Monday, October 14, 2013

Spotlight is on "Dead Dreams" Guest Post, Interview with Emma Right, Giveaway and My review.

Title: Dead Dreams Book #1
Author: Emma Right
Genre: Young Adult Psychological Thriller
Sub Genre: Mystery/ Dreams

Buy Link

Book Summary

Eighteen-year-old Brie O’Mara has so much going for her: a loving family on the sidelines,  an heiress for a roommate, and dreams that might just come true. Big dreams--of going to acting school, finishing college and making a name for herself. What more could a girl want? Except her dreams are about to lead her down the road to nightmares. Nightmares that could turn into a deadly reality. 

Dead Dreams, Book 1, a young adult psychological thriller and contemporary mystery. 

Book trailer:

Music Video:

Connect with Emma Right:
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Guest Post by Emma:
My  experience with having kids, homeschooling and finding the time to write.
As a homeschooling mother of five, I grab any time I can to write. If I am not doing stuff for my kids, or my pets, or my husband (rare!) I am either writing or reading. So, it's hard to quantify how many hours I actually get to write but it could be as often as two-three hours a day to as little as two hours a week!
As a busy mom I feel it's important to carve out a small piece in my life for personal growth. To me being organized is the key. When life is a chaos it's hard to be organized, but it's possible, and in fact, needful to arrange our lives into manageable sizes to stay sane--at least for me. I'm not saying it's easy--my husband travels about 60% of the time, and it can be emotionally draining dealing with whiny kids--but if we can lay railroad tracks for our daily lives it'd be easier to function and that's what I try to do--and I stress on "try".
On a week to week basis I have my tracks laid down--I know which kid is doing what, when and what meals to be served throughout the entire week--this cuts down on unnecessary time making extra trips to the grocery store. I do most of my shopping on the internet--like books, supplies, clothes, and make-up, to save on time--and it's less expensive too, with free shipping and I can shop at 2am!
Also, on my site, I have some blogs on using free things to give the kids a great education (and I hope to input more of such things as time goes by)  but still give us, moms, some time to gather ourselves before we fall apart at the seams. One example is using Netflix movies to help in the homeschooling--make movie nights a meaningful and educational experience. And a mom can take a break as the kids watch something that would benefit them. This is one of the tricks I use to give myself an hour here or there.
Also, I audit their time--find out when or which time block I spend my time on doing meaningless tasks--it's like budgeting with time as my currency.
Another advice I have, and this may seem unrelated, is I stay away from negative people as much as possible. There is something draining about being around negativity and this mental torture will translate to stress, illnesses (which will make me even busier and serves no purpose) and there is something about the lack of peace that even sucks out whatever little time and energy I have.
But having said that, about the homeschooling, it's good to have a schedule but if things fall apart and some kid really didn't finish up whatever task was given, I'd learned through almost 17 years of homeschooling that the best thing is to just move on and not fret. There will always be another day, and in every stormy cloud there truly is a silver lining.
So, there you go folks. No magic wand for me to find time. Wish I have something like this, but at the end of the day it's searching for any time I can find. If anyone out there have suggestions, please share, so I can write more!
How much of the author is there in the main character of any novel? And to what extent do authors write themselves into the stories they tell?
My characters and their human counterpart.
Where do main characters come from? All those personalities, like Daisy or Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby, or Anne of the Green Gables series, or Katniss from Hunger Games?
It really depends on the story. And I am sure each author has his or her own take on this.
When I wrote my first book, Keeper Of Reign, I extracted some of the traits my kids portrayed and quirks I thought were cute and endearing and included these in some of the conversations and personalities—it is after all a book for kids. But that is about where the similarities end. As the story developed and plots took shape the circumstances the characters in Reign faced helped formed their own personalities. So I can’t say that there was very much in me at all in the main characters of Keeper of Reign.
Having said that, things got a little different with my young adult psychological thriller, Dead Dreams. I see a lot of myself in Brie O’Mara, the main protagonist,  and even in Sarah McIntyre, the anti-hero,  even though both young ladies are very different people.
In some ways, I believe, the author always deposits a portion of herself into the characters—particularly the main ones. Think about it: as the plot falls into place, and as the writer faces the questions the characters are confronted with—what would she do faced with this or that—wouldn’t it be reasonable that the author would reflect her biases into how anything is played out?
Of course, the fictitious person would have a basic personality to start with, say, a moody, pouty girl, used to having the world offered to her on a silver platter and servants hovering around her, as in Sarah McIntyre, but when she is faced with a proposal, say to rid herself of a nagging, persistent boyfriend, how she thinks, is in some part a reflection of what the author thinks. That’s why I feel fiction is so powerful in influencing the thinking of its readers. And every fiction has a message no matter how subtly it has been woven into the story because at the end of the day, it is the author projecting her thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and world view into how the characters would act and react.
So, back to the question—how much of myself is in the two main characters of Dead Dream? I’d say a lot and yet, not so much, too. Because although some of the choices my characters make are things I could have done, but I probably won’t due to my moral choices and governing ethics. For instance, would I ever commit a crime? I could. (For that matter, even the President of the United States could commit a crime and shockingly some have!) But I won’t—it’s a matter of choice.   I think as humans we are not all that different from each other, especially for those of us of a particular culture.
As authors we cannot run away from the fact that we do breathe some of who we are, or what we believe in, into our characters –for both the protagonist and the antagonist. Each facet of the people we populate our fiction with may not necessarily be who we are now, but it can be a glimpse of what the author could be, or even what the author once was.

