Author Interview with Sarah Fine + Giveaway

Author Interview with Sarah Fine + Giveaway

Our third author for the week will be…. *drum roll* SARAH FINE. I’ve almost read everything she has put out and I have never regretted the decision. I will continue to push her books at everyone I know and really I don’t know what to tell you if you haven’t taken the time to pick up one of her books. She is not just talented though, she is also very amusing…. sometimes… when she isn’t busy trying to stomp on my feels. Thank you so much for joining us today, Sarah!

What’s your favorite thing about being an author?

Hands down, interacting with people who have read and enjoyed my books. I’m always irrationally joyful when I get to talk with someone who’s actually read something I wrote. So apart from the actual crafting of a story, and the privilege of having that as my occupation, meeting readers is the best.

If you had to choose, what do you think your favorite genre would be?

I like fantasy! I deal in hard realities at my day job, so losing myself in a different world is fabulous.

I know you have a new Adult Urban Fantasy coming out in Jan next year (!!!!!!). Could you tell us more about it? :D

YES! MARKED is about Cacy Ferry, a paramedic in post-eco-disaster Boston who moonlights in the family business of transporting souls to the afterlife. She has to solve her CEO father’s murder and prevent the business from falling into the hands of the mischievous, evil Kere before her handsome new partner, Eli, becomes one of the casualties.

This book was so much fun to write. It’s a modern twist on Greek mythology set in this chaotic, futuristic canal city of Boston. It’s violent and sexy (if I do say so myself). And the sequel—CLAIMED–comes out March 24th, 2015!

Both Sanctum and Of Metal and Wishes deal with heavy issues, which one was harder for YOU to write?

Well, Sanctum was the second book I ever wrote, so from the perspective of story structure and such, it was definitely harder. I wrote OMAW much more quickly. In terms of issues, honestly, these things are not usually hard for me to write about, perhaps because I spend most of my time thinking and talking about them in my job as a psychologist. My biggest concern with Sanctum, though, was to respectfully portray people struggling with past trauma and depression while still being badass and resilient when possible, and relatable and understandable when not possible. And when it’s not possible—those are the scenes that make me cry.

This is going to be a tough question, what’s the book that affected/inspired you the most?

Book that affected me the most: Till We Have Faces by CS Lewis. It’s the one book I’ve read where I identified with the main character so closely that I couldn’t get it out of my head.

There are so many books that inspire me, though, and many that make me want to be a better writer. So that’s a long list that I won’t get into here!

 

Time for a round of THIS OR THAT

Vanilla or chocolate?

Vanilla

Netflix or Hulu?

Hulu

Music or no Music?

Music!

Coffee or tea?

COFFEE.

YA or Adult?

Ummmm. These days I read more YA, but I have to say, writing adult is preeeeetty fun ;)

 

Sarah Fine

I’m the author of several books for teens, including Of Metal and Wishes (McElderry/Simon & Schuster) and its sequel, Of Dreams and Rust (coming in August 2015), and the Guards of the Shadowlands YA urban fantasy series (Skyscape/Amazon Children’s Publishing). I’m also the co-author (with Walter Jury) of two YA sci-fi thrillers published by Putnam/Penguin: Scanand its sequel Burn (which will be published in 2015). My first adult urban fantasy romance novel, Marked, will be published in January 2015 by 47North/Amazon Publishing, with the sequel, Claimed, coming in March 2015. When I’m not writing, I’m psychologizing. Sometimes I do both at the same time. The results are unpredictable.

 

 Find her on:

Twitter | WebsiteGoodreads

Sarah has also very graciously offered up a copy of Of Metal and Wishes (her latest) to our readers! 

Giveaway Rules

  • You must be 13 or above in order to join
  • The Social Potato and Sarah Fine will not be responsible for any damaged/lost goods
  • Once a winner is announced, an email will be sent. If we don’t receive a reply within 48 hours, a new winner will be picked
  • And last but not least…. No cheating allowed. We all know that cheaters don’t prosper.

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Author Interview with Danielle Jensen + Excerpt from Hidden Huntress

Author Interview with Danielle Jensen + Excerpt from Hidden Huntress

As you all know, I’ve (Aimee) been pushing people to read Stolen Songbird ever since I finished the glorious book. It was fantastic in terms of the magical world-building, angst-y but lovable characters and huge bags of feels. (No kidding–that cliffhanger broke my heart! I’m sure you guys are curious about that, so READ THE BOOK. *chucks book at your face*) So please give a warm round of applause for Danielle Jensen, who’s generously giving her time to celebrate our blogoversary with us! *clap clap clap* 

Why trolls? Can you advocate them for us?

