Interview with Donna Migliaccio!

Fiskur

BLURB


With his family’s talisman in his possession, Kristan Gemeta is ready to face the Wichelord Daazna – but he has no inkling of the scope of Daazna’s power, nor the depths of his hatred.

With the recovery of his family’s protective talisman, Kristan Gemeta has found hope, courage – and perhaps even the first stirrings of love.  With the aid of Heather Demitt, her band of rebels, a shipload of Northern brigands and the legendary Kentavron, he readies himself to face the Wichelord Daazna.  But neither he nor his comrades realize the strength of Daazna’s power and hatred.  The Wichelord’s first blow comes from a direction Kristan least expects, with horrific, lasting consequences.

INTERVIEW


  1. What inspired the Gemeta Stone Series?

As oogedy-boogedy as it sounds, the inspiration for the series’ main character came from a dream I had when I was in high school. I dreamed his appearance and his surroundings and even his name: Kristan Gemeta.

  1. What is the hardest part of writing Fiskur?

I was SO mean to my characters in this book. Every one of them suffers in one way or another – the bad guys included. I sometimes felt guilty about it, but only sometimes. 😉

  1. If you are going to name a place that inspired Fiskur, what place would it be and why?

There are so many locales and so much journeying in FISKUR that it’s hard to settle in one place. However, I grew up an army brat, which meant a lot of traveling and the uncertainty that comes with it. I think it’s fair to say that an open road, with an unfamiliar destination at the end, is as close to a single place as I can get.

  1. What could be the anxieties, struggles, and hesitations of a writer?

My main bugbear is an unwillingness to let go of the piece – of always wondering if I can somehow make it better. I love the editing process; love making my prose just as tight and vivid as I can. I almost have to force myself to step back, lift my hands and say, “That’s it. I’m done.”

  1. If you are going to give your 10-year-old self an advice about life, what advice would you give?

Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. If you want to be able to succeed at something, you must put in the hours to learn and practice your craft. Don’t worry if you’re not brilliant right away. You’ll learn.

  1. Given a chance to date someone, fictional or not, dead or alive, who would it be? Where will you go on your date? Why did you choose that character or person?

This is going to sound so corny and boring, but the only person I want to date right now is my husband. I just got back from nine months in NYC, where I was doing a Broadway show. I really missed being with him when I was gone. We’d probably just go to our favorite lunch spot and talk about boring, normal things. In FISKUR, this return to normalcy is what Kristan craves most.

  1. Was it your dream to become a writer? If you were not a writer today, what would your career path be?

I always wanted to be a writer, and I got my degree in journalism thinking that’s what I’d do with my life. I did it for a while but ended up backing into acting. It was something I did for fun initially but then found out people would actually pay me to do it. Acting is still my bread and butter, and I love it. But writing is my first love.

  1. If there is one thing that you could teach the world, what lesson would you teach us?

Be kind.

  1. Random Question: Top 5 favorite reads!

This year alone, I read approximately seventy books. Of those, my five favorites were: George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo, Monica Hesse’s American Fire: Love, Arson & Life in a Vanishing Land, Terry Pratchett’s The Shepherd’s Crown, E.L. Doctorow’s Welcome to Hard Times and Douglas Starr’s The Killer of Little Shepherds.

If you’re talking about top 5 favorite reads of my life: well, that list is ever-changing and never-ending.

  1. What is your favorite quote from your book and why did you choose this quote?

“Memories seed at will, whether you want them or not.” The speaker is comparing a mind to a garden, and how you can’t always control what takes root there. I chose it because the theme of memory is going to be important in the next books in The Gemeta Stone series.

BUY LINKS


 Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  iBooks

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


DMDonna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa & The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.

Website | Facebook  | Twitter | Pinterest

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Book Review: It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne

IOHITM TourOnlyInTheMovies CoverIt Only Happens in the Movies isn’t the typical cliche story of romance, family, and understanding yourself. With Holly Bourne giving us a beautifully weaved plot line and extraordinary main protagonist, this book will make its readers think of the reality of what the media would like to portray as perfect when in reality it is the absolute opposite. The book started with Audrey distancing herself from her friends, taking care of her Mom or staying out to avoid her Mom’s breakdown, and to deal with her own insecurities after her recent break-up. This book definitely challenges the reader’s perspective a lot of times especially topics like feminism, relationship, and philosophy that dwells in the borderline of reality and fiction.

