Review: Heir of Ashes by Jina S. Bazzar // An intriguing mix of fantasy and romance // Plus Interview & Giveaway!

Title: Heir of Ashes
Author:  Jina S. Bazzar
Series: Roxanne Fosch, book 1
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Trigger Warning: Abuse, Violence
Heat Rating: Cool
Page Count and Format: 409 pages, Ebook
Published: April 15th, 2018
Source: I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating:

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Roxanne Fosch had a perfectly normal life at the age of twelve. Cool, popular, pretty, smart. Her dreams of a perfect, successful and prosperous future seemed well within her grasp.
By the time she was twenty-two, she had become a commodity. A fugitive. She was being hunted.
As Roxanne embarks on the dangerous quest to search for half-truths about her past, she discovers she’s not just an abnormal human, but a rarity even among her Fee peers.
She is hunted by scientists, keen to exploit her extraordinary abilities, as well as other beings far more dangerous whose plans for her she cannot fathom.


This book… you know guys, I have found quite a few hidden gems among the self-published books and this one is definitely one of them!

Roxanne has been sheltered her whole life, kept in a cage for experiments for many years until she escapes the clutches of the scientists who experiment on a preternatural creature like her. She may be vulnerable being completely alone out in the world for the first time but she knows how to take care of herself. Roxanne is constantly hunted though she has no idea about her origin or what she actually is. Her path coincides with Logan, a werewolf who becomes an ally but he is not someone without motive. As their paths continue to clash, it is up to Roxanne to decide which path she wants to head on.

An Intriguing Plot

I seriously did not expect I would end up falling in love with this book! Seriously, it was sooo damn awesome. roxanne reminded me a bit of Logan from X-Men but that’s where the similarity ended. The plot book was completely new and unpredictable journey. I mean, there were so many elements threaded together in such a way that it created an awesome storyline.

“When one faces pain on a daily basis, one either learns to live with it or let it consume him.”

Roxanna is on the run after escaping from the clutches of the scientists who have been experimenting on her for ages. She finally succeeds in executing her plan which she had forming for many years but trouble follows her like a shadow. Roxanne’s is curious about her heritage and her mother from whom she was taken by the scientist. I seriously hated those “so-called” scientists without a conscience who didn’t think a second time before hurting Roxanne just for their experiments. I loved the fact that despite what everything she had been through, she was tough and didn’t give up without a fight.

This book comprises a lot of supernatural creatures staring from vampires, werewolf, mages and even hybrids like her. The author managed to input all these different creatures in a single plot without creating a complex atmosphere. These supernatural characters usually blend in with the common people but for Roxanne, it is a whole new world. I loooved the action sequences! She was a woman who was fully independent and could handle herself. I was really afraid for Roxy when that weirdo powerful magician (the forgot the name!! Dramman maybe… whatever, that guy was hella creepy!) took her hostage and the trip to the other world was such a treat!

The history of Roxanne’s character was another intriguing aspect of this book. I had plenty of questions about the whole thing but everything became clear when I read The Curse which is a prequel to this book but I felt it was more suited to read it after finishing this one. It was a short read but I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

Layered Characters

Roxanne was a character not devoid of flaws yet despite everything, she seemed the most human to me as compared to the scientists. Her path crossed with Logan for the first time after she escaped the experiment lab. Logan was among one of the pursuers who were after her but unlike the others, he grew to care and respect for her. It took some time for me to warm up to Logan but he won me over in no time! One thing that I liked about Logan was that he was at least straightforward about why he needed her in the first place. Though I hated that he still kept secrets from her because whatever there is between them grows deeper as the plot proceeded. Roxanne also grew as a character which I thoroughly enjoyed.

“How can a monster tell if he’s a monster if he’s never known anything else?”

Oh, and how can I forget about Frizz!! I just love this kind of supernatural pets in books! They kind of turn up out of the blue but stays in your heart. I am very much excited to see Frizz in the sequel! 😀

Character development

When Roxanne first escapes, she is a complete mess. But slowly and steadily she learns to balance herself with the help of Logan. The development of the romance between Logan and Roxanne left me in awe. It was slow-build and it was more of a warm bond of trust than complete whirlwind romance. The two finally had someone to lean on although they would never admit that and they shared a certain level of intimacy. I loved the chemistry between them and after how the book ended, I can’t wait to see what happens to my precious characters!!

