Thursday, July 21, 2016

Blue City Blog Tour

It's time again for another Blog Tour. I have really been enjoying doing these, and while I haven't gotten any comments on them...I do hope that people are enjoying them. If nothing else, they are helping me become a part of the writing/reading community, and getting me back into blogging. Speaking of which, I plan to be doing a post about my own book here in the very near future. I am still waiting for it to go live on Amazon and iBooks, but it should be happening very soon (insert sinister, I mean excited hand rubbing here. Or perhaps tented fingers and a well said, "Excellent.")

But enough about me, let's get into the fun part of this post. This past week I had the privilege of reading the book, Blue City
by Charlay Marie, prior to it being released. There's always something special about getting information in advance, so it was fun to know that I was part of the pre-show for this book. Due to it's infancy, I have yet to post any reviews, but I'm hoping to be able to do so shortly.

I really enjoyed the story, and can see a lot of directions that the author can take with it as she continues on with her series. I also had the chance to tap into the mind of this author and here are her answers to the questions I sent to her.

1) My current favorite topic in the writing world right now is the discussion between "plotters" and "pantsers," (writers who just go for it and fly by the seat of their pants.). Which of these camps would you say represents the way you tackle a writing project?

I'm a HUGE pantser! In fact, plotting for me is really pointless, as my story always takes on a mind of its own and goes left field! I just finished a new Wattpad story called White Fire with over 100k views in less than a month, and when I started it, I completely winged it! It's amazing how the story writes itself allowing you to enjoy it as much as the reader.

2) Do you typically create detailed character sketches, or wait to see how they will evolve along with your story?

No, not really. I start with the title and character names. I picture how they look in my head and that's about it. I give each character one strong personality trait and as the story unfolds, I make them react based on their personality. at that point, they begin to evolve on their own.

3) Can you give us any details about your characters that you don't reveal in the book? ( for instance favorite color, biggest phobia, book or musical preference, etc.)

Asher - the protagonists love interest - has a favorite color ... and it's midnight blue! I chose it because it's also my boyfriend's favorite color! Easy to remember! He also prefers futuristic metal.

Jen - the protagonist - is a lover of pop music, but also enjoys Greek music (her father is Greek). Her favorite color is pastel pink.

4) You mentioned in your acknowledgements at the beginning of the book that your faith in God is very important, does this theme also come up in the story in some way?

I definitely tried to incorporate God into my story. My main character, Jen is definitely a believer in God and often reaches for the cross around her neck when faced with hardships. It's my way of saying that one should always rely on God's strength during our storms.

5) If you were stranded on a desert island, which one of your characters would you want to have rescue you and why?

I would want Lark to rescue me. Lark is a 14-year-old boy genius who has lived his entire life surviving the cold streets of Blue City. He could build a boat with bamboo sticks and get us off the island in no time!

Title: The Portal Series : Blue City

Release Date: July 20, 2016

Author: Charlay Marie

Synopsis from Author's Website:

Jen Kallis never forgot the night her father vanished into a strange, white light from inside her closet. Even though no one believed her, Jen knew what she’d seen and refused to accept that her dad had abandoned her and mom. Ten years later, Jen, now 17, remains haunted by his disappear-ance when, without warning, her closet door bursts open and reveals a bright white light.

Stepping through the light, she time travels to the year 2222 to a world far different from her own. Everything in Blue City is strange, with buildings that soar too high in the sky, hover cars that zoom on transparent blue streets, and robots that look just like humans.

When Jen is confronted by Asher, an attractive commander with a bad attitude who warns that her life is in danger, she convinces him to help her escape and find her father. Together they embark on a wild journey where she has to battle Asher’s fierce ex-girlfriend, Rogue, for his love, and Jen dis-covers that there’s something far bigger than her quest to find her father: the fate of the world—past, present, and future—is in her hands.

Goodreads Link:

EXCERPT: *taken from Instagram @bluecitynovel* "Nope," Asher responded nonchalantly, not even bothering to meet her eyes. "I don't have a portal, and as I've already stated, the portals are off limits."

"Then let me go! Tell your people that the criminal escaped before you got here!"

Asher outright laughed and then quickly sobered.

"You're serious, aren't you?"

"Please help me. You know I'm not a criminal. I'll find my own way out of this place if I need to."

Asher sighed, looking up at the sky. The officials would be there any minute. Even if he let her go, she wouldn't be able to escape on her own, knowing nothing about Blue City. Her strange clothes would also be a giveaway, preventing her from blending in. Any officer or solider could stop her for questioning along the way, and he knew she wouldn't have the kind of answers needed to get past them.

Asher entertained the idea of helping her. He had an uncontrollable pull toward a thrill, and this little adventure would definitely satisfy that desire. If anyone could get out of the situation they were currently facing, it would be him. Asher was almost as high as authority went and having a father directly associated with the president would help him get out of this ordeal if they were caught. Asher groaned deeply, having made a decision.

Without a word, he pulled Jen by the arm and ran to a door on the side of the building. He opened it, surprised it hadn't been locked, and pulled her inside. They found themselves at the base of a stairwell that ventured to the top of the skyscraper.

"Come on," he said, pulling her up the stairs.”Quickly."


About the Author:

Charlay Marie always knew she wanted to be an author, having gained internet rave over her fan-fiction stories as a teenager. Seeing how well she could move her readers, she continued writing and published her first poem at the age of fifteen. In 2012, she began writing her debut Christian fiction

novel, Under the Peach Tree, after developing a close personal relationship with her Lord and Sav-ior. She also writes young adult fiction, with Blue City soon to be released. Charlay has hopes to publish at least one book per year and has plans of starting her own independent film company. Her biggest inspirations is none other than God Himself, and she knows that without Him none of this would have been possible. To Him she gives all the Blessings and Glory. Charlay Marie currently lives in Columbus, Ohio.

