Friday, 15 February 2013

Blog Tour: Stitch (Excerpt + Review + Guest Post + Giveaway)

Get Stitched For V-Day

Stitch (Stitch Trilogy, #1)
Title: Stitch
Author: Samantha Durante
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Paperback | Kindle

Synopsis: Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa's body screams at her to run... but yet she's powerless to move.

Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees - and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell - Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.

Because what Alessa hasn't figured out yet is that she's not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university's idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface...

The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results.


Nikhil and Alessa were pressed together ever closer by the crowd, their bodies moving as one in time with the music. Alessa could feel the hair sticking to the back of her neck as her skin started to glisten, but she didn’t care. She threw her arms up and tossed her head with the beat, reveling in the moment.

Nikhil gently placed his hands around Alessa’s hips, seemingly mesmerized. The crowd swelled and they were pressed together once more, his arms wrapped around her waist, her hands on his taut swimmer’s chest and shoulders. He leaned over, nudging his face so close to hers that she could feel the heat rising off his skin. Alessa parted her lips and looked up at Nikhil, preparing to surrender to her body’s impulses.

But instead of the dark brown eyes she expected, she saw only blue. Unfathomable, sparkling blue, glittering with facets of ocean and sky, boring deep into her soul and clutching at her heart. Once again, a single word rose in the back of her throat – Isaac – and she knew this night was over.

"She felt a deeper connection to him than she had with anyone since her parent had died, and her fixation with resolving his mystery had given her focus and provided her with something to strive for after so many months of drifting away."

Samantha Durante, you just blew me away. This debut waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than what I expected. Stitch was written with amazing world building, unique plot and very likable characters. With it's carefully constructed plot, nothing can spoil you as you read along the way. Since I first saw this on Goodreads until I started reading the first half of the book, I am curious why it was shelved under Dystopian, Sci-Fi and Post-Apocalyptic.

Here, we get to meet Alessa who lost her parents to a car accident and is currently living in Zeta Epsilon Pi sorority house. As she struggles to adjust to her new life, she sees a ghost that suddenly rattled her mind and made her want to uncover all about him.

The first half will make you think that you're reading a Paranormal story. I thought it would be sort of the same as the 2006 movie, The Lake House, with apparitions instead of letters. And just when I started to solidify that theory about this story would go, the next page would throw my idea out of the window. This one keeps you guessing and guessing but not to the point where you'd get lost and wouldn't understand what's going on. It is actually very intriguing. The first few chapters might be a bit slow-paced but it actually complements to an awesome world building. It makes you feel invested in the setting then would suddenly switch gears and turn it around to another Dystopian world. I know some of you are asking why is there a sorority house in a Dystopian world..

I love how it the author kept the characters to the minimum, too. Other than a few mentions, this has actually few characters the readers should focus. These characters also developed along with the story. Alessa's character was strong despite the depression over the loss of her parents. She wasn't a kid who doesn't have a life, although she only has one friend and avoids mingling with her sorority sisters. She also seems independent and not a damsel-in-distress. With Isaac, I feel like I need to know more about him. Some memories shows a bit of his personality but not much. I think what he was and how he acted as Isaac Mason is different to who he really is. Joe.. well he intrigues me and I think we might see a love triangle in the future.

When I think about the theories and concepts discussed in this novel, it seems to blow my mind but the author managed to included Physics without giving us information overload. She used it to the minimum while providing enough explanation.

A part of the conclusion of this book reminded me of the Delirium trilogy (a world beyond the fence), but I hope my heart won't break with the assumed love triangle.

Overall, Stitch is an intriguing, mind-boggling and unique novel that would pull you and make you keep on turning the pages. This first book actually feels like a major prologue to a big bang and I'm excited for that.

Top 5 Things I Love About Being an (Indie) Author by Samantha Durante

I recently published my first novel, Stitch, and though I’m still new at this whole “author” thing, it’s really been a dream come true! To celebrate, here are the top five things I LOVE about being an author (so far!), in no particular order:

1. Total empowerment.

There were a lot of reasons I decided to go the indie route when publishing Stitch, but by far the main one is that I’m a bit of a control freak and I really liked the idea of having final say over every little detail of my book. I worked with an artist to design the cover, devoted painstaking hours to formatting the e-book versions, and made the final decision about every word, every punctuation mark, and every plot twist. While this is a little scary (after all, I know there are people out there who can do all of these things far better than me!), it also means that the success of my book lies solely on my shoulders… And therefore, as long as I’m willing to put in the work (which I am!), I know my book will do well!

2. My book IS me.

Following with #1, since I didn’t have to get sign-off from a publisher, I could write about whatever I wanted, even a genre-bending thriller that combined paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi in one (yes, one!) book. I pulled in ghost lore, super-geeky spacetime physics, post-apocalyptic scenarios, a biological pandemic, and of course, a kick-ass female protagonist and sexy-but-sensitive male lead. And yes, the fact that my book does not fit squarely into one genre makes it kind of difficult to market (which is why the traditional publishing industry would be wary of it), but it is full of the things I love. And since – as an independent author – I have the exclusive right to decide what gets published under my name, the fact that I was excited about my book and believed in it was all that mattered.

3. Quick delivery to readers.

The other big factor that drove me to go indie was the ability to get my book to market QUICKLY. It can take months – even years – for a first time author (going the traditional route) to find an agent and a publisher and go through the editing and revision and publication process. Even though part of me wanted the validation of having credible industry professionals sign-off on my work before it went to the public, a bigger part of me just REALLY wanted to share my book with readers NOW (and the thought of waiting that long to get my book out was like a knife to the gut!). By publishing the book myself, I was able to get it to readers only weeks after it was done, instead of months/years (and now that readers are clamoring for part two of the trilogy, I’m really glad that I’ll be able to get it to them as soon as I can!).

4. Bloggers, bloggers, bloggers.

WOW. I have never met a more supportive and encouraging community of people than the world of book bloggers. Since I am doing all my marketing myself (notice a theme here? :-), I’ve been in personal contact with literally hundreds of bloggers since my book and blog tour launched a few months ago, and each and every one of them has absolutely blown me away. There’s just been an incredible outpouring of assistance and enthusiasm from the blogging community, and I feel SO grateful to have made contact with all of these amazing people. Thank you SO MUCH to all of the bloggers who have helped me promote Stitch! You guys are amazing!!

5. Reader commentary!

Last but CERTAINLY not least are the readers themselves! It has been just INCREDIBLE to share Stitch with so many people and to hear their feedback and see them getting excited about the story the same way I am. Stitch is definitely a different sort of book, and I have to say, even though I knew I loved the story, I didn’t know if most readers would feel the same. So when 4- and 5-star reviews started popping up all over the internet, you can only imagine how gratifying that felt! I’ve read every review that’s been posted online and it always makes my day to hear that someone enjoyed the book. I’m SO indebted to every reader who’s taken the time to read and talk about Stitch! Nothing is more motivating than passionate fans who are itching for the next installment – I can’t WAIT to get started on the next one for you guys!

About the Author:

Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. Stitch is her first novel.

Know more about Samantha on her website.

It's giveaway time!

Stitch Swag Pack (US ONLY)
- a signed print copy of Stitch
- Stitch long-sleeve t-shirt
- one-of-a-kind signed Stitch bookmark
- $5 Amazon gift card

- eBook copy of Stitch
- Autograph digital signature
- one-of-a-kind print-your-own Stitch bookmark
- $5 Amazon gift card

Check out other participating blogs:

This book tour post was organized and designed by:

1 comment: