Indie Authors, YA Author Club

YA Author Club is Awesomesauce!

I promised yesterday that I would cover all that I missed during my little winter hibernation. The area I regret neglecting most is highlighting some fabulous indie authors I get to call friends through the YA Author Club. These women are incredible and I just know you’ll find a book worth reading (or half a dozen!) when you check out their mad writing skills! Since they are all so fabulous I’ve decided to highlight one each day until I’m caught up. Let’s start with the ring leader of this circus, T.R. Graves.

T. R. Graves is the mastermind of our cirque magnifique we call the YA Indie Carnival. I’m blown away by her work and personally can’t wait to read her Warriors of the Cross series. You may remember that she offered them as a prize in our Share the Love Scavenger Hunt! The YA Author Club made her our spotlight author back in February while I was distracted with our Share the Love Scavenger Hunt, so here is what you all missed, dear friends.

T. R. Graves T. R. Graves lives along the Texas coast with her husband. Together, they raise T. R.’s beta-reading daughter and their football-loving son. Besides being blessed with a supportive family, she counts her career as a registered nurse in not-for-profit hospitals high on her list of fulfilling accomplishments.
Social Media Sites:
Spotlight Interview Questions
What is your all-time favorite book and why?
I have a  – very eclectic – three-way tie that includes The Mortal Instruments Series, The Tiger Saga, and the Fifty Shades Trilogy.
All three of these series have strong female leading characters, and they are written by authors who are amazing enough to write romance into the story in a way where it actually becomes tangible for the reader. I can’t help but love stories that make me fall in love with the characters or admire the authors who are talented enough to just that.
Is there an author you could be compared to or popular fictional characters your book’s characters could relate to and why?
My beta-reader claims I could be compared to Colleen Houck (separated at birthwere his exact words). Our similarities may be the reason I love her and her books so much. He believes we both have the ability to turn situations that could easily be unrealistic into scenes that seem absolutely real.
 Can you give us your favorite quote from one of your books and explain it?
 In Grave Bound (Secrets), Levi Bryson journals. His writing is not traditional, perfect, or by-the-book, but it sweetly shows Emily how he feels about her. Something about it is charming. Below, I’ve included one of his many doodles:
Facets
 Her words… sweeter than any book written, poem recited, or song recorded.
Her intentions… pure as the driven snow; a wholesome schoolgirl, and a naive child.
Her beauty… perfect as an emerald’s cut; stunning as a ruby’s color; and timeless as a diamond’s clarity.
Her essence… struck me with the force of a bolt of lightning, the power of a sledgehammer, and the command of the chosen one.
Her love… engulfed my life the way the dawn’s rays swallow the darkness, the tsunami’s waves ravage the coast, and the tornado’s funnel plows its way through a forest.
– Levi Ian Bryson
What types of things/people/music inspires you and makes you want to keep writing?
Books inspire me. Not just any book. It has to have strong characters, a mission filled with action and romance, and unfathomable consequences attached to failure.
Music inspires me. There is nothing fad-like about the artists I appreciate most. The music I listen to is embedded with so much emotion that it is palpable all the way through the song(s): Kings of Leon, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Alanis Morissette, Adele, Diana Birch, Audra Mae & The Forest Rangers, Black Eyed Peas, Eminem,….
People inspire me: My nineteen-year-old daughter worked hard through high school, graduated with both a high school degree and an associate’s degree, and she’s now trying to get into medical school. She did all of this while working and saving almost every penny of her money so she’d have a nest egg when she went away to school. That is inspiring. My eight-year-old son practices (baseball & football) four to six days a week (depending on the time of year) and turns all of that training into winning championships. He does this while maintaining A’s & B’s on his report card and without the first complaint. I can’t help but be inspired by their dedication and commitment and work ethics.
 Describe your typical writing day or week.
 Monday thru Friday, I’m up at 5:30, writing/reading/socializing from 6:30 – 7:30, commuting from 7:30-8:30 (or 8:45), working from 8:30-5:30 (or 6:30 or 7:30), commuting from 5:30-6:45, supper/homework/miscellaneous from 7:00-8:30, and writing from 8:30-10:00.
 On Saturday/Sunday from 5:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., I have family, errands, reading, writing, socializing, etc.
I put in the hours I do because I’m fortunate enough to have two jobs that I’m passionate about. First, I work within a hospital system where the patients (not their ability to pay) are our priority. The nurse in me… the humanitarian in me is thankful there are still healthcare systems where curing illnesses and saving lives are the focus. Second, I’m an author. If I’m not writing, I’m planning and plotting in my mind. My goal with each new book I write is to create a great story that is thrilling, suspenseful, and romantic enough to take the reader away from their own problems/lives for a few hours. Nothing more. Nothing less.
One thing is for sure. I’d never be able to do all of this if it weren’t for my husband. He does everything around our house I can’t do, and he never says a word. He’s supports me, loves me, and cares for me. I absolutely adore him.
 Is there a food or drink do you have to have when you’re writing? 
 Diet Dr. Pepper (preferably) or Diet Mountain Dew. I work, write, and drive so many hours a week that caffeine is a basic necessity.
 Can you tell us what you’re working on right now (& possibly provide an excerpt & cover)?
 I’m working on my first adult contemporary, Grave Bound (Secrets)(tentative release date of 3/1/13). At the same time, I’m writing book four of my original young adult paranormal series Dark Angels of the Cross (Warrior, #4).
Books by T.R. Graves
 Grave Bound (Secrets)
Some Secrets follow you to the grave. Others send you there.
Emily Riddle has lived her entire life inside a patriarchal commune led by her father. There are many rules, but the most important one,‘keep it in the commune’, is the most difficult for her to follow… especially since the only people willing to champion her cause live on the outside.

