Stuck Tour GRAND FINALE

Today is the GRAND FINALE of the Stuck Blog Tour – head on over to Prism Book Tours for a recap of all the awesome Stitch Trilogy content that was shared over the past couple weeks to celebrate the launch of Book 3!

In case you missed the recent posts, here are some highlights from this week!

  • On Monday,
    • Colorimetry shared a new excerpt introducing two (hot!) new characters to the series, Deion & Alex!  Head over there to meet them!!
    • And Jessica at Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile posted her review, saying, “If you haven’t started this trilogy yet, you’re in for such a treat. I envy you. I really do.”
  • On Tuesday,
    • Serenity at Lovely Reads gave Stuck 5 stars, saying the book “blew it out of the park!”  Read her full review for more!
    • Julie at Chapter Break grilled me on book boyfriends, taking tough criticism, advice for aspiring authors, and more! “What is your take on book boyfriends? Do they actually exist? Or do they set the bar for real life men impossibly high? On the contrary, I think book boyfriends challenge men to live up to their potential, and encourage women not to settle for less than they deserve!” Read the full interview on her site!
    • And Amber at Words Are the Breath of Life called Stuck, “a phenomenal completion to a wonderfully complex, challenging, and heartfelt adventure.”  !!!  Read her full review – actually the first one I received on the book! – in her post.
  • On Wednesday,
    • Books & Such featured a super fun (and super silly) quiz: “Where Do You Rank in Paragon Society?”  Are you “a genocidal maniac with a heart of gold,” a rebel with “an addiction to righteous indignation,” or something else?? Find out in Teri’s post!
  • On Thursday,
    • Sherry at Fundinmental interviewed me about all things writing and reading, including my favorite author of the moment (“Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander books.  Her character building is just so, so good; I love all of her main characters and am so invested in everything that happens to them.  I just can’t put those books down, and I wish they would go on forever and ever and ever.”  Don’t you agree??), and then shared how Stuck “gets my motor running into overdrive” – check out her full review for more!
  • On Friday,
    • Christy’s Cozy Corners featured a guest post about Dystopian Style: “3 Ways to Style a Jumpsuit” – it starts off serious but quickly goes off the rails… head over there to see if you follow my humor or just think I’m a total weirdo!
    • Then Ashley at Oh, Hey! Books got into the nitty-gritty of the writing process with me (“I set of goal of finishing the first draft of Stuck before Mia was born… and then I looked up about two months before she was due to arrive and realized I’d only written two chapters!  (Out of a planned 50!!)”) – check out her full interview to see how I wrote my way out of that hole!
    • And finally, right here on my blog I shared the final guest post of tour (side note: not really a guest post if it’s on your own blog?? haha) with the Stitch Trilogy Movie/TV Dream Cast – and I’d LOVE to hear what you think of my actor picks!
  • As a reminder, the GIVEAWAY for the Blog Tour is open through December 27th!  You can enter at any of the posts above, or by going here.  Prizes include signed print copies, a limited-edition Stitch scarf, ebooks, and Amazon gift cards galore!  (Open internationally)

Also this week, if you follow me on Instagram you might have seen some fun content popping up on the Bookstagram Tour!  There’s a separate giveaway going on exclusively on Instagram with a prize of another limited-edition Stitch scarf and ebooks of the entire series.  Click over to Instagram through the posts below and check out their captions for instructions to enter!

 

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Thank you so much to all of the awesome bloggers and Instagrammers who helped promote the tour!!!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3) and the entire series once you’ve had a chance to read it!!  Please remember to post your review on Amazon & Goodreads to let me know if you liked it!

Thank you again to all of readers and fans of the series who waited so patiently and enthusiastically for the book’s release.  It’s been so much fun sharing Alessa & Isaac’s adventures with you.  :-)

Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy holiday season!

PS – The Stitch (Stitch Trilogy, Book 1) ebook is just $2.99 if you need a (cheap!) last minute holiday gift – Amazon now allows you to gift specific books to people on their Kindle (or Kindle app on any device).  It would be an amazing holiday treat if you could tell a friend about the series!!

Stitch Trilogy Movie/TV Dream Cast

With every book release, there’s one question I’m always *guaranteed* to be asked: Who would play your characters in the movie/TV version?

I’ve taken a stab at answering this question before, but I’d like to revisit my past selections and see if we can make any improvements – plus, we need to add casting for a couple new characters who will be joining us in Stuck!

