Tuesday, October 09, 2012

"When I'm not writing..." with Sandy Williams + giveaway!

Sandy Williams

I am beyond excited about this week's guest -- Sandy Williams -- because her debut novel, THE SHADOW READER, blew my mind at the start of this year. I am so very excited about the sequel, THE SHATTERED DARK, which will be on shelves at the end of this month. I can't wait to see what Sandy has in store for McKenzie!

Want to know what Sandy does when she's not writing brilliant books? Keep reading to find out and to enter the giveaway!

WINW_logo

What do I do when I’m not writing? The answer to that question is easy, but rather mundane. When I’m not writing, I’m taking care of my twin boys. They were born in July of 2011, just three and a half months before The Shadow Reader hit the shelves. And just three and a half months before the sequel, The Shattered Dark, was due in to my editor. To say that those months were crazy/hectic is a supreme understatement. Fortunately, I was so sleep deprived I don’t remember most of it!

Love those boys to death, but they take up so much time. I’m either feeding them, changing diapers, or praying that they both stay down for at least an hour nap so I can get some words written!

So, I’m going to change the question up a little bit. Let’s make it: What did I used to do when I wasn’t writing?

Dominion Card Game

EUROGAMES!

My husband and I have always enjoyed playing what we call Eurogames. They’re not the typical Monopoly, Life, Trivial Pursuit games most families play. They usually revolve around different methods of collecting victory points, and there are often several different strategies to win.

We used to play games two or three times a month. We even went to the annual Board Game Geek Convention in Dallas one year – and any time we have a few free hours (and a babysitter!) we try to get together for some gaming with our friends. Some of my favorite games include Dominion, Race for the Galaxy, Agricola, and Puerto Rico. If you haven’t played a Eurogame before, I’d recommend starting with Settlers of Catan – it’s the gateway drug to geeky board games.

UFC

Watching. Not participating. :-)

I’m not sure when I first became interested in mixed martial arts, but I love watching the fights. It’s not that I love violence or anything, but the skill these fighters have… It’s amazing. And I’ve found it’s great for book research. Knowing the damage a fist, an elbow, a kick can do and seeing all the different ways a fighter can hold, choke, and submit his opponent helps make the sparring in my books more realistic (I hope!). One of the things I love most about the UFC, though, is the hugging. Yes, the fighters hug at the end of a match. Well, the good I like do. I’m always amazed when a beaten up loser, covered in blood and bruises, gives a respectful hug to the guy who just kicked his butt. I love the respect these fighters have for each other!

Soccer

Disclaimer: I play soccer about as well as my character, McKenzie, wields a sword. Yep, that means I pretty much suck at it, but it’s so much fun. I’ve been lucky enough to play on a few co-ed teams that didn’t mind my poor skills, and ever since the first time I played, I’ve loved it, watching and participating. It’s great exercise! I can’t wait until my boys are old enough to play. I hear there’s a group nearby that starts at 18 months.

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What a great post, Sandy! Thanks for visiting us and sharing your non-writing life!

For more information about Sandy and her books, check out her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Here's the scoop on THE SHATTERED DARK (coming October 30):

Sandy Williams The Shattered DarkMcKenzie Lewis has a gift. It allows her access to a world few have seen, and even fewer can comprehend. It’s her secret. And it exists in the shadows…

McKenzie was a normal college student, save for one little twist: she’s a shadow reader, someone who can both see the fae and track their movements between our world and the Realm. It’s a gift for which she has been called insane, one for which she has risked family and friends—and one that has now plunged her into a brutal civil war between the fae.

With the reign of the king and his vicious general at an end, McKenzie hoped to live a more normal life while exploring her new relationship with Aren, the rebel fae who has captured her heart. But when her best friend, Paige, disappears McKenzie knows her wish is, for now, just a dream. McKenzie is the only one who can rescue her friend, but if she’s not careful, her decisions could cost the lives of everyone she’s tried so hard to save.

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

You should also check out THE SHADOW READER, the first book in the series:

Sandy Williams The Shadow ReaderSome humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But somem shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.

A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.

But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

Jenn's thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

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giveaway

Sandy is generously offering one (1) lucky reader his or her choice of THE SHADOW READER or THE SHATTERED DARK!

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

Open internationally

Ends Monday, October 22, 2012

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!

Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!

Jenn

Born and raised in the Toronto area, Jenn moved to St. John's, Newfoundland, eight years ago for school. She's still in school (thankfully on another degree!), now trapped in her dissertation. When she's not dissertating, which happens more often than it should, Jenn spends her time reading, watching movies, playing volleyball, travelling, and enjoying the local music scene. Her latest addictions: yoga and Almond Crunch cereal.

