Thursday, April 30, 2015

In My Mailbox April 2015

Lots of books this month and plenty I am really looking forward to reading.


  1. The 100 Day 21 - Kass Morgan
  2. The Boleyn Bride - Emily Purdy
  1. The Unexpected Occurrence of Thaddeus Hobble - Gareth Wiles
  2. Trespassers - Todd and Tim Wynn
  1. Lost #1 - Ron Vitale
  2. Stolen #2 - Ron Vitale
  3. Ravenous - Erica Stevens
  4. Cinderella is Evil #1 - Jamie Campbell
  5. Saving Rapunzel #2 - Jamie Campbell
  6. Killing Snow White #3 - Jamie Campbell

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Wales Comin Con

The Unexpected Occurrence of Thaddeus Hobble (The Great Collective, #1)So today I went to Wales Comic Con I met my Childhood Idol, S Club 7's Hannah Spearritt who played Abby in Primeval and Andrew Lee Potts who played Connor in Primeval, I also met authors Sam Stone, Raven Dane and Gareth Wiles.

Sam asked me to have a look on goodreads at hers and Raven's books and she will see if she can get me the ones I want to review for this blog.

When I saw Gareth he gave me a copy of The Unexpected Occurrence of Thaddeus Hobble to review. It's not something that I would normally read its a crazy crime, sci-fi, horror and I normally read YA sci-fi, fantasy books but I am looking forward to reading something new.

Thanks for the book Gareth and I am looking forward to having a look at Raven and Sam's books.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Interview with James Vernon

Bound to the Abyss     Descent Into Darkness (Bound to the Abyss, #2)
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I first started writing back in 2011. My first story was going to be a sci-fi soldier story but I couldn’t get a solid story going, so I scrapped it and started fresh. About half way through the year I began building the world and lore behind my first novel, Bound to the Abyss, and getting the general plot together. About two years later, after dozens of rewrites and plot fixes I finally had a story that I was happy to release. I just had to find the funds for all the extras like a professional editor and cover artist first. That took a little longer.

When writing about something you don’t know very much about where does your information come from?
That’s the nice thing about writing fantasy, especially where I’ve completely created the world and the lore. Anything I’m not too sure about I can make adjustments to and fiddle around with. That way when I write about it, I can make it seem believable and new while at the same time similar enough to something the audience can recognize.
When it comes to something I can’t really mess with because I’m taking it directly from our world, like the best the environment for beans to grow or the average lifespan of a horse, I Google it. Haha.

What advice would you give someone who had “ran out of creativity” while writing?
Two things:
First, start something new! I always have at least two projects going on at the same time. While I wrote my first story, I was also writing a set of short stories set in the same world. It helped me improve as a writer and was a fun way to continue to world-build.
Second, read a whole lot. Not just in the genre you are writing for either. Poll your friends for good books outside of what you usually read. You might find a way to not only reignite your creativity, but also to improve your writing by learning from other with a different writing style then your own.

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
Seriously thank you. I have had more success then I expected an unknown author like myself to achieve. I’m not breaking the top 100 on Amazon, getting on a best seller’s list, and haven’t won a single award, but still people are finding my book and enjoying it. All that I’ve accomplished has come from people that gave an unknown author a chance.

Oh, and I WILL keep writing. I have big plans for my main characters Ean, Zin, and Azalea that will span multiple books alone, and like I mentioned earlier I always have other things in the works. I’ve spent too much time building this world to just leave it behind after a few books. I’m here for the long haul.

