Sunday, September 30, 2012

BCM Author Spotlight: Lisa M. Stasse - Life In the UNA & on The Wheel

Welcome to the last installment of our BCM Author Spotlight of Lisa M. Stasse, author of THE FORSAKEN. She is joining us this week to give a little inside info into life in the UNA and on The Wheel. If you haven't yet read the book yet, no worries, this post shouldn't spoil anything for you. Enjoy!  
If you are new to this month's spotlight, be sure to check out the other posts from September. Links are below:

You can find Lisa online:
Life in the UNA and on The Wheel
by Lisa M. Stasse

     So this guest post is going to be relatively spoiler free, but it will probably make the most sense to those of you who have already read THE FORSAKEN. I thought it might be fun to write about the two major settings of my book: the UNA (aka The United Northern Alliance--the merger of Mexico, The United States, and Canada in a dystopian future) and The Wheel (the harsh prison island that my heroine Alenna Shawcross gets exiled to). Neither place is exactly what it appears to be at first. The UNA claims to be a perfect society that has developed a test (the GPPT) that determines whether teenagers are sane or whether they harbor secret subversive and violent tendencies. The sane teenagers get to stay, while the kids who fail the test are termed "unanchored souls."  They lose everything and are immediately banished to The Wheel. But of course this test is rigged, and Alenna soon finds herself getting exiled to the prison island even though she hasn't done anything wrong.
     The Wheel is also not what it seems. Alenna has been told her whole life that it's a place for crazy, rebellious and deranged kids. But of course when she gets there, that's only half of the story. While there are indeed some very dangerous and scary kids on the wheel, there are also quite a few normal ones, and a bunch of different tribes vying for control of the island. And there are also some other huge surprises waiting for her on the island as well.
     In writing THE FORSAKEN, it was one of my goals to come up with new twists and turns, and hopefully surprise (and shock!) readers. I based a lot of the UNA on the USSR. I spent some time in Russia when I was in college, and it was really disturbing to hear stories from people there about what life was like for them growing up. There was no free speech, and people would often disappear without a trace. Most people were scared of their own government. As for the The Wheel, I researched a lot about unusual prisons (including Panopticons--these incredibly creepy circular prisons) and also tropical islands. I was trying to imagine what the most terrifying kind of prison might be--one in which innocent kids were hunted by maniacs, and machines controlled everything else. But like most prisons, The Wheel has its secrets.
     I suppose the major surprise in THE FORSAKEN is the connection between the UNA and the masked leader known as The Monk who controls The Wheel. But I won't say any more than that, because I don't want to ruin the surprise! I think the TV show LOST was a big influence on me in coming up with The Wheel. I love the way that the first three seasons of that show really kept me guessing about what would happen next, and what the island really was, and whether I could trust the characters or not. LORD OF THE FLIES was also a big influence (along with the obvious dystopian ones, like 1984 and THE HUNGER GAMES). I love surprising my readers, because I love books that surprise or startle me, so hopefully I achieved that at the end of THE FORSAKEN. 
Anyway, feel free to write me an email at and let me know what you think, or find me on Twitter at @LisaMStasse and say hi! Thanks again!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blaze-ing Paranormal Romance Giveaway

 I've read and reviewed Kaityln's previous two books in this series; Ignite and Simmer.  Now she's hosting a month long celebration of the third book in the series: Blaze, release.  What can you win?
  • Ten winners of e-copies of Ignite and Simmer
  • One winner of the paranormal package
  • One winner of the dystopian package
  • One winner of the angels, demons & magic package.
- Winners will be notified on Oct 28th and will have five business days to respond before the prize is forfeit
- International entries are welcome, but you are only eligible to win e-copies of Ignite and Simmer
- Open Sep 27-Oct 27
Find Kaitlyn on the web:

Find Ignite on the web:
Find Simmer on the web:

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Review: Savage by Willow Rose

Savage by Willow Rose
Published Date: June 2012
Publisher:  CreateSpace
Genre:  Paranormal

The Story:  The year is 1983. Christian is 22 years old when he leaves his home in Denmark to spend a year in Florida with a very wealthy family and go to med-school. A joyful night out with friends is shattered by an encounter with a savage predator that changes his life forever. Soon he faces challenges he had never expected. A supernatural gift he has no idea how to embrace. A haunting family in the house next door. A spirit-filled girl who seems to carry all the answers. An ancient secret hidden in the swamps of Florida. One life never the same. One love that becomes an obsession. Two destinies that will be forever entangled.

