young adult fiction

Q and A with Author Whitney L. Grady

 

I had the pleasure of meeting Whitney L. Grady at the Book ’em NC Book Fair and Writers Conference and thought you might enjoy getting to know her as well.

whitneyheadshot2015Q: As an author, what are your favorite events?

As a former middle school English teacher, I thrive on school visits when promoting my YA series. The students are who I write for and I am always intrigued by their questions and ideas!

Q: Where do you get your ideas?

Often, when I visit schools I am asked where the idea for my series originated. I tell the students that The I Am Currency series was born from one single tag line (one that came to me in the middle of the night that I scribbled down on paper beside my bed to save for the morning): Knowledge is power…but what if it were currency?

The next day (and then weeks and months that followed), I became engrossed in the concept of a future in which technology no longer existed and humans were forced to learn to survive on what they know. It took a lot of research, but I was able to find a plausible event which could terminate technology and alter the way of life for civilization drastically.

Q: What makes the characters in your series special?

I wanted my main character to have a superhero power that could be realistic, and so Nevel was given a photographic memory during a time when knowledge was so key.

I have a son and a daughter so I also wanted to be sure there was both a strong male (Nevel) and a strong female (Quinn) character. This makes it interesting for both male and female readers. Don’t expect the typical from my characters, though. Book one begins with Quinn chasing Nevel into the wild…and he is afraid for his life!

bothbooks1and2Q: What can we expect from the I Am Currency series?

The I Am Currency series is a run-from-the-government, code-discovering, survivalist adventure that is sure to keep you truing the pages! Book 1, I Am Currency, begins with a chase across the Australian outback. Book 2, Pass of the Crow, takes us to Papua New Guinea on an adventure riddled with mystery and missions. The 3rd and final book of the series will be released in fall 2016 by Amazing Things Press!

Q: Where can we find your books/find out more?

All books are available anywhere books are sold (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million and more)!

There is a book trailer on YouTube and several links below for more info!

 

Links:

Amazon Link

Author website

Book trailer: 

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Flash Fiction – Night Runners

 

droneTrying to keep to the shadows,  Flint hurried through the streets, desperate to make his escape.  He glanced over his shoulder—no drones in sight—but, they were coming.  They were always coming.  It was just a matter of time before the incessant hum of their motors filled the air.   He darted down an alleyway, dove into a dumpster and covered himself with garbage.   The foul stench was a small price to pay for concealment.

Closing his eyes, he took a shallow breath and willed his racing heart to calm down.  Now was not the time to panic.  Now was the time to regroup, to prepare for the next phase of his mission—to get back to base camp with his precious find.  His hand moved to the pocket of his jacket, feeling for the pack of batteries.   The relief flooding his body was short-lived as the dreaded humming drew closer, echoing in the alley.

He lay still, waiting for the drones to leave.  After what seemed an interminable wait, the hum drifted away.  It was time to go—he knew this—but something in his gut warned him to stay put—so he waited.  Two minutes.  Four minutes.  Five minutes more.

And then it happened…

The sound of a drone as it started up…  He stopped breathing – his attention focused on the mechanical whining as it receded down the alleyway.

The operators, he realized, were getting smarter—powering the motors down—operating in a stealth mode, waiting for their prey to expose themselves.   Cautiously, he exited the dumpster.  He crept down the alleyway, hugging the building walls.  The going was slow but slow was good when it meant the difference between freedom and captivity.

The first rays of sun painted the morning sky as Flint entered the compound.  Quiet voices welcomed him.  He looked at the worried faces.  “Where are the others?” he asked.

They shook their heads, unable to answer.  But it didn’t matter—he knew what it meant.  The Community wasn’t safe.  They had to move and move quickly.  The Guard were masters of extracting information and considering the missing Night Runners—nothing needed to be said.  They gathered their meager possessions and separated, hoping that smaller groups would offer a better chance at survival.  With any luck, they’d find each other again.

Note:  This is a piece I wrote several months ago. After reading it last night, I tweaked it a bit. It’s one of those stories that keeps tickling the back of my mind and on occasion, I find myself checking in with Flint – just to make sure he’s still alive and well…  And he is. At last check, he had met up with his buddy, Clem – but that’s a story for another day.

VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR – SPARKED BY SHEENA SNOW

So excited to welcome Sheena Snow to my blog.  She is the author of Sparked.

Sheena Snow, contrary to her name, lives in South Florida and has only seen snow once. But she would love for it to land on her eyelashes and sparkle in her hair. She loves painting, candle making, orchid shows, tattoo conventions, hockey games and library book sales! After college she landed a full time job but kept serving pizza on the weekends and writing stories about characters she wished really existed, characters who never gave up no matter the obstacles life threw at them. At the age of twenty-six, she sold her first book and bought her very first puppy, a wonderful Yorkie named Aladdin.

 

Author Interview:

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m 28 years old. I have the best little dog in the world, Aladdin. And I love reading, writing, coffee, all forms of art, orchids, and singing randomly—no matter where I am ☺ And when I speak I love to use sounds and have my hands fly everywhere (I’m super animated). And either people love me and laugh hysterically or they give me the what-are-you-on-look and think I’m secretly not from this world lol

Each writer has their own rituals – some listen to music while others drink coffee. What do you do to bring on your muse?

Coffee is a must but I’ve noticed my muse is awake and active right after I eat lunch. And playing music softly in the background, for the white noise, is a must ☺

Sparked is Young Adult Light Science Fiction. What is it about Sci-Fi that captures your imagination?

I just love going places and reading about places that we normally wouldn’t be able to experience. It’s like my mind wants to go so much farther and do so much more than we are currently capable of doing.

When it came to Sparked, what/who showed up first? The idea for the story or the characters?

A little bit of both I think. I had a dream about human-looking robot chasing me through a bookstore and he wanted to protect me but at the cost of becoming his girlfriend. I was like creeper! As the dream continued, I was continually attacked by others. Soon, I realized I didn’t really have any other choice but to take him up on his offer. So I did. And he protected me and turned out to be a nice guy-robot-human person thing. And then I woke up.

Vienna Avery is the main character. Is she the type of girl who loves shopping at the mall or would white water rafting be more her thing?

She is actually a little bit of both. She loves shopping, but wouldn’t go more than twice a month. And she loves adventure and to experience life with her friends and cousin but wouldn’t go white water rafting every week either. I think she’s a pretty good balance both.

Thinking about the cast of characters from Sparked: If one of the supporting characters could step off the page and join you for lunch, which would you choose and why?

It would have to be Alec, the human-looking-robot. I’m pretty sure I fell in love with him writing the book. Physically, he’s toned but not overly toned. He’s tall but not too tall. And he wants to be a better person, do the right thing, and be what he feels like he can never be, human. He’s lost and looking to find his path in the world that he’s been created in and little does he know that’s exactly what makes him human and what makes him so attractive emotionally.

Are you currently working on another novel? If so, when might we expect the new release?

Yes. I am working on book 2 and I am so excited about it. I anticipate it coming out late next year. I plan to take everything even further into the world building and give answers to everything that was left open in book 1 J It’s going to be awesome!

Writers tend to spend a lot of time alone.   When it comes to socializing, do you prefer a small group of close friends or large and rowdy party?

A small group of friends. And even then I really can’t handle the company for more than 5 hours. My body starts to shake and I just remind myself that I can leave whenever I want, I’m in a safe place, and everything is going to be okay. Everyone has different levels of anxiety and mine (I can’t speak for all writers) is just higher than most. And there is nothing wrong with that. Everyone is different and reacts to situations differently. For me, I find it important to listen to my body and speak to myself positively. 

About the Book:

YA Light Sci-Fi
Date Published: December 16, 2016
 
 

They weren’t supposed to have feelings.

 

Metal will Clash

In a not-too-distance future, robots composed of metal for bones, electric cords for veins, and synthetics for skin are now available. For purchase. Eighteen-year-old Vienna Avery’s home is going to change forever, now that her mom purchased an Italian Chef Robot to cook and reside in their house.

Secrets will Unfold

The government claimed robots were indifferent, unthinking pieces of metal and elastic—assistance for the help of humans. Vienna never believed much of what the government said. The pieces didn’t always fit. And now Vienna knows why, because she’s uncovered the government’s secret: that robots have emotions, sucking Vienna into the underground world of feeling, thinking, and sovereign robots.

