‘Bad Monsters’ Blog Tour – Interview

Bad Monsters -- Blog Tour Banner

Back in February we told you that we’d be hosting a special event in March for author Clinton Harding, as part of the blog tour for his latest book Bad Monsters. Well, today is the first day of the tour (click the banner to go to Clinton’s own website and find out more about the book) and we’re kicking off our week of features with one of our ‘This or That’ interviews with the author himself…

Hero or Villain?

My first impulse is to shout hero. Who doesn’t want to save the day, kick some evil ass, and get the girl and the key to the kingdom/city? Then again, the villain gets to be angsty and brooding and is excused for being angry at everything. Plus, there is always a chance a villain can be redeemed and that is a good story, usually. So… Yeah, villain it is.

Pirates or Zombies?

I’ve always been partial to the dashing, swashbuckling rogue. Then there’s the booty… get your mind out the gutter! Let’s go with the pirate. Arrrgh!

Cruiser or Racer?

I’m always going fast. Racer.

Minimalist or Hoarder?

Depends. I need order in my chaotic life. It’s how I write, with detailed notes, charts, and a plan. Yet I hoard novels, comic books, and other cool things. As long as the things are cool, hoarding is acceptable. Plus! Having a huge e-book collection is completely acceptable because that obsession of mine no longer takes up valuable house-space… so says my wife.

Sprint or Marathon?

Life is about the journey, not the destination. Although I’m always rushing to fit everything into my day, sometime it’s nice to relax and the let the day just be. Plus, movie marathons are awesome!  

Popcorn or Chocolate?

Mmmm… popcorn. I’m not much for sweets. Plus, the smell of soy-butter and freshly popped kerns takes me back to my last years in high school when I worked at the local movie theater. Good times.

Half-Empty or Half-Full?

Life is better when the glass is half-full. Then there are those half-empty days.

London or New York?

Never been to either city but I want to visit both. London is higher on my to-do list since it seems much more magical and filled with a richer history.

Cats or Dogs?

Dogs are man’s best friend.

Apples or Oranges?

Apples. Less messy and thus more portable.

Classical or Pop?

Classical. A short piece of classical composition is able to capture more emotion than most flavor-of-the-month pop music. Feelings are good.

Hogwarts or Mallory Towers?

Not sure what or where Mallory Towers is, before my time I guess. Put Hogwarts up against any place and I’ll always choose to head to magical boarding school.

Hermione or Ron?

Hermione. She was always the person Harry could count on. Seems like Ron was always in a mood and running off to sort his own insecurities, you can count on Ron to return but what if one day he comes running back a minute too late?

Cause or Effect?

By nature I’m a worrier. I’m always concerned with the effects of my actions or the reactions to what I write.

Heads or Tails?

Can I flip a coin?

Facebook or Twitter?

Twitter keeps my ramblings to a minimum.

Elf or Dwarf?

Dwarf. These characters tend to possess more ingenuity and they have great beards too.

Text or Talk?

I’m an introvert at heart. Texting allows me to socialize in comfort. It’s quick and I can think about exactly what I want to say.

Reading or Writing?

I should be writing more than I am reading. Writing is more productive for my goals. I write so others may read.

Good Book or Good Film?

Good books always last longer for me and are more fulfilling.  

Vampire or Angel?

There’s something about angels. Perhaps it’s that they’re tragic creatures. Not human. No souls (in most iterations and mythology). Cast aside by their creator in favor of fault-prone (sometimes atheist) monkeys. Monkeys who only ask “save me” or “I need” or “I want” from guardian angels. We’re sitting on a powder keg ready to blow and release razor-sharp wings and heavenly maces of death. Forgot the zombie apocalypse, I’m waiting for pissed-off angelic beings to snap and come down from on high to kick my ass!

James Bond or Jason Bourne?

Bond will always be the superspy. He’s the original suave man-of-action. I’ll have to go with Daniel Craig as my favorite Bond as he’s how I always pictured the character after reading a couple of the Fleming novels.

Drive or Be Driven?

I usually need someone to drive me, especially on long trips. I tend to fall asleep when driving long distances, the cadence of the road always relaxes me. Plus! When I’m not sleeping I can read. I have no problem reading while in the car.

Summer or Winter?

Winter. There are only so many pieces of clothing you can take off when it’s hot before you start offending the Puritans. When it’s cold, you can bundle up with as many blankets as needed. The winter is more romantic too.

Early Bird or Night Owl?

I’m forced to be both. My day job has me up before the rooster at 5:00AM so I can race the sun to the office. Then at night, when everyone is in bed, I get my chance to write. My true nature is as a night owl, those hours of quiet when everyone is in bed.

Quiet Night In or Out On The Town?

Always a night in. Good books. Movie marathons. Board games and video games. Throw in some good friends and you have a good time or enjoy the quiet of solitude. There’s so much to enjoy.

——————————————

About Bad Monsters

In Clinton D. Harding’s debut novel “Our Monsters”, Jon Graves and his friends escaped their parents and the military, leaving behind the only home they’d ever known, the small town of Carpenter. But their freedom is short lived as they find themselves in more danger than before they left Carpenter.

“Bad Monsters”—the second book The Our Monsters Chronicles, released March 2014—picked up where its prequel ended. Jon and his friends are on the run and hunted and by General Mauser and his military dogs. Jon can practically feel them breathing down his neck, as the jaws of the military dogs snapping at his heels.

Synopsis Blood is spilled, friendly and not, and now Jon must answer his friends’ questions sooner than later, or risk one of those friends dying. He’s just not sure he’s the person to be deciding their fates or if he, Alice, and George are fully prepared to walk away from their normal lives. 

