Book Launch: The Illuminator Rising by Alina Sayre

Guys, today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Alina Sayre, author of The Voyages of the Legend Series!

 

The third book in the series, The Illuminator Rising, was launched last week (for a short review of the first book on the Bookwyrms Pinterest Board, click here!) and is already receiving great reviews.
 
 
Alina is joining me for a guest post today, but don’t go away after that, because below that will be further info on The Illuminator Rising and a sight of the truly GORGEOUS cover!

Five Tips to Jumpstart Your Creativity

with Alina Sayre

When I tell people I’m an author, they often sigh and say something like, “I wish I were that creative.” I do think of myself as a creative person, but I also think everybody has a creative side—it’s not a special gift awarded only to a select few. Wherever you are in your creative journey, though, creativity has to be nurtured. Especially with a long project like a book—my latest novel, The Illuminator Rising, clocked in around 76,000 words!—it takes careful habits to cultivate a well of creativity that regenerates every day. Here are some of my favorite tips for jumpstarting your creativity.

1: Get enough sleep. Nothing good ever happens in my life without enough sleep. Including writing. It may seem counterintuitive, but I will actually get more writing done in less time if I sleep that extra hour. Really. Sleeping in is productive. (Okay, sometimes.)

2: Walk outside. Sometimes when I’m in a really intense writing phase, I feel like I’m living in a cave.  Even a short walk outside totally reorients my perspective. The exercise, the fresh air, the beauty of nature—they all combine to give me not only less anxiety, but more good ideas. At any rate, it’s a way more productive and refreshing break than wasting ten minutes on Facebook.

3: Read. Some authors are afraid of reading because they’re afraid it will subconsciously lead them to plagiarism. That can be OK, especially with books in your genre. But at the same time, reading widely can help you cultivate a rich and diverse mental landscape. Obviously you don’t want to steal the words or ideas you read in other people’s books! But sometimes just immersing yourself in the language and imaginative richness of another person’s story can inspire your own brain to generate more creative ideas.

4: Work in the same room with someone else who’s being creative. Doesn’t matter if they’re working on the same project, or even if you know them. When my writing stagnates, sometimes I get together with a group of creative friends and we all work silently around a table (taking breaks to crack geeky jokes, of course). Sometimes I head to a local coffee shop and get motivated by all those productive-looking people hammering away at their keyboards (the caffeine also helps). Maybe it’s the shame factor, or the inspiration molecules bouncing off other bodies (don’t trust me with your science class), but for some reason it works.

5: Change places. I feel like each physical location only has so much creative “juice” in it. I can write like mad at my desk for two days, then sit down the next morning only to stare blankly at the screen. Or just loathe the thought of plunking down in that chair one more time. So I switch places: the couch, my bedroom, the floor, a coffee shop. Gardeners rotate crops in their soil; why not change places to stimulate more creativity in your life?

I hope these tips help you cultivate your creativity, in whatever form it takes. The world needs to see what only you can make. Unleash your inner genius!

 

And now for the gorgeous cover of The Illuminator Rising!

Book 3 ebook cover, Amazon, medium res

Synopsis of The Illuminator Rising, Book 3 of The Voyages of the Legend:

 

Driven from their home island of Rhynlyr, Ellie and her friends must solve a riddle to find the survivors of the Vestigia Roi. But instead of a safe haven, they discover a hopeless band of refugees paralyzed by fear. Strengthened by new allies and new gifts, the crew of the Legend faces dangers like never before. Can they escape being shot out of the sky, falling over the Edge of the world, or being engulfed by urken armies long enough to rally the Vestigia Roi? And can they rekindle a fire from the ashes of the One Kingdom before Draaken takes over the world? 

 

Advance praise: 

“…a thrilling read…[Sayre] has a flair for being able to capture the interest of a reader and hold onto it.” 
-Readers’ Favorite, 5-star review

About the Author:

Alina Sayre

Alina Sayre began her literary career chewing on board books and has been in love with words ever since. Now she gets to work with them every day as an author, educator, editor, and speaker. Her first novel, The Illuminator’s Gift, won a silver medal in the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, and all three books in The Voyages of the Legend series have received 5-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite. When she’s not writing, Alina enjoys hiking, crazy socks, and reading under blankets. She does not enjoy algebra or wasabi. When she grows up, she would like to live in a castle with a large library.

