Interview And Blog Stop For Breaking The Nexus By Lindsay Avalon!

Welcome to the official release tour for Breaking the Nexus by Lindsay Avalon! This action-packed paranormal romance will be released on 12/12/12 on Amazon in ebook and print!! To celebrate, Lindsay will holding giveaways throughout the month and a release day party filled with games and plenty of prizes!

The blog tour runs from Dec 1-31 and there are over 40 blogs participating! Join her on each stop as she shares exclusive snippets from the book, answers interview questions, or guest posts, and leave a comment to enter for your chance to win prizes! Don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter grand prize giveaway while you’re at it! Prizes include Breaking the Nexus swag, ebooks, custom jewelry, and more!

For a complete list of blogs participating, dates of special giveaways, the grand prize rafflecopter, and a list of the amazing authors generously donating books and swag, check out the special page on Lindsay Avalon’s blog: http://lindsayavalon.blogspot.com/p/breaking-nexus-blog-tour.html

Take me to the awesome free stuff!

Blog Tour and Release Day Party Facebook Event

 

 

Throughout history, myths and legends of extraordinary creatures have been told and retold. Fantastic tales of demons and banshees, gryphons and dragons, and of course, magic. Stories that every child grows to learn are nothing more than fantasy…or are they?

Beyond the world you see lies a hidden realm, the Mythrian Realm, inhabited by all of the creatures you’ve been told are mere fiction. Only one thing lies between humans and the truth: the Nexus. A magical barrier erected millennia ago to separate the two realms, it has stood the test of time. Until now.

For Mythrian Sha Phoenix, magic is nothing new. But when she stumbles upon a portal on the verge of collapse, her fate will forever change. Pulled through the portal into the Human Realm, she lands in the middle of Detective Connor Flynn’s brutal murder scene. Soon it is obvious someone is using blood magic to try to bring down the Nexus. Together, Connor and Sha must work to unravel the secrets before the barrier falls and the realms collide.

The Nexus is breaking and all hell is about to unleash…literally.

ebook_cover

Hello Lindsay, it’s a great pleasure to have you here, welcome to my blog! Just pull up that chair and grab a drink. Your debut novel, Breaking The Nexus, sounds fabulous! Can you tell us more about it—wait, wait…in three sentences or less?

Eek, you do like to make things a challenge! Do run on sentences count? Here’s my best attempt:
All of the myths, legends, and fairy tales you grew up with are actually based in reality and the creatures from those stories exist in a parallel realm called the Mythrian Realm. For millennia, a magical barrier known as the Nexus has kept the Mythrian Realm separate from the Human Realm, but now someone is using blood magic to try to break the Nexus which would unleash all sorts of badness on the world. Mythrian Sha Phoenix must team up with sexy Denver detective Connor Flynn to unravel what’s happening and stop the world from descending into utter chaos and mayhem.

So what was the catalyst for this novel? Were you plagued by dreams? Visited by the inspiration fairy?

Visited by the inspiration fairy mostly. I have always wanted to believe magic could be real and exist in the every day world we know, and somehow that evolved into Breaking the Nexus.

A little duckie tells me you like…well…duckies! Is there an interesting reason why for us nosy people?

That’s actually kind of a funny story. One of my friends back in 7th grade gave me an anime ducky keychain and I fell in love with it. Before then, I never had the ducky obsession I do now, so it always cracks me up that it started off with a simple little gift. The rubber ducky embodies everything I believe in, that no matter how old you are, you should never have to grow up if you don’t want to.

If you could have any other ideal job OTHER than writing…what would it be?

I rather enjoy my day job as a programmer, as frustrating as it can be at times, so I’d probably stick with that.

What books do you read? Do you read books in your genre, or books very different from it?

I love to read most kinds of romance, especially paranormal romance and romantic suspense. I gravitate toward books with action, romance, and a happy ending because books are an escape for me from the everyday stresses of life.

Why do you write in the genre you’ve chosen?

My first attempt to write a book was an abysmal failure because I tried to write an epic fantasy and it just wasn’t working for me. My husband gave me the best advice ever: write what you know and love. I decided since I loved paranormal romance so much, I’d try my hand at it. Breaking the Nexus ended up morphing into more of a sci-fi/fantasy romance, but my husband’s advice was crucial in helping me choose the genre.

What advice would you give to others who wanted to become indie authors?

Don’t give up no matter how hard the struggle may seem. This is work and you have to have a thick skin. You need to be willing to treat this almost like a second full time job if you want to try to make it. You’ll need to become proficient at creative ways to promote yourself and make yourself stand out from the crowd, as well as learning to take criticism and the disappointment of not selling 1000 books a week straight off the bat. The reward is huge if you put in the effort, though I don’t mean in book sales. The feeling that comes with the knowledge that you took a risk and are doing something you love is indescribable.

What is the best part of publishing yourself?

I’m a bit of a control freak so I love being able to control every aspect. I know what the cover will look like, who will edit my book, how it’s promoted, what promotions I want to run, etc. I love that feeling of controlling the process and the timeline of everything. Breaking the Nexus was supposed to be a single, long novel, but I ended up having so many plot ideas, I transformed it into a trilogy about a month before my planned release date. I doubt a mainstream publisher would have liked that as much 😉

And now for the quick-fire questions, which I’ve shamelessly stolen from the lovely Trish Marie Dawson. Please try to answer them all; if you don’t like either option for each question, let us know and why! 🙂

Chocolate or wine? Chocolate wine! Yes it exists and it is EPIC
Superhero or Supervillain? Superhero
Forest or Beach? Beach
Pool or Ocean? Ocean
Christmas Cake or Christmas Pudding? Uhh, never had either (I don’t think) but I’ll go with cake.
Cinema or TV? Depends on my mood
Irish or Scottish? You know what I’m talking about! *wink* Can I have both? Please pretty please? How could you make me choose?!

Where can we find your lovely novels?

I have 2 books out. The first is a novella, in the anthology Once Upon A Twisted Time along with three other authors, available on Amazon and moonrosepublishing.com. Breaking the Nexus is currently only available on Amazon.

• OUATT – Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Once-Upon-Twisted-Time-ebook/dp/B009YW6PLS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1355849199&sr=8-2&keywords=once+upon+a+twisted+time
• OUATT – Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Once-Upon-Twisted-Time-ebook/dp/B009YW6PLS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355849237&sr=8-1
• Breaking the Nexus – Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Nexus-Mythrian-Realm-ebook/dp/B00AMPXDLQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1355849261&sr=1-1&keywords=breaking+the+nexus
• Breaking the Nexus – Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Breaking-Nexus-Mythrian-Realm-ebook/dp/B00AMPXDLQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1355849280&sr=1-1

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Breaking the Nexus is the first of a sub-trilogy in my Mythrian Realm series. This trilogy will feature Connor and Sha as the hero and heroin and I plan to try to release the next book, Waking the Phoenix, sometime this spring. Once the trilogy is done, I’ll work on a new book in the Mythrian Realm series featuring a new hero and heroine, though I’m sure Connor and Sha will make an appearance.

You can find out more about Lindsay Avalon on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and her blog. Thank you for being here, Lindsay, any parting words?
Thank you so much for having me! I’m so glad to be able to share my book with the world. Anyone who is looking for a publisher, check out Moon Rose Publishing 🙂

I am a wife, a programmer, and now an author. I have an adorable mini Schnauzer and more books than I have room for. I love reading romance because no matter what may be happening in my life, I can always count on my books to end happily ever after. The day I met my husband was the day I truly began believing in happily ever after. After hearing me complain a few too many times that I had “nothing” to read despite the hundreds of paperbacks scattered around the house, my husband began suggesting I write my own stories. When I finally took his advice I discovered that although I enjoy my day job as a software engineer, my true calling is to be an author.
My sister drilled into me an appreciation for fantasy and mythology, something I try to bring to my books. My debut novel, Breaking the Nexus started as a book written for NaNoWriMo and has grown to so much more. It was the conduit that introduced me to a fantastic group of independent authors who have changed my life in unimaginable ways.
When I’m not writing, I’ve found a passion for blogging and interviewing fellow authors. I also love reading (of course!), baking, crochet, sewing sock monkeys, playing video games, and all sorts of random crafts. I have an incurable love of rubber duckies and stuffed animals, and I believe nobody should have to grow up if they don’t want.

 

LindsayAvalon

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Review and Interview for Under The Desert Moon

Good morning folks! Well we have a new stop in here today, for Under The Desert Moon, by Emma Meade, with a review and interview! So sit back, grab your coffee, and enjoy the post! 😉

Emma Meade lives in rainy Ireland. She loves vampires, slayers, witches, ghosts, aliens & shadow men (or at least the youngest of the Shadow Men), and regular people who live extraordinary lives (think Slayerettes and you’re on the right track). Books, DVDS & TV show boxsets take up lots of space in her home, and she collects all the Point Horror books she can get her hands on. Writing supernatural short stories and watching marathon re-runs of Buffy are some of her favourite ways of escaping reality.

Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads
Amazon

Hello Emma, it’s a great pleasure to have you here, welcome to my blog!
Hi Miranda, thanks a million for having me here today.
Your newest novel, Under the Desert Moon, sounds really interesting. Can you tell us more about it?
I’d love to. Erin Harris is a typical small town girl, dreaming of the day she finishes high school and can make her own way in the world, far away from the people she has grown up with and the little town of Copperfield, Arizona. Out of the blue, a movie crew arrives to shoot a vampire film, and Erin gets a job on set as a photographer. She finds herself drawn to the drop dead gorgeous, lead actor, James Linkin and sparks fly between them. But James is no ordinary guy. He’s hiding something, and Erin is determined to discover his secret.

So what inspired this novel?
I’ve always loved YA, supernatural novels, especially stories featuring a human/non-human romance, so I just had to go and write my own book. Like Erin, I spent many of my teen years daydreaming out windows, imagining myself in a different place and longing for the freedom that comes once you leave secondary school. Erin is a strong character and I wanted to write about an independent girl readers could relate to, one who understands that it’s great to fall in love and experience a relationship, but also wisely knows not to hang all your hopes and dreams on one man, especially at the tender age of seventeen.

What books do you read? Do you read books in your genre, or books very different from it?
I read across many genres but I am always drawn to novels with a supernatural slant and review them frequently on my blog: Emma’s Ramblings on Supernatural Fiction. Reality can be a tad boring at times, so what better way to escape the monotony of daily life than by spending time in an exciting world of urban fantasy filled with magical creatures of the night. I’m telling everyone to look out for an amazing author, L.H. Cosway who wrote Tegan’s Blood and Tegan’s Return. Her vampire novels are some of the best I’ve read in years. I see big things happening for this woman.

If your book was made into a film, who would play your main characters, and why?
What a dream come true that would be. For Erin, I imagine a younger Amber Tamblyn, the way she was in her Joan of Arcadia days. Amber has a down-to-earth, no nonsense air about her. Erin is quite an ordinary girl, but she has spirit and an inner strength, and I think Amber could portray her well. For James, it’s a tough one. I’ve said before that I’d like to see Will Estes from Blue Bloods try his hand at playing a bad boy, but I’d really like an unknown to take on the role of James.
What advice would you give to others who wanted to become indie authors?
Enjoy the experience, but do your homework. Research self-publishing before you hit the publish button. Buy a book like Catherine Ryan Howard’s Self-Printed and follow her instructions. Before you even think of publishing, make sure you have written a good book. Edit as much as you can, send it to beta readers who do not know you and can therefore give you an honest critique, edit it again, and hire a professional editor. Find a cover designer to create the artwork, then it’s time to tackle the formatting of your book for ebook and paperback and decide what distribution company you’re going to go with: Lulu, Amazon, Smashwords etc. Take your time. I know sometimes us writers are simply itching to put our book out there, but do your novel justice, and get it right.
What is the best part of publishing yourself?
If you could be a character from one of your books for a day, who would you be and why?
I’d be Alex from Night Sighs and Night Whispers. She’s a smart, independent vampire with a rock star for a boyfriend and she gets to travel wherever she pleases. Life is good for Alex, filled with adventures and a sizzling romance. To walk in her shoes for twenty fours would be a thrill.

Where can we find your novels?
Well, Under the Desert Moon is my first novel to make it into print, and you can find it in all the usual online bookstores. I have one other book, a collection of short stories, Night Sighs that is also available online. Though it should be noted that Night Sighs is for adult eyes only.
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I’m working on two novels at the moment. One is a follow up to Night Sighs called Night Whispers and the other is a tale of love, witches and small town life.
You can find out more about Emma Meade on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. Thank you for being here, Emma, any parting words?
Thanks for being a lovely host, Miranda. I’ll have to stop by again for another chat and a cup of tea. 

17 year old Erin Harris spends her time daydreaming, hoping to escape her small town life in Copperfield, Arizona. When a movie crew arrives unexpectedly to shoot a vampire film over the summer, Erin’s small town world changes forever.
Erin is positive she has seen the star, James Linkin before in a thirty year old TV show. He hasn’t aged a day. How is this possible? Erin is determined to find out, but how will James handle the scrutiny of an all too intelligent teenage girl?
Purchase links:

Barnes and Noble
Amazon
Soul Fire Press

Good Points

I loved how this book, first of all, drew me in from the first page with its fantastic descriptions. The author has a very unique voice, and this comes across. Her storyline was also unique, and very different from the large majority of vampire novels that are currently published. I also liked that her vampires were not quite the modern type floating around pages now, but they lent something of the old vampires to themselves. The dialogue was well written out and evenly-paced, drawing the reader in just little bit by little bit, until you were eager for more in the next chapter. I also loved that the romance between the two main characters was not insta-love, or perfect in any way. It had its problems, and this made it a little more realistic.

Bad Points

While the dialogue was good, I would have liked to have seen a little of it cut down in places. And there was a lot of being told what was there, rather than shown. It would have been nice to have been given those few pointers in showing, and leave my imagination to do the rest, but this wasn’t hugely noticable.

Overall

This was a fantastic read, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to read a new vampire novel where the relationship is just a tad more believable, and the vampire is likewise. I thought this was a great read, and I would definitely pick it up again, and pour through its pages.

I give this book……4/5 Stars!

Interview, Guest Post and Giveaway for What Kills Me!

Good morning everyone! As part of Dark Minds Book Tours tour for What Kills Me by Wynne Channing, I am today’s stop! So enjoy everyone!

Wynne Channing is an award-winning national newspaper reporter and young adult novelist. She loves telling stories and as a journalist, she has interviewed everyone from Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Jackman to the president of the Maldives and Duchess Sarah Ferguson. The closest she has come to interviewing a vampire is sitting down with True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgard (he didn’t bite). She briefly considered calling her debut novel “Well” so then everyone would say: “Well written by Wynne Channing.” 

Hello Wynne, it’s a great pleasure to have you here, welcome to my blog!

Thank you so much for having me Miranda. I’m super excited to be here on my book tour!

Your newest novel, What Kills Me, sounds really interesting. Can you tell us more about it?

What Kills Me tells the story of 17-year-old Axelia, who is a normal girl with a not-so-normal destiny. While she is away in Rome for the summer, she falls into a sacred well filled with blood and turns into a vampire. As if that doesn’t suck enough, the vampire empire believes that she is a monster born to destroy them, so she becomes hunted by every vamp in the world.

So what inspired this novel?

During a bout of insomnia, I imagined a girl crawling out of a well covered in blood. This image was what started it all.

Where can we find your novels?

What Kills Me is now on sale for $.99 at Amazon and Smashwords; but you can also find it on iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I’m working on the sequel. (If you have a suggestion for a title, I’d love to hear one.)

Do you read books in your genre, or books very different from it?

Because of my job as a newspaper reporter, I read a lot of non-fiction. Sociology. Psychology. Terrorism. Biographies. In my free time, I read contemporary lit.

Why do you write in the genre you’ve chosen?

My teen years were tumultuous. Bullies would stuff my backpack into the garbage and pelt me with snowballs. Books were my escape. I loved them. This is me paying it forward.

What advice would you give to others who wanted to become indie authors?

Finish your book. You can do it. Giving up would be like turning the heat off just before the water boils.

If you could be a character from one of your books for a day, who would you be and why?

Eee. Being one of my characters for a day would not be fun: I’d either be killing or dying. Hmm, which of those would I prefer? If I had to choose, I’d be Axelia for the first 24 hours that we meet her (before her world is crushed). She’s in Rome. She’s just met a handsome boy. Life is full of possibilities. Little does she know… sorry, no spoilers.

You can find out more about Wynne Channing on her blog, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. Thank you for being here, Wynne, any parting words?

Thanks again for hosting me. And thank you to all of my readers for their wonderful support and feedback. Love hearing from them!

And now the blog post from Ms. Channing….

I’m so excited to be hanging out with you today. My name is Wynne and I’m a journalist and author of the new paranormal adventure, What Kills Me. A big thank you goes out to Miranda for lending me this space on her blog. She asked me to chat a little about one of my favourite authors.

Asking me about my favourite author is like asking someone what their favourite dessert it. How do you choose? I love them all! Bring on the buffet of sweets!

I admire so many writers. Ernest Hemingway for his economy of words. Rohinton Mistry for his rich narration. Cormac McCarthy for his poetic prose.

Stephen King wrote the first horror novels that gave me nightmares. Jane Austen created the first heroes and heroines that I adored (oh, that Mr. Darcy).

Today, however, I want to talk to you about an author who I loved as a kid: Roald Dahl. Dahl who was born in Wales in 1916 and died in 1990, wrote his first children’s book when he was in his forties.

I couldn’t get enough of his stories. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, George’s Marvellous Medicine. I read them all. They were dark. Grotesque. Violent. Hilarious. The heroes were clever, resourceful children. The villains, evil, disgusting adults. Dahl would delightfully punish his villains. The bad guys got shrunk, poisoned, or turned into mice.

As a grown-up, I thought how horribly unfair it was to make the adults so nasty. (When Dahl’s tales were first published, librarians reportedly slammed his stories for their “lack of taste.”) But as a kid, I thought how fabulous. Here was a writer who was taking into account my perspective. He was truly writing for me. I’ve never forgotten the whimsy, the fun, the horror and the humour.

