Sunday, July 31, 2011

Without Mercy Blitz/ Review & Giveaway

Title: Without Mercy (A Mystic Wolves Novelette)
Author: Belinda Boring
Released: 8th July 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Published by: Moonstruck Media

Without Mercy blurb:

What would you do if a simple errand takes a deadly twist, turning you from cautious prey to dangerous predator?
When Darcy’s outing takes a turn for the worst and tests her to the point of breaking, she struggles to maintain her humanity. Where loyalty and pack mean everything, she surrenders to the inevitable and only an act of complete trust can touch her. When all is said and done, with memories flooding her mind, Darcy holds tightly to the only thing that makes sense – it was all a dream. Or was it?

My Rating: A KEEPER!

My Review: The cover and name alone are simply AMAZING!! But what lies beneath the cover, well what else can I say but O.M.G...

This story was wonderfully written, the more I read the more it made me feel like I was there watching it all unfold before my eyes. I was captured from the first sentence and was drawn deeper in as the story progressed. I was literally perched on the edge of my seat gripping the keyboard with anticipation of what was coming next.

For a short story the emotion portayed just blew me away. Reading from Darcy's perspective I could feel what she was feeling. The fear for her sisters life, pure rage, heartbreaking sadness and the love she had for her mate Mason. (can't wait to hear more about him *winks*)

Belinda has created a new and exciting world, one that captivates the reader and will leave you wanting more. I know that I was. *winks*


About Author Belinda Boring..      

A homesick Aussie living amongst the cactus and mountains of Arizona, Belinda Boring is a self proclaimed addict of romance and all things swoon worthy. When she's not devouring her latest read, you can find her celebrating her passion for books on her blog The Bookish Snob.
With all that excitement, it wasn’t long before she began writing, pouring her imagination and creativity into the stories she dreams. Whether urban fantasy, paranormal romance or romance in general, Belinda strives to share great plots with heart and characters that you can’t help but connect with. Of course, she wouldn’t be Belinda without adding heroes she hopes will curl your toes.
Surrounded by a supportive cast of family, friends and the man she gives her heart and soul to, Belinda is living the good life. Happy reading!

So to celebrate the release of this amazing Novelette, Belinda is giving away 2 copies of her book Without Mercy. This giveaway will run till the 5th August. Winners will be notified by email and will have 48hrs to respond, then will be announced 6th August on the blog. To enter leave your email addy and just answer this simple question, "If you could be any paranormal being, what would you be and why?"

For more chances to win this book pop on over and check out all the other blogs participating here's the link..

Also check out this great video... Readers Reviews of Without Mercy

Yay! A fellow Aussie. Thank you Belinda for an amazing story and for letting Sassy Book Lovers be apart of the celebration of it's release.

Good Luck to everyone who enters in this giveaway. Renee and I hope that you all had a wonderful weekend. Happy Reading!

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Hey Book lovers,

Wow, can't believe it's all over already. We are the last stop on this tour and we have a treat for you all today. I was lucky enough to sit down and get Lil to answer some of my questions. So sit back and enjoy my interview with Lil...

Stacey: Hi there Lil, thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to join us here. Please, have a seat.

Lil (dressed in jeans and layered T-shirts, dangling earrings on her ears and charm bracelet on her wrist sits on a chair and crossed her legs):

Thanks, Stacey. You did say this interview is for your personal journal.

Stacey:  Yes. I know I can never share what you say with the world.

Lil (grimaces): Yeah, the High Council might go ballistic that we’re talking to humans, but I made a pact with my boyfriend.

Stacey (leans forward): What pact?

Lil: He only agreed to do an interview with your friend Mindy if I did one too.  *rolls eyes* He’s so stubborn.

Stacey (chuckles): He’s quite the character, isn’t he?

Lil (smiles dreamily and sigh): Bran is Bran.

Stacey: So can you tell me a bit about yourself?

Lil:  I’m a Guardian—part fallen angel, part human. Humans call us Nephilim. I live with my grandfather, who is the present Cardinal Psi Guardian. My grandmother was a Gypsy  princess. She and my mother, uh, *Lil frowns*, died when I was a child.

