Author Interview, Book Love, writers life, writing

Author Interview with Amber R. Duell

DreamKeeper_cover

I’d like to welcome Amber to the blog today. Amber is a YA fantasy author of Fragile Chaos, The Last Goodbye, and the forthcoming Dream Keeper trilogy. The first book releases on January 29th from Parliament House Press. The book is called Dream Keeper, a deliciously dark and romantic tale. I had the opportunity to read an ARC and I absolutely loved it.

Loie: Thank you so much, Amber, for agreeing to be interviewed 😊 Can you please share that initial spark of inspiration behind Dream Keeper?

Amber: I was lying on the couch thinking about what to write next (I was querying Fragile Chaos at the time) when it hit me out of nowhere that I wanted to write something that included the Sandman. That was it—no plot or other characters which was obviously super helpful, haha. It took me days to come up with the rest.

Loie: Are there things you do before drafting that help open up new ideas for the plot or characters?

Amber: I wouldn’t say before drafting. My “first draft” is where things sort themselves out, but that’s really a glorified outline of 20-30k words. I know where things start and where they end, but I give the characters a good amount of leash to explore the rest. In writing book 3 of the Dark Dreamer trilogy, I realized I set up something in book 1 without knowing it so at least they know what they’re doing. 😉

Loie: How did you come up with the nightmarish world? I loved all the details and it really came to life. I felt scared and amazed at times while reading.

Amber: Thank you! It was my favorite realm to create! Everyone is afraid of different things, whether it’s a living thing or something emotional. For the emotional landscapes, I tried to embody the feeling it wanted the Dreamer to have, but the living ones were my favorite. Honestly, I just took something, like the clown, and kept twisting it until I knew it would freak people out. (Is my dark heart showing?)

Loie: Can you share who your favorite character is to write in this book?

Amber: Kail! He’s not in the first book much, but he’s so fun to write because he doesn’t give one single crap.

Loie: What’s next for you 😊? Do you have any genres you’d like to visit after this trilogy?

Amber: Don’t I wish I knew? 😛 I have a few ideas jumping up and down on the sidelines, begging me to pick them as soon as book 3 is finished. 1 involves magic, 1 science, and the 3rd, both.

Loie: Can you tell us what’s your most anticipated read (s) of 2019?

Amber: I already have it! The Wicked King! I’m rereading The Cruel Prince right now to savor the story a bit longer.

Loie: Thanks so much, Amber, for stopping by ❤ Can’t wait until the rest of the world gets to read Dream Keeper!

About Amber:

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

Blogging, Book Love, Giveaway, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

A CIRCLE OF ELEPHANTS

circle of elephants cover 7-16-18

Title: A CIRCLE OF ELEPHANTS

Author: Eric Dinerstein

Pub. Date: January 22, 2019

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 288

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

 

From the author of What Elephants Know, a 2017 ALA Notable Children’s Book and winner of the 2017 South Asia Book Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, comes this stunning companion novel about the complex relationship between people and nature coexisting in the Borderlands of 1970s Nepal.

Thirteen-year-old Nandu lives in the newly established Royal Elephant Breeding Center on the edge of the jungle. Here, the King’s elephants are to be raised under the protective watch of the stable. Nandu-along with his adoptive father Subba-sahib, his mentors, friends, and the rest of the elephant drivers-is tested by man and nature as earthquakes, drought, wild herds, and rumors of poachers threaten the Center.

When Nandu’s world is thrown into turmoil, so, too, is the world of Hira Prasad, the Center’s powerful bull elephant. An unbreakable bond of brotherhood drives Nandu and Hira Prasad together as they struggle to maintain the delicate natural order of life in the Borderlands.

Dinerstein’s poetic prose and scientific expertise come together in this breathtaking tale that transports the reader to the center of dangerous conflicts and heartbreaking friendships.

Review

This book was beautifully written. I really enjoyed Eric’s writing style. This story is a companion to WHAT ELEPHANTS KNOW. I found the story was understandable on its own and didn’t feel lost without the previous book.

You’ll find out below more about Eric but I can see how his experience would have helped when crafting this book.

