“And then, BAM, she punched me in the gut again!” 2 Reviews + Giveaways!

Nette's BookshelfTwo awesome new reviews up today at A Dash of YA and Nette’s Bookshelf!  First, check out this snippet of Komal’s hilarious recounting of the emotional rollercoaster she was taken on by Shudder:

“When I read Samantha Durante’s debut novel, Stitch, I was blown away. Samantha had so skillfully woven a punch to the gut into her story that I didn’t even see it coming.

“Punch to the gut?” you ask. “Did the book physically attack you?”

I nod, not really sure how to explain it without giving away spoilers. “Kind of. It was more of an assault to the mind that felt like a punch to the gut.”

Like I said, Stitch was like a punch to the gut. The sequel, Shudder, was the reader recovering from that punch, internally bleeding a little (I’ll get to that part later), and slowly trying to piece together where the punch came from.

… The great thing about Samantha Durante is that she is a very skilled writer. I felt very safe in her hands as she took me through the story. And then, BAM, she punched me in the gut again! Freaking hell, Samantha! Like I needed you to do that to me in the end when I’d only just recovered!” <continue reading>

Seriously, stop by A Dash of YA and read the rest, it’s hysterical.  And while you’re there, enter A Dash of YA’s e-book giveaway and also grab copies of Komal’s amazing YA Contemporary Romance books (for <$2, can’t beat that!).

Next up, we have another great review from Nette’s Bookshelf:

“I know I mentioned this in my review of Stitch,  but I find the juxtaposition of Paragon and our society fascinatingly similar.  Similar in that we are so enamored or disctracted by “reality t.v” and the lives of others that we forget about what’s going on “out there” in the real world.  I also find similarities with the ruling class and our government but I’m going to stop at this sentence, lest I get away from myself and begin discussing politics and world issues and other topics that have nothing to do with my review of a book.  And that whole issue with the food? One word. Monsanto.  Anyway, I’m getting away from myself here…What I’m trying to say is, Samantha Durante creatively and cleverly devised a story that’s based on real-life ideas and turned it into a thought provoking novel.” <continue reading>

Don’t miss the rest!  You can also enter the CBL Prize Pack giveaway at Nette’s Bookshelf!

Thanks so much to Komal & Nette for hosting today!!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Thank You Brewster High School for an Absolutely Awesome Visit!

BHS - Class of 2003!I just got back from an INCREDIBLE visit to my alma mater, Brewster High School in Brewster, NY, and I was SO thrilled… until I realized I’m a turd and completely forgot to take any photos. :’-(  It was an awesome, awesome time and I wish I could show you all, but I guess you guys will just have to make do with a nice stock photo of the school and our bear mascot (sorry).  –>

Anyway, I got to meet with the Humanities club which is run by two of my favorite teachers, Ms. McLeod and Mrs. Fine (shout out also to Mr. Stack for organizing!), and 20+ AMAZING students showed up for the discussion.  I was SO blown away by these kids, seriously – they ranged from freshmen to seniors and were just so incredibly thoughtful and bright and well-read, and had so much to say about a great variety of topics.

We touched on everything from my inspiration for Stitch (particularly the twist), to the merits of 1st vs. 3rd person point-of-view, the pressures of writing a trilogy, what it means to be an indie author, our favorite dystopian reads, how to market a book (including a great suggestion to try a Reddit AMA which I’m totally looking into!), what the students like to read and write, thoughts on book-to-movie adaptations, and more!

Brewster High School also got an exclusive sneak peek at an excerpt from Shudder (Chapter 8) which I’m very excited to share since literally no one up to this point has seen that except my beta readers.  (Hope you guys enjoy!)  Ch8’s not even going to be in the sample chapters, so the only way to get your hands on that is to track down someone from the BHS Humanities club… or wait until the book comes out on June 15th and buy a copy, wink wink!  :-D

I’ll likely be making a return visit in the fall, and I’m looking forward to it already!  In the meantime, BHS definitely keep in touch – please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions/comments and I’d LOVE to hear what you guys have to say about Shudder!  And if you *really* miss me, you can find my photo hanging in front of the auditorium…seriously (perks of being a valedictorian, haha).

