Tuesday 30 October 2012

Q & A with Samantha Warren

Title:   The Seven Keys of Alaesha

Author:   Samantha Warren

Genre:   YA Fantasy

Page Count:   204

Published:   October 2012

Available From:   Amazon

Edith Myers has just about had enough. Her first day at a new school and she already has an enemy – Dana Blake, head cheerleader, tormenter, typical prom queen. But when Edith discovers a strange key, she finds herself embroiled in an inter-dimensional war. She and Dana must find a way to work together, or it could spell the end of the other world, and theirs.

Add the Seven Keys of Alaesha to your Goodreads shelf!


Q & A with Samantah Warren

Q:  When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
A:  Unlike most people I've talked to, I didn't really like English in high school. I ended up majoring in it in college because it was easy and I was good at it. I didn't start really writing until 2009.

Q:  Tell us a little about your leads, Edith and Dana.
A:  Edith and Dana are complete opposites. Edith is quirky, poor, a bit of an outcast. Dana is popular, rich, with very little tolerance for anyone who doesn't fit into the mold of what she expects. They clash at the beginning, but eventually they come to understand each other and form a tenuous friendship, which grows over time.

Q:  How would you describe your writing style?
A:  Snarky, with lots of action.

Q:  Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
A:  They take over all the time. I'm a pantser, so I let the characters lead the stories. In my very first novel, the villain decided he didn't want to be a villain. That made my job a little harder, but the book was much better for letting him decide his own role. (Yes, writers are a bit insane sometimes.)

Q:  How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
A:  I was always big into books and fairy tales and such growing up. I craved fantasy and supernatural stories. So I guess it's only natural that when I became a writer, those are what I gravitated to.

Q:  What do you do to unwind and relax?
A:  Play video games (mmos or fps), read a book, or take a nap. I'm a big fan of naps.
Q:  Do you have any hidden talents?
A:  I've been told I'm a good singer, but my car is the only one intimately acquainted with my singing voice, and she doesn't spill my secrets.

Q:  What three things could you not live without?
A:  My Kindle, good coffee, cute socks

Q:  What book are you reading now?
A:  Mists of Avalon. For NaNo, I'm writing a paranormal romance that will include King Arthur, so I'm calling it research. ;)

About the Author:  
Samantha Warren is a fantasy and science fiction author who spends her days immersed in dragons, spaceships, and vampires. With her pet dragon, Anethesis, she ventured to the ends of the universe, but the cost of space travel cut into her sock fetish fund, so she sold her ship and returned home. When she isn’t writing, she’s milking cows or trying to feed them Pop-Tarts. She spends a lot of time in her weed patch (aka: garden), watching any show featuring Gordon Ramsay, or posting random things on her blog.

Blog:  http://www.samantha-warren.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/_SamanthaWarren

Check out Samantha Warren's other books on Goodreads!

Sunday 28 October 2012

Q & A with Ella Dominguez

Title:  The Art of Submission

Author:  Ella Dominguez

Genre:  Erotica/Romance

Page Count:  336

Published:  August 2012

Available:  Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ SmashwordsCreatespace

Written in 1st person from both his and her perspective.

Warning: Written for mature audiences and includes profanity, graphic sexual encounters and mild BDSM themes.

Romantic, erotic, deeply emotional and humorous.

Isabel is a shy artist with an abusive past
who has a very vivid fantasy life and unexplored unusual sexual tastes. When her very private and naughty-natured artwork is sold without her permission, she sets out to try and retrieve her precious paintings, unaware that the buyer has dark sexual tendencies.

Dylan Young is an eccentric businessman and art collector with very specific tastes in women and sex, and serious trust issues. When he comes upon a very erotic set of paintings, he purchases them and they ignite a want and need for the alternative lifestyle he was forced to give up.

When the two meet, Dylan immediately picks up on Isabel's submissive nature and hatches a wicked plan to teach Isabel about his alternative lifestyle. He wants nothing more than to get his hands on more of her paintings and to dominate the submissive beauty.

Their affair is intensely physical and despite Dylan's wanting only a sexual relationship with distinct boundaries, he can't resist her spirited nature, her eagerness and lack of fear to learn about BDSM, and most of all - her immense talent. But Isabel has a hidden dominant streak of her own that only Dylan brings out and as they're drawn closer together, their unconventional relationship is threatened as they each struggle with their pasts and for control.

You can see my review of The Art of Submission here!

