Saturday, 30 June 2012

Soul Beach by Kate Harrison

ISBN: 9781780620060
Publisher: Orion
Pages: 256

People are dying to get here . . .

When Alice Forster receives an email from her dead sister she assumes it must be a sick practical joke. Then an invitation arrives to the virtual world of Soul Beach, an idyllic online paradise of sun, sea and sand where Alice can finally talk to her sister again - and discover a new world of friendships, secrets and maybe even love . . . . But why is Soul Beach only inhabited by the young, the beautiful and the dead? Who really murdered Megan Forster? And could Alice be next?

I received a signed copy of Soul Beach by Kate Harrison from Orion for review. I wouldn’t necessarily have picked this book up from my local bookstore, but I have to say, I absolutely loved reading it! Kate Harrison combines the genres of Young Adult and Paranormal extremely well! My favourite character was Alice, because of her selflessness. Despite the seemingly, idyllic site Alice’s sister (and others) reside in, she sees through its elaborate surroundings for what it actually is, and she longs to set them free . . . even though it may mean having to let her sister go again. I love the cover of Soul Beach as not only are the colours on it quite bold, and vibrant, but the cover also suit certain aspects of the story within. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book!

Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Promotion: The Lure Of Shapinsay by Krista Holle

The Lure Of Shapinsay
By Krista Holle


Ever since Kait Swanney could remember, the old crones of the village have been warning her to stay away from the selkies. They claim that like sirens of old, the seal men creep from the inky waters, shed their skins, and entice women to their deaths beneath the North Sea. But avoiding an encounter becomes impossible when Kait is spotted at the water’s edge, moments after the murder of a half-selkie infant. 

Unexpectedly, Kait is awoken by a beautiful, selkie man seeking revenge. After she declares her innocence, the intruder darts into the night, but not before inadvertently bewitching her with an overpowering lure. 

Kait obsesses over a reunion deep beneath the bay and risks her own life to be reunited with her selkie. But when she lands the dangerous lover, the chaos that follows leaves Kait little time to wonder—is it love setting her on fire or has she simply been lured?



Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Author Interview: Krista Holle

Krista Holle has written The Lure Of Shapinsay.


1. What is your name and where do you call home? 
My name is Krista Holle (pronounced like the red berried tree), the author of the newly released novel, The Lure of Shapinsay. I live in Richmond, Virginia.

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?  
The Lure of Shapinsay was released this past December. When Kait is lured by a seal man, she’ll risk more than a broken heart to be with him—she’ll risk her life. 

3. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
The Wind Whisperer will be released later this year. It’s a young adult romance about a fifteen-year-old Native American girl with the ability to “hear” the voices of the wind spirits. While her tribe’s at war with a brother tribe, Anaii falls in love with the enemy. It’s a juicy love triangle filled with intrigue, murder, battles, and kidnappings. Even the guys will like this one. It’s the first in a trilogy.

4. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book? 
I imagined a sexy young seal man coming out of the sea with a stormy sky in the background for the cover. When I contacted the very talented Reese Dante, she saw my vision as well. Many of the YA/New Adult books on the market featured girls; I wanted my book to be different.

5. Is there anything you would change about your book covers? 
This is a very interesting question. Several bloggers have been afraid to read the “Lure” because they thought it might be erotica based on the half-naked man on the cover. Yikes! I guess if I did it again I might cover up my selkie man a little more. Not definitely sure on this one—he’s half animal.

6. How did you come up with the title for your book? 
The Lure of Shapinsay is based on Scottish mythology, specifically the seal men who lure women to their deaths beneath the sea. It was important to me to have story explained with the title. My first choice was “Lured” but that title was taken. 

7. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers? 
My husband convinced me to make a book trailer for The Lure of Shapinsay. At first I thought trailers were a waste of time, but I’ve since changed my mind. I recently purchased a book because I couldn’t get a certain book’s trailer out of my mind. Trailers are very visual and connect emotionally to the reader in a way a book’s “back flap” can’t. 


8. Have you ever read a book just based on its cover? 
I’m ashamed to admit it, but I buy most my books based on the cover. I just finished The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and The Goddess Test. Both outstanding books with enticing covers.  Covers can make or break a book.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? 
The writing advice I would give is find yourself a good beta reader that isn’t afraid to hurt your feelings. I’ve received lots of good advice, but one piece that stands out is delete the word “get” from your vocabulary. It’s a terrible verb that I rarely use.

