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SSRC: My Soul to Take Spoiler Chat Q&A with Rachel Vincent

Last weekend, the first of the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge Spoiler Chat’s was held with author Rachel Vincent. For a little over an hour, the author was kind enough to answer all of our questions about the first book in her Soul Screamers series, My Soul to Take.

And she may have even been lured into answering one or two about the second book in her series, My Soul to Save.

The full chat transcript will be available later today on the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge blog – with the If I Die spoilers redacted. But for those who are interested in finding out just what questions were asked an answered, rather than having to scroll through the chat, I thought I’d post them here.

Q & A

Q. Rose2468:  Are the other novellas going to be printed?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Rose, I hope to have news about that to announce very soon…

 

Q. Kihn28:  In MSTLose, Toby . . . why haven’t  you mention him in the other books?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Kihn28, I haven’t mentioned Toby again because he hasn’t been necessary to the future plots. He’s old news. Kaylee’s SO moved on. 😉

 

Q. Helene:  How do you have the idea to write about bean sidhe?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Helene, honestly, I knew I wanted to write a paranormal YA but didn’t want to write about any creatures/territory that was already well-explored. So I did a bunch of folklore research and rediscovered bean sidhes. There wasn’t much in the lore, which left plenty of room for me to make stuff up. That’s the fun part. 😉

 

Q. smiling_ina:  Rachel, how long did it take to come with your first draft for MSTTake?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Smiling_ina, the rough draft of MSTTake took about…4 or 5 weeks.

C. PyxiRose:  Wow that is quick.

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] PyxiRose, Most of the others are longer, but took abt the same amount of time. I’m pretty quick with most rough drafts.

Q. smiling_ina:  Wow, that’s all? I bet the edits took up most of the work.

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] smiling_ina The Soul Screamers edits aren’t usually that bad. The Unbound edits are hell. Every single time. 😉

 

Q. Rachel:  I have a question, but it’s more general… as a writer, you work from home, does that ever feel isolating to you?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Rachel, yes, writing is a very isolating career, at least for me. I’ve lived in S.A., TX for 2.5 years and have only made 1 in-person friend. I’m pretty sure I’d fade away without the internet. 😉

 

Q. Ri:  Do you outline your novels before you write them? 🙂

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Ri, yes, I almost ALWAYS outline my books first. That’s actually a requirement for me, in my contracts with my publisher.

 

Q. bookhound:  Rachel, I know you can’t give us specific details, but I know both your current series are ending soon. Do you have more in the works so we don’t have to wait too long to read something new from you?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Bookhound, yes, I’m currently working on two other “side project” books, but I can’t talk about them, because I haven’t even tried to sell them yet. My agent hasn’t even seen them.

 

Q. KatherynUK:  This is more a general question, but are you planning on coming to the UK anytime this year?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] KatherynUK, I’d love to come to the UK, but because of time and cost restrictions, I’ll only be able to do that when/if Mira Ink invites me.

 

Q. Apiee:  What inspires your stories?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Apiee, my inspiration comes from everywhere. What-ifs, mostly. And songs. Even things other people said, but I mis-heard. Sometimes what I heard was more interesting than what was actually said. 😉

 

Q. MandiKaye:  When you write, do you start with an outline that you stick to? Or do you just start writing and let it flow that way?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] MandiKaye, I almost never stick to an outline entirely. The book changes as it’s written.

 

Q. smiling_ina:  I have a question about Sophie. Does she really “hate” Kaylee because she thinks she’s embarrassing her or is there maybe something else? Maybe Sophie is as self-confident as she seems? Oops, I meant, maybe Sophie is NOT as self-confident as she seems. 😉

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] smiling_ina, Sophie…Sophie is growing, slowly but surely. She’s truly not a big Kaylee-fan, for several reasons.

 

Q. Mag_GeekChic:  How do you decide which mythical creatures to include in your books? (Other than the bean sidhes, as you’ve already answered that.)

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Mag_GeekChick, most of the creatures in Soul Screamers are made up-entirely, or are my versions of folklore creatures. I use whichever ones fit the plot.

 

Q. bookhound:  Do you see the Soul Sceamers following Sophie later on, maybe under different titles that don’t follow the Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep poem? Since you based Never to Sleep on her?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Bookhound, no, after WAMS, there will be no other Soul Screamers novels. At least, that’s where I stand on that issue now. I love the series, but there are always newer and shinier ideas on the horizon. 😉

 

Q. dutchess_shoes:  What are your favorite kinds of scenes to write?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Dutchess, my favorite SS scenes are the Netherworld scenes. In general, though, my favorite scenes to write are dialogue heavy. I love dialogue.

 

Q. Fiktshun:  Rachel, did you have a specific order planned for the various sins in each book?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Fiktshun, I had an order for the seven deadly sins/book themes originally, but that changed a little. Once I realized Sabine existed, I knew the envy book had to come earlier than I’d intended. Remind me in the IID spoiler chat to tell you guys what the lust plot ALMOST was. 😉

 

Q. bookhound:  I’ve beed trying to get Rachel to Tennessee where she is from to do a signing….it is hard! 🙂

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Bookhound, yes, I did grow up in TN. I was there from 5th grade through my freshman year in college.

 

Q. Rachel:  You’re a writer with quite a big online presence, what kind of measures do you have to take to protect your own/your family’s privacy online?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Rachel, that’s a great question. I’m really big on online privacy. I never show pictures of the outside of my house or use my family members real names. Nor do I say what they do for a living or how old they are, beyond generalities. And I try to stop people from posting their email addresses in my blog comments. That’s really dangerous, guys.

