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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"When I'm not writing" with Amanda Bonilla + giveaway!

Kylie Griffin

Our guest this week is Amanda Bonilla. Her debut novel, SHAEDES OF GRAY, came out in December and it's the first book in her Shaede Assassin series. This year, Amanda has published two more stories in the series, an e-novella called "When Shadows Call," which is a prequel, and the second Shaede Assassin novel, BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE, which came out on July 3. She's taken the time to visit us as part of her blog tour to talk about what she does when she's not writing and to offer up a copy of her newest book as a giveaway. Welcome, Amanda!


Thanks so much to Tynga’s Reviews for hosting me today! I’m so happy to be here!

It feels like I’m writing more than I’m not. And I know the hubs feels that way. ;) If I’m not working on a novel or short story, I’m chatting with readers on my Facebook page, or talking books with my friends on Twitter. Blog posts count as writing, too. In fact, most of my day from the time I get up to the time I shut my laptop down right before I go to bed, is spent on some facet of my career as an author. I have to remind myself to take a step back every once in a while. To leave my house and go mingle with people face to face. To enjoy a warm, sunny day or just sit and read. Finding balance can be tough for me. But there are things that I enjoy outside of writing, and here are a few of them:


Amanda Bonilla garden

This is more the hubs’s baby than mine. But I love to help him with it. The garden is more than just functional. I think it’s beautiful and adds to the aesthetics of our property. Plus, it’s a great conversation point. Complete strangers have stopped by to look at the garden and our greenhouse because a friend told them about it. And it’s so great to have fresh veggies in the fall! The best thing about growing your own food is you know exactly what you’re getting. The worst thing about growing your own food is canning and freezing it. SO time consuming. But totally worth it in the winter!

The Beach

Amanda Bonilla lake

Okay, so I know to most people “the beach” is a trip to the ocean. But to me, the beach has always been the lake where I live. My family owns this great, old (I mean ancient) cabin that was built somewhere around 1910. It’s decorated in the reds, golds, and oranges, of the 70’s and is, for lack of a better word, quirky. But I’ve spent every summer of my life at that house and on that beach, and I don’t plan on changing my summer routine any time soon. There’s no phone, no cable, no internet, and yeah, I do occasionally go there to write. But with this view, can you blame me? I sometimes sit on the dock from sun up to sun down. And I’d swim all day, too, if I could keep my skin from getting waterlogged. I. Love. The. Beach!

Ice Fishing

Amanda Bonilla ice fishing

Okay, so this is one of those activities that I do maybe once or twice a year, and only because I love the hubs and don’t want him to be sad. Winters are loooooong where I live. We’re talking November to March. Sometimes April. In fact, we’ve had snow in July. So, you can either ski (which we do occasionally), ride snowmobiles (which is way too expensive), or you can go ice fishing. The hubs fishes. I just go for company. But since I hate, hate, hate the cold, I’m only good for a few hours. Then, I’m outta there!


Amanda Bonilla soccer

Goooooaaaalllll! Our teen has been playing soccer since he was five-years old. He made the high school varsity team as a freshman, and the hubs and I couldn’t be prouder. We volunteer at team functions and go to every game, sometimes driving three-hours one way. I’m usually pretty reserved, but when I’m watching soccer, I yell and cheer like crazy. Jump up out of my seat. I’ve even called out a ref or two. But maybe I should save that story for another time. LOL.


Amanda Bonilla hiking

Because of those long, nasty winters I mentioned earlier, most of our outdoor activities are crammed into the summer months. So from June to September, we try to get outside as much as we can. I’m lucky that I live in an area surrounded by lakes and acres upon acres of forest. We hike, pick berries, just soak up the sounds of the wind, birds and squirrels chirping at us, and the rush of water in the streams. Summer is my favorite season. I just wish it was longer here!

Amanda Bonilla hiking 2

What do you do when you’re not working or reading? Do you have a favorite season, place to visit, sport to watch? I’d love to hear about your favorite fun activities!


What a great post, Amanda! Thanks for visiting us as part of your blog tour!

For more information about Amanda and her books, check out her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter. You can also click on the tour badge to see where else Amanda is going on her tour!

Amanda Bonilla Blood Before Sunrise Blog Tour


Here's the scoop on BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE:

Amanda Bonilla Blood Before SunriseWhat you can’t see can kill you…

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…

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

You should also check out SHAEDES OF GRAY, the first book in the series:

Amanda Bonilla Shaedes of GrayIn 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...


Stéphanie's thoughts

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

And don't forget about the prequel e-novella, "When Shadows Call":

Amanda Bonilla When Shadows CallThe 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…

Purchase: Amazon



Amanda is kindly offering one (1) copy of BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE to a lucky reader!

To enter the giveaway, obey the Rafflecopter!

US/Canada only

Ends Monday, August 6, 2012

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Do you guys have suggestions for who you’d like to see featured on the blog? If so, you can make your suggestions on this page. No guarantees that your favorite authors will be able to participate but we’ll try!

Authors, would you like to visit and share with us? Please email me at jennblogs (at) gmail (dot) com and we’ll set it up!


