Friday, July 18, 2014

Featured Author Ashley Stambaugh

Hey Bookies! I'm thrilled to be able to introduce you guys to another AMAZING author! Ashley Stambaugh just released her debut novel earlier this year and I had the chance to read it. Get to know Ashley in our Q & A then check out my review of her debut book Collide
~ Leslie ~

Ashley Stambaugh grew up in a small town in Illinois where she and her two siblings created some of the best memories playing on their family’s farm. She stayed in the southern region of the state to attend college where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and also met her husband.

Now, she and her husband live in central Illinois and spend their time creating new memories with their two rambunctious boys and their comical black Pug. She also enjoys reading, taking long walks, and finding great bargains. When her sons are a little bit older, she has a great desire to travel with her family. Oh, and she also has a slight obsession with chocolate.

When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children or losing herself in a good book, you can find her curled up on her couch with her laptop, writing.

Her debut novel, Collide, is the first book in a new Urban Fantasy trilogy.

1. Where are you from?
I grew up on a farm in a small town in Illinois called Lawrenceville.  Now I live in Chillicothe, Illinois with my husband and our two young boys.

2. When you aren't writing what do you like to do with your time?
I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two rambunctious boys, reading any paranormal romance or fantasy book I can get my hands on, and going for long walks out in the country.

3. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Not at first, but I should have.  I wanted to be so many different things when I was a young girl - an actress, a teacher, a nurse, a detective... and the list goes on and on.  I was and still am interested in so many different things, so I think being a writer is actually perfect for me.  I can create characters to be whatever I want, so in a way I get to pretend to be whatever I want to be, too.

4. What inspired your book?
I’ve always been intrigued with stories about the supernatural, especially angels and demons.  So I thought to myself, “Instead of focusing on angels and demons interacting with humans, why not give a human angel powers and see what happens?”  Then the story just developed from there.

5. If your books were made into a movie who would be your dream cast?
Kristin Kreuk as the main character Melina.  Josh Hutcherson as Lee.  There are three main angels in the book - Walter, Adelia, and Phinneas.  I've always pictured Ian McKellan as Walter, Tilda Swinton as Adelia, and Rade Serbedzija as Phinneas.

6. Which writer, if any, would you consider a mentor?
When I read Stephen King's On Writing it had a profound impact on my writing.  I think most writers and aspiring writers have read it, but if not, I highly recommend it.

7. What are you reading right now?
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

8. What are your current projects?
Collide is the first book in a trilogy, so I'm currently working on the second book.

9. What is something you hate doing? Why?
Having to kill a spider.  I'm not a big fan of insects of any type, so my husband is the official bug killer in our house.  But if he's not there I can usually gather up the courage to take care of it... unless it's a spider.  I've missed the target before only to have it end up landing on me.  I just shuddered thinking about it.

10. Do you ever write naked? :) While under the influence?
Hahaha!  No.  I think my leather couch would be a little cold.  And no, I never write under the influence either.

11. What is your favorite drink?
Non-alcoholic - lemonade.  Alcoholic - Amaretto stone sour.

12. If you could be any character in fiction, whom would you be?
Well, I would say Harry Potter, but since he's a boy I'll say Hermione Granger.  It would be pretty cool to be able to do magic.  :)
13. Tell us something no one knows about you.
I wouldn't say that no one knows this about me, but only a few people know that I play online multiplayer computer games with my husband.  Well, until now that is.  Now lots of people know!

15. Biggest pet peeve?
When people don't use their turn signals.

16. Any quirky habits?
None that are quirky to me.  :)

17. Ebooks or Paperback?
I love the feel and smell of paperback books, but with e-books I can take all of my books with me at once.

18. Do you judge a book by it's cover?
A pretty cover will tempt me more than a plain one, but then I always flip the book around and read the back cover blurb and make my decision based on that.

19. Do you listen to music while you write? What is your current favorite?
Yes, I love to listen to music while I write.  My current favorite is anything by One Republic.

20. Puppies or Kittens?

21. Favorite Food?
Chocolate or strawberries.  Or chocolate covered strawberries.  :)

22. Favorite bad habit?
Eating chocolate!  I'm a bit of a chocoholic, so I really have to restrain myself sometimes from eating too much of it.

Connect with Ashley

Melina Rowe never thought her quiet, simple life could change to one full of fear and confusion just by accidentally bumping into someone. But after she collides with an elderly man named Walter, she starts to hear people’s thoughts and have unsettling visions. 

Walter reveals himself as a guiding angel and explains to Melina that she’s a rare type of human who can absorb angel powers. But her special ability is more of a problem for her than a gift. 

The powers are too strong for humans and will eventually kill Melina unless she can successfully use them to help a select individual who’s in need of guidance. Her chances are slim, though, seeing that the handful of other humans this has happened to before didn't survive. 

Scared for her life, Melina desperately tries to help a young man named Lee, but his continual resistance and her struggle with the powers make it almost impossible. Her situation only grows worse when a trio of soul-snatching demons is sent by an unknown entity to take her soul and kill her. 

As a determined Walter sets out to discover who sent the demons and why, Melina must defend herself from their relentless attacks all while trying to use powers she doesn’t fully understand to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. If she can’t figure out how to break through to Lee, the powers will ultimately destroy her. But if the powers don’t kill her first, the demons will. 

4 1/4 ANGELS AND DEMONS OH MY STARS!! I'm a sucker for a good paranormal so I was excited to read this book. I liked the unique spin on Angels and Demons. The characters were great and I was pulled into the story immediately. There were parts of the story that felt a little jumbled and rushed but it didn't detract from the overall story so it wasn't that big of an issue to me. I do have to say that Henry is my favorite character and that I hope we get more of him in the next book! This is definitely a book I would recommend reading! Can't wait for more from Ashley!
~ Leslie ~

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