Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Guest Post-Xena Semikina

Today I am so honored to welcome Xena Semikina to my blog as part of her tour for her newest release Avalanche. She has a wonderful post and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.

Thank you very much, Sophie, for hosting me today. It’s the fourth stop of my blog tour for my book Avalanche. As usual, I will start with a short blurb to introduce my book to those who are joining us for the first time and then I will move on to today’s topic.

Blurb for Avalanche

This is a novel about friendship, maybe in its unusual, extreme form. The two main characters, Mike and Nick, meet in the Alps on a scientific expedition. They become very close, but struggle to place their relationship in the context of their lives. They fear that the bond between them will not survive outside their research hut, and that the outside world will present challenges impossible to overcome. But then a tragic accident changes their lives forever... This story is an investigation into the nature of ties between people, the limits of loyalty and the power of conventions.

A Quest for Emotional Maturity

Today I will consider whether or not the ability to love, the ability to forge a strong connection with a fellow human being is something we are born with, or rather something we have to learn and nourish. First of all let us define emotional immaturity, and not in abstract terms, but in two examples.

If you are ill, or have other problems in your life, and your partner is seriously concerned over it, what do you feel about it? Do you cheer it, because it shows that he/she cares? Are you anxious because he/she is troubled? The first one is usually a sign of emotional immaturity, because in effect your partner’s anguish makes you happy. What you’re doing here is using your partner’s emotions as means to your emotional ends, which can never be a good thing in a relationship.

When you are emotionally involved with someone, you do your best to keep this person in your life. Have you ever found yourself taking positive steps towards it, particularly at early stages of a relationship, when nothing’s set in stone yet? Steps like accompanying this person whenever you can, just to stay together, or trying to please this person by doing things you believe he or she likes. When you do things like these, what is your motivation behind it? In the vast majority of cases we’re driven by the fear to be hurt. We know that a break-up will cause us pain and we’re doing our best to cling on. The bottom line is that all such actions are self-serving. None of it is actually done to accommodate your loved one’s emotional needs. In fact, when we’re obsessed with someone we rarely consider his or her conveniences or fears. We just come and take and we call it love. Caring about your own pain alone in a relationship is usually a sign of emotional immaturity and one of the reasons why relationships break up in the first place.

This is exactly the mental state my characters are in in the first part of the book. They act out of fear to be hurt, rarely considering the impact their actions will have on the other party in the relationship. All their respective decisions are aimed at minimising their own pain, and by doing so they inevitably inflict pain on each other.

Nick’s and Mike’s spell in Chamonix ends in disaster for both of them and both end up in hospital, Mike - with heart problems; Nick - with a broken leg. But when in Mike’s case a simple surgical procedure solves the problem, Nick is rendered incapacitated for months to come. It puts an enormous strain on their relationship. Mike is torn between his duties to his family and his duties to Nick. Caught in a whirl that is his London life, Mike eventually comes to realise that he craves Nick’s company only in those rare moments when the fear to lose Nick gets hold of him. Despite all the practical help Mike provides Nick with, Nick feels used. In this state of impaired mobility Nick experiences everything in a more acute form. Eventually he decides that he’s suffered enough and opts to part ways with Mike, believing that their break-up can give him a long-welcome relief. This break-up leaves Mike in an absolute mess that gradually drives him to a psychological deadlock he cannot come out of.

When they meet again and reconcile they tread very carefully, doing their best not to repeat their past mistakes. It is in this state of emotional maturity that they are able to start building their relationship. The roller-coaster they had to go through no longer seems to be idle sufferings, but challenges they had to overcome in order to grow emotionally. 


Avalanche is available on Amazon US at $2.90 -; and on Amazon UK at £1.81 ePub is available at the Apple store and Kobo at £1.99 and the equivalent in $ (sorry, don’t know the exact price as I have never caught a glimpse of the US respective stores).          

Blog tour stops for Avalanche

1) 20 November 2014     Lane Hayes

2) 22 November 2014     Kim Fielding

3) 24 November 2014     Anne Barwell

4) 26 November 2014     Sophie Bonaste

5) 28 November 2014     Shae Connor

About Xena Semikina

Xena is a novelist and a lawyer in criminal practice, with a distant background in computer science. Writing has always been her passion, which she has been pursuing actively for well over a decade. She has written four novels and has published one, entitled Avalanche. She lives in London with occasional trips to the South of France and the North of Russia.

