Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blog Tour and Review: Ciao by Bethany Lopez

Release Date: August 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace
Author Information: Blog / Twitter / Facebook
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Available Formats:
Other Books:
Ta Ta for Now!, XOXOXO
Purchase: Amazon
Melissa has had a fantastic summer hanging out with her friends and making new ones. Life as she knows it will change when they all come together to begin their sophomore year at Dearborn High. Connections will be made and friendships will be tested. Will Melissa’s family and friends be able to help her through the challenges she will face in the upcoming months?
Ciao is the third installment in the Stories About Melissa series, and this book is just as fun and fluffy as the others! Melissa still has a flair for the overdramatic, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about her daily life and boy problems.

My favorite aspect about this book was how Lopez managed to blend together some funny moments with some serious ones. As Melissa grows older, her voice also holds a greater level of maturity, and Ciao introduces more somber moments of life, from heartache to how it feels to lose someone close to you. Through these hard times, it is easier for the reader to really get to know Melissa, and I felt like I had a much better appreciation for who she is and how she thinks.

Melissa’s story does not end with Ciao, though! The fourth book in the series, TTYL, is due out sometime in early 2013, and I cannot wait to read more about Melissa’s adventures. Maybe some boy drama will finally be resolved?? :) 
A Great Escape

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ten Fun Facts about Kailmeyra Series

Click here for the full blog tour schedule!
Ten Fun Facts about Kailmeyra

#10: The character Edna is actually named after my mom, but her personality and euphemisms are
taken from memories of my grandmother, and her physical features are fashioned after my greatgrandmother.

#9: In the first draft, the beginning was darker and Nora’s home was originally located on Black
Mountain in Kentucky.  However, after driving through the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina I
knew Edna had found a new home. I loved that at dusk the mountains take on a blue hue, which is
symbolic for Nora’s energy. 

#8:  Nora’s hazel eyes are really my daughter Kate’s. I’ve always been able to tell how Kate feels by the
color of her eyes. If she’s feverish, her eyes are bright green, when she’s upset they become darker, and
when she is extremely happy they are the most beautiful amber brown.

#7:  The portal is a lake because biblically water symbolizes purification.  As a literary device, water is
used to symbolize change and is often present in a plot’s turning point. Between the Biblical and literary
symbolism, I couldn’t pass it up.

#6: The Dokkalfar and the Alfar are a part of mythological folklore.  With the obvious symbolism of dark
and light, the Alfar and Dokkalfar seemed a great fit for the story.

#5: The explanation of how the Dokkalfar evolved came from a desire to parallel the ramifications of
what happens when we blindly seek power without looking at long term consequences.

#4: I already have Michael and Edna’s one perfect day in my head, and I plan someday to write a novella
about it.

#3: The jeweled-toned eyes are symbolic of the characters and their personality traits. If you’d like to
read more about them, click here (http://thelightofasteria.blogspot.com/2011/10/question-of-daywhats-up-with-jeweled.html )

#2: Rena, Corina in real life, is actually my best friend of some twenty plus years. She is the only true-tolife character in the book. Rena’s looks, mannerisms, feistiness, and, most of all, her ability to bring joy
to the darkest of situations are all because of a spunky gal from Chicago.

#1: When I first started looking at names for the lead male character, I wanted something that was not
only symbolic for the book but symbolic for me as well. The name Gavin was perfect. We learn the
significance of his name in The Secret of the Keepers, so I’ll not give it away. But, personally, Gavin was
the name of my first literary crush.  When I was fifteen, I re-read Celeste De Blasis’ The Proud Breed until
the pages literally fell from their spine.  It’s the only book I’ll never read again. Over the years, I’ve
become afraid that life’s experiences will have tainted the way Gavin Ramsey comes across, and I’d
rather keep my perception of him just the way it is. :-)   

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Blog Tour and Author Interview: The Light Series

Click here for the full tour schedule!
Interview with Jennifer DeLucy

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

JD: Ever since I was old enough to understand what writing was, I have been doing just that. I can remember jotting out poems and short stories from a very young age, and then attempting to write books by the time I was a teenager.

