Clare Davidson’s Shrouded Soul is out!

ShroudedSoulKindleCoverOne of my favorite authors, Clare Davidson has just published Shrouded Soul, the third title in her Hidden series. I have read and reviewed the first two, Reaper’s Rhythm and Broken Bargain, and I can’t wait to read the new chapter in this compelling and intelligent YA story. Clare has posted a snippet of Shrouded Soul on her blog to give you a taste of it. She has also graciously accepted to answer a question of mine regarding her writing.

Me: In your stories, you don’t shy away from topics that are somewhat controversial in YA literature, although they are an integral part in growing up, like sexuality, drug use, and depression. It is refreshing to read a story about teenagers who act like ones, not like the shallow, one-dimensional puppets society would like them to be. How do you keep up with a generation that seem to evolve at such a fast pace? Where do you get your inspiration for your characters?

Clare: When I started writing the Hidden series, I knew I didn’t want to shy away from topics that affect teenagers. Right from the start of Reaper’s Rhythm, the heroine, Kim, has to deal with grief, under-aged drinking, boys and bullying.

These are topics that often make adults uncomfortable. We don’t want to think about our children (not even teenagers) having to worry about them. We all like to think our children are perfect, that they’ll never be swayed to give into temptation and try something they shouldn’t, such as smoking or drinking. But if we shy away from these topics ourselves, too nervous to discuss them, where are teenagers going to get their education in these topics from?

School teachers? Yes, to a certain extent. In the UK, all pupils are given citizenship lessons, which include sex education, alcohol awareness and so on.

From their peers? Definitely. Whilst this can happen in a positive way, it can also happen in a negative way. I’m sure we all know how strong peer pressure can be. Most of us experience it on a daily basis, either in school, at work or within our friendship circles. Peer pressure is not age exclusive and depending on how firm we are within our own identities, it can be hard to resist.

Teenagers are going through a period of self-discovery. They are starting to explore who they are and what they want out of life. As a result, peer pressure can be all too easy to succumb to. The desire to fit in and be part of a group, rather than an individual is a compelling one.

Another place teenagers turn to is fiction, be it books, TV or films. They look for role models. Not perfect teenagers, but those who make mistakes and learn from them. They look for role models who are human, believable and whom they can relate to.

That’s what I wanted to achieve when I began writing Reaper’s Rhythm. I wanted Kim to be a multi-faceted character who makes mistakes. A girl who could be the reader’s best friend, peer, or daughter.

Kim is far from perfect. She makes mistakes. She does things she regrets. She unintentionally hurts others. But she learns and changes. She becomes a better, stronger person as the series progresses.

Will she be perfect by the end of the series? Of course not. None of us are and, to be honest, that’s what makes us beautiful individuals.

Shrouded Soul Blurb:

Keeping secrets. Telling lies. Kim is protecting everyone. Isn’t she?

Kim’s secrets are pushing Sophie away, whilst AJ’s fears are damaging their fledgling relationship. Kim tries to reassure him, but she knows he should be worried. He should be running. She keeps telling herself they can all have a normal life, free from the influence of the Baneem—but it’s the biggest lie of all.

The illusion Kim is clinging to is shattered when AJ vanishes. But he isn’t the only one put in danger by the information Kim is hiding. How can she defend everyone from enemies who keep growing stronger?

About the author:

Clare Davidson is a character driven fantasy writer, teacher and mother, from the UK. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband. They now share their lives with their young daughter, their cats and Rukia the Finnish Lapphund.

Connect with Clare:

Website: http://www.claredavidson.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ClareMDavidson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ClareMDavidson

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/ClareDavidson

Mailing List: http://eepurl.com/zpjGf

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Clare Davidson’s Shrouded Soul is out!

