Wednesday, 22 October 2014

BLOG TOUR - DARK GENESIS - DARKLING TRILOGY BY A.D. KOBOAH

Title: Dark Genesis
Series: The Darkling Trilogy
Author: A. D. Koboah
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Twenty Four Publishing
Cover Artist: www.idobookcovers.com

BLURB supplied by Bewitching Blog Tours

Life for a female slave is one of hardship and unspeakable sorrow, something Luna knows only too well. But not even she could have foreseen the terror that would befall her one sultry Mississippi evening in the summer of 1807.

On her way back from a visit to see the African woman, a witch who has the herbs Luna needs to rid her of her abusive master’s child, she attracts the attention of a deadly being that lusts for blood. Forcibly removed from everything she knows by this tormented otherworldly creature, she is sure she will be dead by sunrise.

Dark Genesis is a love story set against the savage world of slavery in which a young woman who has been dehumanized by its horrors finds the courage to love, and in doing so, reclaims her humanity.


PURCHASE LINKS
Amazon       Smashwords        Kobo        Itunes


EXCERPT

There were rare moments when the full horror of a female slave’s life fell on me and I felt that now when I glanced up at the woods and the path I would take back to the house. An all-encompassing despair rocked me from head to toe. I didn’t want to go back to a life of bondage. I didn’t want to go back to my quarters and drink the evil concoction which would hunt down and kill the innocent in my womb. I didn’t want to go back to a life where I saw evil practiced with ease and nonchalance, a life in which evens my body was not mine to own.
Master John had been away for the past week but when I got back to my cabin tonight and fell asleep, would I find myself jolted awake by him, his form looming over me in the pale light of the moon streaming through the open window, his male tool already awake and straining against the cotton of his trousers?
The mere thought caused me to double over with my arms wrapped around my waist, my face close to the water and the rocks beneath its surface.
The cause of most of my problems lay in the face that was almost lost in the watery surface now that the light was gone. I reached my hand into the stream and pulled out a large black rock. It looked as if it had split in two and the split end was as sharp as the blade of a knife. I held that rock up above my face and thought about Mama Akosua being brought to a strange land against her will at the age of fifteen. I thought about how lost and frightened she must have felt being so far from everything she knew and loved, and the strength and fearlessness she displayed when she took a blade to her own face and cut those marks into her skin. In doing so, she had honored and held onto the customs of her people, people she would never see again. Those scars that I had previously been repulsed by and seen as part of the savage ways of her past, had given her strength. They had been a way to take ownership of at least one part of her body and keep it forever hers.
I would do the same thing. I would take control of at least one aspect of my life and destroy the face that drew men like Master John to me like predators to the scent of fresh blood. I would use this rock to take away the pleasure he found in looking at this face and keep him out of my bed forever.
I brought the sharpest point of the rock down to rest in the middle of my forehead and closed my eyes. I began to apply pressure until I felt it break the skin, a point no bigger than the tip of my fingernail, and felt a warm release of blood. Strangely, I felt no pain, only exhilaration that I could finally do something to stop the terror inflicted on me by my Master.
I was about to bring the rock down my forehead, across my nose and down my cheek, when something, some force, stayed my hand. All at once I grew cold and it felt as if the air around my wrist was alive and humming softly in tune to some sinister beat, making goose bumps spring up along my forearm.
I pushed down with all my might but miraculously this force increased and when I felt my hand begin to move away from my face, I opened my eyes.
I was still facing the woods and for a moment I thought I saw something amongst the trees, a sliver of something that was an almost translucent white. At the same moment I experienced a wave of dizziness that made me feel as if my mind and body had turned to water. I quickly shut my eyes but the dizziness increased and I felt myself swaying, my thoughts and emotions a confusing melee, and I heard a voice in my head. Or was it my own voice?
That will not stop him, it said.
My eyes snapped open when I heard a sharp crack to my right. I whirled around to trace the sound, a sharp streak of fear leaping and twisting within me. It was only when I noticed that my hand was now empty and clenched into a fist that I realized that what I had heard was the sound of the rock I had just been holding hitting one of the trees on my right. The distance to that tree was a good seven or eight meters away. Had I really thrown it that far?
I got to my feet uneasily, knowing that I needed to get away from the chapel immediately. Something was very wrong here. The light was nearly gone now and there was something here with me. I could feel it now, an immense power unfolding and drawing strength as the last of the light seeped out of the sky.
Terror beat furiously within me, radiating to my very core. Mama Akosua had been right. I shouldn’t have come here. I was in danger, I...
Intoxicating dizziness washed over me again and although I tried to fight against its pull it drew me in, causing me to close my eyes and sway in time to its suffocating rhythm...
And then I was standing at the kitchen door of the main house, having walked through the woods from the chapel and back to the house with no memory of the journey.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