If you could invite three authors and/or poets to dinner who would you invite?
That’s a tough one. I don’t want to repeat myself with the authors I already mentioned above so I’ll go with three new ones in no particular order.
1) George R. R. Martin – Two reasons. One because he is another amazing world builder. The history of Westeros and the political intrigue he creates draws readers in and I love that kind of stuff. The second reason is I want to learn his secret for not getting attached to his own characters. The man is ruthless!
2) Lindsay Buroker – A great indie fantasy author. Her stories flow seamlessly and have the perfect combination of humour, action, and suspense. She also seems to really have down the art of building her brand and getting herself out there. Her books always seem to be at the top of the Amazon charts and I would love to get as much advice from her as possible on top of all that she gives through her website.
3) Terry Brooks – My love of fantasy started with his Magic Kingdom of Landover series and then matured with The Sword of Shannara and the rest of the Shannara books. Certainly one of the many people that have influenced my work and are the reason why I started writing in the first place

What is your all-time favourite book?
I can’t say I have one particular book that is my favourite, but my favourite series is still the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. I have spent an untold amount of days pouring through those books. Every time a new book was coming out, I would reread the entire series again from the beginning before getting to the next book in the series. There are other series that come close, Shannara, The Night Angel Trilogy, The Emperor’s Edge, Earthsea, Harry Potter, The Kingkiller Chronicles, The Belgariad, and a few dozen more that I reread every now and then. The Wheel of Time though is still at the top of the list.

Which one of your books would you recommend to someone who is looking for a quick easy read?
All of them? I promise I’m not being egotistical!
Bound to the Abyss and Descent into Darkness are one story broken into two parts and I’ve been told by people that don’t usually read fantasy that they moved through them fairly fast. The two short story collections are fun and you don’t have to know anything about the world to follow along with them. My third book, Hunt for Justice, is separate from the Bound to the Abyss series and a little shorter then either of my first two books so it would be easy as well.

When naming your characters to you give thought about the meaning of the name?
Sometimes. Some names are a play on letters for friends and relatives that I’ve pulled character traits from, others have deeper meanings that some might eventually figure out or they might just end up being fun little Easter eggs for myself. Others I’ve just heard and end up liking or come from wanting my characters names to not all start with the same couple of letters. As long as I feel that the name fits the character, I go with it.

Do you use real life facts based on true stories?
Ha, I hope not! Portals from other worlds opening up randomly in ours would cause a lot of problems.

What is your favourite part of a book to write?
Surprisingly I enjoy the chapters where my characters are just being themselves, sitting around and joking with each other. No grave threats or intense battles, just my characters showing a little more about themselves, their motives, and the relationships they form with each other. Those are the scenes I love to explore because I rarely ever have them planned out. I just let the characters be themselves and see what they end up writing for me.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten ALL TIME Favourite Authors (in no particular order)
  1. A. A Milne
  2. Roald Dahl
  3. Enid Blyton
  4. Alyson Noel
  5. Jessica Brody
  6. Amy Plum
  7. Jenna Burtenshaw
  8. Jodi Picoult
  9. Virginia Andrews
  10. Ally Carter

Monday, April 20, 2015

Get to Know Me With James Vernon

Where do you live?
I live in a small town an hour or so outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It’s the type of quaint town that still has a main street with little shops and a couple of parades each year. It’s also close enough to more developed areas that I don’t feel like I’m out in the country.

Can you tell me about yourself?
Just a simple guy with a teaching degree and a love for fantasy. I’ve always been a fan of fantasy and sci-fi and love getting lost in worlds. At this point in my life I’m in a comfortable enough position to have a little fun outside of work and try new things. Writing and creating worlds has become a lot of fun, and I would love it if it could become my main profession. If not, I’ll still enjoy the time I spend writing and reaching new people.

Why and when did you begin to write?
Around 5 years ago. I’ve always been a huge reader of fantasy stories and had thought about writing one for a long time. When I was moved around for my job and ended up with over an hour commute each day, I found myself with a lot of time in my car to build worlds and create characters to live in them. Eventually I started putting down what I came up with on paper and went from there.
How long each day/week do you dedicate to writing?
Unfortunately I’m not a very organized writer. Having a full time job and a three-year old running around makes planning a set time to write each day a pointless endeavour. During the week I try to write for a few hours after everyone has gone to bed (which can be difficult as there are quite a few shows on at the moment that are distractions). On the weekend I find whatever time I can. If I had to guesstimate, I would say on average I get a solid nine hours of serious writing time in each week.

