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Review, Tour & Giveaway: Stitch by Samantha Durante

Stitch Synopsis
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.

 1.       Tell us a bit about yourself and your work.

Thanks so much for hosting the Stitch Blog Tour, Bex!  So excited to be here today.  :-)

My name is Samantha Durante and I’m the author of Stitch, a young adult science fiction novel (and the first of the upcoming Stitch trilogy!).  Stitch is about a college girl who can’t stop thinking about a handsome ghost she keeps seeing in her sorority house, but as she learns more about him, she soon finds out that nothing is quite what it seems and she (and the ghost!) are in a lot more trouble than she ever expected.  The book starts out as a paranormal romance, but once you hit the twist it morphs into more of a dystopian setting, so it’s definitely something a bit different!

Stitch is actually my very first book, so I’m just getting used to calling myself an author.  Besides writing fiction, I’m also a business writer under my company, Medley Media Associates, and before that I was a software engineer at Microsoft.  I just got married in September to my wonderful husband Sudeep and we live in New York with the mutual love of our lives, our cat Gio.

2.     What are your current projects?
My biggest project right now is keeping up with the Stitch Blog Tour – it’s been going on since August and we’ve got two stops a day almost every day this month, so I’m doing lots of interviews and guest posts and trying to promote the stops as much as I can!

On the personal side, we just purchased our first home, a gorgeous old cottage in Westchester County, NY.  We’re working on fixing it up right now, so that’s also keeping me VERY occupied for the next few weeks.

Once we move in and the tour has ended, I’m planning on starting on the sequel to Stitch, Shudder.  I’m already taking lots of notes about reader feedback and brainstorming story ideas, so I’m hoping to have that one ready to go by next summer!

3.        Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes, definitely – my writing tends to be very descriptive and leans toward a more complex/long sentence structure and lots of vocabulary.  I tried for a while to write more concisely and with fewer big words since that style tends to appeal to more readers (also, I went to Wharton undergrad and very simple, straightforward writing is pretty much a requirement for business communication), but when it came to Stitch, I decided to go with what felt natural to me.  There have been a few readers who I know said they couldn’t connect to the writing, but luckily the vast majority have been very positive about it, so I’m planning to stick with my style for the remainder of the series – it’s just a part of who I am.

4.       Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Nope!  I wrote almost all of Stitch sitting on my couch (with the exception of one long weekend on vacation in Florida) and the promotional tour has all been virtual, so I’ve pretty much been sticking to New York.  But the amazing thing about the internet is that Stitch has been featured on blogs as far away as Australia and Europe, so Stitch is getting a lot of traveling in even if I haven’t!

5.      How do you cope with writer’s block?
I cope with writer’s block by proactively preventing it from happening the best I can – I do A LOT of planning before I write, including full character and world histories, a detailed chapter outline, a to-the-minute schedule of events, etc.  This way when I sit down to write, all I have to do it let the words the come – there’s no trying to figure out where the story is going or making sure all the puzzle pieces fit, because I already know that they will as long as I follow my plan.  And if I’m having trouble phrasing a particular sentiment, I’ll just write something crappy and make myself a note to go back and fix it later!
1.      Favourite TV show at the moment?
The Vampire Diaries!  I’m so excited, season premiere is on Thursday!!

2.      If your house was attacked by feral zombies, and they were tearing apart your house with their Über super strength, what five items would you save? 
Only three things: 1. My cat!  2. My husband, of course.  3. The hard drive where I back up all my photos and home videos.  Okay, and maybe 4. My cell phone, so that I could call my mom and tell her to come pick us up!

3.     Dangerous this one: Five words a loved one would use to describe you?
Haha, my family is brutally honest, so I would have to go with: smart, capable, thoughtful, driven and (I’m counting this as one word) “a bit of a bitch.”  They love me anyway.  :-)

It's wonderful to have Samantha on our page and has been a pleasure to get to know her better through her fascinating interview responses! Keep reading for our review of Stitch and Samantha's giveaway!

Foolishly, I thought that I had Stitch figured and boy was I wrong! There were so many unexpected twists and turns so much so that I was completely thrown by the story's development; it really kept me on my toes. The narrative was well constructed and very creative. It was so refreshing to read a book that entered the realm of dystopian sci-fi with a lovely mix of romance and fast-paced action. 

The character Alessa was a particular favourite of mine. She handled the vast amount of dramas in a way that I was immediately able to relate to her character. The way that Samantha Durante handled the construction and development of her characters is very impressive. They are well-rounded and wholly believable.

Samantha makes use of flashbacks which took me a little while to get to grips with, but it soon sat comfortably and I soon felt at ease with her style. The author also sets the reader up beautifully for the next installment, a book that I can't wait to read.


Purchase Links:
 Amazon US / Kindle US / Amazon UK / Kindle UK / Smashwords 
Coming soon to B&N Nook and iTunes

Stalker Links:

Other Stitch Info
Genre/Keywords: Paranormal Romance, Ghost, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult, New Adult
Length: 75,000 words (314 pages)
Sample chapters: Ch1-5 (38 pages) 
Release date: August 1st, 2012
Blog tour dates: August 15th – October 31st, 2012

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