S. R. Johannes, Author of Untraceable Chats About Contemporary Thrillers in the Young Adult Genre

Monday, November 28, 2011

I would very much like to welcome S. R. Johannes, author of the new young adult contemporary thriller, Untraceable, due out on November 29th, 2011. Ms. Johannes was nice enough to answer a few questions for me about her book, her reading tastes and the contemporary thriller genre. Thank you so much for stopping by Emeraldfire's Bookmark, Ms. Johannes, and I wish you all the best with Untraceable

Meet S. R. Johannes: 

When Shelli was younger, she spent all her time outdoors, hiking, camping and living the Girl Scout Way. Somewhere along the way, she got away from nature and earned an MBA in Marketing, kicking off an 18-year marketing career in Corporate America. Eventually, Shelli traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. She started her own marketing & communications business, www.bilaninc.com, where she worked with Spanx, Goody Hair Products, Chick Filet, and the Boys & Girls Club of America.

Synopsis of Untraceable

16 year old Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival.

When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him. 

One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father. 

Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves.

Coming to Amazon on November 29th, 2011!

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: First of all, I have never really read a "young adult contemporary wilderness thriller". At least I think not. Could you describe this genre for me if you are able? Is it newly created? :)

S. R. Johannes: I don’t think there are a lot of contemporary thrillers. I think Ally Carter is probably the closest. Most of the thrillers occur in a fantastical world or dystopic world. So yes, I guess I’m trying to create a niche. I read James Patterson’s Alex Cross series growing up. I always wanted to be the James Patterson of teens. (Not that he doesn’t already have that market too! J ) But even James Patterson’s books for teens are fantastical. Which always surprised me because he does thrillers really well.

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: How long have you been writing in general and young adult in particular?

S. R. Johannes: I started writing when I was on maternity leave with my daughter. I had off 5 months and started writing when she was napping. That was 7.5 years ago. I had no idea the journey would be this long or hard or I might not have started it. Now I’m hooked. J

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Has this book turned out the way you wanted it to? Not necessarily the way the publisher or readers wanted, but is this book "the vision" you wanted it to be?

S. R. Johannes: Exactly. I did everything exactly how I wanted from story to characters to the cover to the marketing. This book is a piece of my soul and I’m very proud of it.

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: In your opinion are there any "kick-butt heroines" in today's books?

S. R. Johannes: I think there are a lot in YA. I just think most of them have special powers, use magic, or exist in an imaginary world – whether fantastical or dystopic. I wanted to create a real character that was tough and independent yet still lovable in today’s world.

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Describe a typical writing or reading day for yourself?

S. R. Johannes: There is no typical day. I have 2 kids that are on different schedules. I usually have from about 9:30 – 12:30 to write. I read at night before I go to bed.

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: What are your favorite authors or genres? 

S. R. Johannes: Contemporary thrillers J. I love that feeling of staying up late and reading. Knowing you should go to sleep but wanting to read just one more chapter.

I love James Patterson and Ally Carter. I also love Carrie Ryan and Kimberly Derting.

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Where do you see your writing career in let’s say five years or so?

S. R. JohannesI hope I am successful enough and proud of the books that come out. But to be honest, if I’m writing and loving it – I’ll be happy.

May you read well and often

Chill Run Contest hosted by the author, Russell Brooks

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hello everyone and welcome to Emeraldfire's Bookmark's Contest Corner. :) I just wanted to mention that Mr. Brooks is going to be hosting a giveaway for a FREE COPY of the Chill Run Ebook on his blog and Youtube. For the rest of the post, I am going to let Mr. Brooks explain the rules of the contest:

1. Every person that leaves a comment with their email address (Important) is automatically entered in the draw. 

2. To be sure that the contest is fair and impartial, Clinton (my cat) will select the 10 winners for a free eBook copy of Chill Run.

The contest will run from Sunday November 27, 2011 to Wednesday November 30, 2011 at 8 PM EST. The winners will be announced via my blog and my page on YouTube the same evening.