Stacey: Your father?

Lil (frown deepens): What about him?

Stacey: Uh, are you worried about what he will do next?

Lil(shakes her head): Sorry, I don’t like to talk about him or his motives.

Stacey (nods quickly): Oh, okay. What does a Guardian do?

Lil (grins): Hunt down demons.

Stacey:  That smile says it’s something you enjoy.

Lil (wrinkles her nose): Someone has got to do it.

Stacey(frowns):  I know that you train to fight demons. How's your training coming along?

Lil:  Great. I’ve the best trainer.

Stacey:  What is it like having so much power?

Lil (shudders):  Scary. My grandfather and the others expect so much from me. I always feel I’ll fail them or something.

Stacey: You’ve done great so far. What's it like when you go on a hunt?

Lil: It’s hard to explain. It’s both exciting and scary.

Stacey: -What do you like doing in your spare time?

Lil: Hang out with Bran or my human friends.

Stacey: You and Bran have become really close, what's a couple of your favorite things you do together?

Lil: Teleport to special places away from people, demons, Guardians and just hang out. Or hang out at my place after school and just talk.

Stacey (blinks again):  About?

Lil (flashes another smile):  Anything and everything we did that day, the music we like. Bran was into a different of music before we met, but being with me changed that.

Stacey: What did he like?

Lil (laughs): Welcome to the jungleEye of the Tiger…, you know, rock groups like Survivor, Guns N Roses, AC/DC…

Stacey (smiles): Nice. Classic. And you? What are you into?

Lil: I’m into pop…Pink, Evanescence… R&B, J-pop, long as it celebrates love and relationship, I like it. *grins* He’s starting to like those too.

Stacey (consulting her notes):  Can you tell us anything Juicy about Bran that we don't already know?

Lil (shakes her head): I can’t. His sister mentioned that he keeps a journal and everyone is now asking about it, even Kim and Izzy. Sykes is making fun of him. I’ll probably have to talk to him about that.

Stacey(smiles):  Have you read it?

Lil (shakes her head): No. He won’t let me.

Stacey: You could glamour him and make him give it to you.

Lil(smiles): I could but I don’t mess with my friends’ heads, human or Guardians, and especially not Bran.

Stacey (raises her brow): Really? What about Sykes?

Lil (blushes):  What about him?”

Stacey: You mess with his head without trying.

Lil (bristles): I don’t.

Stacey (smiles apologetically): I didn’t mean it that way. I mean, he’s into you too. How do you feel about him?

Lil (sighs):  Sykes is a friend. A good friend. I hope he meets someone he likes better than me.

Stacey: If Bran wasn’t in the picture, would you date him or Remy?

Lil (shakes her head): I can’t answer that. I need to go.

Stacey (consults her notes):  Just one more question. Can you tell us anything about what's next for the Guardians?

Lil: We’re busy canceling the contracts Bran signed when he worked for Coronis. (stands up) I really need to go now. Bran is waiting and growing impatient. It’s been nice talking to you.

Stacey: No, the pleasure was mine. Thank you.

Lil (waves then leaves the room)

Wow, that was so much fun. Thanks Lil for answering some of my questions. Also I'd like to give a HUGE Thank you to the amazing Ednah Walters, for bringing this story and it's amazing characters into our lives.

Well I hope you've had fun on this tour (it was my first one lol) I've been a nervous wreck hoping I did everything ok. *chuckles*

Here's a link to my Betrayed Review

Good luck to everyone whose entered the giveaways. Speaking of giveaways, we are giving away a signed copy of Betrayed, 2 signed bookmarks and also for a added bonus (if the winner hasn't got it already) I'll pop in a copy of the first book Awakened.

All you have to do to enter is tell us what your favourite part of the tour was and leave your email addy so we can contact you, you don't have to be a follower to enter. This giveaway is international and we'll pick and email the lucky winners on the 6th August and we'll announce them on the blog on the 7th August.

So we'll have 2 winners..

