Interview and Giveaway with Christine Grabowski, Author of Dickensen Academy

Dickensen Academy is Christine’s debut YA novel. After graduating from the University of Washington, she earned her MBA at the University at Albany. She honed her technical writing skills in marketing and consulting but attributes the creative part of the process to her passion for reading.

When she isn’t reading or writing, Christine can often be found running, skiing, or hiking. She lives in Newcastle, Washington, with her supportive husband, two avid teen readers, and their energetic wheaten terriers.

Website: www.christinegrabowski.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/christinegrabowskiauthor

Twitter @christinegrabo

Thank you for joining us today, Christine. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

My name is Christine Grabowski. I live outside of Seattle with my family which consists of my husband, a teen and tween reader, and two wheaten terrier puppies. When I’m not reading, writing or ubering my kids around, I can often be found in the gym or hiking the trails behind my neighborhood.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

Four years ago after finishing a YA book with a very interesting premise, I decided I wanted to attempt my own book. This wasn’t the first time I had been inspired to write after finishing a novel, but I happened to be out of town and had some kid-free time to actually do something about it. And my husband said, “If anyone can write a book, it’s you, you read enough,” which motivated me to continue. When I returned, my library was having an introductory writing class in preparation for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and I learned a few basics. Once I began to write, I couldn’t stop.

Why did you decide to write stories for the YA market?

Watching my children learn to read inspired me to want to write books that created a love of reading in a child or teen. Young adult books are some of my favorite to read because the characters are made to be relatable to the reader, and their plots are often based on a unique premise.

What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?

I believe a higher percentage of teen readers read with an open mind compared to adult readers and entertainment is often their number one goal. For example, in my experience tween and teen readers are more willing to suspend their disbelief if an author can create a world that comes alive and is of interest to them. Some adults (definitely not all) are always looking for reasons why a plot point can’t happen in real life and fail to just simply enjoy the story.

On the flip side, if a book doesn’t hold a teen’s interest, they will trade it for a video. Therefore, writing needs to be concise and move at a fast pace. In general, it is not the audience who wants an info dump of all your research or a sunset described poetically over the course of three pages.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about? 

Dickensen Academy is a young YA contemporary fantasy that bridges the gap between MG and YA. It is about a fourteen-year-old girl, Autumn, who is invited to a fine arts boarding school in the secluded mountains of the Pacific Northwest. However, she soon realizes the faculty is secretly teaching dream telepathy.

Although the premise is considered a paranormal or a fantasy, the focus of the book is as much about Autumn’s relationships with her friends and family and her struggles in school and for independence—something many teens can relate to.

What inspired you to write it?

While I was brainstorming ideas for a story, I began to go through my dreams each morning hoping I’d dream up a fantastic idea like Stephenie Meyer did with Twilight. Although I never dreamed an amazing dream, I did start to question why I remembered some dreams but forgot others. That idea led me to the premise for Dickensen Academy.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

Currently the book is only available to purchase online. The paperback is listed on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The eBook is also on iTunes, Google Play, Kobo, and The Wild Rose Press. However, the book is being added to more and more libraries every day.

Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/dickensen-academy-map-success/dp/B07G71747S

Barnes & Noble  

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dickensen-academy-christine-grabowski/1129315140?ean=9781509221233

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dickensen-academy/id1419915501?mt=11

Google Play

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Christine_Grabowski_Dickensen_Academy?id=3LpsDwAAQBAJ

Kobo

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dickensen-academy

The Wild Rose Press

https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/all-titles/6044-dickensen-academy.html

What is up next for you?

I set aside a Sleep Beauty fairy tale reimagining to write the sequel for Dickensen Academy. Although I wrote it as a standalone, the reviewers really want to see Autumn’s adventures continue as she moves through high school.

Do you have anything else to add?

I’ve had several parents, teachers, and librarians suggest Dickensen Academy as an ideal book for tweens and young teens because it has the appeal of a YA coming of age story, but it doesn’t have the mature content that is in some YA novels.

Thank you for spending time with us today, Christine. We wish you much success.

Curious to know more, check out this excerpt!

Clues to the secret existed from day one, yet they appeared to belong to separate puzzles. Most students either missed these signs or chose to ignore them. We were busy acclimating—as the faculty called it—to a new environment. Some outsiders might call what they did to us those initial weeks a form of brainwashing or fostering a cult-like mentality.

But not me.

