Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Gabi Stevens Blog Post and Giveaway!


The Coolest Bit of Magic that Happened While Writing

We writers hope that our stories ring with truth for our readers, and often that means research or putting ourselves into the story. In writing Wishful Thinking, the third book in my Time of Transition series, I had a little more freedom, since I was writing about magic, but nevertheless, I had things I needed to research. I went to school in San Diego and my husband is from there, but I pored over maps and drove the streets when visiting my father in law so I could get the feel of the city for the novel. I pulled out my Latin dictionary for the spells, and my Old English textbook for other words. But one element required the most research for this book—weaving.

My heroine, Stormy, grows up in a colony of artists, so it’s not unexpected that she too becomes an artist. Her media—textile, fabrics and weaving. Stormy weaves. I don’t, but I read articles, watched videos, viewed pictures, and learned not nearly enough to weave myself. I have to admit that when I had finished my research, I really wanted a loom. Weaving is so cool, so historic, so primal. I found it very appealing.

It’s one thing to research something and then try to transfer the knowledge to the page. I did my best. In the opening chapter, Stormy weaves. I tried to convey the creativity, the effort it takes, the process.

So what was the magic? When my editor read that opening scene, her only question to me was “Do you weave? This sounds wonderful.” What a relief. I felt as if I had won a prize. Then recently, my husband read Wishful Thinking (yes, he reads all my novels and enjoys them). After he finished the scene he looked at me with a frown on his face. My heart dropped.

“I thought I knew you.”

“What do you mean?”

“Do we have a secret staircase to some secret attic where you have a loom? I didn’t know you could weave.”

Wishful Thinking is dear to my heart. It finishes the story that started in The Wish List, and continued in As You Wish. It’s the series that made me believe in magic again...of all sorts. Because, of course, there’s a happy ending. Wishful Thinking is a romance, and happy endings are the best magic of all.

So what about you, readers. What bits of magic do you find in your lives? And you weavers, how did I do? (You can read the first chapter at my web site, www.GabiStevens.com)

Gabi Stevens was born in SoCal to Hungarian parents. After spending time in boarding school, college, and studying abroad, she spent seven years in the classroom trying to teach eighth graders the joys of literature. An award winning author, Gabi writes in New Mexico where she lives with her robotics engineer husband, three daughters, and two dogs. She loves to play games, has a wicked addiction to reading, avoids housework and cooking, and doesn’t travel nearly as much as she would like to. Discover the magic in Gabi’s books:

THE WISH LIST (available now); AS YOU WISH (available now); and WISHFUL THINKING (just available now!)

You can find her at www.GabiStevens.com; www.GabiStevens.wordpress.com; Facebook at Facebook.com/GabiStevensfans; or Twitter at twitter.com/GabiStevens.

Thanks Gabi for coming on the blog. I actually have done some weaving and it was fun! Love that you were able to fool everyone!
Giveaway!
Gabi is giving away 2 books to one lucky winner. The Wish List and As You Wish both which have recently been reviewed by AimeeKay. She loved them! Oh and it's INTERNATIONAL! Just fill out the rafflecopter form below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
If anyone had problems entering the giveaway before, you should be able to do so now. I just had to make on option mandatory. Thanks.

68 comments:

  1. I live in a place with very changeable weather (hello volcanic ash!) so the sun shining in a nice sky is magic to me!

    Thanks for the giveaway, nice to find your blog.

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    1. Yeah, me too. I think every place claims, "Don't like the weather? Wait an hour." But here in the high dessert it can really be true.

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  2. I have to agree that the weather can seem magical at times, especially here it is May in Texas and the temperatures are still sorta comfortable :)

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    1. I love summer here. Hot in the morning, thunderstorms in the afternoon that create rainbows and cool everything down.

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  3. There is magic in the everyday...whether it is a spring flower blooming or a crazy frightening lightening storm!!

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    1. I totally agree, and I make an effort to find the magic daily. It makes life better.

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  4. I find magic in many things in my life. But then again I'm Pagan. I see the magic in watching my grandchildren frustrate my kids in exactly the same they I was frustrated. I see the magic in the ocean (I live right by Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn) and the wonders of the waters changing color as a storm brews overhead, the whitecaps forming, and then the lightning as it crashes over the bay.

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    1. Sounds beautiful, including the grandchildren causing frustration. I'd be laughing, and anything that makes me laugh I consider magic.

