead and buried in the past, but you still see them every day on the news.  I originally set Hush Puppy in the 1980’s to be more like the world I knew, but an agent asked me “Does it have to be in the past?” The answer was no, because racism and discrimination are still happening today.

More and more, I find myself mining fiction ideas from what I see going on in the world around me. In my upcoming novel, Vessel, I wondered about modern e-books. What if all our written knowledge became digital in the future and we suddenly lost it all? What would life be like without books?? Kind of a terrifying thought.

A lot of my ideas come from themes that strike me as especially poignant in my own life. Themes in Hush Puppy include accepting yourself for who you are, as well as accepting others, and resisting the temptation to try to change others.

My current work in progress (title is still kind of a secret) has themes of doing the best we can with the hand we’ve been dealt and not letting that hand get the better of us. It’s also about following your bliss, no matter how hard that might be. A lot of kids out there (and adults) are not “living the dream” as defined by popular media. I write because I want those kids to know they aren’t alone, that lots of us aren’t living in a pop culture wonderland either. Life can be hard. It can also be very beautiful. Those beautiful moments are what make the hard times worth it and they are the inspiration for my stories. Enjoy~