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!)

…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!)

“No cookie cutter dystopian” – Review, Excerpt & Spotlight

Little HyutsAwesome new review up today on the Shudder Tour from Little Hyuts!  Here’s a sneak peek:

Despite how popular dystopian YA has become, Samantha Durante was able to bring something fresh to the genre. This series is in no way cookie cutter dystopian. … The author has a great writing style that delivers something for everyone, whether you are a romance, science fiction or paranormal fan. Samantha really works all these aspects together wonderfully. Shudder was just as good as the first in the series and I expect the final installment to be equally as epic. Fast paced with not a single dull moment, this book will have you turning pages until the end. And believe me you are going to be upset Stuck isn’t here yet. I highly recommend this series! <continue reading>

There’s also an excerpt available at Little Hyuts, and a promotional spotlight over at Book Labyrinth.  Thanks so much to Jill Marie and Ashley for hosting!

“A truly engaging plot that will leave its readers breathless” – 3 Reviews, Interview, Giveaway & Excerpt

Book JemsThanks so much to Sandra, Emily, and Nicki of JeanZBookReadNReviewBook Jems, and A Thousand Lives for hosting three awesome stops today on the Shudder Blog Tour!  Check out these snippets:

  • At JeanZBookReadNReview, an excerpt and e-book giveaway, plus an excellent review: “I really enjoyed Stitch and I was a little worried as sometimes in a Trilogy it’s BK#2 that tends to suffer and not be very good. But this is so not the case with Shudder. I found Shudder an even more exciting and intriguing read than Stitch.  So did I enjoy the book?  Yes!   Would I recommend the book? Yes! as it’s a great series so far and it has such a great selection of genres within it I’d guess there would be something for every reader.” <continue reading>
  • At Book Jems, a revealing author interview (“What is the hardest part about being an author?”) and another fab review: “Lemme tell you, this book packs a punch. Durante immediate grabs the attention of the reader and doesn’t give a moment’s rest as she settles into the continuation of Stitch. This book was able to pull me out of my reading funk, and entertain me while I suffered from strep throat (which is the absolute worst; I want to cry just thinking about it). Shudder has everything needed to make a great novel: action, thrills, science and romance that’ll make you swoon and sigh.” <continue reading>
  • And finally at A Thousand Lives, an amazing 5-star review: “I fell in love with these characters all over again. Issac is one to add to the list of “book boyfriends”. All he wants to do is protect the people he cares about. He second guesses his decisions and in a weird way, the insecurity makes him more endearing. He’s not the overly confident, cocky hero we’re all used to. It sets his character apart from the pack, anchoring him in reality. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still a place for those arrogant yet lovable heroes but I find this character a refreshing change of pace.  If you loved Stitch, this book is a fantastic follow up.If you haven’t read it yet, hop to it. You’re missing out! This book was a wild ride of emotions. Within the first one hundred pages, I feared for the characters’ lives, swooned at the sweet moments and cried at the heartbreaking ones. Samantha Durante has a wonderful gift of incorporating many genres into one well thought out and intriguing tale.  Let this author pull you into her fascinating, dark future of the world we live in. You won’t be sorry!” <continue reading>

Guest Post: “Commitment Issues” + Triple Reviews, Excerpts & Giveaways

What's Beyond ForksLots of great new content from the past few days of the Shudder Tour!  First, stop by What’s Beyond Forks for a guest post on the Stitch theme of “Commitment Issues” – here’s a sneak peek:

Have you ever committed to something (perhaps somewhat reluctantly, or without really thinking about it), and then one day you look up and you think, “Omg, what have I gotten myself into?”

It happens to the best of us.  Maybe it was volunteering to organize that big event, or agreeing to watch a friend’s kids/pets while they were away.  Maybe it was diving headlong into a project at a new job that you don’t have a lot of experience with, or committing to cooking dinner for more people than you can really handle.

Or maybe, like in Alessa’s case in the Stitch Trilogy, you somehow got roped into championing a cause that you’re not 100% passionate about… and are maybe even a little afraid of. <continue reading>

Also don’t miss these other great stops from today and this past weekend featuring three reviews, excerpts, and giveaways!

  • Excerpt & giveaway at Collections
  • Review & excerpt from Michelle Chew Writes (“totally captivated by the intense storyline”)
  • Review at Here’s the Story (“A worthy follow-up to Stitch”)
  • Review, excerpt, & giveaway at Every Free Chance Book Reviews (“I read it every free chance I had. In fact, at one point when I was reading while walking my youngest in her stroller around my neighborhood, I may have had my mouth hanging open in surprise. My neighbors probably think I’m nuts!”)
  • Giveaway at Me, My Shelf & I

Huge thanks to Gabby, Alexa, Michelle, Nickie, Chrissy, and Amber for hosting all these great stops!!

