Friday, 16 January 2015

BLOG TOUR - REMOTE BY LISA ACERBO

Title: Remote
Author: Lisa Acerbo
Publisher: Etopia Press
Genre: Sci-Fi, Romance
Release Date: 20th November 2014

BLURB supplied by Bewitching Blog Tours
When technology fulfills every dream, reality becomes a nightmare.

Below the streets of New State, the undergrounders fight to remain free of the technological control of the world above. Every night, Yara risks her life fighting New State’s deadliest weapons, the drones. Half human and half machine, their living half tortured until everything human is gone, the drones have only one objective. Kill. And they do it with exacting precision.

Yara is good at her job and committed to her raids on New State. Until one of those raids brings her face-to-face with Joshua, a New State citizen who doesn’t quite fit her preconceived expectations. After a couple of awkward encounters, he shows her the meaning of hooking up—a computer simulation that allows people to live out their fantasies—without the complication of emotional entanglements or physical reality. But what Yara feels for Joshua is very real. And it’s punishable by law.

As she and Joshua grow closer, she convinces him to leave New State for her underground cause. But as the unrest between New State and the underground escalates, and the drones move in to destroy her world, nothing goes as planned. Families are arrested, loyalties are strained, and Yara’s forced to choose between her people and her feelings. The wrong choice could mean the end of her people, and reality could slip away—forever......


PURCHASE LINKS


AUTHOR INTERVIEW

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Lisa Acerbo, born and raised in Connecticut. Specifically, Trumbull, Connecticut. It’s not exotic, and in the winter it is extremely cold.  It is the definition of suburbia.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I have always loved both reading and writing. I still remember getting a good grade on a fiction short story assignment in high school and being so overjoyed that the teacher liked it. When I took creative writing in college, my professor wasn’t nearly as nurturing and I became a high school teacher instead of a full-time writer.  Still, writing has always been an enjoyable pastime and part of my life.  Most days, writing is relaxing and therapeutic.  On rare occasions, it’s a challenge to add any words to paper, but I still enjoy it more than most other activities. 

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
Before turning to fiction, my articles appeared in the Connecticut Post, Trumbull Patch and Hollywood Scriptwriter, but I don’t think I truly felt like a writer until I published my first novel Apocalipstick in 2013. I still question that idea daily, especially when procrastination hits and weeks go by without any writing.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I majored in English during college, thinking that I wanted to become a journalist, but instead became an English teacher. Even though I teach full time at the high school and college level, I continue to write, mostly in the summer. Before turning to fiction, my articles appeared in the local newspapers and online magazines.  I hope that my love of reading and writing can help others to enjoy it.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My new book is Remote: When technology fulfills every dream, reality becomes a nightmare.
It is a 71,000 word sci fi novel geared for young adult and college-aged audiences. Yara, the main character, lives as an undergrounder and specializes in nighttime raids against the New State, where people are often more machine than human. Then she meets Joshua, a New State citizen, who doesn’t quite fit her preconceived expectations. As they become closer, Yara realizes how insidious the hold of New State is on the citizens and how few freedoms they have, all replaced by technological illusions. With the help of her father, an underground leader, Yara and Josh join in the rebellion and the plan to take down New State, but nothing goes as expected.  The challenges Yara faces throughout the book test her loyalties and ultimately challenge her understanding of humanity. 

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
My publisher is Etopia Press.  I loved working with them and my editor was so helpful in refining the draft and making it into a publishable piece of writing. Remote came out on November 21, 2014. It can also be downloaded at Etopia Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble for Kindle and Nook.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Remote, my science fiction novel, took three months to write while my other books took much longer.  Apocalipstick, my first book, took close to two years and the sequel took nearly a year. 

Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
In Remote the main characters, Yara and Jason, came to life quickly.  I knew their quirks and characteristics from the start.  The storyline was also well formulated from the moment I began writing.  I like writing science fiction because it seems to click with my brain.  With other books, it’s often a struggle and I am figuring everything out as I write. 

