Friday, July 22, 2016

Review - The Beach House Mystery by Tara Ellis

The Beach House Mystery (Samantha Wolf Mysteries #3)Title: The Beach House Mystery
Author: Tara Ellis
Series: Samantha Wolf Mysteries
Pages: 225
Release Date: July 11th 2015
Genre: Children's Fiction
Publisher: Tara Ellis Publications
Source: Amazon
Format: Kindle
Buy it: Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Synopsis: The fun continues in book #3 of the Samantha Wolf Mysteries! 

What should be a quiet week at the beach turns into the most challenging mystery that Sam and Ally have uncovered yet. What’s the truth behind the odd family renting the cabin next-door? Is the tale of a sea creature and haunted lighthouse just a myth? How does a missing girl, and suspicious boat tie into all of it? The girls can’t solve this puzzle on their own, so they turn to their brothers for help. 

Travel with them to the scenic Washington Coast and into the Olympic Rainforest, where the four have to work together to untangle the clues and fit the mysterious pieces together.

My Review: I loved this book it was an easy and fun read.

In The Beach House Myster Sam's dad is getting ready to leave for a big fishing job oversee so while he is overseeing some business he takes the whole family to the beach house that a friend is letting them use and Sam's parents let Sam and her older brother Hunter bring a friend with them so Sam asks Ally to go and Hunter asks his friend John to go, John is Ally's older brother, but as usuall letting Sam and Ally go on a trip together never proves to be a good thing.

When they get to the beach house the girls help look after the twins so the boys can go to the beach and when they finally get to go explore they meet their neighbours little girl who acts strangely and when Sam and Ally get caught talking to her an angry man shouts the little girl in and tells Sam and Ally to stay away from her claiming that she has problems.

The girls decide one day to go into town to see what Sam's dad is doing and once there he lets the girls go shopping telling them where to meet him for dinner, while they are shopping they see an old man who tells them a story about a sea creature who is around the lighthouse that the girls can see from their beach house and this peaks the girls curiosity and they want to ask him about how they can get to the lighthouse but the man vanishes. Before the girls leave Sam goes into a shop and buys toys for her sisters and then they go to the marina to meet Sam's dad but while looking at all the boats one of the toys Sam bought gets dropped and goes on to a boat so Sam decides to retreave the toy without asking permission and she gets caught by some nasty men.

Later on in the book Sam and Ally go on a walk up a trail they found with their brothers the trail used to lead to the light house but has long been washed away, while hiking they end up having to rescue their neighbours mum who is stuck after falling and when they get back to their beach house they get into trouble because the neighbour has complained about them.

Towards the end of the book the girls go looking for the old man to see how to get to the lighthouse because they believe that someone is stranded there, the man tells them and with the boys help the girls get to the lighthouse they get captured by some men and locked in the lighthouse with a young girl who is being held captive by the nasty men from the boat. The girl happens to be their neighbours daughter and is being held because her captors want her mum to do something bad but Sam is smart and manages to climb out of their cell and break them out.

This series keeps getting better and I can't wait to finish the next book.

Review - The Secret of Camp Whispering Pine by Tara Ellis

The Secret of Camp Whispering Pines (Samantha Wolf Mysteries #2)Title: The Secret of Camp Whispering Pine
Author: Tara Ellis
Series: Samantha Wolf Mysteries
Pages: 216
Release Date: January 29th 2015
Genre: Children's Fiction
Publisher: Tara Ellis Publications
Source: Amazon
Format: Kindle
Buy it: Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Synopsis: What could be better than hiking, swimming, and horseback riding? Having a mystery to solve, of course! 
When Sam and Ally embark on their next quest together, they have no idea what secrets hide in the shadows at Camp Whispering Pines. Set in the beautiful, rugged mountains of the Pacific Northwest, the clues are slowly revealed, and it’s up to the two girls to figure it out. 

New friendships are formed, while at the same time enemies lurk nearby. The closer they get to uncovering the truth behind the camp, the further they are pushed into danger and deceit. Can Sam and Alley put all of the pieces together before it’s too late? Follow them on another thrilling tale filled with excitement and adventure, along misty, high mountain trails and deep ravines, where the answers wait to be found! 

My Review: This book was a nice easy fun read, it is written for young children but I really enjoyed it.