 

Links: 

Book Launch: MEMORIES OF ASH by Intisar Khanani

Release Week Blitz: Memories of Ash (The Sunbolt Chronicles #2) by Intisar Khanani with Giveaway

MoA RWB

 

Hello readers! Welcome to the Release Week Blitz for

Memories of Ash (The Sunbolt Chronicles #2)
by Intisar Khanani

Fantasy lovers, this one’s for you! Love magic, look no further!
And you definitely need to check out the awesome giveaway found below.

 

Happy Book Birthday Intisar!

Let’s celebrate everyone!!

 

MoA Cover

 

In the year since she cast her sunbolt, Hitomi has recovered only a handful of memories. But the truths of the past have a tendency to come calling, and an isolated mountain fastness can offer only so much shelter. When the High Council of Mages summons Brigit Stormwind to stand trial for treason, Hitomi knows her mentor won’t return—not with Arch Mage Blackflame behind the charges.

Armed only with her magic and her wits, Hitomi vows to free her mentor from unjust imprisonment. She must traverse spell-cursed lands and barren deserts, facing powerful ancient enchantments and navigating bitter enmities, as she races to reach the High Council. There, she reunites with old friends, planning a rescue equal parts magic and trickery.

If she succeeds, Hitomi will be hunted the rest of her life. If she fails, she’ll face the ultimate punishment: enslavement to the High Council, her magic slowly drained until she dies.

add to goodreads

Title: Memories of Ash
Series: The Sunbolt Chronicles, Book Two
Author: Intisar Khanani
Cover Designer: Jenny Zemanek
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: May 30, 2016
Publisher: Purple Monkey Press

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple | Kobo

 

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excerpt

“It needs a meal,” the mage says, voice rasping, “and it won’t be me.” He yanks me off balance. I cry out, jerking away from him and lashing out with my glowstone. I manage to smack him hard across the face, but then his boot comes between my feet. For a sickening moment I teeter on the edge of the stairs.

Get back!

I barely register the words ringing in my mind before the mage shoves me, hard. I swallow a scream, throwing my arms up to shield my head as I fall. I slam down the stairs, bouncing toward the mass of tentacles.

Feet first—get your feet first!

I follow the shouted advice mindlessly, twisting my body as I come to a stop amidst a tangle of three or four great tentacles.

Don’t move.

Someone is talking inside my head, and it’s not me. Somehow, that’s almost worse than lying surrounded by the talons of a nightmare monster. Almost.

 

OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:

 

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The winding streets and narrow alleys of Karolene hide many secrets, and Hitomi is one of them. Orphaned at a young age, Hitomi has learned to hide her magical aptitude and who her parents really were. Most of all, she must conceal her role in the Shadow League, an underground movement working to undermine the powerful and corrupt Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame.

When the League gets word that Blackflame intends to detain—and execute—a leading political family, Hitomi volunteers to help the family escape. But there are more secrets at play than Hitomi’s, and much worse fates than execution. When Hitomi finds herself captured along with her charges, it will take everything she can summon to escape with her life.

add to goodreads

 

About-the-Author2

Intisar Khanani

 

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters.

Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Intisar’s current projects include a companion trilogy to Thorn, following the heroine introduced in her free short story The Bone Knife, and The Sunbolt Chronicles, an epic series following a street thief with a propensity to play hero when people need saving, and her nemesis, a dark mage intent on taking over the Eleven Kingdoms.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

 

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Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!

 

Multi-Author Kindle Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Spindle On Tour: AKA, Sharing Is Caring!

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SPINDLE is on tour this week with two other wonderful books: SERVANT OF THE CROWN and THE FREY SAGA.

