A Darkness Strange and Lovely – GIVEAWAY!!

So, I have this friend who wrote a book.

Some publisher picked it up – you may have heard of them? HarperCollins?

The first in the trilogy came out last year and today is Book Two’s release day! YAY!!

To celebrate, Modern Bliss is giving away an autographed copy of Book One and also ordering the winner a copy of Book Two (Hardback or Kindle, your choice).

First, here is an interview with the author, Susan Dennard:



My inspiration for SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY is so lame and so cliche. It came from…a dream. Yep, that’s right. I dreamt my brother was missing and the only people who could help me were a ragtag team of misfits. This dream haunted me for days–the characters were just so vivid (as was my romance with a dreamy inventor ;)), so I finally sat down and wrote the dream out. Then I layered in a setting, a heroine way tougher than I am, and Horrible Bad Guy. Soon enough, I had the beginnings of an outline for SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY!
Time management, huh? Sometimes I’m awesome at it…and other times, I’m not. Right now, I’m doing pretty good, and the key seems to be having a deadline and sticking with a strict daily schedule. Back before I had an agent or a book deal, I used to impose deadlines on myself, and come hell or high water, I stuck to those. I was actually WAY more disciplined before I got my book deal than I am now–I think because I knew no one was gonna crack the whip but me, so I made a huge effort to get focused, organized, and motivated.
I think the key is to make writing a priority. No one is going to write that book for you, so if you want to get it done–or get anything done from running a 5K without breaks (a current goal of mine, actually!) to becoming an amazing professional photographer (I’m lookin’ at you, Amanda!), you have to make the goal a priority. When you really want something, you’ll be amazed at how much time you’ll find to do it in!
Disclaimer (I asked these questions a while ago, so this may have changed for Susan)
So my favorite books that I’ve read lately were (in no particular order), BOUND by Erica O’Rourke (this is the third book in one of the best YA romance trilogies out there. I am not much of a romance reader, but ZOMG, these books blew me away), UNSPOKEN by Sarah Rees Brennan (gothic, twisted, and wonderful), THE WARLOCK’S CURSE by M.K. Hobson (another third book in a series that I am obsessed with), Megan Whalen Turner’s THE KING OF ATTOLIA (this might just qualify as my most favoritest book of all time…), and ANGEL BLOOD by Nalini Singh (this is steamy adult romance in one of the most lush, amazing adult paranormal series out there. Again, I’m obsessed).
The hardest part of being published has been rediscovering my love of writing. As strange as it sounds, when you write/revise under contract, a lot of the spark vanishes. You write because you have to, you edit because it’s on deadline, and worst of all, you get inundated with snarky reviews of people who hate your writing. It took me a long time to realize that I don’t have to write, and in fact, forced writing is usually awful to read. I don’t have to read reviews either–and I actively avoid them now. No author has 100% positive feedback, and we all eventually learns it’s no good for our muses if we listen to feedback from the masses (good or bad feedback!). I have finally reached a balance where I stay focused on my writing and how my writing makes me feel–not what people think or what my contract says. It hasn’t been an easy path, but as far as I can tell, every writer goes through this. :)
The best part of being published has been meeting fans–especially younger ones. School and library visits, conventions, signings–these are exhausting, but SO rewarding. Younger readers especially are just so enthusiastic and ask the best questions. I had one kid ask if he could shake my hand, and then he vowed–in extreme seriousness–that he would never wash that hand again because I was his most favorite writer of all time. It took all my self-control not to squeal and pinch his adorable, preteen cheeks.
Peanut butter, for sure. My husband, who is European, is a nutella man all the way–of course. I just find Nutella too sweet…and he finds peanut butter to salty. ;)
If you’re not sure what the books are about, these should help!
BOOK ONE | Something Strange and Deadly


BOOK TWO | A Darkness Strange and Lovely

With her brother dead and her mother insane, Eleanor Fitt is alone. Even the Spirit-Hunters—Joseph, Jie, and the handsome Daniel—have fled to Paris. So when Eleanor hears the vicious barking of hounds and see haunting yellow eyes, she fears that the Dead, and the necromancer Marcus, are after her.