Thanks again to Brewster for letting me invade for an afternoon!  It was super fun to be back.  :-)

PS – Go Bears.

MASSIVE Book Giveaway (1554 Winners!!!) via Elle Casey’s Springtime Indie Book Giveaway

If you’re looking for some great (and FREE) springtime reads, look no further: fellow indie author Elle Casey is hosting a MASSIVE giveaway of 1,554 copies of 190 different indie books (and yes, of course Stitch is one of them!).  Best part is that you can choose which books you’d like to enter for, and you can enter for as many books as you’d like!  Genres run the gamut from fantasy/paranormal to sci-fi, romance, horror, mystery – so there’s something there for everyone!

Definitely swing by today to enter!  Here’s the link: Elle Casey’s Springtime Indie Book Giveaway.  And here’s an awesome view of all the covers of the books up for grabs, with links to their Amazon pages so you can get a better idea of what you want to enter for.

I can’t seem to find it anymore, but I’m *pretty* sure I saw something that said the giveaway would likely only be open for about a week, so don’t delay in getting your entries in there!  Update: Open until May 15th!  (Thanks Elle!)  Good luck!!

I got BLURBED! The Isolated by Ellen Stokes

Ahhh!  Super excited to share my very first “blurb” experience with all of you!  The book that so graciously honored me on its cover is The Isolated by Ellen Stokes.  Check it out!

Here’s the synopsis:

It’s been seventeen years and Gray has never tasted salt. She’s never tasted sugar. She’s never heard the swelling voices of a crowd or felt the heat of bodies in a packed room. She’s been banished from society since birth and merely waits to die in Griseus, the endless moor of dead grass and wind to which her murderous uncle exiled her.

But all that is about to change when Gray is unexpectedly ripped from solitude and into the world she never knew: a world that is filled with bustling alleyways, towering citadels, glorious new tastes, and a task so dark it nearly swallows her up.

For the first time in her life she is needed, and it’s vital she comply. Knowing nothing of the world, Gray would latch first onto another human soul that can guide her—any other soul. Even if that soul were her captor.

Set in a place unlike any other, THE ISOLATED asks its readers which is worse: the captivity of the mind, the body, or the soul?

And here’s my blurb:

“Stokes weaves a vibrant world of lively characters and noble intrigue!” — Samantha Durante, author of Stitch

Yay!!!  Thank you SO much to Ellen for giving me this honor – it was a privilege to work with another dedicated author and I wish you all the success in the world!

Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas!

If you’re on your way out the door to pick up some last minute holiday gifts, don’t take those PJs off just yet!  Check out this quick list of ideas that are affordable, convenient, AND support your local indie author.  And since they’re e-books, they’re guaranteed to get here by Christmas!

Frost by Kate Avery Ellison

Only $2.99 – Lia’s village plagued by lethal monsters lurking in the forest and struggling to just survive in the brutal cold… but things heat up when a mysterious refugee from the neighboring country lands on her doorstep.  I literally read this one and the sequel in one day – riveting!

Impossible by Komal Lewis

Only $.99 – A super fun retelling of your classic high school drama – the cliques, the mean girl cheerleaders, the grungy bad boy and all!  If you liked the movies Bring It On or Drive My Crazy, you’ll LOVE Impossible!

Here (On the Otherside) by Denise Grover Swank

Only $0.99 – Julia is wracked with guilt after killing her best friend in a car accident, and her life is only further complicated when the heartthrob of her high school suddenly starts paying her attention… but what you don’t see coming is that he’s not exactly who he appears to be..  Get ready for an awesome dystopian twist!

Stitch by Samantha Durante

Only $2.99 – Shameless, I know, haha.  But if you liked Twilight and The Hunger Games, you’ll definitely enjoy the unique mix of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi in Stitch!

Need more ideas? Check out the Kindle Indie Book Store!

TONS more quality books at fantastic prices, in any genre you can imagine.  The reviews don’t lie – there’s lots of greatness to be had from independent authors publishing through Amazon’s platform.  So put your slippers back on and finish your holiday shopping here!