Guest Post: “Alessa’s Fashion!” + Highlights: “OMG Ending” & “Developing Deep Characters”

Whole bunch of awesome new content on the tour today!  First, head over to Kindred Dreamheart for a guest post featuring commentary on Alessa’s style and fashion choices, and some super-fun look boards with outfit selections!  Here’s a sneak peek:

In Paragon: Dystopian Conformity

Citizens in Alessa’s colony are given standard-issue gray jumpsuits, so in her day-to-day, she doesn’t have much of a choice about what she wears.  But hey, at least it’s comfortable!  And with a little tailoring, she might even be able to get it to look like options 2 and 3 below (as you can see from the excerpt below, Lizzie managed to make it work). <continue reading>

Kindred Dreamhart - Alessa Look 2

Also don’t miss more tour highlights at The Bookish Daydreamer (“OMG Ending”) and Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf (“Developing Deep Characters” with a focus on Alessa).  And at ANY of these stops, you can earn more entries into the HUGE grand finale giveaway!

Thanks so much to Katrina, Christine, and Melissa for hosting!

Guest Post: “Book Pirates: Not the ‘Arrrgh’ Kind” + Alessa/Isaac Interview, Review & Giveaway!

Nomi's Paranormal PalaceSome awesome new content up today on the Shudder Blog Tour, including an interview with Alessa and Isaac over at Nomi’s Paranormal Palace (plus an excellent review) and a guest post titled “Book Pirates: Not the ‘Arrrgh’ Kind” (plus giveaway & excerpt) at Reading Between the Wines!  Here’s a sneak preview:

From the Alessa/Isaac interview:

Naomi: Hi Alessa and Isaac! Welcome to my Paranormal Palace!!
Alessa: We’re very excited to be here!
Isaac: Thanks so much for having us, Naomi!

Naomi: The pleasure is mine, I assure you! Alright, let’s get straight into the nitty gritty. How are you both adjusting to life now that you are out of the spotlight, not that you realised that you were being filmed before…
A: (big sigh) It’s a relief!  It was SO difficult during Stitch once I realized what was going on.  Can you imagine getting dressed or going to the bathroom knowing there are thousands of people watching you??  It was horrifying.
I: Yeah, we were definitely happy to get some alone time in Shudder.  (gives Alessa a wink)
A: (laughs and elbows Isaac) <continue reading>

From the guest post:

I have a confession to make: at one time in my life, I was a pirate.

No, silly, not the swashbuckling “arrrgh” kind – the digital media stealing kind, of course.  Though I’m proud to say I’ve since reformed my unscrupulous ways and now purchase all of my music and streaming TV legally, in my past life as an internet scalawag I probably acquired upwards of 1000 songs and watched at least 10 or so seasons of some of my favorite shows through shady online “sharing” sites.

I still vividly remember the day in high school when one of my friends introduced me to Napster. The first song I ever downloaded was “Flagpole Sitta” by Harvey Danger, and the experience changed my life.  I never looked back (well, until I graduated college and had a job and realized that a) I could afford to pay for stuff and b) it actually made me feel better to do so, since I would never under any other circumstances condone stealing and I was tired of being a hypocrite).

So I get it.  Really, I do.  Why pay for something you can get for free? <continue reading>

Thanks so much to Naomi and Crystal for hosting today!!

Author/Alessa Interview, Giveaway & Review @ Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts & Reviews and Sarcasm & Lemons

Two super fun new posts up today at Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts & Reviews and Sarcasm & Lemons!

Laurie's Paranormal Thoughts & ReviewsFirst, swing by Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts & Reviews for an AWESOME interview featuring both yours truly and Alessa, plus an e-book giveaway.  Check it out:

Laurie: What was the scariest moment of your life?

Samantha: Oh wow, I’d have to think about that one… Alessa?

Alessa: Haha, this is a little easier for me, considering I’ve had a LOT of scary moments lately…  Let’s see.  I *thought* the scariest moment was when a GHOST turned up in my dorm room!  But then when I found out what the ghost *really* was, and my entire world came crashing down around me, and I realized that pretty much everything I did was a life or death decision… well, that was definitely scarier.

Samantha: Don’t say anymore!  You’ll give away the twist!!

Alessa: Okay, okay – my lips are sealed.

