Sunday, July 21, 2013

Author stop: Cat Mann and A Beautiful Fate

We are taking a break from blog tours today and turning over our blog for an Author Stop. Welcome Cat Mann, author of A Beautiful Fate. There's an excerpt from her YA fantasy series to read, a guest post and a special coupon code for our readers who want to pick-up a copy of her novel.
A Beautiful Fate by Cat Mann
YA fantasy*eBook, 312 pages
Self-published (Published June 11, 2013)

Obsessive and driven by nightmares, Ava Baio is uprooted from her Chicago home after the untimely and tragic death of her loving mother. Taken across country by her antagonistic grandmother and placed as a boarding student at a school in Dana Point, California, Ava struggles with isolation and the loss of her mother and her grandfather. 

Faced with having left her beloved brownstone behind and attending a new school, surrounded by new faces and unfamiliar scenery, she finds herself sorting through unfamiliar and uncharted feelings with a strange and beautiful boy, Ari – a modern day Adonis. After an unconventional start to their relationship, Ava becomes intensely absorbed by her love for Ari, and with his help and the help of his family, she discovers who she really is – a Fate descended from Atropos. She learns that the Greek mythology she grew up reading is not comprised of myth after all.

Ava faces constant challenges both in her relationship with Ari and with the fact that she is being hunted by six threatening and ruthless men who want nothing more than for her to die so that they can live forever. She has no choice but to stand up for those she has come to love. In doing so, she becomes something she hates, a killer. 

A true page-turner, A Beautiful Fate is Part One of The Beautiful Fate Series. The novel is full of suspense, romance and the allure of ancient Greece. Ava and Ari will leave the reader hoping the story will never end.

Excerpt:

Ari and I lay interwoven together in bed. I felt his hand run down the length of my back. I blinked my eyes open. It was only two in the morning.

“When is doing something you know is wrong the right thing to do?” he asked.

Snuggling deeper into his chest, I thought about his question. I knew what was worrying Ari. Could I do it, could I kill?

Everyone comes from somewhere. Some of us come from good and others from bad. The best part about life is that we have the ability to rise above the situation we find ourselves in. We are dealt certain cards, yes, but we don’t have to cheat to win. My father made the wrong choice; Andy made the right one. I hoped I would make the right ones, too. We were at war, a silent war that would not be reported on the news or told in any history books. The first battle was with ourselves as we decided how to deal with our internal conflicts on a day-to-day basis. Should I choose what’s right or should I choose what’s wrong?

Unfortunately, the line between right and wrong isn’t always cut and dried. The Kakos came from bad, the lowest of the low, and decided to try to go lower. They are direct descendants of Hades. Their blood is not watered down or tainted. They are literal spawns of Satan. They possess no soul and therefore feel no grief or regret for their actions. The Kakos’ ultimate goal is to live forever on earth. They escaped from hell eons ago, tracked down and tricked a descendant of a Fate, who agreed to allot them more time.

They followed this pattern for centuries until finally the idea came to them that if there were no Fates, there would be no more cutting of their threads, and they would be free to live on earth forever. They then set out to kill every descendant from Clotho, Atropos and Lachesis they could find until they got to my father, the last known Fate on earth. He had made a covenant with the Kakos and then had broken his promise. As a result, the Kakos had declared war on every last Greek descendant. The Greeks could side with the Kakos or they could die.

I was the only weapon the Greeks had, but what do I know about war? I’m a seventeen-year-old girl. I have not yet discerned the path my life will take...and I am supposed to go up against the devil’s brood? If I fail, I die. Eventually the Kakos will come for Andy, Aggie and Ari and everyone I love. Andy will have to choose whether to side with the enemy and spare his family’s life, or accept death. In my heart I knew Andy would never back down and that his family would die a horrible death because of his decision.

If I hunted the Kakos down, then I would have blood on my hands. I would be a murderer, a sinner, and a criminal. I decided to refuse to murder anyone in cold blood. I saw myself as good and I did not want to tarnish my soul.

