Writing Tips: How to write a great author bio

This caught my eye today on the BookBaby blog – a nice resource for authors on writing, publishing, marketing and much more. Anyway, if you’re thinking of revising your author bio – or even just want to check that you’re on the right track, this is a good little article to help you along the way.

http://blog.bookbaby.com/2014/03/how-to-write-a-great-author-bio/?utm_campaign=BB1510&utm_source=BBeNews&utm_medium=Email&spMailingID=48142534&spUserID=OTI1MTU2NjExMgS2&spJobID=640344388&spReportId=NjQwMzQ0Mzg4S0

IAM Guest Feature…A Day in the Life of an Author

To launch our Indie Author Month 2014, we’re pleased to welcome back to the blog author and satirist Michael Cargill. Regular visitors to the blog may well recognise Michael from his previous interviews and features where we’ve reviewed his books (see previous features here) – today he’s back to tell us about being an author.

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A day in the life of an author

By Michael Cargill

 

The other day I received an email from a friend complaining that I spend far too much time writing and not enough time socialising. I found myself surprised by the email, initially because I couldn’t help but notice that the apostrophes were in all the wrong places, but as I read through it a realisation began to dawn on me: my lifestyle has become wholly incompatible with how my friends live.

I’ve been an author for nearly three years now and, although the changes that this has brought to my life are dramatic and overwhelming, they have occurred at such a gradual pace that I hadn’t really noticed them until now. Imagine travelling across Europe, absorbing and immersing yourself in all the sights and local cultures as you go, and before you know it you’re dining on racoon goulash and vodka coffee in the Siberian plains like it’s the most natural thing in the world. It’s as if the Twilight Zone has come to life… and by Jove is it effing marvellous.

This morning my alarm clock went off as it usually does and after splashing my face with cold mineral water I had to shoo Apple, my Siamese cat, off of my yoga mat lest he claw it to bits and spoil my chi. Bear in mind that I get up at midnight so there’s always a few minutes of fumbling around in the dark as I try to get my bearings but once all the lanterns have been lit (why do the matches never seem to be in the same place that I left them?) I’ll spend a few minutes doing leg stretches and finger exercises before stepping into my sun-blushed slippers and unlocking the door to my office. I sit down, make myself comfy, and check with Roald Dahl to see if anyone has sent me any important letters, fan mail, or ideas for future stories, all of which happen with surprising regularity these days. Although he has something of a high pitched voice and an annoying tendency to ramble on a bit, the great man does an important job for me so I patiently wait for him to finish. Just to clarify, Roald Dahl is the name I’ve given to my fax machine and may God bless his noisily efficient soul.

With all the boring admin and paperwork out of the way, I’m free to move onto the more interesting things that the modern world has blessed us with. If it’s a Wednesday I’ll fire up the laptop and connect up to one of those online elearning portals that are all the rage these days. Although Sting and his wife have developed something of a reputation for bad time keeping, their tantric sex meditation sessions are worth their wait in gold so I just sit tight until they’re ready to get things started.

When that palaver (finally) finishes my other alarm clock goes off to remind me that it’s 6am and the local coffee shop will be opening up for the day. After popping down on my scooter I’ll order a strawberry latte and, depending on how hungry I’m feeling, maybe even an apricot croissant.

By the way, does anyone else’s coffee shop sell those overpriced wafer biscuits? £3.50 for a flimsy hazelnut cream snack? No thanks, not when I’ve already got a bag of Melba toast in the kitchen cupboard.

Anyway, the barista is a pretty girl from Romania who pronounces the silent ‘p’ in the word receipt and I’m sure she’d be thrilled to learn that she made a brief appearance in one of my books… and the three year old girl in a pushchair who pulled a blanket over her head when I poked my tongue out at her, she’d be tickled pink to hear that her shyness planted the seed for an unwritten story that has been bouncing around in my head for the past six months or so.

There’s also the teenager in baggy jeans and oversized baseball cap who, even though I only caught sight of him for a few seconds on the London Underground, gave me the idea for the as yet unpublished short story that is currently sitting pretty on my external hard drive. And the woman in black tights who was sat cross-legged in her chair, completely oblivious to the fact that I was staring at her as she casually bounced a loose shoe off the end of her foot… she’d probably think I was an oddball if she knew that her slender thighs were the inspiration for a short scene in a book I published last year.