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
The follow-up to Apocalipstick is with the publisher and I am trying my hand at a mystery novel based on an old historic figure in Connecticut know as The Old Leatherman.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
Characters form in my head before I start writing the book.  The main character of Remote, Yara, was well-defined before I began chapter 1, and she became my favorite because of her inner strength and strong moral code.  During revisions with my editor, I had the chance to go back and think about her in more depth and I developed Yara’s motivations and relationships further.  The same happened with Josh, another of the main characters.  During revisions, I was able to add more of his perspective into the book. I love how the two of them interact.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
The title is the last thing I think about.  I have a friend, also an author, who told me I had to have the title before stating the project, but that never worked for me and stressed me out.  Instead, I wait until the book is done and then think about the symbols and themes that evolved.  The title of my first book Apocalipstick came from my daughter and so did Remote.  For Apocalipstick, I was telling her about a scene in the book where the main character, Jenna, puts on her mother’s lipstick for the first time after the zombie apocalypse.  She is finally out of harm's way and has the luxury of remembering the past and looking forward to a possible future.  My daughter joked, you should call the book Apocalipstick and the title stuck. 

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
After reading “The Pedestrian” by Ray Bradbury with my high school Science Fiction class, I began to think about the consequences of technology in our lives. I love science fiction and hoped Remote would open a discussion on the topic of overuse of technology today.  Many of my high school students are glued to their cell phones and other devices in and out of class.  While the students acknowledge that this isn’t good, they no longer know how to function without a phone in hand.   

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
While I appreciate the ease of access that eBooks offer, I am personally a fan of paperbacks. There is something about flipping through pages and seeing your progression through a book that cannot be replaced. I love the feel of a paperback book in my hands. I dog ear the pages, take notes in the margin. There is nothing like having a paperback novel at the beach or while relaxing and reading on the couch.  I think e-books are great, especially when travelling, and I download many of them, but I hope they never replace having an actual paperback book with you. 

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst  book to movie transfer?
I think books can transfer to movies well when the producers and directors stay close to the story line. My favorite movie transfer The Last Man on Earth with Vincent Price which was modeled after I am Legend. I enjoyed this adaptation because it really highlighted what it was like to be alone and faced with an impossible situation. My least favorite transfer was the Divergent movie. It lost many of the elements that I enjoyed about the book.  Some of the relationships between the characters and plot points were underdeveloped. 

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (ebook, hardback or paperback)
The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness.  When I read A Discovery of Witches I was drawn into the story and depth of research the author did to complete it. I’ve just started her new book in hardback and can’t wait for a few hours to sit and enjoy it. 

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
If you want to be an author, don’t give up. Writing takes time, patience, dedication, and passion. Maybe a little bit of crazy too. Most people who attempt to write books do not create a masterpiece the first time or gain immediate success. As I have learned from my years teaching and attempting to write something decent, a writer must set small goals and eventually he or she will reach the larger goal.  For me, it was getting my book published. Once you reach one goal, you create others and keep moving forward and don’t stop. As a writer, your goals are endless.


