My Favorite Reads Giveaway Hop!

I have no idea why I love hosting giveaways so much. I just do. They're just so ridiculous fun and I love making people smile and the reactions I get from my winners make everything worth it.

This giveaway is set to feature my very favorite reads. So, you can win any book with a review I've tagged 5 red roses, since those are obviously my favorites :) There's quite a few of them, so there should be something for everyone!

These aren't the only options, but I want to put some eye candy, so don't forget to browse my 5 red roses tag!

These are all such amazing books and I love them all so much.

For this giveaway, we shall have…hmmmm...oh, let's go with four lovely winners.

EDIT, because apparently there is confusion on this: I explicitly state that you are to comment on the review of the book you want to win, not this post. READ, people. I  honestly don't understand why there's confusion. Any future inquiries sent to me regarding this topic will be ignored.

I'm not kidding when I say to read my Giveaways page before entering. Believe me, I can usually tell when people don't and if I can see that you haven't, I am totally not afraid to disqualify you and I absolutely will without feeling the least bit bad about it.

So, good luck my darling roses!


And while you're at it, be sure to check out the giveaways of all the other blogs in this hop!


So, my Personal trainer Lise has left me;=( She got another job and had to leave. Damn!

But I have been good and exercised hard by myself so no worries;=) Tuesday I ran 5 k´s and now I just finished a hard tabata work out consisting of tabata sessions of 45 seconds with 15 sec of rest and 8 different exercises. This was done 3 times and a total of 8 min x 3. Sooo tired but I love these hard intervall workouts;=)

Now to continue with the PT issue I´m gonna meet Lise´s follower Rafael in the coming days and see if we´ll click. He´s done kick boxing so I am really excited to see if he can teach me that?;=)

Enjoy the day now!

Masters of the Veil: REVIEW

****FINAL RATING: 4.35 STARS****


So, this was an enjoyable book. A really, really enjoyable book. I loved it, even. However, I also have some issues with it. I do think it was a very good book, but it definitely wasn't perfect. I would definitely read it again if given the choice, despite the fact that not too many of the characters save for one appealed to me. (YET.) Another thing this book has going for it is that it will appeal to both boys and girls.


I'm trying to think of someone I've wanted to punch as much as I wanted to punch Sam. He was, basically, a jerk and the living, breathing example of why I date dancers and not jocks. I am not a violent person but if I could've slapped him…well, I would've. He didn't even get less annoying until near the very end, which further ticked me off. I tried to understand his behavior to a point, but really there was no excuse for it. So I didn't like him. There. BUT! He really redeemed himself at the end and I think that I'll like him a lot more in the next books. He had real potential, and I honestly believe that I can learn to love him. (My first words to my boyfriend were, "Don't talk to me, jerk," so I obviously am not the best judge of character from first impressions.)


I didn't care for Daphne too much either, honestly. She had this attitude like she was so much better than Sam but he says like ten words to her and suddenly it doesn't matter. Ugh. This annoyed me to no end. I didn't hate her, because I think she does have an inner strength that is really admirable, but I really don't like at all the way she acted. Still, I think she could be a really awesome character later on, and I really can't blame some of her prejudices and opinions.
I was...okay with her. I liked her at first because she seemed sweet and very innocent, but then she did something that majorly ticked me off and struck me as incredibly weak. Instead of relying on herself, she used something else to try and get what she wanted, which is never okay with me. If you're not strong enough to get something by yourself, you don't deserve it anyway. So, I started to resent her and my liking of her was dwindling by the end of the book. However, once I realized a certain fact, I started to like her again, after learning something major wasn't really her fault and out of her control. (Although I do love her name.)


That is possibly the best header ever. Anyway, he was pretty much the only character I ever felt a real connection to. He was sweet but strong, and wasn't afraid to say what he felt. He had a a good heart that is reflected in the fact that Sam actually treated him like grass as opposed to dirt. Plus, music is wonderful. He was the only character I really connected to and understood fully. But like I said, the other characters have a ton of bubbling potential and I think in the next book I will learn to love them all.


This was pretty impressive, actually.

It was exciting and full of anticipation.

It was concise enough to keep my attention yet had enough information that I felt entertained and not lost. Which, in my world, is always a good thing.

The world building is fantastic, if a little much at times. I have a clear picture of Atlas Crown in my head, and it's lovely, if I do say so myself!

Everything falls into place smoothly, if a bit too conveniently.

Also, there was both just the right amount of magic and too much at the same time. For example, I loved how people just couldn't go around flying any time they felt like it, but I was also annoyed by some irrelevant, unnecessary magic. *cough*thefood*cough*

Yet this didn't significantly detract from the story for me. It was awesome!

Still, the plot is fast-paced and enjoyable and I loved every bit of it.


I wasn't too big a fan of this. I thought Sam and Daphne moved way too fast. I mean, the woman goes from practically hating him to diving for his hand! It was definitely instalove, and instalove is never cool. Really, it was kind of boring and there really wasn't a whole lot of chemistry going on. I also thought Cassiella's jealousy was way too extreme considering she barely knew Sam at all. Still, I've read about a lot of worse romances and I think that given time, Sam's relationships with both Daphne and Cassiella will bloom and even flourish.


This was the saving grace of the novel. Daniel's writing is beyond gorgeous and so descriptive and beautiful that it was impossible not to be pulled in. It's simple, but somehow still retains an absolute loveliness that really showcases the beauty of the world and everything about it. I admired it SO MUCH and really feel like it contributed so much to the book.


I honestly didn't care too much for this. I thought is was rather too convenient and far too clean and neat. I did appreciate one detail, however, that did make up for some things. It was painfully realistic and I appreciated that very much. It wasn't all roses and happiness, which was definitely nice to see and highly appreciated. It left a little bit of a cliffhanger but not really, and that was nice too.

Did I enjoy this book? Yes! Would I highly recommend it? Yes! It is one of my favorite books that I've read this year so far! I really think a lot of people would really fall in love with this book. Despite its problems, I loved it SO ridiculously much, and will probably reread it before the year is out to relive the magic (I am so clever). I will most definitely be reading the next book, and that should say something!


Keeping the hair...

...fresh and healthy when doing my changes from dark to lighter has many factors. First of all, I only use good hair products such as better schampoos, conditioners and treatments. Also, I dont do so much with my hair when I am not on stage. I dont use a flattener or a hair dryer, I let it dry naturally and I also use castor oil twice a week.

Then when it comes to the dying of the hair, when I have darker hair I only dye the roots and not the ends. So that saves the hair ends a lot. Then when Amal makes it lighter she uses bleach but very carefully and it takes a lot of time, instead of taking stronger bleach and shorter time.

A good hair cut is also something we do afterwards.

More than this: I guess I have gotten strong hair from my mum=)

Enjoy this day now!

Waiting on Wednesday (9)

Hi! Welcome to my edition of Waiting on Wednesdays!

This week I'm waiting on The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long.

A darkly compelling mix of romance, fairy tale, and suspense from a new voice in teen fiction.
The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she's lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack's help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she's faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice--and not just her own.

I mean, first things first.

Check out that freaking cover! It's downright gorgeous. Even if the girl is too skinny and it looks odd.

But it even sounds wonderful. Romantic and adventurous, also known as two things I love!

I'm really excited for this one!


What are you waiting on this Wednesday?


My new hair;-)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

New hair

Amal is doing a transformation of my hair and a lot of paper and colour is needed;-)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Underworld: REVIEW

****FINAL RATING: 4.20 STARS****


If I really liked Abandon, I beyond adored Underworld. It was so much better than its predecessor in every way possible. I loved every minute of it and it left me absolutely breathless when I was finished. It was incredible and shows that a series, no matter how experienced the author, can only get better.


I didn't dislike Pierce as much in this book as I had in previous books. I better understood the motivations behind her actions and especially related to her fierce desire to protect those she loves. She's still a little too reckless for my taste, but it's not like I'm not reckless sometimes, so I'm actually really not one to talk. Still, I connected better to Pierce in this book than I did in the last, and so that made the book much, much more enjoyable.


Yay John! Damn, he's hot. Really freaking hot. He's probably my favorite character because hot bad boys are so hot. I like how he has a layer of mystery that's slowly peeled back but still not totally revealed. He shows his vulnerability in shocking and beautiful ways and I love that. He's strong, but he has his weaknesses too. And of course, he's also really caring and protective, but he'll do things for Pierce even if he doesn't necessarily want to.


