Surface Excerpt

SurfaceCoverToday, I’m sharing an excerpt from Surface by Tiffany Duane. Check it out and also enter to win a Sony eReader!

Surface by Tiffany Daune
Publication: February, 2013
Genre: YA Paranormal


Bound to the water bound to land, a Siren’s soul will never be safe on either side of the ocean’s surface. Hidden beneath the rolling waves lies the secret to Theia’s past and as she unveils each haunting truth, she realizes the last seventeen years of her life have been a lie. Now, drawn into a mysterious new world and with nowhere to turn, Theia must place her trust in Luc, a beautiful boy who stops her heart with each dazzling smile, but even his unearthly charm can’t hide the truth—he has secrets— dark secrets binding him to his world—an underwater world where Theia will never belong—a world determined to destroy her soul.

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He reached behind the tapestry and removed a book with worn letters across the front—La Doctrine de l’Origine. The book was bound in a scaly coat, like fish skin. Its edges were torn, and some of the larger scales had peeled off. Luc opened the book filled with thick pages, not made with paper, but rather some type of hide, and the lettering was burgundy, as if scrolled in blood.

Luc flipped through the pages and stopped a quarter of the way in. He set the heavy book down on the ship’s wheel.

“Here, look.” He pointed to a familiar image. “This is the mark—it is on you, and it is on me—it’s the birthmark of all Artagasians.”

Theia leaned in close to the pages. They smelled of dried fish, but also sweet like orange blossoms. Her finger traced the outline of the sketched birthmark. The same mark she had seen in the mirror her whole life. She had always been ashamed of the giant smudge on her arm, but not now, not when it lay so beautifully drawn in this book, not when her birthmark meant so much more.

Click here to enter to win a Sony eReader!

TiffanyTiffany Daune doesn’t get why people want to grow up or why anyone would ever stop eating candy. Her purse is filled with books, lip gloss and a few pieces of Lego bricks. She writes best with a dish of chocolate chips on hand and finds licorice makes a better straw than plastic.

She lives on an island and believes mermaids may be raiding her candy stash, though she hasn’t caught them, yet.

Surface is her first novel and pairs well with gummy sharks.

Author Links:

Motives and Secrets

The last (or possibly next to last) book in the Kings of Charleston series has me delving into the pasts of the two main characters, but mostly Cal’s. I’ve purposely held back a lot of details about him because his past has a lot to do with not only his future, but the entire future of everyone around him. And revealing his past would’ve taken away from the mystery of Kythera.

I would love to give you more details, but every time I write a sentence to explain, I realize I’m giving away a part of the mystery that will unfold in the third book. So, let me just say there will finally be some clarity as to why Cal is the way he is.

With the new revelations about Cal, there will also be some more clarity about Casper’s own motives and why she does the things she does. The first books didn’t really delve into the characters, because I felt you needed to be pulled into the world of Kythera and what it’s like to be a member. To me, Kythera was really the star in the first two books, having it’s own character revealed and allowing you to get a sense of what Kythera was all about.

Now, I feel like it’s finally time for Casper and Cal to shine and it has been such an enjoyable experience to really get into the heads of the characters. I get to delve past the power and greed of Kythera and to the motives of it’s members.

Before, you’ve only gotten a glimpse at a few of the characters motives, but now those motives become the star of the mystery. And like anytime secrets are revealed….things get complicated and not everyone makes it out alive.

The Heiresses by Allison Rushby

Today, I’m excited to feature a Q & A session with Allison Rusby, author of The Heiresses! There is also a giveaway you can enter to win a paperback copy of The Heiresses (find out how to enter after the Q &A). A big thank you to Allison Rushby for stopping by!


The Heiresses by Allison Rushby
Publication date: May 7th, 2013
by St. Martin’s Press
Genre: New Adult Historical


In Allison Rushby’s Heiresses, three triplets–estranged since birth–are thrust together in glittering 1926 London to fight for their inheritance, only to learn they can’t trust anyone–least of all each other.

