Anthony Francis – Guest Post!

jeremiah_willstone_and_tctm-200x300x72The Philosophy behind Jeremiah Willstone and the Clockwork Time Machine

Jeremiah Willstone is a special novel for me, because the smallest of inspirations blossomed into a project that reflects my deepest values. I fell in love with steampunk at Dragon Con 2009, where I saw many amazing steampunk costumes, in particular a young woman with a steam-powered gatling gun. My training as a science fiction writer makes me pick at the loose threads of imagined worlds, so I started to wonder not just what technology could power that gun, but what social changes could have enabled a young woman to become a Victorian soldier.

I’ve been interested in women’s rights since I was a child. Most of the protagonists I write about – Dakota Frost, Cinnamon Frost, Serendipity the Centaur – are female. I once even described myself as “hyper-feminist” until I met some genuine radical feminists with far more militant views, and to whom I gladly donate the term for use in their cause. Still, without trying to crimp the style of men who enjoy being men, women who enjoy being women, and people of all stripes who enjoy their differences, I’ve always been committed to the proposition that everyone in our world should get a fair shake no matter their gender – and always appalled as I learned more and more about the history of oppression of women.

So I decided to make the liberation of women a central feature of the Jeremiah Willstone world. During my research I was surprised to find that the mother of Mary Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, was a women’s liberation pioneer over a century before modern women’s suffrage; I was also surprised to find that Queen Victoria was a renowned women’s rights opponent. I researched the whole Victorian era, becoming quite appalled at how married women could be forced to work by their husbands – who could then confiscate all those earnings and go drink them away. The Victorians made great progress over the course of their era, mind you, but I wanted to create a society where those problems were already solved.

Thus, in my world, Mary Wollstonecraft survived to pursue women’s rights. Her daughter, Mary Shelley, changed her name to Mark Willstone to make the case for full liberation. Her daughter in turn became the first in a line of female soldiers that eventually produced my protagonist, Jeremiah Willstone. I imagined a world every bit as liberated as ours – perhaps moreso – but with key differences. For example, rather than collapsing male and female pronouns into a generic “they”, the people of Jeremiah’s world always say out “men and women” or “gentlewomen and gentlemen” as a way of writing inclusion into their everyday language.

Writing this world from Jeremiah’s perspective was difficult. After all, I’m a “guy” – technically speaking, a hetero-leaning bisexual male presenting a cis-normative appearance – and no matter how much I try to learn and empathize, I don’t have the experiences that a woman has growing up in an often male-dominated world. So I did research from a variety of perspectives, trying to give voice to real arguments by feminist scholars into the story. I didn’t get everything right. I probably still didn’t, but when depicting the clash of cultures between Jeremiah’s world and our own, I inadvertently made Jeremiah act as the stand-in for her entire world, and made the women she met as a stand-in for our entire world.

But one person is not the whole world. Our world is filled with Queen Victorias and Mary Wollstonecrafts and a whole spectrum of people between. I listened carefully to all the comments of my friends and beta readers, some of whom had strong opinions, which led to long conversations. I shaved off some of Jeremiah’s prickly edges and added nuance, but it wasn’t enough. Finally, in conversation with my editor Debra Dixon, we had a brainflash: to flip many of the arguments that I wanted to make. Instead of having Jeremiah come off as a full-of-herself lecturing crusader, I instead expanded the world, creating new characters and new situations that challenged Jeremiah to respond with respect and nuance.

The world you and I share has made many advances in women’s rights, but it’s still a world where a young woman recently won a Nobel Prize for getting shot in the face for advocating the radical proposition that she should be allowed to go to school. Jeremiah Willstone and the Clockwork Time Machine is a novel of derring-do and steam, action and adventure – but one in which issues of women’s rights are first and foremost, even as the novel recognizes and respects the broad spectrum of opinions of people on this fundamentally important topic. I hope your visit with Jeremiah makes you think about the history and progress of women’s rights – but those issues never get in the way of having the fun on her adventures. Enjoy!

Jeremiah Willstone and the Clockwork Time Machine is now available at these retailers:

About the Author:author-pic-for-book-color-adjusted

By day Anthony Francis studies human and other minds to design intelligent machines and emotional robots; by night he writes fiction and draws comic books at the collision point of hard science and pure fantasy. He was inspired to study artificial intelligence by Douglas Hofstadter, to become a writer by Isaac Asimov, and to write urban fantasy by Laurell K. Hamilton and Richard P. Feynman. He got his Ph.D in AI and his brown belt in Taido from Georgia Tech; he currently supports his out-of-control reading and writing habits by working at the Search Engine That Starts With a G. Anthony lives in San Jose with his wife and cats but his heart will always belong in Atlanta.

