NEW RELEASE! Eight Mile Island by Tony Talbot

 Blog regular Tony Talbot’s latest book is released this week! It looks fantastic and we hope to get a review up very soon…in the meantime, check out the book and teaser we have for you today…

You can also enter to win your very own copy for Kindle in our giveaway! **CLICK HERE**

Welcome to Eight Mile Island. 

Dylan James is used to boarding schools. He’s been thrown out of so many in the past two years, he’s lost count. So when an elite academy in Oregon offers him a place, he doesn’t think he’ll be there more than a week.
But Eight Mile Island isn’t like anywhere Dylan has been before. In the dense forests around the school, there are things that look human but aren’t.
Things that are hungry, and waiting.
But that’s just the start of the mysteries, mysteries that mean Dylan may never escape. Even if he wants to…

About the Author: Tony Talbot was born in the 1970s and started writing in 2008 after a dream he had and couldn’t shake. Eight Mile Island is his fourth book. Tony regularly contributes to the Aside from Writing blog and so look out for future features and posts from this great author.


Want to know more? Check out the links!


Twitter: @authortony



Interview…with Nicholas from Blue Sky Days


Today we’re interviewing the lovely Nicholas from Marie Landry’s novel Blue Sky Days. Definitely our most interesting character interview so far – take a look and you’ll see why.


Hi Nicholas – thanks for joining Aside from Writing today, we’re really pleased to be in Riverview to meet you. For people who are not aware of your situation, would you mind giving us some background?

Thanks, it’s great to talk to you today. I was diagnosed with leukemia around the beginning of September. I work in construction, so I’m used to long hours of hard work. It can be tiring, but I’m a pretty energetic guy, and I like to stay busy. When I started waking up tired, and then staying tired and listless during the day, I knew something was wrong. I hoped it was the flu, but I didn’t have any other flu-like symptoms. My mom died of leukemia when I was a kid, so that was always in the back of my mind. I went to the doctor almost right away, and within two weeks, they’d diagnosed me, and shortly after that I started treatments.

And so – you’ve just spent the last few days in hospital and had your first chemo sessions this week. How’s that been?

Not as bad as I expected, to be honest. I know it’s going to get worse as time goes on, but this week was more…strange than anything, I guess – having to leave home, check into the hospital, be away from my normal life. It was easy to pretend that the doctors were wrong and I didn’t really have cancer, but when they stuck that IV in me and I started my first treatment, it was impossible to deny.

This is obviously a really tough thing for anyone to go through – what helps you to cope with the difficulties you’re facing?

Love and support from friends and family. I don’t think I could get through this without my dad, my girlfriend Emma, my two best friends, and Emma’s aunt Daisy. They’ve been incredibly supportive, and they don’t treat me like a cancer patient who needs to be protected or coddled.

We met Emma outside 🙂 you guys are obviously very close – how have things been for her since you found out about your illness?

Well…it hasn’t been easy, but she’s been…god, I can’t even tell you how amazing she’s been. When I first found out I was sick, I wanted to keep it from her, to protect her. We’d had this incredible summer that was the stuff of daydreams, and dumping all of this on her just seemed like such a huge burden to put on someone so young. She might kill me for saying this, but she’s got this sweet innocence about her, and I didn’t want to ruin that. I know how stupid I was now, though. She’s been so strong, and she’s been there every step of the way, from doctor’s appointments, to walks to help me keep my strength up, to spending time with me in the hospital and sitting with me during my chemo treatments.

So – you’ve not been together a huge amount of time then? OK – then let’s talk romance if that’s alright…? How did you and Emma first meet?

I met Emma when she first moved to town to live with Daisy. I was walking in the park one day and I sat down to read, and she was sitting at the top of the hill. The minute I saw her, I knew I had to go talk to her.

And – can we ask – was it love at first sight or do you not believe in that?

As cheesy as it sounds, yeah, it was definitely love at first sight – for me, anyway. I saw her sitting there at the top of that hill, looking like an angel with the sun streaming down on her, and that was it. My whole life changed in that one instant.

Well – I’m sure she’ll be pleased to hear that if she’s listening outside right now 🙂 So – tell us what else are you doing while you’re home this weekend?

