Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Book Tour & Giveaway: Heaven and Hellsbane by Paige Cuccaro

Today we have the lovely Paige Cuccaro on the blog! Thank you, Paige for sharing about yourself, Heaven and Hellsbane, and your writing adventure!
Where are you from and from where/who did your love for writing come from?
I’m from Pennsylvania originally. A tiny little town that was named for its stop on the Pony Express—Eighty Four PA. My family is pretty creative, both parents. My mother was a music teacher and my Dad was a draftsmen and a really good artist. I’m the only one who took their creative side in the direction of writing.

Can you say that your journey to publication was difficult? If so, what were the hardest moments to get through?
I don’t know if it was difficult, but it was long…I’m still on it. The hardest moments were getting those rejection letters. It’s hard to keep going when you get a letter every other day saying, “Nope. No thanks. Not what we’re looking for.” And of course, my insecurities read through the lines and saw, “No WAY do we want you. You write like a fifth grader. Why do you keep bothering us?” It took a long time to STOP letting my paranoia see something in the words that wasn’t there. I had to learn to read ONLY what it said, not what I thought they might mean by it.

Editors are very busy people. They don’t have time to play word games. They write what they mean. There’s no mystery to decipher. If they say, it wasn’t what they were looking for, then…it wasn’t what they were looking for. That’s it. And if an editor says, “If you have something else I’d be happy to look at it,” or, “Feel free to submit something else…” THEY MEAN IT. They’re not going to beg you, but there’s really no clearer way for them to ask for more from you. They’re not just being nice. They don’t have that kind of time. If you get that kind of rejection letter…send something else! They’re waiting! I can’t tell you how many opportunities I missed because I thought they were just being nice. Ugh…

The easiest way to get through it is to start writing the next thing. It’s so much easier to put that rejection letter to the side when you can tell yourself, “Okay, they didn’t like that one, but they’re gonna LOVE this one…” Then keep on writing!

How do you overcome i-suck-it is, that little voice in your head that tells you your writing isn’t good enough?
I don’t know. I still get that feeling from time to time. Before I was published, I told myself that if I was right, and I do suck, I’ll just keep writing, keep learning until I don’t suck anymore. I entered contests and got outside validation that way. And once I was published I could look at those books and say…somebody thinks I don’t suck. That feeling is just part of being a writer. We put our hearts on the page and then send it out to be read/judged. It’s easier to believe the bad stuff than the good, so one rejection, one bad review can make you doubt everything. You just have to shrug and tell yourself, even if it is total crap, I’m writing it anyway because I want to write it. In the end that’s really why we all write, isn’t it? Because we like to do it. So…do it. Whether you actually suck or not…doesn’t really matter.

What is your dream vacation?
A yearlong tour of Europe.

Describe your writing style in five words.
Brainstorm, Plot, write, re-plot, write.

What movies are you currently excited to see?
Enders Game, Thor, The Hunger Games, The Hobbit… Should I keep going? I <3 movies!

What are you currently reading?
Affliction, by Laurell K. Hamilton.

If you weren’t a writer, what other careers would you pursue?
I would’ve loved to have been a psychologist. I wanted to major in psychology when I first went to college, but the counselor talked me out of it. He said I’d never find work, but I think that’s because he couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to have some of the jobs that a psych degree would get you. I could. I should’ve ignored him and done what I wanted. But…then I wouldn’t have started writing.

If you could create a holiday of your own, what would it be called?
Un-holiday. A nationally recognized day where absolutely nothing is expected of you. No gifts. No special meals. No “traditional” events to be attended or preformed. Just a day off…from everything…with pay.  

For people who haven’t read your novel, how would you summarize the plot?
Emma Jane Hellsbane was born different, the child of Fallen angel and human—the child of sin. But Heaven has a way for her to make amends for her birth. Like others born of Fallen angels, she’ll work as their bounty hunter, rounding up the Fallen and banishing them to the abyss. The trouble is, the Fallen won’t go quietly and Emma won’t be done until she finds the one Fallen angel who created her.

What are two of your pet-peeves?
People who sit at green lights admiring the pretty color. It’s green folks. GO!

To you, what makes a good story?
Interesting realistically flawed characters who have clear goals. I like action, less introspection. And a slow burning love story where I’m as excited for the characters to finally come together as they are.

What usually turns you off about a story?
Whiny heroines. Or heroines who absolutely every male that comes in contact with them falls head over heels for them. And it drives me crazy when I read a book that promises something, a romance, or a goal and then doesn’t deliver it. That’s false advertisement. Tear jerker, lost love stories sold as a romance. – Turn off! Hot steamy—sex on every other page—book billed as an urban fantasy. – Turn off! I like tear jerkers and erotic romance, I just think an author should deliver what the genre promises.

If you could collaborate with any author, who would you choose, and why?
Anne Rice! That would be sooo awesome! I just love the way she writes and I’d love to work with her in hopes that a little of that talent would rub off onto me. LOL

Also, Jim Butcher. For much of the same reason, but also because he’s got a more current voice and a more male view point on the world. He’s got an amazing imagination and it would be such fun to be a part of that!

