Four Fabulous Reviews! – Stuck Tour

We’re back on the Stuck Tour today with some of the FIRST feedback I’ve gotten on the book, and I am *so* happy to report that these stops include four new awesome reviews!

Check out these highlights:

  • Sheila at Why Not? Because I Said So says, “the twists just keep on coming… a fantastic ending to this trilogy.”
  • Laura at FUONLYKNEW agrees, “A perfect finale to a series that fueled my imagination and captured my heart.”
  • Lisa at Lisa Loves Literature adds, “a big spiral with twists and turns that kept me guessing.”
  • And Bri at Bri’s Book Nook is new to the series – “I have been loving this series so far! I finished Book 1 and Book 2 recently, and I am currently around 50% of the way through this one. I can tell you guys that it has been great so far, but very suspenseful.”  Her post today includes a full review of Stitch (Book 1), with reviews of Shudder (Book 2) and Stuck (Book 3) planned for later stops on the tour!

As always, at all of these stops, take a moment to enter the big tour giveaway!  It’s open internationally and prizes include print and ebooks of the entire series, Amazon gift cards, a limited edition scarf, and more!

Guys, I can’t even believe it’s really here: Stuck will be available TOMORROW, Saturday 12/15.  (If you’d like an email reminder once the purchase link is live, please sign up on the list here!  No spam, ever, and only 3 or 4 emails a year, max.  Promise!)

Ahhh!!!  I hope you all love it just as much!!!!

Stuck Music Playlist, Excerpt, Author Interview & More!

I’m back today with a few more highlights from this week’s Stuck Blog Tour posts!

First, if you’re itching to get your hands on the book, we’ve got a *spinetingling* excerpt over at Wishful Endings.

Next, swing by Paulette’s Papers for a guest post which includes a playlist of music to go with specific chapters of Stuck!

And finally, head over to Candrel’s Crafts, Cooks, & Characters for an author interview where we touch on everything from the appeal of dystopian novels, what sets Stuck apart from others in its genre, to what I’m up to outside of writing and why it took so long for me to finish this book!!

And, of course, at all of these stops, you can enter the big tour giveaway!!!  (Open internationally – prizes include books, Amazon gift cards, a limited edition scarf, and more!)

Stuck will be available THIS SATURDAY 12/15.  If you’d like a reminder once it’s up, please sign up on the email list here!  (No spam, ever, I promise!)

Kicking off the Stuck Tour! + Guest Post & Giveaway

Stitch Trilogy fans, the countdown has begun!!

Release day for Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3) is only a few short days away on Saturday, December 15th (sign up here for a reminder once it’s available!) and TODAY we are launching the Stuck Blog Tour & Bookstagram!

The full tour schedule will run from now through December 22nd, with TWO big giveaways with lots of prizes, and tons of interviews, guest posts, sneak peek excerpts, and more!

Keep up with the tour by checking back here regularly, or by following the Samantha Durante or Stitch Trilogy’s Facebook pages, @SamanthaDurante on Twitter, or @AuthorSamanthaDurante on Instagram.

And don’t miss these highlights from today’s stops!

  • Enter the big tour giveaway over at the Launch Post at Prism Tours, or at Wishful Endings, or Andi’s Young Adult Books
    • Prizes include signed print copies of the entire trilogy, a limited-edition Stitch scarf, ebook copies for you and a friend, bookmarks, and Amazon gift cards galore!  Open internationally, one (1) first prize winner and three (3) second place winners.  Enter at the links above!
  • Check out the Guest Post “A Tale of Three Book Covers” over at Andi’s Young Adult Books!

Huge thanks to Prism Tours and all the bloggers/instagrammers signed up for the tour!  So excited to hear what you all have to say about the book!!

…Nothing to See Here, Folks

SuperBoringAnnouncementsOh, hey there.  Not much new around here, just a few super boring announcements I wanted to share.  Nothing exciting, so don’t go getting your knickers in a bunch.