I agreed with Principal Locke. We weren’t ready. We needed time to separate from our families and become a cohesive group. And some of us, myself included, even needed a little nudge to accept the invitation. If someone had told us the truth on Day One why they’d brought us to Dickensen Academy, we would have never believed it. We’d think they were crazy. Or worse, we’d turn around and run back home. But if we left, we would have missed out on something extraordinary. Something worth the wait.

GIVEAWAY

Christine Grabowski will be awarding $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Cursed by Christina Bauer (Giveaway)

Cursed (1)Most days, Elea couldn’t care less about having Necromancer magick. Who needs to conjure skeletons and sprits when you’re a farm girl? Elea only uses her powers to speed up chores and scare off suitors.

Everything changes when the evil Necromancer Tsar curses Elea. Now, she only has five years left before she burns as a ghost, tortured for all eternity. They say there’s nothing she can do, but Elea disagrees. She decides to embrace her Necromancer powers, train as a magickal assassin, and kill the Tsar… All before his curse kills her. Impossible as it may sound, Elea thinks she has it in the bag, but then everything goes horribly wrong.

That’s when a handsome mage named Rowan steps up to help. Elea wants an ally, but she doesn’t need all the mixed-up feelings that come along with Rowan’s crooked smile.

An assassination mission is no time to fall in love, but Elea’s heart may have other ideas…

 

Excerpt:

Once I curled into my tiny bed, I expected my dreams to be about Tristan. After all, I’d said his name before I fell asleep. Normally, he and I would meet in my old farmhouse. Instead, I dreamt that I sprouted wings and flew into the starry sky. Wind flowed over my body, and I hummed with pleasure as the cool air caressed me. A vast and empty desert rolled below, a vista of golden sand that was patterned in delicate ripples.

All of which was very strange.

Usually, if my dreams didn’t take me to Tristan, then they’d send me wandering aimlessly through the Zelle, worrying myself sick over some nonsense question like ‘why did I show up nude to breakfast?’ But tonight, I might as well have a rope about me, the pull across the desert was so strong. There would be no meandering this time, and my nonsense worries were gone as well. I only had a real concern for my friend.

Why wasn’t I with Tristan right now? Was our bond broken?

My wings kept driving me toward a lone figure crouched before a fire. As I flew in closer, I saw that it was a man dressed in Caster leathers. He was well over six feet tall with brown hair and broad shoulders. I wanted to touch the ropes of muscle that wound down his arms.

Wait a minute. Where did that thought come from?

Only Necromancers who’d renounced the cloth had the desire for a mate and children. Grand Mistresses weren’t supposed to be attracted to the opposite sex at all. I certainly never had been before, even before I joined the Zelle.

This man was dangerous. I wanted to fly away from him, but my wings only brought me nearer. Firelight cast deep shadows over the man’s rugged face, highlighting his square jawline, light beard, and bright green eyes. He stared into the fire, repeating the words of an incantation.

“I call upon you,” he said. The rest of his spell was lost on the wind. A haze of red mist swirled about the ground, the unmistakable sign of a Creation Caster spell. One word carried above the noise. “Viktor.”

I gasped. What would this Caster want with our Tsar? The man glanced up, his green eyes looking straight at me.

No, through me.

The man spoke the last words of his incantation—“so mote it be”—and lowered his head once more. The red mist of his spell disappeared.

 

The book is available NOW for pre-order!

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Cursed-Beholder-Book-Christina-Bauer-ebook/dp/B013CKZBPS/

B&N:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cursed-christina-bauer/1122457783 

Kobo:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/cursed-76

Also available on iBooksCursed author

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. An avowed girl geek, Christina loves creating immersive fantasy worlds with action, adventure, romance, and kick-ass female protagonists. As part of her work in Ink Monster, Christina has co-developed the ‘Heroine’s Journey,’ a blueprint for telling female myths inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and golden retriever Ruby.

LINKS:

Author Blog : http://inkmonster.net/blog/category/christina

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/authorBauer

Twitter : https://twitter.com/CB_Bauer or @CB_Bauer

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/christina_cb_bauer/  or

Screen name : christina_cb_bauer

Goodreads : http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/546812.Christina_Bauer

Publishing Website : http://inkmonster.net

Publishing Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/inkmonster.net

Publishing Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/inkmonsterbooks/

Or screen name : inkmonsterbooks

Christina’s Amazon Pagehttp://www.amazon.com/Christina-Bauer/e/B002BMCI28/

 

Christina Bauer will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

Enter to win a $10 Amazon GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Life On Base: Quantico Cave by Tom and Nancy Wise Book Blast & Giveaway!