I loved the message about conservation. Personally, I adore elephants but I have yet to meet one. Someday, I hope to. The country of Nepal is drawn out with wonderful description in this book. I felt like I was there.

Nandu and his elephant, Hira Prasad, have a special bond. Their connection is unique and I enjoyed reading about them during stressful times in the book. The characters were flawed but likeable. 5 stars

eric dinerstein hi res

About Eric:

Eric Dinerstein is Director of Biodiversity and Wildlife Solutions at RESOLVE. Previously, he was Lead Scientist and Vice President for Conservation Science at the World Wildlife Fund. His areas of specialty include tropical mammals, large mammal biology, biogeography, bats, rhinos, seed dispersal and community ecology. With the World Wildlife Fund, he led many of the organization’s most important scientific projects, including the Global 200 Ecoregions, examples of which form the basis of his book TIGERLAND AND OTHER UNINTENDED DESTINATIONS. Dinerstein is also the author of THE KINGDOM OF RARITIES, THE RETURN OF THE UNICORNS: The Natural History and Conservation of the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros and WHAT ELEPHANTS KNOW: A Novel, among other articles and publications.

 

He attended Northwestern University and Western Washington University, and did his post-graduate studies at the University of Washington (Organization of Tropical Studies) and the National Zoological Park’s Conservation and Research Center.

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads
Giveaway Details:

3 winners will win a finished copy of A CIRCLE OF ELEPHANTS, US Only.

Giveaway Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2879/?

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/14/2019- The Reading Corner for All– Review

1/15/2019- BookHounds YA– Interview

1/16/2019- Rhythmicbooktrovert– Review

1/17/2019- Confessions of a YA Reader– Excerpt

1/18/2019- dwantstoread– Review

 

Week Two:

1/21/2018- Lifestyle of Me– Review

1/22/2018- Loie Dunn– Review

1/23/2018- YA Books Central– Interview

1/24/2018- The Layaway Dragon– Excerpt

1/25/2018- Two Points of Interest– Review

 

Artist Date, Blogging, Book Love, canadian authors, Country Life, Nature, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

The Artist’s Way

January 17th

Hi everyone! I am rereading Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. In one month, I’ll write up another post about the workbook and exercises.

For those of you who don’t know about Julia’s book, stick around ❤

The Artist’s Way

This is a creative writing method separated into 12 weeks. Julia writes about what creativity is and how to harness it. She suggests you read one chapter a week. There are a series of exercises you should complete along the way 🙂

Morning Pages

Each day, write around three pages in a notebook. You don’t have to plan anything. Write whatever comes into your mind.
I picked up a notebook and reserved it for Morning Pages. I usually write these before I’m about to start work. I write down worries I have, bits of dialogue, or prayers. It’s a pure stream of consciousness.

Artist Date

Once a week, break your routine and take time for yourself. You might listen to music, go for a walk, explore ice caves or paint. Do something that allows you to relax and enjoy life.

Last weekend, I explored Cape Enrage. Wow! What a sight. Not only did I physically benefit from walking about, but I also came up with some new ideas for a short story.

I highly recommend both exercises.

Have Fun Writing

I hope you have a great rest of your week. In a month I’ll blog about my experience with The Artist’s Way.

What are you working on this month? I’d love to hear below ❤

Until next time,

Loie xo

Blogging, Book Love, Book Reviews, Giveaway, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

LADY SMOKE Rockstar Book Blog Tour

Lady Smoke designer credit Billelis @billelis

About the Book:

Title: LADY SMOKE (Ash Princess Trilogy #2)

Author: Laura Sebastian

Pub. Date: February 5, 2019

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 512

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudible,  B&NiBooksTBD

Review

I really enjoyed the sequel to Ash Princess. Theo has grown a lot since the first book. She’s clever and her years at court have given her a unique experience that she’s able to use.

This book is full of secrets! I love mystery so I was tearing through the pages, trying to figure out what would happen. Theo is in another tricky situation where she must decide who to trust.

I enjoyed learning more about Blaise. He’s one of Theo’s oldest friends. Then we have Prinz Soren 🙂 Theo had begun to develop a relationship with him in Ash Princess.

