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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Launch Day INTL Giveaway!

Welcome! Today, my and Wendy Higgins’ NA novels are in the spotlight!


And in the tradition of book birthdays, that means a celebration and prizes for you!

As part of our festivities, I’ve invited the lovely Wendy to my blog (and she's invited me over to hers) for some interactive fun. First, here’s a quick look at her book, Unknown:


Amber Tate believes the worst thing she’ll suffer in life is dealing with the unrequited love she feels for her brother’s best friend, Rylen Fite. She also believes war is something unfortunate that happens places far, far away from her rural Nevada town. She’s wrong on both counts.

When an unknown organization meticulously bombs major cities in the United States and across the globe, a trickle-down effect spreads to remaining towns at an alarming speed—everything from food and water sources to technology and communications are compromised. Without leadership, the nation is split between paralysis and panic, but Amber isn’t one to hide or watch helplessly. She’s determined to put her nursing skills to use, despite the danger, even if it means working alongside the man she can never have. 

In this first installment of NY Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins’s debut New Adult series, a frighteningly realistic apocalyptic America is brought to life, entwined with searing romantic tension that will leave you eager for more. 


(BTW, I’ve read Unknown and it was great! You can find my thoughts on GoodReads.)

And now a peek at my book, The Architect of Song:


A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower - intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death. 

For most of her life, Juliet Emerline has subsisted - isolated by deafness - making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she's at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name "Hawk" on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton. 

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton's secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches ... or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton's interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it's too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.  


Okay, let's get to the interviews. The heroine from my NA—a gothic literary romance—is Juliet Emerline from the Victorian era. She’s fascinated by how far women have come in Amber’s twenty-first century setting, and insisted we invite Amber over for a quick Q&A.

So here are our leading ladies, chatting about the differences in their technology and cultures.

*****

Juliet: *motions to the chaise lounge* Please have a seat, Miss Tate. So lovely of you to join us today. My first question isn’t so much a curiosity as it is an observation and a point of envy. I understand women of your time no longer have to hide in the shadows should they have particular talents for withstanding blood and gore. That they can be on the battlefield as soldiers, or even doctors, if they so choose. Could you tell me what a typical day of your job might entail? 

Amber: Hi Juliet! I mean…Miss Emerline, hehe. I love how you’re so proper. Yes, things are very different now, but in a lot of ways women still have to work extra hard to prove themselves. For me, I had to constantly prove my worth to my big brother and his best friend as I was growing up. But I was very lucky to be able to go to nursing school, based solely on my desire and merits, and nobody questioned it. My job as an emergency paramedic is fast-paced, busy, and often heart-wrenching. I’m there to help people at their lowest, and most frightening moments. I’ve watched people die, and I’ve helped people live. It often takes an emotional toll on me, but I wouldn’t change jobs for anything!

Juliet: *smiles and nods* Yours is a noble calling. Much as I like to help others, I wouldn't be comfortable in your shoes. I prefer peace and solitude while crafting my hats. Socializing poses a unique challenge for me. Speaking of hobnobbing, I'm unsure if there’s any stock in this rumor, but there are tales of the undead walking the earth in apocalyptic times. Have you met any zombies yourself?

Amber: Hahahahaha, oh my God, you are awesome. And no, thank all that’s holy, but we have not encountered any zombies in our insane apocalyptic time. There are strange, unexplainable things happening, and we’re working to get to the bottom of those events, but no walking dead.

Juliet: *lets out a relieved sigh* Oh, that's very good to know. I can't imagine filling out dance cards for galas or seating charts for dinner parties when half the guests are decomposing. Let's discuss modern amenities, shall we? It is said you have hot running water and motorized vehicles. I’ve experienced the luxury of warm baths—living in a Manor that sits atop a hot spring—but I must admit to being very intrigued by the horseless carriage. Do you feel that in your society, such conveniences are taken for granted?


Amber: Before this apocalypse hit—World War III—whatever people want to call it, I absolutely took every technological advance for granted. Our cars still work, and we can cover a ton of ground very quickly, but we need gasoline to fuel the engines. Gas (I think you guys would call it petrol?) is hard to find these days. So is running water. But I used to stand under a shower and feel the hot spray for as long as I wanted. *sigh* It was glorious. Frankly, we’d gotten lazy as a society. Now we’re forced to do things for ourselves that we’ve never had to do, and it’s hard.


