Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Broken Illusions Blog Tour: Review + Author Interview + Giveaway

Hi everyone!  Today the lovely Ellie James has asked me to be a part of her fabulous tour for her latest release, Broken Illusions.  Below is a review, author interview, and mega-giveaway, so I hope you all will stick around and read it!! :)

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~Review~

Author: Ellie James
Series: Midnight Dragonfly #2
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Ellie James
Release Date: May 8, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Rating: 4/5

Summery:
It’s Mardi Gras, but for 16 year-old psychic Trinity Monsour this is no time for celebration. Another girl is missing. Haunted by visions she doesn’t understand—of an empty street lined by crumbling old buildings, a terrified voice warning her to be careful, and a body lying motionless in the grass—Trinity embarks upon a dark odyssey she could never have imagined. She'll stop at nothing to better understand her abilities, convinced that doing so is the only way she can make sure the terrifying images she sees never actually happen.

But it seems everyone wants to stop her. Her aunt is worried Trinity might discover secrets best left in the past. Her best friend, Victoria, is afraid Trinity is slipping away, her boyfriend, Chase, fears she’s taking too many chances, and the lead detective will barely let her out of his sight. Only one person stands by her side, and in doing so, he slips deeper and deeper into her heart—and her dreams—blurring the lines of reality and illusion.

When the dust settles, one of them will be dead.

Review: 
After reading and liking the first book, Shattered Dreams, I was pretty excited to read this one.  And, in ways, it was even better.

It was a good idea.  It really was.  Like I said in my review of Shattered Dreams, I love the combination of psychics and mystery.  It’s such a cool, original idea, and it really work well.  I feel like there might have been a bit too much drama in this one, but that’s hardly enough to make me give it a low rating.  In Shattered Dreams, Ellie James got right into the story from page one, and I feel like in this book it took a bit longer, and it wasn’t as thrilling as Shattered Dreams.  I really liked the ending though.  You guys know how I always say and ending can make or break a book.  Well, it made this book.

Like in the first book, I really like Trinity.  She’s strong, smart, and is not afraid to do whatever she has to to save a loved one.
Unlike in the other book, I didn’t really like Chase.  I didn’t like the way he treated Trinity.  If you really love someone you trust them not to do anything, even if they are in a different city with another guy.  He’s too possessive and kind of mean, so I don’t really like him anymore.

This book comes out on May 8 (my birthday!!) so make sure you mark your calendars so you can get a copy when it hits the shelves.


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~Author Interview~

 
Most people who know Ellie think she’s your nice, ordinary average wife and mom of two little kids. They see someone who does all that normal stuff, like grocery shopping, walking the dogs, going to baseball games, and somehow always forgetting to get the house cleaned and laundry done.
 What they don't know is that more often than not, this LSU J-School alum is somewhere far, far away, in an extraordinary world, deeply embroiled in solving a riddle or puzzle or crime, testing the limits of possibility, exploring the unexplained, and holding her breath while two people fall in love.
Regardless of which world Ellie’s in, she loves rain and wind and thunder and lightning; the first warm kiss of spring and the first cool whisper of fall; family, friends, and animals; dreams and happy endings; Lost and Fringe; Arcade Fire and Dave Matthews, and last but not least…warm gooey chocolate chip cookies.


1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Sure!  I’m a dreamer. I believe anything is possible, that we’re all stronger and far more capable than we realize. I believe in trying new things, especially those that frighten you, that the only way to fly is to spread your wings. I believe attitudes are contagious and adversity makes you stronger. I believe in love and friendship, that promises are meant to be kept and forever is more than a word. I believe sunrises and sunsets are equally beautiful, that the best way to predict your future is to create it, and that imagination can take you anywhere. Aside from all that, I’m a mom and a wife, an animal lover, chocolate chip cookie fanatic and thunderstorm junkie J

2. Why did you become a writer? Who were your biggest influences?
I’ve been living with fictional characters as long as I can remember!  The first two I remember were best friends Sally and Susie. After that, it was a family of monsters, followed by star-crossed cats. Then came a girl named Jacquie and her terrifying flight through a sinister swamp, with a mysterious boy racing to help her. I had no choice but to write the stories down. It was the only way to get them to leave me alone J
As for influences, as a kid I loved Nancy Drew mysteries, but the first book I remember making me cry was Island of the Blue Dolphins. Then came my love affair with Judy Blue (and the forbidden Rosemary Rogers novels I found between my mother’s mattresses!) After that there’s a huge gap before Stephen King and Michael Creighton took over. I think that gap is called high school and college!! 
My senior year of high school I remember talking to my mom about choosing a major at LSU. She asked what I loved most, and I said writing J  I ended up graduating with a degree in Journalism, but several years passed (new city, new apartment, new job, new LOVE) before the characters in my mind started to again wreak havoc!

3. When and how did you get the idea for the Midnight Dragonfly series?
Back during the sleep-deprived days after my little boy was born prematurely, I woke up one night from one of the most incredibly detailed, vivid dreams I’d ever had. I’d more than just seen a group of teen sneak into an old abandoned mansion--I’d been with them.  I’d gazed into the darkness, and smelled the decay. I’d felt the fear, and the crazy blast of excitement at the prospect of a game of truth or dare.  My heart was still racing when I woke up. The images lingered. I kept thinking about what I’d seen, and from the questions came: What happened next? What if one of the teens was a psychic? What if she saw something…something bad? What if she had a premonition? What if what she saw actually happened?  What if no one believed her, or at least, no one but the last guy she should let herself begin to fall for?
As I answered those questions, the Midnight Dragonfly books were born!

