The Awakened Sequel News, A Special Ash POV and More!

I have so so so much news everyone!

As all of you know (or I hope you know lol), there my debut novel, The Awakened, came out through OfTomes Publishing this past December. Its been doing quite well and I’m loving all the incredible responses you’ve all thrown my way. Its been a sort of surreal last few months…The Awakened has officially been out for 3 months today! How crazy.

And to celebrate that, I’m sharing four things. Three of these were shared just this past Saturday, in celebration of my birthday, but I didn’t post them here so I wanted to make sure everyone saw it!

One and Two:

This past weekend, OfTomes and I announced the title of the hopefully highly anticipated sequel to The Awakened and the release date.

The Sanctuary follows the continuing story of Zoey, Ash, and Liam and introduces even more characters. I’m so excited to say that it’ll be releasing December 1st of this year!

Three:

However, if that wait is quite long for you, I’m working on something new to tide you over in the meantime. When I first began writing The Awakened, I didn’t realize that Liam would resonate so much with the readers. In fact, I didn’t realize he would have been such a big deal to me, or my story. He sort of snuck up on me. When Zoey sees Liam again at Sekhmet, I was just as surprised as she was! I adore him to pieces and I know that you do too!

So I’ve been thinking about Liam, the person that he is, where he came from, where he’s going and how he ended up in Sekhmet. And I talked about to Ben about it and he agreed and was as excited for me to tell a little bit of Liam’s story as well.

So! Coming sometime this spring/summer, we will have a brand new novella release for you, untitled at the moment, but hopefully that’ll change soon. It’ll be fairly short, not quite prequel, not quite book 1.5. I like to think of as a companion to The Awakened, and I can say that it’ll have small sneak peeks of what is to come in The Sanctuary.

More information is to come, so keep your eye out on that!

Four:

On Christmas Day, I did something special for a select group of people who had preordered The Awakened. I had written a short piece of The Awakened in Ash’s POV. Since then, only about 30 people, if even, have seen and read this. Because you guys have been SO insanely awesome, I’ve decided to share it for the first time with all of you!

Click the link here to read it! 

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Book Review: Passenger (ARC) by Alexandra Bracken

Genre: 

Young Adult, page Fantasy

Pages: 

464 pages

Part of a Series?:

First in a planned trilogy

Release Date: 

January 5th, adiposity 2016

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

passage, diagnosis n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever

My Review:

I am actually kind of sad that this is the first novel that I have ever read by Alexandra Bracken. I have owned The Darkest Minds for quite awhile and haven’t read it because honestly I just haven’t gotten to it. I was lucky enough to get this ARC of Passengers (which came in the coolest ARC box – see picture below) and I dove right in. I mean, look at that book cover. That book cover is absolutely gorgeous and that book grabs you as soon as you open the cover.

This book is absolutely incredible. I think its such a great blend of fantasy and history and mythology. I love that there is a time travel aspect and I love that it just flows seamlessly, that it just works. It gives that sort of fantasy to it but Alexandra writes it so well that it just is so easy to accept. I love time travel and I love this approach to it. Its beautiful. Its a beautiful example of world building and I give Alex massive props for creating it. I love it all.

I also love the history aspect of it. Seriously. A lot of research had to go into it. This book jumps from 2015 to the 1800s and the 1600s and World War 2 and all over the place and I love every single moment of it. I am a former history major and I love history. I love historical novels so the various time and places that Etta and Nicholas visit are just beautiful. I seriously hope there is more of that in the sequel, I imagine so, because that was easily my favorite part of the book. I love the time travel and the history and the myths and the way it sort of flowed together. It was part fantasy and part science fiction and 100% amazing.

I also really loved the dynamic of Etta and Nicholas. There is obviously a romance there but the difficulties between them are so real. Two different time eras, and the way they think and the way they were raised, the things they want in life. And then there’s this complication of them running through time, on an endless scavenger hunt for a hidden object. And Nicholas is, I believe, half-black, which makes him traveling through time, difficult, to say the least. There are so many aspects to this novel, obstacles and such and they’re blended so wonderfully. I loved it.

