Tuesday, October 8, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Allure by Lea Nolan Interview & Giveaway

Thanks for stopping by, this is my stop on the Allure Blog Tour which is being hosted by Rockstar Book Tours!

About the Book 
Worst. Summer. Ever.

Emma Guthrie races to learn the hoodoo magic needed to break The Beaumont Curse before her marked boyfriend Cooper's sixteenth birthday. But deep in the South Carolina Lowcountry, dark, mysterious forces encroach, conspiring to separate Emma and Cooper forever. When Cooper starts to change, turning cold and indifferent, Emma discovers that both his heart and body are marked for possession by competing but equally powerful adversaries.

Desperate to save him, Emma and her twin brother, Jack, risk their lives to uncover the source of the black magic that has allured Cooper and holds him in its grip. Face with the horror of a soul-eating boohag, Emma and Jack must fight to resist its fiendish power to free Cooper long enough to join their strengths and face it together, before it destroys them all.

Hi Lea! Thanks so much for joining me today!

You are very welcome! It’s a pleasure to be here!

The cover of ALLURE is beautiful! Did you have any say in the design?

Thank you! It is gorgeous, isn’t it? I especially love that the color scheme is different than most books on the shelves now. Hopefully that’ll inspire people to pick it up, turn it over to read the blurb, and decide to jump into the Hoodoo Apprentice world. Sadly, I can’t take any of the credit for its beauteousness. Heather Howland, one of Entangled Publishing’s senior editors and editorial directors is also a certified cover design genius. She had her own vision and put this one together. I consider myself very, very lucky.

What do you think is more challenging, writing the first book in a series or the second one?

You know what, I think both are challenging but in their own ways. The first book can be difficult because you don’t know the world, characters, and story arcs but you learn them along the way. This is true even if you’re a plotter like me and start off with a baseline knowing where you intend to go with the story. No matter how much you’ve planned there will likely still be surprises a long the way that require at least minor adjustments to your course.

When you begin the second book in a series, you’ve got the advantage of already knowing a lot about the plot, characters, setting, and arcs, and you know which loose threads need tying up in the sequel. That said, there’s tremendous pressure with the second book. No one wants to write a sucky follow-up.

There’s a reason they call it the Sophomore Slump – sometimes the first book is awesome but the next, well, is a disappointment. I felt a tremendous responsibility to both my characters and readers to make sure that didn’t happen with Allure and pushed myself to raise the stakes, action and consequences.

Without being spoilery, what will surprise readers most in ALLURE?

This is so hard to do without being spoilery! I think readers will be surprised by a few of the twists and turns the story takes, especially in the final act of the book. Nothing comes out of the blue since the seeds have been sown now for two whole books, but I do think some readers will be pleasantly surprised that they didn’t see some of this coming. I’ve said all along that Allure is darker and twistier than Conjure, so people should take the book’s tag line seriously. For Emma, Cooper and Jack, this really is the Worst. Summer. Ever.

Which character so you enjoy writing the most?

I know I sound like a mom when I say I love all my characters equally – and I sincerely do – because I hear their thoughts and feel their feelings as I write so they’ve become real people to me, almost as real as my own kids. And I truly adore them all, even Emma’s twin brother, Jack who can sometimes be a jerk but redeems himself when he cracks me up. That said, I admit that I love to write Emma Guthrie, the heroine because she’s spunky, determined, and very smart. And sometimes, she’s very funny in a sharp, incisive way that catches me off guard. And of course, I am desperately in love with Miss Delia who is the toughest ninety-seven-year old you’d ever expect to meet. I’m as scared of her immense power as I am awestruck by her strength and zeal.

What is the most recent book you've read and loved?

I finally made time to read Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Boys. As usual, her prose is so gorgeous, it brought me to my knees. Consider the first line in chapter one: “It was freezing in the church yard, even before the dead arrived.” Seriously? How more perfect can you get? It’s pithy, sets the tone of the book, and foreshadows so much of what will happen, all in a scant twelve words. After I read that Iine, I almost closed the cover feeling I wasn’t worthy to go on. Luckily, I came to my sense and plowed through it, savoring the language and story like it was a fancy dinner. I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel, The Dream Thieves.