Head over to Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts & Reviews for the rest, PLUS an international e-book giveaway!

Next stop, check out Sarcasm & Lemons for a great (and very thorough!) review of Stitch! Here’s a snippet:

This is one of those books that I liked more the more I read it.  It’s an exciting read that twists you around and makes you wonder, with the characters, what’s true and what’s not.

Stop by Sarcasm & Lemons for the rest!

Thanks so much to Laurie and CJ for hosting Stitch!!

Shudder-o-Meter coming soon… while you wait, Alessa Interview @ Supernatural Snark!

Hey guys!  Sorry things have been kind of light on the blog this week.  You’ll notice that’s it’s going to be like this for the next couple months, since I’m winding down on the Stitch promotion and putting that effort into finishing up Shudder and beginning the marketing efforts for that book.

See what I mean about the snow?

See what I mean about the snow?

I do have a Shudder-o-Meter update coming soon, but I’m waiting to hear back from some of my beta readers before I post it so I can get you guys some good teaser comments.  We woke up to a TON of snow in New York this morning, so hopefully they’ll catch up over the weekend while we’re snowed in!  My weekend, on the other hand, is packed despite the weather, so I’m not sure how much writing I’ll get done this week.  :-(

But anyway, to hold you over until the next Shudder-o-Meter update, I’ve got a great new interview with Alessa to share with you at Supernatural Snark today.  Here’s a snippet:

Thanks so much, Alessa, for stopping by Supernatural Snark for this interview!  Tell me about yourself.
Thanks a lot for having me! My name is Alessa Khole and I just started my freshman year at Eastern State University. I’m taking your usual mix of liberal arts introductory classes, and school hasn’t been too challenging so far, which is lucky since the rest of my life has been a bit of mess lately… I lost my parents in a car accident last year and I still haven’t really gotten over it, so adjusting to college life has been difficult, to say the least. And it certainly hasn’t helped that my sorority house is haunted!

Supernatural Snark

Swing by Supernatural Snark for the rest, and I promise I will get that Shudder-o-Meter update posted soon!  Thanks to Jenny at Supernatural Snark for hosting Stitch!!

“Buffy: The Ultimate Heroine” + Giveaway & Reviews @ Always YA at Heart & Life of a Total Book Nerd

When I came across this infographic on Facebook a few weeks ago, it inspired me to write a guest post on why I admire Buffy the Vampire Slayer so much and how she influenced the character of Alessa (and probably every other female character I will ever write).  You can find that post, “Buffy: The Ultimate Heroine” up today at Always YA at Heart, along with a giveaway and a fab review.  Here’s a sneak peek:

Now, I’m as big of a Twilight fan as the next girl.  But I’ll be honest here – Bella Swan drove me absolutely nuts, and frankly, so did Edward Cullen.  I managed to fall in love with these characters despite my better judgment, because let’s face it, it was an engaging story (and I was extremely gratified to see Bella’s transformation by the end, thank you Stephenie Meyer!).  But there was always that nagging voice in the back of my mind whispering, “How can you ever wholeheartedly support a book that sends this kind of message to readers?”

After all, Bella is no Buffy.

Always YA at HeartHead to Always YA at Heart for the rest, and remember to enter the e-book giveaway while you’re there!

I also wanted to share this great new review from Life of a Total Book Nerd – here’s an excerpt:

There were so many twists and turns in this book, I never saw them coming, like a traffic accident, suddenly everything was spiraling  out of control, and in all directions.

This book was filled with actions, one thing happened right after another. Which doesn’t sound good but actully is, it didn’t go too fast, but it definitely held your attention. I didn’t put the book down once, from the moment I read it. I was instantly hooked I needed to know how the story was going to play out and how it was going to end. I didn’t stop reading until I was at the very last page.

Life of a Total Book NerdThe rest is up at Life of a Total Book Nerd today!

HUGE thanks to Ellen and Nadia for hosting Stitch!!

Last tour day! HUGE Giveaways, “Reunited” Spinoff Story, Interviews, Reviews & More @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace, Book Mark Belles, The Oaken Bookcase & Reading Romances

Can you BELIEVE it’s the LAST DAY of the Stitch Blog Tour already??  I can’t, that’s for sure!  We’ve got a whole TON of goodies to celebrate this milestone with, including stops at 4 amazing blogs with reviews, interviews, a great spinoff story and GIVEAWAYS:

Head to those stops to enter today!  And don’t miss the rest of the great content up there today as well.  First, at Nomi’s Paranormal Palace a great review and awesome author interview:

Did you do a lot of research to write this book? Alessa does research about wormholes and such, did you research as well or is it all fictional?