I loved every bit of this novel. I am seriously so impressed with this novel and I can’t wait to get the finished copy in my hands. I’m so lucky that I got to read it early because seriously it was so good.

The only problem with it though is now I have to wait MUCH longer for the sequel.

I’m so bad at waiting.

 

Rating: 

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Tuesday Top Ten Launch Day Edition – Ten Things You Should Know About The Awakened!

Happy Release Day to me!

Official Awakened Cover

That is probably one of the weirdest and most surreal things I’ve ever typed up on this blog. I’m seriously blown away by that!

But its today! Today, order  The Awakened is a real book out in the real world! All over the world, decease people can go online and buy a copy of MY book, either in Kindle and paperback format! This is crazy to me. But also it feels amazing. This is what I’ve spent most of my life hoping for. Working my ass off for. I’m glad its finally here.

Have you gotten your copy of The Awakened yet? Its okay! I’ve provided a beautiful link here for you ;)

Even better! In just half an hour, I’ll be starting my SIX HOUR Twitter party extravaganza. If you don’t follow me on my author twitter yet, you definitely should! I’ll be on Twitter from noon PST to 6 pm PST, celebrating the release of The Awakened. I’ll be answering any and all questions you have, and reading alongside anyone else who is reading it! I’m going to be sharing snippets from The Awakened and even smaller ones (but still cool) from the rough draft of The Awakened 2. I’ll have giveaways, including signed bookmarks, signed posters and Kindle copies of the book.

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Definitely come and check it out! You don’t have to stick around for the whole six hours so come by anytime, shoot a question my way, anything! I’ll be happy to chat with all of you!

Now moving on to this week’s Tuesday Top Ten. Today is a special one, since today is my release day! So excited! Today I’m sharing ten things you should know about The Awakened before you read it! There are NO spoilers below, so don’t be scared to go beyond this part!

Also below is the schedule for the blog tour! SO many amazing and fantastic blogs are participating, sharing in The Awakened celebration and hosting me as a guest writer or in interview form. There is also information for the giveaway as well! It runs until December 12th so get those entries in!

Now, let’s get to it!

The book is about zombies…sort of

For so long, I hesitated to compare the Awakened to zombies but there are similarities for sure. They’re both undead, and they both crave one thing: human flesh. However, the Awakened don’t really have the same origin as zombies and that’s a huge plot point in the novel. And they’re smarter. They’re reflections of their old selves, but their overwhelming hunger outweighs that and makes them the monsters they are.

Zoey and Ash aren’t perfect. 

I’ve had beta readers and reviewers and several people tell me, I loved the book but Ash drove me insane or god I got annoyed with Zoey. And I’m okay with that! I want you to feel that! Both of these characters are incredibly flawed! They’re 18 years old and kind of sheltered, very taken care of, until the world goes to sh*t and so they mess up a lot. They make a lot of mistakes. And that’s okay. That’s a huge part of the book, having these two figure out what the hell they are doing.

The bombing was an accidental scene. 

I didn’t intend to bomb every major city as part of a plot point. I remember watching The Walking Dead with my boyfriend at the time and saying, jokingly, “Why don’t they just nuke everything? Why do they just let it get out of control?” Well, because my brain can’t shut off, it got me thinking and I wondered, what if they DID bomb everything? Where would you go? What would be the consequences of that? And that’s why I wrote it in.

“Nightmare” by Set It Off is the unofficial theme song. 

I was having SUCH a hard time at the beginning of this novel. I had this idea and for me, it was very risky. I don’t write science fiction! I’ve always stuck to romance! So this was out of the box for me and I was feeling doubts about actually accomplishing it! I went to a concert where Set It Off was opening, the first time I actually saw them. They played Nightmare and it just immediately stuck to me, and that song, plus the entire Cinematics album was on repeat while I wrote.