If there is a fraction of that in my novel, What Kills Me, then I am so happy — and thankful for the early inspiration.

You can grab your copy of What Kills Me from these links;

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

You can also win a free e-copy of What Kills Me, as well as a signed bookmark with attached butterfly charm! The giveaways are international, and you can also go over to Dark Mind Book Tours for their own international giveaway! To enter, simply enter your details in the form below, and the giveaway will be open until 11th September!

Interview and Review with Elodie Parkes

Happy Monday all! Aw, come on, it’s not that bad! Especially as today I don’t just have a review, but I have an interview with author Elodie Parkes!

 

I live in Canterbury, United Kingdom. It’s famous for the Cathedral, Chaucer, and there is a UNESCO world heritage site, which includes the ancient ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church. There is also a ruined castle. It’s a pretty place too and the coast nearby is great.

I work in an antiques shop and write. I have two dogs that keep me fit with their need for walks.

I am an indie author now, having tried querying a few years ago to no avail. I decided the eBook was the way to go and at least reach some readers.

I read heaps myself and love movies too.

I write romance, contemporary and erotic with a twist of mystery now and then. I like to make the story unusual in some way, by a quirk in the tale.

 

Hello Elodie, it’s a great pleasure to have you here, welcome to my blog! Your newest novel, Millie Reinvented, sounds really interesting. Can you tell us more about it?

Millie Re-invented is about a young woman who suddenly realizes that her husband has not really been kissing her for a couple of years.

Millie is kissed by a young man who works in the same firm as she does at their Christmas party, and the kiss is so different, and enjoyable it jolts her into the realization that she has been kissing her husband but he’s just been taking it. It’s not the only thing he’s been taking.

Millie finds herself assessing her relationship with her husband over the next months as the young man who kissed her at the party starts to pursue her.

The things Millie finds out about her husband astonish her.

She falls into a relationship with the young man, August. He is special and begins to love Millie entirely.

As Millie and August’s relationship deepens so do their love scenes.

There are some fun aspects to this erotic romance when Millie meets August’s friendship group from when they were all in university. There’s an instantly likeable group of women in this book and it’s easy to fall in love with August as a writer so I hope as a reader too. I tell his character journey with tenderness because he needs some healing as well as Millie. It’s a love story.

So what inspired this novel?

I was talking to a young woman who was in the antiques shop where I work and she was buying a little sculpture of two lovers kissing. She said she had to have it because it was so nice to look at, as her husband didn’t even kiss her anymore. I couldn’t say anything I just wrapped the item, and stored the thought until the story burst out onto my laptop.

What books do you read? Do you read books in your genre, or books very different from it?

I read all kinds of books. I read heaps of books too. Right now I’m reading, Fault Line by Robert Goddard that’s in hardcover, not a way I read many books now, usually they are Ebooks. I am also reading on kindle, a reference book, it’s about marketing.

I read an entire Science fiction series by an indie author last month, just had to read the whole series it was so good. I saw a feature on a blog and that me to it.

Lately when I read romance, which is the genre I write in, I ‘ve been reading paranormal romance just so I have something different to read from the glut of contemporary romance that is out there with basically the same plot, ‘someone meets a billionaire and they have sex’.

My books fall into the category of erotic romance because I do write the sex scenes

graphically and that’s because I want the love the characters feel showing. I write love stories.

Why do you write in the genre you’ve chosen?

I find the world harsh. There’s not enough love in it. Lots of people never find love. I write love stories with happy endings to spread a little lightness around.

What is the best part of publishing yourself?

When I was querying a few years ago it was such a cattle market. The publishers and agents holding the electric prod. You can’t have this and you can’t have that they would say and still do when I look at submission guidelines. I just wanted my stories read and I think if people found my books they would like them. So being able to put my books out there without the waiting and the general unpleasantness of the traditional publishing route is great. It’s a very fickle world too that of traditional publishing and lately I have thought of some best sellers in the romance genre how the h*** have they been published in the first place. You can become disillusioned when you see this and indie publishing gives you a chance to stay away from the incestuous and capricious traditional route.

If you could be a character from one of your books for a day, who would you be and why?

Wow that’s a question.

It’s hard to answer.

I’d like to answer it first as the female I am. In this case it would have to be Cassie from The Horoscope Writer. She’s a successful artist, very pretty, and Dominic falls in love with her in a forever kind of way. He’s a writer, adorable and hot. It would be nice to have.

If I was to be a guy in one of my stories it would have to be August from Millie Reinvented. He is great looking, healthy, sexy, intelligent, kind, and he’s in a creative job. In my next life I have to be a tall, great looking guy because it’s still their world, I believe, anyway. (Smiles)

Where can we find your novels?

On Kindle

http://www.amazon.com/Millie-Reinvented-ebook/dp/B008H5IF7U

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Millie-Reinvented-ebook/dp/B008H5IF7U

http://www.amazon.com/Two-of-Them-ebook/dp/B008RBJXOI

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Two-of-Them-ebook/dp/B008RBJXOI

 

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I’ve just released Two of Them, a contemporary romance with a little twist of mystery.

I am currently working on a romance, The Horoscope Writer.

It’s a love story with a tiny twist of the paranormal.

 

You can find out more about Elodie Parkes on Twitter, Facebook and her blog

http://www.facebook.com/ElodieParkes
https://twitter.com/ElodieParkes
http://elodieparkes.blogspot.co.uk/
https://plus.google.com/u/0/100127
http://www.facebook.com/elodie.parkes.1

Thank you for being here, Elodie, any parting words?

Thank you for inviting me Miranda, it’s been lovely to be here.

 

What a fantastic interview from Elodie! Now scroll down to read an excerpt from her novel, ‘Millie Reinvented’, and my review of it!

 

She turned her face up to his and he kissed her again.

Millie was lost in the sensation. Drowning in need, she clung to him, and then as he moved back from her lips she followed them as if she was starving and he was offering food.

He smiled. “I know your name is Millie but I bet you don’t know who I am”.

Millie sought his name from her memory made foggy by desire. She had been on the human resource team that had chosen him from amongst other hopefuls for the new post in the advertising agency. His name was unusual, was it Christmas, or Noel? Then she remembered it was August.

“It’s August isn’t it. You’ve been with us a couple of weeks and you are running that new dog food campaign”.

He smiled again and it put enticing little crinkles by the sides of his dark blue eyes. Millie licked her bottom lip. She wanted to kiss his eyelids.

“So you do know who I am. I’m impressed”, he said softly, and he didn’t mean just about her remembering his name.

Millie smiled and looked longingly at his lips. August knew she wanted to kiss him and emotion flooded his eyes. It was amusement, desire, and kindness all at once. Millie hoped he would kiss her and not that she would have to show her need by pulling his head to hers.

Elodie Parkes Copyright 2012, All rights reserved

 

Millie suddenly realizes that her husband has not really been kissing her for a couple of years.

She is kissed by a young man who works in the same firm as she does at their Christmas party, and the kiss is so different, and enjoyable it jolts her into the realization that she has been kissing her husband but he’s just been taking it.

It’s not the only thing he’s been taking.

Millie finds herself assessing her relationship with her husband over the next months as the young man who kissed her at the party starts to pursue her.

The things Millie finds out about her husband astonish her.

She falls into a relationship with the young man, August. He is special and begins to love Millie entirely.

As Millie and August’s relationship deepens so do their love scenes.

This is an erotic romance with explicit love/ sex scenes and is suitable for 18 +years only. There is no bad or vulgar language.

 

Good Points

Okay, first of all, I want to say that Ms Parkes is true to her word. In a world where love is not always found,  she writes a beautiful love story.  But it isn’t too thick on the romance like some romance novels can be, and the female protagonist, Millie, is not the ‘slappable’ type. She is a normal woman, and very relatable. I did wonder if I  would feel a bit strange about reading this story, as it does involve (in my eyes) a woman cheating on her husband. But first of all, her husband is not all that he seems, and you find yourself rooting for her, and even shedding a few tears. The story flows so well that you will be not be able to stop reading, and you are compelled to read onto the next page. On top of all this, the steamy scenes were hot. 😉

 

Bad Points

There were a couple of occasions where I felt it had been a little rushed, but it didn’t mean any information was left out, so it was still fine to read. I just would have liked to have seen a little more  drama and length put into these parts.

 

Overall

I felt this was a fantastic first offering from Elodie Parkes, and I can’t wait to read her next one! The story was beautiful, and the writing was crisp and well-written. I urge anyone looking for a new romance novel with some steamy scenes to pick this one up, and devour it in one sitting.

I give this novel…….5/5 Stars!

Interview, Review, and Giveaway with Jana Oliver and Foretold!

Happy Humpday all! I am delighted to bring you a VERY exciting author interview and review today, as part of Dark Mind Book Tours…..with none other than Jana Oliver! 