Camp Whispering Pines is set just after book one but it can be read separately. The story starts off with Ally and Sam at home after solving the Mystery at Sam's Aunt and Uncles Inn, Ally's Aunt is a troop leader and she has a scholarship so that Sam can go to the Camp with Ally.

When they get to the camp they find out that they may be assigned to different cabins but luckily Ally and Sam get assigned to the same cabin which share a cabin with 3 other girls their age, Lexie who was at the camp earlier that summer at the last camp session and she seems to know everything, Becky a shy girl who seems to be scared of everything at the start but then she seems to relax and have fun and there is also Sandy who is a rich girl who doesn't want to be at camp. The girls all share the cabin with a camp counselor named Butterfingers who all the girls seem to get along with.

During their time at camp things start happening and Sam and Ally start getting the blame for it first they just get told off and have to help out in the kitchen, next they have to spend the day in isolation where they aren't allowed to join in with the camp activities and then they get told that they are being sent home the next day.

Sam and Ally get into trouble because someone puts food into their bags after being told that they cannot have food in their cabin, then Sam gets into trouble when shes on a horse trek so Lexie, Sandy and Becky decide to investigate along with Sam and Ally but Sam and Ally sneak out after curfew and get caught and they get kidnapped by the bad guys.

In the end you find out who was causing Sam and Ally to get into trouble, at first I thought it was one person but then after a while I figured out who the real troublemaker was and I was glad that Sam and Ally were both okay at the end.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Interview - Katie Salidas 2016

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
My first attempt at a novel happened when I was still in middle school. Around 8th-8th grade. I had been inspired by The Vampire Diaries (book) as well as Queen of the Damned and really wanted to try my hand at writing a vampire story. Sadly, my manuscript was lost the year we moved to Las Vegas 1994 and I was crushed. I did not complete another manuscript for nearly 10 years after that, but since I rekindled the love of writing I have written 15 more novels.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book? And how you come up with the idea?
The book I am currently writing is very exciting for me as it will be a continuation of a series my readers are chomping at the bit for, as well as a cross over into my original series, which has been a long-time favourite of readers.
The book is titled” Fearless Little Werewolf and it will be book 3 in my Little Werewolf series and has a guest appearance by Fallon who is the sidekick turn MC of my Immortalis series.
It is expected to be out early this Autumn and if all goes well will spark a new storyline for both characters (Fallon – Immortalis and Giselle – The Little Werewolf)  allowing me to marry the series and bring back some of the characters from the Immortalis that have been waiting in the wings for their chance to return.
The Little Werewolf, (for those who are unfamiliar with the series) is about a lost little wolf who grew up away from the safety of a pack in the human foster care system. She’s secretive, aloof, and a lone wolf who has to learn what it truly means to be part of something bigger than herself and find her fur-ever home.

When writing about something you don’t know very much about where does your information come from?
I’m a google-a-holic! Seriously. I am always searching for the craziest things. My quest for knowledge is insatiable. I look up anything and everything that sparks my interest and can get lost for days in internet searches. Which of course hinders my writing time.

What is the easiest and the hardest part to write?
The easiest part of a story is always the beginning. I’m a bit of a pantser so I write what comes to me. Essentially I explore the story much like a reader does, allowing the events to unfold before me. As if I am merely chronicling the events of others, I often have ideas of what I would like to see happen, and then the story takes a turn I didn’t plan and I’m whisked away on the adventure with the characters.
The down side of this style of writing is it is very easy to write yourself into a corner and not know how to get out of it.
Writer’s block is a very real, very painful thing and when it strikes, it often takes a while to recover. Sometimes that recovery means deleting chapters and re-writing.

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
I keep a close relationship with many of my readers. I have a street team on Facebook that I use as a circle of friends more than a platform for advertising. I regularly ask my readers what THEY want to see happen in books. My goals are to make readers happy. Yes, the story must come out organically, and it must make sense, but if I can honor my readers requests and wishes, I do try.
I am nothing without my readers.

Are there any of your characters you would like to work further with or is there a character in another book by someone else that you would like to add to one of your novels?
That’s actually what makes my current book so much fun. I have had many readers ask when I will return to the world of the Immortalis. When I realized that world and the world of the Little Werewolf were not too different, I snatched that opportunity. I am having so much fun bringing back old characters and giving them new life and purpose. This in turn will allow me to revitalize the old series and honor my readers requests to return and expand on that storyline.