 

Q. smiling_ina:  Rachel, are any of the SS characters based on people you know in real life? Even loosely?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Smiling_ina none of the SS characters are truly based on real people, but Nash is a sort of combination of several guys I dated or wanted to date in HS. Sabine is named after a girl in my HS who was rumored to have…been with my ex while we were still together. Tod…is his own creature. 😉

 

Q. Mintz:  In MStT, there was one passage (though I don’t quite remember where it was), where we learned that when they were younger, Kaylee was “adored” by her cousin, which I would assume is Sophie. Why did her “adoration” for Kaylee change? Or did the adults misinterpret that?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Mintz, that’s a good one. Yes, when Sophie was a toddler, she followed after Kaylee, as little kids often trail after their older relatives/friends. But then they become self-aware. And everything changes. 😉

 

Q. perla333:  What is your opinion about fan translation?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Perla333 I don’t know what fan translation is….

Q. perla333:  Well fan translation is when the rights to a book aren’t purchased and people who make the translation make it for that people who don’t know English to can read the book. Is illegally, but a fan translations are common in different countries. And I’m just curious what do you think about it 🙂

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Perla, Um… I understand the reason people do that, but it really is illegal, because neither the publisher nor or author are compensated for fan translations. I’m willing to discuss that further, but not in this chat. 😉

 

Q. Cem:  Rereading MSTTake I released just how much all the characters have changed by IID. Did you know where things would end up when you were writing Take?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Cem (Hey!!!) no, I didn’t know where all the character developments were going when I started MSTTake. I’ve never been contracted for more than 3 books in a series at a time (which is pretty standard) so I never know how many more books I’m going to get to write until I decide I definitely want to end a series. So…they head down their own paths, and my job is to make sure that I keep things…

[RACHEL VINCENT] …real for them. There are no miraculous recoveries. No personality transplants. No easy outs.

 

Q. Shay:  Is Before I Wake the last book of the series?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Shay, no, there will be 7 full-length novels, plus the shorts and novellas.

 

Q. Rachel:  Did you know the plot to each book when you wrote My Soul to Take, or did you just have a vague idea of what would happen in the rest of the series?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Rachel, I plotted the books one at a time. Write one book, then plot the next. Though I usually have a general idea of where the next one will go as I’m writing the previous.

 

Q. Ri:  Weird question, but I thought I’d ask it: What kind of kid was Tod before he died, in like a high school setting? What kind of student was he? What did they think of him?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Ri (without spoilers…) Tod was a normal kid. Smart, but no overachiever. Athletic, but no super-star. He blossomed after death. But no more about that in this chat. 😉

 

Q. beth:  I live in England and can’t work out when the IID Spoiler chat is haha could someone tell me in hour many minutes/hours it is please?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Beth, that one won’t be until…what? June?

 

Q. dutchess_shoes:  Book 1-4 all start with “My Soul to…” Why did you change the titles up for books 5 -7?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Dutchess, we changed the title pattern because people were getting the titles confused. As was I. 😉

 

Q. smiling_ina:  Did you always plan on writing MSTLose as a pre-Novella, or did you agent or publisher came up with the idea?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Smiling_ina I was asked by my publisher to write MSTLose as a free novella, to give people a taste of my writing/Kaylee’s world in anticipation of the books. MSTLose was actually written after the second book was complete.

 

Q. Kihn28:  RachelVincent, in book one why did you make Tod seems so miserable?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Kihn, in book 1, Tod seems so miserable because he’s pretty miserable. Nash can’t mourn his brother’s passing with that dead brother is still around. But at that point, Tod is starting to lose his humanity. To kind of slip out of the world of the living.

 

Q. Rose2468:  Rachel, maybe do you know if the series (or any of your book) are going to be translated to Hebrew?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Rose, I have no information about any Hebrew releases. It’s up to the publishers in any particular territory to buy the rights to the book. Otherwise, it won’t be legally published there. None of that is up to me. 😉

 

Q. amison15:  Why did you choose to have Kaylee oblivious to her identity in the beginning rather than knowing from the start?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Amison15, that’s a great Q. I wanted Kaylee to be ignorant of her heritage at first so the reader could figure it out along with her. Soul Screamers has some pretty indepth world-building, and if Kaylee already knew all about it, that would be hard to convey to the reader without using info dumps.

 

Q. bookhound:  Do you like ending a series? I know you said with Shifters it ended like you wanted, but do you think back on Shifters and even possible the current ones and wish you had contracted for just one or two more books. Like there was something you forgot to talk about and want to say?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Bookhound, no, I don’t particularly like ending series. But I don’t want any of them to drag out past their prime, either.

 

Q. Kihn28:  Ok how did you envision the whole death scene with Kaylee and her mom

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Kihn28, you mean when Kaylee was 3? You know, I don’t know. I’ve tried not to picture it too specifically, because I may want to write it someday as a flashback or a short, but what needs to go in that scene might change between now and then. Does that make sense?

 

Q. bookhound:  Is it hard for you to kill off a character? Do they feel like a part of you or like a child?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Bookhound…you’re all going to hate me for this, but no, it’s not usually hard for me to kill off a character. I feel like those are the moments when I shine. When I can make people mourn someone I made up entirely. I think pathos and anger are my favorite emotions to write, and death lets me do both, if it’s been built up properly. 😉

[RACHEL VINCENT] Re: Killing off characters, I’ve always found that if the readers think any character is “Safe” they grow complacent. None of my c…

[RACHEL VINCENT] None of my characters are safe.

