Friday, August 3, 2012

BLOG TOUR: Embrace (Gryphon Series #2) by Stacey Rourke

Author Bio:
Writing is something I have always done.  I can remember in elementary school creating stories that I would stand up and read aloud to my classmates…whether they liked it or not.   As I grew older I didn’t flaunt my writing as freely.  It became something I did just for me  to vent my teenage angst, or chronicle my journey to adulthood.  I never thought about becoming a writer because that title prompted the visual of a grey-haired man in a tweed smoking jacket with suede elbow patches, slaving over an old fashion typewriter while puffing away on a pipe.  No way was that stuffy kind of life for me.  (Plus tweed is itchy.)  Instead I wanted to be in the spotlight!  I wanted to be–pause for dramatic effect–an actress!  I gave it my best shot, too.  Got about as far as any aspiring actress can get in Flint, Michigan.  Which is exactly no where.  But I did get two great things out of my time delving into the theatrical world; I gained the ability to act out the scenes I write to make sure they’re believable (yes, I really do that and no, you can’t watch) and I met my amazing husband.

My theater ambitions behind me, I decided to do the “mature,” “grown up” thing and went back to college.  As I worked toward my Bachelor’s degree in marketing I did a lot of writing.   Essays, research papers, PowerPoint presentations.  All of it mandatory, none of it what I would ever call fun.  Even then, becoming a writer never entered my mind.  No, then I was going to be a business tycoon…or somethin’.

Truth be told, I never picked writing.  It picked me.  During my time as a stay at home mom I needed an outlet to give me a mental break from diapers, formula and midnight feedings.  That’s when my hands found their way back to the keyboard.  Story ideas began coming at such an incessant rate that my rapidly clicking fingers couldn’t keep up.  Post-It notes and scrapes of paper with story ideas decorated every inch of our house.  In mid-conversation with my husband I would dart off to jot down things that would come to me.  Sweet guy my hubby is, he would just shake his head at my obvious rudeness and hold my place in the conversation.

My first book was completed for an entire year before I told anyone about it.  I outed myself as an author and then sent out my first round of query letters to literary agents.  Surely, it would be picked up immediately and become an overnight success!  Yeah, not so much.  For two years I got rejection, after rejection, after rejection, after rejection…you get the idea.  Thankfully with the ever increasing pile of rejections came feedback.  I digested all the suggestions and applied the usable ones to my manuscript.  Little by little, the rough edges were chipped away and the diamond shone through.  The work paid off when I received an email from a publisher offering me a contract on The Conduit.

It’s been a long road, and it ain’t over yet.  But now, at thirty-mumble, mumble years old I finally know what I wanna be when I grow up–-a writer.

Find Stacey: Facebook l Goodreads l Twitter l Website l Blog

Embrace (Gryphon Series #2)

Whether she likes it or not, eighteen year old Celeste Garrett has come to terms with being the Chosen One. She knew having a “normal life” would be tricky, between intense training sessions and epic demonic battles, but she didn’t know at what cost it would come. That is, until a dear friend is harmed by the malicious forces hunting her. 

Now, she’d like nothing more than to retreat into a hermit lifestyle to prevent anyone else from getting hurt. But startling revelations, amazing new abilities, and mortifying moments in front of insanely hot guys won’t allow time for that. Soon, Celeste finds herself surrounded by darkness and wondering who she can trust—if anyone.

Buy Embrace: Amazon l Barnes & Noble l Smashwords

1.   When did you start writing? 

I’ve been writing since I could crayon to paper. It’s just something 
I’vealways done. In elementary school I wrote books that I would insist the
teacher let me stand up and read before the entire class whether they liked
it or not.

2.   What inspired you to start writing? 

My Gryphon Series was inspired by two things; first the nagging thought I’d
been having about creating a  butt kicking chick that didn’t need anyone to
save her. Then I had a dream that actually is a scene from The Conduit, in
the theater when the hand shoots up out of the orchestra pit as Celeste
creeps toward it. The realism of that dream along with my desire to create a
role model for young girls spawned the creation of my series.

