Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Perfect Clouds Blog Tour!

 Today, I have the pleasure of being one of the stops on a blog tour for Perfect Glass by Laura Anderson Kurk, and Swimming Through Clouds by Rajdeep Paulus. I get to spend time with these lovely ladies on the Playlist Street Team where I am one of their book spreaders. ;)

 Although, I still haven't quite made it to reading these books, (I'm still working on the prequel to Perfect Glass- Glass Girl) but I'm sure they're both wonderful by what I've read so far.

Here's a little about Swimming Through Clouds and author Rajdeep Paulus!

Swimming Through Clouds by Rajdeep Paulus


I live in the in between. Between what if and what is. It’s how I manage. It’s the only way I know. Everyone has their way. This is mine.

When high school, cell phone disruption forces a classroom ban, the words on a Post-it note spark a sticky romance between two unlikely friends. Transfer student Talia Vanderbilt has one goal at her new school: to blend in with the walls. Lagan Desai, basketball captain and mathlete, would do just about anything to befriend the new girl. One Post-it note at a time, Lagan persuades Talia to peel back her heart, revealing her treasure chest of pain—an absent mother, a bedridden brother, and an abusive father. In a world where hurt is inevitable, the two teens search for a safe place to weather the storms of life. Together.

Rajdeep decided to be a writer during her junior year in high school after her English teacher gave her an “F” but told her she had potential. She studied English Literature at Northwestern University, and she writes masala-marinated, Young Adult Fiction, blogging weekly at

Come Hang out with Rajdeep Paulus on:

Fun Facts about Swimming Through Clouds:

Rajdeep here: On Humor and Laughter...

I love to laugh. In fact, there was a time when you didn’t need a GPS. You could locate me by following the sound. Of my laughter. Really. Ask my friends. They’ll happily share their imitations of my ceiling raising giggles of yesteryear.

Lagan is a bit of a goofball, but when you’re in crush, and especially when you first fall in love, you often act goofy just to get her attention, right? I still remember those early days when my Hubs and I were in Phase One of flirting, months before we ever “defined the relationship.” He climbed flag poles, straddled parking meters, and threw on an accent when I least expected. And there’s something to say for laughter as the good medicine. I’m not a doc, but I bet if giggles translated to good health, all that laughter has bought me a few extra years of life. :)

Life is short. You gotta laugh!

 And here's a little about Perfect Glass and Laura Anderson Kurk!

Perfect Clouds Virtual Book Tour

Perfect Glass by Laura Anderson Kurk

Book Blurb:

Things get messy when Meg Kavanagh gets involved—first with Jo Russell, the eccentric old artist, and then with Quinn O’Neill, the intriguing loner who can’t hide how he feels about Meg. Her senior year isn’t turning out like she planned it, but sometimes the best parts of life happen in the in-between moments. And Henry will be home soon, right?

He commits to one year in an orphanage that needs him more than he ever dreamed. Thousands of miles from Meg and the new punk who has fallen for her, and absent from the ranch that’s in his blood, Henry Whitmire finds out what it means to trust. When you’re so far from home, it’s terrifying to realize you’re not who you thought. But the perfect glass of calamity makes the best mirror.

An identity crisis, long distance love, new temptation, and growing pains teach Henry and Meg how to hang onto each other and to what really matters.

From YA author Laura Anderson Kurk comes the sequel to Glass Girl, a lyrical, multi-generational story about love that teaches, loss that haunts empty rooms, and reunions that feel like redemption.

Author Bio:

Laura Anderson Kurk writes unconventional and bittersweet contemporary YA. Her debut novel, Glass Girl, and its sequel, Perfect Glass, are available now from Playlist Young Adult Fiction. Laura lives in Texas with her husband and two children.

Buy the Book Links: (will get these as soon as it’s live)



Author Social Media Links:

Why the artist and the writer are friends.

I have a friend, Mara Schasteen, who is a fine artist with an emerging, successful career. She lives in Wyoming, where she paints outside a lot. She and I have known each other for a long time and our souls have always been mates. Perfect Glass is dedicated to Mara because she’s so much a part of this book.

