Friday, October 31, 2014

{Guest Post/Giveaway} Researching Asylums with Brynn Chapman, author of BONESEEKER



Welcome to Month9Books Birthday Bash! We’re so excited you’re all stopping by!
This is going to be an awesome event with many tour stops featuring our authors! The full schedule is below and make sure to stick around for the EPIC Giveaway taking place!

Here’s a quick note from Georgia McBride, owner of Month9Books!

“Month9Books is turning 2 this year and I could not be happier. We are living proof that if you have a dream to write, create and inspire, you should follow that dream and let nothing keep you from realizing it. Thank you to all the readers, writers, agents, partners and friends who have made this possible. We write for you."

--Georgia McBride, Publisher and Owner of Month9Books

While all of the posts are from our authors that have books out already we also want to look forward to some of the 2015 titles we can’t wait to share with you!

Here’s a slide show of some our 2015 books!


We have a ton of sequels coming as well as new books from awesome debut authors and we’re so excited to share them all with you! We have something for everyine from every genre from Sci-Fi to Fantasy to Paranormal and Horror!




Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love—not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society’s downtrodden. In fiction, she’s a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. She also writes non-fiction and lectures on the subjects of autism and sensory integration and is a medical contributor to online journal The Age of Autism.

Laurie can be found on her website, Facebook, and Twitter!



Researching Asylums 
by Brynn Chapman


BONESEEKER 2
So…I love history. Particularly the periods between 1700-1900. I blame my father. When I was young, he carted me around the country, forcing me to look, listen and touch every monument and national wonder he could find. As a kid, it bored me to tears. But apparently the seed planted—and grew into the quasi-obsessive historian I presently am.

For my next book in the BONESEEKER series, the setting is in an asylum. I make it a point to visit the place I am writing about whenever possible. There is no substitute for traveling the grounds on which your character will tread.  This was no exception.

I have visited the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum twice to date. The place is vast, chock-full of history, scary, and layers upon layers of stories, just waiting to be peeled—erm, told.

I am in medicine by day—so my historical research tends to weave my layers to include this sometimes dark, always fascinating, thread to my tales.

Let’s take this, for instance: Reasons for asylum admissions circa 1864.

Wife worn out? Get thee a new one, just deposit old love of life in ye old asylum.

And this one is good as well. Rumor of husband murder. Rumor.

As I said the place is rife with history, horror and human nature.

I, for one, cannot wait for Henry and Bella to walk these halls.  That said, Shall we have a sneak peak at Arabella?

I open the door to the adjoining room and encounter three long rows of institutional beds as men in varying states of disrepair and wretchedness are sprawled upon their cots.
One paces back and forth across the aisles, a human metronome with unseeing eyes, blocking my progress.
I stutter-step, waiting, as he makes his fourth turn, and bolt across the now-open pass.
Another door, another ward.
 Women. Naked women, now.
Hands grasp the back of my uniform to wheel me around. A pixie with ebony hair and eyes, signs furiously.
My eyes widen. I am aware of sign, but do not speak it. 
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand.”
Where is the caretaker for this room?
Pain rips through my temples—driving all thoughts away as the nurse’s cap flies from my head, sailing through the air like a cricket ball. It nearly unseats my wig; I right it to spin around.
The women hurl the cap and it bounces through their raised hands like a game of catch and volley above their naked throngs.
I sigh. So much for remaining anonymous.
Arms wrap about my legs and I feel the catch and hitch of the woman’s chest as she sobs against my knees.
A strange guttural sound emits from her mouth.
I swallow.
 Where to begin? How could one person begin to right so much wrong?
My spine goes ram-rod straight; my typical response to any emotion. To resist it, to think my way through it.
The girl pulls a bit of coal from her sock—the only stitch of clothing on her pale body, and scratches it against the cement.
I start to pull away, but she claws my hand, her long yellowed nails drawing half-moons of blood.
 I stare down at the floor and my arms explode in gooseflesh.
She has scrawled, Here Walk the Dead.


 So here is my faux Asylum-Byburret. I hope you will follow Bella, Henry and I through its halls. It promises to be a long, frightening nail-biter of a night.





~*~
O F F I C I A   I N F O:
 
Title: BONESEEKER
Author: Brynn Chapman

Release Date: June 17, 2014

Publisher: Month9Books
SUMMARY:

Arabella Holmes was born different and raised different. After it became apparent she wouldn't fit the role of a proper 1900's lady, her father, Sherlock, called in some lingering favors, and landed her a position at the Mutter Museum. The museum was Arabella's dream; she was to become a purveyor of abnormal science. What her father called a BoneSeeker. 