This weekend is all about normalcy, or at least as close to normal as you can get when you’re exhausted and weak. For months, it’s been the six of us – Dad, Daisy, Vince, Maggie, Emma, and me. We’re going to spend as much time together as possible before I have to go back to the hospital on Monday.

Nicholas – thank you so much for joining us today – we hope you have a great weekend at home and wish you all the best for your ongoing treatment.


A year after graduating from high school, nineteen-year-old Emma Ward feels lost. She has spent most of her life trying to please her frigid, miserable mother – studying hard, getting good grades, avoiding the whole teenage rebellion thing – and now she feels she has no identity beyond that. Because she spent so many years working hard and planning every moment of her life, she doesn’t have any friends, has never had a boyfriend, and basically doesn’t know who she is or what she really wants from life. Working two part-time jobs to save money for college hasn’t helped her make decisions about her future, so she decides it’s time for a change. She leaves home to live with her free-spirited, slightly eccentric Aunt Daisy in a small town that makes Emma feel like she’s stepped back in time.

When Emma meets Nicholas Shaw, everything changes – he’s unlike anyone she’s ever met before, the kind of man she didn’t even know existed in the 21st century. Carefree and spirited like Daisy, Nicholas teaches Emma to appreciate life, the beauty around her, and to just let go and live. Between Daisy and Nicholas, Emma feels like she belongs somewhere for the first time in her life, and realizes that you don’t always need a plan – sometimes life steers you where you’re meant to be.

Life is wonderful, an endless string of blue sky days, until Nicholas is diagnosed with cancer, and life changes once again for Emma in ways she never thought possible. Now it’s time for her to help Nicholas the way he’s helped her. Emma will have to use her new-found strength, and discover along the way if love really is enough to get you through.

(Read the Aside from Writing review of Blue Sky Days)


About the Author

Marie Landry has always been a daydreamer. She has created imaginary worlds for as long as she can remember, so it only seemed natural that she would become a writer. With a passion for words that started in early childhood, Marie has written a varied range of works, and has been freelance writing since 2009. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, or having grand adventures with her two precious nephews.


Want to know more? Check out the links!

Facebook – Author Page

Facebook – Blue Sky Days – Book Page 

Twitter –

Book blog –

Author blog –

Buy Blue Sky Days…




Barnes & Noble

Guest Post…Audio Books – Modern Oral Storytelling

For today’s guest post we’re welcoming back author Clinton D Harding to the blog – Clinton’s novel Our Monsters was one of our featured books during Indie Author Month, click here to see the post – now let’s see what he has to say about storytelling today…


Ever had a grandparent tell you a tale from the “ol’ country”? I think everyone has. Do you remember sitting on the magic rug for story time during kindergarten and listening to a teacher read a story aloud to you?

There is magic in that type of story delivery.

Reader and listener feed off each other. They pass emotions back and forth like a hot potato. The reader (or storyteller) brings to life each character’s hopes, their secret dreams, their rage, and their deepest fears. The listener feels each of the characters’ breathes on their ears, in return whispering awes and ohs to quench the parched throat of the storyteller.

That is the magic of oral storytelling, the communion and sharing. Long ago, this is how humans passed on their legends and myths, before writing and before reading. When the high lords and ladies prohibited the commoners from learning to read, elders would pass down a community’s histories and stories by campfire. Later bards would roam the land and pass along the oral tradition through song and poem. Either way, these oral traditions served not just as entertainment but also as connections to the past. Today modern society has television, film and video games. Stimulating, yes. Most people can read, sure, but hardly anyone willingly picks up a book (fiction or nonfiction) for fun.

Fret not! Oral storytelling is not dead. It lives on in audio books.

When I was in fourth grade you would find it easier to pull out my teeth than get me to read. Shocker for those who know me today and know me to always have a book at hand. Around that same time movie theaters were playing the Shadow starring Alex Baldwin. I was excited because the Shadow is one of the characters Bob Kane used as inspiration to create Batman and I was/am nutty for anything related to the Dark Knight. Because I was excited for the “Shadow” film, that Christmas my grandparents bought me a set of re-mastered recordings of the Shadow radio show (on cassette tapes). I listened to those adventures repeatedly until the ribbon wore away.