  1. I’ve got a new cover for Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3) – if you own an e-book copy of Shudder and can update it to the latest version (most readers can do that at www.amazon.com/mycd), you can find a sneak peek right before the Epilogue.
  2. If you can’t see the new cover in your copy, no worries – I’m planning to do an official Cover Reveal soon.  Any book bloggers out there want to help me?
  3. Oh yeah, almost forgot: Stuck is ~65% done, and I have plans to finish the first draft in the next 24 days.  No big deal.
  4. You’re still here?  Wow, you must really have nothing better to do…  Well, as a reward for sticking around, here’s a quick excerpt from Book 3:

Isaac reclined back on the shore absentmindedly digging his fingers through the grass, enjoying the scent of fresh pine needles, the unseasonably warm spring sun stroking his face, and – especially – the view.

Alessa stood with her back to him, her tall, curvaceous form poised on the edge of a large boulder, the afternoon sun reflecting off the water of the lake onto her long, bare limbs, her skin glowing luminous against the forest.  Isaac groaned hungrily to himself, and she paused to toss one coy, teasing glance over her shoulder at him before leaping off and slipping into the water.

Surfacing with a yelp, she swam hastily towards the shore, visibly shivering under the gentle waves.

The spell broken, Isaac chuckled and called out, “I don’t know what else you were expecting in March.”

Her teeth chattering, she waded in the neck-deep water until she could find her footing.  “It’ll be April n-n-n-next week,” she argued, hissing through clenched lips.

“And April is swimming weather since when exactly?”  Isaac laughed and shook his head.  “Come here and let me warm you up.”  He narrowed his sapphire eyes at her enticingly.

Alessa grinned.  She worked her way towards him, the water slinking over her limbs as her smooth, porcelain skin broke the surface with each stroke.  Isaac’s stomach clenched with desire.

Dipping her face under, she came up standing and tossed her dripping hair back.  The lake now at her shoulders, she treaded slowly forward, Isaac’s heart rollicking in anticipation as the water inched down, down, down over her chest.

And then, just before it reached the promised land, she went rigid, her features twisted in concern.

Isaac shot up.  “What is it?”

Alessa’s eyes darted across the shoreline, searching.  “I’m not sure.  I felt something.”

Isaac grimaced.  “I told you there were snakes in there.”

“No, not snakes.”  Alessa waved him off.  “I think it might be… them.

Understanding, alarm prickled down his back.  “The creatures.”

Guys, guys… in case you fell for my Jedi mind trick (did you? did you??), to be clear, I am SUPER EXCITED about all of the above!!!  I’ve been trying to play it cool, but man, cool is NOT my thing, you know?  Ahhhh!!!  Stuck is almost done!  I’m planning to release it later this year!!  THE WAIT IS ALMOST OVER!  Official release date will come with the Cover Reveal in a couple months – I don’t want to commit to anything yet until I’m 100% sure I can deliver, and, oh, I’m expecting a baby in a few weeks (another girl!!! Kiran is SO excited to be a big brother!), so yeah things are a little hectic around here – but IT’S REALLY HAPPENING.  Consider my knickers bunched!  Hope yours are too!!!

In all seriousness, I know it’s been a long wait; thank you for sticking with me through thick and thin.  I can’t tell you how much all of your support means to me, and I absolutely can’t wait to share Book 3 with you!

PS – In case you follow my grief writing, I had a guest post last week over at Glow in the Woods (my favorite ever babyloss blog, I’m SO HONORED to be published there!) about Postpartum Anxiety, as inspired by the AWESOME recent sci-fi horror film A Quiet Place.  Check it out!  (And if you haven’t seen the movie, definitely do!)

