Monday, January 13, 2014

Author Interview: Michelle Flick

Today I get to interview one of my closest author friends, Michelle Flick. Michelle lives in Western New York with her family. She teaches 8th grade ELA and is a lover of coffee, dogs, and music. You can find Michelle on Facebook, twitter and on her blog:

About the dog:

Fergie is real! She is a 5-year-old collie. She hates tiled floors, loves the outside, and is never far from her family members. She is as loving and loyal as the Fergie in the novel!


Tell us a bit about your latest release, WALKER?
Walker is a novel about a girl who can walk through dreams. At first she is freaked out by it, then she meets her dream boy, Nick. She is trying to acclimate to everything and then weird murders start to happen. Kate’s pretty smart so she starts to piece everything together.

In five words, describe your protagonist, Kate. 
Girl next door, smart, tough

What was the inspiration behind WALKER? 
There really wasn’t this big A HA! moment. More – I saw the sisters having a conversation. Then I wanted my collie in the story. But I’m a paranormal junkee – but I didn’t want to the typical, and thought about who was freaky and scary- and Freddy Krueger came to mind. Hello scary. So that was the narrative arc for the dream side of the novel. I then added JCru, Elise, and Colton because, let’s be honest – who doesn’t like a bitch, a loud mouth, and some eye candy? J BAM – The story matured.

Can you tell us about your previous release, THE OWENS LEGACY: REVELATIONS? 
I loved this one. It’s about twin girl who can communicated telepathically. Piper is sassy and finds trouble. Ryder is the level-headed on.  But they get caught up in an Ishtar prophecy and have to figure it out…
Two book boyfriends appear in this novel – Victor the vamp (swoon) and Finn (the boy next store.)
I had a lot of personality in this novel, much like WALKER, I never really knew what was going to come out of their mouths.

What made you want to write a vampire novel? 
I’ve been a fan of vampires since that Keanu Reeve movie – Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I was really young – maybe my mom shouldn’t have let me watch it, but she did. I love vampire movies. I love the stories. It’s what I know – so for my first novel – it made perfect sense.

How do you manage to juggle being a school teacher, new mummy, and a writer? 
I am not sure you can say I juggle. I struggle J  I have supportive family and friends. I def wouldn’t publish if I didn’t have people who help with the actually publishing process or people to watch my little one.
Plus I don’t care if my house is a mess.

What was the last book you read that gave you a book hangover?  
Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins – I’m a huge fan of her. I love Kaiden Rowe (His last name is actually my last name). It was provocative, but not over the top. It was a solid story. I am still annoyed I have to wait until April.

What can we expect from you next? Is there anything that you’re currently working on?
It’s a contemporary piece I originally wrote years ago (like 6?). It’s something I need to personally finish. It’s about a girl named Tess Walters who gets her heart stomped on. She was in love and is blindsided by the break up. She doesn’t cope. Period. She finds a helping hand in an unlikely spot – her grandfather.

It’s in its basic form. I need to amp up the characters a little, make some scenes a little more sassier, and smooth it out. I hope to have it out in March or April.

Thank you so much for joining me, Michelle!


You can find out more about Michelle in the following places:

Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below!

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

For the Love of Books Giveaway Hop!

I really want to thank Jessica from Thoughts at One in the Morning for asking me to be a part of this fun giveaway hop!  I'll be picking three winners to win TWO of the following books listed. The giveaway is international and you can enter via the Rafflecopter below!

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Interview with Samantha Durante

Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. The Stitch Trilogy is her debut series.


Thank you so much for joining me, Samantha! I’m so excited to be a part of the SHUDDER blog tour!
I’m very excited to be joining you, Komal, thanks so much for hosting me!

For those unfamiliar with the Stitch trilogy, could you briefly tell us a bit about it?
Sure!  Stitch starts out seeming like a college ghost romance, but it’s got a big sci-fi twist that lands the characters in a disturbing future dystopia.  The second book, Shudder, is more grounded in dystopian territory, but it’s got some interesting paranormal additions to keep it fresh and different.  And I can’t tell you much about the third book, because I haven’t written it yet!