Good luck everyone! :)

May you read well and often

Sunday Salon

The Sunday Salon.com
Hello again, everyone and happy Sunday to you all. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving as we both did with family or friends and are all prepared as we fall headlong into the Holiday Season. :) I have banned myself from hearing Christmas songs until December 1st. :)

Anyway, I wanted to say that I have two new reviews coming up this week. Please look out for a review of Untraceable by Shelli Wells coming out on November 29th. Ms. Wells was wonderful enough to answer a few questions for me this week so look for an author interview coming up soon. Also, look out for a review of  Chill Run by Russell Brooks coming out on December 1st. Mr. Brooks has a contest of some type going on involving Chill Run. It starts today and lasts until November 30th. I haven't read the email that he sent me yet, but will post about it later. For those of you who had followed the original Emeraldfire's Bookmark, Rosefire had read Unsavory Delicacies also by Russell Brooks. She really enjoyed it.

Anyway, I truly hope that you all have a wonderful day this Sunday and see you next week. :)

May you read well and often

Have a Truly Blessed Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Free Graphics

To all our online and offline friends may you all have a truly blessed Thanksgiving with your family and friends! We are blessed with happiness, health and enough "wealth" for our needs and wants ourselves. We bask in the love of each other, our extended family, our lovely kitties and our truly dear friends. We are going to settle down to a meal of ham, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, brussell sprouts, peaches and pears for dessert later on in the day. We are also going to watch the movie Julie and Julia as well.

I want to thank all the American service members as well. May you all have a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving around the world. Have a wonderful day!

May you read well and often

Sunday Salon

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Sunday Salon.com

Hello Everyone! Happy Sunday to you all and I must say that I have felt marooned being cut off from Internet access for a while. I am restarting, for myself, The Sunday Salon. Welcome again, Everyone!

First of all, a hearty welcome to all my followers and readers it's been a while. If you don't mind me explaining what happened to me for the past two weeks I will. Long story short, my computer hard drive crashed so I had to get a new computer. I needed wireless access and luckily I have an Internet savvy friend who was able to help me out of the goodness of her heart. Actually, her son hooked me up to the Internet finally, so I wanted to give a big shout-out to Lisa and Austin. Thanks so much, guys! :)

What also happened was that my blog went down as well. So I had to set up a whole new blog for myself. I'm afraid that I might have ticked off some of my virtual tour guides. I'm so sorry to you all! But I am back in "business" and as soon as I learn how to back up my blog better all my posts will be back up and running. I hope against hope!

Here I go again, into the wild blue yonder! All the best and I will definitely be seeing you around the blogosphere. Have a great day!

May you read well and often

Amanda Dickson, Author of A Gentle Thief Chats about Writing About Characters Who Capture the Imagination

Friday, November 18, 2011

Meet Amanda Dickson:

Amanda Dickson is a radio announcer, author, newspaper columnist and speaker based in Salt Lake City. Amanda earned her B.A. in English and her Juris Doctorate at the University of Utah. She practiced law for a brief time before returning to her first love of radio. Amanda taught Mass Communication Law at the University of Utah, becoming a favorite professor among the students. Amanda published her first book in the fall of 2007, Wake Up to a Happier Life. Her second book, Change It Up, came out in October of 2009. Her new book, Friends For Life, is due out in January of 2012. Amanda is married and the step-mother of three children. She is also the indulgent mother of two children.

Synopsis from Media Guests: Maddie Johnson loved Shakespeare. Unlike everybody else she knew growing up, she seemed to understand him, enjoy him, more with every reading. It was partly because of this love that she drove from her home in rural Pennsylvania to college at Southern Utah University, home every summer to the Utah Shakespearean Festival. It was partly that, and partly the desire to get as far away as possible.

Maddie thought being in Utah would help her forget, that the stark beauty of the scenery and the power of the metaphor would be enough to clear her. They weren’t.

In her freshman year, she met and, after graduation, married a much older man, Robert Able, the first person Maddie had ever known who understood her love of Shakespeare.

At 21, Maddie felt too young to be married. At 23, she felt too young to be divorced.

Maddie was found dead on New Year’s Day, clutching a gun to her chest. Everyone assumed she committed suicide. Everyone except her father.