The book features a character who is an aging artist of international fame. Meg decides to pad her application to the University of Wyoming by volunteering with this artist, Jo Russell. But Jo has other plans for Meg. Through a series of heartbreaking lessons, Meg gains as much or more from the relationship than Jo. One thing she learns is what it means for one artist to recognize another, and for one artist to love another.

By watching Mara paint, I learn a lot about my own process of creating. She and I both start with bare bones and minimal details. When she first starts a canvas, she sees the final painting in her mind, but I only see random lines and figures. None of it makes sense. If I watch her long enough, though, the shapes become real and alive, and I finally see what she sees.

In the same way, early pieces of writing are so spare and barely there. Early readers are only getting a glimpse of characterization and plot . . . just a whiff, really. My critique partner gets to see my stories build muscle, and fat, and skin, and become real, living things.
In that way, I think all artists—painters, writers, songwriters, poets, sculptors—understand each other in special ways. My relationship with Mara is one of my most treasured because I know that, above all, she sees my heart and my desire to create. ~ Laura Anderson Kurk

Here's a couple of fun quotes from Swimming Through Clouds and Perfect Glass


 And now, two things you need to take part in the tour!

 Part of a puzzle from Swimming Through Clouds. (Write this down.) 

 And a secret letter from Laura!

 You'll need these later! It was so much fun hosting these two ladies! Check out the rest of the tour below!

Saturday, June 1 –  Laura Anderson Kurk                                                                                      
Sunday, June 2 –  Rajdeep Paulus
Monday, June 3 –  Melanie Brasher
Tuesday, June 4 –  Tessa Emily Hall
Wednesday, June 5 –  Melissa Tagg
Thursday, June 6 –  ReganStar McBeigh
Friday, June 7 –  April Hamrick
Monday, June 10 –  Diana Garner
Tuesday, June11 –  Stephanie Karfelt
Wednesday, June 12 – Bethany Baldwin ⬅YOU ARE HERE!
Thursday, June 13 –  Kim Vandel
Friday, June 14 –  Sarah Tipton
Monday, June 17 –  Jennifer Watrous
Tuesday, June 18 – Marni Jarman
Wednesday, June 19 –  Peggy Warren
Thursday, June 20 –  Bethany Jett
Friday, June 21 –   Cynthia Toney
Monday, June 23 –  Summer Andrews
Tuesday, June 24 –  Arlette Geuverink
Wednesday, June 25 – Jennifer Murgia
Thursday, June 26 - JoJo Sutis
 You can buy Perfect Glass on Kindle.

 And Swimming Through Clouds on Kindle.

  ~ a rambling author

The Chronicles of Bitia: Separation

Since I won't be here Tuesday, here's a fun post for you guys. This was a novel I was working on back a few years ago called Separation. Or something of the sort. I don't know if I'll go back to writing it, though I do still like my idea. Still, this don't judge the writing too harshly. :D

The Chronicles of Bitia, Book One: Separation

Dedicated To Micah, my Beni.