 

Q. summerbug99:  Rachel, when is the last book coming out ?!

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] summerbug99, Next fall. 2013

 

Q. Kihn28:  Rachel, How would you describe Kaylee’s mom?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Kihn, how would I describe Kaylee’s mom? Dead. Loved. Mourned.

 

Q. PandaCutie101:  Rachel, how did u get the idea for Kaylee’s mom’s death?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] PandaCutie, Kaylee’s mom’s death was actually one of the first background bits I knew for sure. The other was Nash & Tod’s relationship. Those form key personality traits for the main characters. Kaylee’s feeling that she needs to earn her life. Nash and Tod’s complicated relationship…

 

Q. PandaCutie101:  Rachel, do you think that Kaylee’s uncle might ever come back in to the books for something?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] PandaCutie, Kaylee’s uncle is in several of them. And I have a feeling that everyone will be involved in the final book. Everyone still living (or mostly-living) anyway. 😉

 

Q. Kihn28:  So how is Emma life going to be now that Kaylee and Nash saved her but in result someone else dying.

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Kihn28, Emma’s life changes a lot, especially once she understands what K & N had to do to save her. There’s guilt, and relief, and the fear that one day, they may not be able to save her.

 

Q. smiling_ina:  I just want to say I LOVE Lydia! What was your inspiration for her?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] smiling_ina I love Lydia too! I consider her one of the tragic figures of the series. (Nash is another of those–but NO SPOILERS). No matter what happens, those two never seem to catch a break…

 

Q. Shay:  Why is Kaylee always soo unsure? She doesn’t know how to take stand… why did u make her character this way?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Shay… I think some people would argue with you on that one. Kaylee takes a couple of very hard stands later in the series.

 

Q. smiling_ina:  Btw, I was kind of happy with what happened to Kaylee’s aunt… does that make me a bad person?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Smiling_Ina, I think Aunt Val got what she deserved. 😉

 

Q. dutchess_shoes:  I have seen many interpretations of the name Kaylee but that is the first time I ever saw it spelled that way. Is there any reason why you did that??

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Dutchess, I spelled Kaylee’s name like that because that’s the most common American spelling of the name that I’ve seen. She’s kind of an “every man” character, except that she’s a bean sidhe. She’s the average person thrown into extraordinary circumstances. She has two choices: curl up into a ball and cry, or learn to fight. But in her heart, she never feels extraordinary. That’s what the name…

[RACHEL VINCENT] …is supposed to say. Normal, but with an Irish heritage, as a throwback to the original bean sidhe lore.

 

Q. Kihn28:  Whatever happened to the bond between Kaylee and Sophie when they were kids?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Kihn, When Kaylee and Sophie were kids, they had no problems. Then Kaylee’s mother died, and her father left, and Sophie suddenly had to share her parents with a cousin she grows to see as strange. That’s what happened. 😉

 

Q. smiling_ina:  My heart just broke for Lydia in MSTLose. All the pain she is taking on herself. Does Lydia ever really have a choice on whether or not she WANTS to take the pain away from others, or is she compelled to do it?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Smiling_ina, yes, Lydia has a choice…sometimes. You’ll learn more about that in IID.

 

Q. PandaCutie101:  Why was Nash never interested in Sophie? I mean, whatever magical powers Kaylee had, Sophie is a teenage high school girl. Plus, Nash didn’t even know what Kaylee was until later. Please tell me why they were never interested in each other.

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] PandaCutie I don’t know how to say why Nash was never interested in Sophie. Chemistry’s a funny, unpredictable thing. 😉

 

Q. Fiktshun:  Was Aunt Val’s sacrifice always a planned ending? It was totally heartbreaking that all those girls died for nothing…

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Fiktshun, yes, Aunt Val’s sacrifice was always planned. She had to see her own daughter at risk to understand how many lives she destroyed.

 

Q. PandaCutie101:  I would love to know more about Nash’s mom. She seems awesome!

C. PandaCutie101:  Harmony Rocks!

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] PandaCutie, yes, Harmony is kinda awesome, IMO. She has a really interesting discussion with Kaylee’s dad in BIW that I think you guys will get a kick out of. 😉

 

Q. Cem:  The end of MSTTake suggested a past between Harmony and Kaylee’s dad and uncle. Any chance we’ll get that back story at some point?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Cem, yes! There is an interesting past between the Cavanaugh brothers and Harmony. That bit is kind of foreshadowing for Kaylee, and backshadowing for Harmony. 😉

 

Q. Kihn28:  RachelV, will you ever write a Nash story?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Kihn28, I’ve thought about writing a Nash book, but people are having a hard time sympathizing with him later on in the series, and I’m not sure that seeing things from his perspective would help that. But it may make the Kaylee-haters hate her more, and I don’t want to do that.

 

Q. smiling_ina:  I felt so sorry for the other girls too, but was sooo happy when Nash and Kaylee saved Emma. Emma has got to be one of the best friend you could ever have!

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Smiling_Ina, Emma holds a special place for me. She’s everyone’s best friend. Pretty, but not conceited. Social, but still private. And she’s Kaylee’s only remaining link to the normal world. Seeing Emma put in danger because of her friendship with Kaylee is one of the hardest parts for K.

 

Q. dutchess_shoes:  Will there be another chat to discuss later books?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Dutchess, yes, we’re going to do one chat for each book.

 

Q. Mintz:  Belphegore, the hellion, was mentioned in MStT… but I’m assuming that we’ll learn about her/him later?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Mintz, yes, we will see Belephegore again!