Alessa – Emmy Rossum

Where you know her from: Shameless (TV series), The Phantom of the Opera (Movie, 2004)

Why I chose her in 2013: She’s young and fresh, and she’s got Alessa’s long brown hair, height, and down-to-earth “real girl” sensibility.  The only thing Emmy doesn’t have are Alessa’s striking green eyes – but that’s what color contacts and Photoshop are for, right?

2018 Verdict: Keep her!  I’ve been keeping my eyes out for the past 5 years and I still haven’t found another actress that fits better than Emmy.

 

Isaac – Alex Pettyfer

Where you know him from: Magic Mike (Movie, 2012), I Am Number Four (Movie, 2011)

Why I chose him in 2013: The eyes, the hair, the body… I challenge you to name one way this guy is NOT a perfect fit for Isaac.  Trust me, once you watch this clip of Alex taking off his shirt on the Ellen show, you won’t want to argue.  Plus, he’s got that classic look that can fit in anywhere from 1917 to 2114, which is exactly what Isaac needs to do.

2018 Verdict: I considered changing this one as I’m not as big a fan of his more recent grizzled look for Isaac, but after sifting through a few more 2018 photos that are more in line with the “Isaac aesthetic,” let’s stick with it!

 

Janie – Willa Holland

Where you know her from: Arrow (TV series), Legion (Movie, 2010)

Why I chose her in 2013: Sharp, cute, and spunky with just enough edge, Willa would be perfect to play Alessa’s sidekick and closest confidant, Janie.  As long as she’s willing to trade her long locks for Janie’s messy bob, she’s got the part!

2018 Verdict: Well, as there’s no more question about her willingness to don a bob, I’d say she’s got the part!

 

Joe – Robbie Amell

Where you know him from: The Tomorrow People (TV series), The Duff (Movie, 2015)

Why I chose him in 2013: With his all-American (okay, Canadian) good looks and that mischievous, swaggering twinkle in his eye, Robbie would be the ideal big brother to Alex Pettyfer’s Isaac.

2018 Verdict: Unfortunately under layers of monstrous “Stuck” makeup we won’t be able to really appreciate that face anymore, but hey, there’s always flashbacks.  He’s got the job!

 

Lizzie – Katheryn Winnick

Where you know her from: Vikings (TV series), Killers (Movie, 2010)

Why I chose her in 2013: Can you say “blonde bombshell?”  Katheryn has that classic hourglass shape and gorgeous glow that makes men drool – and look at that hair!!  But what I love most about her is that she’s not just a doe-eyed fantasy – when she’s determined (see here), she looks fierce.  Like Lizzie, this girl is more than just a pretty face.

2018 Verdict: Ummm, yes.  I’d say my previous assessment was pretty accurate – I don’t want to mess with her, do you?

 

Nikhil – Prateik Babbar

Where you know him from: Bollywood movies Mumbai Diaries (2010), Issaq (2013)

Why I chose him in 2013: Do I really need to explain?  Just go run a Google search for: prateik babbar shirtless and you’ll understand why Alessa was so taken with him in Stitch.

2018 Verdict: The fact that he’s apparently started going by just Prateik gives me pause… not to mention some other bad boy behavior that wouldn’t exactly square with Nikhil’s persona.  That being said, I still think he’s the best fit for the role.  However, we’ve definitely got Rushi Kota of Grey’s Anatomy fame on backup…

 

The Developer – Hayden Christensen

Where you know him from: Star Wars Episodes II & III (Movies, 2002 & 2005)

Why I chose him in 2013: Okay, I’ll admit it – I’m one of the few people who fell in love with Hayden Christensen in his role as Anakin Skywalker, mediocre acting notwithstanding.  But think about it – as the Developer, his awkward acting style would actually be a plus!  Pop some nerd glasses on this face, grow out a greasy mop of hair, and drop a few more pounds to match the Developer’s lanky frame, and I’m sure Hayden’s experience slaughtering innocent child padawans would help him tap into the Developer’s inner evil like an old pro.

2018 Verdict: Given the Developer’s evolution of growing increasingly unhinged over the course of Book 3 and the sociopathic gleam in Hayden’s eyes here, I still think he would be great in this role.  He’s in!

 

Deion – Kendrick Sampson

Where you know him from: How to Get Away with Murder (TV series), Vampire Diaries (TV series)

Why I chose him in 2013: N/A – he’s new to Book 3!

