"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."

- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin

Friday, November 7, 2014

Blog Tour (Deleted Scene, Interview and Giveaway): SING SWEET NIGHTINGALE (The Dream War Saga #1) by Erica Cameron (YA)

The Dream War Saga #1
by Erica Cameron
Release date: March 4th, 2014
Published by: Spencer Hill Press
Genre: Young Adult
Format: Paperback, eBook


Mariella Teagen hasn't spoken a word in four years. 

She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever. 

Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.

Calease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow caused the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Calease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.

Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella's life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.

Dream War Saga Links
Website / Tumblr


The bell rings and I follow the line of students plodding like cattle toward the door. I wonder how anyone can find anything enlightening or stimulating in this kind of environment. The very building seems to sap the life out of everything within its walls. 

"Hey, Mariella?"

The sound of my name pierces through the music and I jerk to a stop, looking around. My eyes meet the pale blue eyes of the brunette who left class early. I'm surprised she knows my name; I would have bet only people with access to my attendance records know I exist. I switch my hand from my iPod to my nightingale and nod at the girls since she seems to be expecting some kind of a response. 

Stepping to the right to pass her, she surprises me again by quickly blocking into my path. I glance at her and slowly pull one of my headphones out. What is wrong with the world today? Do I have a sign on my back that says, "Talk to me, please?"

"Um, you're the only person left in Honors who hasn't served as a mentor." She tucks a strand of hair behind her ear as she shifts her weight. "There's a student waiting in the main office. Will you do it?" 

You have got to be kidding me. Without even remembering what in the word "mentor" means within the context of her request, I know it's a job I do not want. Suddenly, an old memory surfaces and it clicks. Mentors play tour guide to new students for their first week. They provide directions, explain the rules of the school, and are generally helpful. In othr words, they're the complete opposite of me. Being a mentor will mean paying attention in school. It will mean knowing things like people's names and will definitely mean speaking. I can barely remember what my own voice sounds like - I only open my mouth after I've gone to sleep. 

Turning to Blue Eyes, I raise an eyebrow and shake my head. 

"It won't be easy for you and I would do it myself, but I can't. Just..." Blue Eyes trails off and starts rubbing a silver bracelet on her left wrist. "Ask someone if you don't know the answer to his questions and use a notebook to talk to him."

I look down at my empty hands. I don't even own a notebook. I stopped bringing anything to school a couple of years ago after realizing I never used any of it. I don't even have a pen. 

Blue Eyes sighs. I'm either annoying her or she thinks I'm pathetic. I can't tell. She reaches down and unzips her messenger bag, digging through it for a minute and coming back up with a black and white patterned book and a blue pen. She flips the book open and leans against a locker to write something on the inside cover before passing the notebook and pen to me. 

"Here," she says. "I wrote down my info for you, just in case."

Opening the book, I see KT Dowling and an email address written there. Her thoughtfulness surprises me. She must know I won't use a phone number. I ponder turning her down, but the bell rings; we're already running late. The moment is now. Yes or no.

Refusing will mean more than not dealing with a new kid. KT will plead with me for a while, hoping change my mind. She'll tell whoever is in charge of the mentor program that I refused. They'll probably tell my parents. Who knows what my parents will decide to do about it, especially since they're working on this new let's-get-Mariella-into-college scheme. Refusal will be complicated but submission is impossible. 

Shaking my head, I try to pass the notebook back to her. 

"Really?" Her eyebrows pull together as she takes the book and spins it in her hands. "Um, all right. Guess I'll see if anyone else can do it. Just don't forget to let the office know when you're doing your community service project."

Wait. What? I cock my head to the side and stare at her, waiting for an explanation. She never mentioned a community service project. Blue Eyes sighs a third time and I start to feel guilty for bothering her so much... well, almost feel guilty. 

"The students who opt out of the mentor program have to participate in community outreach instead. It's not so bad, you just have to put in about thirty hours somewhere in town and write a two page paper about the experience."

I've been backed into a corner I didn't even know existed. What kind of stupid requirement is this? I do not want to guide a stranger around school but I really don't want to waste time on some pointless after-hours project. Damn. Today is going downhill so fast. 

Covering my eyes for a moment, I take a deep breath and nod. I'll mentor. It's the lesser of two evils. "Great!" KT quickly gives me back the notebook and pen, a wide smile curving her lips and lighting up her eyes. "He's waiting for you in the office. I have to get back to class. I'll see you there, okay?"

She practically runs away, probably scared I'll change my mind again, so I turn and head in the opposite direction. Walking through the empty halls is odd, almost eerie. As much as I ignore the people who usually surround me, I've never passed through these halls without them. It's almost as though their presence strengthens my resistance. Now my resistance is met by nothing. A fizzing sensation begins to fill my body, starting in my stomach and traveling out to the tips of my fingers and the bottom of my feet. I shift the notebook and pen into one hand and quickly reach for my nightingale. It soothes me as soon as I touch it, but the uncomfortable feeling falls away only after I breathe like Orane taught me and expand the light of the nightingale until it covers my entire body. 

