Author Interview: Cindy C. Bennett

As many of you know, Bennett is an amazing author whose work I have been devouring this Spotlight. She seems to always manage to write novels that are captivating, relatable, romantic and all out amazing. Cindy has provided me this wonderful interview which I hope you all enjoy! Also don’t forget that the giveaways for Immortal Mine and Geek Girl are open until the end of the month. Enjoy!

Q: What was the first story you wrote that gave you the maybe I can do this for a living’ feeling?
A: I’d have to say Geek Girl, which was actually the second book I wrote (following Heart on a Chain). I’d really written both of them for my daughters, but after I finished Geek Girl, my daughters asked why I didn’t have them published, and it occurred to me that I should.

Q: Name one random thing about you your fans are not likely to know.
A: I have an irrational, deeply disturbing fear of spiders (and most creepy-crawly things, really). Not just an “eww, there’s a spider” kind of fear, but the kind of terror so deep that I can’t even pick a dead one up to flush it. If I see one, I spend the rest of the day thinking that they’re crawling all over me. It’s crazy, I know. I know I’m bigger than a spider and that, with the exception of the poisonous ones, they can’t hurt me. Doesn’t matter. Just speaking of it now makes me shiver.

Cindy Bennett

Fav Five

1. What is your favorite pastime? Hanging with my kids, watching TV or movies or playing games with them.

2. What is your favorite film? Ever After

3. What is your favorite novel? Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale (which is not at all within my preferred reading and writing genre)

4. Favorite season? Fall

5. Favorite place to write? On my couch, surrounded by noise, family, and dogs

Q: What was the first YA book that you read that helped mold your love of this genre?
A: I’m not sure which I read first, but around the same time I read Twilight (Stephenie Meyer), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (JK Rowling), Eragon (Christopher Paolini), and Dreamland (Sarah Dessen). I was amazed there were so many great books available for teens. I fell immediately in love with the YA genre and began reading it almost exclusively, which lead to my deciding this was a genre I could write.

Q: Of your many published works, which one is closest to your heart? Why?
A: Heart on a Chain, probably because it’s the first completed novel I wrote, which began as a labor of love for my daughters. To this day it remains my best selling novel – though Rapunzel Untangled is giving it a run for it’s money.

Q: If you can have one lasting impression on your readers what would you want it to be?
A: I hope my characters stay with them, at least for a little while. I hope something within the story spoke to them and made the characters sympathetic, empathetic, or at least feel like a friend.

Q: Lastly, being that you are now in the Spotlight, are there any parting thoughts you would like to share?
A: I want to thank Tiffany for the opportunity to hang out on her blog for a while. I hope you all get a chance to read as much as you’d like, and that if you happen to pick up one of my books, you enjoy the journey while you’re in one of my worlds.

Q: Where can readers follow you?
Blog: http://www.cindycbennett.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/authorcindycbennett
Twitter: @cinbennett

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Giveaways…

Hey Guys! I apologize for my extreme delay in posting this. But as you know, last month I had two giveaways: Rapunzel Untangled and the Unearthly Trilogy. So without further ado, our winners are:

rapunzel untangled

Wanda, congratulations! You have win a copy of Cindy C. Bennett’s newest novel, Rapunzel Untangled.

Unearthly Series Julie, Congratulations! You are the winner of our February BotM giveaway of the Unearthly Series by Cynthia Hand.

You gals, should be receiving your congratulatory emails any minute now! Also, a special thank you to all who entered!

As for you amazing people who follow my blog, thank you for sticking with me through my dark period/black out/MIA/radio silence. Thank you for your continued support.

Now, while being back online, I happened upon some great giveaways I want to share with you guys.

1. Aptly titled the 100+ Giveaway on the Live To Read Blog. Giveaway ends March 15. I’ve entered and if you are interested in entering Click Here.

2. Mystery Box Giveaway at Gabby Reads Blog. Although this giveaway is limited to the US, the winner will be receiving some hardcovers, arcs and swag. You have until March 23rd to enter this giveaway by Clicking Here

3. March Author’s Kindle Fire Giveaway which I learned about from FUOnlyKnew Blog. This giveaway is open internationally and ends March 31st. Those interested in entering, Click Here.

4. $100 Amazon Gift card is being given away from the Sab The Book Eater Blog. Simply Click Here to enter this giveaway.

Book Review + Giveaway: Wolf Pear

Title: Wolf Pear

Author: Dianne Gray

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Blurb: Esther Crooke is a lonely woman, obsessed with her unique books and her home grown tomatoes – but she has a secret buried deep within her garden. JD Cusack is one of Australia’s finest detectives. He has a mysterious gift for solving crimes that have been cold for years. When his brother is brutally murdered, he sets out in pursuit of a serial-killer and must follow the scent of the wolf pear.