Q & A with author Ella Dominguez

Q:  When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
A:  At a very young age. I started reading when I was 4 and writing shortly after. I remember writing stories as early as kindergarten.

Q:  Tell us a little bit about your leads, Dylan and Isabel.
A:  Dylan is an entrepreneur alpha male with fond taste for art and whose past is laced with BDSM and bad choices in women. He was forced to give up his alternative lifestyle in order to maintain a clean ‘public image.’ He yearns for kinky sex and a woman he can dominate. Isabel is a closet artist with an abusive past. She’s bored with vanilla sex and yearns for a man who can dominate her and fulfill her sexual and emotional needs. But she also has a dominant streak that she wasn’t aware of.

Q:  Do you have anyone in mind who would be perfect to play Isa and Dylan in a movie?
A:  Not really. I’d love the roles of my characters to be played by total unknown actors or actresses, that way there would be no preconceived ideas of who they are.

Q:  What was your favorite scene to write?
A:  The work office scene when Isabel goes to get her artwork back from Dylan. It was fun to write and left me a little flustered, to say the least.

Q:  Could you give us a teaser from book 2?
A:  Erika makes her presence and refuses to let Dylan go. Dylan’s past is finally revealed and his dark secrets threaten his engagement to Isabel. Isabel’s father tries to force his way back into Isabel’s life, but only to make her life miserable and not to make amends for his atrocious behavior.

Q:  How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
A:  I was raised in a very sexually repressed strict Christian household, if you can imagine that. I think keeping all of those sexual feelings at bay for so long made me all the more curious and experimental regarding sex. So, for me to write down all of my fantasies, came second nature. I figure, since I wasn’t living it, I might as well write it down.

Q:  Tell us about the cover art. Who designed it and what was that process like for you as the author?
A:  The image on my cover was initially my first choice, but I had to get permission from the artist, Rebecca Ivakson. I didn’t hear back from her and so I wrote it off and chose another image all together; something more ‘traditional’ to erotic romance. I.e., a hot couple in a sexual embrace kind of thing. I had already paid for that cover image when I finally heard back from Rebecca, agreeing to allow me to use her painting. Corinna Parr actually designed the cover for me and I was very happy with her work (and her patience!). Overall, the cover project was very time consuming and tedious because it’s just so hard to try to convey in an image what your book is about and also trying to make it appeal to a broad audience.

Q:  Was Isa's art in the book something you made up, or were your descriptions based on something real?
A:  I’m an artist myself, but my art is nowhere near to what I had imagined Isa’s talent to be. So in my mind, I had the images painted, but they were not ‘real’ images. I got totally lucky to find Rebecca’s artwork and that it matched what I was looking for.

Q:  What do you do to unwind and relax?
A:  Nap! I love a totally unplanned nap. I also love to draw and paint, and of course, write. All of those things, to me, are very relaxing. Unless, of course, I’m drawing or writing about something erotic. In that case, it can be very frustrating, depending on whether or not my husband is home to help me further ‘unwind.’

Q:  What book are you reading now?
A:  I’m currently not reading anything as I’m in the middle of writing Book 2 of the ‘Art’ series, but I just finished a novella by Corinna Parr (yes, the very one who designed my cover) called Love, Ink and Lycanthropes. It was fabulous!

Author Contact: 

Blog:  http://www.elladominguez.blogspot.com/

Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6472437.Ella_Dominguez

Saturday 27 October 2012

Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning

Shadowfever (Fever, #5)Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You know a book is epic when…
1. You cannot put it down. Literally. All life around you becomes unimportant. Sleep? Don't need it. Food? Will accommodate as long as you can eat one-handed while holding your Kindle in the other.

2. You invest in the characters. You dream of them. You wish you could meet them. You want to be them. You miss them when they are gone. More than you miss your family.

3. The story comes to life. You are driving down the street expecting to see a rhino-boy at any moment (or insert fictional creature of your choice).

4. You are in love with one of the characters and if he showed up on your doorstep you could die happy. Jericho Z. Barrons. Enough said.

5. Even the secondary characters that you know next to nothing about pique your interest so much that you want to stalk the author until she promises to write a book about them and then stalk her until she actually writes it and you have it in your hands.

This is what the Fever series did to me. I finished Shadowfever two days ago and I am craving more. I miss Barrons so much. *Sigh* There's not much else to say. I knew it was going to end eventually but still I went through it as fast as I could because I had to find out what was going to happen. As they say, don't cry because it's over, be happy because it happened. I'm happy.

