Friday, March 7, 2014

BLOG TOUR: CURED by Bethany Wiggins!

Yesterday on Operation Awesome, Michelle featured and interviewed Bethany Wiggins, author of the new and exciting STUNG companion, CURED! 


Blurb: Now that Fiona Tarsis and her twin brother, Jonah, are no longer beasts, they set out to find their mother, with the help of Bowen and a former neighbor, Jacqui. Heading for a safe settlement rumored to be in Wyoming, they plan to spread the cure along the way--until they are attacked by raiders. Luckily, they find a new ally in Kevin, who saves them and leads them to safety in his underground shelter. But the more they get to know Kevin, the more they suspect he has ties to the raiders. He also seems to know too many details about Jacqui and her family—details that could endanger them all. For the raiders will do anything they can to destroy the cure that would bring an end to their way of life. Bethany Wiggins’s reimagining of our world after an environmental catastrophe won’t fail to stun readers. -from Goodreads

Bethany Wiggins's website

Today Bethany is here at my little blog to answer a few questions. But first I just want to say a few words about the world of STUNG which Bethany has created. When I read STUNG, I was floored by the fast pace and the intense conflict. Lots of that conflict surrounds a sweet boy Fiona has known from childhood who suddenly treats her like she might go zombie apocalypse on him at any moment and she doesn't quite understand why. There's a gritty, raw quality to the dystopia Bethany's created, and it continues in CURED. Fans of THE MAZE RUNNER will find tons to love in STUNG and CURED. I'm very excited to have Bethany with me today. Here's that interview:

Katrina: I always have to ask, will there be a SHIFTING sequel?



Bethany: I won't say no, because there is always the possibility that I will write a SHIFTING 2, but not any time in the near future.  

K: Your books always have unpredictable twists. Are these all plotted out in advance or do you sometimes surprise yourself?

Bethany: Some of them are thought out in advance (but not really plotted) and others surprise me just as much as they surprise the reader. I'll be sitting down, writing a scene, when something totally surprising hits me and I write it down. It's like the story takes on a life of its own. 

K: The truly terrifying thing about these books is the reality in which they are based, the idea that they could really happen. What do you think is the most realistic or true-to-life aspect of STUNG and CURED?

Bethany: I think the most true to life aspect of STUNG and CURED is the possibility of a natural disaster (earthquake, flood, extinction of bees etc.) drastically changing the way we live, and us having to all of a sudden start living our lives in a totally primitive way. Where would we get food and water? How would we stay warm? Who would we trust? We see this all the time around the world. Hopefully it will never happen, but you never know.

K: What's next for you? Any exciting new projects you can tell us about?

Bethany: I am taking a short break from writing because I just had my fifth baby, but there are a few story ideas brewing in my head right now. It is only a matter of time before I start writing one. 

K: Congratulations on the new baby! 

What's one thing you must have with you when you write? A certain snack, music, or a mascot?

Bethany: Music! Music is my most important inspiration.

K: Thank you for answering my questions and for writing books I love to read!

If you all haven't gotten your mitts on either of these books yet, I highly recommend you hightail it to your nearest bookstore or e-reader and get started. Trust me, you won't be able to put it down.
 


Katrina's blog pic

Saturday, November 9, 2013

News and New Books!!

My first post on Operation Awesome in months went up yesterday and you can find out what I've been up to here.

It involves this ...

Isn't she beautiful?

Between paperwork and meetings for our buying/building project and baking a bun in the oven, I vacillate daily between Cloud 9 and Garbage Pail 5. It's a roller coaster-y time. But I find that to be true generally when my life is filled with blessings.

With every blessing comes a lot of work to make it worth it. New babies? Poopy diapers! New house? Unexpected expenses! New job? Awkward adjustment period!

While I've been hopping between clouds and garbage pails, so to speak, my blog partners have been very busy pumping out novels. Check them out:

Over the summer, Michelle McLean released ...

Amazon  Goodreads

A woman with a past…

Widowed mother, Brynne Richardson, gave up her bandit activities when she left California to make a fresh start with her young daughter in Boston. Working for a handsome doctor fulfills her need to be useful and independent, but he creates another yearning she can’t deny. 

A man with a purpose…

Dr. Richard Oliver assumes Brynne is just another debutante hunting for a rich husband, until she intrigues him with her steady hand for stitches…and guns. He can’t put her out of his mind, but the young widow has mysteries he’s determined to unravel. 

A love in danger…

When smugglers raid the much-needed supplies from the clinic, Brynne must resurrect her bandit persona for the good of the sick and the poor. Her secret life threatens to destroy everything she’s worked so hard to protect…her life, her family…and her heart.



and more recently ...

Amazon Goodreads

Ceri McKinley never stopped wishing that her ex-fiancĂ© Jason Crickett would come back into her life. But when he finally does, he comes with a request that puts them both—and all of humanity—into jeopardy.

