Shrapnel Blog Tour!

Today I am lucky to have the lovely Stephanie Lawton on the blog to celebrate her new book Shrapnel.

Here is a little bit about Shrapnel.

It’s been six years since Dylanie and her family visited a Civil War site and the place came alive with cannon fire. Problem was, no one could hear it but her.

Now she’s sixteen, her dad’s moved out, her mom’s come out of the closet and Dylan’s got a spot on Paranormal Teen, a reality TV show filming at historic Oakleigh Mansion. She’ll spend a weekend with two other psychic teens—Jake and Ashley—learning how to control her abilities.

None of them realized how much their emotional baggage would put them at the mercy of Oakleigh’s resident spirits, or that they’d find themselves pawns in the 150-year-old battle for the South’s legendary Confederate gold. Each must conquer their personal ghosts to face down Jackson, a seductive spirit who will do anything to protect the gold’s current location and avenge a heinous attack that destroyed his family.

1. What made you want to collide the Civil War, psychic teens, and reality television?

I don’t watch much TV, but my husband does and I sometimes get sucked into this shows. He was watching an episode of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded that featured the Knights of the Golden Circle and the fate of the legendary Confederate gold. Since we only moved to the South three years ago, things like this interest us Yankees! It’s certainly a different point of view and a part of history that we don’t know much about.

I’ve also had an interest in psychics since I was young. I always wished I had special abilities, but I’m afraid “mother’s intuition” is as far as my talents extend. I used to watch Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal on A&E (a reality TV show) and shake my head in awe of the kids (some still in early middle school, some as old as 19), who not only had to deal with the crap of growing up, but also had to deal with these abilities they didn’t know how to control. Many were scared to death of going to sleep, going to school and having an episode, etc. They either clung to their parents or felt rejected by them because they were different.

My husband and I are history nerds and have been delving into the history of Mobile, Alabama, since we moved here. My husband has always been a Civil War enthusiast, so moving down here from Ohio was quite an education. He’s had to rethink the whole war from the Confederate perspective. While dorking out, we learned that a woman had hung the Union Jack over the balcony of her home to ward off Union soldiers looking to take over and possibly destroy the beautiful homes in occupied Mobile. We originally thought it had taken place at the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion, but later learned it happened at Oakleigh.

On a long car ride, he and I put our heads together and plotted out the main storyline of Shrapnel. Later, I did more research and the characters came to me. The rest is history!

2. Have you visited any Civil War sites like Dylanie? Ever felt a connection to anything there?

I’ve visited a number of Civil War sites. In undergrad I went to Gettysburg, but didn’t have any unusual experiences. When we moved to Mobile, we toured the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion, and of course, Oakleigh Mansion. All the oak trees were cut down around the Bragg-Mitchell to give Confederates free range to bomb any approaching Union troops (it never happened) and all the furnishings were removed to Bragg’s plantation further north so they’d stay out of Union hands. Ironically, the plantation was burned by troops, but the Bragg-Mitchell was mostly untouched. We’ve also been to Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island, where Shrapnel opens. One of these days we want to head across Mobile Bay and tour Fort Morgan.

While researching Shrapnel, we also visited Fort Blakeley, which isn’t actually a fort and never really was. A number of earthen works still exist, and you can plainly see where the battles took place, but there aren’t any structures still standing. I also found old maps online that showed the location of the former Fort Jeb Stuart in Mobile. We drove around a couple neighborhoods trying to see where it may have stood. As far as we can tell, it’s now an empty corner lot.

Unfortunately, I’ve never had any cool psychic experiences, but my husband has. I’m so jealous!

3. How did your writing experience differ between SHRAPNEL and WANT?

The two experiences couldn’t have been more different! It took three years to write Want, which was character-based, but because I had a historical timeline to follow with Shrapnel, and it’s plot-based, I managed to write the first draft in just a few months. I took a few more months to revise, and revise again, but start to finish was less than a year. It’s much more fast-paced and much shorter than Want.

