Introducing Dave Connis

Author Interview

Meet Dave Connis.

Dave Connis.jpg

I write words you can sing and words you can read. I live in Chattanooga, TN with my wife, son, and a dog that barks at non-existent threats.

When I’m not writing YA or MG, I’m probably working really strange part-time jobs, and doing other things that actually give my family the ability to eat food. I’m a member of the Jedi Counsel, and I have a propensity to daydream when ever I attempt to be an adult.

Social media links:
Onto the interview!
Do you have a go to song or playlist when you want to write but need to set the writing mood? 
I actually haven’t been writing with music lately! But eventually I’ll go back to turning on Dustin O’Halloran and just playing through all of his music. He’s my go to writing music.
What was the easiest and hardest concepts to write when dealing with the reality of addiction and porn in a YA novel setting/plot?
Easiest was the depth of feelings and rawness that comes with addiction and being in such a broken state. I didn’t stutter over the emotional side of the book at all. The hardest part was not being gratuitous, about having it still be connectable and not too down a dark hallway that most people wouldn’t be willing to follow it. Porn isn’t a very easy topic, anyway. At least, when you’re asking questions about it and what it does. So I had to fight really hard to lay it out in an approachable way.
What is your real life definition of “fine”?
This meme.
Inline image 1
Songs or story, what came first when you began your writing journey?
I’ve actually been writing songs since I was six. My first one was called, “My Hart” and was about escalators and Jesus. I wrote my first little story when I was seven or eight. It was about jetski racers because I was obsessed with the N64 game Wave Race.
Were there any stereotypes or stigmas in The Temptation of Adam that you wanted to tackle but ultimately didn’t make it into the finished novel?
the main theme in a way that wasn’t necessary.
Is there anything else you’d like to share or say?
Watch Master of Non by Iziz Ansari.
Read H is for Hawk by Helen McDonald
Listen to the podcast Good Christian Fun
Thanks for the interview Dave!
Have you read THE TEMPTATION OF ADAM yet? If not, get your copy today!

The Secret Lives of Rockstar Blog Tour + Guest Post

Blog Tour

The Secret Lives of Rockstars: Book Two
by Suzanne Lazear
Genre: NA Urban Fantasy/Elfpunk
Release Date: November 2017
Leap Books: SHINE

Summary:

Saving the world, one tour stop at a time.

Join Bitsy in the second installment of her attempts to stop a magical war threatening Arizona and all those who call it home. With the help of a human, a sexy dragon, and the members of her band, Bitsy must stop an angry mob of chaos demons before the band leaves for their next tour stop.

It’s nice to be needed, but Bitsy has no idea how to defeat the demons and she just might get herself killed trying. But then, at least one problem would be solved…

Fitting in doesn’t matter if you’re dead.

Book One:
The Secret Lives of Rockstars: Book One
Release Date: September 2016
Summary:
Saving the world, one tour stop at a time.
Eighteen-year-old Bitsy Butler has never quite fit in, not with the dragons who raised her, the druid who took her in, or even with the non-human members of the cirque noir punk band she thinks of as family. Her chance to prove she can make it on her own comes with her band’s first big solo tour. It’s all going according to plan when an angel walks into a bar and demands help with his demon problem.
If she doesn’t step up, a magical war will break out, threatening Arizona and all those who call it home. With the help of a human, a sexy dragon, and the members of her band, Bitsy must stop an angry mob of chaos demons before the band leaves for their next tour stop.
It’s nice to be needed, but Bitsy has no idea how to defeat the demons and she just might get herself killed trying. But then, at least one problem would be solved…
Fitting in doesn’t matter if you’re dead.
Guest Post – Challenges of Writing New Adult
I’d never written New Adult before I wrote THE SECRET LIVES OF ROCKSTARS (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0778Q7NFR). My other series, The Aether Chronicles (https://www.amazon.com/Innocent-Darkness-Aether-Chronicles-Suzanne/dp/0738732486/), is YA fairytale steampunk.
THE SECRET LIVES OF ROCKSTARS was originally my attempt to turn an adult project into a YA project. I tried writing a few chapters and just didn’t work—for that story or that character. However, I adored what I had created. These teen rockstars were fun to write. They had too much fame, money, and magic, and not enough sense. It was fantastic.

