INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY BELOW!!!Title: Ren: Awakened Author: Brittany Quagan Summary from Amazon.com: Seventeen-year-old Ren Nagel knows that the strange things she's seen are real--even if no one else believes her. But, when she's locked up in a psychiatric hospital; she loses hope that anyone will ever truly be on her side. Then everything changes. With the help of a new friend, Ren breaks out. It's when she's on the run that she learns who she really is. Hunted by evil, Ren must learn to control a power she never knew she had, organize a coalition of people she never knew existed, and remind humanity why fighting the darkness is a big part of being human. Sometimes, feeling different is much more than just a feeling. For Ren, it means the fate of the world.
Chapter One Sometimes I want to scream at the top of my lungs until my voice is completely gone. Or until the pressure blows off my head, whichever comes first. The stress they put on me; I can’t handle it. It just builds and builds, and one day I’m going to POP. It’s even worse when I’m mad. The things that happen … well … I can’t help it; they just do. You’d probably be just as pissed if you were in my shoes. I mean, do you have any freaking clue what it feels like to have been lied to for your entire life about who—or what—you are? To know that everything you thought was real couldn’t be further from the truth? And still, after everything I’ve learned, the lies keep coming. I’m supposed to do things … change reality as we know it. But every corner I turn brings me to another obstacle, another lie. You’d think that asking a simple “what” or “how” would get you the answers you need. Not when you’re dealing with these people. They have so much to say, yet they say nothing at all. And you know what? Secrets really piss me off. I know they’re hiding plenty from me. By the way, I’m Ren. I’d love to have a typical going-off-to-college story with all sorts of teenage, rebellious debauchery. But I don’t. My story isn’t working like that; it never has. I’ve always been different than most. Whatever that means. For me, it means that my life has never been one you could call normal. Some of you can relate, which is great because you’ll be a big help in all of this. I’ll try to break this down quickly for you so we can get on with the story. A few months ago, my life changed completely. Not that I had some lovely fairytale life to begin with. Life had always been a struggle, but then things got crazy. Things I never thought could—or would—happen, did. And now I, well, we (and by “we” I mean you and me and the rest of the world) really are smack dab in the middle of mayhem. Before my life flipped upside down, I couldn’t even walk in public without thinking I was going to die. It didn’t matter where I went or who I was near; my chest would get heavy; I’d sweat bullets and twitch; my heart would race; I couldn’t breathe. Sometimes I’d want to throw up or curl into a ball. Sometimes I’d faint. I didn’t know why it happened. If I tried to explain to anyone, like a doctor, what I experience, they would just tell me I was paranoid or that I had anxiety disorder. Then they’d slap me on meds. It all changed when I met them, though. Everything changed. Because I learned the truth. And now it’s time for you to learn.
When I first saw this book I was truly intrigued by the cover art. So when I got the chance to interview Brittany Quagan about it I was really excited to hear how deeply personal the cover is to the story and also to the author. Here is her reply: OMG I love that question and thank you so much!
So this cover was drawn by a friend of mine, Alex. When I originally was writing the books, I had all of these crazy ideas in my head for what I wanted, and it would change constantly because I'm a scatter brained Gemini and that tends to happen. But there was one thing that was certain and that was that Alex would draw the cover. Every intuitive arrow in my body was pointing at her, despite all the fabulous cover artists I had the option of going with.
So her and I sat down and I knew that I wanted the cover to reflect the archaic vibe the book has and how Ren and the Implements' souls are literally burned into this Tapestry, but I also wanted their eyes to shine through; the violets of Ren, the blues in Alo & Gage. For me, their eyes are so important because you can find an entire story behind someone's eyes ... and there is ALOT of story to unlock with these characters throughout the series. I preferred the hand drawn characters rather than digital photos of random models because the Tapestry isn't something digitized; it's sketched out by the Weavers, so it's far more conducive to the story that way.
Alex and I sat down together and I told her what I liked and we connect so well that she just plucked this idea from my head and sketched it out. I started crying when she sent me the first draft because I couldn't wrap my head around seeing these characters come to life. I don't try to be bias when it comes to talent, but Alex has such a raw gift that has to be displayed. I can't wait for people to see what we've come up with for REN: Reposed. I also think it's so important to boost other artists - and if I'm going for the ride, I'm bringing as many artists along with me as I can. If we have the ability to help boost one another work - why not, right?
Growing up, she wanted nothing more than to live a life of magic, mayhem, and writing, never knowing her dreams were being manifested into a reality with every wish and intention.
As a teen, her anxiety-riddled existence became nothing less than a burden, but she was determined to escape it and convinced there had to be more going on than just "being anxious." It wasn't until she met a new group of friends who guided her down a path of understanding energy and intuition that her life changed and she was able to overcome this.
Today, Brittany owns Journeys: School for the Soul, LLC in Windsor, CT.; an anxiety relief, intuitive development & healing center to help others who suffer from anxiety/panic disorder, those who believe in the unseen to tap into their intuitive selves, and to help people grow, find empowerment, manifest like a boss, and heal from wherever it is they feel stuck.
Ren's story isn't one that just came to Brittany; it's a story she lived. Most of what you read about in the adventure-filled series are experiences that are very real, that actually happened as it is entirely based on Brittany's life, and people she has met along the way. The series is one that's dwelled inside Brittany since she was a child, but couldn't be told until she finished living it for herself.
When Brittany isn't teaching, counseling, or writing, you'll find her traveling with friends & family on a quest for adventure wherever she can, dying her hair every color of the rainbow, playing with her three nephews, trying craft beers, ruthlessly rating buffalo wings from all over the country, and talking to the moon. Most recently, she traveled to Alaska to dance on a glacier and bike down a mountain crying from hysterical laughter and extreme fear of plummeting to her death.
REN: Awakened is her first published book.AUTHOR LINKS:
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September 26th: Laura (http://www.lifeisabookblog.com)
October 1st: Jordan (http://www.readbyroe.com)Blog Tour Organized by: Happy Lil Book Tours *Hosts were provided with a copy of the book for review purposes in exchange for their honest reviews and opinions.*