A farm in northern California may serve as salvation to this scared, but brave, group of teenagers. However, can they trust the inhabitants they find there, who themselves have a history with Carpenter? If Jon can talk his way past the shotgun in his face, he might just discover what he and his friends need; answers about the history of Carpenter, the hybrids, the powers the teens borrow from their hybrids and who are the true monsters. In all this confusion and danger, Jon may also find a young woman who can help heal the wounds left by Mikaila when she left him and the group.

 Pick up “Bad Monsters”, the second installment in The Our Monsters Chronicles, is now available and can be found in e-book and paperback form at major online retailers: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords.

About the Author When Clinton D. Harding is not busy wrestling and taming wild Scottish Terriers in wilderness of Oxnard California, he’s using a magic pen he pulled from a stone to craft new worlds filled with fantastic beasts and evils that need fighting. He is also the author-publisher of The Our Monsters Chronicles, a YA series of novels that combines fantasy/sci-fi elements with horror chills. For more information about Harding and his creations visit his website, like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or become a fan at Goodreads.

Author Spotlight…Amanda Turner

 Saturday Author Spotlight  Today’s guest author under the spotlight, is Amanda Turner. I have to offer a big apology to Amanda, as I completely missed her email when she returned it to me in late 2011!! I found it languishing in my ‘to do’ folder for the blog at Christmas – obviously I’d gotten a little behind with my admin. Anyway – sorry Amanda, it’s great to be featuring you today – and also explains why she was looking forward to “Breaking Dawn – Part 2″ this year – she doesn’t live in a cave, that’s me :) OK – let’s find out more about the lady herself…

Amanda Turner

Amanda eats, sleeps and breathes writing. All her life she has dabbled with short stories. Amanda has her own poetry collection that she supplies to a greetings card company. Her first public work was at the age of 14 when she wrote a poem to be read at her grandfathers funeral. It was always a dream of hers to have her work published so in 2011 she began writing the trilogy The Witchlings and the first book was published in July 2012. Now she has got the writing bug and is constantly tapping away on her computer. When she does have some rare free time she spends it with her husband and children and dog ‘Gizzy’. Amanda loves to get together with her girl friends and put the world to rights over a bottle of wine. She loves all things fashion and owns over 100 pairs of shoes.

What is you favorite way to spend a rainy day? Under my duvet with hot chocolate and a good book or movie.

You’ve found a time machine on your driveway this morning – where are you going to go in it? Victorian London, I love to people watch and I think they were particularly hard times. It would be interesting to see how people coped.

It’s your fantasy dinner party – who are your guests? Richelle Mead, Robert Patterson, Marie Antoinette and  Franky Boyle (British comedian)

How do you react to a bad review? To me, they are just as important as good reviews. They help to develop my writing.

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book? I had a few bottles of wine with some friends.

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose? Invisibility, I am naturally a nosy person.

Night owl or early bird? Early bird.

One food you would never eat? Sushi!!! The thought of eating raw fish makes me squirm.

What are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works? I am currently working on a novel called ‘Just One Bite’ about werewolves. I am also working on the final installment of The Witchlings series.

What has been your most rewarding experience since being published? Reading the reviews from people that have really enjoyed the book. It makes all the stress worth while.

What was your favorite book when you were younger? I fell in love with the character of Mildred Hubble from the Worst Witch. It was the first book I bought and read it over and over.

What is your favourite Quote? Success is the best form of revenge.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”? I wanted to be a writer since forever, nothing else really appealed to me.

Who are your favourite authors of all time? I love all of Richelle Mead’s books and I enjoy reading Josephine Cox novels especially the older ones.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters? No, but some of my characters have similarities to friends and family.

What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year? Breaking Dawn Part 2, I am a total Twihard!!

Cats or Dog? Dogs

Heads or Tails? Heads

Facebook or Twitter? Facebook

Truth or Dare? Dare

Midnight curse - cover

Midnight curse (The Witchlings#1)

Roxanne didn’t know what to expect when she started her new school. However, what she didn’t expect was a new boyfriend. Luke was gorgeous but came with baggage, otherwise known as the Elites. Why did they worry her so much ? She was soon to discover that the Elites were a secret coven of witches. Roxanne is thrown into a world full of mystery, spells and best of all love. But love comes at a price. Can Roxanne overcome the Elites, a curse and worst of all the witch finders to find true happiness.

Blood Moon - Cover 

Blood Moon (The Witchlings#2)

For the first time in her life Roxanne had it all. A permanent home, her  mother back in her life and her gorgeous boyfriend Luke. Little did she know that was all going to change. She was about to lose everything she held dear.

With the witch finders looming ever closer, can Roxanne defeat the Blood moon curse? Can she prevent death, possession and the five angels of hell? Will she ever be accepted as a true Elite?
For Roxanne, only one thing is certain.  Her life will never be the same again.

Want to know more? Check out the links!

twitter supermand1974

Horrorfest Interview…Author Nicky Peacock

Today we’re welcoming horror author Nicky Peacock for an interview…

——————————————————————–

Nicky PeacockNicky is an English author living in the UK. She writes both YA and adult horror and paranormal Romance. In her spare time she runs a local writers’ group and can be found online through the links at the bottom of the post.

 What do you like about writing horror, over other genres?

There’re so many more options available to a writer when you throw horror into the mix. Ghosts, vampires, witches, zombies, werewolves, angels and demons – they are all great characters before you even start creating the character itself. They can also do things that normal people can’t, and this adds more facets to your story-telling.

 Which authors inspire you and your writing?

