Posts Categorized: egmont

Contaminated~ Author Guest Post + Giveaway

22 Aug, 2014 by in contaminated, egmont, em garner, mercy mode 6 comments

Mercy Mode Cover

Contaminated 2: Mercy Mode
By Em Garner
Ages 12+
Publication Date: August 26, 2014

“Volume 2 of this smart series builds momentum and suspense, raises stakes and expands narrative scope—in short, plan on a marathon, up-all-night read.”—Kirkus Reviews

A gripping survival story, the second in a series by a best-selling author, of a strong girl rebuilding her life in a post-apocalyptic society where a contaminated drink makes victims act like zombies; just right for fans of James Dashner, Carrie Ryan, and The Walking Dead.

Seventeen-year-old Velvet, her little sister, Opal, their mom, who is recovering from the Contamination, and Velvet’s sweet boyfriend, Dillon, are attempting to build a new life amid the rationing and regulations of the post-outbreak nation. But the outbreak isn’t over: more people turning into “Connies,” more madness erupting, more killings occurring. And what they are being told is not the truth; the truth is far darker and more threatening.

Reviews of Contaminated
“Suspenseful…this dystopia speaks to a wide range of readers, including reluctant ones.”—Kirkus Reviews

“This has plenty of suspense–it’s not a book to read at bedtime.”—Booklist

“Velvet may have a softer name than her literary predecessors Katniss, Cassie, and Kaelyn, but like them she has been forced to take on adult-sized responsibilities within her repressive society…. the plot moves quickly…more of a relation-based book than many other teen dystopian novels.”—The Horn Book

The Ultimate Writers Retreat!
by Megan Hart

There’s a big deal made about how writers need to write in silence or solitude or out in the middle of the woods somewhere. Actually, the truth is, writers write…if that means you sit at the kitchen table with a notepad while your kids do their homework or with your laptop while your spouse watches TV or in a coffee shop with your earphones in, hoping that very nice older lady who wants to show you pictures of her cats just stays on her own side of the table…you write. Wherever and however you can.

However, there’s a lot of truth to the idea that going off somewhere to write is really beneficial and productive. Every year my local writing chapter takes a retreat at a hotel style facility. We spend four days holed up in our rooms, writing. Or in a communal room, brainstorming, critiquing or writing. Our meals are cooked and served and cleaned up for us, so we don’t have to do anything but write. It’s amazing. It’s an opportunity to focus solely on ourselves and our writing without having to live in the “real” world for awhile, and I think that’s the key thing about a perfect writing retreat. The chance to make your fiction your whole world, if only for a few days.em gardner

I’m not saying I think writers should live permanently in solitude, surviving only on nuts and berries. A huge portion of writing fiction, in my opinion, has to come from living and experiencing life – something you can’t do without actually having a life. And it’s not good to work all the time, either, and no matter how stressful having to do the laundry might be when you’re under a deadline (either self imposed or one from a publisher) having that forced break to get you up and away from the computer can actually be a blessing.

Writers write!

If I could design my perfect writing retreat, though, it would be in an ocean front cottage. Nothing too fancy or too big. Space for a comfortable chair and a desk overlooking the water, close enough to hear the sound of the waves. A kitchen stocked with my favorite foods (but I don’t really want anyone else to be there preparing it, so they’d have to all be pre-cooked.) Plenty of coffee and water and adult beverages, if I want them. A soft bed with clean sheets and just the right pillows, so when I fall into bed at 3 am after a furious writing spree, I can sleep right away. A shower with a couple showerheads and some steam and aromatherapy so when I’m stuck on a story point I can stand under the hot water and let my mind drift until something comes to me. A way to play my favorite music while I write, because I can’t write without music (or dance breaks.) I’d write all day and be productive and then take walks on the sand and look for heart shaped rocks. Just a few days, here or there, because I can’t write nonstop for more than that without frying my brains.

