Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Guest post by Gabi Stevens + Giveaway

Today I am very happy to welcome Gabi Stevens to Ex Libris, for whom today is a special day: her second novel in the Time of Transition series, AS YOU WISH releases today! Congratulations Gabi! So not only is Gabi here to celebrate her new release but also talk to you about themes in her novels (and she also has a treat for you at the end, just saying ;-p). 

So please give a warm welcome to

Gabi Stevens!

Theme is an integral part of a novel. Not to take you back to your school days (unless you wish to be reminded of them), but theme is basically the meaning behind a story, the message the author wants you to take from her novel. I have my own opinion about how blatant a theme should be (I hate books that hit me over the head with theme), but I will tell you that my books do have themes. In AS YOU WISH, my latest release, one of the themes is about looking beneath the surface.

Think about it. So many things are different once you peel away the layers. A truffle is an ugly fungus dug up by pigs, yet commands hundreds of dollars in gourmet food shops. The oyster, bumpy, gray and dull on the outside, harbors pearls on the inside (or if you like to eat them as I do, a delicious treat). Rocks contain ore, books have their covers (and you know what they say about books and their covers), and kings are not gods or infallible. We’ve all met someone who was gorgeous on the outside but stupid as sin inside, or ugly to look at, but who becomes beautiful when their spirit is revealed.

No, I didn’t write the book with this theme in mind. I just wrote the story. The theme appeared by itself after I wrote it (I like themes best when they appear organically). But this theme strikes a special chord with me. Appearances can deceive. My heroine, Regina Scott, runs a bakery. Born without magic to a magical family, Reggie believes she will live her life out as a Groundling until the fairy godmothers tell her she’s one of them. And in the course of dealing with new powers, a bad guy, and an outrageous mother, she has to find strength she didn’t know she had. Appearances. This theme runs through most of the characters in this book, both in good ways and bad.

But two characters in particular prove they have more to them than their appearance might let one think. Tommy and Joy are Reggie’s bakers and friends. Many people might dismiss Tommy and Joy as incapable or disabled. See, Tommy has Down syndrome, and Joy is simply Joy. But Reggie sees beyond what they can’t do and lets them shine. Appearances.

I’m doing something special with AS YOU WISH. There is a group that helps people see past the surface. Best Buddies International matches people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) with a buddy to form a friendship. That’s it. It’s that simple. Best Buddies™ peels away that outer layer and exposes the person underneath. Not the disability, not the limitations, but the person, the heart, the core. The reason I’m so taken with this group? My own daughter has been a part of Best Buddies™ for two years, and she has blossomed and grown because she now has friends at school.

If you want to find out more about Best Buddies™, please visit their website at http://www.bestbuddies.org./ As for me, I’m pledging ten percent of my royalties from AS YOU WISH to this organization, my own small part in combating those deceptive outer appearances, and my own small way to thank them for all they’ve done for my daughter.

I’d love to hear your stories of finding treasure beneath the surface...or the opposite, finding trash beneath the glamour. Dish, dish.


You can reach Gabi at:

Her website: http://www.gabistevens.com/
Her blog: http://www.gabistevens.blogspot.com/

The Time of Transition series:

The Wish List (Time of Transition Trilogy)
Book #1: THE WISH LIST (May 2010)

As You Wish
Book #2: AS YOU WISH (April 2011)

Book #3: WISHFUL THINKING (March 2012)


Gabi has generously offered a paperback copy of As You Wish to a lucky commentator!

As You Wish

All you have to do is

1) leave a comment/question to Gabi or answer her question above, and
2) leave a way for me to contact you if you win (e-mail, Twitter handle, etc.)

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends 6 May 2011!

Good luck!

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