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Sunday, November 20, 2016

SHATTERED GLASS - A new Glass Series eNovella!

SHATTERED GLASS is a new eNovella and features Opal Cowan. I've been getting lots and lots of emails and questions about what happened to Master Magician Zitora Cowan (remember she retired as a Master and embarked on a quest to find her sister at the end of Sea Glass?). I've finally answered that question and you can read what happened to her in Shattered Glass.

This story fits in nicely between Night Study and Dawn Study - it actually overlaps Dawn Study a bit so you have to read it ;). Also the eNovella has the first TWO chapters of Dawn Study excerpted at the end.

The cost is 0.99 US.  A portion of the proceeds will be donated to my daughter's friend Araella's medical expenses.  Her world was shattered back in August when she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer - she's just 18 years old! :(

Here's the cover copy:  While trying to teach her adopted daughter, Reema how to work with molten glass, Opal receives a letter from Master Magician Zitora Cowan requesting Opal's immediate help. Zitora resigned from the Sitian Council over two years ago to search for her lost sister and no one has heard from her since. The letter is probably a trick, but Opal refuses to pass up the opportunity to help her mentor who may be in genuine trouble. Good thing Opal isn't that easy to fool and, with her two soldier friends, Nic and Eve providing backup, the three travel to a small town in the Jewelrose Clan with the hope of rescuing the Master Magician without being caught in the same trap.

Below are the links to download a copy in the US. Also I'd appreciate it if you post an honest review on these sites - I'm doing this one on my own!

Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/2ffP3ct
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1178457712
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/shattered-glass-13
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shattered-glass-maria-snyder/1125161847?ean=2940157139346

Here are the UK and AU links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shattered-Glass-Maria-V-Snyder-ebook/dp/B01N96SRLJ/ref=sr_1_14?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1479754767&sr=1-14&keywords=shattered+glass
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Shattered-Glass-Maria-V-Snyder-ebook/dp/B01N96SRLJ/ref=sr_1_22?ie=UTF8&qid=1479706735&sr=8-22&keywords=maria%20v%20snyder

And for those who enjoy audio books, there will be an audio edition with Gabra Zackman narrating!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Australian/NZ Special Fan Edition of DAWN STUDY

My Australian publisher, Harlequin TEEN Australia is really excited about the release of the last Study book, DAWN STUDY and are doing a bunch of promotions for the book!  One promotion is a special fan edition of DAWN STUDY.  This edition will be printed in hardcover (aka hardback) and have a very cool cover.  It will be a Mosaic of photos uploaded by my readers!  How cool is that?  The edition will also have ICE STUDY, the prequel to SHADOW STUDY as bonus content and a letter for yours truly  :)

Details!  Only AU/NZ readers can upload photos - I know it's not fair, but according to the lawyers the privacy laws don't mesh from country to country.  You can try to upload a photo - but it might be weeded out due to your IP address.  Also please upload a photo of you!  This is your special edition and how cool that you get to be on the cover!

You need to act fast - the end date is 15 November 2016.  Here's a link: http://www.tweematic.com/dawnstudy/ 


Monday, October 24, 2016

MAGIC STUDY's 10th Anniversary Give Away!!

Original Magic Study cover
Can you believe it's been 10 years since MAGIC STUDY was first published?  I can't. Then again I can't believe it's October 24th of this year already - where did September and early October go?

Magic Study was first published as a hardcover in October 2006.  It was published a year after Poison Study hit the shelves and it was well received - it sold more copies than Poison and that's a good sign in the publishing world :).

During the last 10 years, Magic Study has gone through a number of cover designs.  The original hardcover matched the original hardcover of Poison Study - they were based loosely on two different Johannes Vermeer paintings - Poison on Girl with the Pearl Earring - and Magic on The Geographer.  Unfortunately, the model who had posed for Poison's cover had returned to her native Russia and another model was used for the second book.  Can you see the difference?


Original Poison Study cover
I really liked the cover for Magic Study, but there wasn't a seashell or an astrolabe in the book.  Good thing I was still doing revisions and I managed to include those items in Master Magician Bain Bloodgood's office. :)

Then the covers of Poison and Magic were redesigned and re-released in 2007 as trade paperbacks.  I really loved the new covers and they're still my favorite of the US edition covers.  What do you think?

Trade Paperback cover
In late 2008, Magic Study's cover was once again redesigned and re-released, but this time with a YA cover and price.  I'd gotten so many emails from YA readers who loved the book, my publisher thought they'd print YA editions. Do you think this cover would be more appealing to teens?