Are there any authors you would like to work with to create an anthology?
I’ve had the honor of working with quite a few exceptional authors on anthology projects and cross promoting books. Secret Worlds, Shifted, Magick after Midnight, just to name a few. These multi-author anthologies were an awesome introduction to new authors I have never read before and gave me a wealth of knowledge on the herculean task that it is to put together these types of group collections.  I’d welcome more collaborations and cross series projects in the future. In fact, I will be included in another one later this year (title still pending) in the Parnormal Fantasy realm. The collection should be due out around Halloween.
Be sure to follow my Newsletter for updates. (You get a free book just for signing up)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Get to Know Me - Katie Salidas

Where do you live?
I sometimes cringe when I have to answer this one because being from Vegas, people instantly get some crazy notion that I live in a hotel or spend my pay check gambling.  I do live in Las Vegas but sadly, I don’t have money to gamble and rarely ever make it down to the famous Strip for a little recreational fun. I can see the light from the Luxor though if I look out of my bedroom window though. LoL.

Can you tell me about yourself?
Hi. I’m Katie. And…. I like to write. That pretty much sums it up. Okay, okay, there is a little bit more. I’m also, mommy to three awesome munchkins. Two girls and one boy. And there is a husband around here somewhere too. Oh and three cats. Apparently you are not allowed to have just one. They kind of multiply on you when you’re not looking. But that’s it. I mean it. As people go, I guess I am pretty boring, so I do try and make my stories super interesting to make up for it.

Why and when did you begin to write?
Writing has been a part of my life since I was very young. I wrote my first story back when I was still in middle school.  It’s an escape for me. A way to get away from the day to day of the normal world and enter a world of magic and paranormal creatures.

How long each day/week do you dedicate to writing?
I try to get in at least 500 words a day. 1k if I’m doing really well, but at minimum I like to get something on paper each day. Even if those words are deleted right after, it is practicing the art that is most important.

What is your usual genre that you write in and would you consider changing it? If so what would you change it to?
I play in all genres associated with the paranormal realm. Sometimes I write more Young adult. Sometimes more fantasy. I even have a few naughty stories under a pen name. But the thing that ties them all together is that they have some kind of otherworldly creature. Vampire, Witch, Werewolf, etc…

When reading yourself do you prefer to read eBooks, paperbacks or hardbacks and do you stick with the genre you write or all genres?
If I have the book in print, definitely print! Otherwise, Kindle it is! And as far as genre goes, I read anything from Epic High Fantasy to BDSM Erotica. I am an equal opportunity reader. If it sounds good, I’ll give it a go

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Interview - Kevin David Anderson 2016

I had the pleasure to interview Kevin David Anderson, here is what he had to say
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I started writing in high school, usually taking a bland English class assignment and turning it into something creative. Depending on the teacher I was either scolded or praised. I finish my first manuscript about age 35. I would have to write two more before making that first novel sale.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book? And how you came up with the idea?
My most recent book Night of the ZomBEEs (the Walking Dead in Bee costumes) is a middle grade tween horror comedy and the idea came from a joke I didn’t immediately get. While attending a Zombie Convention after the release of Night of the Living Trekkies, a friend of mine said she was going to attend dressed as a bee, all bloodied, looking dead. Why in the world would you do that? I said.  ZomBEE, get it. I didn’t get it but when I went to the convention and saw people dressed as zombified bees, I finally got it. Brilliant I thought, and this could be a story. I mean could BEE a story.

When writing about something you don’t know very much about where does your information come from?
I try to stick to things I know, and know well, I think most writers do, but when I have to venture out beyond my own scope of knowledge, I like the feel of a real library to do my research. Google is fast and efficient and sometimes even correct, but for me a big dusty medical book that hasn’t been opened in a few years on the back shelf in a little used research section of the public library can not only give me the information, but solace and atmosphere. Things I need to write.  

What is the easiest and the hardest part to write?
I sometimes think the easiest part to write is the work itself. Beginning, middle, end. What they don’t tell you in writing class is that no one may ever read your work until you master what is called a query letter. These are the notes or one line pitches you sent to editors and agents. Your entire novel, maybe a year of your life, rests on your ability to boil it down to one or two lines that intrigues an agent and stands out amongst the other thousand query letters they get. If new writers truly understood how daunting it is, most would never type the words “chapter one.” 

