Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Angelbound Audiobook by Christina Bauer

Title: Angelbound
Author: Christina Bauer
Series: Angelbound Origins #1
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy
Release Date: December 17, 2013
Audiobook Release Date: December 30, 2016

***Monster House Books is celebrating the launch of the
audiobook version of the best seller Angelbound, both on iTunes
& Audible! As a result, every launched book in the series is only
$1.99, aka more than 50% off…And that includes Angelbound
ACCA, which was only released a few months ago***

*Now an audio book!*

Eighteen-year-old Myla Lewis is a girl who loves two things: kicking ass and kicking ass. She’s not your everyday quasi-demon, half-demon, and half-human, girl. For the past five years, Myla has lived for the days she gets to fight in Purgatory’s arena. When souls want a trial by combat for their right to enter heaven or hell, they go up against her, and she has not lost a battle yet.

But as she starts her senior year at Purgatory High, the arena fights are not enough to keep her spirits up anymore. When the demons start to act weird, even for demons, and the King of the Demons, Armageddon, shows up at Myla’s school, she knows that things are changing and it is not looking good for the quasi-demons. Myla starts to question everything, and does not like the answers she finds. What happened 17 years ago that turned the quasi-demons into slave labor? Why was her mom always so sad? And why won’t anyone tell her who her father is?

Things heat up when Myla meets Lincoln, the High Prince of the Thrax, a super sexy half-human and half-angel demon hunter. But what does a quasi-demon girl to do when she falls for a demon hunter? It’s a good thing that Myla is not afraid of breaking a few rules. With a love worth fighting for, Myla is going to shake up Purgatory.

***Monster House Books is celebrating the launch of the
audiobook version of the best seller Angelbound, both on iTunes
& Audible! As a result, every launched book in the series is only
$1.99, aka more than 50% off…And that includes Angelbound
ACCA, which was only released a few months ago***

My book, ANGELBOUND, tells the story of a part demon girl who falls in love with a part angel prince. If you aren’t familiar with the book, there’s a quick trailer right here. In any case, I’m now doing an author tour to celebrate the launch of ANGELBOUND as an audiobook on Audible and iTunes, and I’ve been asked to answer some questions by the awesome folks at PADME. Here goes!

What is the biggest influence/interest that brought you to this genre?
Without question, the book that brought me to the fantasy genre was LORD OF THE RINGS by JRR Tolkien. I adored his combination of character, plot and world building.

When writing a book, what is your favorite part of the creative process (outline, plot, character names, editing, etc)?
To answer that question, I need to give a little context on my non-writing life. For years, my day job has been high-tech marketing for software companies. So, I’ve seen first hand what artists can do with the right process and software to support them (and yes, I truly believe that a good software developer is an artist!) As a result, I leverage a three-step development methodology for my work:

  • I use the beat sheet system developed by Blake Snyder. This helps me create an outline for the story. I only write series, so I do beat sheets for at least five books before I start on book one. It’s the only way I can make sure I don’t write myself into a corner. 

  • I create Pinterest boards for all my main characters, places and powers. This is a really critical part of the process for me. Reading fills my head in important ways—and I read a book/day on average—but getting fresh visuals is an awesome way to break out of the mold.

  • Once it’s time to write, I use Scrivener as my writing software. Some people love Microsoft Word, but I like to move chapters around and “cutting and pasting” makes me dizzy. Scrivener is a tool specifically for writing novels, and I love it. 

Of these three stages, my absolute favorite is creating Pinterest boards. I can do this for hours. Often, I go so quickly that Pinterest sometimes kicks me out because it thinks I’m a bot!

When reading a book, what genre do you find most interesting/intriguing?
I love good world building, so I can read about anything from firefighters or football players, so long as the author has done his or her homework and I can get inside another world. More often, I end up focusing on paranormal, fantasy and sci-fi though, since those genres value unique world building as a prerequisite.

That said, I’m also a sucker for a strong voice in a book… And I get positively head over heels if that voice is snarky. I love it EVEN MORE when an author takes a risk and builds an auditory internal world. For example, think about Looney Tunes. Now there’s a series of cartoons written in the 1940’s that still feel fresh and vibrant today, even though they have their own vocabulary and idiom (“Hoboken? Oh, I’m dying again!”) It shouldn’t work, but it does because there’s a unique voice to the entire series that’s consistent and fun.