Stitch was a skillful cross between the paranormal, science fiction, and dystopian genres. I expected Shudder to solely focus on Dystopian, but was surprised when it drifted into the paranormal genre once again. What is your favourite part about crossing genres in this unique way?
Blending genres for me is a way to bring something different to the table.  I LOVE dystopian books, but let’s face it – there are a lot of popular ones out there right now, and the last thing I wanted to do with Shudder was rehash the same old tropes and storylines.  I thought the additional of some paranormal elements would help the book to be unique and hold readers’ interest, even if they’re burned out on straight-up dystopian reads.

Stitch had a huge twist towards the end that no one saw coming. When you went into writing Shudder, did you have any idea how you were going to outdo the twist in the first book?
That had to be the hardest thing about writing Shudder – how was I EVER going to outdo the genre-bending twist in Stitch??  In the end, I couldn’t think of a way to do it without going off the deep end and turning the series into like a cowboy space opera or something ridiculous, so I decided instead to just focus on making Shudder a really strong story and trying to avoid the dreaded “second book syndrome.”  I wanted to use this book to expand upon the foundations that were laid in Stitch, answer readers’ questions about the world-building, and continue to develop the characters, with a healthy dose of action and romance thrown in to keep the story moving.  I was able to bring in a *few* big twists this time (my favorite being the jaw-dropper in Alessa’s last chapter – sorry, I’m a sucker for cliffhangers!), so hopefully those will tide readers over until we can really kick things up in the conclusion of the series.

You presented many interesting ideas in Shudder, but what really resonated with me were your views on over-population. What were you hoping that your readers would take away from the story?
You know, I don’t really have a good answer on how to address the issue of over-population (and being someone who would eventually like to have 4 kids, I’m certainly in no position to preach to anyone to about population control!  lol).  But I can very easily see our world going the same route as the one in Stitch, where eventually just too many people competing for resources is going to have massive, planet-threatening consequences, and it’s really scary to think about that happening.  I guess the message here is that we all need to take a collective step back and look at what we’re doing and try to come up with some solutions, rather than forging blindly ahead until it’s too late (much like we’ve done with global warming…).

Could you tell us something about Stuck, the final book in the trilogy?
Things are going to get shaken up in a massive way for Alessa and the gang, and they’re going to have to find a different way of accomplishing their goals than they originally thought.  That’s all I’m going to say for now.  :-)

What was it like writing a sequel? Was it easier or harder than writing book one?
I thought writing Shudder was actually a lot easier than writing Stitch.  All of the hard parts – the backstory, the character introductions, the world building – are out of the way, so you can really focus on the fun parts and on making the world you created richer.  It was great to just set Isaac and Alessa loose and see where things went.

How much planning do you do before you write your novel? Or do you just go with it and see where the story takes you?
I do a TON of planning.  I literally do not write even a sentence until I have the entire story plotted out and a completed chapter-by-chapter outline that I feel fairly satisfied is 90% of the way there.  The remaining 10% I allow to develop as I’m writing, since sometimes ideas will occur to me or I’ll begin to see a development in a character that I didn’t notice before which is worth expanding on.  But in general, writing is the easy part – when I sit down to write, I already know where the story is going, so I just need to get the words out and try not to make too many typos along the way!

What are you currently reading?
I’m actually knee-deep in parenting/pregnancy/birthing books, since I’m six months along with my first, and (like with my writing…) I like to be prepared and have some plans in place before I jump into things.  But once I finish those off, I have a list of great new sci-fi books plus a few compelling YA/NA contemporaries – many of which are from other awesome indie writers (cough, Falling for Hadie, cough, cough) – that I’m dying to crack open.  :-)

Do you have any other projects in the works? What can we expect from you after the conclusion of the Stitch trilogy?
Nothing in the works right now beyond Book 3 (besides this baby, haha!), but once the Stitch Trilogy is released, I do have a bunch of ideas for potential stand-alone YA/NA sci-fi novels that I’m really excited about!  I’ll be sure to keep readers up-to-date on my blog/social media as plans cement…

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
THANK YOU for all of your enthusiastic support of the Stitch Trilogy!  I never expected people to be so receptive to my work, and I feel enormously grateful for each and every person who’s picked up one of my books.  :-)  Also, stay tuned tomorrow on the Shudder tour for more BAD GUY WEEK and themed posts about your favorite Stitch villains!

Thank you for your time, Samantha!

Thanks again for having me, Komal!