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island what book and author would you take?
For book I would have to go with The Name of the Wind. For years I’ve had a dozen other favourite books, but most recently Patrick Rothfuss has made me into a huge fan. The way he tells the story, which if you pay attention is really one characters biography, keeps me hooked for hours at a time.
For author, even though he has passed, I would have to go with Robert Jordan. The world and its history that he created for the Wheel of Time series just blows me away. I would love to pick his brain while stuck on a deserted island and learn how he did it all.

When reading yourself do you prefer to read eBooks, paperbacks or hardbacks?
I have a bit of OCD when it comes to physical copies of books. I would much rather read from a good paperback or hardback, but part of my brain doesn’t want to mess up the binding or the cover. So for convenience and my own sanity, I would have to say I stick to eBooks for the majority of my reading. If I really like a story after I’m done reading, more likely than not I’ll buy a physical copy as well.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday's Feature Melissa Hosack

Vampires vs Zombies follows a global pandemic thought to be restricted to the world of fiction as it takes out nearly the entire population within the span of a few days. The survivors are confused and disoriented. Those who die don’t stay dead.

Aurora Mathews —along with Damian Deshea, a man who aggravates her more than the walking dead—somehow manages to survive the first onslaught of violence and destruction only to be taken captive by something possibly more terrifying than zombies —vampires.

Each passing night reveals new horrors to the duo. Most alarming of all is the presence of Kieran, a vampire whose newest goal in his afterlife is to see Aurora dead.

Kieran has a history of violence, and women tend to disappear once he takes an interest in them, and he sees Aurora as his last chance of showing off his skills. To top it off, Damian is hiding secrets nearly as dark as those kept by their captors.

Between looking for other survivors, desperately searching for her family, and fighting off attempts on her life, Aurora must learn to adapt to this new world or perish. This is the battle of human survival that she fears can only end in death.

Buy Links:

“Oh shit,” he said under his breath. “Aurora?”

“Yeah?” My voice trembled as I slowly backed away.

“Run.” With that, he dropped the chair, pushed me in front of him, and did as he instructed me to do. He ran.

I went as fast as I could, but with his six-foot-two frame, it didn’t take him long to catch up to me. We both turned simultaneously down the hallway, sprinting for our lives.

“Is there a window in the women’s bathroom?” he hollered.

“What?” I yelled back breathlessly, having a hard time hearing over the pounding of my heart and the pursuing monsters.

“Fast! Is there a window in the women’s bathroom?”

I scanned my mind, trying to remember the layout of the restrooms, a hard thing to do when being chased by a psychotic monster that wants to eat you alive. “Yes,” I said uncertainly, my answer sounding more like a question.

“You better be damn sure, or we’re both dead,” Damian came back gruffly.

At his somber statement, I really concentrated, picturing the arrangement of the bathroom interior. “Yes! Yes, there’s a window.”


Before I had a chance to take another step, I was thrown to the side. I went barreling into the women’s room, forcing the door open with my body as I went.

Damian was a step behind me. He lurched into the room, his tall frame slamming into mine and knocking me off balance.

As the door swung shut behind him of its own momentum, we both collapsed to the floor in a pile of tangled arms and legs. The air rushed out of my lungs as his full weight was thrown on top of me. One of my knees slid dangerously between his, and I accidentally caught him in the ribs with an elbow. “Damian,” I groaned, pushing against his chest with my free hand. “You’re squishing me.”

With a grunt of discomfort, he rolled to sit next to me, breathing hard. His hands ran through his dark hair, and his fingers trembled with shock and adrenaline. While I struggled to a sitting position, he touched a hand to his jaw and winced in pain.

With his weight no longer on me, I was able to convince my lungs to start working again. I sucked in deep gulps of air, my throat feeling raw.

As we both tried to collect ourselves, the door flew open, and three mutilated faces stared in at us.

