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Giveaway+Author Interview: Kiera Gillett

hi

One of my favorite authors to work with contacted me and asked if I could feature her new book so I said OF COURSE. Kiera Gillett is such a sweet person and I really and truly hope that you read her books and support her (no she didn’t tell me to say this). Below is an interview mixed with author-written questions and questions of my own. The giveaway is mixed in with the answers, so make sure to read it! Check out the book here and enjoy!

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The fourth book in Keira Gillett’s Zaria Fierce Series, Aleks Mickelsen and the Twice-Lost Fairy Well released earlier this month. It continues the story, set in the same magical world of Norway, but this time following Zaria’s changeling friend. Never fear though, the whole gang is back, a little older, and ready to navigate through new adventures, crushes, and teenage trolls. Today, I am pleased to bring Keira Gillett back to talk about her newest book. There’s also a giveaway at the end, so stay tuned!
About the Author: Keira Gillett
Hi everyone! I’m Keira Gillett and I am from Palm Bay, Florida. By day I am a technical publications librarian; by night I’m a children’s author. I own a dog, named Oskar, after a giant ruler in the Zaria Fierce Series I write. He’s my little foxy-baby, and has me wrapped around his little paw. We have lots of fun adventures together, which you can follow on Instagram with the hashtag #oskarpie.
Kathy: Keira, let’s get started by you telling us a little bit about yourself.
Keira: Thanks for having me back, Kathy! I’m so thrilled to be here. When I’m not writing books, I love to watch sci-fi shows, Korean TV dramas, rom-coms, Survivor, and heist movies. I also read a ton, but this year has been a slower year than most for me, mostly because I discovered Survivor and watched every season I could get my hands on. Oops. LOL I also got married this year to a wonderful man. The wedding itself was beautiful and Oskar got to be a part of the occasion. Every week or so my husband and I really enjoy getting together with friends. We cook dinner and play board games. Our newest obsession is escape rooms. We’ve done four so far, and a fifth one is happening very soon. Our current escape rate is 50%, though we like to say its 75% because we had a bum lock in one room and only got partial time back for it.
Kathy: It’s great that you bring that up. I saw escape rooms mentioned on your blog. Can you share a little about that and how it relates to writing?
Keira: The post discussed why I thought authors should do them. It’s a great way to research how clues and teamwork help or hinder investigations and puzzle-solving. Many of my favorite books involve clever riddles and plot lines with many interacting pieces – clues and people. I play escape rooms for fun, but the benefit I can see for my writing is tremendous. I won’t say too much more, other than that puzzle-solving is particularly important for book five in the series.
Kathy: Tease! I can’t wait to see how that plays out. So what can you tell us about Aleks’ story?
Keira: One of the things I love about Aleks’ story is that it brings us full circle through the world. We visit the trolls and elves again, just like in book one, but these have changed. The kids are a little older and wiser, and they’ve traveled to these places before. They have established friends and enemies. A new dragon is on the loose and all that makes a difference on the plots and story woven.
Kathy: Why did you decide to switch the main character from Zaria to Aleks?
Keira: Zaria fought her dragon. Plus, I knew there was a story to tell in Niffleheim, which brings me to Aleks. His character arc always intrigued me and I wanted to explore it more. I grew up on the Little Mermaid (which ties with Beauty and the Beast as my favorite Disney princess movie), and I always thought it was neat that Ariel wanted to be human. Most character plots involve ordinary people wanting to be extraordinary (and yes I am aware that being human to Ariel would be extraordinary to her, but you know what I mean).
Aleks’ internal struggle focuses on his heart’s deepest desire – to be human. It’s sometimes puts him at odds with his human friends, like Christoffer, who would love nothing more than to be magical. There’s also a deadline for turning human hanging over his head. If Aleks’ isn’t home for his sixteenth birthday, he will have missed his one and only chance. So to him there’s nothing worse than a dragon with bad timing making a move.
Kathy: What was your biggest challenge while writing this book?
Keira: There were a few. The first and foremost was defining limits to Zaria’s magic, because on the surface it sounds like she has it made. If she can think it up she can make it happen. In the previous book we established that her magic isn’t tied down and can’t be gagged because she doesn’t need – to paraphrase Professor Snape – “foolish wand-waving or silly incantations” – to make things happen. Hand motions and words aren’t how she produces magic, but this can’t get out or the dragons will come at her with guns blazing. It then became important to establish that just because she can’t be locked up, doesn’t mean she’s infallible, or the instant solution to problems the kids face along the way. Sometimes it requires good old-fashion teamwork and legwork.
Kathy: What advice do you have for new writers?
Keira: I find that there are three hurdles for new writers and I ran into all three. Some were easier for me to jump over, but others required me to be persistent and patient. The first hurdle new authors face is starting a book. You have an idea and you talk about it, but are reluctant to start. It could be because you have no idea how to start, or you think it’s going to turn out bad, but whatever the reason, roll up your sleeves and dig in. The second hurdle is getting past the opening sequences and chapters. You start second guessing everything you wrote before. Now the idea, which so excited you, may feel stupid or garbage. Ignore that. That’s just nerves. Keep plugging away. If you’re stuck at this hurdle, and it’s not that you’re worried your enthusiasm deflated, it could be because you’re not sure where to take the story next. In that case, make yourself write a little each day until you get past that slump. Analyze your favorite book or series and see how that author approached the middle section of their story. It may inspire you. The last hurdle is finishing the book. Don’t let the story languish and gather digital cobwebs. It deserves and ending and so do you. You’ve come this far, now is not the time to run out of steam. My advice for new writers is to just get in there, get up to your elbows in your story idea and just go for it. Lay it all out on the table and get her done. The first draft is for you. Go on tangents, take the road less traveled, do the obvious thing, whatever. Editing, polishing, fleshing out, tightening up, that all happens in drafts 2 through (insert number here), until you’re satisfied with the telling.
Kathy: Have you reflected any characteristics of yourself or people you know in your characters?
Keira: Oh goodness, yes! Zaria is my bookworm happy self. She and I could gab books all day long and be satisfied. Christoffer is my “I think I’m super funny” self. He also has a bit of my husband’s humor too. Merry is very much my mother – a cool, work from home, you can totally play hooky with me, always there for you kind of mom. Vingar takes after my dog Oskar when he’s being playful and silly. Nori in all her annoying traits is probably how my siblings see me LOL I promise I’m not that bad, she’s a bit of an exaggeration. For the most part though, the characters are themselves.
Kathy: You’ve written several books prior to this one, how has your writing process changed since then?
Keira: I’m more inclined to write sequences in the books out of order. I’m currently drafting book 6, but book 7 and book 9 in the series have called to me and I’ve taken the time to write those scenes out so I won’t forget them. Other than that I think the process is pretty much the same. I partially plot, and I leave enough blank to have the characters take me where they will. I know the ending I’m aiming for, but the journey is as much for the characters and reader as it is for me.
Kathy: Thank you Keira for dropping by. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with us here at Novelty of Life. I’ll let you introduce the giveaway.
 
