Sunday, December 22, 2013

Book Blitz: Astrid, The Dragonslayer’s Blacksmith by Resa Nelson

Astrid constantly worries about her place in the village of Guell.  She loves being the apprentice of Guell’s blacksmith, Temple.  But Temple bought her from a childseller many years ago, which means Astrid has no blood kin in Guell.  If anything should happen to Temple she’s likely to lose her home, her work, and her sweetheart, DiStephan, the dragonslayer’s son.
One day Astrid’s worst fear comes true when Temple and DiStephan fail to return from a short journey to a nearby village.  A teenage boy named Finehurst arrives in Guell, claiming to be Temple’s nephew and rightful heir – and insisting that he saw Temple and DiStephan killed by a dragon.  The villagers are divided in their opinion of Finehurst, but Astrid is soon thrown out of her own home, desperate to find a way to regain it.  Before the dragonslayer goes in search of his missing son DiStephan and Astrid’s mentor Temple, he sets forth a challenge for Finehurst and Astrid to prove their blacksmithing skills by forging a dagger.  Normally, Astrid would be confident, but the village’s iron supplies are so low that she doesn’t know how she can possibly make a dagger that can prove her worth.

Astrid, The Dragonslayer’s Blacksmith is an all new mini novel that takes place in Resa Nelson’s Dragonslayer world (the 4-book series includes The Dragonslayer’s SwordThe Iron MaidenThe Stone of Darkness, and The Dragon’s Egg).  Appropriate for adults and teens, ages 14 and up.  Visit Resa Nelson’s website at www.resanelson.com.  Follow her on Twitter @ResaNelson.

This is free from December 25-27 on Amazon!!  

Thursday, December 19, 2013

BIR 2013: The Program by Suzanne Young and Dare You To by Katie McGarry

I have not had much time to read many books this year, to my dismay, but those I have read for the most part have been really good. And there are two books that have stood out even more than the rest. These two books are very different, but both amazing. They dragged me in from the get go and have held onto me all year.

I want to start out by apologizing to both Suzanne Young and Katie McGarry. I was to have an interview with both of them to go along with the posts for their books. Unfortunately, I have had some things come up in my personal life which had made it very difficult for me to get back to them with interview questions. I hope neither of them holds this against me, or BCM, and, time permitting, would be willing to participate in an interview at a later date.

I am, however, very excited to feature both of their books on my pick for BIR.

The first of my two picks, The Program by Suzanne Young, I read in May of this year, and knew, even then, it would be on my list as one of my favorites.


The Program
by Suzanne Young
Published by Simon Pulse
on April 30, 2013
Hardcover: 416 pages

The story has a dystopian type feel to it, although I don't know if that is how I would necessarily classify it. I think it is more of a light Sci Fi YA novel.

In the not so distant future, there is an epidemic of suicides in young/teenage children. This is being blame on the fact that they are too emotional, and their feelings are messing with their mentality. At first signs of depression, adolescents are whisked away to The Program where they are put into treatment and come back a new person... almost literally.

Sloane has a boyfriend, good friends, does well in school. Seeing her classmates disappearing one by one, and trying to stay happy and positive all of the time is taking a toll on her. James is Sloane's rock, and the only person with whom she can be herself . Unfortunately, even after enough pressure, and weight, even rocks start to crumble.

There are not enough words I can say that will come close to how much I love this book. It proves to me that no matter how many books are written, there will always be something different, even within its own genre.

To see my original review, go HERE.

The Program is the first book in the series of the same name. Book two, The Treatment, is scheduled to be released on April 29, 2014, and I can guarantee that I will be one of the first people to get it when it comes out. I have to know what happens!

The Treatment (The Program #2)
By Suzanne Young
Published by Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Hardcover: 352 pages

Can Sloane and James survive the lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end? Find out in this sequel to The Program, which Publishers Weekly called “chilling and suspenseful.”

How do you stop an epidemic?

Sloane and James are on the run after barely surviving the suicide epidemic and The Program. But they’re not out of danger. Huge pieces of their memories are still missing, and although Sloane and James have found their way back to each other, The Program isn’t ready to let them go.

