I am *so* thrilled to be kicking off the Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3) tour! We’ve got lots of awesome stops planned with exclusive Stitch Trilogy content you won’t find anywhere else, plus a big giveaway to celebrate the arrival of the long-awaited conclusion of the series!…
Even a writer has to admit that (as the saying goes!) a picture is worth a thousand words. It comes as no surprise, then, that *almost* as much thought must go into cover design as into the book itself.
When designing the covers for the Stitch Trilogy books, I had several goals in mind:
Captivate: Of course, a cover needs to get readers interested, and one of the best ways to do that is to make it pretty!
Signal: The cover’s job is also, naturally, to give readers some clues as to what is in the story by referencing the genres and major plot points.
Unify: And, finally, knowing that this was going to be a multi-book series, I needed to come up with a consistent theme that would tie each cover together.
So how did I accomplish all this? By driving my cover designer crazy, of course! 🙂 …
2.) Tell us about the rest of the series.
Over the course of the trilogy, you join our protagonists as they uncover the sordid truth and dark history of their society, Paragon, a place set in a world much like our own but with some important (and chilling) differences. In fact, some members of this society are so blinded to the truth that they don’t even realize they are, in fact, living in Paragon… which is something you get to experience firsthand in Book 1. (Trying not to give away too many spoilers here!) In Book 2, we learn more about how this world came about, and in Book 3, the main characters struggle against nearly insurmountable odds to try to bring those responsible to justice. And of course, there’s some romance along the way!
Playlist: Music to Go with Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3)
It’s no secret that I love words (I am, after all, a writer). But sometimes, nothing captures a feeling *quite* like a song. So without further ado, here is a selection of hand-picked songs to go with several of the most pivotal chapters of Stuck (Stitch Trilogy, Book 3):…
Not a Bear
“But how can we continue to keep this from everyone?” Janie interjected. “It’s not right. They deserve to know!” she hissed.
Alessa shrugged in defeat.
Yes, she thought, just like Isaac deserves to know that his brother might still be alive – but she couldn’t bring herself to say anything about that, either, knowing the guilt would eat him alive. She at least had to be sure first. She had to know it was really Joe.
” I really liked the first two books in this series, and I waited 5 years between book 2 and this one. There was one point I know that I even reached out to the author to find out if this one was coming soon, because I needed to know what would happen next. . . . There was just so much going on in this book! . . . if you haven’t started the series yet, you are the lucky one to get to start with all three of them out now. You can sit down and read them all, back to back, and get all the feelings that will come with a good series.”
“I’ve waited a long time to read this last book in the Stitch Trilogy. I loved this series from the first book. It was so unique and had so many twists and turns that kept you reading. Guess what? Things haven’t changed in this third book: It’s still has so many unique things in the story line and the the twists just keep on coming. . . . If you like the Dystopian and Sci-Fi genres, you need to put the Stitch Trilogy on your To-Read list immediately.”
“There’s plenty of action, intrigue and betrayal. But there’s also bravery, romance and hope. . . . A perfect finale to a series that fueled my imagination and captured my heart.”
“This premise for a science fiction novel is so unique, and that truly drew me in. . . . I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new upper YA or NA science fiction trilogy with a strong female main character.”
Deion chuckled and shook his head at the sight of his best friend – shirtless, sweat gleaming off his abs – precisely positioned so that anyone passing by the construction site would get an eyeful of his chiseled physique.
“First of all, it’s only 50 degrees out –”
“58,” Alex argued, heaving another stone on top of the wall he was building for this set of Paragon’s latest drama. “That’s almost in the sixties.” He paused to swipe a dusty, rippling forearm across his brow, brushing the fringe of straight black hair from his striking, angular eyes, which were narrowed against the sun.
“It’s been a privilege to follow along with Samantha Durante since this trilogy first started! I felt a little woeful as I started to read Stuck, only because I knew that this was the end of my time with these characters. After completely falling in love with the last book, I knew that this finale was going to be a rough read for me either way. It’s the end of an era, really. It’s been fun! . . . If you haven’t started this trilogy yet, you’re in for such a treat. I envy you. I really do.