When three teenage girls, Thalia, Erato and Clio, are summoned to the excitement of fast-paced London–a frivolous, heady city full of bright young things–by Hestia, an aunt they never knew they had, they are shocked to learn they are triplets and the rightful heiresses to their deceased mother’s fortune. All they need to do is find a way to claim the fortune from their greedy half-brother, Charles. But with the odds stacked against them, coming together as sisters may be harder than they think.




Q. Where did you get the inspiration for The Heiresses?

A. This is extremely embarrassing, but I think it was actually from watching a Dr Phil show, years ago. I can’t say too much as it will spoil the plot completely, but I saw a segment that involved a family and their genetic makeup and asked my husband (a medical specialist) about it all that evening. This led me to wondering how this family’s scenario might have played out if genetic testing was not available to them, which is the case in The Heiresses, set in 1920s London.

Q. What other novels in the New Adult genre would you compare The Heiresses to?

A. I think the obvious comparison is Anna Godbersen’s The Luxe series, because of the historical setting and the saga-like plot. I love all her books!

Q. What’s The Heiresses about?

A. The Heiresses revolves around triplets Thalia, Erato and Clio. Estranged since birth, they are thrust together in glittering 1926 London to fight for their inheritance. They quickly learn they can’t trust anyone in their new lives – least of all each other.

I had an absolute ball writing The Heiresses with all its dramatic highs and lows. I was even lucky enough to be living in Cambridge at the time, so had the advantage of being able to research in London whenever I needed to.

Q. Who are your favorite authors?

A. My very favourite author is P.G. Wodehouse. So much so that for Christmas I received the five book The Jeeves Omnibus set because I’d worn my old five book set out! Some other favourites are Stella Gibbons and anything at all Mitford.

Q. How long did it take to you to complete The Heiresses?

A. The Heiresses was a little different for me because it was contracted from only a short writing sample and a series guide. I wrote it very quickly, in under nine months (altogether, it’s roughly 120,000 words). Usually I wouldn’t be anywhere near this fast!

Q. What was the hardest part about writing The Heiresses?

A. The most difficult part was the historical research. Although I love to read historical books and watch documentaries and historical dramas on TV, I hadn’t actually written anything historical before. When I started writing, I found myself stopping after every second sentence or so to research this point and that point. After a while, I realised I had to write on and put little ‘x’ signs where I needed to research and go back later to do all my research in one session, or I’d never get anywhere!

Luckily, I wrote The Heiresses while living in Cambridgeshire in the UK (I usually live in Australia), so could pop on a fast train and be in London in under an hour to research anything I liked. Being so close to London was an enormous bonus – from the London Transport Museum, to simply walking around Belgrave Square, it really brought the story to life for me. I even managed to crash the village set of Downton Abbey, which was a hugely exciting day, despite the fact that it snowed (Australians don’t do snow well…)!

Q. Why New Adult?

A. I think it’s just a fascinating time in life — a time that’s difficult to bridge and often scarier than any other change you’ve been through. You don’t necessarily feel like an adult, but you have sudden adult responsibilities (working, studying in the kind of way where no-one cares if you go to classes or not, maybe being a parent if you have children early…). Everyone has a different experience and everyone deals with that experience differently. There are endless story-telling opportunities!

Q. What do you feel the major differences are between New Adult and Young Adult?

A. For me, it’s all about bridging that gap between childhood and adulthood and the more I see people discuss New Adult, the more this is firmed up in my mind. I do think people focus too much on the sexual content of books when talking about the New Adult genre. For me, The Heiresses is New Adult because of how the girls deal with the sex they are having in the book (and, to be honest, there isn’t a whole lot of sex) and how it changes them from girls into women, along with all the other happenings in their new lives.

Q. So much New Adult work is self-published. Is there a reason you chose the traditional publishing route?

A. The Heiresses was a bit of a different publishing experience for me as my agent approached me and mentioned St Martin’s Press was actively looking for New Adult ideas that could work in serial form. I had the basis of an historical idea that I’d been thinking about for years and the timing was great as Downton Abbey (set in a similar time period) was really taking off. Thus, The Heiresses began to take shape very, very quickly. I’d love to say all my ideas pull off so easily, but unfortunately that’s not quite true (I sold my first chick-lit novel out of the slush pile and agent-less in 2000 and have many a manuscript in my bottom drawer)!

