Monday, 31 October 2011

Awake At Dawn by C. C. Hunter

ISBN: 9780312624682
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 383


Awake At Dawn is the second book in the Shadow Falls series.
Now that she’s settled in at Shadow Falls Camp, Kylie Galen’s determined to discover the extent of her supernatural abilities.  But with a ghost insisting someone Kylie loves is about die, a rogue vampire on a murdering rampage, and her sixth sense telling her someone is watching her, Kylie’s quest for answers is quickly put on hold. 


Awake At Dawn was kindly sent to me by Loren Jaggers at St Martin's Press. I really enjoyed reading Awake At Dawn! It was wonderfully written, so much so I read it in two sittings! (And whilst I enjoyed every moment of it, I wish I had read it slower just to savour the beautiful story for just a short while longer!) My favourite characters were Kylie, Miranda & Della. Because although I absolutely loved reading about Miranda & Della in Born At Midnight, in Awake At Dawn I felt I got to know them better as individuals, and therefore they quickly became my favourite characters. Kylie is still my favourite character, her protectiveness, determination and her sarcasm are just a few aspects among many that make Kylie an amazing character that is a pleasure to read about. I love the cover of Awake At Dawn! The image captured on the cover signifies an important event in the book as does the title, which makes both the title and the cover all the more stunningly beautiful to behold.


Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Author Interview: L. K. Rigel

L.K. Rigel has written Give Me.

1. What is your name and where do you call home? 
LK Rigel. I live in sunny (too sunny for me) California.

2. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
Give Me: A young witch with a good heart. Two lovers in mortal danger. A spell that ends in disaster.

3. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I didn’t intend Give Me to be part of a series, but – as does happen – the characters and events grew. Happily, readers are asking for more from this world. I’m just finishing up a novelette about how Cade’s mother decided to marry Lord Dumnos. And there will be another novel, a sequel to Give Me, about the conflict between the witches and the fae.

4. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing? 
My seventh grade teacher, Miss Harris, was the first person who made me think of myself as a writer. I’ve been writing ever since.

5. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
Yes, quite often. I have a list of reviewers who I send copies to when I release a new title.

6. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
I love Give Me’s cover! A writer friend of mine knew I was writing a fairy story, and she came across the image and alerted me. The cover girl is the very image of Elyse, and this cover has the virtue of depicting a scene in the book. The amazing Robin Ludwig Design designed the cover.

7. How did you come up with the title for your book?
All my books have odd titles. It’s the bane of my writing career! Give Me is a clue to the character of whoever says the words. For instance, a woman in love with Prince Galen says to her mother, a powerful witch, “You could give me Galen, mother.” Her give me is selfish. With Cade, the present-day hero, it’s entirely different. The first thing he says to Lilith is, “Give me your hand.” He wants to help her down from the train. When Idris, the fae king, says “give me your hand,” his intentions are not at all benign. Eventually, the solution to Lilith’s and Cade’s problem of possession comes down to what they are and are not willing to give.

8. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I prefer e-books, most definitely. I’ve even bought e-copies of books I own in hardback. Now that I’m used to my Kindle, I don’t want to read on anything else. I just find it a better experience, though I know many people prefer a print book.

9. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
All the time! I reread Middlemarch, Hawaii, Possession, Persuasion, Dune, and He Knew He Was Right quite a bit. Except in the Trollope I tend to skip the parts about the main hero/heroine. They’re such winy babies to me – but I love the secondary characters, especially Aunt Jemima.



Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!

Excerpt: Give Me by L. K. Rigel


Copyright 2011 L.K. Rigel
This is the scene where the heroine Lilith first meets the hero Cade.