SPINDLE - 2000Hencely (yes, I did just make up a word. I do that) you can catch up with myself and SPINDLE for a guest post at Mythical Books (What If…?), an exclusive excerpt of SERVANT OF THE CROWN byServant Of The Crown pic Melissa McShane on Brooke Blogs, and an exclusive excerpt and sneak peek for book four with THE FREY SAGA by Melissa Wright on Beck Valley Books.the frey saga pic

You can also enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway to win a copy of each of the books and a $30 Amazon gift card at any of the links above, so yay!

Many thanks to everyone who already entered, and to all the fabulous people who shared links and retweeted tweets! You’re all fantastic!

Sneak Peek: Shards Of A Broken Sword

Between Spindle (Two Monarchies #1) and the upcoming Blackfoot (Two Monarchies #2), I’ve decided to release two novellas in my (currently) three novella series Shards Of A Broken Sword. The first, Twelve Days Of Faery, should be published shortly before Christmas, and the second, Fire In The Blood, will hopefully be released just a month or so after the first. As you may guess, that means I’ve been VERY busy. I’ve been using a different process for the novellas, too; and so far it’s been wonderfully effective and quite reasonably enjoyable. Then, in between writing and plotting, I’ve been ferreting through stock images and premade covers to find suitable covers for suitably low prices. When I get bored with THAT, I start picking out excerpts of Twelve Days Of Faery to show you all. Lucky you, huh?

In Twelve Days Of Faery, King Markon of Montalier is at the end of his tether. His son, Prince Parrin, is afflicted with a rather nasty curse that slaughters, maims, or brutally attacks any woman with whom he so much as flirts. After the rumour that sweeps around the kingdom, promising that any woman breaking the ‘curse’ will be eligible to marry the prince, there is no shortage of willing volunteers. Unfortunately, there is also no shortage of bodies piling up.

Markon needs to do something, but what? Can a visiting enchantress from Avernse help, or is she simply another accident waiting to happen? And will Markon be able to give her up to his son if she does break the curse?

Well, that’s it from me! Spindle is on a whirlwind tour with Prism Book Tours, so I’ll be tweeting about that during the week, with a quick post midweek to catch up with all the action. In the meantime, do enjoy this sneak peek from Twelve Days Of Faery!

***

Still, when Markon introduced Althea to Parrin, she didn’t seem particularly coy. She curtsied to him with less depth than she had curtseyed to Markon, and said in an offhand manner: “You’re rather prettier than I expected from the portraits.”

Parrin bowed and smiled, but he looked as though he was no more sure than Markon was that he’d been given a compliment.

“I understand that you have a rather difficult problem,” continued Althea. She was remarkably business-like for a girl who had just been discussing marriage. Not a maidenly smoothing of the hair or sparkle of the eye. “I have a little bit of an idea about it. May I ask questions?”

“Of course,” said Parrin. He was cautiously admiring her, though Markon was pleased to see that he didn’t go so far as to smile. The boy was thoughtless, but Markon would like to think that he wasn’t so careless as to potentially endanger Althea.

“The first two girls, the fiancées–”

“Yes, lady?”

“Both of those were accounted to be accidents, weren’t they?”

“Yes, lady. The countess was thrown from her horse in the courtyard and the princess was attacked by bandits when she returned home from a visit.”

“How long between the betrothal and the death for the countess?”

“A few weeks,” said Parrin, tugging at the cuffs of his jacket. He had been very fond of the girl, thought Markon with a pang: he had also been the one to find her.

“The princess?”

“A few months.”

Althea frowned, a quick, reflexive action. “You weren’t immediately engaged again afterward, were you?”

“No: I met Jeannie at court and we stepped out a few times. She disappeared before it even got about that we were thinking of each other. After that it seemed to take less and less to activate the curse.”

“What set it off most recently?”

“I smiled at the girl,” said Parrin glumly. Markon couldn’t blame him: he remembered what it was like to be Parrin’s age, and the idea of being unable to so much as kiss a girl without something unfortunate happening to her was horrible to contemplate.

“And how long was it before it took effect?”

“A few days,” said Parrin.

“I see,” said Althea. “Stand up, please.”

Parrin did so, looking rather nonplussed.