View all my reviews

Zane by Kimberly Lewis

Zane (The McKades of Texas, #1)Zane by Kimberly Lewis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Though I do not generally read westerns, I love cowboys, and this book was a nice change for me from my usual. Zane is a fun, entertaining story. Though the plot was predictable, I enjoyed the way Kimberly Lewis told the story. She was able to bring her characters to life in such a way that they were believable, likeable, and the cowboys were sexy as hell. Lewis was able to bring out individual personalities, and you felt like you got to know each character. Lewis made the romance fun and believable, if not a bit quick. I also loved the sibling rivalry between Zane and Luke; they were really fun together. I am so looking forward to read Luke's and Norah's stories.

View all my reviews

Thursday 25 October 2012

Q & A with Joshua Silverman

TITLE:  The Emerald Tablet

AUTHOR:  Joshua Silverman

SERIES:  Legends of Amun Ra #1

GENRE:  Fantasy


PUBLISHED:  September 2012


Leoros doesn't have many friends. The son of a scientist and archeologist, he is constantly on the move. But when his parents make a startling discovery in Egypt, Leoros' world is turned upside down.

Do you wish you could have the power of a god? Would you use it for good…or for evil?

When an archeologist discovers the mythic Emerald Tablet buried beneath Egypt’s desert, her son decodes the ancient text leading him to a distant world.

On that world, a slave girl begins a journey towards a destiny she cannot imagine. But when an ancient foe rises from the ashes, they will be brought together
by forces neither understands.

Leoros, who dreams of being like the heroes in the comic books, must fight to unlock the secrets of the universe to save a people he never knew existed.

Atlantia, whose bloody visions wake her in the night, senses the darkness coming.

Together they will face an enemy with the power of dark energy, lose a mentor to the assassin’s blade, and be betrayed by someone they trust. Their fight for the future is just beginning, and before it is over, a final sacrifice must be made. When the darkness comes, will they stand and fight or will they join it?

There is darkness in everyone.

Watch for The Emerald Tablet coming soon in Read It & Reap!


Q.  When did you first know you wanted to write?
A.  I’ve been writing since I was probably six years old. My brother and I were heavily into comic books, and we decided to write our own when we were younger. That’s the first memory I have of writing. I got more serious when I was introduced to poetry in high school. When I was sixteen, I started writing poems. My next door neighbor had a guitar and we would write songs together—him with the music, me with the poetic lyrics until he taught me how to play guitar, and I started writing more compositions on my own. 

When I went to college, I took a creative writing class, which reintroduced me to writing fiction. I wrote a series of vampire short stories for the class. They were pretty awful. From there, I went a different way in my career, but I always kept writing song lyrics through the years. About two years ago, I was talking to my publisher (who was just a friend back then), and the subject turned to writing. I showed her some samples I’d written, and she liked them. Between her and my wife, they encouraged me to start a book. So I said, what the hell, and I did.

Q.  Tell us a little about your main character, Leoros.
A.  Leoros is an interesting guy. His mom is a teacher of archeology at a university, and she travels the world excavating ancient sites. She’s also a very spiritual person. In contrast, his father is a strict scientist, an only believe what you see kind of guy. His mom constantly hauls Leoros off to her excavations all over the world, which makes him very cultured but also very lonely. He has no friends since they are always on the move. Because he’s so detached from normal life, he spends most of his time buried in comic books and science fiction stories. They are his escape from boredom. He’s kind of a nerd, but he dreams about being like the heroes he reads about. Leoros is dying to do something interesting, something great. When he gets his chance, he finds out being a hero is a lot harder than the movies make it out to be, and he’s got to deal with that; he’s got to grow and mature.

Q.  How did you come up with the idea behind The Emerald Tablet?
A.  To understand how I came up with the idea, you have to understand how I grew up. My parents are kind of weird. They both love history, particularly the history of ancient Greece and Rome. My brother and I grew up listening to my dad recount stories about the battles of ancient Greece and lectures on why Rome collapsed. My mother is a also big fan of ancient Egyptian history, so she espoused tales of Pharaohs and Cleopatra. As a result of that upbringing, I grew to love history as well. I have mountains of history books at my house from antiquity to the modern wars. But my parents had another side. While they loved nonfiction, they also loved science fiction. Star Trek: The Next Generation was a required weekly show at my house (and yes, I know all the episodes). My brother and I grew up playing Magic, the trading card game, and building armies of orcs, goblins, vampires, and elves (and yes, I still have my decks).

