Friday, January 11, 2013

Guest Post with Karen Amanda Hooper

Book Nerd Guest Post

I’ve loved mermaids since as far back as I can remember. This is me when I was two years old, holding my Sea Wees doll. See how happy I am? I grew up watching movies like Splash and The Little Mermaid, and you could find me swimming around the pool in our backyard with my legs stuck together, pretending I had a tail and fins.

Fast forward a couple (maybe a few) decades and I’m still playing make-believe with mermaids–except now they’re in my novels instead of a toy box.

I’m a self-proclaimed twisted little pixie. I believe that magic and true love really do exist, even in a world that can be ugly at times. I like to dance down rabbit holes and ride shooting stars while playing a never-ending game of “Imagine If…” Then I write about my impossible and fantastical musings and call myself an author. Honestly, I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love storytelling way too much.

I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, but I’ve also lived in Colorado. Eventually, I had to move to a place where I’d be surrounded by water, so I now live in Florida.

When I’m not writing I can be found reading, people watching at Disney World, hanging with my amazing friends and family, listening to music, dancing, traveling, pondering the Universe, or enjoying breathtaking sunsets and a good glass of white wine.

I love great food, desserts, more desserts, movies that make me laugh or cry, thunderstorms, butterflies in my stomach, curtains blowing in the breeze, my dogs tails wagging because they are happy to see me, thrilling rides, books that make me think or learn something new, Ravens football, long warm baths, smiling uncontrollably, flavored coffee, an amazing dream that stays with me all day, popping popcorn the old-fashioned way, jumping out of airplanes, board games, lotto scratch-offs, and flying to Neverland.

I’m a constant work in progress.

Check out the teen focused blog that I co-founded with some other awesome YA authors: YA Confidential

I’m also grateful and lucky to be part of a talented group of authors called the Indelibles.

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If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, 
who would it be and why?

In theory, my answer to this question would be that Yara from Tangled Tides could meet up with the merfolk from other mermaid books like Of Poseidon by Anna Banks, or Promises by Amber Garr. I think it would be cool for our mer peeps to swap stories and learn how they're different from each other. I haven't read Anna or Amber's books YET (or any mer stories for that matter because I swore not to until I finished writing my own series so I wouldn't be influenced by other versions of mefolk) but I look forward to reading the other takes merfolk authors have created. I can only assume our characters would have fun meeting each other.

On a smiliar but different note: Some of my characters from Tangled Tides will eventually meet up with some of the kindrily members from my newest novel, Grasping at Eternity. In fact, in Tangled Tides, I threw in a reference to the desert (Grasping at Eternity takes place in Sedona, AZ) because I planned on having a character or two from each series cross paths with characters from my other series. Each encounter may or may not be subtle, and they won't happen until book 2 or 3, but I've made lots of notes about who, where, and when their paths might cross.

I love playing with the possibilities of my characters' paths crossing because it would be like a scavenger hunt for readers. One encounter I already wrote into reality references a book that was passed down from Edgar of Grasping at Eternity to a new character in Dangerous Depths (the sequel to Tangled Tides). Unless readers read this post, they might not even make the connection, but I have a feeling some will pick up on it. It will really get fun when book 3 makes it very clear where the connection was, and then maybe readers will go back and look for the hints they might have missed in earlier books.

The great thing about my stories is that all my characters interact in our world, but they have secrets and magical abilities. It only seems natural that such powerful and awesome groups of people would meet at some point. At least in my mind it makes sense, and I'm the one in control of these characters, so prepare for worlds to collide!

Leave it to Maryah Woodsen to break the one rule that will screw up eternity: Never erase your memories.

Before entering this life, Maryah did the unthinkable—she erased. Now, at seventeen years old, she’s clueless that her new adoptive family has known her for centuries, that they are perpetually reincarnated souls, and that they have supernatural abilities. Oh, and she's supposed to love (not despise) Nathan, the green-eyed daredevil who saved her life.

Nathan is convinced his family’s plan to spark Maryah's memory is hopeless, but his love for her is undying. After spending (and remembering) so many lifetimes together, being around an empty version of his soulmate is heart shattering. He hates acting like a stalker, but has no choice because the evil outcast who murdered Maryah in their last lifetime is still after her.

While Maryah’s hunter inches closer, she and Nathan make assumptions and hide secrets that rip them further apart. Maryah has to believe in the magic within her, Nathan must have faith in the power of their love, and both need to grasp onto the truth before they lose each other forever—and discover just how lonely eternity can be.
X-MEN meets MY NAME IS MEMORY in Karen Amanda Hooper’s latest young adult release.

Karen Amanda Hooper’s first book in the Kindrily Series, Grasping at Eternity, tells the interesting story of seventeen-year-old Maryah Woodsen. After a brutal attack that left her parents and twin brother dead with the attacker leaving her barely alive, Maryah must recover with the feeling of her whole world being shattered. She’s sent off to live with her godmother and her family who has a deep dark secret – they are reincarnated souls with supernatural abilities. During these times, peculiar dreams of a handsome man with green eyes keeps her mind occupied at night. To make matters worse, her adoptive family is not the best, almost showing an unwelcoming feeling towards her presence in their home. Maryah can’t blame them for feeling that way since they barely know her…or so she thinks.

It is obvious that power of love and family are the focal point of this story. Author Karen’s puts her own twist into a family with supernatural gifts, calling them the Kindrily who are reincarnated souls with the ability to remember previous lives. Karen’s writing style is filled with rich descriptions of a family with century old secrets. The characters are vividly alive and engage in situations that make the plot progress and readers will find themselves engulfed into the world of the Kindrily. Once readers are mesmerized by this wonderful world, they will have a difficult time finding the exit door. Grasping at Eternity is an amazing and refreshing idea of a family with a unique lifestyle. Karen has delivered an original plot with likable characters living in a well-thought-out world. Its uniqueness is admirable and will definitely not disappoint.

You can purchase Grasping at Eternity at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you Jeff for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a  Signed copy of Grasping at Eternity by Karen Amanda Hooper.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your blog, Jean. :)
    And I love your review. So glad you enjoyed GAE.

    Also, huge thanks to everyone entering the giveaway!

  2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Karen's books! She is an amazing author! Everyone needs to read what she writes. period! Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Thank you so much for this wonderful Jean and Karen! I absolutely love Karen's book, I can't wait to read this one!

  4. Jean you are so awesome and I am happy to see Karen on here!!! She is super sweet and a kick ass writer <3 Thanks for yet another amazing giveaway!

  5. Always with the great giveaways!!! You're awesome Jean!!! Thank you for having these fun giveaways!!! Thank you Karen for your awesome donation!!

  6. I love Karen's books! Everyone should read them :)