An Interview With Tosca Lee

What was the inspiration behind The Progeny?
It was inspired by a fan! One of my readers asked me to consider writing a book about Elizabeth Bathory (AKA “The Blood Countess”), whom I’d heard of before. By the time I rediscovered the request in my idea folder, I had already done several historical novels and was ready for something contemporary, so chose to focus on the fictional descendants of Elizabeth Bathory living in the shadow of her legacy.

The plot of this book seems to be very complex, did the plot change as you were writing the story?

Twists always happen as I’m writing my novels. For this one, half the fun of writing it was discovering the reveals along the way. 🙂

Since you touch on some historical figures in this book what kind of research did you have to do to write it?

I traveled to all the locations in the book, from Maine to Bratislava, to Hungary, Austria, Italy, and Croatia. I took my mother with me—we love traveling together—and had a ball. To see the locations, sites and objects included in the book, please visit: https://www.pinterest.com/toscalee/real-life-progeny/

What did you find most fascinating about Elizabeth Bathory?

The fact that, as with so many infamous characters and lives, there is always another side to the story. In the case of Elizabeth Bathory, history paints her as two very different people: a serial killer of young woman… and a devoted mother, supporter of the church, and uncommonly educated widow richer than the Habsburg king jealous for her fortune. Which portrait is correct? The truth usually lies somewhere in between.

There is a lot about secret societies in this book, did the information on them come from your own imagination or was it based on research you’ve done?

I’ve always been fascinated with secret societies and have studied them for years. But in this case, the secret societies are all a product of my imagination… as far as you know.

How long did it take you to write this book?

About 9 months to plan and research and 3 months to write… and then several more months to go through the editorial process with my publisher.

How long have you been writing?

All my life since I published my first article at the age of 10. But professionally since 1992.
What else have you written?

Iscariot, Havah: A Story of Eve, Demon: A Memoir, The Legend of Sheba, Ismeni (FREE e-short), The Books of Mortals trilogy (Forbidden, Mortal, Sovereign), The Progeny, Firstborn, and my upcoming thriller, The Line Between (releasing January 2019).

What are you currently working on?

Right now, edits for The Line Between, my upcoming thriller coming out next winter. (Please be sure to add it to your Goodreads bookshelf!)

Where can people find you online?

www.toscalee.com and all over social media as @ToscaLee

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the House of Bathory Duology (The Progeny and Firstborn, currently in development for television),IscariotThe Legend of ShebaDemon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (Forbidden, Mortal, Sovereign). A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games and football with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband.

You can find Tosca at ToscaLee.com, on social media, or hanging around the snack table. (And be sure to check out Ismeni, the free e-short prequel to The Legend of Sheba!)

Get your copy of The Progeny here: http://toscalee.com/product/the-progeny/ (Kindle readers: now you can enjoy special insights in the author’s highlighted comments!)

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Pinterest

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Book spotlight: The Progeny

From New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee comes a story of love, ancient secrets, and survival. Book 1 in the House of Bathory duology.

When you wake up, you remember nothing. Not your name, or where you were born, or the faces of the people you knew. Just a single warning written to yourself before you forgot it all:

“Emily, it’s me. You.

Don’t ask about the last two years… Don’t try to remember and don’t go digging. Your life depends on it. Other lives depend on it.

By the way, Emily isn’t your real name. You died in an accident. You paid extra for that.”

You start over in a remote place with a new name, a fresh life. Until the day a stranger tells you you’re being hunted for the sins of a royal ancestor who died centuries before you were born.

You don’t believe him, until they come for you. Now you’re on the run.

Every answer you need lies in a past you chose to erase. The only thing you know for sure is that others are about to die and you need those memories back.

But first, you have to stay alive.

