Sunday, December 7, 2014

Seasons of Change Blog Tour and 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway


 




Talented indie author Mia Hoddell has just released a box set of her fabulous Seasons of Change novels. The Seasons of Change series includes four standalone novellas in the new adult/romance genre and includes Summer Demons, Winter Angel, Autumn Ghosts, and Spring Knight. On this stop of the Seasons of Change Blog Tour, Mia sits down for an interview to talk about her books and writing in general.

INTERVIEW
 


1.      Tell everyone a little about yourself. What are your hobbies and interests (outside of writing, of course)?

 
Outside of writing I enjoy reading (obviously) and reviewing books. I also design book covers, love graphic design, and photography. I used to play a lot of sport and have competed at regional levels, but I’ve had to cut back on those for now. I’d love to take up netball again, and I’m interested in learning martial arts.
 
 
2.       When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
 
I don’t think I made the conscious decision, I just fell into it. I’ve always loved writing—for as long as I can remember—so I think it was a natural progression. Also, the development in technology and self-publishing made it an easier or more realistic goal to achieve so when I ended up writing my first novel (2009), it was the obvious path to follow.
 
 
3.      What is the hardest part about being a writer?
 
I think the marketing because there is so much out there nowadays. I also hate edits and formatting. When I’m reading my book through countless times after my editor’s sent it me back just to look for formatting errors, or any last minute typos, I find staying motivated is hard as I just want the book to be released by that point.
 
 
4.       For anyone who hasn’t read the Seasons of Change series, tell them a little about the books.
 
 Seasons of Change is a series of contemporary romance novellas that follow the seasons (Summer Demons, Winter Angel, Autumn Ghosts, Spring Knight). I aimed to write them as feel-good reads where characters change for the better, find themselves, and overcome fears. All of the novellas are standalone reads and follow different couples. However, they can be enjoyed as a series because characters overlap.
 
 
5.      How did you get the idea for this series?
 
Seasons of Change wasn’t meant to be a long series. In fact when I started Summer Demons I only had two books in mind (Summer Demons and Winter Angel) and they were going to be separate with no links. However, when I started writing Summer Demons, I enjoyed writing quick, light-hearted romances and I wanted to tell the story of other minor characters so it grew from there.
 
The original idea for Summer Demons/Winter Angel came from coming up with the titles. They were originally going to be paranormal novels, but then I had the idea to play on the word ‘demons’ by using inner demons and confronting fears. I had the similar thought with each book (e.g. Winter Angel’s theme is helping/saving someone), and as the series grew in my mind I realized they all had a theme of change or personal growth, which is where the series title came from.
 
 
6.       What authors have inspired you the most?
 
I have my favourites, but I’m not sure they inspired me. Generally I read for pleasure, but if I had to name one it would be Julia Golding, as without her books, I doubt I’d have started reading when I did and therefore wouldn’t have been able to develop my writing. I hated reading until I was 14, but I guess she inspired me to buy more books.
 
 
7.       Some people take a walk, others bang their heads against a wall. How do you handle writer’s block?
 
 I don’t believe in it and that seems to be working as I’ve never been stuck when writing a book. Of course there are always struggles when planning but I find that’s a natural part of the process when you’re piecing little ideas together.
 
 Things I find that help me when writing is having a detailed plan before I begin. I do deviate from it as the story evolves, but it helps to know where I’m heading, who the characters are, and any other necessary details. I also never stop writing at the end of a chapter. I always continue to at least 500 words into the next one as I find it maps my train of thought at the time and it’s easier to pick up the next day.
 
 
 8.      Of all the characters you’ve written, which one are you the most alike?
 
All of my characters have a little bit of me in them, but I think Kayleigh from Spring Knight is most similar to my personality. She faces a few problems with confidence and feels most comfortable when performing on stage, which is something I relate to.
 
9.       Tell readers about your upcoming projects.  What are you working on now?
        
Right now I’m working on an urban fantasy thriller (is complete) and a NA romance for NaNoWriMo. I’m not going to reveal too much about them though because I like to be secretive about new works. However, I’m also thinking about Seasons of Change Volume 2. I know who the first story is going to be about, but I’m trying to figure out the rest of the books so I can hopefully write them next year.
 