4. Is there a special place you like to write?
I move around the house, based upon what I’m doing. I WRITE at my laptop in a small home-office, but I brainstorm when I’m running or showering, and I edit sitting in an old baseball-glove-leather chair surrounded by bookcases. It’s odd, but I find the change of venue for different parts of the process really helps. I absolutely cannot brainstorm at the computer!

5. What's your favorite food?
Today it’s guacamole. Tomorrow it might be onion rings. I tend to change my mind a lot!

6. Favorite movie?
Raiders of the lost Ark!  OMG, I love that movie. (Close seconds: The Sixth Sense and Last of the Mohicans.)

7. Favorite season?
Spring!

8. Are you Team Peeta or Team Gale?
Team Peeta. There’s just something about unconditional love that gets me every time!

9. Is there another novel in the works? If so, what can we expect?
On my desk next to me are Line Edits for the third book in the Midnight Dragonfly series, FRAGILE DARKNESS.  In addition to those, I’m exploring possibilities for where Trinity goes next, as well as fleshing out several new series ideas. I’m not sure what’s going to bubble up first, but I can promise you lots of action, adventure, mystery, and romance!

10. What makes the Midnight Dragonfly Books different?
My editor and I have talked about this, and really, the books have emerged into real-world Thrillers. There’s lots of paranormal out there, lots of romance and suspense and mysteries, but Trinity’s story takes all of these elements and combines them into a race against time to solve riddles and mysteries, while at the same time trying to understand her feelings for two very different guys.

11. What are five things your characters learn in Broken Illusions?
Only five?  Hmmmm.  1) Forever is more than just a word,  2) A drivers license really can unlock a door, 3)Ouija boards aren’t just a child’s toy, 4) Airbags hurt, and 5) Before you tell the wrong guy how you really feel, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re really dreaming. Oh….and 6) be careful who you give voodoo dolls to.

12. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in the name of book research?
Jumped into a swimming pool with my hands tied together (to see if I could stay afloat)--and broken into a place long abandoned (can’t say where--yet!) to see what it would feel like, and what kind of trouble I could get Trinity into on the other side!


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~Giveaway~

Ellie James has kindly provided a signed copy of Broken Illusions for a giveaway, and I will also throw in my signed ARC of the book, plus a signed finished copy of Shattered Dreams.

The Rules:
  • There will be one winner. 
  • Giveaway ends on May 22, 2012 @ 11:59 p.m.
  • Must be a GFC follower
  • Must be 13 or older.
  • This giveaway is US/CAN
  • Fill out the form

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED





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Isn't she just great?  She has so much personality, it was so fun working with her for this author interview.  Make sure you stop by and say hi to her by following the links I provided and see for yourself.  She's so sweet and nice and I just love her!  Thank you Ellie James for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour, and I hope all the readers of my blog enjoyed this post. And btw, I love comments *hint hint*

22 comments:

  1. Thanks for the chance at the giveaway!

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  2. I've had Shattered Dreams on my radar for a while. It looks like a great read! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  3. Thanks for the chance to win! It looks like a great book!

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  4. Ohh yay! I really want to read these! They look fabo! Thanks for the giveaway! :D

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  5. Thanks for the giveaway! These books sound really great - I just added them to my TBR list! :)

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  6. Hi, everyone! Thanks for stopping by. I had so much fun with Emily and her questions! As a big fan of the Unknown and Unexplained, Trinity's stories have been a blast to write. I hope you enjoy them. We're also doing give-aways at my Facebook page, as well as giving readers the chance to put a character on the Hot Seat.

    Take care :)
    Ellie

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  7. Great interview. I'm one of your friends on goodreads.Take care. Brian T Shirley

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  8. Thanks for hosting another awesome giveaway.

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  9. Thanks for the giveaway and awesome interview!

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  10. Thank you for hosting the giveaway!

    Woah, jumping into a pool with tied hands..that's some serious business! (and also oddly sounds like a load of fun)

    Lilian @ A Novel Toybox

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  11. Both books sound great! I've heard good things about Shattered Dreams. Thanks for hosting giveaway. All your followers appreciate it!!

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  12. I've had this one on my wishlist since I first saw the cover and read the blurb. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  13. I am in LOVE with psychic/ different powers books:) lol:)
    -JennyC

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  14. Thank you for featuring such a great author and having such a fun time with it!

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  15. Great interview! I could never jump in a pool with my hands tied. lol

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  16. Enjoyed the interview.Thank you for the chance to win have a great week

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  17. Thanks for the giveaway! Enjoyed the interview :)

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  18. Thanks so much for the giveaway! You rock, this book sounds great!

    Shaina

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  19. I love the sound of this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  20. Thanks for the great Giveaway! The book sounds Awesome!

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  21. Thanks for this giveaway - I would love to win this book!

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  22. This book kept me on edge & stress levels so high. It was such an intense way to end the series. Totally amazing. If you want a thriller that keeps you on your toes & keeps you guessing, this would be it!

    Penelope
    Organic Blueprints

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Words cannot describe how happy and excited I get when I see you commented on one of my posts because it shows that you love the material enough to talk about it. Beware, I will reply to your comment with a gushing comment of my own.

If you leave a link to your blog I will most definitely check you awesome people out. Anyone who comments here is my best friend whether you want to be or not.

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