Writing Process Blog Hop Tour

The Writing Process Blog Tour:

Last week, Angela Roquet invited me to participate in the Writing Process Blog Hop. She asked me to answer a few questions and to introduce a few other authors. I immediately accepted, because if there is anything I like more than writing and reading, is talking about the great authors I’ve been fortunate enough to meet through Twitter and Facebook. The camaraderie and support of the indie community is something rarely seen in other fields of life. People who were strangers to me helped me in a way I never thought possible. I am honored to count them as my friends now.

clip_image002I met Angela last year, when a common author friend, Clare Davidson, invited both of us to participate in yet another blog tour. Angela is one of those individuals with sunny and supportive personalities who are a pleasure to have around. Her series, Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc., is urban fantasy with a twist, because it takes place in the underworlds, since—in a very democratic way—every religion is accounted for. I started reading the first in the series, Graveyard Shift, which is currently free everywhere, and I had such a blast I had to read them all. Its main character, Lana, a reaper, is an independent woman with a great sense of humor, and quite the interesting love life. Despite she would like nothing else than to be left alone, she gets from one big trouble to the next in a series of daring adventures. Angela Roquet is currently working on the fourth title in the series, and I can’t wait for it to be published. Meanwhile, she is coauthoring a book with her husband. How cool is that?

Now, for my questions:

1) What am I working on?

I’m working on a new paranormal romance series. The first title, The Lost Centurion, is ready to be published, while the second, The Immortal Greek, will be in my editor’s capable hands tomorrow. I’m already outlining the third, The Broken Angel, and I’ll start writing it next week. I am quite excited for this series, because this is the first time I work also on the covers almost all by myself—my husband is helping me whenever I lose my patience with all those technical things I don’t understand,  and there are a few of them.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

The whole series is set in Italy, with flashbacks in the ancient times. I’ve been refreshing my knowledge of the Roman and Ancient Greek cultures for a different project, and decided to incorporate details here and there in this series too. I researched both on paper and online any little detail I can find about food, clothing, games, anything related to daily life in those ancient times. I even followed a Roman recipe and baked libum, a type of bread soaked in honey, to have a taste of what they ate. I had forgotten how much fun is studying.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I write love stories. They can be dystopian, fantasy, paranormal, you name it. The common denominator is always love. I believe in humanity’s fundamental goodness. In the end, Amor Vincit Omnia. Love conquers all.

4) How does my writing process work?

My writing process used to be whatever the plot and characters dictated, which wasn’t very effective. Starting with this new series, I have drastically changed my approach. Now, I outline the whole story, chapter by chapter, and the characters. Then I write at least three thousand words a day. I am pleased with the result of the new method, and I am trying to write faster so that I can dedicated a few hour a day to marketing.

And now, here are the two author friends I have the honor and pleasure to introduce:

clip_image004Julia Hughes, is the author of several series, and among them The Griffin Riders’ Chronicles which is a great example of YA fantasy done right. If you want to give it a try, The Griffin Cryer, the first in the series is currently only 99 cents. I loved it, and immediately downloaded the second, The Griffin Boy, when it came out. Her Celtic Cousins’ Adventures series is testament to Julia’s ability to write with the same level of expertise in different genres. A Ripple in Time, one of the titles in that series, is part alternate reality, part fantasy, and part dystopian. Through a ripple in time, its main characters end up altering the course of the Titanic, creating havoc in the universe. Truly a fascinating concept, isn’t it? Not only Julia is a great author, she is also a great supporter of the indie community, always ready to give a hand to the marketing-challenged authors like yours truly. We are both participating in the #OperationMallory, a great cause started by Sean Campbell to help thriller author, Stephen Spencer, who is currently going through a bad moment in his life. If you want to give a hand, please consider spreading the word on Twitter and Facebook and/or take Sean’s challenges on his blog. This week was all about writing a blurb and several authors came up with great ones!

clip_image006Javier Robayo is one of the most prolific authors I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. Javier can write like no other and in the most disparate environments. He is a trooper when it comes to churn out words. He is the author of several great titles. Among them, The Gaze series, that is probably the only contemporary romance series I’ve ever read. Javier’s writing and storytelling is that good that made me read in a genre that I’d never tried before. The first, The Gaze, is centered on a love story that not only is unusual, but makes you think about how everything is relative when it comes to human feelings. Its main character, Samantha, is probably one of the most complex characters I have ever read. The second title in the series, The Next Chapter, narrates the evolution of Lewis, Samantha’s best friend. If possible, since I truly enjoyed reading The Gaze, The Next Chapter is even better. Javier has also published the first in the My Two Flags series, a bittersweet memoir of his teenager years as an immigrant in a new and not so welcoming land. If you prefer shorter reads and want to get a taste of Javier’s literary talent, he has also published several shorts. At the moment, he’s probably working on ten projects at once and already halfway through all of them.

