Colleen Houck's Blog
July 18, 2016
For those of you who are dying to get their hands on the next Colleen Houck book in her latest Egyptian series, we gave you all another chance to win an ADVANCED READERS COPY of RECREATED, the sequel to REAWAKENED, and not just one book but THREE FREE BOOKS (two surprise fun reads).
You ready to see who won?
And the winner is . . . Milena Mutter
Here are some other fun readers who participated!
July 14, 2016
Lots of Color
The Spring & Summer is the perfect time to play with new and vibrant colors you wouldn’t dream of during the frosty months of the year. With new movies like Disney’s “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” you can feel your inner makeup artist bubbling with new fun ideas. Rich colors highlight your eyes, and vibrant lip glosses and lipsticks rival even the ripest juiciest berries. Cosmetic companies create colorful pallets that illuminate our ideas.
You don’t need to be a hero to enjoy a smokey purple eye shadow. Just look at Maleficent!
Here are some great videos to get you started!
Don’t forget to “illuminate” yourself. Highlighting or strobing is the perfect way to show off your cheekbones and summer glow.
Lots of Glow Videos
Warm sunny days are here and it’s time to have fun, so grab a bright pink lipstick and take on the day!
July 6, 2016
I can’t believe it, Recreated will be on your doorstep (if you pre-ordered it) or potentially in your hands if you go to the store and pick it up in person in LESS THAN 30 DAYS!
To build up the excitement, Colleen will be the featured author on several blogger websites where she will reveal 5 SNEAK PEEKS, TOP 10 Recreated Video, fun trivia, up close and personal interviews and more!
The straight facts:
The Blog Tour runs July 19 – August 11 and you won’t want to miss it!
There will be PRIZE GIVEAWAYS during the tour (5 Book Sets of the Reawakened Series). To participate, visit the blogger’s websites and enter the Rafflecopter.
Below is a list of all the tour stops including links for you to check out!
July 19th- darkfaerietales.com
July 21st- twochicksonbooks.com
July 22nd- happyindulgencebooks.com
July 24th- lushbudgetproduction.com
July 27th- sassybooklovers.blogspot.com
July 28th- neverendingbooks.blogspot.com
July 29th- aldavroe.com
July 30th- pleasefeedthebookworm.com
August 5th- blameitonthebooks.com
August 7th- goodchoicereading.com
August 8th- beneaththecover-beneaththecover.blogspot.com
August 9th- ya-aholic.com
August 10th- erikabooksandstars.blogspot.ca
August 11th- yabookaddicts.wordpress.com
Have fun checking it out and good luck on the Prize Giveaways!
See ya on July 19th
July 5, 2016
Tour of Duat
Welcome to the afterlife, or as us Egyptians like to call it Duat.
The first stop on our tour is the burial grounds. Here you will find what ever treasures you were buried with. This could include some very helpful instruction books to guide you in your afterlife, so keep them close. Duat is the place you go after death and is also home to the gods with its turquoise trees and beautiful landscape. It looks very similar to Egypt with its rivers and sand dunes but, it has a lake of fire and huge imposing walls of iron.
Next on our tour are the trials of the afterlife. I hope you kept your book because this is where you will need it. All along this area horrible creatures are lurking; waiting to strike if you get to close. Your book will tell you how to get passed them safely. If you are lucky maybe one of the gods will come to help you overcome the trials. Look over there! That is one of the creatures you will be facing, the Blood-drinker. Good luck!
Our final stop on this trip is the weighing of hearts. Here Anubis, the god of funerals, will take your heart and weigh it against the feather representing Ma’at.
Be careful that your heart is not heavier than Ammit, the Devourer for he just might eat your heart or throw it into the lake of fire! If you are found worthy, you pass this trial and join the gods and become immortal.
Thank you for joining me on this tour of Duat. Stay tuned for the next tour stop across the Nile.
July 1, 2016
A huge thanks to all who participated in the Goodreads chat during the month of June. The topic was with the featured author of the month, Amy Christine Parker.
As promised, one lucky participant is randomly chosen to win each month. What is in this month’s prize package? The winner will receive a copy of Amy Christine Parker’s Smash & Grab upon release as well as one of Colleen Houck’s books of their choice (Tiger’s Curse, Tiger’s Quest, Tiger’s Voyage, Tiger’s Destiny, Tiger’s Promise, or Reawakened).
And. . . the winner is
Now, it’s time to announce our July featured book of the month!