I didn’t begin writing Stolen Songbird with the intention of writing about trolls. They sort of created themselves as the story grew in my mind, and the backstory of who they are and where they came from developed as I wrote. I know many readers picked up on the many, many clues I left as to what the trolls really are, but don’t get too comfortable thinking that you have them all figured out J

What’s your favorite thing about being an author?

Probably when fans who have really connected with my novels talk about the characters like they are real people.

If you had to choose, what do you think your favorite genre would be?

Easy choice! Fantasy, especially alternate world epic fantasy.

This is going to be a tough question, what’s the book that affected/inspired you the most?

Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly. The characters in that book are so real… If I can instill half that much life into my books, I will feel as though I’ve done my duty.

Can you tell us what you have planned for Cécile and Tristan in Hidden Huntress? Just a little snippet? PRETTY PLEASE?

Hidden Huntress is still in the final stages of editorial, so this is all subject to little changes, but here is the snippet I provided before on Goodreads PLUS a bit more!

Chapter 1

My voice faded into silence, though the memory of it seemed to haunt the theatre as I slumped gracefully, trusting that Julian would catch me, however much he might not want to. The stage was smooth and cool against my cheek, a blessed relief against the heat of hundreds of bodies packed into one place. I tried to breathe shallowly, ignoring the stench of too much perfume and far too few baths as I feigned death. Julian’s voice replaced mine, and his lament echoed across my ears and through the theatre, but I only half-listened, my attention drifting away to fix on the all too real sorrow of another. One far out of reach.

The audience erupted into cheers. “Bravo!” someone shouted, and I almost smiled when a falling flower brushed against my cheek. The curtain hit the stage floor, and I reluctantly opened my eyes, the red velvet of the curtains pulling me back into an unwelcome reality.

“You seem distracted tonight,” Julian said, hauling me unceremoniously to my feet. “And about as emotive as my left boot. She won’t be best pleased, you know.”

“I know,” I muttered, smoothing my costume into place. “I had a late night.”

“Shocking.” Julian rolled his eyes. “It’s tiring work ingratiating yourself with every rich man in the city.” He took my hand again, nodded at the crew, and we both plastered smiles on our faces as the curtain rose again. “Cécile! Cécile!” the audience shouted. Waving blindly, I blew a kiss to the sea of uniform faces before dropping into a deep curtsey. We stepped back to let the rest of the cast take their bows before coming forward again. Julian dropped to one knee and kissed my gloved fingers to the roaring approval of the crowd, and then the curtain dropped for the final time.

The moment the fabric hit the stage floor, Julian jerked his hand away from mine and rose to his feet. “Funny how even at your worst, they still scream your name,” he said, his handsome face dark with anger. “They treat me as though I am one of your stage props.”

“You know that isn’t true,” I said. “You’ve legions of admirers. All the men are jealous, and all the women wish it was them in your arms.”

“Spare me your platitudes.”

I shrugged and turned my back on him, walking off stage. It was two months to the day since I had arrived in Trianon and nearly three since my dramatic exit from Trollus, and despite arriving with a plan I had thought was good, I was still no closer to finding Anushka. Julian’s jealous theatrics were the least of my concerns.

Backstage was its usual state of organized chaos – only now that the performance was over, the wine was pouring more liberally. Half-dressed chorus girls preened at Julian, their overlapping words barely intelligible as they rained praise upon his performance. I was glad for it – he didn’t get the credit he deserved.  Me they ignored, which was fine, because all I wanted was to be alone. Eyes on my dressing room, I wove through the performers until the sound of my name stopped me in my tracks.

“Cécile!”

Slowly, I turned on my heel and watched everyone scatter as my mother strode through the room. She kissed me hard on both cheeks and then pulled me into a tight embrace, her strong fingers digging painfully into the long livid scar where Gran had cut me open to set my ribs. “That was positively dreadful,” she hissed into my ear, breath hot. “Be thankful for small mercies that there was no one of taste in the audience tonight.”

“Of course not,” I whispered back. “Because if there had been, you would have been the one on stage.”

“Something you would be grateful for if you weren’t so ignorant.” She pushed away from me. “Wasn’t she brilliant tonight!” she announced to the room. “A natural talent. The world has never known such a voice.”

Everyone murmured in agreement, a few going so far as to clap their hands. My mother beamed at them. She might criticize me until she was blue in the face, but she wouldn’t tolerate anyone else saying a thing against me.

 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can we have the next book now?)

Time for a round of THIS OR THAT

Vanilla or chocolate?