I stopped complaining. Scrambling to my feet, I threw myself against the door. It closed for a moment before being smashed into from the other side, forcing me backwards.

It opened enough for one of the men to get his arm into the room. I spun around, pressing my back against the door, trying to dig my feet into the floor to give me extra leverage.

Damian was on his feet in an instant. He hit the door hard, his hands on either side of my head, the front of his body slamming into the front of mine. He was jammed up tightly against me with my nose practically in his chest. His head was lowered toward me, and I could see his jaw clench with effort.

The door slammed shut on the thing’s arm, and it gave an inhuman screech.

I glanced to the side to see the arm dangling limply next to my head. Blood poured down torn skin and dripped to the floor.

I opened my mouth to scream when Damian pulled back and slammed into the door again, knocking the air, and the scream, out of me. There was a sickening wet noise as the arm detached, landing with a thud at my feet. Without the arm blocking the door, it closed.

Damian reached above my head and clicked the lock into place. With a shaky sigh, he leaned his head against the door just above my shoulder, his body still pressed flat to mine. His breath was hot against the side of my neck, and his body covered me completely. I could feel him all the way down to my toes. He was just a little too close for a casual acquaintance, especially for one I didn't like all that much.

I brought my hands up and pushed on his shoulders. “You can get off me now.”

He pulled his head back and looked down at me through his hair, his eyes glinting with amusement. “If I must.” He lingered a second too long for my taste before moving away from me.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Interview With Gareth Wiles

25098818     I Am Dead (The Great Collective, #2)

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I first started writing properly in high school, and I finished my first book I AM DEAD in 2009 after working on it for about five years. I'd written a lot of short stories and plays before then. 

Can you tell us about your upcoming book? And how you come up with the idea?
My latest book, which is a prequel to I AM DEAD, is called THE UNEXPECTED OCCURRENCE OF THADDEUS HOBBLE and is officially out in April. I have also finished my 6th book, which will be out later in the year. I am currently editing all 5 of my current books into one omnibus edition for a hardback release in the near future. I generally use everyday life to come up with ideas, giving seemingly mundane things a sinister twist.

When writing about something you don’t know very much about where does your information come from?
In my latest book I covered quite a bit of history, such as Charles Darwin on The Beagle and Adolf Hitler in his bunker, so I did some research by reading around the subjects.

What is the easiest and the hardest part to write?
The hardest part is making the plot last. I tend to write smaller stories then interweave them together to make a larger book. The easiest is character, as I know a wealth of weird and wonderful people to draw from.

Do you ever experience writers block? If so how do you find best to cure it?
No. If I feel like writing it comes very easily to me. I get 'in the zone' and it flows.

Have you written a book that you love but cannot get published?
I've written a few books that aren't out yet, but I hope to have them out in the near future.

Are there certain characters from any of your books that you would like to back to and create a book based on them maybe set in the past or future?
I've done that with the 6th book I've just finished, which includes several minor characters from my previous books who are being featured centre-stage.

What does your current protagonist think about you would they want to hang out with you the author, their creator?
My main protagonist Peter Smith is a bit of a misanthrope, so I doubt he'd enjoy hanging out with anyone let alone me!

How long does it usually take to write a whole book?
My first book took five years to write, but each one since has taken about a year. My 6th book is shorter and only took about six months. Once I've finished writing I leave the book for a month or two them come back to it fresh and edit.

How you ever created a character for a book that you were working on and then realised that they don’t work in that book and then used them in something else?
I've done this all the time. Characters tend to write themselves, and you can't really force them to do things they don't want to.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Inspiring Quotes from Books (anything that inspires you, challenges you, makes you think, encourages you, etc.) 

I can only think of five of the top of my head so this week is a top 5
  1. The greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places – Charlie and the chocolate factory by Roald Dahl
  2. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live – Harry Potter by J.K Rowling
  3. You have been my friend that in itself is a tremendous thing – Charlotte’s Web by E.B White
  4. Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light – Harry Potter J.K Rowling
  5. Dumb as a doorknob, in fact - Mystic by Alyson Noel

Monday, April 13, 2015

Get to know me with Gareth Wiles

Where do you live?
In sunny North Wales

Can you tell me about yourself?
I'm 29 and work as a gardener as well as writing books and doing copywriting and editing work.

