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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Blind Date With a Book!




blind-date-with-a-book-week2

Four weeks of GiveAways!!!

Enter this week to win one of the following titles in eBook.


Week 2


Breeder,  K.B. Hoyle, Dystopian

Breeder-Hi-Res-Cover
Everything about Seventeen’s life is perfect, from her genetics, to her home in Sanctuary, to her status as a Breeder in the Unified World Order. But all that changes when an Enforcer named Pax infiltrates Sanctuary and targets her for extraction from the Controlled Repopulation Program, a program he claims is hiding a dark secret. Mired in confusion and doubt, Seventeen takes the name Pria, the identity of her childhood, and embarks on a quest to discover the truth before it’s too late.




The Six, K.B. Hoyle, YA

9781612130538
Darcy Pennington feels like she is an insufferably average thirteen-year-old, but when a change in her dad’s job forces her to attend Cedar Cove Camp, she unwittingly stumbles upon a magical gateway. Along with five other teenagers, she will travel to a world called Alitheia. The “arrival of the Six” was prophesied long ago, but will she have what it takes to save Alitheia?







The End of All Things, Lissa Bryan, Dystopian


e4d6a-the2bend2bof2ball2bthings2bfinal2bversion
After a terrible virus ravages the planet, Carly, one of the few survivors, hides in her apartment in Juneau, trying to survive the best she can with only occasional forays to gather food.  She is discovered by Justin, an ex-soldier intent on making his way to Florida before winter sets in. This is the story of their journey to find a place to begin a new life and a home in each other.






How To Get Ainsley Bishop To Fall In Love With You, T.M. Franklin, Romance/YA

9781612133164
Oliver Holmes likes making lists—meticulous procedures for achieving his goals, step-by-step. So when he decides it’s time to declare his feelings for Ainsley Bishop, it’s only natural for him to approach the challenge with a logical and methodical plan.


He decides a perfect birthday gift is the key to success, but finding that gift proves to be a challenge. Oliver will need to watch her carefully for clues to pinpoint exactly what he should give her. And along the way, he might just learn that what Ainsley really needs is not quite what he expected.

More, T.M. Franklin, YA

more
Haunted by terrifying nightmares and certain she’s being watched, college student Ava Michaels finds an unlikely ally in Physics tutor Caleb Foster. But Caleb isn’t quite what he seems. In fact, he's not entirely human, and he's not the only one.


Together, the duo faces a threat from an ancient race bent on Ava’s capture, and possible extinction. As Ava fights to survive, she learns the world’s not what she thought.

It's a little bit more.


Sebastian and the Afterlife, William J. Barry, YA


SatA_Low-Res_cover
Sebastian is an average 17 year-old boy, there is one catch ... he has just died.  Sebastian awakes in a surreal world somewhere between mortal life and the afterlife.  The Grim Reaper and his loyal agents maintain the law of this mystical realm.  Sebastian soon finds himself at Sapentia, a high school for the departed.  He longs for his lost love, Sarah, who is still alive in the mortal world.  Some things are forbidden; some lines cannot be crossed.  What will Sebastian risk to be close to her again?










a Rafflecopter giveaway






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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Netflix: Consuming TV like Literature

Netflix is one of the greatest things to ever happen on the face of the earth.
Hyperbole? Sure. But I do feel my enthusiasm is warranted. It struck me the other day as I finished yet another series that Netflix has made it possible for people to consume television shows like literature. When you're reading a good book, you are under no obligation to put the book down after every chapter and wait a week to read the next chapter. I'm sure there are people out there who read books like that, but goodness knows that's never been me! When I get engrossed in a good story, I have to read until I finish. If there's any waiting to be done, it will be done only if I am waiting on the publication of the next book in a series. Similar, I think, is waiting on the next series of a TV show to come to Netflix.

