Tuesday, November 19

Review, Interview & Giveaway: Wonder Guy by Naomi Stone

Wonder Guy

Wonder Guy
Naomi Stone


Genre: Light Urban Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Press

Date of Publication: May 24, 2013

Number of pages: 366
Word Count: ~86,000

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Sony     Kobo     ARe


Greg Roberts has been in love with the girl next door since they were both twelve, but Gloria Torkinson is engaged to marry someone else. Greg can only respect her choice in the matter - until his fairy godmother pops in with a different idea. As a mysterious, masked superhero Greg can appear to Gloria in a whole new light and win her love. But super-heroing is trickier than Greg knew, creating its own problems and uncovering inimical forces in his world that he never suspected. He'll have to discover the true hero in himself before he can set things to right and win at love.


Excerpt: 
“Let go.” He plucked at her arms, still clenched around the cherry stem. Gladly she released it, turning at the urging of his hands to transfer her hold to him. She clasped her arms around his neck, and in the instant her eyes met his, looking out from behind his mask, she forgot her fear and her weariness. A bolt of exhilaration shot through her, an inexplicable joy.

Gloria grinned, letting the world drop away below them. She hardly registered how they’d shot into the sky, leaving mosquito hordes far below. She might never have this chance again. The belly dancers of the world might surround him as soon as they returned to earth, the way they’d done when he’d stopped that rogue elephant in Uptown. She’d have to go back to her life and her work and responsibilities. Right now this magnificent man’s arms wrapped tightly around her and his gaze stayed locked with hers. For the moment he was hers.

His masked face drew close, his breath warm on her mouth. Gloria leaned in, brushed her lips across his chiseled, slightly parted ones, thrilled as they softened and opened beneath her light touch. She bore down, parting her own lips to kiss him in earnest.

Oh Lord. If they weren’t already up among the clouds she’d be flying now. Who knew a kiss had the power to unlock such a rush of sensation, become a whole new dimension of delight? It had never worked that way before. His mouth met hers with equal fervor and with a tenderness melting her from crown to toes.

Interview: 

Today, we welcome Naomi Stone to Musings and Ramblings. Let's all give her a big Geeky welcome!

