CURRENT GIVEAWAY CONTESTS

Here are my current Giveaway Contests


ALMOST PARADISE through July 29th
THE COUNTDOWN CONSPIRACY through August 19th

Upcoming Agent Spotlights and Query Critique Giveaways

Danielle Burby Agent Spotlight Interview on 9/25/17
Molly O'Neal Agent Spotlight Interview on 10/23/17
Quressa Robinson Agent Spotlight Interview on 10/30/17

SARA LARSON INTERVIEW AND DEFY GIVEAWAY

Happy New Year Everyone! Hope you all had a happy holiday and that you have a fantastic 2014. We had a quiet holiday at home this year, which is very rare for us. I enjoyed being off work for almost two fantastic weeks. I did some fun things with my daughter, wrote pretty regularly, worked on my job skills for my job search after I’m laid off, read a lot, and watched some TV and movies. It was very relaxing. And I feel ready to face my year of big challenges, which include being laid off and hopefully finding a new job. I’m hoping to know more about our layoff schedule sometime in the next few weeks.

I want to go over a few changes here before I get to my fantastic interview. First, like many of you, I’ll be cutting back my blogging. With all the changes in my job situation and being swim mom for the girls highs school team this summer and fall, I need to keep the blog more manageable so I can also have some time to write. I’ll be blogging most Mondays and no more than two Wednesdays a month. I’ll also be doing my monthly book giveaway blog hops that are my most popular posts. Once summer comes, I’ll probably be announcing more cutting back of my schedule as I start the busy swim mom duties.

Second, I’m changing my giveaways for my international followers. With losing my job, I have to cut my blog costs which have been over $400 a year (please don’t tell my husband!). I can’t justify paying $17 to ship a book internationally anymore since it’s the same cost as buying the book at The Book Depository. I've actually just bought the book for the winner on occasion. So for my non book giveaway blog hops, I’ll be mostly offering print books for US/Canada and e-books or $5 Amazon gift cards to international winners. I’ll also be offering the e-book or $5 Amazon gift card for books I spotlight that I don’t have physical ARCs of. I hope you understand.

Finally, I have a few winners to announce:

The winner of SOUL CUTTER is SHAH WHARTON!

The winner of MY SORT OF FAIRY TALE ENDING 3 book giveaway is DANIELLE H!

And the winner of the Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop is ANASTASIA FALL who picked ALL OUR YESTERDAYS

Congrats! E-mail me your address so I can have your books sent to you. Please e-mail me by the end of Wednesday or I’ll have to pick another winner.

Today I’m thrilled to have debut author Sara Larson here to share about her YA fantasy, DEFY, that releases tomorrow. I’ve been dying to read this book since I saw Sara’s book deal in PW Children’s Bookshelf. It was totally worth the wait. I always love books about strong girls who find a way to defeat society’s role for them. Alexa is a fantastic character who avoids a horrible fate of being imprisoned in a terrible brothel/breeding house by pretending to be a boy and becoming a member of the Prince’s guard. One of the things I loved about this story was that from the beginning, significant events that impact on Alexa’s life are always happening. It was a real I-can’t-put-it down page turner.

Here’s a description from Goodreads:

A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

Hi Sara. Happy Release Day! I’m so excited to share in your debut.

1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.

I’m a Utah girl, born and raised. I have three beautiful, crazy children (two boys and a girl) and an amazing husband who has been my biggest supporter every step of the way. I love summer and everything that goes with it (swimming, boating, BBQs), but I also love curling up with a good book, hot chocolate and a fire in the winter. I've been writing for as long as I can remember. I have notebooks from 2nd and 3rd grade that are full of my books that I wrote way back then. Reading and writing has been an integral part of who I am for as long as I can remember, so I can't pinpoint any one moment that led me to want to write. I’ve always dreamt of being an author, so getting published has literally been a dream come true!

2. I swear there must be something in the Utah water. Because I know a ton of writers who live there. I’m always intrigued by how authors come up with the ideas for their stories. What was the inspiration for your story?

DEFY came from a very difficult period in my life, when I lost someone I loved. I was so upset by his death that I couldn’t write anything, but a friend of mine told me to stop trying to write a book and just write what I was feeling. So that’s exactly what I did. When I wrote that first scene I didn’t really have a plan for it to go anywhere, but the characters wouldn't leave me alone so I set out to discover who they were and how they ended up where they were. When I finally figured out that one of them was keeping a major secret from me, the plot suddenly clicked into place and the rest of the book flew out of me. (I finished writing it 2 weeks after I figured out that one, integral secret.) Even though it came from a place of grief, the story really took on its own life. It became a story of survival and moving forward, a story of what true courage and strength is, and a story about love and hope (even in the most desperate of situations) and risking everything for the chance of a better future.

