Thursday, February 28, 2013

Stitch by Samantha Durante: Guest Post, Giveaway, Review

Today I am happy to feature Samantha Durante, author of Stitch, who is talking about her appreciation for strong female leads, comparing Buffy and Bella.  Samantha is also giving away an e-book of Stitched, which you can enter to win below.  

Title:  Stitch 
by Samantha Durante
Length: 75,000 words (314 pages)
Sample chapters: Ch1-5 (38 pages)
Release date: August 1st, 2012
Genre/Keywords: Paranormal Romance, Ghost, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult, New Adult

Stitch Synopsis
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…
The opening installment in a twist-laden trilogy, Stitch spans the genres of paranormal romance and dystopian sci-fi to explore the challenges of a society in transition, where morality, vision, and pragmatism collide leaving the average citizen to suffer the results.
Buy Stitch on Amazon or Borrow Free from Kindle Owners' Lending Library!   
Also available to borrow for FREE from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library 
(Amazon Prime members only).

Add Stitch to Goodreads

Guest Post 
Buffy: The Ultimate Heroine 
by Samantha Durante, Author of Stitch

I recently came across the following infographic on Facebook:

Now, I’m as big of a Twilight fan as the next girl.  But I’ll be honest here – Bella Swan drove me absolutely nuts, and frankly, so did Edward Cullen.  I managed to fall in love with these characters despite my better judgment, because let’s face it, it was an engaging story (and I was extremely gratified to see Bella’s transformation by the end, thank you Stephenie Meyer!).  But there was always that nagging voice in the back of my mind whispering, “How can you ever wholeheartedly support a book that sends this kind of message to readers?”

After all, Bella is no Buffy.

I’m a daughter of the 90’s, and as anyone who grew up in the 90’s knows, it was all about Girl Power (or Grrl Power, if you prefer).  Buffy was my icon, and I will be forever grateful for growing up (literally, her show was on from the time I was 12 to 18) with her ass-kicking, witty-remark-making, evil-vampire-slaying awesomeness as a role model (though, in retrospect, some of her fashion choices were questionable…  Hey, she was a daughter of the 90’s too!).

As the infographic above so clearly explains, Buffy was anything BUT a damsel in distress.  Not only did she not need to be rescued by anyone – man, soul-wielding vampire, or otherwise – but she was also resourceful, smart, a loyal friend, a shameless dancer, and she knew how to rock a head scarf, pleather jacket and platform shoes like no one else.  She wove her way through life with an unshakable confidence, and she did whatever needed to be done to save the world for the umpteenth time.  She was the ultimate.

That’s not to say Buffy was perfect, of course.  She was human – she made mistakes (Spike, anyone?  Though I kind of loved him…), she had doubts and fears and insecurities just like anyone else – but when things got bad, Buffy solved her problems from within.  She never turned to Angel or Riley or father-figure Giles to fix things for her, to pull her out of a bad situation and magically set things right.  She took the reins and did it herself, and that was what made her awesome.

Bella, on the other hand, was infuriatingly helpless.  I knew it wasn’t that kind of book, but I just kept hoping that one of these days she’d pick up an axe and dust some baddies with her own two hands.  I felt for her, but I also had the constant urge to kick her.  Get out of your funk, Bella!  Stop letting everyone else control your life and make you miserable!  Do something about it!  And not something dumb and irresponsible like riding a friggin’ motorcycle to get attention!

Oh, Bella.  Sigh.

And then there was Edward.  Controlling, emotionally-manipulative, damaged-and-damaging Edward (and if you’re still questioning how bad Edward actually was, watch this video to see what he looks like to someone who’s not under his spell).  I still hate myself for loving you, Edward, but I do anyway.

And this was precisely what I wanted to avoid with my own books.  I wanted to write characters that readers could love unreservedly without their inner Buffy drawing a warning stake.  I wanted a strong female lead who was independent and quick on her feet, who treated her respectful and loving partner as an equal, who made her own choices – and her own mistakes – and dealt with her own consequences.  I wanted my male lead to be sensitive and strong and protective, but not overbearing – and I wanted him to have to be rescued sometimes, too.  Isn’t that what real love looks like?

