Tuesday 27 October 2015

Q & A with S.J. Romero

H narratives, #1
by S.J. Romero

H narratives: Divulgence, is the mind-altering, epic introduction to an afterlife never imagined. Six people wake to find themselves in strange surroundings without food, water, or explanation.

Unable to escape, patience is lost and tempers flare as impossible things happen far too often, leading to the only conclusion that makes sense—they must be dead.

Educational undertakings become challenging tests and each is preparation for a war-games environment in which humans are entertainment for their ruling overseers known as Rivaaja.

Six people, three women and three men, must work together to survive their surroundings as well as their own mind.

H narratives: Divulgence, begins a journey like no other and establishes a disturbing truth—death is not what we thought.

Paperback, 370 pages
Published August 26th 2015

Find it on Goodreads
Amazon     Barnes & Noble  

Read It & Reap Date:  May 3, 2016

A Southern California native, S.J. spent 20+ years in advertising before deciding he wanted to write a novel. Nights and weekends were soon filled with the sounds of tapping keyboard keys until H narratives: Divulgence was complete. S.J. now spends his nights and weekends on the remaining stories in the H narratives series. Stay tuned...

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14243023.S_J_Romero Website: http://hnarratives.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Hnarratives
Twitter: https://twitter.com/hnarratives

                                        Q & A with S.J. Romero

Q:  Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
There are six main characters that have been put together to serve as a group or team. Three men and three women who come from different nationalities and walks of life. Toby - a former member of the Special Forces. Palani - a burgeoning mixed martial arts fighter. Jesse - a wealthy business man. Kirsten - a house wife. Elena - a border patrol agent. Michi - a college student. Their variety of skills, cultural backgrounds, and personalities, are meant to be challenges to overcome. Each character must learn to operate within a team structure in order to survive chaotic situations.

Q:  Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?

I designed the cover for this book and the process was one of trial and error. I work on some ideas, pass it around for input, make some changes, add some elements and repeat. Family members and friends are great at giving free input, although some can take their role of art critic a tad too far.

Q:  Describe your ideal writing spot.
My ideal writing spot is a quiet room with no interruptions that allows me to funnel my thoughts to keyboard in steady, focused, streams. I don't like to sleep (although I realize it's importance) and so prefer to work at night. I have a home office that suits me well, complete with exercise ball and sit up bench for those really late nights where I need to stretch and stay alert.

Q:  What is the best advice you have been given?
I don't know that I've been given "best advice", but I have accumulated a mindset that nobody will do it for you. If you have a goal, whatever that goal might be, it's up to you to achieve it. Others will hopefully help you to achieve that goal, but you have to be willing to do it yourself. I appreciate all the help that I get, and all of the support of friends, family, and book purchasers, but at the end of the day, I keep writing because it's fun and I believe others will enjoy reading my work.

Q:  As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be, and still strive to be, the best dad I can be. My own dad wasn't terrible, but he remarried and made it clear that I was a second-class citizen. Thankfully, his Catholic guilt kept him paying those child support payments, and I did see him between ski trips and whenever it was convenient for his schedule, but no child should feel like a pet in his own home and for a while there, I didn't know if I was supposed to bark, sit, fetch or sleep outdoors.

Q:  Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
Hardback for sure. Maybe it's some form of OCD but a book shouldn't be folded or creased (especially the cover), and it shouldn't be read on a three inch by four inch screen with back lighting. You should enjoy the battle that is required to keep a good sized hardback in your lap and you should enjoy finding the odd bookmarks that are made of metal or wood. You should be able to smell the printing and feel the paper between your fingers as you turn pages and even though you will cringe when purchasing a hardback, you should also smile when you first hear that binding crack as you begin a journey that took somebody months, if not years to complete.

Q:  If you could be any paranormal creature, what would you choose to be and why?
An angel for sure and hopefully a guardian angel so I could hack off some demon heads.