10. 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!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

ISBN: 9781408832332
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 416

A heart of ice. A will of steel. Meet the assassin.

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

I received Throne Of Glass by Sarah J. Maas from Bloomsbury for review, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading! My favourite character was Celaena, because  of her brashness, determination and wit. I loved reading about the diverse variety of characters in Throne Of Glass! From the vicious, sly competitors to the manipulative King, and the seemingly naive Court. I really enjoyed reading about the new twist on magic / Fae in this book as well! (Although at times it was a bit hard to keep up with). I prefer my ARC cover of Throne Of Glass to either of the mass market covers, because it’s much more interesting (and inkeeping), since it only shows the mysterious silhouette of Celaena.


Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Promotion: Mythical: Heart Of Stone by C.E. Martin

Mythical
By C.E. Martin


Recent High School grad Josie Winters and her friends are enjoying their summer vacation when they stumble across a mystery in the desert: a man left for dead, his heart ripped out, half his skull missing and his body burnt and turned to stone.

The mystery deepens when the man comes back to life, fully healed, without any memory of how he died or who killed him. With the help of Josie and her reluctant best friend Jimmy, the man slowly remembers he was once a soldier, part of a military team that fought supernatural threats.

The soldier accompanies Josie and Jimmy out of the desert, returning to their hometown to regain his memories and complete his last mission: stop a shapeshifter who kills by eating the hearts of victims and assuming their identities.



Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Author Interview: C.E. Martin

C.E. Martin has written Mythical.


1. What is your name and where do you call home?
I like to go by C.E. Martin, and I live in southern Indiana, USA.

2. Do you have a pen name?
Sort of- I go by C.E. Martin because there are a lot of other Charles Martins in the writing world.

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 is entitled Mythical.
"With the help of the teenagers who found him, a super soldier tries to remember who killed him."

4. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes, this will be a three-part series. It could go on longer, if people are interested in it. I also have other projects on the backburner, ready to be written up when I finish Mythical.


5. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
Back in the 1970s and 80s, when I was a teenager, I read a lot. By the mid 80s, I wanted to be a novelist. A ghost writer for serial adventure books, actually. I particularly liked Edgar Rice Burroughs, Lester Dent and Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir. I wrote a few books of my own, but only received rejection letters. I quit writing in 1990 when I joined the USAF, then took it up again, in 2003, with a nonfiction, true-crime book. That book ended up getting cut from the lineup when the publisher cut down their line. I again gave up writing for awhile, then started blogging in 2007. Last year I decided to give fiction writing a go again.

6. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
I've only been self published for a couple of weeks, and have been using Smashwords' coupon system to offer free copies of Mythical to reviewers. I do plan on a free book weekend in the near future. 

7. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
I designed my own cover using Corel Paintshop. The stone hand grasping the dragon ouroubouros is symbolic of the protagonist battling the shapeshifting antagonist in the book.
8. Which is your favourite cover of all the books you have written?
This one- I never got to the point of designing covers for my other, unpublished works. 

9. Is there anything you would change about your book covers?
I'm told Mythical looks a tad dark. I've tried to fix that. And that is actually my hand on the cover, photoshopped to appear like stone. I think my wrist is too thin.

10. Would you have different book covers for different countries?
No- I think all the readers deserve to see the same thing. 

11. How did you come up with the title for your book?
I wanted a simple, one word title, and since the antagonist is a mythical being (in the mdoern world), it just sort of fit.

12. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
Yes, I think the beginning is a bit on the slow side- because you have to establish the characters before all the action starts. I originally wrote this as a screenplay, and the slow, mysterious build up works much better for film. For a novel, I should have started with more action to draw the reader in.

13. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
Nope. I think they are interesting, but I'm not sure if they're right for someone just starting out like myself.

14. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
E-books. I love laying in bed, reading an e-book by its own light. I can just put it down and go to sleep. I started out reading PDFs on my Palm Pilot Tungsten E2, then moved to my Samsung smart phone. It's really neat to be able to carry around several hundred books on my smartphone. I know I probably won't ever get around to reading all of them, but having that choice is great.

15. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
Yes. I decided to try self-publishing first, this time. I am also in the process of submitting to publishers and agents.

16. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
I think the book I have read most in my life was "Trapping Wild Animals in Malaysian Jungles" by Charles Meyer. It is a sort of autobiographical tale of a man who captured animals for circuses and zoos in the late 1800s. I think I read it six times when I was a kid. I had a hardbound edition with great illustrations in it.

