Monday, August 3, 2015

༺☆ PANGALAX ☆༻ S.M. Koz

Title: Pangalax
Author: S.M. Koz
Release Date: August 3, 2015

Aveyana’s world will never be the same.

After an unexpected attack claims her mom, seventeen-year-old Veya is forced to abandon the only home she's ever known and the only boy she’s ever loved to make a new life on Pangalax, a US space station.

Heartbroken, angry, and homesick, she resents her dad’s decision to move and his demand to hide her unique abilities. As she suspected, appearing normal proves to be nearly impossible, especially around Kye, a way-too-handsome officer who is determined to break through her walls.

But can he be trusted?

Can anyone be trusted?

As Veya uncovers the deep, dark secrets of Pangalax, her very existence becomes threatened. Only one person can save her.

Is she willing to forget the past and trust him with her life?

Take a look at the Pangalax Book Trailer

(at the end of this post)

SM Koz was born in Michigan, but moved to North Carolina for college and never left.
She enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, photography, reading, spending time with foster kids who temporarily call her house home, and learning new things. When she’s not creating online training for pharmaceutical companies (her day job) or writing, Koz can be found at the local community college taking courses on various topics ranging from digital art to HTML to desktop publishing. Next in line are auto mechanics and cake decorating.

Being trained as a veterinarian, it’s not surprising that Koz and her husband were recently told they have a mini-zoo with their two dogs, fish, cockatiels, and foster cats. In the past, they have also had parakeets and a snake. Other than the fish, all the animals were acquired through rescue organizations, something Koz wholeheartedly supports.

Koz has written five novels, but only two are currently published.  Breaking Free is a YA contemporary romance/realism story about a teenage girl who struggles with cutting, while Pangalax is a YA romance/light sci-fi story about a girl forced to abandon her homeland and make a new life on a US space station.  Koz has also written Hunger Games fanfiction, which can be found online. 

Koz loves interacting with readers and other authors, so check her out on FB, Twitter, or Goodreads links below! 


“Omigod, are you okay? I’m so sorry, Veya.”
“It’s not your fault, Ashlyn. It was slippery, I was dizzy.”
“The party’s over. It’s time for you all to go home,” Kye says. He pulls me to my feet and leads me to the door. I wave to my friends as he jerks me around the corner.
His yanking causes me to stumble over my own feet, but he tightens his grip and prevents me from falling to the ground.
“Do I need to carry you?” he asks.
“No, it’s these damn shoes.” I tug my arm from his hold and then lean over to remove the stilettos, but the dizziness returns. As my hand lands on the wall to steady myself, I wonder if I’m getting sick. Maybe I have the flu or some exotic dizziness-inducing bug endemic to Pangalax. It could be called Vertigalax, I think with a giggle.
“You’re not even walking and you’re swaying all over the place,” he points out.
I pull off one shoe and then the other and take a deep breath while I stand, hoping that will counteract the spinning hallway.
He grabs the shoes from my hand and then puts his arm around my back, guiding me down the corridor again. I pull the sweatshirt tighter around my cut arm, thankful it’s soaking up all the blood.
Suddenly, I feel sleepy. I rest my head on his shoulder and close my eyes as he guides me.
“You smell nice,” I say, as I breathe in a clean fresh scent mixed with citrus. It makes me crave a glass of orange juice.
“You’re drunk.”
“Don’t be silly—I was drinking lemonade. But it may be the Vertigalax.”
“Lemonade? Is that what the kids are calling margaritas these days?”
“What’s a margarita?”
“If Larry’s mixing, mostly tequila. And you downed three of them pretty quickly.”
“Hmmm … Larry seems nice. I think he likes Courtney.”
When we round another corner, Kye stops abruptly. “Let me see your arm.”
I’m vaguely aware that I should hide it from him, but I don’t have the energy to fight. He runs his fingers along my skin, sending a chill through my body. I haven’t felt anything like that in weeks. I smile and lean against his chest. “That’s nice.”
“You don’t need stitches. But you do need to sleep this off, Aveyana.”
He tries to push me forward, but I hold my ground. “It’s always Aveyana with you.”
“My name is Veya,” I say, poking him in the chest.
“You need to go home.”
I yawn and curl my right arm around his shoulder. “That’s a really bad idea.”
He tries to push me forward again, but I don’t budge. Sighing, he picks me up and cradles me against his body. “It’s home or the medical pod. Take your pick.”
“How about military pod?”
“Why would you go there?”
“I need to pee.”
“You can do that when you get home.”
“I can’t go home.”
“Why not?”
“David won’t understand Vertigalax.”
“Your dad won’t understand that you’re drunk?”
I giggle again. “I’m not drunk!”

He makes another turn, and I relax in his arms. This is much easier than trying to walk. A few minutes later, he opens a door and lays me on a couch.