*Over 50K reads on Wattpad & her newest story "White Fire" has ranked #1 in Fantasy!*


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Giveaway Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway


July 18th: Jen D. (
July 19th: Jordan ( Suhani: (
July 20th: Tegan (
July 21st: Charlotte: (
July 22nd: Sarah (
July 23rd: Megan (
July 24th: Jen E. (

Blog Tour Organized by: Happy Lil Book Tours

*Hosts were provided with a copy of the book for review purposes in exchange for their honest reviews and opinions.*

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Choosing Xaverique Blog Tour

I've really been enjoying having the opportunity to discover new stories and meet new authors through Happy Lil' Book Tours. I honestly believe that one of the most important things I can do as an author is to build relationships between both the writing and reading communities.

I have always enjoyed hearing about those powerhouse writing groups of the past that spurred one another on in their pursuits. My favorite of these groups has always been C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, and G.K. Chesterton. How seriously awe inspiring would it have been to sit and just listen to these master story tellers talk about their philosophies, imaginative worlds, and dreams of the future. Iron sharpens iron, and building these connections that can help all of us to encourage one another and push us forward is invaluable.

This week I had the great pleasure of getting to know Karyn Sepulveda, the author of Choosing Xaverique (pronounced Zaver-reek). I enjoyed learning more about her characters, as well as her writing process. I also got her to give me some pronunciation details, because I always want to know how the author intended things to be said. Here are her answers to my interview quesstions:

1.) There is a lot of debate in the writing community over whether to be a planner or a pantser (literally flying by the seat of your pants when writing.). Which camp would you say you typically choose? When it comes to your characters, are you rigid in their development, or do you give them room to evolve on their own throughout the book?
I am definitely a happy medium between the two. I always start a story as a pantser and just see what comes out - but I usually get stuck, so I then go back and plan and plot my storyline and the story evolves from there. I let my characters develop freely throughout my writing - I don't create character profiles for them or anything that planned out. But I do spend a lot of time during my editing process, scrutinising my characters and ensuring that what I have written is true to each character's personality.

2.) If you could meet one of your characters in real life, which one would it be, and what would you do with that character?
I love this question! I would meet Noah. I have no idea how, but I would try to make him realise that he is good at heart, that he deserves and is worthy of Gabby's love.

3.). What is something you can tell us about your characters that is not revealed in the book? (For example favorite food, music style, secret talent, etc?)
Gabby is a very creative person. She loves music and sees the beauty in random things, such as buildings, bridges, trees... Noah loves reading or did as a child but hasn't allowed himself to read for a long time... Mia loves desserts, anything sweet she loves and can be won over with... Zac is an artist, he sketches, usually complicated scenes from video games...

4.) If your main characters were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would they take with them?
Tricky question! Gabby would take her iPod/phone for music, photos of her family and water. Noah would take a book, his wallet (which is the only present he remembers receiving from his mum) and matches.

5.) Do you have plans for a sequel in the future?
Yes! I'm in the final editing stages of the sequel.

Here is more information about the book:

Choosing Xaverique
By: Karyn Sepulveda
Summary from Goodreads:
Reality and fantasy collide when Noah and Gabby meet. Both have secrets: they are not human,
cannot be killed and are falling in love with each other.
Gabby Valis is a regular fifteen year old; her biggest worries in life are friends, boys and her
annoying brother Zac. But her life is shattered the day she finds out she is not human. She had no
idea she belonged to a secret species which has evolved from humans; ‘Xaveriques’. After being hit
by a car, her body is forced to heal itself, and Gabby’s powers are unleashed…
‘I died this morning. At exactly 8.17 am my heart stopped beating and I lay cold and still in the
street. At 8.24 am my heart resumed beating, I jumped up from the dusty pavement and ran home.
Confused? Well, that makes two of us.’

Click the graphic above or the link below to read the first 2 chapters of Choosing Xaverique. You
will be hooked!!chapter1/z6jys
Goodreads Link:
Karyn comes from a background in teaching and theatre. Teaching drama, and writing and directing
Theatre in Education productions. She’s always loved creating stories and characters, so completed
a Masters in Creative Writing at Macquarie University.
It was here that her journey of writing Choosing Xaverique began. Now, six years later, she is just a
little bit thrilled it has finally been published! Karyn is currently working on the sequel to Choosing
Xaverique, slated for production later this year.
Blog tour Schedule:

Monday July 4th: Tegan (
Tuesday July 5th: Jen (
Wednesday July 6th: Abby (
Thursday July 7th: Elizabeth (
Friday July 8th: Jordan (
Saturday July 9th: Shivani (
Shuani (
Sunday July 10th: Sarah (
Blog Tour Organized by:
Happy Lil Book Tours
Hosts were provided with a copy of the book for review purposes in exchange for their honest
reviews and opinions.

Please be sure to check out the other accounts participating in the tour as well :)

My personal review is up on Goodreads. I gave the book 4 stars. It was a really fun and interesting story. I particularly liked the way she dealt with young teenage love. I have read other reviews that criticized how quickly the romance got started, but my response to them is, clearly you have never been a young teen girl. I thought Karyn very accurately described exactly how silly and ridiculous every little detail can be, from over analyzing every brush of skin on skin, to daydreaming endlessly and obsessing about when the next moment of contact will take place. I'm super curious to see where her story will head in the next installment.