Author Interview, Book Love, national novel writing month, writers life, writing

25 Days of WinterDream: Interview with Author Chantal Gadoury

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About the Book

This Christmas Eve… no creature was stirring…
Except, maybe, a mouse.
At long last, can true love break the Nutcracker’s curse?

For Clara Stahlbaum, this Christmas means the end of her youth. A daughter of the aristocracy, Clara is expected to give up her dreams of adventures and the extraordinary for more normal days as the wife of a cruel Viscount.

But when magical Uncle Drosselmeyer returns with his wondrous, dancing contraptions, and one…special gift for Clara, she is beckoned to the land of Winter Dream, where she is thrust into the greatest adventure of her wildest dreams. But will she be able to break the Nutcracker’s curse?

Uncle Drosselmeyer’s apprentice, Anton, is handsome as he is mysterious. But what is it about him Clara finds so alluring?

Winter Dream is a phenomenal retelling of The Nutcracker from the eyes of Clara Stahlbaum with all the magic of the Holiday season. If you loved S. Jae-Jones’ Wintersong, you’ll fall in love with this stunning tale of love, war, redemption, and Christmas magic.

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Author Interview

I would like to welcome the lovely author, Chantal Gadoury, to the blog today. Chantal is Senior Editor at The Parliament House Press. This is an amazing publishing house releasing some of my favorite books this year: Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell, Two Thousand Years by M. Dalto, Clouded Envy by Candace Robinson, and Blinding Night by Chantal Gadoury 😊

Check them out if you love fantasy, steampunk, science fiction, and more wonderful tales!

Today, we are celebrating and counting down the days until Chantal’s Nutcracker retelling, WinterDream, releases. Isn’t that cover gorgeous?!

Loie: Without further ado, welcome Chantal!

I love this time of year and am SO excited to read WinterDream. This is the perfect read for me. I know I’ll cozy up with a blanket and a mug of hot chocolate ❤

Can you please share the initial inspiration behind WinterDream? What led you to write a Nutcracker retelling?

Chantal: Loie, first – thanks for having me on your blog today! I can’t help but agree with you whole-heartily about cozying up with a blanket and a mug of hot chocolate. That sounds so perfect.  As to answer your question, Christmas actually inspired my Nutcracker tale. I grew up going to the Nutcracker ballet with my mom, and the story has always been this magical love story that I’ve treasured for years. It was right around the beginning of the holidays last year that I had just finished writing “Between the Sea and Stars,” and I was pondering the question of “What else do I write?” And with a Christmas tree in front of me, it suddenly made sense to write my own version of the story I had grown up with – and loved so much!

Loie: Love it! That’s such a special inspiration ❤ When did you start writing this story and how long did it take to revise?

Chantal: I started writing this mid-November, early December of 2017, and I finished around February of 2018. I really pushed myself to get through the story while it was still winter, and cold (and while I still had an excuse to listen to Christmas music – and the Nutcracker score.) It sat for a while until Parliament took it, and it’s been in the revising process since August! It’s been happening fairly quickly, but I’m definitely excited to share this tale with everyone!

Loie: Awesome! Yes, perfect excuse to listen to Christmas tunes 😉 Did you come across any interesting tidbits of history about the Nutcracker story during your research?

Chantal: Not necessarily history – but cultural differences. So when I began to write the Nutcracker, I had to choose between setting this in Germany or in Russia. While the tale of the Nutcracker is a German tale, we all associate it with Russia because it originally premiered in St. Petersburg back in December 1892. As I researched the way Russia celebrates Christmas, it was vastly different to the way America and/or Germany celebrates the holiday. But for the sake of the tale, and the origins, I chose to go with Russia and tried to adapt around the cultural differences. It’s definitely worth looking up and seeing how we all celebrate the holidays differently around the world!  

Loie: Ooooo, how lovely! I’m going to go and look that up. Thanks for sharing 🙂 Are there any fairy tales you would love to retell in the future?