Where do you get your ideas and inspiration for your characters?

JD: This might sound a bit odd, but I believe that inspiration comes from a place we can’t even fathom, call it the universe, God, fate, what have you, but I’m pretty sure everything we create comes from a much bigger picture—including characters in books. So, some mysterious ethereal force plus a lot of interesting life experiences gives birth to a character, which is kind of a mini psyche born of your soul.

Creepy, huh? *wink* Or, you know, I could just have a reeeeally active imagination.

What books have most influenced your life?

JD: Wow. What a loaded question. It’s like asking you to choose between children, but here goes.
As for romances, Jane Eyre is my favorite, hands down, because it is so very real and so very heartbreaking, but the character of Jane is so zen. She’s so wise for someone so young, but she’s not afraid to stand up for herself, to be passionate about what she wants, and that’s a good example of a woman for any era.  As for fantasy, Harry Potter is number one on my list. JK is tops, as far as I am concerned, because she writes purely, authentically, from the heart. There is no pretension in the Harry Potter Series. It’s just beautiful writing and depth and heart, and that’s what I strive for.

What are you reading right now?

JD: I’m reading a book about a writer on a sort of spiritual journey across Europe. It’s called Aleph, by Paulo Coelho.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

JD: Oh, easy! I’m also a musician, and when I’m not writing books, I’m writing/performing music. In fact, each of the three books in the Light Series has its own soundtrack song (you hear excerpts in the book trailers.)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Blog Tour & Review: Frost by Kate Avery Emerson

Click here for the full tour schedule!

Release Date: April 18, 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace
Author Information:
Twitter / Blog
Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance
Available Formats:
Paperback and eBook
Amazon / Barnes & Noble
In the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, one wrong move and a person could end up dead—and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone. After monsters kill her parents, she must keep the family farm running despite the freezing cold and threat of monster attacks or risk losing her siblings to reassignment by the village Elders. With dangers on all sides and failure just one wrong step away, she can’t afford to let her emotions lead her astray. So when her sister finds a fugitive bleeding to death in the forest—a young stranger named Gabe—Lia surprises herself and does the unthinkable.

She saves his life.

Giving shelter to the fugitive could get her in trouble. The Elders have always described the advanced society of people beyond the Frost, the “Farthers,” as ruthless and cruel. But Lia is startled to find that Gabe is empathetic and intelligent…and handsome. She might even be falling in love with him.

But time is running out. The monsters from the forest circle the farm at night. The village leader is starting to ask questions. Farther soldiers are searching for Gabe. Lia must locate a secret organization called the Thorns to help Gabe escape to safety, but every move she makes puts her in more danger.

Is compassion—and love—worth the risk?
Oh, hello to my new guilty pleasure. This book was everything I was hoping for and more. Frost was a beautifully crafted dystopian tale with a light sprinkle of darkness/grittiness that kept things interesting. With the setting being a fantastical ice world comparable to the one found in C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I was immediately intrigued by this new, post-apocalyptic land. Emerson did not fail to deliver a captivating read in Frost!

My favorite part about this book was the characters. I respected Lia and her perseverance greatly, and it is always nice to see a girl not bow down to her fears. She cares deeply for her family, she has a strong sense of justice, and she is willing to help a dying fugitive. Add to the fact that she can take care of herself and watch her own back, what more could you possibly need in a female lead? I also appreciated Gabe’s character. He was definitely intriguing, but I really wish we could have gotten more of a feel for who he is. His character is shrouded in mystery from beginning to end, and while that did capture my interest (who doesn’t love them mysterious boys?), I did not really feel like I got to know who he was. Here’s to hoping for more of him in book 2!