Q. Most New Adult books seem to be set in college. Can you tell us more about writing historical New Adult?

A. As it happens, when I first had the idea for what would become The Heiresses (years ago), there was no such term as New Adult. The idea itself meant that the story required three 18-ish year-old heroines (they needed to be able to inherit money, be of marriageable age, live away from home and be generally young and fabulous in 1920s London etc.), so it simply happened to fall into the New Adult genre naturally. As for the world, I’ve always adored reading about London in the 1920s and it’s a perfect fit for the New Adult genre — the years between WWI and WWII were a very heady, unstable time to be young in England, with death looming and a ‘live for the moment’ motto.

Q. What are you reading at the moment?

A. I’m actually on a short New Adult/Young Adult reading break (might have gorged myself a little there) and am reading Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which is absolutely fascinating and horrifying all at the same time.

Q. What are you writing now?

A. I’ve just finished a contemporary New Adult novel. While it’s set in the present day, it’s not college-based, but is about a charismatic modern artist and a young woman who becomes his muse. It’s set in Paris, London and New York. My next New Adult novel will most likely be historical, though.

Q. Do you have any advice for aspiring New Adult writers?

A. Read widely and write what you’d love to read. I think it always shows if you’re writing something you’re excited about, rather than trying to write to a trend.

*Click here to enter to win a paperback copy of The Heiresses (Open to US/CA only)*


AllisonHaving failed at becoming a ballerina with pierced ears (her childhood dream), Allison Rushby instead began a writing career as a journalism student at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Within a few months she had slunk sideways into studying Russian. By the end of her degree she had learned two very important things: that she wasn’t going to be a journalist; and that there are hundreds of types of vodka and they’re all pretty good. After several years spent whining about how hard it would be to write a novel, she finally tried writing one and found it was quite an enjoyable experience. Since then, she has had nine novels published. She keeps up her education by sampling new kinds of vodka on a regular basis.

Author Links:

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter


The End Game

I’ve been working on the third book in the Kings of Charleston series and I’ve been really playing around with the idea of when to stop the series.

When I began writing, I was dead set on a three book series. It’s a nice number and I felt like that would give me plenty of time to tie everything up, but as the story has progressed I’m no longer confident in the magical number “3”.

When the first book was published, I set my eyes on the sequel. I can remember thinking there was no way I could love the second book more than the first. I was totally wrong. In all honesty, the second book is now my favorite.

Before I began work on the third, I didn’t think in a million years that I could love the third as much as the second…haha (Good thing I don’t bet with myself). I’m now starting to really love where the story is going in the third book and there have been some twist and turns that I didn’t expect to happen.

I think why I’m loving each book more and more is because I’m getting to witness Casper evolve from a teenager into a young woman who stands up for what she believes in. Casper has turned into a real fighter and I’ve really come to like that about her.

In the first book she’s got a smidgen of a rebel spirit, but ultimately she goes along with Kythera (and even Cal) until the final act by Tyson which sends her over the edge and into total rebellion against Kythera.

So what’s the end game for this series?

Honestly, I don’t know. Once the third book has been written, the future will be a little clearer, but right now anything is possible.And even when Casper’s story is over…it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s really over.

I’ve played around with the idea of a new series that fast forwards into the future for Casper and Cal. I feel there’s some potential to take this Young Adult story and extend it into the Adult fiction category. I’ve also have been mulling over the idea of a prequel which gives you a peek into Tyson’s story when he was a teenager.

Who knows where the Casper’s story ends (I sure don’t), but I’m enjoying every minute of writing her story and seeing her grow as a character.

Sneak Peek of… The Kingdom’s Revolt

In my history class last year, I studied the French and American Revolutions. Histories of people who weren’t satisfied with the status quo, who felt their governments were unfair and taking advantage of them. They wanted freedom. Freedom, we’re taught in history, is something worth fighting for, but I never thought I would have to fight for it.

No, my struggles against Kythera may never be recorded in the history books, but I’ll always remember the time I started my own revolution. -Casper Whitley