What Tomorrow May Bring – The Voight-Kampff Interview

Hey guys!  It’s my turn to answer the Voight-Kampff Questionnaire as part of our tour for What Tomorrow May Bring!

voight-kampff

The VOIGHT-KAMPFF* Interview
*(JFYI, this is a Blade Runner reference – don’t worry, I didn’t know either!)
Leon: Do you make up these questions Mr. Holden, or do they write them down for you?
Mr. Holden: They’re just questions Leon.
Subject: Kowalski, Leon

— ABOUT THE BOOK–

WHERE DID YOUR TOMORROW SPRING FROM? IN OTHER WORDS, HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE CRAZY WORLD?

Believe it or not, Stitch started off as a paranormal romance in a contemporary world.  Girl goes to college.  Girl meets ghost.  Girl falls in love.  Girl and ghost live happily ever after.  Except, I had no idea how to achieve that last part.  Was she supposed to go back in time to be with him?  Die?  Would they live together in some third plane of existence?  Everything I thought of seemed ridiculous, until one day a REALLY crazy idea occurred to me about how maybe this boy was not really a ghost at all, and in fact, maybe everything that the main character *thought* she was experiencing was only just scratching the surface of a much darker (and more dystopian!) truth.  I kept wishing that someone would write that book so I could read it, and soon resolved that it would have to be me. And Stitch was born!

WHO SHOULD *NOT* READ YOUR BOOK?

Anyone who’s looking for a straight-up paranormal romance (as the book initially appears to be) – they’ll just be like, “Whhhaaatttt is going on here, this is too crazy…”  But if you like big sci-fi twists and dystopian drama, Stitch is for you.

WHAT SORT OF BODY COUNT ARE WE TALKING HERE?

In the billions.  Seriously.

WHO WOULD PLAY YOUR MAIN CHARACTER IN A MOVIE?

Alessa would be played by Emmy Rossum – see more character dream castings here!

YOUR MAIN CHARACTER VS BATMAN, WHO WOULD WIN?

Ooooh… sorry Less, but I think this one is going to Batman.  (He just has a lot more experience than you!)

IF YOUR BOOK WERE RATED LIKE A ROMANCE NOVEL, THE HEAT LEVEL WOULD BE:

1) NONE
2) SWEET
3) MILD
4) HOT
5) WILD RIDE
6) BLOOD THIRSTY

3.5 (about the level of a PG-13 movie).  Nothing graphic, but there’s definitely some heat!

— ABOUT THE AUTHOR —

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START AS AN AUTHOR?

I kind of came to writing fiction in a round-about sort of way.  I was a voracious writer as a kid and spent a lot of time in high school honing my skills, but I was a bit ambitious (read: greedy) as a young adult and decided to study business and engineering in college, earning a joint degree from Wharton and Penn Engineering.  I got a job in software out of school, working at Microsoft in Seattle as a program manager on a developer platform and later Xbox.  Though it was a great job (and, indeed, much more lucrative than writing!), I still felt like something was missing from my life.  When I realized that people kept telling me how well-written my technical specifications and emails were, a light bulb finally went on and I understood that I needed to write.  So I packed my bags, dragged my then-boyfriend (now husband) back to NYC with me (we’re from the NY suburbs originally) and started a new career as a freelance business writer.  A year later, I’d just finished ghost-writing a book for a client when I realized that there’s no reason I couldn’t do the same for myself – that’s when I started working on Stitch!  So though it probably *should* have been obvious from the beginning, it took me some time to come to terms with the fact that writing was what I was meant to do, but once I finally got here, I’ve never looked back.  :-)

DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER JOB BESIDES AUTHOR?

Yes, I am also a freelance business writer for my company Medley Media Associates.  I work with small businesses to produce basically whatever they need – website copy, marketing materials, blog/social media posts, etc.

WHAT IS THE FIRST SCIENCE FICTION BOOK YOU REMEMBER READING?

A Wrinkle in Time.  I think I was around 8 at the time, and it totally blew my mind.

DO YOU BUY A BOOK BY THE COVER?

Who doesn’t?

LAPTOP OR DESKTOP FOR WRITING?