All the settings are done by research not experience. 

I have not been to ANY of the settings that are in the novel. I know, crazy right? I was originally going to have Zoey from Los Angeles, since I’ve lived here in Southern California my entire life but my book before The Awakened took place here so I needed a break for sure. So New York, and all the other settings, were researched. It was hard at times. I forgot that Zoey and her companions would be FREEZING at times because it was winter. Winter isn’t much of a thing here so that was actually genuinely tough! There is a setting that appears at the very very end of the book, and I have been there. That setting is way more important in the second book and I’m glad I’ve actually BEEN there LOL.

The Awakened was supposed to be a standalone. 

When I originally started writing the book, I had no plans to write more than the one book. As I continued to write, however, I realized I had created a world and a scenario much, much bigger than just one book and I realized I’d have to split it in two. People keep asking if it’ll be a trilogy but I think I’d lose my mind if I attempted that LOL. It’ll be two books and that’s it!

Zoey and Ash used to be Kate and Nate. 

Kate. And. Nate. Did I ever mention how absolutely AWFUL I am at naming characters? I am truly truly awful at it. I would just name all my characters the same thing if I could because names are baffling to me. It took me a second to realize their names rhymed and I was so horrified at myself. So I changed Nate to Ash. Then eventually I changed Kate to Zoey. I tend to do that a lot, change character names. I like change and I get tired of names quickly. I almost changed it from Zoey too until my friends were like, NO. I’m so glad they keep me in line…

The 5th Wave, Alienated and Unremembered were the biggest influences on the book. 

I love all three of these books so much and they all had huge influences on The Awakened. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey did a lot for the survival part, especially since my characters are teenagers like Cassie. It was beyond helpful. I LOVED using Alienated by Melissa Landers to incorporate the romance between Zoey and Ash, but also still make it about the science fiction. Though Alienated is definitely more romance, it was so helpful. I think one of the most helpful though was Unremembered Jessica Brody. Its SO science fiction but it has a heavy foot in reality, in the reality we know and it showed me that I could totally write this book. It had a HUGE influence on this book.

The Awakened gave me the confidence to write more science fiction. 

I honestly didn’t think I could write science fiction before this book. I still sometimes don’t think I can do it. The book I wrote about this one is called Benched and is a new adult sports romance novel. Much shorter, and felt much easier to me. But I do feel the confidence to take these ideas I have and go with it. I’m currently working on the sequels to both The Awakened and Benched but I have an idea for a sort of space/robot/cyborg story about a girl named Nadia, who is the last human, the last princess, left in existence, surrounded by robots and cyborgs, until she finds out maybe she’s not. Its daunting but I really believe I can tackle it.

The sequel to The Awakened will open the world even more. 

The Awakened focuses a LOT on the main characters and their own problems, their own survival. Its very very centered on them, and for good reason. Its all about Zoey and her companions. However, in the sequel, its going to be very much about the rest of the survivors as well. Its going to be much more about the bigger picture. This is SO daunting to me but I’m excited for it. I’m excited to open up this world and exploring the bigger consequences of everything that has happened.

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I hope you guys enjoyed that and that you enjoy reading The Awakened! I am so excited that its out today. Don’t forget that there is a great giveaway going on, hosted by me, which has no effect on me saying its great ;)

Up for grabs is a signed book, poster and bookmark, more signed posters and bookmarks and kindle editions of The Awakened!

Giveaway Graphic

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour for interviews, guest posts and more!