Jana Oliver loves to tell stories for both adults and teens. Her young adult Demon Trappers Series (St. Martin’s Griffin) is set in a dystopian 2018 Atlanta populated by Hellspawn, Deaders and scheming necromancers. The award-winning series is published internationally with editions in eight countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France and Poland. Jana’s foray into time travel and alternate history resulted in the multi-award winning Time Rovers Series (Dragon Moon Press). The series won twelve awards, including the Daphne du Maurier for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense, the Prism Award for Time Travel and ForeWord Magazine’s Editor’s Choice for Fiction.

Your newest novel, Foretold, sounds really interesting. Can you tell us more about it?

Foretold is the fourth and final novel in the Demon Trappers Series. The two main characters, seventeen-year-old Riley Blackthorne and twenty-two-year old Denver Beck, are demon trappers and have been through so many adventures fighting Hellspawn while trying to keep the city of Atlanta safe. This is their last big adventure where they must finally deal with the feelings they have for each other while facing the forces of Hell one last time.

 So what inspired this novel?

In the past we’ve had hints as to Denver Beck’s tragic past and in this book we’re finally going to his hometown near Okefenokee Swamp in South Georgia. Where that might sound like a good time, it’s a dangerous trip into his past where we’ll meet some old enemies eager to settle the score.

What books do you read? Do you read books in your genre, or books very different from it?

I read across the genres, but for the most part I’m an urban fantasy junkie so that means I’m enjoying authors such as Jim Butcher, Ilona Andrews, Kevin Hearne, etc. I’m also a dedicated mystery reader so I often indulge in English murder mysteries.

When did you realise you wanted to be a writer? Do you remember what inspired you?

I wrote a few stories when I was younger and then in 1998 someone flipped a switch in my head and I HAD to write. Since I was always making up stories, I figured I’d put them on paper and see what happened.

Why do you write in the genre you’ve chosen?

I don’t really think of genre until I’m done with the story. I might plan ahead to have a young adult hero or heroine, but after that the story just comes out however it wants. It’s after the fact that I figure what genre it might be.

What advice would you give to others who wanted to become indie authors?

Being indie is not a ticket to fame and fortune. I’ve been published by traditional publishing houses and self-published. On the one hand you have professionals editing your book, handling the production, promotion and marketing. If you’re indie you do all that yourself and if you skimp on any one of those parts you’ll hate yourself down the line. However, you will learn the business inside and out, because you are, in essence, the publisher.

Also, building your “name brand” takes time. I’ve been working at it for eleven years. It’s the rare indie author who suddenly hits the big time. I recommend that writers weigh the pros and cons of traditional vs. indie and then choose what’s best for them. That choice might change down the line, but go into it with your eyes wide open.

What is the best part of publishing yourself?

You do have complete control over the book. And on the flip side, that can be a big negative because you’re responsible for everything and if something goes wrong, it’s all on your head. 😉

If you could be a character from one of your books for a day, who would you be and why?

Lady Torin – she’s a necromancer who is fond of single malt Scotch and doesn’t take much guff from anyone.

Where can we find your novels?

They are available in local bookshops and at the online retailers.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I’m currently working on a couple of book proposals for standalone novels, which I hope to write in the coming year. Both are young adult. I can’t give you details just yet, but both will have my usual action/adventure with a wee bit of romance as well.

You can find out more about Jana Oliver on Twitter (@crazyauthorgirl), Facebook, Goodreads, and her UK Demon Trappers’ website/blog and at her Jana Oliver website. Thank you for being here, Jana, any parting words?

Thank you for having me by!

 

Foretold

Stand by as Riley Blackthorne prepares to kick some serious demon butt for the last time in this thrilling, dramatic and sexy conclusion to THE DEMON TRAPPERS series. Riley’s always known that Denver Beck had a chequered history, but she’s not prepared for what it actually means to be in love with a guy with this many dark secrets. Now that he’s finally admitted to himself that he’s in love with her too, there’s no more hiding the truth about his past. And as it turns out, fending off a demon apocalypse is nothing compared to what’s to come. . .

Where to purchase Foretold:

Amazon UK

Waterstones

Book Depository

Good Points

Now I would like to start by saying I have never read any of Jana Oliver’s previous books in this series, but the first few pages got me hooked-now I have to read the others.  The first thing that gripped me was the main characters. They were strong, well-defined and interesting. I wanted to know more about them immediately, and the dialogue between them was realistic and flowing. I know that some people can hate it when a Scottish character speaks too much ‘stereotypical Scottish’. I disagree, I have lived in Scotland, and some people do use these kind of words a lot! I love it personally when characters have accents written in, it really helps me to hear their voice. The writing was crisp and vivid, and the action scenes (in my humble opinion, one of the hardest things to write) were fantastic, and built the drama up. I loved the overall idea behind the storyline (in this book, and presumably the others, of ‘demon-trapping’), and thought it was original and well-written.

Bad Points

That I need to read the rest! Although that is really a bad point to me. 🙂

While I thought that the main characters were vivid and interesting, some of the secondary characters felt a bit lacking. At time they seemed almost as though they had been put in some of the situations purely for the benefit of Riley, and it would have been nice to see a little more of them doing their own thing-but perhaps this has happened more in previous books? I also felt a little squeamish as the loved-up couple began talking more about their future together further towards the end of the book in such deep terms. The main character, Riley, is quite young, and I’m not sure I would have had that kind of conversation at that age.

Overall

This was a great book that I truly enjoyed reading. I will have to go back and read the rest of the series now, in order to know how it ended where it did! This book was wonderfully written, and kept me bouncing along from page to page. I wouldn’t say it was an amazing book, because of the issues I raised above, but it was definitely a great book I would happily read again.

I give this novel….4/5 Stars!

Now for the giveaway! The part you’ve all been waiting for. Jana Oliver is kindly offering the choice of 1 copy of any of her Demon-Trappers series, in either ebook form or printed copy! (one choice only, please state this) The giveaway will be open until 29th August. There will also be a huge giveaway over at Dark Mind Book Tours, so don’t forget to check it out!

The giveaway has now ended-thank you to all who entered, the winner will be announced shortly!

Interview and Review with Brad Shreffler

Good Afternoon everyone! Grab your lunch, settle into your chair, and enjoy! Because today we have not just another awesome author interview, but also a review with author Brad Shreffler! Enjoy everyone!

 

He graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2008 with a degree in business administration, which is obviously working out real well for him since he is a teacher.

He and his wife, Amanda, are high school sweet hearts who got married in 2007.  In May of 2012, they welcomed their first child, a son named Zack, into the world (pictured on right).

As a teacher, he is always looking for a way to challenge and engage his students.  Well known in his school for expecting and encouraging excessive amounts of reading from his students, he decided to give them a new challenge in 2011.  In November of 2011, he challenged his students to do NaNoWriMo, an online challenge to write a 50,000 word or greater novel in one month.  He offered them 20% of their final grade for the quarter in extra credit. In addition, in order to encourage them further to complete the project, he took the challenge himself.

While none of his students completed the challenge, Brad did, and Jack Wrimo and the Ori of Flames was born.  He also looks forward to completing the sequel to this novel in November of this year.

For more information on NaNoWriMo, or to signup for the 2012 challenge, go here: http://www.nanowrimo.org/

 

Hello Brad, it’s a great pleasure to have you here, welcome to my blog. Your novel, Jack Wrimo and the Ori of Flames, sounds really interesting. Can you tell us more about it?

Well, it is about a 15 year old boy, Jack, who has a pretty good life.  His parents are pretty cool, he is pretty popular, does well in school, and is even pretty good in sports.  His only problem is that once a month, his parents force him to go with his family to the Flea Market.  Usually, these trips are pretty uneventful, but this time he buys a pair of bookends that are really intriguing, and passes out the second he touches them.  Eventually, he realizes he has released an ancient evil and a powerful ally, Pharia.

So what inspired this novel?

I am a 7th Grade Language Arts teacher, and last year I challenged my students (for an insane amount of extra credit) to complete NaNoWriMo, an online challenge to complete a 50,000 word novel in one month.  In order to encourage them, I took the challenge myself, and this is what I came up with.

What books do you read? Do you read books in your genre, or books very different from it?

I read fiction almost exclusively, but my tastes range from fantasy to sci-fi.  My favourite books of all time are Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card and The Codex Alera by Jim Butcher.  I also love the work of Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games), Terry Brooks (The Sword of Shannara), and pretty much anything in the Star Wars universe, especially after Episode VI.  I would say that all of these have some level of influence on my own writing, so it makes sense I would write fiction myself.

What is the best part of publishing yourself?

Wow, that’s a good question.  Self-publishing is kind of a double edged sword to me.  It is nice to not have to worry about an editor or publicist trying to change my work, but at the same time, I don’t have an editor or publicist helping me promote and improve my work!  Overall though, I would say that the control that you are afforded through self-publishing is really nice.  The final product is totally your baby, the good and the bad.

If you could be a character from one of your books for a day, who would you be and why?

That’s an easy one: Bucan, my villain.  I had so much fun writing this character because I just got to throw out my conscience and be pure evil.  It would be exciting to have all his power and no conscience for a day.  Not sure what that says about me as a person though…

Where can we find your novels?

My novel is available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle, and on BarnesAndNoble.com.  Just search for “Jack Wrimo.”