Q:  What book are you reading now?
I'm actually reading three books, which is probably some form of ADD, but it keeps things interesting. Salem's Lot, by Stephen King. Executive Orders, by Tom Clancy. Inhuman Bondage - The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World, by David Brion Davis.

Monday 26 October 2015

Dogwood Days by Poppy Dennison

Dogwood Days
Holly Creek, Book One
by Poppy Dennison

Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Number of pages: 131
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Small town heroes and big town hearts. 

Jefferson Lee Davis is happy with his life in the city until his favorite uncle has a bad fall and he rushes to Holly Creek to make sure Uncle Sherman is okay. Jefferson Lee knows how to navigate small Southern town’s politics and the residents greet him with open arms. Everyone but the town’s sheriff, Zane Yarbrough, that is.

Dogwood Days, the town’s biggest festival is looming, so Jefferson has to step up and take over his uncle’s job as the town blogger, even if that puts him right in the sheriff’s path. Quirky neighbors, meddling family, and a sassy best friend all come together to make Jefferson Lee’s life in Holly Creek a full-time adventure. When he loses his job back in the city, Jefferson Lee has to start a new job search that will take him away from the town he’s learning to think of as home. 

Will this big city boy find sweet romance in the arms of a small town sheriff or will the allure of the city call him back?

Find it on Goodreads
Available from
Dreamspinner Press

Add two parts sass and one part sweet and you have Poppy Dennison to T—sweet tea that is. Raised by a gaggle of Southern women who love reading and have backbones of steel, Poppy was brought up to see the best in people but always speak her mind. Mix it all together, like Grandma’s famous cobbler, and you get a sassy, Southern lady with a quick wit and loads of charm, who will soften any blow with “Bless your heart.” Her books reflect her small town roots, are filled with all the comforts of home, and come with side dish of spicy, because that’s the way she likes it.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PoppyDennison

October 21 Guest blog
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

 October 21 Spotlight

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A Bookaholic's Fix: Feeding the Addiction

 October 22 Interview
Zipper Rippers

October 23 Guest blog/Top Ten
Roxanne's Realm

October 23 Spotlight
Teatime and Books

 October 26 Spotlight
Books N Pearls

 October 26 Interview
Shut Up and Read 

 October 27 Spotlight
Romantic Reads and Such


 October 28 Guest Blog
ARe Cafe

October 28 Review

 October 28 review
BFD Book Blog


Saturday 24 October 2015

Hour of Mischief by Aimee Hyndman

Hour of MischiefHour of Mischief by Aimee Hyndman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The first thing that caught my attention about Hour of Mischief was the amazing cover, then the synopsis sealed the deal. I find Steampunk fascinating with its gears and gadgets. Add in mythology with an interesting twist, that makes it a must read.

Seventeen year old, Janet Redstone has not had an easy life living in the slums of Fortuna with her mom. In a world ruled by the Clockwork Gods Janet and a group of her friends earn a living by robbing their temples. In fact, Janet and her team are in high demand until a heist goes wrong that lands them in prison. Now, the only way out is to make a deal with the God of Mischief, ITAZURA. Will Janet be able to save her friends, or will this deal cost them their lives?

Janet may have had a rough childhood, but she is determined to make a better life for herself. In a world where prosthetic limbs are a symbol of status, Janet sees her prosthetic arm as a curse. It does come in handy in a fight. Itazura is not necessarily trustworthy since he is the god of mischief. Can Janet trust Itazura to fulfill his end of the bargain? What an intriguing world Aimee Hyndman has created! It is based on the clock face where each god rules a specific hour. I did find the word building a little slow in the beginning, but once the world with its compelling characters was established, the story flowed well. I would definitely recommend it, and I look forward to see what happens next.