I am the author of The Darkling Trilogy, an unconventional and epic love story between a vampire and a slave girl. The trilogy was inspired by my thoughts on dehumanization.

I was fascinated by the ways in which people are able to dehumanize others, the impact it has on the psyche and whether it is possible for people to find their way back from being dehumanized.

This led me to a slave called Luna and the ruins of a haunted chapel deep in the heart of Mississippi.



AUTHOR INTERVIEW

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is A. D. Koboah. I was born in London, but spent the first few years of my life in Ghana, West Africa, before I moved back to London. This is where I have lived ever since.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I wanted to be an Air Hostess at one point as I love air travel. I love the atmosphere in airports and being on planes. In one of my English lessons at Secondary school we had to write about what we wanted to be and I put that I wanted to be an Air Hostess. My English teacher was so mortified she actually took the time out to sit me down and try and talk me out of becoming an Air Hostess. It is so nice to know that even then she knew I had talent as a writer and believed in my talent enough to do what she did.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
Romancing the Stone is one of my favourite films. I especially love it because the main character is a writer and I used to watch it and imagine myself living her life as an author. I watched that film again shortly after I published my second novel and that’s when it hit me that I was actually living my dream. That was when I began to call myself a writer.

Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
Dark Genesis was so easy to write. The setting and the characters came to me so vividly and easily and the plot just flowed from pen and onto paper as if the book was writing itself. The last book in The Darkling Trilogy, on the other hand, has been sheer hell to write and I’ve had to change the focus of the novel a few times. It is the last book in the series so I have to ensure it is a fitting end to the trilogy.

Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
Dark Genesis as it seemed to write itself.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes, I do. I really appreciate every single review I get—even the negative ones. Reviews make writing so enjoyable and there is nothing better than reading a review and it’s obvious the reader gets exactly what you were trying to achieve.

What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
The best reviews are the ones in which people say they’ve stayed up until the early hours reading because they could not put my book down. I get so excited when I read reviews like that because it’s the kind of thing I’ve done—and still do—when I get so engrossed in a novel that I just have to read one more chapter, and then another, and then another... And you get my point:-)
The worst reviews are the ones which don’t give an explanation as to why they didn’t like the novel as bad reviews help you learn what your weaknesses are and how to improve as a writer.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
Never. I appreciate all my reviews and they help me to know what I’m doing right, but also what I’m getting wrong so I can hopefully improve as a writer. Some reviews have also helped me iron out a few things whilst working on the other books in The Darkling trilogy. For example when I started the trilogy, I intended for it to go in a completely different direction and when I introduced Julia, the horse, I intended for her to feature a great deal in the sequel to Dark Genesis. When I made the decision that the series would be three books instead of two, the plot I had for the horse kind of fizzled out. One of my reviewers, who gave the novel 3 stars, picked up on the fact that it appeared as if the horse was going to be a bigger part of the novel when it was introduced, but then nothing came of it. This made me think about a way to resurrect the original plot I had in mind for the horse and I have found a way to do so—I just hope my readers like it.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
I find titles quite difficult and I usually come up with the title of a novel whilst working on it. I had another title in mind for Dark Genesis but had to change it as there was another vampire novel out there with that title. The male lead of that other novel also had the same name I had originally given Avery. So I had to change the title and find a new name for Avery. But I am actually quite happy about that as Avery is a much better name than the one I originally gave him.
Simon from www.Idobookcovers.com designs the cover of my books. I knew I had to work with Simon when I found out his surname is Avery. I saw it as a sign that he was the right cover artist for me, and I’m sure you’ll agree he has done a fantastic job.