Escaping with a group of troubled rebels, Sloane and James will have to figure out who they can trust, and how to take down The Program. But for as far as they’ve come, there’s still a lot Sloane and James can’t remember. The key to unlocking their past lies with the Treatment—a pill that can bring back forgotten memories, but at a high cost. And there’s only one dose.

Ultimately when the stakes are at their highest, can Sloane and James survive the many lies and secrets surrounding them, or will The Program claim them in the end?


Visit the Official Site of The Program

************************************************************************

The second book I chose for my BIR pick is a contemporary romance coming of age story. Set in the present with current issues, and based in a reality that is neither pretty nor ugly, but is life, and what we make of it.

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2)
by Katie McGarry
Published by Harlequin Teen
Release Date May 28, 2013
Hardcover: 480 pages 

Katie McGarry follows up her uber popular, amazing, debut novel, Pushing the Limits, with another winner. Dare You To does not suffer from second book syndrome by any means. I read this book also back in May of this year (it was a really good time for books for me), and it is another one that has stuck all year long. I loved it even more than Pushing the Limits (and I did love that book) and Crash Into You (which I also love). Definitely my favorite so far in this series.

Pushing the Limits is Echo Emerson and Noah Hutchins's story. In telling their story, we meet amazing support characters. One of Noah's best friends, Beth Risk, finds herself in the spotlight in this book. And in the spotlight is one place she doesn't like to be. The more attention paid to her, the more trouble she gets into, or finds herself in. Not an actual child of the foster system like Noah or the final person in their triumvirate, Isaac, Beth is staying with her aunt and uncle by choice, not placement.

After a horrible situation, Beth finds herself being pulled from the life she is comfortable in, and no matter how uncomfortable it may be, it is the only life she knows, and has conditioned herself for. She is now in a safe, beautiful home in a well to do area, surrounded by people, including her uncle, who know nothing about her and are nothing like her.

Least like Beth is neighbor Ryan Stone. Golden boy, all star athlete, silver spoon all but shining every time he opens his mouth... and blinding everyone to the secrets he is hiding

These two, so different yet not, find themselves pushed together, or is it pulled toward each other? And when two such opposite forces combine, the outcome is inevitable. But is it destruction, or the beginning of something new and amazing?

Katie McGarry writes amazing characters. I want to live in her world, where there are so many fabulous book boys. First Noah, who I just adore. I didn't think anyone could top him, especially some jock golden boy, because although I do love the good guy/boy next door type, I do love the occasional bad boy, especially those with hard candy coating and a soft melty inside. And I don't normally go for the jock, in any case. But in this case I am making a huge exception. I think, so far, Ryan may be my favorite book boy in McGarry's fictional world. After getting past his cocky, dare you/dare me demeanor, I found he is a treasure just waiting for the right person to dig him up. And since it cannot be me, Beth is that person, and more. They are perfect for each other, and complement each other perfectly.

McGarry has made me a permanent resident in her world, and I hope to live there for a long time to come. There are so many characters, and secrets, and ways she can go with these characters, I am on the edge of my seat waiting to see how things turn out for everyone.

To see my original review, go HERE.

Currently out is Crash Into You, Isaac's story (if you haven't read it, I highly recommend you do so soon!):

Crash Into You (Pushing the Limits #3)
By Katie McGarry
Published by Harlequin Teen
Release Date November 26, 2013
Hardcover: 496 pages

The girl with straight As, designer clothes and the perfect life-that's who people expect Rachel Young to be. So the private-school junior keeps secrets from her wealthy parents and overbearing brothers...and she's just added two more to the list. One involves racing strangers down dark country roads in her Mustang GT. The other? Seventeen-year-old Isaiah Walker-a guy she has no business even talking to. But when the foster kid with the tattoos and intense gray eyes comes to her rescue, she can't get him out of her mind.

Isaiah has secrets, too. About where he lives, and how he really feels about Rachel. The last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who wants to slum it on the south side for kicks-no matter how angelic she might look.

But when their shared love of street racing puts both their lives in jeopardy, they have six weeks to come up with a way out. Six weeks to discover just how far they'll go to save each other.