Do you ever experience writers block? If so how do you find best to cure it?
All the time. For me there is only one cure. Read, read, read. When a writer reads he or she is often refilling the tank of inspiration, and once full the block soon fades away.

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
Always know where your towel is at.

Is anything in your book based on real life events or is it all imagination?
No real life events. I write horror, zombies, surreal fantasy kind of stuff and my life is as dull and un-speculative as it gets.

What inspired you to write your first/last novel?
I had just finished reading a zombie novel by Brian Keene called The Rising, and I really liked how he twisted the genre and did something new. Latter I was watching a documentary called Trekkies which chronicles the detailed, interesting lives of Star Trek fans. And then it hit me, what would happen if there was a zombie outbreak at a Star Trek convention. In an instant I had my first novel idea that a publisher would buy: Night of the Living Trekkies.

What is you biggest accomplishment, writing wise?
Any would-be writer that finishes a novel manuscript, good or bad, should be proud. Any writer that sells that manuscript should be very proud. Any writer that manages to impress their fourteen-year old in this day and age by becoming a published novelist has performed a miracle. That is my biggest accomplishment.

What sort of starbucks/costa coffee would your character order? A simple coffee or the complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-nightmare?
Coffee, straight, black, no sweetener, or creamer, no mint flavour whip cream or anything that comes from a candy shop. Coffee isn’t supposed to taste good, or like it’s been filtered through a Snickers bar. It’s suppose to be a mean drink that wakes you the hell up with a bitter dark slap and screams, “Now get in that seat, start writing, and for the love of all creativity be brilliant!” 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Get to Know Me - Kevin David Anderson

Where do you live?
Sunny, Southern California in a small wine making community called Temecula.

Can you tell me about yourself?
I was born in middle America, but have spent most of my life on the west coast walking on the sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean. While in college I had a variety of jobs, everything from working at Disneyland to behind the camera work in adult films in the same real world time and setting depicted in the film Boogie Nights. I spent 15 years in marketing and advertising working with entertainment and sports celebrities. I’m married, have two children, a mortgage and I drive a minivan. I’ve had seventy or so short stories published, one collection, two novels, and I’m an active member of the Horror Writers Association. 

Why and when did you begin to write?
I couldn’t tell you why, as I have no idea, but as to when, I know I started experimenting with writing in high school. I usually tinkered with my English assignments creating fiction even when I wasn’t asked to. This had good and bad results.

How long each day/week do you dedicate to writing?
It varies, anywhere from 6-20 hours

Do you use pen and paper first then transfer to computer or computer all the way?
I’m old enough that when I started writing way back when, not everybody had computers so pen and paper was the only way to go. Now its computer all the time.

If you were shipwrecked on a desert island what 3 books would you take?
Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
How to Survive on a Desert Island for Dummies 

Friday, July 01, 2016

Feature Friday - Suicide Lake

This weeks feature is Ashley Fontainne's Suicide Lake which is available now (See links at the bottom)

Title: Suicide Lake
Author: Ashley Fontainne
Publisher: RMSW Press
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 294

Those who have secrets… 

Renee Thornton is on the brink of despair, ready to take a final plunge and join the other tragic souls at the bottom of Bradford Lake—known to locals as Suicide Lake.

Beneath the murky waters… 

Her plans change when she’s startled back to reality after a body brushes up against her from the depths below. Terrified, Renee runs away and slams into her old flame Cliff Simpson, a deputy with Whitten County Sheriff’s Department.

Will stop at nothing… 

Strange events unfurl after the discovery of the corpse. Renee and Cliff find themselves caught up in a web of lies, deceit, and mystery.

To keep them hidden… 

Now instead of being able to slip away silently and become another anonymous statistic, Renee finds herself entangled in a murder investigation. Is Cliff her ally or enemy? Who can she trust? What other secrets will rise to the surface?

You can add this to you Goodreads to read list


You can buy Suicide Lake from the links below where it is available in Kindle/eBook format, audiobook format or paperback format.
Amazon UK                Amazon US
Barnes and Noble        iTunes           Kobo
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