Monday, June 27, 2016

Cut by Emily Duvall Blog Tour

Today I will be sharing an interview with Author Emily Duvall, as well as information about her book, Cut. I am currently in the midst of reading it, so my review isn't fully figured yet, but I've been enjoying it so far. I have been reading so many YA books lately, that it's kind of refreshing to read something more on the adult side of things.

I really enjoyed having a chance to delve into Emily's mind regarding her character building process. I hope you'll enjoy her responses as well :)

When you are developing your characters, do you have plans for how they will behave, or do you let them dictate their actions? I always give my characters one trait that is very "them." For example, I decide that the heroine is going to be impatient or immature, etc., or if the hero is going to be hard-headed or spoiled, and I let that trait dictate his or her actions. Those actions then shape the scenes, responses, and interactions with other characters. If my main character is impatient, I let that guide her behavior and show that through action and example. This helps me to write consistent characters and more important, helps me to shape how that character can change and improve.

Which of your characters do you most identify with, and why? I most identify with Olivia Lawson from my second book, Back to You. She's quiet yet straight-forward. She's surrounded by strong personalities, yet has her own strength in deciding what she wants and who to trust. It's easy to get lost in the opinions of others and I wanted to show the reader that at the end of the day, you have to do what's best for you (and trust yourself).

Can you tell us something special about your main characters that will not be directly revealed in the story? (Favorite food, style of music, fashion accessory, story, etc?) I love this question! Makes me wish I had hinted at this in the book. In Cut, Brent Harrison has a weakness for 90's country music and Jessie never wears the color yellow. She always has bad luck whenever she wears that.

If you could meet one of your characters in real life which one would it be, and where would you spend the day with that character? Hands down, I'd meet Brent. I'd demand he take me on a gemstone hunt hopefully somewhere international and non-English speaking, a place where some of the last adventures on the planet are still real. Oh, and I'd hope to get some kind of massive, rare diamond out of the deal.

In general, would you consider yourself a planner - detailed outline follower - or pantser - let the story take you where it will? I'm a pantser all the way! The only thing I know with certainty is how I want the book to end. Whenever I outline I end up doing nothing on the list, so I stopped writing with one. At the end of every chapter I ask myself one question: How can I make this situation worse for my characters? If I haven't done everything to get them set in the wrong direction, I re-write the chapter so they make a lot of mistakes that will come back to bite them. Otherwise, my books would all be over in 10,000 words.


Now here is some more information about her book, as well as the other people who will be sharing their thoughts throughout this tour. I'll be completing my reviews once I get a chance to finish the story. For now, however, it's time for me to get back to my own editing project!

By: Emily Duvall
Summary from Goodreads:
Jessica Cahill is having one perfect night. In six weeks she’ll walk down the aisle and marry her
long-time boyfriend. But for tonight, she’s celebrating hard at her bachelorette party. It’s the time of
her life until… she takes things too far.
Brent Harrison is having the worst night of his life. Across town, seven rare diamonds are tucked
safely in the vault at his brother’s mansion. These diamonds are special. They hold significance.
They belong to the infamous Abbott Tiara. The task should be easy, he should have them by the
morning. That’s when everything goes wrong. That’s when he runs into her.
One tiara
Seven diamonds
Sometimes beautiful things come at a cost…

About the Author:
My love of reading stories began as a young girl. I read my first romance novel decades ago, and I
was hooked. Seriously. I still am. And although I have not always been a writer, I’ve always been a
reader. I encourage writers everywhere to keep their love of reading during the “process” of
No matter what genre I read, I always come back to romance stories as my absolute favorite. There's nothing like that one book that stays on your mind long after you’ve read the ending. But that’s
the entire point of writing in this genre I suppose, to create characters that stay on your mind and
your heart, to bring on the falling in part of love and all that comes with it: wrong choices,
complications, miscommunication, and loads of heartbreak.
Advice to you if you’re starting out on your writing journey? Write each day, even if it’s only a
sentence. So much of writing is just doing it. Just write. Just give those characters in your mind a
story to tell. I worked in educational research for the National Assessment of Educational Progress
where I developed training materials for national studies for years before I began writing. Then I
had my children. There was no time for much of anything. However, between the two, I started
writing early in the morning (since I was up anyway) and fed my creative outlet. Motherhood,
careers, college, and whatever life throws at you can coexist if you want to pursue writing. – Emily

