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Monday, August 19, 2013

Shudder Blog Tour! A Guest Post by Samantha Durante: Commitment Issues

We are excited to have Samantha Durante, author of the Stitch Trilogy, here with us today. Before we hand the blog over to here, here is some information about her books!

Genre: Young/New Adult (Dystopian/Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: August 1, 2012

The Blurb:
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.

Genre: Young/New Adult (Dystopian/Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: June 15th, 2013

The Blurb:
It’s only been three days, and already everything is different.

Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa’s life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she’d counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she’d thought she’d tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she’s discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.

And then there are the visions.

The memory-altering “stitch” unlocked something in Alessa’s mind, and now she can’t shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers – and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world’s sorry history – will soon leave Alessa reeling…

The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante’s shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.

Guest Post by Samantha Durante: Commitment Issues
Have you ever committed to something (perhaps somewhat reluctantly, or without really thinking about it), and then one day you look up and you think, “Omg, what have I gotten myself into?”

It happens to the best of us.  Maybe it was volunteering to organize that big event, or agreeing to watch a friend’s kids/pets while they were away.  Maybe it was diving headlong into a project at a new job that you don’t have a lot of experience with, or committing to cooking dinner for more people than you can really handle.

Or maybe, like in Alessa’s case in the Stitch Trilogy, you somehow got roped into championing a cause that you’re not 100% passionate about… and are maybe even a little afraid of.

For Alessa, this dilemma presents a major hurdle both in Shudder (Stitch Trilogy, Book 2) and throughout the Stitch Trilogy.  She considers herself a normal 20-something girl like anyone else in her post-apocalyptic society, just doing her best to get by and appreciate the time she has with the few loved ones she has left.  But she’s privy to some information that most other people aren’t – that her colony is being controlled by a small group of bureaucrats who may not have everyone’s best intentions at heart – and this puts her in a position of responsibility that she’s not quite sure she’s ready to assume.

In fact, Alessa looks up one day to find herself steadily climbing the ladder of leadership in an underground resistance movement, being called on to perform ever more dangerous missions, and with her loved ones getting pulled in beside her as the rebels gear up to face their enemies head on. 

For a girl whose top priority in the world is protecting the people she cares about, this creates a clear conflict of interest: how can she possibly fulfill her commitments to the rebellion while keeping her loved ones safe?  How did she ever end up in this position to begin with?  And what can she do now to reconcile these conflicting priorities?  Doesn’t she have to choose?

It’s a question many of us struggle with in our daily lives.  How can I really be there for my kids if I’m working so many hours?  Can I really turn down my friend’s request for a favor if I know it’s going to put undue strain on my schedule?  If I don’t take care of this important task, who will?

For Alessa, the answer is no more clear than it is for any of us.  But eventually, she must come to terms with the duties laid before her and figure out what path – and which consequences – she can live with.  Luckily, she’s still got one more book left in the trilogy to accomplish this.

As for the rest of us?  Well, perhaps Alessa’s journey will shed some light.  At the very least, by delving into Alessa’s story we’ll have found a new book friend who can commiserate with us on our commitment issues.  Because, let’s face it – if anyone understands the difficulty of weighing tough decisions, it’s Alessa.  And just as Alessa will find, we all have the power to clean up our messes – we only need to find the courage to do whatever it is that needs to be done.
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. The Stitch Trilogy is her debut series.

Check out my interview with Samantha Durante!

To learn more about Samantha Durante and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

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