Crossroads Blog Tour Day Two Part Two: Interview with Shannon Delany

Our second interview for the day is with author, Shannon Delany.  We would like to welcome her back to Kid Lit Frenzy. 

What is your most embarrassing/funny/scary Halloween experience or costume? 

Oh, I’m so dull... Oh! Almost swallowed a vampire fang once... Halloween wasn’t big were I grew up. Our houses were spread too far apart for serious trick or treating unless you could convince someone to drag you into town. We had an annual Halloween parade and costume judging (and I won a bunch of times—I think it’s because I always found an excuse to carry a freakishly cute kitten...).

When authors create a world for a series there are rules they need to stick with for consistency, are there things you would change in your book world that you didn’t foresee being an issue initially?

Pffft. At this point in my series, having learned the lessons I have (and knowing there’s really nothing I can do to change things in them now) I’d totally redo the whole series. I’d add more layers and hint at things earlier.

What was the most surprising thing that you discovered about one of your characters that you didn’t see coming? 

I didn’t expect Max to grow into such a heroic personality. I thought he’d be my bad boy and stay in the shadows throughout the 13 to Life series, but he sort of burst onto the scene and kept making himself known until I understood his part better.

What was your favorite book as a child that you have chosen to read or share with your own child?

The Giving Tree. Best. Book. Ever. It summarizes true love beautifully and simply. If you can get kids to understand that book and really embrace it they’ll understand what it means to give with your whole heart and love unconditionally regardless of what someone takes from you.

Hey readers - Thanks for checking out Shannon's interview and hope you check out all of the other great posts that make up The Crossroads Blog Tour.  During the 8 days of the blog tour, there will be opportunity to win some great swag from our featured authors.  There will be a post shortly with more details for entering to win.

Newest/Upcoming Releases: 13 to Life, Secrets and Shadows, Bargains and Betrayals (2011)


Twitter: @shannon_delany

Happy Book Birthday to Secrets & Shadows (Book 2 Thirteen to Life)

Just wishing Shannon Delany a Happy Book Birthday.  Secrets & Shadows, the second book in The Thirteen to Life Series is out today.

Below is the official book trailer for Secrets & Shadows.   Also, if you are interested in winning a signed copy of 13 to Life or signed posters of the two books, you still have a few more hours to enter my MAX-imum Exposure Giveaway.  Details here.

To check out an interview I did with Pietr and Max, and for more information about Shannon, click here.

MAX-imum Exposure - A 13 to Life Giveaway and Secrets And Shadows Feature

Author: Shannon Delany
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (February 15, 2011)
Pages: 320
Ages: Young Adult
Source: Advanced Copy

Description from GoodReads:
Nothing's simple when you run with werewolves. Jess Gillmansen thinks she's seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she's suspected. With Jess' realization that the Rusakovas' mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group's choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite to free their mother - and those who Jess thought to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more...

This is sort of a review and sort of not a review.  I actually had a chance to read a very, very early copy of Secrets and Shadows way back in July.  A pre-advanced readers copy you might say.  As a result, I need to be cautious in what I say.  Somethings likely changed between the version that I read and the actual release copy that will be out in two weeks.  

Instead of a traditional review, I am doing a "here's why I am excited about the release of Secrets and Shadows" or "what I am looking forward to" post.  In case you are wondering, this is a safe post...I tried avoiding spoilers to both 13 to Life and Secrets & Shadows, though there may be minor spoilers for 13 to Life.  If you haven't read book one in the 13 to Life Series may I suggest that you go out, get it, read it, and then return?!  

Of course if you read it, then you know there was a lot of excitement at the end.  Delany doesn't hold back in either her first book or her second.  The world of Junction gets a bit more exciting and definitely a lot more mysterious in book 2.  The title definitely is a warning...there are secrets galore.  

Why I am excited for the release of Secrets & Shadows:

1.  Hot Boys with accents - who just happen to shape-shift into wolves (which also means that clothes are uh, um...optional at times...I didn't really say that did I?).  And if you are interested in hearing these accents, check out the interview I did with Pietr and Max yesterday.  Click here.
2.  Humor - yup, I laugh when I read Delany's books.  I love that she pokes fun at certain fads and doesn't always take herself seriously (in a good way).  The books for me are truly guilty pleasures.

3. The Cover - I like it even more than the first book and well though it was nice to have an early manuscript to read - it really isn't the same as a bound book with a really pretty cover.