November 26th: Reading and Reviews / What A Nerd Girl Says

November 27th:  Living Within Fiction

November 28th: Lisa of Literature / Seeking Bazinga

November 29th: Chloe’s Book Nook / Book and Movies Addict

November 30th: Tine’s Reviews / Escape from Realities

December 1st: What A Nerd Girl Says / The Book Academy / Bookish Wonderland

December 2nd: Recently Acquired Obsessions / Morgan Reads

December 3rd: Case Maynard, Author / Movies, Shows and Books

December 4thBout of Bibliophilia

December 5th: Tesairie’s Book Reads / iFandoms Collide

December 6th: Just One of Those Bibliophiles / A Traveling Book / Endlessly Readings

December 7th: My Life in Blog / Erin Rhew Books

December 8th: Metamorphic Books / Knightingale Reviews

December 9th: Reading Over Sleeping / Always and Forever Fangirl

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THE AWAKENED Cover and Release Date Revealed!

I am SO insanely excited to share this with you today!

I’ve been counting down the days to revealing the official cover for The Awakened, tadalafil and to finally tell you when you can get your hands on this beauty!

As a reminder, my debut science fiction novel, The Awakened, is being published by the amazing BenjaminOfTomes through his brand new micro publishing company, OfTomes!

I’m insanely excited about this. I’m about to finally share the cover, and I’ll also share the synopsis. I’m going to add the links to my official author pages: website, instagram, twitter, etc, so please follow me on there. Then also click the link on GoodReads to add it to your TBR list!

All right now…

You ready for this…

I am SO SO SO ready for this…

Here it is!

The Official Cover Reveal!

Official Awakened CoverThis is the official front cover! This is what you will see when you buy it in ebook format!

Official Awakened Paperback Cover

This is what the entire paperback is going to look like!

ISN’T IT GORGEOUS!

I can’t handle how much I seriously LOVE it. This is MY book and it looks totally amazing. Sigh. Its beautiful. Mad props out to Kim at KimG Designs for making this absolutely beautiful and more than I could have ever hoped for!

The Official Release Date

December 1st, 2015!

And for those of you in Southern California, stay tuned for an official launch party!!

The Official Synopsis

Zoey Valentine is concerned with two things: surviving the multitude of self-defense classes her dad makes her take and avoiding Ash Matthews.

That is, until the Z virus hits, wiping out a third of the population in a matter of weeks. If that weren’t frightening enough, the bodies of the victims disappear and suddenly reappear, awakened from their dead state. They’re faster, smarter, and they work together to get the one thing they crave, human flesh.

The United States is in a panic and then the government decides the unthinkable: to bomb every major city overrun with the awakened.

Now Zoey is on the run, with her dad and Ash, desperate to find a place of safety amongst the ruined remains of the country.

Add it on GoodReads Now!

All My New Official Author Links

Please follow them!

My Website 

My Twitter

My Instagram

My NaNoWriMo

My Facebook

My GoodReads

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Thank you SO much for being a part of this! Stay tuned for more info on preorder, giveaways, and all sorts of awesome stuff coming soon!

HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT!

This news is so exciting that it had to be announced in all capital letters! That is how amazing this is!

After two years of hard work and determination and passion and frustration and alllllll the feels and emotions…The Awakened is officially going to be published in both ebook and paperback format this December the 1st, sick of 2015!

Yes! You read that right! I’m being published! EEK!

I am so excited about this! I was getting to the point where I thought I had taken it as far as it could go. I’ve been receiving rejections for over a year now and its been a struggle. I’ve been trying indie publishers for the past four months or so. Its been incredibly frustrating. I was basically giving it until the end of the year before putting in the work to self-publish it.

That’s when everything changed. The wonderful, viagra the amazing, story the passionate, the fantastic Benjamin of BenjaminOfTomes, the BookTuber extraordinaire, has recently started his own micropublishing company, OfTomes Publishing. Which is so totally exciting. Ben is awesome and passionate and he has the COOLEST following and I’m just so excited for him. Find him on his Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram. He’ll have an official website soon and I will definitely share that once its up!

His first book is Secrets in Phoenix by Gabrielle Lepore and I’m SO insanely excited to read it and get my hands on it when it comes out in October. There is so much more about that book to come though, so please keep an eye out! For now, make sure to click the cover to add it on goodreads!

