Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Through My Letterbox! 14/01/14

Through My Letterbox is a meme that myself and my mum (from JeanzBookReadNReview) created to showcase the books that we receive and review on our sites. Our meme was inspired by In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren & Letterbox Love hosted by Narratively Speaking.

What came Through My Letterbox this week:

We received A Breath Of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey, the first book in The Lovegrove Legacy series, for review from Bloomsbury!

We also received Flame by Amy Kathleen Ryan , the third book in the Sky Chasers series, for review from St Martin's Press! Check out my reviews for the Glow & Spark, the previous two books in the Sky Chasers series!

This week, we received Vengeance by Megan Miranda, the second book in the Fracture series, for review from Bloomsbury! My review of Fracture, the previous book in the series, can be found here!

What books came through your letterbox?!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Promotion: Beginnings by Nina Soden

By Nina Soden

Beginnings is the second book in the Blood Angel series.

Surrounded by a new world where the horror films she grew up watching have become reality Alee finds that the most unlikely characters have become her lifeline. If she thought hunting in the wild and drinking blood was bad, what will she think when she becomes the hunted? 

Newly armed with the knowledge of being half witch and half vampire Alee, the only surviving Dhampir in history, is forced to learn to control a lifetime of magic and vampire powers if she wants to survive.

Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Promotion: Awaken by Nina Soden

By Nina Soden

Awaken is the first book in the Blood Angel series.

The Blood Angel series is set in a world very much like our own, yet Atlanta isn’t just an ordinary city and Alee Moyer isn’t just an ordinary girl. Having barely survived her childhood it will take the death of her father for the truth of her true bloodline to come out. 

Even if it means losing her life, or at least her identity she won’t be able to escape her true destiny as the first surviving Dhampir in history. Surrounded by a new world where the horror films she grew up watching have become reality and the most unlikely characters have become her lifeline, Alee will struggle to find herself and her purpose.

Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Author Interview: Nina Soden

Nina Soden has written Awaken & Beginnings.

1. What is your name and where do you call home?
Nina Soden and I live in the South with my wonderful husband and beautiful children, but I still call California and Michigan home.

2. Do you have a pen name?
Nope... I'm just me.

3. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
Beginnings is about Alee, the first surviving Dhampir in history, and is filled with magic and paranormal delights.

4. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Beginnings is the 2nd book in the Blood Angel Series. The first book was Awaken. I am currently writing the 3rd book in the series titled Revenge.

5. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I started writing poetry when I was in high school. I won't age myself by saying how long ago that was, but it has been a while. After college I moved on to screenplays and actually finished a couple of short film scripts and one full-length movie script while I was living in Los Angeles. After leaving LA and moving to the South I published a book of poetry and then started writing short stories and finally moved on to the Blood Angel Series. I'm not really sure who inspired me to write. I think it was just a way to express myself creatively. I've always been creative, be it art, theatre, film, writing, anything but singing. With a background in acting and very little opportunity to act out here writing just seemed like the next best thing.

6. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
Yes of course. If someone is willing to do a professional - honest - review of my book I'm willing to send them a copy. I just want to make sure that my book is within the genre they enjoy reading.

7. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
The cover of Awaken was inspired by a pivotal moment in the lead characters journey and it just spoke to me while I was writing. The cover of Beginnings is more subtle and a little more  symbolic of the change/transformation the lead character is going through. A woman named Julie Csizmadia designed the covers of all three of the books in the Blood Angel Series... she is amazing - creative - and so easy to work with.

8. Which is your favourite cover of all the books you have written?
I have two books published and four covers designed... I really don't know which is my favorite. I love them all so much.

9. Is there anything you would change about your book covers?
No I love them. I think Julie did an amazing job.

10. Do you have a play list in mind for any of your books?  
When I was writing Awaken I listened to a lot of Dave Matthews Band, Jason Mraz, Lady Antebellum, Plumb, and Maroon 5. When I wrote Beginnings I listened to a lot of OneRepublic, Adele, Mat Kearney, and the Zac Brown Band.

11. Did you listen to any particular songs whilst writing your books?
Not really... I just pretty much go with whatever is playing on my iTunes. But, I did listen to a lot of the bands I listed above, among others.

12. Would you have different book covers for different countries?
No. I think the covers I have convey the feeling of my books clear enough for any country.