And coming soon:

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits #4)
Release date: Late May 2014
Hardcover: 304 pages

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she'd never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can't stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she'd stay away from. Yet he won't last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it's his fault his family is falling apart. He can't change the past, but maybe he can change Haley's future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they'll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.

*************************************************************************

Many thanks to both Suzanne Young and Katie McGarry. You are both amazing authors, and create worlds that readers can easily escape into, whether they are escaping into paradise or find themselves in The Program.  And for all of the readers out there, especially the ones who may not have read one, or both, of these books, I Dare You To not want to pick them up. They are both a must read.

About the authors:

Suzanne Young currently lives in Tempe, Arizona, where she teaches high school English. When not writing obsessively, Suzanne can be found searching her own tragic memories for inspiration. She is the author of several books for teens, including The Program, A Need So Beautiful, and A Want So Wicked. 


Visit the Official Site of The Program
Visit Suzanne Young’s Official Site
Follow Suzanne Young on Twitter




KATIE MCGARRY was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, and reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie would love to hear from her readers. Contact her via her website, katielmcgarry.com, follow her on Twitter @KatieMcGarry, or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

BIR2013 RUNES by Ednah Walters and GIVE AWAY



My final choice of BIR2013 is RUNES by Ednah Walters. I have been a HUGE fan of Ednah for several years now. Ednah has written so many book series that I have totally fallen in love with. Runes fell quickly into that same category. Ednah Walters has a gift of writing a story that pulls you in and won't let you go. I highly suggest you check out not only her Runes series but all the other series out there. 



Series:  A Runes Novel
Author:  Ednah Walters
Genre:  YA Paranormal Romance
Publisher:  Firetrail Publishing



Runes (Book 1)
Released: May 7, 2013
Length: 243 Pages

Blurb

Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her.

Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run.

Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about him. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only is she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life.



Immortals (Book 2)
Released: August 3, 2013
Length: 343 Pages

Blurb

Nothing can stop Raine Cooper when she wants something…

Raine finally knows that her gorgeous neighbor, Torin St. James, is a legend straight out of Norse mythology, and that her feelings for him are strong. Torin is crazy about Raine too, breaking the one rule he lives by: Never fall for a mortal. The problem is he no longer remembers her, his memories erased by Norns—Norse destiny deities—to punish her for defying them.

So Raine comes up with a plan...

She will make Torin forget his one rule a second time and fall in love with her all over again. But she quickly learns that well-laid plans do not work when dealing with deities and supernatural beings. Desperate, Raine makes choices that could not only tear her and Torin further apart, but lead to the destruction of everything and everyone she loves.



Grimnirs (Book 2.5)
Released: December 2, 2013
Length: 286 Pages

Blurb

Straight out of the psyche ward, Cora just wants her life to be normal. She doesn’t want to see souls or the reapers collecting them. The love of her life, the guy she’s loved from a distance for years, has moved away without saying goodbye. So yes, she’s nursing a serious heartbreak. It’s no wonder love is the last thing on her mind when Echo storms into her life.

The chemistry between them is mind-blowing. The connection defies logic. It doesn’t help that Echo is the poster boy for everything she hates in a guy—hot, beautiful, and cocky. A general pain-in-the-butt. Being around him makes her feel more alive than she’s ever felt before. But more important, the souls leave her alone when he is around.

Echo is perfect for her. Echo might even be her soul-mate. There is only one problem. Echo is a freaking soul reaper. A Grimnir. The very beings she wants out of her life. Maybe normal is overrated because Cora wants it all. Answers. Love. A life. You see, once you fall for a Grimnir, your life will never be the same again.

***COMING SOON***
Seeress (Book 3)
Cover Reveal: January 3, 2013
Expected Release: April 2014


AUTHOR BIO
EDNAH WALTERS grew up reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and dreaming of one day writing her own stories. She is a stay-at-home mother of five humans and two American short-hair cats (one of which has ADHD) and a husband. When she is not writing, she’s at the gym doing Zumba or doing things with her family, reading, traveling or online chatting with fans.

