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Guest Blog by Lori Sjoberg - A Day in the Life of David Anderson - February 7, 2013

Please welcome Lori Sjoberg to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Guest Blogs.  Grave Intentions was published on January 3, 2013. You may read an Interview with Lori here and my review of Grave Intentions here.



Guest Blog by Lori Sjoberg - A Day in the Life of David Anderson - February 7, 2013



A Day in the Life of David Anderson

Being a reaper is a tough job. The pay isn’t bad, but the hours are long and the benefits are pretty lousy. Just ask David Anderson, Grim Reaper and hero of Grave Intentions. As you can see, he’s a busy guy…

4:30 – There’s something inherently wrong with the alarm clock going off before the sun breaks over the horizon.

4:35 – Kick the armrest of the couch until my trainee, Adam, shows signs of life. Then I’m off to walk the mutt while the kid takes a shower.

4:55 – Stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for much needed coffee.

6:10 – First reap of the day alongside I-4 at the Orange Blossom Trail exit. Truck versus motorcycle. No helmet at a high rate of speed. Trust me when I say you don’t want to know the rest of the details.

7:00 – Breakfast. Well, breakfast for me. Adam doesn’t have much of an appetite at the moment.

8:00 – Drive Adam back to the apartment so he can catch some shut eye. Since we don’t have another termination scheduled until later in the afternoon, I’m off to hit the gym and run a few errands.

12:20 – Back home. Adam’s still passed out on the couch, so I take advantage of the quiet time to work on next week’s assignments. Looks like another busy week for everybody.

2:00 – Adam’s finally awake. And hungry. Good thing I went grocery shopping or he might have gnawed on the remote control.

2:45 – On the road again. This time we’re driving out to Daytona International Airport.

4:20 – Why people insist on not using safety equipment is beyond me. Especially when they’re working on large aircraft. It’s going to take a lot of Clorox to bleach those stains off the tarmac.

6:30 – The job at the airport made Adam green around the gills. Not that I blame the kid. One of these days, he’ll get used to the daily grind of death and dismemberment.

8:15 – After dinner, I leave Adam at the bar while I handle some issues with another reaper. Hopefully, the kid won’t be too buzzed when I get back.

10:00 – Shit, he’s wasted, which means he’s no use to me for the rest of the evening.

11:00 – Drive Adam to the apartment and pour him on the couch. The stupid mutt’s chewed the toilet paper off the roll again, so I’ll have to clean that up and take him for a walk before I leave for the final reap of the day.

11:10 – Time to head out. The brunette who lives across the hall left her blinds open again. I see her walk past her window as I start up my car. She’s pretty. Who am I kidding? She’s beautiful. Too bad I can’t afford those types of emotions. And yet I can’t turn my gaze away until she finally closes the blinds. Oh well. Better get to work…





About Grave Intentions

Grave Intentions
Grave Intentions 1
eKensington, January 3, 2013
eBook, 96,100 words

Guest Blog by Lori Sjoberg - A Day in the Life of David Anderson - February 7, 2013
He’s handsome, reliable, and punctual—the perfect gentleman when you want him to be. But this dream man is Death’s best agent—and now he’s got more than his soul to lose…

One act of mercy before dying was all it took to turn soldier David Anderson into a reaper—an immortal who guides souls-of-untimely-death into the afterlife. But the closer he gets to atoning for his mortal sin and finally escaping merciless Fate, the more he feels his own humanity slipping away for good. Until he encounters Sarah Griffith. This skeptical scientist can’t be influenced by his powers—even though she has an unsuspected talent for sensing the dead. And her honesty and irreverent sense of humor reignite his reason for living—and a passion he can’t afford to feel. Now Fate has summoned David to make a devastating last harvest. And he’ll break every hellishly-strict netherworld rule to save Sarah…and gamble on a choice even an immortal can’t win.





About Lori

Guest Blog by Lori Sjoberg - A Day in the Life of David Anderson - February 7, 2013
Growing up the youngest of three girls, Lori never had control of the remote. (Not that she’s bitter about that. Really. Okay, maybe a little, but it’s not like she’s scarred for life or anything.) That meant a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy. Star Trek, Star Wars, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits – you name it, she watched it. It fed her imagination, and that came in handy when the hormones kicked in and she needed a creative excuse for being out past curfew.
After graduating from the University of Central Florida, Lori spent over a decade working in the fun-filled worlds of retail management, financial planning, and insurance. The writing bug bit a few years later. After completing her first manuscript, she joined the Romance Writers of America and Central Florida Romance Writers. Now she exercises the analytical half of her brain at work, and the creative half writing paranormal romance. When she’s not doing either one of those, she’s usually spending time with her husband and children of the four-legged variety.