My Review: With a novel like this it is apparent to me why your writing has won so many awards, Dianne. I absolutely love this novel. It is captivating, enthralling, has great pacing, relatable narrators, intrigue, suspense and an amazing storyline.

Wolf Pear has two narrators: Esther and JD.

  • Esther is someone who has been emotionally abused all of her life. She is just a fat waste of space that will never amount to anything as far as her family is concerned. She tries to live her life in spite of their abuse and has done well for herself. Yet all they do is belittle her achievements and point out all of her wrongs. They walk all over her and she rarely stands up for herself. But even with all of this, she is a strong person and I loved that about her. I love the survivor in her and her strength and perseverance. She is truly a great person who is lonely and in need of love.
  • JD is an accomplished police officer who is on “vacation” after his brothers death. However this vacation is actually his journey to track down his brother’s killer. He is determined to find this person and bring him to justice. He is gifted and pulls off Sherlock Holmes like scenes. He puts things together that no one else sees. It is exciting and pretty darn impressive. He also has a troubled past that he can’t remember but begins to have flashbacks of it on this journey.
  • It becomes pretty clear that these two are going to meet. The reader is anticipating this and unsure as to what will happen when they do. At the end of it all, it is pretty great but not at all what I was expecting. Uhum… Allow me to correct myself. It did not end the way I wanted it to. It was a happily ever after just not of the flower and hearts variety that the romantic in me was hoping for.

    Wolf Pear has left me impressed and yearning to read more of Gray’s work. It is a novel anyone can enjoy. It has its action, comedy, drama, paranormal appearances and suspense. Gray keeps you tethered to this novel. When not in your hands it will be on your mind. This is truly an amazing read.

    *I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review

    For a chance to see just how amazing Wolf Pear is fill out the form below. Dianne Gray is giving away an ebook copy to one lucky winner. The last day to enter is Nov. 13, 2012 and the winner will be announced Nov. 14. Good luck!

    Apocalypsis: Book Review + Giveaway

    Title: Apocalypsis: Book 1, Kahayatle (Apocalypsis #1)

    Author: Elle Casey

    Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

    Blurb: My name’s Bryn Mathis. I’m seventeen years old, and I live in a neighborhood outside of Orlando, Florida. I live alone because my dad died almost a year ago, along with all the other adults in the world. I’m almost out of food and the gangs of kids that roam around my town are getting more vicious by the day.

    It’s time for me to leave and find another place to live … a place where I can find food and shelter … a place where they won’t be able to find me.

    Alone, it might have been possible; but now I’ve got company. I’m worried that I don’t have what it takes to get from here to my final destination.

    And I have no idea what might be waiting for me when I get there.

    My Review: Have you ever wondered what a world with no adults would be like? Or if teenagers can survive in a world with no parents? Well, Casey paints a very honest and realistic view of what this world would be like. Apocalypsis is a dystopian novel where a disease kills off most of the population. In this novel, anyone who wasn’t a who teenager died- adults and children alike. The story is told in first person POV and from Bryn’s perspective.

    So, let me give you a quick synopsis: Bryn’s father who was well aware of the fact that he would be dead soon did everything he could to prepare Bryn. He left her stocked with food, a gun, first aid supplies and other necessities. He taught her how to pack, how to camp, how to defend herself using Krav Maga and he left her a plan. At some point she would have to move and find a safe place to settle down.

    If you don’t enjoy reading books that tend to be addictive and take over your life until you have finished reading it- stay away from Apocalypsis. It was nearly impossible to put down. It is also funny- I spent most of the book chuckling or full out laughing. It’s action packed- Bryn is a certified badass and there was always someone’s ass for her to kick. It’s suspenseful and gross- the reality of their world is crazy (although realistic) and at times hard to stomach. There is also a hint of romance- it was nice seeing the attraction and chemistry between Bryn and Bodo.

    The characters are dynamic and fun and I loved getting to know them.

  • Bryn is funny, brave and very likeable. She has a great sense of humor and spends most of her time teasing others. She can totally kick ass and protects the people she cares about.
  • Peter is a great support for Bryn. He’s often her voice of reason. He is surprisingly strong but is the weakest character of the bunch.
  • Bodo is a sweetheart. He plays Bryn’s love interest. He is strong, has a crazy hot body and has a great accent (I love how Casey presents his speech to us). He tries very hard to be of help and to make Bryn happy- totally cute and romantic. However, he is surrounded by a shroud of mystery and his secrets left me with a feeling of foreboding.
  • The one negative I found was that there is never any explanation of this disease that decimated the population. To be clear, neither the reader nor the characters have any understanding of it. After all, when the adults are the scientist and doctors and they are dying off, there is no one else left to explain it. All we know is that there was something in the hormones raging in teenagers that made them immune to the disease.