Ednah is the author of The Guardian Legacy series, a YA fantasy series about children of the fallen angels, who fight demons and protect mankind. AWAKENED, the prequel was released by Pill Hill Press in September 2010 with rave reviews. BETRAYED, book one in the series was released by her new publisher Spencer Hill Press in June 2012 and HUNTED, the third installment, was released March 2013. She’s working on the next book in the series, FORGOTTEN. Visit her at www.ednahwalters.com

Ednah also writes YA paranormal romance. RUNES is the first book in her new series. IMMORTALS is book 2. She just released book 3, GRIMNIRS December 2, 2013. Read more about this series and the world she's created here www.runestheseries.com

Under the pseudonym E. B. Walters, Ednah writes contemporary romance. SLOW BURN, the first contemporary romance with suspense, was released in April 2011. It is the first book in the Fitzgerald family series. Since then she has published five more books in this series. She's just released Surrender To Temptation (The Fitzgerald Family: Book 6) November, 26, 2013.. You can visit her online at or www.ebwalters.com.

AUTHOR LINKS

RAFFLECOPTER 

BIR2013 Patti Roberts Cursed Witchwood Estate Series and GIVE AWAY


CURSED book 3 in the Witchwood Estate 
series by Patti Roberts

Why did I choose Author Patti Roberts as one of my BIR2013 authors? I read Book 1 "Going Home" and INSTANTLY fell in love with not only the characters but also the writing. Author Patti made the characters come to life in my head. I finished this book and would have given anything to have book two in my hands! FINALLY I was able to read book two Ferntree Falls. I love when books get better and better. Ferntree Falls had me so caught up in the story that I was thinking about the story line for DAYS!!!  FINALLY book three, Cursed, came out. Each book in this series just gets BETTER and better. 

This series is written like a TV series so the books are shorter. They are not full novel length but they read like full length novels. Magic and witches are one of my favorite reads ever and the main character Alexandria embraces her heritage. She accepts her fate with open arms and it is a crazy journey!



I asked author Patti Roberts what prompted her to write the Witchwood Estate series. This is what she told me:


This time last year, I had just finished writing book four in the Paradox Series and I decided I wanted to write something "lighter" than the Paradox Series. Something a little more magical and fun... You can't go past witches for magic I figured, and the WWE series was born. xxx




Witchwood Estate Book Trailer
US - Amazon
UK - Amazon

Witchwood Estate: First impression: I would read this series 'till the world came to an end. I secretly hope Patti Roberts never ever stops writing. Her imagination is unequalled.

Voice: smooth storytelling, trance-inducing, the kind that seeps into your brain and surreptitiously replaces reality with a fantastic life you couldn't help but want to be a part of. Ella Medler

Best Australian Fantasy Reads on Goodreads – If you have read my book – Please vote here



The Paradox Series Book Trailer
Twitter

Goodreads
Facebook
Blog
ebook from 
Smashwords - all eReader formats all countries.
US -  
Amazon
UK -  
Amazon
Nook - 
Barnes & Noble
Patti could go on writing these [The Paradox Series] forever, and I would buy every single one!  Annie - Goodreads
  



Book Covers for Authors - Portfolio - HERE


    




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BIR2013 Gravely Inanimated: A Tale of Woe and Romance (Zombiepunk Series) Esther Wheelmaker


My next BIR2013 choice of the year is Esther Wheelmaker. Who would have EVER thought I, the same person who was TERRIFIED of zombies would fall so in love with a zombie book and a zombie steampunk book on top of it all? If you are not sure what steampunk means, here is the definition: 

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery,[1] especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century's British Victorian era or American "Wild West", in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power. Steampunk perhaps most recognizably features anachronistic technologies or retro-futuristic inventions as people in the 19th century might have envisioned them, and is likewise rooted in the era's perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, and art. Such technology may include fictional machines like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or the modern authors Philip PullmanScott WesterfeldStephen Hunt and China Miéville. Other examples of steampunk contain alternative history-style presentations of such technology as lighter-than-air airshipsanalog computers, or such digital mechanical computers as Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine. taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk

The next chance I get, I will go to a Steampunk convention again. I had a blast in Elgin and there were ZOMBIES there. I dressed up as one with a friend of mine and hung out with Esther. What an amazing time.