Once I’ve had my fill of coffee and grown bored of observing the actions of people minding their own business I’ll scoot back home to check my sales ranking. I load up the Amazon page, enter my password, and OHMYGOSHASALE! This is wonderful, it’s been ages since someone expressed an interest in… hold on, they went and got a refund shortly afterwards. How dare they do such a thing, that’s… that’s just plain unfair.

*Sigh*

If only I could hold down a regular 9-5 office job.

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About the Author: Living in England, Surrey and about to break the 33-years old barrier.  I can honestly say that coming to terms with getting older is worse than puberty.  At 14 every extra hair was greeted with rapturous applause and a desire to show it off at school.  Every time a small breeze blew I would worry that it was going to blow away.

These days whenever I spot a new nasal hair I can hear it laughing at me.  I even have to make use of electronic devices to prune it back.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Blog – http://michaelcargill.wordpress.com/

Twitter – @MichaelCargill1   Facebook

The Books…

Author Page on Goodreads

 Trailer for Underneath  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUBrxs38Dkc

Smashwords

UK Amazon

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…

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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.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

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

IAM Excerpt…Bad Monsters

Bad Monsters Cover (finished)-1As promised – here’s Clinton Harding’s second feature of the week – an excerpt from his latest book Bad Monsters. Enjoy!

CHAPTER ONE

Glass crunched underneath the soles General Mauser’s high polished boots. The sound gave him pause and he fought the urge to grind his teeth with each additional step.

Four teenagers… four children managed to move through a heavily fortified military base with so much ease?!

Shards of glass lay scattered about the circular room. Above him, a breach the size of a small adult human punctuated the steel framing of the domed ceiling, the metal bent inward, the glass panes gone. The sound of groaning metal and breaking glass tore at the general’s mind, a dull razor against paper.

How many internal hybrid attacks had Carpenter endured in the last few years? Uncountable. That is the hazard of working with beasts, with monsters. You don’t walk into a minefield and expect not to step on at least one land mine. In the past each monster incident had ended with the escaped hybrids sedated, the threat neutralized and contained. Minimal paperwork required. This time… a handful of soldiers lay in the infirmary and security found three high-ranking officers handcuffed to a pipe underneath a sink.

Embarrassing.

Children had fought and subdued Mauser’s soldiers, had handcuffed his lead scientist, his head of security, and a captain. Not hybrids but children. There would be a hand-cramping amount of paperwork to fill out in order to explain this mess… Mauser would not subject his hands to that ache, his incompetent subordinates would.

Embarrassing.

At least no other hybrid managed to escape its bonds, except the four.

Mauser forced himself to stop grinding his teeth. He took in a deep breath and held it for the space of half a minute before exhaling.

None of this was supposed to happen. The hybrids were to be taken from the children, brought back to the base, examined, and contained once more. If it were not for his own son’s blubbering tears and his wife’s insistence that he and the boy have a “man-to-man” conversation, the General would have been at the base last night.

Now the newest, youngest batch of Carpenter hybrids was gone… again. This was not part of the original plan.

“We adapt or die,” the General muttered under his breath. He had spoken these words to himself once before. It had been two weeks after the fall out in New Mexico, after the monsters ripped their way through to his world, his country, and proceeded to tear apart rightful citizens of these United States. He picked up the pieces of tragedy those many years ago and refocused disaster into opportunity.

Glass crunched and scraped as Mauser turned on his heel.

Professor Martin Graves stood in front of a stainless steel worktable polishing a set of surgical instruments, likely to keep his hands busy. He had changed out of his surgical scrubs and into a pair of rumbled suit slacks and a white un-ironed shirt with the sleeves cuffed up past the elbows. Tired and miserable, Graves kept his back to Mauser. That spoke more than words.

Can I trust him? Mauser believed it possible that Graves had helped his son and his son’s monster escape Carpenter. How else could the boy, his friends, and the beasts have ghosted past security? They had certainly made an entrance. From what Mauser understood, it was his lead scientist’s badge after all that allowed the group of teens access to the underground facility.

Then there was First Lieutenant Greg Marshall, leaning against the doorway, rubbing his wrist absently. Another family man, one more devoted than the absent Graves, for sure. The reason why Mauser brought Marshall to Carpenter was the soldier’s values. His commitment to his family. That loyalty made a man strong, made him willing to die for his beliefs and loves. Yet a family man’s priorities centered on his family, sacrifices were not easily made outside that inner circle.