2018 Verdict: Here’s a fun bit of trivia. Deion is actually the first character I created who was based on an actual actor!  I first saw Kendrick as Jesse, an ill-fated student on handful of episodes of the Vampire Diaries (Season 5).  I immediately knew his disarming charm and cool, confident demeanor would make him the perfect guide for reintroducing readers to Paragon, this time from an average citizen’s perspective – and, also, eventually, the perfect, balanced match for one of our spirited heroines who’s been feeling a bit neglected from a romantic standpoint (wink wink!).

 

Alex – Alex Landi

Where you know him from: Grey’s Anatomy (TV series), Broken Land (Movie, upcoming 2018)

Why I chose him in 2013: N/A again – he’s also new to Book 3

2018 Verdict: Deion’s best friend makes his debut shirtless, so while I hate to be shallow, umm… look at this photo!  Alex (the actor) has definitely got Alex (the character’s) chiseled features and physique down to a science… all the better for catching the eye of one of our remaining partner-less heroines (but you’ll have to read the book to see who!).

So, what do you think, Stitch fans?  Do these actors fit pretty well with the characters you pictured in your head?  If this crew wasn’t available, who else would you cast in their place?  Let me know in the comments!

PS – Don’t miss these other fun guest posts from the Stuck Tour!
– Style in Dystopia: 3 Ways to Style a Jumpsuit
– Quiz: Where Do You Rank in Paragon Society? (Citizen, Rebel, Ruling Class, Engineer, or Stuck)
– A Tale of Three Book Covers (How the Stitch, Shudder, & Stuck Covers Were Designed)
– A Playlist of Music to Go With Stuck

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!)

Guest Post: A Candid Portrait of Grief

Babies on the BrainJust wanted to share this guest post that I wrote for a dear friend’s blog, a candid portrayal of my grief after losing my daughter, for anyone out there who might be hurting right now (whether due to babyloss or any other type of loss).

Update: If the above link does not work, please see an archive of the post below! 

(Check out the the Babies on the Brain blog for more honest accounts of different hardships – infertility, postpartum depression, rape – and follow along all month long for a new series of posts about how individuals and companies can support expectant mothers, particularly those going through difficult times!  You can subscribe at the bottom of the link above – only blog posts go out, no spam.)

In case you didn’t know, October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, so if you see pink-and-blue around this month, that’s why!  If you’ve been personally touched by babyloss (as a parent, grandparent, aunt/uncle, cousin, sibling, friend, etc.), consider participating on October 15th in the global wave of light by lighting a candle at 7 pm (local time) in honor of all the babies we’ve lost. <3

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month

A Candid Portrait of Grief (originally posted at Babies on the Brain)

Today is my birthday – but celebrating is the last thing on my mind.

For the past 3 years, my birthday has not been marked with cake and candles and good cheer.  Smiles and excitement and joy have given way to tears and sorrow and despair.  My birthday list – once a mile long – is bare.

The truth is, the only things I want for my birthday, no one on this earth can give me.  I want my daughter back, and I want a guarantee that my son will remain healthy and happy and alive for the remainder of my (hopefully many) years.

But the knowledge that no one – not even, apparently, God – can make me this promise, forces me each year to confront the visceral terror that on better days simmers deep within my bones.  And the slogging battle to tamp it back down leaves me drenched with existential dread.

(Happy birthday to me.)

It wasn’t always this way.  Before the day I learned what the word “stillbirth” meant – after a textbook pregnancy with zero risk factors characterized only by an eager, innocent, anticipatory bliss – I had been an expert at invincibility.  I was lucky for 28 serendipitous years to be untouched by any real tragedy or heartache, and so it’d become almost a reflex to shake off the possibility of “it” (sub in whatever misfortune featured in the news that week) ever happening to me.

And don’t get me wrong – I was arrogant and naive, but I was also grateful.  I understood, at least on a rational level, how incredibly lucky I was to have been given all I’d been given, and I was as conscious as someone who’s never suffered adversity can be not to take it for granted.  I guess on some level I must have thought that that gratitude would protect me, and by extension, those I love.

Spoiler alert: it didn’t.

And so when I found myself walking into the hospital two days before my due date, after nine uneventful, blissful months, ready to finally, finally, finally bring home my baby girl – the much beloved and anticipated eldest daughter (and first grandchild!) that I’d dreamed of since I was only a child myself – only to learn that her heart was inexplicably no longer beating, well, my entire world was decimated.  This wasn’t supposed to happen to anyone, not this late in a healthy pregnancy – and it especially wasn’t supposed to happen to me.

I wandered in a daze through my delivery and the empty, heartrending, surreal, lonely weeks that followed.  I woke up every morning with her name on my lips, still in utter disbelief that she was gone, that I wasn’t going to get a do-over, that she would truly never again (never??) be here in my arms, where she belonged.

Eventually I woke cursing the very air I breathed and begging not to wake again, the salt of her tears crusted in my swollen eyes and a constant, panging ache in my gut.  I wept, all day, every day, for months and months and months on end.  And soon, I seethed, my soul consumed by an angry, often irrational bitterness, and the blackest of envy.

If you’d asked about my worldview in that first year, “bleak” wouldn’t even have begun to cover it.  I didn’t know how I would ever feel joy again.  I didn’t know how the hurt would ever, ever subside.  I didn’t know how I would ever learn to live with such a gaping, ragged hole in my heart.

And yet, somehow, I did.

Somehow, I found the courage to try again, and to face a second – now long, anxious, and terrifying – pregnancy with as much joy as I could muster.  Somehow, I let myself fall hopelessly and perilously in love with her baby brother, and let myself believe (or, at least, tried my damnedest to convince myself) that he would indeed be coming home from the hospital with us.  Somehow, I learned to let the smiles surface along with the tears, often in the very same breath.

We were blessed to bring home a son just a few weeks after what should have been her first birthday, and he has lived up to the meaning of his name: our beam of sunlight through the dark.

And now, as her third birthday approaches, with two years under my belt of the gratitude and heartache and wonder and guilt and fullness and anxiety and unadulterated, earth-shattering love that is parenting a living child (particularly after a loss), I’ve come to realize that I am well on my way to “integrating” (as they call it) her death.

Yes, I will always, always, always miss her.  But many days now, with my son’s toothy toddler smile beaming up at me and his soft little hands wrapped in my palms, it is both heartbreaking and a relief to realize that that ache is no longer quite so searing.  I know now that I will never leave her behind; she is a part of me, a part of our family.  Our love will endure for always.

And is that enough?  No.  Of course it is not.  But it’s all we have.  And most days, I can make do.

There will always be some days, though – like my birthday, like today – that will stand as a grim reminder of all that we have lost.

So, yes, as my wonderful family and friends refuse to let me forget, my birthday is worth celebrating – at the very least, for the significance it holds for my own mother, who never fails to remind me that it was the happiest day of her life.

But for me, now, I simply can’t imagine it ever feeling anything short of criminal to commemorate my managing to survive another year on this cruel, fickle planet, when my daughter didn’t even make it to her own birth alive.

My innocence, my faith, my child are gone.

And my birthday will never be the same.

But as grim as this all may sound, if there’s one thing I’ve learned to take comfort in along the way, it is this: I’m not the only one.  You are not the only one.

It is an unfortunate fact of life that we will all, eventually, suffer.  After all, grief is the price of love – the tradeoff for a life well-lived.  As a shockingly wise internet quote I once came across said, “None of us is making it out of here alive.”  And so, someday, we will all lose the people closest to us (unless, like my daughter, we are unlucky enough to go first).

It’s a morbid thought, but also a comfort.  Grief – especially that for a loss like stillbirth that is so poorly understood and little acknowledged by the general public (we “didn’t even know her,” after all, so how can we miss her, right? Sigh) – can be incredibly isolating.  But it doesn’t have to be.

No matter your heartache – death, divorce, infertility, abuse, illness, rejection, you name it – there are other people out there hurting too, in the very same way, in this very same moment.  And if you can only find them – through a support group, an online forum, a mutual friend, whatever – you don’t have to be alone in your pain for another minute.  Having been there, I can promise you, it’s all so much better when we do it together.

So the next time your birthday rolls around and you’re plastering on a smile while silently sobbing away the hours inside, ask yourself this: how many other people are doing the same?

And when the desolation of despair calls your name, instead, remind yourself that no matter how bad it hurts in this moment, tomorrow is a new day.  And there’s someone out there right now who understands, if you just put your hand out and reach for them.

 

Samantha Banerjee lives in Westchester County, New York with three of the four loves of her life – her husband, son, and cat – and carries her fourth love, her stillborn daughter, in her heart. In addition to penning novels and writing candidly about grief, she is also a sometimes freelance writer/consultant – though more often than not these days she’s on full-time mom duty! A former software engineer, Samantha said goodbye to the corporate world in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and lifelong love of writing. Learn more at www.samanthadurante.com.

Weekend Recap: “Family & Relationships in a Dying World” + Tour Highlights, Grand Finale Giveaway & Reviews Galore!

Whew!  SO MUCH excitement over the weekend!  Okay, I’m doing to do my best to keep it short and recap all the goodness you might have missed in the past 3 days.