3. Sorry for where the inspiration came from, but awesome how the story clicked when you discovered the major secret. Your plotting is fantastic in DEFY and you propel the story forward with all these events that majorly impact on Alexa. Share your plotting process and any tips you have for the rest of us.

Thank you, I’m so glad you thought so! I do try to surprise my readers, because I love a book that can
surprise me. After reading so voraciously my whole life, I can often predict what’s going to happen in a book. An author that can take me by surprise (in a good way!) will become a favorite. (I also do this in movies—I often will guess a plot twist or even an actual dialogue line correctly before someone says it and whisper it to my husband. When I’m right, he just shakes his head and asks me how I do that. Either I’ve seen too many movies or else it’s a gift, ha!) That is my goal in my writing—to keep things so exciting that my readers can’t stop flipping pages, and to try and surprise them.

As for my own plotting tips, I’d say one of the biggest things I’ve learned is that if I’m feeling bored with what I’m writing, chances are my reader will, too. Whenever I start to drag or feel my excitement level start to sink, I take it as a signal that I need to amp things up again. I try to figure out how I can increase the tension and propel my plot forward. Basically, I start a fight, or throw a big twist at my characters, or have someone kiss someone. Picking one (or more) of those three, or something similar, usually does the trick. Just kidding, but you get the idea. Keep it interesting, and keep it moving forward.

4. That’s great advice. Maybe I should use your suggestions as the start of a list for when I get stuck. I loved Alexa and how she not only was a member of the Prince’s guard but was the best swordsman. And she has a vulnerable side that really comes out as she deals with some terrible tragedies, which I won’t say what they are to not spoil for anyone. Did you have any challenges in creating her as a character and how did you overcome them?

Alexa is a very complicated, and therefore fascinating, character to write. She is so tough and obviously skilled with a sword. But deep down, as you pointed out, she has this vulnerable side that she’s had to bury to survive. The more tragedies that strike and twists that happen in her life, the more she has to deal with that vulnerability becoming exposed. She has to learn what it means to truly be courageous—even in the face of fear, vulnerability, and loss.

Alexa came to me very strongly developed, and I had to make sure that as I wrote the story, I was being true to her character. How would she react to this or this? What would she really be thinking here? Although she’s had to pretend to be a boy, and she’s incredibly skilled and can take care of herself, she is still a teenage girl and she isn’t blind or without feelings. That’s part of what makes her so complex—reconciling her toughness with her vulnerable, feminine side (that she’s had to bury, but that starts to resurface for different reasons). I really enjoyed taking her on this journey of self-discovery and growth through DEFY.

5. I really liked seeing those two parts of her. Was your world building based on a real jungle setting or your imagination or both?

It came from my imagination, but I’m sure that was heavily influenced by my life-long fascination with jungles. I had the opportunity to go on a trip to Cancun, Mexico with my husband last spring and we did a couple of excursions that took us into landscapes that were very reminiscent of Antion (the jungle kingdom in DEFY). It was very surreal and SO amazing to be there. I’d tell my husband, “This could totally be from this scene in DEFY!” I’d love to go to the Amazon or Congo sometime, too, to visit a true rainforest.

Just recently, I did make a pinterest board with pictures that remind me of the world of DEFY, if you’re interested: http://www.pinterest.com/sarablarson/the-world-of-defy/

6. Your agent is Josh Adams. He’s at the top of my list of dream agents. How did he become your agent and what advice do you have for the rest of us who are starting to query? 