I have some questions for you that are writer specific as well as some fun stuff so that we can really get to know the real you. *grin* Plus we will finish things off with round of Think Fast. Ready to begin?
Sure. And thanks for having me here today!
Writing Specific
1. Tell us something about yourself that's not in your bio.
I worked as a performer at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival for four seasons, taking on the role of a wandering scholar, a woman disguised as a man. I carried my quill pen and parchments around, asking visitors about the meaning of life and recording the answers assiduously in calligraphy. I also carried a mandolin slung over my back and a fencing foil in a sheath at my side, to represent a well-rounded education. The experience was great fun, but exhausting. Festival days are twelve hours long and performers are always 'on' unless they retreat behind the scenes. I loved it, especially interacting with the other performers I knew, but couldn't keep it up, along with a full time job, once I became a home-owner. I found the festival very inspiring as a writer and one of my earliest attempts at a romance novel was set there.
2. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Lots of things. The usual fun and games on the internet, but also arts, crafts and my favorite social activity: sing-alongs. I participate in a couple singing groups that each meet once a month. There's a Rise Up Singing group that chooses songs from the book of the same name, and there's a filk-singing group. Filk, for those unfamiliar with it, is a kind of folk music of the science fiction and fantasy fan community. It's been around for many years and features songs inspired by the books, movies and other media versions of stories in the genre. I've made up a few filk songs myself, of which you can find some samples if you check out my website, but I'm far from the most prolific member of our Minneapolis group.
3. How did you choose the genres you write in?
It doesn't seem like a matter of choosing. I write what I love. I've always loved fantasy adventures with strong romantic elements. I've always loved magic and happy ever after endings. I've always loved fairy tales, mysteries and stories bringing together some of the different things I love.
4. Is there any particular author or book that has influenced you or your writing?
Many authors and books have influenced me. One of my earliest influences is Keith Laumer who wrote a series of humorous, adventurous, romantic fantasies featuring the character Lafayette O'Leary. These are not the best-known books, but they struck both my funny bone and imagination. Later, author Joan Vinge blew me away with her version of the story of The Snow Queen. I loved the way she preserved the essential plot and romance of Hans Christian Anderson's original story, while transforming it into compelling science fiction. More lately, Lois McMaster Bujold has inspired me with her books combining well-realized f/sf world-building with fulfilling relationships and romances among her fascinating cast of characters.
5. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I'm afraid my toughest criticism comes from myself. I'm the one who decided to cut thirty-thousand words of backstory from a fifty-thousand word draft of my first novel--after deciding I just didn't need it there. It wasn't part of the immediate, compelling action of the story.
The best compliment appeared in a recent Amazon review saying, "Wonder Guy is whimsical, humorous, lyrical and beautifully written. Ms Stone does a great job with balance as the story is light and dark, good and evil and most of all, very touching."
Fun Stuff
6. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, fictional or real, who would it be and why?
Al-Marid, the djinni hero of my first novel, Spirited. And why not? He's sexy, intelligent and a vastly powerful being who'd probably be glad to help me out with a few practical problems if I asked him nicely. Like my lack of adequate housing, and the condition of my wardrobe. I bet he'd even provide the dinner.
7. You are going to be stranded on a deserted island and bring 3 luxury items. What would they be?
If I were stranded on a deserted island, I'm the kind of person who'd rather bring practical things than luxury items. Like, a cabana stocked with non-perishable food and drink, and a working generator, and a two-way radio set so I wouldn't be stranded any longer than I liked. With the practicalities taken care of, then I could think about luxuries. I've got my generator, so I could bring my Nook, stocked with plenty of reading material - and yes; I could be on an island paradise and still want to escape into books. I'd also want a parasol since I'm prone to sunburn and a hammock so I'd have a comfortable place to do my reading.
8. Pick two celebrities to be your parents. Who are they and why?
I'm immediately thinking of celebrities I don't want for parents. Still thinking… seems like being a celebrity could get in the way of being a good parent. I'd want parents who'd have time for me and be willing to share the spotlight, even if it's only the spotlight of their attention. I'd also want parents who could give me the space to find my own way, and set a good example of balancing personal with community interests, and balancing practical needs with the need for fun and frivolity. If you've ever seen that show about trading wives, you've seen examples of how easy it is for parents to go overboard with their values, becoming strict to the point of joylessness or lenient to the point of madness. Are there any celebrities who are sensible and kind, ready to take me as I am and support me in the course I need to follow to become more so? Katie Couric and Dustin Hoffman?
9. What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
A loaf of wheat bread, eggs, butter, cheese, both wheat and white corn tortillas, salsa, pizza sauce, dill pickles and sliced pepperoni, with cabbage and apples in the veggie drawer. If you catch me on the right day, leftover macaroni casserole or stir-fry.
10. If someone wrote a biography about you, what do you think the title should be?
What a Long, Strange Trip it's Been
Think Fast
Summer or Winter? Summer, if only because winters around here are likely to kill you.
Coffee or Tea? Depends on my mood. Sleepy: Coffee. Upset tummy: tea.
Cake or Pie? Pie. Fruit pie, or pecan. Heated and ala mode.
Car or Truck? Car.
Print or Electronic? Depends again. I grew up on print and I love it, but if I need to travel light, electronic is the way to go.

Thanks for coming by and spending some time with us. Any final words of wisdom to pass along?
Thank you for having me here, it's been a lot of fun. I don't know about words of wisdom. You can probably find plenty of those on Pinterest, but I hope your readers will check out one or the other of my stories and let me know how they like them.

Review: 

As anyone knows who has been following me, I am a self professed Geek Girl.  So whenever I get a chance to read a Superhero book, I am going to jump at it. Add in the fact that our soon to be Superhero Greg is a total geek himself, and I was all set up to really enjoy this read.