“Give me your hand.”
The deep, self-confident voice sent a flutter of excitement through Lilith’s solar plexus. A man emerged from the mist and steam, his gloved hand outstretched. He was tall and red and big-boned. His ruddy complexion looked like it had rebelled once but had given up the fight. He had shaggy chestnut hair and green eyes that hinted of dangerous sex.
“Lilith Evergreen, I presume?” The West Country accent was tinged with humor.
His face was rough and unhandsome. His voice was jagged like a demon lover’s – low and crushed velvety, promising things no good woman should wish for.
He tipped his moss green hat, a Mad Hatter’s bell crown topper, and bowed with a flourish. “Cade Bausiney, tour guide extraordinaire. Ian has commandeered my rig to haul the lot of you to the Tragic Fall.”
“Very generous of you to comply.”
“I thought so.”
His duster reached mid calf, and his long scarf was also the color of dark moss, identical to the one Marion had been knitting. Again he offered his gloved hand. Lilith’s hand disappeared in his, so tiny and pink in its little glove. Beside him, she felt downright delicate.
A hot current of desire zapped through her as he handed her down. Their eyes met. She was sure he’d felt it too. She pulled her hand away – or maybe he’d dropped it. The urge to grab this man, this stranger, was almost overwhelming. It was as if she’d become a different person. She wanted to kiss him, tear his clothes off and pull him inside her.
She looked around the platform, needing desperately to think of anything else.
Tintagos Halt consisted of an old stone building anchored to a wide wood platform. A rusting iron bench at one end looked unused for a generation. Garish posters covered the ancient building’s walls. You Might Be Next! Visit Famous Tintagos Castle! Who Will Be Chosen? A Once in a Lifetime Event!
Bausiney brushed his hand over Lilith’s upper arm. He wrinkled his nose at her bare skin and said, “Dumnos is a land of mist and rain. We put so much effort into our literature, and no one reads it.”
One side of his mouth curved down. She must have imagined that he had felt the same bizarre heat. He draped his scarf around her, and she caught her breath as he gave her a slight squeeze and said, “That’s better now.”
The steam whistle blasted the air, as startling as a physical assault. She and Bausiney jammed their hands over their ears until it stopped. Fortunately, the shock of the blast drove away Lilith’s sex-fiendishness.
“It’s this way,” Bausiney said.
At the end of the platform the footman loaded luggage into a waiting horse-drawn carriage. His ornate uniform made more sense now, all part of the show. The vehicle was as white as Cinderella’s coach with polished brass fixtures and a gold coronet with pearls and strawberry leaves painted on the door. The top was down, and Marion and Ian were seated inside with the laptop ladies. All of them had wool throws over their legs.
“This is Bella and Cammy.” Marion handed throws to Lilith and Bausiney. “Sisters from Maidstone. They’re stopping at the Tragic Fall for the Handover.”
Lilith sat down on the same side as Bella, the older of the two. If they’d been named in honor of Mr. Trollope’s French sisters – a mean trick by a parent – they’d rebelled against the author’s description. The younger Cammy appeared shy and sweet. Bella regarded Lilith with a distinctly sour expression and a furrow between her eyebrows.
Bausiney eased in between Lilith and Bella. He pushed his hat back and stretched his arms over the back of the seat with a happy grin. He looked less the Mad Hatter and more a glam rocker from the ‘80s, sans mascara.
The footman climbed up to the driver’s perch. “Walk on,” the driver said to the horses.
It felt like being in a story out of Jane Austen – for the first minute. In the next five they hit three ruts in the dirt road, throwing the passengers against each other. This trip was going to be more picturesque than comfortable.
The one-lane road from Tintagos Halt down to Tintagos Village wound down a small hill to a village at the edge of the sea. Dusk had only begun. A few lamps came on in the cottages and shops spread over the few streets, but there was plenty of natural light left in the day.
“It gets dark later here,” Lilith said absently. Bella and Cammy stared as if she’d said a green cow is dancing on the fencepost. Lilith decided they were the very image of Trollope’s French girls.
Bausiney said, “That’s because we’re at higher latitude than you’re used to.” Just then the carriage hit another rut, and the jolt threw Lilith against him.
The desire returned, hot and bittersweet. She had the feeling she knew him, knew his body, remembered it, wanted to press closer, to feel his arms around her. His chest was so broad, his eyes so … actually, he looked happy. Happy to find her practically in his lap.
“Hello there.” The corners of his mouth twitched with ironic amusement.
She pulled away and closed her eyes to concentrate on her breath. Her heart raced. Her body was on fire. This made no sense. She wasn’t even attracted to the great ruddy hulk. Despite the electric sizzle in his touch. She wasn’t attracted to anybody. Not now. She doubted her feelings for Greg – now. But she had believed she loved him. Now she didn’t trust herself.
Gradually the world came into better focus. Seagulls screamed over the bay. Horses’ hooves clump-clumped on soft dirt. Marion chattered with Ian about Sharon. Lilith opened her eyes. No one had noticed.
She could feel Bausiney watching, but if she looked at him she’d lose it. Instead, she looked at the village and the cliffs beyond.
Great gods! Again her heart was in her throat. Just past the village, the oak tree from her dreams clung to the cliffs’ edge. A woman stood beside it.
Despite the distance, Lilith knew it was Elyse. Watching her. Waiting for her.
You’ve come at last.