    This is a novel that raises the question of people and human nature and survival. It is a prime example of Darwin’s ideas- A world where you must adapt to survive (survival of the fittest). Apocalypsis is fun, realistic, hilarious, and heartwarming. I really enjoyed reding this book and would definitely recommend. I look forward to reading the sequel and knowing what happens next.

    For a chance to see just how good this book is be sure to enter the giveaway.Elle Casey is once again, generously giving away two ebook copies of Apocalypsis. This giveaway is open until October 21, 2012. The winner will be announced October 22. Good luck!

    Book Review + Giveaway: Wrecked

    Title: Wrecked

    Author: Elle Casey

    Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

    Blurb: If you liked The Breakfast Club and The Swiss Family Robinson, you’ll love WRECKED! An ill-fated Caribbean cruise and four teenagers: a nerd, a jock, a mouse, and a beauty queen…an island, a treehouse, some nefarious interlopers…life and death…fear and loathing…love and laughter. Follow Jonathan, Kevin, Candi and Sarah as they find their typical high school lives and their worlds totally WRECKED.

    My Review: “This shit is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S” Haha, I swear I’m done and just had to get it out of my system. (You’ll understand aft reading the book.) I’ll be honest and say that with the exception of Lord of the Flies that I read in my childhood and just vaguely remember, I haven’t read many stranded-on-an-island type books. But I absolutely love this novel! It has four very dynamic characters. A crazy story line. Lots of action, romance and humor.

    For a quick synopsis: two families from opposite sides of the track go on a cruise together for business purposes. Their kids, each have two- a boy and a girl are polar opposites of each other. Their parents make them play nice and they are forced to spend time together. Yet one night amid an extreme storm these four kids end up stranded on an island. They adapt to their surroundings and learn how to survive. However, they have no idea of the danger they are in…

    The story is very well set up and is truly a roller coaster of a ride. I absolutely love it! It was funny and I spent most of the book seriously LOLing. Casey follows her theme of keeping he readers laughing. It’s romantic and it is mostly PG-13- until they get it on. Then it is still PG-13 because it is done in it a very classy and non steamy way. 😉 Kind of like: We started kissing, he looks me in the eyes and asks me if I’m sure and then we did it. It’s realistic and follows the natural order of things. After all it is our reality that teens out there are having sex and those that aren’t, there friends are doing it. Wrecked is exciting and keeps you on your toes, never knowing what to expect. The characters are pretty dynamic and undergo a lot of character development. The book ends and almost all of the characters are 180 from the who they started off as.

    • Jonathan- is a true nerd and he manages to have an explanation for everything. (I learned a few things from him.) He is confident and honest and a very analytical person.
    • Candi- is self conscious and one of those people who doesn’t see herself clearly. She is sweet and can be passive but protects the people she cares about.
    • Kevin- is the popular jock who’s really a nice guy.
    • Sarah- appears to be the conceited bitch. She pretends to be shallow and at first appears to be the epitome of a bitch. But turns out that she really is a thoughtful and caring person.

    Wreck is a fun book to read. I am excited with Casey’s announcement of a sequel coming out. It’s funny and romantic and it’s unpredictable and action packed. Luckily Elle Casey is giving away two ebook copies of this book. You will therefore have an opportunity to see this for yourself. To enter just fill out the form below. The winner will be announced Sunday October 14th. You therefore have until the 13th to enter.

    Author Spotlight Winner + Giveaway

    So I have two things to announce today. First, of our Taking the Fall giveaway we have a winner. Fundinmental congratulations!

    Second, be sure to enter our last Author Spotlight Giveaway. Margaret Chatwin will generously be giving away a paperback copy of all three of her published works.

    I want to try something new with this giveaway. So everyone, for one entry simply enter your name and email. For those who want to join in on my game and want a chance at additional entries take the quiz. Every correct answer will get you an additional entry. I’ll make it easy for you by making it multiple choice and by telling you where to find the answers. All my questions will come from these three Author Spotlight posts: September Author Spotlight, Margaret Chatwin’s Interview and in Margaret’s guest post Boys -VS- Girls. For those of you who chose to participate in my little quiz will receive an email notifying you of how many entries you qualified for. The giveaway ends September 30th 2012. Best of luck!