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
No morals or hidden messages, although dehumanisation is a subject I explored whilst writing this novel—the ways in which people dehumanise others and whether or not it is possible for people to come back from being dehumanised. I believe some people are able to come back from dehumanising experiences, unfortunately others are not. This subject matter is explored in the novel in different ways.

Did you have a favourite author as a child?
Yes, Margaret Mahy. I first read The Changeover in school and I still re-read it from time to time.

Where can readers follow you?

Your website ?
www.adkoboah.com

Your facebook page?
https://www.facebook.com/pages/AD-Koboah/172747466249709

Your Goodreads author page?
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5807160.A_D_Koboah?from_search=true

Your Twitter details?
www.twitter.com/adkoboah

And any other information you wish to supply?
Only that Dark Genesis is absolutely FREE to download



Tuesday, 21 October 2014

BLOG TOUR - FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS BY DANIELLE ELLISON

Title: Follow Through Darkness
Series: Boundless Trilogy
Author: Danielle Ellison
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: 21st October 2014

BLURB supplied by publisher
The truth won't always set you free.
Less than a year ago, Neely Ambrose’s biggest worry was having the freedom to follow a path that wasn't chosen for her.
Less than a year ago, she believed she could trust the Elders who said they had everyone’s best interest at heart and who said they were keeping them safe from the outside.
Sixty days ago, she discovered what they had planned for everyone she loved—and that all of it centered around her.
Now she’s on the run through a dangerous wasteland full of killing machines, secret organizations, and people who want to sell her back to the Elders for their own safety. The whole world outside the Compound is living proof that everything in Neely’s life was a lie manufactured by the Elders, which may even include the boy she loves.
All Neely wants is the truth, but each new piece of it drives her further from what she thought she knew. With only forty days until everyone she loves falls under the Elders’ mind control, Neely must decipher who to trust, what questions to ask, and how to get one step ahead of the Elders, who will do anything to keep their secrets buried.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Danielle Ellison spent of her childhood reading instead of learning math. It's probably the reason she can't divide without a calculator and has spent her life seeking the next  adventure. It's also probably the reason she's had so many different zip codes and jobs.
When she’s not writing, Danielle is usually drinking coffee, fighting her nomadic urges, watching too much TV, or dreaming of the day when she can be British. Danielle is also the author of SALT and STORM, a series about a snarky witch without magic. She has settled in Northern Virginia, for now, but you can always find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites.

AUTHOR LINKS
Author Website / Twitter / Facebook / Amazon / B&N / Goodreads



GUEST POST

Building this dystopian world

There’s not an easy method to building a world. I worked on FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS for four years from conception to release, and the world was something we were constantly tweaking. I had the added challenge of building two worlds within one book: the world of the Compound that my main character, Neely, lives in and the world outside, the Old World. Even in that the Old World has various locations, traditions, ways of working (much like our country has southernisms and northernisms, etc.) so I also had to figure out what each of these felt and looked like, and the kind of people who lived there. Plus I had to determine the whole history of the United States, since this book is centuries from our time.

When I first started writing this book, I didn’t know any of those things. I had to figure them out, and to do that I started with the Compound. I knew the place had to be structured, very controlled, simple and Puritan-esque and almost predictable in order for it to be a place that Neely wanted out of. I made a list of rules that I knew would be present in the Compound, and then I just started writing. As it developed, the Compound became a place that felt very good on the outside. No problems, no questions, no disruptions—but all of that is obviously very suspicious. So I used it as a jumping off point and just went. That’s really where I started to find the rest of the story, the challenge, the reason people were hunting Neely. The whole story was born when I figured out what this world she was running away from was like—and then, through the revisions and editing process, all of these things became more layered and more developed.

Once I had the world she left figured out, I had to determine what the Old World, the world beyond hers, was like. With centuries of decay, of Cleaners prowling the world for humans, of nature just doing what it does—I knew the world had to feel lost and old. Very dark, considering the nature of how the it all ended, and dangerous. Initially, Neely was just thrown right into it, but through editing and revisions, I started to realize that there would be different types of people living in different regions. They’d have to adjust to live wherever they were, and it wouldn’t all be same. I did, however, want each area of life to have an underground bunker and lifestyle, considering that to live above with the Cleaners, completely in the open with no safe place, would be really dangerous for them.

