Friday, July 5, 2013

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Weather Witch (Weather Witch #1) by Shannon Delaney

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Welcome to The Cover Contessa's tour stop for Shannon Delany's 
Weather Witch!
Today I get to do a few fun things: interview Shannon, show you my review and then you can enter not one but TWO giveaways!

 photo Weather_Witch_Cover_zpsf15011d2.jpgIn a vastly different and darker Philadelphia of 1844, steam power has been repressed, war threatens from deep, dark waters, and one young lady of high social standing is expecting a surprise at her seventeenth birthday party–but certainly not the one she gets!
Jordan Astraea, who has lived out all of her life in Philadelphia’s most exclusive neighborhood, is preparing to celebrate her birthday with friends, family and all the extravagance they might muster. The young man who is most often her dashing companion, Rowen Burchette, has told her a surprise awaits her and her best friend, Catrina Hollindale, wouldn’t miss this night for all the world!
But storm clouds are gathering and threatening to do far more than dampen her party plans because someone in the Astraea household has committed the greatest of social sins by Harboring a Weather Witch.

I have met Shannon twice and she is absolutely amazing. So read on and see what she had to say in answer to my questions!

1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?


I've always written, but I've also frequently wanted to do (and done) a variety of things. Among the things I wanted to do but didn't: Forest ranger (but I have an orchard and 26 acres), veterinarian (but I have heritage livestock I care for), and lawyer (but I've helped rewrite a few contracts). Things I wanted to be and have been: Teacher (loved it!), tour guide (fun!), professional artist (what an adventure!), and a professional author (quite a wild ride!).


2. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?


About a month and a half to two months.


3. How do you come up with themes for your stories?


Oddly, the themes basically introduce themselves through the characters I write. They have particular issues and conflicts and through those come the story's themes.


4. Do you have a schedule of when you write?

I try to. I really do. And I'm determined to make a schedule I can stick with which somehow takes into account cow escapes, sheep births, good haymaking weather and family illness or even changing sports schedules... Writing for me tends to be sporadic. Sometimes I'll write for hours or days (or Fast Draft a book in two weeks) but it depends on much more than the way I want to do my writing--as I say often, "Life interferes with art."

5. What elements do you think make a great story line?

The three elements I think best make a great story line are conflict, passion (and not always the sexy type of passion either), and growth.

6. What was the hardest thing about writing a book?

The hardest thing for me is not procrastinating to the deadline of a book.

7. How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?

At this point I'm closing in on finishing eight complete novels since 2009, three short stories, a number of newspaper articles, several comic books, and four national magazine articles.

8. Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?

My in-laws have read all my books and enjoyed them quite a bit. My own father is a writer, as is my step-mother (and my brother is an aspiring author) so they support me and my books but they don't have time to read them.

9.  What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?

Art. I love to do art. I sketch, I do papercutting, I used to paint and do metalcrafting... I do scratchboard. Art is always near to my heart. Other than that I enjoy hiking, canoeing, listening to live music and this summer I'll be learning guitar.

10. What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?

Write every single day and jot down every idea and every dream in a journal.

11. Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such?

My husband is my go-to. He is involved in (or at least aware of) each step of the book's creation.

12. Are you working on anything now?

I'm always working on something. There are actually some things in the works with a smaller publisher and I'll be pitching new books to my agent and editor soon. What they decide is best for my career...well, that's their decision.


Thanks so much for stopping by today, Shannon! It was so great to have you hear and learn about your writing process and your books!
I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC of this book to review. So read on to see my thoughts!

The Cover Contessa's Review:
I want to thank St. Martin's Griffin for providing me with an ARC ecopy of this book to read and review. The first time I saw this cover, I just knew I needed this book, and I hadn't even read the blurb yet! And I knew that Shannon Delany would write something terrific! I was very excited when I was contacted to have been pre-approved on Net Galley! And now I own a paperback copy! Receiving this book for free has in no way changed or influenced my opinion or review.

First, I must give this book some huge cover love. I mean look at that think, simple yet gorgeous. I am in love with the blue color, the swirling, the girl on the front. It's unique and gives just a hint of what this book contains. And, since I'm a huge fan of Steampunk, it has that hint that I love so much. The cover drew me right in, even before I had an inkling of what the book was about.

