Thursday, June 16, 2011

DRIVEN - Shellie Neumeier - Free Book

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Many of my characters’ traits come from traits I wish I had rather than traits I have. For instance, one of my characters is quick witted and never fails to turn a conversation in her favor. I on the other hand, suffer from delayed humor syndrome…I think up great responses about two hours after they’re appropriate. 

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
After being a stay-at-home mother for nine years, I told my husband I wanted to become a tax accountant and open my own practice. Two weeks later, our tax agency had been born and I was enrolled in our local technical college to acquire my associates in accounting degree. To date, I’m still a practicing tax accountant, although our tax company is closed.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’m still in a phase of disbelief. Telling stories has always been a favorite pastime, but writing them down hadn’t crossed my mind until my husband encouraged me to do so. I had to overcome my fear of grammar and creative writing rules before I could allow the story to develop. I will forever be grateful for editors and critique partners; they are gifted beyond measure, in my mind.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love to read young adult—from consumer fiction like Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson to inspirational fiction like those written by Melody Carlson. Recently, I read some of Jenny B. Jones’ work and fell in love with her comedic romance.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Assuming I’ve kept my sanity, our family works hard to guard our Sundays as family day of rest. It’s the most rejuvenating practice I’ve found.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Most of my characters introduce themselves. Whether I’m walking the dogs or having a moment of quiet, their names drift through my mind and as I test them out, their nicknames and quirks begin to develop.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Raising my four children—hands down. Nothing can compare to watching them grow from infancy into adulthood and knowing God trusted me to be their mom—good and bad traits included.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Hmm. I’d love to be a Jaguar, filled with grace and speed; or a she-lion, fierce in her protection; but my husband likens me to that dog on UP (the one that says “squirrel” with energized distraction). 

What is your favorite food?
Paninis or cheesecake. My favorite meal would be a Turkey and asiago cheese Panini with cheesecake for dessert.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest struggle has been smoothing each sentence into a coherent paragraph that flows into a readable chapter. I started writing like a news reporter—fact-based and choppy. But a few wonderful critique partners knocked that nasty habit right out of me.

Tell us about the featured book.
Robyn Stanley can’t help but notice the handsome new guy at her school. She ignores, however, the arrival of another being at Brookfield Central High School—a demon assigned to destroy her…
Robyn loves her friends, enjoys her youth group, and looks forward to meeting cute Caleb Montague. But when a caustic news reporter challenges her school’s prayer team, Robyn must choose: defend their right to meet on campus and pray for whomever they wish or back down at the principal’s request.
Now she must learn what God wants her to do. And she had better learn fast, because there’s a supernatural enemy in town whose sole mission is to stop her—no matter the cost.

Please give us the first page of the book.


From a comfortable height above the trees, Sebastian circled the abandoned paper mill, drinking in the atmosphere of dereliction and decay surrounding the property. This place has more character than most of the humans I know. Half broken windows winked like the evil eyes of wayward souls, while snow drifts gathered in the corners. The wind toyed with the snow, whipping trails that could chill his feet and ankles. If he had feet and ankles, that is.

Slipping through a second-story window, Sebastian watched a rat scurry across the dusty floor in a dash for the shadows. Like an angry cloud—black as asphalt, thick as cigar smoke—Sebastian floated after the rodent, watching with mild interest as it raced for another shadow and nearly collided with an old tom cat whose eyes glowed bright with hunger. The tom sprang, but Sebastian turned away. He didn’t have time for these cat and mouse games today, no matter how much he enjoyed them. He had bigger game to consider, and as he moved over the room, he thought about the girl he’d come to destroy.

Sebastian peered through the panel of small rectangular windows overlooking the town of Brookfield, fifty in all, though most were broken, and he yawned as he watched the town stretch with morning life. Humans filtered in and out of the corner diner, scampered about in their shiny cars, and huddled against the wind in mindless oblivion. Sebastian’s mouth curled into a sneer.

The chill of something sinister invaded his airy form. Turning, he watched his master rise above him like the heavy black curtain of a Broadway stage. Sebastian shuddered; if he had skin, it would have crawled. The master’s eyes glowed yellow—the only indication that he was not merely a cloud of coal dust, but something far more dangerous.

“Your host is ripe, Sebastian,” the master said. The voice sounded sweet, like a lover’s call, and Sebastian had to concentrate in order to keep his focus on the task at hand. With a shiver, either from fear incited by the master’s voice or in anticipation of human possession—he knew not which, nor did he care—Sebastian billowed out to his largest, most impressive form.

“Your timing is superlative, as usual, sir.”

As if Sebastian had not spoken, the master went on. “The human dabbled in spirit calling and witchcraft and is quite receptive to our temptations. This should be an easy possession for you, even if the human is a teen.”

Sebastian deflated a little, his voice falling into a whine. “But, sir, I despise working among teenagers. They. . .”


How can readers find you on the Internet?
They can contact me through my website: or email me at Neumeier(dot)shellie(at)gmail(dot)com.

Thank you, Shellie, for spending this time with us.

Readers, here's a link to the book. By using it when you order, you help support this blog.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


fredamans said...

Sounds like a great story! Love to see what "drives" her. Please enter this gal from Ontario, Canada. Thank you!

Robyn said...

Well, you know, with the heroine having the best name EVER (and spelled correctly, too), I've just got to read this book. Sounds gripping as well with evil pushing in on a town.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Shellie said...

Thank you, Lena for letting me join you. And Good luck ladies. Fredamans, thank you for the kind words. Robyn, I've always loved that name (including the spelling). Sweet:D.

Anonymous said...

i would love to win a copy of this book.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to read this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Sarah said...

Would love to win!

Sarah H.

Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for the chance to win this. This book looks great. I would love to read this book. Thanks again.

Rebecca H
I am from Oklahoma

Judy said...

"Driven" sounds like a really good book. I haven't read anything by Shellie as she is a new author to me. Thanks for the interview and a chance to win a copy of this book!

Judy from IN

apple blossom said...

sounds like a wonderful book love to win thanks

live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Ann Lee Miller said...

Count me in!
Ann Lee Miller
Gilbert AZ

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Shellie, I have not read a Christian demon story before so this will be a new experience for me. Enjoyed your interview. Thanks for stopping by to chat and share with us.

Hi Lena, Please enter me in giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

I am a native Georgia Peach

Nancye said...

I would love to win a copy of this book! Thanks for the chance!

Nancye in Kentucky

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Abigail said...

looks interesting, would love to win a copy.
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

Ms. Thompson said...

Would love to win this book.
Ms. Thompson/Illinois

Bakersdozen said...

I would love to read this. It seems that the author and I have some things in common. I live in
S. CA.

karenk said...

thanks for the opportunity to read this wonderful novel :)

~karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

peachykath said...

This book sounds really great. A book that I could read and pass on to my niece. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you.


Katherine from Northern California

Kristie said...

I love cheesecake too. Yum!!! I have the Hunger Games on my to-be-read list. Your book sounds interesting. Prayer in schools is sadly often controversial. Still. *frown* I'm fron Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com Thank you.

A. Carpenter/Ohio said...

Would love to win this book...thanks.

A. Carpenter