Mundie Moms

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pitch Dark Days: Austin, TX Stop 2.18.12

The Pitch Dark Days tour stopped in Austin this past Friday and what a fabulous tour stop it was! Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows & Courtney Allison Moulton came to the Barnes & Noble in the Arboretum to sign their books, read a snippet out of their books as well as answer fan questions. Before the start of the signing I had the chance to sit down and interview the authors together. Unfortunately I'm having issues posting my video, but I'll get that added here just as soon as I can.

This was one of the funniest interviews I've done. These ladies are so much fun to talk and joke around with. This picture was taken during the interview and pictured is: Courtney Allison Moulton, Jodi Meadows, Myself, and Brodi Ashton.

Here's some of the questions I asked them:

What's one YA book you've read recently that you wish you had as a teen?

- Cynthia Hand said Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why
- Brodi Ashton said The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith
- Jodi Meadows said Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
- Courtney Allison Moulton Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Liana Taylor

What author inspired you to become a writer?

- Cynthia Hand said Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird was the first she read where she paid more attention to the writing and the voice.
-Brodi Ashton said A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, she wanted to be Meg.
- Jodi Meadows said Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn made her realize that the fantasy element was real and that writing could be a job
- Courtney Allison Moulton said Bitten by Kelley Armstrong influenced her and made her realize that she could write about monsters in the real world.

What's one thing you'd go back and tell your teen writer self?

- Courtney said she would tell her younger to ignore everyone who told her she couldn't do it.
- Jodi said she'd be cryptic and tell her to keep writing no matter what.
- Brodi said she's tell her teen writer self not to be afraid and to be fearless.
- Cynthia said she'd tell her younger writer self to write what you love.

In the video (once it's up) you'll be able to watch/listen to their more detailed answers and hear more questions I asked them.

(Brodi, Cynthia, Myself, Jodi & Courtney before the signing)

During the signing the authors had giveaways like the hats you see pictured below from Cynthia Hand, as well as fingerless gloves that Jodi Meadows made and all the authors had candy they threw to those who asked questions. When is chocolate not a bonus at a signing. The authors were asked some great questions, and you can read what was mentioned during the signing by following the #PitchDarkBooks hashtag or reading my tweets under my twitter account, Mundie Moms. I've also got pictures posted there as well.

Pictured are Courtney Allison Moulton & Cynthia Hand (the hats were ones Cynthia gave away during the Q&A)

(Brodi Ashton reading from Everneath)

(Jodi Meadows reading from Incarnate)

After the signing there were about fifteen of us bloggers along with the authors and some of their friends and family who headed over to Chuy's for dinner. It was so much fun! For me, getting to sit around and chat with the authors, blogger friends and meeting new bloggers is the most exciting part of tour stops. It was truly a fabulous night. For those who didn't get to come to the signing, you can order signed books from the Barnes & Noble store where the signing took place. Here's their # 1-512-418-8985

I've also got some SIGNED swag to giveaway thank you to each of the authors!!

* 4 winners will receive a set of Wings of the Wicked book marks, Everneath bookmarks along with Everneath temporary tattoos, and signed book plates.

* 2 winners will each receive a signed bookmark from Cynthia Hand as well as an Everneath guitar pic necklace.

* 1 additional winner will receive a set of signed bookplates and an Everneath guitar pic necklace

To enter, please fill out the form below: (giveaway rules included on the form)

Thank you to Harper Teen for another fabulous Pitch Dark Days stop!

Thank you to Courtney Allison Moulton, Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows for a fabulous night!!

Thank you to Magan from Rather Be Reading for all the help with tweeting during the event, taking pictures and filming the interview. I couldn't have done it without you!

You can see the rest of Magan's awesome photos here.

Book Review: The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle

Published by: Abbott Press
Released on: August 3rd, 2011
Source: book from author to review
4 stars: I Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

It's hard enough being a teenager under normal circumstances; imagine being orphaned, sent to live with an unfamiliar aunt-and learning that there really is magic in the world. Following the tragic death of her parents, Eren Donovan moves to Spruce Knoll to live with her aunt. Little does Eren know the entire town of Spruce Knoll is filled with so-called "channelers"-a magical group of people who immigrated to the small Colorado town when they were driven out of their own lands.