The old Shadow radio show recordings from the 1930s to the 1950s were not audio books. A cast of actors read from a script similar to the scripts used for television shows and movies. Separate crews would also add sounds effects to make the action pop. Audio books are different in that there are no sound effects and there is usually only one performer. However, the old radio dramas and audio books are not unalike.

There is a great deal of imagination needed to enjoy a radio drama and an audio book. What’s important is the emotional connection the performers in the dramas and the narrator of an audio book need to make with the listeners. For instance, when a character is engaged in a fight or running a mile, a good actor has to convey the strenuousness of that activity with his or her voice. On screen an actor can physically show the fatigue, the strain the activity puts on the body and mind. Good material is essential for this of course, the actor can only read and perform what is on the page. With good material from an author, a talented actor, and an active imagination, a story can come alive for the listener without having the visual media as an aid.

Think about it for a second. Sound activates primal feelings in us. A loud noise like a shout can startle a person. The right words spoken tenderly with love can melt a heart. A man with a good accent—take your pick from Europe—can read the phonebook and make a room full of women swoon.

The power of the voice. Intertwine a magnificent reader with a fantastic book and you have a recipe for something special, something to stir the heart.

My father has asked if hearing the same voice for all the characters detracts from the experience of the story. If hearing a male reader do the female character voices or vice versa is odd and takes you out of the story. I don’t believe so. There are some readers who do the voices so well, who take great effort to increase or decrease their tone and pitch so you can hardly notice. Actually, some of the best readers do different voices for all the characters. They tweak their voice so subtly that nearly all the voices are different, nearly, no one is perfect and the reader has only his or her own voice to manipulate (the range only goes so far). Jim Dale is crazy good on the American Harry Potter audio books. James Marsters has done a great job with the Dresden File book readings. Michael Kramer has read most of Brandon Sanderson’s novels and the Wheel of Time series and he’s fantastic.

If an audio book reader does his or her job well, has a mastery of their voice, can put every drop of emotion into each word, speaks clearly and keeps a fluid pace, then they will suck the listener in. The listener will feel that same campfire intimacy from ol’. Unfortunately these days that intimacy only extends one way, listeners get more out of the reader because the listeners cannot be there for the recording. Regardless, I don’t believe the experience is lost, it has only been modernized and made available to a wider audience.

Best of all… audio books today are more accessible. A person used to lug around twenty-plus cassette tapes or a few less CDs in order to have an entire audio book available for listening. Today’s mp3 players have created convenience much the same way eReaders have. It is so easy to carry around books, audio and other. As far as I’m concerned we’re living in a book utopia.

By no means am I trying to advocate switching over from reading a novel to listening to the audio book version as each provides a different experience. Audio books merely remind us of how storytelling was once communal, containing a closeness that connects listeners and the storyteller. And of course the reading is that much more special when the author of the novel is actually the reader. Neil Gaiman, the stud and rockstar of the literary world, is an excellent reader.

Go to or and try an audio book. Personally, I enjoy listening to stories I’ve read previously, there is an added something and I often I pick up details I missed when reading.


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).


Want to know more? Check out the links! (official site)!/ClintonDHarding (twitter)

Email: (facebook) (goodreads)

Interview with…Stephen Herfst

Author Stephen Herfst returns to the blog today for a ‘proper’ interview – let’s say “Hello!” 🙂

Hi Stephen, welcome back to Aside from Writing, thanks for joining us for an interview. So can you tell us a little about yourself, how you came to be an author?

Thank you for taking the time to read and review my book – I am always happy when someone reads and enjoys my story.

Well, I had an interesting childhood, having lived in Germany, South Africa, Holland, England and Australia. Each place I travelled to has in some way contributed to what I am today. I work in IT as a software engineer and, although you wouldn’t think it is very creative, it has put me in good stead. My inspiration to become an author came to me when I was reflecting on what I really wanted to do. It all began when I remembered the sports articles I wrote for my company’s soccer team and how they were well received. From there, I decided that I would work at becoming a successful author (still working on it).

We recently read and reviewed your book Zed (click here to see the review). It’s an interesting take on the zombie genre – what made you want to write this story?

Having watched an episode or two of The Walking Dead, and being bored to tears, I decided that the zombie genre needed a change. And that was how Zed came to be.

