Welcome to Day 3 of Dreamy December Days! I hope you’re all having a great time. 😀
If you haven’t signed up, there’s still time to do so. Just link us up:
Just a little reminder: Farzy @ Books Keep Me Sane will be hosting the first Twitter Chat on Tuesday(today for some people), at 10pm (EST). It will run for 3 hours. That’s on Wednesday at 9am in our country. Here’s a good Time Zone Converter to help you. See you there~ See the Schedule Page for the other times and dates for Twitter Chats. We’ll give away prizes then~ 😀
For today’s author feature, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Laura Thalassa, the first author who made me fall in love with a vampire with her book, The Unearthly. And she gave us an excerpt to show off too! And there’s an awesome GIVEAWAY! Also, hop on to Books Keep Me Sane to read an excerpt from Kate Evangelista, and join the other awesome giveaway there~
Interview with Laura Thalassa:
Hi Laura! It’s so great to have you. Can I just say that I was really surprised by The Unearthly and it was the first novel with vampires that I loved, and I’m really excited to know what happens next!
- Hi Francine! Thanks for having me on here! I’m so glad you enjoyed The Unearthly and you only have to wait a little longer for The Coveted, which will hit bookshelves this month!
December 13 to be exact. Just a few more days. Yay~
Apart from being really pretty, can you tell us something about yourself? (It can be anything at all~)
- D’awwww, thanks for the lovely compliment. ☺ So a little bit about myself… I’m a twenty-four-year-old UC Berkeley graduate and law school drop out. I originally intended to become an archaeologist, and somewhere along the way I ended up becoming an author instead. I spent two summers excavating in Greece, I can drive a stick shift, and I once assisted in an emergency cesarean section. I love painting my toes strange colors and eating French fries. Oh and my writing desk has a giant blue octopus I painted on the top of it just because.
You certainly have done a lot of things.
What did you do before you became an author? Or do you still have some other side job to writing?
- I do have a side job. I’m an editor at American Editing Services, an editing company I launched almost two years ago. When I’m not working on my own writing, I’m giving feedback to other writers.
That’s cool. I know you love writing and reading, but do you do anything not related to those? What do you like doing?
- Okay, non-reading activities include going on hikes with my fiancé and kayaking. My place is about a three-minute walk from the [Santa Barbara] beach, so usually you can find me there—my fiancé and I love to sneak out there at night with a bottle of wine to stargaze and chat.
That sounds so awesome! And now we know where to find you. Haha.
What is it like to have a fiancé that’s also an author?
- Awesome. We get to chat about our books and the industry all the time. I get so much personal support from him (Dan Rix), and I know that for a lot of other authors, writing can be a lonely road.
How did your interest in writing start?
- Most writers talk about writing their first book when they were super young. For me, I didn’t even think of writing when I was that little, but I do remember by the age of seven having all sorts of stories bouncing around in my head. They’d come to me from songs and from ideas that caught my attention. Only later, once I got hooked on books, did I even think of writing them down.
For those who haven’t read The Unearthly, can you give us a short description of what it is about?
- Okay, I’m cheating and pasting the description in here, but only because I have no idea how to make this even more concise!
The first time I was declared dead, I lost my past. The second time, I lost my humanity. Now I’m being hunted, and if I die again, my soul is up for forfeit.
After enrolling in Peel Academy, an elite supernatural boarding school on the British Isles, the last of the sirens, Gabrielle Fiori, only wants to fit in. Instead, the elixir meant to awaken her supernatural abilities kills her.
When Gabrielle wakes up in the morgue twelve hours later, something wicked is awakened in her, something even the supernatural community has never seen before. Now the only person who can help her is Andre de Leon, the community’s infamous bad boy and the king of vampires.
Yet even his help can’t prevent the repeated attempts on Gabrielle’s life. Someone is after her, and they will stop at nothing to end her short existence. Only Gabrielle cannot let that happen now that her soul hangs in the balance, because she may have met the devil. And he wants her. Bad.
What inspired you to write The Unearthly?
- You know, I couldn’t tell you just what inspired this particular story, but I’ve been a paranormal romance girl since I was a kid. I also knew that if I wrote a (YA) paranormal romance, I’d want to cover all types of supernatural beings. This particular idea came to me in college. I really loved the idea of a doomed, butt-kicking girl dealing with some issues that are terribly strange, and some issues that most of us can relate to (like not fitting in). And there has to be a hot vampire thrown in the mix. I know everybody’s sick of them, but I’ve always thought c’mon, sexy doesn’t really go out of style.
