Friday, August 20, 2010

Author Interview - Rachel Vincent

Rachel Vincent is the author of the YA book series Soul Screamers, along with her adult series Shifters. She has done us the honor of stopping by to answer a few questions about her books, publishing, and a few other things. :)

Q: Rachel, can you give us an overview of your Soul Screamers series?

A: Soul Screamers is a young adult urban fantasy series narrated by teenage bean sidhe (banshee) Kaylee Cavanaugh as she tries to balance a normal high school experience with the threat of the Netherworld, a terrifying, hidden world full of reapers, hellions, and countless other mythical monsters out to possess her, body and soul. 

Q: Kaylee is a Bean Sidhe, a being of Irish mythology. How did you come across this particular myth and what made you decide to write about it? 

A: Actually, I already knew what a “banshee” was, from growing up hearing phrases like, “scream like a banshee,” but when I was doing research, looking for something mostly unexplored in urban fantasy, I rediscovered the lore I already knew and realized there were enough unanswered questions about bean sidhes to leave a lot of the creation up to me. Which made Kaylee a perfect subject for both YA and urban fantasy.

 Q: Would you want to have Kaylee's powers?

A: Nooo! No way. I don’t want to know when someone’s going to die.
Q: Who is your favorite character in Soul Screamers and are any of them based on yourself or anyone you know?

A: No, none of them are based on anyone real. Other than Kaylee, my favorite characters are Tod and Sabine, because they both have completely different outlooks on life than normal humans have, and that makes writing them a lot of fun.

 Q: I absolutely love all of the covers to the Soul Screamers books. They are gorgeous! How did you decide on the images?

A: I didn’t. That’s not how the cover art process works. Most authors have little-to-no say on their cover art or design, and even those who do get approval or significant input (major bestsellers, for the most part) don’t actually pick out the images. The cover is entirely up to the publisher.

My role in cover art is simply to describe the characters, their world, and the plot for my publisher, who then designs the cover. With foreign covers, I usually don’t see them until they go up for pre-order online.

Q: Readers may not know this, but you also have a series, Shifters, that is geared more towards adults. Is writing for one genre easier than the other?

A: I actually started out writing for adults. Stray, my first novel and the first in the Shifters series, came out in 2007. But no, neither genre is easier than the other. My YAs are a little shorter than my adult books, though not much shorter at this point, so they usually get written faster. But writing is hard work. Period. There are zillions of details that go into it, and I’ll have read through each book a minimum of eight times before it’s printed, doing various rounds of revisions, edits, and proofreading.

Q: What book are you currently reading and what is your all time favorite book?

A: I’m about to start an ARC of Delirious. My favorite adult book is The Stand, by Stephen King, and my favorite YAs right now are Some Girls Are, by Courtney Summers, and White Cat, by Holly Black. I heartily recommend all three of them.

 Q: Many readers are also aspiring writers. How did you get your books published and what advice would you give when it comes to writing?

A: I don’t have any advice, about writing, because it’s just not that simple. No one tip is going to make you a brilliant writer. All you can do is practice—a lot—and study your craft by reading—a lot. However, if you want to study technique, there are hundreds of books about writing fiction out there. But be careful; too much advice too early in the process can stifle your creativity and block the development of your own “voice.”

As for how I got published, I wrote a book. Then I wrote another book. Then I wrote a third book. I thought this third book (Stray) was good enough to publish—but I was wrong. So I spent several months polishing and rewriting (through six different drafts), then started querying literary agents. My future agent Miriam Kriss read and loved my partial (sample chapters) and called to ask for the whole thing. She read it and liked it, so she offered to represent me. I accepted, then she started pitching my books to editors.

Stray received offers from four publishers, and a couple of weeks later, we accepted my first book deal, for the first three books in the Shifters series.

Because a LOT of new writers fall victim to scams, let me add this:

The thing to remember about publishing is that money always flows TO the author, never from the author. If a literary agent or publisher asks you for money to represent or to publish you books, turn around and run. You ARE being scammed. I do not pay my agent. I do not pay my publisher. My publisher pays me for the right to publish my books. My agent gets 15% of what my publisher makes me. That’s how it works. Period.
Q: What are you working on now? Is there more to the Soul Screamers series that readers can look forward to?

A: Right now, I’m working on the first draft of IF I DIE (Soul Screamers book 5, which comes out sometime in the summer or fall of 2011.

Q: Finally, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Is there anything else you want readers to know about you or your books?
A: Thank you for having me! You can keep up with my latest book news, releases, and contests on my website, blog, or Facebook.

I hope this encourages everyone to go out and read Rachel's books, they are truly awesome. I have a review and a recipe for My Soul to Keep under the Read and Eat tabs on the blog too, so you can get a little more information.

I'd like to once again thank Rachel for answering my questions. I love the information given about the publishing process.I'm sure readers will find it very helpful too.

♥ Allie

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hunger Games!

I dont now about you, but I am beyond words excited about Mockingjay, the final installment in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins!!!! I think this could quite possibly be my favorite series, or at least close to it!
If you havnt read it, do it now! If you have, then you know what im talking about :)
Here is just one(of many) link to a site that is devoted to the hunger games. There are contests and giveaways too so go check it out!!! :)

☮ Allie

Sunday, August 15, 2010

update! ツ

Hello there!

