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Song of Seare Christmas Giveaway!

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This giveaway is now closed! Thank you to everyone who participated!

Christmas is coming early to my site! In honor of the holiday season and the completion of the Song of Seare series, I’m thrilled to announce this great giveaway in partnership with NavPress.

 

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One (1) GRAND PRIZE WINNER

A fabulous “Winter in Ireland” gift package

– Complete Song of Seare Celtic Fantasy Trilogy
– Authentic Irish Wool Knit Blanket
– Rustic Irish Culchie Mug
– Irish Breakfast Tea
– Celtic Tin Whistle


 

 

Three (3) RUNNERS-UPSeare

The complete Song of Seare Celtic fantasy trilogy

Oath of the Brotherhood
– Beneath the Forsaken City
The Sword and the Song (just released!)

 

 

 

How to Enter:

Enter via the giveaway widget below between December 1st and December 15th, 2015.

Winners will be announced on December 16, 2015. See rules and restrictions below for more details.

 

Cover Reveal: Beneath the Forsaken City

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It’s that time… cover reveal time! I’m excited to show the cover that amazing designer Kirk DouPounce has designed for the second book in the Song of Seare series, Beneath the Forsaken City.

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I love how he captured the darker tone and increased danger of the second book in the series while keeping with the look of the first cover.

Beneath the Forsaken City releases in February 2015. In the meantime, have you read the first book in the series, Oath of the Brotherhood? You can buy it at:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | CBD

Where On The Web is Carla Laureano?

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I may be showing my age with the Carmen Sandiego reference, but I have been somewhat AWOL from my blog lately… for good reason. Book launches tend to be a flurry of interviews and guest blog posts, so I’ve been spending time elsewhere on the web. If you’d like to join some of my gracious web hosts, here are a couple of my recent stops:

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Check out the review for Oath of the Brotherhood and a fun interview on the background of the story!

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I was thrilled to write this month’s “For Writers” column about fact in fiction– with a peek into how my ancient Seareann society differs from authentic Irish history.

Plus, I received a lovely recommendation and review from USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog, along with my awesome fellow author Travis Thrasher. Read it here.

Want to win a copy of Oath of the Brotherhood?

 

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Goodreads is giving away five copies. Click here to enter the giveaway. (Closes May 31, 2014)

 

Why I Abandon A Fantasy Series

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Confession time, courtesy of Season 4 of Game of Thrones, otherwise known as “the part of the story I don’t remember very well or didn’t read at all”–I am a fantasy series abandoner.

I know a lot of readers who, once they’ve invested themselves in the first book or two of a series, will hang on until the bitter end. But I’m not one of those. My reading time is too limited to waste on something that doesn’t absolutely knock my socks off, or didn’t deliver on its promises on the first, second, or third book.

Cases in point:

1) Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time – quit after Book 7: A Crown of Swords

2) Terry Goodkind’s The Sword of Truth – quit after Book 6: Faith of the Fallen

3) George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire – quit mid-way through Book 4: A Feast for Crows

4) L.B. Graham’s Binding of the Blade – quit after Book 1: Beyond the Summerland

Now, please note that I’m not saying these are bad series and that you shouldn’t read them. I’m just saying that somewhere through the scope of an epic fantasy series, I often decide that the time I’ve invested is less important than the time and effort I’d continue to invest to finish it. As the author of an epic fantasy series myself,  it seemed to demand a closer analysis. I certainly don’t want my readers to drop my books mid-series! So I started looking at the reasons I ditched books that at one point I thoroughly enjoyed.

1) The words got so absurdly huge that I couldn’t keep track of characters or locations

2) The stories/cast of characters got so absurdly huge and intertwined that there was very little forward momentum of the main plot in any given book

3) Certain books in the series focused exclusively on either characters I didn’t like or new characters in which I had a hard time becoming invested, or they killed off the characters for which I was reading the series

4) The author’s personal views became more intrusive as time went on, and I felt like I was being force-fed an ideaology with which I didn’t agree and didn’t entirely seem to fit with the characters as I knew them

5) The writing began to feel rushed, as if the author was turning in half-edited work and it was going to print without a second look

Food for thought, huh? But I realize that as a writer, my views may be a little skewed. So tell me, what makes you abandon a series mid-way?

(And just to balance out the overall snarky tone of this post, how about next week, we talk about the books that keep us clamoring for more and why?)

Interview With Author Lisa T. Bergren

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Remnants

Anyone who has known me for more than thirty second probably knows that Lisa Bergren is one of my favorite authors. YA, historical, romance, dystopian… I don’t care what it is, I’ll read it. So I’m really excited to be able to welcome her today to talk about her newest book, Remnants: Season of Wonder. I was fortunate enough to snag an ARC of this gem and actually just finished it yesterday… what a ride!