As for Shannon's writing, well, wow is really all I can say. It's so easy to read. The flow is great. Her descriptions make me feel like I can see her world, touch her objects and feel the emotions of her characters. One thing I really loved is that, even though she had so many characters to develop, she really did it quite flawlessly. I never once questioned who I was reading about. And I love that she chose to do this book in third person. To have the outside eye looking into the lives of her characters and seeing how her world was put together. It's a masterfully woven tale

As for the characters, I wanted to be standing right next to each and every one of them. I loved their personalities and development throughout the book. I fully connected with each and every one of them. They are realistic and believable.
Jordan is really strong, yet feminine. She can totally take care of herself. She's crafty and she knows who she is and what she wants. At the same time, she has many of the typical teen doubts that come along with that age. Yet, she is confident and certainly mature beyond her years in many instances. 
Rowen, well, I absolutely loved him. HIs dedication really intrigued me. When I first saw him and Jordan together, I didn't really feel the connection that they had. Yet as the book moved along, I was really able to see the spark, especially when reading about his character. He is determined, not to mention caring. And he exudes a confidence that helps you realize he will do anything to go after and get what he wants. He is Jordan's protector and will die trying to ensure she remains safe.
Bran,The Maker, well, he's evil, but you can tell he has a soft spot. And you know that he is waivers in what he does and what he wants to do. He finds his job to do becoming harder and harder each day. 
As for the other characters, well, they lend a great deal to the story, but this review would go on forever if I went into each and every one of them. Just know that they all play an essential role in the tale that is told.

While I really loved this book, I did have a hard time getting into it at first. All the world building was a lot to take in and I had to give myself pause a few times to absorb it all. I had moments where I was confused and found I had to back track a bit to catch back up. But once I got into the story, I could not put the book down. The story is full of intrigues, evil, goodness and a budding romance which I know will prove to be of great interest in the future. I'm a huge lover of steampunk, as well, and this book has all the right elements: automatons, a paranormal element, airships. And you get the dark sinister elements of the world right from the get go. In a way, that part reminded me a bit of a dystopian read, the government in charge of those they consider to be weather witches, and using them for the powers they have while banning them from society at the same time. They essentially are slaves.

All in all I really enjoyed this book and I'm looking forward to the sequel. I was left with a cliffhanger ending and I need to know how it works out! Well done Shannon!

If you are a fan of Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices series, then you should pick this one up and give it a whirl!



 photo 3200239_zps625f9b2a.jpgShannon Delany has always been surrounded by books! Her aunt was a head librarian and her father was always trying some new creative endeavor. She grew up with a fierce love of history and studied social studies education and foreign language and culture in college. After substitute teaching in every grade level and subject area in Pennsylvania and Maryland she taught for five years in Florida and then moved back north to be around family. With the birth of her son she decided to become serious about writing and worked freelance jobs until she landed a contract with St. Martin's Press for the 13 TO LIFE series--all because of a contest one critique partner warned her against!

Giveaway #1

  • a signed mini poster
  • a signed postcard and more story-related goodies

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a Rafflecopter giveaway
Giveaway #2

  • a signed copy of Weather Witch
  • a Weather Witch coffee mug with special goodies (all connected to the story)
  • signed copies of 13 to Life and Secrets and Shadows
  • a handcrafted mask
  • a special metal and crystal bookmark
  • a mini top hat
  • a silhouette of their own profile cut and matted by me
 photo WWGiveaway1_1_zps5c833296.jpg
a Rafflecopter giveaway

15 comments:

  1. Who? I don't understand your question. Weather Witch is the name of the book and there are more than one of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What I meant was that what is it about weather witches that associating with them is a social sin?I accidently wrote 'the' instead of 'a'.

      Delete
    2. Ah, I see! I will let Shannon answer that. I will let her know you are interested!

      Delete
  2. This sounds like an interesting story. I love the Infernal Devices series, so I'll definitely give this one a try. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really enjoyed the story, Amaleen. It took me a little to get into it, but then it really took off!

      Delete
  3. Aside from your own books, what are some of your other favorite books?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is Shannon's response (she was having trouble getting on here to post it, so I'm doing it for her): "Diana, I love Neil Gaiman's stuff, Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why, Ann Aguirre's Blue Diablo and Enclave, Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game and the Red Prophet series, Harry Potter, the first few Sookie Stackhouse novels, Golem by David Wisniewski (the art is mind blowing), Mercedes Lackey's Arrows Flight and The Giving Tree."

      Delete
  4. What are some of your favorite genre's that are totally different and far from your own books you write?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Any new books that you are currently writing right now?

    Arra
    Style | Reader (INT giveaway on the blog)
    http://arraabella.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great giveaway!
    How many hours a day, do you dedicate to your writing?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the giveaway! When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the giveaway! I'm in awe at how quickly you are able to write a book. Do you do a detailed outline beforehand or just write "pantser" style?

    ReplyDelete

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