Overall,

Heir of Ashes and The Curse both were fantastic reads! There were so many elements to the plot yet I was never confused. I loved how the author neatly threaded everything in the end. I am curious to find out about the new life that she was offered and the society of the hunters but I can sense something big coming!! The pace felt a little here and there but it didn’t put me off the edge. I was completely engaged in this book from the very beginning. I seriously would have missed out on a lot if I passed on the opportunity to review this book!

Recommend it?

I went too long without a BTS gif!! XD

Yes!


Interview

I had the wonderful opportunity to review the author of this book! Here goes!

Hey there! I’m so glad to have you on my little blog today!

1. How did you come up with the intricate idea of your debut novel, Heir of Ashes?

A: I guess the idea to Roxanne’s story took root in my mind without any prompting of my own. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to write, how the story would begin, a notion about what I wanted to include in the middle, and a silhouette of an end, not to the first book of the trilogy, but to the trilogy as a whole. I had all these jumbled scenes running rampant in my head, ideas and actions for the entire trilogy, and to prevent myself from going insane, I shut them out and focused only on Heir of Ashes.
I can’t say there was anything special about it, except that the urge to write kept getting stronger, and once I gave in to the urge and started writing, the ideas became more solid and all I could do to keep up was keep on typing.

2. How would you describe your female protagonist, Roxanne Fosch?

A: Roxanne is a very complex person – naïve, kind, compassionate. She’s also had a horrific experience that left her somewhat jaded, mean and unfeeling at times. But deep inside, she’s just another girl trying to lead a normal life.

3. What is your writing process? How do you develop your plots and characters along with working with your external difficulties

A: There isn’t a particular process to my writing, except that I consider the story as a whole, a beginning to the story, a notion of the middle and the very end. I try to pick my scenes this way too, though I can’t say I always know what I want. Sometimes I sit and imagine how I want a particular scene to start, what I want in it, how I’d conclude that scene. Sometimes the images don’t flow like water though, and I need to relax, read a book, bake, and listen to music. Well, I guess I have a process after all. To be fair, a lot of times the story just keeps on flowing and I barely have any time to consider what’s next.
If I happened to think about a scene that I’d like included but that didn’t fit yet with the story, I’d add a note to the end. I had a lot to delete as I finished the first draft, but these notes served me well.
I’ll assume external difficulties here mean me being blind, and I can’t say that it affects my writing in a negative way, except when I’m editing. I need to focus hard then and make sure the words I used are the correct words – for example, then and than, its and it’s, be and bee, by and buy, and all the words that sound the same or sound alike. I had the auto correct on when I wrote the first draft too, and it didn’t always agree with what I wanted, so it would just go on and change the word to what it thought fit better. Of course, the auto correct wasn’t always right.
And then there were the randomly capitalized words.
That part, the editing part, was a nightmare, and I know a lot of those went unnoticed by me. Some of them were caught by the editor, and still, the person who did my last proofread bears testimony to how many of those the editor and I missed.

4. What were the difficulties you had to face while writing the characters?

A: I guess it was keeping their reactions in synch with their personalities and still make them sound real enough.

5. Give us a sneak peek of the sequel to this book. What can the readers expect from it?

A: In the second book, Heir of Doom, Roxanne is learning how to be more dependent upon herself. There will be a healthy dose of preternatural here, as this is now the circle she runs in, but not all are friendly towards her. She will be deceived, lied to, she will uncover more truths; learn some of the ins and outs of the clan. There will be a newfound friend, perhaps even a love triangle.
Frizz will feature more prominently, as well as the Sidhe people, like Lee, Queen Titania and Oberon. She will need to travel through the worlds, and this time her decisions will affect not only her life but the lives of others as well.
Alright, that was a big sneak peek.

6. Do you have any unique or quirky writing habits?

A: Hmmm, I’m not sure what unique would be as I’m not sure what other writers do, but once I finish a draft or a scene, I turn on the automatic reader and listen to what I wrote. It’s amazing how many things I’m able to fix through this process, how much I’m able to cover. True, if I keep repeating the same scene over and over, it eventually turns into a lullaby and I have a hard time staying awake.