TV shows these days - at least the ones I watch - are great at having detailed story arcs. There is often one long story to be told, broken down into several episodes, each one of which leads artfully to the next, just like chapters in a book. A skilled screenwriter will write each episode so the viewer can't wait to find out what happens next, and in my opinion, that is also how a skilled novelist writes each chapter in a book. I've read lots of articles online about how binge-watching TV shows on Netflix is ruining TV consumption and making us unwilling to wait for delayed gratification. I think there is some validity to this argument, but then I look at my own experiences and kind of laugh about it. Why should binge-watching a show on Netflix be considered any different from binge-reading a book from your favorite author the night it comes out? In both cases, you're receiving immediate satisfaction for your entertainment desires, and probably making the wait for the next TV series or book that much longer, actually allowing you still to experience delayed gratification.

Ultimately, I'm probably over thinking this, but that's okay. I tend to wax philosophical late at night and when I realize little epiphanies. Epiphanies like how Netflix is allowing me to consume TV shows like my favorite books - in binges and sprints and agonizingly-long waits - and that is a small thing for me to be thankful for. :)



*As an aside, my husband and I do not have cable, and I wouldn't have time to binge watch anything on Netflix right now if I wasn't a nursing mother. But having that time - where I can't do much more than sit on my bum - has allowed me to discover and enjoy many shows that are truly great stories. A few of my favorites are:
-Marvel's Agents of Shield
-Arrow
-Chuck
-Parks and Recreation
-LOST
-Doctor Who

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Cover that Almost Was


Sometimes things don't turn out exactly as you intend them to, and that ended up being the case with the cover of The Bone Whistle. Months before publication, I had chosen the image of this girl to go on the cover of book six, and my excellent cover designer, Megan Dooley, did such a spectacular job of putting her over just the right background and coloring her just so. In fact, she sent me several drafts of this cover, and we spent many weeks tweaking this and that to make it perfect. And in the end, I loved it. I loved everything about it, and I still do. This image informed my description of Darcy when she is being taken from Limina at the end of the book, and I thought it was so beautiful and fitting for what the story is all about. But I also thought I should definitely test it on friends, family, and colleagues to see what they thought. 

It did not test well. People took issue with the fact that none of the other books have people on the front, that it looks too "girly" (so it might not appeal to my male readership), that it doesn't look like a YA cover, and that it looks more like paranormal romance than fantasy. So, with a heavy heart, I had to go back to Megan and tell her that I thought we should change it. We were about one week away from the deadline for the finalized cover, and I had to come up with a new image to go on the front, and Megan had to do all the digital artwork and design around the image. To her very great credit, she was understanding and didn't complain one bit. She rallied and got it done once I found the picture of the tree (which I dug up in one night). That's how the tree on the final cover came to be (which, by the way, Megan had to completely re-color. In the original image, the tree's leaves are green). I was hesitant to use a tree because I already knew I wanted a tree on the cover of BREEDER, but I think the final cover for The Bone Whistle turned out beautifully. There will always be, however, that little part of me that wishes I could have seen the original cover in print.



Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Virtual Cookie Exchange




Today on the Virtual Cookie Exchange, I'd like to introduce you to a recipe created by my sister-in-law: White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies!




I chose this recipe not just because my sister-in-law is crazy brilliant in the kitchen (which she is), but because it ties in nicely with my newest release, Breeder.


 Summary of Breeder

Everything about Seventeen’s life is perfect, from her genetics, to her home in Sanctuary, to her status as a Breeder in the Unified World Order. But all that changes when an Enforcer named Pax infiltrates Sanctuary and targets her for extraction from the Controlled Repopulation Program. Pax plants dangerous doubts in her mind that accuse Sanctuary of hiding a dark secret, and that cause Seventeen to question everything she’s ever known.

When Seventeen’s life is threatened, she has little choice but to run away from Sanctuary with Pax. But for Breeders, contact with men is forbidden by law, and even the simple act of taking Pax’s hand is treason.

Mired in confusion, Seventeen takes the name Pria, the identity of her childhood, and embarks on a quest to discover the truth. In her world, the truth comes at a price, and uncovering it will require a greater treason than Seventeen could ever have imagined. 


Breeder is set in futuristic Denver, but most of it takes place in the mountains and wilderness outside the city. My main characters, Pria and Pax, spend most of their time out in this wilderness searching for, and hooking up with, people who can help them survive in a world turned hostile against them. I wanted to find a rustic, almost granola-like cookie recipe to tie in with the book, and this one works perfectly. Not only does it remind me of my short time living in Colorado, but it's the sort of cookie my characters in Breeder would make if they were to make cookies at all. I hope you enjoy it, and be sure to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway below!