Jason only wants two things: to bury his brother properly and to convince Ceri to trust him again after he jilted her. But when Ceri agrees to help him get his brother back, they end up fighting for their lives as the second zombie uprising threatens them all.


And Angela J. Townsend, through Clean Teen publishing, released ...

Amazon Goodreads
Angus MacBain is unaware that his ancestral roots hail from an ancient sect of Scottish kings. When his dying grandfather gives him a dragon pendant, thirteen-year-old Angus learns of a legacy that will take him across an ocean to the island of Iona and thrust him into a heritage he did not know he had. 

He soon discovers that his mother, whom he had believed dead, is really a seal fairy, in hiding from a dangerous enemy. To save her, Angus must undergo a perilous journey of destiny and power to battle an evil Dacian knight and those who serve him. With only his family shield and the advice of a wizened vampire hunter to protect him, Angus must navigate dangerous terrain and dark enemies, in a land where the past and the present mingle, and sleeping kings wake.

and the day before Halloween ...

Amazon Goodreads
When 17-year-old Dharma Moore moves to Bayou country so her scam artist mother can work as a Paranormal Investigator, she discovers more than ghosts haunt the abandoned plantation they now call home. Centuries ago, a voodoo curse was placed on the swamp waters surrounding the old plantation by a murdered slave. A terrible curse that snares Dharma. To save herself, she must face the terror of the haunted waters, find the dead woman's skull and convince the slave's soul to release her from its torments. However, there is more to this curse for Dharma personally than anyone else knows as she discovers an ancient secret that links herself to the property—a secret kept from her by her own family. To survive, she must accept the help of locals and to learn to embrace the truth—that magic is not only real, but that it can be very, very deadly!


Max Gladstone and Wes Chu both came out with sequels to their big hits, THREE PARTS DEAD and THE LIVES OF TAO:

Amazon Goodreads
The new novel set in the addictive and compelling fantasy world of Three Parts Dead

Shadow demons plague the city reservoir, and Red King Consolidated has sent in Caleb Altemoc — casual gambler and professional risk manager — to cleanse the water for the sixteen million people of Dresediel Lex. At the scene of the crime, Caleb finds an alluring and clever cliff runner, crazy Mal, who easily outpaces him.

But Caleb has more than the demon infestation, Mal, or job security to worry about when he discovers that his father — the last priest of the old gods and leader of the True Quechal terrorists — has broken into his home and is wanted in connection to the attacks on the water supply.

From the beginning, Caleb and Mal are bound by lust, Craft, and chance, as both play a dangerous game where gods and people are pawns. They sleep on water, they dance in fire... and all the while the Twin Serpents slumbering beneath the earth are stirring, and they are hungry.

Amazon Goodreads
The sequel to The Lives of Tao.

The Prophus and the Genjix are at war. For centuries they have sought a way off-planet, guiding humanity’s social and technological development to the stage where space travel is possible. The end is now in sight, and both factions have plans to leave the Earth, but the Genjix method will mean the destruction of the human race.

That’s a price they’re willing to pay.

It’s up to Roen and Tao to save the world. Oh, dear…



So as you can see, my peeps have been busy bringing the AWESOME to the world of fiction. I'm so proud of them! If you get the chance, any one of these reads will transport you to another world with characters to love/hate and compelling endings. Happy reading!!


Katrina's blog pic

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Where I Was and How I Found Peace


Never Forget 9/11


It was my first month away at college, Brigham Young University. The Deseret Towers dorm common area had a big screen TV playing the news when I first heard classes would likely be canceled for the day. I watched the replaying footage of the second plane striking over and over again while reporters cried on air. As a Communications student, I would see the same footage played over the coming weeks as we discussed the way this event had rocked and changed the industry. My RA was a mess, worried about her family in New York. Nobody could get through on the phones. I didn't think I knew anybody immediately affected by the attacks, but I was still in shock. How could this happen here?

On days like this one, war seems inevitable. There's a general sense of doom and unease. So I, along with tens of thousands of BYU students, filed into the Marriott Center for a prayer service--in place of the usual Tuesday devotional--searching for peace to quell the feeling of doom.





President Bateman said, "This morning, as most of you know, one of the greatest tragedies that has occurred on the mainland of the United States took place. Thousands of lives have been lost, and thousands have been injured." He appealed to us not to rush to judgment, not to be afraid, and to remember the good news of the gospel. Then he quoted Jesus:
"Let me turn to the words of the Savior. At the Last Supper, after finishing the meal, the Savior and his disciples sang the Hallel. The words of the Hallel are from Psalms 113 to 118. Chapters 113 through 116 are sung before the meal, in which thanks are given to God for the deliverance from Egypt; chapters 117 and 118 are sung after the Passover meal. I invite you today to read those chapters in Psalms. 
Those chapters talk about being saved from death. They are talking about the Atonement. So, at the Last Supper with His eleven disciples—Judas having left and Jesus knowing where he was going—Jesus is then singing about His own death.
In that setting He went on to talk to His disciples about the most precious gift He had to give them. That gift was the gift of the Holy Ghost. These are His words: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26). 
And then He said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you” (John 14:27).
He knows where He is going, and there is peace in His heart. He knows He is going to the garden, and He is going to the cross. He is telling them He is leaving them His peace.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).