To Markon she said: “Would you hold this? Thank you,” and pressed something circular and metallic into his hand.  He looked down at the ring, somehow more real in his hand than it had looked on her finger, and took far too long to realise what she was doing. When he finally did understand, Markon started forward, his hand closing around the ring convulsively. By then Althea was on tiptoes with her hands cupping Parrin’s face, kissing the boy with some force and not a little skill if his reaction was anything to judge by.

Markon felt a rush of molten anger unlike anything he’d ever felt before. He didn’t think he moved or even thought, caught up in the stunning heat of it, but that was his hand gripping Althea’s arm with white fingers and tearing her away from Parrin, and that was his other hand shoving the ring back on her finger, his own slightly shaking.

Althea, her eyes rather big but not at all frightened, said a thoughtful: “Ow,” up at him.

It was left to Parrin’s rather frantic: “Dad! Dad, she didn’t mean any harm!” to bring him to the realisation that he’d clutched Althea to his chest, and that he’d not been gentle about it. Parrin was evidently of the persuasion that his father objected to what could technically be called an assault on a royal personage.

Markon, breathing heavily through his nose, released Althea. She hadn’t struggled at all and now merely smoothed her dress and hair as though she hadn’t just put herself wantonly in danger.

“You said you were going to work from the outside!” Markon said furiously.

“No, I didn’t,” said Althea, and there was a suggestion of stubbornness to her mouth. “I said I could if it made you uncomfortable. I also said it would make more sense to investigate from the inside. You didn’t object.”

“I object!” said Markon in exasperation. “I object very much!”

“Well, it’s too late now,” Althea said reasonably. “And it’s proved remarkably useful, too. For instance, I’m now quite sure that you’re not dealing with a curse– well, not in any technical sense of the word, anyway.”

“What?” demanded Markon, in less than cordial tones.

“I was already pretty certain it wasn’t,” she told him. “None of the girls have anything clinging to them—well, apart from some rather nasty magic, totally unconnected with the prince—and neither does the prince. As a matter of fact, they all seem to have– at any rate, I could only be certain that there was no curse by taking off the ring.”

“And putting yourself in exactly the kind of danger I didn’t want you to be in!” said Markon testily. “I’ve a good mind to send you packing!”

“No, you don’t,” said Althea.

“Of course I don’t!” groaned Markon. She’d achieved more in a couple of hours than any of the girls (or in fact any of the enchanters he’d called in) had achieved in the last couple of years.

“Parrin can’t be expected to live his life locked away from women–”

“I should think not!” said Parrin feelingly.

“–and it’s not good for your kingdom, either. After a while you get people making snide remarks about the crown sacrificing the people on the altar of succession, and then–”

“Small disturbances that become bigger ones,” finished Markon, meeting her eyes. “Factions forming across the court and perhaps an accident or two for myself and Parrin.”

Althea nodded. “Exactly. I’m rather good at this sort of thing, actually. Try to trust me a little.”

“You have a fortnight,” said Markon.

***

Obsessive-Compulsive, Thin-Skinned and Delusional (Aka, Writer)

It’s been a whirlwind week. One one hand, I’ve been madly prepping for Wolfskins book blog tour next week (sending off completed interviews and guest posts, making sure my Upcoming Tours/Event Page is updated sufficiently). On the other, I’ve been madly sending out review copies of Spindle and obsessively clicking on the refresh button at Netgalley to see where it sits in the ‘most requested’ Sci-Fi/Fantasy group. (It’s slowly climbing from page to page, FYI. This does nothing to help my compulsion to keep checking). Also Netgalley has little ‘thumbs up’ and little ‘thumbs down’ icons for the cover. At last peek there were 26 ‘thumbs up’, and 3 ‘thumbs down’. You know what I thought?

WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE WHY WOULD YOU THUMBS DOWN MY BOOK COVER IT IS A WORK OF ART AND COMPLETELY GLORIOUS AND YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE NO TASTE.

C'mmon, it's GORGEOUS!

C’mmon, it’s GORGEOUS!