Yeah. That sounds good. Sign me up!

about_ the_author
Em Garner is the pseudonym for a NYT best-selling author of romances. The author of 50 books, she made her YA debut with this series. Em started writing as a child, originally about the scary things that hid under her bed. She never lost her taste for scary stories, or for fantasies with a dark twist. Em loves the beach, where she often writes, but is afraid of sharks. She lives in Pennsylvania, where this series is set. Website


One Hardcover of CONTAMINATED 2: MERCY MODE and the paperback of CONTAMINATED by Em Garner. Thanks Egmont! US and Canada only. Must be 18 or older, void where prohibited by law.More chances to win here!
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Blog Tour and Author Guest Post: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain

06 Apr, 2014 by in book tour, bree despain, egmont, utah authors, YA fiction 7 comments



Book Summary

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.

A pulsating romance of epic proportions, Bree Despain’s The Shadow Prince will leave her fans breathless for the next book in the Into The Dark series.

Purchase * Goodreads

Author Guest Post

Incorporating Mythology into THE SHADOW PRINCE, Part Two

Yesterday, I presented Part One of this post over on Jenna Does Books ( in which I discussed the mythology that inspired the character of Daphne Raines from THE SHADOW PRINCE. Today, I want to share with you the mythological inspirations behind her counterpart (and co-narrator) Haden Lord.

While Daphne is the embodiment of someone who believes in free will, choices, and goals, Haden is the embodiment of somebody who believes whole-heartedly in fate and destiny. So much so that if someone suggests that they have a choice in their own path in life, he considers this to be a blasphemous statement. Obviously, this puts him at odds with Daphne from their very first meeting.

Haden is based loosely on the Greek god Hades, but his inspiration comes from two very different places. The first inspiration for this book came from the song, “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” by Deathcab for Cutie. This song got me thinking about the idea of someone choosing to follow someone else “into the dark” (or the unknown, as I like to think of it) for the sake of love. But then I started thinking about what it would be like to be the person who had to ask their beloved to follow him into the dark. What if this person believed this was their destiny—and that the fate of the world depended on it? But what if it also meant that the person they loved would be put in grave danger, and may even die? The conflicted emotions this conjured inside of me were what I created the character of Haden around.

The second inspiration for Haden came from the concept of the “Hero’s Journey” or the Monomyth as Joseph Campbell calls this idea in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Campbell postures that there is a basic pattern that thousands of stories from the most ancient to the modern day follow.

The pattern goes like this:

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” – Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949. p.23.

This pattern can be found in many Greek myths such as Hercules and Perseus, and is definitely the basis of more modern stories such as THE LORD OF THE RINGS, STAR WARS, and HARRY POTTER. In researching mythology and story telling in preparation for writing THE SHADOW PRINCE, I encountered stories that followed the hero’s journey over and over again, and became interested in the idea of using this pattern—but also turning it on its head in the process. Instead of taking a character from the “common” world and thrusting him into a supernatural one, I decided to do the opposite. I took Haden out of the mystical Underrealm and plopped him into our modern human world.

Typically in the hero’s journey, the hero is presented with supernatural tools such as a magic wand or an elfin sword—but Haden has his sword and armor taken away from him and instead given an iPhone, credit card, and Youtube in order to navigate the human world. While some of the challenges Haden faces would be called “fabulous forces” some of his biggest trials come from ordinary, everyday things like surviving the school cafeteria, learning how to sing, and figuring out how to get a girl to like you without causing her to punch you in the face instead. And the “boon” Haden is supposed to bring back to his realm (Daphne herself) has no interest in participating in Haden’s quest—which puts the idea of decisive victory pretty much out of the question.

So what is a hero, who believes whole-heartedly in destiny, supposed to do when his fated quest gets completely messed up? THE SHADOW PRINCE is my exploration of this question.

About the Author

Bree Despain is the author of The Dark Divine trilogy: The Dark Divine, The Lost Saint, and The Savage Grace. She rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off from college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo. You can visit her online at

The Giveaway

One Signed Copy of The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain compliemnts of Egmont USA. US/Canada only. Void where prohibited.
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