Excerpt for Gravely Inanimated
It has been thirty years since England was plagued by zombies. Humans fear for their lives while the dead kill the living.
By the cover of night, a man known only as Aeron hunts these creatures. On one foggy evening he finds Lucille Knight's life in jeopardy and Aeron's interest is instantly peaked when he saves the young lady.
But Aeron will have competition when Lucy meets Lord Garrett Ashdown, son of the Inventor, Earl Thomas. 
Lucy is drawn to the masked man and equally mysterious Lord. With one concealing his true identity and the other hiding a ghastly secret, she does not know which one is less dangerous.
Will she be able to be with the man she chooses when she learns the awful truth?


Interview with Ms Wheelmaker on what motivated her to write Gravely Inanimated:


While sitting at the table for my birthday dinner my brother announces, “you should write about zombies.”
I go ugh, “but I hate zombies.”
He says, “they are popular and guys love them.”
I go ugh. Again. “Bloody hell. Fine-e-e-e-e.”
And that is how my brother got me to write about zombies. However, I bet you’re wondering how the Steampunk part came into play. Well! I’ll tell you.
It’s very simple actually! I decided I was going to go to the Steampunk World Fair in New Jersey. Why? It looked really interesting. So I’m browsing the whole origin of Steampunk and what bands are going to play there. I run over V is for Villains and give them a listen.
My reaction? “Holy batman! They are brilliant!” And that is when the idea strikes. I’m really loving the idea of Steampunk already and deciding I must make it a Steampunk zombie book, but what if! ::taps chin:: What if I add V is for Villains as guest characters? How much awesome sauce would that be?!?!
So I swear to you that I went to the Fair and met V is for Villains. I told them my idea and they loved it. During a loll in the programming I took a seat, had a drink and wrote out the entire plot line to Gravely Inanimated (book 1 in the zombiepunk series).
Everything around me was so inspiring and really helped kick up my imagination and muse that I was able to really get a lot out in a short period of time.
Then, I josh you not, I made June into July my nano month and wrote the bloody story in a months time!
This was the most insane time in my writing career. I have never taken a subject I hated, which I grew to love when I researched it, fell in love with it, put it with a genre I had to learn about, add in a band that is amazing, and write the whole thing in a month.

And that is how I came up with idea for Gravely Inanimated.

I had the PLEASURE to meet Miss Wheelmaker this summer at Nightmare on Chicago street in Elgin Illinois. This was the first Steampunk even I have ever attended and FELL head over heels in love with it. I also got hear the band V is for Villains play LIVE. I also fell head over heels in love with this band. I can TRULY see how Miss Wheelmaker was inspired to write this book and incorporate them in the story line. Now that I have seen them and heard them, the whole book just clicks into place. I HIGHLY suggest listening to V is for Villain prior to or while you read Gravely Inanimated. 
Me and Esther Wheelmaker at a book signing in Elgin Illinois. I was SOO excited to meet her!


Miss Wheelmaker was asked to go up on stage with V is for Villains. Mr Agitator, the lead singer then introduced Esther and told the whole crowd about Gravely Inanimated and how the band makes an appearance in it! It was AMAZING!!!! 

Find Miss Wheelmaker at:
 
zombiepunkseries.com
twitter.com/estherwheelmake
facebook.com/esther.wheelmaker






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Monday, December 16, 2013

BIR 2013: Firefly by Belle Whittington - Character Interview & Giveaway




I choose to do my top three books.  The third is Firefly by Belle Whittington.  She also agreed to a character interview and a giveaway!  Don't forget to check out the BIR schedule!!



****About the Book****
Firefly (Cicada #2) by Belle Whittington
Published Date: February 2013
Publisher: CreateSpace
Genre: YA Paranormal

The Story: “The darkest days are ahead of us,” Andrew whispered as the drape of shadows slipped away, allowing Blair to awaken. And in her heart of hearts she knew it was true. The unmistakable signs were all around her, growing within her. She was becoming something more than human. All she could do was accept the inevitable.

“I’ve become a freak … an alien. I no longer belong to the human world,” Blair told her true love, and he held her close, determined never to give her up.