Believe it or not, all that wormhole stuff is science!  All of the crazy physics in the book comes directly from Stephen Hawking books or scientific articles online.

The rest of that interview and the review are up at Nomi’s Paranormal Palace today, along with the 3 e-book giveaway!  Next is another review (5 stars!!) and interview at Book.Mark.Belles:

5. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part for me is coming up with the ideas for what’s going to happen. When you write, you have the ability to make ANYTHING happen to your characters, so it’s hard to know if you’re going down the right path or not.

Check out the rest of that fun interview and an excellent review at Book.Mark.Belles, and don’t forget to enter the 3 e-book giveaway while you’re there!  Our third stop today is a 4-star review from The Oaken Bookcase – here’s a sneak peek:

The characters are quite likeable and even though we haven’t seen a lot of Isaac yet, it sounds like his relationship with Alessa is going to be very sweet and profound in the next book. Alessa herself, along with the other female characters, seem very strong and capable.  The tension is built up so well once the truth is revealed that at some points I was holding my breath, waiting to see what would happen.

Catch the rest at The Oaken Bookcase today!  And finally, for our VERY LAST STOP, swing by Reading Romances for a spinoff story about Isaac and Alessa’s first night back together (this would fit in right between Ch 35 & 36):

Reunited: Isaac & Alessa’s First Night

Alessa numbly fingered the bare shrub at her feet as Isaac folded the letter and put it back in his pocket.  He reached for her hand, squeezing through the thick gloves.

“Less, it’s okay,” he pleaded, willing her to look at him.

Alessa sighed, shifting uncomfortably on the frozen ground.  She couldn’t stand the thought of being separated from her sister again; she’d only just gotten her back.

Be sure to finish the story at Reading Romances today, and of course, don’t miss that giveaway of 5 signed print copies!!

HUGE, HUGE thanks to Naomi, Lisa & Kelly, Angelya, and Nat for helping the Stitch Blog Tour go out in style today, and to ALL of the incredible bloggers who took part in the tour these past couple months!  You guys are truly amazing and I feel so lucky to have met all of you.

And for Stitch fans, this is not the end!  I will be announcing another big giveaway promotion later this week with TONS of prizes, so if you haven’t been lucky enough to win quite yet, there are many, many more chances coming your way… Stay tuned for details.

Thanks again to all of the readers and fans and bloggers who have contributed to making this tour a success!

Alessa’s “What I Love About Isaac” & Isaac’s “What I Love About Alessa” @ Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy & Book Labyrinth

Awesome guest posts up today at Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy and Book Labyrinth.  First at Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy, a post from Alessa recounting what it is about Isaac that she can’t get enough of:

Isaac is, first and foremost, my best friend.  I wish there were a better word to describe it, but there’s not.  I hate the term “soul mate” – it sounds so cheesy and unrealistic – but that’s the closest I can think of.  Isaac is like a part of me, like something buried deep inside that it’d be fatal to remove.  I’ve always been an independent person – I’ve had no other choice – but I need Isaac in a way that I’ve never needed anyone.  I rely on him to be there for me like I rely on… well, my leg.

Don’t miss the rest at Reading and Writing Urban Fantasy today, along with an e-book giveaway!  And when you’re done, swing by Book Labyrinth for Isaac’s POV (“What I Love About Alessa”):

To this day, I’ve never met anyone as capable as Alessa.  She’s resourceful and quick and brave.  Yes, she can be moody, sometimes doubting herself and sometimes a little overconfident, and as a result, sometimes she makes mistakes.  But she also takes responsibility for those mistakes, and does what she can to set them right.  She steps up when no one else will, and she’s brave when no one else can find it in themselves to be.  She has an amazing spirit, just unbreakable, like a diamond.  I love Alessa, but I also admire her.  She’s everything I ever wanted to be.

Awww, isn’t he sweet?  Catch the rest and also a review up at Book Labyrinth today!  Huge thanks to Jennifer and Ashley for hosting!!