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

This November I will be writing the sequel to Jack Wrimo and the Ori of Flames for NaNoWriMo 2012.  After that, I’m not sure.  I feel like delving into the world of zombies since I am training for a zombie 5K and am a little obsessed with the undead.  We shall see.

You can find out more about Brad Shreffler on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and his blog. Thank you for being here, Brad, any parting words?

Thank you for having me here, it’s been fun.  Also, make sure you check out my website, where I am running a contest where you have a chance to become a character in my next book.

 

Now scroll down to see my review of his book!

 

“Ori are a race of beings that are bonded with a natural force present on this planet. When our mother, Earthra, creates a new example of her power, she also creates an Ori to govern that power. I am the Ori of Flame.”

A 15 year old boy, named Jack Wrimo, is an average kid in every sense of the word. He has never been the fastest kid, or the smartest kid, but never the least of them either. That all changes when his family takes a trip to a flea market, and what he finds there changes his life forever.

Jack, along with his ally Pharia, must learn how to control new powers, fight a mysterious evil being, and save his best friend Matt in this exciting adventure.

You can grab your copy here at Amazon US, Amazon UK, and Barnes and Noble!

 

 

 

Good Points

First I would like to say that I loved the reason the author had for writing this book. It was incredibly creative, and what a fantastic way for a book to be born! This is a book intended for young adults, and Brad Shreffler has made his main character Jack as exciting as possible, and not just ‘average’. Having said this, he is also relatable, which obviously is a good thing if you’re trying to get teenagers to read! The pace of the story was fairly good, although I felt the first two thirds of the book went at an easier pace than the last third. The characters were very unique, and I thought they were well-described and vivid, although it might have been nice to know a little more about the villain of the piece.  I also thought that although this was a great read for teenagers, it had that slight edge to it, where it went to some dark places, making it more interesting for young adult readers.

 

Bad Points

There was the odd grammatical error, but nothing too bad, and certainly not so much as to stop the reader continuing. I thought, as I mentioned above, that it might be nice if the villain had maybe more of a back story, as he seemed a little flat compared to the other characters. I also felt it tailed of towards the end, losing the pace of the beginning of the book.

 

Overall

I thought this was a great début novel from this author. The story overall is fantastic, the actual writing could do with a little tightening up, and condensing of some chapters. I enjoyed reading it, and thought it would definitely be a great read I would allow any teenager to get into. Although it stayed on a true and tested path, it also had lots of unexpected twists and dives that you never saw coming.

I would give this novel……….4/5 Stars!

Interview and Review with David Menon

Good morning people! I have a treat for you today! Not only do we have a review, I also have another fabulous author interview! Today we have David Menon, author of Fall From Grace, here with us at the blog.

I’m 51 years old, I was born in Derby but I’ve lived all over England including Berkshire, Manchester, and Blackpool. I now live in Paris with my partner John who is a retired diplomat. My mother was English and my father was Indian, my favourite food after French cuisine is curry.
I worked as cabin crew for British Airways for 24 years and for the last 12 of those I was the onboard manager flying on 747 and 777 aircraft around the world and being responsible for a cabin crew of up to 16. One of my ‘claims to fame’ is that I once made a cheese sandwich for the actress Julia Roberts on a flight to Los Angeles, and I once mistook Matt Damon for Leonardo diCaprio.
I’ve always been politically motivated and I joined the Labour party back in 1986. I stood for election twice, once to the European parliament, and once to the Westminster parliament, but although I remain active, mainly in the northwest region, I don’t intend to stand for office again. I left BA in 2009 under a scheme of voluntary redundancy so that I could finally set out to achieve my lifelong ambition to become a writer of crime fiction.    
I love my fictional Manchester DCI, Sara Hoyland. She likes wine, men, and sex, she has an interesting backstory but she isn’t some terribly emotionally injured adulterous drunk that a lot of detectives in crime fiction are. She likes to get the job done and she won’t stop until she feels the truthful result has been achieved. She would have no time for sending the wrong suspect to prison and won’t give in to pressure until she feels the job has been done and the right culprit apprehended. If they were to make a TV series of the books, I’d love Katherine Kelly, who played ‘Becky’ in Coronation Street, to play her.

Hello David, it’s a great pleasure to have you here, welcome to my blog!

Random question first as always in my interviews! You used to work as cabin crew for BA for 24 years before you became a writer; I bet you met some interesting people there! Do you have any stories for us nosy people?

I do have lots of stories from the 24 years but I’m kind of afraid of being sued! All I will say is that a very famous British TV actor who plays very ‘smooth’ types was once arguing with me at the boarding door because he couldn’t be upgraded to First Class, even though he had no entitlement to First and his justification for ‘needing’ to be upgraded was that he’d spent all day interviewing Sharon Stone. Puh-lease! Actually, a lot of people, not celebrities just regular passengers, try it on with regard to upgrading but I have to say that airline staff, both on the ground and in the air, have heard it all before and at the end of the day, you wouldn’t go into Tesco, pick up a can of baked beans and expect it to be upgraded at the check out to a bottle of scotch just because you fancied a drink! Other than that, there was the white lady who refused to sit in the middle of a group of black people on a flight from Toronto, just because they were black. So I upgraded the black people and left the lady in economy. She was furious because of course she’d wanted the upgrade but I wasn’t going to pander to her disgusting racism. i felt very happy going home that morning. I never experienced any technical emergencies in 24 years but I and my crew did get surrounded by an angry mob of people in a West African country who threatened to take us all hostage if we didn’t allow them on the flight to London. The flights had been overbooked all week and I did understand their point of view but it was probably the scariest moment. I had to negotiate to get us away which wasn’t easy either. But we were okay in the end, thankfully, and they all did get away over the following couple of days.

Wow! Lots of stories then-but we won’t press you for any more, I promise. We don’t need the police back after the other author incident! *wink* So your newest novel, Fall From Grace, sounds really interesting. Can you tell us more about it?

Yes, it’s the first in a series to feature my fictional Manchester DCI, Sara Hoyland. In it she has to investigate the extradition case of a Derbyshire man who’s been revealed as a Nazi war criminal and has been given sanctuary by a woman of similar age who’s the richest titled lady in the land, a fervent Nazi supporter and the owner of Gatley Hall. But the more Sara and her team investigate the more they uncover about the activities of this couple during world war 2 that led to a potentially innocent man going to the gallows for murder in 1940. There is also a connection between the titled lady and a social worker in Salford who’s coming to terms with the loss of his beloved dying father and the fact that he hasn’t heard from his soldier lover Jake, out on a tour of duty in Afghanistan, for weeks. Young girls are also going missing from a local estate and once Sara cracks the link between it all it’s a race to stop any murders happening today as a consequence of what happened ovber 70 years ago’.

So what inspired this novel?

I’ve known for a long time that the British aristocracy, going right up to the then Queen herself, were wanting the British government to make an appeasement agreement with Hitler that would’ve protected the British empire which was the source of their wealth. I was also fascinated by the idea of what would’ve happened if Rudolf Hess had succeeded in negotiating with the British and by a documentary I saw in which some British aristocrats, now very old, still were unapologetic about their fondness for Hitler. I wanted to see how I could match all of that with a contemporary crime story to introduce Sara Hoyland and the story just grew from there.

A very interesting subject to write about. And an important point in history, it’s a great idea you have had to write about it. What books do you normally read? Do you read books in your genre, or books very different from it?

I read mostly crime fiction because it’s the genre that genuinely excites me the most.

And why do you write in the genre you’ve chosen?

Because the crime fiction genre is best for reflecting everything to do with society. Everything to do with gender, sexuality, rich, poor, privilged, disadvantaged, it can all be covered. I’m interested in ordinary people pushed into extraordinary situations and seeing what they do. I’m also interested in writing for those people out there for whom life never quite works out because of the malicious actions of others.

So what advice would you give to others who wanted to become indie authors?

Keep writing, keep at it, keep believing in yourself and your talent. Don’t be put off by anyone or anything. Becoming an indie author means you’ve got control of your work, so put it out there and see what happens.

If you could be a character from one of your books for a day, who would you be and why?

Well I’ve got a character in my book ‘Gypsy’ who is engaged to his fiance until he finally breaks it off because he’s gay. Thirty years later he’s back on friendly terms with her until she finds out that he’s having an affair with her 24-year old son! There’s a small world for you.

I can see that ending only one place-trouble! 🙂 And where can we find your novels?