(Code for Giveaway)
Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday June 27th:
Angie (
Sarah (

Tuesday: June 28th:
Laura (
Charlotte (

Wednesday: June 29th:
Kathleen (
Zeee (

Thursday: June 30th:
Tegan (
Friday July 1st:
Jordan (
Saturday July 2nd:
Jen (

Sunday: July 3rd:
Karol (
Hosts were provided with a copy of the book for review purposes in exchange for their honest reviews.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mist and Whispers Blog Tour

I honestly can't remember the last time I turned on my computer. Funny how technology changes, and those things once indispensable become obsolete. I do pretty much everything on my iPad these days, but there are a few glitches that I can't seem to convince it to overcome. One of the most obnoxious is the fact that it never lets me add photos to my blog. Annoying to say the least. So I'm hoping that my ancient MacBook will concede and let me do this blog tour thing properly tonight.

I was given a free copy of the book "Mist and Whispers," the first book in the Weaver's Riddle series by C.M. Lucas, in exchange for an honest review. I'll share some prepared information I was given about the book and author first, then give my personal thoughts at the end.

The Weaver’s Riddle (Mist & Whispers)
By: C.M. Lucas
Summary from Goodreads: 

Imagine a world in eternal darkness. A world where skeletal beasts lurk in the forest. Where the women are missing, and the men are in need of salvation…
In the West-English town of Little Wolf Green, Scott’s bookshop is about to close down. Convinced the bookshop holds the key to her mother’s identity, sixteen year old Anya Piddling vows to save Scott’s, whatever the cost.
When four books of magic and myth take the world by storm, Anya begins a journey to discover the truth about the author, known only as the Weaver. Followed closely by her friends, and one surly, bitter ex-boyfriend, Anya soon realises a whole new world awaits: a world gone very wrong, with maddening whispers in the forest, magical winged Kings and a dragon-boy that understands her, inside and out. But this world needs a saviour… and everyone is looking at her.

Erimus Hall 
HIS HEART THRASHED against his chest, a prisoner desperate to be freed from this burden. There was no way out. He had a job to do, and if it wasn’t done at that moment, his entire plan would be over before it even began.
The earth was but sludge, encasing his feet as he struggled up the bank. Bullets of rain struck his face as the winds lashed around him, obscuring his view and leaving him helpless in the dark.
Then, as if a divine hand was guiding the way, a flash of lightning revealed his final destination; Erimus Hall. The Hall was only another hundred meters away, run down and deserted, his sanctuary nonetheless.
Resisting the temptation to rest against the stone wall at the top of the bank, he pushed on, clambering across it with the rain-soaked trunk in his hands. Once over and sure of his feet, he took a moment to look around. Any sign of someone following and he’d have to revert to his back up location, as even with his goal in sight, he wouldn’t allow himself the risk of assuming he was home safe.
A clap of thunder quickened his pace and a minute later he’d reached the doorway, where a century’s worth of ivy had claimed the oak as its own. He set on it straight away, teasing back the creeper with a gentle hand, the whole time fighting against the instincts that were screaming inside his head.
Just tear it down – you’re going too slow – someone’s going to see you! 
No. He couldn’t leave a sign that he’d been there. It had to look natural.
Two more bursts of lightning gave him a glimpse of what he needed to allow his unmarked entry into the building. With the trunk safely inside he took one more look around, and with another strike of lightning, he was gone.

Claire Marie Lucas lives in South-East England with her husband and three children. She began writing stories from inside her wardrobe at the tender age of six and hasn’t stopped writing in obscure places since; her current favourite being the cupboard beneath her stairs.
The Weaver’s Riddle – Mist & Whispers is her debut novel.