7. Which books or authors is your inspiration?

A: A well-written book never fails to captivate me, but when I need inspiration, I turn to Nora Roberts.

8. What is your advice for aspiring writers?

A: Believe in yourself. Don’t try to compare yourself with other writers, you are not them.

It was great having you on my blog today! Thank you so much and I wish you much success in the future.

It was my pleasure, Poulami.


Author Bio:

Jina was born and raised in Brazil, where she had a joyful and fulfilling childhood. Soon after she graduated from high school, she was diagnosed with a chronic disease that caused gradual vision loss. She became blind at the age of twenty-three. She has since lived in the United States and Brazil, though currently resides in the middle- east.

Like most authors, Jina had always been an avid reader, a fan of the fantastic, but was denied the joy of books when she became blind. Once she discovered screen readers, she picked up the habit of reading again but discovered that reading was no longer enough, so she started writing her own book.

When she’s not writing in the Roxanne Fosch series or her blog, she’s writing articles for Conscious talk Magazine, where she works as a columnist.

Aside from the written word, Jina loves to spend time in the kitchen, cooking and baking for her three kids and anyone who happens by.

Author Links:

Goodreads || Blog || Twitter

Purchase Links:

Smashwords || Amazon

Giveaway!! (INTL)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


So guys, what do you think about this book? Have you read any previous book in this series or any other book by this author?

Blogger Spotlight: Interview with Summer @ Xingsings


Hey, guys! Welcome to Blogger Spotlight. This feature is going to contain interviews, guest post, and other fun stuff! So stay tuned for more fun in the future.

For this month’s edition, I bring you an awesome Q&A by Summer @ Xingsings. Don’t forget to check out her blog!

1. Tell us a little about your blog and how you first got into blogging?

Hi, everyone! My name is Summer and I’m a book blogger at a site called Xingsings. Xingsings stands for “Yixing sings.” Yixing (better known as his stage name, Lay) is a Chinese member of the popular Korean boy band called Exo. He’s the main dancer of the group but I’ve always admired his beautiful singing voice, hence the unusual blog name.

As for the origins of Xingsings… I started my blog in January 2015 after my love for reading was rekindled in college and my non-bookish friends were sick of listening to my book-induced rants. Despite instinctively beginning out as a book blog, I think I’ve always sensed that it’d grow into something more someday when I created the tagline “a blog about books AND other obsessions.” Therefore, aside from books, I also talk about Asian dramas, music, and basically anything that is worthy of me gushing over. Over the years, Xingsings became a space where I could fangirl freely and meet others that shared similar interests and passions as I hold.

2. What was the most challenging moment in your blogging journey so far?

Thougeh bloggiondg iss ann outlet I use to relieve stress, it’d be a lie to say it’s a 100% stress-free hobby. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with having to publish posts frequently and staying active in the blogosphere. There’s also that looming pressure as a book blogger to read a lot in order to actually have content to share. Finding a balance between all these things all the while making sure to maintain a life away from the internet can be a challenge at times. Blogger burnout happens; recognizing the signs when I’m in such a state and assuring myself it’s okay to take a step back to recharge is something I’ve recently learned to do.

3. How much time do you spend blogging?

I designate about 5 hours a week to blog. Perhaps if I’m catching up on comments and blog hopping. But it, honestly, just varies. Like with reading, I’m quite the mood blogger. I prefer only logging onto WordPress and working on draft posts when I feel inspired.

4. What genre is your favourite and why?

Hands down, fantasy is my all time favorite genre. Like many other readers, I owe the Harry Potter series for getting me into reading. Then Twilight (yes, I know…) and The Mortal Instruments were the ones that got me reading more young adult literature, which is what I mostly read now. All three happen to be fantasy, so I naturally gravitate towards books from that particular genre even to this day. I love how lush and creative the worlds can be. I get attached to characters easily so it helps that with fantasy I can anticipate the security of reading a series. Although, fantasy standalones are refreshing, too, since they’re so rare.

5. Have you read a book that you would like to rewrite the ending of?

Yes, there have been plenty! I’m kind of a picky reader. (As a reference my current Goodreads average for books I’ve read is a 3.20.) The ending is pretty influential in determining how much I like a story.