So, I ‘filed the serial numbers’ off and created a new story. I renamed the characters, gave them new personalities, backstories, and abilities. I moved the book to my hometown, Tempe, AZ and tormented them with summer heat. I wrote entire songs for the cirque-noir punk band in the book – The Freakshow. I shifted the story from urban fantasy to elf-punk, made Bitsy a steampunk, created the drakken (my dragons). It became a completely new story with new characters.
Even though my rockstars aren’t human, they were all basically 16-18ish in their respective cultures. Bitsy isn’t quite sure what she is, but it’s not human. Jules, her bestie and the band’s frontwoman is a siren. Aidan, the band’s bassist, is Sídhe (an elf), and Matt, the drummer, is an incubus. Bitsy is the band’s ringmaster, though she’s filling in while the lead guitarist is out with an injury—a little hard for her considering the has massive stage fright. But The Freakshow is her family, they mean the world to her. When an angel walks into a bar and demands she help him with his demon problem before a war breaks out, she is determined to not let her band and friends down as she tries to save the world.
Having my characters on a huge rock tour, on their own, and getting into all the mischief (and drinking) they do could be a little problematic. So, I aged the characters up so Bitsy and company were 18-21ish. While my non-human rockstars still have their magic fake IDs, they actually ended up drinking and swearing less as adults than when they were teens. This popped them up from YA into New Adult, which meant making some changes to the characterization and themes.
One of my favorite things about writing New Adult is exploring the ‘OMG, I’m an adult WTF do I do now’ feelings we so often have when we’re first out on our own. Those feelings of wanting to do the ‘adult’ thing, on her own, while not always knowing what to do really informed the Bitsy we see in the finished novel. This rock tour is her chance to prove that she can make it, as an adult, in the human realm—and no angel with a mission for her is going to stop that. Hopefully.
There’s not a whole lot of romance in this story, because Bitsy and company are a little busy saving the world, but there is a little, especially in book two. Bitsy’s not quite ready yet for some major romance, though she just might meet her match in Eric, a sexy dragon who’s helping her with her mission—and driving her crazy. There’s a lot of action, adventure, explosions, dragons, leprechauns, elven mobsters, and angels. I’m so excited that the second half of the story is finally out in the world.
I hope you enjoy the conclusion of THE SECRET LIVES OF ROCKSTARS (https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Lives-Rockstars-Suzanne-Lazear-ebook/dp/B0777N31FR), and if you haven’t read the first book yet, you’ll want to start there (https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Lives-Rockstars-Book-One-ebook/dp/B01KN7POAU). You can win copies of book one here (http://gvwy.io/8qhl67t)!
Rock on!

About the Author
Suzanne Lazear spins tales of the fantastic. She’s the author of the New Adult Elfpunk The Secret Lives of Rockstars (Leap Books) and the YA dark fairytale steampunk series The Aether Chronicles (Flux). Suzanne lives in Southern California with her daughter and husband where she’s trying to make tiny dragons out of wool. One day she’ll actually create a working cupcake cannon.

 
Author Links:
Tour schedule here.
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Behind the Song Blog Tour + Guest Post + Giveaway

Blog Tour, Guest Post, Misc.

behind the song.pngTitle: Behind the Song
Author: Various; K.M. Walton, editor
Pub Date: September 1, 2017
ISBN: 9781492638810

Music takes a moment and makes it a memory. It’s a universal language that can capture love, heartbreak, loss, soul-searching, and wings spreading—all in the span of a few notes. In Behind the Song, fourteen acclaimed young adult authors and musicians share short stories and personal essays inspired by the songs, the albums, and the musicians who move them.

So turn up the volume and cue up the playlist. This is an anthology you’ll want to experience on repeat.

Buy Links:
Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Goodreads

 

Donn Thompson Morelli aka Donn T.JPGAbout the Author
Observer. Igniter. Enigmatic. Singer-songwriter. Label owner. Producer. Clarifier. Peruser. Witster. Sister. Muse to the mister. Ma+daughter. Tall drink o’ water. That is innovator Donn T.
She originally hails from Philadelphia and comes from a storied musical lineage. The quintessential independent artist and do-it-yourselfer added label owner to her list of accomplishments, when she launched Dtone Victorious in 2014. Her debut album, 2010’s Kaleidoscopic, received international acclaim and led to stints performing with a diverse array of artists, including Amy Winehouse, Marsha Ambrosius, Sharon Jones, John Legend, Esperanza Spalding, Ceelo Green, Santigold, Antibalas, The Roots, David Byrne (Talking Heads) and Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump to name a few.
On her follow up, 2015’s Flight of The Donn T album, she shares co-production credit with her husband Jake Morelli, a guitarist/producer. The buzz around that album got the attention of CBS and The Grammys who in 2016 highlighted Donn T as an Artist of Tomorrow.
“Waiting”, a standout track on Flight Of The Donn T, can be heard in the BET film I Will Follow, which was helmed by award-winning director Ava Duvernay (Selma). Donn T’s single “Midnight” appears in With This Ring, a Lifetime network movie directed by Nzingha Stewart. The film co-stars Regina Hall, Jill Scott and Eve. Donn T has also racked up songwriting credits, including “I Am Music” by Common featuring Jill Scott, while several of Donn T’s other songs have appeared in various forms of visual media, including the Showtime crime series Street Time, and in ads for the wireless audio product Sonos.