Vanilla

Netflix or Hulu?

Netflix

Music or no Music?

Music

Coffee or tea?

Impossible choice. Coffee in the morning, tea at night.

YA or Adult?

Ehhhhh, that’s hard. I’m going to have to say adult, but only because most of my favourite epic fantasy series are adult. I feel like such a traitor… Can I take my answer back?

Danielle

Danielle was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated in 2003 from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in finance. But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous; and in 2010, it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University and to pursue publication. Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination.

Find her on:

Twitter | Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Author Interview with Jenn Bennett + Giveaway

Author Interview with Jenn Bennett + Giveaway

Hello everybody! Welcome to the second day in our week long blogoversary! For the next couple of days, we’re going to be interviewing some of our favorite authors and maybe there will even be a couple more giveaways along the way! So without further ado, I’d like to welcome Jenn Bennett on to the blog! She’s one of my favorite authors and I know that I’ll always be taken care of in her hands. Plus, you all know what a die-hard fan I am of the Arcadia Bell series… I will continue to push that one at you!  GO shoo… but not yet because it’s time for you to get to know this fabulously friendly and talented author better!

What’s your favorite thing about being an author?

The joy of discovery.  Each day that I write, I uncover something new about a character or unravel a plot twist I hadn’t realized was possible. That is enormously exciting and satisfying.

If you had to choose, what do you think your favorite genre would be?

I hope I never do have to choose, because my reading varies from literary to mystery to low fantasy, and that’s just in one week. But my favorite element in everything I read is romance. What can I say? I like to read about love. Proud romance lover, right here.

So, a birdy told me you have a new YA book coming out next fall, can you tell us more about it?

It’s called THE ANATOMICAL SHAPE OF A HEART, and it’s a contemporary romance (surprise!) about two artists: a girl who’s an aspiring medical illustrator, sneaking into a Willed Body lab to draw cadavers, and a boy who leads a secret double life as an anonymous street artist, defacing San Francisco monuments. It’s probably my personal favorite of all the books I’ve written, and it comes out in hardcover next November. I’M THIS EXCITED ABOUT IT. (A lot.)

Now that you’ve written both Adult and Young Adult books, do you have any plans to write New Adult ones?

I’ve considered it, yes. But I think it’s a genre that’s mostly been successful for indie writers, and as someone who’s only been doing the NYC publishing thing,  I’m a little hesitant to break away from my agent and hire my own editing team, cover artist, publicist, etc.  My hat goes off to all the writers that take that plunge.

This is going to be a tough question, what’s the book that affected/inspired you the most?

Ahh! I can’t choose!  How about three? 1) McELLIGOT’S POOL by Dr. Seuss, which is all about the allure of escapism and believing that anything’s possible. 2) OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, which is full of kilts and swordfights and swoon-worthy romance. 3) HIS DARK MATERIALS, by Philip Pullman—which is cheating, because it’s three books. But it’s a subversive children’s adventure with terrific world-building and a great heroine, and there’s even a bit of romance toward the end.

Time for a round of THIS OR THAT

Vanilla or chocolate?

Vanilla.

Netflix or Hulu?

Netflix.

Music or no Music?

Half silence, half Spotify.

Coffee or tea?

As long as it’s iced, either.

YA or Adult?

Lately, YA. Sorry, Adult books!

Jenn Bennett

JENN BENNETT is an artist and author who writes books for adults and teens, including the Roaring Twenties series (Bitter Spirits, Berkley Sensation) and the Arcadia Bell UF series (Kindling the Moon, Pocket Books). Her first YA contemporary romance, The Anatomical Shape of a Heart, will be released in 2015 (Feiwel & Friends). She lives near Atlanta with one husband and two evil pugs.

 Find her on:

Twitter | Website | Facebook | Goodreads

Jenn has also very graciously offered up one of her books (reader’s choice) to our readers! Find a list of her works here… 

Giveaway Rules

  • You must be 13 or above in order to join
  • The Social Potato and Jenn Bennett will not be responsible for any damaged/lost goods
  • Once a winner is announced, an email will be sent. If we don’t receive a reply within 48 hours, a new winner will be picked
  • And last but not least…. No cheating allowed. We all know that cheaters don’t prosper.

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The Social Potato 2nd Blogoversary!!! + Fun Facts Giveaway

The Social Potato 2nd Blogoversary!!! + Fun Facts Giveaway

HAPPY 2ND BLOGOVERSARY!!!

Obviously, Rashika’s the one thinking of the cake.