AUTHOR LINKS
Twitter @Apocalipstick_



EXCERPT


“Hi,” he called out.
Yara’s heart hammered, and adrenaline coursed through her limbs. She turned to run.          
“Wait,” the stranger whispered. “I won’t turn you in. I’m out here too.” He obviously didn’t realize that Yara was a rebel. He might not know it yet, but he would soon. Still, he didn’t sound dangerous. Maybe Yara could take care of him. She had never had to kill anyone totally human, but she had trained to do so. At this point, she didn’t think she would need to. The skinny boy didn’t look like a real threat, either.
She turned back toward him and attempted what she hoped was a look of death and destruction.
Instead of being scared, he smiled at her and brushed the hair out of his eyes. Even in the shadowy street, Yara could see the color was a beautiful emerald green. She had a hard time looking away, until his voice jarred her back to reality.
“I’m Joshua15111,” he said robotically. “What are you doing out here?”
“I could ask you the same thing.”
“Enjoying the night sky,” he replied, each word clipped and succinct. Unable to make prolonged eye contact, he looked toward the stars.
“Aren’t you supposed to be hooked up to an alternate universe, enjoying battle, boobs, or whatever perverted fantasy you want to conquer tonight?” Yara asked, and then instantly regretted her words.
“Hey, it’s not like that. You know how it is.” For the first time, his voice took on a more humanistic quality. He sounded peeved.
She grunted in response. She didn’t know anything of the sort.
Joshua15111 looked at her briefly, quizzically. “Wait, do you know that? Are you one of them? The rebels?”
Oh no. “What rebels?”
“Are you for real? Everyone knows about the rebels. You must be one. Are you a rebel? That’s so cool.”

Me and my big mouth. Fear finally overtook her. Vague ideas about running away from or fighting the stranger flitted by, but Yara’s feet felt like concrete blocks. She wasn’t even sure she’d be able to form a coherent sentence if he asked her something about the underground.

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Sunday, 21 December 2014

BOOK BLAST - FUSION ANTHOLOGY

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The following authors Shannon Mayer, Denise Grover Swank, Addison Moore, Shelly Crane, Amy Bartol, Eve Langlais, Stephanie Erickson, Jesi Lea Ryan, JC Andrijeski have got together with Hijinks Ink Publishing to put together an anthology called FUSION.


Fusion contains nine outstanding fantasy stories merged together to create a bestselling reaction. An anthology designed for readers of fantasy . . . Paranormal, urban/contemporary fantasy, science fiction and dystopian fused together in one epic fantasy bundle. Make your way through fire and ice, love, lust and hate as these nine International Bestselling Authors come together to spin their tales of magic and destruction. This is a truly unique bundle that successfully blends all aspects of the Fantasy genre.  


PURCHASE LINKS

ELEMENTALLY PRICELESS 
an EXCLUSIVE Novella by SHANNON MAYER 
My name is Rylee, and I am a Tracker." A missing child, a deadly prophecy, and a world of unusual supernaturals slam together in this EXCLUSIVE novella from Shannon Mayer. Meet Rylee, a Tracker of missing children, and Lark, an Earth Elemental as they tackle a case neither could crack on their own dodging the world of the supernatural and FBI alike. Separate, they are deadly, strong, and determined. Together, they are unstoppable. Or so they think.  


ETHEREAL 
(Celestra Series, Book 1) by ADDISON MOORE 
The Celestra Series has been optioned for film by 20th CENTURY FOX Sixteen year-old, Skyla Messenger is a dead girl walking. With her life in upheaval, she finds refuge in Logan Oliver, a boy who shares her unique ability to read minds and has knowledge she desires. If only he would share. Skyla’s bloodlines to angelic beings may not be able to save her from those who want her dead, but Skyla is nowhere near done living --- and she’s not going down without a fight.   


HERE 
(On the Otherside Series, Book 1) by DENISE GROVER SWANK 

Sixteen year old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend in a car accident. But guilt can’t explain how she can suddenly draw, has false memories of the accident and how a bracelet engraved with her name ended at the scene. Suddenly, Evan Whittaker is interested in her and her life. Why he was missing for two days and returns wearing a pendant she’s been drawing for months leads the two on a journey to find out how Monica is still alive and just where Even is really from.   


INESCAPABLE 
(The Premonition Series, Book 1) by AMY BARTOL 

I’m Evie and this was to be the making of me-my first year of college. I’d hoped that once I’d arrived at Crestwood, the nightmare that I’ve been having would go away. It hasn’t. At 17, I may be inexperienced, but I’m sane. When Reed is near, however, nothing makes any sense. He’s not what he seems to be…and neither am I. I’m afraid that the nightmare my dream is foretelling is…inescapable.   