I know I already mentioned the setting/world of Frost, but I am going to say it again: I LOVED THE SETTING. Slightly magical and extraordinarily dangerous, I loved figuring out more about this new world. With monsters lurking in the background and never being truly safe, the world is a bleak and dark place. Emerson describes Iceliss and the surrounding areas vividly, and her rich and evocative writing style really helped bring both the world and her characters to life.

Not to be a Debby-downer here, but there was one issue I had with this book: it was too short. I think that all the minor problems I had (such as the rushed ending/romance and lack of background story) can be blamed on the length of the book. I think this book would have benefited greatly from being slightly longer. That is not to say that this book is not enjoyable as it (since it most certainly is a great read!), but I think it really would have been amazing with a few more pages and background story added in.

Overall, Frost was a wonderful read, and I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of dystopian literature or just so happens to be looking for a good book to pick up. I cannot wait to see what Emerson has for us in the next installment, Thorns (especially after that crazy cliffhanger of an ending!).  
A Great Escape

Monday, July 23, 2012

Blog Tour & Review: Earth by Shauna Granger

Click here for the full tour schedule!

Release Date: May 1, 2011
Shauna Granger
Author Information: Blog / Twitter / Facebook
Genre: Magic, Romance, Paranormal
Available Formats: Paperback and eBook
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million / The Book Depository
Shayna and her two best friends have the abilities to manipulate and control the four elements, earth, air, water and fire. While learning to hone their growing powers, they discover a new and malicious presence in their sleepy beach town. Someone is performing blood magic and threatens to expose their small magical community. So far only small animals have been slaughtered, but then the nightmares start.

Shayna suffers nightmares of being chased and sacrificed only to wake up bloodied and bruised. She thinks her magical blood is the ultimate target for the final blood rite. When an innocent girl, Tracy, is kidnapped Shayna knows it's only a ploy to draw her out; she can't let someone die because of her.
Here is why you will enjoy Earth:

1.  There is mystery, magic, and romance! How could you not love all three of those things put together?
2.  Shay is an awesome, kick-ass character who never backs down from a challenge.
3.  There is a hot, totally swoon-worthy character and love interest in Jensen (downside: he is not in this book nearly enough for my liking.)
4. Shay is not one to fall for just a pretty face, and she is not afraid to call Jensen out when she suspects him. In fact, she makes him work for everything he earns (her trust, etc.). Props, girl.
5. Excellent banter and dialogue.
6. A gripping storyline.
7. One of the best self-published books I have ever read. EVER.

I know I already mentioned it once, but I will say it again:

8. There is magic, magic, and more magic! Intense and descriptive rituals, the calling of elemental magic, spells, this book has it all!

So those are a few simple reasons why I enjoyed Earth, in a nutshell. I was captivated by this story, and I am really looking forward to reading the next installment!
A Great Escape

Monday, July 16, 2012

Blog Tour & Review: Fall for You by Cecilia Gray

Click here for the full tour schedule!

Release Date: February 10, 2012
Publisher: The Alpha Division, LLC
Author Information:
WebsiteTwitter / Facebook
Contemporary, Romance, Short Story
Available Formats:
Buy the Book:
Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Jane Austen meets Pretty Little Liars in this fresh, new young-adult series!

The last thing that the girls at the elite Jane Austen Academy need is hot guys to flirt with. Please. They need to stay focused on something that lasts much longer: an acceptance letter from an Ivy.

But over the summer the school has been sold, and like it or not, the guys are coming. And it's about to turn the Academy--and the lives of its students--totally upside down...

To say Lizzie and Dante are polar opposites is the understatement of the century. He's a snooty Exeter transfer with more money than Google. She's a driven study-a-holic barely keeping up with tuition. It's obvious that Dante thinks he's way too good for Lizzie. And Lizzie knows Dante is a snob with a gift for pushing her buttons.