You're a busy lady. How do you balance a career and motherhood with writing? (Do you have set days that you write, a word count you try to hit each day, etc.)

Honestly, I don’t feel like I do it very well. Luckily I only work part time now doing some health policy consulting and teaching graduate courses at a nearby university. The bulk of my daylight hours are spent writing (or doing authorly duties), but I still struggle to balance my work-related activities with family time. There’s always another chapter to write, something that needs revising, a new series idea to plot, marketing and promo to plan and carry out, etc. The list goes on and on.

Generally I write (or do some writing-related activity) each day during the week, primarily when my kids are at school. When I’m working on a manuscript I try to write about 3,000 words, or ten pages a day, or at least complete a chapter. My incredibly supportive husband also has work-from-home opportunities which make it possible for me to work several evenings each week. During crunch times, when I’m behind, I also take time on the weekends to pound out words. But working nights and weekends take a toll on my kids (and me because I miss them) so I’m trying to learn to be more focused on prioritizing the writing, then get to the extras later in the day.

What is your best piece of advice for aspiring writers?

I’ve got a couple pieces of advice I always share:

1) Read everything you can get your hands on in your chosen genre and dissect the books that blow you away. What is it about them that you love? From what perspective are they written? What is their pacing like? How do chapters start/end? Do they take you on twists and turns? Are they narrative heavy or have lots of dialogue? What kind of “voice” appeals to you? Once you start reading like a writer, you’ll begin to see which components make up a good book and you’ll start to incorporate them into your own writing.

2) Join a writer’s group like Romance Writers of America (RWA), the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Savvy Authors, or other similar groups. Find a critique partner(s), take some basic craft classes, get involved in online discussion boards and learn the business and process of being a writer.

3) Above all, write, write, write! Don’t let anyone stop you or make you feel like you shouldn’t bother. No matter how much you say you want to do it, you can’t be a writer if you don’t
actually write.

Thanks so much for having me, Jen! This was a lot of fun!


About Lea

Lea Nolan writes the kinds of stories she sought as a teen—smart paranormals with bright heroines, crazy-hot heroes, diabolical plot twists, plus a dose of magic, a draft of romance, and a sprinkle of history. She holds degrees in history and women’s studies concentrating in public policy and has spent nearly twenty years as a health policy analyst and researcher. She lives in Maryland with her heroically supportive husband and three clever children. You can learn more about Lea on her website, on Facebook, Twitter and on Goodreads.


Grand Prize- A Hoodoo Apprentice Prize Pack US Only
2nd and 3rd prizes of $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift cards International
Must be 13 years old to enter
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule 
Week One
9/30/2013- Cuddlebuggery - Guest Post
9/30/2013- Step Into Fiction- Review- Allure
10/1/2013- I am a Reader- Interview
10/1/2013- Just a Booklover- Review Conjure
10/2/2013- Candace’s Book Blog- Guest Post
10/2/2013- Endless Reading-Review- Conjure and Allure
10/3/2013- Fantasy Book Addict- Interview
10/3/2013- Bookworm in Boots- Review- Allure
10/4/2013- Fiktshun- Guest Post
10/4/2013- A Dream Within A Dream- Review- Conjure or Allure

Week Two
10/7/2013- URBAN FANTASY LAND - Guest Post
10/7/2013- Fade Into Fantasy- Interview
10/8/2013- Jenuine Cupcakes- Interview
10/8/2013- Reading Rainblog- Review- Conjure or Allure
10/9/2013- The Cover Contessa- Interview
10/9/2013- Faerie Tale Books- Review Conjure or Allure
10/10/2013- Fangirlish- Guest Post
10/10/2013- BookHounds YA-  Interview
10/11/2013- Mundie Moms- Guest Post
10/11/2013- vvb32 reads- Review- Conjure and Allure


  1. Thanks so much for hosting this stop on the blog tour! It's a true pleasure to be here. :)

  2. I LOVE that cover. And I, too, adore the first sentences of The Raven Boys. Thanks for the aspiring writer advice. :)