4. If you could go back and witness any event during the Civil War (doesn’t have to be a battle, can be anything) what would it be?
Hmm, I’m not big on the actual battles (I’m more interested in the social aspects), but it might be cool to witness the burning of Atlanta like in Gone with the Wind. It would be dramatic but scary.
I’d also love to see the exchange between Mary Irwin and the Union soldiers when they tried to take over Oakleigh (as mentioned in Shrapnel). Was she scared and meek, silently unfurling the flag over the porch and hoping for the best? Or was she a feisty Irishwoman who gave them the what-for? I like to think they got a kick out of her chutzpah and figured the house was more trouble than it was worth.

5. What made you choose to set the location of SHRAPNEL in Oakleigh Mansion?
As I mentioned before, I originally thought the Union flag incident happened at the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion because John Bragg was a politician and judge in Mobile. When I learned it was Oakleigh, my husband and I went on a tour of the house and fell in love with its history. It’s also located near Mobile Bay and the former site of Fort Jeb Stuart, which also lends plausibility to the storyline of the book. It makes the “what-if” more believable.

6. Any hints on future projects?
Certainly! The adult follow-up to Want, called Need, comes out in May. It picks up about two months after Want ends and is told from Isaac’s point-of-view. Right now I’m working on a WIP that’s been brewing for the better part of a year. I’ve started and stopped it several times, but I think the time is right to move forward on it. It’s set in rural Ohio (not the South!), kind of pre-apocalyptic, and will be New Adult. Of course, I could change my mind tomorrow … 

Thanks so much for the great questions and for having me! xoxo

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And here a link to the main tour page!

Birthday Bash Suggestions

Hi everyone!

My birthday bash is coming up quickly! I’m rounding up some great authors to participate and I know you guys are going to love it!

I am having a bit of trouble though. Last year was the first year I did this, the first year my blog was actually around, and so the theme was easy. Birthdays. While that was fun I don’t want to do that to you guys again. So I need a new theme. But…I can’t come up with one. I’ve thought of so many different things, my favorite involving zombies, but I feel like it’s all been done already.

If anyone has any cool ideas that you would love to see some authors write about let me know!

Throwback Thursday- Two Princesses of Bamarre

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books

It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.

You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.

Okay okay okay! I know I’ve already done this book before! You caught me! I recently picked up this book again and this is a perfect excuse for me to gush over it! I love this book. It’s one of those books that I wish had a sequel, but at the same time I don’t. On the one hand I want to continue on with Addie and Rhys, but on the other hand the novel ended so perfectly and left everything complete and perfect.

Contrary to what Goodreads says Addie is about 16 throughout the majority of the book. (Goodreads says 12 which is just wrong since Addie gets married at the end) She is shy and timid and kind of just like me. She has an older sister who is brave and outgoing and strong, also, just like me or rather like my older sister Tessa. When Tessa…I mean Meryl gets sick Addie has to go on an epic journey across Bamarre to save her sister from the Gray Death.

The cure to the Gray Death would be when “When cowards found courage,” I really love that. It might be because I am the biggest coward ever and don’t do a lot of things because they scare me. I also do a lot of things that terrify me. So the idea that the cure to anything could be found when cowards find courage is really awesome to me. I think Gail Carson Levine knew that too when she was writing this. A lot of booky people are shy and so I think the whole theme of this book can really resonate with them.

I am a shy kid and freak out and stress out over the smallest things, but when it comes to my family I would do anything for them. I would trek across Bamarre….I mean…the US in order to help them. I would outsmart specters, slay ogres, fight dragons, and move mountains in order to protect them. Just like Princess Addie does for her sister.

Another element to this book that I really loved were the poems and epics. Goodreads calls this a Mythopoeic Fantasy. It reminds me a little of the form of The Odyssey and Beowulf. Sections of the book are reenacted epic poems and I loved it!

I am also a slightly “prudish” person. I am very reserved and old fashioned when it comes to romances. I am not a giant fan of books where characters are all over all the time. That might be one of the reason why I love this book. The romance and relationship between Addie and the sorcerer Rhys isn’t based on physical attraction or actions, it’s rooted in the fact that they each love each other inside and out completely. It’s a slow building romance that still had me squirming inside and smiling whenever they were together. I kept looking around for my Rhys to come flying in and doing a show with the clouds….but…I just got cold and had to come back inside.