I’ve been in the query trenches twice now, and both times it was AWFUL. I mean, let’s just be honest here. It’s so hard to get rejection after rejection. Between both times, I’m sure I’m well over 200 rejections. (I stopped counting after fifty or sixty the first time.) But my advice would be to never give up and to never stop writing. I learned the hard way that the once you have one book out, you need to start writing a NEW (aka different) book, just in case. I queried my first book for over two years, and wrote the sequel and part of the third book in the meantime. Yikes, right? I finally moved on to a new book and that’s when I got my first agent. After we parted ways, I queried THREE books before I signed with Josh. With DEFY, things went differently than they ever had before. I started querying on Monday, about fifteen queries. (All cold queries, by the way.) Then on Tuesday night, I saw that an agent I liked had just re-opened to queries. I sent one off, and was shocked to get a full request ten minutes later. And even more shocked to get an email the next day before lunch, asking to talk to me about the book! I ended up receiving more than one offer. It was the situation we all dream about, right? But it ended up being harder to choose than I thought it would be. However, when I talked to Josh on the phone he blew me away with his business savvy, experience, and enthusiasm. I had notes front and back on my paper, and sidewise up the side. I knew that he was the right agent for me. And he’s become a good friend, too, so I feel very lucky and blessed. It was just a huge testament to me that if you don’t give up, eventually you will write the right book at the right time.

7. Wow! If anyone loses faith, they should just read your answer and persevere. What was something that surprised you about working with your publisher at Scholastic?

How amazing it would be to work with my editor! I was always a little bit nervous about what it would be like to have an editor tell me what I needed to do with my book. But Lisa Sandell has been absolutely wonderful to work with. And beyond the actual work of editing and revising my book(s), I’ve gained such a great friend in her. It’s been such a long road to get to this point, with so much heartbreak along the way, but I’d do it all again to be able to work with both Josh and Lisa, and the rest of the incredible team at Scholastic. I regularly pinch myself to make sure it’s all real!

8. I read that your book was selected for the Winter 2013-2014 Kids’ Indie Next List. Congrats! Tell us about this and how you think it will help publicize your book.

I was so happily surprised to get this news from my editor! It’s actually really funny how I found out. My husband was out of town, and I was trying to get my kids in bed. My boys were in their room, being boys (aka loud and rambunctious), and I was sitting in the bathroom bathing my daughter when my phone beeped that I had an email. When I saw the subject (Kids Indie Next List), my heart leapt into my throat and I hurried to open and read the great news! I jumped up and screamed I was so excited, and scared my daughter to death so she proceeded to splash me and my phone. I tried calling my husband to tell him, but he didn’t answer (he was in a meeting I guess). So I continued jumping around the bathroom, soaked and hollering in happiness for just my kids to hear…since they were the only ones home to celebrate with. Ah, the glamorous life, right?

I am just so thrilled that they chose DEFY for the honor of making this list, and I’m very excited for the exposure it will give my book, especially in Indie bookstores, which I am a huge proponent of supporting.

9. Funny how those big moments happen in the middle of the mundane. Share some of what you’re doing to promote your book and what you’ve learned from this process that would be helpful to the rest of us.

I think everyone has to do what feels right to them. Some authors do a ton, and some barely do anything, and there isn’t any right or wrong way to do it from what I’m learning. My reach can only get so far, no matter how hard I try, so I decided early on that I didn’t want to suck myself dry putting all my energy into promoting my book. I think I fall somewhere in the middle of the crowd. I’ve done some giveaways, I’ve tried to be accessible to bloggers (such as yourself!) who are interested in interviewing me or reviewing DEFY. I’m also offering some fun THANK YOU packages to anyone who pre-orders DEFY. http://sarablarson.blogspot.com/2013/11/pre-order-madness-aka-my-way-of-saying.html But ultimately, I know I can’t really control how well DEFY does, no matter what I do to promote it. I did what I could do, and that was write the best book I knew how. I hope readers will love it and spread the word, and that would be the best promotion of all. In the end, the best thing anyone can do, in my opinion, is to focus on the one thing they can control, and that is writing the best book you know how and let the chips fall where they may.

10. That’s great advice to do what you can and don’t worry about what you can’t control. What are you working on now?

I’m working on revisions for DEFY #2 with my editor, I’m drafting another book, and polishing two others, and I just got this new amazing idea that I’m also trying to squeeze time in for somewhere along the way. So hopefully there will be many more books to look forward to from me in the future!

Thanks for sharing all your advice, Sara. 

Thank you for having me! I’m so glad you enjoyed DEFY! I’ve used your blog MANY times before to research agents, and to read interviews, and it’s been an honor to be asked to take part in it!

You can find Sara at:

http://SaraBLarson.blogspot.com
@SaraBLarson
Facebook.com/AuthorSaraBLarson
Order a signed/personalized copy of DEFY through The King’s English by calling 801-484-9100 or ordering online at www.kingsenglish.com 

Sara’s publisher Scholastic generously offered an ARC for a giveaway. . To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through January 18th. I’ll announce the winner on January 20th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, please leave it in the comments.