Neither man dared to face Mauser’s disapproving gaze, Graves and Marshall wanting to avoid admonishment for the blundering display of idiocy the previous evening.

Mauser glanced at his wristwatch. Morning. The night had slipped by as quickly as the children and the beasts.

She should be here soon.

As he lowered his arm, Mauser caught the sight of the exam room table. Strange to see the restraints not snapped with great strength or cut by a knife. The undone brass buckle of the two hands span wide belly restraint swayed, nearly brushing the ground. Its casual ease taunted Mauser. Yes, it had been that easy. No extraordinary powers needed.

Both subordinate officers had offered their stories to Mauser. Neither had known their sons would break into the mountain base. Nor did they understand how Grave’s son had burst through the domed ceiling like a superhero and walked away without a broken bone. Stern lectures and a month without television or video games would not be enough to produce hangdog teenage faces and second thoughts. Graves and Marshall would write reports later and their hands would indeed cramp. If nothing, Carpenter was a government, a bureaucracy, right down to the last scrap of paper and drop of ink.

I should have fought harder to keep the families away from these projects. Mauser chided himself for that moment of weakness when all this started.

Mauser believed his men needed their families close. He also wanted to keep the soldiers from rotating to new posts, to protect the integrity of the confidential operation and to hide the project in plain sight. For those reasons he allowed Carpenter to grow around a town, for the civilians and military to merge into a cohesive unit. Mistake number one.

A recent mistake was letting Sergeant Major Scott leave the room. Scott headed the Lightning Squad. With tanks strapped to their backs, each filled with a nerve-twitching amount of hydro-electricity, the team was effective in controlling a hybrid. Scott also had a reputation for getting things done, costs be damned if he preserved a greater amount of lives. Mauser’s kind of soldier.

For what Mauser needed next, Scott is the preferred soldier.

“I’m sending out a team to recapture the escaped monsters,” Mauser said to neither man in particular. Striding to the door, to where Marshall stood, he made to leave.

The air stirred as the other men surfaced from their downcast reverie.

Another thought occurred to the General. “Capture the monsters and bring in the children.”

A pause.

Glass crunched. How many of the panes did the Graves boy bring down?

Magnificent potential.

“I’ll establish my team immediate—” Marshall started to say before his commanding officer cut him off.

“No,” Mauser said flatly, simply, and louder than necessary. He intended for his voice to roar like thunder, to straighten backs. The General commanded authority and he would have obedience.

Letting the singular word resonate and dig, Mauser continued more quietly. “First Lieutenant, you are needed here in Carpenter. You must maintain order at our facility. Plus, your boy is out there and your judgment will be clouded if you lead.”

That is how you ground someone, Mauser acknowledged proudly.

“But this is… you… ” Marshall started to speak out of turn, to question his superior officer’s, his commander’s orders. Then he remembered himself. With little emotion, Marshall corrected his delivery. “Sir, if not myself then who will be set as squad leader?”

“Scott.”

“Sir, if you don’t mind me saying,” Marshall began slowly, choosing his words carefully, not wanting to again question orders or speak ill of an enlisted man so near his own rank.

“I do mind, First Lieutenant,” Mauser said, reaching for the doorknob. “Scott is more qualified for this mission than yourself. End of discussion.”

Mauser cut off the man with a simple gesture. This young military officer was not thinking straight, he’d shortly before seen his son walk out of his life, disobeying parental orders to extricate himself from the military’s affairs. In the wild, if a cub questioned the lion, the lion would eat the impudent pretender. Plus, Mauser was unsure he could trust the father of one of the teens who’d stolen the hybrids. Not at this moment anyway.

Until now, Graves had chosen to continue sanitizing and polishing his surgical tools. Smarter man than Marshall. Maybe Mauser could…

Graves dropped a gleaming scalpel, or perhaps the professor lightly tossed it down. The tool hit with metallic clatter.

“You mean Scott has more experience with hybrids,” Graves said, not turning his gaze to meet Mauser’s own.

Mauser arched a bushy eyebrow, raising it over the rim of his spectacles.

Marshall looked between the military man and the scientist, not understanding, still rubbing his wrist. “Professor Graves, what do you—”

“He’s sending Scott’s team and a team of hybrids to take down the escaped ones.”

Mauser did not flinch or acknowledge this information as factual. Silence was sometimes more powerful than words. Silence could unravel a man’s composure more than a passionate shout. Marshall was a family man. He cared for his son no matter the boy’s transgressions. He was also ten years younger than Graves and that gap was more apparent the closer you stepped to the edge for the man’s love for his child.