Promotion: Give Me by L. K. Rigel


A young witch with a good heart. Two lovers in mortal danger. A spell that ends in disaster. 
Lilith Evergreen lives in the California desert, an ordinary woman until her fiancĂ© returns from London with a ring he bought from a street vendor. When Lilith puts it on she dreams of a green land that's anything but desert, a tree at cliff's edge, a ruined castle, and a handsome prince. 
Then she discovers that it's all real. 
When Lilith visits the ruins of Tintagos Castle, she discovers a world of magic and love - and its dark side when she's entangled in the remnants of an ancient spell gone bad. From the moment Lilith sees Cade Bausiney, she's overwhelmed with desire for him. Cade is drawn to Lilith too - but their feelings might only be sparked by dark and dangerous magic.
Lilith and Cade must break the old spell or be forever possessed by spirits who've waited a millennium to consummate their love.





Saturday, 29 October 2011

Saturday Snippets! 29/10/11


Here are my Saturday Snippets!


He was asleep.
Katsa exhaled slowly. She was the greatest fool in all the seven kingdoms. Why, when she fought with him almost every day, when she knew every part of his body; why, when she'd sat on his stomach, and wrestled with him on the ground and could probably identify his arm hold faster tan any wife could recognise the embrace of her own husband, had the sight of his arms and his shoulders so embarrassed her? She had seen a thousand shirtless men before, in the practice rooms or when travelling with Giddon and Oll. Raffin practically undressed in front of her, they were so used to each other. It was like his eyes. Unless they were fighting, Po's body had the same effect on her as his eyes.
 - Page 144, Graceling by Kristin Cashore


"How do I look?" I stood up and pulled my tunic straight, frowning at a wrinkle near the hem.
"Nimira, you're right. Change into the evening gown."
His abrupt decision left me startled. "The gown?"
"Smollings won't be able to do a damn thing about it once we're all there. I want them to see you as the well-spoken traveller you are, not an imported curiosity." He slapped the doorframe before he turned away.
Linza raised her eyebrows. "The gown it is, then."
 - Page 105, Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Friday, 28 October 2011

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

ISBN: 9780439023481
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 374

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. 

I had heard many great things about Suzanne Collins' books and at first I was wary of reading The Hunger Games due to its popularity (as I have read many highly rated, popular books before that I feel have fell short). But I wasn't disappointed at all! In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed this futuristic, dystopian story. For such a dark tale, it was beautifully written and as a result I flew through it on my kindle! My favourite characters were Katniss and Gale. Katniss because of her resourcefulness and determination, she instantly won me over, and Gale because of his both rebellious and yet caring nature. Not only did I love both Katniss and Primrose's names but I also loved the explanations behind them. I really like this cover of The Hunger Games as well, it seems to fit in more with the dystopian genre its in. 

Available at Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Author Interview: Matt Posner

Matt Posner has written the School Of Ages series.


