Interview & Giveaway at Michael SciFan

Michael SciFanCheck out this great new interview up today at Michael SciFan!  Here’s a sneak peek:

Did the story or characters take any unexpected directions from your original plans?

I’m a big planner (especially when it comes to something like the Stitch Trilogy, which has a fairly complex backstory and very twisty storyline), so there hasn’t been too much divergence from my original plans, when it came to the main characters at least. But as the series has developed, I’ve found some of the side characters playing much bigger roles than I ever anticipated. Nikhil and Lizzie in particular just started as one-dimensional throwaway characters when I first set out to write Stitch, but over time – either through necessities of the plot or reader demand – these characters have taken on a life of their own and really impacted the story in major ways that I didn’t foresee at first. So that was definitely a surprise, but a good one! <continue reading>

While you’re there, you can also enter a giveaway for an e-book copy of Stitch or Shudder (winner’s choice!).  Don’t miss out!

Thanks so much to Michael for hosting me!!

Interview @ Shut Up and Read

Shut Up and ReadHappy Memorial Day Weekend to those of you in the US!  Hope you’re enjoying the three-day weekend and that the weather is cooperating wherever you are.  :-)

I wanted to give a big thanks to Sheri and all the mods over at Shut Up and Read for hosting me for an interview today!  Lots of great questions touching on my favorite scenes,  the writing process, and even hidden talents (or, rather, my lack thereof) – check it out:

Q:  Do you have any hidden talents?

A:  I actually always joke that if I was going to be in a talent show, I have no idea what I’d do. I haven’t played an instrument (the baritone horn) since middle school, my singing is mediocre at best (I have the same range as a boy band, so I can do that well but not much else!), I’ve played a lot of sports (basketball, rugby, lacrosse, field hockey, roller derby) but I’m not exactly a star in any of them, I can’t juggle or do magic tricks or anything. I’m book smart, but that’s boring, and my biggest talents are my organization/time-management skills – which are legendary – and my writing – which many of my friends actually considered a “hidden” talent since I went to school for business/engineering did nothing relating to writing – but how can you show those off at a talent show?? I’m hopeless in the hidden talent department, lol.

Haha, I’m so lame, sorry.  Catch the rest over at Shut Up and Read today!  And if you’re interested in more interviews like this and some great opportunities to read free books in exchange for your review, check out their Goodreads group.  Thanks again to Shut Up and Read for hosting me!!

More Giveaway Opportunities! Sitting With A Book’s 1-Year Blogiversary

There’s another copy of Stitch up for grabs as part of the AMAZING prize packs over at Sitting With A Book’s 1-Year Blogiversary!  Stitch is part of Prize Pack 4, which includes 10 other awesome titles.  Don’t miss your chance to enter!

And don’t forget about Elle Casey’s Springtime Indie Book Giveaway which ends in 2 days!!  This is just a small subset of the 1554 copies of 190 titles you could win!

Elle Casey's Big Giveaway

Click here for the full tapestry of books up for grabs and links to their Amazon pages – you choose which book(s) to enter for.  Good luck in all these great contests!!

Pre-Release Jitters – Guest Post @ Reutreads

ReutreadsEver wonder what goes through an author’s mind leading up to the release of his/her book?  Well, it’s not pretty – basic a chaotic jumble of anxiety, stress, self-doubt, and of course the ever-present hopeful glimmer of excitement that drive an author to put him/herself through this process, again and again.

In a new guest post up today at Reutreads, I’m offering a glimpse into the handful of things that are keeping me awake in these nights leading up to Shudder’s release.  Here’s a quick preview:

1. How do I make my book NOT SUCK?

Okay, I’ll be straight with you – I don’t think the current draft of my next book sucks. I actually think it’s pretty good. But I thought that about my last book, too, up until the day I released it, and then almost immediately after I realized that I hated it. And then I loved it again, and then I hated it, and so on and so forth, until one day I finally saw it for what it actually was: a book – and a pretty decent book at that – but one that, like most books, has its flaws.

So what I learned after my experience with Stitch is that it’s really not for many months after the book has been released that I can actually see it clearly. The problem is that in order to make the book the best it can be, I need to know what’s wrong with it before I publish it.

I’m still not quite sure how to accomplish this, but I can promise you one thing – I’m TRYING. Really, really hard. I’m thinking about my book constantly, before I fall asleep at night and first thing when I wake up in the morning, in the shower, while I’m cooking, when I’m supposed to be doing my day job… it’s always on my mind. Where are the problems and how do I fix them?

LOTS more neuroses where that came from!!  Lol.  Check out the rest of the post over at Reutreads today for more.  :-)

Big thanks to Reut for making time in her busy school schedule to host me!

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: Shudder is coming!!! Cover Reveals start TODAY

So… Easter weekend got a *bit* in the way of my progress with the Shudder drafts the past few days, but never fear – the release train is still on schedule!  In fact, starting today and continuing for the next few weeks, you may notice some Shudder buzz popping up at your favorite book blogs…

And that’s because it’s time to reveal the Shudder cover!  So without further ado, here ya go:

Shudder by Samantha DuranteTa-da!  What do you think??