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  5. Hi Gabi, Thanks for an interesting and informative post. You mention that you got out your Latin dictionary for the spells, were you in any way influenced by other things to come up with the spells? (I'm thinking of the likes of, dare I say it, Harry Potter)

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    1. In my world, spells come from the wizard. There are no set words, but some spells are so common, like summoning spells, that common words have evolved. To my way of thinking, those words would have to be Latin, since Latin was such a common language in history (And we are talking centuries of Arcani, my magical people, here.) Stormy's spells are pretty loose ("Well, what are you waiting for?") and Kristin and Reggie both used words that fit what they needed. I imagine (and that would probably be me because I'm like this) there would be some Arcani who think Latin is proper and would do all their spells in Latin (like Lily). Hope that answers your question.

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  6. PS. I'm loving your new header Melissa.

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  7. Magic can be found in the small things in life, like a blackbird singing, a cat purring, a lovely day, a big smile that makes you smile in turn or a child's innocence. Life is full of this kind of magic!

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    1. Absolutely. That's part of my own personal philosophy of life and part of the reason I wrote about magic.

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  8. “I thought I knew you.”

    “What do you mean?”

    “Do we have a secret staircase to some secret attic where you have a loom? I didn’t know you could weave.”

    LOVE IT! That sounds very much like a conversation I would have with my husband:) I have no idea how to weave, but I think it would be a blast to learn:)

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    1. I really wanted to buy a loom after I finished research. As if I'd have time! But honestly, my husband is the best magic in my life (altogether now...Awwwww).

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  9. Magic, for me, is Spring, how it one day can be all gray and the next, green, lush, varm *happy sigh* Can you tell that we finally had a day with sun and warmth? =D And creating anything, that´s magic, too. When you finish what you´ve been struggling with, that´s magic.
    Looking forward to reading this series!
    best wishes, Linda xo

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    1. I'd choose Spring as magic except for one thing: allergies. But I love losing the winter clothes.

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  10. Thanks for the lovely post, I enjoyed reading it. Magic happened to me at age 39, when I fell in love after a long time of living on my own. I was happy, but being together just added a bit more to my happiness.
    I also enjoy the magic of nature, the flowers, the birds, sunshine, it all makes me happy and content to just sit still and enjoy looking at it.

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    1. Love is very special magic. Congratulations on living your own love story.

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  11. Not entering the contest, I already have read and reviewed all three books in your series. But I wanted to comment and say I LOVED them!!!! Are you planning on writing any more stories set in the same world as these three?

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    1. I love this world and I would love to write more in it. Tank still needs his story. and can you imagine Jake as a grown up? I can. Sometimes though we have to remember publishing is business. Maybe when I get more organized I could put up a couple of stories on my own. It's a brave new world in publishing.

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  12. Gotta go with the weather in Texas. The saying goes if you don't like the weather wait a day and it will change. It is absolutely magical...and usually annoying!

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    1. I love the weather in New Mexico. For me it's perfect. Shhhh.

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  13. I am not a weaver, and I don't believe in magic although I love to read paranormal books!

    This is the second time in less than a week that I have seen this book featured on a book blog, and it does sound very interesting!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  14. To me, family is my magic, always surrounding me and pushing me on. :)

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    1. Family can be magic...except when they make a mess (just kidding).

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  15. I'm having trouble with the rafflecopter, it doesn't give me any items to unlock in order to enter your contest. Could you please help me find out what could possibly be the problem?

    But I looked at the comments left by others and they seem to talk about where they find magic. I'm guessing that's one requirement of entry. My answer is I find magic in books. They take us to worlds and events away from our everyday lives :)

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    1. Wulf,
      You left me no way to get to you so I hope you see this. The rafflecopter peeps had me change it so there is one mandatory entry. It seems to be working that way. I'd enter you manually, but as I said, I have no way of contacting you so I'd have no e-mail. You should be able to enter now.

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  16. I live outside the city, so I'm surronded by green. I always find magic seeing the flowers and the butterflies. I love butterflies for me they are the most magical beings. And of course the books.
    Thanks for this!
    Kises
    Ruty

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    1. Flowers, I like. Butterflies...dare I confess I have a slight fear of butterflies. And moths. Irrational, I know.

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  17. How my kids can change my moods. I can be so mad at them and then they do something or say something that is so darn cute. And like magic, I'm laughing at them.

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    1. Love it. That's happened to me many a time.

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  18. OMG what the heck!?! I thought I had these already. lol Better double check my wishlist since they're not on my Kindle.

    Anyway... I don't weave but there IS something really fascinating about it. The intricacy, the patience, the artistry of it. Lately my life feels very lacking in magic. But there've been times things have been quite magical. :) I think children, especially the very young ones, can bring magic back into an adult's life when they've forgotten how magical mundane things can really be. My toddler has been really good at helping me get some of that back.