4.   Though the book centers around Jess and Pietr - and Pietr's family - there are a lot of secondary characters in this book that add to the story and who I am becoming attached to.  Some that I like - Jess' dad & sister, Jess' friends Amy & Sophie and of course a few that I can do with a little less of, like Derek & Sarah but you have to have a few characters you don't like.  (Note: And there are some that you really won't like too.)

5.  There are secrets in this book.  Lots and lots of secrets.  The plot thickens and Delany draws the reader more and more into the world of Junction which turns out to be a whole lot more exciting than this sleepy little town pretends to be.

6.  The overlap of the Russian mafia, CIA, and the history/lore of werewolves which Delany has created lends a unique twist to the series. It also leaves you wondering at times who you can believe and who you shouldn't.  

7.  In this installment, we get to see more of the Rusakovas.  Who are they?  What are they like?  There is more to them than what you might have guessed.  And surprisingly, these reveals drew me closer to Max.  Yes, Max - not Pietr (though he wouldn't be bad to have around).  This was definitely a bit of a shock to me since I tend to stay far away from "bad boy types" and Max is definitely a bit of a "bad boy".  But read it and tell me what you think of Max by the end.

8.  Jess - the main character - she certainly surprises me.  She is bright, capable, and surprisingly good with a gun.  I don't know a lot of gun wielding female protagonists in YA paranormal/urban fantasy.  Granted it isn't like she carries one around all the time, but she certainly knows how to use one. 

9.  Did I mention hot boys with accents....*scrolls back up, yep, #1* - it bares repeating.  

10.  Finally, Delany's series is one of those books that I know if I start reading at night I will be up way past bedtime in order to finish it.  

Hope that gives you a few reasons to pick up Secrets and Shadows when it is released.  

Thanks to Shannon Delany - I am hosting a Giveaway in honor of the release of Secrets and Shadows.  Shannon is sending me a signed copy of 13 to Life (Book 1) and signed posters of 13 to Life and Secrets & Shadows.  I have decided to have two winners - 1 for the signed copy of 13 to Life and the other winner will receive the signed posters.  The first name I pick will receive the signed book and the second name will receive the signed posters.  Good Luck everyone and don't forget to pre-order Secrets and Shadows.

Rules for Giveaway:

1.  Contest will run from Wednesday, February 2, 2011 to Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. PST.  
2.  You must complete the entry form to be officially entered into the contest.  Personal information in comment section will be deleted.
3.  Contest is open internationally.
4.  Comments are not and appreciated but not required. 

MAX-imum Exposure Blog Tour

Welcome to the MAX-imum Exposure Tour for the 13 to Life Series by Shannon Delany

The MAX-imum Exposure Tour kicks-off with a fun interview of the Rusakova Brothers.  For those of you who have read 13 to Life, you will know that Pietr and Max are two very hot shapeshifters.  Today, I had a chance to ask them a few questions.  And you will definitely want to check back tomorrow for a review of Secrets & Shadows and a chance to win some swag. 

Aly: Max, if you found the right girl, what is one essential thing (yeah, other than you turn into a wolf) that you would want her to know or understand about you?

Max: That I hate when people change the radio station while I drive?

Aly: Funny. The truth, Max. One thing the right girl should know.

Max: That if she wants to be the center of my world I need to be the center of hers.

Aly: Max, this one's also for you. Learning the truth about Alexi seems to have been more significant to you than to the twins in the sense of betrayal more heightened. Why do you think this is true?

Max: I always thought Sasha--Alexi was my brother. I thought I could trust him. He was the alpha when our parents... He was the one I went out with whenever Pietr disappeared with his thoughts and his books. I always thought he was the most like me--but he is a traitor. Nothing about him was real.

Aly: Pietr, what is one thing about Jessica that makes her more unique to you than any other girl you've known and why?

Pietr: There is more than one thing. Jess has a level of compassion that I have never seen before. she tries so hard to do the right thing even if it hurts her--I know I can trust her much better than I've trusted any other girl I've dated before.

Aly: Pietr, since you and Cat are twins, how do you see your connection with her being different than with say Max or with other members of your family?

Pietr: It is more than just being twins. Cat and I can talk about anything. She is clever and caring and we just connect better. Alexi--he has an agenda. Max--a short attention span. I would need to have breasts for Max to want to sit still long enough to have a real conversation with me.

Aly: Both of you, if someone would turn on your iPod or MP3 player, what songs would be on it at the moment? And are you someone that sets it on random or do you prefer to play a song list over and over again?

Max: Random. Mine has songs by Linkin Park, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Blink 182, Stone Sour and MCR--My Chemical Romance.