6. What do you do when you aren’t working on your blog?

For the most part, school and work pretty much take over my life. But when I’m not preoccupied by either of those, I mostly enjoy reading (of course!). I spend a lot of my free time watching K-pop music videos, Asian dramas, and the occasional anime. Growing up, I also played the piano and was in choir, so music has always been a major part of my life as well.

7. As you are a big fan of K-dramas, can you recommend us your top 3-5 favourites?

Indeed, I am!

My top 5 Korean dramas are:

  1. It’s Okay, That’s Love(2014 series) – romance, melodrama, medical
  2. Always(2011 movie) – romance, melodrama, tragedy
  3. Secret Garden(2010 series) – fantasy, comedy, romance
  4. Empress Ki(2014 series) – historical, romance
  5. Sungkyunkwan Scandal(2010 series) – historical, comedy, romance

If you’d like to see all the Asian dramas (not limited to Korean ones) that I’ve seen and what I thought of them, feel free to take a look at this master-list I created: https://xingsings.wordpress.com/asian-dramas-master-list/

8. Tell us the one bookish destination you would absolutely love to visit.

I’ve never been outside of the States before but I would totally love to visit Ireland. The scenery there just seems so beautiful and the people friendly. It also gives me a lot of comfort to know that English is used there. I know you only asked for one, but I thought I’d also mention that Vietnam, where my parents are from, and Korea are on my on the top of my list as well. The latter because I must see Exo perform live at least once in my life. :’) (Plus, all three of my close childhood best friends are part/full Korean and we’ve decided we want to make a girls’ trip there.)

9. What is your greatest achievement outside of blogging?

Honestly, I feel like I haven’t achieved that much in my life yet since I’m only in my early 20s. But if I had to choose… getting into pharmacy school has probably been one of the bigger accomplishments I’ve achieved so far. I’ve known that I wanted to become a pharmacist since I was in the fourth grade, so it feels a little surreal to be on the path to reaching that end goal. I have three more years of school left (if I decide to opt out on postgraduate education/work, a residency essentially), which feels both long and short at the same time.

10. If someone was interested in blogging, what would be a few things you would suggest?

  • Always remember that there’s no right or wrong way to blog.

  • You make your schedule and you can blog however little or often as you’d like.

  • Write/post what YOU want or are interested in.

  • Don’t feel discouraged when you first begin; the number of views and followers come with time. Besides, ultimately, those aren’t the most important things. I’ve always believed that a successful blogger doesn’t have to be something that is measured by stats. A successful one can be a fulfilled one.

  • Interaction is key! Don’t hesitate to build friendships and make friends.

If you’d like to read more tips, I have a discussion series called Summer Says: https://xingsings.wordpress.com/category/summer-says-2/ (Sorry! Last self-promo, I promise!)

Now, time for some quick questions. You ready? Let’s go!

YES! Let’s do this!

Coffee or tea?

Oh, tough! I brew/buy both nearly every day… Iced caramel macchiatos have been my latest obsession this summer. And, as a South Carolinian, sweet tea is a staple at our house. As is hot tea since I’m also Asian. I might have to cheat on this one and say both! (Lol, this is why these this or that questions are so hard for me!)

Fantasy or Contemporary?

Fantasy all the way!

Long hair or short hair?

Long. Fun fact: I actually cut 15 inches off last year! My hair is growing back already but it is currently shorter than how I typically wear it.

Chocolate or caramel?

(I somewhat answered this one earlier with the coffee/tea question.) Caramel. I get tired of chocolate rather easily.

Board games or video games?

Neither. I’m sort of weird in that I’ve never really liked games.


Blogger Bio:

Hi! I’m a Viet-American book blogger residing in the southern US. I word vomit about a variety of things on my blog but mostly books. When I’m not gushing over fictional characters and K-pop stars, it’s very likely I’m studying drugs. (I’m a proud P2!) I also identify myself as an Asian drama & anime addict, vegetarian, ravenpuff, and Exo-L. (Yixing is my love, hence the unusual blog name.)

Blogger Links:

Blog || Instagram || Twitter || Goodreads


So guys hope you enjoyed this interview!

Monthly Wrap-Up: April 2017!

Hey, guys! How are you all doing?