The story of this book is simple. A girl trying to save her sister no matter the cost. It resonates with so many people. It’s a really easy read, you could probably finish it in less than three hours, and it is definitely worth the read.

A Shimmer of Angels

Contest Info:
Readers can enter during the entire month of February. A winner will be chosen each day this month! Whether you are taking a picture of yourself in wings, drawing wings, or creating wings digitally, you can submit your photo or video to You can enter in a few additional ways in the Rafflecopter widget below, to increase your chances of winning. With a total of 28 winners, your chances of winning are great!

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7- e-Copy of A Shimmer of Angels
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Show Us Your Wings & #WIN a copy of A Shimmer of Angels, by @LisaMBasso, from @Month9Books!

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Sixteen-year-old Rayna sees angels, and has the medication and weekly therapy sessions to prove it. Now, in remission, Rayna starts fresh at a new school, lands a new job, and desperately tries for normalcy. She ignores signs that she may be slipping into the world she has tried so hard to climb out of. But these days, it’s more than just hallucinations that keep Rayna up at night. Students are dying, and she may be the only one who can stop it. Can she keep her job, her sanity, and her friends from dying at the hands of angels she can’t admit to seeing?

Don’t forget… There are also interviews (and pics) with the main characters of A Shimmer of Angels on the Month9Blog! You can check them out, or link to them, here…





Psychiatry, fantasy and real life come together in A Shimmer of Angels, as a young girl struggles with identity, secrets, and confronting her greatest fears. A Shimmer of Angels is for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider, or perhaps has felt like giving up entirely. It touches on themes of suicide, ostracism and emotional pain. The author, personally exposed to suicide through the death of a beloved family member, will donate a percentage of sales of this novel to a suicide prevention and outreach program in San Francisco, California.

Month9Books, a publisher of speculative fiction for teens and tweens, announces the release of A SHIMMER OF ANGELS, a debut young adult title from Lisa M. Basso.

Sixteen-year-old Rayna sees angels, and has the medication and weekly therapy sessions to prove it. Now, in remission, Rayna starts fresh at a new school, lands a new job, and desperately tries for normalcy. She ignores signs that she may be slipping into the world she has tried so hard to climb out of. But these days, it’s more than just hallucinations that keep Rayna up at night. Students are dying, and she may be the only one who can stop it. Can she keep her job, her sanity, and her friends from dying at the hands of angels she can’t admit to seeing?

Author of THE IRON WITCH, Karen Mahoney, says, “A SHIMMER OF ANGELS has a courageous heroine who finds herself in the middle of two gorgeous angels, a fascinating world, and a story that builds to an exciting climax – I’ll be looking forward to more from Lisa M. Basso!”

Lisa M. Basso was born and raised in San Francisco, California. She is a lover of books, video games, animals, and baking (not baking with animals though). As a child she would crawl into worlds of her own creation and get lost for hours. Her love for YA fiction started with a simple school reading assignment: S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. When not reading or writing she can usually be found at home with The Best Boyfriend that Ever Lived ™ and her two darling (and sometimes evil) cats, Kitties A and B. Lisa M. Basso is available for quotes, signings, video or podcast appearances, and all opportunities relative to A SHIMMER OF ANGELS.

A SLITHER OF HOPE, Book 2 in the ANGEL SIGHT series will be available from Month9Books in February 2014!


Month 9 Books is a publisher of speculative fiction for teens and tweens… where nothing is as it seems. Month9Books will donate proceeds from each of its annual charity anthologies to a deserving charity. Individually, authors may donate his or her advances and royalties to a charitable organization. Month9Books will also release 10-12 non-charitable titles annually. A SHIMMER OF ANGELS is Month9Books’s first Young Adult release. Month9Books is distributed by Small Press United, a division of IPG. You may visit for more information.


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