Is there anything you would like people to take away from your book?
There are SO MANY things I’d like people to take away from the Stitch Trilogy! First, that things aren’t black and white. Just like real life, no one in my books is infallible, and anyone can make a mistake that can really hurt other people – and this can happen on a small or very large scale, even with the noblest of intentions. Second, that anyone can make a difference. It would be easy for anyone living in that world (or any world!) to feel insignificant and powerless, but the characters work really hard and work together to make things better, and they manage to do so even against odds that seem insurmountable. Third, that inclusivity and diversity of thought are good things, especially when it comes to leadership – otherwise you’re almost certain to further exploit already marginalized groups, and foster a lot of ill-will. And finally, that love conquers all. At the end of the day, even (perhaps, especially) when the world has gone to hell, all we have is each other. Be selfless. Be brave. Be kind.
“Stuck is a phenomenal completion to a wonderfully complex, challenging, and heartfelt adventure. My heart jumped for joy when I found myself finally reading the last chapters of this brilliantly original and deeply captivating journey full of heart, hope, and love. . . . I have been looking forward to this elusive ending, and I found myself completely and totally satisfied in every way a story can offer. . . . Samantha Durante has once again left me in awe of the depth of her brilliant creativity and boundless heart.”
Quiz: Where Do You Rank in Paragon Society?
Over the course of the Stitch Trilogy, we’ve gotten to know several different groups within the society of Paragon, from plucky rebels and manipulated citizens to mastermind Engineers and bloodthirsty Stuck. Where do you fall amongst these ranks? Take this quick quiz to find out!…
1. What made you decide to be a writer?
I don’t know if it was a *decision* so much as a compulsion! I’ve always loved to write, ever since I was a kid. I got away from it for a few years in college and afterwards, but even as a software engineer, I managed to“sneak” writing into my job. So when it came time for a major life change (moving back across the country to be near my family), I knew it was a good time to see if I could shift gears and get back to doing what I’d always loved.
“If you love having your emotions ramped up to a fever pitch, if you love white knuckled reading, if you love apocalyptic/dystopian novels and are looking for an original storyline, you may want to grab the Stitch trilogy.”
Style in Dystopia: 3 Ways to Style a Jumpsuit
Dystopian societies aren’t often known for their embrace of individuality and free-thinking… which unfortunately means their fashion trends tend to lean towards the sterile and conformist, at best.
But don’t let that post-apocalyptic thinking get you down! As the characters of the Stitch Trilogy show, there are lots of ways you can buck the trend and give that old standard-issue jumpsuit a fresh spin…
(Stitch Trilogy #3)
By Samantha Durante
YA Dystopian, SciFi
Paperback & ebook, 306 Pages
December 15, 2018
3, 2, 1… BOOM.
Things are finally looking up for the Resistance. Sure, Alessa is still processing the revelation that the best friend she’d presumed dead is miraculously alive, though far from well… And her boyfriend is being manipulated under threat of blackmail. But her quest for justice against those behind the systematic extermination of the world population is so close to victory she can taste it.
And then in a matter of seconds, everything Alessa believes in is shaken to the core. Months of preparation are obliterated. The people she cares for most are lost.
But Alessa is still standing. And Paragon must pay.
The odds are grim, but unexpected allies surface in the most unlikely of places: A new pair of citizens still under the colony’s rule who notice something amiss in the latest drama. An old adversary who realizes the error of her ways. And a veritable army of inhuman power and terrible strength, with an insatiable thirst for vengeance. The trustworthiness of each of these factions is yet to be proven, but without many other options, Alessa may have to take what she can get. Especially since the Engineers, never to be outdone, also have a few more tricks up their sleeves…
The long-awaited final installment in the riveting Stitch Trilogy, Stuck will have readers gripping their seats as Alessa and a handful of intrepid survivors usher their harrowing journey to a close, risking everything as they endeavor – once and for all – to set things right.
