Marked Beauty – Excerpt and Giveaway

Marked Beauty by S.A. Larsen

Marked Beauty Cover

Publisher: Ellysian Press

Release Date: October 2017

Buy Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks 

Add on Goodreads

Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.
Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras. Not a welcome gift for a teenager. Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her.
Viktor Castle also has a secret. He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.
After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only to put her in more danger.
As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground. For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls.

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Excerpt #2 

The seatbelt jolted Ana back into her seat as the car plunged into the water, the hood crinkling like a weak soda can. Glass shards peppered her skin. The first sensation of cool water sprayed over her.

Ana moaned. She rolled her head to the side. Katee’s hair lay in strings across her crumpled seat; she wasn’t moving. God, why wasn’t she moving?

Pain screeched up Ana’s thigh as she yanked on her leg to move closer to Katee; it wouldn’t budge, wedged between two sheets of metal. It stung so badly that her stomach rumbled. She felt faint.

“Katee,” Ana rasped, the seatbelt pressing against her throat. “I’ll get you out of here.”

She didn’t respond. Blood trickled from her forehead, and her arm flared out in a direction it shouldn’t; it was definitely broken.

Ana fumbled to reach the clasp of her seatbelt, but the mangled console was in the way. Her fingers wouldn’t fit in the space.

Tears threatened to leak from her eyes, but she held them back, hiccupping instead. She always hiccupped when things went wrong. And that was as wrong as it had ever been.

The car shifted. Metal creaked and grunted. The lake poured into their glass and steel coffin. Ana wrenched her seatbelt, trying to loosen it and loop it over her head, hoping to shimmy free. There was too much tension. It wouldn’t let go. And like the rest of her pathetic life, she had no control.

Stupidly, Ana screeched for help and gulped a mouthful of lake. Why should she bother? No one would hear her. She rested her head back to float in the water, waiting for the inevitable. She thought of her father. She could never leave him like her mother had.

She spit water from her mouth and gasped for air. Her chest burned. The strain of expanding her ribcage was too much. Her vision blurred. Dizziness taunted her head. A soft buzz was all she could hear. She thought about praying, like Mem said.

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S.A. Larsen Author image 1About the Author

S.A. LARSEN is the author of the award-winning novel Motley Education, the first book in a fantasy-adventure series for middle grade readers. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Marked Beauty is her debut young adult novel. Find her in the land of snowy winters and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty-five years, four children, a playful pooch, and three kittens. Visit her cyber home anytime at www.salarsenbooks.com.

Follow and Connect with S.A. Larsen

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Blog | Goodreads

MarkedBeautyTour

Check out my Blog Tour Stop Here 

 Follow the Blog Tour Here


Giveaways

Blog Tour Giveaway:
One (1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

Join the Rafflecopter Giveaway

Release Party Giveaway:
What better way to celebrate a book birthday then by a giveaway! There are many ways to enter, which you’ll find below. You can win an iTunes, Amazon, or Starbucks gift card, an authentic Vera Bradley Little Crossbody in Cobalt Tile, an assortment of bookish swag, and even a KINDLE Fire HD 7″! The giveaway runs from release day, October 17, 2017 to December 5, 2017. Winners will be announced via social media December 7, 2017.

*No purchase necessary to win*
However, if you have read Marked Beauty or purchase it and read you can earn extra entries by posting a review on any major online retail bookstore and Goodreads! All the information you’ll need is in the form below.
BUT there’s more…
FOR WRITERS!

Writers who enter can WIN a first five pages critique!

Join the Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day lovelies.

Sincerely Karen Jo

Blog Tour – Marked Beauty

MarkedBeautyTour

Hello my fellow book lovers and welcome to my stop for the Marked Beauty Blog Tour.  If you’re new to my blog, welcome to Sincerely Karen Jo. Today I have S.A. Larsen share her ideas and techniques for awesome world building. Happy reading lovelies!

The World of … (World Building)

Establishing Your Story Grid

by S.A. Larsen

World building is an essential part of any fictional tale. It gives your story legs to stand on and an arena to flourish in. It can even become a character itself.

Constructing a story’s world is much like walking through a supermarket and honing in on specific ingredients that when brought together create an unforgettable meal. You still see the other cans of soup and the jars of pickles, but these particular pieces fit into your puzzle that contribute to your story problem, character development, and themes. The best mixtures, I’ve found, are the ones that play a duel or even a triple role, enriching the world, challenging a character, and pressing the story forward. But in order to do that your world must have a grid – specifics that are constant and foundational, giving the reader a steadfast platform to walk on.

So, how do you build it so they will come . . . and stay?

Ask yourself real-life questions and come up with structural answers that will serve as your building bible and your grid.

What is the world like? Is the environment harsh? Even though your story world is mostly set at a playground behind an elementary school where it always rains, you need to decide what it looks, feels, and smells like, and keep those constant. You need to establish a sense of place for the reader.