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Christian by D.B. Reynolds Excerpt (NEW RELEASE)

CHRISTIAN – book ten of The Vampires in America Series – is publishing November 15th! Read an exclusive excerpt below and make sure you order CHRISTIAN by clicking the link! 😀 Christian - 200x300x72


It’s too dangerous for you to stay here…”

Natalie’s unease at what he was saying overrode her irritation at his tendency to give orders. “Dangerous? Do you really think—?”

“That Anthony would hurt you?” Christian studied her for a moment, as if trying to decide if he should tell her the truth, as if wondering whether she could handle it.

“Tell me the truth,” she demanded.

His lips tightened briefly, and he said, “Yes.”

“But he’s never done anything like that before.”

“And he’d probably regret it. But in the final analysis, only one person matters to Anthony, and that’s Anthony. I don’t believe for a minute that he plans to retire quietly to New Orleans. He has a game in play that will maximize his own power and wealth after the succession. We just don’t know what it is yet. But whatever it is, I’ve spoiled it for him, and he’ll do what it takes to get rid of me. He wants you for

himself—”

She opened her mouth to protest, but he continued.

“—I can see it in the way he looks at you. He covets you, as if you’re already his. He may even have convinced himself he loves you, or that you love him. But if he gets angry enough, he’ll hurt you. Either to claim you for himself, or to get to me.” He stepped closer in the confined space, cupping her cheek in his big hand. “You matter to me. Anthony knows that.”

Natalie looked up at him, unable to stop herself from leaning in until her breasts nearly touched him. Her chest felt constricted, her heart too big for the space, pounding in her ears until it was all she could hear. Christian tightened the fingers of his other hand around her hip, pulling her in until there was no space between them, and the tips of her breasts scraped the thick muscles of his chest. His gaze traveled over her face, lingering on her lips, and she knew he was going to kiss her.

When his mouth met hers, her lips were already open in welcome. She expected to be ravished, but was enticed instead, his lips caressing hers with delicate, sliding kisses, his tongue quick and teasing, until she went up on her toes, and pressed her mouth to his to demand more. She felt his smile against her lips, felt him shift the angle of her head as he sank deeper into her, as his tongue swept forcefully into her mouth, stroking, tasting. Natalie wrapped her arms around his neck with a pleasured sigh. She couldn’t remember wanting anyone the way she did Christian. She was hungry for him. Every inch of her longed for him, from the ache between her thighs to the swell of her breasts, and everything above and below.

But he was being so careful with her. As if she were something fragile, as if he had to hold himself back. She wasn’t terribly experienced. Hell, she’d never experienced a man like Christian. But she wasn’t going to break, either. And she didn’t want him to hold back.

She boldly closed her teeth over his lower lip, stopping just short of drawing blood, shivering as his growled response rolled down her throat, trembling deep between her thighs, and knotting her nipples into hard peaks. His arm tightened around her back as he jerked her even closer.

“Careful, ma chére, or you’ll get what you ask for.”

“Good,” she whispered fiercely.


Whoa, baby! Ya know, I’ve been wanting to get around to this series for a while and if the rest of it is anything like that, I think I may have to start tonight! 

giphy (1)


Author PicAbout the author: 

D.B. Reynolds is the RT Award-winning author of the Vampires in America series of paranormal romance, and an Emmy-nominated television sound editor. She lives with her husband of many years in a flammable canyon near Los Angeles, and when she’s not writing her own books, she can usually be found reading someone else’s. Visit her blog at www.dbreynolds.com for details on all of her books, for free stories and more.

Thanks everyone! Happy Friday the 13th! 😀

TRAFFICK by Ellen Hopkins (NEW RELEASE!) Interview with the Author

Thank you so much for interviewing with my blog today, Mrs. Hopkins. Let’s get started!