Welcome to …
If you’re just tuning in, or are new to this online book club, it’s super easy to join. I host the club on Goodreads and each month you get the chance to ask authors questions. You can ask anything from what they like to eat to what they’re writing right now. You don’t have to read the book to participate and every month I choose one lucky person from the chat to win a prize! The prize includes the book or books I’ve read from that author that month as well as your pick of any of my books as well and some extra fun stuff I throw in! What’s the catch? There is none, this is just a great way for us authors to network and for you, the readers, to branch out and have fun! So, for our next book pick, I’m excited to feature . . .
The Rose and the Dagger
by author Renee Ahdieh
A little teaser
A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and break the cycle once and for all.
I’m very excited to check out this author and her novel! Also, you can participate in an ongoing chat with Colleen and Renee asking just about anything you’d like on Goodreads throughout July!
Also, remember that you don’t need to read the book to participate. It’s a GREAT opportunity to get to know the authors and ask any questions you’d like!
For fun there will be a GIVEAWAY for one lucky participant!
Happy reading everyone!
June 30, 2016
One more month, just one more month until the official release of RECREATED!
To kick off the month of July with a bang, we are excited to release the Recreated book trailer and to make it even more exciting, we are making a contest out of it!
What’s in it for you? I’m glad you asked. One lucky winner will receive both REAWAKENED and RECREATED signed!
How do you participate? It’s easy. Simply share the book trailer with all your friends on Facebook and Twitter and be sure to TAG COLLEEN HOUCK so she can see it!
Enjoy it then share it!
June 28, 2016
For those of you who are looking for new books appropriate for middle grade that both boys and girls might enjoy, this is the place to look!
Every month, a new book will be added for review right here and they will be reviewed by the best critics, KIDS! That’s right, the one’s who read them will be the judge!
This blog is written by my twelve year old, Aidan Wesley. He’s always had a love of reading insomuch that he would prefer sitting on a couch reading to running around outside. He’s read several chapter books given to him from his AWESOME auntie, Colleen! Right now he’s reading the Last Diamond Sword from the Minecraft series and he finished the book entitled Greek Mythology earlier which is the book he will be reviewing today.
First, if this is the first time you’ve stopped by this blog, may I introduce Aidan Wesley. . .
” Hi. I just finished 6th grade and I like drawing and playing games. For example, Five Nights at Freddie’s, Plants vs. Zombies, Minecraft, and Luigi’s Mansion. I also like building paper crafts and Legos, playing with my brother Lex and baby sister Ashley, and creating animation with my Nintendo 3DS using play dough and action figures. My favorite subjects are science and art. My least favorite is math! I have so many favorite treats I can’t list them all. My favorite books I’ve read include; Diary of a Wimpy Kid novels, the How to Train Your Dragon series, Big Nate books and The Quest for the Diamond Sword (Minecraft novel). When I grow up I’d like to be either an engineer or a scientist.”
And now, introducing our 18th middle grade book review for kids, by kids!
Book Review of Greek Mythology
by Ken Jennings
“My mom picked out this book for me last year for Christmas and at first I wasn’t sure if I’d like it but I was happy to discover that I did like this book a lot. It’s a really great book!
This book is not only filled with stories of the ancient Greek Gods but also has trivia, games and fun illustrations. The author writes the story like he is the “Professor” and the readers are his students. Each chapter is like a class period.
There aren’t really main characters because each chapter tells different stories from Greek mythology. But some of the bigger mentions are Zeus, Poseidon and Hades. Here’s my drawing of these characters.
Zeus- He is the leader of the Greek Gods. He was raised on Mount Ida and after his caretaker, Amaltheia died, he was taken care of by nymphs. His weapon is the lightning bolt.
Poseidon- The God of all the oceans. His weapon is the trident.
Hades- The God of the Underworld. His weapon is a helmet that makes him invisible.
One of my favorite stories is when Zeus, Poseidon and Hades (who are all brothers) were in a battle against the Gods including Atlas. Zeus sent Cyclopes and the hundred-handed giants to battle. The forests burned and the sea boiled. When the war ended, the Cyclopes, who are master weapon makers, forged the weapons for Zeus and his brothers, the lightning bolt, the trident and the helmet. When Atlas lost the war they banished him and punished him with the burden of holding the earth and keeping it in the sky.
If you like learning mythology while being entertained than this is a great book for you! I give it five out of five stars!”
Facts: Lexile Measure: 1060L, ages 8-10, written by Ken Jennings
Stay tuned for more book reviews!