When Emily learns her father has promised her to Lorenzo, a perverted man who has plans for her that extend well beyond marriage and kids, she rebels. Regardless of the consequences, she refuses to marry someone who’d rather beat her than caress her.
A day of hooky that starts out as a tiny act of defiance – sneaking out of the commune for a swim – turns into a day filled with hope. After spending time with Levi, a man camping near the lake, she finds what true romance looks like and catches a glimpse into a future that’s filled with love and admiration rather than hate and submission.
That tiny peek is enough to change the course of Emily’s existence and makes it nearly impossible for her to go back to the commune and pretend she’ll ever be able to tolerate the life chosen for her instead of the life she longs for. One that includes Levi.
Fighting to escape the commune, its leaders, and her fiancé proves to be more dangerous than Emily expected. The secrets she knows, as the leader’s daughter, will either follow her to the grave or send her – and Levi – there.
T. R. Graves’s YA Books:
WOC - book 1Warriors of the Cross (Warrior #1)
Allison La Crosse, beginning a challenging family medicine residency, leaves the protection of her family. With the transfer, her worst nightmares come true. Her closely guarded mystical talents – those which seldom appeared before the move – unleash themselves from her confinement and reveal their presence with very little provocation.Allison’s most terrifying power is her compulsion to cure the dying with her touch. Given her career, this gift would be valuable if she were not drawn like a magnet to the ailing person’s every symptom. Some of which are fatal.

At the hospital and surrounded by life-and-death emergencies, Allison’s inability to manage her impulse turns deadly. When it does, her mentor, Brody, rescues her from her own demise. His resuscitation ignites an exciting and tempestuous bond between them.

Desperate for a cure, they join forces and embark upon a journey to uncover the origins of Allison’s lethal curse. In the midst of their adventure, Allison exposes a secret pursued by many…known by few.

GOC - book 2Guardians of the Cross (Warrior #2)
Allison La Crosse discovers she has several powers, including a spiritual gift to heal the dying with her touch. With the newfound awareness, she uncovers mind-boggling truths about a world, which has been hidden her whole life, thanks to her mother’s selfless actions.The most important revelation pertains to her ordained place within The Disciples of the Cross as one of their Warriors. This position moves her even closer to her mentor, Brody Kennedy, who ends up being the only other Warrior.

Just as suddenly, it catapults her into the middle of a war between The Sect and The Disciples. Allison’s appointment to Warrior—alongside Brody—exacerbates the leader of The Sect’s malicious hunt for her.

As a result, everything about her existence is altered. With the modification of her life, she prepares to do anything necessary to save everyone loved by her… including Brody and Clark.

EOC book 3Enemies of the Cross (Warrior #3)
Allison La Crosse’s picture perfect world quickly becomes more of a nightmare than the fairytale she’d been expecting when she married Brody.With enemies leading and destiny in control, she embarks upon a journey of the soul where she unearths an underwater realm that is beyond believable…beyond fantastical…beyond comprehension.

