Monday, 10 March 2014

Sing Sweet Nightingale Blog Tour - Character Interview & Giveaway

Title: Sing Sweet Nightingale
Series: The Dream War Saga #1
Author: Erica Cameron
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Mariella Teagen hasn't spoken a word in four years.

She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever.

Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.

Calease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow caused the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Calease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.

Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella's life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.

Before you read this, I just want to say that Erica did an amazing job with the challenge I gave her. Definitely not your conventional interview. I hope you enjoy! (Spoiler free interview)

Even asleep, I feel it the moment the portal to Orane’s world opens. It’s like someone has opened a window and let a breeze in on a beautiful day. I take a deep breath and smell the lavender that pervades his world, but I’m still in the darkness of unconsciousness. To reach him, I actually have to step through the doorway.  
Before I can move, a girl appears in front of me, glasses on her nose and a clipboard clutched against her chest. She blinks at me for a second, as though she’s as surprised to see me as I am to see her, but then a grin spreads across her face.  
“I can’t believe that worked!” She laughs and skips closer to me, her grin getting wider all the time. I take a step back, but she stops before she reaches me. “Hi Mariella! I’m Kristie and I’m a huge fan of yours.”  
Did she say she was a fan? Of me? This is getting weirder and weirder… In the distance, I see the twilight sky of Paradise, the orchard of wildly colored cherry trees, the mountains on the horizon, but this girl is standing between me and the entrance. And what are the chances this girl knows sign language?  
Kristie glances over her shoulder and waves one hand, dismissing Paradise with a gesture. “Oh, don’t worry about that. I’m not from your world. Or his. Talking to me won’t break your promise. So, let’s get started, okay?” 
My mouth drops open and her words shock me into speech, into taking the risk that she’s right. “You know about my promise?”  
“Oh, I know so much more than that,” Kristie says, her eyes gleaming.  
“Like what?”  
“Nuh uh, Mari.” She’s still grinning and the gleam in her eyes gets brighter. “Spoilers.” 
I look down and then behind me. No clue what I expect to find—a candid camera crew maybe?—but I look anyway. This is so weird. What is going on? Although I can still see Orane’s world in front of me and my bedroom behind, where we’re standing is nothing but darkness. Like it’s a fold of nothing in-between the two dimensions. Or a dream. Maybe it’s a dream. Like, a normal one. Not like the ones where Orane brings me into his world.  
That has to be it. This is some weird dream. It’s the only explanation that makes sense. And the only reason why speaking here wouldn’t break my vow of silence.  
As though she senses my acceptance of this entire strange situation, Kristie settles the clipboard in the crook of her arm and peers at me through her glasses. “So, let’s get started shall we? I need to sleep soon. So, if someone was to look on your iTunes, what would be your most listened to artists?” 
Oh, music. I can definitely talk about music. “It changes every day. If I want to learn the new songs before I come here, I have to listen to them on repeat. That list transforms completely every morning, though. Listening to the same ten or fifteen songs every night would be incredibly dull—for me and Orane.”  
“Hmm, good point I suppose,” she says as she makes a note on the clipboard.  
“But I tend to favor classic singers with something unique like Etta James, Sarah McLachlan, Janis Joplin, Tori Amos and Tracy Chapman. Also, Melora Creager from Rasputina because, you know. Cellos.”  
Kristie nods, her hand moving quickly as she writes everything down like it matters. I watch her, vaguely fascinated by this whole thing. Weirdest. Dream. Ever.  
“What about books?” she asks abruptly. “What are some of your favorite reads?” 
“I tend to read whatever my parents buy. Once they’re finished with it. Most of the time I’m reading through books on music history and theory, contemporary romance novels—my mother loves Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Robin Kaye—or the mysteries and fantasy novels my father prefers.”  
Kristie laughs. “That’s a broad mix! Who are his favorite authors?”  
I sweep my braid over my shoulder and trace the ridges with my fingertips. “In mystery he’s a little obsessive about anything with espionage —Robert Ludlum and John le Carre, for example.” Kristie is still nodding and taking notes like this is all crucial information, so I keep going. “In fantasy, he likes the contemporary authors like Jim Butcher, Elizabeth Kerner, and Jim Hines, plus the classics like J.R.R. Tolkien, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Madeleine L’Engle. He doesn’t do science fiction usually, but he makes an exception for Douglas Adams.”  
“What about you?”  
Blinking, I tilt my head and ask, “What about me?”  
“Do you have any favorites of your own?”  
“Oh.” I shrug. “Um, not really. I read just to pass the time, honestly.”  
Kristie’s eyes widen. “Huh. Really?”  
“Yeah, really. Why?”  
She bites her lip and shakes her head, but her eyes are still a little too wide. “No reason.” 
I wait a second, but she doesn’t seem to be inclined to explain. “Okay, then.”  
“Right. So…” Kristie looks down at her clipboard, scanning the surface like she’s checking things off a list. Her smile grows a little when she looks up. “Whenever I hear the title of your story, I always get the song of the same—” 
“Wait… story? What story?”  
“The novel about your life!”  
A novel? About my life? Yeah. No way was this real. No one knows enough about my life to write a book about it. That right there is all the proof I need. This entire conversation is a dream. I don’t know what my subconscious is trying to process by creating an interview, but at least she’s nice.  
“Right. Sure. The novel.” I nod and try to keep the skepticism off my face. “And what was the title again?”  
“Sing Sweet Nightingale, of course.” 
“Of course.” I smile. Well, if someone was going to write a book about my life, it only makes sense Orane would play the biggest role. It actually does make sense. “So what was your question?”  
“I always get the song from Cinderella in my head when I think about the title, so I wanted to know who your favorite Disney Princess is.” 
With the amount of time I spent watching movies—especially Disney movies—as a child, this one is easy. “Mulan. Without a doubt.”  
“Really? Why?”  
“Well, she’s kind of awesome, isn’t she? Things go wrong and she just, goes and fixes it. No brother to fill in for her dad? Doesn’t bother her at all even though she has to know there’s a pretty good chance she’s going to die out there.”  
Kristie nods, still taking notes. “True.”  
“And everyone making fun of her and all the pranks and everything that goes wrong? She still manages to show them up without being cruel about it. Mulan is impressive. On many levels. I mean, her ‘Prince Charming’ comes chasing after her blushing and stammering! That doesn’t happen often.”  
Laughing, Kristie agrees. “And in the process she saves everyone’s lives about five hundred times.”  
“Speaking of, what was your first reaction when you met Hudson?”  
I blink. “Speaking of what? And who’s Hudson?”  
“Oops. Crap.” Her face flushes a little pink and now she won’t meet my eyes. “Sorry! Spoilers.”  
“Spoilers of what?” Weird is one thing, but now this is flat-out confusing. What is this girl even talking about any more? She’s suddenly stopped making sense. The only person, place, or thing named Hudson I know of is the river.  
“Okay, so I just have one last question for you, if that’s all right.”  
“Sure. Why not?” At this point, what does one more question matter? 
“What was the hardest part about swearing silence to Orane?” 
I suck in a breath and my hands start shaking. Dream, I remind myself. This is a dream, so it’s all inside your own head. Of course she knows Orane’s name. She’s you! 
Swallowing and pretending I didn’t just have a minor panic attack, I try to remember exactly what she asked. The wording slowly filters back into my mind. Right. The hardest part about my vow to Orane.  
“Um, instinct and involuntary reactions, I guess,” I finally manage to say. My voice sounds a little tense to my ears, but Kristie doesn’t seem to notice. She’s taking notes again. “When I would stub my toe or someone would startle me or something like that—keeping quiet in moments like those were the hardest. No. Well, second hardest.”  
“So what was the hardest?”  
“When I had to sit there and watch my parents beg me to say something—anything. Watching my mother sob and completely break down…” I swallow, this time trying to stop the tears that want to claw their way out of my eyes. “That was the hardest.”  
Kristie nods slowly, her eyes on me instead of the clipboard this time. “What about your friends?”  
I snort. “I never really had any, so that part was easy.”  
Her mouth opens, but whatever she’d been about to say is never uttered. Instead, she mutters, “Right. Spoilers.” 
“What exactly do you think you might spoil?”  
“Everything!” Kristie exclaims, her eyes wide. “Absolutely everything!”  
“Right.” My gaze shifts toward the entrance to Orane’s world and I shift my weight in that direction, edging as close as I can. I sort of feel like a student waiting to be dismissed from class. “So, is that all? Can I go?”  
“Um, yep! Looks like I got what I needed.” Her grin is back, but it’s still completely unexpected when she jumps forward, wraps her arms around my shoulders, and gives me a huge hug. It gets even weirder when she whispers, “Trust your gut, okay?”  
And then, as suddenly as she appeared in front of me, she’s gone. Vanished as though she’d never existed at all. As though she really did come from some other universe altogether.  
I walk in to Paradise in something of a daze. Orane is waiting for me at the end of the cobblestone path, his auburn hair swaying in the slight breeze and his arms outstretched, inviting me closer. It’s an invitation I am loath to pass up.  
Running the football-field-length distance between us in milliseconds, I crush myself against him and let his familiar warmth comfort me.  
“It seemed to take you so much longer than usual to arrive this evening, Nightingale. What is wrong?” Orane asks, stroking my hair.  
“Nothing.” I smile as I press my cheek against his chest and shrug. “I just had the strangest dream.”  
“Is that all? Do not worry.” He presses a kiss to the top of my head and squeezes me tighter. “I am certain that when you wake up, you will not even remember you dreamed.”  
Sighing happily, I nod. He’s probably right. No, he’s definitely right. Orane always is. 