Alex was kind of annoying in this book and I couldn't figure out why. I mean, I know why he annoyed me, but I couldn't figure out what made him act so annoyingly. So I was kind of frustrated for a lot of this book and really wanted to slap him for being so dumb.
I was glad to see Kayla back. She had a great sense of humor and is really fun. I enjoyed her appearances and thought that she almost made up for Alex. Almost.


Underworld was far more action-packed than Abandon, which was really nice to see. Abandon was fun but didn't have a ton of stuff going on, whereas Underworld never had a single bored moment.

Additionally, I liked the plot. It was fun and fresh.

There was so much suspense! I didn't intend originally to read this book in only one day, but I found myself physically unable to put it down.

It was really amazing. It was also extremely original, and I didn't feel like I'd read the same thing over and over. I thought that it was exciting and new, and I loved that!

Underworld's plot was extremely intense in the best way possible and possibly the most fun I've head in a while.


The romance in Underworld was a lot heavier than in Abandon, but no less sweet! It really develops and John and Pierce become a mature couple. They even have arguments, realistic ones, which I loved seeing. They really come into their own together in this book. I love seeing the way they interact and how well suited they are to each other. The romance in this book made me extremely happy, and even though it almost borders a tad on instalove, it actually isn't really because of the past. So, I was pleased with that.


After so many years of writing, Meg's writing is still as fantastic as ever. Sometimes it sounds a bit juvenile, but it somehow fits her characters perfectly. Pierce is no exception. It's pretty and Pierce has an achingly real voice. The description evokes sharp images and I can hear Pierce's voice in my head. I love Meg's writing. It's not overly complicated or roundabout. It's sometimes a bit simplistic, but I honestly can't say I mind. The way she does it, it fits.


Actually, I'll admit I wasn't to impressed by this. I liked the very last lines and thought they made for a great but not too cruel cliffhanger, but an event that took place slightly before this completely threw me and rather ticked me off. I thought it was unnecessary and far too convenient. It didn't work for me, unfortunately. Still, I did like how she ended the very end. Even though I didn't connect to everything,


I'm totally reading Awaken! I think the name is perfect, and it sounds so good. I cannot wait for a cover release! I just know it will be gorgeous. I'm also betting on a lot of suspense, fun, and romance. Awaken is already one of my most highly anticipated reads of 2013.


Magic Monday (9)

Hi, roses! Today is a good Monday, because I have no school and it's not yet summer so it's an extra-special no-school day! So I'm doubling the number of winners for this week's giveaway!


This week's featured book is Rapture by Lauren Kate. As much as I wasn't really a fan of the first three books, I actually admit that I am kind of looking forward to this one. The cover is beyond gorgeous, and hopefully it will be much better. Besides, there is always time for authors to improve. Also, Lauren Kate is really really nice and doesn't go around trolling negative reviews.
Time's running out. We need to fly.

So, darlings, it's basically time to enter. Have fun, okay? And be sure to read my Giveaways page before entering.

Good luck, roses!


Morning sweat

Just came back from a fast 5 k run in the warm weather. Tried to find shadow everywhere cause HOT!! Now some cross fit exercises before I hit the shower;-) Perfect morning! - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Storm of Books (3)

Hello, darlings! It looks to me like we have some awesome books coming out this week! (And I might finally have the formatting I want down.)

I absolutely can't wait to get started on buying some of these!

Storm of Books may or may not include new and/or paperback editions of previously released books.

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Darkness Before Dawn by J. A. London
Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
Keep Holding On by Suzanne Colasanti
Changeling by Philippa Gregory

Nightspell by Leah Cypress
Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep 

Have fun booking this week, roses! I know I will! And June starts this week!



Hi all and happy monday to you;=)

Yesterday after Seths football game we drove home to Niclas (Alyson avenue) for a nice chit-chat in the sun;=)

Nice talk and nice things were discussed and as always I feel like "home" when we meet. And Nemo and Niclas little dog are new best friends;=) I think I need to get a dog in the future;=)

If you live in Växjö in Sweden and want to listen to Niclas and Alyson Avenue they are playing in Växjö on friday at Club Dirty Harry. Go see them;=)

Here´s an old song we recorded together before I entered NW:

Introducing...Magic Mondays!

Okay, hi everyone!

So, I am like so ridiculously excited about this.

I'm actually going to start my own meme! I am like bouncing up and down with joy as I write this post.