I have so many, and they change constantly. There are loads of established writers such as: Poppy Z Brite, Rachel Caine, Rachel Vincent, Charlaine Harris, Keri Arthur, Kelly Armstrong, Karen Marie Moning, I could provide a massive list! But there is also some great new talent out there too. When it comes to inspiration, I’m inspired by anyone who takes the time to tell a good story, who puts effort into their prose, editing and imaginative concepts.

 Any spooky real –life experiences that have influenced you?

I have had a few spooky experiences – the first ghost I ever saw was that of an old man who lived across from me as a child. I saw him in the window looking out at me in this bright red jumper. I was a bit of brat back then so stared right back at him – the odd thing was that he seemed to disappear right in front of me. I ran home to my mum, to tell her how rude he was to stare at me. She told me that I couldn’t have seen him as he’d died the day before.

 Reveal.50ShadesDo you believe in ghosts?

Yes, but no. I don’t think everything is paranormal and a lot of experiences can be explained away with natural occurrences. There are a few things though that simply cannot be rationalized.

 This or That: Zombies or Vampires?

I do love a good vampire paranormal romance and a gory zombie horror. I kind of like them both – for very different reasons though!

 It’s your fantasy Halloween party – who would you invite into your haunted house, and why?

Hmmm, I’d have to have all my friends and family there. No matter what we do we always have a blast. I’d like to scare the bejeezes out of my older brother, as he’s pulled some frightening shenanigans on me in the past.

Alexandra Skarsgard in his True Blood Viking prince costume wouldn’t go a miss either!

 This or That: Night owl or early bird?

I’m an early bird who is training to be a night owl as well. I recently stayed up 23 hours straight to get a manuscript finished. I do not recommend it – I actually slept more the next day to make up for it – so really didn’t gain any time in the long run.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your books?

I need the money! LOL just joking – I’ve got a number of stories in anthologies which range from paranormal romance to horror – so there’s plenty of variety and dark, sticky thoughts to get your reading fangs into!

 Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book?

I do love to listen to music when writing, it’s especially helpful when writing dramatic or emotional scenes. I always try to put up a playlist of the songs I listened to when writing particular pieces – they can then become kind of a soundtrack.

 What are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works?

I’m a multiple manuscript kind of girl so I always have a couple of books going at once. I write both YA and adult and am trying out the new NA too.

 What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?

There’re all pretty crazy! I did have a brain storming session with my young nephews recently which came up with a goblin family that eat car tires (the flavor dependent on the color of the car) – I’m unsure as to how to work that in somewhere though! LOL

 What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Don’t eat yellow snow! Just kidding, although that’s still good advice. It’s probably to just keep trying till you succeed. There is a famous Thomas. A. Edison quote I live my life by. When attempting to invent the light bulb he was asked what it is like to fail 10,000 times – he replied, ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’ Every failure is still a step toward success. You just have to keep walking.

——————————————————————–

Want to know more? Check out the links!

Website for my Writers’ Group: http://www.creativemindswriting.co.uk

Indie Author Month 2013 – Aaaaaaaand, we out!

Guest Feature

All done! 

So, it’s June 1st, which means Indie Month is done for our second year…

We hope you’ve enjoyed finding out about new books and authors, reading the guest posts about why people write, and possibly found some new stories to add to your own reading lists this summer. For us, it has been a pleasure hosting such a lovely, and enthusiastic, group of authors. They’ve tweeted and re-blogged the event all over the place, and come back to check out the other authors regularly – thank you for taking part so actively.

Our giveaway winner has now been selected – congratulations to Karen E :) our email is on its way to you, as I type!

This year, we featured more authors than in 2012, and were able to offer each a different type of post, so we hope you liked seeing something different. The posts attracted just under 2000 views in the month, which was also more than last year, so overall – we’re happy.

Thanks again for taking part – hopefully see you next year!

Mel x

 

IAM Book of the Day…A Case of Poisons, Hazel West

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Our featured author today is Hazel West – you may remember her from our February feature on her novel On a Foreign Field. Her latest book A Case of Poisons is due for release on 3rd June, today you can find out more about her in one of our special ‘This or That’ interviews.

———————————-

Hero or Villain? Sometimes, really awesome villains are harder to lose than really awesome heroes.

Pirates or Zombies? Pirates! And no, I don’t care for zombie pirates overmuch.

 Popcorn or Chocolate? Chocolate, extra dark.

London or New York? London!

 Classical or Pop? Classical; seriously most of my favorite music is way older than me.

 Elf or Dwarf? Well, if I narrow it down to Orlando Bloom or Richard Armatage, then I’m afraid I would have to choose Dwarves.

James Bond or Jason Bourne? Jason Bourne—love a guy who gets the job done without being constantly distracted by the local female life.

Early Bird or Night Owl? Night Owl, but does it still count on those nights I stay up till dawn working on something?

 

About the Author

I’m Hazel B. West, a self published author who currently has four published titles Freedom Come All Ye, Ballad of the Highwayman, On a Foreign Field, and By Blood or By Bond (along with it’s companion backstories) and the upcoming Anthony Maxwell steampunk mystery series. I love English, Scottish and Irish history, and use my research to write historical novels.

 Apart from being a writer, I love to read, sketch, listen to music as well as play my instruments, and drink coffee. I’m a history buff and bibliophile and would love to hike in the mountains if I didn’t live in Florida.

