Ixeos by Jennings Wright Blog Tour & Guest Post ~ Amazon Gift Card/Paypal Cash Giveaway

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The McClellands are enjoying a lazy summer vacation at the beach when they are lured from our world into Ixeos, an alternate Earth. Finding themselves lost in a maze of tunnels under Paris and surrounded by strangers, they discover that they have been brought to Ixeos for one purpose:  to take the planet back from humanoid aliens who have claimed it. With the aid of the tunnels and a mysterious man named Landon, the teens travel the world seeking the key that will allow them to free Darian, the long-imprisoned rebel leader. But the aliens aren’t the only problem on Ixeos — the McClellands have to deal with brutal gangs, desperate junkies, and a world without power, where all the technology is owned by the aliens, and where most of the population has been killed or enslaved. The worst part? There’s no way home.

Author Jennings Wright

Born and raised in Florida, Jennings spent her early years reading anything she could get her hands on, when she wasn’t spending time in and on the water. She won a prize in the 6th grade for her science fiction stories.

Jennings attended the University of Tampa, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, and almost enough credits for B.A.s in both English and History. She attended graduate school at the University of West Florida, studying Psychology. She spent time over the years doing various kinds of business writing, editing, and teaching writing, but mostly having and raising her family, homeschooling her children, owning and running a business with her husband, and starting a non-profit.

Thanks to a crazy idea called NaNoWriMo Jennings got back into creative writing in 2011 and hasn’t stopped since. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, also a business owner and writer, and two children, and travels extensively with her family, and her non-profit in Uganda.

Hi there everyone, Paul here. Today we have the pleasure of  having a guest post Ixeos author Jennings Wright. I love guest posts and am so happy to have her with us. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Enjoy!
I may be 47, but I like to read YA. When I’ve needed a fun read, I have often turned to Rick Riorden’s books, and The Chronicles of Narnia have long been family favorites. Certainly, Riorden’s books are whimsical and witty and silly, while CS Lewis has young characters but compelling plots and deeper truths, but both can appeal to people of all ages.
What I like most about the Narnia books is that Lewis doesn’t talk down to his readers. JRR Tolkein does the same in The Hobbit, which, unlike The Lord of the Rings, was written with a younger audience in mind. As a long time homeschool mom, whose last child is about to graduate, I find that this approach is one that comes naturally to me, as well (not that I’m putting my literary efforts on par with those two masters!).
My kids are 16 and 20, and I spend a lot of time talking with them, traveling with them, texting silly things, talking about the world and about their hopes and dreams. While obviously there is a continuum of maturity in teens, overall, I’m convinced that the vast majority understand more than we think, and are more focused on big issues than we tend to give them credit for (because those occasional bonehead moves do distract from their more thoughtful actions!).
When I began thinking about IXEOS, I wasn’t thinking of it’s genre, or even of a specific audience. I like to entertain with my books, and generally don’t think about things like “men will like this” or “this is perfect for women.” However, as the story evolved in my head, it made sense that teens would be the ones taken from our world into Ixeos. With teens as the main characters, then, the tone of the book was set. Teens talk a certain way, and that led to a bit more casual flavor to the writing.
The challenge, of course, is to try to thread the needle between authentic teen-ness and conveying the story. This book has some important themes, and while I certainly didn’t want to come across as a teacher, I did want to show that these themes – good versus evil, freedom versus slavery, purpose versus apathy, sacrifice versus selfishness – were at work in both the world of Ixeos as a whole, and each individual outsider who had to make the choice whether to buy into their new situation.
Fortunately, I had a number of beta readers who fit into this target age, and was able to smooth out any parts of the book that veered from my goal. My daughter, almost 21, is my most invaluable editor/beta reader, since she is a lifetime voracious reader, honest with her comments, and meticulous in her editing. While she didn’t always like some of the scenes because they were emotionally difficult, she did understand that the whole basis of the story is war, and that people will die and unpleasant things will happen. (I did get a lot of unhappy texts all in caps at one point, though!)
I have really enjoyed writing the IXEOSTrilogy, and am excited to be entering a new genre and reaching a new set of readers. I hope that, when reading the books, the difficulties aren’t noticeable, and that the story sweeps you along in the epic battle of good and evil.

Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 4/12/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the authors. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.

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