10.  If any of the books in the Seasons of Change series were made into movies (I’m personally voting for Summer Demons), who do you envision playing the main characters?
 
This question always stumps me. I never create characters with an actor or actress in mind and therefore I can never find someone who looks like who I have in my head. Can I take the easy option and let the readers decide?
 
11.  Do you find that you base your characters on real life people, or are they entirely fictional?

My characters are mostly fictional and if I do base them on real people, it’s never just one. Generally I pick out things from a few people—normally small quirks, habits etc.—and shape them into one character. Of course, I may use experiences with real people to help me create them, but I’m never going to reveal who anyone is, if I have. It’s surprisingly a question I get asked a lot “am I in your book?” but I doubt anyone would be able to tell if a character was them because they grow into their own while writing.
 
12.  Do you have any writing essentials (i.e. music, silence, coffee)?
 
I can write just about anywhere because I write on my iPod, so I’d need that. I find music helps when it fits the tone of the book, but it isn’t necessary. Also, I do like to be somewhere with no clutter. I don’t know why, but I can’t focus if there’s a pile of stuff around me.
 
13.  What made you decide to write in the young adult/new adult genre?

It’s the age bracket I fall into so I write for people my own age. They are also the genres I read and enjoy most so it felt natural writing in them.
 
14.   What is one of the first things you remember writing? Do you still have it?
 
It was a poem about a giraffe named Jack. I think it was written as a task for school when I was six and everything had to rhyme with Jack. I’m pretty sure I still have it as well.
 
15.   Do you have any advice for those wanting to take the plunge and begin writing?
 
I’d say just go for it. The thing I hear most is that people don’t know how to get into writing, and the only answer I can give is to actually sit down and write. You can think and think about it, but the only way you’re going to move forward is to put pen to paper/fingers to keyboard. I’d also say keep your expectations and goals realistic, and find what works for you. Writing is something you grow into and are constantly learning—I still am—and there’s a lot of details on what other authors do out there, but I think it’s best to find how you like to work and do that instead. It has to be enjoyable is the main thing.
 
16.   Who are your favorite authors and what are your favorite books?

I have a lot. I’d say my top five are: Julia Golding/Joss Stirling with all of her books, Derek Landy – Skulduggery Pleasant, Rachel Vincent for all of her books, J. Lynn – Wait For You Series, and J. A. Redmerski – The Edge of Never (which is one of the rare books that’s made me cry).
 
17.   If you could be any character in any book, who would you be and why?

Um … Valkyrie Cain from the Skulduggery Pleasant books because she’s amazing. She’s witty, strong, gets funny lines, has a reflection that does all of the boring stuff in her life, and above all she uses many types of magic and gets to solve magical mysteries.

Favorite color: Purple
 
Dogs or Cats: Cats all the time. Dogs scare me.
 
Favorite Food: That changes with the season. In the summer I like fruit, in the winter anything that is chocolate or cake.
 
Day or Night: I get more work done in the night because there are less distractions and it’s quiet. I prefer the day though, if it’s sunny.

Favorite Season: Summer, I need the sun.
 
Favorite Movie: Moulin Rouge

Laptop or Pen and Paper: Laptop. I tried writing a book by hand once … never happening again.



SEASONS OF CHANGE BOX SET AND GIVEAWAY
 
 
Seasons of Change Box Set
Books 1-4 + Exclusive Bonus Stories
by Mia Hoddell
 
Genre: YA Romance
Release date: November 27th 2014
 
Blurb:
You can now get all four Amazon best-selling novellas in the Seasons of Change series, plus two exclusive short stories, in one box set.

These feel-good contemporary romances follow the seasons as characters change for the better, find themselves, and overcome fears.
 