YA cover
And the latest incarnation of Magic Study is the new eBook cover that matches the covers for Shadow Study, Night Study and Dawn Study.  This is not available in print and was created in 2014.  Take a look - do you like this one?  I like the concept, but think Yelena's makeup is too much.

eBook cover
Magic Study was written before Poison Study was published and I was very happy about that.  Because if Poison Study got terrible reviews and everyone hated it, I'd be devastated and unable to write.  If everyone loved it, I'd be terrified that I'd disappoint everyone with the second book and unable to write. So instead of obsessing over it, I was able to write it without any worries.  That came when I was writing Fire Study! ;)

My favorite part to write was when Valek appears in Yelena's room at the Magician's Keep.  Here's an excerpt from that scene:

     Valek held the Valmur statue I had bought for him long ago, admiring it in the f irelight. He wore
a simple black shirt and pants. The clothes did not appear to be as tight fitting as his hooded sneak suit, but seemed snug enough not to impede his movements.
     “How did you—”
     “Fool your guards? They’re not very good. They forgot to check the ceiling for spiders.” Valek grinned. His angular face softened.
     Startled, I realized he wasn’t in disguise. “This is dangerous.”
     “I knew falling for you was dangerous, love.”
     “I meant coming to Sitia. Being here in the Magician’s Keep with guards just outside my door.” I gestured wildly.
     “It’s only dangerous if they know I’m here. According to them, I’m just Ambassador Signe’s lowly and dull-witted aide.”
     Valek stood; his movements liquid. The black fabric of his clothes clung to his lean build. He stretched his arms out to the side. “See, I’m not even armed.”
     He made a weak attempt to look innocent, but I knew better. “Should I guess how many concealed weapons you have or should I strip search you?”
     “A strip search is the only way to be absolutely certain.” Valek’s deep blue eyes danced with delight.
     I took three steps and was wrapped in his arms, where I belonged. No confusion here. No worries here. No troubles here. Just Valek’s scent, an intoxicating combination of musk and spice.

Magic Study also was when Kiki made her debut.  I worried that my readers would think a horse that can magically communicate with Yelena would be cheesy and unrealistic.  I didn't need to worry - Kiki quickly became a reader favorite.  She is based on a real horse, who has an official name, but was nicknamed Kiki when the owner's young niece thought the large horse was an oversize cat and tried to call her Kitty, but couldn't quite say Kitty.  I learned how to ride with Kiki - her owner Susan, kindly taught me how to ride and care for horses when I was doing research for Magic Study.

Kiki died back in 2010, but she will always live on in my Study Series of books!  Here's a photo:

The beautiful Kiki!

And now on to the give away!

Please Note: If you already signed up for my email newsletter before, just send me an email from your email that you used to sign up.  Also there is NO second email - I forgot that you only get one - so send that first one along!  Sorry about that!

Here's the Rafflecopter form:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Japanese FIRE STUDY Giveaway!

FIRE STUDY - Saihate no Yelena
[Yelena at the Farthest Land.]
FIRE STUDY was just released in Japan and my publisher was kind enough to send me a box of extra copies!  Currently being guarded by Valek (aka Kitty)  So I'm sharing the booty with my readers and giving away 3 copies to 3 lucky winners.  The contest is open to ALL worldwide!

The cover was designed by Tae and is gorgeous - just like the other two. Although I will admit, this one is my favorite of the three.  However together they're just super cool.


MAGIC STUDY - Yelena no Kikan  
[Yelena’s Homecoming]



POISON STUDY - 
[Yelena the Poison Tester]




Here's the Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Threader Author Interview + Giveaway!

Today I have an interview with Rebekah Turner, an Australian author who I met while traveling in Australia. A super nice lady who is also very talented!  I had the pleasure of reading her book, a near future, dystopian, science fiction, thriller a few months ago.

I provided a blurb for her book, THREADER. "This story threaded its way into my heard and wouldn't let go! Be prepared for a late night."

Rebekah is also offering 3 copies of her book as a give away! This is for readers in Australia and New Zealand only and I'm sorry to say the book is also only available in Australia and New Zealand, however I think you can order it (see below for a link).

Cover copy: Welcome to the Helios Academy: evolve or die...