1. A signed copy of Betrayed (also a paperback copy of Awakened, if the winner hasn't got this book.)
2. 2 signed bookmarks.

Thanks so much to everyone that was apart of the tour, you guys are just amazing! And also thank you too everyone that supported the tour by stopping at every stop.

I have more good news. Betrayed is now available in e-format.. Kindle or Smashwords
The Official Release Party for Betrayed is from July 31st (10pm) to August 2nd (10pm) will be held here: (Books will include Betrayed and swags, books donated by talented indie authors like Jennifer Laurens, Jennifer Armentrout (ARCs of Half-Blood), Keary Taylor (Dystopian new release Eden) and more.

Renee and I hope you all have a wonderful and safe weekend. Happy Reading! XOXO

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Review Passion by Lauren Kate

Title: Passion
Author: Lauren Kate
Released: 14th June 2011
Published by: Random House Children's Books

Blurb: Luce would die for Daniel.
And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way. . . .
Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last.
Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history.
Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever.

My Rating: A Must Read!

My Review: I just love these books. Lauren Kate has done it again with another brilliant story continuation.

What a fun journey, being thrown into the past with Luce, revisiting her past lives and seeing herself as she did. Each destination and year we jumped to was something new and exciting. Going back to were it all started and finally getting that one big question answered, 'Why Daniel and Lucinda are bound to love and lose one another for an eternity.'

This whole thing is bigger than we could have guessed, the plot gets even thicker. Now we are left waiting to see how it's all going to end, I can't WAIT!! Rapture is only what, say a yr away or maybe just under that. And I know that I'll be lining up for my copy.

Who could forget Daniel, the man you could love through a million different life times. The love he has for Luce just makes me weak in the knees and I just have to do one of those love sighs *sigh*

They are making Fallen into a film, how awesome is that?!?! Something else to look forward too.

Daniel and Luce would have to be in my top 10 favourite book couples ever!

If you haven't read these books yet, then I recommend you give them ago they are worth it.

BUY LINKS - Amazon , Book depo

Here's Lauren Kates website-

Also a FB page to check out- Fallen books

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Giveaway over at Good Choice Reading's blog

Hey Book Lovers,

Saw this awesome giveaway and wanted to share with you. It's for a signed copy of FURY by Elizabeth Miles.


I know this book is on my wishlist, is it on yours?

This giveaway is international, I've entered. :D

Here's the link to find this amazing giveaway Good Choice Reading FURY giveaway

Good Luck to you all.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Book Review Betrayed by Ednah Walters

Title: Betrayed
Author: Ednah Walters
Release Date: 1st August 2011
Genre: YA
Blurb: Lil has come to terms with her life as a Guardian/demon hunter and the wielder of the Nephilim most powerful weapon. She trains everyday to master her growing powers, gets along with her Guardian trainee friends (most of the time) and cherishes her moments with her human friends.

Just when she feels she belongs, her nature-bender father contacts her and warns her about a betrayal by someone close to her. Then Bran, the guy she loves, starts to act strange and one of her human friends acquires a supernatural ability. While Lil struggles find a connection between these three things, she begins to realize that someone is manipulating her and Bran, and will stop at nothing (including hurting those she loves) to lure them to the dark side.

My Rating: A KEEPER!

My Review:  I was so excited to have the chance to read and review an ARC of Betrayed, after book one I was dying to read more about this incredible world Ednah has created.

Wow what a ride...*whines* does it have to end?? Just until book 3 *winks*
This book is just amazing, had me on the edge of my seat from the very beginning. I'd reread book one Awakened to refresh my memory of the storyline, so glad I did made me enjoy this one even more.

Ednah has done an amazing job, she truly knows how to capture her readers and take them on a whirl wind adventure full of suspence, action, romance, and of course...loads of danger! So many surprises around each corner you'll be hooked till the very end, and even then your left wanting more. We are introduced to some new and exciting characters. Also the old characters Bran, Lil, Sykes, Izzy, Remy and Kim are back to kick some arse. And boy do they ever!! 