Why and when did you begin to write?
The first story I ever wrote was when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I had an elderly Aunty who encouraged my fantasy and make-believe lifestyle!

How long each day/week do you dedicate to writing?
I can't really pin down a specific time I set aside to work on my writing as I tend to do it when I'm inspired. I can write for hours on end day after day and then not write anything for a month afterwards.

While writing do you prefer a quiet room or do you like background noise such as music or the TV?
I like writing whilst The Beach Boys are playing in the background.

When you’re not writing what can we find you doing?
Gardening and generally pottering about with a myriad of eccentric people and animals.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

My Interview With Ember Shane

After being given Of Royal Decent to review and falling in love with it I decided to put Ember Shane in the interview seat or the first interview of April.

Of Royal Descent (The Doyle Hawthorne Series, #1)     Of High Treason (The Doyle Hawthorne Series, #2)
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I've been writing ever since I can really remember.  But as far as my first published book, I began in the summer of 2012 and published in the fall of 2013.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?  And how you came up with the idea?
My next book will be the third installation in The Doyle Hawthorne series.  The idea for the series itself was kind of a fluke.  At the time, I'd been working on a time traveling romance novel.  One night at work, someone said to me, "You should write a romance novel about zombies.  That would be awesome."  I just remember thinking, "Ew."  There was probably a look of faint disgust on my face.  But on my way home, the idea began to take seed.  I love a good challenge, and making zombies romantic seemed like an ultimate one.  I sat down, scribbling ideas furiously, and drew out a blueprint for what later became books 1 and 2.

When writing about something you don't know very much about, where does your information come from?
Lots and lots of internet research.  I once researched for three hours for one line of text, only later to remove that line in editing. 

What is the easiest and hardest part to write?
I love writing emotionally-charged scenes.  Fear, grief, rage.  Those scenes tend to fly right out of me.  It's the scenes where I let other voices into my head that are the hardest to write.  Sometimes I'll be plodding along, doing a nice pace for a random scene involving zombie feeding or any sexual tension, and suddenly I can hear my mom's voice.  "These are the things you think about?!"  It can be distracting. 

Do you ever experience writers block?  If so how do you find best to cure it?
Definitely.  Especially if I've went too long without writing.  The best way I've personally found to cure it is to sit and stare at that white screen and type absolutely anything that comes to mind.  If I type long enough, I figure something out.

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
I appreciate each and every one of them more than I could ever express.  Writing to entertain has always been my passion.  With every reader that appears, I get to live out my dream again and again.  It's a wonderful feeling. 

Which character of yours speaks the loudest to you?
For each book, I feel the answer varies.  In book 3, the one I'm currently working on, I would have to say Kai.  To be so hard-edged, there's something so fragile about her on the inside. 

If you could work with any author who would it be?
That's a tough question because I love so many!  For traditional authors, I'll say Janet Evanovich.  I love her style of humor.  As for Indie authors, again, very hard to just choose one, but I will say Jennifer R. McDonald.  She is one of my favorite Indies of all time.  Her Veilwalker Trilogy is amazing. 

Do your characters try to make like bunnies and create ever more convolved plots for you or do you have to coax them out of your characters?
Oh no, they are bunnies for sure.  Especially Chuck.  I swear, that boy never does anything I tell him.

Is there a theme you haven't worked on yet that you would like to?
As for fiction, I'd like to revisit the time-traveling novel I'd shelved to write The Doyle Hawthorne Series.  And I've got this idea that's been growing over the last year about an alien race.  But I also have been kicking around the idea of doing a compilation of nursing ghost stories.  I would interview healthcare professionals around the state of Ohio about any unusual experiences they've had with hauntings.  Working third shift, everyone's at least got ONE story.
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