Keira: The pleasure is all mine! I hope everyone loves Aleks’ stories as much as they have loved Zaria’s.
To celebrate the release of Aleks Mickelsen and the Twice-Lost Fairy Well, I’m hosting a giveaway for interested readers. The winner will receive a dragon scale necklace (in the color of your choosing) that I will make for you, and a Dropcard containing a digital copy of Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest and other goodies. Open internationally. Ends 8/6/2017.
To enter leave a comment on this blog asking me a question or sharing who your favorite Zaria Fierce character is and why. To get a bonus entry share this post on Twitter with the hashtag #zfgiveaway. For another share your favorite Zaria Fierce book cover on Instagram using the same hashtag #zfgiveaway. Good luck!
Aleks Mickelsen and the Twice-Lost Fairy Well by Keira Gillett
Book 4 in the Zaria Fierce Series
“It’s time for you to come home.”
Something strange is happening in Norway and Aleks Mickelsen is the only one to notice. It began innocently enough; his mom stuck the car keys in the fridge and couldn’t find them, and Christoffer forgot how to get to Aleks’ house – silly things like that. But what started out as minor idiosyncrasies in others became more disturbing as people began having accidents. Automobiles snarled traffic as people drove through red lights, a worker at a factory was hospitalized after he jumped the safety rails to dislodge a piece of metal, and Geirr nearly crashed his airplane into another after landing on the wrong runway. What was going on? All Aleks wanted was to get through the next few months in peace and quiet, because when he turned sixteen, he would finally be fully and completely human. The last thing he needed was another adventure.
Thanks again Kiera!
Have a Great Day,
Kiss 4
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6

Liebster Award

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Thanks so much to Stephanie from Stephanie’s Novel Fiction for nominating me for the Liebster Award 🙂

Here is the info./rules from her post:

For bloggers, the Liebster Award is an online recognition given by other bloggers to new bloggers for enjoying or appreciating their work. It highlights up and coming blogs.