Henry Watson arrives at the Mutter Museum with a double assignment--to become a finder of abnormal antiquities and to watch over and keep Arabella Holmes. An easy task, if he could only get her to speak to him instead of throwing knives in his general direction. 

But this is no time for child's play. The two teens are assigned to a most secret exploration, when the hand of a Nephilim is unearthed in upstate New York. Soon, Arabella and Henry are caught in a fight for their lives as scientific debate swirls around them. Are the bones from a Neanderthal ... or are they living proof of fallen angels, who supposedly mated with humans according to ancient scrolls? 

Sent to recover the skeleton, they discover they are the second team to have been deployed and the entire first team is dead. And now they must trust their instincts and rely on one another in order to survive and uncover the truth.

****Giveaway*****

Giveaway Details: 

(1) New Kindle with touchscreen (US only) loaded with all our Month9Books titles. 
US Only. 

(1) Paperback prize pack of 5 Month9Books Titles. 
US ONLY. 

(2) eBook Prize Packs of 5 Month9Books titles. 
International
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Meet the Authors and amazing host Blogs!


All posts will be live on October 31st!



Vanessa Barger will be hosted by Pretty Little Pages        
Sarah Bromley will be hosted by A Book and A Latte        
Steve Bryant will be hosted by Jump Into Books
Brynn Chapman will be hosted by A Backwards Story      
Scott Craven will be hosted by Books and Ashes                
Ty Drago will be hosted by The A P Book Club     
Jennifer M. Eaton will be hosted by Book Briefs
Kit Forbes will be hosted by Book Lovers Life      
Janice Gable Bashman  will be hosted by All Things Urban Fantasy            
Amanda Gray will be hosted by Aspiring Joy        
Nicola Marsh will be hosted by ReadWriteLove28             
Georgia McBride will be hosted by YA Sisterhood
Jen McConnel will be hosted by A Dream Within A Dream            
Jackie Morse Kessler will be hosted by Dark Faerie Tales               
Michelle E. Reed will be hosted by Doodle's Book Reviews           
Pab Sungenis will be hosted by Classy Cat Books               
Rachel Tafoya will be hosted by Jessabella Reads

4 for Friday October Blitz – Presented by Month9Books with Giveaway

4-for-Friday-Oct-Banner
Welcome to the 4 for Friday Blitz for Predator by Janice Gable Bashman, Into the Fire by Ashelyn Drake, Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman, and The Emissary by Kristal Shaff, presented by Month9Books!

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post.

Predator-Cover

 “Predator is a fast-paced, creepy page-turner! Bashman had me at the opening sentence and she’s still got me. I want more!”
Nancy Holder, New York Times Bestselling Author, The Rules
The hunt is on! 
Sixteen-year-old Bree Sunderland must inject herself with an untested version of her father’s gene therapy to become a werewolf in order to stop a corrupt group of mercenaries from creating a team of unstoppable lycanthrope soldiers. 
When Bree went with her scientist father to Ireland, she thought it would be a vacation to study bog bodies. She never expected to fall in love with a mysterious young Irishman and certainly never expected to become the kind of monster her father said only existed in nightmares. Dr. Sunderland discovers that lycanthropy was not a supernatural curse but rather a genetic mutation. When they return home, her dad continues his research, but the military wants to turn that research into a bio weapons program and rogue soldiers want to steal the research to turn themselves into unstoppable killing machines. 
Bree’s boyfriend Liam surprises her with a visit to the United States, but there are darker surprises in store for both of them. As evil forces hunt those she loves, Bree must become an even more dangerous hunter to save them all. 
Predator gives the werewolf legend a couple of new spins by introducing the Benandanti (an actual folkloric belief that certain families of Italy and Livonia were werewolves who fought against evil), as well as a modern scientific approach to mutation and the science of transgenics.
add to goodreads

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

Janice Gable Bashman
Janice Gable Bashman is the Bram Stoker nominated author of Wanted Undead or Alive and Predator. She is managing editor of the The Big Thrill (International Thriller Writers’ ezine). Janice lives with her family in the Philadelphia area, where she at work on her next novel. Visit her at janicegablebashman.com.
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