So now that you understand that dichotomy, I wanted to find a way to bring my love of history and mythology, my non-fiction side if you will, into harmony with my fantasy and fiction side. What evolved was a kind of “what if” game. If you know Egyptian mythology, you know that Thoth was the ancient Egyptian god of wisdom and magic. Mythology says he wrote all the secrets and magic of the universe in a book originally known as The Book of Thoth. Over time, the name of the book was changed to The Emerald Tablets of Thoth. So I just said what if that was true? What if a god did write the secrets to the universe down in these tablets? And what if a kid found them? I just kept saying “what if” and ended up with not one book, but a series of seven books that I will write in the Legends of Amun Ra series.

Q.  What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
A.  Like most writers, I have a day job. Mine is a typical eight-to-five office job. Obviously, I can’t work on the book there; it’s not ethical and even if it was, it’s much too hectic to get any writing done. While writing The Emerald Tablet, what I typically did was come home and work on the book after work. Initially, my goals revolved around how many pages could I write at a time or if I could do one scene a night. But all of that ended up being too hard, and I could weasel out of doing it correctly. So I ended up just setting daily word counts. At first it was small, 300 words a day. Now I’m up to about 1,500 words a day, which I don’t think is bad considering I’m still working the office job. The only time this schedule broke was while I was editing book one with the editors to prepare for publication. I had to stop writing book two while I was doing that. Editing and writing are both time consuming and require two separate thought processes. I couldn’t do them both at the same time. So that delayed finishing book two a bit, but have no fear, it’s done and in editing now.

Q.  What was the hardest part of writing your book?
A.  Scheduling, by far. I don’t have much trouble with plots. I’m always thinking up something new I can torture my characters with. The biggest problem is balancing and managing your work schedule, family time, friend time, gym time, writing time, editing time, and personal time so everyone is happy and nobody resents you. I haven’t mastered that yet. I’m always pissing off someone by saying I can’t make the family dinner, I can’t go to the barbeque this weekend, I can’t go to happy hour, I can’t do this or that because I have to write/edit/market the book. It doesn’t matter. I just couldn’t and still can’t do it all. This led to a lot of family fights, marital fights, and fights with friends, but we all got through it, and worked on trying to find that balance.

Q.  Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?
A.  God, so many. The first name that pops into my head is Frank Herbert (who wrote the original Dune Trilogy). That guy was a writer! Asimov, of course, cannot be understated. His ideas on robotics were brilliant. And for fantasy, I must say the originator of modern fantasy, Tolkien. The more contemporary authors I’ve read and that have influenced me are Terry Goodkind, George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Michael Shaara, Steven Pressfield, Paul Cartledge, and Donald Kagan. Of course, being a history lover, I also like a lot of philosophy books like Plato’s Republic, Marcus Aurelius’’ Meditations, Thucydides, and Herodotus.

Q.  What do you like to do when you're not writing?
A.  Read! Aside from that, I do the normal stuff: go hiking, watch movies/Netflix, dinner, play guitar, and watch football (when it’s on and I have three hours to kill, which is never).

Q.  What are you working on now?
A.  I am currently working on a novella for the Legends of Amun Ra series which will be an e-book only. It takes place within the universe I’ve created, but has separate characters apart from the main seven book series. It is tentatively titled Thea and the Fall of the Messenians, but I’ll probably change that. The novella tells the story of how the Messenians, where Atlantia is from, became helots, or slaves to the Thothian Empire. I am also waiting to get the first round of edits back of Book 2, Soul of the World, from the first of many editors.

Q.  What book are you reading now?
A.  I typically read one non-fiction and one fiction book at the same time so I have balance. As of this moment, I am reading E.A. Wallis Budge’s Egyptian Magic, a non-fiction history book, and my fiction book is Madeline Ashby’s vN.

Joshua Silverman was born in Washington DC and currently resides in Orange County, CA. He grew up watching Star Trek, Star Wars, and other science fiction series with his family when he was young. Star Trek: The Next Generation was a ritual show in his house. In his spare time, he collected a respectable collection of comic books and Magic: The Gathering cards.

When he’s not writing (or working in his day job to be able to write at night), he spends his time thinking about how to avoid traffic, what he’s going to have for dinner, watching cheesy apocalyptic or Kung Fu movies, working out, hiking, or reading.


FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/LegendsofAmunRa

WEBSITE:  www.legendsofamunra.com

TWITTER:  @JoshuaSilverma2

BLOG:  www.joshuagsilverman.com

Read It & Reap #107

Title: Night Sighs

Emma Meade

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

Page Count: 42

Published: November 2011

Meet Alex & Tristan, modern star-crossed lovers of the supernatural variety.
Alex is running-on-empty, one year on from the death of her fiancé, and the only thing that keeps her going is her romance with the young vampire Tristan. Tristan, meanwhile has a serious obsession with Bruce Springsteen, and is battling a 'can't live without you' sort of love for Alex. He's trying to persuade her to come over to the dark side but so far she's resisting his efforts.

So come and sing along to Tristan's band, The Dead Beats, the hottest group in London right now, and walk with Alex as she teeters between this life and the next. Because when you're around Tristan, you'll see, how much fun it is to be alive when you're dead....

Night Sighs is an adult paranormal romance, following the relationship & adventures of Tristan & Alex through five short stories: The Dead Beats, The Ancients, Until My Body Is Dust, Bourbon & Jazz and West of Forever.

See Night Sighs on Goodreads!

Monday 22 October 2012

Read It & Reap #106

Title: Born in Flames

Candace Knoebel

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Page Count: 259

Published: September 2012

Red mirrored scales race up my arms as the haze of pain blurs my vision. My bones crack, breaking to realign. I scream. It is then that the realization of my unavoidable fate sinks in; I am of a dying race. I am dragon.

Aurora Megalos, orphaned and teetering on the edge of adulthood, thought finding her past would curb the sting of being an outcast. Having no memories of the time before she awoke on her foster mother’s doorstep, she yearns for the emptiness inside her to be filled. With her fellow orphaned best friend, Fenn, by her side, she has nothing to lose and everything to gain. But something powerful stirred within her that she couldn’t explain. Something wanted out.

In the dark of night, a crazed Seer, dubbed Mr.Creepy, erases everything she’s ever known with an impending prophecy. She now faces two paths. Return to her true home to protect a dying race against a growing evil, or stay hidden in the safety of our realm with a shot at a true love. With a vengeful Arch Enemy stopping at nothing to see her dead, she’s running out of time; a decision must be made. What would you choose?
See Born in Flames on Goodreads!

Friday 19 October 2012

Trick or Treat Giveaway!

It's the time of year for the creepies and crawlies to come out and play! 

To celebrate, I am holding a giveaway to spotlight one of my
favorite supernatural creatures

from one of my favorite books...

One winner will recieve a paperback copy of
Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

- AND -
As a bonus, if I happen to hit 300 followers before the end of the giveaway (October 31), I'll throw in an extra prize of a $15 Amazon or B&N gift card (winner's choice)!
So spread the word!


**Fine Print**
The giveaway is international. If you cannot use Amazon US or B&N, instead of a gift card you can instead choose a $15 (or less) book from The Book Depository.

Enter through the Rafflecopter below.

She's a mortal with dark powers...

After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person's darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude...until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world's most infamous vampire...

He's the Prince of Night...

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don't call him Dracula. Vlad's ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

Thursday 18 October 2012

Determinant by A.M. Hargrove

Welcome to the Shut Up & Read blog for an exclusive interview with January St. Davis, lead character from Determinant by A.M. Hargrove.
Title:   Determinant
Series:   The Guardians of Vesturon #3
Genre:  YA Paranormal/Sci-Fi Romance
Author:  A.M. Hargrove
Release Date:  June 30, 2012

Availability:   Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Smashwords

January St. Davis, on her own since the age of sixteen and struggling to stay in college, thinks she’s scored in a major way when she lands a paid summer internship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. One evening, after working an especially long shift, a chance encounter with a group of mysterious men alters the course of her life.

Rykerian Yarrister, a Guardian of Vesturon
with unearthly powers and impossibly gorgeous looks, finds himself at odds over the human female he recently saved from certain death. When it seems he is on the verge of winning her over, she is ripped from his hands by a strange and powerful being, threatening to destroy her if his demands are not met.

Do Rykerian and the Guardians have the ability to meet this fierce barbarian’s ultimatums, or will January suffer a horrid demise?


Q & A with January St. James
Q.  What were your initial thoughts/feelings of Rykerian when you first met him?
A.  I was scared to death. Here was this gorgeous guy that acted like I was someone important, someone he cared about and no one had ever demonstrated that to me before. So of course I acted like the biggest loser ever. I was so confused about what to do.