For quite a few weeks now, I have been featuring Magic Mondays on my blog. I have found them to be really fun for both me and my followers and I was pleased and surprised to receive a significant amount of email requests requesting that this be made a public weekly meme.

I finally officially posed the question last week and the general consensus seems to be that it would make a good feature.

So why not?

This is how I do my Magic Mondays: I feature an upcoming book with a brief excerpt. I have a giveaway that lasts a week long giving away five preorders of the book.

It's pretty simple.

So what would I want to see in your posts? Pretty much the same thing, although not exactly. The only thing I am going to request is that you feature an excerpt and some sort of giveaway--you can give away anything you please, as long as it is book related. :) I prefer that the book be an upcoming one or at least a very recently released one, as it makes the excerpts a little more special.

And yeah, it does have to be posted sometime on Monday ;)

You can grab the button/header I use below or create your own:

Sparkles and Lightning Magic Mondays

I know that most of you probably use Rafflecopter, as I do occasionally, but for Magic Mondays I use a template from Google docs I created that can be found right here. It is easily customizable. Each week I just update the name and the prize and set a theme according to my whims. You can do the same, if you'd like!

Okay! And I will include a linky with each of my Magic Mondays posts from now on so that everyone can link up their giveaways!

I think this is worth a shot!



Watching Seth play a football game makes Nemo waiting to try too;-)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Well, today I want to say Happy Mothers day to the best mum in the world - my own mum;=)

But also a happy Mothers day to myself and all other mothers on the planet! Enjoy this day and for me, being a mother is the best job in the world;=)

I have gotten a nice stone massage from Johan so my day starts soon with a relaxed time at the spa. Best Mothers day gift - relaxation!

Covermance! (18)

No synopsis yet, so I'll be using the Cold Kiss synopsis.
When her boyfriend, Danny, is killed in a car accident, Wren can’t imagine living without him. Wild with grief, she uses the untamed powers she’s inherited to bring him back. But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy she once loved.<

Wren has spent four months keeping Danny hidden, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school and somehow, inexplicably, he can sense her secret. Wren finds herself drawn to Gabriel, who is so much more alive than the ghost of the boy she loved. But Wren can’t turn her back on Danny or the choice she made for him—and she realizes she must find a way to make things right, even if it means breaking her own heart.

Amy Garvey’s transcendent teen debut is perfect for fans of Shiver and Beautiful Creatures. Wren’s unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

Desi Bascomb is a princess substitute prodigy--she's the fastest employee ever to advance to level three in the Façade Agency, and the youngest to ever be a full-time sub. But now with all eyes on Desi, the only thing she wants is a moment alone to talk to Reed, who's a Façade legacy and secretly a sub for princes. As Desi trains for her new role, she spies more than a few cracks in Façade's perfect appearance. But uncovering the agency's dark past might require more than a princess sub can handle by herself. Desi is no damsel in distress, but sometimes a girl needs a knight in shining armor.

Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Incarnate trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.


Loreen won!!!

Oh my!! Loreen won Eurovision Song Contest for us and I can just say that ever since I heard and saw her with this the first time in our Swedish competition I was blown away!

She is just amazing and Thomas Gson and Peter Boström who have written the song have done a super song;=)

CONGRATS to Loreen, Thomas and Peter - great job!!! Next year Eurovision in Sweden and I do hope for Malmö Arena or even better my home town: Helsingborg Arena!

City of Lost Souls: REVIEW



Oh, man, this book was bad.

It was so bad, in fact, that by the time I finished I was breaking out in hysterical laughter. Apparently it was was more hysterical than usual, too, because my boyfriend actually shot me a concerned look and asked me if perhaps I thought a visit to a doctor was in order.

My boyfriend hates doctors.

Look, I hate to say it about this book, but it' true. I didn't hate City of Fallen Angels as much as so many people did, but City of Lost Souls is an entirely different story.

It was awful.


I wasn't really sure how I felt about Clary in this one. She was a bit too reckless and often jumped into things before thinking the better of it. That was really disappointing, as in the last book it seemed like she matured and I feel like she regressed a little in this one. She didn't really think, and while I can kind of understand that, her constantly placing herself in danger really got old really quickly. I found myself wishing she would think through her actions more throughly for once and stop making so many a sty decisions.


We don't actually see a whole lot of normal-Jace in this one, which is really a shame, because he probably could have made the book so much better. Unfortunately, he was possessed (nothing you didn't know) throughout most of the book. Even though he's not possessed in the traditional form, he might as well be. He didn't have free will or the chance to act the way he normally would have and became boring and annoying until the end of the book.