THE CURE 
by STEPHANIE ERICKSON 

One life will make the difference. Macey Holsinger has heard that phrase her whole life, in the name of fighting a disease that has claimed so many lives. How much will she be willing to sacrifice in the name of the cure?   


UPRISING 
(A Collide Novel, Book 2) by SHELLY CRANE 
Sherry and Merrick come face to face with old friends and new enemies in this sequel to Collide. When a little girl is found, things change for everyone and loyalties will be tested. New romances, drama and rivalries may upset the delicate balance they established while transformations on both sides of good and evil will arise as the series continues.   


ARCADIA’S GIFT 
(Arcadia Series, Book 1) by JESI LEA RYAN 
When teenager Arcadia Day wakes in a hospital after what can only be described as a psychic episode, she finds her family in tatters. As her home life crumbles and her emotional control slips away, she begins to suspect that her first psychic experience was just the beginning.   


BIRTH 
(Allie’s War, Early Years) by J.C. ANDRIJESKI
High in mountain caves, surrounded by kind-hearted monks, the shadow of the Rooks hangs over Revik’s head, a constant reminder of the dark warrior he used to be. When strange, militant Seers appear, asking for his help, his first impulse is to say no...until he learns it is Kali who needs saving… the one person he cannot refuse.    


WICKEDEST WITCH 
by EVE LANGLAIS 
Evangeline is not a very nice witch, and she’s not afraid to show it. She lands a job where she is forced to work with a rude, cocky and totally unsuitable shifter. Despite it all, she can’t help craving his touch. When Ryker is partnered with the witch, he does everything he can to fight her allure. And fails. Vampires, a wedding from hell, and a cackling boss make this an action packed and humorous romance to remember.  


ABOUT THE AUTHORS


SHANNON MAYER

Shannon Mayer lives in the southwestern tip of Canada with her husband, dog, cats, horse, and cows. When not writing she spends her time staring at immense amounts of rain, herding old people (similar to herding cats) and attempting to stay out of trouble. Especially that last is difficult for her. She is the author of the The Rylee Adamson Novels, The Nevermore Trilogy, A Celtic Legacy series and several contemporary romances. Please visit her website at http://www.shannonmayer.com for more information on her novels. 

AUTHOR LINKS
Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/CNe8T 



ADDISON MOORE

Addison Moore is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author who writes contemporary and paranormal romance. Her work has been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine. Previously she worked as a therapist on a locked psychiatric unit for nearly a decade. She resides on the West Coast with her husband, four wonderful children, and two dogs where she eats too much chocolate and stays up way too late. When she's not writing, she's reading. Addison’s Celestra Series has been optioned for film by 20th Century Fox. 

AUTHOR LINKS



DENISE GROVER SWANK

 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City, Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to perform many unspeakable tasks. She has six children and hasn't lost her sanity. Or so she leads you to believe. You can find out more about Denise at www.denisegroverswank.com or email her at DeniseGroverSwank@gmail.com. 

AUTHOR LINKS
Newsletter Sign Up: http://eepurl.com/j9OQj 


AMY A BARTOL

Amy A. Bartol is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Premonition Series, which includes: Inescapable, Intuition, Indebted, Incendiary and Iniquity. She has also written the Kricket Series, which includes: Under Different Stars, Sea of Stars, and Darken the Stars. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two sons. Visit her at her website: http://www.amyabartol.com 

AUTHOR LINKS



STEPHANIE ERICKSON

Stephanie Erickson has always had a passion for the written word. She pursued her love of literature at Flagler College, in St. Augustine, FL, where she graduated with a BA in English Literature. She has received several honors in her writing career, including recognition in the 72nd Annual Writer's Digest Competition. After graduation, she married and followed her husband in pursuit of his dream. The Cure and The Blackout were written to reignite Stephanie's passion, when she found the time. Now that he is settled in his career, it's her turn to devote more time and energy into writing. Unseen, released in November, is her first book since she started writing full time. Stephanie has three projects planned for 2015. Her next release is well underway and is slated for a March, 2015 publication date, with the sequel to Unseen—Unforgiven—slated for release in July. Stephanie, of course, loves to read and write. She also enjoys living on the beach on Florida's Treasure Coast. Most of all, she and her husband are head over heels in love with their baby girl. 