I wanted a story that would twist the traditional zombie genre and gave a different perspective to the well-worn stumbled path set out by George Romero. I wanted something that was humorous, funny and not gory – it was challenge to me to write a story that would appeal to the general public as well as the die-hard zombie fans.

What do you find are the best parts of being a writer?

The best part is being able to write the stories that you want to see or read. Being able to write your vision for a story and change things until you are one-hundred-percent happy is wonderful. It definitely appeals to my OCD!


And the worst…?

Translating your thoughts into a coherent and entertaining story can be quite harrowing! Even though I only took about a month to write the first book, it felt like a long time. I cannot visualize writing one story for a year or more – I think I would go insane!

What aspects of your ‘normal’ life or ‘day job’ do you find has helped you in your writing?

I find being able to divide my mind into a logical path and a creative path helps me. I have separated each path and I think clearer, I imagine better, my writing flows better. There is nothing quite like approaching a problem scientifically to gain a creative solution, strange as that may be.


What’s an ideal day for you – and how do you fit your writing into that?

An ideal day for me is to listen to good music while watching TV and writing while my laptop rests precariously on my lap. My writing environment is quite organic and I believe that my writing reflects that as well.

Any advice for people who have an interest in creative writing?

I would definitely recommend starting a blog, writing a novel without understanding the rules and being willing to say ‘I am wrong’ and being willing to go back on your hard-written writing and delete. The ‘I am wrong’ bit is the hardest part to do, let me tell you!

So – what else do you have planned for 2012?

I plan to write the remaining two books over the next six months (or less) – I have started writing the second book and it is going well. The story arch is better realized than the first and the new characters I am/will introduce are working well within the world I have created.


Random Questions:

If you could be a character from any book – who would it be and why?

I would love to be Paul Atreides from Dune (by Frank Herbert). Where he changes from a young prince into the messiah controls the spice thanks, in part, to his evolution into the Kwisatz Haderach. It is a very heavy book but a wonderful tale.


Favourite fictional world – where would you live?

I would love to live in Xanth by Piers Anthony. I think his world would be lovely to work through all the challenges and experience all the cheesy puns first hand while I am on a quest to Save the Princess (like a good hero should).


Best super-evil baddie?

Even though Smeagol isn’t really a baddie, I would have to pick him – I always found him creepy. The things that weren’t written about him painted him far more eerily than he the way he ever was shown in The Lord of the Ring films.


Thank-you for taking time to talk to us today!


The story revolves around a teenage girl’s promises to save Zed from the human hordes.

Zed is not your typical zombie. He is cursed with the affliction of thought … although he tries to make the best of a bad situation. The goals for his unrest are simple: to improve his stride, to taste a lightly-seared pork loin once again and avoid Activists at all costs.

His life was predictable, controlled and good until chaos crashed the party. In just one day his world is destroyed and his ability to survive is tested. Would he be able to get through this in one piece? And would he somehow be able to survive the unstoppable force that goes by the name of Chase?


Want to know more? Check out the links!

Goodreads Author Page

Author Blog

Zed at Smashwords

Zed at

Guest Post…My Letter to Stephen King

Today we’re pleased to welcome author Georgina Morales to the blog – look out for her in the Indie Author Event in May – with a special guest post to Stephen King…let’s see what she has to say….


I always try to write original guest posts, engaging and fun so as to not embarrass my host out of ever inviting me again. Most of the time I debate on how to do it and most of the times I end up talking about my books and works in progress.

You see, we writers are a funny bunch. We want you to know our names, though we suffer from acute shyness. There’s not one writer who won’t say that, in order to make it in the world you have to believe in yourself, yet we are afflicted by an extreme case of self-doubt and paralyzing fear to fail. We crave attention but not for ourselves, instead we love it when perfect strangers fall in love with our alter egos, those obscure voices that torture us until we get their story write and put in paper.

Yep, that’s us. A walking contradiction. We usually tend to avoid opening our hearts to our readers, preferring to let them peek into our souls through our books. Well, today I’ll try something different. I’ll take this wonderful opportunity to share with you an important set of events that have made me the writer I am today.

I refer to these events as “My Stephen King Complication”. It is somewhat funny and frustrating but I also know there’s a bigger design that may hold more than a couple of surprises for me in the future. Though I can’t be sure of what lies ahead, I wrote the following letter because I want to acknowledge the one man that has influenced me the most in my life with books. I want to thank him for touching me in such a special way and for inspiring me to come as far as I’ve come.