 

Q. Fiktshun:  We need an Unbound series Spoiler Chat!

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Fiktshun, I’m up for an Unbound chat. 😉

C. Fiktshun:  Yes! So excited! And then we can chat all things Unbound!

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Fiktshun, yes, we can chat about Unbound! But no one else has read SB yet… 😉

 

Q. Kihn28:  Can you explain what Lydia is? Or is that a spoiler?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Kihn, I don’t consider that a spoiler. Though you won’t actually hear it until IID. But she’s a syphon. She takes surplus things from other people. Mostly emotions and pain.

 

Q. Fiktshun:  Can you expand on just what Tod thought when he saw K in MSTLose?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] {Fiktshun} What did Tod think when he saw K in MSTLose? Hm…

[RACHEL VINCENT] {Fiktshun} Well, it was a brief sighting, but he was definitely intrigued. 😉

 

Q. PandaCutie101:  Can u tell us what Nash was doing in MSTLose?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] {PandaCutie101} What was Nash doing in MSTLose? Being Nash. The old Nash. Having fun. Hanging out. Getting good grades without really trying. Getting girls without really trying. Not yet noticing Kaylee… 😉

 

Q. Mintz:  Do you have character songs that you listen to when you think/write about your characters?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Mintz, yes, I have certain songs that remind me of certain characters. But I don’t typically listen to music while I write.

 

Q. Juli:  Rachel, did you have to cut out any characters/scenes you really liked in MSTT?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Juli, no there were no major cuts in MSTTake. Very few in the SS series at all, actually. My edits for those usually involve tightening prose and adding stuff. 😉

 

Q. Sunnykimmy:  When did Tod realize that he knew Kaylee from MStT? *I mean MStLose.

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Sunnykimmy, I think that’s actually mentioned in one of the future books, and I’m NOT getting sucked into another spoiler. 😉

 

Q. Kihn28:  I still say even though it in the others books, Tod saw her first LOL

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Kihn28, yes, Tod saw her first. That’s in MSTLose. But you can’t call dibs on people. 😉

 

Q. Fiktshun:  If you had to change anything from MSTTake, would you?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] {Fiktshun} If I could change anything in MSTTAke, I would go back and fix the timeline error. Tod actually has two ages in that book. I missed one in a timeline rewrite during the edits. 😉

 

Q. Ri:  There’s also the one with Harmony’s wail sounding beautiful to Kaylee… when it shouldn’t 😛

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Ri, yes, I forgot about that one. MSTTake was the first book HQTeen published, and we were all still getting that ball rolling at the time. Some things slipped through the cracks, unfortunately. 😉

 

Q. smiling_ina:  So, was Nash only interested in Kaylee in first place because she was a bean sidhe? Because he never showed any interest in her until he’d had his suspicion about her.

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Smiling_ina, that’s a good one. Nash may have been interested in Kaylee because of her species at first, but it grew beyond that.

 

Q. Mintz:  You’ve mentioned that you have a hard time writing the first book in a series (at l think you said something like this), did you find that to be the case with MStT?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Mintz, yes, I usually have a hard time with the first book in any series. The first draft of MSTTake wasn’t hard, comparatively, but I didn’t get it right the first time either. It took some…rewrites. 😉

 

Q. bookhound:  Since Sophie was in Nash’s crown in school (the popular kids)…did he know Sophie is also a bean sidhe like he did with Kaylee? Or was it Kaylee’s scream that attracted him to her?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Bookhound, Sophie’s not a bean sidhe. 😉

 

Q. Fiktshun:  In MSTTake Kaylee seems to notice an awful lot of details about Tod. Almost more than about Nash. Was that planned?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] {Fiktshun} Was it intentional that Kaylee noticed more about Tod than Nash? No. I hadn’t noticed. But my CP did. During the critiques, she kept writing, “I get it. Blond. Curly. Gorgeous. But what does Nash look like?” 😉

[RACHEL VINCENT] Yeah, Tod snuck up on me.

 

Q. PandaCutie101:  Rachel, which, in your own opinion, is cuter in the book or real life? Nash or Tod?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] PandaCutie, There is no way I can answer that. 😉

Q. PandaCutie101:  Ok, I’ll rephrase it. 🙂 Do you think your characters are cuter in your books or would be cuter portrayed as actors?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] PandaCutie, there is no way on earth any real-life actor could be as cute as I picture Nash and Tod in my head. But I’m more than willing to let them try. 😉

 

Q. Fiktshun:  Kaylee seems very confident about most things except when it comes to Nash. Why does Nash make her feel so insecure about herself?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Fiktshun, I don’t think it’s Nash who makes her insecure. I think it’s dating/love in general. He’s her first serious bf (Toby didn’t last long) and there are always some growing pains involved in that.

 

Q. smiling_ina:  Who was your least favorite character to write about in MSTLose and Take?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] smiling_ina, there aren’t any characters I don’t like writing in SS.

 

Q. Sunnykimmy:  I remember you asking on Facebook for suggestions for names for a new character (not sure for which series). But how did you pick the names of Nash, Kaylee, Tod and Emma? Was it random?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] SunnyKimmy, Nash was the hardest to name. He went through 5 or 6 names before his, and I eventually just ran out of time to give him a real name. So Nash stuck. No. 1 thinks it’s hilarious that he’s named after two cars. Which was totally unintentional.

 

A couple Q’s and A’s about Avari from My Soul to Save…

Q. bookhound:  Avari….how much fun is it to write from the POV of someone who is just so wicked, souless, and plain mean?

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Bookhound, I LOVE writing Avari. He’s so creepy. He’s the kind of bad guy that you can almost get along with, and he’ll let you think that’s what ‘s happening–right up until the time that he bites your head off. Cavazos (from Unbound) is like that too. 😉

 

Q. Mintz:  Avari is probably one of the best antagonists in YA fiction that I’ve read of. 🙂

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Mintz, Avari was fun to write in BIW. I wish we could talk about that, but we have to wait a bit. But he has an interesting perspective on how IID ended. 😉

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Oh, crud. I forgot Avari isn’t in MSTTAke. Sorry, guys.