Other Books in the Series
Samantha lives in Westchester County, New York with four of the five loves of her life – her husband, son, younger daughter, and cat – and carries her fifth love, her stillborn daughter, in her heart. An avid reader herself, Samantha’s dream is to bring the same delight to readers that other authors have brought to her life. In addition to penning novels and writing candidly about grief, she is also a sometimes freelance writer/consultant – though more often than not these days she’s on full-time mom duty! A former software engineer, Samantha said goodbye to the corporate world in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and lifelong love of writing. Learn more at www.samanthadurante.com.
Lately I’ve been asking myself what the point of a blog is if I never write in it. It’s just easier to post little updates in Facebook all the time than sit down and write something. Especially when life is pretty normal and there’s nothing much exciting to write about. But I’ve decided I need to get back to posting in here at least a little more often than I have been, and yesterday Floyd and I actually experienced a blogworthy event, so here goes.
Floyd and I took the bus to Taipei Tuesday evening so we could spend Wednesday at the International Flora Expo there. Everyone we know who’s gone has said how fun it is, and how worth it it is to see before it’s gone in a few more weeks. So we decided we’d go during our Easter break when local schools wouldn’t have time off so it wouldn’t be too crowded. We would go up to Taipei on Tuesday, spend the night with our friend Linda who teaches at Morrison’s Bethany campus, get to the Flora Expo right when it opened in the morning, spend most of the day there, and take the bus back to Taichung Wednesday night.
A good plan, in theory, even though four hours in a bus is a bit much for one day of flowery fun. The problem started when Linda emailed us back and said that yes, we were welcome to stay at her place, but no, she wouldn’t actually be home at the time. She was going to Thailand but would leave her keys with a neighbor across the street (also a teacher at Bethany) and we could make ourselves at home in her apartment in her absence.
That sounded okay to us, so we made the arrangements and showed up on Tuesday evening as planned. The neighbor met us outside her apartment and gave us an envelope with Linda’s keys, which we promised to return the following evening. We found our way to Linda’s apartment (where we’d stayed once before) and successfully let ourselves in. This may not sound like any big deal until you consider how complicated the locks on Taiwanese apartment doors can sometimes be. Like many local apartments, there was a metal security gate that had to be opened before we could open the front door, and each needed different keys which turned all the way around multiple times in different directions with loud clicking sound effects. But after a couple of tries we got them both open and then closed behind ourselves.
Well, the rest of the evening was uneventful, as we went almost straight to bed (it was pretty late by the time we got in). We got up early the next morning (well, early for being on vacation), planning to leave the house by 8:00 so we could take the subway and be in line for the Flora Expo in plenty of time before it opened at 9:00. We were running a little late, though, so it was about 8:15 before we were ready to leave the house. Only to discover that the house was apparently not ready for us to leave.
Floyd tried turning the knob that unlocks the front door (there’s no keyhole on the inside) this way and that, and we heard the familiar clicking sounds from within the mechanism, but the door didn’t actually unlock. There was a second little knob on the lock, so he tried that too, and then tried different combinations of turning one one way and the other the other way, but nothing helpful happened. I gave it a try as well, but it was as though the door didn’t even recognize that we were trying to unlock it. That is, the lock kept clicking, but the bolt wouldn’t turn all the way. And when we tried both knobs at once, it reminded me of that scene from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi when Han Solo is trying to hotwire the door of the bunker on Endor, and just as he thinks it’s about to open, a second security door crashes shut in front of the first. Instead of unlocking the first bolt, the second knob eventually turned another bolt, locking us in doubly securely.
I was proud of us both for not getting more stressed than we were, considering that we were in a hurry, no one else was home to help us, we didn’t know very many people in the city, and we don’t speak much Chinese. After 45 minutes of peering into what he could see of the lock mechanism with a flashlight and struggling with two butter knives to try to pry back the bolt, Floyd finally gave up. We decided against unscrewing the screws on the hinges and removing the door completely (we couldn’t find a screwdriver anyway) and instead called the neighbor to see if she could recommend a locksmith, preferably one who spoke some English. She said she’d call around and see if any of the mechanically-minded workers at the school were available (not necessarily likely since everyone was off on Easter break).