Laptop, always.  I don’t know why they even make desktops anymore – who needs ’em?

DO YOU EVER WRITE IN YOUR PJ’S?

When DON’T I write in my PJs??  Haha.  (Hello people, this is why you become a writer in the first place!)

What Tomorrow May Bring - YA Dystopian Boxed SetDon’t miss interview responses from the other authors of the boxed set on the Hunt For Tomorrow blog: http://huntfortomorrow.blogspot.com/ 

And remember to sign up for the AMAZING prize-loaded scavenger hunt coming July 18th!  More details here.

The Dystopian Tour – MASSIVE GIVEAWAYS!

Do you love Dystopian Sci-Fi?  And Free Stuff??  Then I’ve got the tour for you…

BEHOLD: The Dystopian Tour from Prism Books!

Dystopian Tour Banner

This awesome tour features 7 incredible dystopian series, including (of course) the Stitch Trilogy, Terra, The Breeders, The Annihilation of Foreverland, and the What Tomorrow May Bring box set, among others!

Stitch and Shudder are featured today over at Nocturnal Predators Reviews along with two MASSIVE giveaways including signed paperback copies of Stitch and Shudder, tons of e-books, Amazon Gift Cards, and more!

Visit today’s stop to enter the giveaways and see the full tour schedule!

Huge thanks to the amazing Laura and Tressa at Prism Book Tours for putting this thing together!

My Thoughts on “Tomorrow”

What Tomorrow May Bring is on tour!  Today is my stop for a dystopia-themed post and I’ll be back in July with an in-depth interview.  Every author in the box set is participating, so keep up with the posts as they go up on the Facebook page!

my thoughts on tomorrow

I’ve always been drawn to dystopian settings. Not surprisingly, The Giver, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451 were some of my favorite books as a kid. But there’s one thing about my beloved dystopian books which has always driven me nuts, and it’s this: no one ever explains how the world came about.

You know what I’m talking about. There’s always some vague backstory about a war or a catastrophe a hundred-plus years ago that brought our current world to its knees, and then out of the ashes rose this wonderful new society where everything was neat and tidy and everyone accepted these crazy new rules just as they were.

But how does that really work? At what point in history have we ever seen one civilization transition into the next without some sort of fight? For the sake of enjoying the story, I always swallow this jagged little pill and accept that the society stands, but there’s forever a tiny voice in the back of my head saying, “Wait – how does any of this make sense? Why would these people allow this to happen? Why would they submit themselves to this kind of control when they knew freedom before? And who put these crazy leaders in charge, anyway?”

When I decided to write Stitch, I wanted to do things differently. I wanted to explore a society in transition – not one where the rules were in place, but one where the people in charge were still trying to figure them out. I wanted to try to understand how we could go from the world we live in today to something totally different, and who could have made that happen and, most importantly, why they would go to the trouble. (And I freely admit that it was impossible to address all of these questions in the first book – but this is what a trilogy is for, right?)

In the Stitch Trilogy, the characters are the first generation to rise from the rubble and start fresh in a new society. They’re young – only teenagers when everything happens – and you get to watch from their eyes how our world came tumbling down, to be replaced with something different, something which was shiny on the surface but quickly turned sinister underneath. In fact, for most of the first book – a blend of paranormal romance, new adult contemporary, and of course, dystopian sci-fi – the characters don’t even realize that they’re living in a world where nothing is as it seems. And you’ll be by their side as they uncover the truth and try to figure out what they can do to set things right.

Because, in the end, I think this is really the crux of the whole dystopian genre: when the world ends, and everything is terrible, and you’re forced to do things you don’t even want to think about just to keep on living, what do you have left? Hope. Only hope.

And it’s that inner optimism – the ability to remind ourselves that there’s something out there worth living for even when our world crumbles beyond our wildest nightmares – that best characterizes us as human beings. Dystopian fiction by its very nature asks us how we can solve our collective problems. How would you structure society to make things better? What could you change that would create a different outcome? After all, every dystopia is just a failed utopia – someone’s unsuccessful attempt at making the world a better place.