Xena can be found on Twitter at Xena5000 and Facebook as Xena Semikina. Her blog can be found here:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday Update-11/20/14

Hello everyone and Happy Thursday! I hope everyone is having a great week. Real life, for me, has gotten a little more complicated and I really didn't get much writing done this week. I wish that I could say otherwise, but Survival still isn't done. I kinda feel like I am tripping at the finish line since I wrote the book so fast up until this point, but I know I can finish it soon. My muse tapered off a little this week. I did some editing on it so that will save me time later, but I kind wish I had it done. Oh well. Maybe next week...

That's about it for me. More next week! Enjoy the weekend everyone!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thursday Update-11/13/14

Hello everyone and Happy Thursday! I hope everyone has had a great week so far. Mine has been great, but that isn't surprising since I spent a good part of the week on vacation. And really, what's not to love about vacation? Obviously, because I was on vacation, I did not accomplish a whole lot, but here's what going on in my world.

Survival: Book 2 in the Noxium Trilogy is almost finished. I have crossed the 50K word barrier and I only have about two and half more chapters until the first draft is done. So I am super excited about that. I should be finished with it by next week and then I can start editing.

I am also still working on a new free read serial for everyone. Details are slowly coming in but I should have more information on that soon.

Also, in case you didn't see, The Sacrifices We Make, is on sale at the DSP store in honor of YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association). So if you don't have your copy now is a great time.

I think that's about it for now. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Until next time...


Friday, November 7, 2014

Vacation Time!!

Hello everyone! I wanted to tell everyone I am very sorry for missing my Thursday update yesterday. I have been so busy work on Survival and trying to get ready for my vacation. I am going away for a few days but I will be back and back up to full speed next week. I hope everyone is having a great week. Until next time...


Monday, November 3, 2014

GRL 2014!!!

Well, it has been a little over two weeks since GRL ended and I think it is about time that I talk about some of my experiences. But before I start, I want to tell everyone what an amazing experience GRL was. If you are into MM Romance (like I suspect all of you are if you are reading this) then GRL is a must. There were so many people there from authors to publishers to readers and to be able to interact with them all was amazing! I don't know if I can begin to tell you all of the things that make up GRL, but I highly recommend it for everyone. Next year is in San Diego. I still don't know if I can attend because of things going on in my personal life, but I hope I can. And I would love to see everyone there.

So now that my general statements are out of the way, let's move on to the post. Rather than try to laundry list everything that I did I want to share with you my Top Five Favorite Things About GRL. So here we go:

5) Chicago
   I had been to Chicago so many times but I had never left the airport before. So being able to see the city was nice. And the conference center was beautiful. It could be confusing at times, but it was wonderful. Don't believe me? Check out this pic of my banner on the ground floor on the conference center.

4) Meeting MY Favorite Authors
    Even authors read. And I have favorite authors too. So getting to meet and fan-girl over my favorite authors was quite awesome. From the featured signing to the day-time session I got to hear from the people I look up to the industry which was quite invaluable.

3) Casino Party (And the Other Night-Time Activities)
    Okay so I was torn on this one coming in. I work in a casino in my EDJ so I wasn't sure I really wanted to go to a casino party on my free time. But I had a blast. The wonderful dealers running the party even let me deal craps, which is my all-time favorite game. All of the nighttime activities were fun, but this was my favorite!

2) My First Book Signing
    By far, one of my favorite things at GRL was my very first book signing. As a new author, you always have a fear that people won't know who you are and won't want you to sign anything. But I signed everything from books to T-shirts to bags and everything in between. It was awesome! I can't thank all of you fabulous readers enough for making me feel like a superstar.

1) The People!
    I know this is cliche, but the people really do make up GRL.I met so many wonderful people that made this a wonderful experience. I met people I had talked to online but not in person, yes, but beyond that I made new friends. People I never met before that I ran into in the halls or at various events. These are the wonderful people that make this community so special and I will forever be grateful that I can be a part of that.

(Courtesy of Magic Moments Photo Booth)

And that is it! I hope I all gave you some insight into how awesome GRL is. And, hopefully, I will see you all in San Diego!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Review for "Death Gets a Boyfriend"

There is a new review up at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words by PaulB. Check it out here. Thank you so much to PaulB and the rest of the crew at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words