Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Everafter by M. Lathan - Blitz, excerpt and interview

Everafter by M. Lathan
(The Immortals of Westchester Prep, #1)
Publication date: 15 May 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

After years of battling leukemia, seventeen-year-old Sydney Long has made peace with her impending death. She expected pain, she expected tearful goodbyes, but she never expected to be turned into an immortal monster who can, with the slightest touch, control life and death.
Now, flowers are stirring when she walks by, she’s oddly drawn to death and the dying, and she must wear gloves to keep her living parents safe.
While her family toils with this supernatural nightmare and finding a way out of it, Sydney falls for magic and an equally as enticing boy who she can’t seem to stay away from.
But nothing comes without a price. When Sydney is targeted for her illegal magic, she’ll learn a whole new meaning of fighting for her life.

Excerpt from Everafter by M. Lathan
(I must say all the excerpts were amazing! But I had to pick only one)

I’d always wondered if Heaven looked the same to everyone or if it changed to fit our versions of paradise.
My version would be a recreation of my grandparents’ garden in Trinidad, and I would sit there and read poetry forever. But instead of a garden, I opened my eyes in my bed at the resort, still wearing the gloves Sarah had placed on my hands.
Someone had removed my oxygen tube, and they’d taken the IV out of my arm without leaving any puncture wounds. My usual marks from blown veins and years of being a pincushion had also disappeared. So had the heart monitor and every other sign that a sick person had lived in this room.
Pale gray light floated in through the curtains and illuminated the dust particles in the air. As I watched them, I lay perfectly still on the bed, waiting for something cosmic to happen. Minutes passed and nothing moved in the room but me. My chest rose and fell at an easy pace without pain or wheezing. It made sense for pneumonia not to follow me to the grave, but why was I breathing?
Hesitantly, I placed my gloved hand over my heart, and it hummed against my palm. Corpses didn’t have heartbeats.
I was ninety-eight percent sure that I’d entered some sort of post-death trance, but I wasn’t going to get anywhere by staying in bed and waiting for my new life to start. It had started, albeit strangely, and I wanted to meet it head-on.
I sat up with no discomfort for the first time in weeks, and a vase of peonies on my bedside table caught my eye. They were a vibrant shade of red, like freshly spilled blood, with drops of dew rolling down the petals.
Someone had left a note next to the vase.
           Try to enjoy this day. It’s the first of many. The first of eternity.
As I stood on my own for the first time in forever, I whispered, “Okay. This is weird.”
The world stopped spinning for a second as I looked into the mirror that hung over my dresser. The girl inside of it was wearing black gloves, and she looked like someone I hadn’t seen in a long time. The healthy me.

A short interview with author M. Lathan on her book, writing and reviews:

Q: Tell us about your new book.
ML: Everafter is about a seventeen year old girl who was sure of her own death. She’s battled cancer since age twelve, and we meet her at the end. But instead of dying, someone turns her into a powerful immortal who can control life and death with a touch. This is the beginning of a paranormal nightmare, and she’s not entirely sure if she wants it to end. It comes with perks like guys she can’t stay away from and the chance to never die again.

Q: What does your writing process look like?
ML: A rollercoaster. I get this cool idea and I start writing like crazy. Everything’s great until I stop to read and see how all over the place I am. That’s when I stop to outline. That keeps me in line and helps me with pacing as well. When the draft is done, the real work begins. I have about four complete and total overhauls in me before the story is ready.

Q: What book do you wish you could have written?
ML: For nostalgic reasons, The Baby-sitter’s Club. I lived and breathed those books.

Q: How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
ML: I think names are extremely important. I always start with baby name websites, and I look for something that sounds like who they are. And I think about what their parents would’ve named them and why. In addition to all of those deep thoughts, I also explore options for nicknames. I never call anyone in my life by their full name, so a character’s name, in my head, has to shorten nicely.

Q: What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
ML: Write. I read that when I first decided I wanted to go for it and write a story that I would actually let someone read. I purchased three how-to books from Barnes & Noble, and each of them basically just told me to write. Of course, I rolled my eyes and asked … how? But the truth is, you just put a pen in your hand or your fingers to the keys and try. Write something awful. Write something beautiful. It doesn’t matter. Just write until you’re used to doing it.

Q: Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
ML: Yes, I read them, but I never respond. I don’t think readers are talking to me, so I don’t feel the need to. Also, it’s not a good idea to say something. Reviewers are just expressing their honest reaction to my work, and that needs to be true to what they feel. I don’t read every review, but in the beginning or when they are coming in slowly, I tend to see most of them. A lot of them are actually helpful and gives me things to work on, and some are just flat out entertaining.
Of course it’s sad when someone hates this thing you’ve poured so much time and love into, but I never expect every reader to like my story. That’s impossible. A review can pop up at 1:00 that says, “Characters are too sappy”. And at 1:30, someone could say, “Characters weren’t sappy enough”. Until you can find a way to write specifically for robots—good, meh, and bad reviews are just a reality. Somewhere after your twentieth bad review or so, the sting should fade. It helps to find your favorite book on Goodreads, the one you think is a flipping masterpiece, and read the bad reviews. You won’t agree, and that’s how it is for everyone. One opinion, or even a percentage of all opinions captured online, doesn’t determine if the work is good or bad. It means … it wasn’t for them. Hang in there.

As part of the book blitz, there is a GIVEAWAY. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purchase Everafter by M. Lathan. The book will be found here starting 15 May.

About the Author:
M. Lathan lives in San Antonio with her husband and mini-schnauzer. She enjoys writing and has a B.S. in Psych and a Masters in Counseling. Her passion is a blend of her two interests - creating new worlds and stocking them with crazy people. She enjoys reading anything with interesting characters and writing in front of a window while asking rhetorical questions ... like her idol Carrie Bradshaw.

Author links:
Website, Twitter, Amazon, Goodreads.

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