Thursday, May 21, 2015

All Souls Trilogy - Paperback Launch and Giveaway!

It's time for another awesome book spotlight and giveaway!

This one I'm particularly excited about, because I actually just recently started the All Souls Trilogy on audio. As a newbie to the books, I can tell you that they're stellar! Amazing story-telling, the perfect amount of romance, and enough juicy historical details to sink your teeth into.

As it turns out, the final book in the All Souls Trilogy, The Book of Life, is releasing in paperback on May 29, 2015. Which means you'll be able to get your hands on this gorgeous paperback set.

Pre-Order at Amazon and B&N!

In honor of this release, please enjoy this Q&A excerpt with Deborah Harkness, and then scroll to the bottom for your chance to win a paperback copy of The Book of Life and some fun swag!


Q: In your day job, you are a professor of history and science at the University of Southern California and have focused on alchemy in your research. What aspects of this intersection between science and magic do you hope readers will pick up on while reading THE BOOK OF LIFE? There’s quite a bit more lab work in this book!

A. There is. Welcome back to the present! What I hope readers come to appreciate is that science—past or present—is nothing more than a method for asking and answering questions about the world and our place in it. Once, some of those questions were answered alchemically. Today, they might be answered biochemically and genetically. In the future? Who knows. But Matthew is right in suggesting that there are really remarkably few scientific questions and we have been posing them for a very long time. Two of them are: who am I? why am I here? 


Q: Much of the conflict in the book seems to mirror issues of race and sexuality in our society, and there seems to be a definite moral conclusion to THE BOOK OF LIFE. Could you discuss this? Do you find that a strength of fantasy novels is their ability to not only to allow readers to escape, but to also challenge them to fact important moral issues?

A. Human beings like to sort and categorize. We have done this since the beginnings of recorded history, and probably well back beyond that point. One of the most common ways to do that is to group things that are “alike” and things that are “different.” Often, we fear what is not like us. Many of the world’s ills have stemmed from someone (or a group of someones) deciding what is different is also dangerous. Witches, women, people of color, people of different faiths, people of different sexual orientations—all have been targets of this process of singling others out and labeling them different and therefore undesirable. Like my interest in exploring what a family is, the issue of difference and respect for difference (rather than fear) informed every page of the All Souls Trilogy. And yes, I do think that dealing with fantastic creatures like daemons, vampires, and witches rather than confronting issues of race or sexuality directly can enable readers to think through these issues in a useful way and perhaps come to different conclusions about members of their own families and communities. As I often say when people ask me why supernatural creatures are so popular these days: witches and vampires are monsters to think with.


Q: A Discovery of Witches begins with Diana Bishop stumbling across a lost, enchanted manuscript called Ashmole 782 in Oxford’s Bodleian Library, and the secrets contained in the manuscript are at long last revealed in THE BOOK OF LIFE. You had a similar experience while you were completing your dissertation. What was the story behind your discovery? And how did it inspire the creation of these novels?

A. I did discover a manuscript—not an enchanted one, alas—in the Bodleian Library. It was a manuscript owned by Queen Elizabeth’s astrologer, the mathematician and alchemist John Dee. In the 1570s and 1580s he became interested in using a crystal ball to talk to angels. The angels gave him all kinds of instructions on how to manage his life at home, his work—they even told him to pack up his family and belongings and go to far-away Poland and Prague. In the conversations, Dee asked the angels about a mysterious book in his library called “the Book of Soyga” or “Aldaraia.” No one had ever been able to find it, even though many of Dee’s other books survive in libraries throughout the world. In the summer of 1994 I was spending time in Oxford between finishing my doctorate and starting my first job. It was a wonderfully creative time, since I had no deadlines to worry about and my dissertation on Dee’s angel conversations was complete. As with most discoveries, this discovery of a “lost” manuscript was entirely accidental. I was looking for something else in the Bodleian’s catalogue and in the upper corner of the page was a reference to a book called “Aldaraia.” I knew it couldn’t be Dee’s book, but I called it up anyway. And it turned out it WAS the book (or at least a copy of it). With the help of the Bodleian’s Keeper of Rare Books, I located another copy in the British Library.


Q: A Discovery of Witches debuted at # 2 on the New York Times bestseller list and Shadow of Night debuted at #1. What has been your reaction to the outpouring of love for the All Souls Trilogy? Was it surprising how taken fans were with Diana and Matthew’s story?

A. It has been amazing—and a bit overwhelming. I was surprised by how quickly readers embraced two central characters who have a considerable number of quirks and challenge our typical notion of what a heroine or hero should be. And I continue to be amazed whenever a new reader pops up, whether one in the US or somewhere like Finland or Japan—to tell me how much they enjoyed being caught up in the world of the Bishops and de Clemonts. Sometimes when I meet readers they ask me how their friends are doing—meaning Diana, or Matthew, or Miriam. That’s an extraordinary experience for a writer.



Up for grabs is one paperback copy of The Book of Life, and a set of All Souls Trilogy themed buttons!



Enter via rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends 5/29/15 at 8:00 pm PST.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Someday Beach by Jill Sanders


Do you know what your Tuesday needs? Some romance. Oh yes, nothing makes a Tuesday better than a little bit of romance. You're in luck too, because today's spotlight is on Someday Beach by Jill Sanders. I just love stories where two people put one another back together.

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Shelly has always dreamed of going back to Surf Breeze. When she finally sets out on her own and buys a run down building along the popular boardwalk, she hires a sexy, but annoying contractor to help her turn it into her dream boutique. What she hadn’t counted on was finding herself slowly changing with her surroundings. Fighting against an overbearing family, she’ll learn to not only follow her own dreams, but stand up for something she believes in.

Marcus has been waiting his whole life for a woman who could see through the horrors he’d been through as a child, and the humor he uses to mask it all. Now that he found her, he’s not quite sure what comes next.
“You’ve got a nice space here.” He looked out at her view. The boardwalk was below them and he watched for a moment as people strolled by. Beyond that was a long strip of beach and then the emerald water. It was a calm day and barely any waves rippled the water, which made it look green for as far as the eye could see.

He turned towards her and noticed that some soft strands of her blonde hair had fallen around her face. She had either forgotten to put on makeup that morning or had very little on. Her skin looked so soft, he itched to reach out and touch it. His eyes roamed over her and he couldn’t deny the sudden and powerful tug he got from looking at her curves. She was taller than most women he’d dated. He gauged her height around five-eight. The old jeans she was wearing were snug in all the right places, making him wish he could run his hands over those long legs.

When she turned her eyes towards him, catching him in his assessment of her, he couldn’t stop the smile.

“Beautiful view,” he said, softly.

Jill Sanders is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Pride Series, Secret Series and West Series romance novels. Having sold over 150,000 books within 6 months of her first release, she continues to lure new readers with her sweet and sexy stories. Her books are available in every English speaking country, audiobooks, and are now being translated to 6 different languages.

Born as an identical twin to a large family, she was raised in the Pacific Northwest, later relocating to Colorado for college and a successful IT career before discovering her talent as a writer. She now makes her home along the emerald cost in Florida where she enjoys the beach, hiking, swimming, wine-tasting, and of course writing.

Find Jill:
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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