Writing Process Blog Hop Tour

Broken Bargain Pre-Release Tour: J. L. Mbewe

Broken Promises tour_banner_v2

The Broken Bargain Tour has officially started, and I am happy to announce that one lucky reader, Michelle Li, has won a copy of Marie’s Journey!

J. L. Mbewe, Secrets Kept’s author, is my guest today, and her book could be yours by entering a Rafflecopter giveaway

In her words:

Writing as J. L. Mbewe, Jennette is an author, artist, mother, wife, but not always in that order. Born and raised in Minnesota, she now braves the heat of Texas, but pines for the Northern Lights and the lakes of home every autumn. She loves trying to capture the abstract and make it concrete.

She is currently living her second childhood with a wonderful husband and two precious children who don’t seem to mind her eclectic collections of rocks, shells, and books, among other things.

While living life balanced between reality and dreams, she is creating worlds inhabited by all sorts of fantasy creatures and characters, all questing about and discovering true love amid lots of peril.

For more information about her journey as a writer mama and all things creative please visit her blog.

MBewe Cover

Secrets Kept

“With a curse, she will build an army.
With the dagger, she will undo the last sacrifice.
But first the sorceress must find the secret keeper.
Torn from her homeland and thrust into a betrothal against her wishes, Ayianna learns her family has a deadly secret that now has her on the run. She joins forces with Kael, an embittered half-elf, and Saeed, an elderly High Guardian, to seek answers to her father’s death, the destruction of Dagmar, and the plains people’s bizarre behavior.
Ayianna discovers there is more at stake here than just her mother’s disappearance and her familial duty to her betrothed. The sorceress has cursed the plains people, and it is a race against time to release them before the sorceress resurrects an ancient evil.”

My 8 Questions for Jennette:

1. What was your favorite book when you were a teenager?

I devoured books when I was a teen, but a few that stood out were: The Sword of Shannara trilogy by Terry Brooks, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, and Christy by Catherine Marshall

2. What was your favorite movie?

It’s hard to remember when I watched what back then, but some of my favorite movies were ones that carried over from my childhood such as Labyrinth, Willow, and The Neverending Story. I also LOVED The Three Musketeers.

3. Did you have an actor-crush?

Not really.

4. Did you already know you wanted to be an author?

When I was eight, I knew I wanted to be an author, but it didn’t take long for that dream to be swept under a rug and forgotten. I still did a lot of writing as a teen such as journaling, poems, a few attempts on novels.

5. What is your favorite genre to read?

Fantasy. Especially young adult.

6. Do you write in that genre?

Yes.

7. What do you like the most about writing YA?

I love the coming of age aspect and the characters’ figuring out their identity and dreams, and discovering true love along the way.

8. What are you working on?

I’m currently working on the second book in the Hidden Dagger Trilogy as well as a few short stories that will be released throughout the year, leading up to the second book’s release. No date set on that one yet.

Thanks for having me!

Thank you, Jennette! By the way, Secrets Kept’s cover looks amazing.

Finally, don’t forget, to win a signed copy of J. L. Mbewe’s Secrets Kept enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

Broken Bargain Pre-Release Tour: J. L. Mbewe

Broken Bargain Pre-Release Tour

Broken Promises tour_banner_v2

In less than two weeks, on January, Friday 31st, Clare Davidson’s latest title, Broken Bargain, will be officially released. Today, the pre-release tour is starting on Clare’s blog.  Now, let’s hear from Clare her idea for a successful and unique book tour:

I’ve invited several other young adult authors to join me in celebrating. So you won’t just get to find out about me and my book, you’ll also get to find out about a host of other authors. Better yet, each author has offered up a prize. Who knows, maybe you’ll find your next read?
You can already add Broken Bargain (Hidden #2) to your
Goodread’s to be read shelf. There’s also a Goodread’s giveaway starting next weekend. But you don’t need to wait until then to win a prize. Come today for the official start of the tour. I have Monica La Porta on my blog and the giveaway will also kick off. Today’s prize is an ebook copy of Monica’s latest novel, Marie’s Journey (Ginecean Chronicles).”

Pretty neat, ah?

imageClare’s books’ covers are always beautiful, but I am partial to Broken Bargain’s and I can’t wait for the book to come out.