Q.  What was it like seeing Maddie after so long and how is your relationship with her now?
A.  Maddie is my sister, through and through. When I first saw her I was angry at how we'd all grieved for her, but then I understood why she did what she did. Maddie doesn't have a mean bone in her body.

Q.  Do you ever get to see your brother or sister?
A.  Yes, but not as often as I'd like. They're busy in school and my relationship with my parents is not the best, plus I'm busy with my family. I try to see them every week, but sometimes it doesn't always work out like that.

Q.  You've known you were different your whole life. What were your feelings when you found out why? How do you feel about that now?
A.  When I finally figured out why, at first I was angry, but then I was relieved. I had an explanation and understood why I could read minds and do things I could never explain before. I love being a Vesturion and having special Powers. But I love understanding them even better, and being able to use them to help others.

Q.  What about Jurek…Do you still see him or talk to him?
A.  Yes! And I think Rykerian is finally coming around…not as fast as I'd like, but we're getting there. Jurek likes to aggravate him, so he doesn't help the situation either. They're like two adolescent boys arguing most of the time. UGH!

Q.  What is your idea of the perfect date?
A.  A blanket, a clear night with lots of stars, the terrace outside the house in the mountains of North Carolina and Rykerian of course!

Q.  In my interview with Rykerian he told me he would like something like five more children. How are you feeling about that?
A.  The same! I want to be surrounded by lots of our children, running around, laughing and sharing it all with him! My family was so dysfunctional that I want to have one that's normal and fun.

Q.  What's your favorite pizza topping?
A.  Cheese and sausage :-P
Q.  What do you like to do in your spare time?
A.  What in the world is spare time? Between Rykerian, little Therron and going back to school to become a healer I don't have much time for anything else. But when I do, I love to read a good romance novel!

Thanks for inviting me here today Sheri…it's been fun chatting with you!
Check out my reviews of the The Guardians of Vesturon series:

bout the Author: 

One day, on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn't do something soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life.  So, she rolled down the passenger window of her fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase.  Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodgeball pro and had über quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head.  Feeling a tad guilty about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what lap top out the window.   She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone and hit #4 on her speed dial.
 Boss:  Hello
 A.M.:  Boss, is that you?
 Boss:  Why yes, A. M., who else would be answering my phone?
 A.M.:  Er... right.  Well, I'm calling to let you know you can pick up my luxury Ford Focus at Starbucks near the interstate.
 Boss:  Why ever would I want to do that?
 A.M.:  Because I quit!
 A.M. hit the end button and speed dialed her husband.
 A.M.:  Hi hubs, can you pick me up at Starbucks?
 Hubs:  Sure... Having some car trouble?
 A.M.:  Not at all.  I don't have a car to have trouble with because I just quit my job.
 Hubs:  WHAT?!
 A.M.:  It's time for a new career and I am going to be a very famous novelist.
So began A. M. Hargrove's career as a young adult paranormal romance author of self-published ebooks.  Her series, The Guardians of Vesturon, centers around a family of six siblings and is a mix of humor, mystery, suspense and of course, love.  Survival and Resurrection are her first and second full length novels in the series and Beginnings is the prequel novella.  Her third installment, Determinant, will be released on June 30, 2012.  (It didn’t happen exactly like that, but you get the idea!)

Contact A.M. Hargrove:
Goodreads Author Page

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Read It & Reap #104

Title:  Phoenix Angel

Author:  Amanda Gerry

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Page Count: 329

Published: January 2012
Maggie is a normal teenager, trudging her way through senior year with her best friend, Lily. Then a boy named Kyle Spencer came to Idaho Falls, and since then everything has fallen apart. Something mysterious has passed among the three friends. They are developing terrifying abilities--strange powers that separate them from normal people.

Even worse, someone--or something--has taken a deadly interest in them. They never know when they are going to strike, or how to protect themselves, or even who they are. All friends know is that they want one alive and the others they want dead. Which one will Maggie be?

See Phoenix Angel on Goodreads!

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Q & A With Anthony M. Briggs, Jr.

Title:  Nick the Lolt
Series:  Tales from Yod, #1
Author:  Anthony M. Briggs, Jr.
Genre:  YA Adventure/Fantasy
Published:  June 2012
Pages:  356
Available From:  Amazon ~ Createspace

Here is the first of five stories about five legendary figures from the Lands of Yod. The story of the beginnings of the most controversial figure, the man before whom regions would evacuate. The man who would come to be known as the dreaded Marsh King.