17. Have you ever bought a specific edition of a book because of it’s cover? (For example a UK, US or Canadian version)
Absolutely. If the cover doesn't pique my curiosity there's no sense picking it up and reading the back. Best example of that was David Drake's "Ranks of Bronze" which has Roman Legionaires fighting aliens on the cover. Great book.

18. Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?
Yes. My grandfather was always giving me scifi paperbacks when I was a kid- many of them, the cover was enough for me to read them. My favorite like that was "Deathbeast"... I can't recall the author's name now. It's a story of time travelers who hunt dinosaurs in the past for fun. As a kid, I thought that cover was just so cool.

19. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
Yes, I almost passed on reading Michael Crichton's "Jurassic Park", because the cover was so plain. Luckily, the title intrigued me and I read it.

20. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
These days, I am always reading one of Lester Dent's Doc Savage, 1930s pulp novels. There are over a hundred of them, and over the years I have read most of them. But now that I'm older, I'm trying to read them in the right order. I haven't read one for a month or so- I think I was halfway through "The Land of Always Night" from March 1935.  

21. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
Be prepared for failure. Writing is about luck- there are plenty of bad books out there, that rehash old stories, or are written poorly. But if people find them, and like them, they become successful. No matter how good you think your book is, if no one sees it, or it doesn't appeal to anyone, it just won't do well.
The best advice I've seen is to write what you know. I take that to mean research what you're writing- plan it out meticulously before you write, so you don't write yourself into a corner.

22. Where can your readers follow you?
I started a blog for Mythical, at mythicaltheseries.blogspot.com, but there's not a whole lot there right now. As the book becmes known, I'll expand on it.

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

Monday, 25 June 2012

Promotion: Lazarball by David Ayres & Darren Jacobs

Lazarball
By David Ayres & Darren Jacobs


The race of man is extinct…
A new breed has risen...
Anumalkind shall inherit the Earth...


After merging human and animal DNA together, the Anumal race turned against their creators…and wiped them out. 

Now, millennia later, an ancient pact between warring clans has been broken. Dark powers are surfacing, threatening the survival of this hybrid race…and the fate of the Anumal species lies in the paws of a single lion…Clinton Narfell.

Hailing from the desert village of Wooburn, Clinton’s meager life is catapulted out of control the day he steals food to feed his younger brother. As an extraordinary chain of events begins to unfold, Clinton is forced to use skill and cunning to keep himself alive…and is hurtled towards a destiny he did not realize he was born to fulfil…

Facing savage scavengers, vicious anumal clans, and worse, Clinton soon realizes that power does not come from books or spells, but from something far deeper within us all…



Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Author Interview: David Ayres

David Ayres has co-written Lazarball.


1. What is your name and where do you call home?
My name is David Ayres, and I live in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in England.

2. Do you have a pen name?
No.

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?
The name of my most recent book is Lazarball which is book one of the Anumal Empire series. To sum Lazarball up in 20 or less words, I would have to say “Mankind is dead, Anumals now rule. Lazarball is Thundercats meets Hunger Games in a unique and savage urban saga.” That’s 19 words…I should have thrown in another adjective in there shouldn’t I? 

4. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Lazarball is the first book of the Anumal Empire series, which is set to span across seven books in total (and possibly some more) so it’s a big old beast of a story. As well as this, I have a writers journal fit to bursting with ideas and outlines for other future books.

5. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I have been writing for about ten years or so. I was one of those people who was always bursting with ideas for stories, but never knew how to realise them. How ever much I told my mum I hated English, I secretly loved the lesson at school and was told I had a natural flair for story telling. I have always been bought up surrounded by books (mostly my dad’s collection) and I would often read many of them, as well as the stories he would start writing. I say ‘start writing’ as he never used to finish any of them. He was massively into Tolkien, David Eddings, Clive Barker  and H.G. Wells for example, and this rubbed off onto myself. So the inspiration for me to start writing must stem from my dad really. Now, ten years down the line, I have a degree in English Language and Literature, and a completed book. My dad is very proud…he bought me a pint.

6. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
Of course. I am in a metal band, and I adopt the same attitude with the book as I do with our music, and that is the more people we can get to read / hear it, the better, even if it means giving it away. It’s all exposure. To read a book is a huge investment in time, especially when you are going to review it, so it is only right that they receive the book for free.

7. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
The cover came about from a brain storm between me and the co writer of Lazarball Darren Jacobs. We wanted something very eye catching, and not too cluttered and complicated. The elements of the battered, rusted steel gives the book a decayed urban feel, whilst the splashes of blood convey the animalistic savagery and danger that is present in the book. The symbol on the front is called The Mark of the New World, and plays an important role in the story. Its placing on the cover seems to tie all these elements together. I feel it is a great representation of what the book is about. The cover itself was designed by my cousin called Ben Wilkinson who runs his own graphic design company called Export 2 Reality www.export2reality.co.uk

8. Which is your favourite cover of all the books you have written?
This one…because it’s our only one…but there will be plenty more

9. Is there anything you would change about your book covers?
No not really. I pretty much go with my gut, and when something seems to click, and look just right, I don’t see any point in messing with it. I loved our cover the first time I saw it. That was good enough for me.

10. Would you have different book covers for different countries?
Not so much different countries, but I would for different demographics. Lazarball was written to appeal to a wide spectrum of ages. In the past we have had some amazing concept art done for the book by an artist called Steve Jones, and I would consider using some of this art on the front covers so it may appeal to wider tastes.

11. How did you come up with the title for your book?
Lazarball has always been the one true name for this book. At first, this name was used as a kind of umbrella name which we called the project by, but since then it has just stuck. Lazarball is basically a high tech and brutal team sport, which plays a pivotal role in this book and future books. However we felt we needed a name that reflected the saga on a broader scale also, and not just one element. That is why we have the umbrella name of the Anumal Empire series as well. Anumals are hybrid human / animals, therefore the word Anumal is the same. Anumal Empire seems to encapsulate all what the saga is about, and signifies that a new breed now dominates earth.

12. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
The length of time it took to write it lol. Seriously though, Lazarball was a huge learning curve for both Darren and myself. I wouldn’t change anything to do with the story or the characters, but I know we are set to write the next book to a slightly different game plan, which should make the whole process a lot smoother.

13. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
We do have a trailer which one of my friends did for us. It basically tells the viewer where they can buy the book etc, plus it has music on it from my band Old School Enemy. I think trailers are a great idea. After all, isn’t You Tube like the second or third biggest search engine on the internet? It would be crazy not to exploit that and use it for publicity. I have not come across anyone who dislikes book trailers, but I do believe that in this day and age, where books become films, films become games, games become books etc etc, that you have to appreciate and try and utilise every medium out there.

14. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
Any, as long as they contain a good story. I am a little late to the ebook party, but I am really getting into it. However nothing beats the feel of a book in your hand, or that sense of triumph inside when you thumb through the amount of pages you have read. As for audiobooks, they are something I have never really tried, but I wouldn’t say no.

15. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
I am an Indie author. The way I see it, is that the book industry, like nearly every industry, is out there to make money. If the process of writing your own book, self publishing your own book and marketing your own book teaches you valuable lessons in how the industry works, then it can only be a good thing. Being an Indie author could be seen as a proving ground, one where Indie authors can build a following and demonstrate to publishers or the world that there is indeed a market for their work. I cannot say if being with one of the big 6 is better that being an Indie author, as I have never been with a publisher. But at the moment, I am really enjoying learning the ropes, and loving the fact that our work is now out there for people to read. Who knows what it may lead to, but you have to at least enjoy the ride.

16. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
The only books I have ever read more than once are The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Wuthering Heights. The Lord of the Rings was purely because I love the books. As for Wuthering Heights, I find the book massively intriguing. Id love to write the middle section to Wuthering Heights, something like “Heathcliff…The Missing Years!” I love the fact that he disappears, and years later comes back incredibly wealthy, yet we don’t know why. I live near Haworth (where the Brontes lived) so I might nip up there and find some old relative and have a word. Watch this space. (Sorry, went off on a tangent there.)

17. Have you ever bought a specific edition of a book because of it’s cover? (For example a UK, US or Canadian version)
No, not really.

18. Have you ever read a book just based on it’s cover?
I don’t think I have. The cover certainly draws me to the book, but I always read the back cover after, then flick halfway through the book and read a page or two. I do this just to see if the writing annoys me, for example if it’s too flowery and over descriptive or if any of the dialogue sticks out as clich├ęd or unbelievable, or to see if the writing actually flows. This sounds pretty harsh, but like I said, reading is an investment in time, and with two kids, a job, Anumal Empire, a rock band and a cat, I usually don’t have much time free, so when I do read, I want the book to be great.

19. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
Possibly. Like I said above, I am attracted to a good cover, so I will have probably over looked something with a bad cover, even though there could be a gem inside.

20. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson. This is in paperback. I have a stack of books I now want to read. Having just finished my degree, the final module was literature, where I had to study a range of texts from Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko to James Joyce’s Dubliners. Don’t get me wrong, these were amazing books, but I’m looking forward to reading something of my own choice now, and not something I have been told to read. I have to admit though, my eyes have been opened to a whole new world of books. It’s good to step out of your comfort zone once in a while.

21. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
I can’t help but sound clich├ęd here, but the best advice to other writers is do not give up. Keep at it no matter what. If you really want something, then work towards it. I think the best ever writing advice I received was from one of my creative writing tutors called Michael Stewart. He told me that with every story, always push it to its furthest extreme. From there you can always pull it back. It’s like the old saying, always better to be a mile too long than an inch too short. But this has been great advice to work with, especially in the first draft of a book, where you throw everything onto the page. If I could give one more bit of advice, it would be to take writing seriously. There are many people who say they are going to write a book, and just get to it, without any consideration for learning the craft. That is why I studied English. I wanted to equip myself with the best tools to really give it 100%. Learn the craft, keep on learning it and don’t give up on it, I suppose that sums it up really.

22. Where can your readers follow you?


Twitter: @DavidAyres01



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

Author Interview: Darren Jacobs

Darren Jacobs has co-written Lazarball.

1. What is your name and where do you call home?
My name is Darren Jacobs. I was born in Yorkshire, England, but I now live in Hollywood, USA, but I still call Yorkshire home (but it feels more like a holiday when I visit my family now). Plus I get fed. :)

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?
Anumal Empire: Lazarball
Thundercats meets Planet of the Apes, with elements of Tron, but with action packed writing and a unique plot.

3. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
We are just about to rewrite book two of the Anumal Empire series (which will be seven books in total.) We penned the first four books, but we have to do massive rewrites as a lot of the plot and structure was changed in Lazarball. We also have a couple more series that have all been developed, but need writing. The ideas, concept artwork, plots etc have all been finished…we just need to do it now.

4. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
This is my first novel that I co-wrote with my best mate from back home, and I trained as a performer. I studied in London and New York on scholarships, and was lucky enough to travel the world as an actor working with fantastic directors and with great companies such as Disney, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures. I have always had an expressive streak running through me, and writing was a great way for me to still be artistic when I was doing long runs of shows. Sometimes I would be doing the same show eight times a week for a year, so going home after the show and writing would keep my creative side in check.

5. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
Yes. Until I have hordes of fans banging on my door to read the next book, then it only makes sense to gift books to get my novel out there into the big, wide world.

6. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
This was a really exciting process for us. David Ayres’s (the co-writer) cousin is a graphic designer called Ben Wilkinson (info@export2reality.co.uk) who really wanted to be a part of the project. We told him about the world, what colours and textures we wanted, and let him come up with different designs for the logo. Once we finally decided on a logo, he showed us what he thought we could use as a cover…and we LOVED it immediately. I think he has done a great job. The rusty metal sheets shows how the world is industrial, but is worn down and rough, and the blood splatter shows the danger and tension.

7. Would you have different book covers for different countries?
Yes, because different regions like different things. Of course I would like there to be a running theme, and something that links them all together, but I would not against it…unless I HATED the cover. That would be different.

8. How did you come up with the title for your book?
This is a great question as the title caused us a lot of problems. We wanted something catchy, intrinsically linked to the world, and different. And we pondered the dilemma for ages. We knew that we wanted book one to be called Lazarball, but the series name was different matter. For weeks David and I would fire names at each other over the internet, until we finally came up with Anumal Empire. But it really was a hard process.

9. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
No, but I would love one. I think that they are a fantastic way to stir hype and get interest. Unfortunately, if they aren’t done correctly, they look naff! And unless you have the money to support you, you are going to find it hard to get enough funding to get the production value right. This could be a double-edged sword…

10. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I do prefer a hardcover only because I have to shove the book in my backpack most of the time, and paperbacks get damaged…did I mention my OCD about books? I can’t bend the spine, and many of my books look unread after finishing. It’s quite scary. I actually cringe when I see someone bend the pages around to the back or casually fold the corners.

11. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
Wuthering Heights - It just struck such a chord with me. The Hobbit and LOTR – do I need to comment on that? The Harry Potters - I would reread every book as a new one was released. The Earthsea Quartet – classic.

12. Have you ever bought a specific edition of a book because of it’s cover? (For example a UK, US or Canadian version)
Yes, David Gemmel’s Drenai series. I had the option of buying the book with the old cover or the new cover. I went with the new cover as the other looked so outdated and like a seventies B-movie.

13. Have you ever read a book just based on it’s cover?
Yes, I read Sabriel by Garth Nix because of the cover alone. The cover is such an important element, and many people never realise this. I often just go to the bookshop to study the current trends in the covers. It was amazing when I was travelling the world to see how different regions had different styles.

14. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
Absolutely! It’s a subconscious turn off, and I unless I get it recommended to me then I won’t read it if it has a bad cover.

15. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky, and I’m really enjoying it. It is a paperback from the local library. I have been using the library more in LA as I promised myself I would not buy any books until I am more stable in the US. I simply cannot cart around suitcases full of books…which would easily happen if I had my way. My old room in my Mum’s house in the UK is literally like a library.

16. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
Probably what everyone ever says. Rewrite, reread, judge honestly, and rewrite again. Also, if you are writing for young adults, or children…don’t patronise. The reader will easily take offence. Then just write something that would interest you.
When some people have said they would love to write a book, but they are daunted by it, I ask them whether they think they could write a short story. Most of the time they say YES!!!!, so I reply with, well a novel is only a collection of short stories all encapsulated together. Each chapter is a new short story with a start, middle, and end…that must also have a point. 

17. Where can your readers follow you?



Twitter:           @darrenjcbs
                        @anumalempire

Amazon:          USA- http://tinyurl.com/75dmjkw
                        UK - http://tinyurl.com/7jb7j4b


Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/7rrq5tl



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

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Promotion: Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Something Like Normal
By Trish Doller


When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again.


Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Through My Letterbox! 22/06/12


What came Through My Letterbox this week:

On the 11th of June, myself and my mum (from JeanzBookReadNReview) bought Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw and Feed by Mira Grant from The Works. We were also kindly sent Schooled from the author herself, Tali Nay, for review.

On the 14th of June, my mum bought Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper and The List by Siobhan Vivian from Amazon.co.uk. We had previously received Velvet by Mary Hooper, and fancied reading Fallen Grace as well!

On the 15th of June, myself and my mum received Dreams and Watch Over Me by Daniela Sacerdoti, for review from Black And White Publishing.

Finally, on the 19th of June, my mum bought Fateful by Claudia Gray and The Unbecoming Of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin from Amazon.co.uk.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Author Interview: Molly Snow

Molly Snow has written BeSwitched, BeSwitched Witch and Royally BeSwitched.

1. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
Yes, I am :) I love that I can create and publish to my heart’s content. This is the start of the best time ever for authors, because the potential for success is greater for all. I haven’t even pursued an agent or publisher since back when I was eighteen. When fans tell me how much they love The BeSwitched Series it is the best validation in the world… Plus, I have so much fun putting together the stories without any outside influence.

I also started a small press publishing company--Breezy Reads. You can learn about it at http://breezyreads.com

2. Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?
Covers always are the first thing to draw me to a story. I was drawn to reading an H.P. Mallory book because I noticed her covers were sassy and cute, similar to mine.

3. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
Absolutely. I tend to think the quality of writing will be reflected by the cover.

4. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I am reading The Hunger Games just because of all the hype :0) I have to see what the big deal is. I am only on page thirty-something, so I have just started it. I usually like to read light-hearted stories. Suzanne Collins is a smooth writer who doesn’t feel the need to throw out certain words just to impress.

It’s paperback, but most of my books now are ebooks I read through my iPad.

5. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
There are so many story ideas out there, and they basically all can be written down and made into a book, but so many fall flat because the author doesn’t let loose and have fun with their imaginations. My advice is to write to your story’s potential; have fun!

The best advice I have received is to just write, write, write. Having a back-list of books is important to fans.

6. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
I have heard a saying to the effect of an artist’s work is never done. After every book I have ever written, I can always go back and see places to tweak. We have to be content at some point that it is perfect, even in its imperfections. I could never publish, if I waited for true perfection. What is important to me is whether or not readers will be able to immerse themselves in my stories and enjoy them. As long as I receive fan messages, I feel fulfilled.