But things are changing fast this year at the Academy. And when Lizzie's quest to stop those changes blows up in her face, taking her oldest friendship with it, she has nowhere else to turn but to Dante, with his killer blue eyes, his crazy-sexy smile, and his secrets... Secrets Lizzie can't seem to leave alone, no matter how hard she tries...
Fall for You was the most adorable contemporary romance short story I have come across in a while, and with the perfect dash of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice elements added, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Whether you happen to be a fan of the wonderful Jane Austen or not, there are so many things to appreciate about this Pride and Prejudice retelling. It was truly a fluffy, fun read, and Gray does a wonderful job incorporating a vast amount of emotions and drama in a 100 page story. I was captivated from the very beginning to the very end, and I cannot wait for the second installment in this series!

I loved all the characters. There is Lizzie (aka Elizabeth), Dante (aka Mr. Darcy- the teenage version!), Anne, Emma, Edward, Georgiana, etc… you get the picture. Oh, these names are so very 18th century England! Lizzie is very much a modern day Elizabeth, with a strong desire for knowledge and success and a quick wit. She is a rather complex character, and I loved her curiosity and drive to know everything. Dante is very reminiscent of Mr. Darcy, and similar to Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth’s first encounter, Dante slights Lizzie. However, he comes to know who Lizzie actually is, and I loved seeing him slowly fall for her. Together, they are an adorable and squee-worthy couple, and I love them every bit as much as I love Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth.

Oh, I could continue to gush and swoon about this book, but I do not think that would be necessary. I might be a bit biased with this read since I am a HUGE Jane Austen fan and tend to love anything that is influenced from her work (save Pride and Prejudice and Zombies…that was just bad). Cecilia Gray has definitely made a fan out of me and I am eager to see what she has in store for us next!
A Great Escape!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (31)

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Jill at Breaking the Spineand it's a weekly meme mentioning an anticipated upcoming release!
My choice:

Release Date: April 16, 2013
Author Information:
Website / Tumblr / Twitter
Other Information: Debut
There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends...and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?
First, I LOVE this cover. The colors, mirrored glass, and even the crazy upside-down tree totally appeal to me! After reading the synopsis of the book, I am even more excited. Although I am not too sure what a world without older men would be like (I imagine there would be a lot of cat fights going on….), I am definitely intrigued by it! I really can’t wait for Taken!!

What is your pick this week?
Send me a link, and I will be sure to check it out! :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Blog Tour, Review & Excerpt: Empyreal Fate by Rachel Hunter

Click here for the full tour schedule!

Release Date: May 8, 2012
Hydra Publications
Author Information:
Website / Twitter
Fantasy (Epic), Romance
Available Formats:
Paperback and eBook
Buy the Book:
Filled to the brim with forbidden love, an ancient evil, and a nation in disrepair, Empyreal Fate is a tale of riveting bravery and mortal corruption.

The land of Llathala lingers on the brink of war between men and elves, a dark history surrounding each race. Stirred by tensions of the land, a shadow of the past reemerges, taking precedence in reality and consuming the very soul of mans’ mortal weakness. Darrion, the son of a poor laborer, is ensnared in a hostile world, forced to choose between loyalty to his king or the counsel of the elves. Yet Fate has other plans in store, tying his course to Amarya, an elven royalblood of mysterious quality and unsurpassable beauty. But this forbidden connection incites betrayal from members of their own kin, marking them as traitors to the crown. In a land torn asunder, only Fate’s decree can allow such love to coexist with an ancient enmity.

Behold: A Llathalan Annal: Empyreal Fate – Part One.
Empyreal Fate is a magical tale woven by Rachel Hunter, a teenager whose imagination knows no bounds. (Published teenager? Color me impressed!) She far surpasses others of her age by producing this beautiful and lyrical read, and this fantastical story grabbed my attention immediately and continued to hold it until the very last page.

Please pardon the following (and brief) fangirl moments! Moment #1: YAY for YA Epic Fantasy reads! There are not nearly enough out there, in my opinion. Moment #2: YAY for elves! I am ashamed hesitate to admit that whenever there is an elf in a book, they always look like Legolas in my head, regardless of character description. Seeing as to how Empyreal Fate is partially about elves, I kind of conjured up a world of Legolases! (I would totally live there!) Also, elves are also somewhat scarce in current YA literature, so that was just another thing I ended up appreciated about this book.

