After the Fear Blog Tour — an excerpt and giveaway!

Today I’m hosting Rosanne Rivers on her blog tour in honor of the release of her new book, After the Fear! This means you get to read an excerpt and enter to win a copy of the book. Exciting, right? I know I’m excited. After the Fear looks like it’s right up my alley, and as soon as my current fiction-fast is done with I’m going to be reading it.

So, without further ado….

After the Fear, by Rosanne Rivers

You have not attended a Demonstration this month.

In Sola’s city, everyone obeys the rules. Stay away from the trigger cameras and regularly update your Debtbook, and you just might survive. But having to watch the way criminals are dealt with—murdered by Demonstrators in the Stadium—is a law Sola tries to avoid. When a charming Demonstrator kisses her at a party, however, she’s thrust into the Stadium and forced into the very role she despises.

Armed with only natural resourcefulness and a caring nature, Sola narrowly survives her first bout. Her small success means she’s whisked off to a training camp, where she discovers a world beyond the trigger cameras and monitoring—a world where falling in love with a killer doesn’t seem so terrible.

Yet life as a Demonstrator has no peace. Sola must train her way through twenty-five more Demonstrations before she can return home to her father. At the end of each battle, only one survivor remains.

Sola could face anyone in the Stadium . . . even a loved one.

 

An Excerpt:

Coral takes up nearly all of my thoughts on the walk home. One moment I’m annoyed with myself for hurting her, the next I’m annoyed with her for tainting the memory of my first kiss. By the time I scan into the flat, I’ve decided I’m actually annoyed with Dylan for turning me into the kind of girl who over thinks everything.

That’s weird. Dad’s briefcase is in the living room. He’s meant to be at work.

‘Dad?’

I peek into his room, then mine. Nothing. A faraway digger makes me jump, and I let out a half breath/half laugh to myself. I always creep myself out so easily. I’m actually relieved to hear a noise from the kitchen, because a noise that’s definitely someone is better than a creak which could be someone.

‘Why didn’t you answer me?’ I ask, rushing into the last room of the flat.

Three people crowd my kitchen. I bounce back from the threshold, as if I’ve hit an invisible wall. Mr Winters stands by the door, tall and gangly with his hands held behind his back. His grey face almost matches his white coat. The other two are surly-looking men I don’t recognise, but their Liaison uniforms unite all of them against me. One eyes me greedily, his arm resting on my kitchen counter.

A sticky bubble forms at the back of my throat. Mr Winters holds a finger up to silence me, although I hadn’t even opened my mouth to speak. He motions toward the digiscreen with a flick of his bony hand.

It’s fixed on my Debtbook profile. My picture grins into the room. There’s a new status underneath my name, but I can’t read it. I glance at Mr Winters and something catches the light in his hand. From in between his curled fingers protrudes the long stem of a needle.

Everything slows, although I know it happens quickly.

I back away and hit the screen. The black dots of text shuffle and sharpen. Mr Winters moves behind me. I read the words.

Sola Herrington has been chosen to help pay the Nation’s Debt.

***

About Rosanne Rivers

Rosanne lives in Birmingham, UK and considers it one of her favourite cities, second only to Rome. She delights in writing for children and young adults and hopes to bring readers to an unfamiliar yet alluring setting. Rosanne was inspired to write when she read the Harry Potter books, and at age fourteen, she wrote romance fanfiction on just about every pairing you could dream up from the HP series. She currently lives with her partner and two bunny rabbits and is working on a post-apocalyptic adventure book for middle grade readers.

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What will you cross off your bucket list this year?

Click the image to see the other bloggers participating in the hop!

Everyone should have a bucket list, I think — that list of essential things one must do in one’s lifetime. It can be specific — related to one area of your life, like writing — or it can be about everything. And I think it should be never ending. Hopefully life is interesting enough that once you cross things off your bucket list there are more you want to add.

I just got finished reading Dana Sitar‘s A Writer’s Bucket List, and I quite liked it. I decided to participate in the Bucket List Challenge Blog Hop — that is, I’m challenging myself to cross some things off my bucket list this year.

Not everything on this list will be writing-specific. In fact, possibly most of it won’t. I have a lot of writing-related things on my bucket list, but many of them are more long-term. For this year I have other, shorter-term bucket list goals I can tackle.