I would like to emphasize the steady support of Jack, Audrey’s Professor, for her brilliant media study of his course and using Audrey’s research as a medium for her to seek expert opinion and help at the same time without forcing her to go to a counseling which made me really think  was an amazing idea to foreshadow an intention towards someone you don’t think would get an immediate help. Also, I wanted to mention LouLou, a little kind of side character, who offered warnings and thoughts that will really make you think – grasped the precise thought of what she wanted you to reach.

Earlier in the book, it was highlighted by Holly Bourne that Audrey left the drama club because she was affected by her relationship with one of the members and she distanced herself from her friends because she doesn’t know if they are real or fake friends anymore. I would like to appraise Holly Bourne here for giving us an amazing realization that other people shouldn’t be the reason for you to quit something you love. She also let us a glimpse of how hopeful It Only Happens in the Movie by making some scenes in the book that there are friends who really care for you but you are blinded by your own problems and we, at some point, shoulder them all at once. One thing I learned here is that you need someone when you are down and you are not alone in your own battle. There will be people who will care for you, try to understand you, try to give the space you need, and try to help you in some ways. Holly Bourne gave us a magnificent display of friendship, an outstanding example that could forge a lot of readers to not just kindness but empathy too.

One of the things that I like about this book is how the side characters affecting her in a positive way when Audrey tries to deny her ability or she doesn’t see what she is capable of. This is amazing on how Holly Bourne incorporates those little details in her book that impresses me with a lot of realizations which could affect someone’s life on a positive note.

What really disappoints me about this book is some of the characters’ choices. It was their choice and they faced the consequences of their decisions. I find their situation realistic and painful but I understand those difficult decisions in the end. And how the Psychiatrist defines or explains the meaning of love; it was a mixture of happiness, battles, challenges in between heartaches and problems that concluded that love is a choice.  This book made me also realized that each one of us has different coping mechanism when regards to pain and not all people have the same tolerance to pain which makes this novel beautiful in so many ways.

It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne is a heartfelt book that I really enjoyed reading. It talks so many themes that most of the female readers could relate from and the male readers could learn from. It discusses raw emotions and the painful truth behind those romantic movies that are made from lies. With the splendid ending that I didn’t see coming, I could proudly say that this book exceeded my expectations to young adult novels.

MY RATINGS: 4.5 STARS!

GIVEAWAY


Please click the link HERE to join the Giveaway! PH Only!

BUY LINKS


Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | The Book Depository | Waterstones 

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE


November 22nd

The Nocturnal Fey – Erika

The Ultimate Fangirl – Bianca

November 23rd

dmcireads – Dani

November 24th

PAPERBACKGIRLPH – Margarita

That Bookshelf Bitch – SheaIea

November 25th

Wanderer in Neverland – Shaine

Read, Write, & Travel – Jeannelyn

November 26th

The Royal Polar Bear Reads – Rafael

Book Freak Revelations – JM

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Holly BourneHolly Bourne writes YA novels and blogs about feminist issues. Her favourite things to complain loudly about are: the stigma of mental health, women’s rights, and the under-appreciation of Keanu Reeves’ acting ability.

Holly’s first two books, Soulmates and The Manifesto on How to be Interesting, have been critically acclaimed and translated into six languages. The first book in the ‘Normal’ series, Am I Normal Yet?, has been chosen as a World Book Night book for 2016 and has inspired the formation of Spinster Clubs around the country.

Before becoming a full-time author, Holly was editor and relationship advisor for a charity website.

Book Review: Royally Screwed by Emma Chase

29991719Steamy. The only word that I could think of for this novel! I was supposed to describe this book with another word but it would be too aggressive. I have to consider the people who followed my blog. Who knows that there are readers who are below 18 years of age.

I just have this feeling that I need to put that disclaimer.

Royally Screwed is a fast-paced read and I’m glad that it was a light one to contrast the fantasy books that I’ve been reading. I’m kind of hesitating but I didn’t expect that I would enjoy this book. Aside from Colleen Hoovers amazing New Adult Romance Collection, there are only few New Adult authors I’ve been following and I’m not a fan of naked man on covers. Why would publishers allow those kind of covers, anyway? HOW COULD I DISPLAY SUCH A BOOK ON MY SHELF WHEN MY FAMILY IS CONSERVATIVE TO THE PUREST OF THE PURE?

I like the thought of Royalty in general in Royally Screwed but didn’t expect that I will like the story as well as the characters. They are lovely and it amazed me that this book is not just full of sex, the characters are talking to each other – they are communicating with each other  and getting to know which is a good and a strong point for the book if you are going to put your perspective on the side of having relationships or building a relationship. Another downside from this book is that Prince Nicholas is too horny.  I apologize for using this term but it felt like this book is on the verge to become an erotic novel.