Yay for my favorite character! He's amazing as always in this book, and his level of dedication is astonishing. I love him so much and love the way he's confident and knows exactly who he is. He's not afraid to take risks, but he also knows when to step back. He will never be anything but amazing, and if I don't stop this now I will spend the remainder of this review gushing about him, so I'm gonna shut up now.
I'm still a bit unsure how to feel about Simon. He's changed drastically from the first book and in some ways is almost unfamiliar. But in other ways, he's still the same fiercely loyal person. I do love him, and I think that we'll see more of him later. I like getting his POV.
I like Isabelle more in this book than I think I did in any of the other books put together. She shows more vulnerability in this book than she's shown in the past, which was especially nice to see. No one is perfect, and finally we see a bit of her softer side. So that was a plus.
What I want to know is what happened to the hot and mature Alec from the first three books. Like, seriously? Why did he turn into such a whiny and immature loser? I can hardly get through two pages without wanting to slap him for being such an idiot. I miss him and want him to come back.
I like Maia. I think she's sweet, but I also enjoyed seeing how she matured in this book. She really comes into her own and mature and makes some difficult choices. She really sheds that layer of innocence in this one.
I have always liked Jordan, possibly because i like his name and I am that shallow. ;) But in all honesty, I do like him. I like how he continually tries to make up for his mistakes, instead of ignoring them. Instead of erasing the past, he wants to fix it. That shows great insight and also maturity, which is really admirable and very nice to see.
So, I actually have more interest in Sebastian than, say, Clary at the moment. He actually is rather interesting. I honestly would enjoy hearing more about him and seriously wish we got something more from his POV. I know he's evil, but he's also interesting, and that's more than I can say for Clary at the moment. I would like to see how he ends up. He's a definitely layered character.


For about 300 pages or so, the plot of this book wasn't great, but it was tolerable. And entertaining, and so therefore fairly good.

Note that this book is longer than 300 pages.

It could have gotten better, I suppose, but it didn't. It's total shame, because I'd had really high hopes for whatever reason.

But as I approached the 400s especially, the hysterical aforementioned laughter began to bubble in my throat. And by the time I was finished, it was a full-on laughing fit because everything was so freaking ridiculous.

At first, it was pretty believable and sane, but it started to approach such ridiculous things that the first half of the book was completely wasted and felt absolutely pointless.

I thought it was so bagful it was actually funny.

So, I really didn't overall care for the plot too much. It was honestly a waste and I thought it was mostly unnecessary. i wish it had held more interest for me, but it didn't.


There is some Clary-Jace romance in this book, but not very much, because he's all under-the-influence and all, so he's not himself. There were, however, what were definitely some sweet and swoon-worthy moments. Clary is almost pathetic but I actually excuse that. What I did enjoy in this book was seeing the development of the secondary romances, like Isabelle and Simon and Maia and Jordan. They were very sweet and also very different, but they were both beautiful in their own ways. What I did not like in this book was Alec and Magnus. Since Alec has become annoying and immature, Magnus should just go find someone more deserving to be with anyway. 


One thing I cannot deny is that Cassandra's writing is absolutely beautiful. It always has been, and most likely always will be. It's lush, gorgeous, and descriptive. The imagery it evokes is pristine and flawless and her talent is worthy of envy. The main problem I had was that since the first book, she's adopted more and more flip-flopping POVs. At first I really liked this, but now it's getting tiring and old and difficult to keep track of.


Honestly, I'm not gonna lie: I found this pretty ridiculous too. It was laughably bad and felt like desperate attempt for another book when it could have really been easily ended. It was dumb in my opinion and I really didn't like it or find it to be a good ending at all. I was extremely disappointed as endings can make of break a book. This book is broken.


This book did not impress me at all. I will be reading City of Heavenly Fire, if only because I do feel that I need to know how everything ends and how she'll manage to make it into an entirely new book. And of course I'll be reading Clockwork Princess, as I've been enjoyed The Infernal Devices much more than The Mortal Instruments. I'm currently undecided about reading Lady Midnight and The Dark Artifices series, but we'll see. it's looking like a no-go unless COHF is better than I expect (among other things, because I do not have high expectations).