Chantal: Oh yes! I’d love to retell “Swan Lake” someday – and with a twist! I’m working on retelling the story of “Hansel and Gretel” with a very talented writer, Amanda Wright! I have a few other stories I’d like to tell, but we’ll see where my writing takes me! I still have to revisit Lena and Soren in the sequel to “Between the Sea and Stars,” and return to the Underworld with Darce and Summer in a sequel to “Blinding Night.”

Loie: Oooo Swan Lake 🙂 ! Can’t wait! Can you share a little bit about what 2019 holds in store for you?

Chantal: To be honest, a break! I’m not going to push myself the way I have the past two years. In two years I’ve published six novels! As I mentioned, I need to revisit two worlds that I’ve already established. I’d like to focus on Amanda and I’s retelling of “Hansel and Gretel.” But I plan to take 2019 pretty easy.

Loie: A break sounds perfect. You’ve done a lot in the past two years, wow. What is your favorite thing about the winter season?

Chantal: Christmas trees, lights, and music. Those are the three things that make the holiday the most magical for me. There’s nothing like setting up a beautiful tree, decorating it with beautiful lights (and seeing homes decorated) and blasting Christmas music! (And singing along!)

Loie: Mmmm, same ❤ Are you participating in National Novel Writing Month 😊?

Chantal: Not this year. After writing three novels just within this year, I’m focusing on “WinterDream” and allowing my creative juices to build up again. But I wish everyone luck as they write this year for NaNoWriMo!

Loie: Thank you so much, Chantal, for stopping by the blog! I love your books so much and cannot wait to read WinterDream.

Chantal: Thank you so much Loie! I really appreciate you welcoming me here today! “WinterDream” waltzes onto shelves November 27th! And you can all sorts of information about my books at www.chantalgadoury.com

Book Teaser Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMRGyNtnhZI

You can Pre-Order on Amazon and the Parliament House Publishing Website

About the Author:

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Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published “The Songs in Our Hearts” and “The Songs We Remember,” with 48Fourteen Publishing, and “Allerleirauh,” “Between the Sea and Stars,” and “Blinding Night” with Parliament House Press. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-’brother’ Taran.

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Book Love, Country Life, national novel writing month, Nature, writers life, writing

National Novel Writing Month Check-In and Visiting Nova Scotia

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Hey everyone!

How are you all making out? I wanted to check in and see how NaNoWriMo is going. I’ve hit the 12,000 word mark. I should be a little over 17,000 words, so I have a fair bit of catching up to do today.

I’ve been writing with my friend Biljana over Skype a few times this week. We chat for a bit and then sprint for a half hour or so. It’s a great accountability trick, and I’ve managed to finish two chapters. I look forward to our writing sessions a lot 🙂

Sundays tend to be quieter for me, so I think I will have some time today to work on my story for a few hours.

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Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

I’m in Nova Scotia visiting my family. I always feel so nostalgic when I go to Yarmouth. It’s a little maritime town at the end of Nova Scotia. A lot of people lobster fish here. I grew up in Yarmouth for seventeen years until I moved to New Brunswick.

As a teenager, I couldn’t wait to leave. There was a big world out there that I wanted to explore. I wanted to live in a city and meet new people. I have seen some of the world, but I now enjoy living in a quiet village in New Brunswick.

As a writer, I find this place a wonderful spot to live and write in. It’s quiet and relaxing. When I lived in the city, it was chaotic and busy. There’s a certain magic to cities, but there’s a calm peace with living in the country.

I have space to think and breathe and dream. I’m not so preoccupied.

If you are feeling a little discouraged with NaNoWriMo, don’t be! This month is meant to be a great inspiring time, but it can be stressful too. Life happens. Interruptions stop the flow. That’s okay. There’s still December and a whole new year ahead.