Savage is a Paranormal Romance with some language, violence, and sexual situations recommended for ages sixteen and up

My Review:  From just reading the story outline, my interest was piqued on this book!  It’s a neat flashback sort of story.  Christian is telling the story, his story, about what happened when he got the chance to attend Med School in a different country.  As it seems even now, people who are different are seen as strange, and someone who you don’t want to associate with.  But Christian does his own thing, even when others try to control him. 

I enjoyed reading this book.  It moved at a good pace and always kept me coming back for more.  I was sad to see it end, but it was a different ending than I was hoping for!  Rose put a lot of research into this book, which is always nice when an author does that.  I definitely want to read more from her!


Sunday, September 23, 2012

BCM Author Spotlight: Lisa M. Stasse - Guest Post & Giveaway

Welcome to week three of our BCM Author Spotlight of Lisa M. Stasse, author of THE FORSAKEN, which released from Simon & Schuster on July 10, 2012. You can check out the last week's spotlight posts, including my review of THE FORSAKEN and an interview with Lisa, by clicking HERE and HERE.

Today, we have a guest post on character development from THE FORSAKEN . We hope you enjoy it, and don't forget you can enter every week for your chance to win one of three copies of THE FORSAKEN!

***About The Author***

Lisa M. Stasse was born in New York, and has since lived in Spain, Russia, Hawaii, and North Carolina. She graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Government and English lit, and is currently a digital librarian at UCLA. Lisa loves watching science fiction movies, cooking Spanish food, and dancing around her house to 80′s music. She lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband and their two-year-old daughter. All three of them are learning how to surf. Say hi at lmstasse[at]yahoo[dot]com.

You can find Lisa online:
***Guest Post***
Who is Alenna Shawcross?
by Lisa M. Stasse
So with the character of Alenna Shawcross—the heroine of THE FORSAKEN—I wanted to do something different. I've read a lot of YA novels in which the hero (male or female) discovers they have some kind of incredible super power or ability. Or where right from the start there is something amazing about them that sets them apart from everyone else. And while I love many of these books, I realized there was a lack of books that just start with a "regular" protagonist. And by "regular" I mean closer to a normal person in how they respond to things and how they think. Someone who doesn't start off with incredible fighting skills, or who doesn't have an amazing secret paranormal ability.
When I came up with idea for THE FORSAKEN, about a girl being sent to a prison island in a dystopian future, at first I was going to make Alenna the stereotypical "bad girl" who would fight tooth and nail, and battle kids with fervor, etc. But the more I thought about it, the more it started to feel wrong to me. I began to imagine what would happen if a normal, average girl (I guess someone like myself or my friends in high school) got banished to a prison island. They would be scared! And they would try to hide at first! And any awesome skills they ended up with would have to be learned as they struggled to survive. So Alenna starts the book as a very sheltered, naïve girl. She's grown up in a government orphanage. She doesn't have many friends, and her plan is just to keep her head down and not draw any attention to herself. So when she wrongly gets sent to the island, it's a huge, shocking blow to her own identity. And it also poses a huge threat to her safety. Some of the other tribes and kids on the island are brutal and terrifying. Her only real skill is that she can play the guitar, but what use is that when she's fighting for her life?
Alenna has to learn things the hard way. How to fight. How to make friends. How to forge alliances. How to kill. And along the way she learns that she's much stronger than she ever thought she was. The experience on the island is what forms her and turns her into a warrior. By the end of the book she is no longer scared—she is willing and eager to fight for what she believes in, no matter what the cost. I've already finished the sequel (THE UPRISING) and her journey continues in this next book, when she gets unexpectedly tested in ways she can't yet imagine. In many ways THE FORSAKEN trilogy is about a girl coming into her own in the harshest circumstances imaginable. I have big plans for Alenna, and by the end of the third book she will have grown and changed even more than she does by the end of THE FORSAKEN. So much so that at times she might not even recognize who she once was—or who she has become.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster, we are giving away THREE finished copies of THE FORSAKEN by Lisa M. Stasse. Open to U.S. mailing addresses only. Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Ends 10/1/12.