If you haven't read Book 1 in the Stitch trilogy, Stitch is currently 99 cents on Amazon!

You can find out more about Samantha and her books on the following sites:

Twitter - @SamanthaDurante

Monday, July 8, 2013

Wrong Side of Town Cover Reveal!!

Wrong Side of Town, the third book in my With Me series just got a new cover! It was designed by the super talented Eden Crane. I love this cover!

You don’t realize someone was missing from your life until the moment they enter it.

Estella Markson is a good girl. She studies hard, stays out of trouble, and is struggling to hold together her family that is falling apart because of her alcoholic father.

Vincent Madden is the guy your mother warned you to stay away from. He doesn’t follow the rules, is in a notorious motorcycle gang, and doesn’t care if he breaks the law or someone’s bones.

After a chance encounter, Vincent starts to take an interest in the innocent girl who is so different to him. Despite Vincent’s infamous reputation, Estella is also intrigued by him. There is something about this bad boy that gives her an escape from her world of problems, and she can’t stay away.

Even as they struggle with the problems in their lives, Vincent and Estella soon find that trying to forget is easier with someone by your side.

Add it on Goodreads!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Top 5 Memorable Moments from Falling for Hadie

Hadie: That’s a pretty tough question. There are some pretty awesome, memorable moments in Falling for Hadie. What are you going to say?
Komal: I guess I could talk about memorable moments revolving around certain characters and scenes. Do you think that would be fun?
Hadie: Super fun!
Komal: Well, in that case, why don’t we start with you, Hadie.

#5 – When Hadie Swinton and Lincoln Bracks meet for the first time
“Watch where you’re going!” she snapped.
I was taken aback by the hostility in her tone and stepped back, folding my arms across my chest. “You’re the one who knocked into me. Do you need your eyes checked or something?”
Her lips gave an angry twitch. “What sane person walks backwards? Maybe you need your legs checked.”
I couldn’t help but smirk. “You wanna check them for me?”

Hadie: That was not cool! He was so rude to me!
Komal: You were pretty rude to him!
Hadie: Yeah, I guess I did overreact a little. So, what’s next?

#4 – When Eddie writes a song for Hadie

Komal: Let me give you guys some back story. Eddie likes Hadie. Hadie dates Bennett. Hadie and Bennett break up. Eddie still likes Hadie. Hadie dates Lincoln.
Hadie: Do you have to talk about my love life in such literal terms? It’s so weird!
Komal: I figured that if I was more literal, it would get through to you a bit better. Anyway, so in this scene, Eddie isn’t aware that Hadie and Lincoln are dating. Eddie’s in a band, so he writes a song and has the lead singer perform it when Hadie comes to the gig. I thought it was a really cute scene.

#3 – When Lincoln makes Hadie scream profanity into the darkness

“…Shit happens, Hadie. Life happens. If we sat around trying to figure out why things happen to us then we’d get absolutely nowhere. Sometimes it’s just best to accept the things that happen and move on. Give life the middle finger…”

Hadie: I will never forget those words. Everything that Lincoln said to me that night was the absolute truth.
Komal: That scene was so powerful. It’s amazing what Lincoln taught you.

#2 – Hadie’s parents

Hadie: *face palms* Oh, God. Like Dad needs a boost to his ego.
Komal: Hey! Your parents are the bomb!
Hadie: Never say that word again. Please.
Komal: The bomb! The bomb!

When I walked into the kitchen to grab my dog’s leash, I found my parents kissing.
“Ew!” I cried, shielding my eyes with a hand. “Don’t you two have a room where you can do that?”
Dad turned to me, his brown eyes twinkling. “We need to tie a collar with a bell around her neck so we know when she’s coming. Don’t you think, Susanne?” He glanced at Mom.
“Oh, that’s a great idea,” Mom said as she gave me a teasing smile. “I can get her a name tag too. I’m always forgetting her name. What was it again?”
Dad scratched his head as he studied me. “It’s H-something. Hannah, wasn’t it?”
“No, Henrietta?”
“Harrison?” Dad slapped his palm against the side of his head as if it had suddenly dawned on him. “I remember now. It’s Hadassah!”

Hadie: That was gross! I don’t want to see my parents kissing!
Komal: Wait, there’s one more scene that I loved that they were in.