Website : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads


2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January 2013 Winner

The 2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars winner for January is Lori Sjoberg's Grave Intentions  with 41% of the votes cast. Grave Intentions was published by eKensington on January 1, 2013. 


2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January 2013 Winner




The final results:







The January Debut Covers
2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January 2013 Winner




Thank you to everyone who voted, Tweeted, and participated. The 2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars will continue soon with voting on the February 2013 Debut covers.

Review - Grave Intentions by Lori Sjoberg - January 24, 2013



Grave Intentions
Author:  Lori Sjoberg
Series:  Grave Intentions
Publisher: eKensington, January 3, 2013
Format: eBook, 260 pages
Price: $5.99
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN:  978-1-60183-006-7
Review Copy:  Provided by Publisher

Review - Grave Intentions by Lori Sjoberg - January 24, 2013
He’s handsome, reliable, and punctual—the perfect gentleman when you want him to be. But this dream man is Death’s best agent—and now he’s got more than his soul to lose…

One act of mercy before dying was all it took to turn soldier David Anderson into a reaper—an immortal who guides souls-of-untimely-death into the afterlife. But the closer he gets to atoning for his mortal sin and finally escaping merciless Fate, the more he feels his own humanity slipping away for good. Until he encounters Sarah Griffith. This skeptical scientist can’t be influenced by his powers—even though she has an unsuspected talent for sensing the dead. And her honesty and irreverent sense of humor reignite his reason for living—and a passion he can’t afford to feel. Now Fate has summoned David to make a devastating last harvest. And he’ll break every hellishly-strict netherworld rule to save Sarah…and gamble on a choice even an immortal can’t win.




My thoughts:

Grave Intentions is Lori Sjoberg’s debut. It features, as main characters, a grim Reaper and a very skeptical Scientist – David and Sarah. Both are trying to do their jobs while facing difficulties. They are drawn together and face seemingly insurmountable odds of being together (as one expects in a Paranormal Romance). What makes Grave Intentions stand out is the Reapers' mythology and rules and the well done character building.

David and Sarah are both extremely likable. They don't experience instantaneous love at first sight. They actually spend time together and get to know each other. David and Sarah are just lovely as a couple. I had no idea how they would end up together. Ms. Sjoberg surprised me!

Throughout the story we learn about their jobs and meet some of the people that are in their lives.The other Reapers that work with David are interesting in their own right as well.

There are some heartbreaking and some downright creepy moments that, for me, enhanced the novel and helped bring the world of the Reapers to life. No hocus pocus here. The Reapers appear human and have to do their reaping without being caught, which is a change of pace from most stories that feature psychopomps of one sort or another.

On top of terrific character and myth building, the pacing of Grave Intentions is quite good. Grave Intentions is a really delightful and engaging read. I’m looking forward to more of Ms. Sjoberg’s novels.




You may read a 2013 Debut Author Challenge interview with Lori Sjoberg here.

2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January 2013

It's time for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars for January 2013!



Since Cover Wars was so much fun as part of the 2012 Debut Author Challenge, we're doing it again for the 2013 Debut Author Challenge. Each month you will be able to vote for your favorite cover from each month's debut novels. At the end of the year the 12 monthly winners will be pitted against each other to choose the 2013 Debut Novel Cover of the Year. Please note that a debut novel cover is eligible in the month in which the novel is released in the US.








Cover Art: Raymond Swanland





Cover Art: Argh! Oxford










Cover Art: Gregory Manchess






Cover Artist: Larry Rostant







2013 Debut Author Challenge Update - January 5, 2013



2013 Debut Author Challenge Update - January 5, 2013

I recently updated the 2013 Debut Author Challenge page with 3 new to the Challenge authors. Here is more about their debut novels.


Zachary Jernigan

No Return
Publisher:  Night Shade Books, March 5, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 320 pages
Price:  $26.99 (print)
Genre:  Fantasy/Genre Bender
ISBN:  9781597804561 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge Update - January 5, 2013
NOT FINAL COVER
On Jeroun, there is no question as to whether God exists—only what his intentions are.

