IAM15 Interview…Vanessa Morgan

IAM 2015 - TopperToday’s guest is author Vanessa Morgan. A lady of many talents, she is an author, screenwriter, and blogger. Two of her works, The Strangers Outside and A Good Man, have been turned into films. Her short film script Next to Her is currently in pre-production. When she’s not working on her latest book, you can find her reading, watching horror movies, digging through flea markets, or photographing felines for her blog Traveling Cats (http://travelling-cats.blogspot.com). Avalon (the cat) has appeared in several of her books and films.

We’re pleased to be interviewing Vanessa today for Indie Author Month – so let’s find out more about her and her work!

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What is you favorite way to spend a rainy day? In bed, with a cup of hot tea, a cat, a blanket, and a scented candle.

 

What is something people would be surprised to know about you? Most people see me as someone confident who knows what she’s doing. They would be surprised to see that I’m actually insecure and shy.

 

You’ve found a time machine on your driveway this morning – where are you going to go in it? I’d go a few years back in time to be with Avalon my cat who passed away in July 2013.

 

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose? I’d like to cure sick animals and bring the deceased ones back to life.

 

Night owl or early bird? I’m an early bird. I need a fixed schedule to be able to work and write effectively, and the best times to concentrate are during the day.

 

One food you would never eat? Meat.

 

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. Because cat lovers will laugh and cry, and they will love their cats even more after reading Avalon.

 

What are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works? I’m currently editing a book on animal attack movies. It’s a project for which different movie aficionados from all over the world will write an essay about their favorite film in this sub-genre. The writers are a mix between film historians, bloggers, horror fiction writers, authors of movie reference guides, film festival organizers, film critics, actors, screenwriters, and directors. The book will be released later this year.

 

What inspired you to want to become a writer? Seeing As I Lay Dying on stage in London. I wouldn’t be an author without it.

 

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book? Kenji Kawai’s theme song from the movie Avalon.

 

If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why? I asked my friends and everyone agreed on Naomi Watts.

 

Cats or Dogs? I can appreciate any type of animal, but I like the quiet attitude of cats.

 

Facebook or Twitter? Right now, I’m more into Twitter, because my posts reach a wider audience than on Facebook and it’s also easier to share books from fellow authors.

 

Truth or Dare? Truth.

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avalonSome cats need nine lives to make a difference. Avalon only needed one.

From Amazon bestselling author Vanessa Morgan, Avalon is the heartwarming and once-in-a-lifetime love story of a girl and her neurotic Turkish Van cat.

With humor, the author details how Avalon made other creatures cringe in distress whenever he was around, how he threw her dates out by means of special techniques, and how he rendered it almost impossible for her to leave the house. Avalon was so incorrigible that even her landlord ordered her to get rid of him. But beneath Avalon’s demonic boisterousness, Vanessa recognized her own flaws and insecurities, and she understood that abandoning Avalon would be the worst she could do to him. Thanks to her unswerving loyalty, Avalon transformed into a tender feline, and even landed a major role in a horror movie. In turn, Avalon made it his mission to be there for his human companion.

By turns jubilant and deeply moving, Avalon is a memoir for anyone who has ever been obsessively in love with a pet.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vanessa-Morgan/50159391888

Twitter: http://twitter.com/eeriestories

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/follow/eeriestories

Google+: https://plus.google.com/111498119214855356614/posts

Bloglovin: https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/vanessa-morgan-4135473

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Vanessa-Morgan/

Blog: http://vanessa-morgan.blogspot.com

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2890032.Vanessa_Morgan

 

Purchase links for ‘Avalon’

Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/1FTC8Ep

Amazon.co.uk: http://amzn.to/1ImdPRo

Amazon.fr: http://amzn.to/1JTGIF2

 

IAM15 Interview…with Mel Cusick-Jones

IAM 2015 - TopperHello! Welcome to our fourth annual Indie Author Month on Aside from Writing – I hope you enjoy what we have coming up over the next few weeks in July and get to meet some great new authors, seeing their thoughts and experiences on what it is like to be an indie writer these days.

As you’ll probably know, I’m one of the main bloggers for the site, along with my author buddy Tony Talbot. This year, we decided that one of us would open the event as the ‘author of the day’, with the other closing the event at the end of the month.

One thing I realised we’d never done on here, was actually interview ourselves. We’ve interviewed loads of authors over the last few years, particularly during the Indie Author event months, but neither Tony nor I had ever featured in a ‘proper’ interview on the blog. So, for my first feature of the day, I’m doing a snapshot interview with myself 🙂 It’s a lot more normal than it sounds and not at all Taxi Driver scary. Promise.

