GIVEAWAY! Blog Tour: Stitch (Stitch Trilogy #1) by Samantha Durante with a guest post from the author

stitchStitch (Stitch Trilogy #1)
written by Samantha Durante
published by Samantha Durante via Smashwords

find it here: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Smashwords,  Goodreads

Why did I pick this book: I was fortunate enough to participate in Ms. Durante’s blog tour for her debut novel. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)

Did I enjoy this book: I really enjoyed this book. I was riveted by Stitch…glued to my Kindle until the very end. If you haven’t guessed it, I read every free chance I had.

When this book started, I thought it was a ghost story with time travel and a love story to boot. Boy was I wrong!! (I don’t usually read the book blurb immediately before diving into a book. I do read the blurb before accepting a review request…but there is a lot of time and books between that request and reading the book. So, I tend to forget the blurb. Makes the book all the more interesting in my opinion.)

This book had some twists that I could never have imagined! I loved it and Stitch kept me on my toes. There were also some great visuals. The author didn’t over explain anything which could have easily been done in this book. Everything was great.

I felt so sad for Alessa and her “past.” I wanted her to succeed, even more so once I found out what was actually going on. Isaac was a fantastic love interest and he made a great ghost. Joe played a small but vital role in this book. Janie…oh, Janie…was an awesome character! I so didn’t see that twist coming AT ALL!

I cannot wait for the next book to come out. I have to know what happens next…I have to know!


Would I recommend it: I would definitely recommend this book!

Will I read it again: I may not but I will definitely read book 2, Shudder.


About the book – from Goodreads: Her heart races, her muscles coil, and every impulse in Alessa’s body screams at her to run… but yet she’s powerless to move.

Still struggling to find her footing after the sudden death of her parents, the last thing college freshman Alessa has the strength to deal with is the inexplicable visceral pull drawing her to a handsome ghostly presence. In between grappling with exams and sorority soirees – and disturbing recurring dreams of being captive in a futuristic prison hell – Alessa is determined to unravel the mystery of the apparition who leaves her breathless. But the terrifying secret she uncovers will find her groping desperately through her nightmares for answers.

Because what Alessa hasn’t figured out yet is that she’s not really a student, the object of her obsession is no ghost, and her sneaking suspicions that something sinister is lurking behind the walls of her university’s idyllic campus are only just scratching the surface…

And now Every Free Chance Book Reviews would like to welcome Samantha Durante, author of Stitch, to the blog today!!! She has written the following guest post for all of you. Enjoy!

