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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Touch of Power ARC Giveaway

Now that I have your attention :)  I'm doing a special OUTSIDE IN promotion and dangling an ARC of TOUCH OF POWER as the prize. 

As many of you know, I have contests on my website for all my books.  If you answer 20 questions about the book correctly, I'll send you a signed book label for your book and you're entered into a quarterly drawing to win a copy of the book.  However, poor OUTSIDE IN only has 3 entries since March and I'm determined to change that!

So, here's the deal - email me (maria@mariavsnyder.com) the answers to the 20 questions below (please put: special OI promo in the subject line), and include your mailing address by OCTOBER 22, 2011 and you will be entered to win an ARC of TOUCH OF POWER with the UK cover!  You'll also get a book label and some cool bookmarks :)  This is open to everyone and no shipping costs either.

QUESTIONS:

•1 – What is the name of Trella's new cleaning troll?

•2 – Who is Bubba Boom?

•3 – What are the names of the Outsiders?

•4 – What does Logan give Trella?

•5 – How does the Committee keep track of Trella?

•6 – What does ISF stand for?

•7 – Who is in charge of Maintenance?

•8 – Whose appendix bursts?

•9 – What is Logan's newest gadget?

•10 – What is the nickname for ISF?

•11 – What does Trella find at the top of the Expanse?

•12 – What do the Outsiders want?

•13 – What was the Big Shake?

•14 – Who saves Trella from the fire?

•15 – Who is Jacy conspiring with?

•16 – How many Bubble Monsters are there?

•17 – What is the current population of Insiders?

•18 – The explosion damaged the power plant and what other critical system?

•19 – Near the end, how does Trella and her friends get to the Outsiders?

•20 – Is Doctor Lamont really Trella's birth mother?

Good Luck!

Here's a link to more contests: http://www.mariavsnyder.com/contests.php

Friday, September 16, 2011

Inbox Gems

I'm trying to catch up on all my emails from when I was down under.  For some reason my new Acer Tablet wouldn't let me hook up to my author email server.  I bought the tablet to video chat with my family and it worked nicely - I also played games on it and read books so I didn't have to pack as much.


Anywho as I'm going through my inbox, I'm finding links that might be of interest to you.  Also if you emailed me and have a Hotmail addy - I'm being bounced by your spam filter - I'm working on getting that sorted out.


First some news!  OUTSIDE IN is a finalist for the Golden Leaf Award!  I'll find out in October if it won.  Storm Glass won in 2009 so I'm hoping for a repeat.  Other finalist are here: ttp://njromancewriters.org/index.php?/njrw_contest/golden_leaf_finalists/


And - I never announced the winner of the Heart of Iron giveaway - I've already sent the book out so I did pick a winner.  Congrats go to Jessica W!


I did a guest post on the Just Another Book Addict blog - here's a link: http://justanotherbookaddict.blogspot.com/2011/08/maria-v-snyder-road-to-publication.html 


There's a video interview of me here (I haven't seen it yet - so I hope it's okay!): http://blog.buzzymultimedia.com/mary-v-snyder-interview


And here's a podcast of a reading group discussing Poison Study: http://bit.ly/qGVruN

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ward Against Death - Interview + Contest

Today I'm interviewing debut author, Melanie Card.  Her book, Ward Against Death was released in August in both print and e-book format.  I really enjoyed this book - it's unique and action packed with characters that I cared about.  

Now a confession.  I met Melanie while attending Seton Hill University as a student.  It was my very first residency, I didn't know a soul, and I wasn't sure what to expect.  The very first class I attended was a book discussion.  We all read the same novel and then discuss it that first morning.  Melanie was in my class - she was doing her last residency and graduating.  When the instructor asked our opinion of the novel, Melanie was the first to speak.  She proclaimed that the book was awful and proceeded to explain why with concise, logical reasons.  I was struck by her confidence, her ability to spot weak writing, and her no nonsense approach.  Curious, I attended her thesis reading and really enjoyed her thesis novel.  So it's no surprise that she didn't give up and now has a published novel.

Melanie's publisher is offering one lucky commenter a free e-book of Ward Against Death!  Leave a comment here by midnight on Sunday, September 18, and I will pick a name using random.org :)  Please include your email addy so I can contact you if you win!

Twenty-year-old Ward de Ath expected this to be a simple job bring a nobleman s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good-bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can t be a surgeon the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying so bringing people back from the dead it is.

But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can t bring himself to break his damned physician s Oath and desert her.

However, nothing is as it seems including Celia. One second, she s treating Ward like sewage, the next she s kissing him. And for a nobleman s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive...

Take 10 with Melanie Card:

1.) Why this book? What made you want to write this story and series?