Sparks will Fly

Alec Cypher is everything a robot is not supposed to be: deep, dark, and dangerously human. And for some reason, he wants to save Vienna from the government’s prying, vindictive eyes. Going forward, Vienna will have to learn to trust robots and battle the growing feelings she never thought possible . . . feelings for the green-eyed, soul-searching robot named Alec.

Contact Information

Website: www.sheenasnow.com

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14528647.Sheena_Snow

 

Purchase Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sparked-Metal-Bones-Book-1-ebook/dp/B015FW2AF0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1444786056&sr=8-2&keywords=sparked

Thanks for stopping by!

 

To Be Honest – Book Blitz

Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Date Published: July 21, 2015

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T.C. Booth’s latest novel, To Be Honest, is a heart-warming young adult contemporary romance that focuses on cyberbullying, diversity and the struggles of living with a handicap, from the point of view of a teenage girl.
The book features Starla Emerson, a girl whose self-esteem vanished almost overnight when a freak accident left her with a deformed hand. When her family moves and she can no longer rely on her best friend and boyfriend for moral support, she finds herself all alone one hundred and twenty miles away home.
Starla tries not to stand out at her new school, but when a stranger posts pictures of her on the internet, this puts her in the spotlight against her wishes. And when the cyberbullying threatens to destroy her relationship, things take a turn for the worse.
To Be Honest has received glowing reviews on Amazon.

 EXCERPT

 I left one shelf bare for my memory boxes. I stacked the shoe-sized cardboard boxes so their labels showed. Freshman Year, Sophomore Year, Junior Year. The first two boxes were filled with memories that I collected to keep safe. My Junior Year box felt empty. I removed its lid and took out the orchard ticket stub, the pictures of the guys wrestling in the dark, and a dried purple rose. Jared handed me the rose at school the morning of Sweetest Day. I could only guess what might fill my box the rest of the year. Will I even make any new friends? How would people react when they saw my hand? They’d probably think I’m the creepy new girl and be grossed out by my claw. I took a deep breath and put the box back.
A piece of paper stuck out from between the pages of one of my books. I tugged it free and unfolded it. It was a note Jared wrote to me about two months after we started going out.
Star,
Please don’t be mad at me for the whole TBH thing. I just didn’t know what to say to Jan. I shouldn’t have said anything. I like you a lot! You are my girl. I don’t want anyone else.
Love, Jared
A sigh escaped me. I never got the whole TBH—to be honest—thing. You opened yourself up for drama if you posted a picture with the letters TBH online. A girl named Jan did that and Jared took the bait. He had to honestly say something about her, so he commented under the picture that she was cute. My phone blew up with text messages telling me about it. I cried and sent Jared a text telling him I wanted to break up. I felt so stupid. The entire student body of Cedar High knew Jared told another girl she was cute. He slipped me the note during Algebra class the next day. I forgave him.
About the Author


TC Booth was born and raised in a small town in Northeast Ohio where she currently teaches. She lives with her husband and four children ranging in ages from 13-23. Her pets include one dog named Sammy, and two cats- Sheldon and Sasha.
TC Booth views books as the best form of entertainment and her escape for life’s stresses. She prefers reading a book over watching a movie, and writing over almost any other way to spend her time.
When not attending her children’s sporting events and running them around, you’ll see her writing on her laptop, iPad, and even jotting ideas down on her phone apps.
Contact Links
Twitter:@BoothTammi
Purchase Links
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My Review of There Will Come A Time by Carrie Arcos

I don’t even want to admit how many books I’ve tried to read lately only to close the cover/shutdown the Kindle.  As I walked around Barnes and Noble, I wasn’t holding out much hope of finding anything intriguing. And then I stumbled across There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos.There-Will-Come-a-Time

This isn’t your typical young adult novel.  The main character, Mark Santos, is struggling with the death of his twin sister.

Arcos delivers a solid, character-driven story.  She delves into the emotional depths of grief – presenting an all too believable tale of the anguish survivors often feel. There are times, your heart breaks for Mark; other times, you want to smack him.  But through it all, you’re pulling for him.  You want him to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I loved the author’s writing style.  I loved the characters as they were well-developed and had distinctive voices.

I loved the cover – particularly the lights.  A light in the darkness represents hope and ultimately, that’s what this book is about.

5 stars