 Beni leaned low on his horse, walking her quietly through the dense forest. The sack on Beni's back weighed heavily on the sixteen year old. Heavier still was the knowledge that those in his country: Bitia, were depending on him. He could hear horses tramping nearby, whinnying.
Beneath him, he heard a crack. He closed his eyes in dismay. Light, his mare, had broken a stick. An inaudible cry came from the place he'd heard the many horses. Beni kicked his ankles into Light's sides, causing her to gain speed, and run faster. Beni once again pressed himself close to his horse's body as he heard the unmistakable whiz of arrows flying through the air.
" Come on Light; Come on girl!" he urged, sending the horse into a full gallop. He just hoped the mare would live up to the reason he had named her Light. " She's faster then the speed of light!" Beni had been known to boast. The sounds of those on his trail started to fade into the distance.
" Thank you," the boy said, looking up at the sky. The most dangerous part of being a blockade runner was over.
Aliah looked up at the sky where black clouds seemed to float closer. She smiled. Her water starved plants needed the rain. Hopefully it would clear up the lip parching heat that hung like a blanket over Rivirn, a small town in Bitia. Aliah placed her gardening tools in the sack she carried over her shoulder. The fourteen year old smiled fondly at her plants before walking over to where her filly, Pixley waited patiently, tethered to a tree.
" Ready to go home girl?" Aliah asked, patting the animal's soft, velvety nose. A thunder clap boomed, and Pixley moved nervously. " It's okay Pixley. It's just a storm girl." The horse actually seemed to quiet as Aliah stepped into the stirrup, and swung into the saddle. Just then, the first wave of rain began to fall. Aliah tucked her head low, kicking Pixley into a trot. As she rode, she saw, out of the corner of her eye, another figure riding alongside her. A hat was pulled low over his face, and Aliah smiled happily. She leaned low on Pixley, sending her into a gallop. The other rider matched speeds with her, they were now neck to neck. Pixley's nostrils flared as she speeded up, and rode into the Breman family yard. The other rider was in the yard a moment later, and he grabbed Aliah by the waist, taking her off her horse, and swinging her in a circle.
"Looks like you've finally beaten me Ali," the person said, pulling his cloak over his sister. Aliah looked up at him, her heart swelling with love.
"I've been practicing," she laughed. "Oh Beni, I'm so glad your home at last. I've missed you so." He grinned at her, rain pouring off the brim of his hat.
"I missed you too, but now I think we'd better shelter these horses and get inside before the storm gets worse." Aliah nodded, and took Pixley's lead rope in her hand. Beni and his sister shut the creatures in their stalls, rubbed them down, and provided them with some grain that had been saved from the dry land.
Aliah truly looked at her brother when these chores were done. He was quite tall, she would guess six feet. He had dark brown hair curling around her ears, and dark blue, searching eyes. His hat was not as a cowboy would wear, but rather floppy. He wore a long sleeved, light blue shirt. On top of this Beni wore a dark blue vest, laced across the middle. He also wore a pair of brown pants with the bottoms tucked into his high black boots. Last of all was the forest green cloak Aliah was now wearing.
She herself was dressed in a simple brown work dress, her long brown hair tied back in a handkerchief. The girl wore no shoes as she had been working in the garden, and was saving them for special times.
"Let's get inside," Beni said happily, laying his arm across his sister's shoulder. Giving Pixley a final pat, Aliah followed her brother into the rain.
"That's good soup mama," Beni said, scraping the last of it from his bowl. Mira Breman smiled softly, clearing away his dishes. The woman's nut brown hair was tied back in a loose bun. She wore a dress like her daughter's, except that hers was grey.
"We have much to be thankful for," Hema Breman said seriously. "Not everyone has stock, and our crops did better than many others." The rest at the table nodded soberly, all except for young Lili, who was watching her brother, a twinkle in her brown eyes. She jumped up, her light blond braids flying, and ran over to Beni.
The little girl was wearing a short white dress which she wore to school, that came just below her knee. To add a little color, the seven year old had insisted on wearing a blue vest over top. She, like her sister, wore no shoes. The older brother looked down on her, an affectionate smile on his face.
"Ah, how may I be of service, my Princess?" he asked in the manner of a knight. The child giggled.
"I'm not the Princess! She lives at the capitol." Beni nodded, taking Lili in his lap.
"Aye, she does live in Ramar doesn't she?" The girl nodded. Beni pulled a small package out of his vest pocket.
"This, my sweet, is for you." The little girl didn't hesitate to grab, and open the package. Her eyes instantly went wide.
"Candy!" she cried excitedly. The package continued several peppermint sticks.
"Now be sure to eat them slowly," Beni warned. "It might be a while until I can get more." Lili nodded, already licking one. "Ali," Beni said next. Aliah looked up with interest.
"Yes brother?" she asked, smiling.
"This is for you," Beni said, handing over another package. Before she opened it, Aliah felt the package, finding it soft. She quickly took off the brown paper, and her face lit up at what she saw.
"It's lovely," she announced, lifting out a sky blue shawl with navy colored flowers embroidered on the hem. Beni grinned.
"I knew you would like it." He went on to give his parents gifts. Mira received a silk, rainbow colored scarf, which she quite loved. Hema, who was a wood carver, was given a beautiful little ivory handled knife with silver designs on it.
"I will think of you every time I use it," Hema said, sliding the knife into it's little silver sheath. Beni snapped his fingers.
"Ah, I've just remembered. Father, have you finished with the arrow shafts yet?" Hema took his new knife out again, and began scraping at a long piece of wood.
"Aye, I've finished about a hundred and fifty, with more on the way." Beni cleared his throat.
"Well then, I suppose I'd best deliver them at the town square. He fetched the shafts as Aliah looked outside.
"The rain seems to be beginning to stop." Beni nodded, pulling his hat and cloak from off a peg near the door.
"All the better. Light and I shall have a peaceful trip into town." Lili and Aliah waved as their brother got Light ready and rode off.
"That boy has wandering in him," Mira observed.
"Aye," Hema said, kissing his wife. "He gets it from you."
"Captain Radli?" A man in a brown uniform turned at the sound of Beni's voice.
"Ah, lad," he said, his face breaking into a jolly smile. "I see you have returned to us. Any close calls?" Beni nodded, thinking of the men on horseback chasing him.
"But not Brohdenites laid a hand on me."
"That is good." It was a dangerous time to live in Bitia. A nation beside them, Brohden, had decided to take over the smaller country. Now Bitia was in drought, and a blockade had been set up to keep supplies from entering the country. But there were a few brave men and boys that were sneaky enough to slip through without being caught. Such a person was Beni.
"I've brought some weaponry, and food." Captain Radli nodded.
"Let's see the weaponry lad." Beni pulled a sack from his saddlebags, and handed it to the man. He lifted out iron arrowheads, the points tied in cloth. They were made in Elindoor, a country known for their forge work.
"Very nice," the captain conceded. "Do you have shafts to be attached?" Beni nodded, pulling out the shafts, all tied together.
"Father carved about a hundred and fifty for this week." Captain Radli nodded, surveying the workmanship.
"Good. Very good." The man took a bag from his pocket. "Here is your father's payment for the shafts, and here is your payment for the trip." Beni nodded, then motioned back to his horse.
"I also brought some rice. I'll leave it here." Captain Radli agreed, so Beni handed him the sack which he had covered during the rain.
"Thank ye lad. Your next list will probably come around in a week or so."
Beni left, walking Light quietly through the forest, back towards their small farm. It was a beautiful thing to walk through the peaceful forest, not ravaged by war. Being a blockade runner meant you knew all about war. Beni had come across several skirmishes on his trips, and several narrow escapes. Because of his dangerous job, besides the sum he was paid for each trip, Beni was allowed to keep any extra money that wasn't needed for supplies. He had used said extra money to purchase the gifts for his family. The boy continued home.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Winners Are...