What follows is a letter for Stephen King; within its words resides a big piece of me. I still don’t know if I’ll mail it one day. I suppose I will, though fear of rejection has kept me from sending it before. Instead, today I share it with you. See what you think of my trip so far; how it relates to your own special ‘complications’ and to those great voices that have guided you along the way. Hope you like it.


My Letter To Stephen King

Hi Mr. King,

That’s how well bred Mexicans always greet someone they don’t know. It’s very hard for us to call someone by his first name when there’s no previous relationship. My husband, however, keeps lecturing me about how stiff that sounds to Americans. Well, I was also taught that wherever you go, you do as they do. So, Stephen it is.

Hi Stephen, my name is Georgina and I’m your fan. Yeah, I know, me and the whole horde chanting your name outside the window. I guess I’m no different to all your other fans, except for the fact that destiny has been preventing us to meet.

Ok, preventing me from meeting you. Or to even getting close to your autograph. Whatever the case, I’ll explain myself so you don’t think I’m a nutcase and will pull an Annie Wilkes’ stunt on you.

This mess started a long, long time ago, when I was a kid. I grew up in Mexico City to a very regular, run-of-the-mill middle class family. I grew surrounded by books because my mother is a reader, but more of a romance-fantasy-mystery kinda reader. However, my father’s oldest brother was an avid reader, too. His bedroom in my grandma’s house, and where we slept when we stayed, was covered with horror, suspense, and thrillers. I still remember staring at those covers for hours. I was too young to read but I dreamed of the stories those pages conveyed and that’s how I came to realize my innate love for the genre.

It goes without saying that many of your books filled those walls—yet I point it out just to be clear—and that’s how I knew your name for the first time. I was only elated when I found “Carrie” among my mom’s bookcases. I stole it from there and hid it under my pillow. I know, not the best place to hide anything when you don’t make your own bed. Anyhow, I guess my mom didn’t think I could do much with it because she let me keep it there. The pages became gray in the corners where I turned them incessantly, even though I could read nothing that had more than four letters.

Time passed and with my goal in sight, I became a proficient reader. Soon I took the book and started reading it. Except I didn’t understand half a page of what was written. You see, reading and understanding are two completely different things, I learned. The many euphemisms and metaphors were too complex for me, and I got the feeling that I was being left out of the joke. After the fiftieth time I asked my mother “what does he mean when he says she felt tired like if she had prayed a whole rosary on her knees?” she advised me—as gentle as a yell can be—not to read something if I couldn’t understand it. I was barely on page twenty or so, and I stopped.

Years later I watched the movie version and loved it but by then my social life was getting more hectic and I’d forgotten my old grudge with “Carrie”, the book. It was then that my mom decided she had to do something to instill the love of reading in me. Right when I had no interest on it anymore. It figures. She then decided that an adventure book would do the trick and bought me “Treasure Island”.

I hated it. She kept telling me how exciting the story would get, and I kept struggling to move forward even one page. I finished it after many months and several threats of quitting. “Respect the book,” mom told me, “never leave a book mid-way”, and I’ve never done.

The day I finished I threw me a party and drank all the root beer my body could handle. Even to this date, fantasy and adventure are the genres I least enjoy—Thanks mom. —

Of course, the next day I searched those old bookcases and took Carrie down. I finished it in two weeks. Two weeks!! After seven months with the previous one. It was clear this was my path.

I don’t know if you ever toured in Mexico or did some kind of promotional appearance, but I never heard of it, so I grew up thinking authors were these semi-gods living up in the clouds where no one can find them, much less meet them.

I read a lot of your books, decided becoming a writer was not a viable option if I ever wanted to be able to sustain myself, and studied a ‘real’ profession. Then got married, got a child, and moved to the US. It was attending a spinning class at the local YMCA that a lady there saw me carrying the hefty book—”Cell”—that was my read of the moment.

“Ah, Stephen King. He writes big books, but they’re so good,” this lady said. I smiled and was about to agree with her when she added, “I remember seeing him once in a conference talking about his books. A very nice guy, indeed.”