 

Read on for just one final question about Sabine….

Q. bookhound:  With having characters like Avari and the Mara (I can’t think of her name…grrr!) it must be very freeing as a writer to be able to write what no one would say, but truly thinks. (I hope this makes sense)

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Bookhound, that’s what I like best about writing Sabine. She’s so brutally honest. ;09

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] Crap! Yes, no Sabine yet. Sorry!

A. [RACHEL VINCENT] You guys keep sucking me in to spoilers, and I’m such an easy target!!! ;(

 


Review: My Soul to Take

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent was released in the U.S. on August 1, 2009 in paperback, audio and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in all formats at Amazon and in paperback and eBook formats at Barnes & Noble.

It is also included in the Soul Screamers Volume One omnibus. (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads)

Published by Harlequin TEEN, the print edition is 384 pages.

My Soul to Take is the first book in the Soul Screamers series by author Rachel Vincent.

***

Goodreads description:

She doesn’t see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who’ll be next.

***

Kaylee Cavanaugh knew she wasn’t crazy. She didn’t know what was wrong with her, but she knew she didn’t need to go to the mental hospital. Again.

The fact that she had these panic attacks that made her scream bloody murder for no apparent reason didn’t mean she’d lost her mind. Did it? She didn’t think so.

But now, every time she screamed, something bad seemed to happen. A girl would die. Which made her incredibly curious and more than a little afraid. Was it just a coincidence or was she having premonitions? Or maybe was she so completely delusional that she couldn’t tell what was real anymore.

Whether it was all in her mind or something more sinister, Kaylee had to find out the truth. And fast. Because if she could predict and prevent even one person’s death, she had to try. Being called crazy she could live with. Letting someone die she couldn’t.

Especially if her next predication was for someone she cared about. Because if she couldn’t save them, once she started screaming she might not be able to stop.

***

My Soul to Take is the refreshingly original, incredibly addictive and wholly engaging first book in author Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series. It is a story that is filled with mystery and surprises, twists and turns and a wonderfully unique take on the legendary banshee.

Readers will be drawn into the world the author created from the very moment they meet Kaylee Cavanaugh. She is instantly likable and her sarcasm, quick wit and honesty are hugely appealing.

All her life, Kaylee has been having what she thought were out-of-control panic attacks. They’d gotten so bad that her aunt and uncle had her committed to a mental hospital to see if they could fix what was wrong with her. But aside from those times when she just couldn’t stop screaming, she felt completely normal.

Normal enough to sneak into a club with her best friend Emma. Normal enough to agree to dance with Nash Hudson, the popular and incredibly swoon-worthy senior who finally noticed she existed.

But when she felt the need to scream, right in front of Nash, she wasn’t so sure how normal she really was. And now that her most embarrassing secret was revealed, she wasn’t sure she could ever feel normal again.

Especially when the need to scream seemed to be caused by a girl she’d never met before. A girl who appeared to be surrounded by a dark shadow. And a girl who died only a short time later with no obvious cause.

As Kaylee tries to figure out what it all means, she learns that her family has been keeping secrets from her. Secrets about who they are and who she is. And shocking secrets about the world she lives in.

Author Rachel Vincent introduces readers to a new kind of paranormal mystery with My Soul to Take. The pace is quick, the writing is clever and imaginative and at times simply beautiful, the characters are funny, charming and entertaining, the love story is one that will immediately grab hold, and the suspense will keep readers thoroughly engrossed.

With writing and characters that are incredibly easy to connect with, a heroine who is not only relatable but lovable, a male protagonist who is charismatic and totally irresistible, and a story that is gripping and different and intriguing, My Soul to Take is one must read book that is absolutely unputdownable.

Reviewer gives this book…

On a personal note:

So. Freaking. Awesome. I am seriously in love with this series all over again.

Whether it’s the first time you’ve read it or the tenth, this book will take you on a ride, it will give you chills, it will grab and squeeze your heart and keep you utterly captivated right from the start.

I know, because it did that for me on my first read and it did exactly the same thing on this, my second, read.

There is no slow wind-up to this story. There is no long “getting to know you” period for the characters. You know right away what the dynamic is between Kaylee and Emma. You get a feel for exactly who both girls are and even though they are completely different, there’s no surprise that they’re friends.

Then there’s Nash Hudson. You know exactly who he is. He’s popular, he’s charming, he’s incredibly good looking and he only has eyes for Kaylee and not for her much more outgoing and curvy friend. And as much as you don’t want to trust him, you can’t help but notice that he only sees Kaylee. Which makes you love him instantly. It’s what made me fall head over heels for him within minutes of meeting him.

And, of course, then there’s this amazing, riveting, incredibly entertaining story. It really does pull you in immediately. I love that you get the first clue that something’s different about Kaylee in that very first scene. And while you may know, or think you may know, what’s wrong with her, she doesn’t.

I loved learning about the bean sidhes and how the author made those characters and their abilities unique to her story. I loved getting these small glimpses at things that may be important in future books in the series even though they didn’t play a large role in this book. Especially the Netherworld.

And I totally loved the mystery. The first time I read it I was just as clueless as Kaylee. I was so completely and totally surprised by just how things ended. And on the re-read I picked up on all those hints that I didn’t even realize were hints that first time.

