Tracy Banghart

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    Happy Book Birthday!

    Today's the big day!! SHATTERED VEIL is now available at all fine online book retailers! (And you can order it in Barnes & Noble stores as well, though it's not on the shelf...YET. ;-))

    I am so, so excited to finally be able to share this book with you. Hooray! And, as an added bonus, my friend Ali Cross's YA/crossover scifi, BLOOD CROWN (which is AH-MAZ-ING) is celebrating its book birthday too!

    It also happens to be my "non birthday" (being a leap year baby and all) and I can't imagine a better birthday present than seeing my special little book baby, Shattered Veil, succeed. Please consider buying a copy and/or recommending it to your friends. Bonus: it's on sale!! Here are the links for Shattered Veil and Blood Crown...pick up both for a FEAST of scifi awesomeness! :-D



    Barnes & Noble!





    Barnes & Noble!


    To celebrate the big day, Ali and I are having a FB and Twitter party (see details in previous post), which means tons of awesome prizes! You can enter now to win the Grand Prize, which includes all of our books AND...drum roll...a new Kindle! Enter below to win!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Thank you so much for your support! Happy reading!


    Shattered Veil & Blood Crown Release Party

    So...very exciting news! My buddy and award-winning author (& the interior designer of Shattered Veil!) Ali Cross and I were chatting the other day and realized our books come out the same day! FEBRUARY 28th! AND they're both YA/crossover scifis! Well, you know what this means....


    That's right! We decided to join forces to offer you even MORE amazing prizes, intriguing teasers, and fun trivia about SHATTERED VEIL, and Ali's novel, BLOOD CROWN.

    Here are more details:

    When: February 28th, 2-7pm EST
    Where: Facebook & Twitter
    Two boys with missions to fulfill.
    Two girls with promises to keep.
    Two worlds to save.

    There will be tons of prizes, including books, movies, swag, etc.
    Here's the link (feel free to invite your friends!):
    by Ali Cross
    Androids have claimed power over what remains of the human race. They rule without remorse. They are the Mind and humans exist only to serve them. 
    But it wasn't always so.
    Before the android uprising, select droids, called Servants, were pivotal in engineering a new human race with nanotechnology enhanced DNA. The Blood Crown theorum was to be humanity's crowning glory and the key to their survival in deep space.
    But Serantha, Daughter of the West, was the last female to receive Gifts from her Servant and when the Mind mutinied, she was hidden away, and presumed dead. 
    Without Serantha there is no hope of the Blood Crown being realized so Nicolai, Son of the East, abandons his crown to join the rebel forces. He might not provide the future for his people he had once dreamed of, but he will not go down without a fight.
    When Nicolai discovers Sera among a small compliment of kitchen staff, everything changes--but Sera's Gifts were never completed and she is ill-equipped to face a legion of androids determined to wipe her, and every other human, out of existence.
    Their only hope is the Blood Crown--but even if Serantha and Nicolai can realize their potential it may be too late to save mankind.
    Okay, so first of all, this book is AMAZING. Honestly. When I finished it I had a total writer crush on Ali and basically just sat and swooned to myself for a while. BLOOD CROWN has incredible action, an amazing main character, and a love story that is (literally!) out of this world. I really can't say enough good things about it and you should DEFINITELY pick up a copy when it releases on Feb 28th (come to our party and win Blood Crown-related prizes!!)
    Read my complete review here and add it to your Goodreads TBR shelf!
    by Tracy E. Banghart
    For Aris, a talented wingjet pilot, war means sacrificing everything: her home, her name, her face—and the one promise she swore she’d never break.
    In the small village of Lux, everyone flies wingjets, but nobody flies them like Aris Haan. When she’s not dancing through the skies, she’s spending every minute with Calix, whom she’s loved since childhood. They plan to Promise, but instead he is sent to defend their dominion against a bloody invasion. Determined not to lose him, Aris follows, joining an underground network of women inside the male-only military. Using secret technology that allows her to pass as a man, she becomes “Aristos”, a Flyer in a search-and-rescue unit. 
    As Aris grows stronger on the battlefield and more comfortable in her guise as Aristos, her personal mission becomes less and less clear. When she and her enigmatic commander, Major Vidar, uncover an astonishing conspiracy that could destroy everything, she must make a choice that will determine not only the fate of her heart, but the future of her dominion.
    Mulan meets Battlestar Galactica in Shattered Veil, the story of how one young woman's quest to save her beloved leads her to save the world.
    It's already gotten 10 5-star reviews on Goodreads from early readers. Check out what folks are saying and add it to your TBR shelf here!
    Our party is going to be kind of an open house-type thing...we'll be popping in and out with giveaways, trivia, and a few fun things on Twitter too. Join now, so you can get updates on the contests...then you can pop in at your leisure! We hope to see you there!




    Bookanistas Review: Captivate

    Hello friends! I apologize for not blogging much lately. Things are pretty crazy around here, between running after a 15-month-old and preparing for the big Shattered Veil release! But I *have* had a little time to read!

    This week I'd like to give some love to CAPTIVATE by Vanessa Garden!

    From Goodreads:

    In a glittering underwater world, nothing is as it seems...