If you could co-author with any author, past or present, who would you choose?
I’d love to write with Tolkien, but I fear I’d just sit there and stare at him in awe without getting anything done.

Have you always wanted to write or did it come to you "later in life"?
Both. I wanted to be a writer since I was a child, but I kept putting it off. Somewhere around y 40th birthday, I realized that I wasn’t getting any less dead, you know what I mean? If this was going to happen, I needed to make it a priority. My journey had begun.

So, thanks so much for the opportunity to answered these thoughtful questions; I certainly enjoyed the journey of writing responses to them. If you think of more queries, please know that I’m always up for reader interaction, and more information on how to contact me is listed below.

Author Bio:
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. It is now available as an audiobook on Audible and iTunes.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

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Angelbound Audio


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Digging in the Stars by Katherine Blakeney

Title: Digging in the Stars
Author: Katherine Blakeney
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Blaze Publishing
A lost ancient civilization and the tomb of a legendary king lie buried beneath centuries of ash on the volcanic planet Thror, but that’s not the only reason sixteen-year-old Carter has tricked her Archaeology of Outer Space class into coming here. Her best friend Conrad has just disappeared on a trip to Thror, leaving behind little more than a broken vintage camera. The strange and disturbing photographs she manages to extract make her suspect Conrad’s disappearance is somehow connected to the hidden tomb of the last king of Thror.

Unfortunately, the ludicrously over-friendly ‘Furry Giants’ who have taken over the planet’s barren surface would rather offer her cheap souvenirs than answers, and the local officials insist they have no record of Conrad’s existence. Inspired by fear for Conrad’s life and the chance to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century, Carter and her friends follow Conrad’s footsteps deep into the mountains of Thror’s forbidden Black Zone and launch an illicit excavation.

Coded messages, stunning ancient ruins, and clues left by Conrad himself begin to surface as the young archaeologists fall victim to an alarming series of accidents staged by the increasingly hostile Furry Giants. Piecing together a history of dictatorship, terrorism and disguise, Carter glimpses the horrors beyond Thror’s flamboyant façade and startling revelations about the friend she thought she knew. The masks of Thror hide devastating secrets, and the golden tomb buried deep in the frozen core may claim the lives of everyone she loves.

"Please remain seated as we begin our descent into Thror. Welcome, and enjoy your stay."

The time for action was at hand, and she still didn't feel ready. The flight felt much shorter than she’d expected.

The girls exchanged bewildered looks across the aisles. Stunned silence. They couldn’t have missed that final announcement. Avoiding Professor P’s gaze, Carter still felt the look of shock the professor shot across the cabin. Once, Carter had seen herself arriving on Thror as a great explorer. Instead, she would be remembered as a half-baked deceiver and kidnapper. The Throrians would have called her a scent-changer.

* * * * *

Carter had been so close to her goal. She saw that crack with her own eyes, a portal into a lost ancient world, chambers filed with carvings, images that had never been recorded or reproduced. The greatest discovery of this or any other century, waiting less than twenty feet away. Waiting for her. And Conrad had been there first. The moment she thought it, she felt guilty. She was allowing herself to get carried away by archaeological fervor, mentally competing with Conrad, when he might have paid a terrible price for his discovery.

* * * * *

Professor P tore herself away from her packing once more and gave Lizzie a long, penetrating stare.
"All right. Carter and I are embarking on an unauthorized expedition into the Black Zone to search out traces of an underground chamber, which may or may not lead to the last preserved remnants of Ancient Thror, buried for over a century and possibly last seen by Carter's boyfriend, who has mysteriously vanished and who may or may not have been imprisoned, abducted, slaughtered, disemboweled, and/or otherwise disposed of by the locals. As we risk a similar fate, I feel it is incumbent upon me to protect the rest of you from one of the aforementioned consequences."
Another moment of silence.

"Conrad's not my boyfriend," Carter muttered automatically.

* * * * *

"So let me get this straight," Lizzie broke in, her tone dripping with cynicism. "Our little prodigy's ailing, long-lost, apparently gorgeous sweetheart over there has been leading us all by the nose and feeding her hints, all so he could bring her here and use her as a walking key? How romantic!" She gave a harsh laugh that sounded more like a bark. "And here I was, thinking I had unfortunate taste in men."

* * * * *

"Black heart." His voice creaked like a rusty hinge.