Overcoming the Self-Published Stigma
by Samantha Durante
When I announced the release of Stitch, there was one question I got over and over which I wasn’t really prepared for: “Who published it?”
When I tell people I self-published, their initial reaction often betrays something that I know they’d prefer to hide.  Because as supportive as everyone has been of my endeavor with Stitch, I know that like many people out there (and I myself am still struggling not to be one of them), at least some of my supporters feel that self-publishing isn’t real publishing.  So they try to hide the pity in their reply, but despite their best efforts to put on a happy face, I can still feel their discomfort – because a part of me still feels it too.
There’s no denying that there’s a stigma associated with publishing your own book.  “Vanity press” some call it, implying that your work wasn’t good enough to impress anyone but you, and when no one else in “real” publishing would pick it up, you published it on your own to satisfy your ego.  Ouch – that stings.  But I have to say it, because many of you are probably thinking it already; it’s the elephant in the room.
In our own defense, we self-published authors like to call ourselves “independent” – going it alone without the help of the big guys, sticking it to “The Man.”  It sounds gallant, romantic, admirable even – we’re putting every ounce of our own blood, sweat, and tears into chasing the American dream, trying to make it on our own merit.  But that’s not really an accurate picture, either, at least not in my case.
I wrote a lengthy post on my blog back in June (about a month before Stitch released) explaining why I chose to self-publish, but in a nutshell, it came down to these four reasons: 1. I’m impatient; 2. I didn’t expect a big publisher to actually help a debut author like me market my book; 3. I am a control freak; and 4. I wasn’t trying to break into the New York publishing scene as a career, so why waste my time when I could just put the book on Amazon myself in a few short weeks?
I knew there were challenges with self-publishing – the e-book formatting alone was a nightmare – but in the end, the benefit of getting my book (exactly the way I wanted it) onto readers’ shelves in a matter of weeks instead of months or years outweighed any other cost.  And so I went and did it.  I self-published Stitch.
And I did it proudly.  I knew that self-publishing was the right choice for me.  But as I’ve embarked on this blog tour, I’ve come to learn that the stigma against self-published authors is more entrenched than I ever expected.  Yes, things are changing in the publishing world, and more and more the stories of successful independent authors are starting to sway the hearts and minds of the industry, but like anything else, this is a slow churn.  So in the meantime, is the self-published stigma insurmountable?  No.  But it’s definitely a fight.
And to get around that fight, I found I needed to clamber my way through some windows.
As they (whoever ‘they’ are) like to say, “When life closes a door, it opens a window.”  Any self-published author (especially a completely unknown author like me) should expect closed doors when it comes to marketing your book.  We just have to accept that major media outlets DO NOT CARE that we have published a book, and that even a blogger with as few as 10 followers is going to question whether we are actually worth their time.  This is not the end of the world – you’ve just got to be creative about finding other opportunities to get the word out.  And when you finally do find a window, you’ve got to be strategic about opening it WIDE.
When I set out to organize my blog tour, I was surprised to find how many bloggers straight up refused to review self-published books.  I would spend 10 minutes browsing a blog, reading their review policies, and getting very excited that this blogger might just love my book since it seemed right up their alley, and then at the very bottom of the review policy there’d be a tiny little disclaimer saying, “Sorry: no self-published books.”  At first I’d just mark a Lnext to that blog in my notes and move on with a disappointed sigh, but after this happened about 30 times, I started to feel pretty crushed.
And honestly, I don’t blame any blogger who is wary of self-published books.  Self-published works quite simply do not go through as rigorous a quality check – especially in terms of grammatical errors and editing – as a New York-published book would.  Plus, no one can deny that there are still a lot of weirdos out there self-publishing stuff that most people don’t want to read.  As a blogger, if you don’t have the stamp of approval from a credible publisher/agent, how do you know this book is worth your time?  And if the book turns out NOT to be worth your time and you decline to review it, how do you know you’re not offending some psychopath who’s going to post hateful things about you all over the internet (or worse)?
So I feel for bloggers – I really do.  With millions of authors (self-published or not) pounding down their door each day – and only so many hours in the day to read – their job is not an easy one.  You simply can’t accept every review request you receive, and I’m sure it’s hard to have to say, “No,” a hundred times a week (or more) to people who are very eagerly awaiting your response.
So with this being reality, the only thing for a self-published author to do is to be persistent, and to not give any blogger any excuse to reject you except the fact that your book just doesn’t appeal to them.  That, and be prepared to climb through any open “windows” you may find like a cat burglar on a hot streak.
In my case, first I found sites that listed blogs who are open to reviewing self-published books – that was a huge time- and disappointment-saver.  Then, when I set out to contact these people, I followed everyone’s review policy to the letter (which included NOT contacting people who said they don’t review self-published books), I made my correspondence friendly and professional, I included in my request (in an organized fashion) every relevant piece of information they might need to make a decision about the book, and I offered any format review copy and any piece of content (interview, guest post, giveaway, etc.) they might want.
Essentially, I did whatever was in my power to make it easy for them to accept.  When they did accept, I was grateful (and I REALLY was), and when they didn’t, I was gracious.  When bloggers kindly offered to refer their friends to the tour, I said, “Thank you very much!” and accepted their generosity.  And as word got out about my book and I saw people talking about it online, I reached out to them and asked them to join the tour.  So did this strategy work?
I set out with a goal of finding 10 blogs, and before long I had booked a different blogger (or two or three) every day for two months straight.  You be the judge.
So in the end, do I regret self-publishing?  Not in the least.  I still think it was the right decision for me at the right time in my life.  Am I anti traditional publishing?  Not at all!  For some people that is the right path – and who knows, perhaps at some point it will be the right choice for me as well.
What about my next book – will I self-publish again?  As of right now, yes, I am planning to.  Because despite the stigma, it feels good to do it yourself, to take pride in your work and take full responsibility for its success.  And the next time someone asks who published my book, I’m going to do my best to choke back my rationalizations, and give them the only answer I can: Me.  Because being a successful author – self-published or not – is nothing to be ashamed of.

samantha duranteAbout the author: Samantha Durante lives in New York City with her fiancé, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. Stitch is her first novel.

Find Ms. Durante here: webFacebook, Goodreads

And now for the awesome giveaway!!! Ms. Durante has agreed to giveaway 3 – yes, 3! – ebook copies of Stitch!!!! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!


  1. […] part of this tour because I really enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, Stitch. (See my review here.) (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.) Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this […]

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