Carla: Welcome, Lisa. Can you tell us a little about your book?

Lisa: Remnants: Season of Wonder is a genre-bending start to an epic trilogy—fantasy/dystopian/suspense/romance. It’s about seven kids born to save the world, by helping redirect a culture on the precipice.

Carla: What inspired this particular novel?

Lisa: Reading Hunger Games and turning the last page and thinking, “I loved that. But I wish there had been a spiritual element/hope angle.”

Carla: I felt the exact same way about The Hunger Games. It’s amazing how strongly that absence of hope is felt, and that’s definitely not lacking in Season of Wonder. What can we look forward to next from you?

Lisa: The rest of Remnants! Books 2 and 3 publish in 2015. In between I’ll be releasing DELUGE, the last in my River of Time Series (Waterfall, Cascade, Torrent, Bourne & Tributary).

Carla: Ah, some of my favorites. But back to Remnants…why did you choose the particular theme in your most recent novel? What were you trying to say to your readers?

Lisa: There are lots of themes introduced in Remnants—freedom, subjugation, fear, and more. I basically considered things I see getting skewed in contemporary society and took them to the Nth degree in the future. I also see culture regressing back to a more medieval perspective if we’re facing survival—which can be good (relying more on one another) and bad (abusing one another in striving for power).

Carla: Which do you think is more important: to entertain or teach/inform?

Lisa: Novels are primarily for entertainment. Any lessons learned have to be natural to the storyline and the character’s development arc or it will come off as preachy.

Carla: Who is the favorite character you’ve ever written and why?

Lisa: Daria from The Begotten. She had the gift of healing but needed healing herself. I loved her story, as well as the epic nature of that series. It’s similar in some ways to Remnants.

Carla: What three items are essential to your writing process?

Lisa: Time to think/brainstorm/create. A rested body. A good soundtrack to listen to.

Carla: Favorite activity for procrastinating when you should be writing?

Lisa: Plucking my eyebrows.

Carla: If you had to give up music or books (you can still write), which would you choose and why?

Lisa: Gah! That’s hard. I think music. Because other stories and nonfiction inspire and inform my own writing. Yet it’d be really hard for me to write now, without soundtracks setting me in the movie-mode I love when visualizing a scene!

Carla: Me too. I rely heavily on my playlists when writing, especially the epic stuff. What is the worst job you’ve ever held (besides writer!)?

Lisa: Hotel maid. Ugh, I picked up some disgusting stuff. People are pigs!

Carla: What is the best job you’ve ever held?

Lisa: Beer cart girl on a golf course overlooking a mountain lake.

Carla: If you could live anywhere in the world and cost/making a living were not an issue, where would it be?

Lisa: Italy.

I think I could get onboard with that idea, Lisa. Thank you so much for joining me today, and thank you for sharing your insights into your writing world! And for all you readers out there, the first volume of the Remnants trilogy is due out next week, so go preorder now and help it make a big splash on release day! Buying links located below…

0a762094edb30a8c09116a.L._V340945949_SX200_About Lisa

Lisa T. Bergren is the author of over forty books with more than 2.5 million copies sold. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband, three kids and a little, white Westie named Talisker Beatrice (don’t ask).  When not writing, she works on ducks-made-out-of-fenceposts with her husband, Tim (RMrustic.com). You can find out more about her at LisaBergren.com, on Facebook and on Twitter.

 

About Remnants: Season of Wonder

Our coming was foretold by the elders—Those who would change the future, just as the planet teetered on the edge of darkness. Born on the prophesied day with birthmarks in the form of a crescent moon, they knew us immediately. Swaddled and screaming, we were spirited away by those who hid us, trained us, and kept us safe until our time came. They poured their lives into us. Some died to save us. And now we, the Remnants, protected by Knights of the Last Order, have gathered. Called until we breathe our last … to save the world.

Order Remnants: Season of Wonder: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook.com

And the Winners Are…

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It’s a good day for book lovers, because my winter giveaways are now closed and winners have been selected!

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The winner of the Winter Warm-Up Giveaway is

Katherine V.!

 

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The winner of the Spectacular Spec-Fic Giveaway is

Allen P.!

 

Thanks to everyone who entered and showed love to my wonderful line-up of guests. If you’re the winner listed above, please contact me at carla [at] carlalaureano [dot] com by Friday, April 4th to claim your prize. Please include your shipping address and specify a name for autographing. Also note that books will be coming directly from the authors who contributed to the giveaway.

Thanks again! And check back later this week for more fun news and the potential for another really cool prize. (What can I say? I just like giving stuff away…)