What your lovable angry favourite furry monster pal crazed, whiskey-driven penmonkey Katje is going to cross of zir bucket list in 2013

  • Learn how to bake bread. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time now, and I’ve decided 2013 is the year for it. It’s my hope that once I know the ins and outs of baking bread with wheat flour, I’ll be able to find or create the perfect gluten-free bread recipe. (Someday, I will make a GF loaf of bread that will fool even Mr. Katje.)
  • Co-write a book with my mom. Specifically, a cookbook of gluten-free traditional Dutch recipes. We’re going to spend this year developing the recipes — finding that exact right mix of ingredients to create the perfect GF ontbijtkoek, for example, or speculoos. (I’m a koek-junkie. Can’t get enough of the stuff. If we can find a way to make it GF and just as delicious as normal? My life will turn into unicorns and rainbows.)
  • Knit a sweater. With or without a pattern. Patterns are my bane, but I’ve always wanted to knit a sweater. I’ve been working on one for several months now, and this year I’m going to finish it. And possibly post pictures of the wonderful horrible adequate outcome. On me, even. Assuming it fits.
  • Finish my first/Bachelor’s degree. So, this was supposed to have happened already…last week, to be specific. It didn’t, and if you’ve been reading my blog this past month you know why. Anyway, I’m working to fix that now, so getting that first degree is still on the bucket list — and it’s definitely on 2013’s list.
  • Put together a Story Bible for Bellica and The Jade Star of Athering. I really need to sit down and do this now-ish, while I’m working on The Jade Star and not after it’s long-done and I don’t want to look at it any more. (I love Bellica, but man, after a million+ edits and ebook formats, I get to a point where my brain is screaming CAN WE JUST MOVE ON ALREADY?) I should do this for Stranger Skies this year, too, come to think of it — but the Bellica / Jade Star one takes precedence at the moment.

I think 5 is enough for one year. It’s already promising to be a very busy…eleven months, now, so I’m going to try and not overload myself too much. I’d rather make a few commitments I can keep than make too many and have to de-commit, or miss deadline. (There are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic timelines — even so, I hate missing a deadline.)

So, what about you, dear readers? What are you going to cross off your bucket list this year? Leave a comment below and share your goals with the world! insert maniacal laugh Wait, how did that get there? Move along, nothing to see here…certainly no maniacal laughter because of my secret plan to eat your delicious goals like the Nothing eats dreams and fantasies, or however that worked, it’s been years since I saw that movie. Anyway, I’m sure you have a bucket list, so why not get galvanized to crossing some stuff off it this year?

Also, don’t forget to check out Dana’s new book (which is actually a package of book + workbooks, so that’s pretty awesome), especially between now and the 12th — she’s having a special sale for Launch Week.

The Next Big Thing Author Blog Hop

KariAnn Ramadorai tagged me for this blog hop, and I figured it’d be a fun thing to do. She also said some very nice things about me in her blog post, which made me blush. Yes, I’m blushing. Shush.

And it’s totally still Sunday. Because I haven’t slept yet. That’s how it works because shut up.

What is the working title of your book? 

I have two that I’m working on currently, and plan to have released in 2013.

  1. The Jade Star of Athering, sequel to Bellica.
  2. Stranger Skies, my NaNoWriMo novel and a True Woods book.

What genre does your book fall under?

Speculative fiction, for both of them. Gods, it’s probably all I ever write.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

  1. Bellica Agate is forced to embrace the past she ran away from in order to save her country, her soldiers, and her marriage.
  2. When Silva, Goddess of Wolves and Lady of the True Woods, falls to an alien planet and becomes mortal, she must find a new True Woods, stop a war, and save the wolves of Min, or she may never regain her godhood.

Where did you get the idea for the book?

  1. A name. There was a character who was mentioned in Bellica, and from her name(s) I came up with the idea for The Jade Star of Athering. I…really can’t give any more information than that without majorly spoiling Bellica; if you’ve read it, then you can probably guess the character of which I speak.
  2. I had the idea of a story of a goddess who fell to an alien planet and became mortal while in search of a missing god-friend when I was working on Islands of Fire and Water. Originally, the goddess in my idea was Pele, searching for Lono, but I soon realized the character I was building in my head was nothing like Pele. So I let it sit and percolate for a while, until a few months ago the idea seized my brain, held it hostage, and demanded to be written for NaNoWriMo (even though I’d not planned on doing NaNo this year). During October I planned, and I decided on Silva and making it a True Woods book, because I was working on publishing How to Keep a Human by Kaimana Wolff — the first True Woods book.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

  1. The characters in Bellica. I wanted to know more about them; I wanted to continue to write about them. I also wanted to explore loose ends that I’d left during that story, and see where they lead.
  2. My mom. She started the True Woods series, and I grew up believing in Silva as the Lady of the True Woods and the Wolves. And I wanted to tell Her story.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

  1. Still not done. I’ve been working on Jade Star for several years now.
  2. I’m going to say 2 months for Stranger Skies. I started in November, and I plan on finishing it by January 1st.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

  1.  I…really have no idea. Jade Star is sort of standard fantasy: a quest, party members, a nation threatened by war. Except, you know, feminist. So if you know what’s comparable to that, please tell me, because off the top of my head I’ve got no clue.
  2. The Through Wolf’s Eyes series by Jane Lindskold.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