It’s the year 2050 and life is increasingly hard for ‘non-citizens’. A slowly emerging young minority  has been exposed as ‘talents’;  they harbour mutations that give them special gifts – super strength, regenerative powers,  psychic gifts or the ability to sink through shadows and travel through time and space. As governments unite to form a global talent registry and powerful corporations step in to take control, a ‘talent’ can be a passport to citizenship and a better life, but there is a cost as Josie Ryder is about to discover.

Take the quiz and find out your talent here:  http://theheliosacademy.com/  The website is AMAZING!!!

Take 10 with Rebekah Turner:

1.) I loved THREADER and was fascinated by the world you created. What sparked the idea?

I'm a big fan of monster movies, and loved the spin some of those classic characters were given in shows like Buffy and Supernatural. That’s when I came up with the idea of taking it to a future setting, which would allow me to bring in a bit more of a sci-fi spin, with the idea these ‘monsters’ were actually the just an evolutionary change. So I created Talents, people with a genetic twist that gave them abilities. These abilities were great, but depending on the gift, it may make life more difficult for some.

This also gave me a chance to change the socio-political landscape: governments don’t exist, or if they do, have very little power. Corporations have filled the void (or I would argue have created it to begin with) and the world is now a very harsh place for people who are outside of the ‘elite’.


2.) What do you find the most interesting about the main protagonist, Josie?  How did you decide to make her a Threader?

I like that Josie is a fighter, something that is instilled into her by her uncle. That no matter what the world throws at you, you can still get back on your feet to fight.  She's also someone who was forced by her parents to live off the grid. They knew her potential and based on their own experiences, they feared for her future. As she grew up, Josie could only see more and more what she had lost because of this ‘isolationist’ mentality, and yearned to be able to get access to the opportunities that may earn her a coveted ‘citizenship’. This is effectively a free pass out of the slums and into the clean corporate skyscrapers, where you could get services such as healthcare and fresh food, not the reconstituted bio-synth meat that are available in the satellite communities around the city.

The interesting thing with Josie, is that she could have changed her fortunes at any time. Instead, she respects her father and uncle’s wishes for anonymity, and only reveals herself on her own terms, which as we find out, is never the easy way.

Now, being a Threader makes Josie a rare talent. A sub-set of the Esper category, she has both telekinesis and telepathy as attributes, but the real talent is the ability for her to combine her gift with other talents to augment and strengthen their abilities, while also being able to adopt a measure of that persons gift as well.

While this seems like a powerful ability to have, it is also extremely difficult to master, and the stakes are raised as she’s had no formal training and Josie discovers she could be as much a liability to the Academy as an asset.

3.)  Tell me more about Blake and his abilities as a Slider – I thought being able to travel through the shadows was a really unique and cool idea.

The Slider talent was a great way for me to connect our world to the mysterious ‘shadow biosphere’: a dimension that folds around ours, and which may be where all these gifts have originated.

Blake is a Slider, and the eldest of the Galloway family. The Galloways are the founders of Helios Academy and Galloway Industries. They're new players in the Corporate governance, with their fortunes increasing after the last of the Corporate wars and the advent of talents over the previous twenty years. Blake initially rejected his family as an act of rebellion and decided to find his own way. He joined the military and served in missions where his sliding ability came in handy. After he was forced to leave, he found his way back to the academy. While no longer estranged from his family, Blake is still distant, his main goal is to train others with abilities like his. Then of course, he meets Josie, and everything changes...

4.) Do you plot out your novels or are you like me and fly by the seat of your pants?

Instinct plays a big part, but I still like to plot and have guidelines of where I’m going. Otherwise, I have tons of trouble pulling all the threads together. I use the Michael Hauge's Six Stage Plot Structure idea. By breaking down the story and looking for the turning points, it helps me when I feel the plot is bogged down, or a character isn’t working right. I also like to look at popular films to examine structure! Classics movies like Speed, Aliens, Predator and Die Hard are great examples of good plot construction and effective characterization. I even held a workshop with my writing partner, entitled: Beyond Rippling Muscles and Uzi 9mms - Storytelling 101, as learned from 80s and 90s action movies. Funnest. Workshop. Ever.

5.) Did you have to do any special research for this book?

I waded through some scientific articles while creating my world, because having a basis in reality is important. If you're asking readers to take a leap of faith with some of the more fantastic elements of your story, it's important to have some real facts in place to ground it.