One of area in the Old World is the Burrows. The people of the Burrows have taken up residence in old subway tunnels—which in my world stretch longer distances than just in major cities. The people here are dirtier, darker, and more bitter. They never go above, ever, and stay alive because of the Mavericks bring supplies and because they’ve learned to live in the darkness.

Meanwhile, above, each location of survivors operate a different way.  One of them, for example, lives mostly above ground because they got comfortable there, but they also have the underground zones. Another has built their camp into the crevasses of the mountains. As the series goes on, you’ll see more and more of these regions and varying methods of survival. You’ll really get to see and experience those areas and the differences between the people who live in them.

The last aspect of the world building is the history—the Preservation and the Elders, what happened to the Old World, and why the Compounds were built. I won’t go into all of that (you have to read the book!) but I do want to say that I had to really map out the entire history of everything and everyone in the story. I have a Boundless Bible (that’s what we call it) that details every aspect of the world. My favorite detail in the history is the Raven’s Flesh. To think that the U.S. was taken out by a simple disease that started with the birds is creepy because it very much feels like something we could experience today. The birds eat a disease-infested mouse, the birds die, the people get sick from eating the birds, the people die. I didn’t know that history until I wrote it, but it adds this whole other element to the world for me.

The one thing I love about this series is that there are so many different worlds within this one world. It makes it very difficult to write, but I also think it adds more realness to the place Neely lives, the places she goes, and the things she gets to experience. 

GIVEAWAY



Monday, 20 October 2014

BOOK BLITZ - THE BEGINNING IS THE END - RESET BY CARA DAVIS

Title: The beginning is the end
Author: Cara Davis
Series: Reset #1
Release date: October 20th 2014
Publisher: Big Moon Press
Purchase: Amazon 

BLURB from Goodreads:
Jack Sunshine’s life is chaos. She’s seventeen and the head of her household following the death of her mother and the disappearance of her stepfather. Having to balance work and home at her age gets further complicated with her forays into dating. And to top it all off, the dead are returning to life. 

Jack now has the added responsibility of ensuring her family and friends are safe and sound during this outbreak. It’s almost doable until the tiny enigma of a girl named O comes along. It becomes a question of whether the sick will kill them or they’ll kill each other.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cara Davis is a weirdo. She has lots of partially-written stories that one day will become actual stories. A northern-born southerner, she has the most eclectic tastes you can imagine. Most of her writing is within the paranormal realm, but occasionally she dabbles in fantasy, sci-fi, and contemporary. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Memphis that’s going unused.


EXCERPT


Frances Hopkins, who lived across the street from the DeCoudreauxes, stood in the doorway of the library with heaving shoulders and some kind of internalized grudge against every one of us. Her low growl reverberated, and none of us moved a millimeter as we debated the next move. Frances seemed to be calculating her next move as well, and I couldn’t help but hear Old West showdown music in my head.
“Shoot. Her.” Alexandria gritted her teeth.
“She isn’t doing anything,” Miles argued.
“Let’s just try and skirt past her,” I suggested. It couldn’t have been too difficult; she wasn’t taking up too much room in the rather large doorway.
An argument from Alexandria later and we found ourselves trying to walk past Frances without alerting her. Since it was my idea, Alexandria insisted I go first. I took Lucy’s hand and held her close to me, starting to side-step Frances while holding my breath. I covered Lucy’s eyes with one hand, her mouth with the other; she was starting to cry, and I didn’t want her to get too loud.
I tried to think of everything I possibly could aside from the situation right in front of me. It would only take about five seconds to get past her, I knew, but they would be appallingly long seconds. My grip on Lucy tightened once we found ourselves inches from Frances. I scooted as quickly as I could and was relieved that we made it out into the hallway without incident.
Summer, O and the others followed suit, each without incident, until only Alexandria remained inside the library. She locked eyes with me and I contemplated leaving her behind, given how rude she’d been to Aylen. Instead, I gave her my most reassuring smile and nod, gesturing for her to join us. Miles whispered a few words of encouragement as well, and after a few false starts, Alexandria made her move to shimmy past Frances.
She hugged the wall, her back to Frances and eyes shut tightly. Her spiked heels made the faintest scritching sounds as she shuffled. My sigh of relief at all of us passing by Frances unharmed was interrupted, as Frances whipped around with alarming speed to once again grab hold of Alexandria’s hair.
Before any of us could get close enough, Alexandria was heels over head and slammed against the ground, Frances on top of her and shredding her clothes. There was no way Miles could’ve gotten in a clear shot, both women’s limbs intertwining as Alexandria tried to fight her way out. Miles screamed to me, gesturing for me to kick while he aimed. I looked back to Frances and hesitated before steeling myself and slamming my foot as hard as I could into her face.