3.   Any new projects coming up to look forward to? 

I have a novella that is a Gryphon Series short releasing in September and
the third book in the series coming out in November.

4.   What is your opinion on those who leave bad reviews?

Bad reviews are inevitable. For authors we have to accept that they WILL
happen because there is no pleasing everyone. However there are tactful
ways to state an opinion and you can’t fault a book if it’s not the genre you 
normally enjoy.

5.   Are you an independent writer or are you represented by a publisher? 

Ummm…both? LOL! I actually am the owner of Anchor Group Publishing a
small traditional press. We have great authors under our imprint; Christy
Sloat, Dawn Gray, Ethan Rice, Elizabeth Kirke, Monika Pardon, Katherine
Polillo, Cindy Springsteen, Jaimie Hope, Jodi Stone, Monette Pangan, Wendy
Nystrom, Karen Swart and Amy Richie. Our crew is constantly growing and I
am fortunate enough to represent my work along with all this amazing
talent.

6.   What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field? 

Get your name out there and not just in one location—blog tours, twitter,
reviews, Facebook. Make it so when you Google yourself—teehee that
sounds dirty—your name pops up everywhere!!

7.   What are your habits when you sit down to write? 

Do you have to be in a certain room or outside? On my bed, propped up on
my burgundy pillow with my laptop on my lap.

8.   What has been the hardest thing during the process of writing your books? 

The first round of editing. During the first draft I just get the story out and
don’t worry about editing. Then I go back over it and take out visible
mistakes and stuff that just plain sucks. That round is usually very long and 
painful.

9.   Who would win in a stand-off? Vampire/Werewolf/Zombie? And why? 

It really depends on the vampire. Eric Northman or Blade? Heck yeah that
could take them all! Edward? Well, he could only win if he distracted them
by playing the piano whilst sparkling and waited until they were completely
dumbfounded by what was happening to make his move.

10.  Any shout outs to people who have helped you along the way? 

Melissa Ringsted, you’re the Thelma to my Louise and I couldn’t ask for a
better friend or editor. To my admin, Jenn. You act as my parent, sibling,
pimp and friend. I thank you for all you do and I hope you know how much I
appreciate it. To my cheerleaders and Condu-nuts—you know who you are!!!
Thank you for enjoying my work enough to want to help spread the word
about it! You motivated me to keep at this crazy dream of mine! To my
entire family-thank you all for encouraging me to talk to the imaginary
people that live in my head and tell their stories. I love you!!