 Today, I have the pleasure of announcing the winners of two giveaways!

 The winner of The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet by Stephanie Morrill is... *drum roll* Heather M! I'll send Stephanie your email so you can collect your winnings.

And, the winner of Captive by Jill Williamson is... *Trumpets blare* Alex Kei Mintah! Congrats! I'll contact you with information regarding your prize.

 Tune in Thursday for the first installment of the ABC Reading Challenge reviews. We'll be talking about Angry by Laura L. Smith.

 There is a high chance I won't be posting next Tuesday due to tech week for the show I'm in, Les Miserables!

~ a rambling author

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Elric Answers

Last week, you asked Elric, and this week, he answers! Thank you all so much for the incredible questions you brought! Let's see how Elric answers.

Victoria Grace Howell: So what's his fantasy world like? Is their anything unique to it he likes to do?

Elric: My world is normal. I suppose that's what you would say. Linaeus is just one of many countries. We are cut off from the world by mountains on one side, a dangerous pass, a valley... There are other lands around us as well. Masin, Braxland, Redvane, Animas. There are two islands off of Braxland- Dagger Isles, and Alven Island. There are also the unknown lands, and the Filian Desert ruled by violent tribes. We use horses as transportation.  We have standard weapons. There isn't truly anything spectacular about my home. We have a few interesting creatures, but nothing to boggle the mind. As for the second half of your question, I don't know if you would call it unique, but I enjoy sitting in the garden, reading, and occasionally watching the palace children play.