After she hung up, I had the idea that perhaps the door could be opened from the outside with the key. Of course there was no way to pass the key through the locked door to anyone, but maybe we could drop it off the balcony (Linda’s apartment is on the 4th floor) to someone below. We decided to try this when the locksmith showed up so that we wouldn’t end up with as big a bill from him having to pick or break the lock.
Well, we heard the guy come to the door, and Floyd tried to explain our idea in a mixture of English and a bit of Chinese. Unfortunately, neither of us knew the words for “lock”, “key”, “balcony”, or “drop”, which might have helped. And the other guy didn’t speak a word of English. We had no idea what he was saying through the door, and I’m sure he was equally frustrated with our inability to communicate. Finally Floyd heard him get back on the elevator, so I hurried out to the balcony with the keys. (I should mention at this point that I wasn’t sure where we had put the keys Linda had left for us with the neighbors, but I found a spare set sitting on a shelf, so I grabbed those.) I saw the guy leave the apartment building, but he never even looked up, and I wasn’t about to toss the keys down onto a public sidewalk if I couldn’t get his attention first. I watched him get on a scooter and disappear down the road, and with him our hopes of getting out of there any time soon.
We decided to call the neighbor again and see if she would be willing to come over and try to unlock the door from the outside. She was, and I successfully tossed the keys down to her without getting them stuck on any of the neighbors’ balconies below us. (Wouldn’t that have made things interesting!) She got on the elevator and a moment later we heard her trying to unlock the doors. But she couldn’t even get the metal security gate to open with Linda’s keys, let alone the inner door whose lock was stuck. We conversed through the door while she tried all three keys on the ring, and I happened to mention that the locksmith had been there but had given up and left. So she called him again from her cell phone and convinced him to come back and that she would stay and translate for us.
The locksmith returned in just a few minutes. From the moment he stepped off the elevator, it couldn’t even have taken him five seconds before he got both the metal gate and the door unlocked. Floyd and I had never been so thankful for the sight of a door opening in front of us! As he stooped to examine the lock, he handed us two sets of keys. It took a moment before it occured to us that he shouldn’t have had two sets to give us. There was the one I had dropped to the neighbor, but where had the other set come from? On closer inspection, we realized it was the set we had been given in the envelope the evening before. But how…?
Oh. We had left it in the lock when we let ourselves in last night.
So that was why the lock had felt so stuck! Boy, did we feel stupid. It was a relief to hear the locksmith say (via the neighbor) that there was also a problem with a faulty lock mechanism. While we waited, he unscrewed the whole thing, took it off the door, and installed a new one, all at no charge (because he works for Morrison, and Morrison provides free housing for its staff, including certain basic repairs).
(Here’s a picture of the guy at work replacing the lock; you can see the security gate open behind him.)
He gave us two copies of the key to the new lock, and was nice enough to remove the old one from one of Linda’s keyrings so we wouldn’t get mixed up and end up jamming up the new lock with the wrong key or something. After he left, I decided we’d better throw away the old key just to be sure we didn’t have any more problems with it. I tossed it in the kitchen trash can while Floyd tried out the rest of the keys just to make sure of everything. And boy, I’m glad he tried them before the trash got emptied! Turns out the locksmith had given us the wrong one to get rid of! It was the key to the security gate. So I hastily dug it out of the trash and reattached it to the keychain, thankful that we had realized in time.
Well, it was after 10:00 by the time we finally left the apartment. Neither of us could believe that we had just spent an hour and forty-five minutes locked in, mostly because of our carelessness in leaving the key in the lock. The key to the problem had been that the key was the problem, at least in part.
Well, when Linda gets home from Thailand she won’t be able to get into her apartment. We left a note on the door to tell her so, not that she won’t be able to figure that out on her own when she gets there. And before we left Taipei on Wednesday night (after a day full of lines and crowds and 95,000 people at the flora expo – but that’s another story) we gave the keys back to the neighbor to give Linda upon her return. So, Linda, that’s why your door might look a little different when you get back. Sorry about that… but at least you have a brand new lock!!