Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blog Tour: SAVING ELIZABETH by Amy Machelle


Wendy here!  :)  I am pleased to introduce everyone to Amy Machelle! This is the first stop on her blog tour for her debut novel, Saving Elizabeth, which is being published tomorrow, December 14th! I met Amy on inkpop.com, and she couldn’t be sweeter. While uploaded to inkpop, Saving Elizabeth was a huge hit with readers on the site, so I was not surprised to hear she’d been picked-up for publication. I was stoked to be able to read an advanced copy of her novel for this tour stop!

Blaming God for the death of her father, sixteen year old Elizabeth Bridges denounces her faith and vows never to utter His name again. She tries to distance herself from anything spiritual, but the events that occur after an unwanted move make that difficult.
First, the dreams come – dreams of evil creatures, and rendezvous with the gorgeous stranger she thinks her mind created to escape her miserable life. But her first day at Glacier High proves there’s more to it than that.
Elizabeth meets Riel, the boy from her dreams, and he knows more about her than is humanly possible. He says she possesses a coveted gift that all of Hell is clamoring to seize. The monsters she dreams of are real, and they’re battling for her soul. Soon, Elizabeth is thrust into a spiritual realm where she doesn’t know friend from foe. She battles demons in the storage closets of her high school, with Riel, her only protection.
Will Elizabeth be able to trust Riel and help him save what matters most, or will they both join forces with darkness and turn their backs forever on the only One who can offer them the love and peace they so deeply desire?
 

Review:
     Saving Elizabeth is a fast-paced, quick read told from dual perspectives: Elizabeth and Riel. Both characters are struggling with their own internal issues, and it’s interesting to be inside both their minds since Riel knows about Elizabeth’s struggles, while she is unaware of his.
     I love our main character, Elizabeth--my heart goes out to her when her mom starts moving on with life before Elizabeth is ready, and I can feel her pain. Then there’s Riel’s storyline, which captured me even more. His fight against his own desires versus what he knows is right will keep you riveted. My friends know I’m a sucker for literary bad boys. So why, you ask, did I fall so incredibly hard for Riel, the ultimate good boy?  Don’t get me wrong - Riel’s no wimp; he can fight. He’s strong and honorable and passionate. *sigh* Riel is simply num-nums. Is it wrong to want to gobble a pure soul to bits? The whole time I was reading I could feel his need so clearly. (I’m trying really hard not to get carried away and give spoilers here. There’s so much I want to say, but I can’t!) 
     Besides making me swoon over Riel, one of the things Amy Machelle does especially well are the creepy enemy scenes. The dark souls fighting to take Elizabeth are straight-up scary. They have this demonic smoke that oozes from their mouths - eeek! Amy’s writing could take me from laughter to tears to chills in a snap.
Saving Elizabeth is a sweet, soulful, and engaging read. I was flipping pages so fast to see how it would end, and I love that I couldn’t predict it. The overall story is one of love, hope, healing, and faith. If this sounds like it’s for you, I urge you to check it out!


Interview:

Like our YAtopians, Leigh, Kelley V, Sharon, and myself, you were on the HarperCollins YA writers' community inkpop prior to being published. How did you find that experience and how did it help you as a writer?

Oh, wow. I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful inkpop was when Saving Elizabeth first started to take shape. It was truly an amazing experience. I had completed half of the novel, and was prematurely searching for publishing options when I ran across authonomy, inkpop’s sister site. I uploaded a couple of chapters of Saving Elizabeth, but quickly realized the site wasn’t for me. While there, I noticed some of authonomy’s members also had their work posted on inkpop. Since Saving Elizabeth is a YA manuscript, and inkpop is geared toward authors of YA literature, I thought I’d give it a shot. I uploaded what I had written so far, and it was a perfect fit. I couldn’t believe how welcoming the community was. Right from the start, they seemed to genuinely care about my story and its characters as much as I did. They offered words of praise and encouragement, but also pointed out areas that could be better. I received comments that included everything from grammar help, to identification of plot holes and weaknesses in characters. I had never written much of anything before, so you can imagine how helpful this was. Saving Elizabeth definitely wouldn’t be where it is today without wonderful inkies.

Tell us a little about your journey to publication as a first-time author.

After Saving Elizabeth received a gold star on inkpop in March of 2010, I edited my manuscript according to the review and got to work querying agents and publishing companies that accepted unsolicited queries. I’d take a break in querying when the rejection letters got me down, but I never left it for too long. For a year, the rejection letters slowly trickled in. During the summer of 2011, when searching for more agents to query, I ran across Tell-Tale Publishing Group’s website. They were a newly formed small press publishing company building their list of authors, and best of all, they accepted unsolicited queries. It sounded like Saving Elizabeth was the type of manuscript they might be interested in, so I gave them a shot and was thrilled to hear back from Patricia Lazarus shortly after. She is the editor of Tell-Tale’s young adult imprint, and she expressed her interest in Saving Elizabeth. One thing sort of led to another, and as they say, the rest is history.

Is Saving Elizabeth a stand-alone novel or the first in an expected series?

There will definitely be a sequel. Elizabeth isn’t quite finished with her story yet. Even though she’s come such a long way, she’s still got some growing to do.

I found it to be a gutsy and exciting move to have God and Lucifer as "characters" in the novel. What made you decide to write a faith-based YA fantasy?

My husband is a youth pastor, and the Twilight craze hit his youth group pretty hard, so much so that the girls started to bring their copies of Twilight to church. They were seriously reading it during church services. I couldn’t imagine what in the world would have them so captivated, so I bought all of the books and read them for myself. I finished the entire series in two weeks, and decided to search our local Christian bookstores for young adult fiction that would capture them like Twilight, but reinforce much of what my husband was teaching them during youth group. I came up empty handed. There just weren’t any faith based paranormal romances out there. The Christian book stores weren’t offering young adults much in the way of fiction at all. As a matter of fact, their young adult sections were minute in comparison to their adult sections. That’s when I made it my mission to write something that would appeal to the younger generation. 

In what format is Saving Elizabeth available for purchase?

December 14th is the e book release. You’ll be able to purchase it from Amazon and Barnes & Noble for Kindles and Nooks. You’ll also be able to purchase it in pdf format from Tell-Tale Publishing Group’s website (<--also check out the site for a sneak peek at the first two chapters!). The print release is yet to be announced.


Rapid Fire Questions:
Pink or Black? Black, but I think the two look fabulous together, especially in polka-dot form. :o)
Coffee or Tea? I’m ashamed to say I’m addicted to both. I seriously need a caffeine intervention.
Heels or Flats? Flats
Electric or Acoustic? Acoustic
Whipped Cream or Cool Whip? Cool Whip

* * *  I want to wish Amy the best of luck on Saving Elizabeth and future writing endeavors!  Here are a few ways you can support her...

Check out Amy's website.
Follow Amy's blog.
Follow Amy on Twitter.
Friend Amy's author page on Facebook.
Like Saving Elizabeth on Facebook.
Add Saving Elizabeth to your Goodreads shelf.

5 comments:

  1. Awesome interview, ladies. Thanks for stopping by and congrat. I can't wait to read your book!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great interview! You did a wonderful job of character overview without spoilers, and expanding author background! Way to go!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for hosting the first stop of the blog tour! It was so much fun! :)

    ReplyDelete