The Guardian Legacy books are one's that I could read over and over again. A journey that'll never get old and characters that'll still have you intrigued years later. So if you love a fast paced action packed book full of gorgeous Nephilim with awesome powers, then these books are a must read!

Here's the awesome trailer of Betrayed..

We also have Ednah Walter's Betrayed blog tour going on right now, here are all the links to check out and were you could win your own ARC signed copy of Betrayed...

Here's the links in order with there dates...

July 16th - Alice at
July 17th - free day.
July 18th - Kim Bowman at
July 19th - Jessica at
July 20th - Katrina at
July 21st - Shanese at
July 22nd - Melissa at
July 23rd - Tanya at
July 24th - free day.
July 25th - Meghan at
July 26th - Raquel at
July 28th - Lisa at
July 29th - Jodie at
Last stop July 30th - Stacey at

We are the last stop on the tour so don't forget to pop back here on the 30th July and check out our interview with Lil and also we'll be giving away a signed copy of Betrayed with some signed bookmarks.

Why not pop on over to Ednah's FB Fanpage and say hey!/pages/Fan-Page-Of-Ednah-Walters/202111176494628 There will be a release party happening July 31st with LOTS of amazing prizes. NOT TO BE MISSED!!!

Feel free to visit Ednah Walters website
Also her blogs..

Guest Book Review w/ Theresa Norman - Tainted Blood by Stacey Kennedy

Title: Tainted Blood (The Dark Element #1)
Author: Stacey Kennedy
Released: 27th June 2011
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Blurb: Darkness is settling over San Francisco—vampires in the throes of blood lust are taking innocent lives. One witch will need to see past her fear, and trust her Guardian, before everyone is in danger, including herself…
Earth Witch, Sabi, has been gifted with the ability to see premonitions of the darkness that threatens human lives. Safe in the Otherworld, she adjusts to these new visions…which isn’t going so well. Luckily, she’s got the sexy Guardian, Ryker to help her work through these visions. He’s intent to show her how to distance herself from them and help her gain control of life. Not that it’s really helping. The visions are leaving her crippled and unable to help pinpoint the killer’s locations to stop the acts from happening.

If that’s not enough to deal with, she soon begins to see vampires on a killing rampage in San Francisco. Vampires are being born and left to fend for themselves, resulting in innocent lives being taken while they’re in the throes of blood lust. But as Sabi’s visions begin to kick up a notch, personal matters need to be put aside. And as the mystery begins to unravel, Sabi will begin to see that these visions are getting far more dangerous and that humans are not the only ones at risk―she is.

Theresa Norman's Review:

Want to drift off to a place where men are men and the bad guys are dust? That’s what will happen when you read Tainted Blood by Stacey Kennedy.

This book gives you, thrills, chills, a little spice and a whole lot of action! It takes you from a normal hum drum day, into a night of blood dripping murder and nights of ecstasy. This is one that will get you started and you’ll be up all night because you just have to see what happens next.
Sabi is a woman who has a special gift. She can see into the future. Except the only thing is, she see’s death and destruction. And it’s getting worse. The killings are happening more and more. The visions come upon her so fast and strong, but the death she see’s is not simple killings. It’s blood dripping madness that shocks and nearly destroys Sabi everytime it happens. She tries so hard to get clues from what she see’s to help catch the killer, but doesn’t always succeed. That’s where Ryker comes in. He’s a tough Guardian who is sworn to protect the Earthworld. Leaving the Otherworld, Ryker and his partner travel to Earthworld to help the police solve violet crimes against man. Needless did Ryker know that soon Sabi’s visions will be taking them both on a journey of death, destruction and new discovery for both of them.

The pages heat up with the chemistry that these two share and only gets hotter with every turn of the page.

                        I give this book 4 out of 5 stars!!
Check out Stacey Kennedy's website for details on all her books including whats coming up..

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Hey Book Lovers,

I am so sorry I completely forgot about this giveaway *slaps forehead* so to make it upto all I've decided to have 2 winners.

And the winners are... **DRUM ROLL**

                                 Nikki Ooi (Abbey)


                       Mickey Powel


I've sent both winners emails and have had one respond. The other winner has now 48hrs to respond or we'll be picking a new winner.