Here are the Rules: 

  1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
  3. Nominate 11 blogs.
  4. Notify those blogs of the nomination.
  5. Give them 11 questions to answer.

 

Here are my responses!

  1. If you could be any book character, what character would you be? Tell us what book the character is from and why you chose that character.  Feyre from Court of Thorns and Roses because she is such an admirable character. She is loyal, protective, strong, loving and caring.
  2. What do you think is the worst book to movie adaption, in your opinion? Without a doubt, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I did not like it at all and you can see my spoiler thoughts here.
  3. Do you have a favorite classic literature author? If so, who is the author and what is your favorite book by that author? I would say Jane Austen. I love her novels, my favorite of which would definitely be Pride and Prejudice!
  4. On average, how many books do you read in a month? With college, it’s kinda spotty, so I would say it just depends on the month.
  5. Do you only read books because the synopsis sounds appealing or based on good reviews, or are there books you will read no matter what because the author is your favorites? A little of both 🙂
  6. Do you loan your books to friends and family? Or are they too sacred, and you are afraid you will never get them back or they will get ruined? I’ll loan most of my books out, but there are a select few that I would hesitate to do so.
  7. Do you have a favorite reading memory to share with us? Really just starting this blog years ago and looking back on the passion that drove it is one of my favorite memories!
  8. What five of your favorite books could you not live without if you were told you could only have just five books on your bookshelf or e-reader for the rest of your life? I would pick five of the Harry Potter books!
  9. Would you rather watch a book to TV adaption or book to movie adaption? Either is good with me.
  10. Do you prefer a vacation in the mountains or at the beach? Probably the mountains, but a beach trip would also be fun!
  11. Physical books or ebooks? Physical books.

I nominate:

  1. Holly @ Nut Free Nerd
  2. Olivia @ Brewing Up Books
  3. Lisa @ Lisa Loves Literature
  4. Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist
  5. Anniek & Suze @With Love For Books
  6. Ashley @ Falling Down the Book Hole
  7. Stacey @ Pretty Books
  8. Jenny @ Hello Jenny Reviews
  9. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
  10. Nikki & Erika @ Living For the Books
  11. Tina @ As Told By Tina

Here are my questions:

1. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Why?

2. Do you have a good new adult recommendation?

3. If someone were to ask you why it is important to read, what would you say?

4. What is your favorite reading spot?

5. When did you begin blogging?

6. If you could meet any author, who would you choose to meet?

7. What genre do you want to read more of?

8. What is your favorite book? Why?

9. What is your least favorite book? Why?

10.  What is your favorite non-fiction book?

11. What is the reasoning behind your blog’s title?

Love,

Kiss 4

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Giveaway!

hi

So time for a giveaway (US only) 🙂 Thanks for supporting me these past couple years! Remember you need to be 18 and up or have parental permission. Here’s how to enter:  just fill out the contact form with your favorite literary quote. That’s it!

I’m giving away all in one prize: a paperback copy of The Cuckoo’s Calling by: Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling) along with a signed David Estes book mark and a promotional sticker for the Sonora Series.

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Love,

Kiss 4

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Currently Reading/Priority TBR

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So today I thought I’d outline for you what I’m currently reading and also which books I have to pick from next. If you’ve read any of these let me know your thoughts!

First up are current reads which are:

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I’m listening to this via audiobook and I have to say I am really enjoying it so far! I’m just about halfway through it.

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I just completed the first book in this series and I LOVED LOVED LOVED it (see my review here) and I jumped to the next one. I’m still in the beginning so I’m not certain how I feel about it yet.

Next, here are the books I’m selecting from to read:

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Let me know which one you think I should pick!

Happy Reading,

Kiss 4

 

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A Court of Thorns and Roses

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Here is a new buddy read! I’ve been trying to pack in buddy reads so far in the summer because I forgot how fun they were 🙂 I just finished two (this being one) and will have the review up for the other soon!

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Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s

Release Date: 5/5/15

Rating:

5 star kiss

goodreads-synopsis

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

my

This book was so incredibly amazing and I was absolutely blown away. If I am being completely honest, I really don’t know if I would have picked this up without prompting from a friend but I am so glad I did. The book is a monster, yet I finished it in a matter of two or three days because of how enamored I was by the novel. The characters were so developed I felt connected to them and as though I was a character in the book myself. The plotline had no holes that I could see and was so well crafted that I periodically would stop reading and just wonder how someone could create such a detailed and thrilling world. I would probably compare this author to Cassandra Clare in terms of the amount of beautiful writing and level of development. Actually I preferred Maas’ storytelling a bit better because every word to me had a purpose, whereas with Clare’s works sometimes I get frustrated by the vast amount of unnecessary detail (don’t kill me fandom; I swear I adore her books).  I would recommend this book so many times, especially if you have been in a reading slump recently. It is a bit mature though, so I would say it’s best suited for maybe ages 16 or 17 and up.