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A genie grants you three writing-related wishes: what would you wish for and why?

Firstly, I would wish for the little writing cave of my dreams…a cosy little room, with the walls all lined with bookshelves. There would be a nice, comfy couch for my dog to lie on and snooze the hours away as I work. There are some french windows in the room that lead to a garden outside and my desk in next to it… silly items and knick-knacks from my current mini-cave would be on the wall above my desk, to keep inspiring me as I day dream looking out of the window.

My second ‘big’ wish would be, that when I talk through scenes and dialogue in my head, that they magically appear in a notebook ready to use. I can’t count how many good things I’ve thought of and not remembered because I couldn’t write them down at the time. I’ve tried using a dictaphone, but something goes wrong between my head and my mouth and what gets recorded is just a terrible, flat version of what I was thinking of originally!

Final wish would be for an editing fairy…someone else that perfectly edits and finalises my finished work! That’s always the longest part of the project for me.

How do you react to a bad review?

It’s feedback, so generally I try to take any learning points from what’s said and apply that to my work. There’s several improvements (I think) I’ve made to my writing style and editing over the last few years since I started getting reviews of my books. Without the feedback, which wasn’t always given in the nicest of ways, I might not have seen the issue and improved. If you get a ranty review, you might not get anything that useful from it for improving your work, and in those cases I just kind of shrug and get on with something else. Everyone likes different things and I’ve had my share of DNF books that I’ve not enjoyed, so I can understand it from the reader side of things too.

Cirque de la Nuit coverWhat are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works?

My current project is outside the ‘Ambrosia Sequence’ series, which I’ve been working on for the last few years and released the first two books so far – although I am about two-thirds of the way through the third book ‘Outlanders’ and I need to get back to working on it at some point! At the moment, I’m focusing on writing a stand-alone YA paranormal mystery ‘Cirque de la Nuit’ about a uni student who finds herself in the middle of supernatural gang warfare, after a visit to the mysterious Cirque de la Nuit. A bit of change from sci-fi related dystopian, but hopefully people will enjoy it when it’s ready to release.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?

The main inspiration is that I’ve always loved reading and disappearing off into other people’s stories. Because of that, I’ve always dabbled with writing: short stories, couple of plays (don’t ask!) and then when I finished studying English at uni, I started writing as a hobby. The first few things I wrote were really terrible and it took a lot of practice to actually write a full book with beginning, middle, end…sounds daft, but ask most authors and they’ll tell you that they didn’t just sit down and run off a perfect first draft. The first few books I wrote still sit in my laptop and may (with lots of revision) some day be worthy of release…

Who is your favourite character from Cirque de la Nuit and why?

At the moment, my favourite character is Alexander – the vampire ringmaster who gets Beth (the main character whose POV we read the story in) involved in the first place. He is probably the character, aside from Beth, who changes the most during the story. That said, I really like Mikhail, especially when you get him and Beth sparring off one another – I love sarcastic banter!

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Mel Cusick-JonesWant to know more? Check out the links!

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melanie-Cusick-Jones/214124072009513

Twitter @melabupa     Author Blog http://melcj.com/

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5395324.Melanie_Cusick_Jones

IAM Book of the Day…The Awakening

IAM2014 - Logo

Book of the Day

Today we’re welcoming author Emma Jones to the blog, she’s sharing an excerpt of her debut novel The Awakening with us, as well as tackling the tricky, rapid-fire answers of our Gimme 10 interview – enjoy! 🙂

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 The AwakeningSynopsis 

Do you believe in vampires? Ghosts? The supernatural world?
Meet Lauren who instantly clicks with Gavin at a friend’s BBQ. Everything goes well until Lauren starts to experience strange things and hears a weird voice. It seems like a warning, but from what? Lauren eventually makes the startling discovery that Gavin is a vampire and it has profound consequences for herself.

The arrival of Daniel makes things even more confusing for Lauren as she is warned he is bad news from a ghostly source. Laurens life is turned upside down as things she thought were myths and legends become real and she struggles to cope with everything she has discovered.
Will Lauren and Gavin’s relationship survive and what about the mysterious Daniel?

Excerpt from The Awakening

In the next bar, Gavin and I ended up in a corner together and I suddenly began to get an awful headache. “You ok?” Gavin asked, gently holding my arm, but my headache suddenly intensified and I shook him off. Images started to swarm through my mind: shadows, light, and whispers that were getting louder and louder. “Lauren are you ok?” I could hear people speaking but couldn’t make out where it was coming from and then black.