——————————————

A Case of PoisonsAnthony Maxwell is a private investigator, a consultant for the mostly incompetent inspectors at Scotland Yard, on occasion a writer, and always a lover of coffee. He has been working small cases for several years to pay the bills when he’s introduced to the first multiple murder case of his career early one morning, when a witness catches a man trying to unload a body to bury in a nearby graveyard. Soon the first body is joined by three more in the course of a single morning and Anthony knows this is no ordinary serial murder case. And why is the murderer targeting beggars and urchin children? If that wasn’t cause enough to worry, all the victims are covered with horrible wounds and show signs of exotic poisoning. Anthony, along with his partners Tobias—an ex-broadsman and well-know charmer—and Scamp—a street smart and talented young woman—work to find out who is murdering the helpless beggars and children in such horrifying ways. The first book in this new Victorian steampunk series takes the three companions to the limits of their abilities as they go up against canny murderers, bruisers who appear invincible, anarchist groups, and even ancient British royalty in the biggest case Anthony Maxwell has ever worked in his career.

———————————–

Want to know more? Check out the links!

Blog: http://hazelwest.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/artfulscribbler

Pintrest: http://pinterest.com/artfulscribbler/

Anthony Maxwell’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Anthony-Maxwell/978987912241341

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17557133-a-case-of-poisons

Purchase Links: http://hazelwest.blogspot.com/2013/03/purchase-links.html

IAM Interview…Richard Phillips aka Richie Earl

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Our featured author today is Richard Phillips. This morning we featured a preview of his second book Return to Finndragon’s Den, which launches today – now you can find out more about him in one of our special ‘This or That’ interviews.

———————————-

Finndragon Banner

 

Half-Empty or Half-Full? Half-full every time. I’m an optimist and always look on the bright side.

Cats or Dogs? I just love dogs. I have a rescue dog named Benson who’s nearly 10 years old now. Many of the characters in the Tales of Finndragon series are based on people I know, and there’s a dog called Bones who’s based on Benson.

Heads or Tails? There’s a saying where I come from: ‘Tails never fails for Wales.’

Reading or Writing? There’s never enough time in the day to do both. At the moment writing is taking up so much of my free time, that I haven’t read a book for a about a month.

James Bond or Jason Bourne? I must be the only person who doesn’t like James Bond. I can remember watching Roger Moore use a load of crocodiles as stepping stones when I was kid. I thought it was so unrealistic. I like stories, however fantastical to be believable, with rules that can’t be broken.

Summer or Winter? I love the sun, but unfortunately winter seems to last twice as long as summer in Wales.

City or Country? I live in a town, but the countryside is literally on my doorstep. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve spent many happy days exploring the wonderful landscape. I drew inspiration for my novels from the ancient site of Morlais Castle, a 13th century castle within 2 miles of my home. There is very little trace left these days.

Early Bird or Night Owl? I’ve always been an insomniac, even more so since I started writing, often staying awake past 2am. The trouble is I have children to get to school and a day job which gets me out of bed by 7am.

 

About the Author

My name is Richard Phillips and I write Young Adult Fantasy novels, under the pen name Richie Earl. I self-published my first novel, The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse, as an ebook on Amazon in December 2011 and recently on Smashwords. It is the first book in a two part series entitled Tales of Finndragon. I had an offer of a publishing deal from a small Welsh publisher, with regards to book 1 over sixteen months ago, but I haven’t signed as yet. The publisher applied to the Welsh Book Council for a grant to help with the cost of publication, which was declined last summer.

 

Any reader who likes to lose themselves in a fantastical new world will fall in love with The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse. The protagonists are ordinary children without any special abilities, longing to find their missing father and resume their normal family life. The children discover an ancient scroll relating to a fifteen hundred year old Welsh legend and another clue of a photograph in their father’s belongings. So they set off to find him in the cursed Kingdom of Morgannwg. Their epic quest brings them into contact with medieval knights, wizards and magical creatures. It is a story of heroism underpinned by family values. Book 1 has a cliff-hanger ending, leaving readers thirsting for more. I am sure that fans of Harry Potter would be enthralled by these books.

 

I have to admit that I was very naive when I first self-published. Over the last twelve months I have started to build my platform, and I now have a growing presence on Twitter (@finndragons), Facebook (Tales of Finndragon)and Goodreads. As well as the two novels, I have two as yet unpublished children’s picture books written in verse and a collection of poetry.

 

The second book, Return to Finndragon’s Den., is out on 29th May. It will be released as both an ebook and paperback, with a paperback version of book 1 also to become available. I’m also preparing separate versions of both books for the US market.

 

I am 47 years old and have worked as a Registered Nurse since 1985, currently employed by the Welsh Blood Service. I am married with three young children and managed to write my novels despite my hectic work and family life. My children were the inspiration for these books, and I based the leading characters on them.

 

I enjoy running, having completed the past two Cardiff Half Marathons. I also enjoy cycling when I have the time and I recently been joined by my two youngest children on a regular 10 mile ride.

 

——————————————

Want to know more? Check out the links!

 

The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse on Amazon

 

Return to Finndragon’s Den link will be available from May 29th.

 

Twitter @finndragons

 

Facebook Tales of Finndragon

 

Goodreads

IAM Interview…with Jack Croxall

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Our featured author today is Jack Croxall. We recently spotted a review of Jack’s book Tethers on Goodreads and liked the look of it so much that it’s in our ‘To Read’ pile now. You can expect a review of Tethers in the near future on the blog, but in the meantime, why not find out more about Jack and his writing in today’s interview. Enjoy! 

———————————-

Jack Croxall - Author Photo Born in High Wycombe, Jack Croxall now lives in rural Nottinghamshire with his chocolate Labrador, Archie. He has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of Nottingham and currently toils away as a science writer in between working on his books.

 If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world, which would it be?