The story opens with Gloria and Aggie, Greg's mother, working on improving their latest arts & crafts project. They are manufacturing and selling Cell Shells and have come up with an idea to increase their market share. Gloria's smile manages to short circuit Greg's ability to speak coherently around Gloria and he basically ends up standing there just staring at her. Greg and Gloria have grown up together, as neighbors and friends, but he is sure that he has missed his opportunity to let Gloria know how he really feels about her. After all, she has a fiance, Pete, who soon arrives to pick up Gloria. This leaves Greg in a bit of a funk and needing to head out on a fast and furious bicycle ride. That plan is about to amended, when he meets his fairy godmother. Serafina has arrived at the behest of a wish by Greg's mother. Serafina is part of the Fairy Godmother's Union, True Love Local 521. She tells Greg that she is there to help him in his quest to win Gloria's heart. Gloria just needs to see him in a different light and oh boy does she have a plan for that.

What I really liked about this book, is that the author didn't just take the book into the realm of fluffy feel good reads and drop it off. There was several spots in the story where the issues brought up were thought provoking and really made you consider how you would react in a particular situation.  Yes, there was some over the top, fantastical stunts, but the core of this book was about facing down your demons and finding your own moral compass. I started this book thinking it would be a quick, feel good read and ended up questioning and re-examining my own principles. If faced with these situations, how would I handle them? Basically, it was like heading out for an burger and fries and getting a 7 course steak dinner instead.

Another really amazing thing to me were the physics explanations for the "magic" that was happening. It was done with enough technicalities to be understood by our geek Greg, but also simple enough that I could almost follow along. For me this was another one of those stop and consider moments. It is obvious that the author really put a lot of though and planning into making the rules of their world "work". I rarely hand out 5 stars, but this one just really impressed me. I really hope the Ms. Stone continues this work into a series.

Giveaway: 

Naomi will be awarding :

Tourwide: a Somewhere Rainbow, a Jewelmark wearable-bookmark by Craftswoman, Laramie Sasseville featuring carnelian, citrine, blue Amazonite, and blue zircon


&  

Each Blog Stop: a free download card for her previous release, Spirited

The Jewelmark has an extra-long ribbon, allowing it to double as an ascot.

So follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.




Book Tour Info: 
Don't forget to check out the other stops on the Book Tour:

November 4:
Brooke Blogs

November 5:
Snarky Mom Reads...
Unabridged Andra

November 6:
The Pen and Muse Book Reviews

November 7:
Simply Ali

November 8:
Lisa Haselton's Reviews and Interviews
Reviews Unleashed

November 11:
You Gotta Read Reviews

November 12:
Room With Books

November 13:
Kit 'N Kabookle
Magic and Mayhem

November 14:
Long and Short Reviews

November 15:
Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess

November 18:
Harlie's Books

November 19:
Musings and Ramblings

November 20:
Welcome to My World of Dreams

November 21:
Straight from the Library

November 22:
Sharing Links and Wisdom

Author Bio:

It all started when my parents had to go and teach me to talk. Then they sent me to school where I learned to read and write. I learned to read and pretty soon I fell in love with books and stories. I loved fairy tales and tales of magic from the very start. Even before that I loved to daydream; I daydreamed myself into adventures with my favorite TV characters. I dreamed up adventures crossing time and space on my own, meeting characters out of history and stories. Books gave me the sense that there was a home waiting for my daydreams, a place where they belonged.

To connect with the author online:

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


16 comments:

  1. Hi! Thanks for having me here today, and thanks for the wonderful review! I'd like to know how your readers would use fairy godmother powers if they had the chance...

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  2. This sounds pretty good, thanks for the heads up!

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  3. THANKS FOR THE GIVEAWAY AND GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR BOOK!

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  4. Oh how neat about the Renaissance Festival. I used to love going to those. And Judy great review. It sounds like one I really do need to check out :)

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  5. I loved the Renn Fest, but participating takes a huge commitment of time and energy that I didn't manage to keep up with after the first few years. I hope you do check out 'Wonder Guy.' I'd love to hear what you think of it!

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  6. Thanks! I hope you find time to check out 'Wonder Guy.' I'd love to hear what you think of it!

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  7. I have NEVER heard of filk songs or singing. How interesting!

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  8. I LOVE that cover! So clever!
    mestith at gmail dot com

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  9. I've always wanted to go to a Renaissance fair. Unfortunately, the closest one is too far away for me to go. One day though...


    tiger-chick-1(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  10. Yes; it's a shame the festivals have to be so far outside the cities. I hope you get your chance before long!

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  11. Thanks. You can find plenty of examples online if you do a search. :)

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Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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