Ari had asked me how a person knows when the wrong thing to do is right. And I answered: “If I must do wrong to save someone I love, it is right. I will not murder anyone, Ari...but I will kill to save you.” I will protect my people, but I will not go out in search of blood.

Want to purchase A Beautiful Fate?
Author Cat Mann has a coupon code for our readers!
Save 50% at smashwords.com
Use code DS58U 
(This code will be valid from July 21 and expires on July 27th)

About the author:

Cat Mann has lived her entire life in central Illinois, but her interests and passions span the planet. She loves skiing, French music and working with the written language.
A self-proclaimed hermit, she is happiest at home reading, writing and scouring the far corners of the internet for new musical artists -- artists she skillfully weaves into her tales of the offspring of ancient Greece. She is happily married to her amazing and awe-inspiring best friend, Derek Mann, and together they have created two beautiful daughters.
A Broken Fate is Cat’s second novel in The Beautiful Fate Series. The third installment of The Beautiful Fate Series, A Forsaken Fate, will be available summer 2014.Visit Cat on Facebook and keep up with Cat on her blog.


Ah, The Cliffhanger

The cliffhanger. Do we love them or hate and possibly downright despise them? As readers, we have all had a special connection to the characters in our favorite novels. We love the moments when we hug our kindles tightly to our chest as tears stream down our cheeks. Not to mention those times when we pull our hair and scream aloud at the ink in front of our noses. I happen to love those moments - when the character hands me a handful of unexpected and difficult to deal with emotions. Nevertheless, is it fair for the author to give the reader an anxiety attack at the last chapter, paragraph, sentence, word of the book?

We give authors hours, days and sometimes even weeks and months of our time reading and obsessing over their stories and series. I myself have spent many a sleepless night clinging to a great read only to be a sleepy grouch monster to my family and colleagues the next day. As much time and love and passion as we put in to books are cliffhangers fair to us as readers? Is the suspense unjust and mean to the bibliophile or is it fun and exciting; leaving us begging, panting and pleading for more?

I have been forced to ask myself this very question. To any of you out there who have read A Beautiful Fate, the first book of The Beautiful Fate series, (and thank you by the way, and if not, please do!) you know about what I mean. There are some major cliffhangers at the end of chapters and the biggest of surprises greets us at the very end of the first book. It leaves the reader, myself included, gasping aloud with trembling fingers and a sweaty brow. “How can you do that?!” are the very words people have screamed at me, which is then followed by, “there had better be a second one!” The first sentence I usually cringe at and quickly give an “I’m sorry, don’t hate me.” Then second line brings a giddy, shit-eating grin to my face, because yes, there is a second book, even a third and I am thrilled that you want to continue reading my series.

As an author, I love to drawl emotion from a reader; it brings great joy to be able to connect with someone though my work. As a reader, sometimes the anxiety from a cliffhanger is a bit frustrating; I’ve spent days with my nose in this book and I have wait even longer for the outcome?!

All in all, I believe that we read because of the sheer enjoyment a well-written story can bring in to our lives. I think that a cliffhanger in a series book is an awesome feeling. We look forward to getting the answerers we so desperately need and I think we are even happy to know that we do not yet have to say goodbye to our new character friends. My favorite books always turn out to be the ones that I have a release date countdown on my desktop for their sequel.

For those of you lovely readers out there who have read my novel, I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts and comments on cliffhangers and on the ending of my own book-, I am not opposed to adding a bonus chapter to help shed a little light on a bit more of the story before book 2 arrives. Give me your thoughts- no spoilers please!!

For those of you who have not read the novel, here is your homework: read A Beautiful Fate and report back! Can’t afford it right now- I’ll give it to you! I just love to talk books! I love to talk with readers; nothing makes me happier than to talk books with a fellow book lover! You can contact me via Goodreads and Facebook- I check them each daily. Leave a comment on the blog, I read it daily as well!

Ciao and xoxo,
Cat Mann

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