11.  Where can we find you page/address? 
www.staceyrourke.com, Twitter @rourkewrites Facebook

12.  Share your favorite excerpt from your book!

The next night’s patrol up into the mountains was all kinds of awkward due to how incredibly peeved Gabe still was despite my attempts to make amends. As we walked, he intentionally allowed a branch to snap back at my face. I caught it a split second before it impaled my eyeball. Kendall, with her sweet nature, easily forgave me and we hugged it out. Gabe told me where I could shove my apology. Maybe I had been somewhat out of line with the things I said, but he had been lying to me for months. Therefore, I’d had about all of his nasty attitude I could tolerate.
“Don’t worry about that branch, Gabe,” I snapped. “I got it. Thanks.”
Gabe halted. He kept his broad back to me as he let out a low, menacing growl.
I put my hand on my hip and shined my flashlight at him. “Oh, I don’t even think so! I don’t care how big and bad you think you are, you’re not gonna growl at me.”
His head whipped around. The light from my flashlight reflected off of his yellow cat eyes. That sight wasn’t new to me, yet it still gave me chills.
“Demon,” he rumbled, in a barely human tremor, then fell to the ground in a low crouch. His clawed hands dug into the dirt as his back arched in preparation for his change.
A rush of air behind me and Keni’s wings were deployed. She and I scanned the landscape in front of us with our flashlights. Trees. Light fog. Rocks. The occasional critter, but no demon. Then—not twenty feet in front of us—the brush rustled. A black shadow darted past us.
“Did you see that?” I followed it with the light, but it vanished before I could catch up.
Before either of them could answer, a shrill cackle echoed through the night. The shapeless form flew by in another pass. We spun to follow it but again failed to get a glimpse.
“Where’d it go?” Keni’s feathers tickled my shoulder as she curled her wing protectively around me. “I lost it.”
Pebbles kicked up as the demon skidded to a stop in front of us. Like matching spotlights our flashlight beams captured the creature.
  Kendall giggled and put her wings away.
Gabe paused in the early stages of his transformation, stood up, and reverted back to human.
  I screamed for all I was worth and dropped my flashlight.  
Before us stood a gruesome, two-foot tall hobgoblin with green wart covered skin that hung off its tiny frame. Long, wiry black hair draped down passed the snarling, spitting creature’s itty, bitty shoulders. With beady little eyes, a snout for a nose, and a mouth full of shark-like teeth, this thing was straight out of my worst nightmares.  
“Aww, it’s kinda cute!” Kendall gushed and bent down to extended her hand to it like it was a friendly pooch.
Then it charged. Its tiny legs blurred as it sped toward us with snapping jaws. I flew onto Gabe’s shoulders like a cat up a tree. Kendall released her wings just in time to lob the hobgoblin back where it started. That didn’t slow it down. It hopped right back up and ran at us again.
“Get off me!” Gabe ordered, but couldn’t shake my death grip from around his neck.
“NO! Not until you get rid of it!” I screamed. “Turn into a lion and eat it! Or shred it! I don’t care, just make it go away!”
Once again, Kendall hit it like a well-served tennis ball and sent it careening through the air.
“What do you need my help for?” Gabe asked, in what I considered to be an overly mocking tone, as he grappled to pry my arms and legs off of him. “You’re the “Chosen One” and I’m just your sidekick. Seems to me you should be able to handle this all on your own, oh-mighty one.”
“Gabe! Now is not the time to get into this!” I pleaded as I clung to him like a frightened koala bear. “Just kill it!”
“No.” While I couldn’t see his face, I could hear the smirk in his voice. “I think now is the perfect time to talk about this. You need to admit that you need both of us.”
The demon whizzed past Keni. I squealed and squeezed my eyes shut as Gabe casually punted it away from us. “I need you! I need you! Please! Get rid of that thing!”
“Now apologize for calling me your sidekick. That was very offensive.”
“You’re not my sidekick!” I whimpered. “You’re my sentry! Which is mythical, and heroic. Please make that horrible thing go away!”
“And you’ll never take us for granted again, right?”
“Oh, for the love of all that’s good and pure! Yes! I’m an awful person that took you for granted. It’ll never happen again!”
“Good,” Gabe relented. “Now climb down, and I’ll take care of the toddler-sized demon for you.”
Just as I attempted to scale my way down my building-sized brother, the mini-goblin zipped at us again. I screeched, lost my hold, and thudded to the ground. Right into the path of the incoming two-foot terror.
Yelling, “Celeste look out,” was all Gabe and Keni had time to do.
In utter panic, I brought one arm up to shield my face and held the other out to block the attack. With my eyes clamped shut I tensed for the moment when those gruesome teeth would shred me to the bone.
No shredding, biting, or nipping of any sort came. Nothing did.
“Uh, Celeste?” Keni’s tone was a question mark.
“What?” I squeaked my response through a locked jaw, but didn’t dare open my eyes.
“I think you got a new power.”

Check out the other stops on the tour:
August 3rd http://youngadultbookaddict.blogspot.com.au/ (Author interview)
August 4th http://paranormalbooks.blogspot.com/ (Character interview)
August 7th http://jennswiger.blogspot.com/   (Character interview)

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1 comment:

  1. Awesome excerpt. Can't wait to have these titles on my iPad!

    ReplyDelete

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