Beyond by Mary Ting

From Author Blog: Torn between the past she can't remember and a future she isn’t ready for, Claudia feels at a loss. With unanswered questions, she is certain there is more to her past than just being a venator. Finding the missing pieces in her life won’t be easy because duty calls. When mysterious dark shadows get released, an apocalypse sets in motion. The venators and the alkins must work together once again. Knowing Claudia would be the key to destroying the demons that were released, a familiar stranger appears to protect her. Drawn to the beautiful angel, Claudia finds she must unravel the mysteries of her past in order to help save the world. Who is the angel assisting her and why does she feel a strong connection to him? Time is running out. Will she discover all the secrets before it’s too late?

My review: Can you say OMG amazing? When you get the third book of a series, it is REALLY hard to do an honest review without spoilers. It would be something like this "And I loved when XXX said XXX and then went with XXXX and they XXXX"! ha no lie! It is HARD because you want to gush gush gush about EVERYTHING that has happened and has come together in book 3. This book DOES NOT DISAPPOINT! 

This is my summary that I sent to the author "If you find yourself Between the Crossroads and Beyond then you have found author Mary Ting's INCREDIBLE series. Crossroads introduces you to her incredible world. Between leaves you wondering if light or dark will rule. Beyond is just that! The characters, settings and story line are Beyond words. What a beautiful and exciting world that Claudia, Michael and all the other Venators and the Alkins live in". 

This book took twists and turns I had NO CLUE were coming! I was not able to put this book down for very long at all! It was def a page turner! When I got to the end, I was so not ready for it to be done :( If you have not read this series, NOW is the time to get started! 

In anticipation of the release of Beyond, our FABULOUS author Mary Ting won an award for book 1, Crossroads. Mary won FIRST PLACE for Young adult/General for 2012 on Readers Favorite Contest! HOW COOL IS THAT? As a HUGE fan of this series, I know this is only the beginning of the awards Author Mary Ting will be getting for this AMAZING series!

NOW is your chance! Have you read Crossroads and Between and are ANXIOUSLY waiting for Beyond? Are you new to The Crossroads series? is your lucky day! Author Mary Ting has GRACIOUSLY offered an ebook of your which one will it be Crossroads, Between or Beyond (Beyond will be sent as soon as it is released. The original Sept 12th release date was pushed back and will be available SOON). Enter the rafflecopter below for YOUR chance to win one of these AMAZING books!

Crossroads book trailer:
Between book trailer

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Love is Louder: Speechless by Hanna Harrington giveaway

When I received this book at BEA, I didn't realize the impact that it would have, or the partnership it would spawn. I was going to add a review to this post, but I am going to save that for a separate post. This one will just be for the information surrounding the book and its partnership, both very important topics, especially in this day and age. Read up, become informed, and at the end of this post you will be rewarded with a chance to win a copy of Speechless as well as a branded phone skin.

Cover Front

by Hannah Harrington
Published by Harlequin Teen 
on August 28, 2012
Paperback 288 pages

About the book:
Cover Back

Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can’t keep a secret. Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast – and nearly got someone killed. Chelsea has taken a vow of silence – to learn to keep her mouth shut and to stop hurting anyone else.
Speechless explores the real-life teen issues of bullying, mean girls, LGBT awareness and hate crimes. Compared to the many books already out about bullies, Harrington’s novel stands out for its authentic voice and unflinching portrayal of what it means to be part of the bullying. In October 2012, Harlequin TEEN will be releasing a brand new survey that has interviewed 1,500 girls between 13-18 years old on the subject of bullying.

