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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

When Reality Meets Fantasy by Amanda Bonilla & Giveaway!

Please help me welcome, Amanda Bonilla!

First of all, thanks so much to Full Moon Bites for hosting today’s blog tour stop. I’m so excited to be here!

Even though I write urban fantasy, I find inspiration in the world around me. By opening my mind to a multitude of possibilities, my imagination can roam free. I once wrote an entire character sketch based on a girl who attended one of my volleyball camps (oh, by the way, I used to coach high school volleyball). Tall and willowy, with large, shining brown eyes and delicate features, this girl couldn’t have looked more like a faerie. She stood as if keeping a secret: shoulders hunched, knees turned in slightly, her brown hair creating a veil over her face. I couldn’t help but wonder if perhaps dainty, pointed ears were hidden beneath that hair. I became so lost in the notes I began to scribble, that I sort of checked out of reality. Volleyball? What? Is that what we’re here for? Writer’s brain took over, and my imagination swallowed me whole.

The hubs and I go out into the woods behind our house all the time. He’s a hunter/gatherer type and if it’s not morel mushrooms in the spring, it’s huckleberries in the summer or wild game in the fall. For the record: I don’t do the wild game thing. The only prey I stalk is of the fruit/vegetable variety. Out in the woods, however, with the trees towering above me and wisps of milkweed floating by on the breeze, a simple trek for mushrooms can become research for whatever project I’m working on. Who’s to say tiny creatures aren’t watching us from behind a bush or hollowed-out tree?

A simple praying mantis was the inspiration for my Lyhtan race: Shaede cousins and their mortal enemies. There is something so intelligent in the way praying mantises look. If you study one up close, it will study you back. Tilt its head just so as if in contemplation. It wasn’t a leap to imagine this mantis as seven feet tall, with sharp, pointed teeth and corn silk-soft hair. In my mind’s eye, its limbs became more human in shape, and before long, a back-story began to emerge. A creation myth and foundation for its existence.

I’m lucky to have been brought up in a family full of wild imaginations. I had cousins to play make-believe with, and an aunt who spent vacations from college taking her nieces and nephews on forest treks, top-secret missions, and elaborate picnics. My mom is never without a book on her side table, and my grandma read to us every time we went to her house to visit. I was raised with the attitude that the world held endless possibilities. The only limit to what I could think up was in my own mind. The world is as fantastic as you make it. You can choose to see the mundane, or you can make the people, places, and things in your life so much more.     

How about you? Have you ever seen something in your day to day life that set your imagination racing?



Amanda Bonilla lives in rural Idaho with her husband and two kids. She’s a part-time pet wrangler, a full-time sun worshipper, and only goes out into the cold when coerced. She loves the outdoors, black clothes, pink appliances and thinks junk food should be a recognized food group. In the summer, she can be found sitting by the lake, enjoying the view from her dock.

Find Amanda Bonilla at:

Look out for Amanda Bonilla's new novel Shaedes of Gray the first in her Shaede Assassin series; Coming December 6th 2011 by Signet

"In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind—an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

When Darian's next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she's taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished..."

Purchase this novel:


Amanda Bonilla has offered to giveaway a copy of Shaedes of Gray to one lucky winner!

US Only. To enter use the Rafflecopter form below! Please let me know if you have any problems with the Rafflecopter form.




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