“Will definitely blow your mind away – would recommend to everyone” 2 Reviews + Excerpt & Giveaway

Total Book NerdsThanks to Total Book Nerds and The Muse Unleashed for hosting today’s stops on the Shudder Blog Tour with two awesome reviews, plus an excerpt and giveaway!  Here are some snippets:

From Total Book Nerds:

There is so much going on in this book, I felt like it was a tv-show, where each chapter was like an episode, and it kept ending with tiny cliffhangers that kept me reading so I could find out what happened next. This book will definitely blow your mind away, this book is something I would recommend to everyone, no matter what genre you like, this is a book that is a must read. <continue reading>

From The Muse Unleashed:

Shudder picks up immediately following where Stitch leaves off. It had been a while since I read Stitch but I managed to ground myself in the plot fairly quickly.  … Primarily we follow along with Alessa and Isaac as they search for a safe home base for the rebels. As they travel, Alessa experiences odd sensations and visuals, as if she is in the head of someone else. These experiences terrify her. Along with this, the two fight off beasts that pursue them. I had my suspicions about these beasts as the story progressed and I was pleased to see my guesses were correct. … The ending was a great cliffhanger designed to make you want to read the third book in the series which I will definitely do. <continue reading>

Thanks so much to Nadia, Trine, and Carrie 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!!

“Loved the political undertones – other people’s dictators just never learn.” 2 Reviews + Giveaway

New Adult AddictionTwo awesome new reviews (plus a giveaway!) to share from the past few days of the Shudder Blog Tour.  First, at New Adult Addiction:

Book Two, Shudder, picks right up where Alessa and Isaac left off—outside Paragon and on a critical mission to find a suitable place to relocate the rebels so they can reclaim their lives and fight against the Ruling Few who are doing unspeakable things in the name of Utopia… otherwise known to those of us in the know as Communism.

Yes, every time they try it, it fails.  But that’s not stopping these self-indulgent, power hungry moguls from giving it another go.  You see, it’s just a matter of genetics, right?  Or  actually, that old eugenics thing Hitler did. Because they are hand-picking those they think are suitable for the “perfect society”.

Other people’s dictators just never learn. …

I loved the political undertones because it’s so true.  Some people think that the end justifies the means no matter how many lives it will cost to reach the desired result. And it really needs to be explored over and over again in literature and film and other sources of social entertainment, so people don’t forget that this philosophy has been put into practice countless times over thousands of year and millions of people have died because of it. <continue reading>

Next, head over to Saturday’s stop at Reading With ABC for another fab review plus an excerpt!

I like Alessa and Isaac because they are strong, but flawed characters.  They are deeply in love and they are fiercely loyal to each other and to those they love.  Even if Isaac felt helpless at times to help Alessa with her newfound abilities, he still sticks with her and tries (typical of a man!) to find an explanation and cheers her on.  One of the things I like the most is that we find out a lot more about the post-war, post-virus world.  We understand what happened to our characters and to humanity as a whole and why.  We get many answers (even if we don’t like them!), and still have many questions. <continue reading>

Finally, swing by Contagious Reads to enter a new e-book giveaway!  Thanks so much to Julie, Liza, and Lori for hosting!!

“Kept me on my toes” – Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

The Cover ContessaThanks so much to Brooke at The Cover Contessa for hosting today’s stop on the Shudder Blog Tour with an awesome 4-star review, excerpt, and giveaway!  Here’s a sneak peek:

This book is packed with action and adventure. You are not sure what’s going to happen at every turn. I can honestly say it kept me on my toes not knowing what to expect next. My emotions ran the gamete from fear, to elation, to happiness and some sadness, as well. <continue reading>

Swing by The Cover Contessa for the rest, and have a great weekend!!

“One of the most well-written Indie series I’ve read in a long time” – 2 Reviews + Excerpt & PRINT Giveaway

The Oaken BookcaseToday on the Shudder Blog Tour, we’re highlighting two great reviews, plus a new excerpt AND a giveaway for a PRINT COPY of Shudder!  First, stop by The Oaken Bookcase for a 4-star review and excerpt:

From the review:

Shudder is an enjoyable follow-up to Stitch, continuing the story of Alyssa and Isaac and their friends trying to resist a repressive society. … There are some action scenes through the book though, and they are very tense – sometimes scary! I think this has to be one of the most well-written Indie series I’ve read in a long time. … Overall, Shudder builds towards what I am hoping will be a blockbuster ending to the trilogy. Bring it on! <continue reading>

From the excerpt:

By the time the sun dipped toward the skyline, Alessa and Isaac had wandered through two more vacant neighborhoods, a derelict shopping center, and a downtown area that could only be described as a ghost town.
The pervasive quiet shrouding the once-vibrant village intensified the eerie feeling of being utterly alone. If Alessa hadn’t known what happened, she might have expected families and school kids and zipping cars around every corner. Besides the overgrown shrubbery and the occasional smashed storefront, everything seemed just in its place, waiting for its inhabitants to come home.
It was devastating.<continue reading>

Next, head over to Books & Life for a chance to win a PRINT copy of Shudder, and enjoy another 4-star review!

I was so thrilled to get the chance to review the second installment in the Stitch Trilogy. It has so many genres wrapped up in one book that the story really keeps you engrossed wondering will happen next. … I found myself really intrigued in Alessa and Isaac’s fate. I like how they became even closer as they struggled against one obstacle after another as they look for a new unscathed area for the rebels to dwell in. … Of course Samantha leaves us with a cliffhanger ending and wanting the next book faster than she can probably write it. <continue reading>

Big thanks to Angelya and Joy for hosting today’s stops!