Really, it just showcased what my first 3-star review showcased. I’m thin-skinned. Which is bad, because who can make it as an author with a skin that thin? So I’m trying to be more TUFF. Well, I’ve got to be. I’ve heard that the Netgalley people pull no punches. And that’s okay, because the reviews aren’t for me. I may not even read them. (I’m lying, I’ll definitely read them all, probably weeping).

I’ve also been involved in A.F.E. Smith’s Darkhaven Release Day party, which is still going on here, (with lots of giveaways and interviews and fun stuff!). And tonight at 11pm (if you’re in Australia)/1pm(British Summer Time)/8amish(American time) I’ll be one of the authors being interviewed! So that’s been fun and frantic and a little bit terrifying.

And while all this has been happening, my Meniere’s Disease has been acting up, which means I’ve been woefully chuck-uppy and have lost about 25% of my hearing for the week. Most of my conversation, in fact, has consisted of ‘What?’ and ‘Huh?’ Hopefully my hearing will go back to normal when I get better. In the meantime, I’ve been learning a lot about lip-reading (just call me Sue Thomas, FBEye).

Oh, and my power just fizzled.

So all in all, things are starting to get interesting. If I manage not to end up as a quivering heap on my livingroom floor, I think I’ll be doing quite well, thank you.

Catch up with me tonight/tomorrow/midday on Facebook, and don’t forget to check out Wolfskin’s Tour Schedule (posted below for your convenience). I’ll see ya on the road!

Wolfskin Tour Dates/Locations (Will be updated with post links as they come):

July 6th

A British Bookworm’s Blog>> Excerpt

-Books and Ashes>> Review

Girls With Books>> Excerpt

Author & Book Spotlights>> Review

July 7th

Book Nerd’s Paradise>> Review

A Book Addict’s Bookshelves>> Interview

Happy Tails and Tales>> Review

July 8th

Coffee & All Things Random>> Review

CBY Book Club>> Excerpt

Bea’s Book Nook>> Review

July 9th

Reflections Of Reality, A.F.E. Smith>> Interview

Bookwyrming Thoughts>> Guest Post

Kimber Leigh Writes>> Interview

Archaeolibrarian – I Dig Good Books>> Review

Sandra Fairbrother’s Blog>> Interview

July 10th

-Mandy’s Books & Beauty>> Review

Blog for readers, writers and bloggers by Daniela Ark>> Excerpt

Just Us Book Blog>> Review

Mythical Books>> Guest Post

Experiments (Of The Kind That Don’t Go Boom)

I’ve been doing a few experiments this week (and last). Unfortunately none of them involved high explosives, but ya can’t have everything, right?

Mostly my experiments have been with ads: Facebook ads, Twitter ads, Goodreads ads, etc. I wanted to see which (if any) provided bang for buck, and which (if any) would provide hard sales. I began with Goodreads ads, which I’ve had some success with in the past. I ran an ad and a giveaway for my new book Wolfskin. Those are still running, but my conclusions from this and past campaigns is that Goodreads, although providing a few scattered sales, is mostly good for name awareness. It gets my books out there for the notice of readers. And that’s not accounting for the slow burn of sales: each of my books on Goodreads is on a couple hundred To-Be-Read shelves. I’m hoping that will mean sales in the future.

Facebook ads. Well, I tried. I got no further than using my book cover as an image. Initially, the ad was approved. Five seconds and two click-throughs later, it was disapproved. Why? Apparently it had ‘more than 25% text’. It’s a book cover. It has a title and an author name. What you gonna do? Until FB ads allow book covers, they’re going to be pretty useless to me. I canceled the ad and won’t be bothering again.

Twitter ads. Huh. What can I say? Oh, I know: don’t bother. Not unless you love being retweeted and faved by fake accounts. I don’t know whether it’s a dodge by Twitter themselves, to earn easy money, or whether it’s just a whole bunch of fake accounts that love retweeting and faving random stuff, but it was next to useless. I got a heck of a lot of click-throughs, but since all the retweets and faves were from fake accounts, I’m not holding out much hope that the hundreds of clicks are from real people either. I guess the next couple days of sales will tell. At this stage, I don’t think I’ll be bothering with another Twitter ad, though. It’s too much to pay for fake interest.