First, from Friday:

Imagine the world ended tomorrow.

You have no more career, no school, no obligations. Money is meaningless. All the material possessions you’ve accumulated are useless, except what you can carry on your back. There’s no electricity to power your iPad, no gas to run your car, no fuel to heat your home – besides whatever you can find to burn, that is.

So what *do* you have left? When all the entrapments of daily life are tossed overboard and you’re fighting just to hold a claim over the basic necessities of survival, what exactly is left to live *for?*

Ask any of the characters from the Stitch Trilogy, and they’ll tell you the same thing: their loved ones. <continue reading>

Then on Saturday we kicked off the Grand Finale Highlight Tour hosted by Prism Tours!  Before we get to these stops, let me first fill you in on the HUGE GIVEAWAY going on at all these stops to cap off the tour.  Prizes up for grabs include:

* 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)

And you can enter at ANY of the stops on the Prism tour over the next two weeks!  (See full schedule here.)

Okay, now that you’ve got the details on that, here’s a recap of the awesome stops you might have missed on Saturday and Sunday:

  • At The Reading Diaries, “Shudder Mysteries” highlights plus a great 5-star review: “Shudder is filled with surprises around every corner, keeping me guessing till the very end. … The author has done a brilliant job creating a world filled with action, romance, monsters, and fantastic characters. The characters are easy to connect with and you can’t help cheering them on as the book progresses.  Shudder is a fast paced novel that I was able to read in one evening unable to put it down till the last page.”
  • At The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl, highlights featuring quotes from “Raving Fans”
  • At Rose & Beps, highlights about “Crushing on (Side) Characters”
  • At Chapter Break, “Vile Villainy” highlights plus an AWESOME 5-star review: “I know, I gave this book 5 stars. What? Yea, it’s just that awesome. It is one of the best dystopias I’ve read in a few years (seriously, since Hunger Games and Divergent, which are my favorites in this genre). It has everything and all types of feels – betrayal, survival, despair, rage, vengeance, love, you name it. I devoured this book in a couple of sittings. Where the first book was just good, this sequel was wonderful.”
  • At The Wonderings of One Person, “Cliffhanger Ending” highlights and another amazing review: “Shudder by Samantha Durante is a deeply touching and sensational story of discovery and freedom laden with heavy doubts and uncomfortable choices. I was swept away into this amazing world. I was taken in by its vivid detail and tangible emotions. My heart was stolen from the start. The tender and enduring love of Issac and Alessa combined with the dark intentions of a post-apocalyptic world propelled the story onto my top books of 2013 list and made me love it!”
  • At Mortal Moments, tour highlights featuring quotes about “Crushing on (Main) Characters” (aka Isaac Love Fest 2013, haha).

Okay, I think we’ve covered it!  Remember you can enter the giveaway at any (or preferably ALL) of these stops!  And keep your eye out for another post going up later today about today’s stops…  Thanks!!

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!!

Guest Post: “Celebrating the Stitch 1-Year Anniversary!” + Review

Happy 1 Year Anniversary to Stitch!

Guess what: today is the 1 Year Anniversary of the Stitch Blog Tour!  Exactly one year ago today, I announced to the world that I’d written book.  Wow – where does the time go??  To celebrate, today we’ve got a guest post at Head Stuck in a Book where I recount the lessons I learned along the way, and how I even found myself writing a book to begin with.  Here’s a sneak peek:

But it wasn’t always an easy road to get here.  It required (like anything else) a little sacrifice, a lot of hard work, and healthy dash of blind faith that if I just follow my heart, everything will work out the way it’s supposed to.  So what have I learned in my journey?  Here are the top three lessons:

1. Do what you love.  I know, I know – people say this all the time.  Easier said than done.  It took me years (like 25 years!) to even realize *what* it is that I love to do (write).  So I know how difficult this sounds, and I’m not going to lie, it takes a lot of introspection, listening to the people around you, following your gut even when it’s scary, and just a bit of dumb luck to figure this out.

But I can also promise you this – if you manage to find a way to make your passions your life instead of just trying to squeeze them into your life, you will be infinitely happier.  Because suddenly, you’ll look forward to what you have to do every day, even when it’s stressful.  I still spend plenty of time agonizing over how much stuff I need to write, but when I sit down and actually do it, all that stress magically disappears.  I lose myself in the work, because I truly enjoy it.  And I can’t say that about any other job I’ve ever held.  <continue reading>

Thanks so much to Sarah for hosting this special day on the tour!  She’s also got a Shudder review up at the stop, so head over there for more!

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!!