The recipe!
1 stick of butter, softened *
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup oats (quick or old fashioned)
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup nuts, chopped (I used pecans, walnuts would be good too!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar.  Mix in egg and vanilla.  Stir in dry ingredients, mixing well.  Mix in oatmeal, chocolate chips, cranberries and nuts.  Scoop 1 inch balls of dough onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake 8 – 10 minutes.

*You can do a combination of butter and shortening (or coconut oil) to make crisper cookies.  Totally up to you.  I have made them both ways…and both are delicious.  However, the all butter recipe tends to freeze better.
SneakySpoons Original (Find more from SneakySpoons at sneakyspoons.com)

You can purchase Breeder at: 

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Kobo     iTunes     TWCS


Giveaway! Enter to win 2 $25 Amazon Gift Cards

Rafflecopter giveaway


Friday, October 31, 2014

The Passing of Dystopia?

I saw an entertainment news headline this morning on IMDb that got me thinking... Is Dystopia a trend that has passed in literature? Or is it, instead, at its peak? I've been planning my next book series (a NA Dystopia, for those of you who don't know) for about two years, and for the last year or so, I've run into people who have told me in no uncertain terms, "That ship has sailed!" Over! Done! What need is there for another Dystopian novel? People have moved on...

I disagree, and I think the facts are on my side.

The headline I saw stated that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay has just set a 2014 record for first-day pre-sales. And what was the previous record-holder for this year? Oh yes, that would be Divergent. (You can read the article here.) Unless you've been living on another planet, you are probably well aware that both of these movies are based off bestselling Dystopian book series.



As with any trend, at some point the market will become saturated with imitation novels, with all sorts of people who want a piece of the pie, and I think people who tell me the trend has passed believe the Dystopian market is already saturated. Do I want a piece of the Dystopian pie? Sure. But is that why I wrote BREEDER? No. I think Dystopian is a crucially important genre right now. The world is rapidly changing. My children are growing up with the sort of technology I watched on The Jetsons as a child, and I can only imagine what will become normal in the next ten years. But with all sorts of fun technology come questions of ethics and morality, questions that effect the human race and our stewardship of the earth itself. Throughout history, periods such as this have always led to great expression in literature, and I think many authors of Dystopia today see the world heading in directions that warrant warning. Isn't that - beneath the adventures, beneath the heroes and heroines, beneath the love triangles, beneath all the surface trappings of the story - what Dystopia is really all about?

So no, I don't think the Dystopian trend has passed. Far from it - I think it's at its peak, and I don't see it passing any time soon. People are hungry for stories that look forward to the future, especially in an era of rapid technological increase, terrible world conflicts, and threats of ebola epidemics. There may be a lot of Dystopian books out there right now, but I don't think the market is saturated, not yet. And I promise to deliver something in BREEDER that I think has been notably absent from most of the other Dystopias: hope.

Book 1 of The Breeder Cycle: BREEDER coming December 11, 2014! 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Six Reasons to Read The Gateway Chronicles