Born and raised in the Toronto area, Jenn moved to St. John's, Newfoundland, eight years ago for school. She's still in school (thankfully on another degree!), now trapped in her dissertation. When she's not dissertating, which happens more often than it should, Jenn spends her time reading, watching movies, playing volleyball, travelling, and enjoying the local music scene. Her latest addictions: yoga and Almond Crunch cereal.

28 People left their mark' :

  1. I've read about your book on several blogs now and I'm interested... I would love to enter the giveaway.
    dsadler53 at yahoo dot ca

    1. And my favorite season is summer even though this year has been a very hot and humid one I still prefer summer over all that snow we get in winter.

  2. When I'm not working or reading, I go for a run or watch a movie with the husband. (It's an exciting life, I gotta tell ya!)

  3. Winter is my favorite season. I hate the heat. When I'm not reading I'm on the computer or knitting/crocheting.

    Where do you live? Those photos remind me of my great aunts place in northern Ontario. When she was alive I'd take my grandmother up there every year for a week in August just after the black flies left ;).

    Thank you.


  4. My favorite season is summer. I love to garden and fish with my husband. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  5. I love visiting parks. There are mountain trails around here that is great for hiking and when I want to rest there's plenty of shade and a lake. It's relaxing and I get in my exercise.

  6. My favorite season is the summer. I love to read beside my pool in my backyard on my brand new terrasse. Summer is short in Montreal, so we have to enjoy it as much as possible!

  7. my favorite season is Fall with Winter coming in second - most people think I'm crazy but I really enjoy the cooler, even colder temps - bottom line, I hate sweating, unless I'm doing something really fun...with my husband...in private, then sweating is just fine! When I'm not reading/writing I love cooking and just hanging out with my family.

  8. Thanks again for having me on the blog today!! <3 I live in Idaho and our summers are really short. Like 3 months at the max. I soak up every ounce of sun I can! :D

  9. I love the winter. It's my favorite season. I get alot more done than in the other seasons. I read alot, but when I'm not reading, I oil paint, cross-stitch and play around on the computer.

  10. My favorite season is fall, I love the nice weather and Halloween. When I'm not reading I like to listen to music, and take care of my guinea pigs. Thanks for the chance to win!

  11. I love to surf the internet and read about books when I'm not working or reading. :D My favorite season is fall, because I've always lived in a warm climate and fall is when the summer heat mellows out and things cool down a bit. It's also when pumpkin flavored things begin to show up, including pumpkin pie, yum. And it's also when my favorite holiday (Halloween) is, as well as my birthday. I love to visit my neighborhood on my walks and see the changes to the landscape, including Halloween decorations. I don't watch any sports.

  12. When I'm not writing I love getting away to the beach at DE or NJ to just relax. That and I've taken up triathlon training to try to combat writer butt.

  13. I like to quilt and paddleboard

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  14. My favorite season is spring I love watching all the flowers bloom, its not to hot but not to cool perfect weather for sitting outside and relaxing watching the birds

  15. Not entering, just doing a bit of fangirl squeeing!!! Love your books Amanda and Can't wait for the next book!!!!

  16. My favorite season is Fall. I love the changing of the leaves and Halloween being right around the corner! Thanks for the awesome giveaway. I'm in the US. :)

  17. My favorite season is spring. I don't like it too hot. Thanks for the giveaway.

  18. I read most of the time or watch movies. I like summer and spring.

  19. I'm always working or reading so when I'm not it's usually to catch up on the tv shows or movies wanted to see. My favorite place to visit is Colorado so I can see my dad and it is absolutely gorgeous. Fall is the best season ever! lol It's cooler and the leaves change plus I love everything and anything to do with Halloween. :)

  20. I want to rent a paddle board this summer! It's on my new things to try list. And I've wanted a lake kayak for a couple of years now, I just can't find one in my price range. I'd paddle around the lake all day if I could!

  21. I like to watch movies or go for a walk.

  22. When I'm not working or reading, I love taking my kids to go swimming! :D

  23. Summer is my favorite season, I love being able to go horseback riding, run outside, go blueberry picking, I just love having it be sunny and warm (which it hasn't been in the northeast, will someone please send our rain to the midwest!)

    As for sports, I love hockey (go Pens!) and football (go Steelers!).

  24. I love to dance and/or try out new baking recipes, usually while baking I'm dancing around the kitchen with my Itunes on random. Fall is my favorite season not to hot or cold just right and because my birthday is in October. :D

  25. When I am not reading, Im not sure when Im not reading. I love to spend time with my son and husband. Lately my little boy has been living in the pool so that has been my current hang out. I also can't wait for football season and my favorite season is Summer because I get to spend so much time with my son.

  26. When I'm not reading, I'm with my dog hiking or with my friends at a baseball game in the summer/hockey game in the winter.

  27. My favorite season is summer, there is something about the light and the heat that make me feel fantastic. I am always renewed. I like to go to the beach, rivers, lakes etc. Farmers markets, and swimming. I just adore all the fresh produce and flowers. I grieve every year when my beautiful sun goes away!..Adelle lizbthk@yahoo.com