His tremulous paw held up something black and moist. Carter and Professor P instinctively recoiled. Was he offering them the heart he’d just torn out of his chest? Curiosity battling disgust, Carter leaned in for a closer look. A slightly fetid odor of blueberries and lingonberry syrup filled her nostrils. So that was what she’d felt.

"I think it's some kind of fruit," she said. "Probably a bit off, judging by the smell."

"A grocer rather than a pirate then." Professor P observed. "Disappointing."

* * * * *

His diaphanous white and smoke blue robes seemed to be woven of water droplets and strings of light. . . .  Large gems in a striking shade of deep blue adorned his chest and forehead. His opalescent silvery cerata almost brushed the floor and formed a misty cloud around his figure. The endless nose of his golden mask—the longest in the room—was inlaid with patterns traced in rare metals from across the galaxies. Towering over all, he carried his imposing frame with elegant ease and dignity. The most splendid ruler in the known galaxies.

* * * * *

"It is all like they speak in tales of old," he said, as radiant as though he’d just been dropped into a pirate's cavern overflowing with jewels and pieces of eight. "All scents of Thror born in this place, personal essences, poisons for military darts, new smells and perfumes invented every day . . ." Judging by his dreamy tone, they might as well stay trapped there forever as far as he was concerned. The young perfumer's heart was thoroughly seduced.

Carter turned away with an aggravated sigh. It was no use. She tried a few more dives herself, but the water teemed with the residue of waning scents and made her eyes ache. The platform at the center was completely solid.

* * * * *

The long black coat draping off his hunched shoulders seemed like a pair of folded wings, and his skeletal fingers darted back and forth like pale talons as he spoke. Suddenly, the dark hair floating about his face looked like ruffled feathers, and his impossibly pale eyes glowed eerily in the light of the projector. At that moment, he was no longer a sick teenage boy; he was a huge, ferocious bird of prey, a creature of the night. He was as powerful and mesmerizing as the magnificent, winged figure of Mephisto on the screen, enveloping a miniature town with his black wings as he exhaled contagion and death.

* * * * *

Splattered among the thorn bushes, dribbled over the moss, pooling in depressions in the rock, the bloodstains seemed to materialize beneath the searching beam of the lamp in Carter's hand. Ignoring the queasy feeling churning in her stomach and trying to block out gruesome images of Conrad's butchered corpse, Carter pressed on. A bleak determination had taken the place of her exhaustion, fear, and doubt.

* * * * *

"Geysers," he said. "Shoot out of ground. Very sudden. Fry you alive." His bulging eyes peered through the unkempt mohawk drooping across his face. Unblinking, like the eyes of a reptile. "Fireballs," he continued, "flying out of nowhere. Swallow tourist. Become dead."

Meeting his gaze, Carter tried not to blink too. What was he talking about? Why was he so desperate to keep them away? Conrad had definitely been there. Disappeared there, possibly. She imagined a fireball spinning down from the sky to devour him, his camera flying over the edge, released by his charred and lifeless fingers. She suppressed a shudder. 

Author Bio:
I am an author and independent filmmaker/stop motion animator with a BFA in Stop Motion Animation from the School of Visual Arts in New York and a PhD in Film Studies from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland, UK). My thesis focuses on silent film adaptations of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Gothic novels, with a special emphasis on psychological and aesthetic representations of the Monster figure. My debut novel, a YA Sci-Fi adventure called Digging in the Stars, is forthcoming with Blaze Publishing on March 28, 2017.

Raised by an Egyptologist mother, I grew up among museums and excavation sites, where I developed an unhealthy fascination with ancient art and mythology. I divide my time between bringing 12”-tall people to life in my studio in Edinburgh, excavating ancient tombs in the Egyptian desert, and researching Gothic literary monsters in silent film. I have worked for more than 10 years as photographer and videographer for the South Asasif Conservation Project, an archaeological expedition in Egypt and I have published numerous articles on film and archaeology.

I write, direct, design, and animate short films and commissioned projects in my studio in Edinburgh, Scotland and have been employed as an animator, screenwriter, modelmaker and art director for studios in Edinburgh, South Korea and Qatar. I have produced commissioned projects for IdeasTap in London, the Arts Trust Scotland and the British Library. My shorts have won competitions and screened at various international festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe. In 2015, my short film The Burglar With the Yellow Hand was nominated for an Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) Research in Film Award.

You can find out more about all aspects of my work on my website. My new blog is all about Digging in the Stars and my references and inspirations as a writer.



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