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

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Promotion: The Dark Lake by Anthea Carson

The Dark Lake
By Anthea Carson


Something is wrong with Jane.

Something that is buried in her past, in the lake, and in her mind. She must come to terms with whatever happened that night at that party to avoid spending her life in an institution or on the streets.

Her mother tries to help her. Her therapist tries to help her. Her AA group and her anger management group try to help...but she can't deal with a trauma she can't remember. And then they start dragging her car up out of the lake. After all this time, she wonders, why are they are dragging that car out of the dark lake?



Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

ISBN: 9781442409057
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 358

By age sixteen, Rhine Ellery has four years left to live. She can thank modern science for this genetic time bomb. A botched effort to create a perfect race has left all males with a lifespan of 25 years, and females with a lifespan of 20 years. Geneticists are seeking a miracle antidote to restore the human race, desperate orphans crowd the population, crime and poverty have skyrocketed, and young girls are being kidnapped and sold as polygamous brides to bear more children. When Rhine is kidnapped and sold as a bride, she vows to do all she can to escape. Her husband, Linden, is hopelessly in love with her, and Rhine can’t bring herself to hate him as much as she’d like to. He opens her to a magical world of wealth and illusion she never thought existed, and it almost makes it possible to ignore the clock ticking away her short life. But Rhine quickly learns that not everything in her new husband’s strange world is what it seems. Her father-in-law, an eccentric doctor bent on finding the antidote, is hoarding corpses in the basement. Her fellow sister wives are to be trusted one day and feared the next, and Rhine is desperate to communicate to her twin brother that she is safe and alive. Will Rhine be able to escape--before her time runs out? Together with one of Linden's servants, Gabriel, Rhine attempts to escape just before her seventeenth birthday. But in a world that continues to spiral into anarchy, is there any hope for freedom?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Wither by Lauren DeStefano! I really liked the concept behind this dystopian tale, where rather than the characters benefitting from the genetic experiment, they end up having to alter their society to cope with their shorter lifespans! I also enjoyed how Wither was actually written, it flowed well! My favourite characters were Gabriel and Rhine. Both of them were confined to Linden’s mansion, although for different purposes. Rhine’s purpose was to be a replacement for Linden’s first wife, whilst Gabriel’s role was to be a servant. I love the scientific cover of Wither! The “circle arrows” on the cover are not only quite modern and trendy, they also link up the different elements within the cover to each other (and the story within!).

Available at Amazon.co.uk.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Author Interview: Kristina McBride

Kristina McBride has written One Moment and The Tension Of Opposites.

1. What is your name and where do you call home? 
My name is Kristina McBride and I live in Dayton, Ohio.

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 novel is called ONE MOMENT – When Maggie loses her boyfriend in a terrible accident, she struggles to remember the events that led to his death, as well as uncover the truth behind his many secrets. (I tried to keep it under 20!)

3. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series? 
I am always planning my next book. And the book after that! I hope to write a series one of these days because I love the idea of getting to know a cast of characters over the course of several books.

4. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing? 
I have been writing since I was a little child and my writing was nothing but scribbles on a page. As a child, I lived across the street from a library and loved going to walk through the rows of books. I think that early immersion in books was my main inspiration.

5. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book? 
The covers for both of my novels were created by cover designers at my publishing house. I especially love the simplicity of the cover for my latest book, ONE MOMENT.

6. How did you come up with the title for your book? 
When I start a book, I title the file the first thing I can think of, just to call it something. Surprisingly, my agent and editor liked the titles of the first two books enough that they stuck!

7. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it? 
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee is one of my favorite books. I’ve read it so many times, I’ve lost count.

8. Have you ever read a book just based on it’s cover? 
Definitely! So may times I can’t even begin to list the titles here. A catchy cover is one of the big things that sells me on a book.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing? 
The best thing I can tell a fellow writer is to never give up. You never know how close you are to reaching your dream, so keep going and going and going. Reaching publication is a difficult process and it comes with a ton of rejection, so make a plan to help yourself through the difficult times (my best way through is to eat a ton of chocolate). Two very good books to advise writers through the tough times are SEVEN STEPS ON THE WRITER’S PATH by Lynn Lott and Nancy Pickard, and BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott.

Links to the above books:



10. Where can your readers follow you?





Twitter: @mcbridekristina

Amazon:




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