Juliet: And to think, we use petrol for lamp oil. How brilliant, that it can one day power an entire carriage! I hope in time, you can return to the comforts you've lost. I've one final curiosity, if you'd allow me a whim of fancy …being a hat maker, fashion plays an important role in my life. However, unlike many cultured ladies of my time, I prefer stylish comfort and mobility over societal expectations and guidelines. What elements are important to you in your daily outfittings?

Amber: I am all about comfort. In my job I pull  my hair back in a simple band, and wear something called scrubs. They’re 100% cotton, soft, loose, with a drawstring at the waist. You would die of comfort, Juliet. They are the bomb dot com. Uh, sorry, that means they’re really great. Although not very stylish or flattering. I suppose us nurses have to get by on our personalities, ha.

Juliet: *laughs* If that's the case, you must get on quite well with your charm and wit! Thank you again for stopping by, and Godspeed to you and yours. I hope you win the war, for our future's sake.

*****

Thank you ladies! Now, Wendy and I will both answer a few quick questions to shed some authorial light onto our books.




















Q: Did any specific songs inspire you while writing your book?

Wendy/Unknown: I wish I could say yes, but I honestly don’t listen to any music while I’m writing. I want to be one of those cool authors who listens to badass playlists to pump them up, but I need complete quiet.


AG/Architect of Song: It's always fun to see how each writer has their own unique routine! I'm the opposite of Wendy. I need music to spark my muse and moods. As for the songs that inspired parts of Architect, they're mainly somber piano accompaniments, romantic ballads, lullabies, instrumentals, and vocals with poignant lyrics and gentle melodies. Here are two, as an example: 
  1. Everyone’s Memory is Snow by Phildel: An instrumental with dreamy, melancholy piano-work reminiscent of snow or petals falling, that inspired me as I wrote many of the bittersweet and heartbreaking moments of the book.

  2. This Voice by Ane Brun: Ane’s gritty and earthy vocals juxtaposed with the upbeat melody perfectly represent Juliet’s unease yet elation to have discovered a way to hear a voice again—a wondrous secret she can’t share with anyone.
To see all 43 of the songs, follow this link.



Q: Could you share a few images of your characters to give readers an idea of what they look like?


Wendy/Unknown: This has been tough for me, especially a Rylen, and even this is not exactly how I imagine. But the others are pretty much on point. 

Bianca Santos as Amber Tate. 



Drew Van Acker as Rylen Fite. 



Brenton Thwaites as Jacob “Tater” Tate. 



And this particular image of Hayden Panettiere for Remy Haines.




AG/Architect of Song: I don't know the models' names, but here are my three main characters...


Ghostly Hawk

Juliet Emerline

Lord Nicolas Thornton

You can find more character and Victorian inspired images on my Architect of Song pinterest board


Q: What gave you the idea for this story?

Wendy/Unknown: For many years of my adulthood I had recurring apocalyptic nightmares: flooding, earthquakes, tornadoes, going underground, having the land overrun by enemies and having to hide. It was like the movie Red Dawn. I would wake up terrified and wondering what the heck was wrong with me. Years passed and I began reading a lot of dystopian books, starting with Orwell’s 1984, and moving on to YA. Most of what I read were stories that started in the middle of the action, after the dystopian societies were already set up. I was fascinated by HOW the societies fell, and decided I wanted to write about how a normal girl in the United States would handle losing everything, and how it could be possible for the world to fall.


AG/Architect of Song: I actually wrote a whole blog post about the story's origins once. Short version: I was in a 19th century graveyard and saw a tiny fenced-in plot with a lone headstone and a flower growing beside it. It struck me odd that the grave was isolated, and my muse started dancing around, coming up with all sorts of scenarios as to why it might be. Then I asked myself: "What if the person buried there was somehow tied to that lonely flower? What if their life forces had intertwined?" 

All my contemplating birthed a story of a young woman in the Victorian era who touches the flower and awakens a nobleman's spirit. To bond her with the ghost immediately, she would be deaf due to a childhood illness, and his is the first voice she's heard in eleven years. I based Juliet's communication off of a deaf librarian assistant who worked at my elementary school years ago. She read lips so adeptly it was amazing (she'd been reading them/ practicing her whole life). I was so impressed by that ability that it left an indelible impression, so I wanted my character to be a tribute to her. 

However, since Juliet lives in a more discriminatory era, she would be judged on her deafness by ignorant members of society, and have to learn to embrace as a strength what other people saw as a weakness to overcome their prejudices and show herself for the strong, intelligent woman she is. So that became her character arc which played out through her solving a tragic and dangerous mystery. Sadly, I don't know where that librarian is now, or even if she's still alive (she was in her early fifties way back then), but hopefully I did her justice through Juliet. ;) 



Q: Could you describe one of your favorite scenes in your book, and/or share an excerpt? 