63 People left their mark' :

  1. I do enjoy Catan a lot, but I play the card game for 2 players with my boyfriend (which I win 99%).
    Thanks for the guestpost! Hope to be able to read your books soon.

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    1. I've never played the card game, but I usually beat my husband at the normal game 99% of the time. Girls rule! lol

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  2. Thanks for the post! Now I want to play more board games :)

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  3. I haven't played board games in years. I love how you characterize your soccer skills - you have fun though :).
    vsloboda(at)gmail(dot)com

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  4. I loved The Shadow Reader, so I can't wait to read this next book in the series. I thought The Shadow Reader was one of the better UFs to come out last year!

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    1. Aw, thanks so much Rebe. I hope you enjoy The Shattered Dark just as much!

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  5. I loved reading The Shadow Reader and I can't wait to read A Shattered Dark!!!

    Thanks for the giveaway!!!!! :D

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  6. Kudos to you for meeting your deadlines-and finding the time to write-while taking care of twins! I loved Shadow Reader and can't wait to see what happens in Shattered Dark. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  7. Ooh I so cannot wait to read this one! Looooved the first book and so excited to read the next adventure!

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  8. Shadow reader sounds fascinating! Like an adult Wicked Lovely! Can't wait to read!

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  9. Oh it must be fun to see you play soccer, lol I'm so not patient I can't stay and look at it. thanks for the post!

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  10. Wow, I haven't played Eurogames in years, but now that Sandy mentioned all those games, I really feel like trying again. Wouldn't it be great if a day had more than 24 hours and we had the time to play though?*sigh*

    I can't wait to read The Shattered Dark! The Shadow Reader was one of my favorite reads last year and I can't wait to see what happens next! (Btw, the sparring is very realistic and badass, so watching those games must have been quite helpful:))

    Thank you for the giveaway!

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    1. I know! I wish there was more time in the day, too. Or, heck, maybe even an extra day in the week. It's so hard to find time to play, and if we go to someone else's house, we have to have a sitter, so that makes it expensive, too!

      So happy to hear the sparring read realistically! I love writing fight scenes. :-)

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  11. I've never played Catan even though my son has asked me to; nor am I into sports. You must be very busy, husband, kids and writing,any time for reading?
    diane dot sadlet at gmail dot com

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    1. Hardly any time. I miss it so much! I'm able to squeeze in a book every few weeks or so, but I was reading so much more than that pre-kids and pre-book. I should be able to read more again, sometime in the future. Like 18 years in the future. lol

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  12. It is so difficult to find a book series that I fall in love with instantly - this book series did it for me. Thank you so much for writing it!

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  13. I love the fact that you love UFC and the hugging! Can't wait for Shattered Dark. Is it the end of the month yet?

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  14. Totally loved The Shadow Reader. I'd definitely love to win The Shattered Dark.

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  15. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved The Shadow Reader. The characters were great, especially McKenzie. I can't wait to see what happens with one of the other characters in The Shattered Dark (I don't want to give anything away, but it's the one person who might go nuts as the result of something that happened in The Shadow Reader).

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    1. lol Well, I certainly don't want anyone to go nuts!

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  16. I'd love to win The Shattered Dark! Ashamed I haven't pre-ordered it yet. Must fix that.

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  17. I have The Shadow Reader on my TBR shelf, and I hope to get to it soon. I think it sounds like a fantastic story and I'm looking forward to reading it, as well as The Shattered Dark.

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  18. Congrats on the upcoming release!!

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  19. Congrats on your upcoming release, haven't read any of these yet but definitely on my TBR list. Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    What is your favorite place to be in this world and why?

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    1. I really, really loved hiking in Hawaii. It's so beautiful and peaceful, and the hiking was challenging enough that I never became bored. Would love to go back there!

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  20. You know, I've gotten hooked on Soccer over the years too, mostly from watching World Cup matches. The tournament doesn't happen often enough really but when it does I have a group of friends and we all pick a team to back just for the bragging rights. It's a lot of fun. Thanks for the post and the giveaway. I'd love to win a copy of The Shattered Dark.

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    1. I wish soccer was bigger in the US. I think it is growing, but I don't think it'll ever be as big as football. Such a shame!

      Can't wait for the next World Cup!

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  21. I love playing board games with my boyfriend but I just tolerate soccer.. I usually make him go watch it with his friends ;)
    The series is amazing, I haven't read it yet but from reviews I've read I'm dying to read it!
    Thank you for the international giveaway!

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  22. Congrats on the upcoming release, I really enjoyed the post! Thanks for the giveaway as well! ^.^

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  23. Its been a while since I played board games. I haven't read this series yet, but I will have to add it to my TBR pile. Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  24. Baby SOccer is so much fun! My daughter did it in New Mexico and I dont' know who had more fun, the kids or the parents. It's just a mass of kids kicking a ball and randomly wandering off to do other things like play in the mud together.