David’s novels can be found at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Smashwords, and Waterstones.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Well the second in the DCI Hoyland series, ‘Beautiful Child’, is out now as an ebook and will be out as a paperback in the autumn. The inspiration for this came from the forced migration of children from childrens homes in England to Australia in the 1950s and 1960s. Sara has to investigate a series of apparently random murders arouind Manchester that are linked to a Catholic church in Salford where there used to be a childrens home where many were sent from. There’s also a prisoner in HMP Manchester who’s nearing the end of a life sentence for murder and is being given counselling before his release. He has a strong Australian accent so at first Sara doesn’t think he could have anything to do with the murders. But then she starts to think otherwise and when the wife of one of her officers is caught up in it and murdered, she knows she has to crack this one and soon.
I’m also writing the third in the series called ‘Outside the Rain’ which starts off with a terrorist bombing of Manchester’s Piccadilly station when Sara is there with her sister-in-law who ends up being killed in the attack. All the fingers are pointed at a group of Islamic terrorists but Sara isn’t so sure and becomes convinced that British intelligence is hiding something from both her and the public. But if she is going to expose the truth she’s going to have to risk her career for the sake of it.
You can also expect a novel from me in the autumn called ‘Storms’ which is a sort of follow up to my previous novel ‘Gypsy’ and is set in the Derbyshire Peak district. This is a dark tale of the long term effects of child sexual abuse and when one man gets his revenge on his former abuser.
I’ve also got a collection of short stories coming out called ‘Kind of Woman’ which all have a kind of Roald Dahl ‘Tales of the Unexpected’ type ending.
Sara Hoyland will also be back in at least three more stories that i’m planning for her, I’ve got anothere detective series in the planning stages set in Blackpool, and I’ve got a story that is set entirely in Australia which I’m excited about but I don’t want to give too much away at the minute.

Lots to keep you busy for us readers then. And final random question! We all love James Bond, and you say that you think that Daniel Craig is by far the best Bond since Sean Connery, but…..if you could choose anyone else to play Bond, who would it be, and why?

Well if it was today, I’d say Clive Owen because he’s ‘got it’ where Bond is concerned but I’d rather Daniel Craig did at least three more and then they gave it to an actor called Danny Miller who until recently played the part of ‘Aaron’, the troubled teenager on ‘Emmerdale’. He’d be a perfect Bond because he can do mean really well but he also has flashes of emotion and humour which are all important for the Bond role. Even if he didn’t get the Bond role I do think Danny is going somewhere.

You can find out more about David Menon on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads. Thank you for being here, David, any parting words?

My parting words – ‘Please buy my books and then tell me what you think!

 

And now scroll down for my review of David’s novel, Fall From Grace….

 

Paul Foster is a social worker trying to make a difference. But what links him to an aristocratic Nazi sympathiser accused of harbouring a war criminal? And what has happened to his soldier boyfriend Jake over in Afghanistan? In this, the first DCI Sara Hoyland mystery, the intrepid detective with a murky past enters a long-forgotten world of political intrigue. Long-held grudges and several families’ secrets re-surface to further muddy the waters.

Grab your copy from the links above!

 

 

 

 

Good Points

I thought this was one of the best detective thrillers I’d ever read. There, I said it. It was written with a crisp, flowing style, where not a single word was out of place. The characters were strong and leapt from the page; however, this was a description-driven story, and the characters still shone through. Which moves us onto the descriptions, which were vivid and well-thought out, everything that you needed to see in that one passage. I also loved the basis for the story, I thought it was a great (almost forgotten) part of history to add the the book, and it definitely gave it even more of a touch of realism. The other important point of this book is that it encompassed several of humanities’ social problems, weaving it into the crime story with ease. The twists and turns in this book were amazing, each one leading you to a conclusion that three minutes later was swept away altogether.

 

Bad Points

The amount of twist and turns-and this isn’t really a bad point, but I had to put something. 🙂 I personally love lots of twists and turns, I do it in my own books, but I can see some (very few!) people getting confused by the different sub-plots happening at once.

 

Overall

This is a fantastic start to what I hope will continue to be a great detective series. The writing was perfect, the storyline original and great to follow, the characters were engaging…..everything you want from a good novel and more. I would recommend this novel to anyone who wants a new crime thriller with a twist of something different in it. I thought this book was superb, and I cannot wait to see what else David Menon has up his sleeve.

I give this novel……5/5 Stars!

Interview and Review with Annalise Hulse

Happy Tuesday everyone! Yet another wonderful author interview for you all to enjoy today, with the lovely Annalise Hulse! I’ve also got a review of her novel, Gifted. Read on!

Annalise Hulse lives on the small island of Jersey with her husband, her son, a scruffy hairball of a dog and a mildly psychotic cat. She is the author of “Gifted”, the first instalment of the paranormal suspense quadrilogy “The Evangeline Devine Series” which is available on Amazon.com

“Twin”, the second instalment of the series, is scheduled for release in Autumn 2012.

When she is not busy at her day job or writing, Annalise likes spending time with her family and friends, watching movies (the scarier the better), drinking red wine, eating stinky cheese on digestive biscuits, watching her son play football, reading (especially Stephen King) and laughing as much as possible.

 

Hello Annalise, it’s a great pleasure to have you here, welcome to my blog.

Hi Miranda – thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here too.

As everyone knows in my interviews-random question first! If you could be any character from any book, who would you be and why?

I think I’d have to be Matilda Wormwood from Roald Dahl’s book “Matilda”. She’s clever and brave, loves books and has magical powers! Plus, now I’m 38 I’d love to go back to being a kid again. I’d quite like to be Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games too – just so that I could be totally kick-ass and look good wearing a lycra jumpsuit!!

I think I’d like to be for that reason alone! Your novel, Gifted, sounds really interesting. Can you tell us more about it?

Gifted is the first instalment of The Evangeline Devine Series, a YA supernatural suspense quadrilogy (with a bit of romance too!) that focuses on 17 year old Evangeline – Evie to her friends – and the strange events that unfold when she develops the ability to communicate with the dead after she nearly drowns. At first she just wants to be rid of her new “gift”, but when someone close to her dies, she is forced to accept it and use it in her quest to find the truth…….

Gifted is actually only the start of a much bigger story which develops over the series, but I don’t want to say too much and give the game away!

Hmm……intriguing! So what inspired this novel?

I’m a huge fan of the supernatural genre and I’d say that about 80% of what I read is in that area – I’m a diehard Stephen King fan! So I really wanted to write something in that genre too because it’s what interests me most and it’s what I’m familiar with. And it just so happens that Jersey, where I live and where the series is based, is the witchcraft capital of the British Isles. We may only be small (45 square miles) but we have a very dark history – druid burial grounds, witch trials, ghostly black dogs that roam the cliffs at night – you name it, we got it! (we’re also really friendly and have great beaches too – so don’t be put off if you were ever planning on visiting!) I used to make my Mum and Nan tell me the stories over and over when I was a kid, so they were a big influence behind “Gifted”. The Tombolenes are based on real Jersey legend and the story of Esther is also loosely based on real events that my Nan witnessed during the Nazi occupation of the island during World War II. The stories I’ve been told about local witchcraft are a feature as the series progresses too.

What books do you read? Do you read books in your genre, or books very different from it?

Like I said before, my preference tends to be for the supernatural genre, although I tend to read books that are perhaps a bit darker than the Evangeline Devine series, with more of a horror element. That said, I’ll give any book a try that looks intriguing – I’ve been on a big YA dystopian bender recently and I’m loving it! The only books that I probably would avoid are Mills & Boon type romances or anything that was overtly religious.

When did you realise you wanted to be a writer? Do you remember what inspired you?

I started writing when I was really young, probably 7 or 8 and it was because of my Mum really. As a former school teacher, in the school holidays she’d always nag me to do something constructive rather than just lolling about watching cartoons all day and so I’d write stories – typical 8 year old girl stuff – discovering I was actually a princess or finding magic slippers. Then I went through a big black eyeliner and tie dye leggings phase in my teens and wrote lots of terribly serious, angst-ridden poetry heavily influenced by The Cure and Pearl Jam – really cringe-worthy stuff about the heartbreak of lost love (the geek that I’d been dating for approximately two weeks and who had dandruff and rode a motorbike that sounded like a hairdryer) and the general torment of being a misunderstood 15 year old (you realise how great it was once you hit 30!). It was all very bad, though I’m sure I thought I was the next Sylvia Plath at the time. My writing got kind of patchy after that, because I got distracted by general life stuff like taking professional exams, getting married, having my son. I’d do odd bits here and there, but it’s only been in the last eighteen months that I’ve really come back to it seriously. I needed a project I really felt strongly about to get me back into it and when I came up with the idea for the Evangeline Devine series, it was my husband that suggested I stop talking about it and actually do it.

Where can we find your novels?

Gifted is currently available on Amazon (US, UK, DE, FR, ES, IT) in e-book format only, but it is currently being looked at by a publisher, so if anything comes of that then it should also be available in paperback. I’ll be posting updates on my blog, Twitter, Goodreads etc as and when I get any news.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Tons! I’ve got enough plot outlines planned to keep me going for about the next decade. Inspiration is never a problem – its finding the time to write it all! Twin, the second instalment in the Evangeline Devine series should be out in November time and then I’m hoping to get the final two books written and released in 2013. After that I’ll be working on finishing a novel that I already started – it’s a black comedy with a supernatural twist with the working title “Midlife”. I’m also planning on releasing a few short horror stories in between time too – but they will be quite a lot darker than what I’ve written before.

Cool, so lots to look out for then! You can find out more about Annalise Hulse on Twitter, Facebook as ‘ Annahulse Books’, and her blog. Thank you for being here, Annalise, any parting words?

