Tuesday, March 25, 2014

To the Winners Go the Spoils!

Congratulations are in order for the following people, who have won fabulous prizes from the Bewildered Release Week rafflecopter giveaway:

Katrina H. ~ won a signed hardcopy of Bewildered!

Beth ~ won an signed paperback of Bewildered!

Angie M. ~ won a signed paperback of Heir to the Lamp by Michelle Lowery Combs!

Delphina M. ~ won an artist print by Angie Kwon!

Winners can expect an email very soon! Thank you to all who entered.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

BEWILDERED Book, Art, and Swag Giveaway Continues!

The Bewildered Release Tour is over, but I extended the giveaway, because...well, because I can! Enter here to win an awesome prize, and if you missed the whole thing, the links for each day of the tour are at the bottom. Thanks and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday: Into the Bewilderness at The Southern Tablet
Tuesday: Interview with the Illustrator, Angie Kwon at YA Fantasy author, Beth Barany's blog.
Wednesday: Interview with the Editor, Ev Bishop, at Romance and Mystery author, Liz Schulte's blog.
Thursday: The Story Behind the Story, right here on my blog.
Friday: Review and interview with the Author (me!) on MG author, Michelle Lowery Combs' blog.

Thanks for another unforgettable tour! Love, AB

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bewildered Review and Interview from MG Author, Michelle Lowery Combs!

Last but not least...day 5 of the Bewildered Release Week Blog Tour!

It's been a fun-filled five days of traveling around the internet and meeting new friends likThe Southern TabletBeth Barany, and Liz Schulte , and yesterday, we stuck around here to find out the story behind Bewildered. To cap off the week of fun, Michelle Lowery Combs has posted her review of Bewildered and the interview she gave me. The giveaway continues on her page, so enter, win, and enjoy!

It has been a lot of fun celebrating this week! Thanks for joining me!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway (ends tomorrow night at midnight) and, if you haven't already done so, pickup your eBook copy of Bewildered for $1 off at Smashwords.com using coupon code: US73N!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bewildered Release Week and Giveaway! Day 4: The Story Behind Bewildered

It's day FOUR, already?! This week is flying by! We've been all over the web--meeting new people like The Southern Tablet, Beth Barany, and Liz Schulte, and finding out about the world of Bewilderness, meeting the illustrator, Angie Kwon, and the editor, Ev Bishop, and now it's my turn...

A friend once told me that every story has a story. It's so true. Today, it's my turn to tell you about Bewildered. Not about the story within, but the story behind it.

I began writing Bewildered in November of 2012 as part of a National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days—all during the month of November. At the time, I was struggling on a dark YA dystopian manuscript full of gruesome deaths and government conspiracy… and I was stuck. The NaNoWriMo challenge gave me the chance to take a breather and work on something totally different. Thus Bewildered was born.

The idea for the book hit me while sitting in traffic in August, GA. The car in front of me, a Ford Edge, combined with extreme boredom started a neurotransmitted "Super-Storm" wherein a ship fell over the edge of a mid-ocean waterfall and landed in another world. Essentially, melding my loves of Alice in Wonderland with the ocean in a watery rabbit hole—what? You don't think of pirates and imaginary worlds when you're staring into brake lights? I know I'm strange—it's ok.  Anyway, the first draft was named "Edge" and followed an unlikable girl (named Lula instead of Prudence) as she boarded the Unforgiven (then named the Silver Lady) and wound up 65,000 words of a wacky game called "What just happened?"

The rough draft was rough. In fact, I posted about it here. I had to give myself credit…I had done the previously unimagined—which is to say, wrote 65,000 words in one semi-cohesive tale with "the end" on the final page. But it needed a lot of work. So much, in fact, that I nearly tossed it in the trash. Luckily, a friend (thank you Shammy!) read it and convinced me to keep going, that it just needed editing.