Thank you everyone who read and commented we love to hear your feedback.

We have Ednah Walters Betrayed tour here on the 30th July, so excited!! So pop in for your chance to win a signed copy of Betrayed and some signed swag.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tour de force Book Review - Brethren Beginnings by Deena Remial w/ surprise.

Title: Brethren Beginnings Volume 1
Author: Deena Remiel
Released: 2nd July 2011
Genre: Paranormal

Blurb: The Brethren. Who are they and why are they here? Discover the origins of these enigmatic angels manifested on Earth for millennia. Lose yourself in their compelling stories of human salvation and triumph over Evil.

My Rating: A KEEPER!

My Review: After reading Trinity and being first introduced to the Brethren, I was so excited to learn that Deena was writing little stories about them. I was even more excited when I got the inbox from Deena to review this book. Woohoo who would pass up a chance to read more about those gorgeous Brethren angels?!?!

Brethren Beginnings literally just blew my mind. The book is well written, Deena makes you feel like your there watching it all unfold right before your eyes. We learn how they came to be on earth and the lives they lived before we meet them in Trinity, what an adventure! Those angels in action really gets the blood pumpin.

First I was on a dangerous adventure with Gabriel, he's a protector. Then I was on a thrilling hunt with Nathanael, and then we went off to save a scary Joy with Cassiel. For a book that's less than 60 pages, there isn't a dull moment always something keepin you on the edge of your seat. I finished this book within an hour, I just couldn't stop reading it. I recommend everyone to give these Brethren Angels a read, you won't regret a single moment. I can't wait to read the next volume and get to know more of the Brethren. I'm up for another to join me? *winks*


Also the gorgeous Deena Remiel has a little surprise for all you lucky commenters. Pop over to Deena's post using this link and answer her little question.

Comment below with the secret message (you'll find in Deena's post) also your email addy and you'll recieve, wait for it.....your very own copy of Brethren Beginnings. YES, you heard right! We'll email YOU the smashwords code so you can pick which file you'd prefer to download.. FREE! How awesome is that?!?!

So go get your flirt on and you could be in the draw to win a kindle and gift basket. (SQUEEE)

Deena Remiel your just an angel *HUGS*

P.s Due to the time difference (I'm in Aussie) I'll be sleeping when your all commenting, so as soon as I'm up i'll start emailing those Brethren hotties to you all. *winks*

Sunday, July 17, 2011


And the winner is......**DRUM ROLL**

                          KATRINA WHITTAKER


You'll be recieving your prize soon.

Thank you to everyone who entered, stay tuned we have a very special post coming in the next 24hrs, you won't want to miss this. *winks*

Friday, July 15, 2011

YA Blog Stomp Book Review/Giveaway by Kimber An

Title: Crushed Sugar (Ophelia Dawson Chronicles, Novella #1)
Author: Kimber An
Released: 25th March 2011
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Blurb: Be careful what you wish for.

Ophelia’s had a wicked crush on Martin since they were kids, but she was always just his geeky little friend. Then, on the first day of her junior year, he’s suddenly and wildly attracted to her. She can’t imagine what’s changed, but shocking her small school’s social order fills her with vindication for insults suffered.

Ophelia meets Adrian right after and true love extinguishes the wicked crush. In secret, he gives her courage against a specter threat.

Tristan Li is pale and hungry, and draws Martin’s immediate ire. He knows things about Ophelia which she assumes are delusions brought on by an aggravated illness like her own, diabetes. When battle breaks out between his ancient race and new blood, even the courage of her secret love might be crushed.

My Rating:

My Review: Crushed Sugar is a prequel to Sugar Rush. I haven't had the pleasure of reading Sugar Rush yet, but after reading this novella I'm now hanging to find out what happens next.

Crushed Sugar is such a quick read of roughly 50 pages, but never left with a dull moment in Ophelia's life.

I just love Ophelia's character she's so sweet and innocent, would help anyone with anything without question, but she also has a snappy little attitude if provoked (by Katelyn, your average high school snotty bully.) She seems strong spirited and I really love that.