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Author’s Website
Add to Goodreads

Praise for The Progeny:

“Be warned: once you start this book, it’s impossible to put down!”
Maria V. Snyder, New York Times bestselling author of Poison Study

“Intriguing and romantic, I literally couldn’t put it down.”
Jennifer L. Armentrout # 1 New York Times bestselling author

“Irresistible…”
Publishers Weekly

“[A] complex thriller with various turns and twists…A great choice for readers who enjoy their psychological thrillers with a historical twist.”
Library Journal

“Exciting…action packed…intriguing.”
Romantic Times Book Reviews

“Filled with intrigue, romance, and reversals fans are sure to love.”
Family Fiction

“The Progeny has risen to the top of my favorites list…I devoured every word of it.”
Book Reporter

Win 1 of 15 Progeny Swag Packages (open to USA only / 15 winners total) Each swag package includes: Set of Progeny Character Cards; Progeny necklace; Progeny bookmark; and a Progeny button For more info follow the link: https://goo.gl/JWuRe2

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the House of Bathory Duology (The Progeny and Firstborn, currently in development for television),IscariotThe Legend of ShebaDemon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (Forbidden, Mortal, Sovereign). A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games and football with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband.

You can find Tosca at ToscaLee.com, on social media, or hanging around the snack table. (And be sure to check out Ismeni, the free e-short prequel to The Legend of Sheba!)

Get your copy of The Progeny here: http://toscalee.com/product/the-progeny/ (Kindle readers: now you can enjoy special insights in the author’s highlighted comments!)

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Pinterest

https://www.ireadbooktours.com/

The Demon’s Angel

Neha was a normal high school girl living in Philadelphia and she was just like any other girl, or so she thought. Her parents died when she was a baby and she was raised by her guardian Lucas. Everything changes when she meets the new boy in school Daniel. We soon find out that Lucas is a demon, Daniel is an angel and Neha discovers she’s an angel too.

An angel raised by a demon is an odd thing considering that the two have been at war for generations. Neha is taken to heaven by Daniel to be trained to fight demons and convince the others that she didn’t know she was an angel being raised by a demon. She is seen as an outcast by the angels and has to prove she is valuable but Neha’s upbringing gives her a different opinion on the war between both sides. Will Neha figure out what her new role in the universe will be?

The Demon’s Angel by Maya Shah is a Y.A. novel in the tradition of the Harry Potter and Percy Jackson books.  Neha is a girl who finds out she wasn’t who she thought she was and has to deal with a truth that she didn’t believe in. I love how complex all the characters are in this story, they are nothing like you would expect angels and demons to be. Maya Shah has taken an old mythology, made it her own vision and turned it into something original.

My only complaint about The Demon’s Angel  was that it was a little light on action. For a Y.A novel I would have expected it to be faster paced. This is a character driven book and it does a great job of establishing some fascinating characters. Neha is someone that anyone who has felt like an outsider can relate to and it will be interesting to see how she changes in future books. This is the first in a series and it lays the foundation for what looks to be a fascinating story. I liked that Heaven was a different place then you would expect and some of the angels come across as being shady, especially the lead angel Michael. It’s the same with the demons, they show that they have a good side and aren’t necessarily evil. In Neha’s world everyone is a shade of grey and she isn’t sure who she can trust.  Neha sees the world differently and I’m looking forward to seeing where her story will go as she finds out what kind of person she wants to be.

http://mayashahbooks.com/

Guest Blog Post: Chris Ledbetter

Why Social Networks (Facebook, twitter, bloggers) are the Keys to book promoting

By

Chris Ledbetter

The answer to why Social Media Networks are so important to promoting a book lies in the ever-changing global technological landscape. Before the Internet, books were produced and sold in a very limited funnel of distribution. Now, books are produced and sold in many formats, including electronic versions and across the Internet.

Social media has created one of the most efficient means of interaction and communication on a mass global scale. Without the Internet, I had all local friends. I now have friends in Italy, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Greece, Korea, and all over the United States. But social media means more than that when the topic of promotion arises because social networks amplify any message. It’s like the old multi-level marketing concept adapted to word-of-mouth.