Under the looming judgment of Adrash and his ultimate weapon—a string of spinning spheres beside the moon known as The Needle—warring factions of white and black suits prove their opposition to the orbiting god with the great fighting tournament of Tchootoo, on the far side of Jeroun’s only inhabitable continent.

From the Thirteenth Order of Black Suits comes Vedas, a young master of martial arts, laden with guilt over the death of one of his students. Traveling with him are Churls, a warrior woman and mercenary haunted by the ghost of her daughter, and Manshep, a constructed man made of modular spheres possessed by the foul spirit of his creator. Together they must brave their own demons, as well as thieves, mages, beasts, dearth, and hardship on the perilous road to Tchootoo, and the bloody sectarian battle that is sure to follow.

On the other side of the world, unbeknownst to the travelers, Ebn and Pol of the Royal Outbound Mages (astronauts using Alchemical magic to achieve space flight) have formed a plan to appease Adrash and bring peace to the planet. But Ebn and Pol each have their own clandestine agendas—which may call down the wrath of the very god they hope to woo.

Who may know the mind of God? And who in their right mind would seek to defy him? Gritty, erotic, and fast-paced, author Zachary Jernigan takes you on a sensuous ride through a world at the knife-edge of salvation and destruction, in this first installment of one of the year’s most exciting fantasy epics.






Lori Sjoberg

Grave Intentions
Series: Grave Intentions
Publisher:  January 3, 2013
Format:  eBook, 96,100 words
Price:  $5.99
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
ISBN:  9781601830067

2013 Debut Author Challenge Update - January 5, 2013
He’s handsome, reliable, and punctual—the perfect gentleman when you want him to be. But this dream man is Death’s best agent—and now he’s got more than his soul to lose…

One act of mercy before dying was all it took to turn soldier David Anderson into a reaper—an immortal who guides souls-of-untimely-death into the afterlife. But the closer he gets to atoning for his mortal sin and finally escaping merciless Fate, the more he feels his own humanity slipping away for good. Until he encounters Sarah Griffith. This skeptical scientist can’t be influenced by his powers—even though she has an unsuspected talent for sensing the dead. And her honesty and irreverent sense of humor reignite his reason for living—and a passion he can’t afford to feel. Now Fate has summoned David to make a devastating last harvest. And he’ll break every hellishly-strict netherworld rule to save Sarah…and gamble on a choice even an immortal can’t win.

You may read an interview with Lori here.





Helene Wecker

The Golem and the Ginni
Publisher:  Harper, April 23, 2013
Format:  Hardcover and eBook, 496 pages
Price:  $27.99 (print)
Genre:  Historical Fantasy
ISBN:  9780062110831 (print)

2013 Debut Author Challenge Update - January 5, 2013
An immigrant tale that combines elements of Jewish and Arab folk mythology, Helene Wecker's sparkling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who arrive separately in New York in 1899.

The woman is a golem, created out of clay to be her master's wife -- but he dies at sea, leaving her disoriented and overwhelmed as their ship arrives in New York Harbor. The man is a jinni, a being of fire, trapped for a thousand years in a copper flask before a tinsmith in Manhattan's Little Syria releases him.

The novel traces their respective journeys as they explore the strange and altogether human city. Chava, as a kind old rabbi names her, is beset by the desires and wishes of others, which she can feel tugging at her. Ahmad, christened by the tinsmith who makes him his apprentice, is aggravated by human dullness. Both must work to create places for themselves in this new world, and develop tentative relationships with the people who surround them.

And then, one cold and windy night, their paths happen to meet.

A marvelous and compulsively readable work of fiction, The Golem and the Jinni is a fresh combination of vivid historical novel and magical fable.



Interview with Lori Sjoberg, author of Grave Intentions - January 3, 2013

Please welcome Lori Sjoberg to The Qwillery as part of the 2013 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Grave Intentions is published today. A very Happy Publication Day to Lori!



Interview with Lori Sjoberg, author of Grave Intentions - January 3, 2013



TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery.

Lori:  Thanks, it's great to be here!


TQ:  When and why did you start writing?

Lori:  Strange as it sounds, it all started in 2004 with my addiction to the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich. After I devoured the last book of the series at that time (To the Nines), I was desperate for a Plum fix. That led me to the wonderful world of fan fiction. Unfortunately, there wasn’t nearly as much Morelli fan fiction as there was for Ranger, which is what spurred my first foray into fiction writing.


TQ:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Lori:  I come up with some of my best ideas while in the shower.


TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Lori:  I'm more of a pantser. When I start a story, I begin with a general story idea and write whichever scenes spring to mind. (For Grave Intentions, I actually wrote the final scenes first.) Once I get to a certain point (usually somewhere around the 40,000 word mark) I start piecing them together like a giant jigsaw puzzle.


TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Lori:  Keeping my focus when I get near the end of the manuscript. By then, my brain is already thinking about the next book, so it takes a bit of discipline to keep my attention locked on the story I'm currently working on.


TQ:  Describe Grave Intentions in 140 characters or less.

Lori:  Lifetime skeptic Sarah doesn't believe in the supernatural. Imagine her surprise when she learns her handsome neighbor is Death incarnate.


TQ:  What inspired you to write Grave Intentions?

Lori:  It may sound odd, but the final chapter popped into my head one day while walking my dog. It was so emotional and compelling, I walked an extra couple miles figuring out who this guy was, and what had turned his life upside down. As soon as I got home, I scribbled down everything I'd come up with and went from there.


TQ:  What sort of research did you do for Grave Intentions?

Lori:  Since the hero of Grave Intentions is a reaper, a lot of the research for his character revolved around death and ways of dying. My heroine is a medical research scientist, so most of the research for her was in the areas of lab procedures, experimentation, and mental health. Toss in Google searches for Bigfoot, meth labs, industrial accidents, the Korean War, and pitt bulls, and you have one very strange Google search history!


TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Lori:  David was probably the easiest character to write because he had so much baggage. Sarah did a lot of things that I would personally have a hard time doing, so getting into her head to understand her point of view was a bit more difficult.


TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Grave Intentions?

Lori:  Isn't that kind of like asking a mother which of her children is her favorite? LOL. I don't know if I have a favorite, but I do love the chapter where everything Sarah thinks she knows gets turned on its head. It was fun to explore her reaction to such a drastic change to the landscape of her reality (I'm trying really hard not to spoil anything.).


TQ:  What's next?

Lori:  At the moment, I'm working on the sequel to Grave Intentions. Death of a cruise ship - sounds like fun, eh?


TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Lori:  Thanks for having me! It's been a blast!




About Grave Intentions

Grave Intentions
Grave Intentions 1
eKensington, January 3, 2013
eBook, 96,100 words

Interview with Lori Sjoberg, author of Grave Intentions - January 3, 2013
He’s handsome, reliable, and punctual—the perfect gentleman when you want him to be. But this dream man is Death’s best agent—and now he’s got more than his soul to lose…

One act of mercy before dying was all it took to turn soldier David Anderson into a reaper—an immortal who guides souls-of-untimely-death into the afterlife. But the closer he gets to atoning for his mortal sin and finally escaping merciless Fate, the more he feels his own humanity slipping away for good. Until he encounters Sarah Griffith. This skeptical scientist can’t be influenced by his powers—even though she has an unsuspected talent for sensing the dead. And her honesty and irreverent sense of humor reignite his reason for living—and a passion he can’t afford to feel. Now Fate has summoned David to make a devastating last harvest. And he’ll break every hellishly-strict netherworld rule to save Sarah…and gamble on a choice even an immortal can’t win.




About Lori

Interview with Lori Sjoberg, author of Grave Intentions - January 3, 2013
Growing up the youngest of three girls, Lori never had control of the remote. (Not that she’s bitter about that. Really. Okay, maybe a little, but it’s not like she’s scarred for life or anything.) That meant a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy. Star Trek, Star Wars, Twilight Zone, Outer Limits – you name it, she watched it. It fed her imagination, and that came in handy when the hormones kicked in and she needed a creative excuse for being out past curfew.
After graduating from the University of Central Florida, Lori spent over a decade working in the fun-filled worlds of retail management, financial planning, and insurance. The writing bug bit a few years later. After completing her first manuscript, she joined the Romance Writers of America and Central Florida Romance Writers. Now she exercises the analytical half of her brain at work, and the creative half writing paranormal romance. When she’s not doing either one of those, she’s usually spending time with her husband and children of the four-legged variety.

Website : Facebook : Twitter : Goodreads



Guest Blog by Lori Sjoberg - A Day in the Life of David Anderson - February 7, 20132013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January 2013 WinnerReview - Grave Intentions by Lori Sjoberg - January 24, 20132013 Debut Author Challenge Cover Wars - January 20132013 Debut Author Challenge Update - January 5, 2013Interview with Lori Sjoberg, author of Grave Intentions - January 3, 2013

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