Deep within this undiscovered world, Allison is forced to battle a new breed of adversaries. Ones willing to do whatever necessary to capture her — dead or alive. While fighting for her life, she joins forces with an exceptional team of protectors. Because they are unconditionally loyal, she sees firsthand that they are prepared to sacrifice their lives in order to guard her existence and defend the purity of their world.

Love, friendships, and unforgivable actions have Allison wondering if going home will ever be an option even if home is the only place where she can have a life with Brody.

I hope you’ve enjoyed “meeting” my pal T.R. Graves. Join me tomorrow for a close up look at another one of my friends from the YA Author Club and Indie Carnival, Rachel Coles.
Happy Reading!
~ Heather
Indie Authors

Author Spotlight: Suzy Turner

Recently I joined the YA Indie Carnival, a group of wildly talented Indie authors. Each month the YA Indie Carnival will be bringing us news from the frontlines and introducing us to fabulous YA authors for you to check out. Today we welcome author Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga.

Suzy Turner has worked as a journalist, assistant editor, features editor, magazine editor and has even been the Script Supervisor for a full length feature film. Early in 2010 however, she began writing full time and has since completed a trilogy for young adults, The Raven Saga (the first of which is FREE) and started a brand new series, The Morgan Sisters. The first full length novel in this series, The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw is now available, as is a shorter novella, Daisy Madigan’s Paradise which is FREE!

Although Suzy is a Yorkshire lass at heart, she left her home town of Rotherham, UK, to move to Portugal with her family when she was ten. For now, the Algarve continues to be her home, where she lives with her childhood sweetheart and husband of 14 years, Michael.

We asked Suzy a few questions about her writing. Here’s what she had to say:

1) What is your all-time favorite book and why?
Ooh it’s so tough to just have one book. But I’d probably go with The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I studied the book at college and totally fell in love with it. I guess it was because it was so different to anything I’d ever read. Perhaps the dystopian side of it also appealed. I’m not sure. Strangely though, I’ve never read anything else by Margaret Atwood. Not sure why!

2) Is there an author you could be compared to or popular fictional characters your book’s characters could relate to and why?
Recently, my newest series (The Morgan Sisters) was described by a book blogger as ‘possibly the next Harry Potter’. Clearly this made my decade and I’d love to be compared to the Great Almighty JK, but I would never compare myself to another writer. I’d like to think my writing is my own… kind of unique, you know?

3) Can you give us your favorite quote from one of your books and explain it?
My favourite quote? That’s a toughie, hmmm. How about this…
‘She could hear her heart beating, feel it thudding in her chest. She couldn’t open her mouth; it was too dry. All she wanted to do was scream but she couldn’t even do that. Please God don’t let me die, she thought.
A sudden massive gust of wind took her feet from beneath her and she was forcefully pushed from the top of Carlton Point, falling silently and peacefully to the rocky hills below.’
The reason I like this scene so much is because I have such a vivid image of it in my mind. When you read on to the next chapter, you’ll see that she didn’t actually fall. That image of Lana slowly floating, almost in slow motion, reverberated with me. Almost like a scene from Alice in Wonderland.

4) What types of things/people/music inspires you and makes you want to keep writing?
I am particularly inspired by places. For instance, my first series (The Raven Saga) was inspired by the awesome mountains and forests of Western Canada. My new series (The Morgan Sisters) was inspired by places I’ve been to in London (as well as by a London actor I met last year).
I think the UK is perhaps one of the most inspiring countries I’ve ever been to. Every time I visit (although I’m English, I currently live in Portugal), I am blown away by its capacity to inspire me… with its historical buildings and heritage. I’m actually selling up and moving back to England. One of the reasons why we chose England is because of its hold over me with my writing. I can’t wait! (Anyone wanna buy a villa in the Algarve?)

5) Describe your typical writing day or week.
When I have deadlines, I write every morning until I’ve reached my target (if I’m in the zone, I’ll write a lot more) and then I chill out with my favourite TV show and a nice cup of Rooibos tea 🙂

6) Is there a food or drink do you have to have when you’re writing?
Just Rooibos tea and water.