All of the novellas are standalone reads, but can be enjoyed as a series because characters overlap. This box set includes:



Summer Demons:
 Jenna Shaw jumped on a plane and flew to Portugal to try and forget her past. However, forced to deal with her memories due to an ill-timed joke, Jenna’s holiday is derailed by the charismatic Ethan Brooks. She sees him as an annoyance; he sees her as a challenge. And when all of his usual tricks only serve to push her away, Ethan has to work harder than ever if he wants to win over and help his mysterious girl.
 
Winter Angel: When Amy’s suggestion of a beach holiday is overruled in favour of skiing she couldn’t have predicted it might make her break the one, and only, rule she has: not to commit to a serious relationship again. The minute she sees Luke, she knows something’s wrong, and her desire to fix people means she wants to be the one to help him. However, she didn’t go on holiday to fall for someone, and whether or not she can move past her insecurities will depend on whether Luke can face his biggest fear.
 
Autumn Ghosts: Only one person knows what truly lies in Ellie Jeffords’ heart, and that’s herself. Hating the course she is studying, Ellie is failing and when a friend’s cousin, Justin, offers to tutor her, she jumps at the chance. However, as the pressure of exams starts to break Ellie, Justin wants her to confide in him. The only problem is that he can’t persuade her to talk without revealing his own dark secret, and forcing Ellie to choose between her parents’ dreams and her own will cost her something she loves.
 
Spring Knight: Kayleigh Barrow is most comfortable on stage where she can pretend she’s someone else, but when auditions for the latest production are opened up to the entire university, the lines between fantasy and reality start to blur. Thrown together with renowned player, Aiden Hanson, she can’t longer hide her feelings for him. However, he’s never had a serious relationship and Kayleigh refuses to be another conquest. When her acting starts to become real and she can no longer hide behind her character, Kayleigh must decide whether Aiden’s worth the risk, or if he will end up breaking her heart.
 
Plus 2 exclusive short stories:

Summer Revenge: Jenna promised she’d get Ethan back for his prank, and it’s time to cash in. Read about what happened after the couple left Portugal.
 
Season of Love: There’s beach fun, flirting, and mischief as all of the Seasons of Change couples take part in a beach competition.
 
 
Buy it now, save 20% and get more content than if purchased separately.
 
 

 
 

 

About the Author
 
Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading, loves anything paranormal and has an overactive imagination that keeps her up until the early hours of the morning.
 
With three poems published before the age of sixteen, Mia moved on to short stories but finding she had too much to tell with too little space, Mia progressed to novels. She started her first series (The Wanderer Trilogy) at the age of fourteen and since then hasn’t stopped writing. Seasons of Change is her third series and with an ever growing list of ideas, Mia is trying to keep up with the speed at which her imagination generates them.
 
 

Connect with Mia:

 
 
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 ARCs, giveaways and new releases

**Giveaway**
3x copies of Summer Demons and Winter Angel (ebooks)
 
CODE:

 
LINK


Excerpts
Spring Knight Excerpt
 
Black. It was the only colour she could see as she stood on top of the platform. Her vision had tunnelled with the waves of vertigo that hit her body, allowing only the dark colour into her eye line. With the strength of a gale force wind, it pounded on her chest, causing her to stumble back as its icy hold sent a shiver along her spine. The break from seeing the ground wasn’t enough, though. She couldn’t go far enough to feel safe. If she moved more than one step in any direction she would fall.
 
She felt dizzy ... lightheaded.
 
It was the worst possible time to find out she was scared of heights, but maybe it was the thought of jumping rather than the actual distance. Not only did she feel faint, but also sick. Kayleigh didn’t even know how those two actions could combine, but she let out a nervous giggle and hoped another type of blackness would capture her mind before she made a complete fool of herself. It probably made her sound insane, but she couldn’t stop the sound.
 
No longer could she find the answer to why she was on a platform, willing herself to fall. It had seemed logical and easy on the climb up, but now she suddenly felt as if she was standing on top of a building, rather than a few metres in the air. Her heart was pounding in her chest; the rhythm frantic as she urged herself to peer over the edge once more. Palms slick with sweat, her fingers slipping over each other, she twitched nervously as she strained her neck to catch a glimpse of the floor.
 