That’s easy! I’d live in Lyra’s universe from His Dark Materials because everyone gets a daemon (a physical, animal representation of your soul). In the meantime, it’s great fun trying to work out what yours might be. I think mine would be a heron because I’m patient, persistent and I love water!

You’ve found a time machine on your driveway this morning – where are you going to go in it?

I think I’d probably go back to the time of the dinosaurs, if I managed to not get eaten, I could come back and tell everyone what colour they were!

How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?

I jumped around the room madly waving my arms! I wasn’t even alone at the time :S

What inspired you to want to become a writer?

In 2011 I was diagnosed with CFS and subsequently found myself housebound for a number of months. I had always felt I had a novel in me, but suddenly I had the time to produce it. My illness also influenced the mindset of my central characters, Karl and Esther; they are frustrated at being stranded in their small town with no way out to explore the wider world. This frustration was no doubt born from my own aggravations at being unable to get out and do anything.

What has been your most rewarding experience since being published?

Definitely seeing people talk about my characters (in reviews or on social networks for example). They lived exclusively inside my head for so long but having other people meet, enjoy and talk about their company triggers a feeling like no other.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?

Maybe …

How do you react to a bad review?

Sadly, bad reviews are perhaps inevitable but it doesn’t stop them hurting! Obviously not everyone is going to like your book, which is completely fine, you just have to find a way of hardening yourself to them!

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book?

I can’t really think of one particular song, but I have put together a playlist of songs I listened to whilst writing the book. You can check it out here: http://bit.ly/Zr6l9U

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Can I give two instead? Firstly, read as widely as you can – not exclusively stuff from the genre you write in. I’m not just talking about fiction either; blogs, newspaper articles, pamphlets, menus, billboards, DVD boxes, E-mails, all can be sources of great writing – you need to absorb as much of it as you can! Secondly, get involved with the larger writing community. With social networking it’s never been easier and most writers really are wonderfully supportive. I’ve found talking to fellow book/writing types incredibly helpful so, please, get involved; my twitter handle is @JackCroxall – if you’re interested, add me for a chat!

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Because there is so much more at stake than the central characters realise!

——————————

Tethers Cover
In the wake of a cold Victorian winter, two teenagers discover an anonymous journal filled with strange passages and bizarre scribblings.

The journal soon draws them into a covert and sinister conspiracy, a conspiracy centred around an otherworldly artefact with the power to change everything …

Karl and Esther have spent almost every day of their thirteen years in the quiet market town of Shraye. Stifled by their rural surroundings and frustrated by their unfulfilled ambitions, they find the allure of the journal’s mysterious pages impossible to ignore. The book seems to be beckoning them away from Shraye, away from their homes and towards the coast where an unsolved disappearance has set in motion a dark chain of events.

The voyage the teenagers soon find themselves undertaking is one of desperate importance and true peril; it will change the way they see the world, and each other, forever.

Reviewers’ Comments:

The story begins with a break away from home that is reminiscent of the exploration stories of Enid Blyton and Arthur Ransome, the kids find themselves on a metaphorical rollercoaster cart racing down the tracks. And the brakes are off. Sword fights, pistols, unfortunate deaths and curious objects, the plot thickens with every twist and turn. Suddenly Blyton meets H.G. Wells, and a brilliantly paced steampunk tale of machinery and science-based magic unfolds. (Charlotte Morris – MuggleNet)

Somewhere between Pullman’s Sally Lockhart mysteries and Moonfleet sits Tethers, a rip-roaring debut novel. Sharply written with well observed characters that you can root for, Tethers has you turning pages faster that Ronald MacDonald can throw out burgers. (Sharon Sant – author of the Sky Song trilogy).

——————————————

Want to know more? Check out the links!

Add on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/13JaDq1

Buy the book

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/WRf4vI

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/12ozq7Q

Connect with the Author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JackCroxall
Website/Blog: http://jackcroxall.co.uk/
Goodreads profile: http://bit.ly/11UOYPf

IAM Interview…with author David Normoyle

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

David Normoyle is today’s featured author – and he’s bravely faced our first ever ‘This or That’ interview – want to know more? Then read on! :) 

David was born in Australia, but moved to Ireland at an early age. The early globe crossing must have gone to his head, as he has since backpacked through and lived in numerous countries. He grew up on a farm as the eldest of nine unruly siblings, but since his escape, he prefers city living. His electronic engineering degree is currently gathering dust while he tries new and strange pursuits such as novel writing.

 ———————————-

davidjnormoylePirates or Zombies?

I’m gonna go for pirates here. Never had much love for zombies or zombie movies. Didn’t have much of an opinion on pirates until the inimitable Captain Jack Sparrow came along. He elevated pirates to a whole new level.

Hero or Villain?

I’m going to cheat a little on this question and choose the dividing line between hero and villain. Some of my favorite characters are those who skate that dividing line. Great examples include Tony Soprano, Al Swearengen from Deadwood, Vick Mackey from The Shield, Michael Corleone from The Godfather movies. And practically the whole cast of Game of Thrones.

Good Book or Good Film?

Although I quoted mainly TV characters above, books are always my first love. I like to read a book before watching a movie, better to for the book knowledge to spoil the movie than vice versa. I have a small select list of cases where the film is better than the book (including The Godfather, Schlinder’s List and Silence of the Lambs) but they are the exception that prove the rule.

 Beach or Backpack?

Backpack all the way. I get bored on beaches rather quickly and I have had some great times backpacking. You are always meeting new people and exploring wonderful places.

James Bond or Jason Bourne?

I like Bond and all, but Bourne is the winner here. Bond is a one note character in many ways, where as Bourne is much more interesting while being just as much as a bad ass. Plus I fell in love with Bourne via the books, whereas I’ve just seen Bond on the screen (see Book or Film section.)