View all my reviews

Wednesday 21 October 2015

Dying in Pleasure by Lady Ristretto + Interview

Dying in Pleasure
by Lady Ristretto

Genre: Paranormal/Historical Erotica

Publisher: Lady Ristretto

Number of pages: 385

Cover Artist: Ebooks Covers Design

Lucia, the daughter of the richest family in Pompeii, disappears one night. The mystery goes unsolved and life moves on. The lives of Pompeii's citizens intertwine: Ibis, a prostitute running the whorehouse owned by the Aedile, a city official, gets murdered by his wife Lucy. Lucy falls in love with Narcissus, the most treasured gladiator in Pompeii. The Aedile's daughter, Julia, marries Rust, the man suspected to have murdered Lucia. Maro, Lucia's slave, holds the families together and eventually discovers Lucia when she reappears in Pompeii twenty years later, and as a witch.

The events in Pompeii converged and lead to its ultimate, inevitable destruction. Only Lucia can help the city and save lives. In a ceremony requiring possession by a god, murder, and necromancy, Lucia discovers what is going to happen. But not everyone manages to get away.

Dying in Pleasure brings to life the long dead city of Pompeii, showing its citizens as vibrant, eccentric pleasure seekers. History, pain, violence and ritual blend in a pansexual orgy that is both exciting and extreme from beginning to end.

Find it on Goodreads
Available for Nook and Kindle

Lady Ristretto spent the beginning of her career writing under her real name and as a playwright. She has a BA in English from UCLA and an MFA in playwriting from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Her plays were produced in Illinois and Texas, and her most popular work, Wonderland in Alice: The Uncertainty Principle was produced in New York off off off Broadway.

Her first book, Dying in Pleasure, had been a full length play that was rejected as her thesis play: the professors on her committee felt it was too misogynistic and violent for undergraduates to stage. Always stubborn and obsessed, Lady Ristretto spent years rewriting the play into a novel and has recently published it as an ebook on Amazon and Nook. Lady has recently become obsessed with cricket and deeply wishes America would form a formidable team which is worthy to compete in the World Cup. 

Q & A with Lady Ristretto

1. Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
I think my main characters are all desperate, lonely people who are afraid of expressing their needs. But then again, who wouldn't be afraid to express such things?

Lucia Holconia Polla is the main character, in my opinion. She's a witch, ugly, powerful, charismatic, selfish, cruel, and in a sadomasochistic relationship with her goddess. Her way of dealing with a teenage break up was to run away from home. I don't think she ever really developed emotionally beyond her teenage years. To feel powerful she commits horrifying acts and then experiences incredible shame. It's a vicious cycle.

I could also argue that it's the aedile, because of his presence over the entire novel, but Lucia's actions prior to the novel opening and then at its end effect everyone.

An aedile is an elected official in ancient Rome who was in charge of all entertainment. My novel takes place in ancient Pompeii in the years before the eruption of Vesuvius. There was a major earthquake before the eruption which caused incredible damage to the town. The aedile becomes obsessed with helping Pompeii rebuild, both physically and psychologically. At times the welfare of his children comes second to that of Pompeii.

The coupling of pleasure and trauma or pleasure and depression is common among all the main characters. They know no other way to medicate themselves and deal with what they've experienced.

2. Describe your ideal writing spot.
This is going to sound cliché, but it's a Starbucks that has a view of the ocean or a harbor. Twenty years ago, I'd have a triple grande mocha and a baguette with butter. I'd set up at a table and hand write my books or plays in spiral notebooks. The buzz from the caffeine focused me and the water gave me serenity. It became a ritual I'd do almost daily and it kept me productive.

3. Who designed the covers for your book and what was that process like for you as the author?

David Prendergast at Ebooks Covers Design. http://www.ebookscoversdesign.com. The process was fantastic. I gave David as much artistic freedom as he wished. I know nothing about design and he's wonderful with it. He gave me mock-ups and I gave feedback and it was done very quickly. I have no reason not to use him again in the future.

To go through this process as an author is, of course, delightful. Having a visual representation created of your work is thrilling and satisfying. I've had posters made of plays of mine for production, and of course have experienced having my work produced. I'm afraid it's become common for me, and it's not that big of a deal to me. But I still feel a little thrill.