Any time you share a message and then the people in your social network interact or share it, your message increases its reach in ways regular word-of-mouth can’t begin to touch, in part because it’s so fast. A message, good or bad, can go viral in seconds. In a similar fashion, bloggers are the standard bearers of the book world, leading the charge in content creation for literature. Over time, they gain followers who hang on their every word and when they post their reviews, the followers drink in the message, good or bad… and then proceed to share it widely. But being readers themselves, those same followers also follow the bloggers to find their next reads.

So for authors, social media is invaluable as a promotional tool. There’s no substitute for face-to-face communication like there is at book signings and conferences. But it’s difficult to beat the reach of social networks. Without them, there’s no way for me to reach my fans in Greece, Italy, United Kingdom, Australia, et al.

Chris Ledbetter is an award-winning author of short fiction and novels for young adults. “Jason’s Quest,” a short story retelling of the Jason and Medea Greek myth was published in the anthology, Greek Myths Revisited. His first full-length novel, Drawn earned him two awards, Library of Clean Reads Best YA 2015 and Evernight Publishing Readers’ Choice Award Best YA 2015, as well as a USATODAY “Must Read” recommendation. His second novel, Inked, concludes that duology. The Sky Throne is his newest young adult novel.

He’s a proud member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and a strong supporter of the Need for Diverse Books. He now writes and lives in Wilmington, NC with his family, including three cats.
***

Additional Information:
Chris Ledbetter grew up in Durham, NC before moving to Charlottesville, VA in 11th grade. After high school, he attended Hampton University where he promptly “walked-on” to the best drum line in the CIAA. And, without any prior percussion experience. He carried the bass drum for four years, something his back is not very happy about now.

After a change of heart and major, he enrolled in Old Dominion University and earned his degree in Business Administration. He’s worked in various managerial and marketing capacities throughout his life. While teaching high school for six years in Culpeper, VA, he taught business management, business law, marketing, and sports marketing, and also coached football.

As a self-described, young reluctant reader, he writes young adult stories specifically to reach other reluctant readers.

http://www.csledbetter.com

http://www.ireadbooktours.com/

The Sky Throne

Zeus felt like he didn’t belong, it’s like he was invisible at school and the only thing he had to look forward to was taking over his mother’s goat farm . He was a student at Eastern Crete Lower Academy but he found school boring so he spent his time pulling pranks with his best friend. Life changes quickly though as Hyperion attacks his home, now his best friend is left for dead and Zeus is left with the knowledge that the woman raising him is not his real mother.

Now Zeus is being taken away to Mount Olympus Preparatory Academia so he can be protected from Hyperion and to prepare him for what’s coming. Now he has a new life and is meeting new people in the academy but now his classmates are beginning to vanish and its up to Zeus to find out what’s happening and who is trying to kill him.

The Sky Throne by Chris Ledbetter is a coming of age story for people who love Greek mythology. The story has a lot of action and is a great read for kids with an interest in mythology. I enjoyed how the schools are described and how the book gets into describing what Greek society is like. This is a perfect read for kids in middle school, they will love the introduction to mythology and will find all the characters easy to relate too. This is also a good starting point for kids who are wanting to become better readers and discover the joys of YA fiction.

https://www.csledbetter.com/

http://www.ireadbooktours.com/

Sovereignty

In the 23rd century the world is a very different place. The population has dropped from 9 billion to 3 billion and the whole planet is controlled by one government. There are no cell phones or personal computers and everyone has a chip inserted into their arm so the government knows where they are at all times. People work at jobs assigned to them by the powers that be and if anyone breaks a law in this new world, it is dealt with harshly. There is no more religion or personal choice, there is just the Sovereign Regime or SR.

Many of the world’s young people aren’t happy with this way of life but it seems pointless to resist the SR’s will since they know your every move. Eighteen year old Goro and his friends Alex and Cory have found small ways to annoy the SR, such as a wristband to block their control chip’s powers and setting off explosives in a park. Their actions bring them to the attention of a small grass-roots organization with the goal of over throwing the SR. The odds are against them but with their old lives a distant memory, Goro and his friends do what needs to be done to make life better.

