Guest Post & Ebook Giveaway: The Keeper by Natalie Star + Amazon.com Gift Card

Welcome to Author Natalie Star

Three years ago if you told me one day I would love to read and I would write a book that would be published, I would have told you you were crazy-out-of-your-mind. Since then I have read 130+ books and written 2 complete novels (one of which is being published) and I have 3 more in the works.

When I’m not reading or writing, I can be found with my husband supporting my two children on the soccer fields. Or maybe running around with my camera taking photos while camping and/or hiking. Or lastly, and most probable – I’m watching movies on Netflix while simultaneously perusing Facebook.
Our family resides in the state of Virginia along with our old-unintelligent-diabetic cat named Lucky.

Guest Post
A few years ago I was not a reader or a writer by any means. I could count on one hand how many books I’d read cover to cover in the first three decades of my life. Some of you might cringe when I say Twilight changed that for me. I didn’t read it to become a fan though, or to enjoy it even, but because my daughter’s elementary school nurse advised me to. She was an avid fan and was going home that day to start reading the saga for a third time. I thought sheesh this lady is nuts. But what she said stuck with me. She told me if I hadn’t read it – I might want to because of the adult content. I was shocked. I didn’t know there was adult content. All of my daughter’s friends and their mothers were reading it, yet no one mentioned this little tidbit.

My daughter was given the first movie as a birthday gift shortly after its release. We all sat as a family to watch it. I thought well, that wasn’t so bad. Then I began to question what happened next in the other books, so I borrowed the books from my daughter. I did not expect to like them at all, but wanted to find out what my daughter was giving up her life for. She read the series four times and would forgo school work, food and sleep to read it.

Then it happened. One night, about half way through the first book I realized it was almost day light and I was still reading. Then the birds woke and started chirping. Then the kids woke for school and there I was still reading. Holy crap! It was crazy. Were the pages laced with crack? I couldn’t get enough. What the heck was wrong with me? I didn’t eat, sleep or clean house for four days. Day five we went to Disney World in Florida for spring break. The last book in the series Breaking Dawn came with me. I read it during the twelve hour car trip, and I read it waiting in line to park at Disney. I almost considered bringing it in the park, but I had to draw the line somewhere. I was a little freaked out by the experience until I found other “Twilight Mom’s” on the internet. Whew, I wasn’t the only one! Thank God! (Just so you know I never sided with any team, so I consider myself Team Jedward).

From there I became a fan of YA Vampire themed books. Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy was my next drug (Sorry Adrian fan’s – I fell in love with Dimitri). Then it was Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires (I’m partial to Shane, although Myrnin is my fave all time character)! After that it was PC & Kristin Cast’s House of Night Series (I heart Stark). I read many more after that, but there are too many to list. I actually branched out and read about Were’s and Fae by Maggie Stiefvater. I ended up reading over one hundred books that year. Mostly YA urban fantasy & paranormal romances. So, that’s how I became a reader.

A writer? I never planned on becoming one. There was a time (twenty years ago) that I wanted to write a “How To” book for military families on how to cope with deployments. I was an ombudsman for my husband’s Navy command and saw firsthand how difficult the lifestyle was for some people, my self included. I wanted to share what I learned. That never came to light because the internet happened for those folks. They could use a search engine to find out what they needed to know, or join online support groups. Then my thoughts turned to a travel guide. Hubby and I traveled quite a bit overseas while he was stationed in Italy. That travel book never happened. Same reason. The internet was booming.

A little over a year after my Twilight experience, my family and I were snowed in. Snowed in for southeastern Virginia is five inches. Yep, five inches held us up in our home for four days. What else was there to do? The snow wasn’t good packing snow so we couldn’t build a snowman or even have a good snowball fight. The kids didn’t care, they played in it. I sat inside sipping hot cocoa and decided on a whim to try writing a book. Why? Well, why not? I did it just to see if I could.

I finished it and sent it to a publisher. They rejected it. They gave me a list to show the pros and cons of my writing. The pro list had two things on it. The con list was huge! I took to heart what they said, but I didn’t rewrite that manuscript. Maybe one day.

Six months after my first rejection I had a dream. That dream became the epilogue to my novel The Keeper being released January 6, 2012.

So now you know how reading and writing came to be a part of my life.

You never know unless you try.

The Keeper by Natalie Star

The morning of her sixteenth birthday, Billie feels blessed despite the reoccurring nightmare that wakes her. Loving parents, a caring boyfriend, and great friends surround her until an heirloom necklace throws her into a world she never imagined.
“Gifted” with supernatural powers and an unexpected destiny as the Keeper, Billie and a mysterious boy from her past must work together to find answers. But, as they begin to discover feelings for one another, he disappears leaving her to fight evil alone. Her life spirals out of control. She breaks up with her boyfriend, Tony, and alienates her best friends Arianna and Jocelyn to protect them from the truth.
As dark forces pursue her, Billie longs to run away from it all, yet a need to do what’s right compels her to face the future as the keeper of more than her own fortune.

The eBook version of The Keeper by Natalie Star will be available for purchase through Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, and Decadent Publishing on January 6, 2012.

Giveaway Details:
Signed swag, $10.00 Amazon gift card, and a digital copy of The Keeper by Natalie Star.
Open Internationally
Ends 1/31/12

Optional Extra Entries:
+1 Follow Natalie on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/iamjustnatalie
+1 Follow Natalie’s Blog: http://authornataliestar.blogspot.com
+1 Like Natalie on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/iamjustnatalie

The next stop on the tour will be 1/5 @ Reading A Little Bit of Everything:
http://readinglittlebitofeverything.blogspot.com/

WINNER: Irika