dystopian

All posts tagged dystopian

Juniper Grove Presents: Shattered Memories by Susan Harris

Published July 1, 2015 by admin

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It’s blog tour time! Today I’ve got another fun, unique YA title to share with you guys! The sudden, uncontrollable urge to break into Shattered by The Rolling Stones is also killing me, but that has nothing to do with the book.

Shattered-Memories

Title:  Shattered Memories

Author:   Susan Harris

Published:  June 16th, 2015

Publisher:  Clean Teen Publishing

Genre:  YAm Dystopian Thriller

Content Warning:  Adult language, graphic violence, and sexual content

Recommended Age:  16+

Synopsis:  A terrible tragedy forced Alana McCarthy to forget a year of her life. Now she is to be executed for a crime she does not remember committing—the murder of her entire family. Lost and alone, Alana is terrified of unlocking secrets buried so deep inside her mind that she’s willing to forget the one person who could set her free.

Daniel Costello hasn’t forgotten about Alana, and he will do anything and everything to protect the girl he loves. But first, Alana needs to unlock her memories and find out the truth about what happened the night her family was killed.

The day of her execution is set. Together, will Alana and Daniel be able to uncover the truth behind her family’s deaths before it’s too late?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads

Susan is here with us today in interview form, so let’s hear what she has to say about her book and the writing world!

SJ: Every writer has some sort of process. Give us a glimpse into yours. Do you meticulously outline? Do you write depending on what calls are out there?

SH: When I have an idea for writing I do a lot of planning and prep before I actually start writing. First I do a book outline of what goes into each chapter. I also do character profiles where I jot down everything from eye color to height. Then once I know what kind of characters are scenes are going into the books I spend ALOT of time working on a playlist. Writing and music come hand in hand for me..I couldn’t do one without the other.

SJ: Bonus question – Do you put on a cape and do a chant before hunkering down to work? Sacrifice anything? Along with your process, what’s your quirkiest writing habit?

SH: I think my quirkiest writing habit is I have to set up my laptop, notebook and pens in a certain way. And I have a card with my word count where I have chapters with each individual word count as well as combined word count. I also have like mini figurines of Loki, Legolas and transformers that I have to have near me! Atm I’m doing up my office area so it’s weird to be working without all of them!

SJ: Are you a meticulous planner or do you believe in the muse? Where do your ideas come from? Do they filter in through your dreams? Do they show up at inopportune times and whap you upside the head? Do they result in a shady deal with a dark power?

SH: No matter how much I plan and want a story to go in a certain way, the voices in my head will constantly change the outcome as I write. And yes it does haunt me in my dreams so much so that I will more often than not wake up during the night and have to go write so that I can get a little restful sleep! Maybe I should make a shady deal with a dark power! I wonder if I made a deal with a crossroads demon would Crowley himself appear? It’s worth a shot right?

Note from SJ: Susan gets all the bonus points for the Supernatural reference.

SJ: bonus question – If your muse had a physical manifestation, what would he or she look like and how would she or he act? Is it a sexy superhero version of Callisto? A sharp-tongued rogue? A reptilian alien? Do they have a catch phrase?

SH: If I could picture my muse I think she would be like Charley Davidson from Darynda Jones series. Smart as hell but with the attention span of a goldfish!

SJ: What’s the book/story that’s closest to your heart? Is there a piece that you clearly feel is a piece of you? Do you play favorites?

SH: Crave the Darkness by Amanda Bonilla stands out for me with that question. When I was reading the book the main character had panic attacks and anxiety die to something that happened to her. (Aiming for no spoilers!) and I related to it because I was going through the same thing at the time. Despite being a writing I found it hard to put into words what I was feeling and this book did that so beautifully.

SJ: If you could only write one genre ever again upon pain of being sacrificed to Cthulhu, what would it be and why?

SH: Paranormal/ fantasy! I love reading the genre and writing it too because you have the freedom to be as creative as possible and even invent some creatures that haven’t ever been done!

SJ: What’s your biggest frustration as a writer? What do you consider the downside, or is there one? Is there any cliché that makes you want to wring people’s necks?

SH: Writers block and people who think it’s easy to be a writer and anyone could do it. Plus I am not a fan of cliché rom coms! Not bashing anyone’s taste but I just find them predictable and boring….but paranormal romance ..that I don’t have an issue with!