Things build towards the end and a surprise occurred that I didn’t expect. Can’t wait for the sequel! 4 stars.

The sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that was “made for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sabaa Tahir” ( Bustle ), Lady Smoke is an epic new fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people. 
The Kaiser murdered Theodosia’s mother, the Fire Queen, when Theo was only six. He took Theo’s country and kept her prisoner, crowning her Ash Princess–a pet to toy with and humiliate for ten long years. That era has ended. The Kaiser thought his prisoner weak and defenseless. He didn’t realize that a sharp mind is the deadliest weapon.
Theo no longer wears a crown of ashes. She has taken back her rightful title, and a hostage–Prinz Soren. But her people remain enslaved under the Kaiser’s rule, and now she is thousands of miles away from them and her throne.
To get them back, she will need an army. Only, securing an army means she must trust her aunt, the dreaded pirate Dragonsbane. And according to Dragonsbane, an army can only be produced if Theo takes a husband. Something an Astrean Queen has never done.
Theo knows that freedom comes at a price, but she is determined to find a way to save her country without losing herself.
A darkly enchanting page-turner you won’t be able to put down.” –Bustle on Ash Princess, Book 1 in the Ash Princess series

 

About Book 1:

Title: ASH PRINCESS (Ash Princess Trilogy #1)

Author: Laura Sebastian

Pub. Date: April 24, 2018

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 432

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudible,  B&N,  iBooksTBD

 

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

Author-Photo-300x200

About Laura:

Laura Sebastian was born and raised in South Florida (the Redlands and Key Largo) and has always loved telling stories–many apologies to her little brother who often got in trouble because of them. No copies of her first book, a Cinderella retelling about angels circa 2nd grade, remain. Thankfully.

After getting her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, she moved to New York City thinking that she would stay for a couple of years before going somewhere better suited for a small-town, sun-loving girl. Five years later, she’s still here and madly in love with it.

When Laura isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, baking cookies or cupcakes, buying more clothes than her overstuffed closet can fit, or forcing her lazy dog Neville to take a walk.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

 

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of LADY SMOKE, US Only.


Rafflecopter link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2874/?

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/1/2019- To Be Read– Review

1/2/2019- A Dream Within A Dream– Review

1/3/2019- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

1/4/2019- Random Bookish Banter– Review

 

Week Two:

1/7/2019- Tween 2 Teen Book Reviews– Review

1/8/2019- Jrsbookreviews– Review

1/9/2019- Omg Books and More Books– Review

1/10/2019- Fiction Fare– Review

1/11/2019- Du Livre– Review

 

Week Three:

1/14/2019- Loie Dunn– Review

1/15/2019- A Court of Coffee and Books– Review

1/16/2019- Paws and Paperbacks– Review

1/17/2019- A Gingerly Review– Review

1/18/2019- Lifestyle of Me– Review

 

Week Four:

1/21/2019- Paper Reader– Review

1/22/2019- Adventures and Reading– Review

1/23/2019- Popthebutterfly Reads– Review

1/24/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

1/25/2019- YA Books Central– Interview

 

Week Five:

1/28/2019- Confessions of a YA Reader– Review

1/29/2019- Colorimetry– Interview

1/30/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

1/31/2019- Kat’s Books– Review

 

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

POWER OF FIVE Rockstar Blog Tour

lera

About the Series:

Title: LERA OF LUNOS (Power of Five #4)

Author: Alex Lidell

Pub. Date: January 4, 2019

Publisher: Danger Bearing Press

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 192

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

Read For FREE With Kindle Unlimited!

Two immortal realms on brink of war. One mortal standing in their way.

With the quint squaring off against the king of Slait, Lera is running out of time to tame her feral magic. Worse still, just when the quint must weave together to survive, demons from Tye’s past surface to tear them apart. Demons he fears facing, let alone sharing with Lera.

But when Griorgi makes a move that no one expects, throwing River, Shade, and Coal’s lives into question, the clock runs out. Lera and Tye have no choice but to fight their battles within—or risk losing Lunos and their quint forever.