Here’s a list and links to the other books we’ve reviewed:
~ Till next time,
Linda Louise Lotti
June 23, 2016
Release of RECREATED is getting closer and closer, August is almost here! Colleen Houck is opening the vault and is ready to share some of the music that helped inspire her story. She also held a contest where YOU, the reader, were able to submit songs you felt fit the story and some of those songs were added to this playlist.
Now, for the first time ever, the RECREATED playlist: (enjoy)
Hope you all enjoy as much as I do!
June 22, 2016
Amy Christine Parker
Exploring the Dark Side
Welcome to the twenty-seventh session of
THE MODERN INK SOCIETY!
“You underestimate the power of the Dark Side. If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny.”
— Darth Vader (James Earl Jones)
Her Featured Book is
Exploring the dark side
Right now you’re imagining Darth Vader aren’t you?
Deep James Earl Jones Voice.
Sorry. I couldn’t help myself.
Whenever I think of villains, he’s the first one that comes to mind. That’s what happens when you grow up in the seventies and eighties! But, it isn’t bad at all that we’re thinking about him. He’s just the type of character I try to create in my books: bad, but also somehow able to draw you in. Definitely evil with a capital E, but capable of good at unexpected times. There are shades of gray and that is what makes a character—good or bad—special.
For me, characters are central. If I don’t get who they are, I can’t get the story right. Probably because I’m fascinated with psychology and trying to understand what makes people tick. Every writer has themes they seem to explore in their writing either consciously or subconsciously and those themes tend to crop up in book after book.
For me, there are two: how and why some people allow themselves to be influenced by other individuals enough to sacrifice their own will and what makes people do bad things. In Gated and Astray, that meant trying to explain why people join cults and what about the leaders who create them draws people in.
When I was writing both books, I spent loads of time researching real life cult leaders Jim Jones, Charles Manson, Marshall Applewhite, David Koresh, and Warren Jeffs. The one thing I realized is that none of these men were simple to define or easy to explain away. They weren’t villains in the sense that everything single thing that they did was overtly evil.
Sometimes they could be charming or they could say something that felt like an almost truth (this is why I chose to add quotes from these men at the beginnings of my chapters—it is eerie how what they said is similar to things you might hear from a church pastor or community leader, just a little off-center). Their singular talent was their ability to manipulate situations, their words, and people so that figuring out what the truth really was got harder for their followers. I wanted Pioneer to be the same—someone a reader felt both drawn to and unsettled by.
Working on Pioneer taught me a lot about villains and heroes and how I wanted to portray the characters I put in my books. Bad people aren’t bad all the time just as good people aren’t good all the time. Once I really took this to heart, all of the characters in my novels became richer and more complex. There needed to be light and dark in each of them.
If Gated and Astray were all about making the villain have shades of gray, Smash & Grab is all about the heroes. Both of the main characters are attempting to rob the same bank and then frame each other for the heist—neither are what you might consider the usual hero, but on closer inspection, they both absolutely are. Each of them are doing some bad things, but for reasons that I hope will make readers empathize with them.
The initial idea for this book stemmed from a real life news story about a dad who convinced his teenaged children to start robbing banks with him. What fascinated me most was that there were these two kids who hadn’t gotten in trouble before, but who became criminals within a short period of time. Their father was someone they loved, but also someone who did them real harm and betrayed their trust in him. Smash & Grab grew from there.
What I attempted to do was explain how two inherently good kids could get caught up in a very bad situation and how they might justify that situation to themselves. My characters aren’t from the same family and the story is delivered in a much lighter way than in Gated or Astray, but if readers have read those books as well as Smash & Grab I like to think they will see the themes in all three are similar.
Both of my characters, Lexi and Christian, are criminals in the strictest sense of the word. They steal multiple times, and break more than one law. However, they aren’t really bad. When push comes to shove they attempt to do what they feel is the right thing. Up for debate is whether readers will decide that they actually accomplished this. There are moral gray areas for sure, ones I put in on purpose because I like creating situations where the right path isn’t always crystal clear, even in a book as fun and over all lighthearted as Smash & Grab.
My hope is that readers will put the book down and wonder what they might do if they were in the same situation. I don’t want to provide an answer so much as open a discussion. That’s when I love a book the most—when it has me thinking about the characters and how they navigated the story after I’ve put the book down. If you read this book or my other two, my fondest hope is for them
to resonate with you and that the characters feel like real, memorable people you will think about long after you’ve finished the read.
Thank you Colleen and fellow book clubbers for choosing Smash & Grab for June!