Monday, February 25, 2013

The Saga of the Setti by Stephanie Judice and INT Giveaway!

I'm so excited to introduce a talented new writer, Stephanie Judice who has written the Saga of the Setti, of which the first two books are out!
Rising (saga of the seti #1) Goodreads Book Description: Having waited a millennium to return to the fertile feeding ground of earth, the dark giants break through a portal and storm out into the world in the guise of a massive hurricane—famished and fierce. Across the ocean, seventeen-year-old Gabriel Goddard is being plagued by terrifying nightmares about creatures that singe and burn the flesh then absorb the life energy of humans and devour the ashes. A chance meeting with Clara Dunaway immediately distracts Gabe from bad dreams. He has always had a sort of sixth sense—to feel the emotions of others around him. Clara’s presence numbs his other sense, nearly knocking him into a hypnotic state. Bewildered and fascinated, he is lured in by her. When Clara finally confesses that she has a similar gift to see auras around people, a spark flames between them, ignited by a paranormal force. Fate soon reveals that there is a higher purpose for their attraction. Along with Jeremy, the head-bangin’ metal head; Ben, the air-headed golden boy; Melanie, the kind- hearted Creole; and the old hermit named Homer, they must face this enemy as one. Discovering that they are descended from an ancient clan of Norse warriors, they awaken their dormant powers, preparing for the dark giants' imminent invasion of their home. A shadow of darkness veils the land. Will the Setti rise to fulfill their long-awaited destiny?

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review: Rising Review 

Author Blurb:
Stephanie Judice calls lush, moss-laden New Iberia, Louisiana, home where the landscape curls into her imagination creating mystical settings for her stories. She shares her small, southern lifestyle with her husband and four children. As a high school teacher of English and Fine Arts, she is immersed in mythology, legends, and art that serve as constant inspiration for her writings. Some of her favorite things are autumn leaves, southern accents, Gothic architecture, Renaissance festivals, family movie nights, and, of course, William Shakespeare. Writing is her haven for self-expression where imagination rules and dreams do come true.

Author Interview:
1. I always love to hear how authors got their start in writing. Can you tell us a little about how you started and what made you decide to self-publish?
I actually started writing in high school when my 10th grade English teacher had us create a short story. I ended up majoring in and receiving a BA in Creative Writing. I’ve been writing personally for quite some time. However, I took a loooooong siesta during the baby-making years. I started writing seriously again about eight years ago, but never felt these first novels quite hit the mark. When I dipped into the YA paranormal genre, it just felt right, probably because I spend so many hours with snarky, crazy, witty teens all day.

2. I love your world building. Tell us how you came up with the world of Setti and what inspired you.
Thank you.  When I set out to write the Setti series, I knew only three things. One, I wanted the story to revolve around a group of unassuming heroes/heroines who needed to depend on each other in order to survive, rather than one lone hero saving the world on his own. This is why the powers of the Setti must work together to defeat the enemy. Two, I wanted to create my own monsters that didn’t already exist, like vampires and werewolves, but could have if you delved deeply enough into old lore and mythical tales. Tolkien is one of my favorite writers, so I imagine the reapers ooze evil (as Tolkien’s creations do) because of his influence. And, three, my story would be about great loss and great triumph; hope and redemption; and the ultimate notion that good always prevails over evil. (Eternal optimist is me.)

3. Who has been your greatest cheerleader and why?

My husband. Funny, because he doesn’t read YA and has only read snippets of my books. But, he is the unwavering strength behind me. I believe all writers have moments of self-doubt, needing that steadfast force to push you further. Kevin is mine.

Having said that, I don’t believe I could maintain momentum without my devoted book friends I’ve met on Goodreads and Facebook since this whole journey started. (You know who you are, my lovely, kindred spirits.)

4. Which has been your favorite character to write and why? Did any of them surprise you?

This is SO hard to answer. Though Jeremy is such a blast to write into scenes, because he’s always saying something snarky and being a bad boy, I’d have to say Clara is my favorite. She’s not perfect. She’s quite flawed, and I enjoy writing her internal monologue as she struggles to do the right thing. She surprised me in RESISTANCE, because she made a huge mistake I wasn’t exactly planning.

