Signed ARC Giveaway of In the End by Demitria Lunetta & Thoughts on Setting

In the End (In the After, #2)

Today I am thrilled to be able to share with one of my readers a signed ARC of In the End by Demitria Lunetta (seriously doesn’t she have the most beautiful name?). Tomorrow, June 24th, this sequel and conclusion to In the After releases. I loved the first book (my review) and interviewed Demitria last year.

Read More »

The Best Books of 2013

I’ve been thinking about this post for a while, trying to determine how I would narrow all the books I’ve read this year into my favorites. I’m going to challenge myself and limit the number to five, otherwise this list would go on forever.

My Favorite Books Published in 2013

This is not by order of my affection

 World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)Siege and StormIn the Shadow of Blackbirds

World After by Susan Ee-I loved this book so much because Ee’s writing is evocative, lush and just heartbreaking. Every scene between Raffe and Penryn was absolutely perfect. This book impacted me to my core as did Angelfall.

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo-Bardugo knows how to weave a story that is gripping and rich in world-building without any information dump. I love her cast of characters.

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters- Winters about broke my heart with this story. I was nearly traumatized but I loved it so deeply. I had to sit my husband down to tell him in detail about the characters and story. Not only that it gave me an interest in this time period.

 In the AfterThese Broken StarsThe Bone Season

In the After by Demitria Lunetta- While reading this I actually had a few nightmares. This rarely happens to me but Lunetta’s writing and depiction of how it would feel to be alone and in fear really crept into my mind.

These Broken Stars by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman– I immediately knew I wanted to read this based on the cover. I feared that the cover would betray me as so many of the lovely ones do. Turns out the content of the book was able to exceed the beautiful cover. I loved this story start to finish.

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon- Shannon created such an in-depth world that quickly mesmerized me. Warden’s character was incredibly interesting and I needed to read more to find out about him. Paige was a main character I could stand behind.

Ok, that’s 6 books. I couldn’t narrow it down any further than that.

Favorites that don’t release until early 2014:

 The Winner's Curse Cress (Lunar Chronicles, #3)

The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski- This book. I instantly fell in love with Rutkoski’s writing style, characters and this story swept me off my feet. It was everything and more I wanted it to be. So. Much. Love.

Cress by Marissa Meyer- Meyer’s story gets better with each book. I absolutely adore her characters and she is capable of creating unique personalities and dialog.

Closer to the new year I’ll be posting my Blogger Resolutions.

Waiting on Wednesday #25

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases we are highly anticipating. This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait to-read” selection is: In the End (In the After #2) by Demitria Lunetta

In the End (In the After, #2)Summary:
It’s been three months since Amy escaped New Hope, and she’s been surviving on her own, like she did in the After. Until one day, her former fellow Guardian’s voice rings out in her earpiece. And in a desperate tone, Kay utters the four words Amy had hoped she would never hear: Dr. Reynolds has Baby.

Now it’s a race against time, for Baby is in imminent danger, her life threatened by the malevolent doctor who had helped start the end of the world. In order to save Baby, Amy must make her way to Fort Black, a prison-turned-survivor-colony, where she will need to find Ken, Kay’s brother. He alone holds the key to Baby’s survival.

One small slip-up on this quest could spark a downward spiral that would not only cost Baby and Amy their lives, but threaten the very survival of the people in the After.

Why Am I Eagerly Waiting For In the End?
I loved In the After, the characters had heart and were unique. This book gave me a few nights of creepy dreams. I loved the suspense and tension and can’t wait to see where Lunetta will take the story next.

Interview with Demitria Lunetta
Review of In the After

Interview with Demitria Lunetta Author of In the After + Giveaway

Today I have Demitria Lunetta here to talk about her debut novel In the After. I am so excited to have the opportunity to have her on My Friends Are Fiction. I loved In the After; I think it is such an original survivalist book that really ingrained in my subconscious. For weeks after reading it I couldn’t shake the world or characters

 In the After (In the After #1)

I’m so happy to have you here, thank you for joining us.
Thank you so much for having me. I’m very glad you enjoyed In the After!

In most survival stories the monsters dwell at night and the survivors during the day. Switching this dynamic really creates a different atmosphere for your survival tale. Was there a specific reason you went that direction?
I love horror books & movies, especially those that feature scary creatures. Most of these creatures stick to the shadows and use night as a cover. When I thought about my creatures though, I wanted them to be unique. I thought about taking these norms and flipping them. These creatures (referred to as They) are ravenous, flesh-eating monsters, but they have poor eyesight, making them more active during the day when it’s light out. They also hunt by sound. This means that my MC, Amy, lives in a world of silent darkness. She only goes out at night, making the usual world of frightening shadows her comfort zone. The day becomes a time of terror, when They own the world.