LERA OF LUNOS is a full-length reverse-harem fantasy novel, the stunning finale to the Amazon-bestselling, KU-All Star POWER OF FIVE series.

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Title: TRIAL OF THREE (Power of Five #3)

Author: Alex Lidell

Pub. Date: September 26, 2018

Publisher: Danger Bearing Press

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 192

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

Read For FREE With Kindle Unlimited!

Four cords of power. Three trials. Two soul-crushing secrets. 
For Lera, training has never been so hard. With the males’ power roaring in her veins and River’s cold demand that she master the magic before the third trial, something has to give. Worse still, River is keeping something from her. Something about his past and Lunos’s future.
For River and Coal, the past must stay buried. Though one male’s nightmare sits on a throne and the other’s hides in his soul, they are equally unprepared for Lera’s startling determination to undress the truth.
But when Mors’s Emperor Jawrar makes a play for Lunos, neither Lera’s fledgling magic nor the males’ old wounds can remain untouched—not if their world is to survive.
TRIAL OF THREE is a full-length reverse-harem fantasy novel, third in the Amazon bestselling, KU-All Star POWER OF FIVE series. 

jautnpnytjs9iz1k7nyq_full_2017-1354 alex lidell b02

Title: MISTAKE OF MAGIC (Power Of Five #2)

Author: Alex Lidell

Pub. Date: June 29, 2018

Publisher: Danger Bearing Press

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 193

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N, TBD

 

FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!!!

 

Three trials stand between Lera and exile. Unless the training kills her first.
Quint magic has never chosen a human before, and the Elders Council is convinced Lera is a mistake.
When the quint refuses to be cleaved apart, the enraged elders give them a choice: exile from Lunos or demotion to the lowest of trainees. Subject again to the humiliations and deadly trials they endured centuries ago, the males now face a new challenge—training Lera to survive.
River, Shade, Coal, and Tye will do whatever it takes to keep Lera safe. But Lera will do whatever she must to keep them together—even if it means putting herself in mortal danger.

power of five

READ POWER OF FIVE FOR FREE JANUARY 4TH-8TH!

Title: POWER OF FIVE

Author: Alex Lidell

Pub. Date: May 4, 2018

Publisher: Danger Bearing Press

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 312

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N, TBD

 

FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED!!!

 

Four elite fae warriors. One mortal female. A magical bond they can’t allow—or resist. 
Orphaned and sold to a harsh master, Lera’s life is about mucking stalls, avoiding her master’s advances, and steering clear of the mystical forest separating the mortal and fae worlds. Only fools venture into the immortal realms, and only dark rumors come out… Until four powerful fae warriors appear at Lera’s barn.
River, Coal, Tye, and Shade have waited a decade for their new fifth to be chosen, the wounds from their quint brother’s loss still raw. But the magic has played a cruel trick, bonding the four immortal warriors to… a female. A mortal female.
Distractingly beautiful and dangerously frail, Lera can only be one thing—a mistake. Yet as the males bring Lera back to the fae lands to sever the bond, they discover that she holds more power over their souls than is safe for anyone… especially for Lera herself.

REVIEW

Hi there! This is the first novel I’ve read by Alex Lidell. I found the story enjoyable, and definitely had me turning the pages. Lera is a likeable character who you feel for at the beginning of the story. She’s had a difficult life from the get go, having been a slave to a cruel owner.

The group of four fae have been looking for their fifth member. Another warrior fae. Yet, the magic tricks them and chooses Lera, a mortal young woman.

The story follows their journey back to the elder council. They want to sever the bond, or so they think.

It’s entertaining, romantic, and fun. I give it a 4/5 ✨

 
Power of Five is a full-length reverse-harem fantasy novel. 

alex

About Alex:

Alex Lidell is the Amazon Breakout Novel Awards finalist author of THE CADET OF TILDOR (Penguin, 2013). She is an avid horseback rider, a (bad) hockey player, and an ice-cream addict. Born in Russia, Alex learned English in elementary school, where a thoughtful librarian placed a copy of Tamora Pierce’s ALANNA in Alex’s hands. In addition to becoming the first English book Alex read for fun, ALANNA started Alex’s life long love for YA fantasy books. Alex is represented by Leigh Feldman of Leigh Feldman Literary. She lives in Washington, DC.