7) Can you tell us what you’re working on right now (& possibly provide an excerpt & cover)?
I’m about to start the second novel in The Morgan Sisters series but it doesn’t have a title yet!

EXCERPT – THE GHOST OF JOSIAH GRIMSHA
Lightning shattered the darkness. Not even Emma’s thick purple quilt could shut out the light as it filtered through to her closed eyelids. A low echo of rumbling thunder made its way across the North Sea towards Andilyse Island and she shivered. Suddenly something landed on top of her head and she shrieked.
The sounds of laughter emanated from the bed across the room.
‘Lana, you cow,’ shouted Emma as she threw back the covers and tossed the pillow back at her sister who just shook her head and giggled.
‘It’s only a storm. There’s nothing to be scared of.’
‘There is everything to be scared of,’ she replied as she cowered beneath the quilt again.
‘Oh come on, Sis. We’re quite safe in here. This house has been standing for hundreds of years, it’s not like it’s going to collapse is it?’
‘It nearly did the last time,’ Emma croaked.
‘That was like sixty years ago, Em, and none of the houses collapsed. The only thing that took the brunt of the storm was the pier.’
‘And the church.’
‘Exactly. None of the houses. Stop being such a coward. You’re fifteen! It’s a storm, it’s rain, it’s not the end of the world.’
‘It was for all those poor people.’
‘Oh stop being so dramatic. Things were different back in the 50s, Em. We’re safe, now stop worrying.’
The sound of the front door slamming downstairs made both girls jump. Emma glared at Lana before they both hopped out of bed and ran to their bedroom door which they opened, looking down over the banister.
‘Dad?’
Peering up at them from the bottom of the stairs stood an attractive grey-haired man in his early 50s, taking off his soaking coat.
‘Shhh, we don’t want to wake Greg and Lucy,’ he said as he summoned them downstairs.
‘Oh Patrick, they should be in bed too,’ whispered a voice from the kitchen as the two girls skipped down to find out what was going on.
‘You know what they’re like, Audrey,’ he said as he hung his dripping coat on the stand in the hallway. Tutting, his wife promptly removed it and placed it in the sink in the downstairs cloakroom before going back to give him a kiss.
‘What’s happened, Dad?’ asked Emma as she sat huddled up to her sister on the bottom step. A clap of thunder made her jump and she shivered, her eyes wide open with apprehension. Lana rolled her eyes and put her arm protectively around her sister.
‘Let’s have a cup of cocoa,’ Audrey said, recognising the look on her husband’s face. There was bad news.
While they waited for the milk to heat up on the stove, Lana went into the lounge looking for candles as the lights continued to flicker, constantly threatening to go out for good.
‘I’ve found some,’ she said, setting them down on the kitchen table with a box of matches, ‘just in case,’ she smiled. ‘So what’s going on, Dad? Why did you have to go out so late?’
‘He’s the Chief Constable… it’s his job,’ answered their mother as she poured steaming milk into the four mugs, before stirring them as quietly as she could.
Lana stood beside her, adding a spoonful of sugar to her own mug before passing the calming drinks to her family, who stood sipping the chocolatey goodness silently for a moment.
Rubbing his forehead, Patrick put his cocoa down on the table just as the rain began to clatter loudly on the roof tiles.
‘Oh no,’ whispered Emma as she pulled her feet up towards her bottom and rocked back and forth in her seat.
Patrick put his hand on her shoulder, ‘it’s okay sweetheart. It’s just a storm, it’ll pass. Everything will be all right.’
‘Well then why did you have to go out in it, Dad?’ she asked.
‘I was called out to the old Grimshaw farm… Josiah was seen wandering close to the pier again.’
‘What? In this weather? Does he have a death wish?’ said Lana without thinking as her mother tutted, glancing towards Emma. ‘Did you find him? Is he okay?’
‘I’m afraid he’s nowhere to be seen. And in these conditions, it’s impossible to send out a search party. We can’t send out the lifeboat without risking the lives of everyone else, I’m afraid. He’s a silly old man, he should never have been left alone in this storm. Everyone on the island knows how it affects him.’
Audrey patted her husband’s hand, ‘there’d be no stopping him, love. He’s just looking for her.’
‘Well, maybe he’s finally got his wish.’
‘Daddy?’ said an innocent child’s voice from the stairs.
‘Oh we’ve woken the kids,’ said Audrey as she stood up and went to check on her two younger children.
‘Hey sweetheart. Sorry we woke you. Come on, let’s go back to bed,’ she said to her family. ‘There’s nothing we can do now. We should all try and get some sleep.’
More from Suzy Turner:
After the inexplicable disappearance of Lilly Taylor’s parents, she has no choice but to move to Canada where she unravels some frightening yet intriguing family secrets… Her whole life had been based on a lie. Lilly had grown up in a loveless home with a father who she had barely ever seen and a mother who was… well, not very motherly. After they mysteriously disappear without a trace, Lilly is sent to Canada where she finds a whole new way of life. A life filled with love and people who care for her. But that’s not all she discovers, Lilly also finds out that she isn’t who, or what, she thinks she is. Lilly has a very special ability and it’s just a matter of time before her true self starts to shine. And when it does, her life will never be the same again.
Catch up with the YA Indie Carnival and check out the authors below:
My Books