Harlequin TEEN has partnered with the nonprofit Love is Louder, a movement that started when actress Brittany Snow, MTV and the Jed Foundation decided to do something to help those feeling mistreated. Hundreds of thousands of people just like you have come together to raise the volume around the message that love and support are louder than any internal or external voice that brings you down.

There is so much negative we hear going on in the world, from children being neglected abuse by those who are meant to care for them, school-aged kids being bullied to the point of escaping it all by taking their own lives, even the upcoming presidential election is not immune to messages telling one group of people or another that they are not worth much in this world, or they have no rights. It is great to know that an organization like Love is Louder is around to show the hate mongers that there is love in this world, and that this love is louder, and more powerful than the acid laced words, or violent actions that are being thrown around by all of the bullies out there.

For more information, check out the author's website and the Love is Louder website. 

And no... I didn't forget about the giveaway.
Open to U.S. and Canadian addresses only:

1 copy of Speechless by Hannah Harrington along with a branded phone skin

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dust by Devon Ashley- This or That

Jack – This or That:
Pixie or Fairy: Oh, that's just mean. Do I go with the species that I am and grew up with, or the species of the girl I've come to love? Truthfully, I want both worlds.
Green or Brown: Green. Although brown is good to hide in. It's more of a blah color, so people look at it less.

Flying or Walking: Flying. Walking is just too slow.
Tree house or Cottage: Tree House. (what's a cottage?)

Bumblebee or Wasp: Wasp. Bumblebees are far more territorial and if you mess with one, you mess with a hundred. I favor the odds that won't get me killed.
Books or Paintings: Paintings. Instant gratification. I want to see what the creator wants me to see right now, not 300 pages into a book.

Roses or Daisies: it any wonder why I'm partial to them? ;)
Bright colors or Dull colors: When fying: Dull. Bright colors can really screw with your perception when flying. Dull colors make it easier to focus. When just standing around: Bright.

Fruit or Nuts: Fruits. Total sweet tooth.
Tropical or Rain forest: They're the same forest, just a difference in location. ;) If I had to choose a place, I'd choose one of the islands in the Indian Ocean...maybe Madagascar.

Mint or Honeysuckle: I favor anything honey related!
Thanks Jack!!  I look forward to reading more about your story!
Don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway!
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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

BCM Author Spotlight: Lisa M. Stasse - THE FORSAKEN Excerpt & Giveaway

Welcome to week three of our BCM Author Spotlight of Lisa M. Stasse, author of THE FORSAKEN, which released from Simon & Schuster on July 10, 2012. You can check out the last week's spotlight posts, including my review of THE FORSAKEN  and an interview with Lisa, by clicking HERE and HERE

Today, we are sharing an excerpt from THE FORSAKEN . We hope you enjoy it, and don't forget you can enter every week for your chance to win one of three copies of THE FORSAKEN! 

***About The Author***

Lisa M. Stasse was born in New York, and has since lived in Spain, Russia, Hawaii, and North Carolina. She graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Government and English lit, and is currently a digital librarian at UCLA.  Lisa loves watching science fiction movies, cooking Spanish food, and dancing around her house to 80′s music.  She lives in Santa Monica, California with her husband and their two-year-old daughter.  All three of them are learning how to surf. Say hi at lmstasse[at]yahoo[dot]com.