Channelers are tied to the fate of the world. As the world slowly dies, so do they-and they alone have the power to stop the destruction of Earth. Now, Eren learns she not only lives among them, but she is one. When she meets local boy Aiden, his charming tricks show her being a channeler isn't all bad; in fact, it's kind of cool. But is it Aiden's abilities or Aiden's looks that Eren finds so fascinating?

As Eren and Aiden's relationship blooms, so too does a mystery in Spruce Knoll. The town holds many secrets-and many enemies. It soon becomes apparent that the untimely death of Eren's parents was no accident and that her life might be in danger, too. Only time will tell if young, inexperienced Eren has the power to protect the people she has come to love. -quoted from Goodreads

Spruce Knoll is an incredibly exciting debut with a richly detailed history that surrounds both the town of Spruce Knoll and it's residents. Not only is this scarcely populated town one that would have environmentally friendly people wanting to flock here do to the fact it's residents all live green, but the citizens themselves are elusive, which made me that much more fascinated with finding out more about them, and the secrets their town is hiding. From the moment I opened up Heather's book I felt drawn into her unique urban fantasy. There's something about this story that hooked me from the get go, and I loved it's unlike other paranormal book I've recently read.

My favorite element of Heather's story is her mythology. It's incredible! I'm totally fascinated by the concept of having a society of Channelers (also known as Witches or Sorcerers) who's fate is tied to that of the earth. Each has a unique gift that they can use for good or evil, and the society is made up entirely of different sects who's heritages are from all over the world. The paranormal twists that Heather gives her characters is engaging, and she does a wonderful job in the way she weaves her elements of magic, romance, mystery, love, loss and suspense together in this story. I loved the way Heather introduced me to the powers the Channelers have and the history of Spruce Knoll through her main character, Eren.

Eren for me was a fun character to meet. She's a well rounded character I really came to admire. She's suffered a great deal of heartache, is suddenly thrown into a world she knew nothing about, develops powers she has to learn to control, and through it all she surprised me with how grounded she remains. I think part of that has to do with her Aunt and Grandfather that take her in and the love and support they shower her with, and the other part is, because of the type of person she is. She's smart, she's someone who thinks before she acts, she's open minded and I also loved her artistic side. Eren also has an amazingly supportive love interest Aiden who helps her develop her powers, as well as helps her feel like she belongs. Spruce Knoll is far from being close knit and welcoming, especially to those of their kind that are of a mixed bred, which Eren is.

The romance in this book is fabulous! I really love a romance that's drawn out, and developed in a way that makes me feel like I'm watching the two characters get to know each other and really fall in love, all of which the romance in this book has. It's refreshing for me and I admire Heather for not creating an insta love relationship. There's passion, awesome character chemistry and moments that are simply sweet and sensual that simply took my breath away. That's not to say this romance is easy, because it's far from it. There's plenty of prejudices against both Aiden and Eren, as well as plenty of danger to drive them apart. Aiden and Eren are both resilient, strong, and incredibly protective of each other, though I admit that Adien's protectiveness of Eren is one of the things that immediately drew me to him. It's not that Eren's helpless, it's that Aiden is a protector is every sense of the word. There's more than pretty boy looks and hot a body that made Eren fall for him.

If you're looking for a paranormal book that steps outside the norm, than I highly recommend picking this one up. Heather's writing is incredible. Her mythology is just as enticing as her characters. There's not shortage of in-depth characters in Spruce Knoll. You'll fall in love with the good ones and you'll love to hat the bad ones. Even the secondary characters are all incredibly in-depth and add a lot of Eren's story. There's a lot of great paranormal elements introduced into a well organized plot line that will keep you hooked with this story. Though I loved the way in which the story is told and how Heather's introduces me to her world and her characters, I wish certain parts of the lore and the powers some of the characters have were explored a bit more. With the exciting ending this book has I can only venture to guess there's going to be a lot more exploring, and a lot more action seen in Channeler's Choice. I can't wait to find out what awaits Eren and Aiden in the next book.