ITF-Cover
Seventeen-year-old Cara Tillman’s life is a perfectly normal one until Logan Schmidt moves to Ashlan Falls. Cara is inexplicably drawn to him, but she’s not exactly complaining. Logan’s like no boy she’s ever met, and he brings out a side of Cara that she isn’t used to. As the two get closer, everything is nearly perfect, and Cara looks forward to the future. 
But Cara isn’t a normal girl. She’s a member of a small group of people descended from the mythical phoenix bird, and her time is running out. Rebirth is nearing, which means she’ll forget her life up to this point—she’ll forget Logan and everything they mean to one another.. But that may be the least of Cara’s problems. 
A phoenix hunter is on the loose, and he’s determined to put an end to the lives of people like Cara and her family, once and for all.
add to goodreads

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
Ashelyn Drake
Ashelyn Drake is a New Adult and Young Adult romance author. While it’s rare for her not to have either a book in hand or her fingers flying across a laptop, she also enjoys spending time with her family. She believes you are never too old to enjoy a good swing set and there’s never a bad time for some dark chocolate. She is represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary Agency.
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Boneseeker
Arabella Holmes was born different and raised different. After it became apparent she wouldn’t fit the role of a proper 1900′s lady, her father, Sherlock, called in some lingering favors, and landed her a position at the Mutter Museum. The museum was Arabella’s dream; she was to become a purveyor of abnormal science. What her father called a BoneSeeker. 
Henry Watson arrives at the Mutter Museum with a double assignment–to become a finder of abnormal antiquities and to watch over and keep Arabella Holmes. An easy task, if he could only get her to speak to him instead of throwing knives in his general direction.
But this is no time for child’s play. The two teens are assigned to a most secret exploration, when the hand of a Nephilim is unearthed in upstate New York. Soon, Arabella and Henry are caught in a fight for their lives as scientific debate swirls around them. Are the bones from a Neanderthal … or are they living proof of fallen angels, who supposedly mated with humans according to ancient scrolls? 
Sent to recover the skeleton, they discover they are the second team to have been deployed and the entire first team is dead. And now they must trust their instincts and rely on one another in order to survive and uncover the truth.
add to goodreads

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
Brynn Chapman
Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love—not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society’s downtrodden. In fiction, she’s a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. She also writes non-fiction and lectures on the subjects of autism and sensory integration and is a medical contributor to online journal The Age of Autism.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

The-Emissary-Cover

For hundreds of years, dark clouds covered the skies of Adamah, and an ageless king ruled. Those who emerged with one of six extraordinary Shay powers were forced into the king’s army, an unmatched force with inhuman Strength, Speed, Accuracy, Perception, Empathy, and Healing. With the army behind him, the king—a man who wields all six abilities—was invincible and unquestioned in his rule. To most, serving the king was an honor. But for others, it was a fate worse than death. 
When seventeen-year-old Nolan Trividar witnesses the transformation of his brother from kind to cruel after entering the king’s army, he vows never to follow the same path.
So when his own power—the Shay of Accuracy—comes upon him at the Tournament of Awakening, Nolan conceals his emergence instead of joining the king’s ranks. For years, he traitorously hides his power, pretending to be only a gifted scribe. But when Nolan comes face -to-face with a deserter, the man discovers his secret. 
To evade detection and a death sentence, Nolan escapes with the deserter and flees into a night filled with dark creatures who steal both powers and souls. He joins a resistance, a village hidden deep in the forest, filled with others who secretly wield a Shay. But his peace is short-lived when they discover that the dark clouds, undead creatures, their own decreasing powers, and even the king, are all connected.
add to goodreads

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
Kristal Shaff

Kristal Shaff grew up with books (and used to drive her mom crazy when she wouldn’t leave the library); her first job was even shelving books at the library. She loves anything creative, and you can often find her exploring strange and fantastical worlds in her choices of movies and fantasy fiction. Kristal resides in Iowa with her farmer husband, numerous pets, and 3 awesome kids (plus one more on the way though the journey of adoption). When she isn’t writing, she is a professional face painter who enjoys making children smile.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

{Review} Celebrate Halloween with a new Commemorative Edition of Neil Gaiman's THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, along with two graphic novels!


O P E N I N G   H O O K:


     THERE WAS A HAND IN the darkness, and it held a knife.



(Page 2-3,  US Commemorative Edition)

It takes a graveyard to raise a child.

A graveyard may not be the ideal place to raise a living, breathing child, but it's the only home that Nobody Owens has ever known. After his family is violently murdered, toddler Bod is lucky to escape to a nearby graveyard. The Owens ghosts take him in and give him the Freedom of the Graveyard, granting him asylum and safety. Bod is also taken under the wing of Silas, his new Guardian. Over the course of the novel, he grows from a babe to a young man, cared for by the ghosts around him. But only in the graveyard is Bod safe. In the real world, a killer named Jack is still hunting him, and will go to any means to find him...