    For the past twelve months since her parents’ death, seventeen-year-old Miranda Sun has harboured a dark secret — a secret that has strained the close relationship she once shared with her older sister, Lauren. In an effort to repair this broken bond, Miranda’s grandparents whisk the siblings away on a secluded beach holiday. Except before Miranda gets a chance to confess her life-changing secret, she’s dragged underwater by a mysterious stranger while taking a midnight swim.

    Awakening days later, Miranda discovers that she’s being held captive in a glittering underwater city by an arrogant young man named Marko...the King of this underwater civilisation.

    Nineteen-year-old Marko intends to marry Miranda in order to keep his crown from falling into the sinister clutches of his half-brother, Damir. There’s only one problem. Miranda is desperate to return home to right things with her sister and she wants nothing to do with Marko. Trying to secure her freedom, Miranda quickly forms an alliance with Robbie — Marko’s personal guard. However, she soon discovers that even underwater, people are hiding dangerous secrets..

    My Thoughts

    Okay, it just needs to be said....this book captivated me! ;-) Miranda drew me in right away and I was immediately intrigued by the hint of her past regrets and secrets. Then, when we arrive in Marin, the underwater world Vanessa created came to beautiful life before my eyes. At first, it was wonderfully claustrophobic, much like the caves in Stephenie Meyer's THE HOST and the spaceship in Beth Revis's ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. I could feel the walls closing in on Miranda, could feel every visceral moment of her desperation. I thought Vanessa did a fantastic job of not romanticizing Miranda's kidnapping. Sure, it wouldn't be a story if Miranda didn't find a place in her new world and develop feelings for our leading men; BUT Vanessa handled Miranda's gradualy evolving feelings with grace and subtlety. And this is definitely one of those books where I couldn't figure out how it could possibly end. I love that urgency to keep reading faster and faster to see what happens next!

    Another element I found super intriguing was the mystery of how the people came to be in Marin and what kind of civilization had built the underwater city. Vanessa poses all these tantalizing questions about her world...many of which she waits to answer until book two. Which was very sneaky on her part because it's just ANOTHER reason that I MUST GET MY HANDS ON BOOK TWO!!

    Overall, I loved CAPTIVATE and can't wait to dive again into Miranda's world. If you're looking for an intensely romantic read, just in time for Valentine's Day, I recommend picking this one up!

    Add CAPTIVATE to your Goodreads list here, and buy a copy for yourself here!


    Here's what the other Bookanistas are raving about this week!


    UNDYING Blog Tour! Review + Giveaway

    Hello there! 

    Today I'm participating in the UNDYING Blog Tour, brought to you by Xpresso Book Tours.

    I first heard about this book through my cover designer, Regina. She designed UNDYING's cover...which also features Laura DuVall, the same model from Moon Child! So cool. Anyway. The cover is gorgeous and the story sounded SO intriguing, I just had to check it out. Lucky for me, I also get to be a part of its blog tour!

    First, the basics...

    Undying by Valerie Grosjean 
    (Undying #1) 
    Publication date: September 29th 2013
    Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult, Zombies


    This is a story of love . . . and zombies.

    When eighteen-year-old college freshman Christian discovers his dormitory is crawling with the living dead, he knows he has a problem. But once he learns the whole country is overrun by the flesh-eating horde, he must race to protect what matters to him most.

    Sixteen-year-old Iris, the girl he loves, is stranded eighty miles away, alone and completely unaware of the gruesome threat surrounding her.

    Christian’s plan is to evade the zombies, drive the distance to rescue Iris, and get them both to his family farm—where there are guns, fuel, and everything else they’ll need to survive. His mission seems simple: Get the girl, get to the farm, and stay alive.

    Things get complicated when Christian is forced to make an unthinkable choice between Iris and his family. Someone he loves must die, and he must decide.

    Goodreads Amazon Barnes & Noble

    My Take

    UNDYING is gory, intense, and heart-wrenching...I'd even say heartbreaking at times. Valerie's evocative writing style calls up visceral images and emotions, as in this passage: 

    "They'd been replaced by the wraiths before us. Blood and feathers dirtied their hands, soiled their clothes, and befouled their faces. Their teeth were tinted a violent red."

    She doesn't shy away from the real-world implications of a zombie apocalypse. One of the most riveting elements of the book was that her monsters weren't nameless, faceless beasts. They were the kids in Christian's dorm, the teacher he'd had in high school, a friend. Christian *knows* his new enemies, and that adds an emotional, gut-wrenching level to the story I wasn't expecting. I really appreciated that Valerie did this, even as it kicked me in the stomach. I thought about my teachers, my friends, their parents being turned into mindless killing machines and it made the scenario feel even more real and painful to me.

    The action doesn't drags you forward by the teeth (har har) and you just have to keep reading to find out if Christian will save Iris and if his family is okay. The setup is such that those two things do NOT feel like foregone conclusions and, in fact, the climax of the story played out much different than I expected.

    Christian as a character was great, though there were times when I didn't fully buy his male voice. He did have a compassion and value for human life that was a refreshing change on the typical "badass, shoot first ask questions later" male hero. 