But at sixteen years old, he was simply Nick, and he had two goals in life, although he was not so sure about which goal was truly number one. To earn forgiveness (and maybe a little bit more) from a certain outgoing girl he'd known off and on since he was four, or to win the most elite speed-painting tournament of all time?

Thousands of people were on their way to his village to witness that great contest. But some of those outsiders were aiming to get the whole thing moved to one of their bigger cities. So what if the commerce this contest brought was life-blood to most of Nick's village? Only a champion could stop them, but with Nick's 0-10 record everyone knew he didn't have what it took to rise up a champion. Instead, everyone wanted his adopted parents to return, both legendary painters who stopped competing the day Nick submitted his first entry. Naturally the village blamed Nick for their departure, and all other bad fortune for good measure. Plots to force him to withdraw descended from simple verbal assaults to the downright diabolical, hitting him with everything from poisons to ancient curses.

But whatever level his painting abilities were at, a decade of being the target of scorn and bullies left him a certain skill set of tricks. And in this story, he, his childhood friend, and whatever few others they can count on are going to need every last scheme Nick can come up with, because far more dangerous things were coming to the entire region, things that only a few foresaw.

A few, each with their own agendas...

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1. When did you first know you wanted to write?              
In 2008. I had been writing short stories since elementary school, wrote a serial fiction column for the paper in college and had started a book sometime around 1999 only to lose it all to a hard drive crash. That was such a blow that I stopped writing fiction for a few years. I went to law school, and this both helped and hurt my writing skills. I increased in critical thinking but I stopped reading or writing anything not related to law. After practicing law for a few years that great recession started and I got laid off from the firm. I came across some of my old writing and was surprised at how good it was. Turned out I had gotten considerably worse, as I realized I could no longer write that well. I pulled the cover off, opened the hood and got the old engine going again. Been writing hard ever since.

2. Tell us a little about your main character, Nick.
He is in some ways like me, his own hardest critic. But in other ways not like me. He is focused on one goal – to win a great speed-painting contest. Winning would make him a champion and a hero, like his adopted parents were. Both of them won for many years in a row, but ever since the year that Nick first entered the contest, they both stopped competing. The village blames Nick. As long as someone from the village wins, the contest will be held in the village, attracting people from all over and providing a huge trade and economic boost. People begin hinting that Nick should step down. Then they begin demanding it. From a young age he's forced to deal with mass animosity and bullies. But deal with it he does, most often to the detriment of whoever is antagonizing him.

3. How did you come up with the idea behind Nick the Lolt?
It began as a mix of a dream my wife had about a certain creature and I dream I had about a certain situation. I wondered if it was possible to create a story and a world in which both could exist. Took a lot of thought and planning, but eventually I brought them together. The situation happens at the end of this book. The creature is mentioned a few times but does not appear until the next book.

4. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Normally I operate on a write when I can, where I can basis. Could be on the train on my way to work or home. Could be in a coffee shop during a lunch break. Could be at a random moment during the day when a solution to a story problem comes to me. Most of the writing gets done either early in the morning, 5 AM to 8 AM, or earlier in the morning, 11 PM to 4 AM. Those are the times the wife and daughter are sleep. I can't operate on three to four hours of sleep every day though, so those long writing sessions happen only two or three times per week.

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finding the time and connecting the dots during the early phase of the story. I always say that in any field between “good idea” and “finished product” you will find “lots of hard work.” Writing a book, for sure.

6. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
A number of things, too many things, probably. Other than family time, I program an online game (
www.minewars.net), I play the keyboard in a church band, I volunteer in my community, Brightwood and have served as an officer for our Brightwood Community association for the past four years, two as treasurer, two as president. Those three things take up a lot of time. I go through periods of focus as needed, but for the most part I do a lot of juggling.

7. What are you working on now?
Just finished a short story book which I will put on sale November 1 (
http://ambjr.com/books/through-worlds-and-hearts ). Now I'm working on a YA book with a slightly paranormal leaning that takes place in DC in the future. A twelve year old girl can see things that are hypernatural – objects that exist in more than one realm at the same time. She starts training under a group of people that are extremely knowledgeable about such things, and not a moment too soon. She'll need the small amount she's learned; a lot of strange things are going to happen in DC, some of which will affect her family directly.

8. What book are you reading now?A Tale of Two Cities. I'm going through all the classics at a furious pace at the moment lol (http://ambjr.com/item/121-the-classics-who-knew?)