“I’d stay in this darkness forever as long as I could be with you. Wherever you are … that’s my home.” Everett meant every word. In fact, he’d willingly give up his own life to protect the girl he’d always loved.

But there was a storm brewing … a firestorm so strong and catastrophic that it could keep them apart forever.

That storm roared into town wearing a brown leather bomber jacket and riding a motorcycle.

Ash was like a secret in human clothing … a dangerous secret. Everything about him was mesmerizing – right down to the swirls of ink that flowed over the smooth muscles across his chest and around his arms. Being with him was like playing with fire.

Blair knew all about playing with fire.

She knew something else, too. A small quiet voice deep within whispered that she really would be separated from everyone and everything she’d known and loved.

Because some secrets run too deep.


My Review

****Character Interview****
Nicole: So Blair, what do you REALLY think of Everett's bug fascination?

Blair bites her bottom lip for a moment and smiles a sly smile as if she’s reliving a faraway memory, then says, “Everett’s fascination with creepy-crawlies has always endeared him to me.  It was a large, rare beetle that brought him into our lives.  You see, it all goes back to the Willis High School Science Fair.”

She shakes her head and looks down at her hands.  “He’d created an elaborate insect display for the school’s science fair.   When he was bringing his prize beetle to add to the display, a group of bullies stopped him.  One of them knocked the glass jar out of his hands and stomped the beetle to death.  That happened at the exact time Andrew, my big brother, and his best friend, David Hargrave, walked around the corner and saw Everett removing his glasses, getting ready to fight the whole group of ‘em.”  Blair glances back up at Nicole, her eyes afire with the story.

“Well, Andrew, being the hero he is, intervened.  It was a huge fight!  Andrew left with a bruised jaw, and Everett’s glasses had to be taped together.  David, football quarterback, didn’t have a scratch on him.”  She giggles, and runs a hand through her tousled light brown hair. “But they were friends from then on.”

     Blair strokes the branded image of a butterfly around her left ring finger and a thoughtful expression replaces her smile.  “I have no choice but to love Everett’s obsession with insects and bugs, because it’s what brought him to me.  It’s what united me with my Other...my true love.  It’s why I call him my Bug Boy, and I wouldn’t change a thing about him.”  A pink blush tints her cheeks, and she smiles another sly smile.  “You’d understand if you saw him in those Spider Man boxer briefs the night of the Rodeo Gala!”  She bursts out giggling.

Nicole: Hehehe, nice!!  I can picture that!  So Belle seems to have captured your story pretty well, are you happy with how she's presented it?

“I wouldn’t want to make her mad, or she might decide to stop the series before my story’s told … you know how those Texas redheads are - Fickle as a pickle!” Blair smiles a broad smile.  “Naw, I’m just jokin’.  Belle’s taken her time getting to know me and everything that has happened.  Heck, she’s even had to research things and places that most normal small town Texans never dream of.”  Blair tucks a stray lock of hair behind her ear. 

“Cândido Godói, for instance.  Have you ever heard of that Brazilian town?”  Blair shrugs.  “At the time, I didn’t think I had.  But, you’ll find out in MONARCH, that things aren’t always what they seem.”

“Poor Belle … she’s even had to research UFOs and animal mutilation stories.  I think it gave her nightmares.  But she wanted to keep true to the story, and I respect that.”  Blair takes a sip of bottled water.

“All-in-all, I think she’s done a great job of telling my story.  Of course, I keep some secrets to myself … for Belle’s own good.”  Blair inhales a deep breath and flashes one of those smiles that says she’s ready to change the subject.

Nicole: Ok… Do you mind telling us what's up Belle's sleeve with your story in MONARCH?

“Oooh!”  Blair’s eyes grow wide, and her face brightens with a million untold stories.  “What started in Willis, Texas moves deep into the jungles of Brazil where the whole thing began centuries ago.”

She pauses a moment, gazing off into some distant memory, then, “Belle’s unearthed my deepest, darkest secret of all.  It was buried so deep, even I forgot it.  But, Ash didn’t forget, and he refuses to let me choose my own way.”  Blair’s brow furrows, and a frown tugs at the corners of her lips.  “I didn’t intend to hurt the ones I love the most when I’d set it all in motion.  At the time, I’d only wanted to escape and start over again.  But, like Grandma always says, we don’t always get what we wish for.”