What is on your night stand?
A Boba fett alarm clock. A lamp with a built in nightlight. Box of tissues. A drink coaster and lotion.

What is your favorite book?
Interview with a Vampire, by Anne Rice.


Heaven and Hellsbane
Hellsbane Series, Book Two
by Paige Cuccaro

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Ebook ISBN 978-1-62266-887-8
Print ISBN 978-1-62266-888-5
Cover Artist: Karen Phillips

Book Description:
Someone’s killing angels and turning the half human, half angel illorum warriors against their angelic supporters. If the supernatural baddy behind the attacks isn’t stopped soon, Heaven itself could fall victim. The Council of Seven has called in the best they’ve got to find the killers, and no one’s more surprised than Emma Jane Hellsbane when it’s her phone that rings.But when her own angelic mentor—and off-limits hottie—Eli is targeted, Emma takes it personally. With Emma hot on the trail of the growing army of assassins, though, hackles start to raise around her. Everyone wants to know if she’s in it to protect all angels or just one in particular. The Council has their suspicions…and so does Emma’s boyfriend.
Now Emma isn’t just fighting off demons, rogue nephilim, and Fallen angels, but she’s defending her honor as well. The problem is even Emma Jane isn’t sure of her motives. One thing she does know: if she doesn’t figure out the killers’ identities soon, she may not live long enough to know what, or who, she really wants.
It’s all in a day’s work as Heaven’s ultimate bounty hunter.

Excerpt from Heaven and Hellsbane:
I used to think feeling others’ emotions was some sort of freakish gift. I’d even turned it into a pretty successful moneymaker as an Intuitive Consciousness Explorer—otherwise known as a psychic. I knew now it was just one of the many quirky side effects of being the bastard offspring of an angel. Yay me.
Dan turned his gaze back to Eli. He couldn’t let it go. “This is a date, man. Private time. But you knew that, didn’t you? You knew we’d been planning this for the past week. You knew the last time we tried this, too. And the time before that.”
“Emma forfeited her private time when she picked up that sword,” Eli said. “She’s a warrior for our Father now. She’s never off duty.”
“Bullshit,” Dan said, then glanced around and lowered his voice. “She’d have private time—time alone with me—if you’d stay away long enough for her to take a breath.”
I followed Dan’s gaze, scanning the faces at the nearby tables, worried we were drawing attention. No one looked our way. No one had even noticed Eli’s sudden arrival. But humans weren’t meant to notice the comings and goings of angels. As beautiful as they were, angels were like extras in a movie, part of the background and easily overlooked.
“C’mon, Dan,” I said. “You know Eli’s not doing it on purpose.”
Dan glowered at me, frustration still tight across his face. “You sure about that?”
“Yes,” I said, but I couldn’t blame him for doubting it. Eli had been a near constant presence in my life since the moment I met him a year ago. He’d been the magister of a dear friend, an illorum like me, Tommy Saint James. It was Tommy who’d brought me to him, introduced us. But even Tommy had been concerned about Eli and me working together.
And with good reason.
Eli was everything angels were supposed to be: tall, broad shouldered, with a strong, athletic build. He had the looks that could steal a woman’s breath, keep her speechless for seconds. His silky black hair hung in soft waves over his forehead, enhancing his startlingly pale cloud-blue eyes.
But I’d gotten used to his looks a long time ago. It was the man inside the pretty wrapping that played havoc with my good sense. He was my friend and so much more. I trusted him with my life. But there was nothing romantic between us.
There couldn’t be.
I reached across the table to touch Dan’s arm. “This is my life. It sucks. Believe me, I know. But I don’t have a choice, and neither does Eli. If it were up to me, nothing would get in the way of spending time with you. You believe that, right?”
Dan’s warm maple-brown eyes met mine, his anger softening at the corners. “Yeah. Of course I believe you. But him…?”

Amazon | BN 

Tour Wide Giveaway
The grand a $50 Amazon gift card a print copy of each of the first two books (Hellsbane (book1) Heaven and Hellsbane (book2) )and an electronic copy of the prequel Commencement. 

Second prize a print copy of each of the first two books and a Hellsbane Ouija board. (I’ll attach a photo)

Third prize electronic copy of the first two books and the prequel.

About the Author:
Writing was never a foregone conclusion for me. I once had dreams of being a psychologist, a pediatrician, a school teacher, a photojournalist, a bartender, and/or an EMT. And then I met my husband and my world came into focus. Being wife and mother are my highest priorities and greatest joy. But escaping to the fanciful, sexy worlds twirling through my mind is an absolute necessity. Putting those worlds, and the cornucopia of characters that people them, on paper is just plain fun.
Paige lives in Ohio, with her husband, and three daughters. When she’s not writing she can be found doing the mom thing with a book in one hand and a notepad and pen in the other. Ideas come without warning and the best way to stimulate your imagination is to enjoy the imagination of someone else.

Contact the Author:
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