I woke up with bright lights around me and in an unfamiliar room, it took a few minutes to realise I was in a hospital bed. I tried to sit up, my head thumped, and I rested back down. I looked about and then realised Gavin was sleeping sat up in a chair near my bed. I was just about to speak when a nurse come over “You’re awake.” she smiled kindly “I think you gave your friends a bit of a shock. Passed out and gave you quite a bang on the head.” It was only as she said this I realised I had a bandage on my head and raised my hand to touch the dressing. “You had to have a few stitches and as you were so drowsy we decided we’d better keep you in but you should be able to go home this afternoon,” the nurse informed me. “Your friend here insisted on staying in case you woke up and was confused. Oh look he’s just waking now, would you both like a cup of tea?”

“Um yes please that would be lovely,” I croaked and tried again to sit up. Gavin got up from his chair and stood at the end of the bed looking pale and worried,

“Do you remember much about last night?” he asked his voice full of concern,

“Not really, I remember getting a headache and that’s it.”

“Oh right that’s good then.”

“Why what happened?”

“You just passed out but you said some weird things that are all but don’t worry.” At that point, the nurse returned with two cups of tea and Gavin said he just had to pop out for a minute to make a call. I drank my tea and dozed back to sleep waking to find Gavin back in the room. “The nurse said once your blood test results are back and they check your blood pressure again you will be able to go home.”

“Oh that’s great I really need a shower and my own bed. What a weird night. I think it’s you Gavin.” I joked, “You seem to have a weird effect on me headaches and nose bleeds and now I pass out. Must be your super manliness!” I laughed. Gavin smiled back but looked anxious and the smile didn’t reach his eyes “I’m ok you know it’s only a joke.” I said trying to reassure him,

“I know. You just worried me that am all.” he replied.

Later that day I was discharged and Gavin took me home, insisted on making me some dinner, and stayed for a while although the whole time he kept some distance and seemed worried I might collapse at any time. After a few hours, he left and I rang my friends to let them know I was ok and apologised to Sophie for ruining her birthday night out and I decided an early night was in order. Thankfully, I slept with no problems and woke feeling much better although my head was still thumping slightly so I phoned work and explained I wouldn’t be in for the day and chilled out at home instead. Gavin called and although I assured him I was feeling fine now he insisted on coming round to check on me as soon as he finished work. When he arrived, he looked nervous and as we chatted, he kept his distance, which caused me to worry. I made a cup of tea and then sat on the sofa sensing he wanted to discuss something important. He moved forward and for the first time in over 24 hours touched me. He gently touched my arm, my head suddenly felt terrible again, and images much clearer flashed before my eyes. Gavin removed his arm and looked at me with alarm and worry, the images came faster and faster, and I felt a sudden rush of power and clarity. I put my head in my hands and squeezed my eyes tightly shut and concentrated on the images flying through my mind. I suddenly gasped and felt my heart rate speed up and then pop. The light bulbs in the living room smashed and fizzed. In the darkness, I said, “I know what you are.”

“I was worried you were going to say that.” he softly said.

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Meet the Author…Hi, I’m Emma. I have always absolutely loved reading. I remember reading The Worst Witch, Judy Blume and Point Horror when I was younger (I still love Point Horror). I have dabbled in writing for 7 years but only recently decided to dip my toe into the self publishing world after months of deliberation. My writing started as a hobby whilst on maternity leave but over the last 18 months has become my passion. I love all things vampire so naturally my first book is based on this theme. My first book The Awakening is out now and there is a short story called Origins which accompanies it. The short story focuses on Drake and Emily. I hope you enjoy.  Please feel free to come over and say hello or comment. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and my own Blog. I’d love to hear from you. X

Gimme 10 – Mini-Interview

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

Where do you find your inspiration?  Books, TV, conversations, my children and friends plus real events.

 What is your favourite aspect of The Awakening? I love how the truth is revealed.

Who is your favourite character from The Awakening and why? Argh! That’s tough. Lauren because she’s my leading lady.

What are you working on now?  I’m working on book number 2. I’m at 25,000 words.

 What do you love about most about writing? The freedom and escape.