Author Interview Q&A

Q: What has been favorite part about writing and publishing books?
A: My favorite part has been interacting with readers, bloggers, and other authors.  Everyone has been so nice and supportive.  Even when my novel isn’t someone’s preferred type of book, they still provide me with encouraging words and helpful feedback.  It’s been absolutely wonderful, and I’m so happy I’ve been able to share my work with others! 

Q: Who are some of your favorite authors?
A: As far as mainstream authors, I’m a huge fan of Janet Evanovich, Stephenie Meyer, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Suzanne Collins, Nicholas Sparks, Robin Cook, Richelle Mead, and Patricia Cornwell. 
As far as indie authors, I enjoy Cassie Mae, Sara Mack, Penny Reid, and Jennifer Lane.    

Q: When you’re not writing, what do you like to do for fun?
A: I like to be outside with my husband, our foster kids, and our pets.  That can be hiking, camping, taking nature photos, jogging, or going to the dog park.  I also like to travel.  Visiting every continent is on my bucket list and something I hope to someday accomplish, although I still have a long way to go.

Q: In 10 words or less can you tell readers why they should read your books?
A: You’ll cry, laugh, smile, be heartbroken, and inspired!

Q: When and why did you begin writing?
A: Technically, I first started writing about nine years ago.  The story was a murder mystery that took place on a cruise ship and one of the main characters had an English bulldog named Penelope.  I wrote two pages, realized it was too hard, and then never looked at it again for five years.  After my husband and I moved to a sleepy little village, I found myself with a lot of free time.  One day while I was cleaning up computer files, I ran across my story with Penelope and was somewhat impressed by what I read.  Having lots of time on my hands, I decided to write a full-length YA novel.   That one was about a girl who moves to the beach to live with her older sister for the summer and falls in love with a boy as they help a stranded dolphin, named Maurice, recover from a mysterious disease.   That one will never be published, but it’s kind of fun to go back and see what my first attempt at a novel was like!  Since then, I’ve been writing about one book a year, some fanfiction and some original. 

Q: What books have most influenced your life most?
A: I’d have to say Gorillas in the Mist by Dr. Dian Fossey because I wrote about that book for my Duke University entrance application.  Luckily, I got in and my four years at Duke really shaped who I am.  Being an alumna also led to meeting my husband J.  

Q: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
A: Author Sara Mack.  She’s been a close friend for over 30 years and started writing three years ago.  She took the plunge first and self-published her Guardian Trilogy last year.  She is one of the main reasons I decided to self-publish my first book and has been a huge help, not only while I’m writing, but also while navigating the crazy world of indie authors.
Q: Do you see writing as a career?
A: No, writing is definitely a hobby for me.  It would be great if I could someday make enough money to consider it a career, but that day is not here yet.  Until then, I’ll continue to hold down a day job and write in my spare time.

Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your books?
A: I find little things to tweak every time I read through them, but, overall, I’m happy with the major plot points and characters. 

Q: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
A: I’ve always been an avid reader and daydreamer.  I used to make up stories in my head, but it wasn’t until I was suffering from complete boredom one day that I decided to write the story down.  It was much harder than I expected, and I didn’t end up trying again for another five years!

Q: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
A: Characterization can be difficult for me.  I want authentic characters, but it’s hard to be authentic when you’re creating characters who have vastly different values, backgrounds, and cultures than yourself.  For this reason, all of my stories so far have been told in first person from a teenage girl’s POV.  That helps me feel somewhat grounded since I was there.  Even if her life or personality is much different than mine, at least I have some insight into the teenage female mind.  I’m always impressed when authors are able to write from the opposite gender’s POV in a believable way.  I don’t think I’m there yet. 

Q: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
A: I love Stephenie Meyer for what she was able to accomplish: a stay-at-home mom who wrote four books that billions of people worldwide fell in love with.  Although she had an English background, she had no experience writing. Furthermore, her stories have been torn apart by critics, world-renowned authors, and millions of anti-fans.  People can tear apart her writing style, but it worked.  Isn’t the ultimate goal of writing to have readers fall in love with your story?  It seems to me like she succeeded even if she didn’t follow the typical writing standards of the day.  I like that.  She went outside the box and it worked.  I think it’s a good example of how literature, like everything, is constantly evolving.  

Q: Do you have any advice for other writers?
A: For aspiring writers, I say just keep writing.  And keep everything you write, even if it’s just a page or two.  Eventually, you’ll write something that when you look back at it, you’ll be impressed by yourself.  Pair that with a really good writing buddy and that will be all the motivation you’ll need to finish a full-length book.

Q: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
A: First, thanks for reading!  Second, please write reviews of whatever you read.  Authors depend on them!  Whether you love or hate the book, telling us your feelings and the reasons behind those feelings is very helpful to our growth as writers.

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