Revealing Questions with Answers:

  1. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR LIFE IN ONLY 8 WORDS?
    1. Time voyage–false starts, choppy seas, safe harbors.
  2. WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO OR MAXIM?
    1. Shortcuts only cheat those taking them.
  3. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE PERFECT HAPPINESS?
    1. Sitting in front of the fireplace with someone you love, sipping a hot drink, eating popcorn, watching it snow.
  4. WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST FEAR?
    1. Not having enough time left to tell all the stories I want to tell.
  5. IF YOU COULD BE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, WHERE WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO BE?
    1. Other than right here at home, Australia/New Zealand.
  6. WITH WHOM IN HISTORY DO YOU MOST IDENTIFY?
    1. Amelia Earhart–a woman who chose to stand out from the rest and do what she loved.
  7. WHICH LIVING PERSON DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?
    1. Hillary Clinton
  8. WHAT ARE YOUR MOST OVERUSED WORDS OR PHRASES?
    1. Hey. Nice. Awesome.
  9. WHAT DO YOU REGRET MOST?
    1. Not pursuing my love of dance/theater.
  10. IF YOU COULD ACQUIRE ANY TALENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
    1. The ability to play music completely by ear.
  11. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
    1. Making a hugely positive impact with my books.
  12. WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST FLAW?
    1. I tend to be a bit impulsive.
  13. WHAT’S YOUR BEST QUALITY?
    1. Loyalty to family and friends.
  14. IF YOU COULD BE ANY PERSON OR THING, WHO OR WHAT WOULD IT BE?
    1. An eagle, as long as I lived where people didn’t want to shoot them down.
  15. WHAT TRAIT IS MOST NOTICEABLE ABOUT YOU?
    1. I’m outgoing and fun.
  16. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FICTIONAL HERO?
    1. Jack Sparrow.
  17. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FICTIONAL VILLAIN?
    1. Cruella Deville
  18. IF YOU COULD MEET ANY HISTORICAL CHARACTER, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO HIM OR HER?
    1. Lancelot. I’d say, “What’s up with that Guinevere person, anyway? Let me show you a real good time!!”
  19. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PET PEEVE?
    1. Rude drivers.
  20. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE OCCUPATION, WHEN YOU’RE NOT WRITING?
    1. Teaching.
  21. WHAT’S YOUR FANTASY PROFESSION?
    1. Jet pilot.
  22. WHAT 3 PERSONAL QUALITIES ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?
    1. Honesty, kindness, curiosity.
  23. IF YOU COULD EAT ONLY ONE THING FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAYS, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
    1. If I didn’t care about living a long time, chocolate. If I did, peanut butter and jam sandwiches.
  24. WHAT ARE YOUR 5 FAVORITE SONGS?
    1. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen), Come Together (Beatles), Lights (Journey), Renegade (Styx), Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd)

traffick-9781442482876_hrABOUT TRAFFICK: 

The sequel to “Tricks,” Hopkins’ latest book follows five teenage victims of sex trafficking — from all walks of life and gender orientations — as they try to extricate themselves from their current situations and find a new way of life.

TRAFFICK (Tricks, #2)

By: Ellen Hopkins

Release Date: November 3, 2015

Pages: 528

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Five teens victimized by sex trafficking try to find their way to a new life in this riveting companion to the New York Times bestselling Tricks from Ellen Hopkins, author of Crank.

In her bestselling novel, Tricks, Ellen Hopkins introduced us to five memorable characters tackling these enormous questions: Eden, the preacher’s daughter who turns tricks in Vegas and is helped into a child prostitution rescue; Seth, the gay farm boy disowned by his father who finds himself without money or resources other than his own body; Whitney, the privileged kid coaxed into the life by a pimp and whose dreams are ruined in a heroin haze; Ginger, who runs away from home with her girlfriend and is arrested for soliciting an undercover cop; and Cody, whose gambling habit forces him into the life, but who is shot and left for dead.

And now, in Traffick, these five are faced with the toughest question of all: Is there a way out? How these five teenagers face the aftermath of their decisions and experiences is the soul of this story that exposes the dark, ferocious underbelly of the child trafficking trade. Heart wrenching and hopeful, Traffick takes us on five separate but intertwined journeys through the painful challenges of recovery, rehabilitation, and renewal to forgiveness and love. All the way home.

Goodreads | IndieBound | B&N | Amazon | Powell’s |BAM |S&S

authorPhoto-e1315801199400About Ellen:

Ellen Hopkins is a poet, freelance writer, and the award-winning author of twenty nonfiction titles and five NY Times Bestselling novels-in-verse. She has published hundreds of articles on subjects ranging from aviation to child abuse to winegrowing.

Ellen mentors other writers through her position as a regional adviser for the Nevada chapter of the Society of ChildrenÕs Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).

She is a regular speaker at schools; book festivals and writers conferences across the US, and now throughout the world.

Social Media Links:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter |Facebook | Pinterest | Tumblr

PIMPS read by Alicia Keys – https://youtu.be/XhMuVC6dAPw

Review of TRAFFICK is to come! Check back here soon! 🙂

Ellen Hopkins Blog Tour!