Similarly, Michael often surprises me, because he gets what he wants when he wants it (either to the readers’ great joy or dismay, depending how you feel about him). He demands scenes to go a certain way even when I had no intention of writing things his way. Pushy scoundrel, that Michael.

5. Do you write outlines ahead of time or do you just see where your characters take you?

A little of both. I never have a timeline, per se, but I do take notes of plot elements I want to occur. I generally think about my characters and their scenes over and over again so the story takes root in my mind before I begin to write. Around midway through the novel, I will write a timeline of scenes that need to occur in a particular order building to the climax of the story. But sometimes things occur I never planned.

6. Who is your favorite YA author and why?

Richelle Mead, author of the Vampire Academy series. Rose Hathaway was the first teen heroine that truly inspired me to write YA. I was never impressed by Stephenie Meyers’ weak, clumsy, emo heroine Bella. I’m much more moved by teen characters who are strong and confident, even though they’re not perfect. Mead does this extremely well.

7. What was your favorite YA read of the past year? 

I’d say Blood Warrior by H.D. Gordon. Like Mead, her heroine is tough and tenacious, but also human enough to be relatable for the reader.

8. Are you a dog or cat person? Do you have any pets? 

Haha! Cat person. I have two. Petie is a fluffy gray female. We also have her daughter, Cleopatra. (Named after her dark-lined eyes, very Egyptian-looking). Love kitties!

9. Tell us a little bit about what you have in store for your characters without giving too much away!

I’m currently writing book three in the Setti series, REVOLUTION.  In RESISTANCE, we left off shortly after a deadly battle against the reapers at their training camp, Mount Haven. Book three begins in New York as they prepare for the reapers’ invasion of the city. Whereas the tone of the last book was dark and creepy-quiet as the enemy stalks our heroes and heroines across the U.S., the tone for this one is breaking with tension and passion as our central characters confront their fears, mistakes, and a perilous future. This book is definitely a turning point for Clara, Gabe, and others transformed by grief and a need for redemption.
Thank you, Christina, for having me here today! I so enjoyed sharing with your readers a little about myself and the series. Keep on reading and dreaming, everyone! 
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  1. Ooohhh I would so LOVE to read this series!! I haven't heard of it before but I'm glad I found out about it! That's the best part of these blog hops. Finding new books and new blogs. Fingers crossed!!
    Thank you for a chance to win and for being a part of this fun and awesome blog hop!!

  2. I would love to win this!! Sounds so good!!

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  3. Thank you so much for the giveaway!! This book looks TERRIFIC!!! I would sure love to win it!! :)

  4. I love the cover! This book sounds really good, thanks for the giveaway!

  5. Interesting book blurb, I like the premise :)


  6. I love that book cover! It looks so good! Can't wait to read it!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

    mestith at gmail dot com

  7. Thank you for such a fantastic giveaway! I am very excited about 'the saga of the setti' which sounds so interesting, and certainly a different read within the YA genre!

  8. This looks like a great series!!! Added to my "want to read" list on Goodreads!

  9. Havent heard of this series before, but it sounds like one I might wind up liking :) Thanks for your giveaway!
    oddball2003 at hotmail dot com

  10. This series sounds great! I hadn't heard of it yet myself, and that's one of the main reasons I'm addicted to book blogs like yours - all the new authors I "meet" and new books I learn about! I love that the books have a base of Norse mythology, as it's so nice to find something more original instead of "yet another" traditional paranormal book. (Is "traditional paranormal" an oxymoron?! :)) Stephanie's series sounds quite unique, and I'm always game for something new. OH, one more thing - I totally want the cover model's hair color!!! ;) Thanks for featuring the series, Christina, and thanks to Stephanie for the giveaway!

  11. Rising sounds GREAT! It's up there on my next to read list! Thanks for the giveaway! :-)

  12. Fun interview--the world-building sounds intriguing!


  13. I love the cover of this book. Looks great!

  14. I love the cover too! Thanks for another awesome giveaway! ^_^