Good morning and a very happy saturday to you all! I went to Sandra this week and fixed my nails and now when it's summer I wanted a bright and happy colour. Turquoise is a favourite so that was our choice:-)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Author INTERVIEW and GIVEAWAY: Kenechi Udogu

Hello, there, roses!

Yesterday, you all read my review of The Other Slipper. I loved that book SO MUCH! If you haven't read my review, go ahead and do it now. I'll still be here.

So? Doesn't it sound great?

And now I have an interview with Kenechi, the author of said amazing book. It's a really fun one!

  • Hi, Kenechi! Welcome to Sparkles and Lightning.
Hi Annabelle, thanks for having me on your blog. 

  • What inspired you to become an author?
I read a lot as a child and it didn’t take long for me to start forming ideas about what I wanted to read. Then I started to write the ideas down and draw comic strips when I was still in primary school. The quality of my work was probably laughable but I knew I had something to share, even if it was just with my family members, so I kept at it. 

  • Describe your book in one word for me.
(This is really, really, really difficult!) Enchanted. 

  • When did you get the idea to do a retelling of Cinderella—from the other side?
I was heading home from work a few years ago and misread a café sign that said “The Other Side” for “The Other Slipper”. It bugged me that I couldn’t remember what happened to the other slipper after the ball so I made up a story about it on my commute. I decided that someone else found the slipper and had taken it home with serious consequence. Then I decided the person had to have their own adventure, it didn’t have to be a story about Cinderella at all. That really freed me up to write much more than I would have if I had stuck to the original story. I later found out what really happened to the slipper in the original story but it was too late by then, the idea had stuck

  • What was your favorite fairy tale growing up?
Argh, if I say, then the other fairytales will find out and never let me retell their stories. Seriously though, I never had a favourite but I was always drawn to the Cinderella story (methinks it was the lure of those glass slippers). It was one of the stories I experimented with in my early teens and I guess I’ve finally done it properly now. 

  • Do you think you’ll write a sequel to The Other Slipper?
Funny enough, I’ve been asked that question by other readers. I didn’t start off thinking it would be part of a series but by the time I got to the end of writing it, I knew I had subconsciously left room for that eventuality. The story ends well enough for a standalone book but there are plenty of opportunities in it to pick it up from another character’s view point. We’ll see if my mind can conjure up some more magic to jar their lives again. 

  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Don’t give up!

  • Tell us about the process involved in writing. 
Sit in front of PC, open document, surf the net for trivia I think I might need, spend ages distracted by random nonsense on-line, snap back to reality and type a few words, stare into space, maybe watch some telly, type some more, play an online game, more typing, decide it’s time to move on to something else. 

  • What advice would you give to anyone who wants to be a writer?
Don’t give up! Edit, edit, edit. Join a writing group if you can find the time and get independent people to read your work. 

  • How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?
When I’m not at work (I have a full time job), I read a fair bit but I also play far too much computer games (I can’t start to count the hours I’ve wasted trying to burst floating bubbles on my computer screen). If I get the strength to brave the outdoors, it’s usually to head to the cinema or out for dinner with friends. 

  • What’s the last thing you said out loud?

  • Anything you can share with us about upcoming books from you?
I have a couple of other YA books out at the moment but I’m attempting to write my first YA paranormal romance. There will no werewolves, angels or vampires in sight as I’m trying to make it a little different from a lot of books currently out there. Wish me luck. 

  • Thank you for dropping by, Kenechi!

And now, as promised, it's time for a giveaway!

Kenechi has generously offered me a copy of The Other Slipper to give away to one lucky winner!

Now here's the shocking part.

Annabelle is using Rafflecopter! By choice! o:

I did say I would try Rafflecopter eventually, and now's as good a time as any. Then it will be over with and I can decide if I like it or not.

Good luck, everyone!!


Author INTERVIEW: Daniel A. Cohen

Daniel is the author of Masters of the Veil, which is an awesome book that you should totally read if you haven't already. My review is probably going to up at the end of this month, so keep your eyes peeled, m'kay?

Oh, I know you will. Believe me, darlings, this is the author of a book worth reading.