I’d just like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has downloaded Gifted so far and to all the bloggers and tweeters and Goodreaders who have helped to promote it. I only released it in April and I’ve been blown away by the interest and support that it’s received. I really loved writing it and it means so much to know that people actually seem to enjoy reading my ramblings too! It makes all the mornings of rolling into work with one eye still shut because I stayed up half the night writing totally worth it.

 

What really happens when we die?
It wasn’t a question that seventeen year old Evangeline Devine – Evie to her friends – had ever thought about much. There was no reason why she should – her life on the small island of Jersey with her family and best friend Seth was untouched by tragedy, idyllic even. 
Until the day that Evie nearly dies herself. When Seth pulls her from the watery depths that nearly claim her life, Evie is no longer the carefree girl she was. For now she is the recipient of an unwelcome supernatural gift. Now the dead are all around and impossible to ignore. 
But when someone close to her dies mysteriously, Evie is forced to embrace her new power, for she may be the only one that can prove that it was no accident. Someone is getting away with murder.
With only the spirit world for guidance, Evie sets out to uncover the truth and find the vital evidence she needs to get the case re-opened.Soon she finds herself torn between her feelings for best friend Seth, who she’s begun to see in a whole new light since he saved her life, and the powerfully charismatic Piers Du Pont, who she finds herself inexplicably drawn to, even though he might just be the killer that she seeks.
As events unfold, dark secrets are revealed, loyalties are tested to their limits and Evie discovers that the path that Fate has chosen for her is more terrifying than she ever could have imagined.
Life, should she survive, will never be the same again……….

 

Good Points

I really enjoyed this book. I know I’m not the target audience, but I can see mothers and daughters alike trying to fight over who gets to read this first! One of the best points of the story was the voice of Evie. She had a very strong voice as she narrated this story, but she also sounded her age, something that is sometimes missed when adult authors write younger characters. The descriptions were very powerful, such as when Evie enters a soul’s essence, and were vivid and entertaining. It was also rich in characters, and they had me showing every emotion throughout this book, from smiling to crying! It was great to see a wise old Grandmother character as well, as she is someone who doesn’t always show up any more!

 

Bad Points

I thought it was interesting that the author did some of the chapters from other characters points of view, but I also felt it was unnecessary. Seth’s sometimes felt a little too similar to Evie’s, which may very have been the point of course. But I didn’t think it was needed, I would have preferred to have it told just from Evie’s eyes, so that we could be as she was, guessing about everyone’s motives.

 

Overall

This was a great book. I thought it was a great twist of originality on ghosts and the afterlife. I also loved Evie, who was yet another of those female characters who is strong and actually decides to do something, rather than waiting for the story to come to her! The storyline was engaging and well-flowing, although it took me a little while to get into the story further after the initial ‘incident’ at the beginning.  I would recommend this book (across all ages, I might add) to anyone who wants to read a book that seems realistic in it’s approach and descriptions, but uses a chilling genre at the same time.

I would give it………4/5 stars!

Interview, Guest Post, and Giveaway with Christi Goddard!

Well, have I got a treat for you guys today! As part of Dark Mind Book Tours, the lovely Christi Goddard has a stop on my blog! We have not only an interview, not only a guest post, but also a giveaway of her novel, Four in the Morning, as well! Enjoy!

Christi was born in Arlington, Texas in the early seventies. Her earliest memories are of seeing Jaws and Star Trek: The Motion Picture in the theater. The first was a bit much for a pre-K kid to take, and the second has much to do with what has inspired her imagination. Her father is a bit of a nomad, and they moved a lot when she was a kid. She inherited this trait, and has lived many places and been just about everywhere in America. She hit puberty in Colorado, got married in Las Vegas, had her first child in Kansas, her second in Illinois. She returned to Texas just shy of turning thirty and has been there ever since. Books are Christi’s first love, followed closely by movies. She loves to be told stories, and for most of her literate life, she’s been a storyteller as well. Christi is in her thirties, a mother of two awesome teenage girls, and a geek on many levels. Comic books, Victorian manga, science fiction, fantasy, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars, and renaissance festivals are her greatest loves. She lives in Waco, Texas (keep Waco Whacko) with her family and lovable dog, Nelly. She has a cat named Snape who is black, full of bad attitude, and thinks he runs the place. He was deftly named.

Hello Christi, it’s a great pleasure to have you here, welcome to my blog. Your novel, Four in the Morning, sounds really interesting. Can you tell us more about it?

This is always the hard part for me because I feel like anything I’ll say will spoil the many surprises that happen. In an attempt to be brief, Kathleen makes a deal with someone she despises, and that one decision is the catalyst for her life crumbling apart. People disappear and a boy winds up dead, and it’s not long before the police suspect her of foul play due to circumstances. As things start to derail for her, a magical creature shows up, and he needs her help with something. In return, he says he’s going to help her solve her problems as well.

So what inspired this novel?

I’d left a comment on another blog’s post regarding things we did in our youth. I’d said to them I used to write poetry for a boy to give to another girl as his own, and the blogger replied with, “Sounds like material for a book,” or something along those lines. It took a couple days, but eventually the story started to form in my head. Granted, what happens in my book is a far cry from what happened in my own experience.

What books do you read? Do you read books in your genre, or books very different from it?

I read all kinds of books. I’m most interested in fantasies, though not often high fantasy. I’m a huge Dean Koontz fan and I love a lot of the classics like Lord of the Flies1984Watership Down, etc. I’ve developed a love for manga recently as well, which is Japanese comics.

When did you realise you wanted to be a writer? Do you remember what inspired you?

I’ve been a writer since I was little. I remember winning some manner of writing contest when I was in elementary school many, many years ago. The reward was meeting an author and visiting a greeting card manufacturing company. I don’t remember who the author was, but I remember the trip to Leanin Tree. For a long time after that, I wanted to be a greeting card writer.

Why do you write in the genre you’ve chosen?

Because I write what I know. I don’t know how to be an adult yet. The only stories that inspire me are stories about kids who are just trying to make it through the world and deal with things as best they can, even when the adults are sure they aren’t ready.

Where can we find your novels?

I believe the best place to get a copy is on Amazon.com since it can be ordered as an e-book or printed copy. It’s also available on other sites like Barnes&Noble and iBookstore.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I have another book coming out this winter called, Lesser Evils, and it is the first book in that series. It is very different from, Four in the Morning, and I am very excited about it. There’s all manner of magical creatures, time travel, fighting, and plot twists galore.

Two by Day, the sequel to, Four in the Morning, is slotted to be out in the first half of 2013. It’s not your typical manner of sequel in a few ways, and it introduces many new characters. I’m looking forward to the feedback on that one.

Great having you here, Christi.

Now all of you lovely people read down her guest post, along with the giveaway!

So, I love making people laugh. I’ve always been a storyteller, and I much prefer telling stories than talking about myself. So, in this compromise, I’m telling stories about myself (or family members). This time, I proudly present my youngest daughter’s most memorable embarrassing moment—for me.

We lived in a small town in rural Illinois, but this is no excuse for what happened. I am a white woman, I have many friends of color, but at the time—when my daughter was 4—her education about the varieties of the human race was limited to what she saw on television.

A habit she had for a long while was to ask people if she could go home with them. Friends that visited, people in the gas station, police officers that pulled me over for speeding—yeah, anyone was fair game, and each episode highly embarrassing. I was positive each person asked to save my child from her boring home thought that I beat her with spatulas and tied her up in the basement.

One deceptively beautiful day, I took this attention-starved child to the grocery store. Like any good mother, I let her ride in the cart to keep track of her because she LOVED it. I was minding my own business in the cereal aisle, wondering why I could never find chocolate Malt-O-Meal anymore, when my child says quite loudly to the man passing by, “Are you black?”

Yes. Yes, he was. He was also giving me a look like I was the wife of the Grand Dragon of the KKK. In my defense (and hers) our community had very few people of color, so she had never encountered someone of a different race, except on the television, as I mentioned.

I gave him an apologetic smile, and then said to my blonde-haired, blue-eyed, pale-as-clouds daughter, “Yes, honey. Don’t pester him. He’s trying to shop.”

Telling my child to be quiet was like telling Brando to put the ice cream down.

“Can I go home with you?”

Ah, yes. Her most favorite question was asked, and again the wave of awkwardness puddled around my feet. “Honey, I said to leave him alone. I’m sorry, sir.”

I tried. He gave me a dirty look. He started to walk away. My child, to really drive home the point that I deserved the Crappiest Mother of the Year Award, started to cry and said, “You scared him off. I wanted to go home with him. He’s BLACK!”

In the middle of a grocery store. Remember that, parents of lil tikes, the next time your child starts to act up in a store, a restaurant, a theater—they could start screaming things that REALLY embarrass you.

Kathleen Hayson thinks her biggest problem is her mother. The only runner up—her mouth. With a wit sharper than her mother’s perfectly manicured nails, her clever remarks create more problems than they solve.

But it’s not her clever remarks landing her knee-deep in trouble. This time, Josh Colby is to blame. Kathleen’s former childhood friend has become the school’s most stuck up jerk. Before, she’d have told him to piss off and write his own stupid letter to the town slut/minister’s daughter. Now Kathleen’s escalating problems at home force her to reevaluate how flexible her principles are. She agrees to write the controversial letter Josh has requested.