Her forthcoming single “Clear” ft Philly’s Chill Moody and produced by Daru Jones (Jack White, Talib Kweli) and Ray Angry (Christina Aguilera,D’Angelo) arrives Sept 2017.

Find Donn T online: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

BEHIND THE SONG’s website: https://www.behindthesongbook.com/

 

Guest Post: Never Too Many To Read

I grew up in a musical family, my mom and dad were singers. The dining room of our West Philly row home doubled as my parent’s rehearsal space. As a kid, I remember hearing acapella, intricate melodies and well-laid harmonies for up to 12 hours a day. My parents believed if vocal arrangements were pristine sans music, musical accompaniment could later act as the cherry on top. It was there that my love for lyrics and storytelling were born.

As a singer songwriter, I am always aware of how the balance of words and music affect a piece. If the music feels more ethereal are the words too direct and to the point? Should they be more stream of consciousness? If the music is soulful are the lyrics earthy and accessible enough? Basic truth, some words don’t work well when sung. Finally, when I write songs I collaborate a lot.

I am often asked about the differences between writing songs and writing literature. When I write stories, it is a solo effort. There is nothing to hide behind. Beautiful melodies are not there to enhance. The words must stand alone. Even so, I am discovering, writing literature heightens my senses. Something magical occurs when I write stories. I often hear sound of a different kind. I am hyper aware of the flow. I say words out loud to experience them. I tune into the cadence although, my readers may not ever speak the words I write aloud. I am listening for the rhythm, syllables, the beat. I want my reader to unconsciously tune into that and hear dynamics in the way they would a song. I guess in the end, the music is never really far away.

 

Twitter Book Giveaway:

RT/FW @anewlookonbooks & @Donn_T for a chance to win one copy of Behind the Song! US only. Starts 9/8 and ends 9/12! Will post link soon!

A French Girl in New York Soundtrack Reveal

Blog Blitz

A French Girl in New York

by Anna Adams

Genre: YA (Musical series)

Release Date: December 2012


Summary from Goodreads:

Maude Laurent is a spirited 16 year-old orphan who grew up in a small, provincial town in the North of France with a passion for piano and a beautiful voice. One day in Paris, she is discovered by an American music producer who takes her to New York to live with him and his close-knit family while producing her first album, with help from teen pop star, Matt. Maude will dive into a new fascinating world discovering New York City, music, family, love and the truth about her past.


Download the book for FREE at one of the following locations:


The Original Soundtrack for A French Girl in New York will be available September 7th! 
Pre-Order a copy HERE!
 
About the Author

Born in France, raised partly in the United States and in France, I grew up loving stories in French and English. I currently live in Paris.

I’m the author of the French Girl series, an Amazon bestseller and Wattpad phenomenon.  

When I’m not writing, I enjoy traveling in Europe, Asia, and dream of going to Africa.

Author Links:

   

 

 
Enter to win a $10 Amazon gift card or
paperback of A French Girl in New York HERE!
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Tone Deaf Blitz

Blog Blitz, Uncategorized

Tone Deaf

By Olivia Rivers

Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

Release Date: May 3rd 2016

Sky Pony Press

Summary from Goodreads:

His world is music. Her world is silent.

Ali Collins was a child prodigy destined to become one of the greatest musicians of the twenty-first century—until she was diagnosed with a life-changing brain tumor. Now, at seventeen, Ali lives in a soundless world where she gets by with American Sign Language and lip-reading. She’s a constant disappointment to her father, a retired cop fighting his own demons, and the bruises are getting harder to hide.

When Ali accidentally wins a backstage tour with the chart-topping band Tone Deaf, she’s swept back into the world of music. Jace Beckett, the nineteen-year-old lead singer of the band, has a reputation. He’s a jerk and a player, and Ali wants nothing to do with him. But there’s more to Jace than the tabloids let on. When Jace notices Ali’s bruises and offers to help her escape to New York, Ali can’t turn down the chance at freedom and a fresh start. Soon she’s traveling cross-country, hidden away in Jace’s RV as the band finishes their nationwide tour. With the help of Jace, Ali sets out to reboot her life and rediscover the music she once loved.