Karoline Kingley: If he could hold any position in the world, what would it be and why? 

 Any position? If life were so kind... I think I would enjoy teaching. Perhaps I could go to one of the universities in Masin, where knowledge is so treasured, and teach there. I think a simple life would be the most rewarding thing.

Heather Manning: Elric, what kinds of books do you like to read? 

 Hm. What a hard question! I've read just about every book in the palace library. They've covered a variety of subjects from fairy tale to medical. I think my favorites would have to be the stories. They make life look so simple and kind. 

Cari: Elric, how do you fix your hair like that, when you don't live in the 21st century?

 I don't understand what you mean by 21st century. Our land is very old, and if century stands for one hundred as I believe it to, our world is older than that. Perhaps, you mean the styling is similar to that century? I suppose I would have to look through my history books... My hair is a simple procedure. Apparently, a prince is not allowed to have out of place hair unless he is fencing. My family buys from a merchant who imports rala snails from the Alven Isles. It's rather disgusting, but they produce a thick gel that when applied smells terrible, but later fades, and manages to hold hair in place. It's very expensive, but it's insisted upon.

Katelyn: Elric, what do you think of your father? 

 I... what a strange question. Well. Will my father read this? (Me: No, I'll see to it.) All right. I respect my father as king. It is my duty to obey and protect him. That doesn't mean I always approve of his... ways. I don't always think what he does is just, and I don't understand his methods.  

Magic Violinist: Who is more in control: You or Bethany?

I'm not sure I understand the question. I believe I am in control of my functions. If you are speaking of the strange girl who is always harping after me... I am not sure. She normally lets me do as I will.

Magic Violinist: Do you like your name or wish you could change it? 

 I don't know. I've never truly thought about it. Elric is my name, and always has been. There's never been a time where I disliked it. Though I do not understand why my mother would name me such a thing, as I feel the description suits my younger brother much better.

Elizabeth: How do you feel about being one of the "highest minds in the country"?

*Blushes.* I do not know if I would call that true. My teacher may have simply been trying to make me feel good about myself. But I will say that knowledge is a wonderful thing, and I'm glad I have had the opportunity to read, discuss, and learn about many things. Mayhap they will come in use one day.

Elizabeth: How do people treat you?  

 These questions are... very personal. If I must answer... (You must.) Then I will say with truthfulness that I am not a much admired person. At least among the servants of the palace. They have openly spoken about me. It is a widely held belief that my younger brother would be a better king, and sometimes I agree with it. He seems like a good candidate. My father sees me as a weakling. The only people who treat me with love or respect are my mother and manservant and best friend, Winston.

Elizabeth: Do you wish they would treat you differently?

Yes. I do. I wish only that they would endure me. They don't have to like me, or respect me. I wish only that I would be accepted. If only a little.

Elizabeth: Have you ever been in love? 

Love. It sounds like something from one of the fairy tales. I have never known love of that kind. The only girls to notice me have been those wanting to be queen one day. But recently, I have noticed a girl who seems different. But if she found out the truth about me, I don't know what she would do.

Zachary B.:  Elric, is your Father's name reflective of his disposition?

I don't suppose I know. I think at one time it was short for something. Rathone or something. In years past it was shortened. It is tradition for the crown prince to be named after two weeks, so perhaps he was an unhappy infant.  

Micah: What real life person did you base Elric on?

 I don't know as I was based on anyone. I am myself.

(He was born out of a scene, and his personality just developed. His early physicality may have been based on one of my brothers.) 

Well, that's just about all for now. Elric, any closing comments?

 Thank you for reading this... very personal interview into my life. I hope that you find your life fulfilling, and take advantage of the opportunities presented you, as I cannot. 

Ahem. Sorry everyone. I suppose Elric's a tad perturbed about the revealing of so many secrets. He's not always so testy. I hope you've enjoyed. See you next week!

~ a rambling author