AUTHOR LINKS



SHELLY CRANE

Shelly is a NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author from a small town in Georgia and loves everything about the south. She is wife to a fantastical husband and stay-at-home mom to two boisterous and mischievous boys who keep her on her toes. She hoards paperbacks, devours sweet tea, searches year-round for candy corn, and loves to spend time with her family and friends, go out to eat at new restaurants, site-see in the new areas they travel to, listen to music, and, of course, loves to read, but doesn’t have much time to these days with all the characters filling her head begging to come out. Her own books happen by accident and she revels in the writing and imagination process. She doesn't go anywhere without her notepad for fear of an idea creeping up and not being able to write it down immediately, even in the middle of the night, where her best ideas are born. 

AUTHOR LINKS



JESI LEA RYAN

Jesi Lea Ryan grew up in the Mississippi River town of Dubuque, IA. She holds bachelor degrees in creative writing and literature and a masters degree in business. She considers herself a well-rounded nerd who can spend hours on the internet researching things like British history, anthropology of ancient people, geography of random parts of the world, bad tattoos and the paranormal. She currently lives in Madison, WI with her husband and two exceptionally naughty kitties. 

AUTHOR LINKS



JC ANDRIJESKI

JC Andrijeski writes urban fantasy, dystopian and paranormal romance. Current works include the gritty, epic, urban fantasy series, Allie’s War, which follows Allie Taylor and her antihero partner, Revik, in their attempts to save the world from a dark, psychic force bent on controlling Earth. She also has a new adult dystopian series, Alien Apocalypse about Jet Tetsuo, survivor and slave under alien conquerors, and the Gate Shifter series, about a shape-shifting alien and a tough-girl PI. She also writes crime fiction, children’s and some literary under different names, although her first love will always be of the supernatural, especially when it involves kick-ass superpowers and people fighting for the light and against their own inner demons. JC currently lives and writes full time in Bangkok, Thailand, although she tends to get itchy feet on a fairly regular basis, so can’t quite commit to that as a final resting place... 

AUTHOR LINKS
Newsletter sign up link: http://tinyurl.com/JCAndrijeski 




EVE LANGLAIS

Hello, my name is Eve and I am a Canadian author who pens steamy romance--usually with shapeshifters, cyborgs or aliens lol. I love to write, and while I don't always know what my mind is going to come up with next, I can promise it will be fun, probably humorous, and most of all romantic because I love a happily ever after. I look forward to seeing you again, whether online or between the pages of a book.  

AUTHOR LINKS


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Saturday, 20 December 2014

M. JONATHAN LEE CHATS ABOUT HIS LATEST BOOK - THE PAGE


What's The Page about?
The Page is a story of a man holidaying alone for the first time. On his first day he is by the pool, when the wind strips a book of its pages and one sticks to his chest. To his horror, he realises the text on the page describes the exact events leading up to the death of his wife. The book becomes a race between the lead character finding the book before his family find out the truth.

Sounds intriguing, what gave you that idea?
Amazingly, the exact same thing happened to me when on holiday in Vegas. An old book was stripped from across the pool, scattering in all directions. There were pages covering the surface of the pool and one stuck to me. I read it and found it was some Mills and Boon romance book. It got me thinking though and soon The Page began to form in my mind.

Your first novel, The Radio was nationally shortlisted, how difficult was it writing the follow up?
The Radio was a story that had formed in my mind over many years and took four to write. Sitting down to write The Page was unusual because there was that extra pressure to deliver again and this time more quickly. I wrote The Page over twelve months but the final few months really affected me.