4. What is the best advice you have been given?
Don't be afraid. I've read A LOT of work by beginning writers and I think I could summarize their struggles and weaknesses with this idea. They have the skills to write, but they're afraid of writing about certain things. They're afraid of digging deeply and writing about the things that make them uncomfortable or hurt. It's only when we get to that level, when we are intimidated and turn away, is when we start to write stories which are deeply human and authentic. That's the powerful work we all want to create. This happens to me all the time. I've been writing seriously for over twenty five years and there are still things I don't want to write about because I'm afraid. But the things I have faced become easier to face.

5. How do you keep busy when you're not writing?
I surf Reddit, Facebook and Twitter. I read articles from the Guardian and the New York Times. I play with magnetic poetry and color. Above all, and most importantly, I watch cricket. I'm obsessed with cricket. South Africa is my team. (And I'm American, by the way.)

6. If you could have any superhuman ability, what would you choose and why?

Telekinesis. I have dreams that I can move objects and it always makes me happy. In the dreams I always feel special and powerful (but all superhuman powers make us feel this way in dreams). I have a special relationship with objects---I tend to fetishize certain things. I have lots of stuffed animals and figures. I'm writing a book about Medusa so I have a Medusa figure that sits on my table and stares at me as I work. I think telekinesis may be a way of elaborating and expanding the relationship I have with objects.

7. Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
At this moment in my life, I prefer ebooks. I own about forty boxes of books and they're all in storage. I have no permanent home, so I can't set them up as I have all of my life. I can't even buy books because they're too heavy and take up too much room in a suitcase. I have a Nook and have learned how to read using it. I'm quite fond of it now. It seems almost magical to me to store so many books in it. Like I'm cheating the laws of nature in some way.

8. What book are you reading now?
Isabelle Arden's Alpha and Omega: Gay Werewolf Shifter Romance. I've read three of her previous books and she's wonderfully talented. I'm extremely impressed with her ability to structure a story, create full characters, and write amazingly detailed and passionate sex scenes. Her imagination is expansive and rich and fun. She inspires me and motivates me to be as good a writer as her.

October 19 Spotlight
A Bookaholic's Fix: Feeding the Addiction

October 20 Spotlight
Coffee Books and Art

October 21 Interview
Shut Up and Read

October 22 Interview
Author Karen Swart

October 23 Character Interview
Eclipse Reviews

October 26 Interview
Deal Sharing Aunt

October 27 Guest Blog
Roxanne's Realm

October 28 Spotlight
Lisa's World of Books

October 29 Guest Blog
The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom

October 30 Guest Blog
Fang-tastic Books

November 2 Spotlight

November 3 Spotlight
Share My Destiny

November 4 Spotlght
All I Want and More Books

November 5 Guest Post
Mythical Books
proposed topic: Mores & Historical Erotic Romance

November 6 Spotlight
Sapphyria's Steamy Books

November 9 Spotlight
Literary Musings

November 9 Review
Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock

November 10 Spotlight
Around the World in Books 

November 11 Interview
Books and Tales

November 12 Guest Blog
Leigh Anderson Romance

November 13 Spotlight
Booklover Sue

November 16 Review
Fantatical Paranormal Romantical

November 16 Spotlight
Penny Writes

Monday 19 October 2015

Dead of Night by Carlyle Labuschagne: Interview + Giveaway

Dead of Night
The Aftershock Series, Book One
by Carlyle Labuschagne

Genre: YA Dystopian

Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing

Number of pages: 236

Cover Artist: Sandra Valente

In a dark and desolated After Earth, love still does exist, but the cost of bearing such a flaw is death.World War III has left Earth in utter turmoil. People’s beliefs are said to be the cause of the worldwide destruction. After The Clearing new laws are set about – to show certitude in anything besides the law is weak and chargeable as mutiny. To be illogical and have faith in religion is illegal, to be limitless is dangerous. And Illness is seen as a defect – all flaws that are inexcusable.