This book has less drama and heartaches compare to new adult books that discuss too much pain and heart-breaking scenarios. I commend Emma Chase for writing a positive book that promotes love, fighting, and choices. It made me laugh because of the stinginess of the characters and hello, Ellie! I just adore that child in the book because she knows what she wants for her sister, Olivia. There are bits of provoking words for the female protagonist but it is too realize that the world of the Prince is difficult. There are times that he has to please people or to put on a wall to protect himself. It was crazy and insane.

The thing is, what struck me the most is the description of the place! I wanted to go there, I wanted to try to live in the palace. I wonder what it feels like to be a royalty much to live in a beautiful place. It was way beyond my imagination but I wouldn’t entertain the possibility as it is impossible in every way.

Royally Screwed is a happy and short read if you are looking for some distraction from that heavy fantasy or science-fiction books. This book could be the book you want to read. Beware too many smutty scenes that are inappropriate for a child.

MY RATINGS: 4 STARS.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


6551005.jpgA New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author, Emma Chase is known for her contemporary romantic comedies filled with heart, heat, and humor and hilariously authentic male POV’s. Her novels have been translated into over twenty languages in countries around the world.

Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two misbehaving (but really cute) dogs. She has a long standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

Interview with JJ Strong!

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A risky, heartbreaking debut in the vein of The Outsiders, following a group of unmoored teens in suburban New Jersey as they blaze destructive paths and wrestle with burgeoning adolescence, ultimately committing one disastrous error that changes their lives forever.

We all knew about Cullen Hickson.

Siblings Brielle and Ray O’Dell are lost. Anxious. Restless. Bullied at his Catholic school for being small and timid, Ray wants to be someone people respect or, even better, someone people fear. Meanwhile, Brielle—whose “popular” status feels tenuous at best—knows that something is off about her friendship with the shiny, happy, sophisticated blond girls on her field hockey team. They don’t really understand Bri, and if Bri is being totally honest, she doesn’t really understand them either.

When storied delinquent Cullen Hickson enters the orbit of the O’Dell siblings, though, everything changes. Brielle and Ray find an alluring, addictive outlet in Cullen, who opens their eyes to a world they didn’t know existed. For Ray, that means experiencing the singular thrill of small-time crime—from breaking and entering to grand theft auto—while Brielle quickly dives into an all-consuming romance with the enigmatic upperclassman.

But as Brielle and Ray find themselves more and more entwined with Cullen’s antics, the once-thrilling experiences begin to feel increasingly dangerous, culminating in a life-changing event that shakes the teens to their core.


INTERVIEW


Who or what was your inspiration for writing Us Kids Know?

The earliest flickering of inspiration (if I can remember back that far )was a desire to write about the feeling of being a teenager and being angry for reasons that are almost too complex and deeply-buried to understand and then, as a result of this anger—and despite being an otherwise totally rational, smart, seemingly “normal” kid—doing some really, really, really, really stupid stuff.

What lesson were you trying to incorporate in your book?

None! I don’t think fiction should teach moral lessons. Lessons will be gleaned by fiction readers, sure, but those lessons will—and should—vary according to readers’ responses to the work. The goal of fiction should be to represent the emotional truth of its characters and, in doing so, expose a small bit of insight into the human experience. Hopefully such truths and insights are nuanced and complex enough that they can’t be distilled into platitudes.

BUT, okay, if you twist my arm, if you absolutely FORCE me to pry at least one incontestable, universally important truth that I believe is present in the book—which isn’t to say this is in any way “The Lesson” of the book—I can say that if you are in crisis, and there are people in your life willing and able to help you, you should not under any circumstances hesitate to allow—or ask, or implore, or even beg—those people to do so. And if you don’t have people like that in your life, just keep looking and believe that they’re out there.

What was the hardest part of writing Us Kids Know?

I had to do a fair amount of research on 9/11: watching news footage from that morning, reading about first responders, etc. It was hard to revisit a lot of that stuff and it was even harder to then stay in that headspace in order to write about it. There were definitely some mornings where I would do the research, have a good cry, and then come back to write.

If you were to give your 10-year-old self any advice, what would it be?

What an interesting question! So many people ask about giving advice to your teenage self, but 10-years old is a new one. I think at that age your life is right on the cusp of getting really complicated, with adolescence and the awkward horrors of puberty just around the corner. So I’d be hesitant about giving any advice that revealed to my young self too much about the thorny years to come. Instead, I’d just tell that kid to go outside and run wild with his friends every night until his mom called him in for dinner and also, if at all possible, to get his hands on a magical elixir that would prevent him from ever having to grow up.