SJ: Do you think it’s possible to develop a sure-fire recipe/formula for success as a writer? Would you want to, or does that compromise the art or the fun of it? I have a phrase tattooed on my arm that read “Better to write for yourself and have no public then to write for the public and have no self.” I think if you write something just ‘cause the industry finds something ‘in’ and the moment then you’re not doing yourself any favors. I want to write stories that spark something in me and not conform to a certain mainstream idea.

SJ: Everyone has words of wisdom for young writers, so I’m not going to ask you about that. With a few unknown writers becoming success stories, a lot of people seem to think it’s an easy career choice. What would your words of wisdom be to these people?

SH: It’s not as easy as it looks. Writing is sometimes a very solitary job over extended periods of time. And that book might not make it. We authors spend a lot of our time researching and writing and re-writing before it’s even ready to submit. There is an impression that because of the overnight success’ of some authors whose books, in my opinion aren’t my cup of tea, makes our creative process seem easy.  I wish it was as simple as people think but it’s most definitely not!

SJ: It seems like everyone likes to gang up on certain genres as being inferior, less meaningful, or cheap entertainment (especially if it’s speculative in nature). Make a case for the genre you write.

SH: It really makes me angry when other authors or readers bash certain genres. Like people, not everyone is going to like a particular genre. I love paranormal or dystopian books while others love romantic contemporary. It should be more important that people are reading no matter what they read.

Note from SJ: Word

For my genre, dystopian at this time, it allows you to see what the world could be like if we continue on in the way we are going. Most of us won’t get to see the future in 100 years. But with the Dystopian genre we can paint a picture of life unknown and create characters that will forever be changed by the events of that future.

 SJ: What do you want people to instantly think of when they hear your name or your work mentioned?

SH: I would like to be known for the worlds I create. Most of the authors that I read are renowned for their fantastic world building. I would love to have even a sentence of my work stand out for someone, like a memorable quote. Like when we think of The Fault in our Stars, I immediately think of his quote “That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.”  If even one line in my book sticks in someone’s head like that then I know I’ve done a good job!

SJ: Please tell us about your latest/favorite work or a little bit about what you’re working on right now. It’s plug time, so go for it!

SH: I’m currently working on a new series but we are in the early stages atm. It’s called Skin and Bones and I would describe it as a mix of Supernatural vs Criminal minds. It will also introduce a creature that hasn’t really been written about before and a variety of different characters who I hope will get their own books as the series progresses.

Susan-Harris

About the Author:

Susan Harris is a writer from Cork in Ireland. An avid reader, she quickly grew to love books in the supernatural/fantasy genre. When she is not writing or reading, she loves music, oriental cultures, tattoos, anything Disney and psychology. If she wasn’t a writer she would love to be a FBI profiler or a PA for Dave Grohl or Jared Leto.

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Clean Teen Publishing Links:

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Juniper Grove Presents: Burning Doors by Renee N. Meland

Published May 8, 2015 by admin

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Time for another book blitz, and this one looks like an awesome title!

Burning-Doors

Title:   Burning Doors

Series:  The Extraction List #2

Author:   Renee N. Meland

Published:  April 28th, 2015

Publisher:  Limitless Publishing

Genre:  Dystopian Thriller

Content Warning:  Violence, adult language, and minor sexual content

Recommended Age:  14+

Synopsis:

Cain Foley committed his first murder before he could even drive a car. Not that he would’ve had anywhere to drive to. When he was fifteen, America was one of the poorest countries in the world, and its’ citizens took their hatred of that fact out on each other through gangs and violence. Children barely tall enough for carnival rides peppered the streets selling drugs (or themselves) so they could buy their next meal.

Every night on the news, Cain watched as an angelic blonde woman who lost her own child swore she’d end it. She assaulted America’s televisions with praise for the Parental Morality Law: a set of rules that spells out exactly what it takes to be a parent in the eyes of the government, and the consequences of breaking those rules. He prayed every night that she’d come to rescue him before his father took off his belt again.

Before she could save him, Cain faced a fatal choice: fight back or die on the basement floor.

He chose life.