Pic from http://www.seosmarty.com/how-to-create-twitter-retweet-bot/

Pic from http://www.seosmarty.com/how-to-create-twitter-retweet-bot/

have been doing other things these last couple weeks, though, so All Is Not Lost. I’m very close to being able to start final edits on Spindle, I’ve written a guest blog post over at Tiger Hebert’s Blog (entitled The Problem With Self-Publishing– check it out!), and I’m having lots of fun on Twitter apart from bogus ads and fake followers. Oh, and I just sent off the review copies for my Xpresso Book Blog Tour of Wolfskin! It’s a week long from July 6-10, and will have 2 Guest Posts, 2 Author Interviews, and roughly 10 book reviews, so YAY! Also keep an eye out, because There Will Be Excerpts!

Maybe next week I can start with the kind of experiments that do go BOOM.

All About Wolfskin

Just a quick note to let you all know that Wolfskin is Finished, Done, Kaputt, Uploaded, etc, etc. It will be available May 1st, and if any of you out there on the interwebs are interested in getting your hot little hands on a review copy of Wolfskin, send me a note via the comments, the Contact tab, or email (gingellwrites AT gmail.com). Reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, Blogs, and Kobo are very greatly appreciated 🙂

Wolfskin will be going on blog tour from July 6th, so reviews are welcome any time from May 1st through to July 26th. Later is fine, too, but I’d love to co-ordinate everything together if possible. If you’re interested in having me as a guest on your blog during this time (guest post, interview, excerpt, etc) feel free to contact me by the above methods.

I will also be setting up a Goodreads Giveaway mid-May.

See below for a blurb of Wolfskin, and if you’d like to check out an excerpt, click on the Excerpts tab.

Have a lovely week, all!

“If you want adventure, you have to march right up to it and kick it in the shins . . .”

At fourteen, barefoot and running wild, Rose is delighted to be apprenticed to Akiva, the witch of the forest.  She thinks it will be all enchantment and excitement, and not so much fuss about baths.  The reality is much more sober and practical- that is, until she meets a mysterious wolf in the forest and is tricked into stepping off the path . . .

In young, naive Rose, Bastian sees a way of escape.  Cursed to remain in the shape of a wolf after running afoul of a powerful enchantress, he has lived many decades under a spell, and now he is both desperate and ruthless.  But by breaking part of Bastian’s curse, Rose has caught the attention of Cassandra, the enchantress who cursed him: and Cassandra is by no means ready to forgive and forget.

Meanwhile, wardens have been disappearing from the forest, one by one.  Rose is certain that Cassandra is behind the disappearances, but can she and Bastian get to the bottom of the matter before Akiva disappears as well?  And are Bastian’s motives entirely to be trusted?

Sometimes the little girl in the red hood doesn’t get eaten, and sometimes the wolf isn’t the most frightening thing in the forest.

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Let The Games Begin! (Aka, Masque Is On Tour, And So Am I)

Let the games begin! The book blog tour for Masque has kicked off at The Indy Book Fairy, where you can read an excerpt and enter to win a paperback copy of Masque. Come on along and say Hi!

Further stops will be:

15th- I Heart Reading (Starter Party)

17th- Nat’s Book Nook (Promo Post)

18th- Books, Books, and More Books (Promo + Excerpt)

20th- Howling Turtle (Promo Post)

22nd- Mystical Books (Guest Post)

24th-100 Pages a Day (Book Review)

25th- Tea Talks (Promo Post)

26th- Jooniel Obsesses Over Stories (Book Review)

28th- Literary Musings (Book Excerpt)

28th- Dreams Come True Through Reading (Promo + Excerpt)

29th- C.J. Anaya’s Blog (Book Review and Character Interview)

So follow along with me as I traipse merrily across the blogosphere: and don’t forget to enter into the rafflecopter draw to win a paperback copy of Masque!

(I’ll even sign it for you. Hmm, draw or put-off . . . ?)

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