Who among Ray, Brielle, and Cullen was the hardest to write?

Probably Cullen because, of the three, his personality is the least like mine. I think an introvert’s version of an extrovert can pretty easily become a cliché, so I wanted to make sure to give Cullen a rich inner-life even as he projects a super-cool tough guy exterior.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on another YA novel about a girl who gets knocked unconscious during an earthquake and wakes up in an alternate reality where she’s wanted for the murder of her swim team coach.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


JJ Strong unnamed (2)received a creative writing degree from the University of Southern California, and a B.A. in English from Georgetown University. His writing has appeared in Fifth Wednesday, the Santa Monica Review, and LA Weekly. He taught for many years in the undergraduate writing program at USC, before moving to the Washington, D.C. area with his wife and son.

Interview with Tochi Onyebuchi!

Beast Made of NIght

In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts – lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt.

Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj’s livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but 17-year-old Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family.

When Taj is called to eat a sin of a royal, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves – and his own life.

A gritty Nigerian-influenced fantasy.


Read More »

Book Review: Beast Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi + Giveaway!

Beast Made of NIghtEnticing. Exudes Uniqueness. Thrilling. Beast Made of the Night is a YA Fantasy Book that you’ll never think you’ll come across too. How one does simply conceptualize a magic-system? That’s the first question that appeared on my head when I read the story in its early chapters. It is beyond amazing because I never thought that such book would exist with the concept, sin as a magic. Who would ever think that, right? Things that I love about the book is that you could see the diversity implied in the book, the hierarchy that was once in our history focuses and the connection in the story. Again, the magic-system, beyond imagination, that I love how Tochi Onyebuchi writes and execute how awesome, compelling and vigorous the fantasizing powers in the book.

It was an easy, fast-paced read that you’ll lose once you started reading the book. How the author portrays his characters on the book is lovable, confusing and the one that stands out the most for me are innocence and selflessness. It touches my heart because the mere thought of eating other’s sin to balance the nature in their world is surreal! And the fact that those sins that have been eaten will take more impact to the person who has eaten it. They’ll see in their dreams horrid flashbacks, they would feel the guilt, they would be consumed by the sin of others. I just love how the main thought was written beautifully. I would definitely say that Tochi Onyebuchi made an amazing debut to me as a reader and I would definitely watch out for the next installment.

Beast Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi is surely one of the books that every reader should be anticipated. One of the best books that I had this year and obviously, Tochi Onyebuchi, just became one of my auto-buy authors. I love everything about the book except one. THERE’S NO SEQUEL YET THAT I NEED TO READ. This would be a humongous waiting game but I would definitely love to wait for the love of the book. I am expecting a lot of character development (Although, there’s a handful of development already in the book.), unexpected plot twist, the manipulation, and of course, a tragedy.

I would like to thank Penguin Random House for sending a review copy of this book because if it weren’t for you, guys, I wouldn’t read this brilliant, and remarkable book beforehand.

MY RATINGS: 5 STARS!


BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Week One:
October 23 – The Bookavid – Author Guest Post | On What it Means Writing African Rep in YA
October 24 – Alexa Loves Books – Bookish Style File
October 25 – Boricuan Bookworms – Review & Bookish Aesthetics
October 26 – Afire Pages – Review
October 27 – YA Wednesdays – Book Aesthetic
Week Two:
October 30 – One Way or an Author – Review & Art
October 31 – YA Bibliophile – Author Guest Post | Top 5 Favorite Fantastical Worlds
November 1 – Chasing Faerytales – Author Guest Post | NEED TOPIC
November 2 – Icey Books – Beasts Made of Night Quote Candy
November 3 – Across the Words – Author Q&A
Week Three:
November 6 – A Page With a View – Author Guest Post | Images that Inspired Beasts Made of Night
November 7 – The Royal Polar Bear Reads – Review
November 8 – Xpresso Reads – Review
November 9 – YA and Wine – Review
November 10 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Author Q&A

GIVEAWAY!

Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi. (ARV: $17.99 each).
 
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on October 23, 2017 and 12:00 AM on November 13, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about November 15, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


OnyebuchiTochi Onyebuchi is a Nigerian American writer and a practicing attorney based in New York City. He holds a MFA in screenwriting from Tisch, a Masters degree in global economic law from L’institut d’études politiques, and a JD from Columbia Law School. His writing has appeared in Asimov’s and Ideomancer, among other places. Beasts Made of Night is his debut series. You can follow him @tochitruestory.