She stays quiet a moment, weighing her words. Then nods to herself and says, “Belle discovered what I really am and why all those things happened in her small hometown.  She also, somehow, discovered something about Everett that even I didn’t know.  Sometimes I have to wonder whether or not Belle is also an alien hybrid.”

Nicole: Hmmm, ya know, I wonder that about authors all the time!  How scared were you to find out your family's secrets?

“Oh, my gosh!  Girl, it’s like a paradox.  I wanted to know, but I didn’t.”  Blair twirls a strand of hair around her finger.  “I don’t think I was scared as much as I was surprised that my family had any secrets at all.  I mean … we were a pretty normal family - at least I thought we were.  Except for the fact that Andrew was telepathic and our brother and father were murdered by the hunter aliens.”  She pauses a moment, “Hmmm...that doesn’t sound normal at all, does it?” 

Nicole: But what family is normal?  What's one thing you really want to eat right now?

“I’d like one of Mom’s chicken salad croissant sandwiches and a bowl of her potato soup.  It was one of Mom’s best sellers in her bakery, Sprinkles.  I’ve been away from home for so long now, and there’s no Sprinkles in the Brazilian jungle.”  She covers her mouth as her stomach rumbles.  “Dang, I’m hungry now!”

Nicole: Oh man, I’m hungry now!! Are there any insects you find pretty interesting?

“I wish Bug Boy was here to help me answer this question,” Blair sighs.  “Well, I’m into the Monarch butterfly right now for many reasons, one of which is that I’m ready to come into my own as queen of my people.”  She strokes the branded butterfly on her right ring finger again and then shows Nicole the round charm on her necklace, which is engraved with another butterfly. “I’ve been tagged and branded, see?”  She smiles, “Well, it’s a long story.  But the books tell the whole thing a lot better than I can.”

Nicole: Queen?  Wow, I can’t wait to read the next installment of your story! You have some pretty cool friends, what do you find is important for a friend to be?

“I’ve got the best friends in the universe,” Blair says as she shows Nicole a photo of the group of friends at one of her birthday parties at Sprinkles.  “This is one of my favorite photos of us.”  She tucks the photo back into her pocket and continues.  “The most important things in being a good friend is loyalty, bravery, honesty, and keeping secrets.  The people in that photo have those qualities.”  A frown tugs at the corners of her lips again.  “I just hope that, in the end, they won’t regret having been my friend, because things are about to take a dangerous turn.  We’ll have to hang on to each other for dear life in order to make it through alive.  I just hope none of my friends pay for their loyalty to me with their lives.”

Blair shakes her head as if to clear her thoughts.  “Nicole, it’s been great meeting you and doing this interview.  I really hope your readers aren’t too freaked out by all my secrets.”  She looks at her watch and says, “I’ve gotta get to the airport.  I don’t wanna miss my flight back to Brazil.”  She pauses a moment at the door, then turns back to Nicole.  “Oh, I almost forgot … Belle says ‘thank you’ for featuring FIREFLY on your BIR 2013 tribute.  She was super-excited that you chose her book and hasn’t stopped talking about it.  She also said to tell your readers that she’s really happy to get to know them and she hopes they’ll stop by her Facebook page and say ‘howdy’ sometime.” 

Blair smiles and waves before turning and leaving the warmth of the coffee shop.  Outside, her old rusty pick-up truck roars to life, and she disappears in the traffic on I-45, heading south toward Houston.


Nicole: Thanks Blair!!

****About the Author****

Bio:

Belle resides somewhere north of Houston, Texas in a small inconsequential town with the smallest most inconsequential name. There in the shady reaches of the pines, elms, and oaks, she daydreams of adventures and secrets that she weaves throughout her stories.  She studied literature at University of Houston and is quite sure that she has the best readers and fans in the whole wide world.



Links to Belle Whittington’s social networking sites:


Inspiration Playlists: Youtube / Spotify

Where my books are sold:


Where to find out more about my books:
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