A Gentle Thief is Maddie’s story, and that of her father and the young attorney he hires who becomes devoted to him and the truth of his cause.

A Gentle Thief is a book nearly 20 years in the making, inspired by a case the author worked on while a lawyer.

Coming to Amazon soon!

I would like to welcome Amanda Dickson, author of A Gentle Thief to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Ms Dickson was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in her own words:

I was blessed in A Gentle Thief in that many of the characters are based on real people, people who had already captured my imagination, whose circumstances and bravery and drama so thoroughly grabbed my heart, that twenty years later, I find myself finally writing their story. As I began to bring their story to life in this novel, and to add other characters to the plot, I felt compelled to honor them, their lives, their struggle, in the only way I knew how - to write a narrative worthy of the heroic challenges they faced.

What makes these characters capture the imagination is the same for all characters who accomplish that feat - we can feel ourselves in them even as they face circumstances we cannot imagine. They are us, our sisters, our husbands, our friends, only they are confronted with a depth of challenge we have not personally known and hopefully will never know.

We are captivated by them, in part, because we want to know how we would handle it if life dealt us these unthinkable cards. These captivating characters don't always rise to the occasion, as we might not always, but we learn from them. We might even love them. But in every case, if we writers do our jobs, we feel for them.

- Amanda Dickson Author of A Gentle Thief
Visit my website: http://amandadickson.com

May you read well and often

Nova Sparks, Author of The Dome Chats about World Building

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Meet Nova Sparks:

I love romance/paranormal urban fantasies. I write about real life situations in a fiction world.

Synopsis from Goodreads: What if you knew the exact date and time the world will end, what would you do? Sam Tucker was faced with that dilemma when he began getting visions of the Earth's demise. Luckily for him, he was able to save his family and as many people as he could before the tragic event occurred, and he did so with the help of unknown visitors. With Earth now destroyed, Sam, his family and thousands of other lucky survivors must live the rest of their lives on a faraway planet in a Dome that simulates life on Earth. But Sam's mind can't seem to rest as a few questions arise. Why did the aliens save them? How did they know about Earth's sure fate? And exactly what are they hiding?
Emma Tucker begged for an escape from her boring life but never in a million years did she think it would come at the destruction of Earth. Living on a new planet and finding it difficult to get rid of her rebellious habits, Emma finds herself making friends with a member of the alien race and it soon develops into an unexplainable love; a love that is more dangerous than she could ever imagine. While her father is searching for his own truths, she has no idea that she is stumbling on a truth of her own.

Told from the point of view of both Sam and Emma, author Nova Sparks takes readers on a journey to discover love, fate, faith, truth and the mystery of the DOME!

Coming to Amazon,  Smashwords and Barnes and Noble on November 30, 2011!

I would like to welcome Nova Sparks, author of the Dome trilogy to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Ms. Sparks was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in her own words:

Hello Everyone! My name is Nova Sparks and I'm a sci-fi urban fantasy romance author. The first book that I have available is called the DOME and is the first installment in the the DOME trilogy. The second installment, the DOMErevelation, will be made available November 30th! I'm super excited about that.

The DOME trilogy follows an all American family that are a few out of thousands of people that have been "rescued" from a crumbling Earth by aliens and taken to a distant planet to live in a Dome that simulates life on Earth. In my series, I have two main characters that alternate their points of view with each chapter. One is a thirty-seven year old man named Sam and the other his teenage daughter Emma.

One of the more challenging parts when writing this story was creating a very human and Earth like world that is the Dome on an alien planet. When I originally wrote this story, I wrote it as a treatment for a television show. When I was thinking about how the world inside the Dome would look, the first thing that came to mind was how much money would HBO be willing to spend creating a green screen world. I figured because I'm a newbie, HBO wouldn't want to give out that much cash, so I decided that the Dome should look exactly like how a typical American suburban town looks.

The whole idea behind the Dome through the eyes of the Syrions (the host aliens on planet Syri) is that they wanted to create a "safe" place for the humans to live that will protect them from the hostile environment of their planet, but also have it not be an obvious alien environment.