To escape, Eleanor boards a steamer bound for France. There she meets Oliver, a young man who claims to have known her brother. But Oliver harbors a dangerous secret involving necromancy and black magic that entices Eleanor beyond words. If she can resist him, she’ll be fine. But when she arrives in Paris, she finds that the Dead have taken over, and there’s a whole new evil lurking. And she is forced to make a deadly decision that will go against everything the Spirit-Hunters stand for.

In Paris, there’s a price for this darkness strange and lovely,

and it may have Eleanor paying with her life.


Here’s how to enter the giveaway!

1) Leave a comment below

2) Share this contest on Twitter:

  • I entered to win an autographed copy of Book One + #ADarknessStrangeandLovely by @stdennard at http://www.modern-bliss.com!
  • (you can add a hashtag such as #ADarknessStrangeandLovely, #YA, #yalit, #eBook, or #amreading)

3) Sharing this contest on Facebook:

  • I entered to win an autographed copy of Something Strange and Deadly + A Darkness Strange and Lovely by @stdennard at http://www.modern-bliss.com!

4) Buy a copy of Something Strange and Deadly and/or A Darkness Strange and Lovely and post a comment letting us know (if you win, send us a copy of your receipt and we’ll refund the cost!). If you already own it, that counts too (take a picture of you with the book and post a link to the image for fun)!

The following are all MB Affiliate Links:


Be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry. Contest deadline is 11:59pm on 7/26/13 EST. US residents only.

Contest winner will be posted and contacted by 7/27/13. If you are not a member of Modern Bliss, please leave an email address (or other form of contact) so we can notify you if you win.

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  1. How fun, I’d love to be entered!

  2. Kari (karilynn124)

    Yay!! Always looking for a good book :)

  3. Would love to win!!!

  4. Yay!! Love new, good, books!

  5. Oh I love new books, thanks for the recomendation!

  6. Sounds fantastic! I’d love to read it!

  7. Oooo…a new book series I have not heard of. Can’t wait to read!

  8. Shared on Facebook.

  9. yay! love checking out new books!!!

  10. Looks like a great book!

  11. I would love to read these books!

  12. I tweeted :)

  13. Shared on FB as well!

  14. I would love to be entered.

  15. woohoo!! I’d love me some new books!

  16. Kimberly McClelland

    This has been on my “to-read” list on Goodreads for a while and I am hoping I win so I can finally get around to reading it!

  17. Kimberly McClelland

    I shared this on Facebook!

  18. How fun!

  19. I would love to win these books!

  20. Totally looking forward to reading A Darkness Strange and Lovely!!!

    kellis_amberlee at yahoo dot com

  21. I tweeted:

    kellis_amberlee at yahoo dot com

  22. Yay! Thank you for the chance to win. I have been wanting to read Something Strange and Deadly for some time and it would be so great to have it and the sequel.

  23. I could use a new book!!!! These both sound amazing

  24. I’d love to win!

  25. What a sweet contest. Thanks! Sounds like a must read.

  26. Looks interesting! I’d love to read it.

  27. I love reading interviews with authors. Makes you realize they are “real people.”

    I have to ask, what does the Z in ZOMG mean?

  28. I love to read and am dying to get a few new (and great) books!

  29. Love the author interview, and now I’d love to read them!

  30. sounds interesting, would love to read!

  31. Awesome I want to win!

  32. I actually already bought the first book and am about 5-6 chapters into it! its great. Got it when Amazon had it on special but I’d still love to get an autographed copy!

  33. I posted about it on Facebook.

  34. tweeted :)

  35. shared on FB :)

  36. I want to win!!

  37. These books look great!

  38. Can’t wait.

  39. I’d love to win this!

  40. I am always looking for a good read

  41. This book looks interesting! I was thinking of buying it!

  42. Lorelei Vella

    Fun! I would love to win! :)

  43. Those books sound really really good

  44. Boo.. I just saw this and missed the deadline. Guess I need to stop getting on from my phone only.

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