Now on the run, he finds himself being hunted by a police officer with his own special brand of torture. Before he can save even a handful of the children who have been swept up in the gang life, he must first cover up not one, but two murders: his father’s and one committed by a teenage madam who is either the love of his life, or his final undoing. As he feels himself being pushed further and further to the edge, he realizes that surviving his father was just the beginning.

Amazon | GoodReads

And there’s an excerpt so you can give this title a road test!

***

The first time I killed someone, it was an accident. Though I guess it was the kind of accident that happens when you squeeze your hands around someone’s neck for too long, or when you shove someone who is standing too close to the edge of a building. In my case, I accidentally killed my father when I beat him to death with a pipe.

He had set me up that night, I’m sure of it. I was always careful to leave the TV volume down so I wouldn’t be caught. But when I flipped the power on that night, the news roared. The woman I wanted to see was there, giving a speech like always, but her voice came out with the force of thunder. Sweat drenched my body when I heard the door to my parents’ upstairs bedroom fly open and hit the wall. The foundation shook and so did my limbs. I sat frozen in a seated position as I heard his footsteps. All I could focus on were his shiny patent leather shoes coming toward me. Even in the middle of the night, he took the time to slip them on.

I could smell him before I even saw his feet. He constantly stunk of mouthwash and old cologne; it was some putrid mix of sandalwood and beach vacations that we would never take. He cackled as he stepped toward me, so the minty air from his breath reached me before his hand did. I felt my head hit the floor before I felt the familiar sting in my cheek.

“You’re so stupid. You really think you’ll ever leave here? Where do you think you’re going to go, huh? You need me. She hasn’t come for you and she never will!” He kicked me in the side with his foot.

My stomach clenched from the impact.

I usually kept quiet when he hit me. At most, I would agree with whatever he was saying to stop him before he did real damage.

It never worked.

No matter what I said, or didn’t say, the blows would keep coming. My mother was always        conveniently upstairs, but no one can tell me she couldn’t hear the snap of his belt or the furniture rattle as he shoved me into it.

That night was different. Maybe it was watching the woman from the television, or maybe it was the way his smile stretched across his face as he struck me, I don’t know. But when he was finished and heading back upstairs, I spat towards him.

My cheeks burned as I did it. In fact, my whole body felt like it was on fire. But I’d be lying if I said I wished I could take it back. Even when he turned, eyes wide when he noticed the wad of saliva glistening on the concrete floor, I didn’t regret it one bit.

I may have even cracked a smile.

Renee-Meland

Renee N. Meland lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two dogs. Her favorite obsessions are Rome, learning new recipes, and exploring the world around her. She is an avid reader of speculative fiction, and believes that telling stories is the best job in the world.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Blog

There’s also a tour-wide giveaway going on, so be sure to enter the Rafflecopter to win a print copy of The Extraction List

Excerpt: Legacy by Ellery A. Kane

Published April 22, 2015 by admin

So I’m into the concept of Legacy so much, I’m back with it today to post an excerpt!

9781452520407_COVER.indd

Title:  Legacy

Author:  Ellery A. Kane

Published:  September 17th, 2014

Publisher:  Balboa Press

Genre:  YA

Recommended Age:  13+

Synopsis:

How do you want to feel today?

In 2041, the choice is yours.

San Francisco is deserted, the Bay Bridge bombed, and the BART subway trains grounded. The Guardians, members of an elite and mysterious government-appointed military police force, are maintaining order at all costs—thanks to emotion-altering drugs like Emovere that suppress fear and anxiety. Lex Knightley, daughter of a prominent forensic psychiatrist, risks entering the devastated city to partner with the Resistance, a group of rebels intent upon exposing the dangers of Emovere. Lex discovers an ally in Quin McAllister, a magnetic Guardian Force recruit with a haunting past that binds them together. As she uncovers the secrets of the Guardian Force and confronts the truth about her family, Lex begins to realize that even those closest to her are not quite who they seem.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads

************************

The first time I kissed someone, it wasn’t at all like I had imagined—and trust me when I say that I had spent hours imagining it. It was a summer night just after my seventeenth birthday. We were sitting side by side in the empty football stadium. I can still feel the bleachers, cold and hard beneath my legs. My elbow was touching the side of his body. I could feel how warm he was. He didn’t move, but just let me touch him. The air between us was thick with anticipation. And then, just like that, his lips were on mine. In a few seconds, a wall that had once seemed impenetrable was crossed. I was no longer unkissed.