April was a super tough month for me. Bookish wise, it was great but health wise, not so much. Anyway, without further ado…

Books I’ve read this month:

Poetry:

YA:

         

NA:

   


Books I’ve reviewed this month:

5/5 stars

love, and you by Gretchen Gomez

4/5 stars

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Angelbound by Christina Bauer

Incriminating Dating by Rebekah L. Purdy

Text 2 Lovers and Hate 2 Lovers by K. Webster & J.D. Hollyfield

Maybe Never by Sadie Allen

Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant

Ninja Girl by Cookie O’Gorman

3/5 stars

Don’t Kiss the Messenger by Katie Ray

Descendants by Rae Else


Interview:

I interviewed:


Other Stuff:


Life Updates:

I am kind of relieved this month is over. Lately, I am having a lot of bad luck with my health which is affecting all the other areas of my life. It sucks. But I hope to be back in my game from May. Bookish wise, I had lots of fun, I read a lot of good books, had a rereading session of Penryn and the End of Days trilogy by Susan Ee with Raven @ Dreamy Addictions. I went to the movies and enjoyed Power Rangers with my little brother.  I only bought one book this month, love, and you by Gretchen Gomez and I loooved it so much!! I hope all of you guys give it a try.

Aaand, I won Camp NaNoWriMo!! I only decided to write 15k this month as I had a busy schedule which made it a good decision. But I am super happy that I managed to reach my goal. At first, I decided to continue with Crown’s Bane, my fantasy novel but I still need to work on the world-building so, I started writing Finding Love, a contemporary romance, which is book 2 of my Chasing Love series but it can be read as a standalone. I hope to continue with it so that I am able to wrap it up by July’s camp. Who’ll be participating in July’s camp as well?


Aaaaand that’s a wrap-up! ❤

Lets Chat

So guys, how was your April? Do we have any books in common? What are your April favourites? Aaand, what are your reading goals for May?

Blogger Spotlight: Interview with Lauren @ SERIESous Book Reviews

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Hey, guys! Welcome to Blogger Spotlight. This feature is going to contain interviews, guest post, and other fun stuff! So stay tuned for more fun in the future.

For this month’s edition, I bring you an awesome Q&A by Lauren @ SERIESous Book Reviews! Don’t forget to check out her blog!

1. Tell us a little about your blog and how you first got into blogging?

I credit two things with my starting a book blog: Goodreads & the Delirium Series by Lauren Oliver.

I say Goodreads because it reminded me that there was a medium out there for book reviews. I figured, hey, I read a lot of books; friends ask me what to read all the time; I enjoy writing, I should get on that! So I decided I would write Goodreads reviews for books I read and post them on the site.

Then, I read the last book of the Requiem, the last book in the Delirium Trilogy and hated it! I felt so let down that I had invested 3 years of my life waiting for these books to come out only to be completely let down by the finale! I wondered if there was any what I could have avoided that and tried to Google blogs that review book series as a whole. I couldn’t find any that did it exclusively and so I decided to do one myself!

Thus, I started up SERIESous Book Reviews (I love puns!) to review series on a “to-read” or “not-to-read” basis (I also love Hamlet). Of course, I review new book series that only have the first novel out as well as standalones. I also love movies, so I write reviews on book-to-movie adaptions too!

2. What is your most and least favourite thing as a book blogger?

I actually really enjoy the HTML aspect of being a blogger. When I was younger I really got into HTML and graphic aspects of Neopets and I realized the blogging (years later) filled that void for me. One of the reasons I really wanted to self-host my blog once it was established was to get more control over my blog’s formatting and play around with the graphics.It’s fun trying to format book lists in an interesting way!

Believe it or not, I have a hard time writing 5 star reviews sometimes! Because I don’t write in spoilers, it’s hard to provide evidence for why a book is amazing when you can’t fully explain it. And I also don’t want to just be a raving fan-girl throughout the review either; I want my reviews to have a little substance between the fan-girling.

3. What genre is your favorite and why?

The New Adult (NA) genre as a whole is definitely my favourite genre right now. Specially, contemporary romances. It’s funny because I really don’t enjoy YA contemporaries at all. I think because I am closer to the characters in age and experience, I can relate to the stories in NA so much more.

