Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A Howl in the Night (Author Guest Post and Book Review) [Comment for a chance to win a $5 Amazon Gift Card!]

Author: Courtney Rene
Title: A Howl in the Night
Genre: YA Paranormal

BLURB: Sweet Sixteen is supposed to be a turning point in your life. The world is before you in all its glory, just waiting for you to reach out and grab it. Right? For Abigail Staton, no. Not so much. Not only does she suddenly lose her best friend due to a fight, but out of the blue her mother expects her to believe that the father, she has never met, is actually a werewolf. With that revelation, Abby is thrust into the world of two wolf clans who are not only fighting each other, but also fighting for Abby, one of the few females born to the shape-shifters. Her father is determined to pair Abby up with Derek, a very dominant and overwhelming shifter. Abby vehemently balks at this union to disastrous results. When war is declared between the two clans, Abby has to decide what side she is actually on.

My Review: At the start of this book I was intruded there were a lot of elements that I liked in this book. The authors unique approach to shifters was new and the characters were complex.
I really loved the fact that this particular book focused more on the action and the story itself and not on a mushy teenage romance(there were elements of romance but not a huge amount). Don't get me wrong I love teenage romance and I believe the author will include a lot of it in the next few installments of this series as she did present many love interests in this book.
My Recommendation: If you are looking for a good action packed Y.A story with some great action and paranormal aspects read this book!
My Rating: 5/5 roses

Writing for Young Adults
By Courtney Rene

I was a reader when I was a kid. I don't mean, I read some books. I mean that I read everything I could get my hands on. I made my way through the children's section and right on into the adult section. What was missing though was an area for teens and young adults. I believe that is why at the ripe old age of twelve I was reading Dean Koonz, Stephen King, and Anne Rice.
Now let's be honest, what business does a twelve year old girl have reading that type of stuff? At the time, I didn't think anything of it. Heck I was reading, why would anyone complain? Anyone ever read Gerald's Game, by Stephen King? Well I learned a lot about sex in that book. Some I still don't want to know about. Or what about Anne Rice and her book, Cry to Heaven? Yeah, so not for the young readers. Oh don't get me wrong, I love these books. I am a die-hard horror genre person. Now, as an adult, I just don't think they are quite the appropriate reading for the young teens and YA readers.
Since I was a kid, a new section has appeared in the form of YA. This is very exciting. It gives the teenager more appropriate reading. I don't mean the sex and violence, I mean it gives teenagers books about teenagers. Before you had kid books or adult books. Now, you have this whole section tailored just for teens about teens. It's great! The age for this group is roughly 13+. I write for the 13-16 age group…generally. My Shadow Dancer series has begun to creep up out of this range and now encompasses the 18+ group. But why? Why did I choose this age group?
No idea. Not a tangible reason anyway. If I have to answer I would say it is because even as teens, they are still willing to believe. They still want to believe in fairies or werewolves, or vampires. They still want to believe in happily ever after and love at first sight. Adults are jaded by time and experience. Teens aren't there yet. Not that they don't have time and experience behind them, they just aren't quite as beaten down by it, usually. I love writing for YA.
I get asked all the time how I feel about writing in sex and violence for this group. My response is always, "I tone it down in YA". With sex and violence my own personal stance on this, right now, is "All the guts, but not the glory." You get the bread but not the butter. Why do I do that? Is it a rule? No, it's not a written rule. I don't think the teens would even really mind it, but their parents, the ones in general buying the books, they care. Kids know that sex and drugs and violence are out there. That doesn't mean parents want their children to read about it at every turn. Not when there are better options out there.
Then what about cursing and foul language, how do I handle that? Heck, most teens use it. Yes, they do. Maybe not in front of their parents, maybe not as excessively as others, but most kids cuss. I don't mean as foul a mouth as a street rapper or a "sailor" either. Maybe it's just an 's' word here or a 'd' word there, but they use it. I have and will use curse words in my writing for YA now and then, but only when I feel its necessary and justified. Only when I know, a kid would really truly say it. Most teens don't say, "Oh, darn it!" Sorry, they don't.
There are some that take a very different stance on sex and cussing for YA. I know that. I have heard and read their side and appreciate their stance and their opinion. Mine is a different opinion and may change over time. Who knows what I may think in ten years time.
All in all, I think YA is a fantastic addition to the masses. I wish it were around when I was, in fact, a young adult. Oh well, better late than never.

"What're you cooking?"
"I just got in, so nothing yet."
I felt a bit confused for a moment, because I could smell something. It smelled salty and something else I couldn't put my finger on. I tipped my head up a bit and sniffed the air. The smell was really strong and pungent in the kitchen. It was there somewhere.
"What's that smell then?" Suddenly, I was starving.
She turned around and looked at me, but before she could answer, I spied a white package sitting partially unwrapped on the counter. I went over to it and pulled open the paper to see what smelled so good.
Inside was a chunk of bloody, raw meat. My stomach churned and flipped suddenly, not in sickness but in desire. My brain may have been saying eww gross, but for some reason my body was saying, oh yeah, give it to me now. I backed away from the counter. I had a feeling if I didn't, I would have pounced on that slab of meat and chawed down on it, raw or not.
"What's wrong?" Mom said, "It's not for you, I promise. I have stuff to make pasta salad too. What else you in the mood for?"
I decided she didn't really want to know the answer to that question.
I couldn't take my eyes off the white paper, sitting there, unattended, smelling up the house with its heavenly scent.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Courtney Rene lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. She is a graduate and member of the Institute of Children's Literature. Her writings include magazine articles, short fiction stories, several anthologies, and her Shadow Dancer series, published through Rogue Phoenix Press. For a complete listing, visit www.ctnyrene.blogspot com. Feel free to contact her at ctnyrene@aol.com
Just a note from me, I really loved this guest post! Please share your views on the topic in the comments! Hope your having a great week!


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Courtney today.

Courtney Rene said...

Thanks for having me at your blog today! I will be back and forth through out the week to respond to posts as needed.

Good luck everyone that comments for prizes!


Allyn Stotz said...

I already read A Howl in the Night and can say that I'm a 55 yr. old adult and still loved the book. I might be old but I too still want to believe in fairytales, happily ever after and even werewolves and vampires! I'd rather dream about those things then some of the evil things that go on in the real world.
I've read Courtney's Shadow Dancer series as well and can honestly say this author really has a way of communicating with the teenagers. Her voice is spot on as well as very entertaining and witty.
Goodluck, Courtney, with this book. I know it will do well!

Stormy said...

This looks really interesting, I love finding new YA authors . I'm curious now why the speaker doesn't realize she's, I'm assuming, a shifter of some sort. That's a great excerpt, makes me want to get the book!

MomJane said...

I have a family member who is a very mature 13 years old. she would love this book.

Denise Stanley said...

Great guest post! I've also read Howl in the Night, along with her Shadow series. Courtney definitely has the knack for writing teen characters. Good luck Courtney!

Courtney Rene said...

Stormy - I love finding new authors to read too! I am currently on the hunt for something new. I really need a good read.


Courtney Rene said...

Jane - Thanks for stopping by. As to age ranges of this book, I now have several new fans, thanks to this book, that are in the age range of 12-13 years old.


Courtney Rene said...

Hi Denise! Thanks for coming over to my blog tour and for the snaps on my new book!


Anonymous said...

Your welcome it was a pleasure to host this tour

Karen H in NC said...

Just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day! Hope you all had a good time!

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