Join Alex’s newsletter for news, bonus content and sneak peeks: www.subscribepage.com/TIDES

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page | Book Bub | Instagram

 

Giveaway Details:

 

1 winner will win a $10 Amazon GC International.

1 winner will receive a POWER OF FIVE Journal, US Only.

1 winner will receive the complete POWER OF FIVE series in eBooks, International.


Rafflecopter link:

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2875/?

 

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/4/2019- Under the Book Cover– Review-Power of Five

1/4/2019- Writer of Wrongs– Excerpt- Power of Five

 

Week Two:

1/7/2019- Loie Dunn– Review-Power of Five

1/7/2019- Texan Holly Reads– Excerpt- Power of Five

 

1/8/2019- BookHounds– Excerpt- Power of Five 

1/8/2019- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt- Power of Five  

 

1/9/2019- Good Choice Reading– Excerpt-Power of Five

1/9/2019- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Excerpt- Lera of Lunos

 

1/10/2019- A Gingerly Review– Review-Power of Five

 

1/11/2019- Burgandy Ice– Excerpt- Lera of Lunos

 

Week Three:

1/14/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Review- Complete Series

1/14/2019- Books a Plenty Book Reviews– Review- Complete Series

 

1/15/2019- Reese’s Reviews– Review- Complete Series

1/15/2019- Parajunkee– Excerpt- Lera of Lunos

 

1/16/2019- Book-Keeping– Review- Complete Series

1/16/2019- Jaime’s World– Excerpt- Lera of Lunos

 

1/17/2019- Bookbriefs– Review- Complete Series

1/17/2019- Abooktropolis– Review- Power of Five or Complete Series

 

1/18/2019- Love in a time of Feminism– Review- Complete Series

1/18/2019- Eli to the nth– Review- Power of Five or Complete Series

 

24 Days of Writing, Blogging, Book Love, Nature, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

On the 24th Day of Writing: World Weaver Press

person hand
Photo by McKylan Mullins on Pexels.com

December 24th

Hi dear friends, today is the last day of #24DaysofWriting. I hope you were inspired to write some wacky and fun short stories. I know I have 🙂

Check out today’s submission opportunity.

World Weaver Press

GLASS & GARDENS: SOLARPUNK WINTERS
Open for Submissions: January 1 – March 1, 2019
Publication: January 2020
Length: up to 8,000 words

Solarpunk is a type of eco-aware science fiction. It imagines a hopeful future founded on renewable energies. Solarpunk stories show how we adapted to climate change or how we overcame it.

For this anthology, World Weaver Press want stories that take place in winter. Read more here!

Happy Writing

Thanks for joining me this month! I hope you’ve written heaps and had fun brainstorming.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ❤

Until next time,

Loie xo

24 Days of Writing, Blogging, Book Love, writers life, writing, Writing Submission

On the 23rd Day of Writing: PORTALS

ancient antique architecture building
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

December 23rd 

Hi friends! I’m currently in Nova Scotia visiting family. I love any kind of travel, even if it’s only a few hours away. I find when I drive, I’m able to think about life and the stories I’m working on.

Today’s opportunity is for PORTALS. Keep reading to learn more!

PORTALS

They seek fantasy or science fiction stories that contain a portal between two different worlds. They want stories that feature twists on typical portals and interesting settings. Try not to write a story about a door in the back of a wardrobe 😉

They also aren’t seeking stories that open a portal from one time to another. They’re interested in stone archways in the middle of the forest, cracks in reality, and wormholes. They seek both humorous and dark tones. Read more here!

Submission Guidelines

Stories shouldn’t be longer than 7,500 words and must satisfy the theme.

The deadline is December 31st, 2018. Decisions will be made by the end of February 2019. Send your submissions to: contact@zombiesneedbrains.com

Any questions you have may be directed to: contact@zombiesneedbrains.com.

Happy Writing

Hope you have fun with this prompt. Tomorrow is the last day of this blog series!

Until next time,

Loie xo