Hello, Daniel! Welcome to Sparkles and Lightning!
Nice to be here.
What’s something about yourself that you haven’t shared with any other blogs?
I understand that you’re a John Mayer fan (I do my research), and I’m a huge fan myself. [Annabelle's note: Dude, I am so totally impressed right now. If you could see my face it would be like a beam of shock and happiness and being impressed.] I’ve listened to Continuum too many times to count and the song “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” gets me every time.
Describe Masters of the Veil in one word.
Tenacity. It’s the best way to describe how MOTV came to life.
How similar is Sam to yourself? Were you a lot like him in high school?
Sam and I were pretty much polar opposites in High School. I mostly kept to myself and I was terribly shy around women. Plus, I was a musician (shout out to my boy, Glissandro!). I did play sports, but they were the kind of sports that people only come to watch at gunpoint: Swimming, crew, ballet—DID I SAY BALLET? [Annabelle's note: Now I am even more impressed. I happen to know nine amazing guys who ballroom dance, but I think only like one of them would be caught dead ballet dancing. I am so, so, so impressed and happy right now.] *Nervously tugs collar* Um, I meant lumberjacking yeah, lumberjacking.
One of my personal favorite parts of Masters of the Veil is the villainy. I love how realistic the villains are. What inspired them?
I guess the Tembrath Elite weren’t really inspired by any group of villains in particular. They just kind of appeared in my mind one day. But I will say that the villainy in the sequel is even more intense. If you liked the Tembrath Elite, then just wait until you see the antagonist in the next book. 
Will we ever learn more about what the Veil really is? Or about what’s behind it?
Oh, you want details :)
Well, I’ve just about wrapped up the sequel, “Children of the Veil,” and as far as the Veil goes, the next installment of the trilogy is definitely revealing. PUN!
Are any of the events in Masters of the Veil influenced by something that happened to you?
Absolutely. I wrote MOTV during the darkest period in my life. Creating this story is what got me through some pretty nasty stuff, and even though the book is mostly lighthearted, I used this novel to challenge some of my fears and misgivings about life. The reenactment scene in particular was inspired by what I was feeling at the time.
Do I see the beginnings of a love triangle?
Maybe ;)
So, your characters have the best names. How do you name them?
THANK YOU! I’m so glad you noticed because I put a lot of thought and effort into each one of my character’s names. Whether it’s a play on a historical figure, a celestial body, something from a different language, or any meaningful tidbit I can dig up, I try to give my characters names with a little something beneath the surface. [Annabelle's note: I love seeing that all these names are so well-thought-out! Sooo impressive!]
After this series is finished, do you have any plans for what you’re going to write next?
Last year I started a novel that I was really getting into, but I put it aside so I can concentrate on the Veil trilogy. I think I’m going to tackle that next. I always wanted to write my own fairy tale, and that’s what seems to be emerging. 
What was your inspiration for Atlas Crown?
When I lived in the Czech Republic, my friend Daniel Gaetani and I took a rickety old train into the countryside on a quest to find a place called Cesky Raj—which translates to “Bohemian Paradise.” We had no idea what we were doing, or even what we were looking for. We got to a town rumored to be next to it and we stupidly went out into the woods, no compass, map, or sense of direction. What we found, however, was the most incredible place I’ve ever seen. Hundred foot monumental sandstone pillars, with stone cities, lush green, and a castle built into the rock, like something out of a fantasy novel. So I put it in my fantasy novel :) If you Google Cesky Raj you can get a small taste, but the pictures don’t do it justice. [Annabelle's note: Cesky Raj is indeed beautiful, but they really don't do justice to how I picture Atlas Crown. Still, they are absolutely gorgeous.]
There aren’t many male authors in mainstream YA, although in my opinion there should be more. Was this ever a concern for you?
To be honest, I didn’t actually set out to write YA. I just kind of started writing, and it turned out to be for young adults. So I guess I never thought about it beforehand. I agree though, I think more guys need to tackle this genre.
What is the last thing you typed on your keyboard? (Aside from answering these questions, of course!)
An email to my wonderful editor, Kate Kaynak, about the Book Expo America next month. For those who don’t know, the BEA is like Disneyland for book people; and if you’re in publishing, or you’re a librarian, teacher, author, or blogger, I highly recommend going at some point. 
Thank you for dropping by, Daniel!
                  Thank you, Annabelle! It was a pleasure!

I love doing interviews! They are just so much fun. I could seriously do them like all the time. I even like the formatting part, which usually takes forever because my computer despite being fairly new is kind of dumb.

Ah, well, keep your eyes peeled for my Masters of the Veil review, roses!