But to love is the greatest betrayal of all man kind. It is a fault the world has long forgotten and punishable by death, a fatal risk Aecker and Opel are fully prepared to take – because in love there is freedom. But how far can they push back before it claims their lives and of those they care about?

Find it on Goodreads
     Barnes & Noble     Smashwords   

Carlyle is an South African award wining author, with a flair for mixing genres and adding loads of drama to every story she creates. For now she is happy to take over the world and convert non Sci-fi believers.

Her goal as an author is to touch people's lives, and help others love their differences and one another by delivering strong messages of faith, love and hope within every outrageous world she writes about.

"I love to swim, fight for the trees, and am a food lover who is driven by my passion for life. I dream that one day my stories will change the lives of countless teenagers and have them obsess over the world literacy can offer them instead of worrying about fitting in. Never sacrifice who you are, its in the dark times that the light comes to life."

Carlyle used writing as a healing tool and that is why she started her very own writers support event - SAIR bookfestival.

"To be a helping hand for those who strive to become full times writers, editors, bloggers, readers and cover artists – it’s a crazy world out there you dont have to go it alone!"


Q & A with Carlyle Labuschagne

1. Tell us a little bit about your main characters.

They find themselves in a very difficult setting, where the world after the third world war has left the planet in total devastation physically and socially. Aecker is the future leader of the rebel colony who is a bit of an outsider and finds himself in a compromising situation when he falls in love with the girl from the opposition. Aecker of course doesn’t see this for the fatal flaw it can be in a world where love is forbidden because he grew up before the war and had seen how happy his very much in love parents were and what their love and compassion for others had done for those who became hopeless during and after that war. Aecker is a romantic at heart and loves to get lost in books that he highly regards as treasures. He often finds himself in trouble with older brother Dyllian who is tasked to mold Aecker into the future leader of Cupola leading his people and his father’s legacy into a new world free from human genetic coding.

Opel is a very different girl physically and emotionally form the rest of the girls her age. Who is believed by the rebel groups in Cupola to be a tracker sent to infiltrate and exploit their survival, to threaten their structure and beliefs in human rights. Only thing is Opel cannot remember, all she can remember is that someone tried to kill her for a secret she has no idea she holds. Despite being scared and knowing that something is different about her, she falls in love with a boy she feels comfortable with against all her logic. When she is hunted by those who sent her and those she ran to for shelter she starts to put the clues together and realizes she is everything the love of her life should fear. But she won’t give up on what she has found in her heart even if it means death, very determined to rectify what she is, she sets out to prove the world wrong about her and about what they believe about love.

2. Describe your ideal writing spot.
A balcony overlooking the ocean and forest, with a ricer somewhere nearby I can go and swim in to relax my mind and bring on creativity – to center myself.

3. Who designed the covers for your book and what was that process like for you as the author?
Dead of night was designed by my editor Sandra Valente. I love this process and what I love most of all about this cover is it matches a scene out of the novel perfectly.

4. What is the best advice you have been given?
To never give up, to believe in myself and take my time.

5. How do you keep busy when you're not writing?
My family with two young boys and my being a house owner keep me delightfully busy.

6. If you could have any superhuman ability, what would you choose and why?

Regeneration – I would explore everything possible – especially extreme sports. Yes that would be my awesome ability to regenerate, so I won’t be scared of jumping off a cliff into the ocean below.

7. Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
Both hold very unique qualities for me. eBooks because they are cheaper and easily accessible. Paperback books are just so beautiful and you can read them outside.

8. What book are you reading now?
Chelsea fine’s Avow and Heather Hildenbrand’s Dirty Blood.

  October 15 Guest blog
Horror Made

October 19 Interview
Shut Up and Read

October 23 Interview
Eclipse Reviews

October 26 Character Interview
Author Karen Swart

October 30 Interview
Deal Sharing Aunt