In what way?
The Radio had a huge twist and so does The Page. I wanted to go one step further with The Page and overtly give away the ending throughout. Therefore I designed fifteen clues to give the ending to the reader on a plate without them even knowing it. Towards the end and certainly in editing, I began to suffer from sleepless nights and a huge crisis of confidence in relation to that and whether I was going too far with the project.

How do you feel now?
I am as pleased as any author could be with their work. Clues remain throughout however and there will be a huge competition where I intend to give away royalties for the first reader to pick them all out.

What's next?
I want a break from "The The" trilogy. The two books may seem quite unrelated but there is a dual story being weaved through them. My next novel “A Tiny Feeling Of Fear orThe Two Sides of One.” is totally unrelated. The only similarity is another twist.  I am also very excited about the future of The Radio as we are currently negotiating film rights. Watch this space!

REVIEW - ZOMBIES DON'T CARVE BY RUSTY FISCHER

Title: Zombies Don't Carve
Author: Rusty Fischer
Release Date: 12th January 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
Guess who's coming to Christmas dinner? ZOMBIES!!!! 

April Kersey has finally decided to introduce her new boyfriend, Echo, to her family. On Christmas Eve. At the big family dinner table, with everyone dressed in their finest ugly Christmas sweater. As if that wasn’t bad enough, did I mention… he’s a zombie? 

Echo’s status as one of the living dead doesn’t sit too well with April’s Dad. That is, until an all-out zombie infestation begins making its way toward the Kersey’s holiday celebration. When Echo rises to defend his adopted family from the zombie horde, the Kerseys join in to make it a holiday they’ll never forget. 

That is, if they survive… 


PURCHASE LINKS

INITIAL THOUGHTS
I'll be totally honest this authors books along with Daniel Waters books that introduced me to zombie fiction, so I do enjoy Rusty Fischer's book, hence I was looking forward to a good quality quick read.

MY REVIEW
I downloaded this one from Amazon UK for just 77p. I made a conscious decision this year to try and read more Christmas themed books. The cover split into two halves. The top half shows us what  I would say is April Kersey's home, the one she has invited her "living dead" boyfriend Echo to dinner at.  The bottom half of the cover shows the lover half of the body of Echo brandishing a hedge trimmer. The cover is also spattered with blood. (Yuck, but a good yuck lol) Would the cover make me pick this one up in a book store? Yes, having "Zombie" in the title would pique my interest, and then the fact Rusty is the author would make me take it to the till to buy!
So I should start by saying this one is a novella. The main gist of the story is that April has decided to take the rather large and possibly awkward step of taking her "living dead" boyfriend to dinner with her family who have yet to meet him. Her father is definitely "zombiest" ie. rather against his daughter dating a zombie/living dead. During the dinner, April's mother, Trudy tries really hard perhaps overly so to make Echo feel welcome. To one point within the meal, Trudy asks for a taste of Echo's brain paté. Roger Kersey admonishes his wife and they are about to go into an argument when the TV programme is interrupted to announce that zombies have broken through the borders. The broadcast suggest people should head to their "safe rooms" and wait out the zombie attack. However not all the family go in the safe room. I won't say which one is the only one to go into the safe room to hide. I also don't want to say much more or I will give spoilers.
The novella is amusing in that we discover that both Echo & April regularly fight the zombies quite fearlessly, yet are scared about the Kersey family reaction to the fact that April and Echo are having a relationship. The character of Zack is funny as he asks all those awkward questions without a shred of embarrassment that his parents, Trudy and Roger probably want to know the answers to. 
Did I enjoy the novella? Yes it was a quick, easy read. Would I recommend the novella? If you want a quick novella yes.  Would I want to read more about Echo & April & the rest of the Kersey family?  I would yes, I want more adventures from Echo & April. I would also like to learn more about the other Kersey's. I think Zack would be great and you can really imagining him fighting off the rogue zombies.  Would I want to read other titles by Rusty Fischer? I already have read some other titles by Rusty Fischer, but do intend to read more.