Dad raised an eyebrow. “Will there be boys where you’re going.”
“Probably, Dad.”
“And alcohol?”
“You know I don’t drink.”
“Do you want to borrow my pepper spray?” Mom quizzed as I sat down at the table and pulled on a pair of ankle boots.
My brow furrowed at her question. “Mom, why do you have pepper spray? You’re a secretary. What’s the worst that could happen to you?”
“Sometimes your dad gets handsy at work,” Mom said, wiggling her eyebrows up and down. “I need something to keep him at bay.”
Dad winked at her. “You know it, Sugar Pops.”

Hadie: Well, that settles it. I have the world’s grossest parents. Please tell me the #1 most memorable moment is something less vomit-inducing and doesn’t revolve around my parents.
Komal: There’s nothing to worry about—
Bennett: Say it. You’re #1 memorable moment revolves around me.
Komal: *in disbelief* Why would it have anything to do with you, creep?
Bennett: Because I’m just that awesome.
Komal: You’ve got to be joking. You’re a total jerk and—
Hadie: Let me handle this. You go ahead and share your most memorable moment. Bennett and I have some things to talk about.
Komal: *mouth drops open* Some things? Like what? What are you discussing that I don’t know about?
Hadie: That’s another story for another day.
Komal: This doesn’t sound good. *composes self* Sorry to keep y’all waiting! My #1 most memorable moment is pretty special and is actually the entire epilogue. I can’t share all of it due to spoilers, but here’s a few lines from it. Thank you for reading along! <3

#1 – Epilogue

Cherish every second you have. Hold the ones you love close to you.  Sing, even when you don’t know the words to the song. Smile when the sun shines on your face. Dance in the rain.

Friday, June 7, 2013

STITCH by Samantha Durante is free!!!

Stitch by Samantha Durante is FREE on Kindle this Friday (June 7th) to Tuesday (June 11th)

A college ghost romance with a SURPRISING dystopian sci-fi twist, Part 1 of this trilogy is sure to keep you on your toes!  (And better yet, Part 2 - Shudder - launches on the 15th!)  You definitely don't want to miss this innovative debut novel that will appeal to fans of the YA and New Adult genres - check out my review here!

Stitch (Stitch Trilogy, Book 1)
by Samantha Durante
Genre: YA/NA Dystopian/Paranormal Romance
Synopsis: see Amazon or Goodreads
Rating: 4.3 stars (100+ reviews)
Get Your FREE Kindle Copy Today!  Limited Time ONLY (June 7-11th):

Share the news for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!  (Open Internationally)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Summer Kindle Giveaway!

I'm really excited to take part in the Summer Kindle Giveaway! If you're stopping by here for the scavenger word, then it is: SURF.

Next, here's a bit about my book which is featured in the giveaway, along with a lot of other amazing authors and books!

Ashton Summers is on her way to becoming the most popular girl in school and nothing—or no one—is going to stand in her way. Especially not Luca Byron, her freak neighbor, with his tattoos, loud music, and distracting green eyes.

Luca Byron has three goals in life: get through high school with a low profile, make sure his garage band becomes something more than a hobby, and try to forget about his insufferable ex-best friend, Ashton, who he can’t get out of his mind.

The last thing Ashton and Luca want to do is rekindle their friendship, but when Ashton takes a tumble down the social ladder, Luca—with his new makeover—is the only one who can help her rise up again by pretending to be her boyfriend. At first, being together is unbearable and annoying, but things start to change as Ashton and Luca discover the real reasons they drifted apart seven years ago.

Now, keeping their hands off each other seems impossible.

It’s that time of year again – SUMMER.
Shorts, flip flops, and sunglasses.
While the ice cream is thawing, the sun is rising, and that summer heat is blazing, I say it’s about high time for a giveaway! Wouldn’t you say?
And what better way to enjoy the beginning of your summer than with a little reading? How about doing that reading on a new Kindle HD?

This summer kindle giveaway is brought to you by an amazing group of Indie authors who’ve decided to start your break off with a kick. Follow the giveaway everyday of this month and collect your summer words as you go. Submit them in the end and earn yourself more points towards the grand prize! Complete the rafflecopter and you’re set.

Today's summer word is: [insert your word]

Ends June 30th – 12:00 AM EST
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