YA high fantasy though is a close second 😉

4. How many books do you read in a month – roughly?

I average 15-20 books in a month. But now that I’m no longer a student and am starting my career this month, I’m really not sure how many I’ll be able to manage now.

5. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest recently and why?

Jamie Howard is one of my new favourite authors and I wish more people would talk about her! She writes some stellar NA stories. Honestly, I think I’ve given all her books 5/5. They are phenomenal.
Piper Lawson (a fellow Canadian) also writes fantastic NA contemporary romances as well. Her novels get better every time I pick them up!

6. Is there a particular movie or TV series that you prefer or preferred over the book version?

I think the Princess Bride movie is the best example of a great movie adaption. Sure, it helps that the author wrote the screenplay so it is just fantastic. The same goes for The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

The Maze Runner and Stardust are movies that I enjoyed so much more than the books.

7. Have you read a book that you would like to rewrite the ending of?

I’m going to go with The Crown by Kiera Cass and it’s not just because Eadlyn ends up with the guy I didn’t want to be picked (though that is a big part). The whole novel was just so, so rushed to me and I found the ending to be so disappointing. You could have done a lot with this entire world (one of my peeves with the original series as well) and I feel like Cass dropped the ball with this last installment.

Oh, and Requiem by Lauren Oliver. I would really appreciate some closure with that world.

8. Do you have a favorite book cover? Chose up to 3 if you like.

How’s a girl to choose!
1) A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray (honestly the whole series)
2) Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley
3) The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye

Now, time for some quick questions. You ready? Let’s go!

Coffee or tea?
TEA!

Dystopia or Fantasy?
Fantasy (though this could really go either way!)

Pizza or burgers?
Pizza

Cats or dogs?
Dogs

Hogwarts or Narnia?
Narnia!


Blogger Bio:

My name is Lauren and I’m the blogger behind SERIESous Book Reviews! I’ve been blogging for nearly 4 years, focusing mostly on book series and reviewing them as a whole, instead of one book at a time. I’m a proud Canadian (yes: that means I eat ice cream in -20°C weather, apologize a lot and drop the occasional “eh” into conversation)and live in a place that’s best summed up as “a small town south of Toronto”. I adore anything with Shakespeare in it; I love to travel the world (Australia is next!) and I’m only slightly addicted to Netflix. Oh, and I guess you could say I read a lot of books!

Follow her on:

Twitter || Bloglovin’ || Goodreads || Blog


Soo I hope you guys enjoy the interview!

Interview with Merrie Destefano: Author of Lost Girls || Blog Tour

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Welcome to my tour stop of Lost Girls by Merrie Destefano hosted by Chapter by Chapter. You can view the full tour schedule here.


So today I present you the interview of Merrie Destefano, the author of Lost Girls. I read this book in December and quite enjoyed it. You can read my review of the book, here. So, without further ado…

Interview

1. Describe your book in 140 characters.

BLACK SWAN meets FIGHT CLUB.

2. What was your inspiration for the plot of Lost Girls?

I started with an idea that changed quite a bit as I worked on the story. In the beginning, Lost Girls was a book where part of the story was about kidnapped teens that had strange new abilities when they came back home—a bit like superheroes. It was always a mystery, though, where the main character, Rachel Evans, was trying to figure what had happened to her and who had kidnapped her.

3. What genre do you enjoy writing the most?

I really love writing science fiction and fantasy. When I started Lost Girls it would have fallen into one of those categories, but with the changes, the book went through, it became a YA contemporary. I actually think it’s a much stronger book without the fantastical elements.

4. What was the thing that you felt was the hardest to write in Lost Girls?

I’ve been answering this question as the fight scenes, so I’m going to go for a different angle this time. The scenes that were the hardest for me to write because of the emotional content were the scenes that dealt with Nicole. The information Rachel learns as she investigates who Nicole was is pivotal to the story and, to me, it’s heartbreaking. Maybe because Nicole reminds me of a girl who was my best friend for many years.

5. Is the lead protagonist of this book, Rachel inspired by anyone in real life?

That’s a great question! Actually, most of the other characters were inspired by people I’ve really known, but not Rachel. She was born for this story. She’s much stronger than I am, emotionally and physically, so she’s not based on me! Maybe a very tiny bit of her is like Nancy Drew, one of my favorite heroines when I was a young girl, because Rachel finds herself in the midst of a mystery and she’s the only one who can solve it.