*ahem* Back to the topic at hand. There are so many things happening in this book, and I was very impressed by the tone and pacing of the story. The point of view changes multiple times, but each character’s voice is distinct. I felt like I got to understand all the characters, even the ones in the background. The world building was also fantastic, and I was thoroughly captivated by this elven/human land (Legolas land! :D) Packed full of political corruption and turmoil, epic battle scenes, a whirlwind romance, and elves, Empyreal Fate is a book you shouldn’t miss out on! I cannot wait to see what Ms. Hunter will have for us next!
A Great Escape

Darrion stared, dazed, into Amarya's face as she loomed above him, concern defining her frame. Lifting himself, he sat, uncertain how he had come to lie upon the ground. He did not remember falling; he had no recollection.
"You did well,” the elf congratulated, extending a slender hand.
Darrion rubbed his head, feeling a tenderness that had not been there before. "What happened?" he asked, taking her hand and rising.
            "I saw not of your mind, but from what I could figure, you gained entrance to the thoughts of a rambling oak. I know this to be true, for I could see your eyes swimming beneath the lids. Such does not occur unless a connection is made.” Amarya beamed, eyes sparkling with pride despite her pupil’s faint. With eager strides, she began smoothing the creases of his tunic. "You drifted too far, however – missing the mark. Your focus broke upon more than a single entity; your mind roamed in places it was not meant. As a result, your consciousness receded, and your celestial bond forged hollow spaces to compensate. Once that barrier snapped, the voices of many within the Illex, not merely the trees, poured through you. It was an overload of understanding – most mortals cannot handle such. But no need to fret; you’ve far surpassed the most capable of beginners. I am simply surprised you made contact at all."
            Darrion stepped back, feeling the lightness of his chest. With clouded thoughts, he speculated the feat he had barely attained. Few words could describe his awe - the confusion - that enveloped him. Dizziness clothed him as a tumbled reed.
Resting one palm against the bark of an oak, he listened - intent - as though searching for a beating heart against the trunk. Despite his wavering state, he was glad for Amarya’s tutelage. This feeling… it was almost surreal.
            "To my knowledge, never has a human discerned as much as you.” Amarya’s pale hand sought Darrion's shoulder, and he melted at her touch. "I'm uncertain what it means - for indeed, your ability comes as no coincidence… But the mortal mind proves oft unable to comprehend the spiritual realm. Not that it's impossible, but man forgets his possession. He knows not of the awareness beyond material senses. You, Darrion, are not like other men. You – you’re different." She shifted her jaw, examining him as if for answers.
"It’s true… I never knew the depths to which magic strayed," Darrion murmured, almost trembling from his ethereal venture. "I used to think it all frivolous tricks of the tongue."
"Not quite,” Amarya offered. "Those who perform incantations, as you suggest, are sorcerers - mere magicians who rely on handholds and false words to create masked illusions. In some cases – nigh, but rare - such illusions become reality. Regardless, the art lacks in form. Words are the derivation of mortals - a human contrivance, unnecessary for understanding. They are not real, as nature is real. Nay, words are but crude concepts – trivial in the matter of divine understanding. What is meant in one tongue may be opposite in another. How can a concept so unsure create something so pure? The answer is simple: it cannot.”

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blog Tour & Review: Lonely Souls by Karice Bolton

Click here for the full tour schedule!

Release Date: June 29, 2012
Bulldog Press
Author Information: Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook
Contemporary, Paranormal, Witches/Wizards
Available Formats:
Paperback and eBook
It’s two weeks before Triss turns 18, and her world is about to change into the most magical one imaginable as she readies herself to enter The Witch Avenue Order... that is until her mother’s disappearance. Instead of celebrating her transformation, she finds herself spreading rose petals into her mother’s empty grave.