So now for a few of my personal thoughts. For the most part, I enjoyed the story. It had an interesting premise, and there is a lot of room for it to continue. I liked the fact that, unlike most series that are written these days, the story did come to some sort of conclusion. There is nothing more annoying than investing in a story only to be left totally hanging and feeling like nothing has been tied up in the end. On the down side, there was so much action, that it was often hard to really get a feel for what was taking place. I like to be able to breath every now and then in order to connect more with the characters. I quite liked the main character, and can see where the author can really push her forward in the books to come. Romance flirted around the edges several times, but nothing came to fruition on this book. Hopefully future books will delve deeper into character development and growth.

Overall, I was entertained, and would definitely be willing to follow along with the series in the future. A great read for people who enjoy fantasy, and are prepared to race from action scene to action scene.

I have more of these book reviews coming up, but I'm also hoping to get a little more into my writing process here on the blog. I know it's quite a turn from my classical blogging style, but since I don't get many opportunities to travel anymore, this is what I have to work with for now. :)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Transition Blog Tour

So this is my first time taking place in a blog tour, and it has definitely been an interesting experience thus far. I had the privilege to receive a copy of the book, "Transition," by Paige Walker. It was not a book I would typically have picked out, but I enjoyed the story, and even more appreciated having the chance to get to know a little about the author and her process.

As an indie writer, making connections and supporting other authors is hugely important. In a field that is awash with options, it is always challenging to know how to gain recognition and find an audience. I believe it is important to find ways to get involved in the writing community, and encourage others to keep reaching for their goals. I have really appreciated the NaNoWriMo organization for that as well. As we all strive to make our dreams come true, it is important to remember that this should be about cooperation, not competition. It is also about helping one another to push our art to be the best it can be.

When I came up with questions to ask Paige, I wanted to hear more about her personal connections to the story, and the ways in which she created and grew with her characters. Every writer has their own individual process, and I think learning more about that process is fascinating. Here are the questions I asked and her responses:

Which of your characters would you say that you identify with the most?
I don’t really relate 100% with any one of my characters. I’d like to think there is a little of me in each one. However I can relate to Nichole’s stubbornness, Casey’s quirkiness, and Jade’s addiction to shopping.

Before you started writing did you have a clear picture of where the story would go, or do you like to wait and see what develops after you get things started?
Before I started writing I already knew how the story would end. I wouldn’t say I had a clear picture of the whole story in general. I’d like to think it’s a little bit of both. I knew where it was headed but I also let it develop as I wrote.

What is something about your main character Nichole that you didn’t share in the story? For instance, who is her favorite action hero or what did she dream of becoming when she was a little girl?
Nichole dreamed of becoming a chef simply because she likes to eat. She never gets the chance though and it’s not something that she thinks about after all that’s happened.

When you’re writing do you prefer to listen to music, or have total silence so you can concentrate? If you do listen to music, did you have a particular playlist that helped to inspire you?
I prefer silence when I write. I get distracted if I’m doing something else. Listening to music does inspire ideas but when I’m listening to music I”m usually not writing. I don’t have a particular playlist. I usually just listen to songs that I like at the time.

At the end of the book, you seemed to be opening things up for a sequel, do you have a longer series planned?
Yes! I do! I am currently working on part 2 and part 3 of the Transition Series. Hopefully part 2 will be published in 2016. I don’t currently have a title for part 2.

As far as the story itself goes, I would most likely recommend it to people who enjoy books like Stephanie Myers' Twilight Saga, or Amanda Hocking's My Blood Approves series. While it was not exactly my personal style, it was a fun quick read, and very much in line with the work of these other writers. Paige included some fun twists in her plot, and it was evident that she really had a good time while she was writing her story. If you check out her website,, she is currently hosting a giveaway for a free signed copy of her book, as well as a t-shirt.

I would like to thank Paige, and for giving me the opportunity to take part in this blog tour. I'm really hoping to have the chance to continue making more writerly connections in the months to come.