So with the Stitch trilogy, we’ll get to play “What If?” through the protagonist Alessa’s eyes – to see how she answers these questions, how far she’s willing to go, and what factors will push her to bend her own rules. And as we watch Alessa struggle to find her place in a transitioning society, we get to ask ourselves: what would I do?

What Tomorrow May Bring is available NOW at Amazon!  Just $2.99 for 10 highly-rated full-length YA dystopian books.

Available for a limited time run only, so don’t wait or you might miss out on this incredible deal!

Reminder – Grand Finale Giveaway Ends on Monday 9/16!

Please note the "Just Kidding" at the bottom!!!  Actual prizes listed at left.

Please note the “Just Kidding” at the bottom!!! Actual prizes listed at left.

Hey everyone!  Just wanted to post a quick reminder that the Shudder Blog Tour Grand Finale Giveaway is ending this Monday, September 16th!  That means you have 3 more days to rack up entries.  What could you win??

5 Winners. August 24 – September 16, 2013
  • Signed print copy of Stitch & Shudder for you and two friends (USA only)
  • Signed (via Authorgraph) e-book copies of Stitch & Shudder for you and two friends (Int’l)
  • Signed Stitch & Shudder bookmarks + e-book copies of Stitch & Shudder (Int’l)
  • $10 Amazon Gift Card (Int’l)
  • $5 Amazon Gift Card (Int’l)

Enter the Giveaway HERE!!!

Good luck!!!

Shudder Blog Tour Grand Finale Recap & Giveaway! + Bonus Post

So the Shudder Blog Tour is officially over.  WOW!  That was an action-packed summer, if I say so myself.  :-)

BUT the excitement isn’t done *quite* yet…  You may have noticed some Grand Finale Recap posts like this one at Colorimetry going up at your favorite blogs over the past few days (and coming to more blogs in the next couple weeks!).  These handy posts include links to all the awesome Highlight Posts that went up the last few weeks of the tour, and in turn link back to top moments and great content from tour stops all summer long.  So in case you missed anything, definitely check out the recap post to catch up on all the goodies!

The recap post ALSO includes the Rafflecopter widget where you can enter the Grand Finale Giveaway!  The giveaway is open for almost 2 more full weeks, so make sure to rack up your entries while you still can – more info below:

Tour-Wide Giveaway:

5 Winners. August 24 – September 16, 2013

  • Signed print copy of Stitch & Shudder for you and two friends (USA only)
  • Signed (via Authorgraph) e-book copies of Stitch & Shudder for you and two friends (Int’l)
  • Signed Stitch & Shudder bookmarks + e-book copies of Stitch & Shudder (Int’l)
  • $10 Amazon Gift Card (Int’l)
  • $5 Amazon Gift Card (Int’l)

Enter the Giveaway HERE!!!

Donnie Darko GirlAnd finally, don’t miss a bonus post from Donnie Darko Girl that includes fabulous 5-star reviews of both Stitch & Shudder (and of course, another opportunity to enter the big giveaway!).  Thanks so much to Jennifer for hosting!

“Absolutely LOVE LOVED this book” – Review, Tour Highlights (“Crushing on Characters” & Vile Villainy” Continued) + Giveaway

Second-to-last day of the Shudder Tour!  We’re rounding this out today with more highlights about your favorite characters and the villains you love to hate, plus an awesome review!  And of course two more chances to enter the grand finale giveaway!

Green Mountain CoupleHead to My Devotional Thoughts for “Crushing on (Main) Characters, Continued” highlights, then swing by Green Mountain Couple for a fab review (“I absolutely LOVE LOVED this book. It was one of those books that I picked up and didn’t want to set back down even after it was finished.”) and more highlights (“Vile Villainy, Continued”).

Huge thanks to Ruth and Kayla for hosting!