There will only ever be one Buffy, but I hope I’ve done her influence justice in Alessa.  So far, I think I have – I’ll never forget the day that I was skimming the Goodreads page for Stitch and I noticed that a reader had put the book on her “dystopia-feminism” shelf.  I smiled about as wide as could be, and I thought, Buffy would have been proud.

My Review of Stitch:  When I read the synopsis of Stitch I thought, wow, I really need to check this out.  It is described as, "Paranormal Romance, Ghost, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult, New Adult," so naturally, I was curious as to how the book could encompass all these different genres.  Stitch begins with Alessa in her freshman year of college.  Her parents died tragically in her senior year of high school, leaving her devastated.  She went from being an top notch student who was destined for an Ivy League college, to a failing student who ended up being lucky to get into college at all.  She has one friend, Janie, who is also a freshman.  They both live in sorority house, which is an old farm house.  Alessa begins to see a glimpses of a "ghost," and subsequently researches and finds out that his name is Isaac, and his family was one of the early owners of the house, back from the 1800s.  All during this time Alessa is having these weird futuristic dreams.  When Isaac finally begins to see Alyssa to, she is desperate to warn him of an impending tragedy that is going to happen to his family, and both of them are strangely and strongly attracted to one another.  At this point, I thought okay, this is a good story, I see the paranormal romance and ghost aspect, but how in the world is this considered dystopian and post-apocalyptic?      

Let me just that shortly after I began to wonder this, Samantha Durante begins to unravel the intricate details of what is really going on with twists and turns I never saw coming.  The dystopian and post-apocalyptic elements of the story are weaved in seamlessly with the contemporary setting, the ghost from the past, and the paranormal romance element, revealing a conspiracy that is complicated, thrilling, and very creative.  I don't want to give too much away, because the biggest part of what makes this all work together is when as the reader, you begin to see the mystery unravel before your eyes.  I enjoyed watching Alessa's character grow from someone who was shy and depressed, into someone who realized that she was meant to be a heroine.  There are a few chapters that are told from Isaac's point of view also, which gives you insight into his thought processes as well, and though we didn't get to know him that well in Stitch, the scene has been set for the next book in the series, and I have a feeling when we read that, we are going to totally fall in love him.  

Stitch has a little bit from a variety of genres that are combined together and well-written, which makes this a book that can appeal to a wide variety of readers.  If you are a fan of any of the following genres:  Paranormal Romance, Ghost, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult, New Adult - then Stitch is something you might want to check out.  I was very pleasantly surprised and enjoyed it very much.

Like the Stitch Facebook page and sign up on the Contact page for notification about Shudder, the sequel to Stitch!

Author bio:
Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, 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.  Learn more about Samantha at

I love to hear from readers! I do my best to answer each and every email I receive, so please don’t hesitate to send me comments, questions, or even suggestions for what you’d like to see in future books.  You can also find me on Facebook at my author and Stitch fan pages, on Goodreads and Twitter, and on my Amazon Author page.


  1. LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH! I of course loved Twilight as well, but I do recognize how unhealthy the Edward/Bella relationship truly is, and there are many things about both of them that make me want to reach in an throttle them. Still, Stephenie tells a good story and I got sucked in with everyone else:) Buffy though. Buffy I ADORE. I lived for that show in high school, and I loved that she was always out there taking care of business without waiting for any manly assistance:)

  2. Oh my gosh, that video! It was AWESOME! Edward wouldn't of stood a chance with Buffy, good thing he went after Bella LOL!

    Okay, I have to give this book a try just because of this post let alone anything else. don't get me wrong, I loved Twilight too but that was just so funny!

  3. Thanks so much Jenny & Kindlemom! I'm glad you guys enjoyed the post. :-) I've always been a huge Buffy fan as well, and even though I loved Twilight, something about it always bugged me but I had trouble really distinctly naming what it was... So when I saw that infographic on Facebook and it just summed up all my reservations so perfectly, I knew I had to share that with people!

  4. I am IN LOVE WITH THIS GUEST POST! I SO agree with everything said! I absolutely am a Buffy fan and that infographic is so perfect!

    This does sound like a very different sort of read! It sounds great!


Thanks for your comments. I love hearing from you!

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