If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 or older to enter. This is a print book giveaway for US/Canada. International entries are welcome but the winner would get an e-book or $5.00 Amazon gift card.

Here’s what’s coming up:

Next Monday I’ll have another ASK THE EXPERT interview with a 9th grader and a giveaway of THE ENCHANTER HEIR, a fantastic urban fantasy by Cinda Williams Chima, one of my favorite authors and INTO THE STILL BLUE, the fantastic conclusion to Veronica Rossi’s dystopian trilogy.

Next Wednesday I’m participating in debut author Stina Lindenblatt’s blog hop to raise awareness about stalking in celebration of the release of her NA contemporary story, TELL ME WHEN. I'm so excited to help Stina celebrate her debut because she's a fantastic follower and friend.

The following Monday, I’m interviewing Rosamund Hodge and giving away an ARC of CRUEL BEAUTY, her fantastic fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

And Wednesday that week I’m interviewing Stina Lindenblatt and giving away a copy of TELL ME WHEN, her contemporary NA story. Her characters are rich, complex people that I grew to love and even though I don’t read much contemporary stories, I read her book in two days.

And don’t forget Casey’s Tip Tuesdays and Agent Spotlights.

Hope to see you next Monday!

70 comments:

  1. I think she's absolutely right about having to change something when we're feeling bored with what we're writing. Great interview, and congratulations, Sara!

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  2. Fabulous interview! What a great story of perseverance! The book sounds like a must get for my class! :)

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  3. What a fun interview. I've got this on my TBR list. I wish it was in audiobook. Are there any plans?

    Natalie, I'm not sure it's in the Utah water, but I can assure you that Utah has an amazingly vibrant publishing community. I know some writers who live in locations where they have never met another writer in person. If you happen to know someone who is a writer or an author here, and especially if you know someone who is published, you're more likely to consider following your own dream and becoming one too.

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  4. Okay, this books sounds SO up my alley. I love, love, love a sword-wielding protagonist and this sounds like it has all the action, intrigue, and adventure that I so love in books like Graceling and The False Prince/Runaway King. I'm very excited about this one and loved reading about Sara's background and writing process! And yes, there do seem to be a lot of fabulous writers from Utah :) Glad you had a relaxing holiday, Natalie!

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  5. Awesome interview. I love how writing DEFY came about for Sara and she gives some great tips for propelling plot.
    Thank you for the giveaway! ^^

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  6. Defy has been getting so much buzz and now I see a little bit of why.
    Thank you so much for the interview.

    ~Akoss

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  7. Happy New Year Natalie and all at Literary Rambles!!

    Thanks for another fab interview - I totally agree about if you are bored with what you are writing - of course your reader will too! So you need to fix it! Glad Sara got herself a dream agent! All the best with Defy and subsequent sequels! I secretly hope Alex finds a third way - ie. not ending up with either of these guys - she's good on her own! LOL!! Take care
    x

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  8. What a fabulous interview. I especially love the part about your perseverence in the query process, Sara. It gives me hope. :-)

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  9. It sounds like you had a wonderful holiday! I completely understand on needing to cut back on blogging and refine your giveaways. Sounds like a good idea. Congrats to Sara on the release of Defy. I'll be checking it out!

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  10. Sounds like a great book. I love stories about strong, young females.

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  11. Natalie, so sorry to hear of your pending layoff. I can relate to trimming the blog schedule. Enjoy your time as swim mom! I used to be a hockey mom for my sons and swim mom for my daughter. It's crazy busy but a lot of fun.

    Thanks for the great interview with and intro to Sara. I am inspired! :)

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  12. I've been hearing a lot about this. I love hearing the stories behind the stories, the inspiration!

    I tweeted about this!

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  13. Can't wait to read this! Sara is as nice in person as she is in an interview! I know DEFY will do great.

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  14. Thanks so much for having me! And I'm so sorry about the layoff. That is just awful. But I will cross my fingers that it opens doors to bigger and better!! XOXO

    And in answer to Donna's question--YES! There is an audio book! :-)

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  15. Wonderful interview, and so nice to get to know Sara better!

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  16. It's great to meet Sara! Best wishes to her and Defy. And its great to have an agent you can trust. Still looking for one myself.

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  17. Such a wonderful interview! This book is just as amazing as everyone has promised. So happy for Sara!