There's a lot going on this year when it comes to Neil Gaiman's Newbery Award novel THE GRAVEYARD BOOK:

1) A Commemorative Edition of the novel was released in September to honor the fact that over one million copies of the title have sold.


2) THE GRAVEYARD BOOK was also adapted into a two-part graphic novel this year, helmed by P. Craig Russell. Both volumes are now available in print.


3) A movie has been in the works for a long time now, but has changed hands. In August, Neil Gaiman confirmed on Twitter that Ron Howard will be directing the movie, which will be produced by Walt Disney Pictures. Look forward to more details on the project as it moves toward production!

October is the perfect time to sink into a creepy read. THE GRAVEYARD BOOK has a supernatural feel to it, and is definitely suited to being read around Halloween.  If you've never read the novel before (This was my first time!), I would highly recommend picking up the brand-new Commemorative Edition. It has a lot of great bonuses, such as Gaiman's Newbery Acceptance Speech, a look at the inspiration behind the idea and why it took so many years to bring to fruition, and images of original, hand-written pages of Gaiman's drafts.

I was taken back by just how dark and creepy some of the concepts in THE GRAVEYARD BOOK were, perhaps because the novel opens with a grisly triple murder. There's enough lightness and adventure mixed in with the macabre to create a solid balance, however, and the novel still feels appropriate for children. I love the way Gaiman tried to emulate one of his childhood favorites, THE JUNGLE BOOK by Rudyard Kipling, creating a series of short stories that chronicle Bod's adventures every two years as he slowly begins to grow up. The structure of the novel lends a whimsical feel to the story and makes the book feel like something that might sit beside other classics on a shelf. While there are many dark elements at play, nothing is darker than a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm.

The graphic novels, on the other hand, I'd be more hesitant to hand to younger readers. It follows the novel of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK very faithfully...and that includes the violent triple-murder that opens the book. Being a children's graphic novel, I was surprised by just how gruesome that scene was illustrated. The rest of the graphic novel isn't nearly as violent, but that opening scene alone makes me want to not give it to a child who isn't mature enough to handle the violence. There's something much more visceral about seeing the story come to life. In my head, I saw these characters and came up with my own images of the way they interacted with the world around them. For example, I never picked up on the fact that Silas might be a vampire until the graphic novel. Visuals leave less to the imagination, but at the same time, they give you more certainty about the world if you're looking for finalized answers. And, of course, I really wanted to see a visual of the terrifying Sleer!

I really like the way P. Craig Russell worked with several different illustrators for each individual chapter. The illustration style changes a little bit each time, and it works, since every chapter takes place two years later. Russell himself was actually my favorite illustrator because I love the way he made Silas look more gentle. I noticed it right away in Chapter Two. Maybe I missed something (I'm sure I did, actually), because I never picked up on the fact that Silas was a vampire. He was always Bod's Guardian, able to come and go and travel. He was very caring and loved Bod. In the first chapter of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, Volume I, Silas has a very scary appearance and glowing eyes. Creepy! In the second chapter, illustrated by Russell, and in the final chapter of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, Volume II, Silas has a much softer face that feels much more relatable to his warm persona. I also loved seeing Scarlett in the flesh and celebrating the fact that here is one more diverse character to add to children's literature.

In retrospect, I would give the novel THE GRAVEYARD BOOK to a younger child than I would the graphic novels, though both mediums are well-suited for telling the story and bringing characters to life. It will be interesting to see how these characters will once more be given new life when the movie finally comes into existence!


C O N T E N T R A T I N G S

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: --
Language: --
Violence: 10+ ( Death, murder )
Other: --

~*~
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

My favorite cover of all the editions of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK to have come out is actually this one:


I really like the illustration, the coloring, and the simplicity.

I do like the coloring of the new Commemorative Edition over the original novel cover, because the burnished gold looks very earthy, and it matches the beautiful Newbery insignia perfectly.
~*~
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Title: THE GRAVEYARD BOOK
Author: Neil Gaiman
Release Date: Original Release: Sept. 30, 2008
Commemorative Edition: Sept. 30, 2014
Graphic Novel, Vol. I: July 29, 2014
Graphic Novel, Vol. II: Sept. 30, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
SUMMARY:

Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place - he's the only living resident of a graveyard. 

Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their timely ghostly teachings-like the ability to Fade. 

Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are things like ghouls that aren't really one thing or the other. 

This chilling tale is Neil Gaiman's first full-length novel for middle-grade readers since the internationally bestselling and universally acclaimed CORALINE.