 Twilight or The Hunger Games?

Ok, this is the easiest question of the lot. I’m a big Hunger Games fan. The concept for my novel drew inspiration from Hunger Games among other sources. On the other hand, the internet seems to love making jokes about Twilight, and I laugh at those jokes (does that make me a bad person?) So yeah, Hunger Games in a landslide.

—————————-

The_Narrowing_Path  

  Only the strongest, smartest and most ruthless will survive.

Every six years, the world draws nearer to the sun. In Arcandis, those who want to live must claim the limited places in the Refuge, a series of underground caverns cooled by the sea.

The teenage boys of noble birth are sent out into the city to demonstrate their wits and strength. Some prove themselves in combat, others display their empire building skills, still others attempt to kill off their rivals. Out of over a hundred, only six will be selected by the leaders of the great families and allowed a place in the Refuge. The rest will perish, one way or another.

Not only is thirteen-year-old Bowe younger and weaker than most of the other boys, he has no family to support him. He is expected to die on the very first day of the narrowing path. Instead he begins a journey no one could have anticipated.

IAM Interview…with author Ninfa Hayes

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Ninfa Hayes is today’s featured author – this morning you can find out more about her in a full-length interview and feature on her novel Bites, this afternoon our second feature will give you a sneak peek at Divine, her current WIP that she’s writing with Misty Price. 

Ninfa lives in Manchester, UK with husband Gareth, daughter Cassandra and two gorgeous kitties, Jemima and Shelley. Originally from Italy, she’s half Spanish, half Italian and British by choice and marriage.

She loves books and is a total bookaholic! Reading and writing have always been a big part of her life and for this she thanks both her parents for passing down the literary gene and the passion for a good story.

Ninfa is big on Networking and co-runs an array of Facebook pages and blogs about books and all things supernatural. She also reviews books for the Facebook “Bookaholics Book Club” on a regular basis.

In this spirit, she’s also training her daughter in these dark arts and plans on making her a huge geek, whether she likes it or not!

If you’d like to find out more about Ninfa and her stories, you can check out her Facebook author page, Ninfa Hayes.

 ———————————-

 

Ninfa Hayes - Image

What is you favorite way to spend a rainy day?

Oh, it’s got to be been curled up on the sofa, tv or music playing in the background, a nice  big pot of steaming vanilla tea and snacks on the coffee table, and a good book in my hands :)

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

I LARP (Live Action Role Play)! I get dressed up in costume and go interact in game with people. It’s awesome and it allows me to live stories that I would not be able to experience otherwise :) My favorite game is called Odyssey and it’s steeped in ancient world Mythology :)

 You’re right – that was definitely not an answer we were expecting! OK – on the subject of an odyssey – you’ve found a time machine on your driveway this morning – where are you going to go in it?

Well, my very first trip would be back twenty years, to see my dad one more time. He passed away when I was 18 and it would be amazing to be able to tell him all about my life and his granddaughter. After that, I would head to 1815 to meet Jane Austen, one of my favorite writers…from then it would be a big tour of the history of books…Tolkien, Marion Zimmer Bradley…so many authors to meet! :)

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

Just one? That’s impossible, lol! Everyone should read as much as they can! Reading feeds your soul :) But if I had to recommend a book or series, it would probably be “Harry Potter” by J. K. Rowling because at the heart of it, it has a very strong and positive message, and that’s to stand up for what is good and to believe in yourself because no matter who you are, young or old, strong or weak, you CAN change the world.

How do you react to a bad review?

It’s hard to receive criticism and I can’t say it doesn’t hurt to know that someone didn’t enjoy my book, but at the end of the day it’s part of being a writer and putting yourself out there. I like to think that I’m respectful of people’s opinions and if someone has taken the time to write down their thoughts on my work and share it, then I should be grateful for that time.

Which authors have influenced you most, and how?

There are several, but I think the top three would be Louisa May Alcott, because I read “Little Women” like 40 times when I was younger and wanted to be Jo March sooo bad! Marion Zimmer Bradley and her book “The Mists of Avalon” for introducing me to Fantasy, and last but not least, Kelley Armstrong, for writing the books I would want to have written myself and for giving me the best advice ever: “If you want to be a good writer, you have to read!”

Night owl or early bird?

Night Owl all the way. I don’t do mornings very well, although with a full time job and a family I don’t always have a choice. Thank goodness for my lovely hubby as he lets me have a lie in at the weekend most times :)

One food you would never eat?

Insects of any kind…I know in some parts of the world they are delicacies, but I could never eat a bug…never ever!

What are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works?

I have several projects, but right now I’m working on two that I’m hoping to finish in 2013.

The first one is a team up with Misty Price from the Bookaholics Book Club on Facebook and Blog. We are writing a YA Mythological Fantasy called “Divine” and I’m very excited about this story. It’s about two girls, Callie and Tia, and the prophecy that ties them together. Lots of references to the Greek Gods and a lot of action and romance :)

The second project is one I’ve been working on for years, on and off, and it’s called “Morgan’s Legacy”, Book one in the House of Avalon series. As you can probably guess it’s a take on Arthurian legends, lots of magic and also a YA,

but “Divine” is the priority at the moment.

So…on the project you’re co-writing with Misty – how does that work?

We each write from the point of view of one of the protagonists, alternating chapters and forwarding each others stories. It’s great because you get a multiple view of the world and the story, and because it’s written by two different people you know that the characters will have very unique and individual voices.