Stick with the tour this weekend for lots more goodies, including a review, a guest post listing my favorite “Epic Plot Twists” and a 3 e-book giveaway!  Also, ending this weekend is the e-book giveaway at Reading With ABC – remember to stop by and enter!

Announcing New Pages on SamanthaDurante.com – More Stitch Content & Writer Resources

Just wanted to take a minute to announce a couple new pages on the site:

First, we’ve got a new More Stitch Content page with links to all the great spinoff stories, character interviews, and other Stitch trivia available online!  Much of this content is originally from guest posts on the blog tour, so if you’ve been keeping up with the tour there might not be too much new, but if you’ve missed any of the stops, you might find something fun!  And, of course, I’ll be keeping this page up-to-date whenever new Stitch-related content becomes available.

The next page I’d like to announce is a dedicated to Writer Resources and includes handy links to my posts on the self-publishing process, marketing advice, formatting tips and tricks, and more.  Again, if you’ve been keeping up with the blog there might not be much new there, but if you’re a recent visitor to the site and are a new author looking for help, this should be your first stop!

Haunted Halloween Spinoff Story, 2 Reviews, 2 Giveaways & Interview @ A Life Bound By Books & For The Love of Film and Novels

So excited to share the great content up today at A Life Bound by Books and For the Love of Film and Novels!  First up, stop by A Life Bound by Books for a review, giveaway (1 SIGNED print copy and 1 e-book), AND a spinoff story about Alessa’s first ghost encounter for the Haunted Halloween festivities!  Here’s a sneak peek:

Still rousing from her slumber, Alessa muddled through her feelings trying to figure out what had disturbed her.  With a gasp, she realized she wasn’t alone.
Her heart in her throat, Alessa peeked through her eyelashes to see if she could find the intruder.  She steadied her breathing as best she could, hoping that whoever was there hadn’t noticed she was awake.  If it was some kind of burglar – or worse – her best chance would be to take him by surprise.

Don’t miss the rest at A Life Bound by Books, including the giveaway of both a signed print copy AND an e-book, and the review!  And there’s lots more spooky excitement from the Haunted Halloween event going on all month long at A Life Bound by Books and Confessions of a Bookaholic, including real scary stories from lots of great authors and TONS of giveaway!  Isn’t Halloween the best?  Thanks so much to Lisa for including Stitch in all the fun!

Next up today is another great review, a super fun author interview, and another e-book giveaway at For the Love of Film and Novels.  Here’s a snippet:

Since Halloween is coming up already, do you have a favorite tradition in celebrating it, if you do at all?  I LOVE Halloween, but I never get to celebrate it enough.  This was actually a trivia question at my wedding and no one believed that it’s my favorite holiday, including my husband!  I guess the fall just tends to be busy for us, so I actually haven’t had an opportunity to really dress up and do something fun since, well, college.  Boo.  But I’m hoping to start a new tradition once we’re settled in our new house and host a demented Christmas party a la Nightmare Before Christmas!  I feel like that would redeem my lack of Halloween spirit the last few years.

Catch the rest at For the Love of Film and Novels today!  Big thanks to Marissa for hosting!!

See you tomorrow at YA Book Addict and Read My Mind for two more reviews and a giveaway!

Review, Guest Post & 3 Ebook Giveaway @ Lovey Dovey Books & Reading by Kindle Fire

Lots of goodness on our double-day countdown today, including a fabulous review up at Lovey Dovey Books, along with a guest post featuring Janie & Alessa AND a 3 e-book giveaway at Reading by Kindle Fire!  Here’s a sneak peek of the review:

The intricately crafted story allows readers to learn everything needed to understand the purely imaginative world proposed. There are subtle hints from the very beginning that all is not as it seems and Durante expertly executes the characters’ actions and reactions to create a strong, entertaining plot filled with mystery, romance, and danger.

Thanks so much to Candace for hosting and don’t miss the rest at Lovey Dovey Books!  Also remember to take a stroll over to Reading by Kindle Fire to check out the guest post where Janie and Alessa recount their hilarious first day at Eastern State University, and enter the 3 e-book giveaway at the end of the post!  Thanks also to Ning for hosting!

Tomorrow we’re going to Darlene’s Book Nook for a guest post about designing the Stitch cover and another 3 e-book giveaway, and then to Behind A Million and One Pages for a review!