Thursday, March 19, 2015

H.A.L.F. THE DEEP BENEATH by Natalie Wright Official Blog Tour: Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

Please Visit Jean Book Nerd for a complete Schedule!!


H.A.L.F. 9 has taken his first breath of desert air and his first steps in the human world. Created to be a weapon, he proved too powerful for his makers and has lived a sedated life hidden from humans. But H.A.L.F. 9 has escaped the underground lab he called home, and the sedation has worn off. He has never been more alive. More powerful. Or more deadly.

Erika Holt longs to ride her motorcycle east until pavement meets shore. She bides her time until graduation when she’ll say adios to the trailer she shares with her alcoholic mother and memories of her dead father. But a typical night in the desert with friends thrusts Erika into a situation more dangerous than she ever imagined.

Circumstances push the two together, and each must make a fateful choice. Will Erika help H.A.L.F. 9 despite her “don’t get involved” rule? And will H.A.L.F. 9 let Erika live even though he was trained to kill?

The two may need to forget their rules and training and if either is to survive the dangers of the deep beneath them.

Guest Post

A Day in the Life of Writing a Novel

Stage 1: To all outward appearances, I am wasting time and avoiding the blank page.

Author Playing Her Favorite RPG Game, “Dragon Age”

I call this as my “research” phase.

Gaming is fun and a great way to procrastinate, but I also find creative inspiration while playing RPG video games. I spend time pretending to be someone else in a world that doesn’t exist.

Hmm, sounds a lot like writing a novel.

As much fun as Stage 1 is, I’m eventually tired of playing in a world someone else created and I’m ready to play in a world of my own creation.

Stage 2: Some people (i.e. my husband) think that Pinterest is another technique I employ to avoid facing the blank page.

Author’s Pinterest Page

But this is research. I look for visual inspiration for characters, their “costumes”, places that may be settings, and even weapons or technologies that may appear in the story. Most of what I pin I’ll never look at again, but some pins I refer to throughout the writing process when I need visual inspiration for a description or scene.

Stage 2 may also include reading books written by others, going to movies, reading non-fiction books and articles about all kinds of things like gene splicing, cloning, high-tech weapons, and theoretical propulsion systems for space travel. I also create a playlist that becomes the “soundtrack” for my story. It’s not only fun to find songs that match the mood of my characters or a scene, but it also helps get me in the writing zone.

During Stage 2, I take lots of notes in my Moleskine notebooks as I craft my characters. I deal with their motivations and what needs to happen for each main character before the story ends. I also spend time writing out backstory for characters and exploring what the relationships between the characters were before the story begins. I typically fill a couple of notebooks with scribbles, drawings, maps, genealogy charts, notes, and even short story vignettes before I begin the actual writing of the story.

I love my job. J

Stage 3: This is the absolute worst part of writing. It’s terrible. I hate it.

Every story begins with a blank page. It is white. The cursor blinks, a virtual chant (in a nasty little sing-song voice) “You can’t do this, you can’t do this.”

The sad truth is that Stage 3 may last for a few days.

Okay, the whole truth is that Stage 3 will last until I find a way to banish the fear demons and summon that kick-ass Viking warrior chick that resides somewhere deep inside me. She dons her armor, pulls out her broadsword and cries out “For Narnia” (or something similar), and forces my fingers to pound away on the keyboard. If it wasn’t for that badass Viking chick, I may never write a word.

Stage 4: Obeying my inner warrior, I’ve gotten to work and written thousands upon thousands of words. And I’m all like –

Image courtesy of Tumblr, gifs for the masses

The story flows and the characters become real to me. They nudge me to take a turn here, create a twist there, as they reveal their story to me. It’s fun. It’s thrilling. I’m in the process of pure creation. I’m stringing words together in a way that has never happened before in all of creation.

I am a writing god!

Stage 5: The manuscript has been sent off to the content editor. I’m in love with the story I just created, so I know that the editor will be as thrilled as I am. I wait to hear the good news.

Six weeks later, I get the email I’ve been waiting for. The marked up manuscript and editorial letter is back!

I open the document and I see red “ink”. Lots of it. The margins are filled notes and comments. Lots of them. Why, there is hardly a line that doesn’t have a comment attached to it in the margins.

My dancing, celebrating muse has given way to this:

There is another stage that involves large amounts of wadded up tissues and perhaps a glass or two of wine with a friend (or an entire pint of ice cream eaten out of the container with a spoon – repeat as needed). But I’ll leave that stage out as it’s best not to dwell on such nasty, undignified business.

Image courtesy of Tumblr, gifs-for-the-masses

What now?

Repeat Stages 1 through 5 until I no longer grab ice cream when the editorial comments come back. ;-)

Thank you so much for sharing your day with us Natalie!!  I am sure at times it can be frustrating, but the end result is brilliant and I am sure satisfying!!


Natalie is the author of H.A.L.F., a young adult science fiction series, and The Akasha Chronicles, a young adult fantasy trilogy. She lives in the high desert of Tucson, Arizona with her husband, tween daughter, and two young cats.

Natalie spends her time writing, reading, gaming, geeking out over nerd culture and cool science, hanging out on social media, and meeting readers and fans at festivals and comic cons throughout the western United States. She likes to walk in the desert, snorkel in warm waters, travel, and share excellent food and conversation with awesome people. Natalie supports the rights of both humans and non-humans to live a life free of suffering caused by people. She was raised an Ohio farm girl, lives in the desert Southwest, and dreams of living in a big city high rise.

My Review

H.A.L.F.  ....Half Alien Life Form....Pretty much all I need to know to get pretty excited about this story!  The Truth is out There...yes, X-file Fan and total sci-fi geek here.  Oh how it has been a while since I have read a sci-fi book with aliens...squeeee!!  This is one to grab for sure!!

When Erika, Ian and Jack decided to skip a high school party to go out to the desert to star gaze and hang out, they never dreamed what they would come up against.  While they were fighting for their lives with a couple of goons, H.A.L.F 9 was fighting for his by trying to escape the prison that had held him for his entire life.

When the three groups meet in the desert, the real adventure begins.

H.A.L.F 9 has never been out in the human world.  However, when his and Erika's lives meet, there becomes a bond.  They both have a desire to protect each other.

So yeah, that's about all I am going to say ...  no spoilers here.  You just have to read this story to find out all the true goodness within.  This story has adventure and excitement galore.  There is a true demented character that you will love to hate.  I found it fascinating how H.A.L.F 9's powers started to emerge, and how he adjusted and learned from them.  As the story progresses, it just keeps getting better, with a twist thrown in here and there, and one heck of a cliff hanger at the end.  It is a fun read, and I am sure that all Sci-fi lovers will love this one.  This story is a fast and easy read, and the words just flowed for me.  My heart truly ached for the loneliness that just pores from H.A.L.F. 9.  Even though Erika, Ian and Jack have differences in opinion, they still stick together til the very end.  Get this book and dive right on in to take a ride that is just out of this world!

--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

1 Winner will receive a $20 Amazon Gift Card.

1 Winner will receive the H.A.L.F. full Swag (Compass, Necklace, Mouse Pad, Magnets and Book Cards). Signed copy of one of the books from Natalia's First Series (Emily’s Trial Book 2).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for hosting me today and for the review!