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Amanda Bonilla - My Favorite Time Sucks

Please welcome Amanda Bonilla to The Qwillery. Amanda is the author of the Shaede Assassin series. Blood Before Sunrise (Shaede Assassin 2) was published on July 3, 2012.


My Favorite Time-Sucks

Thanks so much to Sally and The Qwillery for having me back as a guest! I love this blog!

Needless to say, I occasionally lose focus. In the summer, I try to work away from home, taking my lap top to a location with no internet, no pets that need attention, no phone ringing… no distraction. It’s a little harder in the winter, because my work refuge is only available to me from June to October. The rest of the year, I have to exercise a little self-control and stay on task. Not always easy. And since these same distractions have interfered with the blog posts I need to write, I thought I’d share with you my favorite time sucks.


The Internet

This includes: Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. I can easily log on to Twitter with the sole purpose of taking a “quick look” at my Twitter stream. Two hours later, I’m still there, chatting it up. Facebook isn’t quite as bad, I can limit my activity there to 10 – 20 minutes a day. But the most evil of these social media sites is far and above Pinterest. I’ve been known to while entire weekends away as pin recipes, outfits I’ll never buy, and cool craft projects I will never do. 



Netflix 

I don’t know what it is about Netflix… I can ignore it completely until I’m under deadline and then I hear its siren song entreating me to log on. Have you ever seen the Netflix episode of Portlandia? Carrie and Fred start watching an episode of Battlestar Galactica. One episode turns to two, and three, and so on, and before they know it, they’re dirty, hungry, and jobless. By the way, you can watch entire seasons Portlandia on Netflix right now! *runs to open browser*



Bejeweled Blitz

I’ll play Bejeweled until my wrists go numb. I play it on Facebook and I have it loaded on my iPod. I’ll tell myself just one more game. And fifteen games later I’m repeating to myself, okay, this is the last game. My teen used to make fun of me for playing a stupid puzzle game, and then he succumbed to the seductive power of those glowing gems. I hate to admit that I can’t even come close to reaching his high score. I’d better start practicing. The kid is going down!



Reality TV

How I looooove reality TV. Dance Moms and Dance Moms: Miami are my current favs. Those moms are intense. And the instructors? Wow. Duck Dynasty is a reality show that I’ve actually got the hubs hooked on recently. If you’ve never watched it, you have to give it a try! That is one funny family. I’d totally hang out with them if I could! On the athletic front, I never miss an episode of So You Think You Can Dance and once in a while, I’ll watch Ninja Warrior and American Ninja Warrior. The contestants on those shows are amazing!



The beach

This is more of a seasonal time suck. We have a really short summer where I live and the months of June to August are strictly dedicated to the lake. My family has an old cabin on the lake and I spend every day I can sitting on the dock, soaking up the sun, and swimming. I’d swim all day if I could, and I’m hoping to find a used kayak this summer so I can paddle around too.

Amanda Bonilla - My Favorite Time Sucks
The actual view from my dock. I love the lake!


Reading

Of course, I’ve saved my very favorite time suck for last. I read in the morning, while I’m eating lunch. After dinner, and late at night in bed. I read at soccer games, in my car, while I’m waiting for an appointment. I read in the car while I’m waiting on the teen, and when I’m sitting at the beach. I could read my life away. Reading is the best time suck there is, hands down!



What are some of your favorite time sucks? Do you ever have to turn off your phone or disable your internet in order to get work done?



About Shaede Assassin

Blood Before Sunrise
Shaede Assassin 2
Signet, July 3, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Amanda Bonilla - My Favorite Time Sucks
“She needed a bargaining chip and this was it—Raif’s daughter’s life for hers. And he knew damned well I was right. Just as he’d assured me the night I’d killed Azriel, this was far from over. His daughter was alive; I knew it. And I was going to find her.”

For months Darian and her Shaede guardian Raif have searched for the Oracle who attempted to overthrow the Shaede Nation—and kill Darian in the bargain. But now that they’ve finally found the half-crazed Oracle, for their efforts they are granted a possibility too painful for Raif to imagine, and too enticing for Darian to ignore.

Darian is determined to reunite Raif and the daughter he thought was dead, but her mission quickly proves dangerous when her lover Tyler is almost killed. And when a brooding and mysterious Fae warrior offers his guidance—at an extraordinary price—Darian finds herself willing to risk everything. As her single-minded hunt turns into an obsession, and she and Tyler grow further apart, Darian finds herself caught between the man she loves like a brother, and the man whose love she can’t live without…



When Shadows Call
A Shaede Assassin Novella
An eSpecial from New American Library, June 5, 2012
eBook

Amanda Bonilla - My Favorite Time Sucks
An exciting prequel to Amanda Bonilla’s Shaede Assassin series.

The envy of 1900s society, Darian is the rich, beautiful wife of a prominent Californian doctor—but her life is far from perfect. For years, Darian has suffered at the hand of her cruel husband and yearned for an escape—one that she knows to be all but impossible.