*A note about the senses: When I begin reading a fictional story, one of the first things I notice are the different smells. Why? It’s just my thing, I guess. Although I can’t literally grasp on to the sweet aroma of the warm, sticky bun the character is devouring or inhale the briny scent wafting in from the open sea, I can image both. A rich story world touches the five senses, guiding the reader deeper into every aspect without becoming distracting. And if you toss in some supernatural element you can really have fun with these. But remember it must be plausible and ground the reader more soundly into this world. If it doesn’t, you probably shouldn’t use it.

What are the story world’s necessities – What do the people eat? How do they prepare their food? Do they have special customs or rituals? What language do they speak? Is it a free world or are limitations in place? Elaborating on these will set the feel for your world. Your characters will become that more believable as you walk them through scenes incorporated with these details.

Develop the world’s outer dressings – How do the people dress? What type of transportation do they use? What are their living quarters like? Where do they work, and what type of work do they do? What are their schools like? Where do they do their shopping? How do they stay connected and communicate? Answers to these types of questions should give you a visual of what the world looks like at a glance. It will also add layers to your characters, molding them into three-dimensional forms that will only enhance and deepen the world you’re creating.

Inner Dressings – Are there prejudices in this world? How do people feel about their world at the story’s onset? What would they like to change? What is their moral code and how does that affect interpersonal interaction? Answers to these types of questions should give you a view of the hidden desires and fears of your story world.

*This one is interesting because for some characters their inner dressings will probably change by the end of your story. That’s their character growth. But establishing the demeanor of your story world at the beginning is vital to showing this eventual character transformation.

Are there magical elements in play? If so, what are they and what is their scope? How are they limited? Who can use them? And if some characters can’t, why not? Defining rules for these elements will only make the world you’re creating stronger, bolder, and more plausible.

What happened before the story began? What is the history of this world? Of its people? (People could refer to a family or a clan or a group in a school.) Establishing backstory is an important ingredient to expanding your world building. It gives it reality, blood and sweat-equity. And this is a great place to use your world building as a character. It can be a ton of fun. Different characters will have unique reactions to the world before you began this story world.

How did the history of this world alter it for the present? Are their social or environmental issues to explore? If there was a natural disaster, how do those people live differently now? Does it show in their attitudes and belief systems?

There are many other elements we could explore here. But the main point is that the reader must be made aware of the sights and sounds, the rules and geography, and even the history of your world. And if you’re writing a tale where otherworldly or supernatural elements come into play then your world building needs even more structure. Readers must have a guide when they enter a new story world, and you are it.

Marked Beauty

S.A. Larsen

Marked Beauty Cover

Publication Date:  October 2017
Publisher: Ellysian Press

Add on Goodreads

Buy Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks 

Uncovering hidden secrets can sometimes kill you . . . or worse, steal your soul.
Anastasia Tate has a secret. She can feel the emotions of others through their life energy auras. Not a welcome gift for a teenager. Especially when a sinister presence begins stalking her.
Viktor Castle also has a secret. He’s tasked with protecting humanity yet cursed by an ancient evil to destroy it.
After Viktor saves Ana’s life, her abilities grow stronger. Drawn together, she senses Viktor has answers to lifelong questions. Only he shuns her at every turn, knowing he has saved her only to put her in more danger.
As Ana struggles with her attraction to Viktor, he tries everything to bury his unexpected feelings for her. But they must find a middle ground. For only together can they combat the dark forces threatening both their lives . . . and their souls.

S.A. Larsen Author image 1About the Author

S.A. LARSEN is the author of the award-winning novel Motley Education, the first book in a fantasy-adventure series for middle grade readers. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Marked Beauty is her debut young adult novel. Find her in the land of snowy winters and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty-five years, four children, a playful pooch, and three kittens. Visit her cyber home anytime at www.salarsenbooks.com.

Follow and Connect with S.A. Larsen

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Blog | Goodreads

 


Blog Tour Giveaway: One (1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

markedbeautybloggiveaway

Join the Rafflecopter giveaway

 


Release Party Giveaway: What better way to celebrate a book birthday then by a giveaway! There are many ways to enter, which you’ll find below. You can win an iTunes, Amazon, or Starbucks gift card, an authentic Vera Bradley Little Crossbody in Cobalt Tile, an assortment of bookish swag, and even a KINDLE Fire HD 7″! The giveaway runs from release day, October 17, 2017 to December 5, 2017. Winners will be announced via social media December 7, 2017.

markedbeautyreleaseparty

*No purchase necessary to win*

However, if you have read Marked Beauty or purchase it and read you can earn extra entries by posting a review on any major online retail bookstore and Goodreads! All the information you’ll need is in the form below.

BUT there’s more…

FOR WRITERS! – Writers who enter can WIN a first five pages critique!

Join the Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Schedule

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Chapter-by-Chapter-blog-tour-button (1)

Thanks for reading lovelies. Hope you enjoyed this post and don’t forget to leave your comments down below.

Sincerely Karen Jo