Your covers are just so stunning. How were you able to find the artist who made them and how much input did you have in their creation?
- Thank you! I happen to have the best cover designer ever, and he did allow me to have a large amount of input in my covers’ creation. Essentially, I picked out the photos from Shutterstock after lots and lots of searching. I was looking not for the most accurate image out there, but the most eye-catching. Once I picked the photo, I sent it over to James at humblenations.com. He gave me about six different renderings of the cover (each with a different font), and I picked my favorite. I’m so glad that others happen to love the cover as much as I do.
I know that the places in The Unearthly are real. Did you actually go and visit them (pictures maybe?)? Or did it take a lot of research to build the world that the book was set in?
- I wish I could’ve visited the story’s setting. I actually have two Isle of Man books sitting on my desk right now, and I’ve spent hours using Google satellite view. It’s somewhat unnecessary, but I really like to feel the ambience of the place I’m writing about. As far as future visits go, I’m planning on visiting sometime in the future!
So far, who has been your favorite character to write and why?
- Too hard! Okay, really, probably Oliver, because he’s just so ridiculous. Readers will definitely see more of that in the sequel. I also love throwing Andre and Gabrielle together and seeing what happens.
I’m definitely excited about that one. I really love Oliver too!
The sequel to The Unearthly, The Coveted, is coming out really soon. What can we expect from this next book?
- Well, it’s a bit darker than the first book. And it revolves around the upcoming holiday in the story, Samhain (aka, Halloween). Readers can also expect to see Andre and Gabrielle again, as well as most of the other side characters.
What are some of your writing habits?
- I usually get up at 6:00 a.m. and begin writing at 7:00 a.m. I work a full eight hours Monday through Friday, and a half-day on Saturday. For me it’s a full-time job. After I finish a rough draft of a manuscript, I usually will set it aside for a while, mostly because I’m fairly certain that what I wrote stinks. (I’m currently sitting on two such manuscripts.) Once I get some distance from the story, I then go back, realize it’s much better than I remembered, and go through several rounds of edits.
What is your favorite word and why?
- Oh gosh, it changes often! For a while it was caveat, then it was eloquent, and now I think I like the word rhapsody. But there’s no reason behind why I like these words other than the fact that they’re all just fun to say.
What are your favorite books of all time?
- Tough question! This is another one that’s changed over time. In high school I loved the Time Traveler’s Wife and My Name is Memory. In these last two books I really love that the men in these stories have such an extraordinary perception of the world, and I also love the the larger-than-life romances (because I’m just a softie at heart). As far as series go, Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone is phenomenal, and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series contains some the funniest books I’ve read. And I love just about anything by Katie MacAlister and Meg Cabot.
Do you have any holiday traditions? If so, what are they? Or what do you usually do during this time?
- Watching It’s a Wonderful Life, eating tamales, driving around to see Christmas lights—the list goes on and on! I have three sides to my family, so I’m always surrounded by someone I love. It makes the holidays a blast, although the sheer quantity of gifts I have to buy each year is staggering.
What place would you love to visit the most this holiday season?
- There isn’t one place in particular that I’d like to visit, but I’ve always wanted to stay in a cabin somewhere where it snows around the holidays. California is not really known for its chilly weather, so having a white Christmas one year would be awesome!
What do you love most about Christmas?
- I think getting cozy with the people you love and care about is one of my favorite things about the holidays.
What’s on your Christmas Wishlist this year?
- More bookcases! I just brought back crates of books I read as a teenager from my childhood home, and most of these books I couldn’t bear to part with. I already have three full bookshelves, so I need one or two more…
A lot of us do.
What makes you put on the holiday weight?
- Sweets! My family is full of some amazing bakers—I’m not one of them—and I feel it is my personal duty to make sure their baked goods are still just as delicious this year as they were last year. Unfortunately for my waistline, they always are!
Lol. That’s definitely an awesome duty.
Any last words?
- Thank you for having me on here, and I hope you all have great holidays and plenty of time to catch up on your reading!
And thank you so much for joining us. I personally enjoyed your answers and I hope the readers did too. Now let’s go to the GIVEAWAY~
The Unearthly Excerpt: Waking up in the Morgue
I woke up to darkness. I blinked in an effort to make out my surroundings, but I could not see anything. As I tried to sit up my head hit a solid surface.
“Ow.” I reached up to rub my head, and my elbow banged against a metal wall, making a tinny, reverberating sound.
I tried not to panic. Where was I?
