Author Interview & Ebook Giveaway: Set in Stone by Beth Balmanno

Welcome to Author Beth Balmanno

Beth Balmanno is the author of Set In Stone. She has a BA in English from San Diego State University but freely admits she has learned more in the years after college than she ever did in school. When she isn’t writing, traveling or serving as her children’s chauffeur, she spends her time molding the youth of America — as an alternative-learning educator and as a leader in scouting and 4-H. World, look out.


What inspired you to want to become a writer?
Growing up, I moved around a lot. A. LOT. My life was filled with goodbyes…to friends, to family, to teachers, to houses…but the things I never had to say goodbye to were books. Those I could bring with me or find again in a library. I could read them over and over. The characters in books were like lifelong friends. When I realized I loved writing just as much as reading, I knew I wanted to create characters that readers could fall in love with, could befriend and think of as friends the same way I did in all of my childhood favorites.

If you could be one of the Greek Gods, which would it be and why?
Can I choose a Celtic god from Set in Stone? Hmm…Greek…I’d love to be Athena. Wise and kick-butt strong – neither of which I currently am…

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Absolutely. There is always some kernel of me in every character I write. Sometimes physical traits (not Geoff’s big ears!!) but usually personality traits, perceived or real, that worm their way into my characters.

Spontaneity or Planning Ahead?
My schedule dictates that I plan ahead. Kids activities always comes first and I have a massive desk calendar mounted on my wall so I can keep track of all the places we’re supposed to be. But, when we’re not beholden to schedules, spontaneity reigns supreme. I love nothing better than hopping in the car and just…going. No idea what we’ll do, what we’ll see, where we’ll end up or when we’ll be home…and we always have a blast.

Shoes or Sandals?
Uh…barefoot. I spent three years in Hawaii where wearing shoes to school was optional. Even now, living in the frozen tundra (Minnesota), I still prefer no shoes. Inside, of course!

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Keep writing. Even when you’re discouraged, even when you’ve just received your 100th rejection letter or bad review, even when your schedule is so crazy that you need to prop your eyelids open with toothpicks to stay awake. Even if you only write one sentence…it’s one more sentence than you had before.

Cats or Dogs?
Growing up, I had the best dog in the entire world. Part sheepdog, part collie, a beauty queen she was not. And then she died and I went pet-less for a long time…until a certain orange cat ambled into my life. Seven cats later (not all at the same time!), I’ve planted myself firmly in the feline camp. But if my dog miraculously came back to life? Yeah, I’d welcome her into the fray in a heartbeat.

Night owl, or early bird?
As long as there are copious amounts of coffee (with cream), early bird all the way.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I have an untitled YA nearing final edits, about a girl who finds all the wrong support as she struggles with her parents’ divorce. Megan is sweet and vulnerable and Aidan, the boy she turns to, is…not. He gets her into a heap of trouble. A heap.
I also have a middle grade halfway done, about a boy who keeps almost dying…and a black cat that keeps saving him. I adore the main character and the cat is pretty darn awesome, too. Tentative title is The B.A.D. (Big Almost Death).
And eleventy billion other ideas I wanna write when I find the magical elixir that gives me 32 hours in a day instead of 24…

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Because just like Valerie, every one – regardless of age – has a touch of magic in their lives.

Set in Stone

Fifteen year-old Valerie is used to losing things–she lost her dad to his job ages ago and her best friend moved with no warning…and hasn’t been heard from since. During a weekend camping trip with her emotionally distant parents, she stumbles upon a hidden, mysterious stone and finds herself desperate to keep it, to possess it. Two strange and beautiful boys have other plans, however. They follow her home–Leo, warm and seductive, who covets the stone and will stop at nothing to get it; and Noel, dark-haired and wise, who pledges to protect her and keep her safe.
As she delves deeper into the magic of the stone and the Celtic lore that surrounds it, Valerie realizes that she’s losing. Again. But this loss might involve more than a magical stone – this time, she just might lose her heart.

Giveaway Details
1 Ebook of Set in Stone
Open Internationally
Ends 3/18/12

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