When Logan, her best friend from junior high, moves back to town for college, he vows to help her find the answers she so desperately seeks surrounding her mother’s disappearance. As they begin uncovering clues, it becomes apparent that the life of white magic they both grew up loving is not what the majority practices, and their lives are in danger.

With a haunting feeling that her mother may still be alive, she begins to hear a call to the wilderness. Triss realizes that in order to find the answers she needs, she must learn the ways of her ancestors and become the hunter, not the hunted before it’s too late, and she becomes part of the lonely souls.

A coven of witches. Magical mayhem. A cute boy from the past. Sprinkle in some emotional turmoil and a little mystery, and you have yourself a rather amazing and intriguing paranormal read!

Triss was supposed to meet her mother at the beach, but when the only things she finds are personal items, she knows something is wrong. Her mother has disappeared without a trace, and she is presumed to be dead by the coven. However, Triss refuses to believe that her mother is gone. She reacquaints herself with Logan, a friendly face from childhood, and they slowly begin to piece together the circumstances surrounding her mother’s disappearance. When some of their discoveries leave them questioning the coven and their magical practices, what started out as a quest to find Triss’s mother becomes something a lot more dangerous and deadly.

While the premise of the story was what initially peaked my interest, I found there were many other things to appreciate about this book. The magical aspects of this novel were fascinating, and it’s nice to see what I consider to be a more ‘traditional’ form of magic (such as herbs and other earthly elements) being used. The concept of a lonely soul was also interesting to read about (but I will say no more- no spoilers!). However, this book did suffer a bit from poor pacing. There were a few moments where my attention was easily diverted and I lost interest in the story, but then things would quickly pick up again and I would be unable to stop reading. I think if the pace was a bit smoother and some of those unnecessary/drawn-out moments were removed, this would have been a much more engaging read.

Triss, the main character, took a while for me to warm up to. For the first half of the book, she struck me as being withdrawn and slightly abrasive, and I did not find myself really caring for her until the second half of the book. She has to deal with a lot emotionally throughout the story, and while I understand that and did not hold it against her when she was being prickly or rude, it just made it a little harder for me to really get a feel for her character. Logan, on the other hand, I instantly loved. I loved how steadfast his character was and the depth of his feelings for Triss. It is always nice to have a boy who is in your corner supporting you! :) (He has major swoonage potential!) The romance between Triss and Logan was solid, and some of their interactions left me in hysterics and were completely adorable.

Overall, this book did have a few problems, but it is a wonderful read all the same. It provides some originality to the YA paranormal genre, and it is definitely an interesting start to a new series. I cannot wait to see what Bolton has for us next!
A Decent Escape

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Interview & Giveaway with Karen Amanda Hooper!

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen Amanda Hooper, author of Tangled Tides and Grasping at Eternity!
I’ve loved mermaids since as far back as I can remember. I grew up watching movies like Splash and The Little Mermaid, and you could find me swimming around the pool in our backyard with my legs stuck together, pretending I had a tail and fins.

Fast forward a couple (maybe a few) decades and I’m still playing make-believe with mermaids–except now they’re in my novels instead of a toy box.

I’m a self-proclaimed twisted little pixie. I believe that magic and true love really do exist, even in a world that can be ugly at times. I like to dance down rabbit holes and ride shooting stars while playing a never-ending game of “Imagine If…” Then I write about my impossible and fantastical musings and call myself an author. Honestly, I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love storytelling way too much.

I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, but I’ve also lived in Colorado. Eventually, I had to move to a place where I’d be surrounded by water, so I now live in Florida.

When I’m not writing I can be found reading, people watching at Disney World, hanging with my amazing friends and family, listening to music, dancing, traveling, pondering the Universe, or enjoying breathtaking sunsets and a good glass of white wine.