Playlist for Dead Dreams
Plumb - Need You Now (How many times) [2013]

Natalie Grant - Hurricane (Official Lyric Video)

Colton Dixon - "Never Gone" (Official Lyric Video)

Britt Nicole - All This Time (Lyrics)

Overcomer - Mandisa - Lyrics

Writing-Related Questions:

1. How long did it take you to write this book?

I started putting words to paper for Dead Dreams in January of 2013, but the story was already brewing my head a couple of months before that. I consider myself a fast worker but even then it has taken me about 1 whole year from the time of conception to getting the book out in paperback--which will be in November 2013.

2. What was your inspiration to write this book?

We've all been there--at least those of us who are over 21--revving to grow up, the world at our feet, the stars reachable. Wonderful ,wondrous future. But in wanting to get there, we forget to smell the roses, we trample on thorns and we get sorely poked and pricked, and alas, some of the barbs could be poisonous. Except for the Grace that watches over me, over you, (whatever you believe in, call it LUCK if you wish), all it might have taken for any of us was that wrong turn, that grabbing of something that looked good, and coupled with a strong desire to make it in life, we might be blinded and grab the adder's tail. That is the story of Dead Dreams; of Brie O'Mara, a good girl, someone who'd never even gotten a traffic ticket, even a Miss Goodie Two-shoes. But, let's face it we can all be tempted, just a tiny bit. And sometimes that's all it takes to have things spin out of control.

3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have always enjoyed spinning a yarn for my friends, even from as young as eight years of age. But right after college, and before I had kids, I worked in advertising writing print and Tv ads and I really enjoyed copywriting. Some of my ads actually won awards. I don't even know where I kept those dust collectors! But that was ages ago. I now have five children, ages nine to nineteen. I have four at home now whom I still homeschool. It gets really hectic at our home. We also have many pets, so something is always happening. However despite everything that's happening around me I always think about different plots and story lines whenever i have the time--usually before I doze off after a long day. So, I guess I'd always wanted to be an author. I never really consider one particular point in time when I made that decision. Writing is a part of life--of communicating. It's  just a means to get the stories  from my brain into someone else's head. Think about it, I put some squiggly things, called words, down on paper, and you read them, understand and react/think about these squiggles. And that's writing! Anyone who writes, in a sense is a writer.
4. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Curl up with a good book.

5. What do you think makes a good story?

One that has a great voice, a compelling plot, imagination, characters I would probably enjoy meeting, even if I might not personally want them to me my bff , or anything, and  most importantly, the story that keeps me thinking, long after the book has ended.