Ellen Hopkins will be interviewing here on November 4th to promote her new release – TRAFFICK! In the meantime and after, follow the blog tour by clicking the links below! 🙂

November 2ndBatty for Books – Review

November 2ndActing Up With Books – Review

November 3rdReads All The Books  – Review

November 3rdChristine Abee  – Review

November 4thanything but vanilla book blog – Top Ten List

November 4thBookish Lifestyle – Guest Post

November 4th– A Diary Of A Book Addict – Review

November 4thBeauty’s Library – Review/Author Interview

November 5thKDH Reviews  – Review

November 5thReads and Treats  – Review

November 6thBook Chic  – Review

November 6thThe Power of Three Readers – Review

November 9thReading Junky’s Reading Roost – Review

November 9thBackseats and Airports – Review

 November 10thJourneys & Life  – Review

November 10thheyheyheyjackie – Review

November 10thBooks and Ladders – Review

November 10thBookish Lifestyle – Review

November 11th–   Reading Is Better With Cupcakes – Review

November 11thHeather Ann’s Book Reviews – Review

November 11thShe Reads New Adult – Review

November 12thBookAHolics Anonymous – Review

November 12thErin Fanning – Guest Post

November 13thHeather Harlen – Top 5 or 10 List

November 13thAlec John Belle  – Review

November 13thConfessions of a Kid-lit Lover  – Review

November 13thMelissa Martin’s Reading List – Review / Interview

November 13thThe Phantom Paragrapher – Review

November 13thTeen Librarian Toolbox – Review / Interview

November 13thMiranda’s Book Blog – Guest Post

Enter the TRAFFICK Giveaway by clicking HERE!  

Interview with Sparkle Abbey – Author of the Pampered Pets Mysteries!

Hey ladies! Thanks for including Beauty’s Library on your blog tour for the release of 

9781611944372 copyDownton Tabby! This is super exciting, so let’s get started! 🙂

What made you want to use popular names/works as the basis for your titles and what do you take into account when choosing a new, fun book name?

— Once we’d decided on the idea of writing a series featuring pampered pets, we started talking about book titles. (It might have involved some margaritas.) We started writing down ideas and the ones that stood out were the ones that played on popular television shows, movies, or books. Titles like: Desperate Housedogs and Yip/Tuck made us laugh and we hoped it would give readers a chuckle as well. (We have to confess there are many on that original list that will never see the light of day. And shouldn’t.)

Ooh, I feel like I need to see that list. So what made the two of you want to begin writing together in the first place? Have you ever written separately?

— Great question. We had written separately a lot and belonged to the same critique group. We had finished books and won awards, but neither had sold. We had a chance to meet with a NY agent and she clued us in that we needed a hook. After brainstorming several ideas and rejecting them, we landed on the idea of writing about pets. You might want to check out the full story here: https://youtu.be/MaYQ-hL0z2Q

How did the “brooch stealing” storyline begin? Is there a story behind that?

— The brooch came about simply because we wanted the cousins in our series to share history but we didn’t want them interacting directly in the books. So what’s better than a little family feud?

Here’s the real brooch: brooch4blog

That is gorgeous, I totally get why the thievery is afoot (you know besides the sentimental value and all that.) This is a little off topic, but if The Pampered Pets Mysteries were turned into a TV series/movie, who would you want to play the main roles?

— We see Isla Fisher as Caro and Danica Patrick as Mel. Diana Knight is definitely Betty White and Ollie Hembry would have to be Ozzie Osbourne. The tough one to cast is Betty Foxx, the feisty octogenarian who has become a character beloved by our readers. We’re open to suggestions on the actress that should play Betty. Do you have ideas?

Oh she’s a tough one. Maybe Cloris Leachman or Olympia Dukakis? Speaking of movies, what is your favorite “pet themed” one?

— ML – That’s so hard because there are so many good ones. I’ve always loved, That Darn Cat. (Side note: Marley and Me is not allowed at my house. Just looking at the cover of the book or the case of the DVD makes me tear up.)

Anita – Oh! That Darn Cat takes me back to my childhood. I like that one too. I also love Homeward Bound and My Dog Skip.

What is your vision for The Pampered Pets Mysteries? How many can we expect?

— We love these stories and hope to write many more. Every time we finish one, we always have something where we say, “That would be great in the next book!”

Is there anything you would change about the series if you had to rewrite the entire thing?

— Not really. There were some surprises and the series has evolved. We’re sharing more characters and themes and, if anything, maybe we’d have done that sooner.

