August 14, 2013

Authors Are Rockstars: Introducing Sarah Beth Durst + Giveaway

About Sarah

Goodreads' summary: Sarah Beth Durst is the author of Vessel, Drink, Slay, Love, Enchanted Ivy, and Ice from Simon & Schuster, as well as Into the Wild and its sequel Out of the Wild from Penguin Young Readers. Her next book for teens, Conjured, comes out in September 2013 from Bloomsbury/Walker. Her first book for adults, The Lost, comes out in November 2013 from Harlequin/Luna. She has been writing fantasy stories since she was ten years old and holds an English degree from Princeton University, where she spent four years studying English, writing about dragons, and wondering what the campus gargoyles would say if they could talk. Sarah lives in Stony Brook, New York, with her husband and children. For more information, visit her at

☆ How to find Sarah ☆

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

About her books!

Coming Soon!

Release date:
September 3, 2013

Publisher's Summary: Eve has a new home, a new face, and a new name—but no memories of her past. She’s been told that she's in a witness protection program. That she escaped a dangerous magic-wielding serial killer who still hunts her. The only thing she knows for sure is that there is something horrifying in her memories the people hiding her want to access—and there is nothing they won’t say—or do—to her to get her to remember.

At night she dreams of a tattered carnival tent and buttons being sewn into her skin. But during the day, she shelves books at the local library, trying to not let anyone know that she can do things—things like change the color of her eyes or walk through walls. When she does use her strange powers, she blacks out and is drawn into terrifying visions, returning to find that days or weeks have passed—and she’s lost all short-term memories. Eve must find out who and what she really is before the killer finds her—but the truth may be more dangerous than anyone could have ever imagined.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Newest Release!
Publisher's Summary: Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. The goddess will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But Liyana’s goddess never comes. Abandoned by her angry tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.

Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. For the desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.

The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice: She must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate—or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

A Book I Loved!
Click on the cover to see my review!
Publisher's Summary: Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire . . . fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil . . . until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops.

Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don't exist), and they're shocked she survived. They're even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl's family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King's feast—as the entrÉes.

The only problem? Pearl's starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she's definitely dead if she lets down her family. What's a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

The Other Books!

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Why I think Sarah Beth Durst is a Rockstar!

Sarah Beth Durst is brilliant! In fact, I’m shocked to find out that she has a bunch of books that I’ve never heard about, so I want to read them all ASAP because of my awesome experience with her writing in Drink, Slay, Love (the book I have read), and I can’t wait to tell you about it.

Drink, Slay, Love is very unique and snarky. I laughed and snickered all through the book. It was like Sarah picked all these crazy ideas (I’m totally astonished that she came up with all these ideas for this one book!), and she brought them all together for an amazing, fun and compelling story! And the characters were all very well done and compelling . . . even the side characters who only played really small parts! And, even though I read Drink, Slay Love over two years ago, I’m even now still able to pull up that mental picture in my mind of what I saw while reading this story. That’s a true rockstar!

☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

You’ve written and published many different types of books. Can you tell us a little bit about the process you use to create each of your stories?

Really, the process for me is loosely the same for each book:

First, I ask myself: If I were to walk into a bookstore or library right now, what kind of book would I want to read?

Then I ask myself: What are the most awesome things that could be in a book like that? And I make a list -- kind of a grocery list, but instead of milk, bread, and Raisinets, I put things like: creepy carnival, serial killer, levitation, teleportation, transformation, and amnesia.

And then I shake those items around in my brain for a while (sometimes hours, sometimes days), usually while typing out whatever thoughts spill out of my head (because I think better through my fingers), until something spills out that makes me say, "Ooh, yes!"

From there, I keep shaking the thoughts until I have enough "ooh, yes" ideas to coalesce into a story.

I'm oversimplifying, of course, but that's essentially it.

The differences between my books are caused by the different ways the ideas collide together when I shake them. In the case of CONJURED (my next YA novel), those ideas that I listed above coalesced into a creepy, mind-bending thriller. For THE LOST (my upcoming novel for adults), my list centered on a town full of lost things and lost people, and so the book became a magical realism / contemporary fantasy. For VESSEL, I wanted to write about a desert steeped in magic and legend with gods that walked the earth – and so I wrote a sweeping epic adventure. For DRINK, SLAY, LOVE, I wanted a dark comedy with an evil vampire girl as my “heroine” and a were-unicorn. ENCHANTED IVY is a magical adventure on a college campus. ICE is a romantic fairy-tale adventure with a talking polar bear and an Arctic scientist’s daughter. And INTO THE WILD and OUT OF THE WILD are about fairy-tale characters living in my old hometown.

But despite these outward differences, all my books also have similarities. All of them are fantasy. All of them have a kick-ass heroine who faces incredible odds. All of them have a dose of adventure, a dose of romance, and a dose of humor. All of them have a note of hope. And the reason for these similarities is that they are all built around the same core: they're all the kind of books I like to read.

And so that would be my advice to anyone out there who wants to write. Forget about the old adage "write what you know." Forget about writing what your teachers wanted you to write, what your friends and family expect you to write, and what you think you should be writing. Instead, write what you love to read.

-Signed copy of CONJURED
-US Shipping Only
a Rafflecopter giveaway


erin said...

Thanks for the fun post and giveaway! I'm dying to read both of these authors :)

Marked By Books said...

I LOVE SARAH BETH DURST!!!!! Oh my goodness! Enchanted Ivy was one of my favorite books that I read last year, and I always thought that Into the Wild and Out of the Wild were so creative!

BookOwl93 said...

I haven't read either book but I would love to! :) And this was a fun post! n_n

Vivien said...

Fabulous guest post! I'm really eager for both books. I've enjoyed this author so far :)

bn100 said...

Haven't read them yet. Informative post

Unknown said...

That's probably the best author response I've ever read about creating and developing a book's story. Loved your review of Drink, Slay, Love and Sarah Beth Durst's response to your question.

jkrowyn said...

I haven't read any of these books but they sound good. I had heard of Drink slay Love. That's on my tbr pile!! :)

Unknown said...

I haven't read any of these books or the authors before. They sound very good. Thanks for the giveaway.

Violette said...

I am SO SO excited to read Conjured. It has everything I like in books. Cranivals? Yes please!

Jaime Lester said...

I have not read anything by Dan Wells, but I have definitely read this amazing author. The Vessel and Drink, Slay, Love are 2 of my absolute favorite reads. Conjured sounds amazing, and I have this feeling it will end up another favorite!

Anonymous said...

I haven't read either of these books, but looking forward to!!!

Maidenveil said...

Haven't read any of Dan Wells' books, but would love to!

LAWonder said...

I have not read any of his books but would like to. They would be a nice addition on my book review blog.

LisaILJ said...

I'm guessing we should talk about Sarah Durst's books, but I haven't read any yet. I own a few, and Drink, Slay, Love has been at the top of my wishlist forever. I have heard nothing but good things about her books.

Post a Comment

Hi *waves* I ♥ me some comments! So comment away...

Dear followers, fans and peeps! Some of the books I review on Magical Urban Fantasy Reads are provided to me for free by either the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. Please know that I am in NO WAY compensated for my reviews. All opinions are mine and I am not required to give a positive review in exchange for a free book! But some of the purchase links on my blog are monetized through places like Amazon, Book Depository or Barnes & Noble.