6. Tell us about your next release.

I am  currently writing Keeper of Reign Book 2, a Middle Grade/YA adventure fantasy, hopefully out early 2014. Some readers have asked me to write a prequel for Keeper of Reign. I might. Time is my enemy these days. Once I am done with this I will be working on Dead Dreams 2 and hope to finish this by middle of  2014.

7. Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?

I'd like to think all those authors who wrote writing books that teach on the craft of penning a great story and the classic authors I have so enjoyed reading have in some way shaped my writing and my thought processes. So, although there has never been a physical person present to mentor me, in the traditional sense of mentoring, in many ways I've had many mentors through the books I have read.

8. Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

My husband reads my books at least twice and since he's not much of a fiction reader I value his critique since I figured if I can capture a non-reader's attention it must be a good thing, right? My older kids read my books, too, (since my books are usually Young Adult or Middle Grade fiction.) They pretty much read toward the end when it's all cleaned up--just so they don't shock themselves at my typos and errors, especially since I am often times their teacher, too. Then I also belong to a an author group and we have beta readers who point out issues. Of course, I find what my editors have to say very helpful as they are the pros and have been doing this much longer than I have.

Random Questions:

1. One food you would never eat?


2. What is the last book you read?


3. What was the last movie you watched?

An italian movie I highly recommend, called, It's a Beautiful Life.

4. Are you a Morning person or Night Owl?

Night owl.

5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Loved and happy.

6. Do you have a Website or Blog?

Yes, and yes:

7. What is your favorite line from a book?

Tomorrow is another day!

My 4 Star Review

I received this book from the touring host for an honest review.

Cliffhanger! Really, after all that build up! The whole time I am reading this book, one word stuck with me...SCAM! (Maybe it is because I was in a recent one myself.) The character's inquisitive mind could be seen throughout the plot. The tension at a steady pace at it builds to the final ending. Deliberately planned and filled with mystery, the author keeps your attention on the unfolding plot. Making it an exciting read for young and old. Loved the cover, well fitting for this Young Adult Thriller.
Brie O'Mara lived on her own, eighteen years old, holding two jobs to pay for her acting career. In need of a roommate, because her mother insisted, she finds Sarah McIntyre, a twenty-one year old heiress with lots of down time and too much money to spend.
Trying to live on her own, Brie hated the fact that her mother were always nosy and meddling in her affairs as if she was a child. 
(The nerve of the chuckling and rolling the eyes. Kids!)
Suspicion quickly surface with Sarah's no-string attached, invisible to everyone manners, flaunting cash around to pay people. The no responsibilities and no work. Claiming she sits in the Library everyday, really? Yea right! **Smile**
Dreams invaded Brie's sleep, all signaling that everything is not as it seems. But...always a but, kids never learn, do they? Her mother is worried, and she dismissed the warning, even Pastor Perry, a good friend of the family makes contact with her, trying to help, but instead of confiding in the older, and much wiser man she tried to sort things out, on her own. Wrong decisions brought many disasters upon this young lady, always trying to be independent,  but at the end, what will it cost her? Do not know...remember the cliffhanger statement right in the beginning...frustrating, isn't it?
Sarah's character was well developed, and because it ended so abruptly the verdict is still out on her, villain or victim. But she was obnoxious, arrogant and selfish. Independent and strong willed, she could be the mastermind, or as I already said, a poor little rich kid.
I love the way the author add the Biblical dreams to bring light to Brie's problems, will she listen and follow the direction?"....We will have to see in Book 2. Fingers crossed.
Pastor Perry's character stays mostly in the background but yet his inner peace and care could be seen throughout the story line. A pillar, not only to society but to the O'Mara family, during a time they need it the most.
Brie's brother Keith seems interesting, over confident, arrogant and self-absorbed. What is his part in the plot? 
It seems we will have to wait for Book 2 to find the answers to all the questions.
Well written and fast paced the book will keep you entertained till the very last page. 

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