Wendy/Unknown: One of my favorite scenes is when Rylen comes back on a visit from his military deployment, and Amber is seventeen-years-old, looking much more grown than the last time he saw her. I love seeing him take her all in with his eyes, and to feel the tension between them. I have a teaser image with a quote from that scene for you. Enjoy!




AG/Architect of Song: Having a paranormal element offered some creative tools for Juliet to use while sleuthing.  From my experience with the librarian in my childhood, I knew Juliet's communication would be tricky. Good lighting and face-to-face proximity were the only ways she'd be able to read lips. For any scenes from afar or in the dark, or were anyone's heads turned, she would have to miss out on what was said. But that's where having a ghost as an accomplice comes in handy. She could rely on Hawk to relay the words being spoken. 

One of my favorite (and one of the most pivotal) scenes in my book takes place on a rooftop where Juliet is watching an interaction between the viscount and another man through a telescope. Hawk is standing next to them, translating what they're saying to her mind as she's watching through the lens. 

Here's a quick unspoilery peek at the setup:



*****

That concludes my interviews! Thanks again for dropping by, Wendy. :) And thank all of you for joining us for our celebration. Be sure to drop over by Wendy's place for a whole different character interview.


Below are pictures of the prizes being offered for the INTL giveaway. Enter the rafflecopter before you leave, and good luck!


Prizes:





Grand Prize (1 winner)
Signed paperback copies of The Architect of Song and Unknown + swag packs and posters 

2nd Place (1 winner)
Signed posters and swag from both authors 

3rd Place (2 winners)
Signed swag from both authors 

29 comments:

  1. Fingers crossed! I can hardly contain how much I'm looking forward to The Architect of Song, and Unknown looks very interesting, too!

    Happy Book Birthdays, ladies!

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  3. I read The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins and loved it, I can't wait for the second book. Both Unknown and Architect of Song sound amazing too

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  4. Happy release day to you both; I loved The Architect of Song and I can't wait to read Unknown. Thanks this epic giveaway.

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  5. So excited for both books to come out!!!!! I won't be able to buy them both right away ( I have surgery on a few days, and I don't know how long my recovery will be, so who knows when I'm going to get paid again), but as soon as I can I will get my butt out and get them both!! Gahhh!!!

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  6. Yay maybe a Greek will win for once

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  7. I was already excited about Architect, but I hadn't heard of Unknown. Thanks for pointing me toward a new book to love!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  8. Yay! Congratulations Anita! You know how much I love #TAoS ~ another 5 star read for me! Thank you for the beautiful post and fabulous giveaway! Xoxo

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  9. ahhhh Happy Book Birthday to y'all!!

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  10. Can't wait to read both of these beauties! :)

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  11. Happy book birthdays!!!!!!
    Both books sound amazing and thank you for the great giveaway!

    Raffle name: Artemis Giote

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  12. Can´t wait to read the amazing books

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  13. I cannot wait to read either book. They sound absolutely fantastic!!!

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  14. I've been wanting to read the sweet evil and splintered series for a while because of bookstagram. Still on top of my list!

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  15. Ohh~ the model characters are all grrr ! Haha Excited for these two books! :)

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  16. I cannot wait to read these books! They both sound amazing!!! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  17. I've been wanting to read The Architect of Song! And Unknown sound really interesting. Thanks for the chance!!

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  18. Wow wow wow, they both seem so interesting!! Can't wait to read them <3

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  19. Congrats and happy release day to both!! These books sound amazing, thank you so much for the chance :)

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  20. I can't wait!!! I've been waiting to read The Architect of Song, and Unknown sounds spectacular.

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  21. I can't wait to get lost in both of theses stories :) Both books seem like awesome reads.

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  22. So excited with these new books!!! Hope I win something rsrs

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  23. These books so amazing and exciting! I know of A.G. Howard and her books but this post has also introduced me to Wendy Higgins, and I am thrilled to start checking out her work.

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  24. I'm so excited for those beautiful new books!! Looks amazing <3

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  25. Ooh, both of those books look GORGEOUS!!

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  26. OMG, both books sound absolutely AMAZING!! I can't wait to read them!! So EXCITED!

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  27. OMG thank you so much for this amazing giveaway! I'm dying to read both books, they sound so interesting! Two of my favorite authors ♥ And those covers are gorgeous! I'd love to have these beauties in my hands ♥
    Yay! Congrats on the release!

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