What drew me to the story was my hero, Ward. I was pondering the question: in what situation could a necromancer be good instead of evil?—because sometimes I like to play around with expectations—and Ward started to develop. He was quirky, and kind, and determined. I couldn’t resist writing his story.

2.) Which authors inspire you? Has that changed over time?

So many authors have inspired me. When I was in public school I was reading books like the Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, Birth of the Firebringer by Meredith Ann Pierce, Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce, and Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey. These books got me hooked on fantasy. As I grew older I found writers like David Eddings, and Raymond E. Feist, who turned me onto epic fantasy. And then I discovered books by Guy Gavriel Kay, and Patricia A. McKillip who inspired me with their use of language, that it could flow and have a rhythm. And in Ms. KcKillip’s case, that language itself could create a sense of ethereal magic.

3.) Why fantasy? Is there something special about fantasy that draws you to write in the field?

I’m not sure why fantasy calls to me, but it does. I grew up in a home where my father and brother read science fiction and my mother read mysteries. And save for the collection of Grimm’s Fairy Tales and a copy of Alice in Wonderland, there wasn’t a lot of fantasy in the house. The adventure in fantasy, the time periods and the magic that can do or become anything appeals to me. There’s a feeling of romance with fantasy, and I get to live that romance by being able to read and write about people who can do wondrous things. I think that drew me in as a child and has held me captive ever since.

4.) What do you find most interesting about Celia and Ward?

The two of them together. I love seeing what they’ll come up with next and how each of them will react when things get difficult. Both of them are constantly surprising me by their choices (I know, I’m the writer, I’m supposed to know what my characters are thinking), but they’re both in a stage of growth and while I know how I want them to end up, they seem to have their own ideas about how they’re going to get there.

5.) What else do you enjoy doing besides writing? Interests? Hobbies?

I confess, I’m an amateur theatre geek. Comedy, drama, musical, you name it; I love to act in it. Even if I’m rehearsing the darkest drama, the cast and crew always laugh during rehearsals and we have a great time. I always end up with crazy stories about the antics that happen backstage while the show is on (not that the cast or crew purposefully do crazy things, but lines get missed sometimes, people forget to bring on important props, accidents happen). I’ve made some great friends doing theater… even met my best friend, my husband, on a show.

6.) Did you have to do any special research for this book? What did you learn that you didn't know before?

I was a little crazy about research for Ward Against Death. I live in a town where there are two universities, with two large libraries and I spent hours combing the shelves looking for books on medieval surgery (some of which were written in Middle English). What fascinated me was how advanced medicine was in the Middle East during the end of the 10th century. A man named Abu al-Qasim al-Zahrawi wrote extensively about his medical practice and procedures and developed his own surgical instruments. The surgical procedure in the book is based off the writing of Guy de Chauliac (a 12th century French surgeon) who studied al-Zahrawi’s works.

7.) How did you become a writer? Is this what you saw yourself growing up to be? Or did it take you by surprise?

I should have known from the beginning that I was going to become a writer. I was writing stories in public school and turned “journal writing class” into “novel writing class” (because I loved story telling and disliked journaling.) I lost my way a bit in a high school and in university, tried different things, left writing, came back to writing, and left writing again. It wasn’t until I was about to go into the third year of my Bachelor of Arts (in psychology) that two things happened. The first: I started writing again on a regular basis. And the second: I found a Master of Arts program in Writing Popular Fiction and all the classes required for the degree sounded like heaven. I wanted to take all of them and all of the elective courses, too. I certainly didn’t want to take the third year statistics class required for my BA. I played it safe for two more years, testing out if I really wanted to write by taking a college class (and finishing my BA), but in a way becoming a writer was inevitable. I had always been writing. I might take a break from writing for a year or so, but I always came back to writing. I applied for the MA program, was accepted and haven’t looked back.

8.) Do you have a writing routine? Talk process for a moment, how do the words get on the page?

I try to get words on the page anyway I can. At the moment, I’ve been keeping a regular schedule of writing in the morning. I leave the house with my laptop, go some place that doesn’t have internet (because I could spend all day on the internet), and write. When I was writing Ward Against Death I was working at a coffee shop. I would go into work early and write for an hour. Then I’d write on my breaks and sometimes for a hour or so after work.

9.) Office? Closet? Corner of the living room? Do you have a set place to write? A favorite?

I do have an office (my spare bedroom has now become my office), which is where I do most of my editing. But I need to get out of the house to write fresh pages, so I head to the local coffee shop or mall food court or wherever I can get to. Often it’s the walk or drive to the new location that helps clear away the mental cobwebs and helps me get the ideas flowing.

10.) What are you writing now? What's coming out next?

The second book in the Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer series. The adventures of Ward and Celia continue with more undead creatures and evil necromancers.

