Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cheating Death Blog Tour

I recently read Naumann's "The Day Zombies Ruined My Perfectly Boring Life," and loved it, so when I heard she was coming out with a new book I got really excited. Sadly I've just started reading this one. So, no review yet, but I promise to in the future. So far I have to say I'm really enjoying it.
Book Description:

Lysandra Brooks remembers everything about the day she almost drowned alongside her grandma, especially the set of mysterious eyes she saw at the bottom of the lake. Ever since then, she's been seeing strange things when she is near water—things that aren't really there. Because of it, Lysandra has the tendency to avoid anything that isn't on dry land. On her last day of high school, however, the biggest party of the year is set to take place at a fellow senior's lakeside mansion. Despite her fears, Lysandra decides to prove to her friends and herself that she can handle it.

But after a horrific night of drinking and drama that leaves Lysandra feeling lonely and confused, she nearly drowns for a second time, only to be saved by the new guy in town. From that moment on, Lysandra's world is turned upside down with the discovery of mind blowing secrets, including a revelation that something sinister is after her soul.

Jen was nice enough to answer a few questions for me about her book and her writing.

Can you tell us a little more about Cheating Death other than what the summary tells us?

The main character (Lysandra) starts out as being pretty shallow and hangs with these three best friends who are the same way. The book follows them from their last day of high school through a big house party and goes on to graduation and college. In addition to things going terribly wrong for Lysandra at the house party, she's secretly battling with this creepy darkness that seems to follow her. You may start out not being a big fan of Lysandra, but she goes through some pretty tough situations and evolves because of it. The story is really about the growth of Lysandra and the shift of her priorities in life.

What inspired you to write Cheating Death?

It all started with one of my first memories of how I once fell off a dock with my mom. I was young at the time and really upset by it. We weren't really in any danger because we were in shallow water, but I still remember the sensation of being propelled backwards and spinning through the water. The rest of the story just somehow grew from that memory.

The last book I read of yours was YA, how do you feel Cheating Death differs as NA story?

Rather than dealing with prom and bad grades, my main character is just getting ready to break free from high school and face the world on her own. There are some gritty issues she has to face that make the whole story more mature and complicated. I generally think of YA as being for teens and older, but this one could get a bit heavy for teens between 13-16.

Who is your favorite character in Cheating Death and why?

Definitely Adiyn. Of course he's hot and charming (this is fiction, people), but he also has a really big heart and puts himself in danger to keep Lysandra safe. And he doesn't expect anything in return. He's a genuinely nice guy.

Without giving away too many spoilers what was your favorite scene in Cheating Death to write?

Without hesitation, I can tell you it was the very last one. My editor was not happy with the first ending I wrote. After she pointed out why, I understood and totally re-wrote it. I was crying and smiling the whole time. It was beautiful, but sad. I've caught a ton of crap for the harsh endings on two of my books (that are each sequels), so I was extra careful to write something that would make people happy and have some closure. I really hope this does the trick.

When did you decide that you wanted to be a writer?

I remember in third grade when I wrote a story about My Little Ponies. I think I still have it somewhere. I was so excited that I started writing more stories at home and never stopped. I was kind of anti-social in junior high and high school because I'd rather spend the weekend at my green-screened Apple computer than go outside. I'm still that way.

What’s your favorite book of 2013 so far?

That's a tough one, but it's probably Looking for Alaska by John Green. I finally read Fault in Our Stars at the end of the year and bawled like a baby, so I wanted to get my hands on anything else John wrote. So far he's 2 for 2 in making me cry and keeping me intrigued. He really has a way with words.

Who are your favorite authors?

Isaac Marion, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Lauren Oliver, John Green, Jolene Perry, Alyson Noel…I could go on and on! There seem to be so many talented authors emerging, and a lot of them are taking the self-publishing route.

Do you have any other projects in the works right now?

I just finished the first draft of my fifth book (so far with the title of Mind Benders), so I'm way ahead of schedule as far as getting ready for another release. I may give it a rest for a while and pick up on the sequel to my zombie book. I need to get back to poor Emma and the heart-breaking ending I left her with in the first book. I'm probably 1/4 done with the sequel and so far it's been a total blast because it's filled with my favorite characters. (Yay!)

Do you feel like there are any themes that make their way into all your stories?

Well paranormal, obviously, since all four of them deal with those type of elements. Death also seems to be at the top of the list, although I'm not consciously doing it. It's kind of depressing when you really look at each of my stories and see how much death is involved. One of my cousins is begging me to write about unicorns and rainbows because she hates anything dark and sinister. I may have to give it a shot sometime not only to see if I can make her happy, but to find out if I'm capable of writing all happy thoughts. It could be interesting.

Author bio:

Jen grew up during a magical time in which Ghostbusters, Star Wars, E.T. and The Goonies were the biggest blockbusters. Her love of sci-fi exploded over time, eventually growing into a career of writing YA fiction with a paranormal flair. When not sitting at her Mac, she can be found at concerts and movies, hanging with friends, chilling at her lake home, taking pictures, working on graphic design projects, traveling, or at home with her husband in southern Minnesota and trying to keep up with their four active children.
 Jen Naumann
Author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction

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