Amy was able to survive in her parent’s fortified home because her father used green technology and her mother was a bit on the paranoid side so had an electric fence installed. How did you figure out what Amy would need to survive? Do you ever think about how your house would stand up to aliens or crisis?
Since They are so relentless, I knew Amy would need a little help surviving the initial onslaught. I had to imagine how a perfectly normal 14 year-old would be able to live for so long after almost everyone else has died. I didn’t want her situation to seem contrived though, so I made sure her home fit in to the context of the story line.

My home, on the other hand, would not last so long. There is a fence, but They would tear through that in an instant. Even if I managed to avoid Them by being completely quiet, I don’t have a large supply of food so I’d probably be a goner!

I felt like In the After focused on humanity and the coping mechanisms different people utilize to try to survive a crisis. Amy and Amber have opposing methods could you relate to either of them?
Amy and Amber are very different. Amy is strong and determined, and sees Amber as weak. This may sound strange, but one of my favorite characters is Amber. She’s not a hero, by any means, but she’s very real. She’s a survivor, though not the kind most readers are used to. Her survival technique is to fit in and follow. She wants to be protected and are willing concede a few freedoms to be safe. She knows that survival is a tricky game, and she’s learned to play it to perfection.

After reading ItA I had nightmares for a couple of nights, did the process of writing or researching disturb your sleep?
Writing never gave me nightmares, I think I was too engrossed in the story, in the plots and dialogues for it to disturb my sleep. Not that it wasn’t disturbing to destroy the world, I just think as the writer creating the world was less frightening than reading about the world. Immersion through reading can feel very real and I’m glad that my book was able to draw you so far in to the After.

Is there any creature or superstition that really terrifies you? Mine is Bloody Mary—I will not to this day mutter her name three times.
If I think too long about any apocalypse scenario it becomes frightening…not so much zombies or aliens, but things that are more likely to happen, like an economic collapse or breakdown of society. People can be scary. That’s why I wrote New Hope the way I did.

I loved Amy and Baby’s relationship and how they were such a good team. One aspect that really stood out to me was that they created their own form of sign language. Would you be able to survive in a silent world?
I’m not sure that I could, but people are amazing at adapting. I think I’m kind of a loud person, even just walking across a room could draw Them, so I’d probably be taken out before I knew what hit me. But maybe if I knew I had to be quiet, if my life depended on it, that would change things.

Baby was immediately one of my favorite children I’ve ever read in a book. Was her character derived from anyone specific?
When I first started thinking about In the After, I imagined a teenage MC, but also a little girl. Baby was always there, from the beginning. I didn’t base her on anyone in particular, but she has always been a part of the story.

I felt like it was realistic that a small child would be capable of adapting to extraordinary situations. Did you research how children react to trauma and crisis to help you write her?
I did research the ways in which children react to traumatic events. Baby is so strong, but she’s been through an incredible amount…things that haven’t even been uncovered yet. I think that Baby deals with her trauma well, she’s learned to adapt even better than Amy has. This is especially clear in New Hope.

Can you tell us anything about In the End?
I can’t tell you much, but In the End, we get to learn more about Baby and Rice. Amy has left New Hope, but she can’t break the ties that bind her to the people she left behind.

Random Questions:
What are you reading right now?
I am reading Grave Mercy…I’ve heard so many good things about this book so am really excited. I’m only a few pages in and already it’s amazing!

What are you working on next?
In the End will still need some edits and then I’ll work on how Amy and Baby’s story continues!

In the After has gotten great buzz and is such a wonderful book (read my review here). This is an international giveaway (if Book Depository ships to your location).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Favorite Debuts So Far 2013

2013 is half over and I’ve read some incredible books and a lot of them have been debuts. I wanted to honor my favorites–the ones already out and the ones I’ve been lucky enough to read that will be available later this year.  (not in any sort of order)

Favorites that are out now:
RebootArclightIn the After
Reboot by Amy Tintera, Arclight by Josin L. McQuien, In the After by Dimitria Lunetta

ItSoBSplinteredSome Quiet Place
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters, Splintered by A.G. Howard, Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

Favorites that will be out later this year:
All Our YesterdaysThe Bone Season
All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (releases September 3rd), The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon (releases August 20th)

 What have been your favorite debuts this year so far? Which are you most looking forward to later in the year?