Want to know more? Check out the links!

https://www.facebook.com/BooksbyEmmaJones

Twitter @booksemmajones

http://booksbyemmajones.blogspot.co.uk/

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19393207-the-awakening

Purchase the Book

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00H5UM4QQ

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H5UM4QQ

IAM Guest Post…Why I Like Being an Indie

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Today’s guest post on about why she loves being an indie writer is by lovely author Patricia Lynne, whose novel Being Human was reviewed and featured on the blog in 2012. Today you can also find out about her latest work: Snapshot

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Patricia Lynne never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never gave it any thought during high school and college, but some stories are meant to be told and now she can’t stop. Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo and has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow. You can find her at my website, on wasting time on Twitter and lurking on Facebook.

Why I like being an Indie…

When I first started looking into publishing and I found out I’d have little say in my cover, book title, and synopsis I was very worried. What if the publisher did an awful job in my opinion? There is nothing more horrifying than the idea of hating my own book because I don’t like the cover or I think the title is awful. I was also concerned about changes to the story. Publishers mold stories to fit the market and I didn’t want to lose my story just because of what was hot at the moment.

Enter Indie and self publishing. I would be in control of everything. My cover, title, and synopsis. I discovered writing the synopsis was a giant pain, but every word I picked out. Essentially, I am the boss.

Lately, I’ve been wondering about traditional publishing again. A few writing friends are considering submitting their stories to small publishers in hopes of benefiting from the editing and possible marketing a publisher might have. The possible help marketing is very tempting. I haven’t been able to market like I want to because 1) I have no idea what I’m doing and 2) I’ve been jobless so I haven’t had much money to spare for marketing. A publisher might be able to help with that.

But then I wouldn’t be the boss.

Honestly, that is the main reason I plan on sticking with being an Indie. As tough as it is to be the boss of everything, I do love having that control over my story. It ensures I tell the story I want and the story isn’t at the mercy of trends. There is nothing wrong with trends, but I don’t want to sacrifice the story I want to tell just to sell more copies. The world is full of readers, more born every day, I’m bound to find plenty who like my story the way I wrote it. From time to time, I may consider the idea of a publisher, but that’s just being sensible. As things change it is wise to reassess. Maybe one day a publisher will be an option for me, but I am doubtful. I love saying I’m an Indie too much.

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SNAPSHOTS

 My name is Cyclop Blaine and I am a real person.
“You are mine.”
I am a real person: heedless of a childhood spent under the supervision of an old man I only know as Master.
 “You belong to me.”
I am a real person: regardless of my teenage years bound by violence as the adoptive son of the Victory Street Gang’s leader.
 “You will obey me.”
I am a real person: despite the visions I see in others’ eyes. Snapshots of their futures.
“You will cower before me.”
I am a real person: my life will be my own. I belong to no one.
“You. Are. MINE.”

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

IAM Guest Post…You’re Never Too Old

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Our featured author today is Clinton Harding, a regular visitor to the blog since we ran our first Indie Author Month in 2012. We recently hosted a week-long tour feature for Clinton celebrating the release of Book 2 in the Bad Monsters series. If you missed that, or any of his previous features and guest posts, you can check them out here

Back to today – Clinton’s shared a great post on the young adult fiction genre and why you’re never too old to enjoy great books…

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YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD…

 When you walk into a brick and mortar bookstore (the few left anyway) or browse Amazon’s list of new book releases and see books under the category “young adult” what do you expect to see? Most people will say the Twilight series of books, maybe The Hunger Games trilogy, or any other single or set of books with young adults or children as protagonists dealing with common growing pains on their way to adulthood. Now, name the target audience for these books. This is an easy one. People will roll their eyes and probably say, “duh! What section of the store are you in? Young adult.” I can hear the forehead slapping right now.

 I’m not sure the definition and categorization is correct here.  For one, I don’t believe young adult fiction is written specifically for one audience, let along one that is a less mature age group. Publishers Weekly reported in late2012 that 55% of people buying and reading these types of books are 18 years or older. I’ll buy that. A lot of my friends read young adult fiction, a couple prefer the stories to some of the “adult fiction available. Most of them were reading Harry Potter (not an “adult” fictional series) in high school when the books were just coming out and bursting into a cultural phenomenon, book that are targeted at children and not high school students or anyone older.

The young adult and children’s fiction genres have good quality reading options for readers of all ages. The writing style is generally simple, sure. Description of the setting, characters, the over physical sights in the novels are not verbose. Vocabulary is simplified. However, some of deepest world building can occur in these adolescent novels.  The narrative is rich. The characters are vibrant, individualized, fully formed.  Even without paragraph-length descriptions, novels like those in the Harry Potter series have wonderful , colorful characters that people fall in love with and the worlds they inhabitant are no less realized. These novels can tackle adult issues, sociological and political and relationships.