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For Stephen, his life on base is much the same as most other children’s. The difference is in the details. Look both ways before crossing a tank path and be sure to check if the spent bullet casings you find in the long-abandoned trenches are actually empty. Sports stop at the sound of the evening trumpet call as he and his friends stand at attention while the flag is retired. Quantico Cave is a story of friendship and competition, and when Stephen meets up with a friend he once knew at a previous home station, the contest hits a whole new level that places everyone at risk.

EXCERPT:

Stephen had noticed Jimmy was a lot happier these days. “Keep an eye on the target,” he told him as he followed at a brisk pace down the heavily wooded hill. “Hear from yer dad yet?” He avoided Jimmy’s eyes, not wanting to see the hurt that might come with the answer.

“No,” Jimmy said and offered nothing more.

His head down, Stephen muttered, “It’s only been a few weeks,” knowing Jimmy would change the subject again.

Things tended to get quiet at home when Jimmy’s dad shipped out with the fleet. The deployment meant less stress for Jimmy since his relationship with his father was normally pretty contentious. When a parent was mobilized, the rules were laxer, so little things changed. Kids would let their hair grow longer, stay up a bit later. For Jimmy, not having Dad around meant more free time on weekends—and less fighting.

“Miss him?” Stephen asked quietly with a glance behind to see the shadow trailing along the ridge to their left.

Jimmy ducked beneath an arch of tangled brush where deer had pushed through, keeping his eye on their target to maintain their line of travel toward the checkpoint. “Drop it.”

“Okay.” Stephen crouched in behind. “This is north—” he added, touching the damp, mossy side of a tree.

“We should stash some of the spears we made in here.”

We need to make up some time. “What we should do is go about fifty yards, then down the slope.” Stephen pushed Jimmy forward as they emerged from the brush. “C’mon,” he said, tired of the distractions.

The boys trotted the next fifty yards, or “klicks” as they liked to call them, then turned down a steep slope to make up time. “Shoot.” Jimmy let out a yelp as his feet skidded on the loose dirt and leaves.

Looking over his shoulder as he bounced down the hill, Stephen allowed himself to slide until his feet grabbed the dirt and then hopped again to keep his momentum. “Turn sideways. Watch.” He dug into the slope with each hop, doing as his dad had showed him. He heard Jimmy yelp again. I hope he sees this. I’m doing it the way you showed me, Dad. The next hop was cut short as Jimmy slipped, kicked his feet up as he landed hard on his butt, and slammed into Stephen’s leg. Both boys smashed into the soft earth and tumbled down the hill.

Stephen slid, his back to Jimmy’s chest, for another five feet before he got his sneakers planted to stop their descent. “Shit, Jimmy,” he said over his friend’s moans. Oh, my gosh. We need to move. Calm. Stay calm. Stephen glanced up the hill to see if they were being watched.

“Oh, man.” Jimmy groaned, trying to get his feet under him, but sending them another three feet down the slope.

“Put your feet sideways.” Stephen inched his way forward to give Jimmy some room.

Jimmy rose sideways to the hill, stood, shook the dirt out of his shirt. Cautiously, he hopped his way down the remaining incline ahead of Stephen, his feet breaking loose on each hop as he got the rhythm. When they reached the base, Jimmy dropped to his butt and crossed his arms over his knees in a huff. He stared straight ahead, not saying a word, as if searching for something.

Purchase at http://www.amazon.com/Life-Base-Tom-Nancy-Wise-ebook/dp/B018N4HK7K

Tom and Nancy Wise are award-winning authors. Their first novel, The Borealis Genome, is the grand- prize winner of the Chanticleer Book Reviews Dante Rossetti 2013 Award for YA Novels and Award Lab Lit Category. Thomas grew up in a military family moving from base to base as the child of a Marine, living the life of an officer’s brat in times of war while Nancy was raised the youngest child of a WWII veteran. When not working together on their novels, Tom teaches at University and authors articles on project management topics and nonfiction books published by Gower Publishing in the UK.

https://www.facebook.com/Tom-Nancy-Wise-678608352235570/

http://www.authorthomaspwise.com/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bxsiPspN0g

https://twitter.com/BorealisGenome

Tom and Nancy Wise will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

 

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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