Thanks so much for inviting me to share with your readers today!

You're welcome Melanie!  Good luck with your series.
 Connect with Melanie:

Website: MelanieCard.com
Facebook:   Facebook
Twitter: Twitter @melaniecard
Goodreads: Goodreads

Links to buy:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Against-Death-Chronicles-Reluctant-Necromancer/dp/1937044092/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311359976&sr=8-1%E2%80%9D%20target=

Books on Board (e-book): http://www.booksonboard.com/index.php?BODY=viewbook&BOOK=1063617

Diesel (e-book): http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/item/9781937044084/Card-Melanie-Ward-Against-Death-Chronicles-of-a-Reluctant-Necromancer-1/1.html 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Australia/New Zealand Tour by the Numbers

It's been two weeks since I've been home and getting re-adjusted to...well, everything...has taken more time than I'd expected.  I'm working on a short story I thought I could knock out in a few days.  I don't know why I thought that since nothing I write is ever "quick" even blog posts take me longer than I'm sure they do for others.  I'm also supposed to be working on book 2 of the Healer Series - I've two pages written - yikes.

And I've gotten off the topic, which is my tour down under.  If you receive my newsletter some of this may be a repeat, but I've added a few things and pictures for my blog :)

The three weeks on tour just flew by and it was unbelievable to meet so many of my readers.  So here's a summary of my trip by the numbers:

15 hours - The flight from San Fransisco to Sydney - The steward on my flight called it,"purgatory," perfect description as it's dark outside almost the entire trip. Landing and sunrise coincided beautifully.



1 - Gorgeous Harbor (see picture above)


3 crossings of a roundabout in Byron Bay without getting hit!  Confusing traffic patterns for an American.



4 days in Byron Bay - The hippie culture is alive and well there - so fun to see such free spirits. Picture is a camper you can rent for your vacation (www.wickedcampers.com)  1 day off to see the sights.


1 Lighthouse - Hiked uphill both ways to the lighthouse in Byron Bay - the eastern most point of AU - worth the heart attack!

2 dinners at the Hog's Breath Cafe (hog tail fries are yummy!), 2 brekkies at the Why Not? cafe and 1 brekkie at the Twisted Sistah cafe.


30+ cups of English breakfast tea for me and 50+ cups of skinny lattes for me new Mum :)  Latte at the Bay Leaf restaurant (above).


60 Brisbane readers (see above). They had emailed me, asking for me to visit, and they all came even though it was a Monday night and they had a week's notice!



6 days in Melbourne (pictured above).  4 schools and 4 public events all well attended :)  Chilly rain and cloudy all 6 days.  2 days off - I shopped at the Queen Victoria's Market the first day and had dinner with friends. Second day I went to the Melbourne Zoo and played with the kangaroos :)



• 21 nights that I saw rugby and Aussie Rules Rugby (called footy) on TV. I'm currently experiencing withdrawal.


5 days in Sydney - 4 schools and 4 public events. Took a tour on a cold, windy, cloudy day to Bondi Beach - saw the Opera House up close, but didn't go in.  Wished I had more time to see Sydney.



5 days in Auckland, New Zealand for the Romance Writer's conference - had a great time and made lots of new friends.  1 sad loss - author Sandra Hyatt (Hyde) passed away that weekend :(  My condolences to her family and friends.



1 day off in Auckland - went to the Waitakere Ranges Park to see waterfalls, rain forest (see above) and black sand beaches (see below).  New Zealand is gorgeous and I MUST go back there.




1 regret that I wasn't able to have a public event in Auckland :( 

5 bags of Snickers Pods and 1 package of Tim Tams consumed

12 hours - number of hours one way Meaghan and her boyfriend drove to see me

9 public events - all well attended; 14 new words learned





And finally, 1 new Mum who made the trip extra special (you know who you are!).

Thanks to everyone who attended one of my events and to the Harlequin office in Australia who did all the hard work in setting the tour up and to Amy and Deb at dmcpr-media who helped spread the word and arranged all those fun radio and TV interviews.


Monday, September 5, 2011

TOUCH OF POWER COVER ART!

Yes - I'm home from Australia/New Zealand - had a fantastic time and will write a whole blog on my adventures :)  But I just sent out a newsletter with the cover art for TOUCH OF POWER - the US and UK covers to 7700 people, and before they go viral, I wanted to post them here as well :)  I'm NOT going to post the first chapter of TOP as that's special for my newsletter subscribers ;>  It will go on my website around Sept 15th.

Without further ado....here they are:

USA Cover

UK Cover
So what do you think???

And for those who haven't heard about my upcoming book (coming out December 20th according to Amazon and Amazon UK) - here's the cover copy:

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Fifteen Realms, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life....