6. Have you learned anything in the process of writing that you wished you’d known when you first started?

Yes! There are many things about who I am as a writer that I wished I had known. In the beginning, I didn’t know that I’m an intuitive writer and it’s really best if I get to discover the story as I go. If I do too much outlining or planning it will take away my excitement for the project. So now I usually work with a loose plot point outline, where I know the basic turning points and, most especially, the doorways that lead from Act 1 to Act 2 and from Act 2 to Act 3.

7. What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Don’t give up. It’s a long road. That does not mean the journey isn’t exciting or rewarding. I’ve learned that I’m happiest if I focus on the joy of writing. For me, the process itself is more meaningful and creative and nurturing than getting published. Since I realized that, I’ve been able to have joy even during those seasons when I don’t have a contract with a publisher or an agent. The other thing that I think is very important is the act of nurturing relationships with other writers. It’s awesome to be able to support another writer when they have a new book coming out or when they get a contract. It’s not a competition. The writing community is very supportive. I recommend starting friendships with other writers who are at the same level you are. They are the ones who will be there with you throughout your career.

It was great having you on my blog today! Thank you so much and I wish you much success in the future.

And thank you for inviting me! I had a great time!


Book Info:

Title: Lost Girls
Author: Merrie Destefano
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Published: January 3rd, 2017 by Entangled: Teen

Blurb (from Goodreads):

Yesterday, Rachel went to sleep listening to Taylor Swift, curled up in her grammy’s quilt, worrying about geometry. Today, she woke up in a ditch, bloodied, bruised, and missing a year of her life.

She doesn’t recognize the person she’s become: she’s popular. She wears nothing but black.

Black to cover the blood.

And she can fight.

Tell no one.

She’s not the only girl to go missing within the last year…but she’s the only girl to come back. She desperately wants to unravel what happened to her, to try and recover the rest of the Lost Girls.

But the more she discovers, the more her memories return. And as much as her new life scares her, it calls to her. Seductively. The good girl gone bad, sex, drugs, and raves, and something darker…something she still craves—the rush of the fight, the thrill of the win—something she can’t resist, that might still get her killed…

The only rule is: There are no rules.

Purchase Links:

Amazon || B&N || iBooks || Kobo || Amazon AU || Amazon UK || Amazon CA


Author Bio:

merrie-destefanoCURRENTLY A FULL-TIME NOVELIST and magazine editor, Merrie Destefano’s next novel, LOST GIRLS, releases on January 3, 2017. Her other novels include AFTERLIFE and FEAST, both published by HarperCollins, and FATHOM, which was self-published. The editor of Victorian Homes magazine, she has also been the editor of American Farmhouse Style, Vintage Gardens, and Zombies magazine, and was the founding editor of Cottages & Bungalows magazine.

With 20 years experience in publishing, she worked for a variety of publishing/broadcasting companies that include Focus on the Family, The Word For Today, and PJS Publications (now Primedia). Besides editing and writing, her background includes print buying, writing/producing radio promos, directing photo shoots, developing new products, writing jacket copy for books, creating sales media packets and organizing direct mail campaigns.

Born in the Midwest, she currently lives in Southern California with her husband, two German shepherds, a Siamese cat and the occasional wandering possum. Her favorite hobbies are reading speculative fiction and watching old Star Trek episodes, and her incurable addiction is writing. She loves to camp in the mountains, walk on the beach, watch old movies, listen to alternative music—although rarely all at the same time.

Author Links:

Website || Twitter || Facebook || Tumblr || Instagram || Pinterest || Blog


Giveaway!

(All prizes listed below will be given to one prize winner. Prizes listed are for a US winner only; if an International winner is chosen, the prize will be a $50 Amazon gift card.)

• 1 – Kindle Fire Tablet, black: 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB, 1.3 GHz quad-core processor, with the Alexa cloud-based voice service—just press and ask.
• 1 – digital Kindle copy of LOST GIRLS
• 1 – Pack of 14 vintage-style Swan Lake postcards
• 1 – pr. Black Swan earrings, handmade by author
• 1 – “Always” temporary tattoo

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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