Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cheating Death Blog Tour and Giveaway

Blog Tour Host

Jen Naumann YA author of gems Shymers, The Day Zombies Ruined My Perfectly Boring Life, and What I've Done, launches her new book Cheating Death, and I have the sincere pleasure of being a stop on her awesome giveaway and blog tour! 

Book description: 
Lysandra Brooks remembers everything about the day she almost drowned alongside her grandma, especially the set of mysterious eyes she saw at the bottom of the lake. Ever since then, she's been seeing strange things when she is near water—things that aren't really there. Because of it, Lysandra has the tendency to avoid anything that isn't on dry land. On her last day of high school, however, the biggest party of the year is set to take place at a fellow senior's lakeside mansion. Despite her fears, Lysandra decides to prove to her friends and herself that she can handle it.

But after a horrific night of drinking and drama that leaves Lysandra feeling lonely and confused, she nearly drowns for a second time, only to be saved by the new guy in town. From that moment on, Lysandra's world is turned upside down with the discovery of mind blowing secrets, including a revelation that something sinister is after her soul.

Book Trailer 
I apologize for Blogger quirks. It wouldn't allow me to embed the video, so please click the link for Jen's awesome book trailer! 

I have the honor of interviewing Jen!
What is with you and dead things, anyway? How did the dead and undead become your inspiration? 
Ha, no one has ever asked me that in those exact words. I'm not even sure I can give you an answer. I started reading Stephen King and watching horror movies at a young age. I was immediately hooked on anything scary. I was into zombies well before The Walking Dead came out—they're my favorite supernatural creatures.Part of the reason I'm so drawn to paranormal in general is that you have really use your imagination since those things don't exist in reality. To me it's all fun and exciting because it's all pretend. If anything creepy would happen to me in real life, however, I'd probably pee my pants.
Have you ever had any near death experiences? If not, have you known anyone who could personally describe them?
The premise of Cheating Death actually came from an incident when I was maybe 4 or 5 and fell backwards off a dock with my mom. I still remember vividly thinking that I was going to die. But we were in maybe five feet of water and she was right next to me. I just wasn't a very good swimmer yet. Then last year in St. Maarten I was pulled under by some powerful waves and for the first time as an adult thought I was seriously going to drown when I couldn't get back on my feet. There was also a time when I was in elementary that my dad caught me swearing. These were the days when spanking was okay—although I could probably count on one hand how many times it was actually done in our house—and I locked myself in a closet.
How do you research your paranormal novels, if you do? 
I normally don't do any research. Anyone who has read my zombie book knows I like to make up my own rules when it comes to paranormal, although I like to keep my theories reasonable—you won't find sparkling vampires in my stories.   
Your novels deeply address the issues of growing up as a teenager. Some are things teenagers think about, but won't tell parents. Are you drawing on life experiences? 
I would like to think that I was a fairly normal teen. My parents are the best and I probably could've told them anything. Were there some things I chose to keep to myself? Of course. But some of my characters have pretty messed up relationships with their parents and my childhood was absolutely nothing like that. I still made mistakes and bad decision like any other teen (like throwing a party in our house my senior year and my mom realizing ten seconds after returning home that I did so because the curtains had been moved).
How do you hope Cheating Death will inspire or help Young/New Adults?
Cheating Death is the darkest book I've written to date and is better suited for the "new adult" crowd because of it. I bring up some real-life issues that high school/college kids face and hope they maybe stop and think about these consequences that could very well happen to anyone. I don't mean to sound like I'm trying to teach a lesson, but I was into drinking my senior year and hadn't heard of things like this happening, so I thought I was invincible. But bad things can happen when you're drinking. And they do.

I am not personally "into" reading books about zombies, but Cheating Death sounds a little more up my alley. Was there a specific inspiration for Cheating Death? 
Like I said earlier, this story came about with the memories of almost drowning as a child. Otherwise, I can't say that anything specifically shaped the story. When I write I have no idea where I'm going or what will happen to my characters. Needless to say, the first draft can often be a total nightmare.

Would you like to tell us anything I might have missed?
Being an indie author can be a lot of work. I really appreciate those who take a chance on me and buy my books. I also appreciate those who take time to write a review on Goodreads or Amazon. I'm not sure everyone understands just how important it is to leave feedback for your favorite writers. And I really appreciate bloggers like you, Shanah, who support my work and help spread the word. You rock!
Thanks so much for being my first author interview and sharing your new release on my blog, Jen!

Author bio:
Jen grew up during a magical time in which Ghostbusters, Star Wars, E.T. and The Goonies were the biggest blockbusters. Her love of sci-fi exploded over time, eventually growing into a career of writing YA fiction with a paranormal flair. When not sitting at her Mac, she can be found at concerts and movies, hanging with friends, chilling at her lake home, taking pictures, working on graphic design projects, traveling, or at home with her husband in southern Minnesota and trying to keep up with their four active children.
Blog Tour Host
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  1. Thanks for having me, Shanah! :)

  2. You're very welcome, and thank *you* for being here!

  3. I get the whole it's fun because it's pretend. That's why I love horror films - you get the scary fun time, but know none it is real.
    Great to learn more about you, Jen.