PLAYLIST

Gossip – Heavy Cross 
Nine Inch Nails – The Great Destroyer (Modwheelmood Remix) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRjOM59pduQ
Deftones – Diamond Eyes 
Northern Kings – Creep 
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll 
miss A – Touch 

BOOK BLITZ
Organised by 
Itching For Books

Sunday, 19 October 2014

BOOK & AUTHOR PROMOTION - ZOMBIES IN LOVE BY NORA FLEISCHER

Title: Zombies In Love
Author: Nora Fleischer
Release Date: 22nd September 2014

BLURB supplied by author
Jack Kershaw just wants to hold on to his new job at Lisa Alioto's pizza parlor, and to keep Lisa from finding out that he's a zombie. But Jack learns that he and Lisa are in serious danger. His second chance at life is the inadvertent result of a lab experiment by two graduate students, and Winthrop University-- a school which knows how to keep its secrets-- will do anything necessary to conceal that someone on campus raised the dead. With the help of Boston's zombie horde, can Jack and Lisa escape Winthrop's sinister clutches? 

Nora Fleischer has a PhD from Winthrop University, and promises every word of this story is true. She lives in Minneapolis with her lovable husband Sven and children Wolfgang and Anastasia!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Nora Fleischer, I was born near Boston in the USA, and I live in Minneapolis, MN. 

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
Ever since I was a little girl!

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I also write history, and I have another job in publishing.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
This book is self-published.



THIS OR THAT?

Paperback or E-book?
Paperbacks for the big books, e-books for the fast reads!  Also, paperbacks in the bath.

Read a book once/Re read books more than once?
Depends on the book!  If I really like a book, I tend to revisit it many times.

Books or Movies?
I love them both!  Movies show action better, I think, and books are best for really complicated plots.

Action, Drama, Mystery, Romance?
All of the above!  I hate a tragic ending, though.

Morning or Evening?
I’m an evening person made into a morning person b y my children, especially by my daughter, who we call “Early Girl.”

Early Nights or Late Nights?
See above!

Optimist or Pessimist?
Optimist!  I’ve been a very lucky person.

Coffee ot Tea?
Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon, herbal tea in the evening.  But I’m such a tea geek that I actually subscribe to Tea Time Magazine!

Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter?
I love Autumn, because I love a nice run on a cool day.

Dark Chocalate, Milk Chocolate or White Chocolate?
All the chocolate, but especially milk chocolate.

Mild Cheeses, Medium Cheeses or Strong Cheeses?
Strong cheese!  I like a terrifying cheese, a good cheese with character, one that looks like it might ooze off if you look at it funny.  With plain table water crackers.

Flat Heeled Shoes, Medium Heeled Shoes or High Heeled Shoes?
Flats.  I believe in babying my feet!

Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes or Green Eyes?
Green!

Long Hair or Short Hair?
Medium.  I don’t have the patience for long, and my head is too small for short. 

Bitten Nails, Natural Nails, or Nail Enhancements (ie false nails) ?
Natural.  I played flute as a kid and never got out of the habit of short nails.

Wine, Beer, Soft Drink?
Beer is my favorite, especially with the right dinner

Saturday, 18 October 2014

BOOK PROMOTION - THE STONE GATE BY MARK MANN

Title: The Stone Gate
Author: Mark Mann
Release Date: 8th August 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
A strange rock in the forest. A mysterious crystal. A full moon. An ancient secret. How do you find your way home when you've never left?