But what I loved most was Kaylee. She is such a lovable character. She is funny and sarcastic and humble and honest and good. She wants to do what’s right, she cares about her friends and she definitely doesn’t play the victim.

She’s a fighter and just doesn’t accept things with a nod. She challenges people and is unbelievably determined. If she hadn’t tried to solve the mystery things would have been very, very different. And even though Nash may have been her savior on a couple of occasions, I have no doubt she would have pulled through without him.

Between the characters, the writing and the story line, I couldn’t possibly pick my favorite. They all work in harmony to create this story that is just so easy to devour and made me want to rush right into book two. Or even start reading it all over again. Even after the re-read.

***

I have a ton of favorite passages – many of them sarcastic, some of them the kind that leave you breathless. For my favorite I opted for breathless.

“Me,” he whispered back, leaning forward so that his lips brushed my ear as he spoke. His scent enveloped me, and his cheek felt scratchy against mine. “You should be thinking about me.” His fingers intertwined with mine in my lap, and he pulled away from my ear slowly, his lips skimming my cheek, deliciously soft in contrast to the sharp stubble. He dropped a trail of small kisses along my jaw, and my heart beat harder with every single one.

*** First time readers may not want to read this next part. No spoilers, but does talk about my feelings about Nash***

My thoughts on the re-read:

My Soul to Take was every bit as awesome as I remembered it. It was actually even better than I remembered it to be. I first read My Soul to Take back in early 2010 before I started blogging. I stumbled across the series and took a chance and I loved it. So much so that I devoured all available books back-to-back-to-back.

I immediately fell in love with Nash Hudson, and the whole concept of bean sidhes was new and fascinating and completely different.

Going back to this first book just about two years later, knowing all that I know about what transpired over the course of those other four full-length books was tough. But I was still excited to do it.

I wanted to remain steadfast in my dislike of Nash. I didn’t want to risk falling for him all over again only to be heartbroken. But I also wanted to see if I noticed Tod this time around, because he didn’t even factor on my radar during that first read.

Well, I fell for him again. He was just so unbelievably nice and perfect for Kaylee. He was supportive and charming and sexy. And he was there for her whenever she needed him to be. So, yes, I fell for him. Again. And I’m sure as I read each book in this series, he will destroy me all over again.

I am actually shocked that there were no surprises as far as the larger details are concerned. I remember this book. Which is not at all a common thing for me this far into a series. Of course I remember the characters, but I remember the mystery, I remember the events and I remember just how things ended. Way more than I thought I had, would or could.

I’ve devoured well over two hundred books since I last read My Soul to Take so I wasn’t sure just how much I’d remember. But I remembered everything that was important.

But it was the subtle details that were once again new to me. Details that either I missed the first time around, or that I didn’t fully appreciate because I was racing through the book, as simply a reader, trying to find out what was going to happen next and how the mystery was going to resolve itself.

What I missed on the first read was just how amazing so many of the passages are. Lines like these:

 A bolt of uncertainty shot through my heart, piercing my determination like a spear through flesh.

Some were even more vivid, some were beautiful, some were torturous and some were sarcastic, but all of them amazing. These passages were what kept me captivated this second time around, when I already knew about the love story, knew the answer to the mystery, and knew how things would turn out way down the road. And these passages were what kept this book memorable for the past two years since I last read it.

On the re-read, I noticed some of those hints at things to come later in the series that I didn’t know were important. I was able to see Aunt Val as a more sympathetic character than I did the first time. And I noticed just how good Kaylee was for Tod, who, as a reaper could have become cold and inhumane without her.

I did not find any reason to dislike Nash in this book or pick up on any clues that I might feel differently later on.

I am so glad that I took the time to re-read My Soul to Take, which had been my favorite book in the series until If I Die was released. And I can’t wait to continue on with My Soul to Save.

***

Book trailer for My Soul to Take:


My Reading Pile #47

Well, it was a seriously great week at the mailbox. Probably the last one for quite some time. While there is one book that hasn’t arrived just yet that I can’t wait to read, I received so many amazing books this week that I’m dying to read right now, that I don’t mind waiting another few days until it shows up. I have a feeling it’s going to be very hard to stay on pile this week.

As I am sharing what I received in my mailbox this week, I’m giving credit to Kristi at The Story Siren who came up with the idea of sharing what’s in her mailbox each week.

Received for Review

I was rendered speechless when my request for Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins was approved by the always awesome folks at HarperCollins. I’ve been dying to read this book ever since I first heard the title. I mean it’s called Sweet Evil, how perfect is that?

Well, I received that title, which I have been fighting not to read all week, along with a couple of surprise books: The Temptation by Alisa Valdes, which looks really, really cool and Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris which also sounds awesome.

And last, but absolutely not least, I received a copy of Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglein for review from the author. This is another book I am super excited to read. It sounds like my kind of book – supernatural powers and a dark, criminal element. Plus that title totally makes me want to go off pile to find out more.

Received from Trades

I received ARCs of Balthazar by Claudia Gray, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi and Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow by Katy Towell from a trade or two with Alex of Electrifying Reviews.

I already own the finished copies of Under the Never Sky and Daughter of Smoke and Bone so I will probably be giving them away in a Clearing the Pile giveaway on my other blog. And since I apparently dupli-traded for Balthazar, I put this one up for giveaway earlier in the week. I am curious about Skary Childrin though and can’t wait to read it soon.

Some More Trades and One Purchase

I received the rest of these books in the mail on Friday night. I decided to add them to this post instead of waiting until next week, because by then I’m sure one or two of them will have been passed along.