“I can do this. Just lean back and it will all be over,” she muttered to herself, only adding to the crazy image she had going on.
 
People were shuffling anxiously on the ground, unsettled by her actions. “Block them out, Kayleigh. You can do this,” she chanted ritually under her breath before she inhaled sharply. Slowly counting, she exhaled with a deep sigh when she reached twenty. Her whole body relaxed with the action and Kayleigh closed her eyes, trying to find a sense of peace and stillness. Unfortunately, all it did was make her knees weaker. Reopening her eyes, Kayleigh kept her head up and her chin parallel with the floor. If she didn’t look down, what she was about to do couldn’t scare her … at least that’s what she told herself.
 
Block it out. Everything. Focus on your breathing. It’ll be over in seconds.
 
Taking one last deep breath, her gaze hardened and she picked a spot across the room to focus on. She shuffled to the edge, her bare toes skimming the lip of the platform.
 
She was just about to turn around when something interrupted her focus. A door slammed hard, and into the room walked the last person she expected to see. His cool, blue eyes found hers instantly, holding multiple questions as to why she was doing what she was. Yet Kayleigh didn’t stop to think any further. The last thing she needed was to appear weak in front of him, and she’d only just calmed herself down.
 
Turning, Kayleigh edged back so that only her toes were balanced on the edge, her heels hanging off. She felt like a diver, but with worse balance since her legs had started to shake.
 
She couldn’t hold the position long.
 
“Ready!” she shouted, loud enough to silence the room. Normally she hated being the centre of attention, and wanted to shrink into the darkest corner possible. However, today she would kill anyone who wasn’t focused on her. Today she needed all eyes to be on her or everything was going to end badly.
 
She heard counting below. “Three ... Two ... One ...” As they reached the final number Kayleigh pushed all thoughts from her mind and leaned back, her arms crossed over her chest tightly.
 
Displacing her weight, her body fell.
 
Autumn Ghosts Excerpt
Ellie’s plan to wallow in self-pity alone didn’t last as long as she’d wished for. She had gotten through two beers and was halfway through a third when Aiden marched over to her.
“Don’t you think you’ve had enough, Elles?” he asked, looking pointedly at her bottle, which caused her to let out an exaggerated breath. The flirting from Aiden was annoying, but it irritated her more when he took on a brotherly role in Luke’s absence.
“I’m fine,” she huffed. “You’ve probably had more than me anyway.”
“But I can handle it better.” She could hear the smile in his words, but she refused to look up at him. Her hair had fallen forward, creating a physical wall between them, and she was thankful that it obscured her face from view.
“What’s up, Elles? You’re not yourself.”
“I’m fine, why do people keep asking me that?”
Aiden reached forward, pulling her hair back and tucking it behind her ear. It gained him a glare, but he was persistent. “Come on, Elles. It’s obvious you’re not. I’ve known you over twenty years."
Ellie sighed, not wanting to reveal anything, especially to Aiden. “I’m fine.”
“Then why are you over here by yourself?”
“She’s not by herself. We’re here,” Jess called, and the tightness in Ellie’s chest eased at her friend’s rescue. “You are being no fun, though.”
Ellie wanted to head-butt the bar as she groaned. Instead, she downed the rest of her beer and turned to signal the bartender.
“No, she’s good. She’s had enough,” Aiden stated, interrupting before she could place her order.
“Seriously? You’re cutting me off? I’ve only had three.”
“That’s enough. I’m not getting my ass kicked by Luke because you came home drunk and miserable.”
I’m not drunk,” Ellie protested, not bothering to deny his other accusation.
“Really?”
“Yup”
“Prove it then,” Aiden challenged, a sly smile and silent laugh shining in his eyes.
“How?” Ellie couldn’t help but be drawn in. She never backed down from a bet.
“Beat me in a game of pool.”
“You don’t think I can?”
“No, I know you can normally. You’re one of the few people who are better than me. But … I don’t think you will today.”
Ellie’s face hardened in concentration, studying the table. “You’re on, but if I win I get all of your winnings from tonight.”
“That’s my girl. If I win, you go home.”
“I’m not your girl,” Ellie stated, her voice devoid of all emotion as she took the cue he offered and walked past him.