* * *

The first time I killed someone, it wasn’t at all like I had imagined. It was as quick and as effortless as snipping a string. I squeezed the trigger, and the man fell back. It was so dark that I could barely see the outline of his face. I watched him for a long time, waiting for something. What was I waiting for? The man didn’t move, except for a brief shudder. It seemed for a moment as if I too had stopped breathing. But in the cold I could see my breath visible in small white puffs. I waited for the world to open up and swallow me, but nothing came. In the corner where I hid, I saw a small brown bird hopping. He reached the edge of my vision and took flight. It was only me who had changed.

*******************************

In her non-fiction life, Ellery Kane works as a forensic psychologist. Evaluating violent criminals and treating victims of trauma has afforded her a unique perspective on the past and its indelible influence on the individual. An avid short story writer in adolescence, Ellery only recently began writing for enjoyment again, and Legacy was born.

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Juniper Grove Presents: Legacy by Ellery A. Kane

Published April 21, 2015 by admin

I’ve got some treats for you today! If you like YA fiction and are into futuristic/post-apoc type literature, than have I got a title for you…

Legacy-Banner (1)

Title:  Legacy

Author:  Ellery A. Kane

Published:  September 17th, 2014

Publisher:  Balboa Press

Genre:  YA

Recommended Age:  13+

Synopsis:

How do you want to feel today?

In 2041, the choice is yours.

San Francisco is deserted, the Bay Bridge bombed, and the BART subway trains grounded. The Guardians, members of an elite and mysterious government-appointed military police force, are maintaining order at all costs—thanks to emotion-altering drugs like Emovere that suppress fear and anxiety. Lex Knightley, daughter of a prominent forensic psychiatrist, risks entering the devastated city to partner with the Resistance, a group of rebels intent upon exposing the dangers of Emovere. Lex discovers an ally in Quin McAllister, a magnetic Guardian Force recruit with a haunting past that binds them together. As she uncovers the secrets of the Guardian Force and confronts the truth about her family, Lex begins to realize that even those closest to her are not quite who they seem.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | GoodReads

Ellery is here today with a guest post about the book, so let’s get to it! I had given her a prompt, so I’ll put that in italics, and we’ll see how she replied.

***

9781452520407_COVER.indd

How do you go about developing your world when it obviously takes place in the real world, but in a very different type of reality than what we’re experiencing now?

 I think that what intrigues and draws most readers into a dystopian world is actually the sense that it is not so different than our own, that a few, strategic events could catapult us into a dark and disturbing place. After all, is our modern world more utopian than dystopian? Some of the most haunting and riveting dystopians—The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Giver, play on our fears as a society that we are one step away from chaos. 

In creating the world of Legacy, I was inspired by my “real” job as a psychologist, where I am often face to face with individuals who are eager to change their emotional state. Just as Lex observes—“It seemed that almost everyone was eager to feel or not to feel something”—words that are as true today as ever. For many years, pharmaceutical companies have been cashing in on our desire to quickly and easily alter our emotions, so it wasn’t a stretch to imagine Zenigenic, an up and coming pharmaceutical company, creating a line of Emotion Altering Medications (EAMs).

In 2041, EAMs are widely available, dispended in vending machines operated by biometric identification; mental illness is not a prerequisite, only a desire to alter one’s feelings. With a catchy slogan, “How do you want to feel today?” and a promise of no side effects, who could resist?

Legacy explores the devastating impact of EAMs on society and the individuals that created them, used them, and witnessed their effects. After all, a quick fix always comes at a price…

***

I love this premise, plus it’s so fascinating to see a YA book taking on something so huge. Thanks for coming on and

sharing your expertise and thoughts, Ellery!

***

In her non-fiction life, Ellery Kane works as a forensic psychologist. Evaluating violent criminals and treating victims of trauma has afforded her a unique perspective on the past and its indelible influence on the individual. An avid short story writer in adolescence, Ellery only recently began writing for enjoyment again, and Legacy was born.

Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Website

There is also a tour-wide giveaway, and you can win one of ten signed print copies by entering the Rafflecopter here!

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