I hope everyone is enjoying our site. We really are trying to make something that will interest everyone.
We have decided to do one recipe and one review every week, so make sure you log on every week to check it out.
Remember, there is more than just the home page. if you click on the other tabs you will find more stuff :)
Also, communication is key. For all we know nobody actually reads anything that we post, or at least doesnt care about it. So, if you do stop by the blog, how about you leave a note or a comment to let us know what's going on. Dont like something?  Tell us! Love something? Tell us! Do you think 1 review and recipe a week is enough, or should there be more? Let us know! Like our review? have you read the book also? have somethign to add? By all means, tell us!
we would love it if people interacted with each other and with us, so please, do so :)
Finally, i have added a subscribe gadget to the page on the right. Please subscribe so you can be updated when we actually do post new information.

Thank you all for your support
We truly Appreciate it!

☮♥ Allie

Monday, August 9, 2010

Shiver Review

Shiver by Maggive Stiefvater

Shiver is the first book in a three part series. It stars a young girl, Grace, who has always been fascinated by the wolves that live in the woods behind her house. There is one wolf in particular that she feels eerily drawn to, one who she feels she can't live without. Little does Grace know, she is about to meet her wolf for the first time...
I really enjoyed this book, it was a rather quick read due to the fact that I was so entranced by the language; it definitely kept me wanting more. It contains quotes that appeal to romantics, such as myself…quotes such as these: “'You're beautiful and sad,’ I said finally, not looking at him when I did. ‘Just like your eyes. You're like a song that I heard when I was a little kid but forgot I knew until I heard it again.’ For a long moment there was only the whirring sound of the tires on the road, and then Sam said softly, ‘Thank you.’” and also...  "It is possible to be in love with you just because of who you are."
The language can be intense, lyrical, and romantic. This is a great read and I highly recommend it!

❧ Stevi

Shiver Recipe

Feeling that distinct Shiver? Try this tea to warm your blood and ward off the change:

Fine Wolf
1. Masala spice chai tea (1 tea bag unbrewed)
2. 2 cups apple cider
3. 1 tsp agave nectar
4. 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1. Pour nectar and lemon juice into a mug
2. Heat the apple cider to a near boil
3. Pour cider into the mug, stir, then add the tea bag
4. Allow to steep 3 to 5 mins before removing tea bag

Original sight:

❧ Stevi

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Radiant Darkness

Review - Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman

He smiles. "Hello."

It's a deep voice. I can feel it reverberate in my chest and echo all the way down to my toes.
I know I should leave, but I don't want to. I want to keep my senses like this forever. I'm all eye, all ear, all skin.

Persephone lives in the most gorgeous place in the world. But her mother's a goddess, as overprotective as she is powerful. Paradise has become a trap. Just when Persephone feels there's no chance of escaping the life that's been planned for her, a mysterious stranger arrives. A stranger who promises something more—something dangerous and exciting—something that spurs Persephone to make a daring choice. A choice that could destroy all she's come to love, even the earth itself.
In a land where a singing river can make you forget your very name, Persephone is forced to discover who—and what—she really is.~

This is a retelling of the Greek myth of Persephone. The Greeks once used myths to explain the phenomena of the world around them. Persephone's story is the way they explained the reason for the seasons. I dont wan't to even give out the other names of characters in this story, because I don't want to give it away, just in case you do not already know the story. You'll just have to read it!
Whitman does a lovely job of retelling this myth, in a way that makes the reader think about Persephone, and her fate, in a different light. I always love it when authors make me feel for the "bad guy" and this story does just that. Radiant Darkness is fun and easy to read. I love the romance and love that is so clearly felt between the characters. I couldn't put it down because I needed to know how everything turned out, even though I already knew what had to be the ending. When an author can make me keep reading, even though I already know how the story ends, then I know they're good!
You should definitely find a way to read this book! :)

♥ Allie

p.s. the recipe that goes with this review is below

Radiant Darkness Recipe

Pomegranate Fruit Salad

According to myth, if you eat the food from the underworld then you are cursed to never leave.
In some versions of the original myth Persephone becomes forever trapped in the ominous underworld because she is tricked into eating the seeds of a pomegranate.
Lucky for us mortals, we can eat all the pomegranate we want and not have to worry about getting stuck somewhere with the dead!
Pomegranate is a wonderful fruit, and it's full of lots of things that are super good for you too. So, why not indulge.
1 pomegranate
1 green apple
1 small can of mandarin oranges in light syrup

Make sure you wash all your fruit before cutting and eating it
Cut open Pomegranate and take out all the seeds, placing them in a small-medium sized bowl
Core and cut the apple, place into bowl
Drain excess syrup from mandarins and put them into the bowl with the apple and pomegranate
Slice up as many strawberries as you'd like
Add as many blackberries as you like

Ta-da! You're done!
This is not only a quick and easy snack to make, but it is also very healthy and light.
You can always add more or less of anything that you want, these are just my favorites, and they go well together.
Also, it is perfectly safe to eat the whole pomegranate seed. In fact, part of the nutritious value is in the seed itself. :)

♥ Allie