Seen by Heather Sutherlin

The first book in my new series, SEEN, will be available tomorrow on e-readers everywhere. The fabulous cover was illustrated by local artist extraordinaire, Kate Gardner, and cover design was completed by my sister, Shannon Iverson. Here’s a little sneak peek you:

Rory has no idea what’s going on in the woods behind her house, but it’s driving her crazy. On the last day of her senior year she finds herself caught up once again in the curious happenings of the forest and walks away without any of the answers she was hoping to find. To make matters worse, she is sent to visit a sick neighbor and instead finds the hottest guy she’s ever seen. When she discovers his brother’s incredible secret she falls further into her own chaos and into a fate she never could have imagined.

Jaron is just counting the days until the summer is over and he can get back to his real life. Stuck with his little brother on a tiny farm in rural Oklahoma is not exactly his idea of fun. But when Rory shows up on his doorstep with an armload of pie, he knows his summer has just taken a sharp turn into new territory. He never expected the adventure they would discover next or the quest that would change their lives forever.


book reviews, fantasy, Indie Authors, S.M. Boyce, you gotta read

You Gotta Read: Treason

Treason by S.M. Boyce is the thrilling sequel to The Grimoire: Lichgates. Here we see much more of the world of Ourea as the different tribes are brought together in the name of peace. But when things don’t go as planned after signing the peace treaty, Kara must decide who she can trust in this dangerous land where it seems that everyone she meets is ready to either kill her or use her to gain more power for themselves. Even the vagabond begins to push his own agenda and soon Kara is left alone to defend herself against a betrayal she never saw coming.

My Thoughts

I read this book in one sitting because I could not put it down! S.M. Boyce does such a fantastic job of drawing you into the story and helping you feel the setting. I honestly hated to leave Ourea and the drama there. I was on the edge of my seat and holding my breath at more than one scene. I am a sucker for a happy ending and was really worried that the author was going to let me down, but I promise you that she brings it all together and then surprises us by changing the game altogether. You won’t want to miss this wild ride! If you haven’t yet read the first book, go right now and grab a copy of Lichgates. I promise you’ll thank me later.

Where to Get It

Amazon: USA | UK | Germany |  France | Spain | Italy

Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Buy the Paperback

 Want More?
In this series, Kara finds a magical book called the grimoire that can answer her questions and guide her toward her destiny. We’ve been given a special opportunity to peek into the grimoire, but we can only ask it ONE question. What shall it be? Leave a question for the grimoire in the comments below and on Friday, one lucky reader will be chosen to ask the grimoire their question. Will it be you?


My Books

Cover Reveal of Light In The Darkness

I am so excited to share with you the cover for my new book, A Light In The Darkness, which comes out this month. My fabulous sister, Shannon Iverson, designed the cover for me and I am thrilled that she could be part of this project. Want to know a little more about the book? Scroll down to read the back cover summary and keep an eye out for more exciting news about A Light In The Darkness coming soon!

 

Merrilyn’s life is quiet and predictable. An apprentice to the royal healer, she spends her days helping in the village or up to mischief with her best friend who happens to be the handsome younger son of the king. But when a mysterious archer shows up in the forest and shoots their escort, Merrilyn’s life is forever changed. Caught in a battle between two forgotten gods, she must embrace her destiny and fight the very powers of darkness before it’s too late.

A Light In The Darkness

Available in August