Twins Jack and Kaya live in a small seaside town in Australia. When they see a dazzling white light shining from a giant rock in the forest near their home, it takes them on an adventure to a place both familiar and yet like nowhere they know. But where exactly are they? And can they find their way back in time?

The Stone Gate is an exciting and fast-paced action adventure that brings climate change / global warming vividly to life for young adult readers.




Friday, 17 October 2014

BOOK & AUTHOR PROMOTION - MERCENARIES SERIES BY BRIAN LIBBY

Leaving the Institute for the Homeless, Andiriel longs for excitement. Befriended by a knight of the illustrious Sovereign Order, she enters the Order's auxiliary services and finds herself on a strange mission leading to a challenging future in a job she hardly expects.

GOLD AND GLORY The second volume of the Mercenaries series After a long winter of training and reorganization, the Pelicans Mercenary Regiment marches out of obscure Ironport to look for a contract, its inexperienced commander wondering if she is up to the job for which she was so unexpectedly chosen. There is indeed work available for sharp halberds and accurate bows, and not just locally, as the slowly-approaching storm takes more definite shape. 

The third volume in the Mercenaries series The storm arrives: the Calamian Islands are invaded by powerful forces of an alien civilization abetted by suborned mercenaries. The Pelicans Mercenary Regiment, part of the outnumbered troops available to resist the onslaught, must try to stem the tide until the New Empire can intervene-if, indeed, the Empire itself is not overrun. 

REST OF THE SERIES

The Free Lands
And Gladly Teach
Miscellanea/Hodgepodge

AUTHOR INTERVIEW


What is your name, where were you born, and where do you live now?
I’m Brian Libby, born in Maine but living and teaching in southern Minnesota for several decades. I’m 65.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be?
I have always enjoyed writing but I did not consider writing as a career.  My love of the past impelled me to earn a doctorate in History and to teach it for a living. My main fields are European military and diplomatic history and modern Germany.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
Yes, and you can read the whole long and somewhat depressing story on my blog (“A Cautionary Tale,” May 2012). (I ended by self-publishing after my agent did not sell the book.)

Do you work at another job?
I have taught European history at a prep school for over thirty-five years, but I have been part-time since 2000.

What is the name of your latest book? please summarize it in less than twenty words?
Hodgepodge, just 110 pages, is a collection of humorous and satirical essays on many topics, including education and films.

What can we expect in the future?
Although I would like to add two more volumes to the Mercenaries series, I am going to concentrate on marketing for a while. I will probably add essays to my blog, though.

What genre are your books in?
The Mercenary series—four books—is military adventure fantasy set in a late Medieval world. And Gladly Teach and Hodgepodge are humor/satire.

Do you read all the reviews?
Oh yes. There aren’t many—one of the chief problems with self-published works is getting them reviewed. The ones that have appeared have been encouraging.

What was the toughest/best review?
The Writer’s Digest self-published contest judge said of Storm Approaching, “I’m surprised this didn’t find an outlet at a larger house”. A Library Thing reviewer said of And Gladly Teach, “There were times I burst out laughing uncontrollably in the doctor’s waiting room or at the laundromat”. One reader told me he wanted to marry Andiriel, the main character in the Mercenaries series.

How do you come up with the titles and  cover designs? Who designed the covers?
One of the few advantages of self-publishing is that you get the title and cover you want. Titles suggest themselves from the contents. I decided on a heraldic theme for the Mercenaries covers because I think heraldry has a universal appeal and I did not want any people on the covers for fear it would fix in readers’ minds the appearance of characters whom readers should form a mental image of.  I designed my covers and paid artists to draw them.

Do you basic plot/plan… or do you let the writing flow?
Definitely the latter. When I started Storm Approaching I had exactly two characters ready. All the rest appeared and developed—or faded away—on their own. Meeting them has been very enjoyable. Of course, I do have an overall plot line in mind.

How do you market/promote your books?
I am still working on finding an effective way to do this. Online reviewers help; Facebook helps; word of mouth should help. My ‘marketing budget’ is small.

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
Although I take writing very seriously it qualifies as a relaxing hobby for me. I enjoy classical music, films, some computer games, and of course reading.