Summer Demons Excerpt
 
She saw red. Seeping into the crystal clear water it spread, bleeding and merging as the ripples around her pushed it closer towards her feet. The deep crimson only grew darker as it surrounded her.
 
She could feel her breathing quicken, coming in short, sharp rasps as she started to panic. Her chest constricted, an unbearable pressure tightening like a boa constrictor refusing to release her from its clutches. Her throat felt dry, her increased breathing doing nothing to help the situation as she forced herself to swallow in the hope of dislodging the lump that had formed there.
 
This isn’t happening. This isn’t real. I came here to escape this, she told herself repeatedly as she laid there, her turquoise bikini embellished with golden sequins shining in the sun as her back tanned slowly. Bringing up an arm to adjust her chestnut-brown hair that was dangling in the water, she tried to pull away before the colour reached her and tainted the beautiful locks. The damage done would be irreparable if it touched her.
 
Moving it just in time, she threw it over her shoulder so it rested between her shoulder blades, the damp tips feeling nice as they cooled her back by trailing droplets of water down either side. She tried not to flinch as her gaze returned to the bloodied water that lapped at the li-lo beneath her chin. With every wave it seemed to grow closer, making its way further up the yellow plastic to try and touch her. The tapping that was normally so soothing tormented her now, like a crowd clapping and cheering her sanity on as it fled for safety.
 
Rather than listen to the logical side of her brain, her body had other ideas. Shuffling back, she put a bigger distance between her face and the abnormal pool beneath her. As her toes dipped into the cool water behind her though, she flinched, automatically drawing herself up so that no part of her body was near the edge. No matter how disgusted she was, she couldn’t stop staring; her eyes were hypnotised by the gentle movements that swirled the colour into the water even more. The red had become so thick that not one tile beneath the surface was visible.
 
The more she stared, the more she remembered.
 
The more she remembered, the more she was pulled into her memory.
 
It might not have been real at that moment in time, but it had been, and Jenna was once again pulled into the unbearable memory. 
 
Winter Angel Excerpt
 
Taking Liam’s silence as it was meant—an end to the conversation—Amy turned back to Jenna, whose head was leaning on Ethan’s shoulder, their hands linked on his lap. They were never not touching.
 
“So what do you think?”
 
“About what?” Jenna replied. Her eyes flicked over to Amy, but her head did not move.

 

“Bus guy. What did you think of him?”
 
“He’s okay I guess. I wasn’t really paying attention. He didn’t look that pleased to be here, though.”
 
“He was hot, right?”
 
Jenna lifted her head to look at Ethan, who was watching and waiting for her response. Smiling mischievously at him, Jenna replied, “Yeah, I wouldn’t mind hooking up with him.”
 
She glanced at Ethan to see his reaction, but he just rolled his eyes. “Nice try, but I’m not biting.”
 
Jenna sighed, but returned her attention back to Amy. “Just don’t do anything stupid, yeah? You don’t know anything about him.”
 
“Yeah, yeah, I hear you … nothing stupid.” Amy brushed off the comment. Jenna had always been a worrier, but Amy preferred to just throw herself into things head first, the consequences be damned.
“Amy ...” Jenna’s tone was low in warning, knowing that the callous way in which she was brushed off did not bode well.
 
“I’m not going to go knocking on his door or anything, don’t worry. I just might happen to bump into him a few times around here. You know I don’t do serious relationships anymore. I’m not stupid enough to fall for that trick again.”
Jenna shook her head in despair, knowing it was futile to argue. “Whatever, just don’t cause trouble.”
“Me? Trouble? I’m an angel.”
Everyone on the minibus rolled their eyes.
“Sure you are, Amy, and I’m the tooth fairy.”
They laughed at her disgruntled face as the driver pulled up in front of their home for the week.

 

1 comment:

mia hoddell said...

Thanks for hosting me!