FULL SPEECH, quoted above

VIDEO: THE TIMES IN WHICH WE LIVE, October 2001 by President and Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley

#remember




Jessica Brooks remembers over at Operation Awesome:
Using Your Words -- Remembering September 11th
Katrina's blog pic

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

THE DEATHS OF TAO Cover Love!

The Deaths of Tao, sequel to The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu, has a COVER and it's just as awesome as the first:


Add on goodreads

The sequel to The Lives of Tao.

The Prophus and the Genjix are at war. For centuries they have sought a way off-planet, guiding humanity’s social and technological development to the stage where space travel is possible. The end is now in sight, and both factions have plans to leave the Earth, but the Genjix method will mean the destruction of the human race.

That’s a price they’re willing to pay.

It’s up to Roen and Tao to save the world. Oh, dear…



It's out from Angry Robot Books October 29th 2013. Looking forward to reading this with the hubz! 



Katrina's blog pic

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Blog Chain: This I Believe

Kate gave us today's topic: This I believe. Do you find yourself repeating certain themes in your writing? Can readers glean what you believe in or some of your life philosophies from reading your work?

The Beauty of Innocence

Could readers glean what I believe from reading my work? Absolutely. I think it would be hard NOT to put that into my writing. Probably the most common themes people will find in my books are...


  • the elusiveness of reality 
  • the importance of forgiveness and love 
  • transcendence
  • innocence
  • human weakness
  • the need we all have for rescue

I'm still figuring out how I want to express these in my writing, genre-wise and topic-wise. But if you read my early drafts of diverse genres, you'll see similar themes emerging.


How about you? What themes crop out of your life philosophies?

Make sure to check out the other links on the Blog Chain! Catch up with Christine Fonseca to see yesterday's blog chain post,

and check out Demitria Lunetta's tomorrow.

Katrina's blog pic

Friday, July 5, 2013

Daughter of Chaos Cover Love

Have you seen the new cover for DAUGHTER OF CHAOS by Jen McConnel?

I'm gushing over it at Operation Awesome today. This is the first book I read for Month9Books which is getting published, due out March 2014. Be excited. Be very excited.



Katrina's blog pic

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Blog Chain: The Three Little Pigs

Amparo's says:
Confession: I can't draw to save my life. *sigh* If you had some seriously epic drawing skills (or if you already have them) which published book would you have loved to illustrate? Why does that book--and its characters/premise--strike you as something you'd love to work on as an artist?




Funny you should ask! I do occasionally write children's books, in the hope my mom will someday illustrate them for posterity, but yesterday I was thinking of a retelling of The Three Little Pigs. I have three little boys and they are currently obsessed with it. They get under the stairs and pretend the wolf is on top of the stairs trying to get in through the chimney. Adorable! Anyway, the other day I came up with a slightly adapted version for my three-year-old, and he loved it so much I thought I'd write it down and turn it into a custom picture book. I haven't done it yet, but it wouldn't be that hard. 

What WOULD be hard, of course, is the illustration. I am not a talented artist and haven't ever really put in the time to become one. Still, I might illustrate this book (pigs aren't so hard, especially if you draw them wearing overalls). 

What I love about the story is the lesson of building on a sure foundation so you can't be blown away with the wind. It goes nicely with my boys' favorite bedtime song:

The wise man built his house upon a rock.
The wise man built his house upon a rock.
The wise man built his house upon a rock,
And the rains came tumbling down.

The rains came down and the floods came up.
The rains came down and the floods came up.
The rains came down and the floods came up,
And the house on the rock stood firm!

The foolish man built his house upon the sand.
The foolish man built his house upon the sand.
The foolish man built his house upon the sand,
And the rains came tumbling down.

The rains came down and the floods came up.
The rains came down and the floods came up.
The rains came down and the floods came up,
And the house on the sand washed away! 




I realize it's not really the spirit of the question, which would be what I'd like to work on visually! After watching the movie Thor, I think I'd like best to work on something from another planet because the majestic scope of the cinematography in that movie was just breathtaking. So maybe Thor or Superman or certain scenes from The Lord of the Rings. But for practical purposes, the thing I'd most like to be able to draw right now is The Three Little Pigs. :)


Make sure to check out the other links on the Blog Chain! Catch up with Christine Fonseca to see yesterday's blog chain post,

and check out Demitria Lunetta's tomorrow.


Katrina's blog pic