It stopped me on my tracks. I could almost hear the angelic chant from the sky that always accompanies a great revelation. I could meet you in person! It was possible! All I had to do was find the place of your next appearance and kill if needed to be there.

I got home and looked on the Internet. I discovered you had an official website and subscribed, but the good news stopped there. You are not doing personal appearances anymore. Life had gotten in our way.

Fast-forward a few years to 2010. Do you remember that personal appearance in New York City? Hell, yeah! I bought my ticket, got super excited, and told everyone within an earshot that I was going to meet Stephen King. Then my husband got transferred to Montreal. Whatever. We looked for a nanny and were planning our drive back to attend when we got news that our tickets had gotten lost on the way. We asked them to re-issue the tickets but those, too, got lost.

Goddammit! There was nothing else that could be done. So I cried that day and threw a shaking-fist-tantrum to the universe for keeping us apart.

A year later I got wind of the special edition of IT through your website. I logged in to buy my signed copy and there were none left. Fine!

This year I tried with the signed copy of 11/22/63. This time I logged in at eight o’clock and paid for my copy. Yoo-hoo! I did my happy dance all morning… until Simon & Schuster called to say there had been a blip in the system and my order hadn’t passed. The copies were now sold out and they were sending me a free copy of the book. Sans signing. Are you f$%& kidding me?!

Ok, you know what? Fine. Life doesn’t want me to know my favorite author and inspiration? I don’t care. I have a theory. Now that I’m a published horror writer, albeit an unknown one, destiny is keeping us apart until we meet each other on the hallways of one of the ‘big six’ as colleagues.

Sorry, I was choking from laughing and eating lunch at the same time. Where was I? Oh, yes. I was daydreaming.

Anyway, Mr. King. Stephen. I just want to thank you for all those nightmares of my youth, for providing me with such a great and disturbing imagination, for being my goal for so many years. I truly hope one day our books can meet each other on a shelf somewhere if it is not for ourselves to meet.

Keep being awesome and just know how many lives you have touched and changed.

Thanks again,

Georgina Morales


About the Author 

Born in Mexico City, Georgina was always divided between the world of the paranormal, the religious, and science, even as a kid. Through her years in medical school, she experienced and heard all kinds of creepy tales. She, now, writes from her home in Norwalk, Ct. where she resides in the company of her husband and two young daughters. The history of the northeast, its old buildings, and its endless forests provide her imagination with a constant influx of ideas, which combined with her rich background make for her unique style. She’s also a staff reviewer for Dark River Press.


Want to know more? Check out the links!

The Rainbow Maker’s Tale by Mel Cusick-Jones

Due for release in summer 2012. Book 2 in The Ambrosia Sequence. 

Outwardly, Balik is an obedient member of society on Space Station Hope…he follows The Council’s systems, excels at school and seems happy to follow in his parents footsteps…

But Balik’s real life is filled with secrets he can share with no one. As he follows his suspicions about the space station into ever more dangerous territory it seems like his whole world will unravel around him…but he doesn’t understand everything…things are wrong, he is sure of that – but why exactly, he doesn’t know.

When Cassie unexpectedly comes into his life, Balik struggles to find his balance. For years he’s investigated the oddities of the world he lives in, but Cassie makes him question things in a different way… Can he believe in this girl who seems so much a part of the system he distrusts? Would she put a stop to his plans to break out if she knew what he was really up to? Balik can’t be sure of anything – except the fact that he can’t leave her alone.

Remember…you could win an ARC of  The Rainbow Maker’s Tale in the event giveaway, so make sure you’ve entered to win! Follow us on Facebook / Twitter and get vocal on the Indie Author Event comments to earn yourself additional entry points 🙂 


 Gimme 10 – Mini-Interview

Please answer each question in 10 words or less – that’s what makes it tough but fun! 🙂

Where do you find your inspiration? All types of people, books, life, films, family and love.

What is your favourite aspect of The Rainbow Maker’s TaleI love seeing things from Balik’s POV

Who is your favourite character from The Rainbow Maker’s Tale and why? It has to be Balik (this time) it’s his turn

What are you working on now? Finalising the Rainbow Maker’s Tale for the summer release and then working on Outlanders, which is Book 3 in the series.