Holy shiz, has it been that long already?! When The Social Potato started, I didn’t imagine it to run for more than a year. The internet was just too big and too grand for a bunch of small reviews and book discussions on the internet, and I had thought mine would gather dust in a span of months. But look where we are now! A collective hundred thousand views, two awesome co-bloggers in tow, and hopefully, a lot more years and reviews and discussions and vlogs to come! And all of this wouldn’t have been possible without YOU GUYS. You paved the path for us. You made us who we are now. You helped mold us become better readers, reviewers, and individuals, and we seriously cannot thank you all enough.

So how about we celebrate it with a bunch of author interviews and awesome giveaways, yes? But first, let’s start with a game!

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ARC Review: Omega City (Omega City #1) by Diana Peterfreund

ARC Review: Omega City (Omega City #1) by Diana Peterfreund

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Genres: Action, Adventure, Mystery
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
Check out on GOODREADS
Pre-Order on the BOOK DEPOSITORY

Gillian Seagret doesn’t listen to people who say her father’s a crackpot. His conspiracy theories about the lost technology of Cold War-era rocket scientist Dr. Aloysius Underberg may have cost him his job and forced the family to move to a cottage in the sticks, but Gillian knows he’s right, and plans to prove it.

When she discovers a missing page from Dr. Underberg’s diary in her father’s mess of an office, she thinks she’s found a big piece of the puzzle–a space-themed riddle promising to lead to Dr. Underberg’s greatest invention. Enlisting the help of her skeptical younger brother, Eric, her best friend, Savannah, and Howard, their NASA-obsessed schoolmate, Gillian sets off into the ruins of a vast doomsday bunker, deep within the earth.

But they aren’t alone inside its dark and flooded halls. Now Gillian and her friends must race to explore OMEGA CITY and find the answers they need. For while Gillian wants to save her dad’s reputation by bringing Dr. Underberg’s secrets to light, there are others who will stop at nothing to make sure they stay buried…forever.

I’m sure that everyone is well aware that the Middle Grade demographic has a lot of adventure books. We have Rick Riordan for example, or the Seven Wonders series by Peter Larangis, and it feels like a new one pops out every year, all following a bunch of kids try to save the world or solve an extremely old riddle that would lead to a secret civilization or something. I love that kind of premise (National Treasure, anybody? That one with Nicolas Cage? I watched that countless times!) but time and time again, the said adventure books failed to amuse or entertain me. I just can’t find myself enjoying any of them. I tried, but every time, I failed to read beyond 20%. Oftentimes, I’d find the writing too poor, or too young, or too forced.

Then, like an angel wrapped in a blinding light, Diana Peterfreund appeared from the heavens and graced me with Omega City, which may now be my most favorite Middle Grade Adventure book ever, ever, ever, ever. 

I’m serious. I love it so, so, so much. First chapter in and I fell hook, line, and sinker.

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Random Things in Motion #10: Relax… You Don’t Need to Fall in Love on The First Book!

Random Things in Motion #10: Relax… You Don’t Need to Fall in Love on The First Book!

Seriously, who doesn’t love romance? Who hasn’t daydreamed of kissing the love of your life, hugging the apple of your eye, and saying sweet-nothings to the one you hold dear to your heart? When I received my first book, which was Little Women by Alcott, I oftentimes sat by the window, thinking what an idiot Jo was for letting Laurie get away and imagining myself pinned against him instead. I don’t think it’s because we are women that’s why we are more inclined to like this aspect of a book better; I think it’s mostly because it’s a beautiful thing to witness and love is pretty much the universal emotion of all that everyone can relate to.

But after reading the Kate Daniels series where Kate and Curran were avoiding, chasing, and avoiding, and chasing each other for the first four books, my mind completely changed. 

Girl, boy, y’all don’t need to fall in love on the first book. Chillax.

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ARC Review: How We Fall by Kate Brauning

ARC Review: How We Fall by Kate Brauning

How We FallGenres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: November 3rd, 2014
Publisher Merit Press
Source:  eARC from Edelweiss
Check out on GOODREADS


Ever since Jackie moved to her uncle’s sleepy farming town, she’s been flirting way too much–and with her own cousin, Marcus.

Her friendship with him has turned into something she can’t control, and he’s the reason Jackie lost track of her best friend, Ellie, who left for…no one knows where. Now Ellie has been missing for months, and the police, fearing the worst, are searching for her body. Swamped with guilt and the knowledge that acting on her love for Marcus would tear their families apart, Jackie pushes her cousin away. The plan is to fall out of love, and, just as she hoped he would, Marcus falls for the new girl in town. But something isn’t right about this stranger, and Jackie’s suspicions about the new girl’s secrets only drive the wedge deeper between Jackie and Marcus–and deepens Jackie’s despair.

