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Back To Good by Laura McCarthy Benson

Back To Good

by Laura McCarthy Benson

Giveaway ends April 07, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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10 October 2012

SANCTUM Book Tour Stop




I'm really excited to have debut author Sarah Fine on the blog today! I'm so excited to be able to give away a copy of this gorgeous book as well. Sarah will be discussing who her influenced her in her writing.

Here's a little synopsis of the book (taken from Goodreads):

"My plan: Get into the city. Get Nadia. Find a way out. Simple."

A week ago, seventeen-year-old Lela Santos's best friend, Nadia, killed herself. Today, thanks to a farewell ritual gone awry, Lela is standing in paradise, looking upon a vast gated city in the distance – hell. No one willingly walks through the Suicide Gates, into a place smothered in darkness and infested with depraved creatures. But Lela isn't just anyone – she's determined to save her best friend's soul, even if it means sacrificing her eternal afterlife. 

As Lela struggles to find Nadia, she's captured by the Guards, enormous, not-quite-human creatures that patrol the dark city's endless streets. Their all-too-human leader, Malachi, is unlike them in every way except one: his deadly efficiency. When he meets Lela, Malachi forms his own plan: get her out of the city, even if it means she must leave Nadia behind. Malachi knows something Lela doesn't – the dark city isn't the worst place Lela could end up, and he will stop at nothing to keep her from that fate.

I present to you Ms. Sarah Fine:

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Inside, Outside, and Every Which Way: Authors who influenced me.


I grew up in a house full of books. My parents are both avid readers, but my father in particular shared his love of books: he read us all the classics, from Tom Sawyer to Robin Hood to The Lord of the Rings to The Narnia Chronicles. Though I didn’t do any creative writing of my own until a few years ago (I’m not one of those “I’ve wanted to do this all my life” authors), my love of the written word has been lifelong. And although I have several currently favorite authors (Laurie Halse Anderson, Brigid Kemmerer, and Sarah Beth Durst, to name but a few of many), I was asked to tell you about authors who influenced me as I grew up. And here they are:

C.S. Lewis. I’ve read or been read many, many of his books. His eloquent way of talking about humans’ fallibility and the way we work is deeply psychological. He, too, explored what might happen if we got a second chance after death (The Great Divorce), and that particular concept inspired the idea of the dark city in Sanctum. Till We Have Faces, the last novel he ever wrote, is my favorite book of all time, one I’ve reread on numerous occasions. It’s still not done with me. His work is not romantic or gentle, really, except in its delivery. It makes me think about who I am and who I could be, even when I don’t want to.

Margaret Atwood. Whereas Lewis makes me turn inward and question who I am, Atwood’s work makes me question everyone else! Society, gender roles, humanity in general … Margaret Atwood’s books dissect each with pulverizing frankness wrapped in elegant writing. There’s a certain discomfort to her work that I enjoy, and few writers are as creative in the ways they frame up the human condition within a physical setting. The Handmaid’s Tale, Oryx and Crake, The Edible Woman, and The Blind Assassin are favorites of mine.

Salman Rushdie. I read some of his books while I was in high school and more when I was in college and grad school. Before I became a writer, I was already in awe of the wicked and loose—yet somehow, simultaneously precise—way he wields the English language. It’s just nuts. It was through his writing that I came to understand how flexible, malleable, and powerful written language could be, but that you really have to understand its mechanics to be able to twist it skillfully. His books weave tales of places I’ve never been and probably will never visit, yet I know how each of them smells, tastes, and feels, vividly so. Each story is beautiful and ugly at the same time, frank but poetic, scary, tragic, magnetic, and puzzling. Shame, Midnight’s Children, The Moor’s Last Sigh, and Haroun and the Sea of Stories are all tales I highly recommend.

These authors aren’t YA authors, even though at times they’ve written books meant for a younger audience. These days, I read almost exclusively YA, but my favorites in the YA world all contain elements that I became drawn to when I was young, through the work of the above-mentioned authors. Whether it’s a book that makes me look inside myself (Before I Die by Jenny Downham), one that makes me think about humanity in general (Enclave by Ann Aguirre), or one that makes me swoon over the prose or voice (Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst), my tastes developed early and run pretty deep. That said, I can’t wait to find my next favorite!
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