Thursday, March 7, 2013

STRENGTH Release Party!!

I'm slightly late to the game, but I wanted to congratulate Carrie Butler on the release of her novel, Strength, which I had the pleasure of reading before its release. I've never taken part in a book launch before, but it's been a lot of fun getting to be a part of this, and it's amazing to see how many writers are willing to help out a fellow writer in what I hope is the best day of their life (births and weddings not withstanding). Here are the details of Strength, followed by my interview with Carrie (SPOILER ALERT! Don't worry, the interview won't give away the ending or anything crazy, but it does reveal a couple of things about the plot.)

Series: Mark of Nexus - Book 1
Publisher: Sapphire Star Publishing
Category: New Adult (NA)
Genre: Paranormal Romance (PNR)
Release Date: March 07, 2013
Formats: E-Book & Paperback
Paperback ISBN: 9781938404351
E-book ISBN: 9781938404368

When college student Rena Collins finds herself nose-to-chest with the campus outcast, her rumor-laced notions are shattered. Handsome, considerate, and seemingly sane, Wallace Blake doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, screaming and banging on the walls of his dorm room. Hell, he doesn’t look like he spends his nights alone, period.

Too curious for her own good, Rena vows to uncover the truth behind Wallace’s madman reputation—and how two seconds of contact had left her with bruises. Of course, there are a few setbacks along the way: guilt, admiration, feelings of the warm and fuzzy variety…

Not to mention the unwanted attention of Wallace's powerful, supernaturally-gifted family.

They’re a bloodline divided by opposing ideals, two soon-to-be warring factions that live in secret among us. When Rena ends up caught in their crossfire, Wallace has no choice but to save her by using his powers. Now they’re really in trouble. With war on the horizon and Rena’s life in the balance, he needs to put some distance between them. But Rena won’t let go. If fighting is what it takes to prove her own strength and keep Wallace in her life, then that’s what she’ll do—even if it means risking a whole lot more than her heart.




"Carrie Butler is now on my must read list.” ~Lynn Rush, author of Violet Midnight

"I carried Strength with me everywhere. Grocery shopping, the dinner table, you name it. The storyline was addictive, and the characters were hilarious. I couldn't put it down." ~Jessica Therrien, author of Oppression

"...Carrie Butler’s debut novel is brilliant, riveting, imaginative and seamlessly written." ~Lisa Regan, author of Finding Claire Fletcher

“This is definitely one to buy for the bookshelf.” - All's Fair with Pen and Paper

“I love that Carrie took so much time in building the relationship between them. Yay for no instalove!” - Read It, Reviewed It

“I freaking loved every last word on every page.” - Scelest's Journal

“I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who's interested in reading a bloody good book. :)” - The Life of a Total Book Nerd

“I devoured this book in two days - staying up until the early hours because I didn't want to stop reading!” - Kyra Lennon, author of Game On
My Interview with Carrie:
I first read about Strength during our 2011 National Novel Revising Month query pass-around, and I loved the idea right away. What inspired you to write Strength?

Thank you, Mara! :) I had quite a few influences:
  • First and foremost, I wanted to write about a unique, supernatural race.
  • Second, I fell in love with the Five for Fighting cover of "All I Know". If you listen to the lyrics, they really relate to Strength's romance element.
  • Third, Rena. She was one of those characters who demanded a story. Her voice was too distinct too ignore.
New Adult (NA) fiction is still a hotly debated genre. What made you decide to make your main character, Rena, college-aged?
Before I knew about the industry stigma, I imagined Rena on the precipice of adulthood—independent, but still struggling to find something she's passionate about. She needed room to grow and the freedom to make her own mistakes. What better environment than a college campus?
I loved how Strength was both funny and sexy at the same time. Was there any debate over including a (rather steamy) love scene? Did that influence your decision to make this a New Adult book rather than YA?
Thank you! Actually, there wasn't much debate over the love scene. By that point, I had already queried and landed a contract based on the fact that Strength was NA. My publisher and I agreed on the steam level, and we left plenty of room for the next two books. ;)
Having come up with my own paranormal mythology, I know how challenging it can be to not only create something truly original, but also to make sure you understand it thoroughly before you start writing. Where did your inspiration for the Dynari come from, and how long did you spend dreaming them up? I
The Dynari (and their counterparts) were years in the making. I often found myself daydreaming about various supernatural abilities and how they could balance each other out. Of course, now that I've started the series, I need to keep track of all the nitty-gritty details. I have power spreadsheets, family trees, lists of what would happen in various scenarios, etc. It's been quite the undertaking!
Wallace is a devout church-goer, and he takes Rena along with him at one point in the novel. I don’t recall ever reading about a paranormal creature who also happens to be Christian. Why did you decide to include those scenes in Strength?
Wallace is one of the most complex characters I've ever written. I never planned for him to be religious, and I certainly don't write preachy novels, but he needed a way to atone for his past. Campus Fellowship became a safe place for him—a place where he could take refuge in something greater than himself. When he shared that with Rena, he opened himself up to her for the first time.
(That, and I love to mess with people's preconceived notions. *grins*)
Strength is the first in a series. Did you set out to write it that way, or did the story build after you started?
I had a feeling the overall plot would take more than one book, but I never imagined how many side stories it would spawn!
Wallace has a twin brother, Cole, who is supernaturally fast. At first he’s kind of a jerk, but he’s also hot and funny. Is there a love triangle in the works here? A love triangle with Cole? Nah. I do have someone in mind for him, though... ;)
And now, for fun, tell us your most embarrassing college memory.
Aww, Mara. You went there? Okay, it's a little crazy, so I'll give you the short version...
Once upon a time, there was a naive, small-town girl who went away to college. A guy asked her out in an elevator, and they had dinner. The rest of the "date" consisted of him sneaking her into a theater after hours, showing her the steam tunnels, giving her a view of the city's lights, playing the piano, and then singing Phantom of the Opera. I kid you not. Anyway, he kissed her, and she was all like, "Whoa, buddy. We just met."
So, he sort of stomped off toward the exit. (He worked there and knew his way around in the dark; our heroine, sadly, did not.) In her haste to quickly put an end to the date, she fell down a flight of steps and sprained her ankle. More awkward.
He offered to carry her, but she declined—opting, instead, to limp back to the dorms. Of course, her embarrassment couldn't end there. As it turned out, they lived in the same building. She ran into him many times, after that. Many, many times...

Thanks for the opportunity, Carrie. Congrats on your release day, and may you have much success in the future!

1 comment:

Carrie Butler said...

Hah! I forgot about telling you that college memory. I still shake my head at that one...

Anyway, thank you for spreading the word, Mara! I really appreciate it. :)