I hold tight to my token for the rest of the walk, moving as slowly as I can manage without actually stopping. A sign sticking out from the wall on my left tells me I've reached the office. Now all I have to do is open the door and go inside. Right. Easy. If I want to do it. I take down my hood and adjust my headphones, stalling for time. 

At last I admit there's nothing else to do except reach forward an push the door open. 

"That should be your mentor now," I hear someone say before I step inside. Sighing, I wonder if this poor schmuck has any idea what he's in for.

The questions to this interview are based on not having read the book and 
concentrating solely on the deleted scene... 

1 - What was your inspiration to create a story about a 'nightingale', Mariella, who can only sing in her dreams
The original inspiration for the story came from a combination of two songs played back to back at just the right time. “Mariella” is a song by Kate Nash and the whole thing is basically the story of a girl named Mariella who decides not to speak. After that came a song by Silversun Pickups called “Creation Lake.” The lyrics there talked about 24 parts of the day, which led me to wonder “what happens during the 25th part of the day?” When I combined the willingly silent girl with a world that only exists at midnight (in the 25th part of the day), I had the beginnings of Sing Sweet Nightingale. Once I started writing, I knew I wanted a special nickname for Mariella, something with mythology and weight behind it, but something still seemingly harmless. I remembered the (very short) song from Cinderella and looked into the stories surrounding the nightingale. After some research, I realized it was a perfect fit in more ways than one. Everything else unfolded from there!

2 - How did you come up with the names to your characters? Like Mariella's, and especially, Orane's and Calease's?
Mariella is named after the Nate Nash song that inspired her character, but Orane and Calease were more complicated. Orane is actually a girl’s name in French that means “rising,” but Calease is a name I invented. I wanted their names to be distinct yet not attached to anything people would already know. The associations people have with certain names can be very strong! That’s one of the many reasons character names are so important. Choose the wrong one and readers can get the wrong impressions of the characters.

3 - What does the nightingale mean to Mariella?
The nightingale represents the promise she made to Orane and, really, her relationship with him in general. It’s a reminder of how much, in theory, he cares about her. It’s also a way for her to remember Orane’s world during the other 24 hours of the day.

4 - How is Mariella in the Honors program when she doesn't pay attention or bring her school supplies to school anymore?
She studies at home a lot. There’s really only so much of a class that involves a participation grade and so if she can pass the tests and turn in papers, then she gets the grades to stay in the honors program! Also, because she’s labeled as having a “disorder” by the school system, Mari is allowed certain extensions and loopholes. She turns in extra papers every semester in every class, for example, to make up for her silence and distraction during class. Because she’s so studious, she’s actually in the running for Valedictorian. She and K.T. are practically tied.

5 - How do you switch back and forth writing two different points-of-views? Did you find yourself favoring one over the other?
Writing Sing Sweet Nightingale was the first time I’d tried writing a story that switched POV within the same story. It had to happen! Trying to tell this story from only one person’s perspective meant missing out on so many details. So, yes, I knew it was necessary. Writing it was a whole different story. Although writers can try to make their characters as distinct as possible, they all still originate from the same place—inside your brain. Keeping the voices of all the different characters distinct is really a challenge. I didn't necessarily favor Hudson, but with him it was easier. With Hudson, he appeared in the first draft much the same way you see him in the published version. Mariella was the one whose voice I had to tweak and modify (and then outright change) throughout the writing and revising and editing process. I really enjoyed it, actually, figuring out how to portray the inner monologues of two very different humans. Not every book I ever write will include the dual POV (sometimes a dual POV destroys the suspense of a story and some stories simply don’t need it) but I like playing with it if I can.

First-Place Prize: Signed copy of Sing Sweet Nightingale, bracelet, two bookcover pendants
Second-Place Prize: Bracelet and two pendants
Third-Place Prize: Two pendants 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
(*Bumbles and Fairy-Tales will not be held responsible for any lost, damaged, unclaimed, etc. prizes.)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Erica Cameron

After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Erica graduated with a double major in psychology and creative writing from Florida State University and began pursuing a career as an author.

Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, dance fan, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, ex-Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon d├ęcor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.

Her debut novel, Sing Sweet Nightingale, released March 2014 and it was the first volume of The Dream War Saga, a four-book young adult series.

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  1. This really looks like it will be very good. I also love the cover on it.Will put this on my TBR list since not coming out to next year!!!

  2. I love the storyline of Mariella and Orsane. Two different worlds literally that separate them.

  3. I love reading about parallel universe's! Esp when dreams are involved!
    Mary G loki


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