I'm a huge animal lover and was so happy to finally have owls back in a story, since Harry Potter I've just fallen in love with them. I'm very interested in reading more and finding out what they signify in the story. I'm also dying to find out more about the other characters in this story, hottie Adrian, Tristan and I'm wondering what Martin's upto. Hmmm must read Rush! *winks*

Crushed is such a cute little story, I'd recommend giving it a try. I have also recieved Rush to review and will be starting that soon.

Here's a little message from the Author Kimber An...

I'd like to let everyone know I just finished the third story in the series, another full-length novel, Sweet Bytes. Ophelia starts this story reeling in grief and anger. Through her friendship with her new Oldblood Protector, Tristan Li (he's in Crushed!) she works through those dark feelings and matures into a kick-butt heroine by the end.

Ok, well on with the giveaway. Your chance to win a copy of Crushed Sugar to start you off on the story. Just leave your name and email details in a comment and we'll pick a winner at the end of the day. Due to time difference cause we are in Australia, I may leave it a little longer than a day but will announce a winner within 48 hours of this post.

Don't forget to pop on over to the next stop on this awesome tour.. Awesomesauce Book Club
Decadent Publishing Worldwide YA Blog Stomp
Follow the Decadent Publishing YA authors as they travel around the world, giving away goodies along the way and collecting entries for our
Comment on as many blogs on the tour as you want, each day you comment counts as one entry into the Grand Prize drawing.

Blog Tour Schedule
July 18 - Leslie Soule
July 19 - Jon Gibbs
July 30 - Jen Wylie
August 1 - GRAND PRIZE Giveaways! Daily Dose of Decadence

1 Kindle loaded with 6 Decadent Publishing Young Adult ebooks!

12 Decadent Publishing ebooks of winner's choice, 1 per month for 12months.
6 Decadent Publishing ebooks of winner's choice, 1 every month for 6 months.

Thank you and have fun!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book Review & Interview W/ Author Jennifer Sommersby

Title: Sleight (AVRA-K #1)
Author: Jennifer Sommersby
Released: 23rd March 2011
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Fantasy

Blurb: Her mom is dead.
Ghosts follow her around.
Her best friend is an elephant.
And she’s about to meet the biggest game changer of all: a boy. With a secret.

When circus-dwelling Gemma Flannery learns she will be attending public school for the first time in her seventeen years, little does she know that fitting in with her 12th-grade classmates will be the least of her concerns. A pro at hiding her knack for seeing the dead (“shades”), Gemma is grieving the recent suicide of her mentally ill mother, a process eased by the introduction of her first real love interest, the charming and painfully handsome Henry Dmitri, who is harboring his own collection of dangerous secrets. Together, they will be presented with a frightening challenge: to assume their roles as heirs to a 3000-year-old magical text, the AVRAKEDAVRA, a book the über-rich, sleight-of-being master Lucian Dmitri would do anything to get his hands on. As each terrifying layer in her new reality melts away, Gemma unearths truths that her quiet, nomadic life with the Cinzio Traveling Players is not at all what she’d always cherished. Gemma and Henry must rely on each other to stop Lucian’s diabolical plotting that will bring the world to its tired, scab-riddled knees, and are sent on the flight of their young lives, to save themselves, their families, and the world from the darkest kind of destruction.

Let the chase begin.

My Rating: A KEEPER!

My Review: Wow, I LOVED this book! I was completely hooked from the very first page. Jennifer's storyline was so well written it grabs you and takes you on such an amazing adventure full of action, danger, pure evil and love *sigh* it won't let you go till the very end and even then your left hanging for more.

It was such a refreshing change from all other paranormal reads (don't get me wrong a really love paranormal) this is about magic and not just any magic, old magic.

Gemma is such a strong female character with such sarcasm. Henry is the spunky hero with so much devotion and strength.(he's in my book boy crush list *winks*) Also Junie, Ash, Ted, Marlene and Irwin all just amazing characters that bring so much life to this story. Oh, we can't forget Lucian pure evil at it's best.

