Giveaway! Win a copy of Serafina and the Black Cloak

In this week’s blog post I’m running a giveaway for a hardcover copy of, Serafina and the Black Cloak!

Robert Beatty Interview on Writer’s Digest

Recently I had the of honor interviewing local author Robert Beatty, the interview was featured on Writer’s Digest, you can read all about it here!

Writer’s Digest interview with best-selling author Robert Beatty.

To celebrate I’m giving away a hardcover copy of his best-selling novel Serafina and the Black Cloak. After the interview was released, I heard from a few folks that they would like to read the book, so I thought it would be great to give a copy away to one lucky reader!  The giveaway will run till December 14th at midnight (EST), so you should receive your prize in time for Christmas! (Click here to enter the giveaway or scroll down the page.) You can read it yourself or give it as a gift. My children and I have enjoyed the novel immensely, though it may be a little frightening for younger readers, you can read the first chapter below.

About Serafina and the Black Cloak:

SK Lamont author interview with Robert Beatty - Serafina and the Black CloakSerafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate. There’s plenty to explore in Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt’s vast and oppulent home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate’s maintenance man, have lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember. She has learned to prowl through the darkened corridors at night, to sneak and hide, using the mansion’s hidden doors and secret passageways.

But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows the clues to follow. A terrifying man in a black cloak stalks Biltmore’s corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore’s owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak’s true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.Serafina’s hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear, where she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must not only face her darkest enemy, but delve into the strange mystery of her own identity.

Here is the first chapter: Chapter 1 Excerpt

About Robert Beatty:

SK Lamont author interview with Robert BeattyRobert Beatty writes imaginative fiction for middle grade and young adult readers from his home in Asheville, NC.

His novel, Serafina and the Black Cloak (Disney Hyperion, July 2015), is a spooky mystery-thriller about a brave and unusual girl who lives secretly in the basement of the Biltmore Estate during the late 1890s. It’s an idea that grew from the author’s love of writing stories for his three daughters and from the rich history and beauty of Western North Carolina, particularly the forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Biltmore.

A former software entrepreneur, Beatty writes full-time now, but previously was one of the early pioneers of cloud computing, the founder/CEO of Plex Systems, and the chairman/CTO of Narrative Magazine. In 2007, he was named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He’s co-founder of Beatty Robotics, an enterprise with his two oldest school-age daughters that designs and builds custom robots for science centers and museums around the world.

Recently, publisher Disney Hyperion gave the go-ahead for two more Serafina books. Look for Book 2 in the series, Serafina and the Twisted Staff, in August 2016.

To Enter

Use the Rafflecopter widget below! You get an entry for every item you complete in the Rafflecopter widget (up to seven entries! – you can also come back once a day and ‘tweet about the giveaway’, for extra entries!). You also get one if you leave a comment on the Writer’s Digest article, that is relevant to the interview posted. (If you already commented on the Writer’s Digest interview page last week, just hit I entered, and I will take that as an indication that you wish to take part in this give away!) You must have a US postal address to enter. The winner will be announced here December 15th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will run till December 14th at midnight (EST), so you should receive your prize in time for Christmas!

Please share your comments in the comment box below, along with any other ideas you would like to share, I’d love to hear from you!

What book or books have influenced you the most as a writer or reader?

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14 replies
  1. Kat McCormick
    Kat McCormick says:

    I don’t know that I can come up with a definitive book or even list of books that have influenced as either a writer or reader, but this morning the first books that pop to mind are The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, and the Anne of Green Gables series. These all influenced me tremendously when I was little, and I believe these and many other books made me think beyond the realm of what is to consider what is possible.

    Thanks for a great post and for the contest – super fun! 🙂

    • S.K. Lamont
      S.K. Lamont says:

      Kat I loved The Chronicles of Narnia when I was a child, (still do!) they influenced me to believe in more than my eye could see! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Traci Nathaniel Walker
    Traci Nathaniel Walker says:

    Mr. Beatty’s first chapter is compelling, and I think it’ll be a fun book to read and share with my daughter. You did a lovely job with the interview for the Writer’s Digest website, S.K.

    It is interesting to me to learn about the books that inspired writers during childhood, so I’m glad you asked us to share these ourselves. I hope more visitors here will do so! My own favorite reads when young addressed the inner lives of children, so Judy Blume was influential. My all-time favorite childhood story, though, was My Side of the Mountain, by Jean Craighead George, about a boy living independently in the woods; and, independence or processing tragedy were favorite themes, (as in Bridge to Terabithia, Beat the Turtle Drum, Hatchet.).

    I eventually got into the dark fiction of Stephen King as a young teen, like so many of my friends, which led me to Poe, also: and, then I went crazy for dystopian society novels in my later teens.

    My ever-present short-story writer when a YA was (and still is) O. Henry, (also from N.C.), helped me escape to a pure and lovely place inside of myself with his classy but clever style, heartfelt character descriptions, and surprising or ironic twist endings. I still visit that place of sanctuary that he created within me now when I need to! I grew up in a hometown infamous for its Shakespearean Theater, so us schoolkids there were blessed with interesting exposure, guidance, and field trips in our English classes.

    • S.K. Lamont
      S.K. Lamont says:

      Wow Traci! Thanks for your awesome comments, this is quite an interesting array of books and I love your your descriptions, the meaning behind the books and how you found them relevant to your own walk. Very intriguing, thanks for sharing!

  3. Cindy
    Cindy says:

    Great blog post! Though I usually read YA, your post makes me want to go back to MG again. (Though, I have been on a MG streak these past two week, so I guess it would be fitting…) Thank you for sharing the post and interview! 🙂

  4. Charity
    Charity says:

    Great blog post! Little Women was one of the first books that really influenced me. I’ve also gotton inspiration from writers like Jessica Day George, Jackson Pearce, Melanie Dickerson, and Alex Flinn to name a few.

    • S.K. Lamont
      S.K. Lamont says:

      Charity, I see that you actually had the opportunity to interview, Jessica Day George, on your website, I’ll have to come over for a visit and read about her and her book Silver in the Blood, it has been on my radar for a while. 🙂

      Thanks so much for commenting!

  5. Amy Zlatic
    Amy Zlatic says:

    This is a great question, and one I can’t answer easily. I read so many books when I was younger (SO SO MANY), and I like to think that all of them have contributed in some way to my writing today. More recently, I love humor writers such as Jenny Lawson and David Sedaris, and the late, great Nora Ephron. The short stories of Alice Munro blow my mind. I am an equal opportunity reader, but I have found that the more I write, the more discerning of a reader I have become. I no longer feel compelled to finish a book with poor writing or giant plot holes, and I identify those books much more quickly now.

    • S.K. Lamont
      S.K. Lamont says:

      Amy it’s wonderful that you had the opportunity to read so many books when you were younger and I’m sure they all impacted you as a writer. When it comes to reading, as a writer, I know what you mean though about having a deeper awareness of the writing involved and how that actually affects your experience. A great book for me, is one where I can get lost in the story completely and don’t even notice the writer at all!

      Thanks so much for sharing!

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