Spoiler alert, I did keep going. But quickly gave up on editing what I had written—it was too messy to make sense of. Instead, I rewrote it. From page one. I put the 4-pound copy from Staples in a dark drawer to gather dust while I "retold" the story. A Purple Wizard became the old man with violet eyes, the Destiny Express surprised me, appearing in its magical splendor, and some of my favorite characters such as the Fabrikator and February walked onto the pages. Some elements persisted—Prudence always fell into Bewilderness, and the themes of the book: "believing isn't always seeing," and "trust the heart", were there from the start. In a page-by-page comparison, however, there was hardly anything left of the first draft. One of these days, I'll have to post a before and after comparison…

A lot of people ask if the book was plotted out before I started—and knowing it's the first in a series, I get asked if I know how it's going to end. The truth is: no. I don't have a clue. I believe that the story is there, and if I listen, it will reveal itself. More like the way an archeologist unearths an ancient city—the scenes unfold one at a time and always leave me guessing. Perhaps it would be easier if I plotted it out—I've tried actually—but in the end, the story never turns out the way I expect it too. My muse is stubborn that way.
The road was bumpy. Between fits of self-doubt, children jumping on my keyboard, and tons of shiny things to distract me, getting though the process took all my will power. And now, after all that, the cycle has started over again with book two…then three…then—well you get the idea. But you know, I love every moment of it!

Tomorrow is the last day of the Bewildered Release Tour! My friend and fellow author, Michelle Lowery Combs, will be posting a review and interview on her page tomorrow! The giveaway continues there too (one of the prizes is actually a paperback copy of her book, Heir to the Lamp!)

*the giveaway is at the bottom of the post: a l l  t h e  w a y  d o w n . . .*

Share the word! And from the bottom of my Paper Heart, thanks for reading, following, and sharing the news of Bewildered. 

A Bewilderness Tale, Book One

Prudence Parks is perfect. At twelve-years old, she has the world in her pocket. No messy friends. No silly games. Everything is just right—until her father leaves her an orphan. 

When she tumbles into a bizarre realm known as Bewilderness, nothing is as it should be. Insects talk, pirate ships sail on sand, and plants are just plain evil. After she’s banished for claiming to be human, she thinks the worst is behind her. She’s wrong. The Match King, posing as an ally, promises to send her home if she can find the Paper Heart, an ancient treasure. Battling her sense of logic all the while, she meets a living ragdoll and her father’s doppelganger, who melts her icy heart and—to her regret—gives the Match King perfect collateral to ensure she follows through. 

Prudence realizes the Match King’s plan to erase Bewilderness from existence, but now she must choose: save the world she has come to love, or find her way home.

BEWILDERED is a middle grade fantasy novel geared toward children ages 9-12. It’s Alice in Wonderland meets Miracle on 34th Street. Set once upon a time in a land far, far away, this story illustrates the importance of friendship, courage, and proves believing isn't always seeing.

Purchase it online at your favorite retailer, or visit your local bookstore!

About the Author

A. B. Harms was born a writer. From a young age, she made her own picture books with crayons and a stapler. As a teenager, she won essay contests. Yet, when she began her career, being an author was the last thing she considered. Finally, after working every job imaginable from waitress to social worker and earning her degree in Psychology, she realized what she was always meant to do--write!

A. B. is from Missouri, has gone around the world and back again, and now lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her family, a pet sloth, who resembles a Great Dane, and a black cat, who moonlights as an assassin. No matter where she hangs her hat, she finds herself at home down the rabbit hole.

And finally, what you've all been scrolling for... 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bewildered Release Party, Day 3: Interview with Ev Bishop, Editor Extraordinaire!

Welcome to day three of the Bewildered Release Tour! Today we go into Liz Shulte's Bat Country to hear from Ev Bishop, the editor of Bewildered. As luck would have it, Ev is also the editor for Liz Shulte's Mystery and Paranormal Romance novels, of which I have read several and loved them all!

While you're there, enter the giveaway! Here's what's up for grabs on my BEWILDERED RELEASE GIVEAWAY:
--1 signed Hardcopy of Bewildered
--1 signed Paperback copy of Bewildered
--1 paperback of Heir to the Lamp by Michelle Lowery Combs
--1 Art Print by Angie Kwon (illustrator)
--1 print of Bewildered's Cover Art
--5 Bewildered Bookmarks
--and 2 Bewildered Bookplates!

It's so easy to enter! Just visit the blog host and click, click, click! Spread the word!