I tentatively reached up and touched the low metal ceiling. It felt flimsy. My hands followed the ceiling’s contours and quickly hit the edge of what appeared to be a metal box.
I felt around with my feet as my pulse spiked, now frantic to figure out where I was. As I moved, a piece of paper attached to my big toe brushed my skin. I sucked in my breath.
I remembered from CourtTV. There was only one place where tags were placed on toes. The morgue. Somehow I had ended up in the morgue.
I let loose a bloodcurdling scream and began kicking the metal wall beyond my feet. To my shock, as I kicked the wall, the metal gave in. It groaned as each successive blow dented it outwards.
On the other side of the metal I heard someone cursing.
“Help! Please!” I shouted.
I heard someone swear. “What in the world—”
Suddenly I was rolled out from my metal prison. I sat up, belatedly realizing that only a thin paper blanket covered me. I clutched it to myself and squinted up at a young man in scrubs. His face was pale and his eyes were huge as he stared at my lively appearance.
He began to back up. “I-I’ll go get …” He turned on his foot and sprinted out of the morgue.
I sat there, stunned by my surroundings. Had I—died? I tried to recall my last memories. I remembered wearing the white robe and being led into a dark room. Women dressed in shimmering garments gave me something to drink. Then it all went fuzzy.
For a moment that was all I could recall. Then a dizzying series of images came flooding back. There had been blood everywhere—and the awful convulsions. I put a hand to my mouth when I remembered the sharp, lacerating pain where my gums split open.
What had happened to me?
Distantly I heard a series of footsteps slapping against the linoleum along with the sound of rickety wheels.
The doors burst open, and a group of doctors and nurses came in, wheeling in a gurney. They placed me on it and began strapping various medical instruments to my body. Then the questions began.
“How long have you been awake?”
“Are you experiencing nausea?”
“Does anything hurt?”
“How do you feel?”
I thought about this last question as they rolled me down the hall.
“I feel good.” I paused. “Actually, I feel really good.”
In fact, my senses were sharper than they’d ever been. I could see clearly all the way down the hall. And I could smell everything, from the chemical scent of disinfectant, to the underlying smell of bodily fluids—sweat, vomit, urine, blood.
I asked aloud the question that plagued me. “Why was I in the morgue?”
The doctor nearest me looked over. “Last night you were proclaimed legally dead.”
Laura Thalassa is giving away 1 ebook of The Unearthly. This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY to EVERYONE, even non-participants of the read-a-thon!
For today’s participation post, we’d like to simply know how you’re doing~ You can tell us anything.
I took a step back from a lot of things and I was able to read a lot, I think. I finished reading The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell. I reached 30% on Taste the Heat by Rachel Harris, which isn’t part of my reading goals, but I needed some laughing and loving and Rachel Harris is awesome for that. I also reached 27% on North Pole Reform School by Jaimie Admans. I even started the first 2 chapters or Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell.
I think I just want to hide in a hole and read. 😄 But I also love reading everyone else’s posts, and seeing what everyone’s up to. I found a lot of first-timers here, and I hope you’re all enjoying this. And I hope you’re all getting into a lot of reading. I like seeing new books to read that I never knew about before too.
What about you? Leave us a link~ It will be counted in the drawing of the Grand Prize.
Today’s Dreamy December Days Daily Challenge is called Holiday Weight. We all love food, right? So for today’s challenge, we will all share the food we love to eat for the holidays. Or it could also be any food we love to eat when we are reading. Even our some of our lovely sponsors answered this question so check out the author features. Oh, and be sure to add some pictures!
We usually have the same thing every holiday season, and my mum tends to cook a lot so we’d be eating the food for 2-3 days, which is perfectly fine for me because food is delicious. We always have Spaghetti and Meatballs(and mum makes them so GOOD!), and Ham. Yum yum yum. Can’t wait~
Got these pictures from the internet because we’re too busy eating during the holidays to take any pictures. 😛
As always, participating in at least one challenge will qualify you to join the Grand Prize giveaway at the end of the read-a-thon, and each challenge has one random winner so make sure to join. Link up on the Challenge linky below, each challenge linky will be open for two days to give everyone a chance to participate in the read-a-thon. Tweet your read-a-thon posts/progress using #DreamyDecDays.
Sponsored by: • L.M. Augustine, Erica Crouch, Tellulah Darling, Kate Evangelista, Nikki Godwin, Rachel Harris, Staci Hart, A.G. Howard, David Lomax, Angela McPherson, Lea Nolan, Kelly Oram, Lissa Price, Jennifer E. Smith, Laura Thalassa