    My only other gripe is that we don't get a sense of what caused the zombie virus or how it was transmitted before people started eating each other. For example, I believe at the beginning there's something about the water supply, but that's never fully fleshed out or explored. However, I read that the author is planning a prequel, so I imagine those questions will be answered there. And I'm certainly looking forward to the sequel and finding out how Christian and Iris's story ends!

    My Rating: 4 Stars

    Pick up a copy for yourself at the links above! Or you can enter the giveaway below for a signed paperback and bookmark!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    About the Author

    Valerie Grosjean is the author of the young adult novel UNDYING. She grew up on a Nebraska farm. After college, she married and moved to Northern California, where she lives with her husband and their two young children. Her obsession with zombie movies inspired UNDYING, her first novel and the beginning of the Undying series.

    Find her!





    Click here to see the rest of the stops on the tour!


    One Month!! + Interview with Regina Wamba

    I can't quite believe it, given the YEARS that have gone into this book, but SHATTERED VEIL comes out one month from today! I am SO excited to share Aris's story with y'all, especially as more and more positive reviews come in from early readers. There was a dark period about a year ago when I thought this book would never see the light of day. Now it's finding fans, AND looks all gorgeous and OFFICIAL and stuff!

    I always love to hear about how book covers evolve and since I got to experience the process with the AMAZING Regina Wamba of Mae I Design, I thought it'd be fun to have her stop by and answer a few questions! I've also got some screenshots of the evolution of Shattered Veil's cover, which I think is pretty neat. I hope you enjoy!

    Alright, over to Regina! :-)

    First, could you tell us a little bit about how you got into book cover design? Was it something you set out to do, or did you fall into it from another design field?

     I fell into it actually. By my graphic background and my love for reading. Goodreads forum is where I started! <3

    Being the incredible designer you are, your skills are increasingly in demand. How many covers do you create a year, on average (and when do you sleep??)?

    LOL… Hmm.. sleep comes when i hit my low. I get on a “creative splurge” and hit this wave of awesomeness and sit and design for DAYS, then I’ll crash. That’s when I catch up on tv shows, reading and SLEEP!

    Do you have a favorite genre to design covers for? Is there a genre you wish you got to design for more often?

    I love paranormal. Seriously. There is just something so awesome and challenging. PLUS it’s my fave genre.

    You do much more than just design covers; you're also a fantastic photographer and use many of your own photographs as "stock". What's your favorite part of the process? The design? The photography? 

    HAH. that’s tough. Since they go hand in hand. BUT i would say the whole process. From someone wanting a custom shoot with a specific idea. I love how we come together with an idea and make something very real from it. I love it. I love romance too, so it helps to always to be always “making love” <— pun intended.

    For you, what elements or qualities make for an amazing book cover?

    It’s all an equal balance. The eye will draw you in if you have a good balance between typography, images, and color. It’s important that they all work together as a team.

    What was your inspiration behind the Shattered Veil cover? Do you have a favorite element or detail?

    OOOH. I loved the “jewelry” hint you gave me. From that my mind just started spinning. I love this cover because 1. It has a great color combo 2. it makes your eye draw clock wise (what you want) 3. and it’s so unique, that it just makes you ask, “What is this about?”

    Thanks so much for stopping by, Regina!


    The "jewelry hint" she's talking about? I sent her this description of Shattered Veil's world: "...his eyes lingered on the enormous sat-photo of the Five Dominions that hung on the wall above her. He had always loved the way Atalanta looked from the air, suspended like a brilliant jewel in the center of a gaudy necklace. An emerald caught between the cobalt of the ocean, the golden deserts of Safara, and the diamond ice of Ruslana." 

    I LOVE how she took that description and parlayed it into such fabulous, iconic imagery. And I can't WAIT to see what she does with Tangled Promise, Book 2 in the series!

    And now, for the evolution of Shattered Veil's cover...

    When we were originally brainstorming, Regina gave me two concepts to consider...


    I thought they were both really cool, but I was afraid the one with the boy would give the wrong feel for the book (after all, the main character is female...she just spends much of the book disguised as a man. ;-)) I was THRILLED when we were able to incorporate both covers for the paperback version of the book!

    Then it was time to play around with typography...all the fun nitty, gritty details. Like making the stone in the middle cracked, as if it's been "shattered" (ha. get what we did there?) And, of course, we played around with color too...

    One of my favorite details is the way the girl's face at the bottom kind of merges with a sunset over the beach. It brings to mind this little tidbit... "As she drifted off, she saw the lone figure of her former self, standing still as stone on the edge of a beach, the edge of the world, the sunset tangled in her long, wild hair."

    And now, the final...with lovely colors, cool typography, and a more futuristic plane!

    I'm so, so thrilled with the cover Regina created. I hope y'all have enjoyed hearing more from her and getting a little insight into the cover's evolution.

    And now, for a last announcement....if you are excited about Shattered Veil's release on Feb 28, enjoy free stuff and/or things that are awesome, be sure to sign up for my newsletter HERE. I will be sending out details of a special (AMAZING) offer EXLUSIVE to newsletter subscribers the week before release day. You don't want to miss it!