I recommend all Paranaormal and Fantasy lovers give this book a go, you'll be blown away.

So, come join the circus! *winks*

Now here's my interview with the gorgeous Jennifer Sommersby....Enjoy!!

What or who inspired you to become a writer?

I don’t think it was any one particular person or thing; I’ve just always liked books. I was an early reader—books were always a priority in our house as my mom loved to read. It was a thing we would do on quiet, rainy afternoons, of which there were many as we lived in Portland, Oregon, when Mom would call for “quiet time.” I would grab a stack of books and sit on my bed and read to myself. Now that I’m a grown-up with kids of my own, I realize it was a ploy for my mom to squeeze in some pages in whatever book she was reading at the time. But I loved those days. Nothing like rain on the window, my blankie, and a stack of books. I was also really fortunate to attend a great elementary school where literacy promotion was a big part of curriculum. We had visits from Beverly Cleary and Ezra Jack Keats, and we’d do these parades where we’d dress up like our favorite book characters and march around the neighborhood. It was awesome. Books and words have always just been a really significant part of my life.

How did you come up with the title?

The word sleight means “the use of dexterity or cunning, especially so as to deceive.” The story is about 17-year-old Gemma, who lives in this circus environment where the performers intentionally employ some level of sleight in order to deliver their acts to the audience. Her “uncle,” Ted Cinzio, is a magician who was trained by sleight-of-hand master magician Lucian Dmitri, who also takes over financial control of the Cinzio Traveling Players—this is not an act of business but rather an act of control. Lucian wants something, and he usually gets what he wants. The word sleight was the perfect metaphor for everything that happens in the story—Gemma is confronted with people who aren’t who they seem, there is a great deal of deception and cunning going on, and certain players are very skilled with becoming completely different entities entirely (no, they’re not shapeshifters). 

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

This changes quite a bit, depending on whom I’ve read most recently and fallen in love with, but my constant favorites are Shakespeare, Chuck Palahniuk, and Flannery O’Connor. Another more recent favorite is Hannah Moskowitz. What all of these writers have in common is their lack of concern for what might be perceived as indecent or shocking. They have written exquisite pieces with often uncomfortable themes. When people think of Shakespeare, they think of Romeo and Juliet, but my favorite of his work is the sixth one he wrote, Titus Andronicus, a play so violent it was largely ignored for nearly 300 years. But it explores some very important aspects of human nature—trust, betrayal, greed, manipulation, revenge, and redemption. It’s brilliant in its many warped layers.

Chuck Palahniuk is an incredible writer. That doesn’t mean I love all of his work, but the guy is twisted in such fantastic ways.

Flannery O’Connor—what a paradox—she was this seemingly sweet, devout Catholic girl from Savannah, Georgia, who wrote short stories that were so in opposition to what one would expect. She was remarkably brave and talented and wasn’t afraid to write her own stories. No romantic heroes or damsels in distress (and if they were in distress, O’Connor put them there.) She died way too young, at 39, from lupus. A real loss to the literary world.

And Miss Hannah Moskowitz—I interviewed her a few months ago and promised I wouldn’t bring up her age again, but this girl has some crazy writing chops. Her first book Break, about a kid who’s on a mission to break every bone in his body, was picked up before she finished high school. She has another whack of titles making their way into the bookstream, including the recent Invincible Summer, Gone Gone Gone (coming soon), and Zombie Tag. She writes young adult stuff that is SO different than what is out there. Again, I admire her bravery and the depth she pours into all of her characters.

What were the most surprising things you learned in writing your book?

Good question! From a research standpoint, I learned some incredible stuff about the history of magic, dating back to pagan and pre-biblical times, about life in Mesopotamia, about the early practice of writing using cuneiform, when the first “book” was made and the physical properties of what was considered a book (paper dates back to China over 5000 years ago, but later books were comprised of papyrus pages and often animal-hide covers). I did a fair amount of research on Egypt as I was originally planning on including a stop in Cairo and Giza in Book 2 (that isn’t happening now), and I think the funniest realization I had was how historically accurate a lot of Hollywood movies are, including The Mummy and Raiders of the Lost Ark. I love doing research. I learn some of the craziest things. It makes my brain happy.