I love great food, desserts, more desserts, movies that make me laugh or cry, thunderstorms, butterflies in my stomach, curtains blowing in the breeze, my dogs tails wagging because they are happy to see me, thrilling rides, books that make me think or learn something new, Ravens football, long warm baths, smiling uncontrollably, flavored coffee, an amazing dream that stays with me all day, popping popcorn the old-fashioned way, jumping out of airplanes, board games, lotto scratch-offs, and flying to Neverland.

I’m a constant work in progress.

Check out the teen focused blog that I co-founded with some other awesome YA authors: YA Confidential

I’m also grateful and lucky to be part of a talented group of authors called the Indelibles.
Let’s get to know a bit more about Karen, shall we? :)

1. Favorite movie? Oh, there are so many. Recently, I have a new movie crush on Crazy Stupid Love. 
2. Favorite candy? Twix. Or chewy caramels. Or York Peppermint Patties. (I like candy.)
3. Book you are currently reading? Lacrimosa by Christine Fonseca. Love me some angels.
4. Current literary boy crush? Gavin from Inhale by Kendall Grey. An Australian rockstar bad boy who saves the world. Yum. But be warned, that book is adult and rated R.
5. Favorite animal? My two sweet and spoiled dogs.
6. Favorite guilty pleasure? Drinking a cocktail on the beach of the Polynesian Resort at Disney World. I'm there quite frequently.

Now, onto some harder questions!

1. What is one of your favorite things about writing your books and sharing them with the world?

Most definitely the comments and emails from readers who love my stories and characters. They make me all warm and fuzzy, and they inspire me to be a better writer and story teller.

2. Were there any differences between writing Tangled Tides and Grasping at Eternity? Was one book easier/harder to write than the other?

Yes, I wrote Grasping at Eternity first. It was the first time I ever attempted a novel and I cranked out a 150k word first (and very rough) draft in two months. I was obsessed. I didn't write in order, I didn't know how it would end, or even if my scenes would ever tie together to make a complete story. Somehow, magical intervention maybe, the pieces of the story all clicked into place. 
Tangled Tides was a slower process and I mostly wrote it in chronological order.
However, with both, I never plotted. My mind works best in creative chaos mode.

3. What is one of your happiest memories?

The day I got hugged and kissed by a honu (Hawaiian sea turtle). I was snorkeling in Hawaii and a giant sea turtle appeared beside me. We swam side by side for a few minutes and he led me to a whole family of turtles. I surfaced and took off my mask to talk to my friend about how amazing it was to see so many honu, but something brushed up the front of me and I squealed in surprise. I looked down and was nose to nose with a giant turtle--so I kissed him. And I swear, I think he smiled at me.  It was very surreal.

4. What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

Jumped out of an airplane with no one to instruct me except a radio strapped to my chest. Except the radio had no batteries. Of course, we didn't realize that until I landed dead center in the drop zone all on my own. *fist pump*

5. Being a Florida native, I just have to ask: besides the amazing weather and beaches, what is your favorite thing about the Sunshine State? Also, have you ever been to Weeki Wachee, the home of the mermaids (and my hometown!)?

So weird. We were JUST talking about going to Weeki Wachee on July 4th, but we weren't sure if they'd be open on a holiday. So, no, I haven't been there YET, but we ARE going this summer. My favorite part about Florida is Disney. I spend way too much time there, but it's my happy place.

6. Do you have any juicy tidbits from Taking Back Forever or Dangerous Depths that you would be willing to share?? :)

Ooooh, I WANT to share so much, but I can't because then it would ruin the surprise factor. 
How about a link to my Pintrest boards? Those have a few fun clues. 

WOW! Thank you so much for stopping by, Karen, and for letting all of us get to know you better! *bear hug*

Also, Karen, being the amazingly wonderful and super kind person that she is, is going to be giving out one free copy of both of her books! (Click on the cover for Goodreads info!)
I loved Grasping at Eternity and Tangled Tides, and if you have not read them yet, then I would definitely recommend doing so!! This contest will be international, and just sign-up below to enter to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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