Broken Bargain (Hidden #2)

“When you know magic is real, complacency is not an option.
It’s a new school year and ten months since Kim’s sister died. She wants to forget about magic, rebuild her life and start fresh. But it’s not easy when she has to lie to everyone: her family, best friend, Sophie, and secretive new guy, AJ.
But when Sophie’s grandmother falls ill, Kim can’t help but notice the parallels to Charley’s death. Convinced she’s the only one who can help, Kim sets out to discover what’s really wrong with Sophie’s grandmother.”

 

Here’s the tour schedule:

21st January – the tour starts here (Don’t miss my interview!)
22nd January – Monica La Porta’s blog (I’ll be interviewing author J. L. Mbewe)
23rd January – J.L. Mbewe’s blog
24th January – Sharon Sant’s blog
25th January – Deb E Howell’s blog
26th January – J Keller Ford’s blog
27th January – Allison Agius’ blog
28th January – Elisa Nuckle’s blog
29th January – Jason Graves’ blog
30th January – Angela Roquet’s blog
31st January – Release day! Head over to the blogs of Kat Ellis, Angela Roquet and Ruth Ellen Parlour.

Finally, today, don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win a copy of Marie’s Journey! Cover-GINECEAN-960x1280 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Broken Bargain Pre-Release Tour

Clare Davidson

Clare Davidson is a delightful British author I had the pleasure to meet on the tweetverse. She introduced me to the wonderful world of Friday Snippets, and so I find it rather fitting her interview is out today. She is also the mind behind this great Indie Giveaway I’m proud to be part of. Her fantasy novel, Trinity, is filled with mystery, creativity, great characters, setting, and suspense. It could be yours by entering the Indie Giveaway.

Clare PicWhen you were a kid you wanted to be…?
A teacher. A show jumper. A teacher. A yard manager. A teacher… can you see a theme here? Now I’m an adult and I AM a teacher, all I want to be is a writer 😉

The first book you read was…?
I honestly can’t remember. Probably one of the Peter and Jane primary school reading books. My Mum frequently tells me that I’d struggle through Peter and Jane and then sit and read comics fluently. The first book that I remember reading and having a strong impact on me is The Book of Three, by Lloyd Alexander. Although come to think of it, Gobbolino the Witch’s Cat probably came first! Both lovely books for very different reasons.

You discovered you were quite good at writing when…?
When I got high marks in creative writing during my GCSEs. Although in hindsight, I’m not sure how much of that depends on true creative flair, rather than jumping through curriculum hoops.

As a reader, your favorite genre is…?
I should say fantasy, as that’s mainly what I write, but my reading tastes are actually very eclectic. I’ll happily read most things, as long as the blurb catches my interest, I enjoy the writing style and get on with the main character.

No, really, what’s that title you’re hiding in your kindle…?
I don’t think I’m hiding any dubious titles in my kindle! I have quite a bit of YA fiction in there, including Rick Riordan and Anthony Horrowitz. I’d have been embarrassed to admit to either of those in the staff room in my old job, where all the English teachers used to read quite high brow stuff or popular literary fiction.

You write…?
Fantasy, mainly, although I’m dabbling in some science fiction as well. I’ll broaden that Trinityout–I write speculative fiction 🙂

The praise about your writing you like the most is…?
That people enjoyed it at all. Maybe that’s a little trite! I love it when people specifically say that they enjoyed the world and characters I created. I’m especially pleased to hear/read praise about the magic in Trinity. I spent a lot of time agonising over how it was all going to work.

What’s next…?
An urban fantasy novel, titled Reaper’s Rhythm. I’m not sure when it will be out, as it’s in my editor’s hands at the moment, but stand by for more information when I have it! Reaper’s Rhythm is the first of a series and I’m already working on the second book. It’s quite different to Trinity and also darker in tone, but still aimed at a young adult audience, albeit the older end of the range.

Thanks for having me over, Monica 🙂

My pleasure, Clare!

About Clare:

Clare Davidson is a character driven fantasy writer, teacher and mother, from the UK. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband and never left. They now share their lives with their young daughter and a cranky grey cat and an insane white kitten. Clare juggles family life with writing, teaching and a variety of fiber craft hobbies.

Where to find Clare:

https://www.facebook.com/ClareMDavidson

https://twitter.com/ClareMDavidson

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6445758.Clare_Davidson

Clare Davidson