Aly: Pietr? What about yours?

Pietr: It depends on my mood. Sometimes I want to hear a song again and again until it is just a hum in my brain.

Aly: And what groups are on your MP3 player, Pietr?

Pietr: Snow Patrol, The Spill Canvas, Duran Duran, Queen, The Killers, Nickelback, All-American Rejects and Thriving Ivory.

Aly: Thank you both for stopping by.

To listen to the interview, please click on the image below.

Shannon Delany is the winner of the first-ever cell phone novel contest in the western world and the author of the 13 to Life series through St. Martin's Press. 13 to Life is already available and Secrets and Shadows hits stores 2/15/11 with Bargains and Betrayals landing on shelves 8/16/11 (already available for pre-order!)and two more as of yet unnamed novels coming out in 2012.

For more about Shannon, visit her author website: or her series website: You can also find Shannon on Facebook and on Twitter at

Want a fun freebie you can print out and use with a web-cam to make a bookmark much more than a bookmark? Go here and check out the Augmented Reality bookmark:

And make sure you join us live at 11 am EST on 2/12 for a Blog Talk Radio event with host Barry Eva, Pietr, Max and Shannon! Go here:

The Crossroads Tour: Day 4 Shannon Delany

Each day of The Crossroads Tour, a new question will be revealed on The Crossroad Blog Tour main page and each day the answer to that question will be found within one of the 16 different blog posts by Crossroads Tour authors. Your job is to get the question, read the blog posts, and collect all 16 answers by the end of the tour, on Halloween. Go HERE to get today's question and links.

Today's guest for the Crossroads Tour is author Shannon Delany. Her debut novel, Thirteen to Life, was released in June.   Her story has drawn me in and there are some hot wolves that I have developed a pretty big fangirl crush on. To read my review of 13 to Life, click hereSecrets & Shadows (13 to Life Book #2) will be out in February 2011.  I have enjoyed getting to know Shannon. If you like werewolves you should check out her book, and even if you tend towards vampires, Shannon's wolves may change your minds.

What was your favorite paranormal/horror/fantasy story as a child/teen? And why did you like it so much?

I loved Mary Stewart’s A Walk through Wolf Woods (5th grade, I think) and then I was enthralled with Mercedes Lackey’s work, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Anne McCaffrey. They all created amazing worlds with intriguing characters. Asa teen I took a hard turn into science fiction.

Where did you get the idea for your story? Did you use a real life situation and put a twist on it?

Although my characters are very much based on aspects of different people I’ve known, the story grew out of some odd paranormal and Cold War-related research and my own issues with grief. I like to think I write real-world werewolves because their issues are much bigger than having extreme amounts of hair and a willingness to bite. ;-) Underneath the fur, they’re tragically human, too.

Especially in Y.A., there seems to be a big emphasis on paranormal romance? Do you consider the romance part when you are writing your story or do you consider writing your story and see where the romance fits in?

The characters decide where and when the romance comes in. My job’s to have a clue about where things are going overall and generally follow where the characters lead as they change and grow.

What helps you to create characters that people will feel passionate about either in liking them or disliking them?

I think authors need to be empathic and just generally aware. We know what ticks most people off and what pushes buttons and excites folks. The characters help bridge the gap and connect the things we know deep down with their personal stories. But not everyone will relate to every character (and certainly not in the same way). Where some see a fine example of self-sacrifice, others read it as martyrdom. No matter how you plan your characters, people bring their own interpretations and baggage into the reading.

What characteristics were critical to you in creating your characters?

Connectivity. I wanted characters that people would connect with on some level. Whether you get misty-eyed over Jess’s loss or shout at her about her choices or worry about Pietr or laugh at Max’s flirting...Hopefully there’s enough to each character for readers to connect at some level but not so much to distance readers.

What kind of research did you do for your story and did you run into anything weird while you were doing research?

I did a bunch of research—some werewolf and wolf-related (pulling at lesser known myths and traits like the saber tattoo and red highlights in the Rusakovas’ hair). I also did paranormal research and found the most beautiful question mark in the world—on a paper that listed Cold War paranormal locations and research done in Russia. Every site except one listed precisely the research they did. But one just had a question mark. Lovely. That’s where werewolves get made, boys and girls. ;-)

If you could be a shape-shifter, what animal would you want to shift

Wolf works for me! They’re quick, bright, cozy in winter and family-oriented.

Thanks Shannon for stopping by and answering some questions.

For more information about Shannon Delany and her books, check out her website:

To find her on Twitter: @shannon_delany