So anyway, he was taking open submissions and I thought…why not? I’m so excited for his new company and he’s an awesome person, so…why not? I submitted The Awakened and sort of left it at that. I did NOT expect the quick response I got. It was a matter of days before Benjamin had basically fallen in love with it and over the course of the past few weeks, we’ve worked together to build our partnership and I’m so excited to announce that The Awakened is going to be the SECOND release of OfTomes Publishing, coming THIS December 1st, 2015!

AGH! I still can’t handle how insanely excited I am for this! My brain can’t comprehend this. This is literally my dream coming true and I’m just…I’m so excited.

I have seen some designs for the cover and we’ve talked about the interior design of the book and I’m just so excited guys. Its going to be truly amazing. Make sure to follow me on allll my social media platforms, which you can find under my bio. I will be sharing everything as it comes! We’ll have a cover reveal and we’ll have links for preorder.  There will be a limited amount of eARCS and all that good stuff so make sure to follow me and OfTomes Publishing for all the excitement.

In the meantime, definitely definitely definitely add the book to your GoodReads! I want EVERYONE adding this book, and getting excited because its just going to be absolutely amazing!

Thank you to every single one of you that comes to my blog and reads my reviews and listens to me when I forget to believe in myself and who have supported me 100%. You guys are amazing, you are my first fans and friends and I’m just so happy to have you guys here and to have you guys a part of this AMAZING journey!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

The Awakened Has Officially Been Submitted to Swoon Reads!

The Awakened Cover

 

And I could SUPER use your help.

As most of you know, what is ed I wrote a novel called The Awakened. It is a science fiction romance in the YA category (of course) and it is my baby. Read the synopsis here:

Eighteen year old Zoey Valentine is concerned with two things: surviving the multitude of self-defense classes her dad makes her take to keep her safe in their New York City neighborhood and avoiding her school bully, Ash Matthews, whose latest transgression includes dumping glitter on her during fourth period. College is just around the corner and she’s ready for it. 

That’s when the virus hits, wiping out a third of the population in a matter of weeks. If that weren’t frightening enough, the bodies of the victims disappear and suddenly reappear, awakened from their dead state. They’re like zombies, but worse: faster, smarter, working together to get the one thing they crave, human flesh. 

The United States is in a panic and then the government decides the unthinkable: to bomb every major city overrun with these awakened victims. Now Zoey is on the run, with her dad and Ash, desperate to find a place of safety amongst the ruined remains of the country.

I worked hard on it for over nine months and I’ve been working hard for nearly a year to get it published. 

It is NOT an easy road. It’s not. But I’m not giving up. It’s just too important to me to do that. So I’m going another route, in the hopes that I can find a way to get this from my computer and into YOUR hands.

Swoon Reads is an incredible publishing company, and they are a part of Macmillan, which is a DREAM company for me. Legitimately a dream company. And they do this absolutely incredible thing: they allow you to upload your manuscript (as long as it’s romance!) and let the audiences (YOU) choose what books to be published.

I’ve read a TON of their books. I’ve actually just recently gotten a few more in the mail as ARCs. You guys pick amazing books and they publish him and I think its just completely fantastic. Its a wonderful thing and I thought, you know what, why not try that for The Awakened?!

So that’s what I’m doing.

And that’s where YOU come in.

What I need you guys to do…what I would absolutely LOVE and APPRECIATE if you did, is to head to the link below (you can also click the cover of The Awakened above) and go and read it and rate it and help me get this thing published :)

Now if you don’t like it, that’s okay! Its not for everyone, I know that. I hope you don’t give me a bad rating but don’t EVER feel obligated to give me a GOOD rating. I just know that there are a TON of you that have expressed interest in reading the book and now you can in. And if you like it, you can help me out. And that means a LOT to me.

SO if you can, if you’d like to, if you want to, head over to this link:

http://www.swoonreads.com/m/the-awakened

and read and rate The Awakened. I would so appreciate it!

Thank you guys :)

Happy Reading!