What do you love about most about writing? Solving character’s problems – the freedom to go wherever you want


About the Author

After graduating from The University of Sheffield with an English Literature Masters in 2003, Melanie has been writing fiction – time permitting – ever since.

The Ambrosia Sequence (started in 2008) and The Elementals (begun in 2004) are both ongoing, extended projects each containing several novels, aimed primarily at young adults and hover somewhere in the middle of sci-fi, futuristic and fantasy genres. Hope’s Daughter, released in December 2011, is her debut novel and the first of The Ambrosia Sequence, with the sequel – Outlanders – due in 2012.

When she’s not writing Melanie enjoys the wet weather of the north of England with her dogs or disappearing into a book for a few hours (no surprise there then). Unfortunately, all too often the ‘day job’ gets in the way of the nicer things in life!


Want to know more? Check out the links!

Find the author:

Website –

Blog – and Aside from Writing!

Facebook – Hope’s Daughter and Mel Cusick-Jones

Twitter @melabupa


Buy the book:

You Tube Book Trailer:


The Tower by Jade Varden

Welcome to the penultimate Book of the Day feature – we hope you’ve enjoyed Indie Author Month so far. Make sure you’ve entered the massive book giveaway from the featured authors, which is on our facebook page. Now let’s hand over to Jade Varden – our special guest today and friend of the blog 🙂

The Tower is the immediate sequel to Justice and the second book in the Deck of Lies series, but readers don’t have to read the first book to quickly pick up on what’s happening in this one. The Tower continues the story of Rain, who recently discovered that she was kidnapped as a child. Freshly returned to her biological family, Rain is trying to fit into her new school, learn more about who she is…and deal with the murder that happened recently. The murder has had far-reaching consequences that threaten Rain’s closest, and maybe only, friend. Things get even more intense when suddenly Rain becomes the target of a police investigation. She thought she discovered all her family secrets already — but there are many more deceptions lurking in the shadows. Could one of them hide a homicidal rage?

***EXTRA GIVEAWAY – Visit the Giveaway Site to Win The Tower – EXTRA GIVEAWAY***

The Tower also features in the Event Grand Prize Giveaway – so you have two chances to win!


 Author Mini-Interview

Where do you find your inspiration? Everywhere! Sometimes I’m inspired by a show I’m watching or a game I’m playing. Even a line in a song might give me an unexpected idea.

What is your favourite aspect of The Tower? I really enjoyed re-visiting some of the characters I introduced in the first book of the series, particularly those in the main character’s immediate family. Everyone has been changed by the murder that occurred at the end of the first book, so it’s fun to sort of flip them all upside-down and show a new side to them.

Who is your favourite character from The Tower and why? Sawyer is my favorite in this book, maybe because he’s consistently the most present throughout the story, but there are several brand-new characters that I’m excited about as well.

I can see why – I really liked Sawyer…but my fave was RVR – What are you working on now? Now I’m getting started on the third book of the series, Death.

Oh-o – that sounds ominous! What do you love about most about writing? Doing the research, probably. I love researching the setting and discovering someplace new to take my characters.


About the Author: Jade Varden is a teller of tales from Louisville, Kentucky. The Deck of Lies series is the first in several young adult series and stand-alone novels Jade will publish in 2012 and 2013.


Want to know more? Check out the links!

Official site –

@JadeVarden –

Jade’s blog –


Note from Aside from Writing: From April 2012 we began featuring Jade’s fantastic ‘Writing 101’ guest posts – fantastic for all levels of writers – keep an eye out for them!

Chocolate Aftertaste by Liz Grace Davis

At her pre-wedding dinner, Nora Darkin, the daughter of a wealthy entrepreneur, discovers her fiancé is not the man she thought he was. As her father hoists his glass to toast them, she makes an announcement: there will be no wedding to her father’s right-hand man.

Due to the fresh rift driven between her and her father, Nora escapes to the quaint town of Dreara. Determined to live her life her own way, she makes new friends and pursues her lifelong desire of becoming a chef. Ethan Danes, a neighbour with his own broken heart, helps soothe hers.

Just as Nora discovers what it means to be happy, and she begins to fall in love with Ethan, a woman from his past re-enters his life…


 Gimme 10 – Mini-Interview

Please answer each question in 10 words or less – that’s what makes it tough but fun! 🙂

Where do you find your inspiration? From everywhere…my life, people, the weather, country music etc.