1. What is your name and where do you call home? Do you use a pen name?
My name is Matt Posner -- that's my real name. It's not a super impressive author name, like, say, 'Ransom Riggs,' but it's easier to do business with my actual name. I hail from Queens, New York, which is one of the outer boroughs of New York City.

2. What is the name of most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
My latest book is School of the Ages: Level Three's Dream. In this continuation of the School of the Ages series, Simon and Goldberry take on the challenge of Level Three, an autistic magician with the power to trap them in his magical worlds.

3. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes, the School of the Ages series will be five books. The next book is due out next year. It's in second draft and I will be getting it ready for beta readers soon. Book three, The War Against Love, is about a teen romance set against the backdrop of a bloody magicians' war, with School of the Ages taking on a cabal of Nazi wizards in many places in Europe.
My wife and I are seasoned European vacationers. Every place we have visited there will be in one or more of the books.


4. What inspired you to start writing, and how long have you been doing it?
I like to quote Lady Gaga, who is also from Queens. "I was born this way." The impulse and the raw abilities were there at an early age. I was reading avidly and prodigiously when I was six. I wrote for pleasure when I was a child, and decided when I was 12 to be a novelist. I wound up developing an academic background in fiction writing, which has caused me to become a teacher as a career. I'm forty-two, so I've been a novelist for 30 years, although most of those years were formative. 


5. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
The covers of both books were designed by my cousin Mike Cohen, who is a videographer by trade. He uses stock photos which are assembled into the complex and colorful images you see. My contribution is to list elements he might want to include, and then we kick things around based on what he can find and how the elements look. The castle in these two covers is Casa Loma, in Toronto, Canada. The one thing we agree upon is that the covers should be similar enough to be recognizable as part of the same series. It will be exciting to see how books 3-5 covers look.

6. How did you come up with the title for your book?
Once I had decided that I was going to use the concept of "bound" spirits that were linked to objects, it was easy enough to move to the word ghost, which is a sure-fire attention-getter in any title, and to add another such power word, crystal, which has all kinds of magical and New Age associations. Making a title out of evocative nouns is a pretty safe bet. My second book has one too: Level Three's Dream contains "dream." (Not a Sandman reference; I wish...) The third book, due out next year, is called The War Against Love. We can see the two intriguing nouns in there, I imagine.

7. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
I would like to do an editing pass through The Ghost in the Crystal to update it in terms of style and details to match the later books. I might add in some material. Most likely I will do this as a five-year anniversary edition, or some such commemorative edition, maybe to correspond to the release of book five in the series, although to be fair, I haven't even plotted that one out yet, and only have about thirty pages of drafted scenes from it. 


8. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
I have a youtube channel, which is "schooloftheages" (no spaces) at http://www.youtube.com/user/Schoolofthea... and on that channel are various book trailers, some better than others, as well as other videos that I have made using Windows Movie Maker and, more recently, PowerDirector. I think book trailers are useful if you need something to show people, but there's no evidence of them going viral or coming up on lots of searches, so I consider a book trailer a fairly low-level sales tool. Most authors don't use them. 


9. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
If you mean for my writing, my answer is standard: I prefer whichever one is going to make me money. As for what I buy, I am trying to shy away from physical books because I own too many of them, and most are in storage and I should be throwing them away, Yet throwing away a book is for me, as with many people, like giving away a piece of self. I don't have this problem with ebooks, which don't occupy physical space, so going forward, I would rather buy ebooks if I am just going to read the text, and only acquire paper books if they are graphic novels or books about visual arts. 


10. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
Yes. I sought the acceptance of agents and legacy publishers for years, and was never treated properly by anyone in the industry, and I went indie in 2010, corresponding somewhat to a time when the mainstream publishing industry has reached a new low in its treatment of authors and its compulsion to serve capitalistic imperatives. I have crafted a new insult expression for literary agents, as I occasionally state that I invite any literary agent to show me that she or he is not a feckless, self-involved dufus. So, I here on this blog again say that a typical literary agent is a feckless, self-involved dufus, and I am still waiting to meet one who is not. 


11. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
Yes, I think rereading books is necessary to get all the juice out of them, and I design my own books to be reread by adding layers of detail that you won't spot the first time around but that will emerge through repeated reading. Because the plot and situation drives you forward, you start off skimiming sections of a book (in my favorite books to reread, and in my own books), and then when you go back to reread, you see things you didn't see before - themes, motifs, hidden meanings, memorable expressions, and so on. Obviously Shakespeare is best for this, but I will cite Tolkien and Austen as two more writers who have that quality for me. 


12. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
Like many avid readers, I read about five to ten things at a time. I have multiple books in progress on my Kindle 2. Most of them are by indie writers and were given to me to read and review. I update what I'm reading on Goodreads, and for the sake of making this interview a little less dated, I will invite those who are interested to find me there -- where you found me yourself, Rachel. 


13. Do you have any advice for other writers?
I advise fiction writers to focus on character and de-emphasize concept. Character matters most. A story needs an interesting person with a problem, or at novel length, many problems. Because of how I write, it's even hard for me to say in a blurb or plug what's best about my books: the ensemble cast. There are so many characters, all with motivations and quirks and senses of humor and problems of their own, that a lot of interest comes out of the mix of people and the contrasts in their behavior. 


14. Anything else you wish to add?
To answer an issue that was raised by your review -- you stated that it was not made clear why my character took the magician name Simon Magus. The answer is -- he thought it sounded cool, but later he learned that taking the name tied him in to events in the past. 







Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

City Of The Falling Sky by Joseph Evans

ASIN: B005E8YZ2M
Publisher: Self / Indie
Pages: 327


When fourteen year old Seckry Sevenstars is forced out of his village by the greedy Endrin Corporation and relocated to the daunting metropolis of Skyfall City, he harbours resentment for the company and vows to get them back one day for taking away his home, his school and his friends. Fortunately, the marvels of the city do a good job in distracting Seckry from his anger and homesickness, and it isn’t long before he’s competing at Friction (the city’s most popular multiplayer video game), slurping awe-inspiring multicoloured milkshakes, and getting butterflies on his first date.


City Of The Falling Sky was kindly given to me to read and review by Joseph Evans. From the blurb I thought I would really, really enjoy reading City Of The Falling Sky, from the futuristic, dystopian setting to the gaming aspects of the story (as I am a bit of a "gamer" myself!). However, I found it to be written a bit too young and simplistic for my liking. Despite this I still enjoyed reading this book, just not as much as I had anticipated. I like the cover as portrays the theme of the story within well. 


Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Author Interview: Barry Hoffman

Barry Hoffman has written The Shamra Chronicles.


1. What is your name and where do you call home?
Barry Hoffman, Colorado Springs, Colorado though I'm from New York and still call it my home.


2. Do you have a pen name?
Nope.


3. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
It would be Chaos Unleashed, the final book in my YA trilogy The Shamra Chronicles. A strong-willed female warrior leads her people against Chaos, an entity of enormous power for destruction. Dara must face the betrayal of others around her and come to grips with her emotions if she is to succeed.


4. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes, this is the third book in the series but there will be a short story collection of Shamra related stories to follow.


5. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I began writing non-fiction in Junior High School but in college after having read so much fiction I fell in love with telling stories and began writing after I graduated when I began a career as a teacher. So, a good 40 years of writing fiction.


6. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
Yes and I also had a 10,000 book giveaway of the first book in my YA series, Curse Of The Shamra which went to the underprivileged and schools that had insufficient funds to purchase books.


7. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
I've had 3 different covers for Curse Of The Shamra. I hired a publicist last year and she felt the covers had to be redone. Peter Lutjen designed the covers.


8. How did you come up with the title for your book?
The Shamra were initially an enemy of the main characters but I liked the name so much I decided to have the main characters called the Shamra. In the first book the Shamra are attacked and enslaved, hence Curse Of The Shamra.


9. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
Each book skews a bit older and the villain in the second and third books I think are more terrifying than the enemy in the first book. So, I might introduce Chaos earlier if I rewrote the series.


10. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
I don't have one right now. To do them well is incredibly expensive. If you can afford the expense I think they're great but I have to prioritize on what I spend my money on. A quality website took priority.


11. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I prefer either hardcovers or paperbacks. There's nothing better than holding a book in your hand and turning an actual page.


12. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
I am published by Edge books.


13. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
I've read several books more than once. The one I read several times was Richard Matheson's I Am Legend. I also read his censored script for the novel (it was never produced as written by Matheson). A wonderful novel.


14. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I am reading the last book in the Hunger Games series. I actually have the hardcover edition.


15. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what's the best advice you have been given when it comes to writing?
My advice for writers is to write what you are passionate about. Too many people try to write the "next big thing" or write a variant on what's popular (i.e. vampires, werewolves and zombies). I don't feel that's the best way to write. I know what I'm passionate about and it doesn't matter what publishers are looking for. I need to be able look myself in the mirror at the end of the night. The best advice I received was to focus on characters. No matter how strong the plot if the characters don't come alive on the page the book will fail.


16. Where can your readers follow you?


Blog: www.ShamraChronicles.com


Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Shamra-Chronicles-Book-Series/101548979897858


Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/521619.Barry_Hoffman


Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/shamrabooksrule





Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!

Becoming by Raine Thomas

ISBN: 9780983831808
Publisher: Iambe Books
Pages: 295

Becoming is the first book in the Daughters Of Saraqael trilogy.
Every three years, Amber Hopkins explodes. Okay, not a blown-to-smithereens explosion, but whatever it is always hurts like hell and leaves her life a shambles. She’s already worked her way through five foster placements, and she’s doing whatever she can to avoid getting blasted into a sixth.
As her eighteenth birthday approaches and she feels the strange and powerful energy building, disaster looms. When the inevitable explosion occurs, her life gets its biggest shakeup yet. She’ll not only learn how her fellow foster and best friend, Gabriel, really feels about her, but she’ll discover that she isn’t really without family.


Raine Thomas kindly gave me her book Becoming to read and review, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it from start to finish! I loved the concept behind Amber's explosions / power surges. At first from the cover and the explosions, I thought that Amber was a shapeshifter or a dragon, but what she actually turns out to be is much better! My favourite characters were Amber and Gabriel, Amber because of her personality, her many ordeals and her strength throughout them, and Gabriel because of his loving nature and protectiveness towards Amber. I love the cover of this book, it portrays the story within perfectly! The half of Amber's face that is shown on the cover, beautifully depicts part of her nature that she discovers in the Becoming.

Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Author Interview: Luisa Plaja

Luisa Plaja has written Kiss, Date, Love, Hate as well as Split By A Kiss, Swapped By A Kiss and Extreme Kissing.


1. What is your name and where do you call home?
I'm Luisa Plaja, and I've lived in a lot of different places, but I grew up in London and I now live in Devon.

2. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
Kiss Date Love Hate will be out in February 2012, published by Random House. Lex discovers she can change her friends' loves, lives and looks through the profile settings of a computer game. That's 19 words (!) so I'll add: Wow!

3. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Kiss Date Love Hate is a standalone. I have lots more plans and ideas...

4. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I've been writing since I was little, and I was inspired by a love of stories, books and reading. I've always been a book-lover.

5. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
Sometimes - it depends whether I have spare copies.

6. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
It was designed by Random House Children's Books.

7. How did you come up with the title for your book?
It's based on the settings of the Sims-style computer game that Lex and her friend George play.

8. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I honestly love them all! I probably buy twice as many books now that I have an e-book reader - and that means a lot - but I wouldn't have it any other way. I also download a lot of audiobooks, and I love the way I can listen to those on my reader too. The books I've written are currently being recorded as audiobooks, which I'm thrilled about. (Split by a Kiss is available now, Swapped by a Kiss should be out very soon and the others will follow.) 

9. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
No, my books are traditionally published.

10. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
There are lots of books I've read many times, especially the ones I first read as a child. Nowadays I often read books twice when I don't get around to reviewing them immediately, or when I love them so much that one reading just isn't enough. I regularly listen to audiobooks more than once, too - I've recently done this with Dash & Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, and Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson.

11. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I have a few books on the go in different formats, which is normal for me! I'm listening to Beauty Queens by Libba Bray on audio - that one is taking a while as it's about 16 hours long! I'm also halfway through the e-book of Fringe Girl by Valerie Frankel, and have nearly finished reading a paperback of The Vampire Stalker by Allison van Diepen. Oh, and I'm also reading Opal Moonbaby by Maudie Smith with my kids. It's great!

12. Where can your readers follow you?

Blog: http://www.luisaplaja.co.uk/latest-news

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Luisa-Plaja/326625221758

Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1248134.Luisa_Plaja

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LuisaPlaja

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Luisa-Plaja/e/B0034NK9QU

Chicklish, the book review site I edit: http://www.chicklish.co.uk







Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Author Interview: Elle LaPraim

Elle LaPraim has written The Colors Of Qua, The Seamstresses and The Crecian Experience.

1. What is your name and where do you call home?
My Name is Elle LaPraim and I live in Rainy Portland Or, USA

2. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
My latest short story is called The Colors of Qua. On the surface, it’s about a girl who believes she is the Grim Reaper and being punished for the secret she keeps inside. Underneath that though, it is truly about feeling alone, and how we always tend to punish ourselves far more than anyone else could.

3. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I have three short stories for sale now, and I am currently working on a new short story about how much it would actually suck to be a super hero. After that I will be working on my first full-length fantasy novel.

4. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I have been writing since I was old enough to write and before that I drew my stories in pictures. I have dyslexia, so I never thought I could ever be a writer. I just wrote in my room and hid my journals under my bed. It wasn't until I got married a few years a go that my husband encouraged me to publish my work. I started putting my short stories on-line in May, and have been overwhelmed by the success they have had. I still jump up and down every time I make a sale. J That is something I plan to always do, even if I’m selling thousands of books a day!

5. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
Absolutely! I am so grateful to anyone who is willing to take time out of their busy lives, to read my work and review it. I keep all of my reviews in a folder, so I can go back and read them again anytime I need encouragement. 

6. How did you come up with the title for your book?
Coming up with the title to a story is harder than actually writing it, sometimes. It’s so much pressure. I feel like I'm naming a child. This story was particularly hard because although it is technically about the Grim Reaper, it’s not a horror story, it’s a thought-provoking fantasy, so I wanted to give it a name that reflected that.

7. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I prefer e-books, since I have a Kindle. I have gotten rid of most of my paperback books, but I miss them terribly. I love listening to audio books when I go for long walks. I just downloaded The Hunger Game and I can’t wait to get started. I know, I know it’s crazy that I have not read it yet. I might be the only person left who hasn't.

8. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
I am a self-published author. What I love about being self-published is that I not only have control over every aspect of my story, but I also get a chance to have a relationship with my readers. People read my stories and then they know they can email me and let me know what they think. I love answering questions about my stories and encouraging younger writers with their work. I try to have the kind of relationship with my readers, that I wish I could have with some of the authors I love. So far, Stephanie Meyers and I are not coffee buddies, but a girl can dream.

9. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
I have not read an entire book twice because there are so many great books out there that I still need to read! That said, there is a chapter in Ann Brashares Book My Name is Memory, which I have read over and over. It is a beautiful little chapter about a homing pigeon. I read it every time I need a little inspiration.

10. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I am reading the Clash of The Kinds by George R.R Martin. It is the second book in the Fire and Ice series. I am reading it on the Kindle. I love the Kindle because I am a really slow reader and with the Kindle you never know how far you are, so you can’t get discouraged and quit. Both the books in the series have been about 850 pages. I never would have started the series if I had known that, but I am glad I did.

11. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
My best advice for writers is just to go for it. I have always been self-conscious about my writing. I was absolutely terrified to fail as a writer, so I never tried. Then I got to a place in my life where I decided I would rather fail than not try. So I guess in a way, I set out to fail, and the greatest thing happened, I didn't!
The best advice I have been given is to write the truth. Whatever the truth of the story might be. I keep that quote written on the wall above my computer. I think this is so important. Sometimes I want to cut something out because I am worried of what people will think of me or what I write. Then I remember as the writer, it is my job to tell my character's stories the way they tell them to me. It’s not my job to alter them. People know truth when they see it, truth is what hits you in your soul and makes the book become a part of you. That’s my job!

12. Where can your readers follow you?








Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Author Interview: D. D. Chant

D. D. Chant has written Broken City.

1. What is your name and where do you call home?
My name is D. D. Chant, I'm 24 and I live in beautiful Devon, England.

2. Do you have a pen name?
Yes, DeeDee is my sister's pet name for me and Chant is my Great-Grandfather's name.

3. What is the name of your most recent book and if you have to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
'Broken City' an Adventure Romance with a little Mystery set in the near future after a banking crisis!

4. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I'm planning on uploading my second book in December/January! It's in a different genre from 'Broken City' and is the start of a series called 'The Lady Quill Chronicles', the first book has the title 'The Promise'.
I'm also half way through another story 'Fracture' which is the start of a series and set in a dystopian future!

5. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
My family have always been very supportive of my writing, especially my Aunt. I finished 'Broken City' when I was about 20, but I'd written a novel before that.

6. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
Yes of course, just get in touch with me via Goodreads and I’ll send out a PDF copy. I love hearing which bits people liked best and I think it’s important to take notice of them. A readers impute can only improve your writing because it gives you a totally objective view on what works in your book and what doesn’t and you can put that information to good use in your next story!!! 

7. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
I have a picture on my wall that we’ve had for AGES. Whenever I thought about my book, that picture would spring into my mind so I knew I wanted something like it for the cover. I knew someone who was an artist and asked her if she would be interested in doing the cover. She worked really hard on it and did several mock ups first before we settled on the final image. The great thing about it is I have the original oil painting on my wall!!! I had Freeline do the graphics and was so happy with them that they are doing my second book too!

8. How did you come up with the title for your book?
I think I was about three chapters into the book when I settled on ‘Broken City’. It was on a short list with two others:
The other brother
The lost Boy
But to me ‘Broken City’ just seemed to sum everything up so completely.

9. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
I think I might put a little more about how lost Jan and Deeta feel about being without their family. I can’t say any more than that for fear of giving too much away!

10. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
I don’t have a book trailer; I spent out on proof reading!!! I’ve seen quite a few and when they’re good, they are GOOD! But sometimes they can be confusing.

11. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I have a kindle and I LOVE it!!! I really do think it’s the way forward and that, in a few years, not having and e-reader will be as unthinkable as not having a computer!
Save the trees! Go digital!


12. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
Yes I’m an Indie. In some ways it’s hard but a lot of traditional published authors are finding it hard too. A lot of my Trad Pubbed friends say that you have to put in the same amount of effort even if you have the backing of a publisher and I like making my work available for a reasonable price.


13. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
I often re-read books! The latest was ‘The Sooner’ by S.G. Alan.


14. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
Moonstone on my Kindle! It’s a group read at one of my book groups and it’s beautifully written.


15. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what's the best advice you have been given when it comes to writing?
I would say that it’s very important to listen to criticism. Yes it HURTS but its objective in a way you can’t be! Listen to it and try to implement it in your next book. Also if at first you don’t succeed try, try again! Don’t be scared to write off an entire novel as a learning experience and start on something new. That’s what I did!!!
I was told that the thing that makes characters seem more real is their emotional reaction to the situations they’re in. Try to imagine what that characters reaction would be if they were in that position rather than making them do what you want them to.

16. Where can your readers follow you?







Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!