That sounds like a great way to create two characters and keeping them independent. How do you find it working with someone else, is it easier than flying solo, or can it make things more difficult?

It’s exciting, because we each come up with new ideas and inject them in the story, so we are almost like readers, discovering the world of the book and the characters as we go. It keeps things interesting. Of course there are compromises to be made, because we’ll both have a rough idea of how we want things to go, but it’s not necessarily how the other will see it. So far it’s been a fairly smooth process, but we are just finishing first draft and I know there will be bumps to smooth over once we start reviewing the story.

Overall I’m loving the experience, and the word count doesn’t seem as scary when you’re only doing half ;)

What made you decide to write together?

I’ve been helping out a little with the Bookaholics Book club over the last couple of years, and Misty is a good friend. She is also a budding writer and was experimenting with her own stories which I was lucky enough to get to read. I like her ideas and her style. When we decided to launch a newsletter for the Book Club, Misty wanted to do something special for our followers, so we decided to write a short story in a few chapters as an extra. That’s how “Divine” was born. I came up with the initial setting, but as we started writing it we kinda realized we would need more than a few chapters. We fell in love with the characters and the story and from there decided to turn in into a full blown novel. 50K words later here we are, first edit is almost complete, then we’ll be developing the characters and world fully and hopefully sending our baby out into the world to see if we can attract the interest of a publishing house. If not, we will happily self publish as we really want to share “Divine” with all readers out there :)

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world.. which would it be?

Oh gosh, that would be a dream come true…do I have to pick just one?! There are so many amazing worlds…okay, I’m going to narrow it down to either the world of Harry Potter because let’s face it, I need to get into Ravenclaw, and Tolkien’s Middle Earth, ’cause been a Hobbit would totally rock!

What was your favorite book when you were younger? 

“Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy M. Montgomery. I adored that book and the ones that followed. I could relate to Anne so much: the daydreaming, making up stories in my mind. It’s such a beautiful story, full of emotion, and it was a great inspiration as I grew up. Anne is a normal girl, she makes mistakes all the time and learns from them, she’s also a strong heroine and wants to make something better of herself. There are so many positive messages in her story and I can’t wait for my daughter to be old enough to read it :)

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book?

For “Bites” it would be “Ava Adore” by the Smashing Pumpkins, for “Divine” so far I’ve listened to Taylor Swifts album “Fearless” on repeat because it puts me in a teenage kinda mood and helps me get into my character’s head :)

If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why?

Nia Vardalos, from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”! She’s talented, funny, creative and she’s a woman with curves that has not given in to the “stick figure” Hollywood stereotype. She’s also Mediterranean in origin so she might actually be able to pull off my Italian/Spanish/ English weird accent Xp

How did you know you should become an author?

I’ve always written, since I was little, but never thought anything would come of it, it was just something I loved to do.

4 years ago I got pregnant with my daughter and whilst I was on maternity leave I realized I needed something to keep me sane, so I started writing more and more and actually found peace, something that could be just mine. When I gathered enough courage I showed my writing to friends, and got lots of encouragement. They liked my stories and wanted more. From there it progressed until I actually decided to send it to Dianna Hardy, who I admired as a writer and would later become my publisher. That was the best thing to ever happen to me, her guidance and insight into the publishing world are the reasons why “Bites” exists, and I’m forever grateful to her for that. Now I know I could not stop writin even if I wanted to, it’s a part of who I am and it makes me a better person.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?

I think there’s a little of me in each of my main characters. Perhaps only little aspects such as common likes, a personality trait, a passion shared. After all they all come from my mind. The villains are the most difficult to write for me because of that I think, it’s almost like exorcising parts of me that I don’t like and I’ve been fighting to keep at bay, so it’s very intense to face them and accept them to be able to write them vividly enough that it will be believable, but it’s also very therapeutic in a way.

 What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?

“Catching Fire” (I LOVE “The Hunger Games” Trilogy!) and “The Host” for movies; “The Indigo Spell” by Richelle Mead, “Cry of the Wolf” by Dianna Hardy and “Loki’s Wolves – Blackwell Pages Book 1” by Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr in books :)

Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook. I’m still trying to work out how to use Twitter to its full potential, but I prefer the flexibility of Facebook for longer statuses and posting photos and links.

Favourite quote from a movie?

“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude mater. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes.”

Master Yoda to Luke, “Star Wars – The Empire Strikes Back”.

Yes, I’m a huge “Star Wars” fan, and a Geek, and proud of it :)

—————————-

Two short stories that will seduce you with romance, danger, sensuality … and Vampire bites.

BITES - Cover Image

Last of the Blood

When the sweet scent reaches me I know I have found what I’m looking for. My hands reach out in the darkness to the unaware girl. She’s warm and soft and doesn’t even get to scream before I’m drinking deeply from her, her struggles too feeble to bother me.

Only the blood counts.

I’ve never tasted anything like it.  Gloriously sweet, thick and strong and full of life.

I drink until the hunger subsides, until the body that I hold so close to me hangs lifelessly in my arms.  Only then I see.  Only then I recognize it, and the agony … oh, the agony is more than I can bear.

Demonica

Tonight is the Midwinter Solstice Ball, the most important night in the Daemonic Court’s calendar.

This is the night when new disciples are chosen, when demons come out to play, and all bets are off.

As it happens, tonight is also the night I become Queen. 

 Irina is about to become Queen of the Daemonic Court and Damon is on the run from his own nature …where will their paths take them?

——————————

Want to know more? Check out the links!