At the top of the pile is a signed copy of The Onyx Talisman by Brenda Pandos that I had ordered. I have signed copies of the first two books in the series that I won in a charitable auction. Part of that winning bid was getting a character named after me in this third book, so I was definitely planning on buying it. But when I found out it was being offered for sale personally signed, I was totally stoked. Because now I have a matching, signed set.

I received a copy of Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis and Slide by Jill Hathaway thanks to a trade with Alex of Electrifying Reviews. I completely forgot I’d traded for them, so they were a total surprise. Of course I already had two copies of Glimmer, so I will be giving this one away. But I’m glad I got Slide as I had given my copy away when I got approved on NetGalley, but I like having the print version to refer to when writing my reviews.

The rest of the books were from a few trades I’d done with my trading partners. I may have a couple duplicates in the pile so will probably offer them up for giveaway, but I am so tempted to dig into this pile right now. I mean, Dreamless by Josephine Angelini and Until I Die by Amy Plum and Destined by Aprilynne Pike and Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London are all books I’m looking to devour right now.

And finally….

For the SSRC

This is just a picture of the stack of signed Soul Screamers books from Rachel Vincent that I ordered and she sent to me for the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge. I will probably add in an omnibus edition so that i can have a complete “set” as one of the grand prizes for giveaway along with the super sekrit one-of-a-kind speciality incentives. But for now, I have all of these lovely books on my shelf.

Anyway, after that huge book haul, I do actually plan on reading this week…

Here are the books I have in my reading pile this week.

(February 5 -February 11, 2012)

***

First up is Destiny’s Fire by Tricia Wolfe. I received an eARC for review from Omnific Publishing and I can’t wait to read it. It is one of the books I’d chosen for my 2012 Debut Author Challenge, so I was thrilled to get a copy for review.

The story sounds intriguing – a future society in which the main character, Dez, is a shape-shifter descended from guardians of the pharaohs. Their world is threatened by an enemy and Dez is forced to prepare for war. But it seems that what she might have been led to believe about these enemies may not be true and that their reason for being there is something altogether different than she had thought.

I can’t wait to meet Dez, discover what powers she has and find out just what she’s capable of. And I hope to start reading Destiny’s Fire on Tuesday.

Next up on the pile is My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent which I will be re-reading as part of the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge. And since I haven’t reviewed this book, as I read it before I started blogging, I think I will be reviewing it for the challenge with maybe a small section on my re-read experience. I haven’t yet decided.

But I can’t wait to see if I end up falling in love with Nash all over again. Having skimmed the book many times over the past several months, I am pretty sure I will fall for him again. I just hope I don’t fall too hard. And I hope that this time I’ll notice the awesomeness that is Tod.

Ever since the challenge began I’ve wanted to return to the beginning of this series and meet Kaylee, Nash and Tod all over again. I want to read it without racing through it to get to the next book and I want to rediscover all the little things that might have slipped away over the years. I am so glad that I have an excuse to read this series again and have this book on the pile this week.

Wishful Thinking reads:

I have quite a few wishful thinking reads and they’re all from the books I received this week. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins tops the list, though, so I’ll only mention just that one.

I would kill to read it right now so I can find out once and for all whether or not I’ll love it just as much as I imagine I will. I have been obsessed with this book for a couple of months so of course this just had to be my wishful thinking read this week.

Those left behind:

I’m seriously behind. Things at work were surprisingly disastrous. On a week that I thought would be a little easier we had a technology meltdown and so I did not have any time to read either book from last week. But I do plan on remedying that this weekend and will hopefully be caught up by Monday.

NetGalley Pile Adds:

I didn’t request anything from NetGalley this week, which is a good and bad thing because I hear that February is NetGalley month and I would love to add a few NetGalley eBooks to the pile. But I have several already pending, so I’d rather get caught up on those first instead of requesting new titles.

***

Because I wasn’t really able to read this week, I went from being quite ahead with my 2012 reading goals to just barely ahead. I hope to read a couple books this weekend and catch up on a couple of past due reviews this week, which I hope will put me ahead once again.

If not I’ll be playing catch up in February and will hopefully be back on track in March. I’m definitely going to keep my fingers crossed.

***

Do you create a reading pile?

If so, what’s in your pile this week?


Soul Screamers Reading Challenge Begins

Today is the first day of the Soul Screamers Reading Challenge! If you’ve already signed up, then you’re all set to START READING… or RE-READING!

If you haven’t signed up, just click on the badge above for details on what the challenge is and what you could win if you participate.

***

Month One

January 15 – February 14, 2012

***

The goal for this first month of the challenge will be to read My Soul to Take.

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Goodreads description:

She doesn’t see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who’ll be next.

***

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First, I want to thank all of you who have already signed up to participate in this reading challenge. I had no idea there would be this many people signing on for the event and I am so surprised and super, super excited!

If everyone who signed up posts a review at any point during this challenge, there will be a lot of pre-order copies of Before I Wake for giveaway at the end of the challenge!

What do you need to do?

1. Start reading!

Hopefully you were able to wait to start reading your first challenge book until the event started, but if you just couldn’t wait and got a jump-start on your reading, you’re ahead of the game.

You have all month to read this first book – or any book in the series – you are starting this challenge with.

2. Post your review or thoughts!

Whether you’ve decided to post a review, or just create a post with your thoughts about the book, you have until February 14th to do so to be entered into any of this month’s giveaways and to earn an entry into the end-of-challenge Before I Wake giveaway.

3. Leave your link!

Be sure to come back here and leave a link to your post – wherever that may be – Blog, Facebook, Goodreads, Tumblr, etc. If you don’t leave the link, you won’t be entered into the giveaway.