 
  

An Excerpt:

The vibrations of the crowd die down a little, and Jace repeats, “Ladies and gentlemen! Thank you for coming tonight and helping to kick off Tone Deaf’s summer tour.”

More cheers. More crazy jumping and blown kisses.

Tonight a special fan will receive a special prize,” Jace says. “Tone Deaf is giving away a backstage tour, so one of you can come meet us right after the concert.” The subtitles are quickly replaced with a tiny legal disclaimer, and even though the text is too small to bother reading it all, I get the gist of it—crazy fans can win a half-hour meet-and-greet with the band, but the tour is of the stage and not anything in Jace’s pants. Then Jace announces, “Everyone in the audience has received a wristband with a raffle code on it,” as if every girl wasn’t already aware of this.

I stare down at my own band: A632D9. I wanted to rip it off as soon as the ticket guy at the entrance put it on, but Avery had started freaking out, signing frantically that the code was defunct if I took off the wristband. I kept it on, just to please her, but not before arguing back a little.

In ten seconds, the winning code will appear on the main screen,” says Jace. He points upwards, and all eyes turn to the huge LCD screen I’m already staring at. A large “10” appears on the screen, quickly followed by a “9,” then an “8.”

A chant goes up in the crowd, and whatever else Jace wanted to say is drowned out as the concertgoers count down. At the “1,” a roar of sound hits me, even more powerful than before. I clutch my arms to my chest and turn to the side, trying to ward off the sensations.

Something slams into my shoulder, and I yelp, glaring at Avery. She excitedly clings to my arm as she jumps up and down, and a huge, shocked grin spreads across her face.

Which can only mean one thing.

You won?” I scream, hoping I’m loud enough to be heard over the crowd.

Ali!” she shrieks. “Ali! It happened! Oh my god, I told you it’d happen!”

A bubble of excitement rises in my chest as I watch her smile grow even wider. Avery babbles a long string of words, but no amount of lip-reading skill could help me interpret what she’s saying. Then she points eagerly toward the screen, and I turn, grinning as I read the code. I have Avery’s code memorized; she’d been chanting it like a good-luck charm before the concert started, drawing out all the O’s like she was practicing for a kiss.

My grin falls from my face. I blink, hoping I’m seeing things wrong. But every time I blink, the screen just grows clearer.

It’s not Avery’s code. Not even close. Instead, the bright screen proudly displays: A632D9

Well, shit. I just won myself a date with a rock star.

Buy Links:

Amazon |Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | Books-a-Million | Book Depository | IndieBound


Advanced Praise:
 “A smart, sexy, and fast-paced
story with a swoon-worthy love interest. Tone Deaf will be
music to your ears.” —Jessica Taylor, author of Wandering Wild
“Much like its hero, Tone Deaf’s flashy, rock-star exterior
surrounds a sweet, vulnerable soul that made it impossible to put down. It is
equal parts fun and touching, with a dash of humor and lot of heart. The
friendships, as well as the romance, have intense, believable chemistry, and
with a giant pitbull named Cuddles thrown in the mix, I was in love!” —Laura
Lee Anderson, author of Song of Summer

“Olivia Rivers has hit all the right notes with Tone Deaf.” —A. R.
Kahler, author of Pale Queen Rising and Shades of
Darkness

“The portrayal of Ali as Deaf is authentic and modern. She loves rock concerts
for the vibrations and sensory pull of the crowd. She prefers to sign but exasperatedly
reads the lips of people who talk fast or turn away as they talk. As Ali, Jace,
and the band tour amid Amber alerts, surprising emotional connections are
painfully forged and will resonate with young survivors of abuse, especially as
Ali takes small steps toward recovery. VERDICT This gripping
tale of survival has great appeal due to the parallel boy/girl narrative
structure, the portrayal of a Deaf character at home in the realm of music and
songwriting, and the overall pop culture tenor.” –School Library
Journal




About the Author
Olivia Rivers is a hybrid author of Young Adult fiction. Her works include the independently published “Tortured Elements” and “Duplicity” series, along with the traditionally published novel “Tone Deaf” (Skyhorse 2016.) As a certified geek, she enjoys experimenting with new publishing technologies, and her online serials have received over 1,000,000 hits on Wattpad.com. When Olivia isn’t working as a writer, she’s a typical teen attending college in Northern California. Olivia is represented by Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary, and nothing thrills her more than hearing from readers.
Author Links:

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