But when an enigmatic stranger comes to call, Darian finds herself charmed by his seductive smile and the inexplicable connection she feels. And when he makes her a thrilling—yet frightening—proposition, Darian must decide if she’s strong enough to abandon the mortal world she knows and answer the shadow’s call…

Includes an excerpt from Shaedes of Gray, and a preview from Blood Before Sunrise, available July 2012.


Shaedes of Gray
Shaede Assassin 1
Signet, December 6, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Amanda Bonilla - My Favorite Time Sucks
In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind-an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

When Darian's next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she's taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished...



About Amanda

Amanda Bonilla - My Favorite Time Sucks
Amanda Bonilla lives in rural Idaho with her husband and two kids. She’s a part-time pet wrangler, a full-time sun worshipper, and only goes out into the cold when coerced. She loves the outdoors, black clothes, pink appliances and thinks junk food should be a recognized food group. In the summer, she can be found sitting by the lake, enjoying the view from her dock.

Website : Blog : Twitter : Facebook

Interview with Amanda Bonilla and Giveaway - December 12, 2011

Please welcome Amanda Bonilla to The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews. Amanda's debt, Shaedes of Gray, was published on December 6, 2011 by Signet Eclipse.


Amanda:  Thanks for having me. I’m so excited to be a guest on The Qwillery today!

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

Amanda:  This is going to be disappointing, because I don’t really have any writing quirks. I’m a little boring. I prefer quiet, and no distractions. I’ve been known to keep a Coke Zero close by and sometimes I like to sprawl out on my couch when I write. That’s about as quirky as I get. ;)

TQ:  Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?

Amanda:  I could probably generate a mile-long list of my favorite writers. I’d say my most favorite authors are Bernard Cornwell, Anne Rice, and J.R. Ward just to name a few. Honestly, I think I’d have to say that Bernard Cornwell has influenced my writing the most which is strange since he writes historical fiction. He writes the most wonderful protagonists, multi-dimensional and honorable. Men who do what has to be done, no matter what. He has a way of weaving ancient religion into his stories that gives them a mystical quality. And his battle scenes are epic.

TQ:  Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Amanda:  I’m a little of both. I used to be a strict pantser. But now that I have outlines that need to be turned in before I write the book, I’ve become more of a plotter. I don’t do much in the plotting department. I usually use a few words to describe each chapter on a sticky note and put it up on my wall. That way I still have room to write from the hip.

TQ:  Describe Shaedes of Gray (Shaede Assassin 1) in 140 characters or less.

Amanda:  Okay, this is hard! My short game isn’t great. I think I went over by a few characters. Here goes: Darian, Shaede & assassin must face the ghosts of her past & reality of her future while navigating a supernatural world she never knew existed.

TQ:  What inspired you to write Shaedes of Gray?

Amanda:  I was sort of thinking about guilt, actually. The decisions people make to protect the people they love and the consequences of those actions. Sometimes you make a bad choice for the right reason and it becomes a muddled gray area between right and wrong. When Darian first popped into my head, she was standing on the roof of a building in the middle of the night, considering the moral gray area that she’d slipped into.

TQ:   What sort of research did you do for Shaedes of Gray?

Amanda:  Most of my research involved the supernatural. I couldn’t find a specific legend or story that meshed with my vision of my characters and so I decided to start from scratch and create my own mythos while still keeping with some of the legends and traditional characters out there. My Shaedes and Lyhtans are my own creation. And I didn’t like any of the Jinn mythology either, so I wrote my own. But I also have Oracles, Fae, Sylphs, and other creatures that are pretty standard. Aside from my creatures, I did a lot of research on swords, daggers, guns, weaponry and combat. You know, the fun stuff.

TQ:  Why did you set the series in Seattle?

Amanda:  Since I live in the Pacific Northwest, I wanted to keep with locations that I was familiar with. I’ve visited Seattle and the city has a certain energy that struck a chord with me. It’s big enough for a supernatural creature to hide out undetected. It’s a beautiful city with plenty of hustle and bustle. Seattle has a rich history. I’ve spent hours looking at old pictures of the city, reading articles. It’s fascinating.

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

Amanda:  Darian was by far the easiest character for me to write. She’s got this jaded outlook and sarcastic attitude that comes out in me more often than I’d like to admit. She’s also very introverted, like me, and doesn’t particularly like to share her feelings. I think the hardest character for me to write is Tyler. That man is a mystery to me. More times than not I have to have a “talk” with him and ask, Okay, buddy. What do you WANT? He’s open about how he feels, he’s protective to the nth degree, and he’s so damn patient! He drives me crazy.

TQ:  Without giving anything away, what is/are your favorite scene(s) in Shaedes of Gray?

Amanda:  I think my favorite scene in the book is the first time Darian ever sees a Lyhtan. And I owe that to my agent, Natanya Wheeler. When we were working on revisions she asked me, “What does a Lyhtan eat?” And when Darian stumbles upon the Lyhtan…let’s just say he’s enjoying his meal.