Going back to my original question… what aspects of the novel makes it young adult? Again, generally the age of the protagonists makes the difference. Teen protagonist saving the world, dealing with homework, bullies, dating, family issues… yup, that’s a young adult novel typically. If you’re an older reader, immersing yourself in those types of stories is childish by the standards of other people.  Same as wearing capes and tights is stupid and kid-stuff.Except for a few cases, of course.That’s the stigma that separates the genre and leads to hesitation in readers of a more mature age. Is the young adult genre childish, though? I don’t think so.

Orson Scott Card wrote in the eighties “Ender’s Game”. Originally considered an adult novel (first a short story published through the magazine “Analog”). It’s about an eight or ten year old boy named Ender Wiggin who is by all accounts a genius. Ender is sent to a military academy in space so he can learn the art of war and so later he and the other cadets can lead the fight against an alien race of insects that humanity is at war with.  The novel contrasts the lives of children and adults, how the adults treat children, how the thoughts and ideas of children are no less real than an adult’s own because a child can manipulate and destroy as easily as an adult but he or she is also capable more so of creating and helping. Overall, the novel explores compassion and cruelty and how the concepts relate to humanity and humanity’s treatment of each other and another species.

Deep stuff, right?And there is a lot more themes woven into the novel, I touched on only a few Card explored. Remember, though, “Ender’s Game” is about a boy who is about eight or ten years old. Originally “Ender’s Game” was marketed as adult science fiction. Later editions of the novel place it in the young adult category because of the protagonist’s age and that at its core the novel is a Bildungsroman, a coming-of-age story about a boys’ moral and emotional growth. Can adults enjoy the story? Of course. Can adults learning something from the story? Damn straight! “Ender’s Game” is sometimes suggested reading at military organizations, the United States Marine Corps is one such group. “Ender’s Game” is today enjoyed by adults and younger readers a like without discrimination and despite its categorical labeling.

Another example of young adult fiction with adult themes is the His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. A number of years ago the first book in the trilogy, “The Golden Compass”, was adapted to film and starred Nichole Kidman and Daniel Craig. Box office results did not garner the property a sequel. Too bad since the material asks questions about religion, free will and the right to knowledge and how that plays into freedom and a person’s maturity. Again, main protagonist Lyria is a maturing little girl and developing into womanhood so the series is considered young adult. Its themes, however, contradict the silliness and juvenile perceptions of what most people view as an adolescent novel. If the film had done better, His Dark Materials may have found a wider popularity and acceptance like Potter or Twilight.

Should adults limit their to-read selections to what the publishing industry and general public considers adult? After all, many adolescent readers do not stick to roaming the young adult fiction shelves. They branch out. Those who like horror will find their way to Lovecraft and King and McCammon and Matheson. Fantasy lovers will read Lord of the Rings, they’ll crack open Brooks, Jordan, Erikson, or Martin. When I was in junior high and high school I was reading adult fiction. Reading young adult never crossed my mind.  What’s more is that some of the great portrayals of child heroes/protagonists are in adult novels, stories that spin a tale of how the child establishes his or her moral footing and uses those convictions to face adult challenges.

Why are adolescents allowed to read adult-marketed fiction but adults cannot venture to read young adult? Probably because someone younger reading A Song of Ice and Fire or Tales of Malazan or “The Shining” is considered mature while an adult reading Potter or some other younger title is juvenile.

Labels are the problem. Humans love to label and put things into boxes so we know what to avoid and what is acceptable. We do it to each other, to our neighbors. Genres in fiction are labels.

I always encourage people to read or watch entertainment based on their enjoyment and not popular perception. Fads fade in this fast-paced, internet, information at your fingertips world. Good novels—regardless of being adult themed or young adult themed—don’t transform into bad fiction when the census decides it’s ready to move on to the new/next shiny, noisy attention grabber.  Harry Potter—in my humble opinion—will remain a favorite of so many people because of its readership’s genuine love for the material, because the stories are good, because Rowling wrote something special. That young wizard turned on a generation to reading. Roald Dohl wrote memorable fiction that stand the test of time, regardless of the generation.  Multiple generations know about and enjoy “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “The BFG”, and “Matilda”. Lord of the Rings is another example where generations later people still love the books long after the author has passed and the first generation with him, it is the introduction of many to fantasy novels.

Good fiction is a category of its own, the only category that matters.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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