Today, I will enjoy time with my family, read from M. Dalto’s TWO THOUSAND YEARS, and hopefully pen a new chapter or two.

Enjoy the day. Go for a walk if you’re stumped. I find walking helps my ideas flow better.

Some fun blog posts are going live this week! I interviewed a lovely fantasy author and can’t wait for you to read!

How is NaNoWriMo going? I’d love to hear below ❤

Until next time,

Loie xo

Book Love, Book Reviews, Giveaway, writers life, writing

Book Review: Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell

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Title: DREAM KEEPER

Author: Amber R. Duell

Pub. Date: January 29, 2019

Publisher: The Parliament House

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 288

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N

The Sandman is seventeen-year-old Nora’s closest friend and best-kept secret. He has to be, if she doesn’t want a one-way ticket back to the psychiatrist. It took her too long to learn not to mention the hooded figure in her dreams to her mother, who still watches Nora as if she’ll crack. So when Nora’s friends start mysteriously dying gruesome deaths in their sleep, she isn’t altogether surprised when the police direct their suspicion at her. The Sandman is the only one she can turn to for answers. But the truth might be more than she bargained for…

For the last five years, the Sandman has spent every night protecting Nora. When he hid the secret to the Nightmare Lord’s escape inside her dreams, he never expected to fall in love with her. Neither did he think his nemesis would find her so quickly, but there’s no mistaking his cruel handiwork. The Nightmare Lord is tired of playing by the rules and will do anything to release his deadly nightmares into the world, even if that means tormenting Nora until she breaks.

When the Nightmare Lord kidnaps Nora’s sister, Nora must enter enemy territory to save her. The Sandman is determined to help, but if Nora isn’t careful, she could lose even more than her family to the darkness.

Loie’s Review

Wow. This book completely surprised me. I think when I saw the cover, I was expecting something romantic and dark. But wow, there were parts of this book that were scary! I had my Jack Russell Terrier nearby while I read, haha.

Amber has a fantastic way of drawing out the suspense and writing cinematically. You can see the scene unfolding in your head. For some of these scenes, they were downright frightening. Many times my mouth dropped open as I read this story. There were twists and turns I hadn’t seen coming. If you like suspense and a bit of horror, this story is for you.

Also, can we talk about the Sandman for a moment? He is everything I want in a hero – he listens to Nora and doesn’t try and tell her what to do. He is romantic and clever. I just loved his character.

I felt so much for Nora. I felt bad for her as she grew up, that her family thought she was off her rocker. I felt bad that she suffered so much. She is a plucky character and has a quiet strength about her that I loved.

I’m not going to say anything about the ending except this: THAT ENDING?! Wow. Amber wrote an amazing story filled with three-dimensional characters. I cannot wait until the sequel.

This was everything I wanted in a story. I couldn’t put it down. The pacing is so good! 5 Stars.

Enjoy ❤

 

Amber

About Amber:

Amber R. Duell was born and raised in a small town in Central New York. While it will always be home, she’s constantly moving with her husband and two sons as a military wife. Before becoming published, she had a wide range of occupations including banking, bartending (though she’s never tried alcohol), and phlebotomy (though she faints with needles). She also volunteered as a re-enactor at the local Revolutionary War fort and worked near shelter cats which led to her previous crazy cat lady status.

She does her best writing in the middle of the night, surviving the daylight hours with massive amounts of caffeine. Her favorite stories are dark with a touch of romance and a villain you either love to hate or hate to love.

When not reading or writing, she enjoys snowboarding, embroidering, snuggling with her cat, and staying up way too late to research genealogy. She loves to travel and has visited more countries than states. Kissing the Blarney Stone and hand-feeding monkeys in the mountains of France will be hard to beat, but that doesn’t stop her from trying to find the next real-life adventure.