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  18. Terrific interview, Natalie and Sara. And yay, Sara, for supporting Indie bookstores. I'm totally intrigued by this book, not only for the strong and complex character of Alexa but for the kingdom's jungle setting. How unusual! I'd love to read this. Oh, and I tweeted: (https://twitter.com/JoanneRFritz/status/420234889468710912)

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  19. Congratulations, Sara. Sorry your book came from a loss, but you turned it into something positive. And you're right you can't kill yourself trying to promote. We can only do so much.
    Natalie, the new blog schedule sounds great. (It's pretty much mine as well.)

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  20. I'm glad you were able to turn this into a positive. Congrats! I've been anticipating this book for months now. Can't wait!
    tweet:
    https://twitter.com/KellisAmberlee_/status/420237690039070720
    GFC: Vivien

    kellis_amberlee@yahoo.com

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  21. Wahoo for Utah authors!! TBR list, done and done. This one sounds amazing.

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  22. Very interesting interview. It sounds like Larson does a TON of writing. Talk about disciplined!

    I recently read an eARC of Defy and, unfortunately, it wasn't for me. Still, I'm enjoying the process of really analyzing the books I read and crafting articulate, but concise, reviews. Keeps the brain on its toes, right? ;)

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  23. Congratulations to all the winners. I am sure you will enjoy the books.

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  24. I can't wait to read this book. Looks like just my kind of story.

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  25. Congrats, Sara! Defy sounds awesome! And we writers definitely have to be persistent. :)

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  26. Great interview! Thanks for introducing Sara and her book! I especially agree with her writing advice and amping things up when boredum starts to set it. And I admire her perserverance. It definitely paid off! Congrats Sara! Defy sounds like a great read!

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  27. Three cheers to Sara for her stick-to-it-tive-ness that has lead to her success. Wishing her the best for her publishing career and many thanks for sharing her journey to publication. Each step we take is different, It's helpful to know that perseverance can and does win out :-)

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  28. It was great to meet more of Sara. She's such a sweetheart. Thrilled for her. I'm glad she was able to take those dark and painful feelings and put them to positive use. Congratulations, Sara!

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  29. Wonderful interview and it was great to hear about Sara and her book. I'm always impressed by someone who can take a sad painful event and turn it around into their story. Wishing you much success with Defy. Natalie, hope your prospects for work improve soon.

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  30. Great interview! I've been hearing nothing but wonderful things about Defy, looking forward to reading it! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Gfc: Van_Pham
    Shortnsweetreviews(at)Gmail(dot)com

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  31. Super good luck to Sara! And I think prioritizing is always a good move. Here's wishing all the best for 2014~ <3

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  32. Congrats Sara. The premise sounds so interesting and the cover is great. Wishing you lots of luck =)

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  33. What a great interview! Congrats to Sara!

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  34. Great interview and thanks for having the giveaway :) Oh, and I tweeted it here:
    https://twitter.com/eisen5585/status/420361761791811585
    Merci!

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  35. Sounds like a great book! Congrats on the Indie Next List! (PS I love your hair, Sara. And your name...)

    I, too, have a bunch of notebooks and stories from grade school.

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  36. Congrats and good luck to Sara!

    Natalie, I know what you mean about giveaways and shipping costs. I did a bunch of international ones last year, and I didn't realize how much it costs to send a book overseas. Yikes!

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  37. Would love to read this book!

    billiondollarprincesss@hotmail.com

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  38. So many rejections! I am very happy that they didn't stop you from trying and that everything worked out for you!

    secret_gurl69 at hotmail dot com

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  39. This sounds like a fantastic book. My TBR list is SO LONG, but DEFY is going on it nevertheless. (Some day, I hope to have "free-reading" as part of my daily schedule ..)

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  40. DEFY looks great! I tweeted about the giveaway here:
    https://twitter.com/mightbeanerd/status/420452231989571584

    Thanks! Email: cjbergman1@gmail.com

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  41. An inspiring story. I will certainly put DEFY on my list. Natalie, I'm so sorry about your job.

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  42. 200 rejections may seem a like a lot, but most people don't have what it takes to stick it out that long to finally hit success. Well done, Sara.

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  43. Sara your book sounds like the kind of book I want to curl up with and read! Excellent, in depth interview. I hope I win a copy of your book, but if not, it's definitely on my to read list. Thank you for sharing. I will post to Facebook.