Happy Reading,

Kiss 4

1

Chapter Kathy: Home for the Summer and Currently Reading

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I’m home for the summer which means plenty of reading will be done!!! I decided to just post a quick update letting you know that I’m home from college and plan to have a ton of reviews and tags in the works for over the summer time.

The book I’m currently reading is:

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I’m reading this as a buddy read with none other than Olivia from Brewing up Books. So many people (I bought this after being majorly prompted by Cassandra from CC’s Books) recommended this book to be and recommended it in general. I’m barely into chapter two and I did really enjoy beginning, but we’ll see what else the novel brings.

That’s all for now and I’ll catch you next weekend,

Kiss 4

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Earth Day Post (Response to Original)

hi

As promised, here are my responses to the Earth Day Tag I created last week. If you check out my last post you can see who I tagged!

Rules: Tag six people, credit the person that tagged you plus the creator, post these rules with the questions, and have fun!

Here are the questions:

  1. Conservation is a HUGE part of being kind to the Earth. Likewise, what is one book you would want to conserve for generations to come?   Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone because I genuinely think it is a book that everyone can learn from. 3
  2.  The three R’sare reduce, reuse, and recycle. What is one book that could use some length reduction, one book that you would recommend to a friend, and one book that you would recycle because you don’t want it on your shelves anymore? A book that could use length reduction is for sure Inkheart by: Cornelia Funke. I feel like it is far too wordy which to me took away from a highly creative plotline. My selection for a book I would recommend to a friend is Glitter by: Aprilynne Pike. I thought that I would chose the book I last recommended, which I suggested because of how insanely new of a concept I thought this book had. It definitely had a few things that it needed improvement with (such as explanations for detailed occurrences) but it truly is a one-of-a-kind concept. As far as a book I would recycle, it would probably have to be Heart of Darkness by: Joseph Conrad. I personally just did not get into the novel at all and didn’t enjoy it whatsoever. 28194240330584902
  3. SAVE THE ANIMALS! What fictional creature would you bring into the world today and save? Most definitely a pygmy puff from the Harry Potter series! They seem like such adorable creatures and I would totally love them to be real.
  4. Many places are in danger because the water source is running dry. Pick a book that takes place in a water/ocean setting, which you think represents the beauty and/or necessity of water.  The answer to this question is without a doubt Ingo. It is not only one of my all time favorite middle-grade novels, but the way Helen Dumore describes her watery settings is genuinely so beautiful and makes the reader want to hop into the world it takes place.1022657
  5. Being Earth-conscious means that you have a great understanding of the world you live in and want to save. Pick your favorite non-fiction book that taught you something new. Probably the most recent non-fiction book I’ve read and loved is How to Win at Feminism. It is such a hilarious satire on preconcieved and unfair notions of women. It’s designed in magazine format to play on the sexist idea that women only like to and can read magazines. Also, the whole book is sarcastic, which I thought was brilliant and so funny. It doesn’t have a single non-sarcastic sentence in it and to me that made it all the more informative (it is definitely made for adults though so don’t read it if you’re under 18).28925254
  6. Write what Earth-related topic you’re most concerned about and what you’re going to do to help! I am honestly so concerned about a ton of different issues. Currently, I think one of the things I have been most mindful of is the amount of trash and waste I dispose of. So, I have been recycling like crazy and using everything I own until it is 100% used up. Also I’ve been using materials as containers to help my dorm be more funtional. For example, I recently finished a container of hummus so I cleaned it out, decorated it and attached it to the wall using a command strip to hold my hair ties. I also purchased a water filter pitcher instead of water bottles because it is SO much better for the enviroment and in the long run has saved me so much money as well,

 

That’s all for now! I am so happy with the way this tag turned out, so if you do it, comment the link below because I’d love to read it! Also a huge shout out to roguecart.com for asking me to create a list for them, so give it a read if you’re like me and make lists for everything! https://www.roguecart.com/content/519/Five-of-the-Best-Books-for-New-Young-Adult-Readers

Love,

Kiss 4