Website  | Twitter  | Instagram | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest |  Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

Week One:

10/22/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

10/23/2018- A Court of Coffee and Books– Review

10/24/2018- Oh Hey! Books.– Excerpt

10/25/2018- BookHounds YA– Excerpt

10/26/2018- Loie Dunn– Review

Week Two:

10/29/2018- MetalPhantasmReads– Review

10/30/2018- Falling For YA– Excerpt

10/31/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

11/1/2018- Am Kinda Busy Reading– Review

11/2/2018- Do You Dog-ear?– Review

Book Love, Cover Reveals, writers life, writing

Cover Reveal: CLOUDED BY ENVY – Candace Robinson

September 25th, 2018

Guys, I am so happy to be part of the cover reveal for Candace’s newest book CLOUDED BY ENVY, releasing in February 2019! Eep, so exciting. You may remember when I wrote a review for her story, Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault.

I cannot wait to read her latest story. Candace is a master storyteller of quirky, unique, and romantic fantasy. I love her style of writing.

Without further ado, here is the Goodreads summary:

Brenik has always been envious of his twin sister, Bray. Growing up as fairy-like creatures, known as bats, everything came easier to Bray. While Brenik spent his time in her shadows, never feeling he was enough. After escaping their world of Laith, and living on Earth for ten years, Brenik attempts to strike a deal with the Stone of Desire to become human. Though true humanity is not an option, he will accept the curse that will alter him to get as close as he can.

Living in a tree trunk for the past year hasn’t been easy for Bray, more so after her brother disappears again. When a human boy and his brother, Wes, find her, a new friendship is struck. Through Wes, Bray learns there can be more to life than waiting within a tree. But worrying over where Brenik has vanished to always remains in the back of her mind.

When Bray reunites with Brenik, she realizes she must help him break the curse after she discovers the need for blood is beginning to overpower him. The curse not only damages those who get close to Brenik, but it could also destroy whatever is blooming between Bray and Wes.

Are you ready for the cover?!

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Isn’t it stunning? I love it so much ❤

You can learn more about Candace here 🙂 Or follow her on Twitter!

Tell me what you think below :)! I would love to hear from you.

Until next time,

Loie xo

Author Interview, Book Love, canadian authors, writers life, writing

Saturday Check-In: Books I’m Reading, Upcoming Author Interview, and Heading to the Country

Hiya friends,

Short post for today.  The #WriteMentor Agent Showcase went fantastically and Stuart shared that every mentee received an agent request which is super rare and awesome! Woohoo 🙂 You can still read the lovely entries here!

What I’m Reading

I finished The Secret Deep by Lindsay Galvin and it’s definitely a 5 star book in my opinion! I loved the thrilling mystery and the close sisterly bond between Aster and Poppy.

I’m still working on Blinding Night and A Touch of Gold. But I also have a few more on my radar 😀 The life of a booklover! Haha.

Scion of the Fox is written by Canadian writer, editor, and artist, S.M. Beiko. The pitch is American Gods meets Princess Mononoke!

Saving Death was graciously sent to me by Oftomes Publishing to review. Very excited to dive in.

The Bone Roses is such a unique and fantastical story. It’s pitched as a Steampunk Western! I love it so far. Rags is such a spunky and brave main heroine.

This book was published by Parliament House Press. I think they are definitely a publishing house to watch. They have some great books lined up for the fall. My two mentors from #WriteMentor each have a book releasing from them in the next couple of months.

Upcoming Author Interview

I won’t say much about this because I want you to be excited and curious but I have a fantastic author interview going live on Tuesday! They are a bestselling fantasy writer and I cannot wait for you to read the interview ❤

Heading to the Country

I am excited because this weekend I am heading to the country to spend time with family. Hoping for rest and good conversation and inspiration. I also get to read my #cpsoulmate‘ latest draft of her science fiction adventure story, World Leaper! 

Do you have any plans for the weekend? What are you reading at the moment?

Keep your eyes peeled for Tuesday’s interview!