Abouth the Author: 
Anthony M. Briggs, Jr. is a patent attorney, musician and author of short stories and young adult fiction with a sci-fi/fantasy slant. He appreciates nature, but doesn't hug trees. He did approach a wild hippo to take a picture once. The encounter ended with lots of running.

He currently lives in Washington, D.C., a place that appears in some form or time in several of his short stories.

His latest work is Nick the Lolt, first novel in the Tales from Yod series. The book tells the story of a teenage villain-to-be struggling between first-love and artistic glory while outwitting foe after foe.

You can find out more about Anthony and his writing at: 
Webste:  www.ambjr.com
Twitter:  abriggsjr
Goodreads:  Anthony M. Briggs, Jr.

Monday 15 October 2012

Read It & Reap #103

Title:  Blackstone & Brenwen: Swansong for a Sibling

Author:  Andrew D. Mellusco

Genre:  Fantasy

Page Count: 430

Published:  July 2012

Aladdin was a lad in trouble but now the talented young spy is ready to settle his score with Ahban Nazeer; a man who had torn down his World-Tree… a man who is now fresh out of wishes and needs ambitious Blackstone's trainee and Centaur, Epona Brenwen, to help him unite the five realms of Persia. Meanwhile Epona’s mentor, Elliot Blackstone, journeys to the Faun realm of Panonia to represent a Human accused of Witch-Trickery at the behest of a crown wearing swan. New lovers, Vincent and Fury, also take a dip to Mermadom where the King wants rid of a veritable booty of sunken treasure.

From three realms, three questions arise: Firstly, what are the true consequences of Epona rubbing a rusty old lamp? Secondly, why does Elliot’s client have such a preoccupation with weeds? And lastly, what really happened to the twenty-seven ships in the back-seabed of Mermadom’s Royal palace?

At the centre of all three cases is a Mermaid who may just hold the key to alleviating the plights of all those involved.

Journey once again to Arbor, a World-Tree full of wonders, where jeopardy lurks behind every judgment and mystery beside every mediation. 'Blackstone & Brenwen: Swan Song for a Sibling', Fairy Tale Legal Thriller and eagerly anticipated sequel to 'Blackstone & Brenwen: The Mirror & The Meretrix'.

See Blackstone & Brenwen: Swansong for a Sibling on Goodreads!

Sunday 14 October 2012

The Future of Our Past by Kahlen Aymes

The Future of Our Past (The Remembrance Trilogy, #1)The Future of Our Past by Kahlen Aymes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book has so many good reviews, and I had been looking forward to reading it for a while. But, I had a really hard time getting into the story. It's not that it was bad or badly written, I think it was just too sickly sweet and sappy for me. The "I'm so scared where this is going," "I love you more,", No, I love you more," and "I miss you so much" lines got old really, really fast. What the story came down to was a lot of missing each other, saying I've loved you forever but was scared to tell you, and then ultimately sex and more sex. The story really just needed…a story.

I also had a hard time connecting with the characters. I did not find myself caring for them or caring about their lives. Ultimately if the author would have killed them all off at the end, it would have been fine with me. In the end, the book was okay. If you are into sap and sex and no real storyline, read it.

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When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

When She WokeWhen She Woke by Hillary Jordan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read The Scarlet Letter many, many years ago. I was going into When She Woke thinking it was a re-telling of The Scarlet Letter, but although the underlying premise was the same, ultimately this was a completely different story from a completely different time. I liked the setting of the world created in this book and how the author did not spend chapter upon chapter describing it. She unveiled her world to us through the telling of the story, which was an interesting way to see it.

As for the characters, I had a hard time connecting with Hannah. I did like her more as the story went on, but I never really fell in love with her. Maybe it was the emotional distance that she kept from everyone that kept me at a distance as well. However, I did like how she questioned everything and was always looking for answers. I absolutely hated Aiden, but I think we were supposed to. He was hypocritical, self-centered, selfish…need I go on? However, it was pointed out to me that a good book brings out emotions. Hate is a very strong emotion. From the beginning Aiden orchestrated and controlled their whole relationship...He took advantage of Hannah's trust and innocence and abused his power over her.

Ultimately, the book definitely did not go where I thought it would, and although I really enjoyed the book, I did not really like the ending. I can't really pinpoint it, but something felt like it was missing to me. I guess I just wanted something more to happen. I felt the whole last section was too rushed. I would have loved an extra chapter on the end to tell how everything played out. What happened to Aiden and Alyssa? What is Hannah going to do now? Though, I think any good book gets into your mind and leaves you with questions.

View all my reviews