Sovereignty by Anjenique Hughes is a YA novel set in a post-apocalyptic future with themes of loyalty, friendship and the importance of freedom. The story is told in a fast paced manner from Goro’s point of view. Each chapter begins with a historical quote and then gets into a short history of how we got to where we are in the 23rd century. The idea of telling the history behind the story in small segments rather than having a couple of chapters devoted to setting up the story was a great idea. Anjenique Hughes knows her audience and you never get a chance to get bored with this book as it gives a history lesson, throws in some action and gives you characters that you can relate to.

This brings me to my favorite part of the book which are the characters. All of the characters come across as someone you might meet in real life complete with flaws and a good side. Take Goro for instance, he comes across like a normal teenager with a big ego and issues with authority. He is the hero of the story but he is complex because he creates a lot of his own problems. He hates the SR and wants to rebel but some of the actions he takes hurts his family and friends as much as it hurts him, though in his mind he’s always doing what’s right.

There is a point where Goro’s father finds out some horrible secrets of the SR. Goro finds out and his actions  leads his family to greater danger with some drastic consequences. Even when Goro joins the resistance he still has problems with authority and questions their leadership. Even Goro’s friends complain about how he was acting. What I liked about this was it seemed like normal behavior for most teenagers. Goro has a good heart but his ego and attitude still make life harder for the people around him. Goro is a shade of grey and in the real world people have a good and bad side to them so Goro comes across as realistic.

Sovereignty is an excellent read for a YA audience or an adult audience. While reading this book I found myself comparing the SR regime to other governments throughout history, there are parallels to the Nazis and any dictatorship that has ever been. Even in the future history is always repeating itself with a crooked government rising to power and a rebel force attempting to bring them down. This is one entertaining thrill ride and the first book in a series, do yourself a favor and check it out.

http://www.sovereigntyseries.com/

amazon.com

http://www.ireadbooktours.com/

Guest Blog Post: Anjenique Hughes

Reaching YA readers

By

Anjenique Hughes

I particularly love writing for YA, because they are the future. Young Adults can be some of the most hilarious and fun people to hang around. They are insightful. They are intriguing. They keep things real. Therefore, books written for this population need to be relevant and somewhat applicable to their lives. YA are the best; I particularly like writing YA, because they don’t tolerate BS. Anything cheesy, corny, or downright dumb will receive immediate ridicule and relentless backlash. This is why it is so challenging and exciting to write a novel that stretches above the status quo for this age range.

When writing for the young adult population, it’s best to keep the conversations and dialogue interesting and realistic for this age group. With technology and video games constantly competing for their attention, a book really needs to be an exciting ride. If the book doesn’t take off with action from the get-go, they’ll be tossing it out the window in no time. I like to include nuances, witty cliché’s, and balance the humor with the serious. Developing strong characters and character relationships are important, as well as having a smooth, flowing plot. I have found that teens hate it when loose ends are not tied up in the end.

We underestimate the intelligence of YA a lot of times; they are plenty smart and can spot a phony a mile away. If the story is too predictable- that can be the kiss of death. Romance included, done tastefully, is always a plus. Coming up with a unique twist, something that hasn’t been written about or explored before can be a draw for YA as well. I also like to include a character that is somewhat rough around the edges, but who learns a valuable lesson in the end and concluding with their maturing and changing for the better. Of course, hidden positive messages and subliminal moral values never hurt!

With master’s degrees in education, special education, and counseling, Anjenique “Jen” Hughes is a high school English and math teacher who loves teaching and mentoring young people. She loves traveling and has worked with youth on five continents. Saying she is “young at heart” is an understatement; she is fluent in sarcasm, breaks eardrums with her teacher voice (students have complained when they were within earshot), and cracks sarcastic jokes with the best of her students. Her work with ethnically and socioeconomically diverse youth has inspired her to write books that appeal to a broad variety of students seeking stories of bravery, perseverance, loyalty, and success.

http://www.sovereigntyseries.com

http://www.ireadbooktours.com/