The Dome was created by the Syrions (the aliens) to house 6,000 humans so there are thousands and thousands of houses with a front and back yard as far as the eye can see. The Dome constantly pumps oxygen and even has a fake sun and moon that appear whenever it is morning or night. In the morning, you can hear the automated sounds of dogs barking and birds chirping and at night you can hear owls and crickets.

The whole idea is to have the humans be as comfortable as possible and to feel unthreatened and welcomed on their new home planet. Little do they know, these aliens have a whole different plan for them.

The DOME is available for ebook on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes & Noble and is now on sale for 99 cents to celebrate the release of the DOMErevelation on November 30th! Take a journey with Sam and Emma as they learn to adapt to their new world while trying to discover the true intentions of their alien hosts. You will not be disappointed!

Thank you soooo much, Mareena for allowing me to guest post on your blog. I had a blast!

-Nova Sparks Author of the DOME (the DOME trilogy #1)
Visit my Blog: http://novasparks.blogspot.com

May you read well and often

Reinstating my Blog

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hello to you all. I'm very happy to be back online after a forced time away. We are still ourselves: Emeraldfire is Mareena McGirr and Rosefire is her mother Mary McGirr. The problem was multifold. My computer crashed, taking my whole online profile down along with it. Blog was gone, contacts were gone and I now have to basically recreate Emeraldfire's Bookmark all the way from scratch. Thanks so much for your patience and kindness as I try to do this Herculean task basically on my own. :)

I will be slowly reposting all my reviews and my mom's reviews on this site and hope that you will continue to enjoy reading my thoughts and feelings on the books that I read all the time. In case you were wondering what my new blog address means; I am happily owned by three adorable eight-year-old rescue cats: Ruby, Leila and Lollipop. Affectionately known as "Ruby and the Twins"! :) Thanks so much!

May you read well and often

Alyssa K. Harrell and Marlene Siegal, DVM - Demi and the Dolphins: A Lesson in Ecology

Monday, November 14, 2011

26. Demi and the Dolphins: A Lesson in Ecology by Alyssa K. Harrell and Marlene Siegal, DVM (2011)
Length: 108 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 13 November 2011
Finished: 14 November 2011
Where did it come from? Many thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of the book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 12 October 2011.
Why do I have it? I have always considered myself an animal lover with a special love for dolphins.

Captain Demi is the youngest tuna boat captain ever. She is smart, stubborn and as such willing to break the laws protecting dolphins from tuna fishing nets on the ocean. Demi's mind and heart is changed due to the intervention of the mythical god Neptune who turns her into a dolphin so that she can see life from the sea creatures perspective.

I really enjoyed this story written by a ten year old animal lover. It is a wonderful opening lesson on ecology. I give it an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Ann McGovern - Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest

Saturday, November 12, 2011

25. Robin Hood of Sherwood Forest by Ann McGovern (1968)
Length: 128 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started/Finished: 12 November 2011
Where did it come from? From Bookmooch
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 15 December 2010
Why do I have it? I've always had an interest in the Robin Hood legend.

I know that this is a children's book but I truly enjoy all tellings of the Robin Hood story. This book was full of adventure and even though it was written in 1968, it still held my attention and was riveting. I give this book an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Andrew Friedman - Say Not What If

Friday, November 11, 2011

24. Say Not What if by Andrew Friedman (2011)
Length: 51 pages
Genre: Short Story
Started/Finished: 11 November 2011
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Andrew for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 10 November 2011.
Why do I have it? I do really like short stories but I haven't read much lyrical poetry.

This is a 10,000 word rhyming poem on the importance of time, and living for the now the best you can. It also discusses the morality of the death penalty as well. A man is given the death penalty after murdering a ten-year-old girl. He has spent his life overworking at his job, ignoring his wife and generally living the good life for himself. Fate allows him to witness the outcome of his actions in murdering the little girl - the lives and possibilities that he ruined by his vile act. 

I, myself, am neither for nor against the death penalty but can certainly understand the feelings of victims of violent crimes who believe that the only justice they can find is in fulfilling the death penalty. I give this story an A! It is very thought-provoking.

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often