Turning the knob, the lock disengaged with an audible click. Pushing the door open, Mauser walked out. He paused when his First Lieutenant spoke out unchecked.

“Our fully grown hybrids are not field tested,” the soldier said, stepping into the threshold of the lab door, “there’s a chance they might rip the escaped subjects apart… and the kids too!”

Mauser chose to ignore the reckless passion in the soldier’s voice, to turn the cheek at the slap. Only now had Marshall validated the General’s decision to involve Scott.

“They will be once this is over,” Mauser said. “If the children are smart, they will turn themselves over to Scott and his team. Besides, from what you both told me, it sounds like the children are more than capable of handling themselves. Let us observe how this plays out… shall we.”

Not a recommendation… an order.

“Let it go, Greg,” Graves interjected softly.

“You’re going along with this, Martin. I know you’re a man of science but… god man, Jon is your boy.”

“We’ve been waiting for this opportunity since Generation One, First Lieutenant,” Mauser said to Marshall when the professor did not answer immediately. “Who knew we’d be so fortunate. Believe me when I say… we want the children back more than their freakish pets.”

Getting Russell a viper would have been safer than one of the monsters, Mauser mused with wry humor.

Clipped to his belt, a handheld radio crackled and a voice called out to Mauser. Mauser answered that he was listening and then waited.

“Sir, we’re escorting the girl inside the facility now. We’ll put her in a holding room until you’re ready to speak with her. Over”

More white noise crackled. Mauser answered with an affirmative and placed the radio back on his belt, the opposite side from his firearm. He did not excuse himself.

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Want to read more? Check out the links!

http://clintondharding.com (official site)

https://twitter.com/#!/ClintonDHarding (twitter)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clinton-D-Harding/76506701006 (facebook)

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5381520.Clinton_D_Harding (goodreads)

IAM Book of the Day…Bad Monsters by Clinton D Harding

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Author Clinton Harding is a frequent guest on Aside From Writing, and today we’re excited to be sharing his latest book Bad Monsters with you. This is the sequel to Our Monsters, which appeared in our first Indie Author Month last year. Tomorrow we’ll be featuring an excerpt from Bad Monsters, so make sure you come back for that! You can also win copies of both books in the MASSIVE giveaway we’re running for IAM2013 – what are you waiting for?! 🙂 

Bad Monsters Cover (finished)-1 Jon 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. Now they 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.

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.

“Bad Monsters” is the second installment in the Our Monsters Chronicles, a young adult adventure novel where a teenager’s greatest weapons are loyalty, love and most importantly friendship. Jon, Bo, George, Trick, Alice, Peppy, and Isis will need each other if they are to survive hunting season and–as Bo says–the “bad monsters” coming their way.

Our Monsters - CoverYesterday Jon Graves believed living and going to high school in the military occupied town of Carpenter was a snooze-fest. That is until a routine fieldtrip to Carpenter’s science labs, when Jon and his friends uncover a military secret, the reason why the US Army brought their parents to Carpenter… to create a top secret, genetically engineered species of monsters. Yeah… that’s right… MONSTERS!

Now Jon and his four friends have liberated and adopted five of the monsters, vowing to keep the five monsters hidden away from harm. These are not puppies and kitten, though. Keeping the monsters a secret turns into a difficult task when each one begins to develop amazing powers. And soon a betrayal from within the circle of friends will threaten to unravel the groups’ plans.

In order to keep the promise his friends made and prevent the Carpenter military from subjecting each to further inhuman experiments, Jon will need to bring his friends together for a rescue mission. Mysterious powers the teens begin to exhibit will offer aid but ultimately the group’s friendship will save the day. It’s just another chaotic day in high school… yeah, right!

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About the Author

Clinton grew up in Southern California, where the sun shines all day and where most kids spend their days outdoors skinning knees and browning their flesh. He spent those same days inside, reading comics, books, and dreaming of fantasy worlds. These days he not only dreams but he creates and writes about those same worlds. In college Clinton found himself in the dregs of a business school, studying accounting. Sneaking English and philosophy courses into his schedule were the only things that kept him sane! As a result, he spent way more than four years getting a well-rounded degree. Adult books and books for kids, Clinton reads it all these days. He still enjoys traditional American comics and manga/anime from Asia, but when not writing he can also be found immersing himself in video games.