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  44. Great interview. Sounds like the kind of book I would love to read. Congratulations! Persistence pays off!

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  45. I am soooo happy for Sara! She's always been one of those amazing blogger friends who is so supportive. And wow! The book sounds fab!!

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  46. Great interview, Natalie and Sara! DEFY is an incredible read, for sure!

    totally understand about cutting back a bit on blogging. I'll be doing less this year as well. May 2014 hold many happy surprises for you!

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  47. I don't blame you for needing to re-prioritize. How great to see Sara here. I just added her book to my to-read list on Goodreads!

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  48. Congrats to Sara on her release. There is something about Utah and its many great writers.

    I don't blame you about cutting back. I'd rather use Book Depository than ship things myself. If I do ship things myself, it's U.S. and Canada only.

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  49. Aaah, this book. I didn't know it had been selected for the Winter 2013-2014 Kids’ Indie Next List. How awesome! Congrats, Sara!

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  50. I don't blame you for cutting back, Natalie. It's hard to keep up with the heavy blogging you've been doing!

    I made the same mistake as Sara with my second book. It too was a sequel, but then I realized I needed to work on something new and stopped editing it.

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  51. It's amazing that this book was born out of such a difficult and sad time in the author's life, yet grew into a story of courage, love and hope. Congratulations, Sara!

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  52. Sara your book Defy sounds wonderful. I love the fact that you did not give up even after so many rejections. You are going to be my inspiration this year when I start querying.

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  53. Congratulations, Sara, on the publication of DEFY. Your story about how you found your agent is inspirational and reminds us that while we might encounter a lot of NOs, it just takes one YES for everything to change. =)

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  54. Congrats on the new book and the Indie award! I love how your characters kept telling you their story. I wish that ever happened to me. Wishing you success!

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  55. Fantastic interview. Sara, it sounds like you know what you're doing :) Can't wait to read your book.

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  56. Understand the need to cut back, Natalie. You do a fantastic job, and we'll all enjoy whatever you can give us in the future.

    Congratulations to Sara on her book. I wish her the best of luck. Also congrats to the winners.

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  57. Yup, if cutting back is the thing you need to do, then that's what you do, particularly when it's about family. And what you still plan to do, what with giveaways and all, is was wonderful thing.

    Love the cover of Sara's book!

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  58. when a book comes out from a deep dark place...it creates magic! great interview!

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  59. Stories born from the heart are the most powerful. Congrats, Sara!

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  60. I've heard some great things about this book! I can't wait to read it!

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  61. Hooray for Sara! Congrats on your release! :)

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  62. Congrats to Sara! I have been hearing so much about Defy. It sounds amazing and I can't wait to read it. The interview was fascinating. I also try to figure out plot in books and movies and like when I am surprised by a twist. :)

    Thanks so much for the giveaway. I am an old follower.
    ~Jess

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  63. Oh- and good luck with your goals for 2014. It sounds like you know what you need to find balance in your life. Good luck!
    ~Jess

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  64. Sara, Great interview and Good Luck! I'm adding Defy to my GoodReads list.

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  65. Great interview. I really enjoyed learning about the writing and publication process behind Defy. Sara's story is an inspirational one about not giving up, and there are some great tips on writing!

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  66. Oh how interesting! Love when success comes for people who've worked so hard for it. Congrats to Sara!
    And Natalie I'll see you for Stina's blog hop! :)

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  67. Congrats to Sara, and that's so great she kept persevering. I like her goals to surprise the reader--I try to do that too. Who wants a predictable book!?

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  68. Happy 2014 Natalie and to you too, Cassie....

    Congrats to Sara... All the best!

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  69. I always think it's amazing when authors have children and still manage to write a book. I had attempted it, but I find I need complete focus or something. Maybe it's just my brain... I don't know.

    Natalie, I understand about the giveaway costs. I haven't done international shipping since they went up awhile back. When I shipped an ARC and it was $17, I knew that wasn't going to work again. Luckily we have TBD, hopefully they never go out of business!

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  70. I must say, I'm extremely interested in reading Defy! It sounds spectacular, like Mulan meets the jungle, and woah, how awesome would that be?
    Gender bending is always an interesting topic to read about, and Alex sounds like a strong female heroine which I like.

    My email address is tinafang99@yahoo.com and I have tweeted about this giveaway: https://twitter.com/tfang1289/status/423298659912908800

    Tina

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