  1. Off the top of my head? Kandyse McClure for Bellica Agate. She’s definitely got the right look, and I think she has the acting chops to pull it off. Also I’ve met her, and she’s a lovely person. (Yes, I’ve met actors from BSG. Go ahead. Be jealous.)  Beyond that I’m really not sure who would play Major Damien or Queen Rain-Looking. I don’t really get a good sense of who I’d cast in a movie version until I finish a book.
  2. Thalaea/Silva: Zoe Saldana, Thandie Newton, or Nia Long. In order of preference. Brinna: Amandla Stenberg (when she’s a bit older; Brinna is 19). Scoas: Idris Elba. Natai: Naomie Harris. Alaev: Donald Glover. Annnnnd I really want Morris Chestnut to play someone, but no idea who. He doesn’t really strike me as a Laeanai, but hell, maybe he could do a really good job. (Or Chestnut could play Scoas, and Elba could be Laeanai. Idk.) *kermit-flail*

<

p>Side note, it’s really difficult to remember black actors aside from the five everyone knows or whatever. Racism? Yeah, super-ingrained and programmed in. Hard to shake that shit.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Neither will be represented by an agency — or rather, I don’t plan on that. They’ll both be published under The Pack Press, as Bellica was. Which is basically self-publishing, because I do all the layout work for The Pack Press.

Wheeeeee it’s fun not having anyone to delegate to. Watch Katje work zirself to death!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

They’re fucking awesome?

Also, pagans should take special note, because I posit — in all of my stories — that the gods are very real and They matter. Because They are, Morrigan-dammit.  (Yes, yes, I totally respect your beliefs if you don’t believe in god, or gods, or whatever, but I do, and other pagans who do believe in the gods as real beings may find special interest in my books because I don’t write off deities as fantasy.)

Lovers of wolves would really like…well, actually, both books, because there’s a wolf or two in Jade Star, too.

Definite Mayan feel to Jade Star.

Humongous snake-people in Stranger Skies. Also, Brighid saying She’d like to snog someone. And queer gods. And witches. Oh, and the wolves can shapeshift. They’re not werewolves, though. They’re wolfweres. (Wolf first. Human second.)

Tag 5 authors

Patrick Stutzman — he’s a geek, he’s a writer, he even creates games. Patrick is a friend of mine from the SFFSat circle, and he’s pretty awesome. He’s got three books out (one of which I have on my ereader, and am enjoying so far — yes, yes, I’m a slow reader, I know leave me alone): Alone on the Edge, Alone With Her Thoughts, and Alone in Paradise.

J.M. Blackman — another SFFSat writer, Jalisa is a teacher, a feminist, and she loves Batman. A woman after my own heart. Also, she’s fucking tremendous at word-wrighting — if you haven’t read any of her SFFSat snippets you should repent of your sins now, dammit.

Heidi Ruby Miller — Heidi teaches, writes, manages a publishing imprint, and is about a hundred times more professional than I will ever be. Which, granted, isn’t hard, but I’m trying to give a compliment here. She also wrote Ambasadora, which I loved and you should read.

Wayne Basta — author of the Aristeia series, which I’m on book 2 of and loving. Wayne is also quite geeky, and leans the same way I do on the political spectrum — so you can tell I like him.

You! Yes, this is lazy of me, but it’s 2 am and I want to go watch The Wedding Singer and eat muffins with Mr. Katje. So if you’re an author and you want to participate, tag thyself and get thee to a nunnery blogging platform!

Blog Tour: Gabriel Fitzpatrick’s “These Days” Post

Today I’m hosting Gabriel Fitzpatrick, one of the Literary+ writers, on a blog tour for his new book Rmnce!

These Days

‘These days’ was the first expression which ever came to turn my stomach. Never before the moment
when I first came into the full realization of its implications can I recall feeling disgusted by a linguistic
concept. Since then a few others have crept in, but that one has always stood above all as a foreboding
bastion of ignorance, arrogance, and conceit.

You see, these days and other expressions like it are used, almost exclusively, to draw a spurious
distinction between past and present, usually to the great deteriment of the latter. It is a phrase which
is characterized by the cherry-picking of half-baked facts, the use of unapologetically fallacious logic
to support conclusions drawn in advance, and above all else by an emotional approach to reality not
grounded in the concrete.

In short, these days requires something which is not true: It requires that human experience, being a
function of human nature, must change fundamentally over time. I have, in some ways, made it my
life’s work to combat these days, having written a string of stories demonstrating the universality of
human experience across not just time but also space and culture, and yet when one writes something
like a “Romance for the Digital Age” the question one is expected to answer is, “what’s going on these
days?”