Check out the rest of the tour below

Week One:
3/3/2014- Bookish Things & more- Review
3/3/2014- Bibliophilia, Please- Interview
3/4/2014- Lola's Reviews- Review
3/4/2014- A Backwards Story- Guest Post
3/5/2014- YaReads- Review
3/5/2014- Addicted Readers- Interview
3/6/2014- Once Upon A Twilight- Review
3/7/2014- Seeing Night Reviews - Review
3/7/2014- The Irish Banana Review- Guest Post

Week Two:
3/10/2014- Chasm of Books- Review
3/10/2014- Lost in Ever After- Interview - HERE
3/11/2014- The Demon Librarian- Review
3/11/2014- Paulette's Papers- Guest Post
3/12/2014- Poisoned Rationality- Review
3/12/2014- The Best Books Ever- Interview
3/13/2014- Spiced Latte Reads- Review
3/13/2014- Dark Novella- Guest Post
3/14/2014- A Dream Within A Dream- Review
3/14/2014- Parajunkee's View- Interview

About the Author

Erica Cameron knew that writing was her passion when she turned a picture book into a mystery novella as a teen. That piece wasn’t her best work, but it got her an A. After college, she used her degree in Psychology and Creative Writing to shape a story about a dreamworld. Then a chance encounter at a rooftop party in Tribeca made her dream career a reality.

Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, dancer, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon d├ęcor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.

Her debut novel Sing Sweet Nightingale releases March 4, 2014 from Spencer Hill Press. It is the first book in The Dream War Saga.

Links: Website - Twitter - Facebook - Goodreads
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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