Are there any hidden messages or morals in your books?
An anecdote about my favorite composer goes this way:  After a performance of Messiah, a nobleman praised the oratorio and called it “a splendid entertainment”. Handel replied, “I should be sorry if I only entertained them, my lord. I wished to make them better.”
I try to keep this in mind when I write—not in any overtly didactic or preachy way, but as a general intention. It is a good theory of art.

Which format of books do you prefer?
I prefer print, although electronic books are increasingly important. I find print preferable both in convenience  and for tactile reasons. (I write most of my stuff with a pen before I type it up.)

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Write! When you have a project, do something almost every day. Do not dawdle, do not make excuses, do not complain of ‘writer’s block’. Write. (And get started young, because it may take a long time to find a publisher. See the third question question above.)


Please drop in at my blog: http://andiriel.blogspot.com  

Thursday, 16 October 2014

BOOK PROMOTION - BAIT BY COURTNEY FARRELL

Title: Bait
Author: Courtney Farrell
Release Date: 17th June 2014

BLURB supplied by the author

When rival gangs discover that their little band has one of the last surviving girls, Jackie must make a decision. Will she give herself up to save her crew, or take off alone through the streets?


PURCHASE LINKS

MY COVER COMMENTS
I like the look of this cover. I presume the female on the cover is the main character Jackie, and the cover gives you the impression she is all alone at night in a desolate landscape. So the cover does fit with genre of the book to. So would the cover of the book make me pick this one up? Yes, definitely, I would certainly want to know more about the book. Then upon reading the blurb the book would make its way into my shopping trolley! I am looking forward to reading this one, having read Enhanced I have high expectations for a great plot. In my opinion this cover fits the book genre perfectly. It really draws you in to the book to see the desolate landscape along with the female on the cover.



AUTHOR INTERVIEW


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
Hi, I'm Courtney Farrell. I was born in Denver, and now I live in the mountains near Woodland Park, CO.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I always knew I'd write, but I didn't have much confidence when I was young. So I got a science degree instead, and circled back to writing in middle age.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I published an 800-word parenting article in Big Apple Parent and got paid fifty bucks. It was the first money I ever made writing, and I was thrilled.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
Yes, mainly because it took a long time to write it. I'm a perfectionist, and I'll go over and over something far longer than necessary.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I'm starting a juice company, which is a huge learning curve, since I never studied business.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
BAIT. A sentient disease targets women. Survivors are worth a fortune. One girl is still free.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
My first sixteen books were traditionally published, with ABDO Publishing, Rourke, Cherry Lake, and Crescent Moon Press.  Now I'm going Indie. It's fun to have control over my own covers, promos, and prices!

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Some I finish in weeks. Others take a year or more. Depends on the idea.

Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
Novels are harder for me than my nonfiction books.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I'm writing two series simultaneously. The 'Enhanced' series is about genetically engineered teens in a eugenics program, where doctors breed the best and kill the rest. The second book in that series, 'Sacrificed' just launched with Crescent Moon Press. My 'Bait' series, about the sentient disease, is my first Indie title.

What genre would you place your books into?
Dystopian sci-fi/romance

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I know it sounds funny, but didn't really mean to! I got the story idea, wrote it, and then looked to see what genre it fit into. I couldn't help it, I was a beginner.

Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
BAIT is my favorite, hands down. The best thing I've ever written.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I do read my reviews. They tend to be quite positive, and that makes me feel good. Nothing makes me happier than hearing from my readers.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I'm typically a "pantser," making it up as I go along. But I've gotten in trouble doing that, and had to throw out whole chapters that didn't fit. So I'm trying to reform. I actually outlined the sequel to Bait. That book is tentatively titled BIANCA, after the sentient disease who stalks Jackie, our main character.

How do you market/promote your books?
I love doing blog tours, and I attend five or six conventions a year. In October, I've got Author Reader Con in Phoenix, and MileHiCon in Denver.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
I had it once, and sat for eight hours staring at an empty page. I felt like my subconscious was trying to make me go play, and I refused. It never tried that again! :)

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Oh, yes. If those people ever read my books, they'd recognize themselves in my villains. And my handsome grown sons occasionally appear as heroes, too. The names are changed to protect the guilty. LOL

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Enhanced is certainly a cautionary tale about technology running amok. And the sequel, Sacrificed, forces the characters to choose between their own kind, who are bred for perfection, and some exploited Normals.

Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
Look for Robin in the Hood (Robbin' Hearts Series Book 1) by Diane J. Reed.  I  stayed up all night because I couldn't put it down.  And Death Lies between Us is a fabulous paranormal romance by Jody A. Kessler.

Where can readers follow you?


THIS OR THAT

Paperback or E-book? ebook
Read a book once/Re read books more than once? usually once
Books or Movies? both!
Action, Drama, Mystery, Romance? action and romance
Morning or Evening? evening
Early Nights or Late Nights? early
Optimist or Pessimist? optimist
Coffee ot Tea? coffee
Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter? autumn
Dark Chocalate, Milk Chocolate or White Chocolate? milk chocolate
Mild Cheeses, Medium Cheeses or Strong Cheeses? mild
Flat Heeled Shoes, Medium Heeled Shoes or High Heeled Shoes? flats
Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes or Green Eyes? green
Long Hair or Short Hair? long
Bitten Nails, Natural Nails, or Nail Enhancements (ie false nails) ? natural
Wine, Beer, Soft Drink? wine

EXCEPRT

We headed for our usual booth. Dakota always slept on one side of the table, and I slept on the other. That night, when I crawled onto my bed, Ash and Keenan had already taken over Dakota’s side. They sat shoulder to shoulder, stiffly, like they had something to say. I glanced at Dakota to see how he was handling that. He didn’t seem to care. He just collapsed in the booth behind me instead. Since I couldn’t flop down like I wanted to, I sat there, stared at Keenan and Ash, and waited.
That pair had been joined at the hip since they came to me as lost fourth graders. If the world hadn’t gone to shit, Ash would have been the most popular boy in school.  He could be deadly when pushed, but his mom must have raised him with all kinds of compassion. He used to rescue moths from windowsills and pick earthworms out of puddles after it rained. That night, I figured Ash meant to rescue me. Why he brought Keenan along, I had no idea.
Ash leaned forward, a sympathetic smile on his handsome face. Dim red and blue neon light shone off his perfect chocolate skin and wooly hair. “How you feelin’, Jack?” 
“Fine.”  I kept it short, hoping they’d go away so I could sleep.
“I got something for you. Or we do. It’s from Keenan, too. I couldn’t have got it without him.” Ash dug into his pocket and pulled out a small leather bag. He pushed it across the table to me.
I poured out the contents and gasped. A handful of gold and diamond rings spilled out, along with a fat roll of hundred dollar bills. Paper money didn’t mean much anymore, at least in my neighborhood, but those rings made the best trade goods ever. I flicked the bills aside and played with the rings, admiring their glitter in the neon light of the bar signs in the window. “Wow. This is really something.”
“Spoils of war,” Keenan said. “By the way, I didn’t get the chance to tell you earlier, but you look gorgeous in that dress.”
I felt my eyes widen in their sockets. “Uh, thanks,” I choked out.
The back of my seat rocked a little as Dakota rolled to his knees and leaned on the partition between the booths. “Go to bed, you guys.”
“Okay,” Keenan said obediently. As if they’d rehearsed it, Ash and Keenan laid down in Dakota’s spot, feet together and heads in opposite directions. It looked crowded and uncomfortable, but they settled in like they meant to stay.
Dakota shot them a murderous look. One on one, he could whip either of them, but together, those boys could kill him. I felt sick thinking about it. The winner—or winners—would lead my crew, alongside me. And from the way Keenan looked at me, that wasn’t all they had in mind. I could have sworn fourteen was too young. Guess I was wrong.
As the only girl around, I’d been pressured for sex since childhood. Some men wouldn’t take no for an answer, so I got pretty good at taking cheap shots and bolting. That kind of thing got worse as I got older. Dakota watched out for me, sticking closer as I got into my teens and even normal, non-pervy men started taking an interest. That was when I cut my hair off and tried to look like a boy. We never talked about it—I was way too shy—but Dakota had to know I was still a virgin. Now he obviously wanted to be more than friends, and I couldn’t get comfortable with it. I didn’t want anyone else. Never had. Dakota was the only guy I ever dreamed about, ever pictured myself having babies with. The only one I didn’t want to reject. But old fears die hard.