Until next time,

Loie xo

Book Love, Cover Reveals

Dream Keeper by Amber R. Duell Cover Reveal

Hi everyone!
I have the great honor to be part of the book cover reveal for one of my #WriteMentor mentors, Amber R. Duell!
I read Amber’s previous book, Fragile Chaos, and it was fantastic. Lush, romantic, and complex.
I cannot wait to read her newest book, Dream Keeper. I’ve always been fascinated by dreams. It is also about Sandman! Eeee!
Isn’t the cover gorgeous? Keep reading to find out more about the story.
PS: Shoutout to Amber: this cover is stunning!
-Loie xo
Book Reviews

Book Review: Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault

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Published by Parliament House Press

 June 26th, 2018

Book 1 in a Duology

Goodreads 

Some see it… Some don’t…

People in the town of Deer Park, Texas are vanishing. There is a strange museum, known as Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, that appears overnight. Perrie Madeline’s best friend and ex-boyfriend are among the missing. Perrie and her friend August go on a pursuit for them in the mysterious museum. Could the elusive Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault have anything to do with the disappearances?

Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault is the start of a thrilling duology full of magic, danger, and romance.

General Gushing and Characters I Love

Candace created three dimensional characters that I fell in love with from the get go. Our main heroine, Perrie, is a spunky and real teenager. She’s fallen in love and has had her heart broken. She is a great friend to her cousin and bestie, Maisie. I love that she is a musician and plays the cello. (Sidenote, I’ve always wanted to play the cello or harp 😉

Maisie is so fun and cool. If only I had her rocking confidence when I was a teenager ❤ I love how quirky she is. Perrie and Maisie are #friendshipgoals. There is a quote from Perrie that I scribbled down that I wanted to share.

“That’s what I love best about her is the fact she doesn’t care what anybody thinks, and just wants to see everyone happy.”

This is Perrie observing Maisie inviting everyone to dance at their prom, not caring about the different cliques. I loved that so much ❤ This really shows us how kind and caring Maisie is.

Neven and August are intriguing. (Aren’t all the character names awesome ?!?!) Both boys have interesting personalities and vie for Perrie’s attention. There is a twist at the end of the book that I absolutely did NOT SEE coming. Well done, Candace. I have a #bookhangover and I need the sequel ASAP, pretty please 🙂

Favorite Moments

When Perrie goes to the Glass Vault to rescue Maisie. Talk about fearless! She does not only seek to help Maisie but others as well.

A funny moment with Perrie and August: “Please tell me you’ve taken karate or something like that.”

(This is when August and Perrie are facing a fight, haha! I laughed out loud.)

If you love horror, mystery, and fairytales, I highly suggest you pick up this book. It is a brilliant mash up and it did not disappoint. The pacing was outstanding. Every time I came to the end of a chapter I felt propelled forwards, unable to stop reading. (I also took notes, as a writer, haha.)

Writer Thoughts

Like I said before, the pacing was brilliant. I also enjoyed how Candace seamlessly weaved backstory into various chapters. This helped me understand Perrie and her friends a lot better. I saw how much Perrie loves Maisie and cares for her best friend. We also got to see what happened between her and Neven.

Her descriptions were spot on, building a lush and horrifying world at times. Can’t wait for your next book, Candace!

Author Candace Robinson 

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My name is Candace Robinson. I’m just your average hemiplegic migraine sufferer. My days are spent writing, book reviewing and traveling through books for my blog, Literary Dust. I live just outside of Houston, Texas, where it feels like the hottest place on Earth with the crazy weather. No, seriously, one day it’s 30 degrees and the next it’s 70 degrees! I live with my husband and awesome daughter!

Candace has an awesome book blog called Literary Dust! Go check it out 🙂 Isn’t that website name awesome?!

If you want to order this book on Amazon, just click here 🙂

You can also order it on Parliament’s website!

What are you reading at the moment? I would love to hear in the comments below.

Until next time,

Loie xo