If you don’t have anywhere to post your thoughts or review, please leave a comment with a way to get in touch and if your review (or thoughts) are positive, I’ll post them as a guest post on my blog, Soul Screamers Reading Challenge.

Reviews or thoughts posts must be from January 15 through February 14, 2012 ONLY.

What are this month’s incentives?

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Two winners will receive a Rachel Vincent book of their choice ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository

One winner will receive a signed copy of My Soul to Keep.

Four winners will receive a Kindle eBook of Never to Sleep.

Two winners will receive a Kindle eBook of Reaper or My Soul to Lose.

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***

In case you wanted to know….

Extra Credit Reads

You can post your reviews for any of the extra credit reads at any time during the challenge. Each extra credit read will give you an additional entry into the Before I Wake giveaway at the end of the challenge AND will give you an extra entry into that month’s giveaway.

SO, if you want extra chances to win a specific prize, be sure to hold off on posting your reviews for the extra credit reads until the month of that giveaway prize!

What if I don’t finish the book this month?

That’s OKAY. You can post your review or thoughts next month, or at any time during the challenge. And you can leave more than one link during each month of the challenge.

What if I’ve signed up, but never read any books during the months of this challenge?

That’s OKAY. We all have things in life that sometimes take priority. You won’t be eligible for any of the giveaways without at least one review or thoughts post, but no one will judge you for signing up and not doing anything beyond that!

The fact that you want to read the author’s amazing books is awesome! And whether you read them now, or in the future, you’ll be discovering a series that I think it is pretty amazing.

What if I’ve already reviewed the book?

If this is a re-read for you, you can simply create a post about this book talking about what you found different the second (or third, or fourth or…) time around. If you are a blogger, you can always link to your original review in that discussion post so that people can check out what you thought on first read.

BUT, you cannot simply repost your original review to be eligible for the giveaway. AND you cannot leave a link to an old post. All posts must be created during the dates of each challenge month.

The first book I plan on reading for the challenge isn’t My Soul to Take, so why start now?

If you are starting this challenge by reading any book other than My Soul to Take, you can still post your reviews for that book during this month’s challenge post. It will give you an entry into this month’s giveaway and will count as an entry toward the end-of-challenge Before I Wake pre-order giveaway. But, you won’t get an extra entry for posting your review during the scheduled read month for that book.

While the disadvantage is that you won’t get the extra entry, there are advantages to reading the book early and participating from the start.

One of the advantages to reading it now – and posting a review or discussion post – as opposed to waiting for the scheduled month, is that you’ll be eligible for this month’s giveaway prize. You may also discover that once you finish reading the series you’ll want to go back and re-read those first books – trust me, If I Die is a game-changer and it is very likely that you’ll be interested in doing just that.

So, by participating now, you’ll have the time later on during the challenge to re-read those books and by creating a post be eligible for those other giveaways and get yet another entry into the Before I Wake giveaway.

How are the giveaway prizes going to be decided?

The giveaway winners’ names will be drawn on FEBRUARY 18th.

For this month’s giveaway prizes, Random will be drawing numbers based on the linky number associated with your post.

Each giveaway will be drawn separately.

If you’ve won and you do not wish to receive that prize, the next number on the list that Random drew will be the winner.

And guess what….

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Author Rachel Vincent will be conducting spoiler chats after each month’s read for that book only. So, at some point in the second half of February, there will be a My Soul to Take spoiler chat! Check out her blog post HERE to learn more.

If that weren’t enough, she mentions that after the release of Before I Wake, which comes out on June 26, 2012 in the U.S., there will be a discussion and spoiler chat for that book too! How AWESOME is that!?!

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So….

Leave your links below for posts created from January 15 through February 14, 2012. I will leave the linky open until February 17th for those who may have forgotten to leave them, but I have to close it fairly quickly so that Random can choose names for the giveaway prizes.

***

Let’s see those posts!




Soul Screamers Solstice Giveaway

I planned on having this post up last night, but due to the NetSol attack, I wasn’t able to finish creating it and getting it up in time before the epic fail.

Even though it’s evening, it is the longest day of the year, so in celebration I am having a giveaway for a set of all four printed books in Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series – My Soul to Take, My Soul to Save, My Soul to Keep and My Soul to Steal. And there will be two winners.

If I Die will be coming out this fall and is an absolute must read in this series. So, for those who haven’t yet started the series, there is still plenty of time to do so before the next book comes out.

Anyway, onto the giveaway…

What’s up for grabs?

One paperback copy each of the four Soul Screamers books by Rachel Vincent – My Soul to Take, My Soul to Save, My Soul to Keep and My Soul to Steal – sent directly from Amazon or The Book Depository.

The Deets:

* There will be TWO WINNERS.

* Only one entry per person.

* Must be 13 or older to enter.

* Contest is International where allowed by law.

* Giveaway ends Thursday, June 30th at 11:59 p.m.

* Winners will be chosen by Random.org and announced on the blog on Friday, July 1.

* Winners will have 48 hours after notification to respond.

*Prizes will be sent directly from Amazon or The Book Depository.

There is no requirement to follow, tweet or “like,” but following the blog is always appreciated.

To enter, fill out the form below:

Thank you to everyone who has entered the Soul Screamers Solstice Giveaway. The contest is now closed. I will be running the names through Random to choose the two winners and will be posting those winners here shortly.

Stay tuned…

And the winners are…

Congratulations Natasha and Siobhan, you are the winners of the Soul Screamers giveaway! I will be contacting you by email and you will have 48 hours to send me your details or another winner or winners will be selected.

Thank you everyone for entering my giveaway. The series is amazing as is the author and I hope you get a chance to read this or her other series!


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