TQ:  How many books are planned for the Shaede Assassin series?

Amanda:  So far, I’m contracted for three books and a novella that is a prequel to SHAEDES OF GRAY. But I have ideas for at least three more books in the Shaede Assassin Series, and a couple of spin-offs as well. Hopefully, I’ll get to put those ideas to paper soon!

TQ:   What's next?

Amanda:  Next up is the novella that I mentioned above. It will be available for download in June and I’m really in love with the story. Readers will get to see how Darian’s journey began and you’ll get a lot of Azriel, a character who will always be in Darian’s thoughts. The novella will also have a preview for book 2, BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE, which releases July 3rd, 2012.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Amanda:  Thanks again for having me!


About Shaedes of Gray

Shaedes of Gray
Shaede Assassin 1
Signet Eclipse (December 6, 2011)
Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages

You can read my 5 Qwill review here.

Interview with Amanda Bonilla and Giveaway - December 12, 2011
In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind-an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

When Darian's next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she's taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished...


About Amanda

Interview with Amanda Bonilla and Giveaway - December 12, 2011
Amanda Bonilla lives in rural Idaho with her husband and two kids. She’s a part-time pet wrangler, a full-time sun worshipper, and only goes out into the cold when coerced. When she’s not writing she’s either reading or talking about her favorite books.

Amanda's Links

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Blog









The Giveaway

THE RULES

What:  One commenter will win a copy of Shaedes of Gray (Shaede Assassin 1) from Amanda. US/Canada Mailing Addresses Only.

How:  Leave a comment answering the following question:

What creature or being is your ideal paranormal best friend?

Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.

You may receive additional entries by:

1)   Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)   Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)   Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a USA or Canadian mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Monday, December 19, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

Release Day Review - Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla - 5 Qwills

Shaedes of Gray
AuthorAmanda Bonilla
Series:  Shaede Assassin
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher:  Signet Eclipse (December 6, 2011)
Price:  $7.99
Language: English
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
ISBN:  978-0-451-23529-9
Review Copy:  ARC provided by author

Release Day Review - Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla - 5 Qwills
In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind-an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

When Darian's next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she's taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished...

My thoughts:

Shaedes of Gray is a fantastic start to a new dark Urban Fantasy series by debut author Amanda Bonilla. The main character is Darian. She's an assassin who works for Tyler. Despite her job, she does have a moral compass. She'll only take out the bad guys. No innocents allowed. As a Shaede, and the last of her kind, Darian is uniquely suited for this kind of work. She's had a lot to contend with in her human life and in her life as a Shaede. She is cold and not interested in love due to her heartbreaking past. Darian, despite her profession and coldness, is incredibly likable. She's tough, not afraid to speak her mind, and gets the job done. Her most recent target, Xander Peck, up ends her world. Things are changing. Nothing is as she thought. Watching Darian cope with the changes occurring in her life completely held my interest throughout the novel.

I really enjoyed the inventive beings that make up the supernatural world around Darian. I don't recall reading about Shaedes or some of the other creatures that appear in Shaedes of Gray. Ms. Bonilla also includes a number of well known and lesser known fantasy beings as well, but the emphasis here is on the Shaedes, their counterparts, and who Darian really is.

I also enjoyed Tyler, Xander Peck and the other members of Xander's Court. Ms. Bonilla does not skimp on character development. There are a lot of interesting back stories here, and I hope that we will see more of these characters in future books. Tyler was especially endearing. The chemistry between Darian and Tyler is wonderful. While I understand Darian's desire to not become involved with Tyler, I was pulling for him. This is not to say that Shaedes of Gray is a romance. The focus is on Darian and what is happening in the preternatural world.

There are some superb plot twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat and guessing. The pacing was excellent throughout. Shades of Gray is full of compelling characters, exceptional world-building and a story that leaves you wanting more. The Shaede Assassin series is on my must buy list.

I give Shaedes of Gray 5 Qwills.

Release Day Review - Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla - 5 Qwills

Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla - Cover - May 9, 2011

Amanda Bonilla's debut novel, Shaedes of Gray (Shaede Assassin 1) will be published in December 2011.  Here is the gorgeous cover and the official back of cover blurb.

Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla - Cover - May 9, 2011
In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind—an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

Darian finds herself struggling to keep her employer Tyler at arm’s length, especially since his seductive smile makes her want to break her rules about love. The work he offers is necessary to protect the innocent—and a welcome distraction. But when Darian’s next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she’s taken on more than her conscience will allow, but a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished…

Amanda is participating in the 2011 Debut Author Challenge so look for an interview with Amanda later this year!
Amanda Bonilla - My Favorite Time SucksInterview with Amanda Bonilla and Giveaway - December 12, 2011Release Day Review - Shaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla - 5 QwillsShaedes of Gray by Amanda Bonilla - Cover - May 9, 2011

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