From a more personal perspective, I learned that I can always do better, that I will always be growing as a writer, and that what I’m writing today is better than what I wrote a year ago, and what I wrote a year ago was miles better than what I’d written in 2009, and so on. It’s all a process, and I’ve learned to be more open to improving. Writing is an artform. People don’t get that—they think that it’s just super easy to sit down and write some fairy story that everyone will be fighting over each other to buy. And while that may be true for some, there is much to be said for pulling everything you’ve got out of yourself, to the point of madness and physical exhaustion, to create the best possible product you can for that day. I’m totally stoked to see what I will be creating five years from now.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Figuring out where to end it! I’ve had a lot of folks comment, either on Facebook or in reviews, about how they hated the ending. I didn’t want to end it the way I did—I hate cliffhangers, too!—but you have to remember that I shopped this book around to agents for almost a year before I published it, and all the agents complained that at over 100,000 words, it was too long for the market. Ridiculous. And the original first draft of Sleight was nearly 140,000 words! I had to make a cut somewhere. That was a really, really hard decision for me as I felt it compromised the integrity of the story, and I know how mad I get when I come to the end of a book or movie and there are all these unanswered questions. Drives me mental. The nice thing is, folks don’t have to wait another year or two to see what happens. The next book is due out this fall, likely October or November.

Who designed the cover?

I designed it, with the help of Daniela from Bewitched Bookworms; she’s studying to get her PhD in biology but has totally missed her calling as a graphic designer. I had a different cover originally (the smoke configuration), but Danny showed me the err of my ways by giving me some options about what it could look like. She sent me a few mock-ups that she had done, and I knew immediately that we had to change it. One of my writing and critique partner friends, Angeline Kace, found the image of the red-haired girl and sent it to me, and I fell in love. I fussed with it for a few days and sent it back and forth with Danny for her expert assistance, and voila! An awesome cover was born! (The pressure’s on for Book 2, I can tell ya…)

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

For years, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I love whales and dolphins, and we used to spend time at the Oregon Coast, standing at vista points, trying with binoculars to catch blowhole sprays in the distance from passing migratory California gray whales. But I’m afraid of deep water and I get stupid seasick. So, yeah…so much for that. As I discovered that maybe I had a knack for words and stories, I fell in love with the idea of pushing words around for a living. So I decided I wanted to be a journalist because, somehow, I knew that writers of books were often poor. And I’m nosy. I liked the idea of prying into people’s lives and being first on the scene of some disaster. It’s all about feeding the ego, which I realized as I got older.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Same things I tell my kids: Be open to the possibilities. There will always be someone better than you. Keep your ears open and listen when someone is trying to help you be better, but trust your instincts. You don’t have to take everyone’s advice. And omigod, back up everything you write!

Do you have anything specific you'd like to say to your readers?

THANK YOU very much for reading my work and for loving it like you have. If I could hug or high-five every single one of you, I totally would. And then we would go raid the market of its supply of Oreos and sit poolside, our legs dipped in the tepid water, and eat until we were all sugared out. Then we would go to the bookstore and buy ourselves a treat. And then to Starbucks—grande nonfat hazelnut latte for me, but you order first. And then to the movies where we would stand in front and swoon over the posters of all the hot Hollywood hunks, until it was time to go in for our show, and then I’d treat everyone to the gigantic popcorn/candy combo. And we’d take over the theatre and throw Gobstoppers at the heads of all the stupid people who insisted on whispering and texting through the movie. Who’s in???

Can you tell us a little about what you’re working on now?

I am working on Stratagem: Book 2. It’s the second book in the AVRA-K series. The first draft is coming along, nearing completion, and should be ready for beta readers and the editor here pretty quick. Plus, I’m excited to say that as of a few weeks ago, I actually know how this one ends. That’s a big deal for me. I tend to write without the headlights on.

Thank you Jennifer!

Here's where you can get you copy of Sleight.. Amazon OR Smashwords
Also check out Jennifer's Facebook page
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