You can find Lisa online:


At first I think the hammering sound is the noise of waves crashing down on white sand.  I'm dreaming I'm in Old Florida with my parents, before the government restricted all travel.
            Then, as I start to wake, I realize the noise is something else.  Something real.  I pull a pillow over my head.  But the hammering gets more insistent.
            I finally realize that someone is banging on the front door of our apartment.
            I wonder why my parents aren't answering.  Usually they're awake late at night.  But tonight, there's no sign of them.
            "Get the door already, jeez," I mutter.
            I am ten years old.
            I have no idea that tonight I will become an orphan.
            The door to my bedroom bursts open, letting in a blaze of light.  My mom rushes inside, frantic.
            "They've come for us!" she hisses.  I hear distant, guttural voices barking out orders.
            I sit straight up, pushing the covers back, my blood turning to ice.
            The military police are here.
            "Hide!  Hide!" my mom whispers harshly.  She grabs my arm, hard enough to bruise it through my pajamas, and yanks me out of bed.
            We're halfway across my room when I hear a deafening crack.  Our front door is beginning to splinter.
            "Run!" my mom screams, pushing me into the hallway.  I see my dad at the front door, desperately trying to barricade it with furniture.
            There's no time to hide.  No time to reach the kitchen and the hollowed-out space in the wall behind the refrigerator.
            The front door gives way.  Armed police barge into our apartment, knocking the smashed door off its hinges, plowing the furniture out of the way.
            My dad springs forward, tackling the first man who comes through the doorway.  But another policeman strikes him in the mouth with his assault rifle.  The police surround my dad and start beating him with nightsticks.  All of them are wearing dark visors and black uniforms.
            "Alenna!" my mom screams as policemen race toward her.  "You'll be okay!"  But the look in her eyes says she knows the truth.
            Our lives are over.
            One of the policemen jabs my mom in the neck with an electric cattle prod.  Her body seizes up.  She goes crashing to the carpet.
            "Mom!" I yell, rushing over.
            My dad has already disappeared.  Before I can reach my mom, officers grab her arms and start pulling her away too.
            I cling to one of her ankles, but an officer smacks my knuckles with his nightstick.  I fall back with a gasp.  My mom gets dragged across the carpet, right out the front door.  It's over lightning fast.
            I barely remember what happens next.  It's just fragments, like a nightmare.  Policemen stand in the doorway, blocking it so I can't run after my parents.  There must be at least twenty of them crowding our apartment.
            In numb shock, I walk back into my bedroom and crawl into bed.  I pull the covers over my head, clutching my throbbing hand.  Now that they've taken my parents, what's going to happen to me?  I want to fight back, but what can a ten year old do against the government?  What can anyone do?
            Moments later, someone walks into my bedroom.  I curl up in a ball as the covers are peeled away.
            When I look up, an old man in a dark suit is standing over me, smiling warmly.  Behind him, officers rummage through my father's frayed notebooks, slipping them into evidence bags in the hall.
            "Alenna Shawcross, you are now a ward of the United Northern Alliance," the old man says gently.  "Come with me, and our government will take care of you—despite the treasonous crimes of your parents."
            I want to scream at him for taking my mom and dad away. Hit him in the face and then run.  But I'm so stunned that I do nothing.  I just sit there and stare back at him.
            "I'm not going to hurt you," he says.  "In fact, I'll take you to your new home.  Orphanage Forty-One in New Providence, about an hour down the Intercoastal Megaway."
            "Why can't I stay here?" I ask, biting back tears.
            "You're too young to live on your own.  Besides, there are lots of other girls your age at the orphanage."  He smiles again.  "Hurry up and put some shoes on.  A car is waiting for us downstairs."
            A few minutes later, he leads me out of the apartment and into the narrow halls of our building.  I've lived here, on the thirty-sixth floor of Tower G-7 in New Boston, for most of my life.  I know that our neighbors must have heard what happened, but all of their doors remain closed.
            "Today is the start of your new life," the old man tells me.  He puts a comforting arm around my shoulders.  "You're safe now, Alenna."
            I nod.  But I don't feel safe.
            And I can't imagine ever feeling that way again.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster, we are giving away THREE finished copies of THE FORSAKEN by Lisa M. Stasse. Open to U.S. mailing addresses only. Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Ends 10/1/12.

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