Here’s a little more about what you can expect to see in Shudder:

It’s only been three days, and already everything is different.

Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa’s life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she’d counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she’d thought she’d tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she’s discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.

And then there are the visions.

The memory-altering “stitch” unlocked something in Alessa’s mind, and now she can’t shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers – and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world’s sorry history – will soon leave Alessa reeling…

The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante’s shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.

Add Shudder to Goodreads

Yay!  Can’t wait to share Shudder with you guys!!!

If you’re excited too, make sure you don’t miss the release – currently slated for June 15th, 2013 (assuming all goes well with the revision/publication process).  Here are a few simple things you could do ensure you’ll get notification when Shudder is available:

Oh, and even better news…  Doing any of the above will earn you entries into the GIVEAWAY for a SIGNED ARC of SHUDDER!!!  Enter below!  :-D

Enter the Giveaway HERE!!!

Planning for the Blog Tour (coming this summer!) is underway, so stay tuned for updates…  And if you or someone you know would like to host a tour stop, sign up here!

Review & Giveaway @ Bitsy Bling

Bitsy BlingAwesome new review AND a giveaway (signed print copy + e-book!) up today at Bitsy Bling.  Check it out:

Stitch is truly a genre-stretching novel mashing up paranormal romance and dystopia science fiction to create a wholly original and intense indie sensation. … The book is a well orchestrated read that is thematically complex, as well as, intriguingly entertaining. Durante maintains steady control over world building and time jumping, while including various character perspectives. This takes tremendous skill and is a tedious process to prefect during early drafting. I admire the flow, transitions, past, present, reality and alternative reality maze. I have no idea how she pulled it off, but it was wonderful to read a work that demands so much attention from its creator. It truly is impressive. Many kudos!

Head over to Bitsy Bling for the rest, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway while you’re there!  Huge thanks to Charlie for taking the time to read and review Stitch!!

“What Just Happened??” Prepping for the Twist + Giveaway @ Uniquely Moi Books

Uniquely Moi BooksDid the twist in Stitch blow your mind??  If so, check out today’s guest post (and e-book giveaway!) over at Uniquely Moi Books to learn how I did it!  Here’s a sneak peek:

I LOVE me a good twist.  That moment when everything drops away and you suddenly see the world for how it *really* is – well, there’s nothing quite like it.  Think back to the first time you saw The Sixth Sense, when you found out Bruce Willis was dead.  Or Lost, when you found out everyone on the island was dead (or were they?  I’m still not quite sure what happened!).  Or the first season of American Horror Story, when they revealed that the daughter was dead.  (Hmm, I’m starting to see a pattern here…)  Your jaw drops, your stomach clenches, you can feel the blood pulsing through your temples.  Your world has just been turned upside down… and it was awesome.

I honestly can’t get enough of that feeling.  Whether as a reader, a movie goer, or a TV viewer, a knock-your-socks off twist will always win me over.  BUT, as with anything, there are some caveats – it’s all about the execution.

Keep reading at Uniquely Moi Books for the 5 simple steps needed to execute a twist like a pro.  :-)
Also, don’t miss the e-book giveaway while you’re there!  Thanks so much to Jodie for hosting me and Stitch!!

Check out The Witchy Contessa!

Hope everyone’s having a good Tuesday!  I just wanted to take a moment to send a shout-out to my blogger buddy Jessica over at The Witchy Contessa.  Hey, Jessica!  :-)

I originally met Jessica during the 2012 Stitch Blog Tour, when she was over at her old site Crossroads Reviews.  Since then, an unfortunate Blogger.com snafu has put her site out of commission, so she’s been blogging over at The Witchy Contessa (along with another one of my buddies from tour, Brooke from The Cover Contessa!) while waiting for Blogger to correct the error.

If you haven’t been over to The Witchy Contessa, I definitely recommend you check it out – it’s a great book blog filled with thoughtful book reviews, exciting tour stops, giveaways galore, and of course, Shudder will be swinging by there soon once the big promotional push begins in a few weeks!

Added bonus for you authors out there, Jessica also organizes blog tours, so if you need help (trust me, I know how time-consuming they are to coordinate!), you should totally get in touch.

Swing by the Contessa at the Crossroads Facebook Page to keep up all with all the goings on at The Witchy Contessa, The Cover Contessa, and Crossroads Reviews (once that one is back up, that is!) – and hey, while you’re there, why not give ’em a Like?

 

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!!

Stitch Review @ Me, My Shelf & I

Me, My Shelf & IWanted to share an awesome review that went up today at Me, My Shelf & I – here’s a snippet:

Talk about an incredibly wild journey.  If you like things like Dystopian society’s, late teen/early 20s drama, a bit of love, and perhaps even Doctor Who…you’ll love this book.  In essence, the book does start like something that’s completely normal.  You’d never guess at first that it was about anything more than ghosts and going to college after losing parents.  Where it takes a twist though?  That all of that, is a lie.

Swing by  Me, My Shelf & I for the rest!  Thanks so much to Rosmelie for taking the time to read and review Stitch!