Then Marcus is forced to pay the price for someone else’s lies as the mystery around Ellie’s disappearance starts to become horribly clear. Jackie has to face terrible choices. Can she leave her first love behind, and can she go on living with the fact that she failed her best friend?

review

I’d like to start off by saying that if you’re interested in this book because you loved Forbidden you might want to give it a pass. I don’t actually say this with any authority since I haven’t actually read the book but from the reviews I’ve read, I’d imagine that this book is nowhere near the same level as Forbidden. 

That said, I adored the book. It wasn’t mind blowing, it wasn’t AMAHZING but at the same time, it was an emotional read and it kept me up for a couple minutes. You might imagine that is not a lot but I am usually someone who’d rather daydream before going to bed so the fact that I kept on coming back to this book was a big deal for me.

The characters are what take the cake in this book. The author makes them realistically flawed but at the same time they aren’t horrible people. They are lovable even if you want to shake them from time to time.

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ARC Review: Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst

ARC Review: Chasing Power by Sarah Beth Durst

Chasing PowerGenres: Magic, Supernatural,  Young Adult
Release Date: October 14th, 2014
Publisher Bloomsbury
Source:  eARC from Netgalley
Check out on GOODREADS

Lies, secrets, and magic — three things that define Kayla’s life.

Sixteen-year-old Kayla plans to spend her summer hanging out on the beach in Santa Barbara and stealing whatever she wants, whenever she wants it. Born with the ability to move things with her mind — things like credit cards, diamond rings, and buttons on cash registers — she has become a master shoplifter. She steals to build up a safety net, enough money for her and her mom to be able to flee if her dad finds them again. Well, that, and the thrill of using her secret talents.

But her summer plans change when she’s caught stealing by a boy named Daniel — a boy who needs her help and is willing to blackmail her to get it. Daniel has a talent of his own. He can teleport, appearing anywhere in the world in an instant, but he lies as easily as he travels. Together, they embark on a quest to find and steal an ancient incantation, written on three indestructible stones and hidden millennia ago, all to rescue Daniel’s kidnapped mother. But Kayla has no idea that this rescue mission will lead back to her own family — and to betrayals that she may not be able to forgive… or survive.

review

This book can be easily surmised as fun. Admittedly though, I am a tad disappointed after having my mind blown by The Lost earlier this year. This book doesn’t even begin to compare on the level The Lost sets but considering the two books actually aren’t that similar, I don’t think it would be fair to compare them.

The major selling point of this book is adventure, it’s why it’s so fun. I mean these kids are trying to find magical stones that will grant the person who has them invincibility. Who doesn’t want to be invincible (certainly not me)? There is also a bit of myth/ancient history involved which makes it all the more exciting, for me at least.

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ARC Review: Stray by Elissa Sussman

ARC Review: Stray by Elissa Sussman

17617617Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Retellings
Release Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow
Check out on GOODREADS

“I am grateful for my father, who keeps me good and sweet. I am grateful for my mother, who keeps her own heart guarded and safe. I am grateful for my adviser, who keeps me protected. I am grateful for the Path, which keeps me pure. Ever after.”

Princess Aislynn has long dreamed about attending her Introduction Ball, about dancing with the handsome suitors her adviser has chosen for her, about meeting her true love and starting her happily ever after.

When the night of the ball finally arrives and Nerine Academy is awash with roses and royalty, Aislynn wants nothing more than to dance the night away, dutifully following the Path that has been laid out for her. She does not intend to stray.

But try as she might, Aislynn has never quite managed to control the magic that burns within her-magic brought on by wicked, terrible desires that threaten the Path she has vowed to take.

After all, it is wrong to want what you do not need. Isn’t it?

review

Every now and then, I surprise myself by reading something I wouldn’t normally pick up (based on the cover, yes. Cover snob, right here!) and find that I’ve discovered a gem. That’s how Stray was for me. The cover’s a bit dull, and while the synopsis is interesting, it wouldn’t be something I’d have on my must read immediately! list. It’s been getting a few mediocre ratings and reviews as well.

Boy, was I pleased to find out that Stray was such an intriguing and elegant read. I wasn’t expecting to finish this as quickly as I did, but I was seriously drawn into the world Elissa Sussman created. I’m a sucker for all sorts of fairy tales with dark mysteries, whimsical worlds, confusing (in a good way) characters with their own stories, and Sussman definitely gave me what I was looking for.

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