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    1. The first time we took our kids to Disneyland, after both my husband and I grew up in So.Cal and went yearly, was absolutely magical. I totally agree that kids can bring magic. They can also bring a mess, but that's another topic.

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  19. My magic is definitely found daily in my kids. They are full of wonder which rubs off on me.

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  20. I find my magic in books. :P They really do transport one to another world.

    I also want to thank you for making the giveaway international- as someone who doesn't live in the US (or Canada/other typical giveaway-ok countries), it's sometimes hard to come across newer (and older, too!) writers and books that are of interest to us.
    Not just for giveaways, really, but to some it's also hard to find a way to purchase them online, so these kind of giveaways are a great chance. :)

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  21. Magic, oh I am too negative today (sore throat :/ But I am trying...a hug, honestly there is magic in a warm hug when you are feeling bad

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    1. Sorry you're feeling poorly. Hope you're better soon. Cyber hug. Not quite the same, is it?

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  22. I think there is so much magic out there - the way a flower or might oak come from little seeds. Or how any baby animal can melt a heart...
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. My favorite growing magic? Tomatoes from the garden. Can't be beat.

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  23. I'm always suprised as how beautiful the natural world is - it always feels magical when spring comes round and all the flowers come to life! :-)

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    1. I put up my hummingbird feeder just last week and already I have multiple visitors. Nature is magical.

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  24. When you're feeling down and then someone smiles at you and it turns your world around.- that's magical :)

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    1. Smiles are great magic. (Okay, corny, but they really are.)

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  25. I think being able to read and be transported to another place, or even another world is completely magic. Every time I get a new book, just thinking about the magic it contains makes me so happy and excited to delve into the story. I feel so bad for those who can't or won't read, they're missing so much.

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    1. Books are awesome magic--they transport you to other places and times, they give you adventure without actually risking your own life, they're cathartic and wonderful and definitely magical.

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  26. Wonderful! That is probably one of the nicest comments for a husband to make to a writer. :) So glad the research came over so well for you in the book. :)

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  27. I would love to read your series. What inspires you to be a writer? Tore923@aol.com

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  28. Thanks for the fun post and giveaway! This is so serendipity! I just picked up Wishlist at the bookstore :)

    I don't necessarily believe in magic (which is why reading about it for me is truly an escape to another new world) but I do find joy in my dog. He is always so happy, no matter what and seems to think that snuggles cure everything!

    I'm looking forward to reading Wishlist and I hope that there are many more in this series :)

    efender1(at)gmail(dot)com

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  29. Aaaah, YES! HEAs are the best magic of all!

    I can imagine that it must take a lot of research to build your own magical realm. Getting a feel of the old languages and the surrounds is probably key, and as intensive as it is, I bet it is also loads of fun because of all the possibilities.

    Fantastic guest post. Thanks for sharing.

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  30. Haha - I Love your husband's reaction to your book. What an eloquent and charming thing to say!

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  31. I find magic in the books I read. That is probably why I an urban fantasy reader :)

    Cherry Mischievous

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  32. I love Gabi and these books are fantastic!

    Y'all should really read them and love them!

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  33. I find magic in my pets and spending time with my family. Thanks for the chance to win!

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  34. I have a mini-loom from when I was a child. I made small dolly blankets. An expert I am not.

    I find magic all around me. A smile, a touch, beauty.

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  35. I find magic in the night sky, in the stars & constellations.

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  36. I think magic is in the air...in the blooming flowers, the birds in the air and especially during a thunderstorm!

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  37. Sounds great. I would love to win a copy of both of these books. Who doesn't like a good read about magic and romance.

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  38. I didn't know how to answer to this question, and I was wondering for a few days but I think I will say in all the little things that surprise us all the time. thanks for giveaway!

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  39. Mmmm, I don't really see magic in things and I'm not a weaver, so I'll ask Ms. Stevens a question. What's up next for you, writing-wise? Do you have anything on your plate or are you taking a break?

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  40. I see magic in fairies!
    Thank-you for the chance to win some great books!

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  41. I guess I see magic in the little everyday things that make me laugh!

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  42. Love is the strongest magic of all, isn't it? I'm lucky enough to feel that magic each and every day!
    Lethea B
    Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

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  44. The best magic is the one you create yourself. Never give up, do everything in your power to reach your goal and you would be surprised by the wonders it does.

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Thanks for commenting! I ❤ comments!