13. How did you come up with the title for your book?
The titles are just about where in her journey Alee finds herself.

14. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
Of course... Both of my books went through many MANY edits, but of course not all of the spelling / grammar errors were caught. Even with a minimum of 5 people working on edits there are still errors. I feel bad about that, and wish I could have caught them all, but I did my best. I have read many books written by very well known authors who have still had errors in spelling and grammar - so I can't feel to bad, but when that pops up in reviews it still bothers me. I don't want my readers to be thinking I'm not good just because there are some errors. I put my heart and soul into my writing and I just really want my readers to see and feel that, and not be focusing on grammar. I'm not perfect by any stretch of the imagination and I've never said I was, but sometimes readers can't see beyond the mistakes and a lot of times people look for them so they have something bad to say in their review. I always try to see the positive instead of the negative and hope my readers can do the same.

15. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
I have a very basic book trailer for Awaken that can be found on YouTube. I did it myself and am not a film editor so when I say basic... I mean basic. I like book trailers though. I think they are a great way to appeal to a different audience. I have purchased books solely based on the trailers before and I'd do it again. Especially for self-published authors I think it is important to do whatever you can to get your name out there and your book titles in front of as many people as you can. We don't have a huge publishing firm working for us so we have to do it on our own. Social media outlets, including YouTube, are great ways to be seen.

16. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I love them all! My books are both in e-book form simply because self-publishing in paperback is so expensive. However, I read e-books and print books. There is just something about the feel of a real book in your hand and the smell of a brand new book. Audio books are great on long car rides - they seem to make a long drive seem so much shorter. I used to listen to audio books during my commute to work and back when I lived in LA and I didn't really mind the traffic. I can remember days when I'd be in traffic for hours, and when I'd finally make it home I'd sit in my car just so I could finish hearing a chapter in the book I was listening to.

17. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
Yes. I self-published with www.booktango.com and they were incredibly easy to work.

18. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
Oh God yes. Back in high school and college I read many of Stephen King's books multiple times. Most recently I read the Twilight series twice, and I think over the years I have read Little Women about 8 or 9 times. There are others but if I had to list them all it would take way to long.

19. Have you ever bought a specific edition of a book because of it’s cover? (For example a UK, US or Canadian version)
No, but I also don't have room to keep a library of books. I have a lot of hard cover copies of Stephen King's books, but other than that I really only keep books if they are part of a series. Other books I read and then pass on. I figure if I enjoy a book maybe someone else will too.

20. What is your opinion of novellas?
I think they're great. Many times they are just the right length to get you involved and invested and they are a wonderful way to read new authors. I have found some really good Indie authors just by reading novellas.

21. Have you ever read a book just based on it’s cover?
YES! Most of the YA novels I've purchased have been because I thought the cover was cool.

22. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
No. I figure some authors don't have the money to spend on cover design - especially self-published authors. For me it is a combination of the cover, the title, and then just how I'm feeling that day. I will read just about anything and enjoy reading just about anything. My parents taught me that when sitting down to eat you have to try something before you can say you don't like it. I take that same theory to books - How can you say you don't like a book or an author if you haven't given it/them a chance? So, I read.

23. What is your favourite film based on a book?
The Harry Potter Movies. They are just so childlike and alive and yet they appeal to adults just as much as to children.

24. What is your favourite book genre at the moment?
Supernatural - YA and Adult

25. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I am reading the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton in paperback. Once I start a series in print I have to finish it in print - I can't stand to have some copies in one format and others in a different format. I just doesn't look right on my bookshelf :)

26. If you could invite any four celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
Wow, great question. The first person I would pick would be Audrey Hepburn because she is my favorite actress of all time. Stephen King because I would love to get inside his mind just for an hour or so. He has haunted my nightmares on many occasions and I think it would be fun to see where his creative ideas come from. William Shakespeare because I do love the theatre, and there is nothing like a well done Shakespeare production. Lastly I think I would pick Anne Rice because in my opinion she really did build a wonderful foundation for Vampire novels. Of course Bram Stoker having written Dracula back in 1897 paved the way but I just feel that Anne Rice opened the door even more to give readers the opportunity to see vampires in a different way and writers the freedom to write their own versions of what they feel vampires are.

27. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
The best advice I have been given and can give is this - Chances are if you're a self-published author you aren't going to sell enough to make back what you put into your writing so don't worry about what anyone else thinks, just write what you love and do it for you and no one else. You can't fail if you love what you've written.

28. Do you have any hobbies that aren’t related to reading & writing?
I'm an actress. I do a good deal of community theatre. Actually before I left California I did a number of independent films and some television spots, but those were under my maiden name and many years ago.

29. Where can your readers follow you?

Twitter: @Nina_Soden

Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!