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    1. ha ha. I can see one of my boys rolling in the mud!

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  25. Congrats on the upcoming book! I've been wanting to read this series for some time. I think I'm going to go pick up the first in the series!

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  26. I know what you mean about the UFC. I had never been a fan of violence or sports but there is something about mixed martial arts fighting that you can't look away from. I am also proud to say I went to school and hung out with Rory Markham who has fought on the main card on tv for the UFC. It's really great being able to cheer for someone you know. :) Also your books sound AMAZING! and I will be checking them out whether I win or not.

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    1. Ooh, that's so cool to know one of the UFC fighters! I think it was the reality show that hooked me on the UFC - I think it's called the Ultimate Fighter? You get to know the guys before they get in the ring. And you get to see the training that goes into what they do.

      Hope you enjoy The Shadow Reader books! Good luck in the contest!

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  27. Thanks for the awesome post and congrats on the upcoming release! I really enjoyed the first book and I can't wait to see where you take us in this next one :)

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  28. I haven't read this series, but I'm interested in The Shadow Reader. I'd like to see how the relationships are developed between the heroine, Kyol and Aren. I'm glad it's a book on fae; most of the paranormal books are on vamps and shifters. Thanks for offering the giveaway.
    Damaris (Maris)

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  29. Such an amazing post! I loved playing soccer when I was younger. I wasn't a big player, I just enjoyed kicking the ball :D Congrats on the book release! Can't wait for The Shattered Dark.

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  30. Surprisingly, I haven't play a board game in yeeeears! I can't remember the last time I actually did. Now, I love to play Poker online or live though! LOL Does that count?
    Congrats on the newest release!
    DeAnna Schultz

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    1. I love Texas Hold 'Em. It's so hard to get a group together these days, though, because we all have young kids. :-(

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  31. lol I have kids and we play board games all the time but I have a huge competitive streak and I know I should let them win sometimese, but where is the fun in that?? :) I loved the first book and can't wait for the next one!! Thanks for the chance to win

    Jolene A

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    1. lol I think I'll have trouble letting my kids win, too, when they're older. I guess I *should* every once in a while, though. Thanks for entering the giveaway!

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  32. I can't wait to start this series!! Thanks for the chance to win!

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  33. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

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  34. Hi Sandy! I have had your series on my TBR list for quite a while. Loved the post and thanks for the awesome giveaway!

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  35. There is organized soccer for 18 month olds? You cannot be serious. I would love to know what goes on.

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    1. heh I'm picturing a lot of grass eating and circle running.

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  36. I don't think I've ever heard of Eurogames, but it sounds pretty interesting. I'll have to check it out further. I'm not much of a gamer, but the hubs is.

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  37. The games look like so much fun & the books look incredible.

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  38. how did i not know about these books?!?! cant wait to start them

    kmichellec87(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  39. I can't imagine trying to write a book while trying to take care of two new babies. Well done!

    I haven't read your books yet, but they've been on my wishlist for a while. I've seen nothing but amazing reviews.

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  40. I love Sandy's books mainly because the writing and plot are so excellent! Really looking forward to this next book, she's a great author.

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  41. I loev books about the fae - and this one sounds like it will be really good.

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  42. Nice covers. These books sound good.

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  43. Um, since I've never heard of Eurogames, I don't think I could watch UFC if you tied me to a chair and pried my eyelids open with toothpicks and am a hockey and football fan, I'm not sure I have a meaningful comment.

    Unless you'll count drooling all over The Shadow Reader as meaningful! I loooooved this book! The characters are awesome, the plot is solid and the action is great. Though I was happy with the ending, I still found myself flip-flopping between two people. They're both too awesome to be in the same book!

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    1. So happy you enjoyed The Shadow Reader. I understand about flip-flopping between the two guys. I love them both!

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  44. Hi Snady, thanks so much for making this international.. so that international readers like me may share and read your book.>D:D

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  45. Living in the UK Soccer is our national sport! (Although we prefer to call it Football because you use your foot to move the ball - all the time!) I remember it was always fun playing my Dad and brother growing up...although like you I wasn't very good! :-)

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    1. My husband and I lived near London on and off for a few years. I think that's when I became a fan. Love how much everyone loves the sport over there!

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  46. Hey, Sandy!
    I LOOOOOVE the cover of your books. This girl looks so bad-ass!
    The synopsis looks very interesting.
    I would love to read this!
    Thanks for the awesome post, Jen and Sandy
    Your constant reader,
    Soma

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  47. Thank you so much for the great giveaway I loved the first book and can't wait to read The Shattered Dark!

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