This is a blog post that was written and originally published by Olivia Ard over at Miscellany, but it was so great, I just had to copy and share it over here! Enjoy! And let me know what you think in the comments. :)


~~~


If you are friends with me on Facebook, know me in real life, or are somehow unfortunate enough to fall into both categories, you have probably been subjected to one of my evangelical rants about how you should read The Gateway Chronicles by K. B. Hoyle.  Maybe you’re wondering what all the fuss is about, or maybe you’re wondering why you should pick up a series that was written for a fairly young audience.  Either way, this is the right place to be!
The Gateway Chronicles tells the story of six teenagers – Darcy, Samantha, Amelia, Lewis, Perry, and Dean – who stumble into the magical kingdom of Alitheia while vacationing at a summer camp in Upper Michigan.  Once there, they learn that they are the prophesied Six, a special group that will help rid the land of the evil usurper Tselloch, who hails from a dark land of shadow.  Over the next six years, the Six travel between the worlds, living each year twice.  As time passes, they begin to realize the gravity and the significance of their role in fulfilling the prophecy.  I don’t want to spoil anything for you, so that’s as specific as I can be.
So, what’s the big deal? you may still be wondering.  This sounds like your basic YA lit.  I’m not interested.
BUT WAIT, PLEASE DON’T GO!  Because I felt the same way initially.
When I bought the kindle version of The Six on March 24 of this year, I didn’t know what to expect. I don’t like YA books as a rule, and with the exception of The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, I’m not very easily excited by fantasy. I bought the book because several people that I knew liked them and I did it more to humor them than anything.
That turned out to be one of the best (literary) decisions of my life.
But why?  I’m so glad you asked.
Because the internet seems to be all about numbered lists these days (thanks, HuffPo and BuzzFeed), here are six reasons that will hopefully satisfy you and convince you to give these great books a try:
the_sixthe_oraclethe_white_thread
the_enchantedthe_scrollthe-bone-whistle
But just in case that’s not enough for you, here are six real reasons:

1. Realistic Characters

Most contemporary YA lit is filled with fifteen-year-olds who have the mental and emotional maturity of thirty-five-year olds.  One thing that really hooked me in with The Gateway Chronicles is the complete absence of this.  In The Six, the protagonist Darcy is shallow, conceited, selfish, and at times just plain dumb.  As the story progresses from book to book, we grow to love her and take pride in her positive changes.  Along the same vein, the issues that all of the characters run into – crushes gone awry, problems with parents, difficulty fitting in with ones peers – are all real problems that most people have faced at some point and time in their lives, and that really helps create a bond between character and reader.

2. Adventure

Quests, voyages, battles, sieges, plots…if you crave action, suspense, and – let’s face it – just the right amount of gore, you will be satisfied here!

3. Romance

In the midst of all that action, however, a slowly budding romance (or two, or three, or… *wink wink*) emerges almost unnoticed before your eyes.  I won’t say more at the risk of spoiling the story, but I will say that this is the only love story in a YA series to make my heart pang and cause my stomach to flutter with nervous butterflies as an adult.  It is hands down my favorite literary love story.

4. A nice blend of originality and familiarity

In Alitheia, we meet familiar fantasy creatures such as nymphs and dragons and fairies and gnomes, but Hoyle also introduces a magical being of her own wonderful creation – the nark. They’re amazing and honestly one of my favorite parts of the series!

5. Vivid Imagery

One of Hoyle’s best attributes as a writer is her ability to describe the people, places, and things in her books in great detail yet with subtlety.  It is as if she fills your subconscious with the world she has created.  Usually as a reader I spend a lot of time trying to picture what’s going on in my head – that was never an issue with any of these books.

6. All loose ends – and I do mean all – are tied by the time the series concludes.

Fear no open-ended ending. Hoyle ensures that all major questions and concerns are fully addressed at the end of the last book. You will turn the last page with bittersweet satisfaction.
I could really go on and on here, but I won’t.  Just read these books.  You will not be sorry!  They are available on Amazon, both in print and Kindle versions.  Here is the link to the first book, The Six, to get you started on the wonderful journey!
Great Gloria, what are you waiting for?

Friday, September 12, 2014

T-Shirts for Sale!

In honor of the release of The Bone Whistle, my friend Dana has made a limited number of t-shirts that will be for sale at the release party on September 18th (and there may be some available after that date, as well!). She will have shirts available in the following sizes:

kids 10-12, 14, & 18 
Fitted women's x-small-large 
Unisex small-large

This is a great way to celebrate and promote my books, and also just a fun, limited-time item to own. I will even sign the shirts for you, if you'd like! She's not taking preorders, so it's first come, first served, and she has limited quantities of each size. 

*If you live out of state and would like a t-shirt, please contact me at kbhoyle.author@gmail.com to arrange purchase and shipping and handling. 

Please find the pictures and prices below: 

 
$15 each ($10 if you bring your own shirt to have it screen printed)
The backside has my website address



(front)

(back)
$18 each ($13 if you bring your own shirt to have it screen printed)



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