            Clinton today still resides in Southern California with his wife, Kathy and their two Scottish terriers, Mac and Bonni (wheaten and black).

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

http://clintondharding.com (official site)

https://twitter.com/#!/ClintonDHarding (twitter)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clinton-D-Harding/76506701006 (facebook)

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5381520.Clinton_D_Harding (goodreads)

IAM Excerpt…As You Wake by Amy Martin

 

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

One of our favourite YA books in 2012 was Amy Martin’s debut, In Your Dreams. Today she joins us for a feature on the sequel As You Wake, which is out now! You can check out an exclusive excerpt right here, and enter our grand prize competition to bag a copy of your own!

As You Wake - Cover

Zara “Zip” McKee and Kieran Lanier thought they had put the threats from Kieran’s past behind them in the first installment of the In Your Dreams series. But when danger comes for them once again, Zip, Kieran, and their families find themselves on separate summer road trips that none of them had anticipated. When all paths converge in North Carolina, the two families are forced to deal with each other and the secrets they’ve kept out of love and fear.

But Kieran is keeping the biggest secret of all from everyone but Zip. He hasn’t had a dream—about the future, about anything—for months. And while Zip and Kieran are grappling with what the new twist in Kieran’s sleeping disorder might mean, a mysterious stranger reveals information that could change Kieran’s life–or end it.

Excerpt from As You Wake: 

I grab the section of chain link fence that’s rusted away from the pole and hold it aside just enough for Kieran to crawl through to the grassy area under the press box. As I follow him, the fence snaps back into place, scraping my skin through my shirt.
“You okay?” Kieran asks after he turns just in time to see the fence smack against me. He helps me to my feet, and I lean back against one of the metal pillars hidden away in the shadows.
“Yeah. I’m good,” I assure him before changing the subject. “You probably shouldn’t have rushed through your chem final.”
His arms circle my waist, strands of hair falling into his face as he looks down at me. “It was worth it,” he whispers, the smile I give him quickly swallowed by a wave of kisses. My hands wander up underneath his plain white t-shirt, my thumbs grazing the base of his rib cage on either side. Once we finally come up for air, my head foggy and my fingers nearly stuck to his skin with sweat, Kieran takes my face in his hands and looks at me dead on. “I love you,” he says, my ears ringing on hearing him say those words to me for the first time. “I couldn’t let you leave for Chicago without telling you that.”
I don’t hesitate. “I love you, too.”
“And I’m not just saying it because we’re going to be apart for a while,” he goes on, and I hold myself back from saying Or forever in my head or out loud. “I’m saying it because I’ve known all along.” He must see the question in my eyes, because he continues with “But not because I dreamed something beforehand. I’m talking about after we met…I just…I’ve always known somehow. And I kept telling myself, ‘Kieran, you need to stop being such a wimp and tell her. If she doesn’t say it back, then she doesn’t say it back, but at least you’ve told her—‘”
“You’re babbling,” I point out, and he gives me the goofy grin that endeared him to me the day we met.
“Yeah. Little nervous, I guess.”
I put my hand to his cheek. “Don’t be. I love you, Kieran.” My mouth enjoys saying the words, words I’ve never said to anyone outside my family. “I love you. I’ll say it as many times as you need to hear it, because it’s the truth.”

He doesn’t make me say it again. We merge once more, the now-familiar ache of desire in my stomach and the early afternoon heat building up under the press box conspiring to make me weak. I just want to lie down with him in the scrubby grass so we can kiss until all thoughts of Frank Dozier or anything else become a distant memory, but after a few minutes, Kieran pulls away, my lips straining to stay on his.

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Author Biography

Amy Martin wrote and illustrated her first book at the age of ten and gave it to her fourth grade teacher, who hopefully lost it in her house somewhere and didn’t share it with anyone else. Not counting that early experiment in self-publishing, In Your Dreams is Amy Martin’s first Young Adult novel.

A native of St. Charles, MO, Amy currently lives in Lexington, KY with her husband and a ferocious attack tabby named Cleo. When not writing or reading, she can usually be found watching sports, drinking coffee, or indulging her crippling Twitter habit (and, sometimes, doing all three at once). You can follow her on Twitter at @ThatAmyMartin.

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You can read our 2012 review of In Your Dreams here and an interview with Amy here

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

http://www.theamymartin.com
http://www.facebook.com/amy.martin.writer
Twitter: @ThatAmyMartin