Enter Rigel, a smartass magical creature who invades her room one night, promising he has come to help. When a boy Kathleen hates turns up dead and her mother goes missing, the letter becomes a key piece of police evidence—implicating Kathleen. As she fights her way out of a web of lies, the trust she has in those closest to her shatters. In the end, she’s pushed to a terrible choice: who lives, and who else dies.

You can pick up your copy of Four in the Morning from Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. But just below, you can also enter to win a FREE e-book copy! (You can also win a paperback copy over at Dark Mind Book Tours!)

 

This giveaway has now ended, and the winner has been notified. Thank you to everyone who entered!

Interview and Review with Gillian Hamer

Happy Hump Day, everyone! And before anyone thinks I’ve gone a bit porno, the Americans and Australians assure me it means ‘the middle of the week’. I hope they didn’t fib to me. Anyhoo, I have another amazing author interview today, with the lovely Gillian Hamer! I’m also doing a review of her book, The Charter.

Born in the industrial Midlands, Gillian’s heart has always yearned for the pull of the ocean and the wilds of North Wales.

 A company director, she has been writing as a hobby all her life, but after a creative writing course a decade ago, decided to take her writing to another level and sought representation. She has completed six full length novels, split between straight crime and her mix of paranormal thrillers. Gillian is also a regular columnist for literary magazine, Words with Jam, and in that role has been lucky enough to interview a cross section of authors from Ann Cleeves to Michael Morpurgo.
Gillian splits her time between Birmingham and a remote cottage on Anglesey where she spends far too much time dreaming of being the next Agatha Christie, and can be found walking her Jack Russell, Maysie, on deserted beaches. In her spare time she is a regular theatre goer, an avid reader and a curious traveller!
Her novel, The Charter, was launched in June 2012 under Triskele Books, an author’s collective set up by Gillian and a group of fellow writers. Her straight crime novels are represented by Shelley Powers of the Shelley Powers Literary Agency.

Hello Gillian, it’s a great pleasure to have you here, welcome to my blog! As everyone knows in my interviews-random question first! If you could be any character from any book, who would you be and why?

Toughie. Part of me would like to be Miss Marple (or maybe a younger, sexier version that Angelina Jolie could play in the film remake!) but a character that breaks down preconceptions, is wonderfully astute and intelligent and gets to solve complex crimes. But another part of me would love to play a heroine, courted by an English gentlemen, to get a taste of what it was like to live in those times. I’m not a romantic in today’s world really but perhaps I would have been then, so I’d like a chance to be Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice and go the distance with Mr Darcy!

I understand that, I always loved Poirot, but I didn’t think I’d suit the moustache very well. Your novel, The Charter, sounds really interesting. Can you tell us more about it?

The Charter is a modern day murder mystery – with a twist. The twist being that the story was fashioned on the true story of the shipwreck of the Royal Charter off the coast of Anglesey in 1859. So as well as a modern day crime mixed with historical facts we also have the presence throughout the novel of one of the victims of the disaster.

So what inspired this novel?

I’ve spent a lot of time on Anglesey and know North Wales really well. It’s an area I love and it provides me with not only peace and quiet, but also tonnes of inspiration. I have a cottage there and spend as much time as I can there. The story of the Royal Charter has fascinated me since childhood. I’ve visited the churchyard that features heavily in the book umpteen times and read all of the stories of Austrailian gold being washed up on local beaches. One memory that stays with me as a child, probably around ten, I was visiting Red Wharf Bay with family and friends who lived in Holyhead, one of whom had recently taken up metal detecting as a hobby. I can remember the adrenaline rush of excitement as I kept finding coins buried in the sand, probably only pennies I can’t remember now, and becoming convinced I was finding treasure from the Royal Charter. Only later did I discover the ‘friend’ had been burying the coins for me to find!

What books do you read? Do you read books in your genre, or books very different from it?

For many years all I read was crime, starting with Enid Blyton from the village library as a child, and soon devouring most, if not all, of Agatha Christie’s back catalogue. I still adore her books today. Then in my late teens, I got into horror, courtesy of Stephen King. And I read James Herbert, Dean Kootnz, Shaun Hutson. Then I had a John Grisham and Jeffrey Deaver phase. Now, I’d say my taste is much more eclectic. I’ve mixed with fellow writers for the past decade who have really opened my eyes to literary fiction and authors I’d not previously heard of let alone read. I love Sarah Waters, Philippa Gregory, Cormac McCarthy … the list is endless and I learn so much from these writers. I still have a soft spot for crime though, and there are some fantastic writers out there – I adore Colin Dexter, Ann Cleeves, Mark Billingham, Kate Atkinson. Yes, I read a lot!

Why do you write in the genre you’ve chosen?

I think one reason is because crime was my first love and also I must have the right kind of brain. I’ve always been good at solving crimes in television detective shows. I’d annoy my family by blurting out twenty minutes in that so-and-so was the murderer because what’s-his-name was his long lost brother! I can’t remember it ever having been a physical choice, it was just what I could write. I do enjoy writing paranormal too, I’ve won a few short story awards for ghost stories in the past, and I’ve been told my writing is a lot like Susan Hill which I take as a huge compliment – and she seems to be able to straddle both of these genres very successfully. I look at other genres of fiction and I can pretty much rule them all out. I couldn’t do romance or humour, neither appeals, and I haven’t the artistic skills to write literary fiction, or the patience or knowledge to venture into YA or children’s fiction.. And as for the new fad of mummy porn – well, least said the better, but it’s not for me. I think the fact that my stories are plot, rather than character, driven and the fact I write fast-paced, action-fuelled plots push me towards crime thrillers. I love the whole experience: researching, plotting, writing, rewriting, editing and I get a real buzz out of creating complex narratives with lots of twists and turns. I’ve recently completed a Forensic Science course with the Open University to improve my knowledge of pathology and scene of crimes among other things. And there’s a little bit of the horror fan left in there that enjoys coming up with the occasional gruesome scene. So, in answer to your question, I think the genre may well have chosen me as much as the other way round.

So where can we find your novels?

My ebook and paperback can both be found on Amazon, and the paperback via various independent outlets.

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I have a straight crime detective series that I’m working on at the moment and my agent is working hard to get me a traditional publishing deal. In my ‘thrillers with a twist’ genre, the next book I shall launch via Triskele Books at some point next year, will be another novel set on Anglesey about a young boy, Jake, who sees past life details of a boy who lived on the island over a century and half earlier. Through what appears to be reincarnation, Jake helps North Wales police solve a series of gruesome murders.

Last question of randomness! You say you are a curious traveller, where is the most interesting place you have ever found on your travels?

To be honest, the list of places where I want to go is a lot longer than the list of places I’ve visited. I’d like to visit Marrakesh next. But I love NY, have some brilliant memories, and I also found Dubai fascinating for all sorts of reasons. Recently, I’ve spent a fair bit of time in Switzerland and I adore Zurich. But as I said, I’ve a list as long as my arm of places I’ve yet to discover!

You can find out more about Gillian Hamer on Twitter, Facebook, her website, and her blog. Thank you for being here, Gillian, any parting words?

Thank you got having me today and I’d love any feedback on The Charter, please contact me via my website.

It’s been great having you here today, thank you for taking part on my blog! 🙂

Sarah Morton hopes dicovering the truth about the 1859 shipwreck of the Royal Charter will silence the demons of her past. 

But, tormented by visions and threats on her life, Sarah fears the ship may claim her as its final victim.

Set along the dramatic and dangerous Anglesey coastline, The Charter is a story of greed and forgiveness — when the treasures of the past evoke the crimes of today.

You can grab your own copy here at Amazon UK, or here at Amazon US.

Good Points

The first thing that hit me with this novel was the drama and beauty of the writer’s descriptions of the rugged Welsh coast. The descriptions were so breathtakingly beautiful I felt I was there, and could hear the waves crashing against the shore. The characters are wonderful, far more than just vivid, they have all their little flaws which make them wonderful, such as Sarah’s father who is slightly eccentric. The pace was perfect, and built up around the mystery perfectly, as the heroine of the story tries to work out the web of clues left behind for her. I also loved that this was not your usual historical thriller, as the paranormal found its way in as well! It created a wonderful melting pot of different styles, that definitely blended together to create something wonderful.

Bad Points

That it ended! If I had to point out any tiny flaws, it would have to be that…..um……nope. I couldn’t find anything wrong with this novel. The only way are not going to like this book is if you don’t like thrillers, or historical novels. And I do.

Overall

I thought it was a fantastic book, and the many clues left and twists and turns had me guessing all the way. I kept trying to second guess the plot, as everyone likes to do with mysteries, and then something else would turn up, and I would be left going, ‘What? How did that happen? Where does that fit?’. The blend of genres is not always successful in every book, but I found it to be perfect within the pages of this one. The characters were full of emotion which shone through the page, and the drama, added to the mystery, was simply amazing.  I wanted to be careful with this review not to give anything away, because I want anyone picking this book up to be as engrossed with what might happen as I was! This was an incredible book, in short, and I would highly recommend it.

I give it…..5/5 stars!