DON'T FORGET: Through March 22, 2014, use coupon code US73N at Smashwords.com to pickup the eBook copy of Bewildered for $1 off ($2.99 sale price!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Bewildered Release Week Tour, Day 2: Interview with Angie Kwon, Illustrator

On to DAY TWO of the Bewildered Release Week tour. Today, visit award winning author, Beth Barany, to read an interview with my dear illustrator, Angie Kwon. The giveaway continues there! While you're on Beth's site, go ahead and check out her "Henrietta the Dragonslayer" YA Fantasy series!

If you missed yesterday, go back and visit my friends at The Southern Tablet, then come back tomorrow so we can go see Liz Shulte and read an interview with my editor, Ev Bishop!

DON'T FORGET: Through March 22, 2014, use coupon code US73N at Smashwords.com to pickup the eBook copy of Bewildered for $1 off ($2.99 sale price!)

Monday, March 17, 2014

"Bewildered" Official Release Week Tour: Into the Bewilderness

Happy Monday! For day one of the Bewildered Release Week tour, visit my friends at The Southern Tablet and read a bit about the world of Bewilderness. Enter the giveaway, then take a look around while you're there, why not?

Through March 22, 2014, use coupon code US73N at Smashwords.com to pickup the eBook copy of Bewildered for $1 off ($2.99 sale price!)

Friday, March 14, 2014

BEWILDERED Release Tour and Giveaway!

Howdy Bewilderish Fans!

I'm so happy with the warm reception the world has given Bewildered! From Amazon to Goodreads, every review, every mention, every single reader has my most sincere thanks. 

Because BEWILDERED is now available in all it's many forms (ebook, paperback, hardcopy) and because it is now available in all kinds of places (even your local bookstore!), it's cause for celebration and A HUGE GIVEAWAY!!

Thus, starting on Monday, March 17 through Friday, March 21, we will travel to various places and learn new insights on the making of Bewildered and the team that helped create it! 

Every day throughout the week, you have the chance to win one of several prizes including artwork, bookmarks, and even signed copies! Along the way you'll hear from important folks like Ev Bishop, the editor of Bewildered, and Angie Kwon, the kick-butt illustrator!

To find out where to go, here is the schedule of events:

Monday, March 17: The SouthernTablet, Bewilderness, the world.

Tuesday, March 18: Author Beth Barany, Interview with Bewildered's illustrator Angie Kwon.

Wednesday, March 19: Liz Schulte's Bat Country, Interview with Ev Bishop, editor of Bewildered

Thursday, March 20: HERE! The story behind the story...

And last but not least, Friday, March 21: Michelle Lowery Combs, Interview with the Author (ME!) 

If you have yet to read, Bewildered, or perhaps this is your first time hearing about it (how??)--now is a great time to get your eyes on it. 

As February the living ragdoll says, "Stories are meant to be told!"

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Five-Star Review from Readers' Favorite!

This winter may be frigid, but nothing warms my heart like this kind of news:
Bewildered just received a 5-star rating from Readers' Favorite!

This is quoted from readersfavorite.com: "Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

Bewildered (The Bewilderness Tales) by A.B. Harms is the entertaining story of Prudence Parks. This twelve-year-old girl is very clear on what she wants from her life and is one of the top students of her class. After consuming a bit of Magic, she finds herself in a land called Bewilderness with a lot of bizarre happenings around her. She has to outwit the Match King here. Insects talk, ships do not need water to sail, and many more strange things in this place bewilder her. The Match King promises to send her back to her own land if she can find an ancient treasure, Paper Heart. What follows is a series of whimsical and adventurous events that will take readers on a magical ride into distant lands with strange creatures and exciting characters.

The story is entertaining with all its interesting characters, both good guys and villains. The story is filled with suspense, mystery, and adventure which makes the story exciting. There is a lot of warmth and kindness portrayed in the character of Prudence Parks. This lighthearted magical adventure will capture readers' hearts with its fast pacing, whimsicality and breezy moments.

In the course of the adventure, Prudence discovers the evil plans of the Match King, which threaten the existence of Bewilderness. The open ending in the story leaves readers wanting more. Will Prudence succeed in saving Bewilderness, the land she has come to love, or will she work towards finding her way back home?"

Thank you Readers' Favorite and Mamta Madhaven for your wonderful review!