I also plotted a history, and at one stage had the 50 years prior to the novels setting mapped including the inciting incidents and the major skirmishes of the Corporate Wars (sorry to the countries I destroyed!), the destruction of the internet and the rise of the Helios Academy on the back of their replacement web and the emergence of Talents. I even had some more sketchy history going back to Victorian England where the Galloway Family (who may or may not be related to the Van Helsing line) first came across and hunted ‘monsters’, people who may have been the first unfortunates to be exposed to the Shadow Biosphere. But that's another story.

6.)  How did you become a writer? Is this what you saw yourself growing up to be? Or did it take you by surprise?

I've wanted to be a writer from as early as I can remember. I have rejection slips from when I was in primary school, trying to get stories published (I had no clue - my stories where hand written in pencil with illustrations!). Growing up, television was banned in my house, so I read fantasy novels. And I read a lot. In high school, writing felt like a compulsion to me: I love telling stories! I'd spend my lunch break in the computer lab, writing. Those manuscripts were so bad, but so good. And I love creating new and interesting people to talk to in my head. But it wasn't until after I joined the Queensland Writers Center, that I refined my craft and improved.

7.) Do you have a writing routine? Talk process for a moment, how do the words get on the page?

My writing routine mostly consists of having a steaming cup of tea at my elbow and listening to a soundtrack. This will usually be the same soundtrack, played over and over, so it's almost hypnotic. I can hum the entire soundtrack to Man of Steel. And sometimes, despite the tea and music, the words are very bad, other times they are very good. But I try to get something down, every day.

8.) Office? Closet? Corner of the living room? Do you have a set place to write?  A favorite?

My absolute favorite place to write is a coffee shop not far from my house, where they roast their own beans. Even the air is caffeinated. They also have a waiter there who looks like Chris Pratt, and he winks at me when he brings my coffee. Of course, it could just be a twitch in his eye from the steaming coffee…

9.) What else do you enjoy doing besides writing? Interests? Hobbies?

I used to paint, but my time is a little squished with family and work. My interests now include eating exotic ice cream while watching old horror movies (Helloooo big scoop of Burnt Fig and Caramel while watching John Carpenter's The Thing).

10.) What are you writing now?  What's coming out next?

I'm currently finishing up a fantasy story that revolves around a mechanically talented girl who secretly races a motorcycle called a Hellcat. It's a story that has been lots of fun to write!

Rafflecopter! Open to Australian and New Zealand readers only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Links!
Threader Website - take the quiz and discover your talent:  http://theheliosacademy.com/
Author site: rebekahturner.net
Twitter: rbkahturner
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rebekahturnerauthor  
Purchase: harlequinbooks.com.au/product/9781760374433



Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Progeny Author Interview + Giveaway!

So much for my New Year's resolution to blog more :/  Can I blame spending the month of April in Australia and having to finish DAWN STUDY?  No? Sigh.  Well, I'm back with another Author Interview and this time with the lovely, talented Tosca Lee!  Her book, THE PROGENY came out today and I was lucky to be able to review an ARC and provide a blurb.

My blurb: Be warned, once you start this book, it's impossible to put down!

Also Tosca is giving away one copy of THE PROGENY - see the Rafflecopter below to enter to win! This is open to residents in the USA and Canada only.

Cover copy: Emily Porter is the descendant of a serial killer. Now, she’s become the hunted. She’s on a quest that will take her to the secret underground of Europe and the inner circles of three ancient orders—one determined to kill her, one devoted to keeping her alive, and one she must ultimately save.

Filled with adrenaline, romance, and reversals, The Progeny is the present-day saga of a 400-year-old war between the uncanny descendants of “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, the most prolific female serial killer of all time, and a secret society dedicated to erasing every one of her descendants. A story about the search for self amidst centuries-old intrigues and Europe’s underground scene…and one woman’s mission to survive.

Take 10 with Tosca Lee:


1.) THE PROGENY has a very unique premise.  How did you spark on the idea to use the descents of Elizabeth Bathory?

A fan suggested it! I was signing books in Orlando and a fan wanted a picture but didn’t have a phone/camera, so I got his info., and we took a photo and I sent it to him. When he wrote me back to thank me, he said, “How about a book about Elizabeth Bathory?” While this book is more about her descendants than Bathory herself, the idea came from him. (Thanks, Keith!)

2.) What do you find most interesting/exciting about Emily?


I like her moxey and her smarts. She may not know what’s going on, and she’s a little weird (aren’t we all?), but she relies on her intelligence.