Continue reading “Blog Tour: Gabriel Fitzpatrick’s “These Days” Post”

Guest Post from Len Barry: Themes Hidden and Visible

Today, as part of the Literary+ Initiative, I’m hosting Len Barry on his blog tour in honor of the release of his book, Vitamin F! Be sure to check out the links for the book at the end of the post.

About the Literary+ Initiative: Literary+ is a writer based project brought together and lead by Shen Hart. It brings together passionate, quality self-published writers to help each other promote their work, bringing more readers to every member. It was sparked by the simple fact that there are many top quality self-published authors being over-looked because they do not have the time and resources to efficiently and effectively market and promote themselves. With ambition and passion, Literary+ will take its members to the heights they deserve through a tight-knit community of like-minded writers.

Next week, back to your regularly scheduled Katje.

Themes Hidden and Visible

Years ago, I was talking with a close friend about the ideas that writers put themes in their writing. My friend said that there are themes in every piece of writing, even if the author wasn’t consciously aware of them.

Luckily, I figured out the themes of Vitamin F some time ago. The major elements are the social forces that drove me to come up with the story in the first place.

The first of these elements is Acceptance.

Continue reading “Guest Post from Len Barry: Themes Hidden and Visible”

Blog Tour: An interview with Aristeia author Wayne Basta!

Wayne Basta

Today I’ll be interviewing Wayne Basta, author of Aristeia: Revolutionary Right and Aristeia: A Little Rebellion, which just got released on June 1st. Wayne is on a blog tour in honor of his latest novel release and Gossip Diet is one of his stops. I’m excited about this, and I hope you are too.

Has someone been instrumental in inspiring you as a writer?

Inspiring me as a writer? Aside from the writer of every good book I’ve read not really. There are a lot of people who have instrumental in me becoming a writer. First, my Dad for introducing me to science fiction. And then my wife for backing me in this endeavour despite the loss of one income. There’s also many people on the internet, particularly some webcomics, who took that plunge to pursue their dream careers.

If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?

None. Any book I’ve liked there’s nothing about them that I would change. They may have some flaws, but everything does. If I were to mess with them, I know I’d ultimately ruin their greatness. There are plenty of books I haven’t liked that could stand to be rewritten, but if I didn’t like a book I tend to forget about it.  

Now, there are quite a few movies and tv shows I’d love to redo.

Do you have any special routines or rituals?

Depends on what you mean by special :-). For my writing, I don’t like big outlines, they just don’t work for me. The story needs to be able to evolve naturally. But I do find it helpful to do a daily outline for what I’m going to write during a particular day.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I’ve watched, and enjoyed the entire series of the Sopranos but I’ve never seen the Godfather.

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Caribbean.  One idea for my next series is a fantasy pirate adventure. So naturally I would need to visit a lot of tropical beaches. For research.

Does your significant other read your stuff?

Sometimes. She read my first novel and critiqued it. But when I was ready for her to read the second one she was 8 months pregnant and a little distracted.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?

Depends on my mood and the scene I’m working on. Sometimes I just want some good classic rock or some 80’s/90’s music that I grew up with in the back ground, other times I want a good exciting film score to help move an action scene along. But I often write in silence to help myself stay focused.

What are the most important attributes for remaining sane as a writer?

Accept the fact that you’re going to have to throw a lot of your work away. It can be tough to do, especially if it’s something you’ve put a lot of time and effort in. But if it’s not working, it’s not working and sometimes the only way to fix it is to start from scratch.

 About Aristeia: A Little Rebellion

Unlike her brother, Saracasi Ocaitchi has always known that her loyalties belong to the ideals of freedom and democracy, not the government of the Alliance, and that protecting those ideals would require a fight. But now that the rebellion she has dreamed about has finally begun, she must come to terms with what that truly means: for herself, for her brother, and for all of the people who will die in the coming war.

Purchase Aristeia

Aristeia: Revolutionary Right: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Aristeia: A Little Rebellion: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Aristeia: A Little Rebellion

Today’s post is a bit of a deviation from the ordinary: I am hosting Wayne Basta on a blog tour for his upcoming new release, Aristeia: A Little Rebellion.

Aristeia: A Little Rebellion

Unlike her brother, Saracasi Ocaitchi has always known that her loyalties belong to the ideals of freedom and democracy, not the government of the Alliance, and that protecting those ideals would require a fight. But now that the rebellion she has dreamed about has finally begun, she must come to terms with what that truly means: for herself, for her brother, and for all of the people who will die in the coming war.

The second novel in the Aristeia Series by Wayne Basta. Available June 1, 2012.

You can visit the author’s website at http://waynebasta.com for more information and to enter a contest to win FREE books.

You also have a chance to purchase the book before its official release in the Prelaunch Blitz: http://waynebasta.com/aristeia-contest/prelaunch-purchase-blitz/

Continue reading “Aristeia: A Little Rebellion”