What is your favourite aspect of Chocolate Aftertaste? It’s a novel about making choices and living life fully.

Who is your favourite character from Chocolate Aftertaste and why? Nora, a strong woman determined to start living.

What are you working on now? Honeysuckle & Jasmine, a women’s fiction novel. Coming in June.

What do you love most about writing? When I write, I feel as if I can fly.


About the Author

Liz Grace Davis is a Namibian author. She grew up in Angola, Namibia, South Africa and Germany. She now lives with her husband in Vienna, Austria. Growing up, Liz spent most of her days in school libraries, diving into the world of books. In her spare time she loves to travel as well as creating jewelry and digital scrapbooks. She’s in her element when she is doing anything that requires creativity. Liz is the author of a young adult fantasy novel, Tangi’s Teardrops and a contemporary romance novel, Chocolate Aftertaste.


Want to know more? Check out the links!



Goodreads Author Page:

Book Trailer:

A Bed of Knives by Elizabeth Jasper

Friendship can get complicated when you start to fancy the guys you hang out with. When Eddie suggests a night out to celebrate the end of their final exams, four friends look forward to the evening with different expectations.

Fast forward five years. Gina and Rose rescue Spider from living rough in Oxford. Is this enough to bring all four of them together again and can love and friendship survive the revelations of the following few days?


 Gimme 10 – Mini-Interview

Please answer each question in 10 words or less – that’s what makes it tough but fun! 🙂

Where do you find your inspiration? People–watching yields characters and storylines, as do news stories.

 What is your favourite aspect of A Bed of Knives? Ordinary people finding themselves in extraordinary situations.

Who is your favourite character from A Bed of Knives and why? Eddie – an innocent just learning how to deal with his sexuality.

What are you working on now? A sequel to my second book, Meggie Blackthorn.

What do you love about most about writing? That I can actually do it and people generally enjoy my stories.


About the Author

Born and raised in the NE of England, I have moved around quite a lot. I’m currently dividing my time between Spain and the UK.

I spent most of my working life in various administrative capacities in prestigious UK universities, where I organised Summer Schools and Study Tours, as well as carrying out a variety of administrative functions. I liked working for a living – it paid the bills – but I love writing even more. These days I am fortunate enough to be able to write full-time and have completed three full-length e-novels, all available on Goodreads, Amazon Kindle and Smashwords.

My primary aim as a writer is to entertain and engage my readers. I write across genres in order to expand my characters beyond the stereotypes often found in genre books and no matter how dark the material, I hope I can raise a smile or two along the way. A tear is even better.


Want to know more? Check out the links!



Twitter:   @EJasperWriter

Before I Breathe by Jenelle Jack Pierre

Kalena Moore is a Montgomery High student who isn’t into school. Isaiah Wilkins is a classmate that her friends think is trouble. Life becomes more interesting when Kalena starts dating Isaiah, but soon things spin quickly out of control and she gets pregnant. Then Kalena sees that there’s another side to her boyfriend.Determined to put her life back together, Kalena takes a path where there is no turning back.

With compelling characters and vivid storytelling, Before I Breathe is irresistible reading.

*** EXTRA GIVEAWAY*** Indie Author Event *** EXTRA GIVEAWAY *** 

You can grab your own copy of Before I Breathe today! A reader can get an ecopy in the format that’s best for them via Smashwords.  The coupon expires on June 1,2012 – voucher code: CL66Y


 Gimme 10 – Mini-Interview

Please answer each question in 10 words or less – that’s what makes it tough but fun! 🙂

Where do you find your inspiration? Reading great books by great authors.

What is your favourite aspect of Before I Breathe? The character has a tendency that relates to the title.

Who is your favourite character from Before I Breathe and why? Kalena because she makes her own decisions.

What are you working on now? Another young adult novel.

What do you love about most about writing? I like imagining and creating other lives.


About the Author: Jenelle Jack Pierre grew up in Maryland. She began reading at an early age, and writing soon followed. She attended the University of Maryland, College Park, where she majored in Communications Studies.  After college, she worked full-time before she attended the MA in Writing Program at Johns Hopkins University.  She writes YA novels and literary short stories. Before I Breathe is her first published novel.


Want to know more? Check out the links!