3.) Did you have to do any special research for this book?
I did a lot of reading about Elizabeth Bathory, about epigenetics, and about all the locations that the scenes are set in. Since the story starts in Maine, my then-fiancé (now husband) and I took off for one of my favorite U.S. escapes: Greenville, Maine, where we fished and took a small plane over Moosehead Lake.

4.) Parts of the story are set in Europe.  Did you do travel to these locations?

I did—I went to Hungary, Croatia, Vienna, Slovakia and Italy. Best of all, I got to take my mom with me. My mom and I have a history of globetrotting together, so it was a fun adventure to go tromping around through castle ruins and churches and ruin pubs with her!

5.) Do you plot out your novels or are you like me and fly by the seat of your pants?

I try to plot a little… and then end up pantsing the rest of the way. Because try as I might to outline the entire thing, it’s totally different looking down at a map from 30,000 feet and being in it, boots on the ground. I find I just have to get in there and see what the terrain looks like before I know which way to go.

6.) How did you become a writer? Is this what you saw yourself  growing up to be? Or did it take you by surprise?

It was a surprise—despite winning writing contests all through school, most of my early life I meant to become a ballerina. And then I tore a groin muscle and that really set me back. By the time I was in college, I thought maybe I should become a news anchor or go into advertising. During spring break my freshman year, I was talking enthusiastically with my dad about how my favorite novels felt like roller-coasters, and how I thought it might be fun to make one for someone else to ride around on. And I just blurted it out: “I really want to write a book.” He made me a deal: he’d pay me what I would have made that summer working as a bank teller (I was a terrible bank teller the summer before) if I worked full-time writing a novel. I wrote my first novel that summer—about the Neolithic Stonehenge people. It’s currently in my basement with the rest of my skeletons.

7.) Do you have a writing routine? Talk process for a moment, how do the words get on the page?

I’m very bad at routine. And now that I’m a new mom—I married a single father of four last January—I’m still trying to figure out how to juggle five lives at home… and dropping a lot of balls (moms, how do you do it all???). Generally though, I work during the day, and write a lot at night the closer I get to deadline. I aim for 2000 words a day, but am usually doing closer to 5000-8000 or more closer to deadline. My husband and kids are used to me staggering to bed some time after they’re sleep, or even after they’ve gotten up in the morning.

8.) Office? Closet? Corner of the living room? Do you have a set place to write?  A favorite?

My husband is a farmer, so I write most of the time in the attic of the farm. Every now and then I sneak off to our townhome an hour away, where I have an office, when I really need to buckle down. But I prefer to be around my family. And my husband is a great cook, so…

9.) What else do you enjoy doing besides writing? Interests? Hobbies?

As a new mom (and farmer’s wife!), I cook—though truth be told, my husband is better than me and he bakes from scratch. I’m also a TV junkie. I love The Walking Dead, The Blacklist, Outlander, Orphan Black, The Path, Game of Silence… too many TV shows. I still dance, just because it’s the one discipline I understand, and enjoy Pilates. I love organizing drawers and closets. It’s a sickness. I’m learning to trap shoot and play video games with the kids. I’m not very good at either… but I’m enthusiastic!

10.) What are you writing now?  What's coming out next?

Right now I’m working on edits for Firstborn, which is the sequel to The Progeny and comes out in February. It’s full of action and was so fun to write!

Rafflecopter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Links:
Website: http://www.toscalee.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorToscaLee/?fref=ts 
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1TVrYFX

Friday, March 25, 2016

Celebrating MAGIC STUDY in JAPAN

 Today, MAGIC STUDY is being released in Japan with another gorgeous cover by Tae. I love this cover - I thought the one for POISON STUDY was also super cool, but this one...just resonates with me.  She's clutching the butterfly pendant Valek carved for her.

To celebrate the release, I'm giving away TWO copies of the book.  My publisher in Japan was so kind to send me extra copies and they arrived today - perfect timing.  See below for the Rafflecopter - it is open to ALL my readers worldwide.

POISON STUDY earned lots of wonderful reviews when it was released in July 2015. One Japanese reader said:  I read this book while in the bullet train from Tokyo the other day...I almost missed my station. Wow, that was close. High readability from the beginning, and you won't be able to stop turning the pages in the latter half. 

And Booklog wrote: How many years has it been since I've acted like this? I couldn't stop thinking about the story, even started to solve the mystery in my dreams, woke up in the middle of sleep and finished reading it, risking being short of sleep the next day...Looking forward to reading the next book. 

FIRE STUDY will also be translated and released this summer (I'm guessing - no set date, yet).