Facebook: Ninfa Hayes www.facebook.com/ninfa.m.sferlazzo/posts/10151280692126655?ref=notif&notif_t=like#!/pages/Ninfa-Hayes/231118400279030

Twitter: @Ninfa76 www.twitter.com/Ninfa76

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/5782405.Ninfa_Hayes

Publisher’s Website: www.bittenfruitbooks.com/bites-ya-dark-paranormal-fantasy.html

Books available on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Waterstones, the Book Depository, and all major online retailers.

IAM Interview…with author David Estes

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

David Estes is today’s featured author – this morning you can find out more about him in a full-length interview. 

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife and soul mate, Adele, who he’s now been happily married to for two years.
A reader all his life, David began writing novels for the children’s and YA markets in 2010, and has completed 10 novels, 8 of which have been published.  The Star Dwellers will be his 8th published novel. In June of 2012, David became a fulltime writer and is now travelling the world with his wife while he writes books, and she writes and takes photographs.
David gleans inspiration from all sorts of crazy places, like watching random people do entertaining things, dreams (which he jots copious notes about immediately after waking up), and even from thin air sometimes! Recently he’s been inspired by some of his favorite authors, like Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, and Maggie Stiefvater.
David’s a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, an obsessive Goodreads group member, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.  He loves responding to e-mails, Facebook messages, Tweets, blog comments, and Goodreads comments from his readers, all of whom he considers to be his friends.

 ———————————-

 If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?

1. A magic lamp with a genie (preferably the Robin Williams voiced genie from Aladdin) who will grant me three wishes
2. A boxed set of The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien (Favorite. Series. Ever.)
3. A sturdy beach chair
How do you react to a bad review?
Sob, scream at the walls, rock back and forth. All three things at the same time. It’s messy, you don’t want to see it.
Kidding aside, I’ve had to grow some pretty thick skin, pretty fast. I never want someone to dislike my books, my writing style, my characters. But the truth is, everyone has different opinions, which is what makes life interesting. I mean, have you ever hated a book that all of your friends said was amazing? I know I have. My goal as a writer cannot be to please everyone. It’s simply to improve my writing with each and every book and do my very best to entertain my incredible readers. So when I do occasionally get a negative review, I read it and try to glean any constructive feedback from it that may help me in the future. Anything I disagree with or that is mean spirited, I just ignore. It’s all about having the right attitude and always striving to improve.
Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
Absolutely! Sleep in (yeah, not a morning person) first. Get up around 9am, have breakfast with my wife. Then I start writing, putting in at least two hours in the morning (2,000+ words). Lunch with my wife and then we try to do something fun together, like if we’re near a beach (which we usually are), we go to the beach, go swimming, read books together, etc. I’ll put in another hour or two of writing in the afternoon, too, to bring my word count to between 3 and 4 thousand, or the occasional 5,000+ word day. We have dinner and spend the evening either at home watching movies, watching our favorite TV shows, or hanging out with friends, or going to watch live music.
Throughout the day and into the evening I do all the other stuff that comes with being a full time writer, like interviews, blog appearances, answering reader mail, doing blog posts, and publishing my books.
I always read before bed, too, usually 50+ pages of whatever book I’ve currently got my nose in. That’s it! That’s a day in the life. Day in and day out I put in 3-4 hours of writing a day, and at least that much time doing other author activities, which is the commitment required to publish a book every 2-3 months. It’s a lot of work, but the flexible lifestyle and creativity of it makes it all worthwhile. And, of course, all the support from my readers, who are absolutely incredible, the best people in the world, and my dearest friends!
If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
Besides my OCD, which I’ve blogged about as my real superpower (I’m not kidding), I would want to fly! There’s a reason I chose flying for my nine-year-old child superhero Nikki Powergloves (from my The Adventures of Nikki Powergloves series) as her favorite superpower. Namely, who doesn’t want to be able to fly? I mean, really, what kid doesn’t dream of being able to fly above the trees, above the clouds, and over buildings? IT WOULD BE AWESOME!
What are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works?
I’m always working on something! Having recently released The Star Dwellers, the sequel to The Moon Dwellers, my focus is on publishing the third book in the Dwellers Saga, The Sun Dwellers, which I’ve already written. Currently I’m working on editing and revising it and getting it ready for publishing. At the same time, I’m working on the first book in my sister series to The Dwellers Saga, titled Fire Country, another YA dystopian novel that will eventually connect with the underground world of the Tri-Realms.
For those who love YA dystopian novels with lots of twists, turns, a bit of comedy and a whole lot of emotion, you’ll likely enjoy the Dwellers Saga.

—————————-

The Moon Dwellers In a desperate attempt to escape destruction decades earlier, humankind was forced underground, into the depths of the earth, creating a new society called the Tri-Realms.

After her parents and sister are abducted by the Enforcers, seventeen-year-old Adele, a member of the middle-class moon dwellers, is unjustly sentenced to life in prison for her parents’ crimes of treason.

Against all odds, Adele must escape from the Pen and find her family, while being hunted by a deranged, killing machine named Rivet, who works for the President. She is helped by two other inmates, Tawni and Cole, each of whom have dark secrets that are better left undiscovered. Other than her friends, the only thing she has going for her is a wicked roundhouse kick and two fists that have been well-trained for combat by her father.

At the other end of the social spectrum is Tristan, the son of the President and a sun dweller. His mother is gone. He hates his father. Backed by only his servant and best friend, Roc, he leaves his lavish lifestyle in the Sun Realm, seeking to make something good out of his troubled life.

When a war breaks out within the Tri-Realms, Tristan is thrust into the middle of a conflict that seems to mysteriously follow Adele as she seeks to find her family and uncover her parents true past. In their world, someone must die.

——————————

Want to know more? Check out the links!

His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/davidestesbooks