What made you want to focus your mysteries on pets over other themes?

— As we share in the short video, we simply don’t have hobbies. We love the creative work that others do in knitting, cooking, quilting, music, jewelry-making, and other areas, but we do none of those things ourselves. So to write about something we care passionately about we decided to focus on pets.

So last question, If your pets could read/review your books, what do you think their reactions to the series would be based on their personalities?

— We lost Abbey a couple of Easter’s ago, but while she was with us, she wasn’t much of a reader. All she cared about was eating bubbles and snacking on carrots. We even tried to get her to pose with a book, but she wasn’t having it. Anita has a couple of yorkies, Chewy and Sophie. If they were awake long enough to read our books, they would feel the pets were shortchanged on treats. Dogs could always have more treats!

Sparkle would undoubtedly have an opinion. She’s very vocal and often has a view on most everything. As a matter of fact, there’s also a short video of her doing some editing: https://youtu.be/nJfyqYd9bDk  Nights when the critique group meets, Sparkle moves from lap to lap offering advice. She does love that her picture is on the books, but wonders why it’s not larger.

SparkleAbbey-AuthorPhoto-2Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of mystery authors Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter. They’ve chosen to use Sparkle Abbey as their pen name on this series because they liked the idea of combining the names of their two rescue pets – Sparkle (ML’s cat) and Abbey (Anita’s dog). The authors co-write the bestselling Pampered Pets Mystery Series which focuses on the wacky world of precious pedigrees, pampered pooches, and secrets in posh Laguna Beach, California. The main characters and amateur sleuths are Texas cousins, Carolina Lamont, a pet therapist, and Melinda Langston, a pet boutique owner. The first books in the series, Desperate Housedogs, Get Fluffy, Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, Yip/Tuck, Fifty Shades of Greyhound, and The Girl with the Dachshund Tattoo have received rave reviews. Midwest Book Review calls the series, “A fun and sassy mystery!”

The next installment, coming in June, Downton Tabby, is currently available for pre-order on Amazon with a special cover reveal event at Goodreads.

The authors love to hear from readers so stop by their website www.sparkleabbey.com or visit them on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/sparkleabbey to check out all their news.

THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY by Laurie Halse Anderson

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Hey everyone! So I finished reading THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY about a week ago, I just hadn’t gotten around to posting my review yet. 🙂

Hayley Kincaid is a senior at a high school in her hometown. This is slightly new to her because for the past five years, her and her father have been traveling in her father’s truck, going from place to place. Now, they’re working on having a normal life, but it’s difficult. Andy – Hayley’s father – has major PTSD syndrome from being in the war. His demons haunt him and cause him to drink until he can’t see straight. This problem also affects his attempts at getting a job and his attempts at being a father. At this point in Hayley’s life, she’s basically acting as the parent to her father. Of course, that’s the only role she takes seriously. She doesn’t work too much in her classes and she doesn’t seem very invested into her future. The only thing she focuses on is getting home everyday to see if her dad has had a good day…or a bad one. That all changes, though, when Hayley meets Finnegan “Trouble” Ramos. Sexy, funny, and smart, he’s just what Hayley needs to get her mind off of her dad and to start thinking about herself. If only Hayley will let that happen….

 

So, I’ll just say, I fell in love with Finn. He’s hilarious (even if Hayley doesn’t want to admit it). And he was probably my favorite part of the book. Every time him and Hayley had a moment, I was going, “Aww.” hahaha. I also kept wanting to strangle Hayley for almost messing stuff up with him and with school. I just wanted to grab her, shake her, and say, “Your dad is not your responsibility!” But I didn’t….mostly because I couldn’t. So I waited, and I let Hayley figure her life out and I was not disappointed. At the beginning you’re like, “C’mon, Hayley! What the heck?” but by the end you’re like, “Yeah! Go Hayley! Do what you’re doing!” And the entire book turns out great and wonderful and spectacular, just like all of Laurie Halse Anderson’s books that I’ve read so far. 🙂

THE IMPOSSIBLE KNIFE OF MEMORY makes a point that it’s important to not hide or run from your memories just because they may be painful. Every memory you make is a part of you and they shape you into who you are. It’s necessary to remember what the house you grew up in smelled like, the songs your grandmother used to sing with you, what you and your friends did on a hot summer day when you were nine. It’s all meaningful and you can’t let those memories escape you, otherwise you become just a shell of someone. You become empty and you lack the luster of life.

 

I’ll have another review up tomorrow or the next day for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green!! Make sure you keep an eye out! 😀